7 Sustainable Tech Trends to Watch Out For in 2024

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As customers become more environmentally conscious, businesses pursue greener practices to become more sustainable and reduce their carbon footprints. With 89% of business executives agreeing there’s a climate emergency, sustainability is quickly becoming a hot topic. 

Using cleaner technology can prove your commitment to helping preserve the environment and reduce any negative impact on local ecosystems. 

Sustainable technology is always developing and knowing where to invest your money for the best outcome can be challenging. Here, we’ll look at the top tech trends to look out for in 2024.

What Is Sustainable Tech?

Sustainable technology means utilizing technology that can reduce or minimize your business’s environmental impact. It covers several different areas that generally fall into three essential parts:

  • Efficiency: This relates to technology that uses reduced energy or helps lower energy consumption by providing data. It also includes active planning, such as reducing server space by regularly deleting files, for example.
  • Prevention: This is where technology helps reduce or prevent further damage to the environment. This could mean installing solar panels, for instance.
  • Substitution: This involves swapping energy-damaging technology for greener alternatives. This could include moving from fossil fuel energy to renewable energy sources, for example.

The importance of green technology in business

Whilst 77% of businesses feel under pressure from the government or regulators to take action on climate change, there are several benefits of adopting a sustainability strategy.

Firstly, businesses can reduce their carbon footprint and minimize pollution and waste, which has moral and ethical advantages.

Secondly, sustainable businesses can increase efficiency and reduce costs.

Thirdly, a business taking a greener approach can stand out from the sea of competitors and attract environmentally aware customers.

However, adopting an environmentally sustainable business model can be difficult, expensive, and time-consuming. Many businesses are turning to smart tech solutions and eco-friendly designs to reach their goals.

As the sustainable tech industry grows, we’ll see more and more solutions for the eco-conscious customer. 

What Are the Top Sustainable Tech Trends To Look Out for in 2024?

As mentioned above, sustainable technology is developing all the time. Here are some of the top trends for 2024.

1. Green construction technology

Green construction technology relates to the technology used to design buildings with a minimal impact on the environment. 

For example, green construction technology emphasizes the implementation of strategies to conserve water resources. This includes the integration of rainwater harvesting systems, efficient irrigation techniques, and the use of permeable surfaces to reduce runoff and promote groundwater recharge.

Low-carbon buildings, designed with a focus on minimal carbon emissions throughout their lifecycle, are another grown tech trend in the construction industry. These structures require less energy for heating and cooling, often with passive designs and the use of renewable energy sources. This contributes to a long-term reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Whether you’re in construction or looking to acquire commercial premises, green technology is helping you make more sustainable choices.

green construction technology

2. Smart agriculture

Agriculture is a huge contributor to greenhouse gas and carbon emissions. Smart agriculture pulls together a range of technology options to improve environmental efficiency in farming. It uses computers, sensors, software, and artificial intelligence (AI) to optimize every element of agricultural practices.

For example, hydroponics is an environmentally friendly innovation that involves growing crops in nutrient-enhanced water. This eliminates the need for soil and means crops can be grown anywhere at any time of the year. 

Smart agriculture technologies, including AI-driven monitoring systems and precision farming techniques, enhance the efficiency of hydroponic setups. Sensors and AI algorithms analyze environmental conditions, nutrient levels, and crop health in real time, enabling farmers to make data-driven decisions that optimize resource utilization, reduce waste, and minimize environmental impact.

3. Hydrogen

Electric cars were trending in 2023, but hydrogen-powered vehicles are set to be the next big thing due to their minimal environmental impact. Hydrogen vehicles use fuel cells to convert hydrogen into electricity, offering the advantage of zero emissions during operation. This is particularly significant in urban areas where air quality concerns drive the need for cleaner modes of transportation.

While the production of hydrogen fuel is currently associated with certain costs and challenges, the fact that hydrogen vehicles are already being sold globally is indicative of a growing interest and investment in this technology. It will be interesting to see what effect this has on commuting and distribution. If adopted on a larger scale, these vehicles could contribute to a reduction in the carbon footprint of transportation fleets, especially in industries heavily reliant on long-haul freight and delivery services.

