4 reasons to use technology to turbo-charge your sustainability initiatives
Sustainability has become a top priority for many businesses across the globe, as they look for ways to reduce their environmental impact and operate in a more responsible manner. However, achieving sustainability goals can be a challenge, requiring significant investment and effort. This is where technology can make a significant difference, and can turbo charge an enterprise’s sustainability initiatives in a number of ways. Here are four key reasons why technology can be a game changer when it comes to sustainability:
- Technology can help businesses measure and monitor their environmental impact
It is impossible for a business to improve anything it is doesn’t measure. When it comes to sustainability, businesses need accurate measurement and monitoring of their environmental impact. Technology can help by providing detailed data and insights on everything from energy use and waste production to carbon emissions and water consumption. This data can be used to identify areas where improvements can be made, and to track progress towards sustainability goals over time. In addition, technology can automate the collection and analysis of this data, making it easier and more efficient to manage using business rules-based alerting and workflow.
- Technology enables a business to reduce its energy consumption and costs
Reducing energy consumption is a key part of any sustainability strategy, and technology can play a major role in achieving this. Smart energy systems, for example, can automatically adjust heating, lighting, and other systems based on occupancy levels, saving energy and reducing costs. Energy management software can also help identify areas where energy use can be reduced, such as by upgrading to more efficient appliances or installing renewable energy systems like solar panels. By using technology such as IoT (Internet if Things) based devices and sensors to optimize energy, businesses can monitor and reduce carbon emissions across their supply chain, while also saving money on energy bills. Machine learning software can predict energy consumption patterns and help optimise costs further over longer term horizons.
- Technology helps reduce waste, conserve water and increase recycling
Waste and water conservation are major challenges for businesses and are ripe for technology intervention. For example, smart packaging can be used to reduce the amount of packaging material used and ensure that it is recyclable. Waste management systems can also use sensors and other technology to optimize waste collection and processing, reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfill. Simple flow sensors can track water usage, industrial effluents discharge and make treatment more efficient. In addition, recycling technologies like 3D printing can be used to turn waste materials into new products, further reducing environmental impact. For larger enterprises, carbon capture is a new space where specialised systems can remove carbon from the atmosphere and mitigate increased emissions from new factories.
- Technology can help a business collaborate and share best practices
Finally, technology can help businesses collaborate and share best practices when it comes to sustainability. Online platforms and social networks can be used to connect businesses, create awareness and share information about sustainable practices and technologies. This can help businesses learn from each other and find new ways to improve their sustainability efforts. In addition, technology can facilitate partnerships between businesses and organizations working on sustainability initiatives, creating opportunities for joint projects and initiatives.
Advanced technologies have a crucial role to play in helping businesses achieve their sustainability goals. By providing data and insights, optimizing energy use, reducing waste, and facilitating collaboration, technology can help businesses reduce their environmental impact and operate in a more responsible and sustainable manner. Businesses would do well to find ways to fund technology investments and adoption for their economic sustainability.
(The author is Mr. Vivek Mehra, Co-Founder and Chief Sustainability Officer at Onlygood, and the views expressed in this article are his own)