Qatar 2022 accelerates environmental rating practices

Qatar 2022 accelerates environmental rating practices

With only a few weeks to go, Qatar 2022 carries on accelerating its environmental rating practices.  It envisages the after the event.

Qatar 2022 accelerates environmental rating practices

Qatar 2022 accelerates environmental rating practices

Doha: From the moment Qatar won the rights to host the FIFA World Cup 2022, the country has prioritised sustainability in the construction of all its infrastructure projects, including eight state-of-the-art stadiums.

In order to meet stringent environmental standards in line with FIFA’s requirements, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) worked closely with the Gulf Organisation for Research & Development (GORD) to have all Qatar 2022 infrastructure projects rated under the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS).

Launched in 2007 as the Qatar Sustainability Assessment System, GORD rebranded it to GSAS to include projects across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in 2012. It is the region’s first integrated and performance-based system that assesses and rates buildings and infrastructure for their sustainability impacts. GSAS is aimed at improving the design, construction and operations of buildings, while also identifying sustainability challenges specific to the MENA region’s building environment. In 2014, FIFA approved GSAS as the sustainability rating system to assess all infrastructure built for this year’s World Cup.

Since then, all eight Qatar 2022 stadiums have achieved a minimum four-star GSAS rating for Design & Build, starting with the redeveloped Khalifa International Stadium and concluding recently with both Lusail Stadium and Stadium 974.

Five World Cup venues earned a top GSAS rating of five stars for Design & Build, while six stadiums earned a Class A* rating for Construction Management.

The venues were also certified for their operations and energy centre efficiency.

“The GSAS system is now used to assess new buildings across Qatar – it’s an example of World Cup legacy in action,” said Dr. Yousef Alhorr, Founding Chairman, GORD.

“In the past 10 years, the system has been applied on over 1,500 building projects, including the metro, stadiums and even new cities, such as Lusail. The ratings range from two to five stars, depending on the project. The process of evaluation is extensive and separated into desk review and site audit.”

The use of GSAS certification has been invaluable in measuring the country’s sustainability goals, which were first laid out in Qatar National Vision 2030, with the World Cup providing the perfect milestone to expedite and catalyse sustainable development and major sustainability-oriented projects in the country.

It has also been invaluable in helping both Qatar and FIFA remain on course to fulfilling the objectives set out by both entities in the FIFA World Cup 2022 Sustainability Strategy, with Qatar 2022 set to change the way future World Cup competitions and other sporting mega events are organised around the world.

“From the very beginning, sustainability has been at the heart of all of our projects for Qatar 2022,” said Eng. Bodour Al Meer, the SC’s Sustainability Executive Director.

“We are thankful to GORD for helping us to reach our sustainability targets by auditing each of our World Cup stadium sites 11 times. The projects we have delivered showcase the impact of hosting the first FIFA World Cup in the region and are helping to push the sustainability message further than ever before.”

In addition to eight exemplary green stadiums, Qatar 2022 has also provided training to hundreds of professionals in green building practices, enhanced supply chains for sustainable products and materials, and new innovative engineering solutions. These contributions will lead to the successful delivery of more green buildings in the future.

 

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Financial Approaches won’t Fix the World’s Economic Problems

Financial Approaches won’t Fix the World’s Economic Problems

Financial approaches won’t fix the world’s economic problems, predicts Gail Tverberg in a reasonably comprehensive post.  Up to lately, it was possible to get away with it.

So without further do, here is this post that elaborates on what are the changes as to why financial approaches alone cannot fix the world’s economic problems. 

Why financial approaches won’t fix the world’s economic problems this time

 

Financial Approaches won’t Fix the World’s Economic Problems Gail Tverberg

 

Time and time again, financial approaches have worked to fix economic problems. Raising interest rates has acted to slow the economy and lowering them has acted to speed up the economy. Governments overspending their incomes also acts to push the economy ahead; doing the reverse seems to slow economies down.

