IT Brief New Zealand logo
Technology news for New Zealand's largest enterprises
Story image

Here come the Greenfluencers: 5 tech trends that will fuel the green transition in 2022

By Shannon Williams
Tue 4 Jan 2022

As the climate change alarm bells get louder, technology and digitalisation will come to our aid in 2022, predicts Telenor Research in its latest Tech Trends report. 

Green clouds, a battle for optimisation, and climate enlightenment through digital micro degrees and greenfluencers are some of the trends that will deliver a more sustainable future, the company says.

Bjørn Taale Sandberg, head of Telenor Research, says 2021 was yet another year of extreme weather events and record-breaking temperatures. These underline the challenges humans, wildlife, and nature come face to face with a changing climate. Yet, despite the gloomy outlook, technological advancements and an accelerating digitalisation of society give reasons for hope.

“People everywhere are waking up to the need to act on climate change and environmental degradation. For us in Telenor, it is key to understand how technology can both avoid being part of the problem and help in the transition,” he says.

In the seventh edition of Telenor’s Tech Trends report, Sandberg and his team of researchers have taken a stab at forecasting how technological progress in 2022 can enable green transformation. 

Green Clouds on the Horizon

As the digitalisation of society continues to accelerate, cloud computing has seen explosive growth. Moving data requires energy, and data centers globally account for more than one per cent of the world’s energy consumption. The good news is that Edge computing is expected to take over some of the workloads in the coming year.

“We predict that 5G networks worldwide will have the capability to do local breakout of data traffic to and from Edge data centers,” says Sandberg, who adds that the data centers themselves can be made energy efficient in many ways, including utilisation of excess heat and through sustainable local power harvesting, using solar panels and small windmills.

“We believe that energy efficient Edge data centers reachable from mobile devices over 5G networks will start popping up, at an increasing rate, in 2022," he says.

"As a result, energy will also be saved in electricity and data distribution networks since part of the data traffic and electricity will be transferred locally only."

Big Appetite for Climate Micro Degrees

According to Sandberg, employees are not willing to wait for their companies to get climate friendly. They want to act, and they are impatient to learn how.

Just as modern careers require people to upskill continuously, climate change will require people, businesses, and societies to adapt to lifelong learning on sustainability. Environmental policy and regulation will also increase the demand for green job skills in 2022.

“A growing number of businesses will implement green micro-degrees and courses as part of their ‘curriculum’ to slake the green knowledge thirst among employees," says Sandberg.

"The businesses that fail to facilitate opportunities to acquire green online learning credentials on-the-job risk being perceived as less attractive in the eyes of new talent."

Therefore, a wave of micro-degrees with a green shape will flood out through learning systems like Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, Udacity, and Khan Academy, the same way we see more educational institutions embrace planet-friendly values in their programs. 

"We already see such online courses and degrees being offered and promoted by organisations worldwide, not least the United Nations and its agency UNESCO," says Sandberg.

Optimise Everything

"The greatest machine – the human brain - runs on a modest 20 watts. Now, the heat for optimisation is on for our electron guzzling gadgets and servers," says Sandberg.

"While ever greater numbers of electronic devices and solutions are enabling humans to lead more convenient lives, the International Energy Agency calls for smarter and more efficient electrical appliances. We believe the global need for greater energy efficiency will trigger an “optimisation of everything” battle between consumer electronics manufacturers," he says.

“Devices consuming electricity now outnumber humans by four, and they will become even more dominant in the future. Since transforming our energy supply will take time, we need to optimise everything – not least the use of energy by our devices."

Sandberg says competition is already ongoing between chipmakers to reduce their products’ energy demand. One example is the M1 chipset used in Apple’s newest computers. We expect that this will be taken up in the much greater PC market – giving us both more efficient devices and devices that can run far longer on battery.

“Going forward, more companies will put enormous sums of money on the table to acquire the knowledge and assets needed to come out on top of the optimisation battle,” he says.

Here Come the Greenfluencers

Influencers who ignore young people’s climate engagement dig their own social media grave, says Sandberg.

While most social media trends serve little purpose other than to entertain, some, like the #BlackLivesMatter, bring about profound societal changes. 

In 2022, with recent disappointments from the UN’s Climate Conference (COP26) and a grim outlook in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report fresh in memory, Sandberg expects to see a new movement shape the world of social media – greenfluencing.

“An undergrowth of climate aware influencers and activists has emerged across niches on social media, and we believe their growing follower bases will be duly noticed by the influencer universe’s established elite,” he says.

"By tapping into both marketing and – hopefully – social considerations, the big social media stars in every sphere, from cooking and fashion to travel, makeup, and fitness, will start to greenfluence their millions of followers," Sandberg says.