4. Impact Investing

Impact investing is where businesses or individuals invest in greener companies and projects such as renewable energy, clean technology, sustainable agriculture, and eco-friendly manufacturing.

This means those businesses that are actively seeking positive environmental change. Investors can make money whilst supporting businesses with environmental sustainability at their core.

Impact investing also encourages businesses to take a greener approach, especially those that may need substantial financial backing in the future. As investors increasingly prioritize ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) considerations, conventional companies are prompted to adopt more environmentally friendly approaches to secure funding and enhance their long-term viability. 

5. AI

AI is proving its worth all the time. It’s already used throughout our lives, from personal assistants to the best AI transcription software to smart offices and smart agriculture.

Because of its ability to ‘learn’ and ‘think’ like a human, it can analyze data and perform tasks more accurately. This could be particularly useful in improving efficiency in manufacturing and distribution. AI-driven IoT (Internet of Things) sensors can improve office efficiency by turning on lights when people enter a room, for example. This could improve efficiency as empty rooms don’t need lights on.

AI systems can use live data to learn and adapt to new developments and unforeseen circumstances that present themselves after the system is implemented. This means they can be used in businesses where external factors can affect business. 

For example, this is particularly useful in the supply chain industry, where inefficiencies, delays, and modes of transport can rack up a huge carbon footprint. Already, companies are implementing AI-powered tracking and route simulation software to reduce their supply chain impact. 

It’s important to note that AI  and the datasets that they are trained on use a huge amount of energy. They usually require large data centers. So, it’s important that it’s implemented in a sustainable way, for example, by running your technology on reusable energy. 

laptop on a desk overlooking a mountain range

6. Restructuring business models

Remote technology has improved so much that it is not always necessary to have multiple offices or stores, nor is it always vital to have employees coming to a place of work. Cloud-based technology allows businesses to share and pool resources no matter where they’re located, and screen sharing can make remote meetings more engaging. 

The rise of remote technology has also meant that we’re more connected than we have been before. This has helped encourage alternative business models to the traditional top-down approach. As it’s become easier to communicate and gather ideas, businesses are able to include everyone in their sustainable goals and have become more accountable for their success. 

7. Green data centers

Many companies are moving their operations—such as contact center technologies or database hosting—to the cloud to reduce their direct environmental impact. However, all their processes and data storage have to happen somewhere. This is often in large data centers, which use huge amounts of energy and water. 

In response to these environmental challenges, the adoption of green data centers is becoming a significant trend. These centers employ a range of strategies to minimize their ecological footprint and promote sustainability throughout their operations. The two main challenges they face are energy inefficiencies and water consumption. 

The traditional reliance on non-renewable energy sources is being replaced by a commitment to renewable alternatives, such as solar, wind, and hydropower. This shift not only reduces the carbon footprint associated with data storage but also contributes to the overall transition to cleaner energy systems. 

Water recycling and reuse systems are also being implemented to minimize the impact on local water resources. The adoption of closed-loop water systems helps to substantially decrease water consumption compared to traditional open-loop systems, aligning with the broader goal of responsible resource management.

Other steps being taken include efforts to refurbish, repurpose, or recycle outdated hardware and sustainable infrastructure design. As the use of data centers grows hugely, green data centers will become a top priority for anyone who wants to become more sustainable. 

data center

Final Thoughts

Sustainable technology is here, and 2024 will see a continuation of the progress that’s already been made. People are worried about climate change, and governments have introduced legislation, meaning businesses have to take their environmental responsibility seriously or risk severe consequences.

There are so many tech options that can help you improve sustainability, and, of course, there is a cost factor. Implementing sustainable technology doesn’t have to happen at once as long as you’re committed to a plan. For instance, you could start by improving the speed of your website loading time or start the transition to becoming a paper-free office. 

What’s clear is that it has to happen, and knowing what options are going to be available in the next year or so can help you evaluate where you can make changes to have the best impact on your company’s carbon footprint.

  • Austin Guanzon

    Austin Guanzon is the Tier 1 Support Manager for Dialpad, the leading AI-powered customer intelligence platform. He is a customer retention and technical support expert, with experience at some of the largest tech service companies in the US. Austin is also the co-founder of the California based Infinity Martial Arts and has served as an instructor in the sport. You can find him on LinkedIn.

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