Can Technology Contribute to A Sustainable Future?

It is difficult to think about the future when the present is so overbearing with almost a global lockdown, talks of recession and many lives at stake. Looking into the future when COVID19 is no longer a threat and the world is slowing easing back into a normal routine – we will all look at our planet in a different light.

Monitoring – Drones, Sensors, Satellites etc

Electronics allow us to monitor global warming changes such as rising sea levels, global temperature changes and greenhouse gas levels. With the advanced technology we have nowadays, it is easy to access environmental data and see the impacts we are causing on the planet’s wellbeing. In today’s day and age, we can predict and monitor abnormal weather patterns and temperatures. For example, using the most advanced technology, NASA were able to discover that the oceans have absorbed much of this increased heat, with the top 700 meters (about 2,300 feet) of ocean showing warming of more than 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969. Along with this, the advanced electronics which NASA have created provides us with the data that the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have decreased in mass. Data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment show Greenland lost an average of 286 billion tons of ice per year between 1993 and 2016. Without the advanced technology we have, we probably would not know of the damage we have already caused to the environment and nothing would be done to prevent anymore destruction.

Another source of technology which allows us to monitor the earth’s movements would be drones. Electronic devices such as drones help monitor forest health and illegal logging. It is so important to protect the world’s forests to ensure healthy habitats for wildlife and clean air / water. The forests of the world produce clean air and consume harmful gasses such as CO2. According to growing air foundation, the amount of oxygen produced by an acre of trees per year equals the amount consumed by 18 people annually. One tree produces nearly 260 pounds of oxygen each year. Drones are partially reliable for detecting abnormal activities such as fires.

Automotive Industry – Electric Vehicles, Driverless Cars etc

The automotive industry has developed heaps and bounds since it was first properly introduced in the late 1800’s. Electric cars are better for the environment as they produce less greenhouse gasses and air pollutants. Electric cars require no petrol or diesel which means no harmful pollutants are releases into the atmosphere. Vehicles that run on petrol or diesel will produce gases such as particulates (soot), volatile organic compounds, hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide. Alternatively, electric cars run on electricity (hence the name!). Connected vehicles (driverless cars) can also contribute to a greener planet. Technology that connected cars inhibit could result in less fuel consumption along with lower emissions released due to AI connecting with roadside infrastructure such as traffic lights and road congestion. The lower fuel consumption would result in fuel savings. The environment is such a huge topic nowadays, especially with emissions being a huge part of the global warming impact.

Sustainable Movement – Solar Panels, Tidal Power etc

Solar panels create renewable power from the light which is given off from the sun. Solar panels are an alternative to burning fossil fuels such as coal. Overall, solar panels are an efficient and clean way to create power without harming the environment or producing greenhouse gases. However, the downsides of solar panels are that they may need to be installed on large masses of land which could result in habitat loss. Along with this, solar panels are made from hazardous materials within the manufacturing process. Another source of sustainable technology would be tidal power. Tidal power is the form of hydropower that coverts the energy into forms of power. The energy is obtained by the tide’s movement. Tidal currents are highly predictable are therefor is a long-lasting source of renewable energy.

Social Media Influences – Awareness Campaigns, Social Influence etc

Social media is a huge part of our everyday lives. But how does it contribute to a sustainable future? Social media channels such as Instagram and twitter allows members to influence shifts within the environmental sector. Social media channels can be used as places to connect with people and promote environmental issues such as moving away from fossil fuel dependence. Role models such as celebrities and high-status individuals can influence users on their opinions and beliefs within the environmental sector. Social influence is a huge marketing strategy for many industries such as the fashion sector, tourism industry and the fitness region.


There are many challenges that come with sustainability when technology is involved. One example would be the excessive power consumption that is used on the gadgets along with manufacturing the product itself. Not only this, technology can produce more waste rather than decreasing it. With the latest gadgets coming out regularly, it is often the case that people will replace their old products with the newer versions – causing more waste.

By Amy Leary, Marketing Manager at

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