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Sustainable Technology: Paving the Way for a Greener Future

In the fast-paced world of technological advancements, the concept of sustainability has taken centre stage, giving rise to the development and integration of sustainable technology. This article delves into the essence of sustainable technology, its introduction, its numerous benefits, its potential, and the evolving landscape of risk and compliance regulations associated with its adoption.

What is Sustainable Technology?


Sustainable technology, often referred to as green or clean technology, involves the application of innovative solutions to address environmental challenges and promote sustainability. It encompasses many practices and technologies designed to minimise environmental impact, reduce resource consumption, and foster long-term ecological balance. The goal is to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The roots of sustainable technology can be traced back to the late 20th century when environmental concerns gained global attention. However, the formal integration and widespread adoption of sustainable technology gained momentum in the early 21st century. As climate change became a pressing issue, industries, governments, and researchers began actively seeking ways to reduce their carbon footprint and create more eco-friendly alternatives.


The IT Industries promoting Sustainable Technology


  1. Alphabet (Google)

    Google aims for 24/7 carbon-free energy in all its facilities by 2030, investing in sustainability R&D and achieving 100% renewable energy matching in 2017. Alphabet directs its $5.75 billion Sustainability Bond proceeds to eco-friendly projects. Google's sustainability strategy focuses on carbon-free energy, circular economy transition, technology empowerment, and positive impacts in operational areas.

  2. Microsoft

    By 2030, Microsoft plans to achieve carbon negativity, zero waste, and water positivity. The company invests in sustainability R&D and launched Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability in 2022. Microsoft supports global sustainability initiatives, including advancing climate technologies and policies, promoting green workforce skilling, and ensuring a just transition for vulnerable populations.

  3. Amazon

    Amazon, the top corporate buyer of renewable energy, targets net-zero carbon emissions by 2040 and 100% renewable energy use by 2025. The company invests in sustainable technologies, and AWS facilitates customer solutions for carbon tracking, energy conservation, and waste reduction.

  4. Apple

    Apple is committed to sustainability, targeting a 20% recycled material usage in its products and carbon neutrality by 2030. Since 2008, the company reduced product energy use by 70% and doubled recycled materials like tungsten, rare earth elements, and cobalt in 2021.

  5. Intel

    Intel commits to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, 100% renewable energy use, and zero waste to landfill by 2040. In 2021, the company demonstrated energy conservation progress, saving 486 million kilowatt-hours, and reduced total greenhouse gas emissions by 2% from the previous year.

  6. IBM

    IBM aims for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, investing in sustainability R&D to reduce waste and conserve resources. The company targets diverting 90% of nonhazardous waste from landfill and incineration by 2025.

  7. NVIDIA

    NVIDIA commits to offsetting 100% of its electricity with renewable energy. The H100 GPUs, based on the Hopper architecture, offer a 26x energy efficiency advantage over CPUs. NVIDIA claims to power the most efficient supercomputer on the November 2022 Green500 ranking, showcasing its dedication to sustainability.

  8. Meta

    Meta commits to net-zero emissions by 2030, reducing Scope 1 and 2 emissions through efficiency and 100% renewable energy. The company plans to support carbon removal projects by 2030. In 2021, Meta backed initiatives in Kenya and Mexico, sequestering 200,000+ tons of carbon.

  9. Dell Technologies

    Dell Technologies targets net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, investing in sustainability R&D. By 2030, the company pledges to reuse or recycle an equivalent product for every customer purchase, addressing the challenge of 53.4 million tons of annual e-waste.

  10. HP

    HP targets carbon neutrality by 2040 and 100% renewable energy by 2025. The company invests in sustainability R&D to achieve zero waste across all operations by 2025 and conserve resources.


Sustainable Technology Products: 


  1. Garmin Instinct Solar-Powered Outdoor Smartwatch

    The durable Garmin wristwatch, an eco-friendly technology example, utilises solar panels for battery charging. It features a power manager for monitoring runtime and includes GPS tracking for various athletic activities like runs and swims.

  2. Reusable Notebook: Rocketbook Fusion

    Rocketbook's Fusion notebook is a green technology example, featuring reusable pages with various layouts, including calendars and schedules, contributing to reduced paper waste

  3. Microsoft Ocean Plastic Mouse

    Microsoft's eco-clicker wireless mouse incorporates 20% plastic trash from oceans and rivers, processed into environmentally friendly scrollers. The packaging is made from wood and sugarcane fibres.

  4. Solorage PowerPort Solar

    The Solorage PowerPort Solar is a portable and weatherproof three-panel charger, that generates 21 watts of solar power. Affordable and quick to charge smartphones, it has two USB ports with a 3-amp maximum output. The 18-month warranty emphasizes its role as a charger, not a battery, showcasing green technology.

  5. Smart Power Strips

    Smart power strips detect and cut off electricity to devices in standby mode, saving money and reducing energy consumption, ultimately lowering your carbon footprint.


Benefits of Sustainable Technology:


  • Environmental Conservation: One of sustainable technology's primary benefits is its positive environmental impact. Technologies such as renewable energy sources, energy-efficient appliances, and eco-friendly manufacturing processes contribute to reducing pollution and conserving natural resources.


  • Economic Advantages: Sustainable technology is not only environmentally friendly but also economically viable. Investments in clean energy, green infrastructure, and sustainable practices often lead to long-term cost savings for businesses and governments. Additionally, the growing green sector creates new job opportunities and stimulates economic growth.


  • Resource Efficiency: Sustainable technology emphasizes the efficient use of resources, minimising waste and maximising output. Smart technologies, circular economy practices, and eco-design principles contribute to more sustainable use of materials, ensuring their longevity and reducing the overall environmental impact.


Risk and Compliance Regulations


As the adoption of sustainable technology grows, so does the need for regulations to ensure responsible and ethical practices. Various countries and international bodies have introduced guidelines and standards to govern the use of sustainable technology, addressing issues such as e-waste management, emissions control, and ethical sourcing of materials. Companies embracing sustainable technology must adhere to these regulations to mitigate potential risks and ensure that their practices align with global sustainability goals.


Sustainable technology represents a pivotal shift in our approach to innovation, prioritising environmental responsibility and long-term ecological well-being. The benefits of adopting sustainable technology are immense, reaching across industries, governments, and individuals. While the landscape of risk and compliance regulations continues to evolve, the global community's commitment to a greener future through sustainable technology remains unwavering. As we continue to advance technologically, integrating sustainable practices becomes not just a choice but a necessity for a sustainable and thriving planet.


Sources:


Sustainable technology addresses environmental challenges through innovative solutions, promoting eco-friendly practices. Originating in the late 20th century, it gained momentum in the 21st century amid global environmental concerns. Benefits include environmental conservation, economic advantages, and resource efficiency, with a focus on reducing pollution, fostering economic growth, and maximizing resource use efficiency.

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