Business sustainability is no longer a buzz term brands use to convince and attract targeted clients. Today, consumers demand high standards from businesses regarding their strategies to ensure that their operations are sustainable and reduce their carbon footprint. Sustainability has gone beyond a catchy, nice-to-have objective to a must-do for many companies, and the stats support this. In a 2019 survey, CGS, a global provider of business applications, found various trends that confirm that consumers now align with businesses that commit to environmental sustainability. The survey also showed that buyers want sustainable products, with over a third surveyed stating they don’t mind paying up to 25% more for them. Technology is one of the largest forces leading the sustainability charge by helping businesses revolutionise their operations through innovation and in ways that impact positively on sustainability. So, are you a business owner looking to achieve your sustainable goals? Here’s how technology can drive those goals.
Reduce water usage and chemical content on farms
If you’re in the agricultural industry, you probably know by now that it is the world’s largest industry, with cropland and pasture comprising about 50% of the earth’s habitable land surface and generating over $1.3 trillion worth of food annually. But agricultural businesses are also one of the main causes of pollution in various countries, as they consume almost 70% of the earth’s freshwater supply. Most of these businesses also employ harmful farming practices that increase greenhouse and gas emissions. For example, using toxic chemicals to clear forests and increase yields and burning fields contributes significantly to greenhouse emissions. In the UK alone, agricultural businesses and activities account for 10% of the total greenhouse gas emissions.
Precision application equipment can help reduce water usage and chemicals needed to operate in farms today. Farming businesses can take advantage of tech solutions like various types of sensors, drones and other robots to help farmers and agro-businesses become more eco-friendly. Employing such technological solutions can lead to a reduced impact on farms’ natural ecosystems while cutting back the possibility of chemicals running off into natural water bodies. That also leads to growing safer and healthier foods. You can visit www.drdrone.ca to check out various drones that can prove beneficial in the farming business, especially when it comes to taking high-quality aerial shots.
Modern businesses are beginning to take advantage of various digital solutions to make their operations more sustainable. For instance, in the manufacturing industry, businesses are now leveraging alternative inputs to reduce their carbon footprints and unnecessary production waste. But it doesn’t end there; digital operations are also helping to improve business resilience. In a recent survey of 400 business executives conducted by the World Economic Forum and Bain & Company across various industries, 40% of respondents indicated that they believe digital tech solutions are already positively impacting their sustainability goals. Business owners can also use various digital tech solutions to track, measure, and monitor their sustainability progress.
Green cloud and green computing
While many businesses focus on the basics like switching to energy-saving LED lights, reducing paper usage, opting for renewable energy sources, etc., you cannot ignore how improved design, computers, and servers promote substantial environmental benefits. Today large brands like Microsoft are adopting news strategies to enhance cloud computing sustainability.
But why is that important? Responsible technology governance is essential, as green computing benefits the environment. That’s because the more businesses reduce their energy usage from green technology, the more they’ll lower their carbon dioxide emissions. Green cloud computing is used to achieve efficient processing and utilisation of computing infrastructure while playing an essential role in saving energy. Also known as Green IT, it helps ensure that the future growth of cloud computing is sustainable.
Supply chain responsibility
Most supply chains handle the movement of raw materials from their point of origin to their consumers. They also take care of storage issues in most cases. Technology has enhanced how businesses control their supply chain process in several ways. The days when people relied on paper to track inventories, purchases, etc., are passing quickly. Businesses can now utilise protected blockchain databases and electronic tracking solutions to make the process more efficient. Businesses also have a better opportunity to streamline their practices in ways that allow them to cut down on pollution, waste, and carbon footprints.
Supply chain tech improvements have also helped promote the responsible sourcing of natural resources. That’s because businesses are now better equipped to track, update their supply chains, and identify exactly where their raw materials are coming from. This way, a mining company, for example, is better placed to determine if its mining practices are eco-friendly and make important adjustments where needed.
Environmentally sound transportation
Transportation is an important aspect of the supply chain process, and even more, it is the cornerstone of commerce in general. According to the International Transport Forum (ITF), international trade-related freight transport accounts for about 30% of all transport-related carbon dioxide emissions from fuel combustion. It also contributes to more than 7% of global emissions. Since transportation is crucial to business operational success, its environmental impact is only expected to increase as the need for transportation solutions goes up.
Here, tech advancement can also play major roles, from making available more electric vehicles and their required infrastructure to improved fleet maintenance. This way, businesses can improve the fuel efficiency of their vehicles and decrease its effect on the environment.
The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) comprises the ever-growing network of internet-connected tools, systems, and devices in daily life. One of the main benefits that IoT offers is the ability to track and monitor every business device’s activity, and this is what businesses can take advantage of to promote sustainability. Investing in IoT-enabled appliances, for example, can help cut down energy waste significantly. You can set devices remotely to operate within specific times and even turn them off automatically from heating systems to air conditioning needs.