How Technology Helps in Addressing Sustainability Issues

Rachel Smith, Applied Technology Review | Thursday, February 04, 2021

FREMONT, CA: While global sustainability can be achieved by technology, every single organization should strive to exist as a sustainable one.

Transformation brought about by technology is clear from the fact that “We are living in an ever-connected world”. However, it brings new challenges and opportunities for sustainability. This is the direct result of the thriving IT industries leading to increased internet use due to the growth of the connected devices. Some of the encountered challenges include climatic changes as in extreme and unpredictable weather conditions and depletion of natural resources influenced by the rising rates of consumption and generation of everything from energy to consumer production. Regardless of the challenges presented by the technology, its ability to face these issues exceeds the negative impacts it may cause.

To ensure sustainability, data is the vital resource, and the increasing ability to produce, capture, and transmit data mainly from the IoT (internet of things) and other connected devices attained it. New approaches made through data generation and analytics combined with artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced robotics, along with cloud computing, have resulted in many positive impacts for sustainability. When a horde of data is available, an increase in quality and quantity of data affected by advanced analytics provides more significant insights for organizations. In this way, these organizations can find opportunities to reduce environmental impacts, including energy utilization.

An abundance of data provides more in-depth insights. When businesses can acquire more knowledge from their data resources, it will help with the sustainability program. One perfect example is that organizations are analyzing employee travel patterns with the view of avoiding further business trips reducing the investments in traveling. This can promote other communication technologies and are less expensive means to establish a connection.

Robotic process automation (RPA) is another significant technology that can cut down waste generation through improved process accuracy while diminishing the need for extra energy and inputs to redesign a product. Eventually, this can reduce delivering waste or defective products. Thus, organizations embed the technologies mentioned above into their businesses to finetune their business operations to be a sustainably competent firm driving smarter growth. 

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