Global lockdown and suspension of production at the beginning of 2020 led to a temporary reduction in carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. It is against this background that optimistic forecasts are saying 2020 could become a peak in terms of environmental pollution, and further, the pollution will only decline. However, due to the crisis, many environmental programs have also been stopped, and businesses in need of recovery obviously won’t mind using cheap oil.
In late 2020 – early 2021, the world will need effective IT solutions and initiatives for environmental protection more than ever before. Business Analysts at Andersen have identified several relevant trends that will help reduce environmental damage even if there is no slowdown in CO2 emissions.
Smart homes and cities
Smart homes and cities solve two problems of green energy at once. Firstly, all systems in such houses are supported by energy from renewable sources located on-site. Secondly, smart systems allow using resources more efficiently, thus saving energy already obtained. Specifically, there are no losses, which are unavoidable when energy is delivered through networks and transformers. As a result, smart buildings and constructions can not only provide themselves with energy but also supply it to other nearby objects, reducing the need for raw fossil materials.
For the effective operation of all systems in a smart home (let alone a city), a complex system using IoT technologies and data securitization protocols is needed. Along with that, there is a need for a convenient UX solution, as the system will also be managed by users with poor IT experience.
Although the harm caused by spoiled food is not as obvious as, for example, petroleum combustion or chemical waste disposal, it takes place and is very significant. The rotting of food waste in dumpsites results in methane emission, and in recent years, its volumes are equatable to CO2 emissions from 37 million cars.
Every day, restaurant kitchens and corporate canteens have surplus food left; expired products are regularly thrown away from store warehouses. Thanks to the evolving food-sharing culture, these products are given to the needy with increasing frequency, instead of being dumped. Special applications show where and at what time free food will be distributed, so volunteers have the opportunity to pick up products on time and deliver them to those in need. Also, the volume of unsold products can be reduced with the help of applications that analyze demand and supply. Many firms and catering companies are already introducing such technologies, not only contributing to the struggle for the environment but also saving on purchases.
Refurbishing of used computer equipment
It is important not only to be able to use technology for the good but also to prevent the negative side effects of such usage. The amount of technical waste is growing together with the number of technical solutions. The percentage of office PCs and laptops in the total volume of waste containing high-density recalcitrant metals is significant. At the same time, most of the equipment discarded by the companies is still in good working order and can be used.
The problem is that companies are afraid of the leakage of data that could remain on corporate equipment. And since, in many modern laptops, the hard drive is built into the case, it is scrapped in its entirety. Meanwhile, the problem can be solved using remarketing: data is deleted from all drives in accordance with information security standards, and the laptop or PC itself is resold as a used product. This procedure allows companies to both contribute to environmental protection and return part of the investment in equipment.
These cases show that it is possible to struggle for the environment not only at the level of states and multinational companies. A sensible approach, restraint in consumption, and the correct use of technology can help to protect the environment as much as strict limitations on chemical waste release or fossil fuel extraction.