Earth Day 2023 – 5 ways technology can help with the global sustainability imperative

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Over a billion people around the world will join forces on Saturday, April 22nd to mark Earth Day. This annual event aims to raise awareness of the need to protect the planet and highlight how it can be done.

As highlighted by the latest climate change statistics, this is becoming more urgent with each passing year. Since his 1970, when the first Earth Day was held, CO2 emissions have increased by about 90% and global warming levels are rising.

We have lost over 28 trillion tons of ice since 1994 and are still losing over 1 trillion tons a year. We are also losing 10 million hectares of forest each year. This is the area of ​​Portugal.

Around 2 billion people around the world lack access to safe drinking water due to climate change pollution and drought. And of her eight million plant and animal species on Earth, up to one million are in imminent danger of extinction.

The IPCC recently warned that time is rapidly running out to keep from crossing the 1.5 degree warming threshold.

Technology is often at the forefront of the urgent need to tackle climate change on all fronts to prevent further damage to our planet. Digital technology could help reduce the world’s carbon footprint by about 17%, according to a report from the International Telecommunication Union, a UN agency.

Here are five ways the tech sector is helping fight climate change.

carbon capture

Carbon emissions from fossil fuels are one of the main drivers of climate change, so finding ways to reduce the amount of CO2 entering the atmosphere can make a big difference.

Carbon capture could play an important role here. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology separates and compresses carbon produced in industrial processes so that it can be stored rather than released into the atmosphere.

Climeworks opened its first direct air capture technology plant in 2017 to capture CO2 emissions so they can be buried deep underground rather than harming the earth’s atmosphere. The company aims to use his CCS technology to capture 1% of his carbon emissions by 2025.

efficient data center

Data centers are very power hungry, so anything you can do to improve energy efficiency can have a big impact.

UK insurance giant Admiral Group switched from Pure Storage to all-flash storage, significantly optimizing its data center. This includes reducing the company’s data center footprint by a quarter, reducing power consumption and costs.

The Admiral Group has committed to net zero carbon emissions by 2040, with a 74% reduction in data center power and cooling costs and a 56% reduction in electricity consumption meeting that goal. It’s a big step towards

Renewable energy

Renewable energies such as wind and solar power are essential tools in the fight against climate change, powering the world with naturally replenishing energy sources rather than limited and dirty fossil fuels.

Renewable energy certificates are a way to encourage the development of these clean energy sources. To increase supply in emerging markets, Salesforce will purchase 280,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of renewable energy certificates over the next eight years. The amount of CO2 emissions this reduces each year is equivalent to the 113 million miles he drives in an average car, or his annual electricity usage of 9,000 households.

Salesforce has partnered with a provider that offers Distributed Renewable Energy Certificates (D-RECs). This is limited to small-scale energy projects in emerging markets, regions that remain heavily dependent on fossil fuels. The advantage of the D-REC approach is two-fold. The first is to replace the dirtiest fuels such as diesel generators and coal with renewable energy. We then provide our investments to the communities most in need.

Potential projects include replacing old diesel generators with solar-powered microgrids for remote communities along the Brazilian Amazon. Installing solar power and storage batteries in hospitals in sub-Saharan Africa can improve the reliability of power for ventilators, organ assist devices and operating rooms.

Electric car

The shift from petrol and diesel vehicles to electric vehicles will play an important role in reducing emissions. Transportation accounts for about 30% of global carbon emissions, with almost three-quarters coming from cars, vans, heavy trucks and buses.

Delivery company DPD has set a goal of reaching net zero by 2040, and electric vehicles (EVs) are one way it is working towards that goal.

The company currently has 3,000 EVs. By the end of 2023, this will increase to his 4,000 EVs, and DPD says he plans to replace all of his vehicles with 100% electric vehicles by 2030.

About 25% of DPD deliveries are now made via environmentally friendly means of transport. The company is pushing that to around 40% by 2024.

Moving from fossil fuels to electricity for delivery vehicles is already having a positive impact on the environment.

In 2022, DPD delivered more than 35 million parcels with all-electric Final Mile delivery vehicles. This equates to over 9 million kilograms of his CO2e saved in one year, or 360,000 trees absorbing his CO2. This is more than double his total of 17 million green deliveries across operations in 2021.

DPD has made over 15 million eco-friendly deliveries so far this year and is on track to reach its 2023 target of 50 million.

AI for green transportation

Public transport operator Keolis, which operates bus, tram, coach and rail services around the world, recently began using Stratio’s fleet maintenance technology to help reduce emissions from a more efficient public transport system. bottom.

Stratio’s AI predictive maintenance technology collects and analyzes vehicle data to help predict component failures before they cause bus failures that undermine consumer confidence in the reliability of public transit.

This data is used to identify patterns that indicate potential failures and to evaluate and promote eco-driving strategies to reduce emissions across your internal combustion engine (ICE) fleet.

Stratio technology is also supporting Keolis’ transition to electric vehicles. The data collected provides insight into practical ways to maintain and optimize EV battery life, a key aspect of switching from diesel-powered coaches and buses to electric vehicles.

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