Bringing Substance to Business Sustainability with Emerging Technologies
Published on : Thursday 28-07-2022
Emerging technologies and sustainable practices must be at the forefront of strategic thinking for any business, says Amol Gulhane.
The evolving nature of business demands has led to companies not only adopting new plans, but also strategies that are more sustainable in nature. Businesses today are expected to have an extra layer of ethics and moral duty towards society, thus, leading to a shift in the mindset of investors. Furthermore, the modern business industry is now tasked with being more than just a profit-driven, revenue-generating machine. Attaining sustainability today has become a strategic imperative and key to success for businesses and corporations across industries and must be at the centre of all decision making.
Last year, India introduced the Business Responsibility and Sustainability Report to help companies better demonstrate their sustainability objectives, position, and performance to the market, resulting in long-term value creation and increasing the ability of investors to make informed ESG (Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance) related decisions.
To further understand these dynamics, Deloitte surveyed 2000 CxOs across 21 countries as part of their 2022 Deloitte CxO Sustainability Report. It revealed that two-thirds of executives said their organisations are using more sustainable materials and increasing the efficiency of energy use. Over 50% have adopted sustainable solutions like energy-efficient or environment-friendly machinery, technologies, and equipment.
Thus, technology has the potential to alter the environment we live in, for the better. It can revolutionise industries, increase efficiency, and lead to the development of new tools and innovations that are more sustainable in nature.
With that, let’s look at some of the meaningful technological improvements that can bring substance to business sustainability –
Increasing supply chain efficiency
One of the latest technologies that can disrupt the supply chain and create an efficient process – is blockchain. Blockchain technology is a distributed public ledger database consisting of blocks, which maintains and verifies a complete history of past transactions within the network system. It thus enables the tracking of materials in the supply chains, thereby guaranteeing better communication, higher system recovery, fewer route disputes, and substantial profits in operational efficiency.
Smart technologies for energy conservation
Corporations need to start installing smart, power-saving electricals, gadgets and appliances like smart switches, thermostats, light bulbs, and power strips that can ensure their energy conservation efforts at a larger scale. These smart electricals are backed by IoT and AI, enabling the user to operate them remotely and reduce energy consumption and waste. Similarly, smart strips can help with energy conservation by determining which tools are just plugged in, and which are in use and only send power to those items.
Predictive maintenance for energy conversation and increasing efficiency
Predictive maintenance is a process when machines let us know that they need maintenance instead of us scheduling it for them. The integration of IoT and machine learning are used to predict when it will need routine servicing– thus reducing the wastage of time, energy, and products, etc. As a result, machines will run much smoother, with increased energy efficiency, and would be recycled only at the very end of their life. Industry 4.0 and allied services also play a key role in this.
Mapping operational and environmental footprint
An environmental or carbon footprint is the impact human beings, companies or nations have on the environment, the level of natural resources used and factors in the amount of greenhouse gases generated. By mapping environmental footprints, we can quantify people's impact and better understand how to reduce costs and emissions. Businesses can improve their environmental footprint by using IoT for smart energy monitoring, air pollution monitoring, water management, etc., which can help organisations collect and analyse data to uncover insights and streamline operations.
Therefore, emerging technologies and sustainable practices must be at the forefront of strategic thinking for any business. This will enable companies to differentiate themselves from others and gain long-term advantages and viability among all stakeholders, including employees, customers, regulators, and the communities in which the businesses operate. And most importantly, it will help fulfil the social responsibility of businesses towards the world and its people.
Amol Gulhane, Brand Ambassador, Senior Member and Impact Creator at IEEE, is the Co-Founder and CEO of Robolab Technologies. He is a first generation entrepreneur and a Roboticist shaping the Best Robotics and Automation Company. Amol has completed his B.Tech in Electronics and Telecommunication from College of Engineering, Pune (COEP).