What could possibly go wrong? The issue is a physics problem. The economy doesn’t run simply on money and debt. It operates on resources of many kinds, including energy-related resources. As the population grows, the need for energy-related resources grows. The bottleneck that occurs is something that is hard to see in advance; it is an affordability bottleneck.

For a very long time, financial manipulations have been able to adjust affordability in a way that is optimal for most players. At some point, resources, especially energy resources, get stretched too thin, relative to the rising population and all the commitments that have been made, such as pension commitments. As a result, there is no way for the quantity of goods and services produced to grow sufficiently to match the promises that the financial system has made. This is the real bottleneck that the world economy reaches.

I believe that we are closely approaching this bottleneck today. I recently gave a talk to a group of European officials at the 2nd Luxembourg Strategy Conference, discussing the issue from the European point of view. Europeans seem to be especially vulnerable because Europe, with its early entry into the Industrial Revolution, substantially depleted its fossil fuel resources many years ago. The topic I was asked to discuss was, “Energy: The interconnection of energy limits and the economy and what this means for the future.”

In this post, I write about this presentation.

Slide 3

The major issue is that money, by itself, cannot operate the economy, because we cannot eat money. Any model of the economy must include energy and other resources. In a finite world, these resources tend to deplete. Also, human population tends to grow. At some point, not enough goods and services are produced for the growing population.

I believe that the major reason we have not been told about how the economy really works is because it would simply be too disturbing to understand the real situation. If today’s economy is dependent on finite fossil fuel supplies, it becomes clear that, at some point, these will run short. Then the world economy is likely to face a very difficult time.

A secondary reason for the confusion about how the economy operates is too much specialization by researchers studying the issue. Physicists (who are concerned about energy) don’t study economics; politicians and economists don’t study physics. As a result, neither group has a very broad understanding of the situation.

I am an actuary. I come from a different perspective: Will physical resources be adequate to meet financial promises being made? I have had the privilege of learning a little from both economic and physics sides of the discussion. I have also learned about the issue from a historical perspective.

Slide 4
Slide 5

World energy consumption has been growing very rapidly at the same time that the world economy has been growing. This makes it hard to tell whether the growing energy supply enabled the economic growth, or whether the higher demand created by the growing economy encouraged the world economy to use more resources, including energy resources.

Physics says that it is energy resources that enable economic growth.

Slide 6

The R-squared of GDP as a function of energy is .98, relative to the equation shown.

Slide 7

Physicists talk about the “dissipation” of energy. In this process, the ability of an energy product to do “useful work” is depleted. For example, food is an energy product. When food is digested, its ability to do useful work (provide energy for our body) is used up. Cooking food, whether using a campfire or electricity or by burning natural gas, is another way of dissipating energy.

Humans are clearly part of the economy. Every type of work that is done depends upon energy dissipation. If energy supplies deplete, the form of the economy must change to match.

Slide 8

There are a huge number of systems that seem to grow by themselves using a process called self-organization. I have listed a few of these on Slide 8. Some of these things are alive; most are not. They are all called “dissipative structures.”

The key input that allows these systems to stay in a “non-dead” state is dissipation of energy of the appropriate type. For example, we know that humans need about 2,000 calories a day to continue to function properly. The mix of food must be approximately correct, too. Humans probably could not live on a diet of lettuce alone, for example.

Economies have their own need for energy supplies of the proper kind, or they don’t function properly. For example, today’s agricultural equipment, as well as today’s long-distance trucks, operate on diesel fuel. Without enough diesel fuel, it becomes impossible to plant and harvest crops and bring them to market. A transition to an all-electric system would take many, many years, if it could be done at all.

Slide 9

I think of an economy as being like a child’s building toy. Gradually, new participants are added, both in the form of new citizens and new businesses. Businesses are formed in response to expected changes in the markets. Governments gradually add new laws and new taxes. Supply and demand seem to set market prices. When the system seems to be operating poorly, regulators step in, typically adjusting interest rates and the availability of debt.

