Bentley Systems Logo White
Home / 2023
Back

2023 Stories

Explore the 2023 stories below to learn how Bentley users are helping to address the United Nations SDGs through the infrastructure projects on which they work. These stories are organized by sustainability trends to help you navigate the many projects that showcase how our users are sustaining both our economies and the environment.

Featured Story

icon esdg trend climate change

 

Climate Change is Water Change

It disrupts weather patterns, leading to extreme weather events, floods, unpredictable water availability, water scarcity, and contaminated water supplies. These impacts can drastically affect both the quantity and the quality of water that people need to thrive or survive. Here are three examples in 2022 alone of the severity of the situation.

  • The Horn of Africa experienced its worst drought in four decades, with over 23 million people needing humanitarian assistance.
  • Pakistan experienced its worst flooding in decades, with over 33 million people affected and over 1,400 deaths.
  • The western and central United States experienced a severe drought, with a devastating impact on agriculture and communities that rely on surface water for drinking and irrigation.

These challenges, combined with aging infrastructure and increased populations, create additional difficulties to ensure water and food security worldwide.

The solution is to implement better and more holistic water cycle management, adept circular principles to reuse water and wastewater, and intelligently map, monitor, inspect, and manage all water and its associated infrastructure, from source to tap. Taken together, this concept, “One Water,” fosters water-positive and climate-resilient decision-making. Water digital twins are becoming the norm for supporting these principles, playing a critical role in a sustainable Blue Economy.

icon esdg trend transportation

 

Greenhouse gas emissions and atmospheric pollution from various transportation modes can accelerate climate change and pose a threat to human health.

The International Energy Agency reported that transportation caused 27% of all global greenhouse gas emissions in 2020. The sector is also responsible for 13 deaths per minute due to air pollution, according to the World Health Organization.

While the world is already making important steps in the switch to electric, low-emission, fuel-efficient vehicles, it is certain that cities cannot rely exclusively on individual cars – even if they are fully electrified – to future-proof their transportation systems. The supply chain for manufacturing electric vehicles (EVs) and their batteries faces complex challenges. The electrical grid still needs to be fully decarbonized. And cities are becoming more populated and more congested.

As a result, many cities are transforming themselves to create sustainable and just alternatives to cars, as well as adept 15-minute city principles. These cities are investing in public and active transportation options. They encourage people to walk, bike, and use public transportation whenever possible. They embolden urban planners to move toward multimodal transportation to create more sustainable, livable, and inclusive cities. 

To accelerate results and reach these goals, mobility planners and departments of transportation are leveraging advanced digital software, such as mobility simulation, to generate what-if scenarios, facilitate more informed decisions, and produce better efficiency and effectiveness in these modes of transportation.

icon esdg trend climate change

 

In 2022 the World Made Significant Progress on Clean Energy Transition

Despite the ongoing pandemic and the war in Ukraine. According to the International Energy Agency, investment in clean energy reached a record high of USD 1.7 trillion, up 15% from 2021.

One of the most significant developments in the clean energy transition in 2022 was the rapid growth of renewable energy. Renewable energy capacity additions reached a record high of 295 gigawatts, up 23% from 2021, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. Solar and wind power accounted for most new renewable energy capacity additions. For example, China met 50% of its 2025 renewable energy target in 2023, according to state media outlet Xinhua. The Guardian notes that solar capacity in China is currently greater than the rest of the world combined.

The clean energy transition also has a positive impact on the economy and job creation. A recent report by IRENA and the International Labour Organization states that worldwide, the renewable energy sector employed over 12 million people in 2022, with that figure expected to grow in the coming years.

However, a substantial amount of additional effort is required to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, a goal set by a growing number of countries. And it will take the work and involvement of governments, businesses, and individuals to accelerate the clean energy transition.
While diversification is key to scaling up power generation globally, the need for grid infrastructure, both transmission and distribution, is equally critical.