How you can tackle climate change with a career in technology
“We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here?” - Steve Jobs
If you’re conscious about sustainability and climate change, watching the news can make you feel powerless. But there’s a lot to be optimistic about. You only need to look out of your window to see how technology is changing the game with garden-based biotech and hyper-affordable solar panels.
You can help to save the planet by starting a career in green technology and building the sustainable solutions of tomorrow.
We’ve gathered some of our favourite green technology advancements in this article to inspire you.
Here are how engineers, developers, and data analysts are working to create a more sustainable future today:
- Sustainable technology in agriculture
Agriculture uses a vast amount of resources to grow, harvest, and distribute the food we consume. Food production is becoming more environmentally friendly thanks to these advances in sustainable agriculture.
- Irrigation monitoring
Farmers implement Internet of Things (IoT) sensors in their fields and irrigation equipment. Computers reference sensor data, crop requirements, and weather reports to calculate how much water to deliver to each area. This smart technology saves 50% more water compared to a conventional system.
-Zero-tillage and organic farming methods
Not all green technology is about inventing something new. Thanks to data collection and monitoring advances, farmers, data analysts, and scientists can prove which natural farming practices are effective. With this data, they can make the business case for more farmers to utilise techniques like zero-tillage, which helps soil retain more carbon.
-Integrated Pest Management
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) uses smart technology to tackle pests while minimising environmental and ecosystem impact. Using data and careful planning, farmers combine cultural, mechanical, biological, and chemical techniques to control pests, protect crops, and reduce environmental harm.
- Sustainable technology in manufacturing
Manufacturing was once one of the most significant contributors to fossil fuels and resource waste. Today, manufacturers are pioneering some of the world’s best planet-saving technologies.
- LEAN Manufacturing
LEAN is a principle developed by car manufacturers Ford and Toyota in the early 1900s to increase efficiency and cut costs in auto manufacturing. Today, LEAN methodologies are praised for their sustainable nature, using automation to reduce waste and optimise resource use.
- Sustainable materials
Technology has helped engineers research and discover new fibres and production methods to create sustainable materials. Engineers have found new ways to weave bamboo fibres to create soft and hard materials for everything from homes to socks. We also have new bioplastics, or compostable plastics, to make products that will break down in 5-10 years rather than 1000s.
- Green cloud computing
Manufacturers are switching to cloud computing powered by green energy sources. Cloud reduces the storage and energy needed to complete computer-based tasks and enables more organisations to be powered by green energy.
-Sustainable technology in environmentalism
People like you are also inventing new technology to protect and clean our natural and urban environments.
- Wildfire prediction
After the devastating US wildfires, a host of organisations have created wildfire-fighting solutions. One organisation uses weather monitoring satellites to scan at-risk areas every 10 minutes and use AI to predict the likelihood of wildfires. Another organisation has developed the technology to predict the path of wildfires to help firefighters stop fires in their tracks. Together, these teams of techies are protecting the environment and human lives.
- Poacher monitoring and deterrents
Conversationalists use drones and improved surveillance equipment to deter poachers from hunting endangered wildlife. Advances in DNA identification also mean they are capturing more poachers who slip through the net.
- Urban air cleaning
An organisation called Photo Synthetica created a new type of cladding that uses algae and solar energy to remove carbon dioxide and pollution from urban areas. These solutions allow us to maximise our urban spaces without damaging our lungs or those of city-dwelling animals such as birds.
And there are countless job paths in technology which will help save the planet. Here are a few ways to start working in sustainable technology:
- Study to be an engineer or programmer
Engineers and programmers build the technology organisations then use to reduce their environmental footprint. Learn coding languages and frameworks to create solutions that measure pollution, reduce consumption, compress storage, and store and transport green power.
- Become a data analyst or data scientist
Data professionals help evidence claims, spot trends and opportunities, and predict future actions and needs. You can train to become a data analyst without a degree and then advance your career to the scientist level as you gain experience and qualifications.
- Work in communications and sales
Technology is nothing unless other organisations and consumers use it. By studying technology and understanding its use cases and nuances, you can find a job raising awareness, funding, and helping other organisations implement your company’s green tech solution.
- Support the sustainable mission in operations
All technology companies need talented operations professionals to keep the company moving. Enter a career path in operational-based office roles such as digital project management or finance and become the person the company couldn’t run without.
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