While scientific advances alone are unlikely to tackle the climate crisis, there are many innovations – from simple designs to bleeding-edge technology – that can help humanity meet its environmental commitments. Climate reporter Sam Webb looks at some of the emerging technologies that could help shape the future of the planet:
Rise of the machines
Artificial intelligence is being used to revolutionise the fast-fashion industry by gathering data so style-conscious customers can make informed decisions about what they buy.
Sustainability data is complicated as it comes from many different sources and varies dramatically in quality.
However, AI helps to collate data into easily comparable data sets by automatically analysing and interpreting vast quantities of information, identifying anomalies, and delivering sound recommendations.
For example, a customer can use compliance tools to ensure the supplier meets sustainability criteria on slave labour, gender equality, workplace quality, water pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy use, and waste management.
“When you put AI in the content of sustainability analytics it can be highly useful from a compliance perspective,” said Dan Botterill of climate tech firm Rio ESG.
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