What are sustainable technologies
As the name implies, sustainable technologies are technologies (a set of techniques, skills, methods and processes used to achieve objectives and produce goods or services) used with the objective of preserving natural resources and social and economic development. for the next generations. In this article we will provide you examples of sustainable technologies.
These sustainable technologies can act in a few different and important ways:
- Substitution : when a technological innovation allows the change of a non-renewable resource to a renewable one. For example, the use of solar-powered lamps to light streets or roads in place of incandescent lamps connected to the local electrical grid. This also goes for the switch from non-biodegradable to biodegradable materials in production.
- Efficiency : when this sustainable technology improves the usability of a given machine. For example, usage sensors allow the water consumption of faucets to be drastically reduced and for them to be left open. This same concept can and is applied to electrical energy (motion sensors) and mobility (automatic shutdown of motors)
- Prevention : when the use of technology prevents deterioration, contamination and other negative environmental impacts through its use or production. For example, the use of satellites to monitor areas of environmental protection, mapping fire outbreaks or undue deforestation.
And if you are in a personal or professional position to implement sustainable technologies into your daily life, I believe it is important to think about a few steps.
4 main types of sustainable technologies?
Now that you have a broad understanding of these technologies and their importance to the market, it’s time to get to know the main types available to your management. As you will notice below, there are a large number of solutions, ranging from the simplest to the most sophisticated.
Here, we highlight those developed by DocuSign, such as the electronic signature and the platform for managing the lifecycle of contracts. Combined, they are able to reduce costs, increase productivity and minimize the carbon footprint of your management. Check out!
1. Electronic signature
Without a doubt, this is one of the most used technologies during 2020 and 2021. The electronic signature is nothing more than an infrastructure that allows signing documents in the digital sphere with the same legal validity as pen signatures on physical documents.
Above, we emphasize 2020 and 2021 precisely because of the extraordinary performance of this technology during the critical years of the pandemic. During this period, the electronic signature was crucial for the formalization of contracts, agreements and terms, improving remote work, selling services, hiring new employees and all this respecting social distance.
In addition to being a functional technology even for civilian consumers, the electronic signature in the company is even more practical and fundamental, since it is in the business environment that the greatest number of advantages of this solution are perceived.
Starting with operational agility. As previously reported in the Forrester report , DocuSign’s eSignature streamlines the resolution of up to 80% of contracts in a single day, with 44% being completed in a mere 15 minutes.
In addition, the study also indicates that our technology is capable of promoting an average savings of up to R$190 reais per signed contract. This substantial containment, is seen through cost reduction in several aspects.
Unlike physical signatures, electronic signatures eliminate the intensive use of office supplies, preventing paper from being wasted. In addition, administrations that adopt electronic signatures also do not spend on notary fees for authentication and logistics with transport via motoboy.
2. Digital document management
Here, it is important to talk about the dematerialization of documents. As noted by the name, the purpose of this concept is to promote digital transformation, replacing paper, versioning emails and physical procedures with their digital counterparts.
Once again, we come across important technologies such as CLM linked to an electronic signature, which is an indispensable tool for digitizing any sector. In the sustainable aspect, digital document management is positive as it reduces costs and reduces the need for physical spaces.
Collaterally, the company reaps benefits such as increased protection of contracts, terms and confidential agreements, which cease to exist in the physical plane to be stored perpetually in some digital instance, whether physical (HDs, SSDs or the like), or virtual (cloud ).
3. Cloud Computing
This is one of the most popular trends in the last 10 years. Both storage and cloud computing have gained wide space among both business and civilian consumers.
Yes, cloud storage is used to store and protect your photos. However, in the business environment, technology allows you to store sensitive data infrastructures for your company, such as contracts, registrations, invoices and much more.
Like the electronic signature, cloud storage is sustainable as it follows the concept of dematerialization, replacing the physical with the digital. Cloud computing, which uses the processing of remote computers, is sustainable by allocating the processing of tasks in clusters specially developed by large technology companies, reducing local energy consumption.
4. Renewable energy
Solar panels, biomass processing warehouses, hydrogen batteries or the like: today there are a large number of solutions for capturing and using renewable energy. The sustainability of these technologies is stamped on the name, the renewable and non-fossil factor of energy production.
Of course, implementing any such technology requires both considerable investment and planning. However, the gains in economy and sustainability are evident, highlighting the company for the initiative and increasing its recognition in the market.
Important steps towards the adoption of sustainable technologies
If you want to implement sustainable technologies in your routine (both personal and business) or if you just want to start using more sustainable technological products or services, you should:
- Opening your mind to the new world that is emerging – for me the first step is directly related to our mentality. Understand that there are sustainable innovations that we can take advantage of and that we should pursue them
- Set aside reserves to invest in these new technologies – while they are innovations, the price will probably not be the cheapest and you may have to choose what to implement or not even get the money to have/use
- Scan your home for energy efficient appliances to replace – some examples include air conditioner, fridge, freezer, microwave, heater, etc.
