Goal # 9 of the Sustainable Development Goals from the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by United Nations Member States is Infrastructure. Within this goal, their mission is to “Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.”
But what does this really mean? When I think of infrastructure, my mind goes right to sustainability. How can we make our buildings, roadways, power supplies more efficient and more sustainable? Wikipedia states that “infrastructure is the set of fundamental facilities and systems that support the sustainable functionality of households and firms.” And I couldn’t have said it better. As a world, society, as humans…we have to have sustainable infrastructure to progress.
As a millennial, my generation and ones younger than mine have been faced with the harsh realities that if we don’t make drastic change and fast, the world as we know it won’t survive. As dire as that sounds, I agree with its severity. We got a glimpse of this last year during COVID when the world felt like it shut down and everyone was forced to stay still – the earth breathed a little better. So how do we sustain our environment while still growing our manufacturing industries and build a resilient infrastructure for generations to come? I have no idea! And that’s okay because no one has all of the answers. What I do know is that I can keep doing my individual part by learning as much as I can from others that do know how we can do these things and by implementing a more sustainable lifestyle.
My very first AHR Expo back in 2018 (yes, I know I’m young!) I got my first taste of why sustainability and efficiency are so important. That slap in the face was from watching Armstrong Fluid Technology announce at their booth that the 1 billion kilowatts of energy saved (over 1 million in costs saved) that they were able to accomplish since starting that initiative in 2007 just wasn’t enough for them. That for 2018, every pump order shipped would not only receive pump manager software but the router, service, everything to be able to use to connect their pump manager to their pumps free of charge for one year. I remember being in awe that a company was willing to take that kind of financial hit because they believed in their new technology so much and the need to educate people and really show them a new way of managing their energy.
Let’s fast forward to 2020. As a company, Empowering Pumps & Equipment launched a #SustainabilityChallenge ahead of AHR Expo because both as a team and individually, we know just how important this conversation is and that we’re all doing our part to make a difference. We made it a point to change some of our own practices and also highlight the companies that were making sustainability a focus for their own companies.
This year, we’re hosting a Sustainable Infrastructure Summit to keep this conversation at center stage – where it belongs! The day will be about technology, processes and our favorite…people. As a connection hub for the industry, we feel a sense of duty to our community to keep talking about what’s really important, not only for us, but for the world. We hope you’ll join us for the summit, we’ll have it available On-Demand afterwards so don’t worry if you missed it! It’s also #InfrastructureWeek so the conversation will go on all week from United for Infrastructure who’s working to educate people and policymakers about the importance of infrastructure to the nation’s economy, workers, and communities.
Regardless, keep following along with us and talking about sustainability and ways we can do better. We can all play an important role in these conversations and I truly believe that little things add up to big things and if we all do our part – as little as it may seem – it will make an impact.