The issue of sustainability—and how it can be better achieved through smart technology—has found firm footing in businesses of all sizes. Aside from important considerations around the future health of the planet, there are also compelling business reasons to accelerate sustainable practices.
Emerging technologies like AI, IoT, and edge computing are unlocking new opportunities to not only foster sustainability, but also create new paths to help with profitability, efficiency, and better customer experiences.
Some of the key reasons sustainability has ticked up the priority list of organizations of all stripes include:
Customers demand it According to McKinsey and NielsenIQ, 78% of US consumers say a sustainable lifestyle is important to them and 60% of consumers will pay more for products that are packaged sustainably.
It boosts growth Brands that tout sustainability are shown to achieve more dramatic growth. McKinsey and NielsenIQ report that products making claims related to environmental, social, and corporate governance practices grew at an average of 28% over five years, compared to 20% for products making no such claims.
It can help business keep up with regulations In cities and states across the country, local and state regulators are taking up green building and operations policy proposals at an accelerated clip. By aggressively pursuing sustainable practices now, organizations can stay ahead of the curve, and implement change at a self-determined pace.
One of the critical enablers of sustainability and efficiency is the implementation of Internet of Things (IoT) and automation technologies. IoT refers to the network of interconnected devices that collect and exchange data, facilitating informed decision-making and streamlined operations. On the other hand, automation systems enable processes to be performed automatically, reducing manual labor and enhancing productivity. These technologies pose immense promise for sustainability, particularly in avoiding waste in the form of energy, water, resources, or labor.
Let’s take a look at a few smart technology use cases:
Energy management Using IoT sensors and smart thermostats, businesses can reduce energy waste. These devices can monitor room occupancy and adjust heating, air conditioning, and lighting accordingly to help with energy savings.
Water management IoT sensors can also monitor water usage, detecting leaks and overuse in real-time. Automated irrigation systems can use weather data to water gardens, crops, or landscaping only when necessary, reducing water waste.
Food waste mitigation Sensors in refrigerators can alert staff to use food before it spoils, and automatically flag when refrigerators are malfunctioning, avoiding spoilage.
Building Automation Systems (BAS) These systems use IoT sensors to collect data about building operations, such as energy usage, HVAC system performance, and lighting conditions. Operations teams can then use this data to identify inefficient areas and implement measures to mitigate waste, like improving insulation or replacing inefficient appliances.
Customer involvement IoT technology can also help to involve customers in sustainability efforts. For example, guests can track their own energy and water usage through displays or apps.
Automation and IoT for sustainability tools are only as successful as the network they operate on. In order to optimize the use of smart technologies, businesses need to ensure a strong connectivity foundation. Businesses can also leverage a trusted third-party provider with expertise in network connectivity and advanced wireless to help ensure fast, reliable connectivity is available to support a bevy of connected devices.
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Learn how AI, IoT, and edge computing are driving sustainability for both profit and the planet.