IoT has made its impact on almost every industry. IoT is expected to add huge economic value to the global economy. But can IoT facilitate sustainable and environmental projects as well? As per World Economic Forum reports, by 2030, IoT projects have the potential of attaining all the sustainable development goals mentioned by the United Nations.
In this article, we will discuss how IoT can be used in enabling environmental sustainability.
IoT for agricultural sustainability
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, to feed the ever-expanding global population, there should be a 70% rise in global food production by the year 2050. Are we ready for this? To secure the future of food and feeding, there are a lot of challenges to be addressed such as soil quality, water constraints, reduced availability of land, pest control, etc.
IoT has the potential of not only increasing crop yield but also reducing manpower- resulting in healthier and cheaper crops. Thanks to IoT enabled sensors that can measure everything from water quality to soil pH, monitoring growth to hydration, farmers are now able to benefit from this cutting-edge technology. Real-time identification of threats from pests and diseases; crop monitoring and optimal harvest time can all be dealt with using IoT enabled drones and robots.
IoT for cleaner energy
Industries around the world have chosen smarter energy consumption ideas that are less hazardous to the environment. As per the World Economic Forum report, by using IoT technologies, it is possible to conserve energy of over 1.3 trillion MWh, and just within 2030. Building and infrastructures connected using IoT sensors and tools with artificial intelligence can manage energy in the most efficient way possible. This will cut down our dependence on fossil fuels, reduce CO2 emissions, and reduce energy consumption.
IoT has the power of making renewable energy solutions like solar panels and wind turbines cheaper and efficient. Cleaner energy alternatives are always criticized as unreliable. But with smart grid solutions, not anymore. Smart grids can be used to monitor energy supply and demand. There’s a new AI-powered IoT solution that understands where and when energy needs to be applied, bringing in much-needed efficiency to the system.
IoT for water sustainability
Our depleting water bodies have been a major issue of concern for our environmentalists for a long time now. Globally, 70% of freshwater is used for Agriculture. IoT enables mounting of sensors that read the ground humidity helping in the efficient use of water for irrigation. These sensors will also help farmers to know the environmental data such as rain forecast, through which they will be informed about when and how much to irrigate their land.
IoT technology applications along with AI can also be used to monitor the water quality. Through IoT, better access to the real-time data using machine learning algorithms is possible, that efficiently detects any changes in the ocean condition such as any effluent discharges, illegal fishing or waste disposal.
IoT for e-waste reduction
With the proliferation of technology in almost everything, the increase in e-waste has become a major issue. Millions of gadgets are thrown away every year, causing wastage of billions of dollars. Materials involved in making these gadgets are toxic and harmful to the environment. IoT can be a boon here. This cutting-edge technology can be used to monitor gadgets throughout their lifetime thus knowing when its life ends or when a part needs to be replaced or which part can be reused or recycled. With the use of IoT and AI along with eco-friendly hardware, a considerable reduction in e-waste is possible.
IoT for better air quality
The quality of air is deteriorating day by day. Through IoT, organizations can track air quality and identify the source of pollution. Smart air sensors can monitor the air quality and notify the concerned departments when it is about to reach hazardous levels. IoT can also be used to check on the harmful emissions from factories and manufacturing centres.
Challenges involved in building a sustainable environment are many. But through IoT, a lot can be conquered. IoT certainly has the potential to address these issues efficiently making our world highly connected and sustainable.