CAN TECH DELIVER A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE FOR PLANET EARTH?
Sustainability means many things to many people, but it boils down to this: saving Planet Earth.
Mankind1 , as a species, has been too successful for its own good – the global population is estimate to top nine billion by 2050, according to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
As a result, there is already a strain2 on the planet’s essential natural resources, particularly food and water, which population growth can only aggravate.
Meanwhile, our demand for energy has directed to the plundering3 of the earth’s hydrocarbons oil, gas and coal, producing a catastrophic climate change. In a month-long series of features on the theme of sustainability, Technology of Business will be examining the main challenges facing businesses and asking whether technology – which got us into this mess in the first place – can help get us out.
Global megatrends are affecting the business environment
Most companies are already being affected by climate change today, directly or indirectly, says *CDP, a global not-for-profit organization specializing in measuring business environmental impact.
Extreme weather, drought and flooding can disrupt production capacity and affect supply chains for a whole range of businesses. For example, in a CDP survey of 70 European companies, 83% said they had operations in “water-stressed” regions, while 73% said water shortages posed risks to their own operations or those of their suppliers.
Considering an increasingly globalised economy, few businesses can isolate themselves from the impacts of climate change, population growth and resource reduction, says Emma Price-Thomas, head of sustainability strategy at charity Business in the Community.
“The world is changing very fast. Global megatrends are markedly affecting the business environment. If companies don’t address these and think longer-term, they may end up putting themselves out of business,” she argues.
A lot of technology and research is being directed towards reducing water usage an industrial processes and designing products that need less water to work, she says.
*CDP - Carbon Disclosure Project é uma organização que opera o sistema global de divulgação para que investidores, gerenciem seus impactos ambientais
Fonte: WALL, Matthew, BBC NEWS, 2 May 2014. Disponível em: http://www.bbc.com/news/business27208569. Adaptado. Acesso em: 6 abr. 2018.
1 ManKind: Humanidade
3 Plundering: Pilhagem