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When technology meets the Earth: a sustainable turnaround

Energy & Utilities Manufacturing Business
an ethereal planet resembling Earth is rising like a sun above a green valley where nature is thriving: we can see lakes, flowers, trees, grass. Mint tones

Every April 22, Earth Day, is an opportunity to pause and reflect on what more we can do for our planet, both as individuals and nationally.
In years when climate and environmental issues are increasingly the focus of media attention, and at a key time for decarbonization policies ahead of the 2050 target to which all European states will have to contribute, a "new" pair, that created by the collaboration between Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) strategies, is carving out a prominent role. We are not talking about mere buzzwords, but agents of change that are already charting the path to a more sustainable future. In fact, several projects have already materialized that have given rise to practical solutions for companies that really want to contribute to this now necessary change.

Spotlight on sustainability: examples of AI-driven ESG projects

Thanks to AI, new horizons are being opened and innovative solutions are being discovered to address our planet's most pressing challenges, demonstrating that technology is a key pillar for truly sustainable development. To help better understand the theme, we have listed below some concrete examples of initiatives where technology is playing a leading role in this race against time:

  • Microsoft's AI for Earth: This Initiative highlights the potential of AI in environmental conservation. Since its launch, AI for Earth has supported more than 450 projects in more than 70 countries, using AI to analyze more than 20 petabytes of environmental data. This effort has led, for example, to early detection of deforestation, with 15% improved accuracy compared to traditional methods.
  • Google's Sustainable Data Centers: Using DeepMind AI, Google has reduced energy consumption for cooling in its data centers by up to 40 percent, translating into annual savings of hundreds of GWh of energy. This approach not only demonstrates the effectiveness of AI in reducing the carbon footprint but also sets a benchmark for more environmentally friendly industrial operations.
  • Vedrai for the Environment: by leveraging advanced probabilistic simulations Vedrai helps companies manage and reduce their carbon footprint. By analyzing business and market data, the system creates prescriptive scenarios and provides a framework for monitoring key environmental performance indicators.

AI, tangible social impact and more robust governance

Artificial Intelligence is also making a difference in social, fighting inequality and making access to health services and education more equitable. By analyzing massive amounts of data, it can identify disparities and suggest how to intervene, bringing valuable resources to those who need them most. While on the subject of Governance in the corporate world, AI helps ensure greater transparency and accountability. From fraud detection to compliance monitoring, it is strengthening corporate governance, shedding light in traditionally shadowy areas. Beyond Earth Day, integrating evolved technologies into ESG strategies marks a step toward more responsible corporate engagement. As AI continues to evolve, its applications are increasingly becoming fertile ground for sustainable innovations, underscoring how crucial it is to develop it ethically and responsibly.

Reflections for the Earth Day

On this Earth Day, let's pause for a moment to think about the potential of AI in achieving relevant ESG goals. By making it an engine of sustainability, companies aim not only to achieve their business goals but also to actively contribute to a more just and green world. Therefore, it is not just about adopting advanced technologies to work better, but realigning business goals with the deeper needs of our planet.

Environmental conservation, monitoring CO2 emissions and reducing energy consumption are just a few examples of how AI is helping to "save" the Earth

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