IBM unveiled its annual “5 in 5” predictions about five significant changes driven by innovation in science and technology that will take place in the next five years.
This year’s 5 in 5 focuses on five core areas of research that the company will tackle to enable a more sustainable future, coinciding with the first ever virtual UN General Assembly.
From a global pandemic to global warming, 2020 has illuminated the essential role of science — as well as clear actions based on that science — to combat some of the greatest challenges of our time.
The need to rethink how the world creates, consumes and disposes of materials has never been clearer, from storing energy more efficiently, to removing CO2 from the atmosphere to growing food more sustainably.
As part of the company’s renewed focus on the urgency of science, IBM is committed to dedicating its technology, talent, and resources towards advancing research and the discovery of new materials. It will do this by advancing technologies including AI, quantum, high performance computing and hybrid cloud to turbocharge science and address the discovery process in a fundamentally new way, including these five core areas in the next five years:
Capturing and transforming CO2 to mitigate climate change
In the next five years, we will be able to capture CO2 from the air and transform it from the scourge of the environment into something useful. The goal is to make CO2 capture and reuse efficient enough to scale globally so we can significantly reduce the level of the harmful CO2 in the atmosphere and, ultimately, slow climate change.
Modeling Mother Nature to feed a growing citizenry while reducing carbon emissions
In the next five years, we will replicate nature’s ability to convert nitrogen in the soil into nitrate-rich fertilizer, feeding the growing world while reducing the environmental impact of fertilizers. We’ll come up with an innovative solution to enable nitrogen fixation at a sustainable scale and help feed the world’s rapidly growing population.
Rethinking batteries before we have to rethink our world
In the next five years, we will discover new materials for safer and more environmentally-preferable batteries capable of supporting a renewable-based energy grid and more sustainable transportation. Many renewable energy sources are intermittent and require storage. The use of AI and quantum computing will result in batteries built with safer and more efficient materials for improved performance.
Sustainable materials, sustainable products, sustainable planet
In the next five years, we will advance materials manufacturing, enabling semiconductor manufacturers to improve the sustainability of their coveted products. Scientists will embrace a new approach to materials design that enables the tech industry to more quickly produce sustainable materials for the production of semiconductors and electronic devices.
Learning from our past for a healthier future
In the next five years, we aim to help facilitate the generation of treatments to aid physicians and front-line workers in combating novel, life-threatening viruses on a larger scale than is currently possible. A combination of AI, analytics and data can potentially help with the rapid analysis of real-world medical evidence to suggest new candidates for drug repurposing and speed clinical trials. In the future, these tools may reach widespread adoption across industries, effectively becoming one of the means of rapidly responding to global, life-threatening viruses.
ABB Advocates Adoption of High-efficiency Motors To Combat Climate Change
- Global electricity consumption to be reduced by 10%
In a new whitepaper published recently, ABB has revealed potential for significant energy efficiency improvements in industry and infrastructure enabled by the latest and most high-efficiency motors and variable speed drives.
ABB has called on governments and industries to accelerate adoption of the technology to help combat climate change.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), industry accounts for 37% of global energy use and about 30% of global energy is consumed in buildings.
While mostly hidden from public view, electric motors – and the variable speed drives which optimize their operations – are embedded in almost every built environment. They power a vast range of applications fundamental to our modern way of life, from industrial pumps, fans and conveyors for manufacturing and propulsion systems for transportation to compressors for electrical appliances and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems in buildings.
Motor and drive technologies have seen exceptionally rapid advancement in the past decade, with today’s innovative designs delivering remarkable energy efficiencies. However, a significant number of industrial electric motor-driven systems in operation today – in the region of 300 million globally – are inefficient or consume much more power than required, resulting in monumental energy wastage.
Independent research estimates that if these systems were replaced with optimized, high-efficiency equipment, the gains to be realized could reduce global electricity consumption by up to 10%. In turn, this would account for more than 40% of the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions needed to meet the 2040 climate goals established by the Paris Agreement.
“Industrial energy efficiency, more than any other challenge, has the single greatest capacity for combating the climate emergency. It is essentially the world’s invisible climate solution,” said Morten Wierod, President ABB Motion.
