What are you looking for?
Metaverse Minute: 3 ways XR is helping to tackle climate change
MARINA PSAROS / UNITY TECHNOLOGIESSenior Manager, Sustainability
Apr 21, 2022|7 Min
Metaverse Minute: 3 ways XR is helping to tackle climate change

When our team at Unity says, “We believe the world is a better place with more creators in it,” it isn’t just a catchy tagline – we mean it. To effect change at scale, we need to come up with solutions across a wide array of sectors, fueled by creative thought. And this is especially critical in the case of climate change.

Climate change is a global threat that we believe real-time 3D creators can play a paramount role in combating. For Earth Day, we want to spotlight Unity’s digital twin technology and how its application is mobilizing communities and motivating change. We’re excited to showcase the way that Unity’s platform is empowering the business community to take action on climate change across three key industries: construction, fashion, and events.


The construction industry is one of the biggest consumers of raw materials and natural resources. The World Green Building Council estimates that it produces 39% of the world’s carbon emissions. That said, the industry is certainly due for some innovation, which is why we’re pumped to see how Mortenson, Zutari, and Sitowise are promoting change.


It is an honor that Mortenson decided to coordinate the construction of the Climate Pledge Arena with Unity Reflect. Plans for the arena aim to create the first International Living Future Institute certified Zero Carbon arena in the world. To achieve the Net Zero Carbon certification requires that new renewable energy is used to offset 100% of the energy that operates the building. Additionally, all embodied carbon emissions associated with the project’s construction will be disclosed and offset.


With Unity’s real-time 3D development platform, Zutari is changing the way that large-scale solar projects in South Africa are designed, created, and operated. Not only does Zutari complete sun tracking and shading for each solar panel, they can optimize solar sites and install as many panels as possible to increase the energy output – all within Unity. Zutari is also using Unity to explore additional sustainable energy facilities. We can’t wait to see what else they accomplish.


Unity’s real-time 3D development platform recently enabled Sitowise to create a digital twin of the Port of Oulu in Finland. This dynamic and interactive digital twin serves to reduce the environmental impact of transport and logistics flows in the city.


McKinsey research has shown that the fashion industry was responsible for 2.1 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2018, and is on a trajectory to continue this level of output without the necessary countermeasures in place. Fortunately, there are brands like DressX, Lablaco, and Deckers working toward a greener fashion future.


DressX strongly affirms that the amount of clothing produced by the fashion industry far exceeds human needs. Their solution? Digital-only fashion. By using Unity’s XR capabilities, DressX hopes to keep consumers in fresh looks, but with a much smaller footprint on the earth.

Circular Fashion Summit by Lablaco
invitation to circular fashion summit 2021

The Circular Fashion Summit (CFS) by Lablaco supports the United Nations (UN)’s Sustainable Development Goals 2030. Created to accelerate the transition toward a newly sustainable fashion ecosystem, attendees were encouraged to embrace art, design, science, and engineering to collectively come up with sustainable solutions. This summit, built with Unity, took place entirely in the Spin universe, Lablaco’s metaverse platform.


Unity’s RestAR, with its photorealistic 3D renderings, has helped Deckers on their path toward reducing their environmental footprint. Thanks to a streamlined production lifecycle, the necessity of physical samples has been eliminated, helping to decrease the amount of shipping and travel required by the company. This endeavor has reduced their overall carbon footprint as Deckers strives for a greener future ahead.


Statistics reported by the Sustainable International Travel Organization reveal that travel produces 8% of the world’s carbon emissions. As such, adopting more virtual experiences like those produced by Magnopus and Emissive can give the events industry a serious boost.

Magnopus – #Expo2020Dubai
Expo Dubai Xplorer invitation image

Traveling to major events consumes an abundance of energy. Nature found that transitioning from in-person to virtual conferencing can reduce an event’s carbon footprint substantially and going hybrid can slash energy use by two-thirds. This is where Magnopus has the opportunity to improve sustainability. With Magnopus’s Expo 2020 Dubai experience, for instance, event attendees could enjoy the expo’s magic directly from their couch, no travel required.

Emissive’s Notre Dame virtual experience

What if you could participate in more than just events from home? What if you could visit (and revisit) historical sites and landmarks worldwide? Well, Emissive is creating immersive travel experiences to ensure that history lives on. They preserve what they can today so you can continue exploring for years to come.

Now what?

The future of humanity depends on significantly reducing and reversing carbon pollution to mitigate the impacts of climate change. Many people worry that there aren’t solutions, or don’t know where to begin in addressing the climate crisis. By amplifying the stories of creators who leverage real-time 3D for their sustainable initiatives, we hope to inspire more action across sectors in the business community. If you are one such creator, we encourage you to join our Unity for Humanity Community to collaborate with other likeminded individuals. Now’s the time to empower each other to foster a better world.

P.S. Whether you’re a creator or an executive our new series of talks and workshops are designed to help guide your metaverse journey. Learn more about the Road to the Metaverse series

Follow Unity for Digital Twins on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.