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How Can Asset Management Drive Sustainability in the Modern World? 

Emma Johnson

Climate change and sustainability have emerged as key priority items in the boardrooms of companies across sectors, pressing businesses to rethink their strategies. At the heart of it, sustainable maintenance operations strive to strike a balance between profitability, minimizing equipment downtime, preventing losses and incidents, and maximizing the value of physical assets. 

A 2022 study by IBM, which surveyed more than 3,000 CEOs worldwide, highlighted that nearly half (48%) of respondents ranked sustainability as a top priority for their organization. 

Operations ingrained with sustainability principles are proactive, empowering employees and contractors to concentrate on high-priority tasks instead of following a rigid schedule that overlooks efficiency, safety, and waste reduction. 

Why be Sustainable? 

Sustainable asset management offers strategic, operational, and financial advantages, enabling companies to: 

  • Reduce Costs: Efficient asset management extends the useful life of devices, lowering ownership costs and energy consumption, especially when regularly upgrading to more energy-efficient options. 
  • Mitigate Risk: Adopting sustainable asset management practices for the responsible recycling and disposal of e-waste helps avoid financial and reputational risks associated with compromised technology or landfill waste. 
  • Realize Efficiencies: Modern, efficient technology not only boosts employee productivity but also supports higher retention rates. 
  • Maintain Competitive Advantage: Companies addressing ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) risks through sustainable asset management gain a competitive edge, positioning themselves as leaders in their sectors and staying ahead of ESG reporting requirements. 

Paving the Way for Sustainable Maintenance 

EY research indicates that integrating sustainability into an organization requires a structured approach. Maintenance departments must integrate sustainability goals into their asset management strategies, relying on data-driven methods that enhance asset efficiency throughout the production process. 

To do so, operations and maintenance teams must collaborate closely. Identifying sustainable opportunities for crucial assets involves leveraging inspection, introducing Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), visual inspection technologies, and continuous improvement (CI) activities. Efforts should also focus on incorporating ESG incidents and status into predictive failure programs for comprehensive ESG tracking. 

The Next Frontier  

For the asset management sector, the objective is clear: ensure investors have access to sustainable products and services while embedding ESG considerations into their corporate, investment, and business strategies. 

The better the understanding of a company’s equipment, the less time, fewer replacement parts, and reduced maintenance efforts are needed, thereby minimizing the environmental impact and the likelihood of unexpected downtime, capacity reductions, and incidents affecting quality or safety. Organizations showcasing their alignment with sustainable supply chains and operations will emerge as industry frontrunners with expectations of clear tangible ROI

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