Top Sustainability Issues Plaguing the Tech World

Top Sustainability Issues Plaguing the Tech World

In this article, take a look at the top sustainability issues that are plaguing the tech world. Innovation is usually seen as the key to solving environmental problems.

Innovation is usually seen as the key to solving environmental problems, IoT and AI being at the core of sustainability roadmap. Technological process indeed brings new benefits and conveniences to mankind and helps to track and reduce waste and emissions. Alas, it may be also directly related to environmental pollution, depletion of the bowels of the earth, or even violation of human rights. Let’s dig a little deeper into each of these problems.

E-Waste 

Any modern device is not just a set of iron and silicon, it combines a variety of elements from the periodic table. It is difficult to overestimate the environmental harm from the disposal of electronic waste, not to mention the direct danger to people. For example, monitors, boards, connectors, and circuits are rich in arsenic, lead, and mercury. 

The body of the equipment is a hard-to-decompose plastic, wires emit chlorine and dioxins during decomposition and combustion, and the toner of cartridges is cyanide particles. Accordingly, waste electronics cannot simply be thrown into a landfill with the rest of the waste. A lot still needs to be done to make tech companies see waste as a resource and assume responsibility for recycling it. Nonetheless, this seems to be the only way to make hi-tech eco-friendly.

Conflict Materials 

A variety of raw materials are required to create the components that make up a computing device. Lack of resources has become one of the key factors that contributed to the outbreak of armed conflicts in the territories of the Middle East, North Africa, and other regions. The struggle for natural resources has a long history: it has long been the cause of conflicts around the world. Changes in the environment raise questions about the availability and control of most resources. The growing scarcity may lead to increased action by different countries to ensure control over key resources, leading to a geopolitical struggle between powers.

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