top of page

What is an Example of New Technology having a Positive Impact on Sustainability?

Updated: 5 days ago

In the quest to answer "What is an example of new technology having a positive impact on sustainability?", this article explores a range of innovative technologies that are reshaping the landscape of sustainable development.

Technologies like Solar Glass and Atmospheric Water Generators are leading the charge, embodying the transformative impact of innovation on environmental conservation. Solar Glass, turning buildings into renewable energy sources, and Atmospheric Water Generators, extracting potable water from the air, showcase the diverse ways in which cutting-edge technologies are paving the path toward a more sustainable future.

These examples, among others explored in this article, illustrate not just the potential for technology to address ecological challenges but also the momentum toward integrating sustainable solutions across various facets of daily life. Delve into our comprehensive exploration to discover how these and other innovations are driving the green revolution, making sustainability an achievable goal.

Each section delves into a different technology, showcasing how these advancements are not just mere tools, but powerful agents of change, positively impacting sustainability in various sectors.

1. Solar Glass – Illuminating the Path Forward

Modern building interior with large solar glass windows, reflecting the integration of renewable energy in architecture.

Solar glass is more than an architectural novelty; it's a cornerstone in the edifice of sustainable urban development. When integrated with smart grid technology, solar glass can significantly enhance the efficiency of urban energy systems, creating a synergistic relationship between building materials and energy management.


Solar glass represents a paradigm shift in building design and energy generation. Unlike conventional building materials, solar glass transforms windows and facades into active energy sources, harvesting sunlight to generate clean power.

This technology redefines urban landscapes, turning structures into eco-friendly power generators. However, while solar glass symbolizes a leap forward in sustainable architecture, it is essential to address its limitations alongside its benefits.


One of the key challenges of solar glass technology lies in its efficiency and cost-effectiveness compared to traditional solar panels. While the integration of solar glass into buildings offers aesthetic and space-saving advantages, its energy conversion rates are generally lower.

This reduced efficiency might limit its application in areas requiring high energy outputs or in projects with strict budget constraints.

Furthermore, the initial investment for solar glass installations can be significant, potentially hindering its widespread adoption.


ClearVue Technologies exemplifies the practical application of solar glass through its development of solar windows. These windows maintain transparency while generating electricity, illustrating how sustainability can harmoniously coexist with modern architectural aesthetics.

ClearVue's solar windows have been notably implemented in a major commercial facade in Australia, showcasing the technology's real-world application.

However, it's critical to acknowledge the practical considerations in implementing such technology. The balance between maintaining transparency and maximizing energy generation presents a technical challenge.

Additionally, the long-term durability and maintenance requirements of solar glass in varying environmental conditions remain areas for further exploration and improvement.

2. Water-from-Air Tech – Quenching Thirst Sustainably

"State-of-the-art atmospheric water generator situated in a lush garden, epitomizing sustainable technology

Atmospheric water generators represent a leap in addressing global water scarcity, especially in arid regions. Their synergy with renewable energy sources can lead to a self-sustaining system, crucial for remote and off-grid areas, enhancing both water and energy sustainability.


In regions grappling with water scarcity, atmospheric water generators (AWGs) present a groundbreaking solution. These devices skillfully extract moisture from the air, offering a new, sustainable source of potable water.

This technology is particularly transformative in arid areas, where traditional sources of water are scarce or nonexistent.

AWGs not only provide essential drinking water but also symbolize a shift towards technological solutions that cater to the basic needs of communities in challenging environments.


While AWGs offer a promising solution to water scarcity, they face several challenges.

The efficiency of water extraction depends heavily on the humidity level and air quality, which can vary greatly between regions. In areas with low humidity, the effectiveness of these devices may be limited, reducing their viability as a universal solution.

Additionally, the energy consumption required to operate AWGs is a crucial factor, especially in regions where energy resources are limited or expensive.


A leading example in this field is the WaterCube100 (WC-100) by Genesis Systems. This portable atmospheric water generator, showcased at CES 2024, is designed to produce up to 100 gallons of water per day.

It operates effectively across a range of humidity levels and temperatures, making it adaptable to various environments. For larger scale requirements, multiple WaterCubes can be combined, providing a scalable solution to water scarcity.

