How is technology revolutionising sustainability? As we move through 2024, the tech sector is expected to play a specific and transformative role in environmental sustainability, reports Global Spec. This shift is driven not just by a commitment to combat climate change but also by impending government regulations.
One of the key areas is the adoption of microgrids. According to Eric Halvorson of DigiKey, “With manufacturing being such a big area of power consumption, there is a lot of opportunity to generate power, store and use it within one system.” Microgrids can power everything from electric vehicle (EV) charging stations to LED lighting, reducing dependency on aging power grids.
Telecom companies are also contributing to this shift. Deloitte predicts that in 2024, these companies will seek to grow their business while reducing their carbon footprint. This includes transitioning from copper to fiber optics, phasing out 3G networks, and adopting lower power 5G infrastructure, resulting in an anticipated 2% reduction in their carbon footprint.
In the semiconductor industry, companies are striving to reduce resource intensity despite the growing demand for energy and water. The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) notes a projected 5% growth in the sector this decade, driven by expanding applications. Eco-efficient manufacturing facilities and new, less resource-intensive technologies are key to achieving this reduction.
Agricultural technology (AgTech) is another area set for significant growth, projected to reach $18 billion in 2024. These innovations will address both food security and environmental sustainability.
A notable collaboration between Siemens AG and Intel focuses on sustainability in microelectronics manufacturing. This partnership will explore energy management optimisation and carbon footprint reduction across the value chain, leveraging digital twins and other technologies.
Finally, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is set to play a transformative role. Gartner’s Chris Howard emphasises, “AI’s predictive capabilities combined with its training and learning potential could allow for threats to systems being alerted quickly.” This includes optimising resource use and improving energy efficiency in data centres and other IT sectors.
2024 is poised to be a landmark year for sustainability in the tech industry, with companies increasingly collaborating to make the electronics supply chain greener and more efficient.
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