Sustainability, as we know, is a broad concept used as an alternate term for sustainable development. It encompasses environmental, social, and economic change aimed to negate or reverse the damage done to our environment with collective effort. However, there is no clear definition for the term apart from the one assigned by the Brundtland Commission, which states that sustainability is “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
Over the last few decades, there have been many advancements in reducing the impact of human activity on the environment. A significant percentage among them are end-of-line solutions that only serve as patches. They do not fix the system. Here, we present cases to argue that technology can help achieve impact green goals by enabling system-wide transformation.
Consider the case of the automobile industry. Despite improved efficiencies, there are more vehicles on the road today than ever before that have led to alarming rates of emissions. The same applies to other choices of mobility. In the same sector, the shift to electric and hybrid vehicles has led to almost zero tailpipe emissions and significantly low environmental impact throughout their lifecycle. These vehicles are not completely green but a shift to the ecosystem has saved a significant amount of carbon emissions.
A much simpler example is a shift to paperless processes. Before digitalization proliferated, industries relied heavily on paper to communicate information and updates. Several versions of documentation can be digitally edited before finalizing the output. This results in saving not only the cost of paper but also physical storage. Even critical sectors such as medicine and defense are turning to electronic communications and documentation as a safe, secure, and sustainable means to gather and store information. A study on employing electronic records for community health centers has revealed that apart from saving paper, they are more reliable, complete, and easier to retrieve, outlining a clear advantage over paper-based records.
Developed countries have designed and implemented successful models for creating energy from natural sources to shift reliance on non-renewable sources. They are successfully transitioning to wind and solar energy. This reduces reliance on crude oil and coal for generating electricity, which has a significantly high carbon footprint. Few other countries are building infrastructure to generate power from tidal waves and smaller springs instead of relying upon hydroelectric plants that can cause damage to the natural course of water bodies and disturb the ecological balance. These have been achieved by modeling and understanding small and intricate yet viable local sources that minimize damage to the environment. From an expense point of view, they cost a lot less as the sources are domestic, renewable, and have minimal impact on the environment saving on damage-control measures. The same is corroborated by the International Renewable Energy Agency’s (IRENA) report on renewable energy sources.
In each case, the models presented offer economic growth derived from making an approach toward sustainability. This success can be replicated in various industries. The key lies in envisioning and estimating the effects of a green-oriented ecosystem in advance by employing analytics, predictive models, and advanced tools to build sustainable models for business.
Exalogic takes pride in engaging with partners that prioritize sustainability and are community-centric. We have worked with small communities to create simple yet effective changes. As part of our corporate initiative, we partnered with Good Living Trust and mobilized rural communities to revive sustainable farming methods that preserve soil quality in the long run, and create alternate income sources to stay self-reliant in non-farming seasons. We partner with in-country businesses and local vendors to minimize the load on the supply chain while boosting employment in smaller communities. We have assisted major public sector companies and multinational pharmaceutical distribution companies to shift from paper-based processes to digital alternatives, align with their green goals, while boosting productivity all along by limiting manual intervention.
Make way for sustainability without losing the business perspective. Drive sustainable growth by leveraging technology to create a model that suits your business strategy. Talk to Exalogic.