The WaterCube100 highlights the potential of AWGs in addressing critical water shortages. However, it also underscores the need for further development in efficiency and energy usage, ensuring that these systems are sustainable and accessible for communities most in need of such innovations.

3. Lab-Grown Foods – A Culinary Revolution

Packaged lab-grown meat with an informational label, representing the future of sustainable food production

Lab-grown foods are redefining our approach to food production and consumption. When combined with sustainable energy sources and smart agriculture practices, this technology could lead to a significant reduction in the agricultural sector's carbon footprint.


Lab-grown foods, especially meats, offer an eco-friendly alternative to traditional animal farming. This technology significantly reduces the requirement for land, water, and lowers greenhouse gas emissions.

Cultured in controlled lab environments, lab-grown meats provide a sustainable solution to the growing demand for protein while addressing ethical concerns associated with animal farming.


Despite its benefits, lab-grown food technology faces hurdles.

Scaling up production to meet global demand remains a significant challenge. The cost of production is currently higher than traditional farming, making lab-grown foods less accessible to the broader market.

Additionally, there are concerns about consumer acceptance and regulatory hurdles, as this technology disrupts established norms in food production.


Eat Just and Upside Foods are pioneering the lab-grown meat sector. Both companies have cleared regulatory approvals in the U.S. for their cultivated chicken products.

Upside Foods' pilot facility can produce about 50,000 pounds of lab-grown meat annually, with plans to expand.

Eat Just operates demonstration facilities in the U.S. and Singapore, showcasing large-scale production capabilities.

These developments mark a significant step in making sustainable protein sources available to consumers.

However, the journey of lab-grown foods from niche innovation to mainstream staple involves overcoming production, cost, and perception challenges.

4. AI for Ecosystem Restoration

Drone flying over a lush forest, showcasing innovative technology used in environmental monitoring and conservation

Artificial Intelligence in ecosystem restoration is not operating in isolation. Its integration with technologies like satellite imaging and IoT sensors can lead to a more comprehensive approach to environmental conservation and biodiversity protection.


Artificial Intelligence (AI) is emerging as a vital tool in the field of ecosystem restoration, offering unparalleled opportunities for conservation and recovery efforts. AI's ability to process and analyze vast amounts of environmental data is revolutionizing the way we approach ecological rehabilitation.

With AI, scientists can gain deeper insights into complex ecosystem dynamics, identify degraded areas needing restoration, and predict the impact of various conservation strategies.

This technology enhances the precision and effectiveness of restoration efforts, leading to more successful outcomes in terms of biodiversity conservation and habitat recovery.


Despite its potential, AI's application in ecosystem restoration is not without challenges.

One significant hurdle is the availability and quality of environmental data. AI algorithms require comprehensive, high-quality datasets to function optimally, but such data can be limited, especially in remote or understudied ecosystems.

Integrating AI into traditional conservation practices also presents a challenge, necessitating a shift in methodologies and potential retraining for conservationists.

Additionally, there's a risk of over-reliance on AI, which might overshadow the importance of field-based knowledge and human expertise in ecological decision-making.


Several innovative projects illustrate AI's role in ecosystem restoration.

For instance, AI-powered drones are being used in reforestation efforts. These drones can autonomously map deforested areas, identify optimal locations for tree planting, and even disperse seeds efficiently.

In marine environments, AI is helping restore coral reefs by analyzing vast amounts of underwater imagery to assess reef health, identify degraded areas, and track the progress of restoration efforts.

These examples highlight AI's capacity to augment and enhance human-led restoration projects. However, maximizing AI's potential in ecosystem restoration requires addressing data quality issues, ensuring seamless integration with existing conservation practices, and maintaining a balance between technological and human ecological expertise.

5. Green Hydrogen – Fuel of the Future

Shiny hydrogen storage tanks against a blue sky, symbolizing clean energy solutions in the transition to a greener future.

Green hydrogen, as a clean energy source, holds the key to decarbonizing industries like transportation and manufacturing. When integrated with renewable energy systems, green hydrogen can be produced more efficiently, complementing the energy sector's move towards sustainability.


Green hydrogen, generated through renewable energy, stands out as a pivotal clean fuel alternative. This innovative energy source offers a sustainable solution for decarbonizing industries typically difficult to reform, such as steel production and transportation.

