Megatrend / Sustainability.
It Enables A Healthy Growth Of Our Civilization
1. Environmental Benefits
While urbanization present economic benefits, it also comes with significant resource risks. Rapid urbanization contributes to the global resource depletion, while some effects of the climate change will hit hardest. The rising sea levels around coastal cities and extreme weather events will be the events affecting our future. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 7 million people died – one in eight of the total global deaths – as a result of air pollution exposure in 2012, out of which a large number were living in cities.
2. Health Benefits
Roughly 12% of the total global population is exposed to air pollution that is at least 2.5 times higher than WHO recommended levels (out of the 50% of the urban population being monitored). Local and national policy-makers will need to work together to think of a plan to build more sustainable cities. We will see an increase in the number of “green” and “smart” cities.
3. Natural Resources Benefits
70% of primary energy consumption and 80% of global greenhouse gas (GhG) emissions are coming from cities, while up to 80% of the US$100 billion per year in climate-adaptation costs will be consumed by urban areas. Source: Resilient Cities Report 2016
It Drives Innovation And Creates New Business Models
1. Green Cities
Green cities will adapt to energy-efficient buildings, reduce waste and depend heavily on renewable energy sources and energy-efficient transportation systems. Smart cities will be enabled by digital, competitive cities which will use state-of-the-art information and communication technology (ICT) to build smart mobility solutions, smart grids and other innovations. An ambitious model of a green city is Vancouver and you can read more about it in this report: Source: City of Vancouver, Greenest City – 2020 Action Plan
2. ICT Communications
ICT has the power to reduce annual emissions by an average of 1.5 gigatons of greenhouse gases by 2030, 2.7 times larger than carbon emissions of the entire UK in 2012. This saving is equivalent to almost 19 times the size of the expected footprint of the EU’s ICT sector in 2030, or 37% of the EU’s total emissions in 2012. 53% of these reductions are as a direct result of improving energy efficiency and could generate cost savings up to EUR 1.3 trillion in additional benefits. Source: PBL Netherlands – Trends in global CO2 emission
3. Efficient Energy Management
Everyone can do something to contribute to the wellbeing of our planet. We can do this by reducing the waste from our hoses. Start with improving heat insulation and building design by using super-efficient electrical machines and drives, replacing old-style electrical heating systems with renewable heat production and by reducing energy used by vehicles to move goods and people. Source: 10 Principles of sustainable design
4. Alternative Energy Sources
In order to diminish the negative impacts on the environment, we need to do more with less of what we already have in order to achieve 100 percent renewable energy. Today about one-quarter of the world’s energy — almost all of it oil products — is used to power transport by road, rail, air and sea. A shift to renewably powered, smart transport is essential to reach our 100 percent renewable energy future.
5. Circular Economy Models
There has been a lot of pressure in the last decades on the consumer electronics sector, asking brands to remove their toxic chemicals from their production line. E-waste is a problem that businesses address with seriosity, more and more of them adapting to a cradle-to-cradle system, taking responsibility of the products at the end of their life span. Expect rising subscription models for telecom companies and pay-per-use business models. An good example of circular economy model can be reviewed in this article: Samsung – The circular economy today and tomorrow