As the climate crisis intensifies, it is becoming increasingly clear that real and meaningful action must be taken to reduce carbon emissions and ultimately achieve the goal of net zero.
It would be a mistake to underestimate the value of digital innovation within this area – with the environmental benefits of technological innovations and solutions currently being demonstrated across numerous businesses and sectors.
Here we briefly outline how digital technologies are helping to reduce emissions and improve sustainability across four key industries.
Digitalisation efforts within this area tend to focus on increasing the efficiency of energy supply and reducing dependence on fossil fuels.
To allow for the transition towards climate-neutral renewable electricity, electricity grids must be improved and expanded, and technological innovation is allowing for this by facilitating the development of ‘intelligent’ electricity networks, making it easier to identify where energy is consumed, lost, and wasted and resulting in more efficient, flexible, and resilient grids.
Many transport and logistics firms are transitioning to electric vehicles as opposed to those that run on fossil fuels and digital telematics devices are also being installed by many businesses to monitor vehicle emissions, providing a clearer understanding of their carbon footprint, and identifying where changes need to be made.
IoT and GPS technologies can also allow for real time tracking and delivery updates, helping companies to reduce emissions.
‘Smart manufacturing’ which incorporates digital technologies and solutions, is having a hugely positive impact in terms of improving efficiency and reducing emissions.
Digital Twin technology (which creates a digital replica of physical assets) and additive manufacturing (3D printing) represent just two examples of how technological innovation is helping to reduce material waste.
AI and robotics have also proven extremely valuable when attempting to optimise and automate production, improving business productivity and the sustainable use of assets and materials.
As more than 25% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture, forestry, and land-use change climate action is extremely important within this sector.
Farmers are effectively utilising digital solutions including AI and IoT to automate processes, monitor livestock health and growth, conserve water, avoiding spillage and pollution, and achieve energy savings.
Technology is continually developing and the possibilities for future innovation are endless. Although climate change is a major issue, current and future digital solutions will undoubtedly go a long way in terms of combating the climate crisis.