6 Technologies to help your Business Achieve Sustainability Goals in 2023
Did you know that the IT industry alone is responsible for around 4% of global carbon emissions, equivalent to the aviation industry?1 As energy prices rise, the need for businesses to rethink their IT structures has become more pressing than ever.
But it’s not just about cutting costs – expectations are growing for companies to contribute to a sustainable future for the next generation actively. In fact, by 2025, 50% of CIOs are predicted to have performance metrics tied to the sustainability of their IT organization.2
Many corporate leaders are also discovering that sustainability can deepen their organization’s sense of purpose and help engage and retain new talent. However, businesses are aware that it’s nearly impossible to achieve their sustainability goals without looking outside the traditional methods and embracing technological innovations.
Let’s explore how technology is enabling companies worldwide to move beyond talk and take concrete actions toward a sustainable future.
5G to Reduce Energy Consumption
5G networks are 90% more efficient than their 4G predecessors.3 With the ability to handle more data traffic using less energy, more devices can be connected to the network while reducing the energy required to keep them running.
Migrating to cloud-native 5G applications offers a compelling solution to the challenge of reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions in networks. By leveraging the power of 5G and hyper-scale computing, IoT and artificial intelligence enable real-time monitoring and unmanned data center operation, allowing for optimized cooling profiles and reduced power consumption.
5G is also a critical component of smart city infrastructure, enabling real-time monitoring and control of resources to reduce waste and optimize energy use. It can help to optimize energy use in factories and homes, by enabling real-time monitoring of energy consumption and production. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more innovative solutions emerge that help us to build a cleaner, greener world.
Digital Twin to Reduce Waste
Digital twin technology is deemed crucial by 57% of organizations for enhancing sustainability efforts.4 By creating a digital replica of physical systems, products, or processes, it is possible to simulate, monitor, and optimize performance in real time, leading to improved efficiency, reduced waste, and lower environmental impact.
With the rise of the circular economy and the need to transition to a low-carbon future, digital twins are becoming an essential tool for achieving sustainable outcomes. In manufacturing, for instance, digital twin technology can help reduce material waste, energy consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions by optimizing production processes, improving supply chain management, and facilitating circular business models.
In the built environment, digital twins can enable better energy management, smarter building designs, and more efficient use of resources, leading to lower carbon footprints and improved sustainability. With digital twin technology constantly evolving and becoming more sophisticated, it has the potential to play a significant role in solving sustainability challenges and creating a greener future for all.
AI for Better Conservation of Natural Resources
AI-enabled models can help businesses improve energy efficiency by 10-40%, reduce waste, and identify opportunities for innovation.5 For example, smart grids powered by AI can better manage the supply and demand of energy, leading to reduced greenhouse gas emissions and lower costs. Similarly, AI-powered sensors and monitoring systems can help to detect and mitigate leaks in pipelines and other infrastructure, reducing waste and environmental damage.
In addition to reducing waste and optimizing energy use, AI can also help to drive innovation in sustainable practices. Machine learning algorithms can analyze large amounts of data to identify patterns and make predictions, enabling organizations to make more informed decisions about their operations. For instance, AI-powered crop monitoring systems can help farmers to optimize their yields while reducing their environmental impact.
Battery Storage Technology for Energy Management
As renewable energy sources like solar and wind become more prevalent, storage technology enables businesses to store excess energy during peak production times and release it during periods of high demand. This helps to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and increase the share of renewables in the energy mix.
In addition, expanded storage capacity allows businesses to adopt more flexible and dynamic energy management strategies. By using real-time data to monitor and adjust energy use, businesses can optimize their operations for both cost and sustainability. For example, battery storage systems can be used to reduce the need for expensive peak power purchases, while also helping to stabilize the grid during periods of high demand.
Blockchain for Sustainability Standards and CO2 Control
Blockchain technology provides a secure and transparent ledger of transactions, enabling business leaders to track and verify their sustainability efforts across the supply chain. One of the primary applications is supply chain transparency, where companies can use blockchain to track the origin and movement of raw materials, products, and waste. This ensures that their partners and suppliers adhere to sustainability standards, reducing the risk of environmental damage and unethical practices.
Another critical use case of blockchain in sustainability is carbon accounting and emissions reduction. With a decentralized platform for carbon offsetting and trading, businesses can achieve their emissions targets more efficiently and cost-effectively. Smart contracts and other blockchain-based tools automate the verification, tracking, and reporting of carbon offsets, making it easier to comply with regulatory requirements and achieve sustainability goals.
Smart Packaging and Digital Printing
Smart packaging and digital printing can help businesses reduce waste and promote more sustainable practices. With smart packaging, sensors, and other technologies can be integrated into the packaging to track product freshness, reduce spoilage, and minimize food waste. This not only helps to improve product quality but also reduces the environmental impact of waste.
Digital printing allows for on-demand printing and customization of packaging, which reduces the need for excess inventory and minimizes waste. It also allows for the use of more sustainable materials, such as recycled or biodegradable materials, without compromising the quality of the packaging. Together, smart packaging and digital printing offer a more sustainable solution for businesses looking to reduce their environmental impact and achieve their sustainability goals.
Lead your way into Greener Future
The current generation of business owners and leaders prioritize the environment and are committed to adopting sustainable and equitable business practices. Currently, there are over a million green startups researching and developing innovative energy solutions. In Europe alone, over 13,000 medium and large companies are disclosing their carbon footprint as they transition towards sustainable operations.
Business leaders have a significant role in influencing the environment, and in today’s time, climate leadership is of utmost importance. To pave the way toward a greener future, it’s crucial for them to adopt a technology-driven approach.