When it comes to global emissions, it’s now down to crunch time.
To ensure the future liveability of our planet, we must embrace innovations, products, and opportunities in the sustainability space.
Advancements in waste reduction and management, minimising fossil fuel use, and alternative energy sources will allow us to live more harmoniously with nature and reduce our impact on the earth.
So, why now?
The United Nations has set an ambitious yet necessary goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. With that in mind, businesses, individuals, and governments worldwide have swiftly become more eco-conscious and considered in their actions. There’s been a noticeable shift toward sustainability and, with it, a greater focus on finding new and innovative ways to improve the products and processes we use day-to-day.
A 2050 deadline for reductions
With the 2050 deadline looming, businesses have a renewed urgency to switch to sustainable technologies and innovations that decrease energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. Adopting these emerging green innovations is crucial to achieving our global emission reduction objectives.
Fortunately, there’s plenty of new tech to get excited about!
We’ve listed six main areas of innovation having the most significant impact on our global emissions.
In essence, smart automation gives people the power to manage their energy usage. Whether through a smart home system like Google Home or programmed routines for an office or warehouse, smart automation can significantly optimise consumption and reduce your carbon footprint.
The ‘smart’ part means only using appliances when you actually need them, thus reducing wasted energy. In addition to timers and sensors, air conditioning, lights, and electrical appliances can be programmed to switch off instead of going into standby mode. Automation should go hand-in-hand with energy-efficient products. LED Light bulbs, for instance, are an easy win for offices and warehouses. They’re 75% more energy-efficient than conventional bulbs and last 25 times longer.
Renewable energy sources
A budding replacement for fossil-based energy sources is cleantech. Things like solar, wind and wave energy have been waiting in the wings for many years but, unfortunately, have been cost-prohibitive and require widespread usage to become viable for the general public and everyday business owners to embrace. While home solar panels are becoming a popular power option for private homes, some other bright tech ideas are tackling the issue of energy supply. The Saltwater Lamp, for instance, uses a chemical reaction of water and salt to power the battery in the lamp. It can illuminate for eight hours a day for six months and offer an electricity option in areas where it’s not readily available.
Previously hindered by their high cost, low top speed and short-range, battery electric vehicles are being acknowledged worldwide as an alternative to emission-heavy combustion engines. With Hybrid cars offering a good stepping stone on the road toward fully electric cars, thanks to advancements from Tesla, there’s a growing enthusiasm for EVs. This trend toward emission-free travel is taking off in public transport too, with the Asia Pacific region and Europe leading the way with electric buses. This shift is a promising indicator that the world is ready to reduce its dependence on oil and gas.
Carbon Capture & Storage
Believe it or not, it’s possible to capture, store and dispose of carbon from the atmosphere. This important emissions reduction tool captures CO2 from fuel combustion and industrial processes and then utilises it for various applications or traps it underground in permanent storage. These techniques cleanly dispose of industrial carbon dioxide, which would otherwise pollute the environment. Further investment has been made in this sector following the UN climate goals announcement, resulting in more facilities being announced for rollout.
Renewable Power Storage
Renewable power storage systems are basically giant batteries that hold large amounts of energy. Fueled by clean sources like solar or wind turbines, power storage units can charge electric cars and docking stations for eBikes and scooters. It is an excellent power option in cities and urban areas as it makes emission-free electricity readily available. There have also been advancements in lithium-powered batteries for business uses. These sustainable innovations not only decrease greenhouse gases and reduce energy costs, but in power outages, they provide a reliable backup system that’s off the grid.
Circular Waste Management
There’s been a positive shift toward reusable and organic materials in place of traditional plastic products. Banning single-use reduces the billions of plastic bags discarded every year and compels people to use compostable alternatives. Switching to more eco-aware items goes hand in hand with sustainable waste management. Countless projects are trying to tackle this issue, one of which is Bill and Melinda Gates’ ingenious machine, the Omniprocessor, transforming human waste into drinking water. Through a distillation process, it can convert 100 tons of organic waste into 80,000 litres of drinking water.
Another cleantech solution is a waste-to-energy facility called ZoharX. This ‘all in one box’ solution significantly reduces the amount of urban waste in landfills by treating unsegregated residential garbage and turning it into something useful. Through thermal gasification, ZoharX converts waste into energy and creates a by-product that can be used in sustainable construction.
Looking to the future
There’s no doubt these advancements offer a feasible, long-term solution to our emissions crisis. With widespread public adoption of automation, renewable energy, and green products, innovative cleantech will become more affordable and accessible to everyone. By embracing these novel approaches, we can do our bit to protect our natural resources and environment.