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IEEE on Leveraging Technology for #Only One Earth: World Environment Day 2022

With a vision of creating awareness about environmental protection around this year’s World Environment Day theme – #OnlyOneEarth, our IEEE impact creators have shared their views on how to improve our relationship with nature and protect the planet we inhabit together by leveraging technology. 

Ravikiran Annaswamy, IEEE Senior Member

The Indian transportation sector is one of the major contributors to CO2 emissions, responsible for 13.5% of the country’s energy-related CO2 emissions, with road transport accounting for 90% of the sector’s final energy consumption. This has aggravated environmental changes, resulting in air pollution, extinction of flora and fauna, oil, energy crisis, and much more – hence, transitioning to cleaner transportation is a must to save our planet earth. Therefore, it is vital for us to respond collectively, take the onus on ourselves and act immediately to move towards environmental sustainability – all by leveraging technology and keeping innovation at the heart of development. 

A holistic and systematic internetworking across several industries is the key to this development – where all the engineers working in Automobile, Electrical Utilities, Battery Technologies, IoT, Cloud, Big Data, and Software create innovative solutions that interconnect to power a sustainable society. 

Ramalatha Marimuthu, IEEE Senior Member

Technology is radically altering how we live, work, and interact with one another, and it is currently impacting almost every industry in every country, thanks to the current breakthroughs. It is true that technology was originally used to make human life easier, but today it also benefits the environment due to various developments in the field of environmental technology. A recent increase in global concern about environmental issues has prompted the development of new environmental technologies aimed to help in the resolution of some of the most pressing environmental issues that we face today as a society by shifting to a more sustainable, low-carbon economy.

Modern environmental technology has enabled us to capture naturally occurring energy such as wind, water, etc. and convert it into electricity or useful heat using devices such as solar panels, wind, and water turbines, demonstrating a significant positive impact of technology on the environment. Other examples of technology positively benefiting the environment are innovations in irrigation methods that use less water and manufacturing practices that reduce waste and pollution.

Jayakrishnan T, IEEE Senior Member

Technology has evolved exponentially over the past few decades, and it has completely transformed the way we function today. Self-driving cars, intelligent digital agents, robots and alike have smartly paved their way across various industries and sectors to advance to a more productive and safe society. And as we move towards a digitally connected world, it is exciting to see how AI and robotics are immensely contributing to the environment.

The role of automation and robotics is significantly helping to improve the factory processes for environmental protection. For instance, deploying robots is leading to a positive impact on our climate – waste treatment automation and recycling have reduced CO2 emissions. Industrial robots use AI technology to scan, identify, and sort items that can be recycled and optimize manufacturing. This means products are manufactured in less time with fewer resources being utilized, cutting down on energy use. Additionally, autonomous robots/ fully robotised plants do not require regulated temperature and lighting conditions unlike in case of human operators, which again saves energy and work to protect the environment at large.

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