Tech innovations can help businesses become greener

19 Agustus 2022

Photo: Singkham/Pexels

As awareness of the need for more environmentally friendly practices grow, more and more businesses are putting a premium on environmental protection.

Companies increasingly embrace environmentally sound practices and policies to reduce their carbon footprints and other environmental impacts. More consumers are conscious of their habits in search of a more sustainable future and businesses are following suit through socially responsible operations.

Last year several Fortune 500 companies, including Microsoft, Unilever, and Citigroup, signed up for a Business for Nature statement calling on governments worldwide to do more to reverse nature loss. This is in response to their clients being more proactive in supporting products and services that are environmentally responsible.

Because millions of people are demanding urgent action to resolve biodiversity degradation, companies should continue to explore solutions that will embed sustainability into the core of their work.

Technology can play a significant role in that aspect because green innovations can radically transform the landscape of business operations from cooling data centers to digital business cards to 5G connectivity.

Data center cooling

Data is indispensable for businesses across all industries. To store all critical information, companies rely on huge machine hubs that consume vast amounts of power all year. The energy these data centers consume translates into high temperatures and humidity levels, which are undesirable for IT equipment.

When the heat and humidity become uncontrolled, equipment and devices malfunction and need to be replaced frequently. This damaged equipment adds to the 59 million tons of e-waste that the Natural Resources Defense Council reports is generated each year.

Through proper data center cooling, the entire facility gets supplied with enough ventilation and humidity to ensure that the temperature is within desired ranges. Innovations such as immersion coolers use cold liquid to transfer heat away from emitting sources.

This is a cost-effective way to save energy while creating quieter environments than the traditional air-cooling methods such as fans.

Digital business cards

Paper waste is another severe problem across various industries. Despite much of the attention paid to plastic disposal, paper waste also harms the environment and can even cause unnecessary losses to a company’s financial health.

Business cards are one example of a paper product businesses can do away with altogether, as they are incompatible in today’s increasingly paperless and highly virtual world. By streamlining their business card management, companies can highlight the functionality of their enterprise while decreasing their carbon footprint.

A company called Doorway produces digitized business cards that demonstrate how networking and branding can be a big focus for company activities with sustainability at their core. Their digital cards can be designed, shared, and saved much like their paper counterparts and can even facilitate an easier way to connect with customers and other stakeholders.

Opting for digital alternatives to paper products can save companies time and money while showing their capacity for corporate social responsibility.

5G connectivity

The rise of 5G technology offers several benefits to environmental and enterprise sustainability. Its predecessor, the fourth-generation cellular network (4G), consumes more electricity than 5G base stations because nearly half of the energy consumed by the former is used to cool down transmission equipment.

Smart buildings connected with 5G networks use less heating, lighting, and cooling power, ultimately reducing the energy they use. Companies in the United States are starting to leverage smart technology in the form of the Internet of Things (IoT), a system of interconnected computing devices over a network.

IoT sensors over a 5G network can be used to automate specific tasks such as switching lights or machines off, adjusting internal temperatures, and measuring individual energy usage. This can help cut a building’s carbon emissions by a considerable margin and demonstrates an innovative solution to wasteful energy consumption.

By implementing these unique innovations and others like them, companies can create a greener and more sustainable future while increasing their growth and efficiency in the industry. Technologies like these can cement their position as environmentally forward-looking companies.

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