Sustainability Innovations Power Forward on a Planetary Scale
April 28, 2021
By Garrett Ilg—April 22, 2021, Oracle Magazine
We’re all familiar with the business adage that sometimes “less is more,” but is more ever less? It is when it comes to the critical area of sustainability, which requires companies and individuals to invest more of their vast resources and innovation capabilities to lessen their environmental footprints.
There is no single definition of sustainability. In the context of Earth Day, I’d like to focus on efforts to mitigate climate change; improve the quality of our land, seas, and air; preserve biodiversity; ensure a reliable supply of food and water; and conserve our dwindling natural resources—broadly, efforts to maintain the planet in a condition where life as a whole can flourish.
After decades—really, centuries—of neglect, we as a planetary collective are starting to make progress on a number of sustainability fronts. Working together, individuals, companies, industries, and governments can make a significant difference:
More than 800 cities and 1,500 major corporations worldwide have committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050, according to a recent report from the SustainAbility Institute.
In 2008, when National Geographic’s Pristine Seas project began its mission to create marine reserves free of commercial fishing, only 1% of the world’s oceans were protected. Today, it’s over 7%, though biologists say we’ll need to protect 30% of the oceans by 2030 to prevent a mass extinction of marine species.
Largely due to technological and data-informed advances, agricultural productivity is growing globally at an average annual rate of 1.63%, according to a Virginia Tech report. But it needs to increase at an annual clip of 1.73% to sustainably produce food, feed, fiber, and bioenergy for the planet’s 10 billion people in 2050, the report maintains.
A recent report from the Supporters of Agricultural Research (SoAR) Foundation has found that investments in the CGIAR system yield a ten-to-one return on investment in low- and middle-income countries, with additional follow-on benefits impacting higher income and donor countries as well. Over the last 50 years of CGIAR’s operations, approximately $60 billion have been […]
Traditional rice farming techniques in India are becoming environmentally unsustainable. Direct Seeded Rice (DSR) is an alternative resource-efficient technology that minimizes the environmental impact of rice farming while improving farmer livelihoods. Corteva Agriscience’s integrated rice farming program helps farmers better understand and realize the benefits of DSR. Rice farming in Asia Rice is the staple food […]
The Mosaic Company is working to equip farmers with the tools to harness the fertility power of soil health. Through new products like the Sus-Terra Fertilizer and partnerships with BioConsortia, Sound Agriculture, and AgBiome, The Mosaic Company is forging a new future for fertilizer technology that enhances and utilizes soil’s natural ecological microbial biome. What […]
Deere & Company is not only working to improve productivity on the farm but also in the factory by bringing connectivity to rural America. Deere’s manufacturing facilities are very complex environments that rely heavily on internet connectivity and access. Advanced internet connectivity enables Deere & Company to fully embrace the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, […]
A coalition of researchers and scientists at Bayer Crop Science are working together to protect the world’s most popular banana variety from the Tropical Race 4 fungal pathogen. TR4, also named Panama Disease, is a new fungal pathogen threatening the future of the Cavendish banana, which accounts for 95% of banana production. Over 400 million […]