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Parminder Singh

Head of Design & Manufacturing – India & SAARC


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SUSTAINABILITY MANUFACTURING Organisations must prioritise sustainability as a front-and-centre imperative

Sep 13, 2021

…mentions Parminder Singh, Head of Design & Manufacturing – India & SAARC, Autodesk, in this interview with Juili Eklahare. He points out how generative design enables organisations to create designs that reduce material input & waste, how IoT can help identify how people can use infrastructure in sustainable ways and how the company measures its progress towards sustainability. Excerpts…

For over a decade now, you have been creating institutional collaborations in social impact projects within water & energy segments. Can you tell us in detail about the work you are doing through these collaborations?

We aim to empower our customers to apply design and make technology to today’s most pertinent issues & accelerate industry transformation through cross-sector collaboration & by catalysing innovation between and beyond our industries. Through the Autodesk Carbon Fund, we support projects across the globe. Some of our water projects are Aqua Clara and Boreholes in Uganda and one of our important energy projects include the Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design.

Generative design is being adopted profusely in the manufacturing industry. Do you see the industry adopting more of it during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The pandemic has spurred on break-neck digital adoption, more cloud collaboration and automated systems. Organisations are also facing reduced access to materials and production times. It is in this paradigm that generative design can find its role in the manufacturing value chain. There are three core challenges in the adoption of generative design – skilling, affordability & buy-in from senior management.

How can an organisation achieve infusing sustainability right at the design stage, while having utmost productivity?

Good design can directly influence how efficient an asset will be over its lifetime. Unsustainable assets are also going to cost more over their lifetime. Organisations, therefore, must prioritise sustainability as a front-and-centre imperative, right from the design stage. Generative design enables organisations to create designs that reduce material input and waste, ultimately proving to be more sustainable. These products also perform better and last longer.

As we rebuild city infrastructure using smart technologies, how do you advise that we analyse its impact on the environment?

The Internet of Things (IoT) can help identify how people can use infrastructure in sustainable ways. This data can also inform the sustainable developments of future infrastructure in response to changing demographic or environmental conditions. IoT-enabled smart infrastructure, inclusive of energy, water, transportation, buildings and governance can prioritise needs, performance, minimise energy use and make life more enjoyable & productive for residents.

How do you measure Autodesk’s progress toward sustainability? Do you have milestones?

We have always been committed to advancing a more sustainable, resilient and equitable world with our technology and within our business. Our efforts are aimed at three primary areas – derived from the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) – in which we believe we are best placed to accelerate positive impact at scale –

  • Energy & materials: Enabling better energy & materials choices, reducing carbon emissions & waste

  • Health & resilience: Accelerating the design and make of products & places that are safer, healthier
    and more resilient

  • Work & prosperity: Advancing equity & access & facilitate the acquisition of in demand skills of future

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