“For ABB, sustainability is a key part of our company’s purpose and value that we create for all of our stakeholders. By far, the biggest impact we can have in reducing greenhouse gas emissions is through our leading technologies, which reduce energy use in industry, buildings and transport”, he said.
Considerable steps have already been taken to support the uptake of electric vehicles and renewable energy sources. ABB believes it is time to do the same for an industrial technology that will deliver even greater benefits for the environment and the global economy.
“The importance of transitioning industries and infrastructure to these highly energy efficient drives and motors to play their part in a more sustainable society, cannot be overstated,” said Morten Wierod. “With 45% of the world’s electricity used to power electric motors in buildings and industrial applications, investment in upgrading them will yield outsized rewards in terms of efficiency.”
ABB frequently assesses the net impact of its own installed high efficiency motors and drives on global energy efficiency. In 2020, it enabled 198 terawatt-hours of electricity savings – more than half of the UK’s annual consumption. By 2023, it is estimated that ABB motors and drives will enable customers globally to save an additional 78 terawatt-hours of electricity per year, almost as much as the annual consumption of Belgium, Finland or the Philippines and more than the total annual consumption of Chile.
Regulatory policies are among the main drivers of industrial investment in energy efficiency around the globe. While the European Union will be implementing its Ecodesign Regulation (EU 2019/1781) this year, which sets out stringent new requirements for an expanding range of energy efficient motors, many countries have yet to take action.
To take advantage of the tremendous opportunities afforded by energy efficient drives and motors to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, ABB says all stakeholders have a critical role to play. For instance, public decision makers and government regulators need to incentivize their rapid adoption; businesses, cities and countries need to be aware of both the cost savings and environmental advantages and be willing to make the investment; also, investors need to reallocate capital towards companies better prepared to address the climate risk.
“While our role at ABB is to always provide the most efficient technologies, products and services to our customers, and continue to innovate for ever greater efficiency, that in itself is not enough. All stakeholders need to work together to bring about a holistic transformation in how we use energy. By acting and innovating together, we can keep critical services up and running while saving energy and combatting climate change”, concludes Morten Wierod.
Coca-Cola Grants Eight NGOs N303m For Waste Recycling In Nigeria
Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited and its bottling partner, Nigerian Bottling Company, has awarded N303 million grants in support of eight local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to drive recycling in the country.
The Head Public Affairs, Communications & Sustainability, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, Nwamaka Onyemelukwe, said, “Coca-Cola remains committed to uplifting Nigerians and creating an ecosystem of sustainable economic growth in our communities. As with previous years, we are excited to see how much impact our partnerships will yield through these projects as we hope to create a better shared future for all.”
Organisations set to benefit from the awarded grants include Statewide Waste and Environmental Education Foundation, Platform for Society Support Initiative, Aid for Rural Education Access Initiative, Do Good Social Impact Foundation, Baywood Foundation, Initiative for Gender Empowerment and Creativity, Bunmi Adedayo Foundation and RecyclePoints Foundation.
Five of these projects, Waste in the City, Waste to Strap, Mission Zero Plastic, Waste to Wealth, and Project DORI are focused on combating the plastic waste challenge and creating a second life for these plastic bottles clogging our gutters and waterways.
These community-based sustainability projects are set to be deployed across the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lagos, Delta, Enugu, Oyo, Kwara, Kano, Kaduna, & Bauchi States, and will aid job creation for thousands of women and youth while engendering relevant behavioural changes. The projects seek to recover over 3,000 tons of plastic waste and economically empower over 5,000 women and youths over a 12-month period.
The Tech-Relevant Teacher Programme, offers teacher training support and technologies for virtual learning across 200 low and middle-cost schools in a bid to improve the learning experience in primary schools, especially in neighborhoods with an increased number of out-of-school children due to the effects of COVID-19. No fewer than 30 schools will receive hardware and content production suites to aid virtual learning.
In Enugu, the Youth Information Communication and Technology Skills Acquisition Project (YISAP) is set to impact the lives of over 600 youths, including persons living with disabilities, through the provision of vocational and entrepreneurial training.
