Large tech companies like Google GOOGL -1.27% are making a push towards developing both environmentally friendly practices and technology-driven sustainability solutions. Increasingly, smaller businesses are following suit.
Looking forward, technology promises to play an expanding, important role in the fight against climate change. Below, a group of technology executives from Forbes Technology Council offer their thoughts on the role of technology — not just tech companies — in our global work towards conservation and sustainability.
1. Expanding Sustainability Practices
Today, companies are expanding from simple sustainability to advanced programs that incorporate social media and multimedia platforms like video. We can expect to see corporate sustainability expanding into the other aspects of employees’ lives, blending both personal and corporate social responsibility. – David McCann, CLEAResult Inc
2. Big Data Will Play a Role
Big Data holds the key to helping us solve some of our biggest sustainability and conservation challenges. Decisive decisions must be made based on historical analysis, real-time data analytics, and concrete future predictions. The scope of this dataset is on a global level, and only future advances in Big Data predictions, resolution and scale can provide with the tools we need to avert the risks. – Sagi Brody, Webair
3. Spreading Good Practices
Technology and the data collected will help us rapidly spread best practices as they are established. We cannot make the world a greener place solely with technology, but it will allow us to shed light to the general public on just how much work we still have ahead of us. Robotics and artificial intelligence will play a big role in this. – Chalmers Brown, Due
4. Better Modeling
Technology will help us better gauge the impact of our actions (and inaction) on global issues of our time. Our ability to gather and crunch larger sets of data than ever before within a smaller timeframe will give us timely insight into cause-and-effect scenarios that can impact decision making. We’ll use virtual/augmented reality to “see” the future using more accurate predictive models. – Ashley Saddul, Recruiter.com
5. Analytics Will Be Important
Technology will act as an enabler to take impactful actions by delivering valuable information and insights towards our goals for sustainability and conservation. – Jose Giammattei, Applaudo Studios
6. Technology Will Have A Positive Impact
One of the most significant environmental impacts that we’ve discovered recently is the formation of large gyres in the oceans, formed via plastics in trash that don’t degrade. Technology that can find degradable plastics alternatives will have a big positive impact, much like the replacing Freon had in reducing the depletion of the ozone layer. – Venkat Rangan, Clari Inc.
7. A Conscious Effort Is Still Required
Technology continues to offer solutions that positively affect the environment and sustainability. However, there are still areas for opportunity. As devices become specialized and expand (think the IoT), and costs go down, our mechanical footprint grows. It will continue to require a conscious effort to achieve sustainability. – Brian Treptow, Cancer Treatment Centers of America