Global e-waste generation to double by 2030

Global e-waste generation to double by 2030

E-waste, electronic waste, e-scrap and end-of-life electronics are as per Geneva Environmental Network, terms often used to describe used electronics that are nearing the end of their useful life and are discarded, donated or given to a recycler. The UN defines e-waste as any discarded products with a battery or plug and features toxic and hazardous substances such as mercury, that can pose severe risk to human and environmental health. So why Global e-waste generation is to double by 2030, raising health alarms?

 


Global e-waste generation to double by 2030 raising health alarms

International organisations and climate advocates have been raising the red flag around e-waste issue forcing businesses and governments to set e-waste policies, standards and recommendations.

Global e-waste generation to double by 2030

Electronic waste or e-waste is a global challenge threatening the health of people and the planet. International organisations and climate advocates have been raising the red flag around this issue forcing businesses and governments to set e-waste policies, standards and recommendations in an effort to improve the situation.

According to the UN, in 2021 each person on the planet will produce on average 7.6 kg of e-waste, meaning that a massive 57.4 million tons will be generated worldwide. As declared by ERI (Electronic Recyclers International), it is expected that worldwide e-waste generation will be at 67 million tons by 2030, which is almost double 2014’s waste.

In the Arab region, the Regional E-waste Monitor for the Arab States 2021 which is the first monitoring effort in the region in relation to e-waste statistics, legislation and e-waste management infrastructure, indicated that e-waste generation in the Arab region increased by 61 per cent from 1.8 Mt (4.9 kg/inh) in 2010 to 2.8 Mt (6.6 kg/inh) in 2019.

In particular, the Middle East and Africa region is facing deep challenges in e-waste management. In fact, the regional e-waste monitor for the Arab states 2021 has stated that “E-waste management in the Arab States region faces a myriad of challenges, prompted by a complete absence of e-waste-specific policies and legislation, which are key to the development of a proper system and an appropriate response.” Many solutions can improve the situation if tackled properly, such as preventing e-waste generation, adopting adequate legislations, raising awareness, improving collection and treatment of e-waste, among others.

As many businesses are already addressing the challenge part of their commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Resource Group, a regional group of companies with diversified businesses covering the Middle East and Africa, is taking serious steps to tackle the e-waste problem starting by raising awareness among its teams to collect and recycle its e-waste.

The Group has recently signed an agreement with Verdetech, for the collection of all solid and e-waste generated by the Group. This initiative falls under Resource Group’s CSR initiatives in line with its objective to support the SDGs.

“The urgency to limit solid waste and particularly e-waste has been on the rise in the world. Therefore, it is important for us to adopt eco-friendly practices at our premises to limit our environmental footprint and specifically contribute to limiting the e-waste in Lebanon and the region”, said Hisham Itani, Chairman and CEO at Resource Group.

He added, “Corporate sustainability is one of our main priorities as we aim to tackle environmental challenges and promote environmental responsibility among our teams and the communities. By partnering with Verdetech, we trust that all our electrical and electronic equipment will be recycled through innovative waste management techniques.”

Stressing on the importance of creating awareness about waste management, Ramzi el Haddad, General Manager said, “Our aim is to support businesses in their efforts towards sustainability and more specifically waste management. In fact, solid and e-waste management is a serious issue that directly affects the environment and our ecosystem. Therefore, as companies play an important role in setting new standards and behaviours, we are putting all our efforts into partnering with businesses to encourage waste prevention and recycling behaviour.”

Read original ITP’s

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Is Your Business Ready for the Programmable World?

Is Your Business Ready for the Programmable World?

Information Week Data Innovation queries if your business is ready for the programmable world. 

The programmable world from writing software codes to running machines to computing efficiently would be on the verge of programming the world. It would be a long-drawn effort, the contours and time unknown, but its direction is apparent.
The typical elements of software will become a part of our day-to-day life, bringing control, customization and automation to the increasingly entangled world around us. The experiences would be under your control. How different would it be from the world we live in today?

Is Your Business Ready for the Programmable World?

The programmable world will be a turning point for businesses and society. Businesses that prepare first will be best positioned to succeed.

Imagine a world where the environment around you is as programmable as software: a world where control, customization, and automation are enmeshed in our surroundings. In this world, people can command their physical environment to meet their own needs, choosing what they see, interact with and experience. Meanwhile, businesses leverage this enhanced programmability to reinvent their operations, subsequently building and delivering new experiences for their customers.

