‘Carbon Footprint’ is a familiar alien that has been roaming around for a long time. Carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases generated by our actions. Without even realizing it, we have been increasing our carbon footprint. We all have heard of it, but we’ve hardly handled it. But now the time is ripe. Modern businesses must put this on the forefront of their corporate strategy if they envisage a cleaner, better, and sustainable tomorrow. If businesses reduce their carbon footprint through technology, this initiative would create a tremendous impact in creating a cleaner environment in the future.
What do the facts say?
As per the estimates calculated by the United Nations, carbon emissions from the transport sector have more than doubled since 1970, with around 80% of this increase coming from road vehicles. This points out the transport sector as the responsible one but this isn’t the only culprit. Surprisingly, the fashion industry produces more than 8% of the greenhouse gases including carbon emissions and 20% of global wastewater annually. These facts are a clarion call for businesses across various industry verticals to start focusing on reducing their carbon footprint. In this venture, technological interventions can certainly lead the way.
The way ahead with Technology
Technology has made the impossible possible and it can certainly strengthen the sustainability goals that we all yearn to achieve. Regular monitoring and MIS tech alone can’t meet the objectives here, but Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain can certainly help build trust, transparency, and scale up the business with better real-time monitoring.
Businesses must embrace modular, scalable, and possibly cloud based platforms that are based on IoT (Internet of Things) architecture and can read directly from remote sensors and remote devices. Such API driven platforms should be based on machine learning and artificial intelligence. Such technological interventions also help companies keep their data encrypted and protected. Once the companies start ingesting data on auto mode, the same data can be fine-tuned to identify hot spots of carbon emissions, and can also generate simulations for current as well as future business expansions. AI can ease the complexity and help companies take steps towards a greener tomorrow along with increased profitability.
This is the perfect win-win situation, where businesses can monitor and control their carbon footprint without hampering the final productivity of their core businesses. Such solutions are already in place and available for use across geographies. Whether it is a national statutory guideline or international goals like ‘Agenda: 2030’ set by the UN, businesses across transport, fashion, and other verticals can benefit immensely from the inclusion of technologies embedded in business processes to ultimately reduce our “bad carbon” output.
Putting the Right Foot Forward
If we want to avoid global warming, the average global carbon footprint per year needs to drop down to under 2 tons by the year 2050, as per the nature conservancy reports. From MNCs (Multi-National Companies) to start-ups, companies are keeping a goal to be carbon-neutral. Achieving net-zero isn’t easy, but also isn’t impossible. If a tech giant like Microsoft can achieve carbon neutrality, so can any other company around the world. All we need are the right tools, technology, and corrective measures to do so. It’s always ‘easier said than done’ but it can definitely be done if we want to give a sustainable planet to our future generations.
A lot of you might point out that reforestation and renewable-energy utilization is sufficient. Yes, that’s right for carbon offsetting but we must calculate our each and every step as well if we really want to be carbon neutral and reduce our businesses’ carbon footprint.
A Step Today Is a Leap Tomorrow.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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