Although it might not make headlines, green IoT transformation is underway for many businesses responding to pressures for adopting more eco-friendly practices. The pressures are coming from economic conditions, legislative action, and social concerns. Here's a deeper look at how IoT devices are helping busianesses of all sizes go green.
Keys to Green Transformation
Several industries have begun shifting to new green IoT infrastructures. Watching the following industries evolve with sensor technology will help lead to a clearer understanding of IoT technology. Early adopters are paving the way to setting future standards and models for companies to go green:
- Agriculture - Smart sensors can be deployed in fields to measure environmental conditions for improving crop cultivation. This technology can further help farms conserve energy, water, and other resources. Through precision agriculture methods such as optimizing irrigation systems through continuous soil moisture monitoring, less water, electricity, and fuel for farming equipment will go to waste.
- Automotive - Automakers are increasingly competing for fuel-efficiency. The next generation of cars will be equipped with AI technology and sensors for every mobile and mechanical metric imaginable. Autonomous vehicles will become more visible in industrial applications, while electric vehicles (EVs) are gaining momentum in the race toward carbon neutrality. This combination of innovations will significantly cut greenhouse emissions.
- Commercial Aviation - Airlines are helping pioneer IoT use in airspace while aiming to improve connectivity and data transmission. The key to contributing to sustainable solutions will be using IoT analytics to plan the most efficient flight paths. The aviation industry is currently exploring a concept to convert food waste into jet fuel, which can reduce CO2 emissions by 165 percent.
- Industrial Automation and Manufacturing – Leading industry analysts have identified manufacturing as a crucial innovation driver leading the IoT revolution. Automation and machine learning software are combining to create self-correcting solutions to factory vulnerabilities such as indoor pollution. Monitoring production processes with IoT devices will lead to a safer work environment with greater productivity and healthier employees.
- Smarter Energy Usage - Investing in smart technology will pay off for competitive enterprises aiming to cut costs on energy and create healthier environmental conditions. Smart buildings with LEED certifications will become more common, allowing operators to have more control over environmental impacts, along with heating, cooling and lighting.
Evolution of Smart Technology
Current green pioneers in the tech industry include Apple, Google, and Facebook. According to Apple, the tech giant's facilities ran on 93 percent renewable energy in 2016. All three companies power massive data centers and have ambitious goals to achieve 100 percent renewable energy solutions. In recent years, these companies have been able to claim achievement of their goal through the use of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs).
IoT technology is still somewhat in its infancy, but it's evolving rapidly in the direction toward improving business efficiency in real-time. Machine learning technology can already make valuable predictions based on the analysis of accurate historical data. The capability of sensors monitoring indoor and outdoor weather conditions combined with automation allows room temperatures to be automatically adjusted to optimum levels. Over time, advancements in this technology will help drive efficiency by monitoring more granular environmental factors within office buildings and manufacturing operations.
Some of the key challenges for the world to overcome in the next few decades are reducing greenhouse gases and dealing with a growing global population accompanied by rising energy and agricultural demands. By 2030, the world is expected to generate up to 40 billion metric tons of CO2 emissions. The Paris Climate Agreement is helping governments around the world rethink how they produce energy and how to reduce pollution.
An increasing number of businesses are poised to embrace green IoT methodologies to reduce waste and adopt more eco-friendly strategies in the next decade. Manufacturers are particularly under pressure from their communities to cut toxic waste and venture into more sustainable solutions. As more companies enter this new realm of environmental responsibility, they can share actionable evidence from IoT use cases that inspire others in the business community to go green.