“Influencers who appear oblivious or indifferent to climate challenges will be perceived as outdated. Instead, followers will flock to influencers who demonstrate climate awareness regardless of niche. Marketers will turn their attention in the same direction."

Don't Lose out on the Lost Generation

Sandberg says companies that don’t take the next generation’s expectations seriously risk facing the great resignation.

The home office is here to stay, but despite the benefits and obvious positive climate impact we get from reduced travel, research indicates that the pros do not outweigh the cons for everyone, especially the young. During the continuation of the pandemic, Sandberg says it will be tough for the young to establish and grow a personal network and acquire a general understanding of the corporate lingo and culture, as forming new social relations using only digital communication is much more challenging.

“As a consequence, many companies will in 2022 find that large groups of young employees who never got a proper onboarding are likely to struggle - unless good leadership is exercised,” he says.

Sandberg points to the following three tips on how to lead the next generation through the future way of work:

Bring joy to the office: Engineer social interaction across generations through events that trigger joy, discussion, and knowledge and insight transfer.
With age and tenure comes responsibility: Make it clear that the company veterans have a special obligation to include, mentor, and guide the new employees.
Make them shine: Be vocal and public when praising the newcomers for their efforts and provide them with the opportunities to speak and find their voice. 

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
Zscaler, AWS accelerate onramp to the cloud with zero trust
Zscaler has announced an extension to its relationship with Amazon Web Services, as well as innovations built on Zscaler's Zero Trust architecture.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Aqua Security, CIS create software supply chain security guide
Aqua Securityand the Center for Internet Security have together released the industry’s first formal guidelines for software supply chain security.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Threat actors ramp up their social engineering attacks
As people get better at identifying potential threats in their inbox, threat actors must evolve their methods. Their new M.O? Social engineering.
Story image
Commerce Commission
ComCom puts electronics sector on notice over resale price maintenance
The Commerce Commission has concluded an investigation into allegations that television manufacturers were engaging in illegal resale price maintenance.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Ingram Micro launches vendor-backed security program
Ingram Micro has unveiled a new program intended to give resellers the effective offerings their customers need to stay safe in the evolving threat landscape.
Story image
CRM
Microsoft launches app for modern selling experience
The new release is designed to enhance CRM systems with customer engagement data from Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams.
Story image
Orbital Insight
Orbital Insight solution set to drive better data-driven decisions
The company says the new Site Intelligence solution will provide granular visibility, behaviour analytics and deep insights about customers and competitors at any location. 
Story image
Training
Employers look to hire inexperienced coders due to skills shortage
"Even inexperienced workers without prior qualifications or experience had managed to pivot to new roles in coding as long as they are willing to upskill."
Story image
Secure access service edge / SASE
Cloudflare adds new capabilities to zero trust SASE platform
New features for Cloudflare One include email security protection, data loss prevention tools, cloud access security broker, and private network discovery.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Why is NZ lagging behind the world in cybersecurity?
A recent report by TUANZ has revealed that we are ranked 56th in the world when it comes to cybersecurity - a look into why we're so behind and what needs to be done.
Story image
Apple
Jamf updates healthcare IT to protect data on Apple devices
Jamf has rolled out new functionality to help healthcare and IT teams protect patient data and streamline clinical access for their Apple fleet.
Story image
Hybrid workforce
Why hybrid working is here to stay and how to ace it
Citrix's new report reveals hybrid workers are more productive and engaged at work than their office and completely remote counterparts.
Story image
Contact Centre
Customer service agents don't want to return to contact centres
A new report has revealed that 85% of customer service agents want to work full-time at home and not return to contact centre offices.
Story image
Electricity
Canstar finds Flick Electric NZ’s favourite provider
Canstar’s annual research to find New Zealand’s favourite electricity provider reveals Flick Electric has come out on top.
Story image
SaaS
Varonis strengthens security capabilities for AWS and S3
Varonis has strengthened and expanded its cloud and security capabilities, with a critical aim of improving safety and boosting data visibility in Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3).
Story image
Open source
DataStax secures US$115 million to fund database expansion
DataStax has secured US$115 million in funding, which it will use to develop and expand its Astra DB multi-cloud database and Astra Streaming service globally.
Story image
Entelar
How TruSens air purifiers can create healthier workspaces
The pandemic has heightened our awareness of our own and others’ health, and made us all much more conscious of the environments we work in.
Story image
Manufacturing
Sternum joins NXP, collaborates on IoT security and observability
Sternum has announced it has joined the software partner community of NXP Semiconductors, a manufacturer of and large marketplace for embedded controllers.
