What exactly is green, or sustainable technology? It is a term that refers to the process of using natural resources in a way that considers inclusive economic and social development. The aim is to reduce the impact on the environment and create a product that is not only sustainable but also ecologically friendly.
And the conduit to making this happen is technology, which has the power, speed and agility to develop these systems that allow industries to change the way they source, manufacture, and ship their products. This has resulted in exponential growth in addressing the effects of climate change and, in 2021, climate tech start-ups raised nearly $40bn to address these issues.
The good news is that there are technologies already in place that companies can take advantage of. These include traceability, analytics, artificial intelligence and renewable energy (solar, electric vehicles, wind farms, etc), but it is clear we need more.
Cloud technology will, by far, have the biggest possible impact with data integration and edge computing playing the next biggest roles. This, together with IoT and API management, among other technologies, will help industries and organisations realise the levels of sustainability we need to meet the 1.5-degree Celsius renewable energy targets set by the United Nations.
While we have the technology to do what it takes, the road to sustainability isn’t a smooth one. There are various barriers to adopting this change, money and vision being two of the biggest.
Firstly, companies have to increase or re-allocate their budgets to do the necessary research and development (often not an easy thing to do when margins are tight). Secondly, decision-makers must have the will to implement these changes.
As more and more South African companies make the switch to sustainability, the first and most obvious benefit is the reduction of emissions. However, the ripple effect touches the companies themselves (attracting new investors who have a similar goal, developing greater efficiencies, and money-saving) and the wider global village (creating jobs, and providing better public healthcare and more equality to vulnerable communities around the world.
A company that is not only at the forefront of housing and creating the technology that will drive this change to sustainability, but is committed to using renewable energy, responsible manufacturing, and reducing the emissions intensity on its laptops is ASUS. These include formulated new climate action targets, which involve reducing 50% of carbon emissions from ASUS global operation centres by 2030 and having 100% renewable energy in their global operations centres by 2035.
The company’s strides in sustainability have not gone unnoticed by the industry, winning the 2021 Asian Sustainability Reporting Award for large companies, the Silver Award for Asia’s Best Sustainability Report, the Gold Award for Asia’s Best Environmental Reporting, and the Silver Award for Asia’s Best Supply Chain Report.
These awards have come as a result of impressive tangible changes, which include: prohibiting the use of halogen flame retardants in the ASUS ExpertBook B9, which is also 53% lower than the ENERGY STAR® standard, and ensuring the packaging is made from paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
Apart from being the moral and ethical path to choose, a Deloitte study shows that sustainability has two spin-offs - 37% higher profitability and a 22% greater productivity rate. So, if sustainability isn’t on your agenda, make sure to prioritise it when purchasing technology. Your bottom line will thank you.