What Business Leaders Need To Know About Sustainable Technology

As the world evolves, new technologies have the potential to help us move closer to a sustainable future. But what do executives need to know about these technologies? After all, they need to make informed decisions about including them in their operations and strategies.

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As sustainable technologies become more mainstream, leaders need to be educated on the options available and how to incorporate them into their operations. “We need to tie sustainability to economic outcomes and put a dollar value on the impactful actions a company is taking for sustainable solutions,” said Terence Mauri, MIT Entrepreneur Mentor-in-Residence, in an email. “CEOs and boards must have moral and business imperatives that they must take care of over the long term. The opportunity lies in business leaders and investors being able to link sustainability data directly to economic conditions.”

Mauri believes companies are beginning to recognize the importance of sustainable technologies and are working to develop more sustainable practices. He may be right. IBM has developed a system that helps farmers use less water and fertilizers while preserving crop yields. Other companies are working on developing sustainable packaging. For example, Nestle Waters North America has developed a paper-based water bottle that is fully recyclable and uses significantly less energy to produce than traditional plastic bottles. Meanwhile, Amazon has committed to being “net carbon free” by 2040 and 100% renewable by 2030. And Goldman Sachs has committed to investing $750 billion in sustainable businesses by 2030.

“Many sustainable solutions like these require investment and may have higher upfront costs, but they often offer long-term benefits such as saved energy costs or improved employee productivity,” said Huda Khan, from the University of Aberdeen, and Richard Lee, from the University of South Australia, in an email . Together they recently conducted research to explain why companies should strive for green technological innovations – they lead to improved environmental and business outcomes. This assertion is shared by Nadia Zahoor of Queen Mary University of London and Zaheer Khan of the University of Aberdeen, who said in an interview that “Companies should look at sustainability as part of a ‘strategic opportunity’ and not just from a compliance perspective . Their research suggests that corporate collaborations provide environmental learning conducive to identifying and capitalizing on environmental threats and opportunities for environmental innovation. Based on a second study, both researchers also claim that sustainability is a complex issue, but it’s one that business leaders need to take seriously. Here’s how.

Consider the hidden costs of new technologies

The first step in creating a sustainable development plan for your company is a location assessment. Measuring your sustainability can be done using metrics such as carbon footprint, energy consumption, and supply chain miles. “If you’re looking to measure your future sustainability, it’s also important to look at the impact of the new technologies you’re using,” Emma Collins, CEO and co-founder of Safetradebinaryoptions, said in an email. Many new technologies have hidden costs that are often ignored in sustainability calculations. For example, AI is a technology that has created immense value for businesses, whether through personalized product recommendations or information for anti-money laundering software. However, AI systems have to process an immense amount of data, which forces a company to increase its energy consumption.

In addition, other technologies that can help companies increase the efficiency and quality of their products, such as blockchain, can reduce the carbon footprint. Even technologies designed to improve sustainability can have hidden costs. For example, the production of solar modules requires a lot of water and energy. And while electric vehicles have lower emissions than traditional petrol cars, the battery manufacturing process can be quite polluting. When considering new technologies, it is essential to look at the entire life cycle of the product from production to disposal. This gives you a more accurate picture of the sustainability of the technology and helps you make better decisions about which technologies to pursue.

Use technology to increase your sustainability

Once you can measure and understand the impact of new technologies on your sustainability goals, you can look for ways to use new technologies in a sustainable way. If you’re collaborating with other companies to develop energy-intensive technologies like AI or blockchain, be careful to work with companies that prioritize sustainability. For example, Google is developing technology to maximize energy efficiency and reduce waste, and has developed an AI system that can predict failures in data center cooling systems, which account for a significant portion of energy use. And they’re not the only ones — many tech companies are now incorporating sustainability into their product development cycles. In other words, companies cannot just buy the latest sustainable technology and expect it to meet their sustainability goals. Instead, they need to consider how they use technology and ensure it is integrated into their overall sustainability strategy.

Look at the big picture

Sustainability is more than just technology. To be sustainable, companies need to look at the bigger picture and understand how their actions fit into the larger world. Fortunately, there are many ways to do this. A popular method is sustainability reporting, which allows companies to measure and track their progress towards specific sustainability goals. This information can help companies decide where to focus their efforts and how best to allocate their resources.

Sustainability reporting can also help companies tell their sustainability story to the public, which is an essential part of promoting sustainable business practices. Because if consumers and investors don’t know that a company is working towards sustainability, they probably won’t support its efforts. There are many different types of sustainability reporting, but one of the most popular is the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines. These guidelines provide companies with a framework for reporting on environmental, social and economic impacts. In addition, many companies use these guidelines to create annual sustainability reports, which they then make available to the public. The GRI guidelines are just one example of the many resources companies have at their disposal to improve their sustainability reporting. Several software programs and online tools can also help with this process. No matter what type of sustainability reporting a company chooses, it is important that it takes action and works towards its goals.

Ultimately, technology is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to sustainability, but it is essential. Businesses can make a significant impact on the world by using technology to increase efficiency and reduce waste. In this way, technology can be a powerful tool to promote sustainability on a global scale. And as more companies adopt sustainable practices, we will all benefit from a cleaner, healthier planet.


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