Sustainability is important in all kinds of industries, not least in construction and manufacturing where large amount of goods are constantly being processed and moved. Many businesses are trying to find a win-win solution that both increases their sustainability and their overall production, and it seems like a well-crafted IoT solution might just be that.
Two years ago, World Economic Forum released their guidelines for sustainability of the Internet of Things. It was evident that IoT had great potential in increasing sustainability, as long as the technology was used responsibly. In their report, they estimated that 84% of IoT projects have potential of addressing parts of UN’s sustainability goals.
So, how exactly is IoT aiding businesses in increasing sustainability, and can this be combined with increased profits?
SUSTAINABILITY IN IOT – WHAT’S NEW?
The main potential in IoT, in as far as how it relates to sustainability, lies in the fact that you can start measuring things that previously were difficult to quantify. Smart sensors can measure weight, tilt, temperature, pressure, humidity, gas flow, chemical reactions, vapor, surface, and much more. Everything a smart sensor can measure is used to increase the bottom line for companies in construction, manufacturing, and other industries, but it also aids these companies in meeting their sustainability goals.
In addition to the above, smart sensors are also very robust, which eliminates the need for constant maintenance. The cost has also consistently gone down, and they are very power conservative, which means that they can be used for several years without battery change.
All in all, smart sensors are driving IoT development, and as a tool they are inherently sustainable.
A well-crafted IoT solution can have many positive impacts relating to sustainability.
- Resource & Energy Efficiency
By having systems that can communicate and share data in an efficient manner, businesses can anticipate and plan for different scenarios and outcomes by having access to the right amount of resources when they need it. A well-crafted IoT solution increases productivity while also decreases the amount of defective units and lowers energy consumption.
- Supply Chain & Circularity
The complexity of the supply chain is a natural part of a market economy. Without the staggering amount of business agreements, it would never be possible to create the products we take for granted, and it would never be possible for us to purchase them to such a low price. The complexity of the supply chain also employs a lot of people, and brings revenue to both businesses and nations. However, the complexity of the supply chain also means that there are very real challenges in terms of sustainability.
As we talked about in a previous paragraph, IoT drives efficiency, and sustainability is all about efficiency. Using less fuel, materials, and spare parts leads to more than just a leaner production, it also leads to less wastage and a reduced environmental footprint in the supply chain.
- End-of-end-of-life Aspects
The lifetime of a component is an important part of sustainability. IoT systems can support a more circular economy by making it easier to repair and maintain products. An important part of what is described as the fourth industrial revolution, in which IoT is a huge part, is the rise of predictive maintenance. In short, predictive maintenance means that machinery uses sensor and machine data to predict when they need maintenance. This means that the lifetime of the machine can be increased, leading to the product becoming more sustainable.
There are yet many areas to explore in terms of how IoT solutions can support more sustainable manufacturing and construction and a more sustainable product lifetime.
IOT LEADS TO WAY TO A MORE SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
There are many aspects that can be improved by implementing a sustainable IoT solution. As we have talked about in this post, most of the revenue-increasing activities that relates to IoT also lead to increased sustainability. As experts in the future of technology have stated, there is a fourth industrial revolution happening right now – and it appears to be a greener one. Wittra loves combining efficiency and sustainability – contact us here to learn more about how your company can use IoT to meet your business goals.