The role of technology in sustainability has been significant in the year 2018. Innovators and entrepreneurs have together to develop and build products and services that support the goal of sustainability. For example: the smart canopy is a unique device that provides shade in public spaces, such as parking lots, and also converts rainwater into potable drinking water. It is the ideal marriage of technology and innovation that actively contributes to the goal of sustainability.
Another interesting example of cutting-edge technology is smart flooring. It uses kinetic energy derived from footsteps to generate electricity. This technology that was invented by a London-based company offers customisable services in high-density public spaces such as shopping malls, concert venues, and soccer fields. Sounds interesting right?
At a time when organisations can use the excuse of economic growth for over-using non-renewable sources, green technology innovations are a boon to society. There are diverse streams where innovators have revolutionised conventional processes with the help of green technology. In some cases, archaic methods have been replaced by sustainable technology solutions for higher yields. So, let's explore the role of technology in shaping sustainable practices across the globe.
The role of technology in sustainability
Combating Climate Change
All of us are well aware of the climate change impact and how global warming is contributing to it. The main aim of using green technology is to reduce the use of non-renewable resources such as fossil fuels and harness renewable sources of energy to create a healthy atmosphere.
Recently, the UN has brought everyone's attention to the issue of global warming through the establishment of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDP) in 2015. Apart from that, they head countless initiatives in 177 countries that promote the goal of sustainability. In Maldives, the UN came up with an out-of-the-box idea of flying drones across the island to come up with three-dimensional maps and chart the topography of the island. This initiative has helped inhabitants with a risk-map that enables them to predict zones that could be affected by the hazards of climate change. Here, we see how the use of technology and innovative thinking is helping communities counter the effects of climate change and drastically improve their quality of life.
Increasing Agricultural Output
Green technology shines in the area of agriculture as well. Practices like vertical farming are promoting the idea of sustainable agriculture. The concept of vertical farming involves producing food and medicine in vertically stacked layers. It uses a unique technology known as the Controlled Environment Agriculture Technology and it can be done indoors . The concept has broken barriers of conventional farming and is apt for the times to come. It enables increased crop production, conservation of natural resources and is less reliance on weather conditions. Innovators have gone ahead and come up with different types of vertical farming. Aeroponics is one such invention under the realm of vertical farming. It involves growing plants in an environment with no soil and very little water. If this hasn’t blown your mind, then the sophisticated water management techniques in Israel surely will!
Systemic water management
Israel’s centralised water management system is responsible for conserving water. It actively engages in activities such as drilling deep wells, massive desalination, reusing treated sewage for farming, finding and fixing leaks early, engineering crops to thrive in onerous conditions, discouraging gardening, making efficient toilets mandatory, and pricing water to discourage waste. This is a clear example of the role of technology in sustainability. Drylands across the world can certainly learn a lesson or two from the sustainability practices in Israel.
Technology is not new to the world. We have always created and relied on technology for the advancement of our society. Be it the discovery of fire by the caveman, the invention of the airplane by the Wright brothers, or the invention of nuclear energy by Enrico Fermi, technology and humankind have always walked hand-in-hand. It is, therefore, in our hands to make technology the best asset to achieve the goal of sustainability, and thereby, value our ecosystem.