Story image
Data
How a single mandate changed software development forever
There’s conjecture about exactly when it was issued and by whom, but a mandate made twenty years ago is continuing to shape the software development process today.
Story image
trust
Consumers want personalisation, but don't trust brands with their data
Customers expect personalisation during every brand interaction but they don't trust brands to keep their personal data secure and to use it responsibly. 
Story image
Government
Cyclone selected as NZ MOE software licensing partner
Following a recent Request for Proposal (RFP), Christchurch-based company Cyclone Computer Company Ltd (Cyclone) has been selected as The Ministry of Education’s software licensing partner.
Story image
Disaster Recovery
Eaton provides business continuity with disaster avoidance application
Many SMBs often struggle with problems relating to UPS and IT assets due to the sheer amount of time and resources required to run effectively. 
Story image
API
Industry-first comprehensive risk-based API security enhances protection
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have become a crucial part of operating web and mobile application businesses and are causing significant economic growth in the digital sector.
Story image
N4L
N4L, Spark, Chorus partner for Hyperfibre school upgrade
Networks for Learning (N4L) has partnered with Spark and Chorus to upgrade Wellington College to Hyperfibre, fostering stronger outcomes for students and teachers.
Story image
Sustainability
Schneider Electric ups the ante on sustainability strategy
"We've made some progress but to avoid a major energy challenge, all data centres - including distributed edge data centres - must be more sustainable."
Story image
eInvoicing
Airwallex, Xero extend partnership with easier invoice payments
Airwallex has extended its long-term partnership with Xero by releasing a new payment link integration for Xero invoices that will make receiving them easier and faster for Australian businesses.
Story image
Partnerships
Microsoft expands APAC Enabler Mentorship Program
"Mentors are the key to success for every professional. A good mentor is a coach, a guide, as well as a vocal advocate."
Story image
Testing
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from Tricentis
Tricentis provides software testing automation, and software quality assurance products for enterprise software.
Story image
Healthcare
Workday winning on culture and family focus
This family-first approach sees all employees receive access to family-wide private healthcare cover, as well as income protection and life insurance policies.
Story image
Citrix
The best ways to attract young talent during labour shortages
New research from Citrix reveals hybrid working and ventures into the metaverse are top of mind for Gen Z workers.
Story image
Ransomware
Rapid7 report examines use of double extortion ransomware attacks
New insight into how attackers think when carrying out cyber attacks, along with further analysis of the disclosure layer of double extortion ransomware attacks, has come to light.
Story image
Dark web
Cybercrime in Aotearoa: How does New Zealand law define it?
‘Cybercrime’ is a term we hear all the time, but what exactly is it, and how does New Zealand define it in legal terms?
Story image
Cybersecurity
Significant security concerns resulting from open source software ubiquity
"The risk is real, and the industry must work closely together in order to move away from poor open source or software supply chain security practices."
Story image
DNS
DigiCert acquires DNS Made Easy and affiliated brands
Greg Clark comments, says, "This combination enhances the security of certificate validation and enables the automation of future validations."
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Salesforce harnesses automated solutions with new developments
Salesforce has launched Sales Cloud Unlimited, a new feature to help accelerate productivity with AI and automation.
Story image
Collaboration
IT and security team collaboration crucial to data security
Many IT and security decision makers are not collaborating as effectively as possible to address growing cyber threats.
Story image
SaaS
Sealord partners with Infor to improve sustainability
Sealord has chosen Infor as a strategic partner to implement an operational cloud-based platform that provides day-one functionality and sustainability gains.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Boomi, Limepay, Thales, VMware & Zoom
We round up all job appointments from June 6-16, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Network Security
Netskope announces zero trust network access updates
Customers can now apply zero trust principles across a range of hybrid work security needs, including SaaS, IaaS, private applications, and endpoint devices.
Story image
Shouta
The rise of digital gifting in the workplace
The name itself does most of the explaining; it’s a gift you receive virtually. But a misconception about digital gifts is that they need to be redeemed virtually as well. 
Story image
Robotic Process Automation / RPA
rapidMATION helps Coates achieve success with landmark RPA solution
A strong Robotic Process Automation solution (RPA) can help solve many complex issues that businesses face daily. 
Story image
10 Minute IT Jams
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from Rimini Street
Today we welcome back Daniel Benad, who is the GVP & regional GM for Oceania at Rimini Street.
Story image
PagerDuty
Ready for anything with the PagerDuty Operations Cloud
In a world of digital everything, teams face increasing complexity. Ever-growing dependencies across systems and processes put customer and employee experience, not to mention revenue, at risk.
Story image
Infrastructure
VMware wins Google Cloud partner award for infrastructure modernisation
The cloud computing and virtualisation company was recognised for its achievements as part of the Google Cloud ecosystem.