Can innovations in tech spark social change?

AI is powering some sustainability solutions like tracking of grid emissions and monitoring of forests.
Ginggay Hontiveros-Malvar
Ginggay Hontiveros-Malvar

At Aboitiz, innovation isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a practical tool driving real change for social good. Consider artificial intelligence (AI), which goes beyond trend prediction to revolutionize traditionally carbon-intensive industries. Within the Aboitiz ecosystem, Aboitiz Data Innovation partnered with Republic Cement to develop AI solutions that can predict cement compressive strength, leading to better resource management, improved product quality and significant reductions in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. This isn’t futuristic dreaming — it’s tangible progress happening now.

In AboitizPower, the focus shifts to renewable energy — a cornerstone in their quest for a balanced energy portfolio. By investing in solar, wind, and hydro technologies, they not only diversify energy sources but also reduce reliance on fossil fuels, marking a crucial step towards a cleaner, greener future.

Meanwhile, at Mactan Cebu International Airport, infrastructure upgrades have seen the acclaimed terminal earn a Level 1 Airport Carbon Accreditation, cutting energy consumption, integrating renewables, and pioneering water conservation systems. These initiatives aren’t just about compliance; they’re about setting a new standard for sustainable infrastructure.

Beyond our own initiatives, global efforts like Climate TRACE — a brainchild of Google.org — utilize satellite and machine learning to pinpoint emissions hotspots. Such real-time data empowers governments and organizations to enforce climate agreements effectively, combating environmental degradation at its source.

Furthermore, organizations like WattTime are leveraging AI to provide data on electricity grid emissions. This enables consumers and businesses to adjust their energy usage to times when cleaner energy is available, reducing overall carbon footprints and promoting more sustainable energy consumption patterns.

Rainforest Connection is another promising example, using AI-powered acoustic monitoring to protect our planet’s vital rainforests. Sensors installed in trees capture sounds of the forest, and AI models analyze these audio data to detect illegal logging activities. This technology allows for swift action against deforestation, safeguarding biodiversity and the crucial role forests play in carbon sequestration.

Carbon capture and storage technologies further the cause by not only reducing emissions but also paving the way for carbon-negative products. It’s a bold concept with potentially massive impact, offering a lifeline to our carbon-choked planet. These advancements, coupled with nature-based solutions and rapid renewable energy deployment, offer a promising pathway to mitigate climate impact and support sustainable development goals worldwide.

Yet, for all their promise, they require significant investment, both financially and in terms of commitment to sustainability. As we embrace them, we must ensure that these solutions are equitable, mitigating socio-economic risks while maximizing benefits for all stakeholders. It’s a delicate balance, but one that promises a future where technology isn’t just a lifeline — it’s our legacy of resilience.

So, can tech help drive a more sustainable future for ourselves and future generations? It’s got the tools, the smarts, and the potential — but only if we wield it wisely, inclusively, and with a dash of optimism. After all, in the battle for our planet’s future, every innovation counts.

Ginggay Hontiveros-Malvar is the Chief Reputation and Sustainability Officer of the Aboitiz Group and president of Aboitiz Foundation. With over three decades of senior management experience, she has led projects focusing on stakeholder engagement and sustainability, reshaping the Group’s agenda. A passionate artist and avid traveler, Ginggay finds inspiration in drawing, painting and exploring diverse cultures, and balances her dynamic career with personal joy and companionship. For any feedback and recommendations, please reach out directly to Ginggay at ana.margarita.hontiveros@aboitiz.com.

logo
Daily Tribune
tribune.net.ph