In recent years the issue of respect and protection of the environment has had more and more say in the matter, a problem that, although it has existed for years, has only recently managed to carve out its own space in the media programming. We know that everything we do on this planet has an impact and therefore it is really important to try to reduce it, as far as possible, to a minimum. Many companies have managed to reduce waste by reusing materials and raw materials, even creating new, totally sustainable brands.
The circular economy is an economic and social system that aims to eliminate the concept of waste, so that resources circulate continuously in the market and generate the possibility of creating new objects with materials already in use. This approach extends the life of the world's resources, minimizing what is consumed.
Having said that, is it possible to promote the circular economy also through technology? Can the latter become sustainable?
Global sustainability experts have identified 7 types of digital technology that already play or will soon play a critical role in the implementation and promotion of thousands of circular economy initiatives: digital access, cloud, cognitive (AI), blockchain, fast Internet, IoT and digital reality.
These technologies can actually use an enormous amount of resources - from electricity to power equipment and water for cooling systems, to physical materials and production impacts. To become leadership and develop credibility, IT companies must develop solutions that not only help circular initiatives, but also revolutionize their own businesses.
Cloud technology has perhaps the greatest potential to promote sustainability within the IT industry. Virtual servers operating in the cloud function as physical computing resources, but without additional infrastructure, which needs more real estate and more power. The cloud therefore allows organisations to reduce the number of servers, storage, appliances and network devices compared to those that would require physical configuration. In addition, virtualization enables greater use of existing resources, which means less equipment and less power. Getting the most out of your appliances will avoid building new ones and will help them to run a longer lifecycle, which will inevitably become longer.
Having fewer data centres also reduces the load on the power grid, avoiding new power plants and the resulting impacts on water and the emissions they create. Less equipment also means less production waste.
Cognitive technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are another important digital element for the circular economy of the IT sector. Dell Technologies' workstations, for example, include underlying firmware that learns how a person uses their computer and then modifies their code to optimise performance based on those models, reducing power consumption and increasing user efficiency. Another Dell AI feature enables preventive maintenance on your computer hardware. Instead of waiting for a part to wear out, an algorithm calculates when a part is likely to fail and sends a replacement part before failures occur. Any replaced parts that are still working or repairable are then refurbished and reused.
Dell's objective, consistent with the aims of the 2030 agenda, is to offer its customers a product that can be reused or recycled, where 100% of the packaging will be made from recycled or renewable materials and more than half the content of the products will be made from recycled or renewable materials.
In conclusion, starting to produce in a conscious way without renouncing to have good profits is possible, it means making the right choices, having the planet at heart trying to make our journey on this earth light.
At NSI - Think Outside the Box, as a digital transformation company and as a Dell Technologies Gold Partner, we help companies redesign their business processes and grow with customized IT solutions and digital products.
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