Technology Record - Issue 32: Spring 2024

42 EXECUTIVE INTERVIEW How is Microsoft aligning itself to play a key role in driving the journey towards more resilient and sustainable manufacturing operations across the industry? Sustainability is a top priority for Microsoft, and we are dedicated to steering the path toward more robust and sustainable manufacturing processes. That’s why we offer solutions like Sustainability Manager which enables organisations to monitor and manage their environmental impact with unified data, gain actionable insights and prepare for upcoming reporting requirements and regulations. I would like to share some customer examples of how we are helping manufacturers on this journey. Denmark-based FLSmidth, a provider of equipment and service solutions to the mining and cement industries, is using Microsoft Sustainability Manager to reach zero emissions and zero waste by 2030. It is using the solution to establish emissions baselines, set incremental goals and track progress to build new sustainability solutions for customers. OSTP Group, a Nordic manufacturer of steel tubes, pipes and fittings, worked with Microsoft partner Fellowmind to build a Microsoft Sustainability Manager-based solution for carbon dioxide data gathering and reporting. With automated reporting and AI-driven analytics, OSTP can spend less time collecting data and more time analysing progress toward its goal of carbon neutrality by 2025. We are also working with our partners to extend our solutions to meet customers where they are on their sustainability journeys. For example, Cognite’s AI-based Cognite Data Fusion platform, together with Microsoft Sustainability Manager, leverages Azure OpenAI Service to help businesses make informed decisions and take action with simulation-based decision support. And the results are impressive: organisations have experienced an impressive 10-fold increase in workflow efficiency. Deloitte’s 2024 manufacturing industry outlook reveals that the manufacturing sector was in contraction for most of 2023. Assuming this to be the case, where do you believe technology will drive real growth in this coming year and how will Microsoft help boost sector recovery? Growth is two-fold: it is about improving the bottom line by making operations more productive and efficient, and also about helping manufacturers to improve the top line by supporting their sales teams. Both can be accomplished with the latest technologies such as AI, machine learning and automation. In fact, I recently visited customers in Japan, and Photo: Siemens The Siemens Industrial Copilot generates code to control factory machines