Joseph Daniels: Sustainability depends on information

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How can we change an industry overnight? How can we introduce products that enable such drastic change and meet such targets on such a large scale? Project Etopia CEO outlines the need to use better information.

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) is evidencing that we can align our overall policies with those that sit within Sustainable Development Goals, allowing us the necessary futureproofing to save the planet. However, the biggest questions when it comes to consumers are: How can we change an industry overnight? How can we introduce products that enable such drastic change and meet such targets on such a large scale?

For us, it took years of development and delivery to isolate the methods multi-nationally, whether that be in Namibia, the UK, the USA or the Middle East. Time and resources were spent understanding, evaluating and deploying these approaches, but how simple is it going to be for developers, constructors, planners and consumers to understand these changes?

I think like the mobile data industries and the EV industry, the real estate industry is open for a wave of change that will be introduced by tech. But on a more complex scale, integrated planning technologies utilising data and gaming engines will help us make better informed decisions at a government and planning level.

In addition, consumer based smart home technologies, aligned with these legislations will help consumers and users understand what it is they are doing to their home and their planet. At Resi Con recently I made the following statement:

“We can see all the data we have by simply opening our providers app. We wouldn’t drive an electronic vehicle 100 miles with only 80 miles in the battery. So why do we leave our homes and buildings burning CO2/energy/gas without being able to see just how much we are wasting? We may as well all pickup our paper cups in front of us and ignite them to see that impact.”

The acceptance of technologies is going to make all of this “noise” make sense. The terms of green ESG financing, clean growth, eco cities, placemaking and sustainability will all make sense when we can help people make sense of the things that are being used. And even one step further than that: helping decision makers to make informed decisions based on live and current data/energy rather than reading from an aged process that building controllers of yesterday don’t yet understand. The problems we face are present-day and require our immediate attention.

Joseph Daniels is CEO of Project Etopia and is a contributor to a new report: State of the World: Building sustainable communities in a post-Covid world, examining the diverse influences cities exert on sustainability.