The latest research shows that global temperatures are continuing to fluctuate, with the many predicting that by the end of the century, the base temperature will have risen between two and six degrees Celsius. The models show that such a rise could mean disaster for the planet, with countries and citizens around the world left facing extreme weather, crop failures, intense droughts, and abnormally high sea levels. The apparent imminent danger facing the globe has many companies, governments, and activists pushing hard for sustainable practices and eco-friendly industrial operations. The technology sector is setting an example for other industries, with the following companies doing their best to drive eco-innovation.
As one of the leading manufactures of electronic devices, this company understands the vast number of its products that end up in landfills. When such devices are thrown away, it not only adds additional waste to the environment, but it also removes many valuable materials from circulation. Smartphones, as well as other tech, contain metals and minerals that can be recycled and reused back in the production of new tech. Samsung has made landfill and waste diversion a priority, and they have recycled around 6.2 billion pounds of electronics from around the world. The ecoATM team supports these efforts in their own way. What is ecoATM? It’s a recycling program for old smartphones and devices, but one that pays you cash to turn on your old devices. Though the recycling efforts are strong, Samsung has also improved its product sustainability and has earned the highest honor from the ENERGY STAR awards six times.
The notable commitment and achievement of this company was the pledge to power their cloud services and facilities by 100% renewable energy. Autodesk creates software that can animate movies, develop building plans, and store massive amounts of data. All these services required severe energy uses, but the change to renewable sources has reduced the harm to the environment. This group has also been working with the Volkswagen Group to create a new take on the classic VW bus, but which will be an electric-infused work of innovation. In 2019, Autodesk had their 10th year of sustainability reporting, and investors, employees, consumers, and the general public were all impressed by their transparency and results.
Sustainability continues to be a hot topic in industries beyond just the products produced and the nature of the operations. Remediation and health and safety are two of the areas that are getting increased attention. Intel is exploring this aspect through the EHS compliance assurance program and a serious approach to comprehensive safety training. Not only is the company making strides in lowering their recordable accident incident rates, but they are also working on their water consumption. Water is vital to the health and safety of everyone around the globe, with many individuals not having access to clean drinking water that they need. Intel is making efforts to reduce their water use on a per-unit basis, but they have also invested over $237 million into facility-based water conservation projects.
This tech giant had laid out a plan several years ago for their environmental, health and safety, and social sustainability goals. As os 2019, they are well on their way to achieving all of them. They have been able to incorporate over 100 million pounds of recycled plastic and other materials into their products, reduce wastewater discharge from their manufacturing processes by 4.56 million cubic meters, and the organization has given over 5 million hours of service to communities around the globe. Their goals include empowering the local and global communities to practice sustainability, using their Progress Made Real platform as a way to see this happen.
These tech companies are having a positive impact on the earth. Through their leadership, other companies and industries will find new ways to increase their own sustainability.