What's Next: Sustainability

Here’s some good news. Businesses are beginning to reopen. Companies are determining how to get back to work in new and different ways. The challenge is construction needs to adapt and change. The result is technologies to accelerate digital transformation are needed now more than ever before. To help, in the next few weeks, I would like to dig into some of the biggest trends in construction and uncover what’s next for technology in the industry. Basically, let’s identify where you should focus your energies in the months ahead.
First up, sustainability. Earlier this year, we identified that the coming decade will be the one of enterprise sustainability, where businesses turn to technology like the IoT (Internet of Things), machine learning, AI (artificial intelligence), and more, to create business strategies that center on being more sustainable. Then, a pandemic hit, and while many have been focused on world events, the underlying principles surrounding the need for green still remain.
Peggy Smedley penned a very interesting blog last week about the IoT in sustainability and the circular economy. Here is the premise. In a circular economy, resources are used and reused and reused again. She says a circular economy “pursues responsible consumption and production to ultimately create a more sustainable earth.” She also makes the point that technology will be key to this.
The first, and perhaps, most important step to becoming a more sustainable business is to identify how and where to be resourceful—and then identify what technologies can help. Businesses depend on it.
Still, there is another trend we need to keep in mind as well. Tech to connect our structures. This month’s feature over on Connected World points to some interesting trends to keep in mind. The U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) suggests that on average Americans spend about 90% of their time indoors, which is probably even higher during a pandemic. Here pollutants are two to five times higher than outdoors. The key takeaway here is that smart technologies can help make our homes healthier.
The healthy home and building movement is one that has gained steam in recent years. Buildings can provide a healthy environment in which to live and work if they are designed and constructed properly. Homebuilders have been designing and building healthy homes, and leveraging technologies to make them more sustainable for years.
Even amid a pandemic, USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council) has announced a new strategy called Healthy People in Healthy Places Equals a Healthy Economy. Basically saying the global pandemic has only made that belief stronger that we need healthy places to live and work—and it is true, perhaps now more than ever.
So what steps are you going to take next, as it relates to sustainability? Will it be creating strategies to take advantage of a circular economy? Will it be building more healthy homes and buildings for clients? Consider what’s next, then determine how technology will fit in. The time is now.