Global warming is one of the greatest threats to humankind and 2021 must be a turning point. Tech companies seem to be in a unique position to lead the way as they are well-funded, staffed with smart people, and at the forefront of innovation. Here are three ways they can make a difference in the fight against climate change
Fostering innovative solutions
Tech can drive research and development of solutions to mitigate the impact of climate change. Companies like Microsoft and Google are already investing in promising technologies that could reduce our environmental footprint, such as artificial intelligence and machining learning that could help to optimise energy consumption, reduce emissions and predict natural disasters. New devices are able to capture and store CO2 from the air and better energy storage to bring 24/7 clean energy close to reality.
Leading by example
Tech giants can lead by example so that other organisations will follow suit. To some extent, they are already doing so. Apple, Google, Amazon and Microsoft have all publicly pledged to shrink their climate footprints and are directly encouraging other firms to emulate this. Apple has provided detail on its approach with a roadmap for other companies. Google will soon disclose how it reduced energy usage in its data centres by 40% so that other operators can do the same and achieve the same results.
Nudging the value chain
Having ambitious targets to reduce emissions is definitely a first step, but tech titans should aim for more, by extending their efforts to the whole supply chain and committing to becoming 100% circular in their energy usage. By exploiting their market power, they can push device manufacturers to decrease factory emissions, use recycled materials and switch to cleaner energy. Apple, for example, is now compelling its suppliers to increasingly use wind, solar and hydroelectric power in their plants.