Green hydrogen represents more than just an alternative fuel; it symbolizes a shift towards sustainable practices for industries eager to reduce their environmental impact.


However, the path to adopting green hydrogen widely is not without challenges.

A key hurdle lies in making this energy source more cost-effective. The production of green hydrogen, particularly through electrolysis, currently involves high costs, primarily due to the use of expensive materials like platinum and iridium in catalysts.

Additionally, the infrastructure required for the production, storage, and distribution of green hydrogen is still underdeveloped, posing logistical and economic challenges.


Significant advancements are being made to overcome these challenges.

A notable breakthrough is the development of a new bifunctional water electrolysis catalyst by a research team led by Professor Jungki Ryu at UNIST and Professor Dong-Hwa Seo from KAIST.

This catalyst, using a combination of ruthenium, silicon, and tungsten, offers a more durable and cost-effective alternative to traditional catalysts, even in corrosive environments. This innovation is a crucial step towards reducing the costs associated with green hydrogen production.

In the realm of application, Nikola Corporation is pioneering the integration of green hydrogen technology into transportation. They have developed hydrogen-electric trucks for long-haul, heavy-duty transportation, encompassing the entire hydrogen fuel ecosystem from production to consumption.

Their efforts in bringing hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles to production highlight the practical application of green hydrogen in real-world scenarios.

6. E-Waste Recycling Robots – Warriors of Waste Reduction

High-tech robotic arms in an automated recycling facility, highlighting the role of robotics in sustainable waste management.

E-waste recycling robots are a critical component in the circular economy, especially as we move towards more electronic and smart devices. These robots, in conjunction with advancements in product design and materials science, can significantly reduce the environmental impact of electronic waste.


E-waste recycling robots are emerging as a vital force in tackling the escalating challenge of electronic waste. These sophisticated machines, equipped with precise and efficient mechanisms, are revolutionizing the process of dismantling and sorting e-waste.

They excel in recovering valuable materials, thereby reducing the environmental footprint of electronic waste. These robots represent more than just technological advancements; they are at the forefront of combating a major concern of our digital era, transforming waste management into a more sustainable practice.


Despite their benefits, e-waste recycling robots face several hurdles.

One primary challenge is the complexity of electronic waste, which often contains a mix of hazardous materials and valuable components. Ensuring the robots can accurately sort and handle these materials safely is crucial but not straightforward.

Another challenge lies in the integration of these robots into existing waste management systems, which may require significant infrastructural changes. Additionally, the high cost of developing and maintaining such advanced robotic systems can be a barrier to widespread adoption.


Innovative applications in this field include companies like AMP Robotics, which have developed intelligent systems for e-waste recycling. These systems leverage AI to differentiate between various materials, allowing for more efficient sorting and processing.

Another example is the TOMRA Autosort Optical Sorter, which uses advanced sorting technologies to efficiently separate electronic waste. Moreover, initiatives like smart dumpsters in Miami, Florida, equipped with AI cameras, are being utilized to monitor and manage waste more effectively.

Apple's Daisy disassembly robot is another groundbreaking example. Capable of dismantling an iPhone in under a minute, Daisy epitomizes the efficiency and safety of using robots in e-waste recycling. This not only ensures high-quality material recovery but also enhances worker safety.

7. Smart Grids – Energizing Efficiency

Network of smart grids overlaying a cityscape, depicting the digital transformation of urban energy systems.

Smart grids stand at the crossroads of energy innovation, integrating various sustainable technologies. Their ability to synergize with renewable energy sources, like solar and wind, enhances the overall efficiency and reliability of power systems.


Smart grids, infused with the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT), are revolutionizing the way energy is managed and distributed.

These advanced electrical networks optimize power flow, minimize waste, and seamlessly incorporate renewable energy sources.

Smart grids are more than mere electrical infrastructures; they function as the neural networks of urban energy systems, enhancing efficiency and ensuring resilience in energy distribution.


Despite their numerous advantages, smart grids face certain challenges.

The foremost is the high initial investment required for their implementation. The cost of upgrading existing electrical grids to smart grids, including the integration of advanced technologies like AI and IoT, can be substantial.

Additionally, the spatial requirements for setting up these systems, especially in densely populated urban areas, pose logistical challenges.

Cybersecurity also emerges as a crucial concern, as the interconnected nature of smart grids makes them vulnerable to cyber-attacks.


