IoT holds the power to a greener and cleaner future


IoT represents a transformational point in understanding the full potential of a digital-first approach to sustainability.

Over the last five years, there has been a significant increase in the number of public and private sector organisations exploring and benefiting from Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. Its capabilities to capture and share data are helping to create a force for good within communities across the globe.

Last year, City of Edinburgh Council invested in a state-of-the-art ‘smart waste’ system that is changing how the local authority manages waste collections.  Eleven thousand 11,000 smart waste sensors are in the final stages of being deployed in waste containers throughout the city with data being transmitted across North’s IoT Scotland network to help drive improvements for better waste management. “The technology enables clever waste management by measuring waste levels and predicting usage trends, enabling the Council to optimise waste collection and manage routes more efficiently,” said Mark Lowe, business development director at North.

North provides IoT solutions for social housing, building health, waste management, air quality, water monitoring and intelligent lighting, all designed with sustainability at the heart.

An intelligent street lighting project has also been rolled out by Aberdeen City Council, unlocking sustainability and decarbonisation improvements across the city. This is significantly helping the local authority to create a greener future using energy-efficient lighting across the city.

The project included the installation of an end-to-end IoT solution that centrally manages and monitors more than 37,000 street lighting units remotely, enhancing the city’s lighting provision, whilst simultaneously helping to create a greener and safer city for the people of Aberdeen.

There is now no need for the manual process of checking lights, significantly reducing carbon emissions from travelling. Custom dimming profiles can be used to further reduce the level of energy consumption required at any given time and an automated fault reporting allows for more efficient maintenance.

Glasgow residents are some of the first to benefit from smart technology in their homes, as Glasgow City Council deployed an innovative pilot scheme with two Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) – West of Scotland Housing Association and Southside Housing Association.

Homes across the central belt now feature state-of-the-art sensors that will monitor atmospheric conditions within the properties. The smart Tempus sensors monitor and share data across North’s IoT Scotland network, enabling Glasgow City Council and the RSLs to record and analyse moisture readings every 20 minutes. This is enabling the local authority and housing associations to proactively intervene to high moisture conditions and minimise issues including damp and mould, which if not dealt with can cause a host of health issues and costly repairs.

Smart environmental air quality monitoring technologies were deployed in 2022 at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, as it became the first host city to achieve a carbon-neutral legacy. Smart technology was deployed across key locations at event venues and across the city which precisely measured monitored and captured data on air quality conditions before, during and after the event.

“The relationship between technology and sustainability is intrinsic,” said Lowe. “Expect to see more local authorities and private organisations adopt smart technologies as they work behind the scenes in the busiest parts of our communities, helping to improve the health and wellbeing of their residents and lessening negative impact on our planet.”

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