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What is sustainability, how can tech help?

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What is sustainability and how does technology help

In 2015, the United Nations General Assembly published an ambitious set of global goals now known as the UN SDGs, the Sustainable Development Goals.

These 17 goals, along with the aspirational achievement date of 2030, are designed to be broad reaching, interdependent and easily understood, each with a list of targets which allow progress to be monitored.

Since 2015 many organisations of all sorts and all sizes have been trying to align their strategies, goals and activities to one or more of these high level goals. The intent – create a brighter, more sustainable future for everyone that calls planet Earth their home.

what is sustainability - sustainability goals and technology However, despite the very public campaigns, the ceaseless and noble work of various institutions, organisations and individuals, from Greenpeace, WEF and Greta Thurnberg, there are still pieces of the puzzle that remain stubbornly difficult to piece together. Two biggies are data and money.

Micro Plastics Detection

A new device could provide realtime data about micro-plastics in oceans and waterways. Read more below:

what is sustainability - technology for measuring micro plastics in realtime

New device could measure micro plastics in realtime – read more.

Data

As they say, what gets measured gets done, yet some of the things that need to be measured to track and guide progress towards the SDGs are often hazardous, or technically and/or political difficult. Therefore, one of the biggest challenges that is common across many of the goals is building the tools, infrastructure and support to measure and report progress.

For example, micro plastics are incredibly difficult to measure in the wild, and have a massive consequence to goal 14, Life Below Water as well as others including Life On Land, Climate Action, Responsible Consumption and Productions, and others.

Due to the urgent need and significant opportunity, a plethora of start-ups and established companies are racing toward finding solutions to being able to reliably, safely, securely and consistently gather the metrics and data needed to support the SDGs. Technologies like Internet of Things, 5G, Blockchain, and Crypto Currencies stand to provide some of the answers we need here.

Read the posts below to learn more about the companies I’ve spoken to on this topic.

Money

Although wealth, and its distribution, is an intrinsic and fundamental part of many of the 17 SDGs, from “No Poverty” at number 1 all the way through to number 17, “Partnerships for the Goals”, many, if not most of the corporations, institutions, organisations and companies on the planet still raise, generate and distribute wealth based on criteria more aligned to financial performance, rather than sustainability development.

Don’t get me wrong, many organisations have made great strides to either pivot their businesses towards the SDGs (including some I’ve been proud to work for), or like the companies I mention below, have even been created with the SDGs as their foundation. Fundamentally, though, the flow of money into some of the largest companies still seems to be driven by measurements and metrics which are only loosely aligned with the SDGs.

Continue reading the article below to find out more about companies I have spoken to on this topic.

Technology Companies helping drive a sustainable future.

Below you will find more articles that help explain what sustainability is and how technology is helping create a more sustainable future for all of us.

Browse these articles to learn more

  • circular economy sustainability environment
    Read More
    The Circular Economy
  • sustainability technology data fintech financial index foxberry
    Read More
    Incentivising sustainability through finance
  • sustainable technology companies
    Read More
    Top 5 Sustainable Technology Companies to Watch

 

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