What have Business and Tech got to do with Environmental Sustainability?

As our Salesforce tech company, Art of Cloud, begins its journey, Earth Day has resonated with us more this year than it has in the past, as it’s got us thinking about the relationship between business and environmental sustainability. It’s also got us thinking about our own company’s responsibilities as we grow.

Earth Day is an annual wake up call

We all know the planet is in a very sped-up process of dying. We’ve woken up, we’re ignoring whatever Trump is saying and we’re now trying our best to ensure the world stays alive and beautiful for our grandchildren.

As individuals we feel like we could make a difference by reducing our personal carbon footprints: we recycle, we ride our bicycles to work, we’re switching to Green Energy, we’re learning the art of garden composting.

But what about business? SMEs to global Blue Chips? What positive impact can a business have towards environmental sustainability? How does technology and the world of tech business relate?

Tesla Factory roof solar panels

Sustainability beyond a company’s carbon footprint

Even if you don’t believe in the power of an individual’s environmental impact, we have to admit the power and impact behind a corporation’s actions, practices, and investment.

Things have moved way beyond a company just offsetting their carbon footprints; many businesses are now actioning positive change, environmentally and socially.

Salesforce, who have committed to become 100% powered by renewable energy, offer a carbon-neutral cloud to their customers and also initiatives like their earthforce team. Their group of earthforce volunteer employees help to create a more sustainable planet by promoting environmental responsibility and by working with local communities.

And this isn’t just in the States:

"Leading UK businesses are also using their scale and influence to become a significant force for good beyond the doors of their own company.
To not only change how they do business, but leverage the impact they have in the market – reaching across their respective supply chains – to take positive action for society."
George Brasher
Managing Director, UK and Ireland, HP

Businesses are taking positive social and environmental action beyond their own energy use and part of this is often the investing in world-altering technology.

Technology that’s changing the world in 2018

We cling to certain planet-damaging practices due to the comparative inefficiency of emerging green technologies.

Investment is key. Efficiency in technology comes from iterating, trying, updating, trying, updating, trying, updating. And this trying, testing can only happen with investment.

Here are a few of the biggest green technologies that have caught our attention:

From their newest Model 3 car and upcoming self-driving semi truck to their solar roof tiles that look just like regular roof tiles, Tesla is definitely one of our favourite tech companies when it comes to sustainable innovation.

Tesla charging port

Drones aren’t just for epic adventure videography; drone technology is a key player when it comes to our declining bee populations and scientists have been rewarded with some promising results.

Drones are also already being used to combat deforestation by monitoring illegal forest clearing and also by being part of the rehabilitative process.:

“Drones are being designed to replant forests destroyed by clear-cutting. The drones work by taking an aerial survey of a territory, creating a seeding plan, hovering to plant seeds on the ground, then monitoring the regrowth of the forest over time.”

A near real-time tool to measure the melting ice caps. SmartICE are the ‘world’s first climate change adaptation tool’ helping scientists track sea-ice thickness and improve safety in on-ice travel and shipping as well as emergency response.

‘Real’ meat, but without the carbon footprint. Lab grown meat has the potential to cut greenhouse emissions by 96 per cent, and it could be available by the end of 2018.

Self driving cars, lab grown meat, electric bees – Technology is wild and its limits are often financial.

And hey, guess what?

Being good to the planet is good for business

Who knew?

Selfishness and profit certainly shouldn’t be the motivation for being philanthropic, but it’s interesting that adopting ethical environmental and social values can put your business in better stead than those who don’t. According to The Guardian:

“Companies that adopted environmental, social and governance policies in the 1990s have outperformed those that didn’t.

As a result, sustainability is now an essential ingredient for a company’s long-term success.”

Wind farm

We guess it makes sense that those businesses that have continually embraced progressive values have blossomed due to the ever-growing movement towards environmental sustainability.

Even if you do want to argue that the planet’s health isn’t your responsibility, it’s definitely in the best interest for your businesses continuing growth for the planet not to disintegrate into environmental disaster.

Time to get those solar panels ordered.

"Companies can be powerful platforms for change."
Suzanne DiBianca
EVP Corporate Relations, Chief Philanthropy Officer, Salesforce