The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly changing the world we live in, from video home security systems and voice-controlled appliances to self-driving cars and smartwatches. But how will it affect the environment?
At Dell, our mission is to drive human progress by putting our technology and expertise to work where it can do good for people and the planet. By deploying sustainability best practices and using renewable power sources, we can help slow the impact of climate change and innovate new IoT technologies to protect our planet.
1. Food Shortage and Insecurity
In the past 40 years, the world has lost one-third of its arable land due to erosion and pollution, making the challenge of meeting rising food demand more and more problematic.
To overcome this issue, Aerofarms have used IoT technology to develop an indoor vertical farming system which grows food with 95% less water and 390 times greater productivity than conventional field farming. IoT sensors track each plant’s vital statistics from seed to package and Dell Edge Gateways analyze over 130,000 data points per harvest, leveraging machines to optimize the growing environment. The initial success from this project indicate that food safety is dramatically enhanced whilst minimizing the environmental impact of traditional farming.
2. Clean Energy
Another interesting way that IoT is being utilized is through smart city initiatives. According to Alberto Araque, Vice-President for IoT and Digital Payments at Etisalat “buildings can save between 20 percent and 40 percent of electricity with IoT.” By combining big data analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, facilities management companies can collect data and analyze it in real-time, enabling immediate and impactful decisions. As the UAE and other GCC countries commit to intensifying green initiatives, we can expect IoT to play a pivotal role in various energy saving projects to maximize efficiencies and reduce costs.
While entire industries have developed around clean energy, e-waste is currently the fastest growing waste stream in the world. Rapid socio-economic development and technological advancement have driven this, but if not correctly managed the hazardous chemical components of e-waste can negatively impact natural ecosystems. Dell is committed to alleviating this through our Legacy of Good plan, which delivers solutions that give back more than they take away with respect to preserving our planet for future generations. We are proud to announce that 90% of waste generated in Dell buildings is diverted away from landfills.
But what has this got to do with IoT? Well, the waste management industry is beginning to shift into a cleaner, more efficient part of modern life by developing and implementing IoT-related solutions, including trash cans equipped with fill-sensors, data-based management, and smart logistics platforms. By 2020, the good that will come from our IoT and other technology will be 10x more beneficial for our environment than what it takes to create and use it.
Learn more about IoTs and how they can help your organization’s sustainability efforts here.