One key to keeping the economy working well is the fact that those who are “consumers” closely overlap those who are “employees.” The consumers (= employees) need to be paid well enough, or they cannot purchase the goods and services made by the economy.

A less obvious key to keeping the economy working well is that the whole system needs to be growing. This is necessary so that there are enough goods and services available for the growing population. A growing economy is also needed so that debt can be repaid with interest, and so that pension obligations can be paid as promised.

Slide 10

World population has been growing year after year, but arable land stays close to constant. To provide enough food for this rising population, more intensive agriculture is required, often including irrigation, fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides.

Furthermore, an increasing amount of fresh water is needed, leading to a need for deeper wells and, in some places, desalination to supplement other water sources. All these additional efforts add energy usage, as well as costs.

In addition, mineral ores and energy supplies of all kinds tend to become depleted because the best resources are accessed first. This leaves the more expensive-to-extract resources for later.

Slide 11

The issues in Slide 11 are a continuation of the issues described on Slide 10. The result is that the cost of energy production eventually rises so much that its higher costs spill over into the cost of all other goods and services. Workers find that their paychecks are not high enough to cover the items they usually purchased in the past. Some poor people cannot even afford food and fresh water.

Slide 12
Slide 13

Increasing debt is helpful as an economy grows. A farmer can borrow money for seed to grow a crop, and he can repay the debt, once the crop has grown. Or an entrepreneur can finance a factory using debt.

On the consumer side, debt at a sufficiently low interest rate can be used to make the purchase of a home or vehicle affordable.

Central banks and others involved in the financial world figured out many years ago that if they manipulate interest rates and the availability of credit, they are generally able to get the economy to grow as fast as they would like.

Slide 14

It is hard for most people to imagine how much interest rates have varied over the last century. Back during the Great Depression of the 1930s and the early 1940s, interest rates were very close to zero. As large amounts of inexpensive energy were added to the economy in the post-World War II period, the world economy raced ahead. It was possible to hold back growth by raising interest rates.

Oil supply was constrained in the 1970s, but demand and prices kept rising. US Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volker is known for raising interest rates to unheard of heights (over 15%) with a peak in 1981 to end inflation brought on by high oil prices. This high inflation rate brought on a huge recession from which the economy eventually recovered, as the higher prices brought more oil supply online (AlaskaNorth Sea, and Mexico), and as substitution was made for some oil use. For example, home heating was moved away from burning oil; electricity-production was mostly moved from oil to nuclear, coal and natural gas.

Another thing that has helped the economy since 1981 has been the ability to stimulate demand by lowering interest rates, making monthly payments more affordable. In 2008, the US added Quantitative Easing as a way of further holding interest rates down. A huge debt bubble has thus been built up since 1981, as the world economy has increasingly been operated with an increasing amount of debt at ever-lower interest rates. (See 3-month and 10 year interest rates shown on Slide 14.) This cheap debt has allowed rapidly rising asset prices.

Slide 15

The world economy starts hitting major obstacles when energy supply stops growing faster than population because the supply of finished goods and services (such as new automobile, new homes, paved roads, and airplane trips for passengers) produced stops growing as rapidly as population. These obstacles take the form of affordability obstaclesThe physics of the situation somehow causes the wages and wealth to be increasingly be concentrated among the top 10% or 1%. Lower-paid individuals are increasingly left out. While goods are still produced, ever-fewer workers can afford more than basic necessities. Such a situation makes for unhappy workers.

World energy consumption per capita hit a peak in 2018 and began to slide in 2019, with an even bigger drop in 2020. With less energy consumption, world automobile sales began to slide in 2019 and fell even lower in 2020. Protests, often indirectly related to inadequate wages or benefits, became an increasing problem in 2019. The year 2020 is known for Covid-19 related shutdowns and flight cancellations, but the indirect effect was to reduce energy consumption by less travel and by broken supply lines leading to unavailable goods. Prices of fossil fuels dropped far too low for producers.

