Sustainable engineering: Innovating for a better tomorrow

CXOToday has engaged in an exclusive interview with Mr. Tinku Malayil Jose, Director – Technology, Leader of Center of Excellence (CoE), Embedded & Device Engineering. at Quest Global. 


Q1. What is sustainable engineering? How is Quest Global delivering on its promise of sustainable engineering?

Sustainable engineering is the process of redesigning and improving existing systems or creating new systems and processes to function more efficiently and reduce the use of polluting energy sources after analyzing system operations, production quality and functional deficiencies.  With the growing concerns over climate change, sustainable engineering is an effective way to avoid, mitigate, and remediate emissions responsible for climate change and environmental contamination.

At Quest Global, we have been working in some of the critical verticals like aerospace, automotive and energy amongst others with a deep focus on facilitating engineering processes and implementing solutions that work towards net zero emissions. As an organization, our aim is to bring a profound change and for this we use technologies that are available to capture key data, tracking that data to make necessary decisions in a time-bound way.

Q2. How can companies implement sustainable engineering best practices to meet their customer demands for sustainable products and solutions?

The pursuit of sustainability requires action on many fronts, including changes in supply networks, manufacturing processes, business models and the way the products are designed, engineered, used, discarded, or recycled. With growing demand for sustainable products and solutions, companies need to seek ways to meet performance and quality requirements while consuming fewer resources throughout the product lifecycle. Internally, companies should build an infrastructure to integrate sustainability into their product strategy. They need to have a strategic framework for their team to work toward net zero across all aspects of the product lifecycle.

Q3. What are some of the challenges faced by companies in building a sustainable and scalable business and how can they overcome them?

When it comes to building a sustainable and scalable business, there are multiple challenges that companies face in the process. Some of them are listed below.

  1. Increased pressure to demonstrate corporate sustainability responsibility and initiative- As per reports, 85% of investors have considered environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in their investments in 2020. Also, 91% of banks monitor the ESG performance of investments. This puts a tremendous burden on businesses to offer responses for building a sustainable future.
  2. Strengthen partnerships with suppliers who support sustainability activities- It is equally important to ensure that suppliers have shown, proven, and documented environmental data. Working with multiple suppliers around the world can be particularly challenging as sustainability and workplace regulations can vary widely.
  3. Challenges in developing net zero products and solutions- Reaching net zero is a key organizing principle for any business today. The growing need for systemic changes to address the climate crisis means companies must adapt to the way they do business. As we navigate through supply chain challenges, working from scratch on every aspect of the product development cycle is difficult for companies.

To overcome these challenges, companies need to work together across the product ecosystem, with designers and suppliers of the most fundamental components of their products and the entire supply chain. As regulatory requirements are evolving, they require a solid understanding of what manufacturers need to consider. Secondly, to meet sustainability certifications, companies must ensure that the product lifecycle is green, from design to supplier to production and lastly cost, which is and will continue to be an important aspect. Appropriate considerations must be made during product architecture and design, which can optimize the product’s life and ensure maximum recyclability.

Q4. Can you please share your thoughts on net-zero product development?

Net zero means achieving a balance between the amount of emissions and those removed from the atmosphere to reduce global warming. Every single day, the business imperative for carbon neutrality is increasing for enterprises, so it should be for us engineers. Fortunately, net zero product strategies are no longer novel. A few companies have already modeled sustainability and cracked the code to reach net zero with optimized costs within a defined time frame. These insights and best practices should be taken and adapted across the product line industry as the need for achieving net zero at every point of product cycle development is very crucial.

Q5. What is Edge AI? Also, do you think that Edge AI is leading the way to a sustainable future?

Edge AI is the implementation of artificial intelligence in an edge computing environment. This means AI computations are performed at the edge of a given network, typically on the device where the data was created, rather than in a central cloud computing facility or external data center. Capable edge devices can reduce the data transfer requirements to and from the backend thus optimizing the energy drain. When a company plans on optimizing its infrastructure usage that fits their requirement as well as align with its    sustainability goals, then Edge AI is the best solution for it.

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