Smart use of technology can help our environment

Smart use of technology can help our environment Since the COP 21 Paris Climate Conference, the environment and our impact on it has again been thrown into the limelight. Too often, this discussion turns very political and partisan, pitting "greenies" ag

Since the COP 21 Paris Climate Conference, the environment and our impact on it has again been thrown into the limelight. Too often, this discussion turns very political and partisan, pitting “greenies” against “big business and money.”

In reality, one does not have to identify with any political stripe or ideology to care about our environment. We all inhabit this Earth together and we all need to do our part to become more environmentally sustainable as a society. Many people think that this starts with big industry, and while it does to an extent, it also trickles down to the smallest scale.

My company, Orange Technology, has spent the last several years focusing on and making a concentrated effort on recommending and deploying energy-friendly solutions for our clients. With very few exceptions, we are now at a point where we exclusively provide low-energy consumption technology solutions.

Here are some figures to consider: since 2013, our solutions have removed over 867,466.00 pounds of CO2 emissions from the atmosphere. This is the equivalent to the CO2 emissions produced by consuming 167,603.00 litres of vehicle gasoline, driving 1,507,710.00 kilometres in a passenger vehicle or burning 422,638.00 pounds of coal. Think about that: nearly half a million pounds of coal.

We did all this simply by making a conscious choice about the products that we sell to our clients. Often times I’m asked whether it was a difficult choice to make, or whether I don’t make as much money selling energy conscious as opposed to more traditional options. I’ve always been very clear with anyone who’s ever asked: these solutions are no more difficult to source, they actually cost the same price as the traditional options, and they actually function more efficiently which allows for greater productivity.

Public policy also has a part to play in making our society more environmentally sustainable. Currently, the Government of Yukon offers rebates and financial incentives for replacing things like domestic house appliances with energy efficient models. For example, rebates of up to 30 per cent can be acquired when replacing refrigerators, freezers, clothes washers and dishwashers. I would suggest that this type of program can be expanded to other industries and sectors, technology being one of them.

We’ve only begun to scratch the surface of energy efficient technology solutions. Think about what we could do if we were able to convert even 25 per cent of our territory’s technology infrastructure to low power consuming products.

The change starts with all of us, collectively, on a local level – it always has.

Martin Lehner

Whitehorse

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