- As world leaders gather at COP26, we asked technology leaders for their solutions for climate action.
- Their ideas take advantage of technology to address issues in industries including healthcare, transportation, and regulation.
In August 2021, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a sixth assessment report on climate change detailing how the Earth will face the catastrophic consequences if collective, immediate and robust climate action is not taken. Recent floods in parts of Germany and Canada, and record temperatures in the United States are a reminder of this “red mode.” We must act collectively with a sense of urgency.
Ahead of the COP26 meeting in Glasgow, we asked technology leaders at the World Economic Forum to share their solutions to combat climate change. Coming from different sectors including agriculture, healthcare, real estate, and transportation, they offer creative and innovative solutions to overcome the challenge.
Creating a sustainable meat sector
Didier Toubia, Co-Founder and CEO of Alf Farms
To transform the meat sector, we must combine sustainable farming methods, combined with increased innovation, backed by transformative innovation, such as farmed meat, while all supported by local regulations and policies.
There is no single approach that can achieve a resilient and sustainable meat ecosystem.
—Didier Toubia, Co-Founder and CEO, Aleph Farms
Thousand Farms grow steaks directly from non-GMO animal cells. By growing meat directly from the building blocks, cells, Alf Farms produces meat independently of climate change and the availability of local natural resources. With the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from meat production by 92%, water by 78% and land use by 95% (when compared to intensive farming of livestock), farmed meat enables food systems to reduce their environmental impacts to become more resistant to shocks. In addition, Aleph Farms is committed to achieving carbon neutrality in our operations by 2025 and within the entire supply chain by 2030.
There is no single approach that can achieve a resilient and sustainable meat ecosystem. It will require an integrated and holistic approach that brings together a series of solutions from all stakeholders in the value chain.
Improving healthcare with data and analytics
Chris MacFarlane, Founder and CEO of Patientory
Climate change has been a concern for a long time, and undoubtedly remains one of the biggest challenges. It is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the effects of climate change on humans and their health, as we can see that climate extremes are causing more and more disruptions to people’s lives and businesses.
Not only that, but it also increases chronic health conditions like asthma, widens the range of infectious diseases and severely affects mental health. There are currently 153 million Americans with chronic diseases, 60% of whom are adults and 40% have two or more chronic conditions. Both patients and providers still face challenges in managing health data on a daily basis. Lack of data access, interoperability, and customization has led to an increase in chronic diseases, data breaches, and decreased patient satisfaction and quality of care.
Therefore, as a population health data management and analytics company, my team and I are working to improve people’s health with our decentralized application. Our consumer app helps people track their health and encourages them to stay healthy and fit.
Building sustainable buildings
Natalia Karayaneva, CEO of Propy
When you buy or sell a property, you know that the exchange process is arduous. It involves third parties shuffling a lot of paperwork through the mail and taking weeks to complete.
With Propy, you can use our transaction platform to quickly purchase real estate, tackle deforestation and eliminate the need to travel. Teleworking is the standard policy, so daily commuting is minimal and air pollution is reduced.
In addition, not many people realize that 60% of carbon dioxide is from buildings. One of Propy’s first features was the sustainability score for each drug, so this is one of our core values. We have always been wary of the environment and climate change. On a personal level, I drive an electric car, and I’ve reduced personal and business travel in my attempts to stem climate change and reduce air pollution as well.
Reduce emissions in transportation
Amos Hajjaj, CEO and Co-Founder of Optibus
The transportation sector contributes to 29% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Personal vehicles alone generated about three billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions worldwide in 2020. Reducing vehicle emissions by changing the way people travel is key to combating climate change. However, in many cities, the alternative to personal cars – public transportation – is neither effective nor accessible enough to persuade drivers to abandon their cars.
To change the narrative, Optibus gives public transportation providers the data-driven digital tools needed to deliver more efficient and convenient services to meet passenger demand, reach more communities and increase ridership.
But getting more people to use public transportation is only half the equation. To combat climate change, transportation processes themselves must get greener. By increasing efficiency, Optibus reduces the number of buses needed to operate services, eliminated 100,000 tons of CO2 emissions from the sector last year while continuing to increase service quality, and our electric vehicle management program facilitates the transition to 100% electric and zero-emissions fleets Buses will meet the demand for an all-electric bus fleet for the next two decades.
Take a more preventative approach to healthcare
Daniel Nathrath, Founder and CEO of Ada Health
The healthcare industry has a large carbon footprint and is responsible for 4-5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Whether it is through electricity for healthcare facilities, ambulance fuel, medical transportation, proper disposal of medicines, waste water, and more, it is easy to see all the ways the sector is contributing to climate change. Reducing emissions as a society will only work if every industry contributes in a meaningful way.
If we take a more preventative approach to health care, we can prevent disease and reduce disease.
—Daniel Nathrath, founder and CEO of Ada Health
So, if we take a more preventative approach to healthcare, we can prevent and reduce disease, improve efficiency across healthcare and reduce time spent in hospitals, lost trips, and all of the associated carbon emissions along with other environmental pollution.
By providing individuals around the world with a personalized health operating system, Ada works towards this goal, empowering individuals to take a proactive and preventive approach to managing their personal health. We are also committed to partnering with leading healthcare organizations to improve efficiencies across the healthcare journey, serving as the ‘digital front door’ for health and directing users to the right care at the right time, helping to reduce costs and emissions across the panel.
Meet the requirements of sustainability regulation
Rebecca Minguela, founder and CEO of Clarity AI
With 17% of the world’s current financial assets at risk and an opportunity for investors to benefit from the transition to a low-carbon economy, climate finance is here to stay. However, companies still do not disclose enough data, with less than 20% of listed companies worldwide reporting carbon dioxide emissions. Obviously, there are still differences in methodology across ratings and regions, and scalability and speed are crucial.
Clarity AI leverages big data and machine learning to help manage the key sustainability and impact needs of investor portfolios, including regulatory requirements for sustainability. Our climate solutions provide investors with tools to evaluate portfolios extensively around key frameworks.
Make faster and more informed decisions
Sarah Minker, founder and CEO of Gro Intelligence
Sustainability and ESG management will be increasingly sought after by regulators and shareholders, but few countries and companies have internal teams and resources that can expand to keep pace with the pace of change. Gro Intelligence works with organizations on their sustainability goals – providing live, global, and interconnected data and applications for faster, more informed decisions.
Gro Intelligence combines deep domain expertise with the latest advances in artificial intelligence and computing to scale solutions to mitigate and manage risks in a changing climate. Our platform allows businesses, governments, and organizations of all sizes to see the big picture and then work on the small details.