How the public sector can use digital twins to achieve net zero

Sep 01, 2022

As the world starts to feel the heat of global warming, the public sector is racing to achieve Net Zero.

While each individual, company and organisation have a significant role to play, the public sector is a vital component in achieving the UK’s decarbonisation plan.

Beyond the natural benefits of slowing global warming, the public sector will benefit significantly if the country’s goal of reaching the Paris Climate Change Agreement is met.

The NHS, for example, will see over 5,700 lives saved every year from improved air quality, 38,000 lives saved every year from a more physically active population and over 100,000 lives saved every year from healthier diets.

Yet, the latest Emissions gap report from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) suggests new contributions fall too short of the reductions required to meet the Paris Agreement’s goals. 

The time is now for the public sector to gain full clarity and insight into their emissions and working processes to contribute to national efforts.


How digital twins can accelerate growth and reduce emissions


A digital twin is a digital ‘copy’ of an environment, system or process, which could include large structures such as buildings, factories and even whole towns or cities.

Instead of masses of data and vital information being stored in various complex data streams, the digital twin insights provide companies with a compass.

Everything is directed to one simple source of truth. It helps capture data through visual representation, monitor assets effectively, interpret analytics for optimisation and empower users with actionable insights to create a more sustainable business model.

For the public sector, any device that can be connected to the internet and provides information on its performance can be linked to a digital twin. 

This can benefit air quality, navigation, operations and much more. There’s a whole shopping list of interventions that are influenced when digital twins come into play. Here are some of the key benefits of using digital twins:

  • Predictive maintenance. Real-time data can be used to predict and alert when something goes wrong.
  • Improved risk assessment. Each process, solution or strategy can be tested with the carbon copy within the digital twin. This allows you to see potential failures before they occur or you can examine how the new plan will go before it’s officially brought to life.
  • Cost-saving. By testing each element of the workplace structure or projects in advance (using digital twins) this saves money by ensuring resources are carefully managed.
  • Real-time remote monitoring. A digital twin can be accessed anywhere and an in-depth real-time view is possible.

The health of an entire environment can be captured with a digital twin, meaning it’s perfect for both large and small organisations. They can accelerate decarbonisation within the UK and is a worthy tool to utilise for various aspects of the business. 

Taking the NHS as an example, the majority of their emissions (at nearly 45%) come from purchasing equipment and medicines. And 10% comes from the electricity and gas needed to run hospitals and other health services. 

These emissions can be reduced by moving to low carbon alternatives, perfecting testing and monitoring electricity and gas usage.

Each switch to low carbon alternatives must be analysed carefully to make sure the right resources are in place and to determine the most efficient way of succeeding. 

As an example, an ultrasound (low-carbon method) can be used instead of an MRI (high-carbon method) and the testing of this can be achieved through digital twins to find the most feasible and accessible route.

Digital twins can achieve this, while also determining any potential issues, without compromising quality of care and patient safety.

Be prepared for smoother operations and workflows with a digital twin, as well as more well-thought-out projects and streamlined steps throughout each new update within the organisation.


How Spinview provides the much-needed step in the right direction


Spinview is no stranger to healthcare-related projects. Spinview and NREP recently collaborated to fund an innovation project named ‘HOME’ – Housing Optimisation Measure for Elderly.

Virtual reality technology was used to create a digital tool that identifies which elements in buildings promote well-being, the building in question is a care home for the elderly.

The results from biometric sensors forecasted a 33% reduction in long term mental health conditions, supporting user-centric and sustainable building solutions.

Spinview is committed to shaping innovative solutions that provide answers for a better future through connecting the real and digital world to unlock data. 

This data helps us to deliver smarter, safer and more efficient spaces. This is needed now more than ever before.

If you want to learn more about how a digital twin can support your organisation’s goals, get in touch.