A leap towards ‘Sustainability’

Our sustainability and existence came into picture right away during the covid-19 pandemic. But how much of a weight do we give to this when no such problem is looming over our heads? Do we think of ‘sustainability’ during all other times?

Initially we weren’t thinking as much. Today, however, the picture is changing. The world is becoming more aware about achieving sustainability. Here are a few examples of how this is being achieved:

1. Organizations reporting environmental sustainability metrics

Along with technological advancements, stakeholders and the common public expect companies to do increasingly well on sustainability issues. Non-financial reporting (environmental, social and governance) is considered important in terms of assessing a company’s behavior to social and environmental changes and long term goals. Every organization has a multitude of ESG metrics; some quantifiable while some in the form of standard policies.

Environmental sustainability metrics can be categorized into energy, water, emissions, effluents and waste. Whether your organization is engaging in efforts to reduce negative environmental impact, reuse resources or make use of renewable sources of energy to drive their businesses is reported by these metrics.

Rather than just reporting environmental metrics to show how aware your organization is, today, the success of an organization’s operational performance is measured by the values shown by these metrics. They form the core of how business is done, how technological advancements are made and how resources are used to develop products.

2. Electric cars

What has taken on the world today? The shift from ICE vehicles to EVs! Tides after tides of revolutionary technologies are coming to the surface. Electric Vehicles give rise to 3 key points for discussion — future of cars, energy and climate change. Green-house gas emissions and climate change are serious issues making EVs the need of the hour. Tesla, Rivian, Nikola are at the forefront of this revolution. Traditional automakers are also gearing up to keep up with the pace. In short, the need to transition towards a sustainable source of energy has spread like wild-fire.

Why is it so crucial to highlight this change that the auto industry is trying to make? No doubt it is an epitome of ‘insight into the future’ but more importantly it is the automotive and transport sector that is responsible for high CO2 emissions.

Climate change has become a global issue of the 21st century. It is inflaming the attention of literally everybody. We all know that anthropogenic green-house gases are responsible for the recorded climate change. CO2 being the highest contributor. The primary source of increased atmospheric concentration of CO2 is burning of fossil fuels. CO2 emissions from transport and automotive industry alone have risen beyond 30% since 1990. Since the undeniable need to reduce this has been taken up on the forefront by automotive manufacturers, this change towards sustainability is worthy of support.

3. Use of AI to clean the waste in the world

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are shaping the modern world. How is AI playing its part in our transition towards achieving sustainability? According to Forbes, AI is being used for waste management; to improve how waste thrown in bins is segregated and recycled. It is also used to detect and eliminate waste in space (comets and space debris) and for reduction of water leaks.

Reduction of waste is a step towards sustainability. On reducing waste, more resource is made available. Take the example of water. Water is a renewable yet finite source. On reducing water leaks, we are taking a step towards water conservation.

4. Increasing number of emerging startups

Increasing awareness towards climate change is engendering more startups that are willing to come forward and work to find sustainable solutions to varied industrial problems. These startups are unleashing potentials by optimum use of technology towards a cleaner and greener tomorrow. Here are some of the amazing startups with an incredible amount of potential: Impossible foods, Holganix, Elevate structures, Greyparrot AI, Cervest, Solytic, HawaDawa and Infinited Fiber.

Impossible foods: It develops plant based substitutes for meat products. Holganix: It aims to build healthier soils by incorporating soil microbes. Elevate Stuctures: Offers eco-friendly structures to help address environmental issues. Greyparrot AI: Offers AI based software for efficient waste management. Cervest: It is an AI based platform to augment climate related human decisions. Solytic: It is an international company focused on solar energy. HawaDawa: It offers real time monitoring of air quality (This Company aims at using environmental data for decision making.) Infinited Fiber: This Company produces fibers from textile, agriculture and paper waste.

Along with these startups, here are some stellar trend-setters: Apple has made a commitment to be 100% carbon neutral by the end of this decade, McDonald’s has launched its first quick service restaurant which is designed to be net Zero Energy, Disney is a leader in environmental responsibility for policies like zero waste.

Indeed, the world is getting better. As more and more initiatives like these start taking shape, the irreversible effects of climate change and environmental damage can at least be halted if not reversed.

After all when you think opportunity, you see opportunity!

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