Sustainability is paramount if we want to build a successful future and fight climate change.
Although the problems of climate change can feel insurmountable, one way we can fight them is through invention and innovation. The World Economic Forum predicts that digital technology has the potential to reduce global emissions by 15%, adding that “Connectivity will be a key enabler for many, if not most, exponential climate solutions.”
Read more about the World Economic Forum’s view on digitalisation and emissions
The Internet of Things harnesses that connectivity. It allows you to know more: to measure, monitor and capture information about almost everything. IoT can help you find new ways to meet regulations, achieve emissions targets and reduce your business’s carbon footprint.
Protecting our natural resources
Monitoring and measuring the way New Zealand uses its natural resources can help reduce waste and encourage efficiency. The water supply industry is a great example – every drop counts. Connected devices can track storage, flow, demand and maintenance. The data collected helps suppliers to forecast water use and manage supply more efficiently.
Water leaks are a major problem within national supply systems and it was once prohibitively expensive to monitor every water supply pipeline. IoT provides the potential to connect all our waterways, in order to find leaks rapidly and provide the opportunity to save millions of litres of water every day.
IoT can also help protect water quality: one of Spark’s clients, Citycare, uses IoT to monitor reservoir hatches, which enables it to prevent contamination and unauthorised access.
Read more about how Citycare water maintains its water quality using IoT
Precision farming means greater efficiency
Better water usage is a vital area for improvement in the agricultural sector: IoT can enable targeted irrigation and lower water usage. In fact, it can monitor an incredible array of measurables, including livestock, crops, weather and soil. This gives farmers the data they need to use minimal water and pesticides, keep animals safe, and improve crop yields. They can also accurately manage fertiliser use, minimising nitrogen run-off to protect waterways.
Precision agriculture means farmers can make small tweaks, every day, that add up to dramatic improvements in sustainability. The same principles apply to other primary industries, including aquaculture and forestry, where IoT data can drive more accurate decision-making to make businesses more successful, sustainable and safe.
You can already see precision farming at microscale in some Kiwi classrooms. Spark and Electric Garden provide connected devices to participating schools to measure light, humidity, soil moisture and both air and soil temperatures. School students learn to connect the natural and digital worlds, managing their gardens more efficiently.
Read more about Electric Garden’s IoT initiative
Building sustainable momentum
Every day you can see another step toward a sustainable, connected future. The IoT technology being used in primary industries is also improving efficiency across Aotearoa. Sensors and smart meters allow businesses and households to monitor power usage – controlling lights and heating, detecting smoke and monitoring air quality. You can see these technologies in action in our Innovation Precinct’s smart lighting, and with Vector’s connected Smart Meters.
Read more about the Innovation Precinct smart lighting
Read more about Vector’s Smart Meters
Although sustainability practices are slowly improving, New Zealand needs to move faster to meet emissions goals. Emissions regulations are becoming more widespread – and this pattern is likely to continue as the Government aims to give industries an extra push towards sustainable business practices.
IoT will be a vital tool in helping businesses meet those regulations. Every time a business or household connects a device that saves power and energy, the push toward sustainability gains a little more momentum. When whole industries connect, the needle really begins to move. Over the next decade, sustainability will begin to build exponentially, driving a brighter, cleaner future for New Zealand and the world.
If your business wants to find solutions for emissions regulations or sustainability goals, the team at Spark can help, so get in touch today.
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