IoT and Sustainability

Abhinav Sharma
5 min readMay 26, 2021

Sustainability is gaining more limelight nowadays. People are looking forward to doing business with the ones who practice sustainability. Therefore, it is believed that we should reduce using technology and hence, oppose IoT on these grounds. Rather IoT supports and helps in maintaining sustainability. IoT technology has begun to live up to its promise of driving efficiency as well as sustainability. This green mindset is driving the development of new sustainability solutions, many of these solutions utilize the Internet of Things technology. In fact, uniting IoT and sustainability can be a very powerful way to reduce global emissions.

IoT technology helps utility companies and other energy providers expand their services by linking up with countless decentralized devices and energy sources like solar panels and microgrids to scale back strain on conventional power sources. It benefits numerous industries by improving connectivity, reducing energy waste, and allowing the gathering of energy data which will then be analyzed to reinforce delivery and efficiency. during a more direct way for consumers, IoT means greater control of home energy use via smartphones or tablets. The result: greater sustainability and lower energy costs.

This blog talks about the solutions or ways in which IoT can help in achieving sustainability and help in saving energy as well as the relation and impact of IoT on different environmental aspects.

Smart Meter

A smart meter measures the electricity consumption of a building. Before they became “smart,” electricity meters sent meter readings only to the energy supplier (you because the customer didn’t have access to the data), and primarily measured kWh. Today’s smart meters deliver the knowledge wirelessly via low-energy radiofrequency waves, and your energy usage data is shipped to your supplier at frequent intervals, with some models delivering information as frequently as every quarter-hour.

In addition to offering more detailed data than the old devices, smart meters also give customers access to consumption and peak demand usage data. These new smart meters also can provide detail into apparent, real, and reactive power to live the facility factor efficiency and energy quality. As a result, businesses using smart meters have the power to realize more control over their energy usage, either by altering their usage habits or pinpointing issues associated with power quality. Because smart electricity meters provide more information about power usage, they’re a superb tool for facilities managers looking to scale back energy usage as a part of a bigger sustainability program.

Water Monitoring

Water is a crucial metric for sustainability because it’s a primary component of everyday usage in most facilities. (The U.S. average is approximately 20 gallons per sq ft, indicating that a 100,000-square foot building consumes over 2 million gallons of water per annum .) Pipe leakage is liable for a big amount of water loss in industrial/commercial facilities. An IoT solution that detects leakage through dynamic water consumption monitoring could substantially reduce both consumption and waste.

Smart Agriculture

Another IoT sustainability solution that solves a big global challenge is sensible agriculture. Indoor farming companies like AeroFarms and Bowery Farming are attracting unprecedented interest from investors because they need to be successful in their unique approaches to farming, which belief tightly controlled environments to grow the simplest plants possible.

IoT sensors are a perfect sort of technology to use to the challenge of environmental controls. By collecting and analyzing data on everything from soil moisture, light, air quality, and more, farmers can improve their practices to maximize crop growth. The IoT has proven to be very valuable in creating favorable conditions for plant growth. Growlink, for instance, lets farmers use IoT technology and machine learning to optimize growing conditions. Solutions like these also help farmers minimize the utilization of pesticides and fertilizers, applying them only where and once they are needed. Reducing the environmental impact of farming and increasing production are two significant benefits of the IoT because it pertains to sustainability.

We have usually seen that digital users can increase carbon footprint but IoT in fact helps in reducing them. The following part of the blog talks about the relation of IoT with environmental aspects:

IoT and Climate change

The onslaught of digital services means data centers currently account for about 2% of worldwide greenhouse emission emissions. The speed of growth here is merely matched by aviation. Datacenter power music and video streaming, social media, entertainment, and cloud computing. aside from massive power consumption demands, servers generate tons of warmth. They also require tremendous amounts of energy to stay cool. Global corporations, reportedly, are already working towards a 100% renewable energy target to match annual electricity consumption.

A survey on the state of worldwide environmental sustainability in data center design paints a bleak picture. Of the surveyed 361 global IT decision-makers, only 28% consider environmental issues within the selection of knowledge center technology. Getting data centers to run on renewable energy alone is sort of an undertaking. then again, this is often only a fraction of the trouble to be put toward sustainability within the digital realm before we start to ascertain tangible change.

Reduction in Carbon footprint with IoT

Back in 2016, SAP’s Chief Futurist Kai Goerlich said “It’s tough to predict what proportion additional infrastructure are going to be needed within the future, but our analysis shows the IoT’s potential in significantly saving carbon emissions. And if current conditions persist, it’s going to even save more carbon than it’s using.” within the meantime, IoT has facilitated connectivity, enhanced responsivity, near-full automation, and a shift from static products to services available to all or any.

In a politician analysis of the ECU Commission dated November 2018, the web of Things was named a transition enabler in how buildings, appliances, and therefore the energy systems of buildings are often synchronized to optimize energy flows and reduce emissions. Once fully operational, IoT has been projected to scale back global carbon emissions by around 20%.

The shift toward heightened awareness for environmental issues may be a chance for companies to seem beyond traditional climate management. Implementing novel solutions is happening at every conceivable organizational level. Combining IoT and sustainability has many faces. Connecting different devices and older-generation equipment, overcoming the brownfield hurdle, and truly getting rewired for the web of Things are all challenges that require to be faced. One possibility to try to do this is often by introducing lightweight IoT-enabling solutions like IoT platforms. These accompany their own infrastructure and toolchain.