How IoT is changing our approach to sustainability

Smart technology has a big part to play in reaching a sustainable future, and this has become more apparent in recent years. In their efforts to become green, companies are constantly trying to find new and efficient ways of saving energy and money. Businesses are now turning towards innovative technology, such as The Internet of Things (IoT), to achieve this.

But what exactly is ‘The Internet of Things’?

IoT is the concept of connecting a device to the Internet and other connected devices with built-in sensors, resulting in a giant network of connectivity and data. Analytics can then be applied to share information with applications that have been built to address specific needs.

IoT can bring many financial and environmental benefits. Collecting data in this way allows companies to better understand their environmental impact, further embrace energy-saving solutions, and reduce physical and financial waste. Advanced data analytics, combined with IoT, can also help to monitor and reduce air pollution, track water usage, and even improve agricultural practices.

IoT is making an impact in many areas – let’s take a look at some of them, and consider how this innovation could change our approach to sustainability going forward.

Smarter cities

More than half of the world’s population currently live in cities. In a recent study, the United Nations predicted that by mid-century, over 66% of the world’s population will reside in cities. This is an exponential growth, as compared to the 1960’s – when just 34% of people lived in cities.

Although many people may not realise it, IoT has a huge part to play in creating modern and, accessible urban areas. Street lighting, energy efficient buildings and fast, convenient transport regularly utilise IoT-based systems.

Such simple adjustments may seem insignificant, but these small changes can generate impressive results. Take the City of London’s smart street lighting project, for example, which saw the installation of 12,000 LED lightbulbs between 2018 and 2020. This project resulted in energy savings averaging at 60%, throughout the city.

Clean air and water

IoT can also help to significantly improve public health. On average, 9,000 deaths a year can be attributed to air pollution in London. And 91% of the population worldwide inhabit places where the air quality currently exceeds WHO guidelines.

Air quality sensors allow companies to identify pollution and address it promptly. This consists of various air quality solutions, including changing transport routes and urban planning.

IoT systems can also help to maintain the health of our water infrastructure. According to MIT researchers, 52% of the world’s projected 9.7 billion people will live in water-stressed regions by 2050. It is therefore vital that we reduce our water waste. Futuristic systems technology can monitor tank filling levels, alert companies if toxins are detected, and eradicate leaks. Smart water systems allow companies to reduce waste, while finding the most effective ways to harness the water that they need.

These systems make it possible for companies and manufacturers – of any size – to improve their water supplies and air conditions, through IoT management processes.

Energy efficient educational institutions

It is estimated that universities across the UK could reduce their energy bills by a staggering £146 million a year, if they upgrade outdated systems and embrace smart energy tech. This reduction in costs and energy could help to fast-track the country toward its 2050 Net Zero targets.

As the climate crisis continues to accelerate, it is important that we manage our energy sustainably. IoT technology helps universities to get to grips with new ways of generating energy. This innovative technology also helps to reduce waste, and unnecessary costs.

Employing smart IoT solutions can bring several benefits. These range from improved efficiency, to enhanced controls. Inefficient energy use is one of the biggest problems facing universities today. Lighting and HVAC systems that are left on after lectures, and computers left running throughout the night, can create issues for universities. This can have a significant impact, both from a financial and an environmental perspective.

How can t-mac help?

Finding new, effective, and efficient ways of becoming sustainable is vital for businesses as Net Zero targets begin to bite. Smart technology and active energy management could be a huge leap forward for the energy industry, and many more sectors around the world.

Beyond the environmental advantages, IoT can also offer a range of other business benefits. Consumers have been shown to prefer companies that embrace sustainability. This means that businesses must champion sustainable practices, if they want to reduce their environmental impact and keep up with competitors.

Our IoT-enabled energy management services means we can understand your energy controls and figure out what works best for your business. This innovative technology allows you to take control of your building’s critical energy systems – spanning energy, water, security, heating, lighting, access control, and point of sale.

Get in touch today to hear more on how our IoT-enabled building energy management can help you to become more sustainable.

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