The global smart grid market is witnessing rapid growth, projected to reach approximately USD 846.1 billion by 2030. This expansion is driven by the increasing demand for secure, reliable, and high-quality power supply, and the necessity of integrating renewable energy into existing grids.

Key technologies contributing to this growth encompass advanced metering infrastructure, distribution automation, cybersecurity measures, as well as software and hardware advancements.

The Asia Pacific region, particularly countries like China, Japan, and India, is a major contributor to this market growth. The drive in these countries to reduce transmission losses, lower carbon emissions, and cope with rising electricity demands, is accelerating the adoption of smart grids.

North America, with the U.S. at the forefront, is also a significant player in the market, fueled by substantial investments in smart grid technologies.

The potential for growth and innovation in the smart grid sector is immense. Despite the challenges of high initial costs and space constraints, the benefits of smart grids, including enhanced energy efficiency, reliable power supply, and reduced carbon emissions, make them a pivotal component in the future of electricity management.

8. Bioplastics – Redefining Materials for a Sustainable Era

Recyclable bioplastic materials with recycling symbol, indicating the shift towards sustainable packaging solutions.

Bioplastics are paving the way towards environmentally friendly material solutions. When combined with recycling technologies and sustainable waste management practices, they offer a holistic approach to reducing plastic pollution and fostering a circular economy.


Bioplastics, derived from renewable resources like corn and sugarcane, are revolutionizing the materials industry. These sustainable alternatives to petroleum-based plastics are not just innovative materials; they represent a significant shift towards a circular economy.

This transition emphasizes products designed for reuse and environmental degradation, highlighting bioplastics as a key element in sustainable material solutions.


Despite their environmental benefits, bioplastics face several challenges.

The cost of producing bioplastics is currently higher than that of traditional plastics, which can limit their widespread adoption.

Additionally, there are performance limitations in certain applications, which can restrict their use in some industries. Addressing these challenges is crucial for the broader acceptance and use of bioplastics.


The bioplastics industry is experiencing substantial growth, driven by advancements in production technology and increasing global demand for sustainable, bio-based products.

The market is expanding, with materials like PLA, PBAT, starch blends, PHA, PBS, Bio-PE, Bio-PET, and Bio-PA being used in various industries, including packaging, automotive, construction, and consumer goods. Continuous research is enhancing the mechanical and chemical properties of bioplastics, making them more versatile.

The Asia-Pacific region is expected to see significant growth in the bioplastics market, attributed to the abundance of bioplastics feedstock, a growing preference for biodegradable products, and favorable manufacturing conditions.

These regional developments are indicative of a global trend towards sustainable materials.

Bioplastics contribute substantially to environmental sustainability by significantly reducing carbon dioxide emissions compared to synthetic plastics. Their biodegradability and compostability align with the principles of a circular economy, reducing environmental pollution.

9. Vertical Farming – Revolutionizing Agriculture

Technician monitoring plants in a vertical farm, exemplifying the new era of urban agriculture.

Vertical farming is a key innovation in urban agriculture, addressing the challenges of space and resource scarcity. When integrated with smart agriculture technologies, it can lead to a highly efficient, sustainable food production system, especially in densely populated areas.


Vertical farming, with its innovative approach to crop cultivation in stacked layers, often indoors, represents a significant leap in agricultural methods. This technique excels in efficient space utilization and dramatically reduces water usage.

Beyond a mere farming method, vertical farming exemplifies a sustainable approach to food production, even in densely populated urban environments, showcasing a viable solution for future food security.


Despite its advantages, vertical farming faces several challenges.

High initial setup costs for infrastructure and technology can be a barrier to entry. The energy demands for lighting and climate control systems are also significant, necessitating sustainable and cost-effective energy solutions.

Moreover, the scalability of vertical farms to meet the demands of large populations remains a challenge, requiring ongoing innovation and investment.


The vertical farming industry is witnessing rapid advancements and growth, driven by key trends:

  • Technological Advancements: Automation, advanced LED lighting, data analytics, and AI integration are enhancing efficiency and productivity in vertical farms. These technologies automate processes and optimize conditions for plant growth, leading to higher yields and better-quality produce.

