Consumer Tech Goes Green

Overview The fast-growing technology sector continues to innovate and propel sustainability forward. As the use of tech products and services grows, so have greener, environmentally friendly designs and concepts.

Technology companies around the world are making strides to address environmental challenges including pollution, rising sea levels and the increasing effects of climate change. These large-scale issues require long-term solutions.

At the same time, innovators are developing cost-effective solutions to local and smaller-scale sustainability challenges, enabled by advancements in technology. Such solutions could be seen in breakthroughs from entrepreneurs like the CES® Eureka Park™ Climate Change Innovators.

“[The tech industry knows] our role as innovators, designers, inventors, engineers, chemists and data analysts is critical in ensuring our planet’s ability to thrive and support a growing population,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® in CTA’s 2019 Sustainability Report. “And it’s one we take seriously.”

The progress the tech ecosystem has made in sustainability in the past two years alone is undeniable.

Greener Gadgets for Good

With further advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), big data analytics and supplier collaborations, tech products have become the lightest and most efficient they have ever been. From the design phase, engineers and product developers consider material capabilities with performance and sustainability in mind. For example, Canon introduced a new process through which used toner cartridges are crushed and the materials are automatically separated for recycling.

Even packaging offers opportunities for environmental improvements. With 8 million tons of plastic ending up in our oceans every year, identifying new packaging solutions is a priority for many manufacturers.

Engineers and chemists are coming together to balance usability with safety and sustainability. The creation of safer substances, such as the cadmium-free Quantum Dot technology featured in Samsung’s QLED television line, allows tech companies to be energy efficient and eco-minded without sacrificing quality and performance.

Forming Sustainable Habits

Technology is also playing a unique role in helping society take the necessary actions to shift behaviors into more sustainable lifestyles.

Smart city technologies have successfully helped address issues such as congestion and traffic management, parking optimization, pedestrian safety and homelessness. As the urbanization of the population continues, cities are increasing plans to create communities that are more connected, more resilient and more sustainable.

Car companies are promoting electric transportation, with charging stations across the country, and the utilities sector is also making moves, with technologies like a scent-recognition platform to detect and prevent harmful leaks of toxins into the environment.

More personal solutions such as ridesharing or adopting the use of smart home products have also changed the green lifestyle landscape.

As disruptive innovations in artificial intelligence, cloud computing and more become more sophisticated, environmental issues such as clean water availability and efficient electricity usage will soon see a variety of new solutions put in place to champion a greener future.

Learn more about the other sustainable tech and sustainable society solutions, including how CES® goes green every year, in the full CTA 2019 Sustainability Report.

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