Sustainability, what do you know about it?

Humanity has advanced in many positive ways, but there are also areas with plenty of room for improvement, such as sustainability, or and what we can do to reduce the negative impact on our planet.

So true.

Technological advances have made an essential contribution to our development over the years and we’ve all come to appreciate the benefits. But big tech brands have woken up to the importance of sustainability as an essential topic, and are keen to present their efforts to be more green and responsible. For example, think about Apple’s product design, or Amazon's packaging and delivery policy, Facebook and Google's eco-friendly data-centers or Microsof's commitment to sustainability.

This is not just about tech businesses, is it?

Nope. It’s deeply linked to CSR (corporate social responsibility) and how a brand is perceived. Think about Sky Ocean Rescue campaign or Adidas X Parley products. These are big international brands showing the world they’re committed to sustainability – and it affects all brands big and small across sectors as diverse as media to retail to leisure to energy to transportation, and of course technology.

This is just marketing, isn’t it?

Perhaps it was in the past, but attention and focus on the environment is growing from many different directions. And companies are having to respond. Take the letter sent to Jeff Bezos from 4.500 Amazon employees, asking for more leadership on climate change. This is happening, for real. Some industries are facing huge change. The mobility and the automotive industries in particular are having to evolve rapidly. So as well as electric cars, companies, like Skoda and Seat, are investing in affordable three-wheel, electrical scooters, ‘standing-in’ bikes, and electric motorcycles. Global companies, such as Lime Green or Scoot Global, offer electric scooters for hire. You just download the app, provide your card details, fill out a form, and you’re ready to roll! The app shows you the closest scotters to you, their availability, status and condition. You chose which one suits your journey and off you go, paying based on distance travelled and time.

Big changes ahead! Sustainability is about global scale. We have to start thinking in differently and for the long-term.

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Cities have to become smarter to encourage new behaviour – for example, the Toronto Tomorrow project, which looks at city design in a whole new and more inclusive way. Clean energy has to become the easiest choice. Product packaging has to become water-soluble. Large-scale agriculture has to become be data-driven to be efficient. And we’ve got to mention Impossible Food.

Wow! But will my habits really make a difference?

Yes, definitely. We each have a part to play. A better environment will only happen from changing what we do every day. So, have a look at the Green Checklist to mark your progress, enjoy the Recycle Academy to remember how to recycle stuff, download OffCents app to travel with zero emissions and make a positive impact in the GreenApes community. And you can find eco-friendly products everywhere if you know where to look. For example, you can buy glasses recycled from used skis and snowboards or socks made with plastic found in the oceans. And technology can help save time and money doing simple daily things like throwing rubbish in the bin, home energy use or growing your own vegetables indoor.

So, when there are options like these, why not use them?

We often need a nudge to start a new habit. The most most important thing we can do is start and encourage others in our community to do the same – for example, our Reply Student Tech Clash 2019. Dedicated to Green IoT, the event in Turin and Milan attracted more than 500 students, with more due to take part in Germany and the UK in 2020.

And based on the fun we had and the results so far, we cannot wait!

Enjoy the Reply Student Tech Clash 2019 highlights video and keep following the R20 series