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Throughout my various business ventures, I’ve come across many instances of creative answers solving common problems, and I have always embraced solutions that can truly help people and our planet. More and more frequently, it is technology that plays a major role in finding and realizing those solutions.
When it comes to seeking sustainability, there are so many aspects of technology that already make our daily lives easier. As further innovations evolve, I believe we will begin to see even more ways to leverage smart technologies for more sustainable business operations.
Smart hubs, such as Google’s Nest, can efficiently manage temperature, lighting, and the power usage of any other connected devices in the home or business. This means that your business can run at peak energy efficiency, whether anyone is in the office or not, thus maximizing your resources according to your specific needs and saving you money. With people continuously moving in and out of the buildings, few people tend to pay attention to the precise temperatures. Nest’s tools, Auto-Away and Time-To-Temperature, help choose the most energy-saving temperatures, yet allow for employees to easily change settings if necessary. Additionally temperatures can be controlled via the web to ensure optimal comfort on that first day back after a weekend, for instance.
Enhanced cameras provide better security as well. By connecting cameras throughout the office, Nest provides not only exceptional visibility of the building it can also turn on lights to indicate that the building is occupied if so desired.
Innovations in Healthcare
Medical advances have the potential to making a life changing difference, and we’re seeing new treatments being discovered more and more each day. Technology, along with brilliant minds that are determined to succeed, is a big part of this process.
Connected devices in pharmaceuticals are one way the industry is focused on decreasing testing that is done on animals and humans. “Organ on a Chip” is a smart device that replicates the behavior of real organs during the process of medical testing, allowing companies to run frequent, rapid trials. This saves money, time, energy, and alleviates many ethical questions associated with medical testing, all while continuing to develop new treatments and cures for modern diseases.
Robotic limbs linked to the mind, improve cancer screening, and wearable sensors that better predict and prevent chronic diseases are additional significant ways that the healthcare industry is making the most of the technology available to them, while expanding and improving on it. With better tools to prevent and treat illnesses, we are, essentially, being more sustainable about our medical resources and our fellow humans .
Water is always a valuable resource, and an even more important one to conserve given the rash of droughts in the last year happening all around the world, particularly in Brazil, North Korea, Puerto Rico, South Africa, and of course our own state of California.
On a city-wide level, there are now ways to stay connected to and aware of the community water source using highly sensitive sensors. For instance, in Atlanta, Georgia, a program called the “Connected Water” scheme installed smart water sensors in the river basin which provides water for more than four million people. By remotely monitoring the quality of the water, the city was able to ensure the supply remained clean as well as checking in to make sure that the amount was sufficient.
Individual businesses and corporations are not far behind. Companies like Costco have been experimenting with water efficiency systems for years, eventually enabling them to cut their usage by 22% on average and save thousands of dollars per year at each facility. For many green business certifications, water is one of the first things consultants will consider, and one of the major places they are able to save by maximizing efficiencies of faucets, toilets, and appliances—All possible due to technologies that have maximized efficiencies.
After installing “smart” refuse bins in certain cities, each location began to alert the waste disposal company when the trash needed to be emptied, rather than staying on a regular schedule regardless of the trash levels. This allowed drivers to visit those locations only when necessary. T the program was so successful that one refuse fleet was able to cut transport emissions by 18%.
It’s instances like these that hopefully begin to prompt a shift in mindset. Why are we staying stuck in the routines when another equally convenient path is right there, only more sustainable, wasting less time and fewer resources? In what other areas can we make such needed change?
The best part about all of these sustainable innovations in technology, in addition to being more efficient with our resources, they are providing more efficient ways for us to interact with our business and our world! These solutions balance the needs of people while being conscious of the impact on the planet. It’s a constant struggle, and technology continues to help mediate the priorities of both sides. How is your business making the most of available technologies to become a little greener? Join me and our team in taking steps toward greater sustainability – while retaining the comforts we have come to appreciate.
Should you have questions about what it takes to become a sustainable business or would like to connect with me about anything else, please reach out.
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