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    As the pursuit of sustainability in business becomes more main stream, it is intersecting with burgeoning and cutting-edge technologies that are transforming the way we interact with our planet, community and more. Is technology making it easier for us to live, or fundamentally shifting the way our lives work--ushering us into a new era of innovation and sustainability?

    Virtual Reality (VR)

    Virtual reality can actually allow us to experience moments and feel the feelings of others. Feeling and experiencing others’ plight and day-to-day moments from across the world is an exercise in empathy, and empathy leads to action. When we can see ourselves in another’s shoes, especially those facing difficulties with basics such as clean water, this helps draw empathy; and when we can empathise with others, we want to help.

    Internet of Things (IoT)

    Connected IoT products are hailed as more proactive, efficient, and customer-service-oriented. For example, trackable devices allow manufacturers to efficiently service home appliances remotely, and products can inform the user when something is wrong or needs to be replaced or refilled, making these “things” more valuable.

    But, on a deeper level, one of the most promising aspects of IoT in terms of sustainability is the ability to facilitate a circular economy--a system in which waste is re-purposed and products are designed for reuse at the end of their life cycle. Smart devices provide an abundance of information, which can help maximise the utility of materials and optimise the amount that can be looped back into subsequent products.

    Software Tools for New Types of Accounting

    Companies are now starting to analyse water like they would any other important inventory--by measuring it and accounting for it, often in real time. Carbon is already being integrated into corporate accounting and reporting, but as water becomes a major risk to business, we need to start implementing technology to measure, manage and account for it across the board.

    Energy Storage

    Battery storage is not new to most of us, but the way companies are now implementing it on a massive scale is quite unique. Battery storage has the ability to smooth out energy spikes from intermittent wind and solar production on-site and can add efficiency and cost savings to an energy portfolio.

    Exponential Technologies

    Exponential technologies are game-changing technologies that propel society forward –emergence of a rash of potentially exponential technologies: robotics, artificial intelligence and synthetic biology, just to name a few.

    What if we could harness the power of exponential technologies to make them fundamentally sustainable, and design them so that they solve global issues? This is called the Design for Exponential approach, which provides new methods for harnessing emerging technologies and applying them to real global challenges, all while building on a foundation of proven innovation tools.

    Supply Chain Transparency

    “Hyper transparency” is now catching on to unveil what goes on deep in supply chains. Demand from consumers for more transparent products is driving companies to continuously investigate and improve the environmental and social impacts of supply chains. But how are companies tracking and maintaining quality data and accurate analytics? That’s where technology comes in. We are now witnessing networked supply chain data analytics and insights that can make supply chains “hyper” transparent.

    And what if we could visually map out entire supply chains to measure the environmental footprint of all the products on earth? We are on our way there--technology is helping businesses capture millions of supply chain data points, apply critical metrics and view data in new and innovative ways, allowing quick action on potential trouble spots in a supply chain.

    Technology continues to change the world. The good news is, more and more organisations are using its power to activate purpose on many levels.