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Stepping into the Future with Sustainable Tech

  • Artificial intelligence
  • future
  • green power
  • innovation
  • solar power
  • sustainability
  • Sustainable
  • Technology

Improving sustainability practices and reducing the carbon footprint of the world can at times feel like a complex task. So many industries and technologies are so geared towards unsustainable practices that it can be difficult to visualize the radical change that is needed.

Innovation and teamwork are such a vital part of the sustainability journey, changing not just the way we think and act, but the tools and technology that is available to create a more sustainable world. From green energy to sand from bottles to artificial intelligence, these are just some of the incredible sustainable technologies emerging on the market.

Solar Glass

Solar panels have been a staple in the sustainable energy industry for some time now. While this incredible technology creates clean, green power, one of the roadblocks of solar power installation is the space solar panels require and the aesthetic impact, particularly in inner city regions. This is where the innovative idea of solar glass comes in, a product in which photovoltaic technology is integrated with glass panes, meaning that windows can capture solar power energy in the same way as a solar roof panel.

 Although these panels are often not as efficient as traditional solar panels, particularly when nearly perfectly transparent, they do provide a growing solution to the clean energy problem. The potential for this tech is brought into particular focus when considering the vast amount of glass used in modern cityscapes.

Artificial Intelligence

When talking about artificial intelligence, most people imagine killer robots, but never fear, sustainable AI solutions may help to save the world, not destroy it. 

AI systems can be implemented to help manage sustainable farming projects, quickly analyse data and predict and adjust to future environmental trends. This is an exciting time for AI development, many in the industry believe that the advanced capabilities of AI will help scientists to crack the problems that we have grappled with for years. A recent report published by the European Commission stated that an Intel Study found that 74% of leaders in tech agree that AI can be implemented to assist in finding solutions for environmental challenges. With studies in agriculture already finding the implementation of artificial intelligence to increase crop yields, we may be seeing more AI systems creating sustainable solutions.

The Glass Cycle

Sand is used in everything from buildings to phone screens and has become a highly lucrative business in many parts of the world. The second most consumed resource in the world, the sand trade wreaks havoc on the environment. River sand mining is contributing to the destruction of the Mekong Delta, while sand mining around the world accelerates erosion and threatens aquatic life.

To combat this issue, New Zealand based brand, DB Export Beer, has created technology to crush bottles back into a sand glass material. This material can then be used as an effective replacement for sea sand. Other similar technologies have been developed around the world, helping to create a more sustainable, circular glass market.

To solve the climate crisis innovation is needed now more than ever. Diverse approaches to complex problems and a determination to work together to find the solutions are key components of sustainable innovation. Whether it is creating a circular sand economy, converting skyscrapers to renewable energy sources or implementing artificial intelligence to increase crop yields, new sustainable technology is leading the way to a clean and bright future.

Sources:

https://e360.yale.edu/features/the-hidden-environmental-toll-of-mining-the-worlds-sand

https://blueandgreentomorrow.com/environment/6-important-greentech-trends-to-watch-for-2020/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/scottsnowden/2020/07/29/solar-glass-windows/?sh=d0db2e333825

https://ec.europa.eu/environment/ecoap/about-eco-innovation/good-practices/can-new-tech-ai-save-resources-and-environment_en

https://www.solarguide.co.uk/solar-glass-windows#/

https://www.livingcircular.veolia.com/en/inspirations/recycling-glass-will-save-our-beaches

By Emma Tidswell

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