High-tech is just cool. The fact that we can own devices that showcase some of the world’s most advanced technologies is pretty surreal. Nowadays, there are high-tech devices everywhere and for everything, confirming that innovative technologies are the way of the future. Or at least, the future we have chosen and supported with 2-4% of most developed countries’ GDPs – dedicated to research and development across all sectors.
Unfortunately, we’re destroying the environment at our current rate of high-tech production. Between mining and e-waste, we continue to pollute ecosystems, inducing biodiversity loss and climate change.
High-tech is a perfect example of why life-cycle assessments are important, since it pollutes during production, use, and disposal. The internet and communication services, through data centers and networks, are major electricity consumers.
ICT companies have ways to go to reduce their impacts – from both the physical and virtual aspects of the technology. It won’t be easy considering more and more devices are being produced and connecting to the internet. In the end, it will come down to what these companies’ priorities are. To stay relevant and maintain a good reputation, they will eventually have to become eco-friendly – whether they lead the way of change now or are forced to follow in a few years.
Now more than ever, it’s important for governments and ICT companies to combine forces and adopt the 3 Rs to shape a more sustainable future for the industry.