The Tech­nol­ogy Op­por­tu­nity

Element - - The Blue Economy -

The Sus­tain­able Busi­ness Coun­cil’s blue­print to achiev­ing a sus­tain­able econ­omy and so­ci­ety in NZ (Vi­sion 2050), and the plan to achieve it (Ac­tion 2020), are two im­por­tant and pow­er­ful steps for­ward to­wards at­tain­ing a state of re­silience and pros­per­ity for our coun­try.

The vi­sion and the plan are def­i­nitely in the van­guard of global sus­tain­abil­ity ini­tia­tives. As a provider of tech­nol­ogy so­lu­tions in sup­port of the global mega­trends – ur­ban­i­sa­tion, glob­al­i­sa­tion, cli­mate change, de­mo­graphic change and dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion – Siemens can at­test to the ur­gency of ad­dress­ing these chal­lenges. More than 40% of our rev­enue now comes from prod­ucts and so­lu­tions that counter the worst ef­fects of en­vi­ron­men­tal chal­lenges or chal­lenges to the sus­tain­abil­ity of our com­mu­ni­ties. The growth of our port­fo­lio in this area is di­rectly in re­sponse to the needs of cus­tomers around the world.

As in­creas­ing num­bers of peo­ple move from ru­ral ar­eas into the cities, city au­thor­i­ties are fac­ing huge pres­sure on re­sources – wa­ter and en­ergy in par­tic­u­lar – and their in­fra­struc­ture, while glob­ally, as en­ergy de­mand soars, a re­liance on fos­sil fuel power poses a sig­nif­i­cant cli­mate change is­sue.

The mood of the world around these is­sues is also chang­ing: demon­strat­ing good en­vi­ron­men­tal cre­den­tials and real sus­tain­abil­ity ac­tiv­i­ties within a cor­po­rate agenda used to be a “nice to” – now it’s a “need to”. The emerg­ing work­force of young grad­u­ates and work­ers is de­mand­ing it. So are con­sumers: a com­pany’s en­vi­ron­men­tal and sus­tain­abil­ity per­for­mance is in­creas­ingly an im­por­tant part of the buyer’s de­ci­sion-mak­ing process – and that in­cludes busi­ness buy­ers.

To its credit, the busi­ness world is re­spond­ing. Be­hind the green rhetoric there is an as­ton­ish­ing level of in­no­va­tion oc­cur­ring to re­duce en­ergy cost, and pro­duce clean power, among other things. The emer­gence of new de­vel­op­ments like smart grids, vi­able elec­tric ve­hi­cle tech­nolo­gies, off­shore wind farms and dig­i­tal fac­to­ries gives a great deal of hope that the hu­man race can solve the prob­lems fac­ing the planet. We can’t con­tinue to utilise around 150% of the world’s re­sources and tech­nol­ogy has a sig­nif­i­cant part to play in ad­dress­ing the planet’s fu­ture sus­tain­abil­ity.

New Zealand has some def­i­nite ad­van­tages al­ready with al­most 75% of the coun­try’s en­ergy de­liv­ered through re­new­able sources – the envy of many na­tions. But there is also much po­ten­tial to make our cities mod­els of en­ergy and trans­porta­tion ef­fi­ciency, with the qual­ity of life we also seek as ur­ban res­i­dents.

Our dis­ad­van­tages as a trad­ing na­tion – prin­ci­pally our dis­tance from the world’s ma­jor mar­kets – are an in­cen­tive for NZ to get smarter in terms of the tech­nolo­gies it de­vel­ops and sells to the world and there is good ev­i­dence we are ca­pa­ble of this.

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