The future of work involves new ways in how we perceive remote jobs and sustainability.
If there’s one topic we’ve met face to face with in the past decade or so, is sustainability. We are inundated with media and news headlines detailing the devastating effects climate change brings to countries across the globe. For many circumstances given to mankind, we respond in producing technologies with unthinkable solutions to grave problems—including the environment—and we turn to technology once more to help combat the climate crisis.
Only, our understanding of green technologies can get wish washed between its similar counterparts. Green tech, clean tech, environmental technology, and clean software, all refer to technologies developed to support sustainability. These utilise existing knowledge of environmental science combined with present technologies to tackle present climate concerns and to prevent future catastrophes as well.
The goals of green technology & the sustainability triangle
Whilst technologies serve a myriad of purposes generally, to upkeep a sustainable front, green technologies are made to minimise present negative impacts constructed by current technologies and those of future ones. Other goals in line with their IT jobs includes:
A sustainable approach: in any emerging and present technology, green technology aims to develop products and software that minimises our impact on the planet as much as possible.
Innovation: naturally, green technologies aim to replace older and more disruptive technologies with eco-friendly alternatives.
Long-term solutions: it’s not functional nor sustainable to develop technologies that do not support future endeavours. This means that green tech is viable and creates novel opportunities, such as jobs in Malta and abroad, that sustains a wider and greener ethos overall.
Careful sourcing: for development and manufacturing purposes, organisations investing in green technologies should be wary of their current supplies and create products that are not sourced from unethical and unsustainable practices.
When implementing sustainable strategies, organisations cannot overlook the wider picture. This is because climate change affects our planet—something that is quite literally larger than us. In this way, many institutions across diverse industries and IT jobs must take proactive measures to support sustainability generally. Economical, ecological, and social developments (also known as the sustainability triangle) aims to protect the environment in addressing present needs and those of future generations.
In practice, we already see green technologies emerging that support the sustainability triangle. For example, energy-harvesting sensors are positive long-term alternatives to battery operated ones, and collectively over the years are more cost-effective. By nature of their developments, i.e., the fact that these sensors are not made with batteries, are more ecological by design. Socially, these technologies are built to make our lives easier. Their convenience, like many existing technologies, allows us to dedicate our time for other priorities and responsibilities. Considering these three main factors help investors plead a great case for putting these technologies to work, and implement these across a wide array of in-office and remote jobs.
Practical implications of green technologies
As previously mentioned, green tech encompasses many technologies, including small- and large-scale developments. For starters, green tech supports environmentally preferred purchasing—a widespread governmental initiative to encourage organisations in purchasing sustainable and ethical supplies. Other means in implementing green technologies include:
Green chemistry, which supports biological engineering of novel chemicals that can replace existing and harmful ones,
Green nanotechnology, which aims to construct new materials that can assist in positively impacting the environment,
Green energy production, which focuses on electricity and fuel industries, specifically to encourage the use of renewable energy sources in the hopes of eliminating present fossil fuel overuse, and
Green software, a largely researched software developer job for the purpose of utilising technology to solve complex problems related to climate change to reduce negative impacts on our planet generally.
In everyday life, we can already observe many of the above currently practised. For instance, solar panels are currently resting on the roofs of many homes whilst generating solar energy for homeowners to spend less on energy resources. Cloud storage reduces our need for hardware such as hard drives or USB sticks by allowing individuals to store copious quantities of data safely.
Last but not least, the popular and accessible option of LED lighting has transformed our approach in lighting our homes, replacing more energy burning options. There are bountiful ways we can use technology to help save our planet, we just need to keep encouraging innovate ideas to take place and be shared.
The future of work and green technologies
Whilst organisations are growing used to remote working and remote jobs generally, the traditional office environment as we know it will become less popular and its need will generally be reduced, leading to lesser building developments in this sphere. However, for particular industries like healthcare, buildings remain largely in use, paving the way for developers to construct sustainable architecture and design.
Bringing the perspective back to our sustainability triangle, flexible work arrangements are redefining our use with technology in the workplace especially. Economically, individuals are lately opting for communal office rooms that encourage teamwork and collaboration. Reducing office space means less costs go toward these areas. Ecologically, technologies such as the internet of things (IoT) are guiding organisations to link office equipment over a shared source, minimising the use of multiple technologies generally.
Socially, technology attempts to improve employee productivity—of course, these must be implemented and taught correctly to employees to do so effectively—but the general want to improve employee wellbeing generally aids a positive social implementation of green technologies overall. The World Green Building Council (2019) found that building and construction are responsible for 39% of all carbon emissions worldwide, leading employers and leaders alike further incentive to re-think offices altogether.
Overall, the invention of green technologies will guide our actions toward sustaining our planet for the now and long-term. Preserving our planet comes at a cost, but if we collectively work to invest and support technologies that are sustainable, we can reap the benefits not just economically, ecologically, and socially, but in our walks through our everyday lives.
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