  • Customized Crop Varieties: Vertical farms are increasingly focusing on growing specialized crops like microgreens, herbs, and specialty crops. This customization caters to specific market demands and culinary preferences, offering unique produce options.

  • Supply Assurance with Controlled Environments: Many vertical farms are operating in controlled environments like greenhouses, ensuring consistent production unaffected by external climate variations. This approach addresses issues like pest control and efficient water usage.

  • Hyper-localization and Sustainability: The trend towards hyper-localization, producing food close to its consumption point, is reducing transportation emissions and supporting sustainable food systems. This approach is increasingly favored by consumers, particularly the environmentally conscious younger generations.

  • Online and Omni-channel Retailing: The rise in online shopping post-pandemic is influencing vertical farming, with farms exploring direct-to-consumer sales through online platforms and subscription services. This strategy opens up new markets and potential for higher profit margins.

Vertical farming is poised to play a significant role in the future of agriculture and food production. Despite the challenges of high initial costs and energy demands, the benefits of vertical farming, including efficient space use, reduced water usage, and the ability to produce food sustainably in urban settings, are driving its growth.

10. Battery Advances – Powering a Sustainable Future

Collection of lithium batteries with periodic table element symbol, representing advancements in energy storage technology.

Advancements in battery technology are crucial for the transition to renewable energy and electric vehicles. These technologies, when integrated with renewable energy systems, can greatly enhance energy storage capabilities and the overall efficiency of sustainable power solutions.


  • Higher Energy Density: Modern batteries, particularly lithium-ion and emerging solid-state batteries, offer higher energy density. This means they can store more energy per unit of weight, making them ideal for applications where space and weight are critical factors, such as in electric vehicles and portable electronic devices.

  • Improved Longevity: New battery technologies have longer life cycles, reducing the need for frequent replacements. This longevity is essential for sustainable energy systems, as it ensures a more consistent and reliable energy supply over time, especially crucial for integrating intermittent renewable energy sources like solar and wind power.

  • Enhanced Safety: Advancements in battery chemistry and construction have led to safer energy storage solutions. Technologies like solid-state batteries eliminate the risk of leaks and combustion associated with traditional lithium-ion batteries, making them safer for consumer use and large-scale energy storage systems.

  • Cost-Effectiveness: As battery technology advances, economies of scale are achieved, and production processes become more efficient, leading to a decrease in the cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of storage. This cost reduction is vital for the mass adoption of electric vehicles and the feasibility of large-scale renewable energy storage.

  • Flexibility in Renewable Energy Integration: Advanced batteries enable more effective storage of energy generated from renewable sources, addressing the challenge of variability and intermittency. This flexibility allows for a more stable and reliable integration of renewables into the power grid, facilitating a greater shift away from fossil fuels.

  • Support for Grid Stabilization: Battery storage systems can respond rapidly to fluctuations in power demand, providing grid stabilization services. This capability is crucial as we transition to more dynamic and complex power networks with multiple renewable energy inputs.

  • Enabling Off-Grid Solutions: Improved battery technology is key in off-grid and microgrid solutions, providing reliable power in remote areas. This accessibility is crucial for global energy equity and in regions where traditional grid infrastructure is unavailable or unreliable.


Despite these advancements, battery technology faces several challenges. The sourcing of rare and potentially hazardous materials for battery production raises environmental and ethical concerns.

Additionally, ensuring the longevity and end-of-life recyclability of batteries remains a significant challenge. Balancing performance, cost, and environmental impact is crucial for the widespread adoption of advanced batteries.


Recent innovations in battery technology include developments in energy density, allowing for smaller batteries with greater power capacity. This is particularly important for electric vehicles and portable electronics.

Solid-state batteries are emerging as a safer, more durable alternative to traditional lithium-ion batteries, offering longer life cycles and higher safety standards.

The focus on sustainability has led to increased research into more eco-friendly materials for battery production, reducing reliance on rare and harmful substances.

Enhancements in capacity, charging speed, and overall efficiency are making electric vehicles more practical and appealing, contributing to significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

11. Ocean Cleanup Technologies – Guardians of the Seas

Conceptual image contrasting a clean ocean with polluted water, highlighting the importance of technologies in marine conservation efforts.

