Growth and development determine the progress of a society. An ideal approach for a society is to find the balance between the development and resources of the natural system.
Sustainable development implies an idea wherein the needs of the present are met without
compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. To ensure there is
sustainable development; social progress, economic development, and environment should be considered the key factors. It can be referred to as a method where efficient use of resources is given utmost importance while emphasizing the need for better living and the development of society as a whole.
As mankind and civilization have grown, technology has been an integral part of evolution.
Technology is the sole medium through which development can be continuous and lasting.
Through its nature, new sources for development are explored and it also provides
alternatives for non-renewable resources. Through technology, efficient use and reuse of
available resources are possible. It provides the tools for sustainable development like
recycling, waste minimization, the substitution of materials, improves production processes,
pollution control, and more efficient usage of resources.
The technology ensures and facilitates better living standards in society. Better living can be
attained through access to clean water, a less toxic and more stable environment,
management of natural resources efficiently and effectively, and access to energy that is
clean, affordable, and sustainable. Paradox remaining, for the technological advancement and its processes, irreversible damage is caused to the biosphere.
To mitigate the consequences and ensure harmony, “Appropriate Technology” was
introduced. It can be understood as a concept designed to fit the psychosocial and biophysical context prevailing in a particular society. This was developed to solve the surface problem without focusing or even touching the root issue.
Technological developments and innovation are the areas that can be explored to have a
sustainable approach to technological advancement. With the research and experiments,
lasting eco-friendly technologies can be produced. These are also called 'Green Technology’; for instance, a USA-based start-up is working towards building a 150-seater aircraft that can fly with the help of pure electricity to curb carbon emissions. Another example is a particular
A Scandinavian city that has turned to the sewage system which aims to produce biofuel for
Plastic waste of 260 million tons is generated across the globe every year but only 16% gets
recycled, thus plastic recycling seems to be a beneficial concept. The plastic industries are
focusing on the take, make and dispose business model to eliminate waste. Recently, an Indian-based company, Rhino Machines has launched Silica Plastic Blocks made from recycling plastic waste and sand waste. These bricks are made using 100% wastes. With the right implementation and approach, this is sustainable use of technology.
A prominent issue with technological development remains in its reach. Financially backward
and technology handicapped countries are unable to produce or purchase such technologies, therefore with innovation, affordability is a major requirement for a technology to be sustainable. There is a need to advance knowledge and understanding of how to equitably improve the functioning of the “global innovation system” for sustainable development technologies.
In terms of nonrenewable resources such as oil, natural gas, coal are still widely used to meet
the need of society. These resources come with an expiration date, considering the world still depends majorly on these for functioning. A shift is required to alternative energy sources, including renewable resources like solar and wind power. Reduction in reliance on non-renewable resources and expanding renewable energy usage is one of the keys to a
Hydroelectric and pump storage power schemes are ideal technology for the generation of power to the grid. Hydropower is less harmful to the environment than burning fossil fuels or nuclear power. Likewise, wind turbines, solar panels, alternative fuel vehicles, greywater
reuse (relatively clean water to reuse in irrigation and acts as fertilizer for plants) are some
examples of alternate sustainable technology.
The existence of sustainable development is not merely dependent on countries or
governments per se, but it requires individuals to be mindful to form a sustainable eco-
friendly environment. It can be done by certain measures such as efficient use of energy by
the end-user in their homes and workplace, reducing energy waste by management and
efficiency, increase in recycling, reuse and reduce energy consumption, etc.
Even with advanced technologies, innovations, and alternatives, it is a challenging task and
requires a change in attitudes of scientific communities, awareness in the general population,
proper implementation and support of the government, and most importantly, more value
placed on ethics and social responsibility.