Monday, December 11, 2023

What Is Sustainable Technology, Exactly?


Sustainable technology has become a lever for progress in companies, both in terms of productivity and sustainability. But what actually is it?

Sustainable technology is here to stay and it is important to have some notions of what it means. Today, the binomial between technology and sustainability is essential.

Sustainable technologies are those that seek not to compromise natural resources in the future. In order to be a sustainable technology, it must reduce the use of natural resources at all stages, from creation to implementation and, finally, in use or recycling. Let’s dive in.

What are sustainable technologies? Definition and examples

There are numerous examples of sustainable technologies. First of all, reference should be made to cloud systems, which save paper and resources. The second paradigmatic example is Artificial Intelligence (AI), also in the sense of reducing steps. In addition, reference should be made to Business Intelligence as a technology that helps to improve. Virtual reality can also play an important role. Finally, 5G networks, which are here to stay, are an example of sustainable technology.

solar panels
Solar energy. | Courtesy Moritz Kindler

On a more material level, we can refer to photovoltaic or wind power installations. Biomass boilers would also achieve this goal. In recent years, hydrogen engines have become widespread as an alternative. In addition, electric cars have become a commonly used option.

Ultimately, it should be noted that sustainable technologies can be non-material or material. For that reason, there are several aspects to keep in mind in their implementation.

What are the advantages of sustainable technology?

The advantages of sustainable technologies are diverse and are so for society as a whole. Indeed, their implementation brings several improvements of interest. Let us refer to the most important ones:

Optimal use of resources

The basic premise of doing more with less is achieved thanks to sustainable technologies. Thus, the idea is to achieve the same or better results using less energy. This, in contexts of need or climate change, is a very important value. Therefore, it is not surprising that these technologies are at the top of the agenda.

Poverty reduction

Poverty reduction is another of the consequences of implementing this technology. It should be borne in mind that, as more natural resources are available, it is easier to make a fair and equitable distribution. If access to these technologies is democratic, poverty will be reduced, and opportunities will increase.

Reducing inequalities

The reduction of inequalities is another aspect that can be achieved with good use of these technologies. In this case, what is needed is equal or, at the very least, democratized access to these technologies. For example, widespread distribution of 5G can serve to make Internet access more affordable and accessible.

BMW factory
BMW factory | Courtesy

Creating more jobs

Sustainable technologies occupy an important niche market and require skilled workers. They, therefore, also create new jobs. This is an aspect to be noted in reference to the possibilities they offer. In recent years, the demand for professionals in relation to technological careers has multiplied.

It favors the circular economy

Paradoxically, and although the use of technologies may be global, they favor the circular economy. Not surprisingly, it is easier to work without needing distant inputs, and, in addition, it is possible to work in a network from a single point. Therefore, it can be a good ally for this new paradigm of economic growth.

Improving access to information and education

Sustainable technologies are also a possibility for improving access to information and education. Their low cost and their projection for all audiences can facilitate knowledge.

This is one of the premises of today’s society. Consequently, it is worth bearing it in mind. Training via videoconferencing, for example, is now commonplace, and the development of 5G networks is stimulating it. The work of paper writing services, for example, would not be possible without this kind of technology.

How does technology help sustainable development?

Technology can help sustainable development in a number of ways. And this is widespread in several areas of activity. The following are the most important:

Conservation of natural resources.

Technologies can help in the conservation of natural resources. The fact is that today, one of the conditions required of a technological improvement is that it must be sustainable. It must be taken into account that if fewer resources are needed, they will be better conserved. Therefore, this is a practical example of help.

offshore wind
Photo courtesy Nicholas Doherty


Technologies can help recycling and do so in a number of ways. For example, if new items are designed from components that can be recycled. This will ultimately serve to achieve optimal use of resources. Clearly, in the case of reusing materials, less will be needed.

Improving energy efficiency

Improving energy efficiency can be achieved in several ways through technology:

  • By using sustainable automatic on/off technologies.
  • Thanks to the Internet, by continuously monitoring the actual situation and optimizing consumption.
  • By using devices that generate less energy consumption.

Reducing emissions

Emissions reduction is another aspect that can be achieved thanks to new technologies. Nowadays, as the aim is to achieve more with fewer resources, the environmental impact is reduced and, with it, the emission of polluting gases. Consequently, this is one of the objective indicators of the extent to which technology helps sustainable development.

Related on Ethos:


Want an Electric Car But Not a Tesla? 14 Luxury Car Brands With EVs

Aiming to reduce your carbon footprint? Buying an electric vehicle is one of the best ways to make this happen. Here's what to know about buying an electric car from a luxury automaker.

Kurt Strand’s ‘Silence’ Marks a New Era for Superyachts: Sailing On An 8-Hour Battery, No Sails Needed

Renowned yacht designer Kurt Strand has introduced "Silence," a 77-meter hybrid superyacht that can run on battery power for eight hours.

The 10 Greatest Environmentalists of the Last 50 Years

Studying ecology or the environment? These are the greatest environmentalists of the last 50 years that every college student needs to know about.

Energy Efficiency In New Build Homes Is Fueling a New Green Revolution

More than ever, new homes are being built with the environment and energy efficiency in mind. And that means modern design, great insulation and new technology that makes the whole process easier.

The Benefits of Plug-In Hybrid Cars: How Environmentally Friendly Are They?

Looking into plug-in hybrid cars? There are benefits even if they're not as environmentally friendly as EVs.