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Tech Companies are Showing Businesses the Way to a Sustainable Future.

By Email author - Tue, 28 Feb 2017 10:05:00 GMT
Tech Companies are Showing Businesses the Way to a Sustainable Future.

The use of wind energy in more advanced nations such as Germany and parts of the US and the UK has achieved a renewable energy contribution to the power industry that can predictably become the major component by 2030.Wind farm image; Credit: © maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com

Until the last couple of years, nature and technology have been at odds with each other throughout history. The environmental movement is not young, it first surfaced in the 19th after the industrial revolution

had taken place which led to unbridled amounts of coal burned in the big cities. During that time, growth and innovation were synonymous with pollution and chemical waste.

While early on, there were attempts to create awareness on environmental issues, it wasn’t until the 1950’s that the U.S really got the hang of the movement. As technology advanced, people began to realize that it also brought with it a price, paid by the natural world. Acts started being passed and several organizations like the Nature Conservancy and the Sierra Club gained a foothold. As visibility was gained on the issue other organizations like Greenpeace, PETA and NDRC took the lead.

It seems today that along with government policy initiative on the subject through laws and restrictions, the key to active change taking place in environmental protection belongs to businesses. It is not only from an ethical point of view but also from an economic one as the costs of the scarce natural resources are inevitably bound to rise. It’s in the best interest of companies in the long term to depend on more sustainable sources for their powering.

IT and Tech industries, as driven by the thirst for innovation, are showing other businesses by leading the shift towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly working model. These companies are making it clear that businesses no longer need to depend on governments for the energy or to choose one type of energy source only.

From solar panels on the roofs of giants buildings of corporations to large wind farms and huge hydroelectric power plants, the evidence of renewable energy acceptance are sprouting sporadically around the land. Many startups in the Silicon Valley and around the world have rigorously directed their efforts towards creating solutions for the current hindrances in the energy sector like energy transmission, battery storage, and big data analytics. After being called out by groups like Green Peace some years ago, Google, Facebook, Apple and many other big tech companies vowed to go green in the way they powered their data centers. Today, Apple and Facebook clouds are already 100% run by renewable energy while Google has announced that it will achieve this feat this year as well.

Amazon Web Service, which hosts servers for Amazon.com, Netflix, Pinterest, Spotify, AirBnB etc, also recently stated that they have a long-term commitment towards achieving a 100% renewable energy source for its global infrastructure. Their current energy comes from mostly the coal-powered state of Virginia where their largest data center is located.

Another big shift taking place in the structures of tech companies, which has helped enhance sustainability, is the recent rise of remote work. More and more tech startups are disregarding the conventional business model of headquarters and offices. They are now allowing employees to work efficiently from home and the environmental proceeds of such work are clear as there aren’t any energy eating offices and neither are their employees driving to work causing less traffic and pollution.

Numerous tech businesses offer the flexibility of working from home along with using their revenue to fund new projects that boost sustainability in other ways. Cloud computing establishment Salesforce has dedicated to becoming carbon-neutral by 2050 by increasing the efficiency of their workplaces and trade activities and transforming to renewable energy resources.

Additionally, Apple newly declared its latest green project in an extended string of efforts to become further sustainable. Their new robot, Liam, that can disassemble iPhones for parts, is an extension of Apple’s struggle towards recycling used iPhones. Liam will now intensify the competence of the recycling process through its capability to separate and sort the various parts and metals which the traditional electronic recycling process could not.

With that, Amazon’s wind farm that generates power the equivalent of 46,000 homes for an entire year is now joined by two more farms which are to produce clean energy enough to power a city like Cleveland, making more than 90,000 home units.

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Whereas these international tech firms are constructing infrastructure to employ clean energy, their focus isn’t on fashioning solutions to lessen energy consumption, but somewhat to replace that consumption with clean energy. In its place, the work of innovation to decrease energy consumption is taken up by researchers and startups with many promising solutions like biofuel paved future roads that are cheaper than petroleum, sustainable and environmental friendly, or the creation of high speed system of transportation that runs on air and electricity, made by a company called HyperLoop.

The efforts being made are many, yet there is no doubt that the human population’s relation with global warming is still not much less than disastrous for the environment. As making and imposing policies to reduce this impact is not easy, the private corporations here stand at a good point with the ability to create change. Tech leaders and companies can be seen taking up the cause, not always for the environment but benefitting it nonetheless and are expected by their fans and consumers to do more so in the future.