Sustainability means different things to different people.
On one hand, sustainability might mean streamlining processes and cash flow so that your business continues to scale surely over time. On the other hand, sustainability might be taken as the need for humans to responsibly interact with the natural world to ensure the Earth is healthy for future generations to come.
At GearedApp, we love Tech for Good. We believe that through the power of tech we can do great things for humankind, from impacting social change to building the tech foundations with the potential to meet climate change and environmental sustainability challenges head-on.
In this blog post, we’ll answer the question: Is technology really the answer to environmental sustainability challenges we face as a planet?
What is Sustainable Tech?
At its core, sustainable tech is about meeting human needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. When you first think of sustainable tech, your mind may be drawn to hardware like solar-powered or carbon capture and storage systems.
In actual fact, sustainable tech or ‘cleantech’ simply describes the variety of technologies that help people and businesses reduce environmental impact. Sustainable tech also comes in the form of software or mobile apps.
Why is Sustainable Technology Important?
Minimising waste, allocating resources, lowering carbon emissions, and reducing energy consumption are among some of the most crucial environmental challenges facing the planet today.
According to the UN, achieving environmental sustainability is possible if people across the globe change their behaviours and begin to adopt a wide array of innovative technological measures. Since 2015, the UN has recognised technology as one of the major pillars of building a ‘Green Economy’ that promotes innovation, business opportunities and development.
The Challenges of Turning Sustainability into a Reality
From climate change and pollution, to fossil fuel emissions and protecting our oceans, there’s a lot of work to be done to keep the planet in good shape for future generations. Often, the most common challenges when putting sustainability into practice include:
- Enacting Real Social Change. Environmental sustainability requires a global effort. This means that people living in every corner of the world need to make small changes in their everyday lives to positively impact the natural world.
- Incentivising Governments & Businesses To Act Sustainably. While change will come from the grassroots level, significant strides need to come from the top. Governments and businesses of all sizes have a responsibility to recognise the role they play and how damaging that is to the planet.
- Reducing Consumption. As people consume less products and services — but opt for greener alternatives — we produce less waste and use less less toxic fumes. Lowering energy and water intake helps to conserve natural resources and protect ecosystems from destruction.
Is Technology the Answer to Sustainability?
Implementing sustainable technological development will not automatically lead to a total reduction of the environmental burden of industrial and commercial production overnight. Innovative tech is an important part of the puzzle when it comes to using tools that genuinely make a difference.
For consumers, smartphones equipped with sustainability apps that have the real potential of connecting people’s decisions with their environmental impacts in real-time.
Mobile apps offer a novel pathway to help consumers visualise the environmental consequences of actions like their personal purchases or home water and energy consumption. Not only that, but mobile apps have the power to make sustainable consumption accessible by educating users and offering them environmentally-friendly alternatives.
Companies Using Mobile App Tech to Tackle Sustainability Challenges
Recently, there’s been a huge influx of apps on the market with features and functions that promote greener lifestyles — offering tips about cutting down emissions and advice so allowing us to live easier, more eco-friendly lives.
Aiming to combat food wastage head-on, the TooGoodToGo mobile app connects customers to restaurants and stores with unsold, surplus food. Users can also store and place meal orders through the app.
Allows users to find sustainable and healthy products in UK supermarkets by scanning the barcode and offering alternatives for other products. Giki lets users add their favourite products to lists to make future shopping trips much easier.
Like Giki, the Think Dirty app helps users to find and compare the most eco-friendly cosmetics and beauty products on the market. The app also helps users learn about potentially toxic ingredients in personal care and makeup products so they know what to look out for.
The DocuSign app is proof that safe, secure, and efficient business practices can also be sustainable. By eliminating the need for copious amounts of paperwork, this app reduces paper-based waste by allowing users to sign documents from anywhere in the world.
How We’re Doing Our Bit for the Planet at GearedApp
Here’s just a few of the ways that the GearedApp team are showing how much we love our planet:
- In 2019 we held our first GearedApp Hackathon where we challenged our whole team to come up with and prototype solutions that would make the most positive impact on the environment and their local community.
- As part of our company’s 6th birthday celebrations, we decided to give back to Mother Nature by offsetting our carbon footprint and taking our team out to plant some trees.
- In everything we do, we opt for suppliers who care about sustainability. We strive to be paperless only using recycled paper for our business cards, we’re powered by renewable energy providers, and we buy client gifts from local organisations like socialstoriesclub.com whenever we can.
Here at GearedApp, environmental sustainability is embedded into our company values and culture. We’re proud advocates of using emerging tech to build a healthy planet for future generations.
Choose Sustainability with GearedApp
As a software house focused on delivering high-quality, accessible web and mobile apps, we take our company values very seriously every step of the way.
When you choose GearedApp, our friendly team of pros will be with you from our initial sit-down chat all the way to releasing the finished product. Discover our process to find out more about how we work.
Get in touch today to find out how we can help turn your awesome ideas into a digital reality.