Governments tried to get their own economies growing by various techniques, including spending more than the tax revenue they took in, leading to a need for more government debt, and by Quantitative Easing, acting to hold down interest rates. The result was a big increase in the money supply in many countries. This increased money supply was often distributed to individual citizens as subsidies of various kinds.

The higher demand caused by this additional money tended to cause inflation. It tended to raise fossil fuel prices because the inexpensive-to-extract fuels have mostly been extracted. In the days of Paul Volker, more energy supply at a little higher price was available within a few years. This seems extremely unlikely today because of diminishing returns. The problem is that there is little new oil supply available unless prices can stay above at least $120 per barrel on a consistent basis, and prices this high, or higher, do not seem to be available.

Oil prices are not rising this high, even with all of the stimulus funds because of the physics-based wage disparity problem mentioned previously. Also, those with political power try to keep fuel prices down so that the standards of living of citizens will not fall. Because of these low oil prices, OPEC+ continues to make cuts in production. The existence of chronically low prices for fossil fuels is likely the reason why Russia behaves in as belligerent a manner as it does today.

Today, with rising interest rates and Quantitative Tightening instead of Quantitative Easing, a major concern is that the debt bubble that has grown since in 1981 will start to collapse. With falling debt levels, prices of assets, such as homes, farms, and shares of stock, can be expected to fall. Many borrowers will be unable to repay their loans.

If this combination of events occurs, deflation is a likely outcome because banks and pension funds are likely to fail. If, somehow, local governments are able to bail out banks and pension funds, then there is a substantial likelihood of local hyperinflation. In such a case, people will have huge quantities of money, but practically nothing available to buy. In either case, the world economy will shrink because of inadequate energy supply.

Slide 16
Slide 17

Most people have a “normalcy bias.” They assume that if economic growth has continued for a long time in the past, it necessarily will occur in the future. Yet, we all know that all dissipative structures somehow come to an end. Humans can come to an end in many ways: They can get hit by a car; they can catch an illness and succumb to it; they can die of old age; they can starve to death.

History tells us that economies nearly always collapse, usually over a period of years. Sometimes, population rises so high that the food production margin becomes tight; it becomes difficult to set aside enough food if the cycle of weather should turn for the worse. Thus, population drops when crops fail.

In the years leading up to collapse, it is common that the wages of ordinary citizens fall too low for them to be able to afford an adequate diet. In such a situation, epidemics can spread easily and kill many citizens. With so much poverty, it becomes impossible for governments to collect enough taxes to maintain services they have promised. Sometimes, nations lose at war because they cannot afford a suitable army. Very often, governmental debt becomes non-repayable.

The world economy today seems to be approaching some of the same bottlenecks that more local economies hit in the past.

Slide 18

The basic problem is that with inadequate energy supplies, the total quantity of goods and services provided by the economy must shrink. Thus, on average, people must become poorer. Most individual citizens, as well as most governments, will not be happy about this situation.

The situation becomes very much like the game of musical chairs. In this game, one chair at a time is removed. The players walk around the chairs while music plays. When the music stops, all participants grab for a chair. Someone gets left out. In the case of energy supplies, the stronger countries will try to push aside the weaker competitors.

Slide 19

Countries that understand the importance of adequate energy supplies recognize that Europe is relatively weak because of its dependence on imported fuel. However, Europe seems to be oblivious to its poor position, attempting to dictate to others how important it is to prevent climate change by eliminating fossil fuels. With this view, it can easily keep its high opinion of itself.

If we think about the musical chairs’ situation and not enough energy supplies to go around, everyone in the world (except Europe) would be better off if Europe were to be forced out of its high imports of fossil fuels. Russia could perhaps obtain higher energy export prices in Asia and the Far East. The whole situation becomes very strange. Europe tells itself it is cutting off imports to punish Russia. But, if Europe’s imports can remain very low, everyone else, from the US, to Russia, to China, to Japan would benefit.