Already, nearly 80% of executives surveyed believe that programming the physical environment will emerge as a competitive differentiation in their industry. An early example of what’s to come in this space is Amazon’s Sidewalk service. For years, Amazon deployed hundreds of millions of Echo, Ring and Tile products in neighborhoods worldwide. Sidewalk creates a Bluetooth network that can extend connectivity up to half a mile beyond Wi-Fi range and lets anyone with compatible devices connect. If your dog escapes, a Tile tracker on its collar could stay connected thanks to Sidewalk bridges from your neighbors’ homes. This approach of connecting existing IoT devices to create instant smart neighborhoods hints at the power that connecting other, even more sophisticated technologies will soon unleash.

Leading enterprises will be at the forefront of the programmable world, tackling everything from innovating the next generation of customizable products and services, to architecting the hyper-personalized and hyper-automated experiences that shape our future world. Organizations that ignore this trend, fatigued from the promise of IoT, will struggle as the world automates around them. This will delay building the infrastructure and technology necessary to tap into this rich opportunity, and many organizations may find themselves playing catchup in a world that has already taken the next step.

Preparing for the Programmable World

To begin building a new generation of products, services, and experiences in the physical world that meet our new expectations for digital conveniences, enterprises will need a deep understanding of three layers that comprise the programmable world:

1. The connected. The connected devices that enable seamless interaction with our surroundings: IoT and wearables today, ambient computing and low latency 5G-based devices tomorrow.

2. The experiential. Digital twins of the physical world that provide real-time insights into environments and operations and which transform peoples’ experiences within them.

3. The material. A new generation of smart, automated manufacturing alongside innovations like programmable matter and smart materials; programmable matter can — as the phrase suggests — be “programmed” to change its physical properties upon direct command or by sensing a predetermined trigger.

Becoming a leader in the programmable world requires wide-ranging experimentation and continuous development across these three layers. Companies that achieve “full stack” programmability will blaze a trail, so it’s important for this journey to start as soon as possible. We recommend that organizations begin addressing the following as a priority:

  • Level up the connected layer. 5G will be a game-changer in terms of speed and low latency, but rollouts are still in early days. This presents an opportunity for organizations to pilot new use cases that leverage 5G capabilities, so that they can hit the ground running when it’s more broadly available.
  • Get involved with industry-wide alliances. Industry alliances will shape the development of new technology standards for the programmable world. Businesses that take part in these alliances will help ensure that the world evolves in a way that benefits their customers. From an interoperability perspective, this could mean participating in ecosystem-wide efforts to set standards for how devices connect and communicate.
  • Bridge the digital and physical worlds. All businesses should now consider building digital twins. Even without the full maturity of the programmable world, these platforms provide significant operational and competitive advantages to companies today. Over time, digital twins will become the engine for every enterprise’s programmable world strategy, letting them invent products, design experiences, and run their businesses in ways that would once have been unimaginable.
  • Innovate in the right areas. Start by looking at where purely digital or purely physical experiences have yet to excel. For instance, apparel shopping comes with major pain points both in person and online (e.g., limited selections and wait times in store vs. difficulty finding the right size/style online). Virtual dressing rooms using AR filters and 3D avatars are a perfect solution, enabling online customers can try on items before they buy. Similarly, physical dressing rooms can be enhanced with improved lighting and interactive screens, so shoppers can get more out of trips to the store.
  • Explore future materials technologies. Partnerships with start-ups and universities are a good way to stay right at the forefront of real-world technology innovation. For instance, a team of researchers at MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms published their work around four new material subunits called voxels. Researchers believe voxels could be programmed into certain combinations to create objects that change and respond to the environment around them – like airplane wings that shapeshift in response to different air conditions — and they believe tiny robots could be used to assemble, disassemble, and reassemble the voxels into a nearly limitless variety of objects.

The programmable world promises to be the most disruptive turning point for business and society in decades. Soon, we will live in environments that can physically transform on command and which can be customized and controlled to an unprecedented degree. With these environments, a new arena for innovation and business competition will be born. Businesses that prepare first, will be best positioned to succeed.

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Architect seeks pro-climate construction transformation

Architect seeks pro-climate construction transformation

Architect seeks pro-climate construction transformation to be generalised throughout the Middle East and North African regions of heavy urbanisation.  

The above image is of Place Pasteur, Beirut

 


French-Lebanese architect seeks pro-climate construction transformation

AFP
Lina Ghotmeh has pegged her career on sustainable construction.

The French-Lebanese architect wants to see her industry transformed by drastically reducing the use of concrete — a major CO2 contributor — using more local materials and reusing existing buildings and materials.

“We need to change our value system,” the 42-year-old told AFP last month.

Architect seeks pro-climate construction transformation

Lina Ghotmeh wants to reduce the use of concrete in building / © AFP

The aim is to reduce the carbon footprint of the construction industry and create buildings that can better resist the impacts of climate change.

But it’s not an easy battle.

The industry accounts for almost 40 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the United Nations.

Ghotmeh, who designed the Estonian National Museum and taught at Yale University, doesn’t advocate for fewer buildings — she knows that’s an unrealistic goal in a world with a growing population.

