Many are using innovative technology to mitigate the climate change crises. As soon as possible, we must certainly provide these kinds of solutions. However, software may be required if we want to start reducing emissions now.
Every year, around 51 billion tons of greenhouse gases are added to the atmosphere, the majority of which are in manufacturing and energy. Global producers of goods such as cement, steel, and plastic are responsible for about a third of greenhouse gases (GHGs), while the electricity sector is up a quarter. Some emissions sources are obvious, but others are due to indirect activity (scope 3), making them difficult to measure and, consequently, to reduce.
As researchers research to make carbon capture less expensive and more effective, it is crucial to work towards cutting emissions today. Software offers one such opportunity. Processes can be up to 10% more efficient, reducing the amount of carbon that continues to accumulate in the atmosphere.
Here are three ways businesses can use software to minimize their environmental impacts:
The quality of consumer and industrial goods has never been optimized to reduce waste. And another way, some amount of waste has always been justified to create products at an all-time high. As a result, engineers reluctant to chop out inferior goods tend to add extra raw components, over-estimating rather than under-estimating what is currently required.
Using machine learning, a piece of software can learn the complicated production process of an item in a matter of minutes, across a wide range of sectors: from a steel beam to a pint of ice cream. Such software can then determine how to produce the same item with the minimum required amount of waste immediately reductioning carbon emissions.
2.Optimizing energy consumption
Software has evolved into a major driving force of efficiency. From generation and storage, software now serves as a control tool for entire energy operations and distribution, as well as consumption. Last year, the power sector spent an estimated $3 billion on software to improve the performance and costs of generation and grid assets.
Other industries that depend heavily on fuel and electricity are following suit. AI software is being used to improve logistics and trucking pathways. Many businesses are adopting machine learning (ML)-based route optimization. These programs can design routes based on the most efficient paths, reduce fuel consumption and assist shippers.
Traditional manufacturing is based on high-carbon production methods, such as burning coal and fossil fuels. Software can optimize energy usage and facilitate the exploration of more energy-efficient methods of producing. This would be costly, requiring time and a significant amount of physical experimentation. With software, we can shorten the experiment period and latch onto lower-carbon approaches to manufacturing high-quality goods.
3.Minimizing resource dependence
Many businesses rely on the addition of materials and resources that require emissions to produce. By employing software to better understand how to use these resources more effectively, they assist in decreasing emissions throughout the supply chain.
Digital surveillance and planning can enhance fertilizers while increasing crop yields. Similarly, steelmakers are decreasing dependence on mined alloys by more than a third by using new machine learning technology. These improvements improve existing resources, reducing the environmental impact of manufacturing.
Software has prompted efficiency improvements in many industries. For example, Amazon uses AI-powered software to extract efficiency from every corner of its logistics system, while inventory management algorithms are continuously upgraded based on real-time data. The company''s warehouses are a model of efficiency leading to higher profits.
We might see companies making their processes more efficient, eliminating waste and optimizing for energy use and resources. With increased profitability, software adoption would benefit a company''s bottom line as well as environmental implications.
Software should be identified as an immediate-appreciated form for long-term efforts to combat climate change. As carbon capture and similar technologies currently under development face the challenge of costliness, software has the opposite effect: eliminating waste, optimizing energy consumption, decreasing resource dependence, and driving efficiency improvements. Executives may be more likely to sign on future green initiatives.
Berk Birand is the cofounder and CEO ofFero Labs.