A more sustainable economy is becoming more and more popular. Most people prefer doing business with companies that use sustainable practices, and more businesses are looking for ways to lessen the impact of their operations on the environment. New sustainability solutions are being developed and many of them make use of Internet of Things technologies (IoT). The processes that have always been regarded as essential to success include gathering data on business and operational activities, studying it for insights, and making decisions based on objective analysis. But today, the amount of data that can be gathered thanks to the IoT has elevated the level of data-driven decision-making.
People rarely connect the topics of technology and sustainability. After all, the creation, reliance on power, and improper disposal of various technologies are all related to current environmental concerns. But not all technology is created equal, and initiatives are being made to use IoT technology to lessen and mitigate the environmental impact as well as to address other environmental problems. Many business leaders are interested in industrial IoT. However, it’s crucial to comprehend how precisely IoT can improve environmental monitoring before diving headfirst into the implementation phase.
Top 5 IoT Sustainability Solutions
Below are some crucial areas where technologies are helping people to know about the sustainable future of using IoT solutions. Let’s dive in.
A smart meter calculates a building’s electricity usage. The wireless transmission of information by today’s smart meters uses low-energy radio frequency waves. And, the supplier receives regular updates on your energy usage, with some models sending information as frequently every 15 minutes. Smart meters offer customers access to consumption and peak demand usage data in addition to more detailed data than older devices. These new smart meters can also provide specific information about apparent, real, and reactive power to assess the effectiveness of the power factor and the calibre of the energy being produced. Smart meters offer customers access to consumption and peak demand usage data in addition to more detailed data than older devices. These new smart meters can also provide specific information about apparent, real, and reactive power to assess the effectiveness of the power factor and the calibre of the energy being produced.
Understanding changes in the water quality of a specific reservoir is made possible by IoT for water management. The interconnection of various sensors and monitoring systems aids in the provision of flood and water level warnings. As well as the prediction of other disasters like earthquakes and potential landslides in prone areas, assisting the public and authorities in taking immediate action on such issues.
The Internet of Things can increase agricultural practices’ effectiveness by enhancing how we use water. Smart IoT technology can connect to newly planted trees and plants using a monitoring device. Farmers can plan their irrigation systems with the help of humidity sensors and environmental data. Because farmers can manage the use of pricey chemical products as well, farms become more productive. The IoT can benefit agriculture by lowering labor costs in addition to reducing the need for irrigation and the use of pesticides. IoT-based agriculture can significantly reduce the amount of labor required for any given job. People can benefit from having less expensive products in grocery stores and healthier foods as a result. A significant source of pollutants can be reduced by businesses by reducing agricultural waste.
The IoT can be advantageous to any business that makes use of transportation systems. Cities can improve traffic management with IoT. The transportation systems will need to change as the population of the world rises. Faster, slicker, and more fuel-efficient systems can be created with the aid of the IoT. In urban areas, a lot of drivers waste gas looking for parking spots. Finding parking spots in the city can take a lot of time and money, but the Internet of Things can help. The Internet of Things can thus even save lives.
Monitoring IoT Air Quality
IoT air quality would also include items related to occupational safety and health because sustainability is synonymous with corporate responsibility. People are directly impacted by the air quality in your building. Monitoring indoor air quality can assist you in creating a healthier, more efficient work environment for your staff. The presence of common pollutants like volatile organic compounds (VOCs), carbon monoxide, and particulate matter can be continuously monitored using IoT sensors (PM). The building’s overall air quality will be accurately depicted over time by the data you receive, which will also assist you in deciding what possible remedial measures might need to be taken.
A Forbes study found that smart energy measures could reduce carbon emissions by 15% by 2030 if they were utilized in conjunction with IoT. You can enhance the way your company generates and distributes energy by utilizing the IoT’s algorithms, sensors, and communication features. A city’s or an industry’s total electricity demand can be predicted by businesses several months in advance. An organization’s energy efficiency can be increased with the help of the smart energy used in IoT networks. Utilizing renewable energy would be simpler for businesses and households thanks to the IoT. Additionally, it would lower the cost of energy per kW. Smart energy will allow us to save more than 1.3 trillion Mwh in energy between now and 2030. Sustainable energy sources like hydroelectricity, solar power, and wind turbines can be used to generate this energy.
By implementing IoT solutions, auto manufacturers can increase vehicle efficiency while reducing the environmental impact of their products. Vehicle efficiency and precision are improved by incorporating IoT monitoring systems for maintenance, driver behaviour, and navigation. Smarter, safer, and more connected automobiles have already been made possible by this cutting-edge technology. It improves driving experience and maintenance efficiency while also saving time and money. In addition to being beneficial, automotive IoT solutions can also be challenging to develop and implement properly.
