In today’s business environment, implementing environmentally sustainable practices is no longer viewed as on option, but as a requirement. Besides being the ethically right thing to do, being green – or at least greener – is expected by customers, shareholders, and any number of key stakeholders.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is playing a significant role in helping enterprises to accomplish this goal. In fact, mobile network operators are making a concerted effort to help progress efforts that move the “green needle.”
In 2017, the GSMA, a worldwide mobile network operator body, released a report outlining specific sustainable development goals. According to the report, IoT is significantly improving three specific goals in North America:
- Clean water and sanitation: Smart meters have the power to help cut water consumption by more than 15 percent, which both preserves natural resources and contributes to a significant cost savings for businesses.
- Life below water: IoT sensors are able to detect water cleanliness in rivers, lakes, and oceans to improve the management of aquatic ecosystems.
- Life on land: IoT is also leading the drive in making historically inefficient things - such as vehicles, factories, and even homes - to be more sustainable, dramatically shrinking their carbon footprint.
The report further outlined three key commitments that must be executed against to accomplish these and other sustainable development goals:
- Better networks: With a greater reliance on cellular connectivity to power increasingly rich IoT applications, it is critical that networks are able to facilitate with expanding need. As we have seen, many carriers are in the process of phasing out 2G and 3G networks in favor of LTE, which can handle both complex and less data-intensive applications.
- More connectivity: Many geographies with the greatest need for sustainability are not as connected as the rest of the world. Mobile network operators are continually pursuing more innovative solutions to bring increased connectivity to remote areas, while making it more affordable. This is especially important in geographies that do not have equal financial resources.
- Doing more with mobile: As more of the world’s population becomes connected, populations are able to access more information than ever. As mobile network operators strive to meet sustainable development goals, they have an unprecedented opportunity to reach the nearly 2.5 billion social media users worldwide.
In the coming weeks, we will explore two industries that have become more green as a result of IoT innovations, as well as dive into a third industry that has always relied on sustainability and is leveraging connected solutions to make even further strides.