Slide 20

The benefits of wind and solar energy are glorified in Europe, with people being led to believe that it would be easy to transition from fossil fuels, and perhaps leave nuclear, as well. The problem is that wind, solar, and even hydroelectric energy supply are very undependable. They cannot ever be ramped up to provide year-round heat. They are poorly adapted for agricultural use (except for sunshine helping crops grow).

Few people realize that the benefits that wind and solar provide are tiny. They cannot be depended on, so companies providing electricity need to maintain duplicate generating capacity. Wind and solar require far more transmission than fossil-fuel-generated electricity because the best sources are often far from population centers. When all costs are included (without subsidy), wind and solar electricity tend to be more expensive than fossil-fuel generated electricity. They are especially difficult to rely on in winter. Therefore, many people in Europe are concerned about possibly “freezing in the dark,” as soon as this winter.

There is no possibility of ever transitioning to a system that operates only on intermittent electricity with the population that Europe has today, or that the world has today. Wind turbines and solar panels are built and maintained using fossil fuel energy. Transmission lines cannot be maintained using intermittent electricity alone.

Slide 21
Slide 22

Basically, Europe must use very much less fossil fuel energy, for the long term. Citizens cannot assume that the war with Ukraine will soon be over, and everything will be back to the way it was several years ago. It is much more likely that the freeze-in-the-dark problem will be present every winter, from now on. In fact, European citizens might actually be happier if the climate would warm up a bit.

With this as background, there is a need to figure out how to use less energy without hurting lifestyles too badly. To some extent, changes from the Covid-19 shutdowns can be used, since these indirectly were ways of saving energy. Furthermore, if families can move in together, fewer buildings in total will need to be heated. Cooking can perhaps be done for larger groups at a time, saving on fuel.

If families can home-school their children, this saves both the energy for transportation to school and the energy for heating the school. If families can keep younger children at home, instead of sending them to daycare, this saves energy, as well.

A major issue that I do not point out directly in this presentation is the high energy cost of supporting the elderly in the lifestyles to which they have become accustomed. One issue is the huge amount and cost of healthcare. Another is the cost of separate residences. These costs can be reduced if the elderly can persuaded to move in with family members, as was done in the past. Pension programs worldwide are running into financial difficulty now, with interest rates rising. Countries with large elderly populations are likely to be especially affected.

Slide 23

Besides conserving energy, the other thing people in Europe can do is attempt to understand the dynamics of our current situation. We are in a different world now, with not enough energy of the right kinds to go around.

The dynamics in a world of energy shortages are like those of the musical chairs’ game. We can expect more fighting. We cannot expect that countries that have been on our side in the past will necessarily be on our side in the future. It is more like being in an undeclared war with many participants.

Under ideal circumstances, Europe would be on good terms with energy exporters, even Russia. I suppose at this late date, nothing can be done.

A major issue is that if Europe attempts to hold down fossil fuel prices, the indirect result will be to reduce supply. Oil, natural gas and coal producers will all reduce supply before they will accept a price that they consider too low. Given the dependence of the world economy on energy supplies, especially fossil fuel energy supplies, this will make the situation worse, rather than better.

Wind and solar are not replacements for fossil fuels. They are made with fossil fuels. We don’t have the ability to store up solar energy from summer to winter. Wind is also too undependable, and battery capacity too low, to compensate for need for storage from season to season. Thus, without a growing supply of fossil fuels, it is impossible for today’s economy to continue in its current form.

Standards are key to achieve the SDGs

Standards are key to achieve the SDGs

 

On World Standards Day, Standards are key to achieve the SDGs

Energy, food insecurity, economic uncertainty: our world is tangled in many interlocking crises. The magnitude of these challenges calls on us – institutions, businesses and individuals – to identify solutions to build back better together.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by the United Nations in 2015, offers a way forward. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): they represent a call for action to address social imbalances, develop a sustainable economy, and fight climate change. Each goal of the SDGs – and their corresponding targets – supports a specific dimension of the effort needed and point to a global commitment that is now more relevant than ever.

