How Businesses Use Old & New Tech For Sustainability

By Justin Weinger
(Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
Here's the latest on the most popular tech used by sustainable businesses.

How are today’s for-profit companies using all the technology at their disposal to achieve sustainability goals? No two situations are alike, but the overall strategy is to employ one or more techniques that can get the job done. In addition to carpooling, large numbers of organizations make use of on-site NEVs (neighborhood electric vehicles) for employee mobility, encourage telecommuting, subsidize public transportation costs, and more.

In some industries, like transport in particular, green fleets have gained traction for numerous reasons. The paperless office trend continues to spread to businesses in every sector of the commercial economy. Since the early 2020s, thousands of corporations and small business entities have opted to eliminate office space altogether and establish 100% work-from-home operations. Here are pertinent details about a few of the most effective techniques owners and entrepreneurs are using to achieve sustainability.

Smart Carpooling

In companies that still need to work from traditional offices, managers and owners are encouraging smart carpooling. The smart part is about selecting employees who drive hybrid-electric cars and inviting them to become designated carpool leaders. Such programs tend to rely on a mixture of hybrids, all-electric vehicles, and a few combustion cars to get the job done. The goal is to minimize the use of fossil fuels, which means a few high-mileage non-hybrid passenger cars can get into the programs.

Electric and Hybrid Fleets

The transport sector is currently undergoing a shift from all-combustion vehicles to a mixture of gas and diesel and hybrid cars, trucks, small vans, buses, and specialty carriers. The move toward green transportation began in the early 2000s when hybrid electric propulsion became widely available and cost beneficial. Modern fleet managers understand the importance of using sustainable techniques for getting cargo and people from Point A to Point B. 

The goal is to minimize the emission of greenhouse gases to keep operating expenses low and fight global warming at the same time. There’s no longer an attitude of this or that for fleet supervisors and managers. Instead, decision makers leverage the ability of all kinds of propulsion methods to meet profit goals and achieve environmental goals in the process.

On-Site NEVs (Neighborhood Electric Vehicles)

NEVs are sometimes called golf carts, but that name can be misleading. Corporate campuses use NEVs, which top out at 25 MPH, by definition, for transportation on company owned grounds. Some of the world’s largest companies, like Google and Intel, purchase hundreds of NEVs so employees can get around on massive campuses without having to drive their personal cars.


Telecommuting is not a technology, but the concept plays a significant role in the switch from the old to the new paradigm of transportation. After the COVID pandemic of 2020, huge numbers of organizations chose to send workers home and let them do their jobs on personal computers. Even after the threat passed, most businesses decided to keep the at-home arrangements in place or chose to designate one day of the week on which employees needed to be in their offices. 

As the decade nears its midpoint, there’s no doubt that telecommuting has had more of an impact on sustainable transportation than any other factor. Not only do home-based workers drive less, but they also don’t need parking spaces or heated and cooled office spaces in which to do their jobs.

Transport Subsidies & Paperless Offices

For more than two decades, business leaders have subsidized employees’ public transport costs to minimize the use of gasoline and ease the demand for at-work parking spaces. In most situations, new hires can ride buses and light rail lines for free because their employers fully reimburse the cost of monthly passes. The policy allows people to reside outside downtown areas when corporate headquarters offices are in metropolitan centers.

Likewise, subsidies make it possible for low-income adults who don’t own cars to work wherever they want. Before the modern era, those who lived in large cities like Los Angeles found it impossible to work across town unless they owned private cars or were on direct bus lines. Eliminating paper from a busy workplace is not a simple task. The transition to a paperless office involves sophisticated apps, planning, and a management team dedicated to making the move work. Fortunately, many large corporations and smaller businesses have chosen to accept the challenge of going paperless.