Also worthy of note is the Climate Smart Shea Processing Facility to be set up in Oyo state, focused on the economic recovery of 1,500 rural women who are shea nut farmers, pickers and processors largely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some of the laudable projects funded by The Coca-Cola Foundation in Nigeria so far include the Clean Up Naija and RecyclesPay Projects, the Recycling Scheme for Women and Youth Empowerment (RESWAYE) , SHAPE Economic Women Empowerment, Catalyst for Change and the Cash 4 Trash Initiative by the Initiative for the Advancement of Waste Management in Africa (WASTE Africa).
WCRD 2021: NCC Concluding Processes on E-Waste Regulation- Danbatta
The Executive Vice Chairman, Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Danbatta has said it is on the verge of concluding processes to issue the regulation on Electronic Waste which it drafted three years ago.
Danbatta who disclosed this at a world press conference to commemorate the 2021 World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD), stated that the objective of the Regulation is to manage E-waste; promote reuse, recycling and other forms of recovery; improve environmental management system of operators in the telecom industry; and reduce greenhouse emissions as well as enhance sustainable development efforts.
According to him, the theme for World Consumer Rights Day for 2021, “Tackling Plastic Pollution” will raise awareness and engage state and non-state actors on the global plastic pollution crisis. This is coming three years after the NCC drafted the Nigerian Communications Commission Industry e-Waste Regulations in 2018.
The telecom regulator who noted that many ICT and telecom devices have plastic components, whose waste materials could worsen plastic pollution, said “we reckon that improper disposal of such disused ICT-plastic embedded products have grave implication on public health, and especially in achieving Goals 11, 12 and 13 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030.
“These goals speak to the imperative of adhering to practices that enhance Sustainable Cities and Communities, Responsible Consumption and Production; as well as Climate Action respectively.
Furthermore, he said NCC, worried by the recurrent cycle of fraudulent deployment of fake and substandard mobile devices – usually made of iron and plastic components, collaborated with the Office of the National Security Adviser and other relevant government agencies to inaugurate a committee to implement Mobile Devices Management Systems (DMS).
“This initiative is designed as a Public-Private Partnership aimed at combating the proliferation of fake, counterfeit, substandard and cloned communication devices in the telecommunications industry. The expected result of this initiative is that, only genuine materials malleable to enduring usage are available for consumer use.
“The Commission also implemented a strict type-approval process that ensures all equipment used in the telecommunications industry are of a suitable standard, both for the good of the consumers and for the preservation of our environment.
“This coincidental connection between the 2021 theme for World Consumer Rights Day, “Tackling Plastic Pollution”, and the proactive initiatives of the Commission towards protecting the environment as well as efforts on tackling electronic waste in Nigeria tells the story of a shared vision for a satisfied consumer,” e said.
Danbatta added that the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 – enjoins the Commission to protect the interest of the consumers, which the Commission has done religiously, through subsidiary legislations, guidelines and directions that proactively address consumer concerns and stipulate responsibilities of all stakeholders.
In his welcome remark, the Executive Commissioner Stakeholder Management, Barrister Adeleke Adewolu, said NCC has been unwavering in its commitment to the primacy of the consumer in the architecture of telecommunications industry in Nigeria.
“For this reason, the NCC has received many awards, and we will not rest on our oars. This also explains why we have organised today’s conference to recall policies, initiatives, programmes and activities of the Commission towards protecting the rights and addressing the concerns of the Nigerian telecom consumer,” he added.
Also, the chairman, industry consumer advisory forum (ICAF-NCC), Prince Ighoovie Majemite, said over the years NCC has created a veritable enabling environment for a robust telecommunication industry that speaks to good customer experience.
According to him, NCC steadfastness in protection of the industry and consumers rights and privileges are not compromised. “Today, in the course of this event we shall be unveiling another ICAF initiative in collaboration with NCC…. The telecommunication handbook.
“This book is very informative and educative. It captured the necessary things consumers need to know in the telecommunication industry without ambiguity. Our success is achieved under the able leadership of the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isah Pantami, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Professor Umar Danbatta and his management team, Majemite concluded.
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