CEN and CENELEC, as two of the official European Standardization Organizations (ESOs), are aware of the importance to leverage all available tools to achieve the SDGs. We believe that, in this effort, standards can play a key role.

In this spirit, this 14 October, like every year, CEN and CENELEC join the international standardization community in celebrating World Standards Day. This year’s edition, under the motto “Shared visions for a better world”, showcases the many ways in which international standards can contribute to sustainability.

As the recovery from the Covid pandemic shows, voluntary, consensus-based standards facilitate the translation of ambitions into concrete actions: they offer shared and clear rules of behaviour which foster the dissemination of best practices and the circulation of innovations.

As CEN and CENELEC, our commitment to making standardization a lever for sustainable development is twofold. First, in our role as ESOs, our purpose is to strengthen the Single Market. Thanks to the well-functioning public-private partnership recently renewed through the new European Standardization Strategy, CEN and CENELEC support the EU’s initiatives – including the ones linked to the SDGs: the EU Green Deal, the Circular Economy Action Plan, and the EU’s Digital Strategy,  to name only a few.

On the other hand, we understand that, as Europeans, we are part of a bigger global ecosystem. Therefore, our engagement is – primarily – global.  With our strong commitment towards our international partners (ISO and IEC), together with our national members we aim to ensure that Europe leads in the development and application of standardization solutions that respond to global challenges.

Our commitment to sustainable development is reflected in the key place it holds in our CEN and CENELEC Strategy 2030, where as part of its priorities we pledge for “International standardization to be a lever for sustainable development”.  This strategic document will guide our work until 2030. The objective is to ensure we are fit for the future and contribute to building a more sustainable and resilient Europe.

These are not just lofty ambitions. Through the work done by many experts across different Technical Committees (TCs), CEN and CENELEC develop European Standards that contribute to the three pillars of economic, environmental and societal sustainability. Some examples:

  • SDG 5 Gender equality. CEN and CENELEC signed in 2019 the UNECE declaration on Gender Responsive Standards, pledging to adopt a gender-aware approach to standardization, and established an ambitious implementation plan that is reviewed on an annual basis.
  • SDG 6 Clean Water and Sanitation. Two Technical Committees focus on ensuring a safe and steady water supply, TC 230 ‘Water Analysis’ and TC 164 ‘Water Supply’. In particular, CEN/TC 164 developed the EN 15975 series, that ensure the security of water supplies.
  • SDG 7 Affordable and Clean Energy. Many existing standards on energy management can be used as tools to help businesses gradually improve their performance and the energy efficiency of their products. For instance, in the field of Ecodesign and Energy Labelling, 25 CEN and CENELEC TCs produce European Standards on methods for measuring the energy performance of various energy-related products against the values set by the European legislation.
  • Another relevant area for the energy transition is transports. Standards help reduce the amount of energy used in the sector and shift to sustainable fuels. Existing standards cover means of transport (such as railways, with a total of more than 1200 standards on everything from rolling stock to electric circuits in train), tools to monitor emissions in vehicles, or Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) in urban areas. Such standards are often used by manufacturers, public authorities and regulatory bodies to implement their ambitious sustainability plans.
  • SDG 12 Responsible consumption and production. The textile industry is an example of a particularly resource intensive sector. In response, various solutions for circular textile products are emerging, and textiles are a main topic in the EU Circular Economy Action Plan. CEN, through its TC 248 WG 39 ‘Circular Economy for textile products and the textile chain’, is working to develop common rules to avoid green washing and create a level playing field for all producers.
  • SDG 13 Climate action. CEN and CENELEC have adopted a horizontal approach to environmental protection, embedding it across all their actions. Some examples of this approach: the recently inaugurated CEN TC 467 ‘Climate Change’ develops standards to mitigate and adapt to climate change, while CENELEC’s 111x ‘Environment’ focuses on reducing the negative impact of electrical and electronic products on the natural environment.

The ones above are just some examples. Many more exist in other sectors, and their potential to support sustainability plans all across the board is huge.

