Various innovations in technology have been changing our lives since we can remember. They are in our home devices, our transportation, our businesses, and more.
The rapid pace at which technology is developing may make one wonder how these may address the urgent need for sustainability. The good news is that these technologies already exist. Their continued adoption and advancement in the industrial and personal levels will lead us to a cleaner future.
What Is Green Technology?
Green technology, or green tech, refers to practical applications of science geared towards creating products, business solutions, and services that are clean and sustainable. Its ultimate goal is to protect the environment and preserve its natural resources.
Why We Need Green Tech
Earth Overshoot Day indicates the date of the year in which humanity has consumed more of the Earth’s natural resources than it can regenerate in that same year. The Global Footprint Network computes this through the following formula:
Earth Overshoot Day = (Earth’s Biocapacity / Humanity’s Ecological Footprint) x 365
In 2020, this day was on August 22. This means that taking the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic into account, we used up a year’s worth of resources in just eight months.
The reality of our rapid consumption as a human race has necessitated the development of technology capable of sustaining life much further into the future. This is where green tech comes in. It not only works to reduce risks to the environment; it also works to save it.
Examples of Green Technology
The wonders of green technology are best seen in its real-life applications. Although there have been many innovations in environmentally friendly technology through the years, here are some practical examples that you may have already encountered in your daily routine.
Most cars today rely on fossil fuels to keep running. Low-emission vehicles expend a significantly lower amount of greenhouse gases while in use than other cars. Today, there are many iterations of this in the market, such as battery-powered vehicles, hybrids, and even electric locomotives.
Tech advancements have made it possible for many home and business devices to use water more efficiently. Many everyday devices that you use today may already be applying this.
For example, efficient taps may use sensors for an automatic shut-off function to ensure that only water that is needed will be expended. Toilets now also have a low-flush option to conserve water. Efficient showers also use less water and energy without compromising performance.
Solar Thermal Systems
A solar thermal system makes use of the sun’s energy by converting it into heat. Both residential and commercial buildings can apply the produced heat into space heating or hot water. Solar energy can largely reduce your carbon footprint because of the decreased usage of fuels.
How Are Businesses Responding?
According to Frankfurt School-United Nations Environment Program Center and BloombergNEF’s Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment report, more than $2.7 trillion has been invested in clean energy between 2010 to 2019. The cost-efficiency of renewable energy is also showing governments and businesses how essential it is to the world’s path to COVID-19 recovery.
Not only this, but businesses also face numerous benefits from adopting green practices. Consumers, for one, prefer brands with environmentally friendly practices. Because many people now choose companies whose values align with theirs, businesses are responding accordingly.
There are also existing tax incentive programs for businesses using green technology. Enhanced capital allowances are a government initiative encouraging companies to invest in green tech by providing tax relief when money is spent on such equipment. This particular allowance also gives the highest in tax savings than other alternatives.
Businesses recognise how going green reaps its benefits not only in social responsibility but also in long-term financial productivity. Altruism and business go hand in hand in shifting to green tech.
Building a Sustainable Future
Sustainability cannot be attained through the efforts of one person alone. A shift in perspective is needed for every person. We should see nature as vital to our development, rather than merely a means of serving us. The sooner we imbibe this, the sooner we can achieve a cleaner, greener future.
The good news is that there are large-scale efforts in pursuing sustainability. The most prominent one is the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals, a global partnership to pursue ethical, economic growth while working to preserve Earth’s resources.
The road is steep. But as we recognise the necessity of green technology and embrace it in small- and large-scale practices, we will create a sustainable future together.