Economic recovery must prioritise our climate - Melinda Matthews-Clarkson

On one hand, the task seems too great. Environmental commentators paint bleak pictures of a world that is already on its knees from carbon emissions that are not slowing at nearly the pace that is required to stop the rot. On the other hand, we know technology can be one of the main drivers of recovery, to leverage creativity, engineering and complex problem solving to reset our climate course.

At the very foundation of technology as an enabler of real and lasting change, we first need to have more clarity over the state of play, which can often be murky and opaque.  If companies are more transparent with their data, individuals can make more informed decisions, and can better understand how our decisions affect the environment.  We need to know more about the products we consume, how they were produced and how they will be disposed of.
At the very foundation of technology as an enabler of real and lasting change, we first need to have more clarity over the state of play, which can often be murky and opaque. If companies are more transparent with their data, individuals can make more informed decisions, and can better understand how our decisions affect the environment. We need to know more about the products we consume, how they were produced and how they will be disposed of.

At the very foundation of technology as an enabler of real and lasting change, we first need to have more clarity over the state of play, which can often be murky and opaque. If companies are more transparent with their data, individuals can make more informed decisions, and can better understand how our decisions affect the environment. We need to know more about the products we consume, how they were produced and how they will be disposed of.

Digital technology provides a means to communicate this data - think, for example, of QR codes which can provide information without the need for printed packaging, revealing where goods were produced and how they arrived at your local store or front door. Digital technology also makes it easier for companies to gather this data, while making them more efficient and their operations more environmentally friendly.

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Climate tech itself covers the sectors and companies within that are developing solutions aimed at decarbonising the global economy and reaching net zero emissions by 2050. These activities span energy, the built environment, engineering, infrastructure, retail, manufacturing, agriculture, food production, supply chains, travel, and many more facets of the economy.

In Scotland, we have a number of companies that provide a shining example of climate tech at its best. At CodeClan, we get to partner with many of the up-and-coming net zero companies that are looking to change the direction of our climate, health, planet and oceans. AFS Logistics is working to make our supply chains more resilient, Metix Medical and Lumera Health are looking to make the health experience better for our communities and citizens, while Bluebox Aviation Systems and Criton are challenging the status quo on paper usage and digitally transforming their sectors.

Edinburgh-based Topolytics uses data analytics to help organisations like SAP and Defra monitor and track the movement of waste in real-time. Intelligent Growth Solutions is showing the way when it comes to the future of food, with vertical growth towers that are robotically managed, can be operated remotely, and dramatically reduce carbon footprint. Another Edinburgh startup, Space Intelligence, is working with NatureScot (Scotland’s nature agency) to expose ways of using artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to tackle the climate emergency.

A McKinsey & Company report last month found that around two-thirds of senior company executives believe economic recovery efforts should prioritise climate change - so we know the will is there.

We have the technology, we have the people, and we need governments to support the ideas. Innovation is the intersection of people with purpose, and passion for a problem to solve. We can do this, we must do this, we have to leverage the resources we have to make tomorrow a place for our grandkids.

Melinda Matthews-Clarkson, CEO, CodeClan

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