Technology is a catalyst for change. So the idea to use technology to deal with the biggest global change that our generation is experiencing – climate change, is a natural impulse. Leaders across all sectors look at advanced technological breakthroughs, such as artificial intelligence, the internet of things, big data and others to search for ways in which they can be used to help tackle climate change.
Homes, offices and other buildings account for almost 40% of global energy consumption and over 30% of the global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the World Economic Forum. In Europe alone, over 75% of buildings are energy-inefficient. Integrating real-time monitoring and analytics via digital automation allows building management systems to automatically adjust heating, lighting and other systems to the number of people present at any given time. New real estate projects aim towards building autonomous, ultra-efficient green smart buildings which can be remotely managed and provide better air quality and comfort for occupants.
With over 55% of the global population living in cities across the globe, smart city applications have an enormous potential to help tackle climate change. Collecting, analyzing and automating data from sensors across the city offers new opportunities for better city traffic management and smart energy consumption. Optimizing traffic routes for fleet management of (public) transportation, avoiding congestion and consuming energy when supply exceeds the demand are some of the use cases we see being developed today.
Data automation in industry and manufacturing helps companies become more productive, reduce their power usage and toxic emissions, i.e. by reducing truck rolls via predictive maintenance and condition monitoring and reducing energy consumption in the process. By enabling companies to maintain an Equipment-as-a-Service model, fewer products are to be manufactured, and less emissions occur. Data modelling is used to digitise, connect and analyse end-to-end manufacturing processes for reducing energy consumption in each industry.
Datacentres are a rapidly growing global power consumption and emissions player. An average user PC consumes 1.3 kWh of electricity every three hours, without even going online; transmitting a million static webpage requests per second has been estimated at another 11.610 kilowatts per hour (kWh) – or enough to power 13 US households for a month. Implementing automation solutions can help save energy, power and reduce emissions at a data centre level.
Agriculture and the global food system are responsible for 19-29% of total greenhouse gas emissions. With about ⅓ of food produced being wasted, the sector accounts for a big portion of global warming. Applying smart sensors and automation technology to agriculture and farming can help the sector in improving crop yield. Soil, fertilizer and water monitoring obtain higher crop yield by ensuring crops get the nutrients needed to grow optimally and give data insights to enhance resilience against droughts, disease and more. Automating livestock farming occurs through analyzing and improving eating strategies, breeding behavior, animal health and waste management. All this helps decrease the emission intensity of livestock, i.e. less methane per unit of meat or milk. Climate-smart agriculture aims at improving both farmers’ productivity and minimizing environmental impact.
As every aspect of people’s lives becomes more connected, automation is here to stay and will grow rapidly in the upcoming years. According to Fortune Business Insights, the IoT market will reach over 1.000 billion by 2026. The exponentially growing importance of collecting, analyzing and automating the processing of all this data will help us give better insights into how to fight climate change and maintain more climate-friendly societal trends.
At Waylay, we work with customers in different domains to help them improve old, faulty processes and innovate with automation. The biggest area where we see our automation solutions to have a direct and immediate impact in helping tackle climate change is energy efficiency. Intelligent automation solutions dramatically improve the way in which we consume energy in critical sectors such as industry, manufacturing, commercial & residential buildings and data centers. Smart city and smart agriculture applications are also big areas where our customers drive positive climate change through automation.