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What is Green Technology?

There is a widespread belief that green technology has the ability to provide the answers to our global challenges. Here are four examples.
What is Green Technology? | Impact Investments |

Green technology aims at reversing human effects on our environment. 

Sustainable technology, or green technology, refers to the science and technology that aims to reverse the human effects on our environment. The goal of green technology is to create conservation or sustainability by producing clean energy, reducing the negative impacts of greenhouse gases, preserving the earth’s natural resources, and occasionally restoring them. It plays an especially important role in recycling, water treatment, air purification, clean energy and farming, among others.

Green technology provides innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing issues and creates a synergy between generating profit and benefiting the environment. Governments continue to back cleantech through impact investing, often seeing it as a source of new jobs and an alternative means of service provision.

There is a widespread belief that green technology has the ability to provide the answers to our global challenges. Here are four examples.

1. Recycling

New advancements in green technology are designed to help manage and recycle waste material. 

A new technology used by the Danish company Ørsted allows for unsorted household waste to be divided up into plastic fractions that can be used for recycling, and a plastic to textile fraction that can be used for fuel or for recycling. The main product, however, is a liquid where all the nutrients from the waste have been dissolved. They then convert this into a form of liquid that can be used to make bio gas.

Other new recycling technologies aim to help solve the plastic waste problem. Chemical recycling for example is an innovative process that uses chemicals to break down post-consumer plastic waste into its valuable chemical components. These components can then be used as fuel or converted once again into new plastic products.

2. Water Purification

There is an excessive and wasteful use of clean water. The Earth naturally recycles its water, but new technologies help to speed up the process.

According to the Washington State Department of Health, our groundwater and surface water supplies are at risk of overuse in many areas. The demand can be greater than the amount supplied by rain and snowmelt. 

The United Nations water agency (UN Water) estimates that more than 80 percent of the wastewater generated by society flows back into the ecosystem without being treated or reused.

In this field, there are still only a few technological developments, but the existing ones are important. 

Key developments include membrane filtration, microbial fuel cells, nanotechnology, development of biological treatments and natural treatment systems such as wetlands. All of the named processes are used to make water more drinkable or significantly reduce the presence of pollutants from what is discharged into the sea and rivers.

3. Energy Conservation

New green technology allows for energy conservation in many different ways. 

From the way we produce our energy to the way we consume it new technologies pave the way towards an environmentally friendly energy use. 

Clean energy can be supplied in a sufficient amount not only to present, but also to future generations without putting a burden on them. The clean energy sector generates hundreds of billions in economic activity and is expected to continue to grow rapidly in the coming years.

The great challenge is the storage of renewable energy, but new technologies might be able to provide a solution:

The California based company, Ares, has found a way to use the power of gravity for energy storage. In Utah, a project is being installed that combines compressed air storage in underground salt caverns with hydrogen storage, solid-oxide fuel cells, and reflow batteries. An Australian company has designed underwater buoys that convert sea waves into zero emission energy.

4. Farming

Vertical Farming is an eco friendly technology that has the potential to solve our food production problems. The concept is to grow produce in stacked vertical layers rather than horizontally. 

The benefit of vertical farming is increased sustainability. Some vertical farms don’t even require soil, and reduce water use exponentially. The technology allows us to build vertical farms in buildings around cities and provides people with fresh and nutritious food. The newest inventions in vertical farming, such as an intelligent root misting system for indoor produce, allows vertical farms to use 95% less water than a regular field. 

Vertical farms have the potential to feed overpopulated cities while using less land and less water. They also cut greenhouse gas emissions by eliminating the need to transport the produce over long distances. Over the past few years vertical farms have sprouted all over the world including places like Vancouver, Panama, Singapore, and cities in the UK and the U.S.

Our mission at Transformation is to create, structure and execute impact investments and sustainable solutions: preserve the planet and provide better resources for people.

Our team is a group of experienced legal, financial, and sustainability professionals with deep expertise and decades of experience in impact investing and related industries, including Dr. Walter Schindler, one of the pioneers in cleantech investing.

We believe that the road to a sustainable future requires creative solutions to the world’s biggest sustainable solutions, and we aim to make investments that are not only impactful and work towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, but also provide a return on investment.

Together, we can regenerate our planet.

August 12, 2020

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