Many types of human activities negatively affect the environment. It affects how we live today and will also affect the lives of future generations if nothing is changed. Of course, it is impossible to stop production once and for all. Still, to reduce this impact, there is a concept of sustainability that can be applied in all areas of activity, including business.
The concept of sustainability implies a conscious use of resources, taking into account the needs of future generations. This concept is based on three aspects: economic, environmental, and social. Companies that support sustainability express this through investment in renewable energies, financial support to sustainable development organizations, and most importantly, these companies are reducing production waste.
If the company has chosen the sustainability concept, all business decisions should be directed to the long-term impact on the environment, not only to the financial enrichment. For example, emission reduction goals and calculations become part of business planning. Also, many companies are gradually switching to the zero-waste packaging of their products.
In energy production, sustainability transposes into a shift from exploration for energy production to solar, hydro, or wind energy. Focusing on short-term profits and causing long-term damage caused massive discontent, and resilience emerged in response. However, despite the potentially positive impact on the planet, not all companies strive to be driven by sustainability as quickly as possible. A business that has committed to sustainability cannot always count on big profits shortly.
Sustainable Farming Innovations & Methods
The demand for food is increasing along with the human population of the Earth. To feed all of us, farmers must increase the speed and quantity of products produced, which ultimately leads to the expansion of agricultural land at the expense of nature. Locating agricultural land in inhabitable locations leads to the destruction of thousands of species and the production of greenhouse gases. This is where precision irrigation and other sustainable farming practices come to the rescue.
For agriculture, environmental sustainability manifests itself in maintaining soil health and making the most efficient use of resources such as water. Concerning food sustainability, this concept includes growing food at a healthy pace, taking into account population growth, and limiting negative impacts on the environment. Food grown using sustainable methods is safe for both the consumer and the land itself. Today, there are various innovative methods of sustainable farming.
Vertical farming systems are one such innovative sustainable farming method. This method involves growing different crops side by side in an upright position. It is an urban solution for growing vegetables and herbs using indoor spaces. Furthermore, it is a great option to save space.
In vertical systems, three methods can be distinguished: hydroponics, aeroponics, and aquaponics. The hydroponics method involves growing various herbs and other plants in a particular solution without using soil. Aeroponics was invented by NASA while searching for an efficient way to grow plants in space. Aquaponics is a method that involves the co-cultivation of plants and fish. Thus, a closed ecosystem is created in which both components benefit each other.
The search for new light sources for various purposes is more relevant today than ever. Danish scientists recently found such a source in the ocean. The concept of using genes from bioluminescent algae as sources of urban lighting is far from being implemented, but it is a great idea. After all, in this way, you can get a natural renewable illuminator, which only needs sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water to work.
Hydrogen has the potential to be the cleanest fuel source. Today, it gives way to other renewable energy sources as it is difficult and expensive to store and mine. Despite this, research continues, and new ways to use hydrogen are emerging as a fuel source that does not negatively impact the environment since there are no emissions from it. Hydrogen can also work as fuel for internal combustion engines or a stationary energy-storage product.
Many AI innovations can be used to manage climate change and the environment. This list includes precision farming, weather, and disaster detection, environmental monitoring, and more. According to PwC UK researchers, the use of AI technologies in environmental applications will bring the global economy $ 5.2 trillion in 10 years. At the same time, the use of AI levers will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 4%, which is equal to the total emissions of Australia, Japan, and Canada.
In addition to increasing profits and potential environmental improvements, this area also offers the global economy new jobs.
Waste Management with 3D Printing
3D printing is still a young technology that is not widely used. However, it has already distinguished its advantages over traditional production. The 3D printed product consists of thermoplastics made of polylactic acid.
It is an eco-friendly corn material made from sugar. As a result, additive manufacturing is almost zero-waste since the future item is not adjusted to the workpiece but is formed in layers. Besides, thermoplastics are excellent for remelting and recycling.
Why not turn the fog into drinking water? It is a good idea that Aqualonis has brought to life. Their creation, called Cloud Fisher, enables mountain area inhabitants to obtain safe water for drinking and irrigation on farms or forestry needs.
The system itself includes a durable three-dimensional mesh that is not damaged by strong winds and retains water. The size of Cloud Fisher can vary depending on the community’s needs for which the water is being retrieved.
The production of standard concrete from a mixture of crushed stone, sand, cement, and various additives is hazardous to the atmosphere. In addition, different fuel-powered devices are used to produce concrete on an industrial scale. As a result, a tremendous amount of smoke and ash is thrown into the air, subsequently scattered and deposited. Thus, the damage is done to plants, soil, and people.
At the University of the Philippines, engineering students have developed the form of a new eco-concrete. This component is based on recycled materials such as waste glass and fly ash. Also, the students collected common types of rock around the university and used them to manufacture alternative concrete.