Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

A New Innovation Wind Drives Forth The ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ Into Environmentalism


Technology and innovation give people “new powers” for scaling up solutions whereby leaving behind all previous approaches.

Dailycsr.com – 04 July 2018 – The hard work of the environmentalists when supported by tech tools translates into value driven progress. With the advancement of technological innovations combined with the efforts of NGOs and corporate, new capabilities are being discovered which is strengthening the “partnerships between them”.
Various technological breakthroughs including data analytics, blockchain, sensors and machine learning, have become the growth drivers for corporate and “environmental stewardship” alike. Fred Krupp works at the Environmental Defense Fund, whereby he added:
“we’re feeling a new wind at our backs from these innovations. And a new survey we commissioned shows that corporate leaders are feeling the same tailwind”.
According to the survey, which involved “companies with $500 million or more in annual revenue”, 86% of the executives think that technologic surge will be a bottom line support while “improving” their environmental impact; while, filtering out the reply given to the question only by “C-suite executives”, the percentage jumps to 91%.
Sustainability does not come as a “byproduct of innovation”; instead it is the result of integral decisions that aims to cut down costs by streamlining performance in order to reduce environmental footprint of a company. Moreover, top executives are looking technology to simultaneously drive efficiency in their operations along with improving “their environmental impact”.
Over 70% corporate leaders observe that business goals are more and more in line with environmental goals, which as per 61% has been made possible due to “emerging technology”. In Krupp’s words:
“As the business world enters the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the environmental community has been heading into our own complementary Fourth Wave of environmentalism. The land conservation movement of the early 20th Century was the First Wave, and the second, which began in the 1960s, used the force of law to reduce industrial pollution.
“The Third Wave emphasized the power of economics – problem solving, market-based approaches and corporate and NGO partnerships. Now the Fourth Wave is seeing technological innovations giving people new powers to scale up solutions by supercharging all of the approaches that came before”.
According to a survey, wherein over “500 executives” were questioned as to “how seven emerging technologies are affecting their businesses and their environmental footprint”. In encouraging results, it was found that “data analytics and automation” were the “most widely adopted” technology till date although executives think “all seven technologies” are full of potential.
In fact, potentials are turning into action, as some of the leading brands of the world like “Smithfield, Cummins and AT&T” already use emerging technologies to make their business operation “more sustainable”.
With new “digital manufacturing” with place, Levi Strauss & Co. is capable of meeting its supply demand with reduced “textile waste” while “eliminating thousands of chemical formulations previously needed for finishing”. Furthermore, survey shows that with the help of technologies companies will increasingly be made accountable for “their environmental impact”. Likewise, Marine Jaarlgard, a leading designer, is staring a pilot “blockchain platform” for promoting “transparency and traceability” across the “knitwear collection” under her.
In fact, Krupp also added that:
“Walmart, Unilever and Nestle are also working with IBM to explore blockchain applications for food supply chains. The upside for the environment is less food waste. For business, the upside is increased supply chain efficiencies and ensured food safety”.