To provide some evidence on this potential, last May CEN and CENELEC presented a new dedicated webpage: “Standards for the SDGs”. This online tool provides a comprehensive and clear mapping of the standards that contribute significantly to the SDGs in the European context.

At the moment, the website accounts for 4783 deliverables, with more expected to be added in the coming months. The objective of the project is to develop a strategic approach to SDGs leading to the inclusion of sustainability considerations in standardization.

The global challenges we all face are complex and require collective effort. SDGs show the way forward. On World Standards’ Day 2022, and together with many other organizations around Europe and the world, CEN and CENELEC are happy to renew their commitment to leveraging the power of European standards in building a sustainable future for everyone.

 

What Business Leaders Need To Know About Sustainability

What Business Leaders Need To Know About Sustainability

Benjamin Laker, Contributor and Expert in Forbes on 12 October 2022,, according to many, as to bring more fruits home.

 

What Business Leaders Need To Know About Sustainable Technology

As the world progresses, new technologies have the potential to help us move closer to a sustainable future. But what do business leaders need to know about these technologies. After all, they need to make informed decisions about incorporating them into their operations and strategies.

As sustainable technology becomes more prevalent, leaders need to be informed about the options available and how they can be incorporated into their operations. “We need to tie sustainability to economic outcomes and put a dollar value on the high-impact actions a company takes to sustainable solutions”, said Terence Mauri, MIT Entrepreneur Mentor in Residence, in an email. “CEOs and boards must have moral and business imperatives to care about long-term. The opportunity lies in business leaders and investors being able to tie sustainability data directly to economic conditions”.

Mauri believes that companies are beginning to see the importance of sustainable technology and are working to develop more sustainable practices. He may be right. IBM has developed a system to help farmers use less water and fertilizer while maintaining crop yields. Other companies are working on developing sustainable packaging. For example, Nestle Waters North America has developed a paper-based water bottle that is fully recyclable and uses significantly less energy to produce than traditional plastic bottles. Meanwhile, Amazon has pledged to be “net zero carbon” by 2040 and 100% renewable by 2030. And Goldman Sachs has committed to investing $750 billion in sustainable businesses by 2030.

“Many sustainable solutions such as these require investment and may have a higher upfront cost, but they often provide long-term benefits like saved energy costs or improved employee productivity,” said Huda Khan from the University of Aberdeen and Richard Lee from the University of South Australia, in an email. Khan recently conducted research explaining why firms should pursue green technological innovation — it leads to improved environmental outcomes and business performance. This assertion is shared by Nadia Zahoor from the Queen Mary University of London and Zaheer Khan from the University of Aberdeen, who said in an interview that “businesses should consider sustainability as part of a “strategic opportunity” rather than purely from a compliance perspective.” Zahoor’s research findings suggest that business collaborations offer environmental learning conducive to identifying and exploiting ecological threats and opportunities for environmental innovation. Based on a second study, both researchers also contend that sustainability is a complex issue, but it is one that business leaders need to start taking seriously. Here’s how.

 

Account for The Hidden Cost of New Technology

The first step in creating a sustainable development plan for your company is taking stock of where you’re. Measuring your sustainability can come from metrics like carbon footprint, energy consumption, and supply chain miles. “If you want to measure your future sustainability, it’s also essential to look at the impact of new technologies you’re using,” said Emma Collins, the CEO and co-founder of Safetradebinaryoptions, in an email. Many new technologies have hidden costs that are often left out of sustainability calculations. For example, AI is a technology that has created immense value for businesses, whether it’s driving personalized product recommendations or informing anti-money laundering software. However, AI systems need to process an immense amount of data, requiring a company to increase its energy use.

In addition, other technologies that can help companies increase the efficiency and quality of their products, such as blockchain, can harm a carbon footprint. Even technologies created to improve sustainability can have hidden costs. For example, producing solar panels requires substantial water and energy. And although electric vehicles have lower emissions than traditional gas cars, the manufacturing process for batteries can be quite polluting. When considering new technologies, it’s essential to view the product’s entire life cycle, from production to disposal. This will give you a more accurate picture of the sustainability of the technology and help you make better decisions about which technologies to pursue.

