How digital solutions will help drive down carbon emissions
THE UN Climate Change Summit COP26 to be held in Glasgow next month has been hailed as the last chance for the world to get its act together on making drastic curbs on carbon emissions.
Nations and businesses across the globe are being challenged to find new ways of doing things in order that we can live more sustainably for the good of our planet. The solutions invariably require a digital element.
The new technologies that will be needed to meet zero carbon targets, will be created using digital tools.
The decisions that we make on production levels, energy consumption, new sustainable transport systems, are already being informed digitally, by analysing big data.
According to Digital Europe, a trade association for digital transforming industries, digital technologies have the potential to reduce global carbon emissions by 20 per cent by 2030.
However, businesses across all sectors are taking greater cognisance of their responsibilities to act more sustainably.
Many are taking a top-down approach by carefully considering other organisations they work with, in the supply chains, customers and strategic partners, aligning only to those that share the same environmentally focused goals.
For those sectors where remote working is possible, digital transformation has helped to accelerate the move to working from home.
We may be consuming more energy in the home as a result, but the reduction of commuter traffic has had a major positive impact on carbon emissions, which fell by 6 per cent in the world's leading economies during 2020 as a result.
For those companies that operate fleets, such as delivery or haulage firms, many are now installing digital telematics devices in their vehicles to monitor their emissions, providing businesses with a clear understanding of their carbon footprint.
Many are transitioning to electric vehicles as a result and with the UK already announcing it will ban the sale of combustion-engine vehicles by 2030, others will follow suit.
Still a niche, electric vehicles will soon become the norm, requiring a massive roll-out of charging infrastructure, with digitalisation already being harnessed across the world in a bid to create novel solutions such the WiCET project in London to wirelessly charge cabs in the city. That's not to mention the possibilities of autonomous vehicles.
The possibilities are endless and while the challenge to flight climate change is huge, it cannot be successful without digital solutions.
:: Thomas O'Hagan is managing director of b4b Group