By Peter Nalika
Global technology leader Epson recently revealed a study emphasizing the crucial role of technology in combating climate change. According to Epson’s Regional Head for East and West Africa, Mukesh Bector, the company envisions technology as a facilitator, creating products that consume fewer resources, have a longer lifespan, are repairable, reusable, and recyclable. This revelation came during a significant education technology and sustainability event in Nairobi, focusing on the transformative impact of sustainable technology in education, in line with the goals of the upcoming COP28 summit. Epson’s commitment to incorporating environmental responsibility into educational advancements heralds a new era for youth education in East and West Africa.
Bector highlighted, “Technology is the most important weapon in the fight against catastrophic climate change. Together, we can create the solutions that people need as they act to mitigate climate impact.” Epson’s research in Kenya shows a dichotomy in student perspectives: 90% find printed materials more effective for learning than digital ones, yet 77% are environmentally conscious about printing. However, 87% believe their learning would benefit from more sustainable printing solutions.
Addressing this, Epson’s Heat-Free printers offer a solution that balances educational quality and environmental consciousness. These printers notably reduce energy consumption compared to laser printers and support double-sided printing to minimize paper waste. Epson’s EcoTank printers, known for their high efficiency and low waste, further embody the company’s commitment to reducing ecological footprints. These innovations align with COP28’s ambitious goals to combat climate change by lowering operational costs and carbon emissions in educational settings.
A panel discussion during the event, involving educators, technologists, and journalists, focused on how Epson’s technology fosters a more sustainable and accessible educational environment. The discussion underscored the importance of ‘green skills’ for employment and environmental responsibility, aligning with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4 on quality education.
Ian Muthomi, CEO of Vision Drill Kenya, during the panel, stated, “In the ever-evolving landscape of education, we find ourselves at a crossroads between the traditional allure of print and the dynamic capabilities of digital technology. As we navigate this junction, it’s imperative to strike a harmonious balance that leverages the tactile engagement of print with the interactive and boundless potential of digital platforms. This equilibrium is not just a convenience but a necessity for cultivating adaptable learners who can thrive in both the pages of a book and the pixels of a screen.”
The discussion also highlighted Epson’s role in bridging educational gaps, especially in remote and underserved communities. By reducing reliance on electricity and consumables, Epson’s solutions support continuous education even in off-grid areas, demonstrating the company’s commitment to inclusive and resilient educational resources. These initiatives reflect the broader goals of COP28, prioritizing sustainable innovation in climate action and aligning with global efforts to enhance climate education from an early age.
“Education is the cornerstone of a sustainable future, and technology serves as the catalyst. As we embrace sustainable technology in education, we not only empower our students to thrive in a rapidly evolving world, but we also nurture a generation that is committed to preserving the planet for generations to come,” remarked Martin Mungai of the Centre for Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education in Africa.
Epson’s investments in research and development signify their belief in the convergence of sustainability and technology to drive societal change. The company continues to introduce products and initiatives that reflect this philosophy, aligning with the environmental goals of international bodies and local governments. As the event concluded, Epson reaffirmed its commitment to leading the adoption of green technology in African education, fostering partnerships and dialogue towards a sustainable and equitable future for all learners.
The writer is a Technologist and Communication Consultant