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Investing in Technology for a Greener Future

6 June 2019 - 12:00am

Investing in Technology for a Greener Future

Photo by Gem & Lauris RK on Unsplash

 

The development of technology and the environment have always been in a complex relationship with each other. From the advent of the industrial revolution up to today’s green revolution, technology has changed drastically, and it is undeniable how humanity has changed since then.

 

Environmental technology, also known as “green” or “clean” technology, is defined by the Centre for Innovation and Development as "technology that reduces significantly the amount of pollution released into the environment from various human activities."

 

To be able to maximize the effects of green technology, what better way is there than tapping significant stakeholders to join the movement?

 

 

Why Businesses Take on Environment Technology

 

Investing in green technology is admitting the existence of climate and environmental problems. Ideally, environmental technology should provide more business opportunities as consumers are gaining more insights into going green. Investment director of online trading platform Russ Mould briefly warns that investing in alternative energy is a "tricky sector despite its massive potential."

 

Meanwhile, writer Andrew Cioffi has a more positive take. “The market share that renewable energy will command is set to undergo some impressive growth spurts,” Cioffi says. Turning to green energy will always mean more opportunity to invest, as even billionaire investors Warren Buffett and Phillip Anschutz are putting money into it.

 

In a time where metal straws, bamboo brushes, zero-waste living, and all the other ways of attempting a sustainable lifestyle are becoming more prominent, more and more businesses are also joining the trend. Some are even making it their philosophy, and their loyal patrons easily follow.

 

 

Emerging Green Technologies that Make the World a Better Place

 

“Sustainable development sits at the core of environmental technology – adopted practices that fuel economic development by avoiding the depletion of natural resources and further polluting,” reports Environmental Technology.

 

By aiming for the maximum use of clean technology and incorporating more sustainable practices, businesses have genuinely been affected by the influx of green technologies – and all for a good cause.

 

LiveScience, through NYU professor Sara Goudarzi, takes a look at the emerging technologies that could transform trends into actual philosophies. Here is a summary of their research-based alternatives that might just open an idea for you to invest in an environment-friendly business:

 

  1. Get alternative sources of producing oil: thermo-depolymerization

    Any carbon-based waste can be turned into oil through thermo-depolymerization as it intensively shortens the process and produces a good amount of oil, even from turkey wastes!

  2. Filtering the salts away: desalination

    In filtering salt and other minerals out of seawater to produce clean and potable water, we might be seeing the solution to lack of potable water in far-flung areas.

  3. Power up with the H+ fuel cells

    While scientists have found ways to power different gadgets and other machines with hydrogen fuel cells, most are still skeptical about the future of "hydrogen economy.”

  4. Make sunshine light up more homes: solar energy

    While solar panels are becoming more and more popular, researchers are still looking for ways to concentrate solar power using mirrors and parabolic dishes!

  5. This is how the ocean gives

    The ocean has varying temperatures depending on depth. The very significant temperature difference is how ocean thermal energy conversion is able to produce generator-running energy!

  6. Ocean’s current into electrical current?

    This is another form of technology created through the oceans, particularly through the waves and tides, transforming mechanical energy into electrical.

  7. Greens make cities less hot

    Many smart and global cities are already putting up gardens in their roofs not just for aesthetic purposes but because it also lessens the “heat island” effect in many urban centers. Now, this is beauty with a purpose.

  8. Leave it up to nature.

    Bio and phytoremediation are ways to let nature take its course as it cleans contaminated water without using harsh and expensive tools and chemicals. This is US Environmental Protection Agency approved!

  9. Burying the bad, literally.

    In an era where worst things are buried, the proponents of this technology aim to inject greenhouse gases to the ground before it reaches the atmosphere. Would this work? Scientists are still not so sure. Maybe funders should go support this exploration!

  10. Electronic paper!

    Positive and negative charges appear as black and white particles on a flexible display, looking like a real paper. Could this help resolve the number of paper wastes every year?

 

Seeing the types of technologies listed above may intimidate newcomers. However, fret not, as green tech initiatives do not have to be that big and complex. In fact, the National Geographic lists the top and the fastest growing green jobs to include work that can even be done near one’s home!

 

 

Planning your steps towards greener innovations

 

In pursuing the greener path, some may save the environment by lowering the costs of the materials and methods they use or reducing their energy consumptions. Most do this for either a cost-efficient run-through of their businesses or for sheer altruism.

 

“So what now? How can I help?”

 

We may have all asked this question at some point. Again, making sustainable solutions are not something to be skeptical about. Here are some key points to remember when planning to transition to green technology either on your own or with your most trusted partners. This is how you get back with nature through technology:

 

 

  1. Make sure you want to expand in this direction.

    Going green is not an easy decision to make, especially with the risks involved. However, if you think you have the grit and a great idea, make sure that you can stay committed on this endeavor before you go ahead and begin.

  2. Start with what you know.

    Owning a business or a startup must entail that you know its operations like the back of your hand. Once you are familiar with the highly relevant information of your business, it would be relatively easier for you to pinpoint technologies that will help in pushing your solutions forward.

  3. Learn from the experiences of others.

    Once you have identified possible technologies, go and ask around! This is highly helpful especially when gaining the experiences of those in a similar field who are also investing in the technology. After all, isn't experience the best teacher?

  4. Skills development for the employees is also a must.

    In transitioning to green technology, the rest of the organization must also know about it. Teach your staff the ways of using and taking care of it. Now that you have embarked on the green path, let them know the processes, the reasons behind, as well as the expected output of your organization.

  5. Assure the sustainability plan of the organization and of the product. Keep in mind that the goal is for sustainable development through technology!

    It might be helpful to note that there are large-scale funders who aim to concretize ideas and programs into actual solutions that would help the planet. Thus, funding may not be such a huge problem given the vast opportunities from different investors, governments, and non-profit organizations who are on the constant lookout for entrepreneurial and sustainable solutions.

 

 

 

References:

 

Center for Innovation and Development. (2005). Environmental technology. Retrieved from http://www.cir.cz/en/environmental-technology

 

Cioffi, A. (2018). Looking ahead: Why the smart money is investing in green energy. Retrieved from http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article63638.html

 

Goudarzi, S. (2007). Top 10 emerging environmental technologies. Retrieved from https://www.livescience.com/11334-top-10-emerging-environmental-technologies.html

 

International Environmental Technology. (2018). What is environmental technology? Retrieved from https://www.envirotech-online.com/news/environmental-laboratory/7/breaking-news/what-is-environmental-technology/32641

 

Jones, H. (2018, August 27). Is it wise to invest in renewable and green energy?. Retrieved from https://www.thenational.ae/business/money/is-it-wise-to-invest-in-renewable-and-green-energy-1.763774

 

Lucero, T. (2015, June 8). The new economics of sustainable energy are pulling the future faster into the present. Retrieved from https://www.energydigital.com/renewable-energy/new-economics-sustainable-energy-are-pulling-future-faster-present

 

National Geographic. (2011, August 4). 11 of the fastest growing green jobs. Retrieved from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/sustainable-earth/11-of-the-fastest-growing-green-jobs/