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It’s that time of year again when everyone waits in anticipation for the annual fall release of the latest and greatest devices and digital applications by technology companies. Their executives are expected to pull out all the stops with hour-long showmanship-esque performances, complete with glitzy lights and spectacular marketing collateral. And the internet is abuzz with rumors about what the tech sector has in store for us. But few people are talking about the other side of the coin – the dark underbelly of the technology industry that is slowly but surely eroding our planet.
Yes, you read that right. The very industry that has given us life-changing innovations such as the smartphone and social media is also responsible for some of the most pressing environmental problems we face today. For example, a major sustainability-related tech development barely made headlines: the recent landmark EU judgment to amend the Radio Equipment Directive and mandate all mobile electronic devices to adhere to a single uniform charging port in USB-C by 2024.
The amendment is expected to reduce around 11,000 tons of e-waste in the EU alone every year. While the move is a positive step toward environmental responsibility, the unfortunate reality is that the wider technology sector is facing a sustainability crisis.
For most people, digital technology is a solution, not a driver, of our unsustainable practices. Digital applications are driving a revolution that promises and delivers transformative societal benefits. From smart cities and precision agriculture to the prospect of immersive …