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IoT and Sustainability

What Role Does IoT Play in Protecting the Environment?


Industry and institutions believe the Internet of things(IoT) an opportunity for the present and the future that will digitize many operations and introduce tremendous benefits. IoT also has the ability to help combat climate change and protect the environment. This is how the Internet of Things could impact the sustainability of the planet in different areas, such as water use and energy efficiency.

What Role Does IoT Play in Protecting the Environment?

According to the World Economic Forum report IoT Guidelines For Sustainability, “The Internet of things (IoT) is undoubtedly one of the largest enablers for responsible digital transformation. It is estimated that industrial IoT alone can add $14 trillion of economic value to the global economy by 2030.” Aside from being a tool to increase commercial profit, IoT is also a facilitator of sustainable and environmental projects, including projects to fight against climate change. The World Economic Forum report notes that IoT projects can help attain the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations. The aims of these goals include global poverty, clean water, fighting climate change and industry efficiency and renovation, among others.

IoT and Energy Efficiency

Sensors, algorithms and different communication networks, have made it possible to create and distribute energy, as automation focuses on a much more sustainable line today. Electricity demand for a city or industry can be anticipated several months in advance, while the energy can be delivered to smaller, more isolated population centres. According to the World Economic Forum report, the energy used in IoT information networks and sensors for its storage and distribution would enable greater efficiency, reduce the kW price and increase the use of renewable energy in the mix of energy sources. All of this could lead to over 1.3 trillion MWh of energy savings from now until 2030. At the same time, large population centres will be required to accept the technologies. Smart buildings and infrastructure connected to the IoT, as well as smart and sustainable transportation, are projects that could reduce energy consumption, improve air quality and reduce CO2 emissions.

Precision Agriculture

IoT-powered precision agriculture can be another way IoT technologies can benefit the environment. Producing more and wasting less is the main focus of smart, data-driven agricultural solutions. IoT is already in place when it comes to monitoring crops and soil conditions, screening and treating farm animals, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Agricultural irrigation is also at stake. Water scarcity is a top issue as agriculture accounts for 90% of global water consumption. IoT-enabled irrigation systems optimize water consumption and minimize waste.

IoT Impact on Water Use 

 IoT connects many different machines that collect data in real-time and respond to specific problems. It is a very important element for sustainability when trying to be more energy-efficient and more careful with smart water use.  IoT technologies collect information thanks to sensors and a network of communications infrastructure, which will be analyzed to subsequently make decisions with the data. 70%  of the water used for crops around the world is fresh water, according to UNESCO, and one of the goals is reducing its use. Thanks to ground humidity sensors and environmental data, such as the rain forecast, we know when and where to irrigate with the right amount of water.  They also help to resolve farmers’ greatest concern: productivity. IoT technologies act on crop performance since controlling the risk impacts the use of expensive chemical products and help to increase productivity. 

IoT Supporting Sustainability in the Future

There are still improvements to be made in IoT technology working alongside the SDGs. Currently, the World Economic Forum reports that 75% of IoT projects are small and medium-sized and focus on industry, energy efficiency in cities, clean energy, health and responsible consumption. “Public-private investments is vita for growth” says César Guerrero, director of the eastern division at the Center of Excellence and Adoption on the Internet of Things (CEA-IoT) in Colombia the head of an agricultural irrigation project in the country.  This will generalize the use of IoT, lower costs and expand its use. “Training, raising awareness in society of the importance of sustainability and demystifying the technology is essential to developing IoT projects on sustainability on a large scale,” Guerrero maintains. 

Davra is propelling change through IoT devices and platforms. From smart buildings to transportation, Davra can help your company reach its sustainability goals through the power of the IoT. To find out more, get in touch today.

Author

Brian McGlynn, Davra, COO

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