- Implement renewable or more efficient energy sources in your environment – if it is possible to use a solar energy system, but if not, change incandescent light bulbs to LED, use smart light bulbs, etc.
- Implement technologies that reduce water consumption or improve its reuse – ranging from rain collection systems to toilet flush valves
- Look for more sustainable forms of mobility for your routine – when possible, use electric cars or even electric public transport instead of those based on normal fuels
- Take advantage of new online technologies that avoid spending physical resources – ranging from virtual signature systems to using computers to take notes instead of notebooks
These are just a few simple steps that you can think of both for your home and personal family routine, as well as for the reality of your company and the adaptation of the services it provides or the products it creates.
7 Examples of sustainable technologies
Now, there are a number of sustainable technologies that are extremely promising and can help slow global warming. Some of them, like LED light, are better known and some of them, like chemical recycling, are a little less well known, but the most important thing is to know that this is the future.
I brought these 7 examples from 4 different areas, but it is obvious that there is a greater plethora of new technologies that are emerging in all areas, from reducing water consumption to technology that can allow the exchange of the fleet of normal cars for cars autonomous fliers.
So let’s start with some sustainable technologies that are easier to implement in our current moment:
1 – LED light
When we think of energy efficiency and light use, one of the first sustainable technologies that comes to mind is LED lighting, which has quickly replaced traditional incandescent light bulbs in homes, apartments, businesses and even public places.
These LED lamps provide up to 80% more savings than traditional lamps. These technologies are necessary for you or your business if your goal is to adopt a more sustainable way of using energy.
2 – Affordable solar energy
Until recently, having a photovoltaic panel in your home or business was an extravaganza for few. But currently, with the cheaper technology and the emergence of better solutions, it is already possible to see a large expansion in the use of residential solar energy.
One of the actions that enabled the implementation of this technology (which is still expensive from an individual point of view, but which pays for itself over time) is the financing plans for its installation. In this format, you “exchange” the payment of the LIGHT bill, for a portion of the financing, which is amortized over the years until you have paid for the system.
3 – Electric individual transport
Electric vehicles are starting to become a reality in the world and, despite their slower adoption, they are already starting to exist in a slightly more structured way.
The barriers are high, after all, the prices of fully electric or hybrid cars are still high compared to gasoline or diesel models and there is not much supply of charging points either.
But I believe that this movement will increase around here and, soon, I hope to change my current car (gas powered) for one of these electric ones. This is one of the sustainable technologies that can promote a large decrease in the use of fossil fuels. I’m always excited about news like the road in England wanting to fill these cars with energy while they’re on the move .
4 – Electric public transport
If the electric car is a growing reality, another one that will certainly happen is that of electric public transport, with options for electric buses and electric trams for the population in general. There are already several cities in in the world with experiments and options in progress.
This is an option that has a potential for gigantic impact, given the logic of using transport. Despite the higher acquisition cost, this possible expense is paid for over time by saving fuel (usually diesel).
5 – Electric trucks
Now moving on to an analysis of the use of sustainable technologies in the fleet of carriers, we have a new universe of possibilities with electric trucks. Here is one of the most promising paths, after all there are studies that indicate that they are responsible for the pollution of about 50% of air pollution , despite being only 5% of the fleet that occupies the roads and highways daily.
It is true that there is still much to be done. To begin with, an operational adjustment will still be necessary with supply points for long distances. Another thing is the cheapness of the total cost of these vehicles, which currently (from what I read) is still higher than the current model of diesel-powered trucks.
There is still a whole universe to explore in relation to autonomous vehicles, but that is another story. For now, let’s explore 2 more sustainable technologies that can change entire markets.
6 – Recycling of plastics
I recently saw one of the episodes of the documentary series Customer Service (on Netflix) , talking about the farce of recycling plastics in the world. You may not know, but of the approximately 350 million tons of plastic waste generated annually, only 16% is recycled.
Some of the sustainable technologies that show promise are pyrolysis (which uses heat and the absence of oxygen to reconvert plastic waste into liquid raw material), chemical recycling, and modular, scalable, high-performance depolymerization with microwave technology. .
7 – Lithium and Cobalt Batteries
To close, although I don’t understand this market that much, it’s worth getting into sustainable energy storage technologies that are bringing about changes in several sectors (including electric vehicles).
There has been a revolution in the lithium and cobalt battery market, providing a reduction in their price and an increasing storage capacity. These changes and advances, which have emerged since the increase in investment in solutions to make electric cars cheaper (which has Tesla as one of its pioneers) have allowed some markets to evolve. Just to take a simple example, e-bikes are using lithium batteries to increase their range and make them lighter.