IoT guidelines for sustainable development
Adapting collaboration models and aligning incentives
- IoT provides structural incentives to promote sustainability objectives.
- For business models to work and scales to be possible, infrastructure solutions must be addressed first.
- Boost the pace of IoT deployments and reduce the risks of political cycles by simplifying legal frameworks, speeding up procurement processes, and engaging experts.
- Partner early on ownership, privacy, and sharing of data as pillars of the partnership.
An overview of business models and investment opportunities
- Business models should be designed and executed with flexibility.
- Enable new monetization patterns and unlock mutual benefits through cross-industry solutions.
- Obtain alternative funding sources by consolidating and bundling demand.
Impacts of IoT sustainable development
- Enhance brand reputation and attract top talent by embracing a sustainability awareness culture.
- Identify and measure impacts based on the UN sustainable development goals.
- Make sure that the commercial design incorporates sustainable development goals and targets.
Developing a sustainable business model is challenging
Introducing sustainable practices into an organization’s core functions is a critical challenge for entrepreneurs and business managers today. Until now, businesses have primarily focused on the ecological and economic aspects of sustainable development. The social dimension of sustainability is frequently overlooked. Today, an increasing number of businesses are faced with the challenge of incorporating sustainable social development values such as equality, organizational culture, poverty, commitment, and education.
The circular economy is another significant challenge for companies striving for sustainability. It means that waste should be transformed into a resource input that reduces the depletion of primary resources and pollution. Adopting a circular economy necessitates the use of innovative technologies as well as the establishment of cross-sector collaboration. The main role of IoT is to create a framework that encourages businesses to work toward sustainable development. It is the only way to see systemic change in support of the SDGs.
How IoT technology aids in the development of a long-lasting product lifecycle?
Sustainable practices are traditionally associated with internal processes and production. Here, we examine how the IoT affects the environment at each stage of the product lifecycle.
Growing, harvesting and processing are all examples of agricultural practices that waste resources. And IoT can assist in resolving this issue. Farming is one of the most well-known IoT applications in agriculture. Farmers can collect data using IoT and environmental sensors to detect leaks, optimize irrigation systems, and determine when, where, and how to apply fertilizers and fumigants. These sustainable practices not only benefit the environment but also influence the decisions of stakeholders. Companies and investors can use ESG software to make investment decisions based on specific organizations’ environmental, social, and governance impacts.
Design and manufacturing
At this stage, IoT deployment can benefit businesses in multiple ways. It can optimize production processes and reduce waste. Sensors monitor and provide precise, real-time data to help reduce quality incidents, energy consumption, maintenance downtime, and process waste. Manufacturers can gain insight into parts or components that require improvements in subsequent versions after prototype testing by using IoT data.
One-third of all food produced worldwide is wasted. These wastes are common in manufacturing and supply chains. Fleet operators can optimize routes and track driving conditions using IoT data to speed up delivery while lowering carbon emissions. Furthermore, IoT-enabled environmental monitoring systems can assist supply chains in monitoring ambient conditions and alerting them when sensitive products are overexposed to air, heat, cold, etc.
Energy is the most common area where IoT helps to optimize consumption. Smart buildings can adjust lighting, heating, and cooling systems based on occupant behaviour using IoT-enabled devices. This reduces CO2 emissions by reducing the use of fossil fuels for energy.
Waste disposal and recycling
Less than 20% of e-waste is recycled, with the remaining 80% ending up in landfills. Companies can reduce their environmental impact by reducing and recycling these wastes. Using IoT solutions improves waste sorting for both biodegradable and non-biodegradable materials. Smart bin sensors can track container capacity and notify operators of pickup times.
IoT is one of the most important drivers of digital transformation and has the potential to revolutionize sustainability. It is still possible to discover, implement, and innovate more about the Internet of Things as it develops too. Especially when it comes to helping governments and their partners make better decisions based on the information the Internet provides. There is still much work to be done, even though more businesses are investing in the Internet of Things to speed up their efforts to meet the SDGs. The future is undoubtedly a promising one and one to look forward to despite all of these trends and predictions. You can enhance the quality of the air and water for your business and the entire planet using the Internet of Things. IoT applications and devices are cutting-edge data sources that can efficiently inform decision-making. Whenever a sector or organization has been doing something the same way for a long time and is refractory to change, it is difficult to overcome current barriers. Managing these processes more efficiently and reducing your environmental impact is possible with IoT for sustainable development.
Madhu Kesavan is the founder & CEO of W2S Solutions, a well-known recognized sustainability consulting company that empowers governments and enterprises to adopt digital technologies. With 20+ years in the IT market, he makes his vision for a sustainable future come true by leveraging technology.