We are currently surrounded with several technological blessings. Human today, can not imagine himself without these technological innovation. But have we ever thought about the global sustainability which has been quite a buzz of the town. Despite of all the ease that comes with the technology, we cannot deny the climate and energy crisis which has been caused due to this immense technological development.
Let’s stop and think for a bit! The issue of climate change is more pressing than ever. It is terrible news for our world as the ozone layer is rapidly losing its thickness. By 2050, it is anticipated that CO2 emissions from just the United States will total 4,807 million metric tonnes if the right steps aren’t implemented. Anyone should be concerned at that point, especially business owners and influential actors in the sector. Disruptions caused at this level demand a responsible world. It is more crucial than ever that the technology we rely on may be created, used, repaired, and disposed of in a way that doesn’t hurt the environment or the people involved. Here comes sustainable technology to the rescue.
Although the idea of eco-friendly technology may seem contradictory at first, it may be the answer we need to shift away from an unsustainable consumer culture that has gotten entwined with the modern tech economy.
Let’s get a brief overview of what is sustainable technology and how will it help redesign a safe, eco-friendly, and a better future.
What is Sustainable Technology?
Innovation that takes into account natural resources and promotes economic and social growth is referred to as sustainable technology. These technologies aim to provide a sustainable product while substantially reducing dangers to the environment and ecology. It means at present, designing and developing any new technology demands to keep the sustainability principles in mind. In addition to this, any technology that comes with an idea of mitigating or solving the existent issue is one other way technology being sustainable.
Sustainability encompasses following perspectives:
- Efficiency: With sustainable technology, we are looking for something that utilizes resources in a more efficient and cost-effective way with minimum or mo wastage.
- Preventing: With this, we means something that has no detrimental effect on climate or natural resources. In addition to this, it not only prevents future contamination but also
- Substitution: We are currently demanding something that creates an entire shift from non-biodegradable to biodegradable alternative and non-renewable to renewable resources.
Green technology is another term often used interchangeably with sustainable technology. The global market for green technology and sustainability is anticipated to reach $74.64 billion by 2030, increasing at a CAGR of 21.9% from 2021 to 2030, according to Allied Market Research.
“Sustainable technology drives ESG objectives including boosting wellbeing and providing the traceability required to assure ethical company operations, as well as being increasingly critical operationally for optimizing costs, energy performance, and asset usage.”-Gartner Principal Analyst Autumn Stanish.
Why Do We Need Sustainable Technology?
Many individuals have no idea how serious the ethical and environmental problems in modern technology are. The ethical ramifications of technology are extensive and wide-ranging, extending from manufacturing all the way to use and disposal. Every business owner aspires to change the world while upholding ethical and moral standards. Businesses may maintain their competitiveness and benefit the environment by deploying sustainable ideas.
Let’s take some few examples which will help us know why do we need technology to be more responsible.
- Tantalum and tin, two metals essential to make the hardware for our electronics, are occasionally mined in impoverished countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the proceeds from their extraction could be used to fuel armed conflict groups linked to human rights abuses.
- Additionally, there is a carbon footprint associated with shipping electronic products internationally. 833 million metric tones of carbon were released into the atmosphere as a result of maritime shipping alone in 2021, an increase of 5% from the year before.
- Large volumes of data that are fed to and from our digital devices are being stored, processed, and distributed by data centers throughout the world. These facilities consume absurd amounts of energy. In fact, if uncontrolled, according to some experts, the world’s data centers will consume 10% of all electricity by 2030.
- Lastly but not the least, as lead, cadmium, mercury, chromium V, and brominated flame-retardants seep out in dangerous proportions from cellphones and other types of e-waste, they cause significant environmental damage.
Taking all these alarming situation in consideration, various tech companies have already shifted their practices to green and renewable alternatives. Among others, GE (US), Enablon (France), Salesforce (US), Microsoft (US), and Schneider Electric (France) are some of the major participants in the green technology and sustainability sector.
These businesses are constantly coming up with new ways to improve the efficiency and dependability of their green technology and sustainability capabilities, paving the way for the global green technology and sustainability market to become a mainstream technology.
Examples of Sustainable Technology
It’s noteworthy that Microsoft’s cloud computing has already made it possible to reduce material waste and energy consumption. It is one of the top software providers that works to lessen its environmental impact while also assisting other businesses in being “green.” Microsoft products now include power management features, enabling smart energy usage on end devices like monitors and hard drives.
