Creating an Ecosystem of Green Thinking and Green Tech

2020-01-17 14:02:26

The power of the individual is a formidable force in creating lasting change in the world. Each innovation, each revolution, every significant social change started with a single person. But it gained true momentum when other individuals joined their voices, minds and efforts in the cause.

Today, that cause is the greatest challenge we have faced as a species: our planet, our only home, is in peril. And while we’re all doing our bit, our efforts are only bringing incremental results, which ultimately, may not be enough. What is needed today are radical solutions. We are perfectly primed to find the solutions to the problems we face - we’ve never had more technology, more science, more money on hand than we do today.

In fact, many believe that the technology we need to solve all of the world’s problems already exist. What is needed is for the right parts to come together, and find the right sponsor. This, unfortunately, is not something that can work effectively at the scale of the individual. It needs corporate will, and corporate resources to be aimed in the right direction.

Which is why Volvo Cars delights us. As opposed to being a part of the air pollution problem, they’ve thrown their considerable resources and talents in the other direction. Volvo Cars set the tone for the industry when they announced that 50% of all vehicles sold by 2025 will be electric. They’ve also committed to cutting carbon emissions per car produced by 50% of 2018 levels, again by 2025. They’re also launching a new fully electric model each year until 2025. By setting such a strong example, they’re creating a culture of ownership among auto manufacturers.

But they haven’t stopped there. In the spirit of leading by example, Volvo Cars have invested in the right tech partnerships to enable innovation that can be applied at scale. And then they’ve gone ahead and demonstrated these innovations.

Take for instance the Clean Zone kiosks created as a part of Volvo Car’s first Breathe Free campaign in 2018. It clearly demonstrated that even in the most polluted of cities, people on the street, especially those that keep us safe, can be safeguarded from pollution. Think of what this would mean to the traffic policemen in the most polluted cities in the world.

This year, partnering once again with PerSapien, they’ve demonstrated that Clean Zone school buses can function as air purifiers, sucking up PM 2.5 equivalent to 10 automobiles each. Now imagine the applications of this technology if all public vehicles in our polluted cities were enabled with the -2.5 exhaust attachments. Would we really need our HEPA filters?

What’s more, they’ve launched the Voices of Future campaign to enlist the world’s best idea machine - school children. The contest calls all thinkers, dreamers, tinkerers and innovators still in school to put on their thinking caps and bring fresh thoughts and ideas, that could then power the next wave of innovations.

The contest was open till Jan 8th, after which the selected entries are being collected into an e-book accessible to all those with resources and intention to bring these ideas to fruition. The movement has been set in motion. What remains to be seen is how many follow in Volvo Cars’ footsteps.

In the meantime, there is a lot we can still do as individuals that adds up to real change. Visit to see how you can contribute, and while you’re there, take the pledge. Be a part of the solution, and lead by example. Who knows who you may inspire?