We’ve been serious about sustainable technology since we began our business, offering e-waste disposal services that refurbish or responsibly recycle out-of-date equipment.
But there’s far more interesting stuff happening now than ever before in “boring old sustainability” –so let’s explore some of the exciting, cool activity on the leading edge of innovation.
It’s easy to shrug and turn away when global warming or climate change are mentioned – if you’re not an innovator, you could easily get quite angry or depressed. However, smart geeks know that the best and most exciting opportunities are often to be found exploring beyond what “everybody knows” and what “the mass media says”.
When you dig into the leading edge, there are a heap of cool opportunities to use smart technology to do seriously fun stuff. “This sustainability thing” has sparked a wealth of creativity and invention across business and industry. A growing range of cool technology is on the cusp of delivering the next wave of invention, innovation and opportunity.
Smart technology doing deep green innovation
BitCoin and BlockChain
BitCoin is copping some flack for its energy use. But integrate it with electricity cogeneration or use the excess heat for heating and cooling as some Swedish data centres are doing, and you have a whole different energy equation.
BlockChain is being used to do more than validate transactions for crypto-currencies, it’s also being applied to validating energy transactions in peer-to-peer solar networks applications and making sure tuna is sustainable, reducing illegal fishing and its related human trafficking.
The Internet of Things is delivering home energy savings – and it’s also helping commercial building managers save water, energy and greenhouse gas emissions.
3D printing is re-inventing existing manufacturing supply chains – but it’s also enabling exciting new technologies. It’s been fundamental to the success of revolutionary Industrial Vortex Generation, which has moved from its “great invention” status to commercial success in the US and Europe.
Industry is leading the shift a regenerative economy
Read the mass media and listen to some strident environmentalists and you could be forgiven for missing the shift that’s underway to an economy that consumes greenhouse gases. You might even think that “this sustainability thing” is a government matter.
The Digital Economy wasn’t led by government. Smart phones and tablets happened because entrepreneurs made customers an offer they couldn’t resist. The Internet as we know it is what a community did with some defence communications technology. The Regenerative Economy will be just that business responding to demand with innovation. Just look at where business leaders like Dell, Google and Apple are playing.
None of the Top 100 solutions quantified by Project Drawdown’s first 4 years of research into solving global climate disruption and creating a Regenerative Economy require government action. (Though many regional and local governments are already in there making it easier.)
Smart, forward-thinking businesses have been in the game for decades, doing everything from turning old Pacific Ocean fishing net into new carpet to making deodorised clothing from coffee grounds.
Google’s parent company Alphabet launched both a domestic geothermal heating startup and a Smart Cities startup in 2017.
Dell’s not only making jewellery out of gold sustainably recovered from upcycled circuit boards, they’re also collaborating with General Motors and others to take recycling to a whole new level with an Ocean Plastics Supply Chain launch.
Where do you find your opportunities?
A good starting point is to dive into the first quantified, ranked list of global warming solutions – because the #Drawdown researchers also calculated implementation costs and savings ($74 trillion over 30 years) on the top 80 current, practical scalable solutions: www.drawdown.org/solutions-summary-by-rank
Even more exciting is their top 20 list of Coming Attractions, identifying emerging technologies likely to deliver big time results: www.drawdown.org/solutions