One of the largest retail companies is an example of numerous digital transformations that have been implemented to reduce energy consumption and waste and to give supply chain control. It has implemented numerous digital changes to reduce energy consumption and waste, as well as to improve supply chain control.
The robobee, a self-manned drone with cameras and sensors for pollinating crops, was patented by the company in 2018. With the help of this tool, agricultural issues can also be identified and the Walmart food supply chain can be controlled more effectively, reducing food waste.
Ørsted was recognized as the world’s most sustainable firm in 2020. It is a well-known Danish provider of bioenergy and wind technology. By 2025, Ørsted hopes to have created “an fully green planet” with a 100% carbon-free energy source. The business is reducing its reliance on coal and oil in favor of alternative energy sources. More than a thousand offshore wind turbines owned by this Denmark-based are fitted with sensors that automatically produce useful data.
Microsoft and Ørsted have decided to cooperate to achieve a common goal i.e. sustainable digital future. Both sides are able to successfully address environmental concerns thanks to their decision to unite. A crucial component of Ørsted’s digital strategy for sustainable data transformation for time and resource savings is Microsoft’s cutting-edge AI and predictive analytics technologies.
Mega City of NEOM
It most certainly merits the moniker of a sustainable utopia in which all feasible and impractical technological advancements come together to benefit humanity. The idea of creating a sustainable megacity originated in Saudi Arabia, which is prepared to invest $500 billion on technological advancements that use renewable energy sources rather than fossil fuels.
To regulate the environment in the megacity, confusing digital transformations like IoT and AL software are being implemented. For instance, using smart sensors for water management and rainfall collection makes it possible to conserve water, especially in sparse desert environments. Additionally, it is anticipated that the average temperature in NEOM would be lower and that the wind speed may need to be adjusted. The first project results are anticipated around 2030, which is several years away.
Apple is a must-discuss topic when talking about environmentally friendly technologies. 90% of the renewable electricity used by Apple’s facilities, or about 1.5 gigawatts at present, will come from sources that the company has developed by the year 2020. Apple is also emphasizing expanding the usage of recycled polymers in all of its products. For instance, 90% of the plastic used to make the mesh fabric of the HomePod mini is recycled plastic.
How Can We Make Technology More Sustainability?
It is not only the responsibility of the capitalist ventures to rethink their practices. Instead it is a collective interest. Where large tech organization are adding to the worsening of the climate or global environment, every individual is also adding their share which needs to be addressed in the same way.
Question is how can we add our share to the sustainable environment? What should we do to prevent all the detrimental impacts of technology and its related gadgets? Well, here are some things you can do in your daily life to add some value towards sustainable future.
- Choose Eco-friendly devices: Whenever you are deciding to buy a new laptop or a smartphone, think something that is eco-friendly and causes no or least harm to the environment. In addition to this, their related accessories should also be eco-friendly for example smartphone cases or earphones. While still using your devices, you can make eco-friendly purchases to lessen their carbon footprint. Try charging your phone with an eco-friendly charger that uses kinetic or solar energy.
- Try to be less dependent on technology: Of course, avoiding use of sustainable tech products altogether is the best course of action. In this age of the minimalists, people are being inspired to take stock of their things and limit their consumption by movements like slow living and minimalism, which are upending the commercial culture. It is more crucial than ever to adopt this mentality when it comes to using technology, as it is nearly difficult for digital items to be really sustainable, unlike in other areas of consumerism.
- Repair/Recycle existing technology: Before you decide to dispose of your phone, if possible, take it to your neighborhood cell phone repair shop. Who knows, you might get a simple, inexpensive fix and be pleasantly delighted! When thinking about how to dispose of old cell phones, make sure to consult the website of your local municipality for details on how e-waste is handled there. The take-back services offered by some businesses, including Apple and Best Buy, will recycle your old gadget for you. Additionally, make sure to properly dispose of any broken cell phones you may have.
- Spread the word: The action needs to be done at massive scale. SO, the best way is to ask other people near you to shift to green technological practices rather than the conventional ones. Aware them of the environmental impacts of massive use of technology and help them learn why it is necessary to shift towards a sustainable future.
There stands no doubt that we have to think about the technology and sustainability at all levels. We can’t deny the fact that it is the need of the hour and also very much necessary for the future generations. We have to come at a common page and should invest equally towards sustainable technology.