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Book Review: Emerging Technologies: Value Creation for Sustainable Development - Büşra Öztürk


The book Emerging Technologies: Value Creation for Sustainable Development, written by Sinan Küfeoğlu describes emerging technologies and business models that follow technological innovation to provide social development in the face of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), has been recently published. What excites me to study on this book is the informative work on many different sectors, including energy and climate issues. Furthermore, it could be used as a guideline by enterprises and investors and regulators to take action through SDGs.


SDGs, representing a doctrine to enable prosperity and peace globally, have become a global language for expressing sustainability impacts and contributions. SDGs were developed in 2012 when United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development was held in Brazil. The goal was to establish a set of global plans to address humanity's environmental, political, and economic challenges. In this way, the United Nations (UN) chose 17 objectives by defining the world's most urgent problems. Then, SDGs have become the commitment globally to providing sustainable development.


The UN considers that development is possible under the balance between social, economic, and environmental sustainability. In this sense, the goals are adopted from different areas that are all interrelated, as some goals have the same indicator as other goals. The book clearly explains the relation between them by referring 'triple bottom line' term, which is a reporting impact through the three degrees of economic success, environmental preservation, and social equality. In this way, it is possible to achieve another SDG target while achieving one SDG target since SDGs are combined. On the other hand, there could exist tension among SDGs when the targets are desirable but incompatible. However, the other goals or indicators could provide a tool for cooperation. A prominent example of such trade-offs is the incompatibility between the SDG9: Infrastructure, Industry & Innovation, which aims to increase the share of the manufacturing sector in global employment, and the SDG13: Climate Action, which combats increase in carbon emission. The book highlights that policymakers and stakeholders should make strategic decisions about achieving economic growth while also preserving the environment for achieving these two goals at the same time by considering the term the triple bottom line.


The book also focuses attention on the need for the cooperation of enterprises and businesses and regulators to achieve SDGs. The fundamental justification for acceleration in the increase of enterprises is the rapid spread of emerging technologies that incorporate immense value and potential to make our lives easier. The book discusses and describes 34 emerging technologies which have market diffusion and are commercially available. Some of these emerging technologies listed in this book are directly related to low-carbon energy transformation and sustainable development. At the same time, others also identify significant implications for global carbon neutrality and sustainable development from a broad system perspective. Furthermore, the book affirms that emerging technologies also have significant environmental benefits, as incorporating innovative solutions into urban infrastructure can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10-15%. Integrating technologies into SDGs could expedite mitigating climate change while protecting the economies and supporting green business growth.


Sustainable developments could also be investigated as value creation, so how the companies create value is the leading research topic of this book. Values are classified as economic, social, and environmental values in the triple bottom line. The book also brings business models of 650 noteworthy and innovative companies worldwide. While investigating business models, briefly value proposition, value creation, and value capture by responding to the questions what, how, and what kind of revenue respectively are presented, which may inspire the readers who are considering starting a business and contributing to society by achieving SDGs.


Thanks to today's massive data sharing, the book has collected data from various companies. One of the striking results shared based on this data is that SDG9: Infrastructure, Industry & Innovation, SDG13: Climate Action, and SDG7: Affordable and Clean Energy are the top three SDGs integrated with emerging technologies, respectively. Another result is that among these SDGs, companies' most used emerging technologies are Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, Big data, Energy storage, and recycling Technologies. As a result of examining all these business models, it has been observed that developed countries such as the U.K., U.S., Netherlands, and Nordic countries take the lead in adopting emerging technologies and converting these into business cases for ensuring sustainable development.


This 'Emerging Technologies: Value Creation for Sustainable Development' could greatly assist anyone interested in identifying viable established innovations that deliver sustainable outcomes and help justify their inclusion in each investment by identifying and quantifying SDG contributions.