 

Use Technology to Increase Your Sustainability

Once you can measure and understand the impact new technologies have on your sustainability goals, you can look for opportunities to use new technologies sustainably. If you’re partnering with other companies to develop energy-heavy technologies like AI or blockchain, look carefully to ensure you’re partnering with companies that prioritize sustainability. For example, Google is developing technology to maximize energy efficiency and reduce waste and has developed an AI system that can predict failures in data centre cooling systems, which account for a significant amount of energy use. And they’re not the only ones — many tech companies are now incorporating sustainability into their product development cycles. In other words, companies cannot simply purchase the latest sustainable technology and expect it to achieve their sustainability goals. Instead, they need to be thoughtful about how they use technology and ensure that it is integrated into their overall sustainability strategy.

Look at the Big Picture

Sustainability is about more than just technology. To be sustainable, companies must look at the big picture and understand how their actions fit into the larger world. Fortunately, there are many ways to do this. One popular method is sustainability reporting, which allows companies to measure and track their progress on specific sustainability goals. This information can help companies decide where to focus their efforts and how to use their resources best.

Sustainability reporting can also help companies tell their sustainability story to the public, which is an integral part of promoting sustainable business practices. After all, if consumers and investors don’t know that a company is working towards sustainability, they won’t be as likely to support its efforts. There are many different types of sustainability reporting, but one of the most popular is the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines. These guidelines provide a framework for companies to report environmental, social, and economic impacts. In addition, many companies use these guidelines to produce annual sustainability reports, which they then make available to the public. The GRI guidelines are just one example of the many resources available to companies that want to improve their sustainability reporting. Several software programs and online tools can also help with this process. No matter what type of sustainability reporting a company chooses to use, the important thing is that they are taking action and working towards their goals.

Ultimately, technology is just one piece of the puzzle regarding sustainability, but it’s essential. Companies can significantly impact the world by using technology to increase efficiency and reduce waste. In this way, technology can be a powerful tool for promoting sustainability on a global scale. And as more and more companies adopt sustainable practices, we will all benefit from a cleaner, healthier planet.

I’m a leadership professor writing expert commentary on global affairs read by more than one million executives and policymakers the world over

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website or some of my other work here.

Populations to fight to preserve the Environment

Populations to fight to preserve the Environment

Local authorities take to heart mobilizing their respective populations to try and engage them in a fight to preserve the Environment.

Populations to fight to preserve the Environment

The above image proposes of illustration of the prevailing background in the MENA is of HRW on Egypt: Rampant Abuses Make for Poor Climate Host

Actions are born here and there, but it is agreed that the battles for cleanliness are episodic and are a concern for hygiene without adhering to them in the preconceived that supposes the vast field of the Environment. This one does not stop at a garbage collection story but culture and etiquette problems.

The subject is a civilizational one. Behaviour is the first clue that reveals the actual profile of human society, and best dismantles its cultural level.

Populations in the MENA region, in their majority, like many other peoples around the world, have only timidly integrated themselves into the debate on global warming and the greenhouse effect.

And that to observe well, they give the impression that they have other cats to whip than to dwell on the now more apparent vicissitudes of the climate.
A multitude of causes is at the origin of this disinterestedness, sometimes giving free rein to the exaggeration of individualism, going so far as to transform living together into a nightmare where no one finds his account.
Concerns, first of all, about the imperative of just sharing familiar places and respect for the neighbourhood in all its forms seem indelible. When the “push off, I am here!” and the irrational settles into the national or local rule, it is futile to address the real problems of the Environment because their realities are all based on the degree of culture of the population. They are also in the colours of the walls, the decibel of the horns, the whispers, or the appearance of vociferations that take the simple and friendly discussions.

There is a beginning to everything. The garbage collection problem is serious, but the environmental field is much broader and more profound than garbage bin management.

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