“That would be like saying ‘stop eating,'” she said.

– ‘Don’t demolish’ –

Instead, we should “keep what already exists, don’t demolish,” but refurbish and retrofit old buildings in a sustainable way where possible.

Building a new detached house consumes 40 times more resources than renovating an existing property, and for a new apartment complex that rises to 80 times more, according to the French Agency for Ecological Transition (Ademe).

Architect seeks pro-climate construction transformation

RTL

Lina Ghotmeh’s ‘Stone Garden’ in Beirut uses traditional building techniques / © AFP/File

And where new constructions are needed, local materials and design should be used in a way that incorporates natural surroundings and saves energy.

Ghotmeh used more than 500,000 bricks made from local dirt for a new Hermes building in France, expected to open early next year.

The bricks also regulate the building’s temperature and reduce energy needs.

The building will produce as much energy as it consumes, by being made energy efficient and using geothermal power.

– ‘Circular thinking’ –

Architects must, early in the project process, “think in a circular way,” Ghotmeh said, choosing reusable organic or natural materials like wood, hemp, linen or stone.

This shouldn’t stymie the design process either, she insists.

“In Canada, we build wooden towers, in Japan too. It’s a material that is quite capable of being used for tall buildings,” added Ghotmeh, who will build a wooden tower in Paris in 2023.

Another key approach is to build lighter, using less material and fewer toxins.

Architect seeks pro-climate construction transformation

RTL

Transforming the concrete jungle / © AFP

And then there’s concrete, the main material in so many modern buildings and perhaps the most challenging to move away from.

“We must drastically reduce the use of concrete”, she said, insisting it should only be used for essential purposes, such as foundations and building in earthquake-prone areas.

Some 14 billion cubic metres of concrete are used every year, according to the Global Cement and Concrete Association.

It emits more CO2 than the aviation industry, largely because of the intense heat required to make it.

Alternatives to concrete already exist, such as stone, or making cement — a component of concrete — from calcium carbonate. There are also pushes for low-carbon cement made from iron and steel industry waste.

– Beirut inspiration –

Building more sustainably often comes with a higher price tag — it costs more to double or triple glaze windows and properly insulate a house — but the long-term payoff is lower energy costs.

For Ghotmeh, it’s an imperative investment in our future.

It was her birthplace of Beirut that inspired her to become an architect, spurring a desire to rebuild the so-called “collapsed city” ravaged by war.

Architect seeks pro-climate construction transformation

RTL

The wall of Ghotmeh’s ‘Stone Garden’ / © AFP/File

In 2020, she completed the “Stone Garden” apartment tower in the city, built with concrete covered with a combed coating, a technique often used by local craftsmen. She used concrete in the construction because of earthquake risks.

The building was strong enough to survive the port explosion in 2020 that destroyed a large part of the city.

And the city continues to inspire her today, even when it comes to climate sustainability.

“Since there is practically only an hour of electricity per day, all the buildings have solar panels now. There is a kind of energy independence which is beginning to take place, by force,” she said.

“Does it take a catastrophe like the one in Lebanon to make this transition?”

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Investment plans within concept of ‘smart’ cities, villages

Investment plans within concept of ‘smart’ cities, villages

The COP27 delivered partial success in an agreement on a fund for those vulnerable countries; however, it still needs to provide an understanding of the most basic requirements for stopping the current climate breakdown. That is mainly to slash the burning of fossil fuels as promptly as possible.  In the meantime, life carries on. Like in the story that follows, it is not building better with less at this conjecture and not about decarbonising all active ingredients but, like Azerbaijan sharing investment plans within the concept of ‘smart’ cities and villages.


Azerbaijan shares investment plans within concept of ‘smart’ cities, villages

The image above is of TRAVEL TRIANGLE

BAKU, Azerbaijan, November 21. Azerbaijan cooperates with the world’s leading companies in the building of ‘smart’ cities and villages, Azerbaijani Minister of Digital Development and Transport Rashad Nabiyev said on November 21 during an international conference on ‘smart’ cities and villages, being held in Baku, Trend reports.

According to Nabiyev, the concepts of ‘smart’ cities and villages contribute to the efficient use of water and other natural resources.

“In the next five years, $2.5 trillion will be invested in these concepts. Azerbaijan has been working in this direction since 2020. Our ministry has studied the experience of leading countries when elaborating on the concepts. Within the framework of the ‘Online Azerbaijan’ concept, large-scale work is being carried out to integrate state systems, switch to ‘cloud’ technologies and other work,” the minister noted.

Besides, Nabiyev noted that the effectiveness of the concept of ‘smart’ cities and villages may differ depending on the region.

“When implementing these projects, we take into account the factor of development of local companies and their localization,” he said.

