Can the power of digital be the solution for climate crisis?

  • Share this:

A virtual fashion show by The Fabricant

Previously published on SEVETYFOUR.

We are experiencing wide-awake times of climate emergency, reaching top priority agenda across all key sectors of the global economy. Seeing more and more examples of impact strategies, climate-focused investments, and purpose-led communication delivered by big players of the capitalist system, I found myself with a pressing question in my head:

Is this (so-called transformation) really happening, or are we fooling ourselves?

So, I’ve spent some significant time to examine the latest reports and translating data, and here is the summary:

The numbers cannot lie (or greenwash); we are far from being successful. And even more dangerously, we are creating a brand new marketplace for the freshest selling territory: sustainability! The current understanding and practices around Net-Zero targets are not enough to balance the impact and speed of consumerism. What we need is not only a change-making approach but more of a disruptive strategy to maintain an exponential climate action.

Passing through the fourth industrial revolution, there is no better time to employ digital solutions and engage with the science of data at a deeper level for a more efficient and ultimately sustainable business performance. The new world of the digital era, particularly 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence (AI) has the power to take the pace of transformation to the next level. While digitalization disrupts all parts of the global economy in the next decade, we need to explore ways to utilize it for creating positive impact.

There is no doubt that the digital technology sector is probably the world’s most powerful influencer to accelerate action to keep temperatures below 2°C, as shared on the recently launched Exponential Climate Action Roadmap report, which explores how the Carbon Law can be implemented. The digital sector is already well on track to reduce its own emissions, which represents 1.4% of the global total, and it has the opportunity to cut global emissions in half by 2030 while driving exponential growth in data performance. The digital sector can also take a strong lead in accelerating demand for 100% renewable energy. When you consider that 80% of all carbon emissions are due to energy consumption, and 60% of the way we manage energy is inefficient, the scale of changing the ways we create, manage and use energy to reach Net Zero is significant.

Digital solutions have the potential to reduce carbon footprint through optimizations in energy and resource use besides the new design and manufacturing systems. The essential partner of sustainability is efficiency, and it can finally be fairly recognized with the influence of digital solutions. In 2020, amid the global pandemic, we all witnessed how quickly businesses have accelerated digital transformation to provide resilience. This year and beyond, the digital journey will be critical to delivering much-needed efficiencies while simultaneously helping to dramatically reduce our impact on the planet and ultimately halting climate change.