Ocean cleanup technologies are crucial in the battle against marine pollution. Their effectiveness can be greatly enhanced when combined with advances in waste management and recycling technologies, creating a comprehensive approach to tackling the challenge of oceanic waste.


Ocean cleanup technologies are emerging as critical tools in the fight against marine pollution. These innovative solutions are designed to tackle the daunting challenge of oceanic waste, particularly plastic pollution.

These technologies not only aid in cleaning our seas but also play a vital role in preserving marine ecosystems, protecting wildlife, and supporting global environmental health.


Despite their potential, ocean cleanup technologies face several challenges. One of the primary issues is the vast scale of pollution, making cleanup efforts complex and resource-intensive.

There's also the challenge of dealing with diverse types of waste, including microplastics, which are difficult to capture and remove. Furthermore, ensuring that these technologies do not harm marine life and ecosystems while cleaning up waste is crucial.


Recent advancements in ocean cleanup technologies include a variety of approaches:

  • Surface Cleaning Devices: Innovations like The Ocean Cleanup's passive drifting systems are designed to capture floating plastic waste. These systems use natural ocean currents and winds to collect waste, focusing on high-density plastic accumulation zones.

  • Underwater Cleanup Solutions: Technologies are being developed to tackle waste beneath the ocean surface, including seabed cleaning robots and devices for capturing microplastics.

  • Prevention Technologies: Efforts are also being made to prevent marine pollution at the source. This includes developing and deploying technologies that intercept waste in rivers and coastal areas before it reaches the open seas.

  • Data and Monitoring Tools: Advanced monitoring systems, including satellite imagery and AI algorithms, are being used to identify pollution hotspots and track the effectiveness of cleanup operations.

12. Smart Agriculture – Precision for Sustainability

Smart agriculture technology in action, illustrating the integration of data analytics in modern farming practices

Smart agriculture is at the forefront of modernizing farming practices. When synergized with technologies like IoT, AI, and renewable energy, it can revolutionize how we approach food production, making it more efficient, sustainable, and in harmony with the environment.


Smart agriculture, utilizing advanced technologies like AI, IoT, and data analytics, is revolutionizing the agricultural sector. This approach enables precision farming, where resources like water, fertilizers, and pesticides are used more efficiently.

Smart agriculture not only enhances farm productivity and crop yields but also significantly contributes to sustainable agricultural practices.

By minimizing waste and optimizing resource utilization, it supports environmental conservation and sustainable food production.


However, the adoption of smart agriculture faces several challenges. One major hurdle is the high cost of implementing advanced technologies, which can be prohibitive for small-scale farmers.

There's also the challenge of technical skills and knowledge required to operate and maintain these sophisticated systems.

Additionally, concerns about data privacy and security in the digital management of agricultural practices need addressing.


Key advancements in smart agriculture include:

  • Automated Farming Equipment: Drones and automated tractors equipped with GPS and remote sensing technologies are being used for precision planting, irrigation, and crop monitoring. These technologies enable farmers to make informed decisions and reduce manual labor.

  • IoT-Based Monitoring Systems: Sensors and IoT devices monitor soil moisture, weather conditions, and crop health in real-time. This data-driven approach allows for precise irrigation and fertilization, reducing resource wastage.

  • AI-Driven Predictive Analytics: AI algorithms analyze data from various sources to predict crop yields, detect plant diseases early, and suggest optimal planting schedules. This predictive approach helps in preventing crop losses and improving yields.

  • Integration with Renewable Energy Sources: Smart farms are increasingly integrating renewable energy sources like solar and wind power to reduce carbon footprints and promote energy self-sufficiency.

Sustainable Future: The Role of Technology

These technologies not only offer solutions to today's environmental challenges but also pave the way for future generations to thrive in harmony with the Earth.

Embracing these innovations requires not only technological adoption but also a collective shift in mindset and policy.

The journey towards a sustainable future is a mosaic of these technologies, each playing a crucial role in painting a greener, more resilient world for all.


Join our ESG Community Forum — a hub for collaboration and innovation in sustainability. Share knowledge, exchange best practices, and drive impactful change.


Subscribe to be a catalyst for a responsible business future.



Subscribe to our newsletter  Don’t miss out!

Thanks for subscribing!

a black board with letters community

Building Bridges, Not Walls, for Global Unity

Explore ESGinie


Your AI Sustainability Assistant

bottom of page