November 09, 2018

Innovation’s Social Good: Positive For the Environment and Economy

Teresa Spangler

Teresa Spangler
Founder and CEO /Plazabridge Group

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“I don’t work on a project unless I believe that it will dramatically improve life for a bunch of people.”  Dean Kamen

 

 Technology has allowed for the increase in effective management of the environment around us. Many businesses enjoy a more wholesome CSR process thanks to the ever-bettering innovations that continue to surprise many of us. With that being said, certain technological advancements have stood out from others; they have proven their utility, and they will be remembered as true creative breakthroughs.

Within the last few years, certain important introductions have improved corporate activity. More importantly, it has helped the private sector become a better presence within the community. This can be seen in a few examples, as will be expounded later.

 

INNOVATION AND THE ECONOMY

Technology has served to fashion new advancements and even entire business models. For example, new GPS features have resulted in the likes of Uber and Lyft. These two companies, alone, have introduced an injection into the economy. Sales in vehicles and increased revenue in the transportation sector have resulted from just one technological innovation.

Artificial intelligence and the use of big data have resulted in consumer-honed marketing campaigns within the online ecosystem. Social platforms with large volumes of daily visitors have become a haven for e-marketers and corporates who seek to engage with a large, captive audience. AI is used to ensure that the correct individuals are shown the appropriate content. For example, if one were to type cola into a search engine, the data from that search may be used to advertise different cola or soft drink brands.

Production methods have also benefited from the introduction of innovative technology, as the use of new and exciting additions have served to reduce the cost and efficiency of production. From the creation of simple commodities such as sugar, oil or raw minerals. Methods of production are now computerized and labor-intensive factories seem to be a thing of the past.

Blockchain has almost single-handedly defined the financial craze of the 2010s. It is an innovation first realized by the cryptocurrency community, as seen in the advent of Bitcoin. Now, blockchain is primed to revolutionize multiple industries – from banking to accounting; it is a decentralized storage that has the power to change the world.

INNOVATION AND CSR

Corporate social responsibility has become a crucial factor for many industries. Companies are no longer afforded the luxury of simply focusing on just the bottom line. Instead, they must adhere to the privilege of considering the needs of the environment and the people around them. Technology has become an important tool in this process, as it allows for entities to sufficiently take care of the community in ways that may have not been available before. The following brands have used technology in particularly remarkable ways in order to generate a remarkable change in the way business is practiced.

FORD

Of late, Ford has become a beacon for environmentally friendly car production. More than that, the range itself is based on motor vehicles that leave a lighter carbon footprint. This has been realized in the form of an “EcoBoost” range that generates power from less environmentally taxing sources.

FOOD

WSJ Reports on three inventions—and many more—are part of a technological revolution that is poised to shake up the way we eat.

3D printed food is already here but the force of innovation is going to fill gaps that feed people in the poorest regions of the world as well as those that have the need for new and exotic foods.

Have you noticed all the packaging you are balling up and tossing into either recycle or waste cans when you stop for a fast meal or the packaging you toss in your grocery store wrapped bought goods. What if all that packaging itself were useful and how about even edible. Edible barcodes, edible utensils, and packaging exist already but watch for how food industry changes even further in the very short term to eradicate more unnecessary waste. This can’t come soon enough!

Do you know what your cow up to? Facial recognition for cows follows the cow’s behaviors. As farmers learn what data tells them about raising healthy livestock with a goal of bettering their outputs and improving on the health benefits of protein sources.

DELFORT

Perhaps not as well-known as the household name of Ford, Delfort is, nonetheless, the main supplier of paper products to large corporations all over the world. This includes the fast food industry, as they boast major brands on their client list such as McDonald’s, Pita Pit and more.

Their approach to innovative technology has been a shining light in the industry, as their production methods are set to provide the first paper-based drinking straws. They also supply beeswax baking paper, ecological paper wrapping and multiple products that prove to be a true ecological advantage in many different sectors.

H&M

It is no secret that the fashion industry has been one of less than impressive environmental practices. From the use of harmful dyes to soil-taxing cotton, the clothing industry is nothing short of an environmental disaster.

H&M has risen out of the ashes to come up with new technological features that serve to create a process that caters to the needs of the environment as well as the requirements of the consumer. As a large, global player in the market, any small tweak that the company makes ripples throughout the globe.

Dyes are crafted from a list of compounds that are labeled as effective and sustainable. Moreover, production methods and environments are closely controlled to ensure that workers are given the best possible conditions. This is accomplished through AI and a thorough analysis of the available data. The result is twofold: a better labor turnover and increased efficiency of production.

The private sector is a haven of innovation, as competition is always a catalyst in the process of creative advancement. The very best is often brought out in the face of adversaries. As corporations battle to have the best brand perception through morally justified causes, the innovative properties of that enterprise increase quite naturally. The focus on the environment, humanity and social impacts will prove positive results if we stay the course of Innovation For Good. #innovationforgood.

Comments? You can contact me directly via my ExecRanks profile.

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