The minister pointed out that over the past two years, 472,000 households in Azerbaijan have been provided with fiber-optic communication, and by 2024 even the most remote villages will be provided with it.

Speaking about the development of these projects, Nabiyev said that more attention should be paid to ensuring the security of information systems.

“In the next three years, 932 highly qualified specialists in the field of cybersecurity will be trained in Azerbaijan,” he added.

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Is digital trust the key to sustainable planning?

Is digital trust the key to sustainable planning?

Is digital trust the key to sustainable planning? wondered Nicole Bennetts, Senior Urban and Regional Planner in an ARUP blog.  The answer follows.

Is digital trust the key to sustainable planning?

Our growth challenges in cities globally are becoming more complex. Now more than ever, we need new solutions and creativity to help us shape more resilient and sustainable cities in the future.

For the first time in history, we have access to dynamic urban data to understand people’s collective behaviours in real time. If used, this expansive evidence base can help planners, designers, and decision-makers make more informed decisions about the future of our cities.

However, the timing dilemma is an obstacle in harnessing this data. While urban environments typically develop every 50 years, technology moves more rapidly, significantly improving every five years, creating a disparity between urban planning and urban living.

So how does the planning industry keep pace with digital technology to create sustainable outcomes? One way is to improve our relationship with the digital world and put trust and confidence in digital tools and innovative solutions.

Is digital trust the key to sustainable planning?

While urban environments typically develop every 50 years, technology moves more rapidly, significantly improving every five years, creating a disparity between urban planning and urban living.

While urban environments typically develop every 50 years, technology moves more rapidly, significantly improving every five years, creating a disparity between urban planning and urban living.

Why should planners trust data and digital?

Our cities are where urban planning and living come together. They are a super ‘neural network’ of interrelated systems. To create intelligent, responsive cities, urban development must embrace new possibilities using data and the internet of things (IoT).

Technology and data have never been more available. As a result, urban planning has a massive opportunity to unleash its full potential by investing more time and resources into harnessing data and digital planning.

Tools like the ‘digital twin’ are likely to become an indispensable part of future ‘urban infrastructure’, enabling the seamless integration of the ‘physical’ and ‘digital’ worlds and redefining how we plan.

Similarly, digital master planning is a framework to test thousands of options based on various variables and parameters to test failure, resilience, adaptative pathways, optimal living conditions, human health and welling, energy efficiency and more.

The planning industry must adapt to this changing paradigm, by matching the efforts and confidence invested in building the cloud system and IoT coverage, or risk being left behind.

How Arup planners are using the power of digital

Projects worldwide show the value and credibility of digital tools to create growth and provide sustainable outcomes.

Cities urban tree canopy is a critical component of green infrastructure providing comfortable environments and reducing heat. Arup’s leading Urban tree canopy analysis used is a study for the City of Gold Coast, which uses a computer algorithm to determine the percentage of vegetation cover over different time intervals to show canopy changes.

Terrain is Arup’s bespoke artificial intelligence and land use analysis tool. It harnesses the power of data analytics, machine learning and automation to accurately digest large quantities of data and satellite imagery. Using this tool, we calculated seven cities’ sponginess by measuring the green and blue infrastructure areas to understand how cities can better use this infrastructure to face increasing threats from climate change – including heavy rainfall and extreme heat events.

Another Arup tool is the City Algorithm Tool (CAT) which tests hundreds of growth scenarios using different development and community value parameters to determine optimal outcomes for urban living. For example, Smakkelaarsveld in the Netherlands used algorithms to optimise the scheme design against multiple KPIs, including sustainability and environmental objectives.

Similarly, digital master planning can test site and precinct options based on various variables and parameters to test failure, resilience, adaptative pathways and optimal living conditions.

The last example, solar analysis helps test hundreds of layouts and orientations to achieve optimal living conditions and thermal comfort. For example, for Mahindra World City Jaipur, we used solar assessment tools to determine the optimal orientation for the plots and streets to provide thermal comfort in a hot climate.

Small risks, great rewards

Trust in the planning process is the foundation for our cities to take the best path to sustainable growth. Taking small, calculated risks in improving our digital capabilities now can lead to great rewards for our cities.

Is digital trust the key to sustainable planning?

Taking small, calculated risks in improving our digital capabilities now can lead to great rewards for our cities.

  • Speed and efficiency, automating tedious and repetitive tasks and allowing more design and collaboration time.
  • Test 3D scenarios, assessing hundreds or thousands of options during the planning process against agreed parameters or criteria.
  • Facilitate approval process, comparing design scenarios with consented planning schemes and existing site conditions for faster agreement on key issues.
  • Identify client priorities; testing many possibilities can help identify what is most important.
  • Improve participatory design; with more data, we can understand community needs and improve community engagement.

Read more on ARUP post.

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