What Is Green Technology?
Green technology defines the development, manufacture and disposal of solutions according to their impact on terrestrial ecosystems . It encompasses products with aggregated technology and processes, such as the dynamics that make up the Information Technology (IT) area. In this article we will provide you the examples of green technology.
So much so that the main movement that has given visibility to this field is called TI Verde .
Also known as Green IT, the mobilization aims to reduce the environmental impact through the manufacture and consumption of technological resources.
Therefore, it is necessary to raise awareness of governments, organizations and individuals, so that they perceive the adverse effects of consumerism and low energy efficiency processes, resulting in a change in their behavior.
One of the indicators used to measure these effects is Earth Overshoot Day, the date when humanity depletes the planet’s biocapacity .
For decades, our habits have surpassed the capacity of ecosystems to generate biological materials and absorb the waste accumulated daily.
In 2019, Earth Overshoot Day was July 31.
In 2020, the pandemic and social isolation triggered by the coronavirus reduced CO2 emissions by almost 15%, delaying the date to August 22.
Even so, the Global Footprint Network (GFN), responsible for measurements, warns that our practices already demand 60% more resources than those generated by the planet, which has a finite capacity.
Therefore, it is up to every human being to rethink their way of consumption, adhering, for example, to the circular economy to increase the useful life of products through reuse, transformation and recycling.
The industry is responsible for adapting the production dynamics, preferring materials and techniques with less environmental impact , with the use of clean and renewable energy sources.
It is also necessary to invest more in innovation to create processes that increase efficiency and are less dependent on natural resources .
How Did Green Technology Come About?
The concept emerged in the last decades of the 20th century, on the wave of green movements and environmental awareness .
Until the 1970s, the Earth’s biocapacity was sufficient to meet the demand for resources and decomposition of discarded materials by humanity.
However, the increase in the quantity of purchased inputs and the incentive to consumerism led to the acceleration of processes harmful to the environment , extinction of species of flora and fauna and an increase in carbon emissions .
The use of fossil fuels to generate electricity, for example, releases tons of CO2 into the atmosphere annually, increasing the greenhouse effect and causing global warming , potentiated by dynamics such as deforestation .
The incorrect disposal of waste pollutes rivers, soil and the atmosphere, compromising a large part of natural resources.
However, these destructive habits only began to receive attention around the 1980s, when experts highlighted the possibility of natural resources being depleted .
Human actions such as unbridled consumption aimed only at profit and comfort were identified as the main causes of environmental degradation , requiring urgent measures.
At the same time, the first personal computers began to be sold to the user, which sparked initiatives in the IT industry regarding its impact on the planet.
Hence the commitment of companies and institutions in favor of the activities carried out, considering their socio-environmental impacts .
3 Types Of Green Technology
According to scholars on the subject, there are three types or practices of Green IT, classified according to the level of depth in their implementation.
Next, we comment on each of them.
1-Green IT Tactical Augmentation
It corresponds to the most superficial level, adopted as a starting point for the promotion of an ecologically correct mentality.
One of the main measures of tactical increment occurs with the reduction of consumption – and expenses – with electric energy.
2-Strategic Green IT
It includes practices related to the management of the company, starting from a diagnosis to correct deviations such as the waste of raw materials and office supplies.
Once this survey is completed, leaders and the IT department can think of solutions for each process carried out, for example, storing documents in the cloud to avoid printing on paper .
It may include innovations in the dynamics of manufacturing inputs within the company.
3-Green IT In The Background
As the name suggests, it provides transformations in the structure, facilities and methods used daily by the company.
Through the combination of Tactical Increment IT and Strategic IT, Deep Green IT maximizes performance , requiring lower expenditures, for example, with the acquisition of more efficient lighting systems.
4 Examples Of Green Technology
Follow some examples below.
We mentioned above that there are projects and certifications aimed at the civil construction sector, which has the potential to start a revolution towards the use of sustainable materials.
These changes result in a green architecture, which replaces raw materials and traditional processes to offer ecologically correct housing, without leaving comfort and practicality aside.
Modern, these houses are already born with panels for capturing solar energy , mechanisms for taking advantage of rainwater for cleaning and other intelligent systems that optimize the collection and use of resources.
Another common aspect of sustainable architecture is the greater resilience of buildings , designed to withstand disasters and natural phenomena such as earthquakes.
2-Solar Energy Technology
Abundant in countries, sunlight can be converted into electrical and thermal energy, through the installation of panels with photovoltaic cells in homes and businesses.
Equipped with semiconductor materials, such as silicon, the plates capture sunlight, stirring electrons and taking them to an electric field, which allows the generation of electricity.
Among the advantages of using this technology are the replacement of fossil fuels and the reduction in the electricity bill provided by concessionaires.
They are forged from techniques that employ organisms, such as bacteria, fungi and viruses , to control pests that damage crops.
Unlike traditional insecticides, with chemical substances, biological ones do not harm other living beings, only the insects they fight.
Therefore, they are an interesting solution to banish pesticides and their adverse effects on human health and other species.
Bioinsecticides are still new, however, institutions such as Embrapa have developed promising solutions, such as the item based on Bacillus thuringiensis, which fights 5 types of insects, helping to preserve cotton , corn and soybean crops.
According to the organization’s record , its formula proved to be 15% more effective than the commercial reference product.
4-Electric And Hybrid Cars
In addition to biofuels , an alternative to reduce pollution and CO2 emissions into the atmosphere is to switch from combustion engines to electric ones.
They have been gaining ground in several nations, but at prices that are inaccessible to most users.
In order to solve this issue, automakers have created hybrid models , which accept electricity or gasoline and cost less for the end consumer.
An example is Volvo, which plans to adapt its entire fleet by 2022, producing only electric or hybrid models.
Currently, brands such as BMW and Toyota already sell hybrid models in the national territory.
Green Technology: Advantages And Disadvantages
In the topics above, we mentioned some of the advantages of investing in green technology, covering economic, social and environmental aspects.
Below, we list the most obvious benefits:
- Greater efficiency in organizational processes
- Savings in financial , material and human resources , including reduction in electricity bills
- Increased competitiveness for companies, as consumers value actions to reduce environmental impact
- Conservation of nature , species of flora and fauna
- Reduction in emissions of carbon and other greenhouse gases (GHGs), which contribute to global warming
- Less pollution of rivers, soils and water , increasing the availability of these resources
- Decreased generation of waste and disposal of electronic waste in landfills, where materials do not receive any treatment and can pollute the soil and groundwater
- Reduction of dependence on fossil fuels , from energy production with sustainable energy sources .
Despite the positive points, the use of green technology also has its disadvantages, for example:
- Lack of options to efficiently replace materials and store clean energy
- Higher price of some raw materials when compared to non-sustainable items
- Need to renew the structure and systems to adopt Deep Green IT
- Re-adaptation of routine processes to the virtual environment, which requires digital education for employees and citizens
- Greater control and monitoring of the processes carried out in the company.