Executive Summary

If one action could reduce CO2 emissions by 7.5 gigatons (Gt) in the next 10 years (about 17% of all CO2 emitted in 2020) and generate economic benefits of US$1.2 trillion, shouldn’t we seize it with both hands?

This is precisely the opportunity calculated for just five industrial applications of virtual twins  in a new research paper produced by Accenture and Dassault Systèmes and titled: “Designing Disruption: The Critical Role of Virtual Twins in Accelerating Sustainability.”

Although benefits from the five use cases studied and quantified in the paper are significant, they represent only a small fraction of the total benefit possible with universal adoption of virtual twins across all relevant sectors of industry and government. Despite being proven, available-today technology, however – a concrete action that businesses can take now to make progress against the UN Sustainability Development Goals –virtual twins have reached only 10% of the organizations that should be using them to accelerate their sustainability efforts.

“In its 2019 CEO Study on Sustainability, Accenture found that half of surveyed CEOs believe business will be the most important actor in delivering on the UN Sustainability goals,” said Alice Steenland, Vice President for Group Sustainability, Dassault Systèmes. “But only 21% of surveyed CEOs believe that businesses are meeting their obligations. Virtual twins are an immediate step forward on sustainability, and they improve companies’ financial performance. This makes virtual twins a win for all three facets of sustainability: environment, economy and society.

“This new paper,” Steenland continued, “was undertaken to reveal this potential, spurring adoption in time to make a difference in the 90% of cases where virtual twins are not yet used.”