The report ‘Living in a World of Data’, drawn up by Schneider Electric, reveals the sustainability trends that are changing today’s business panorama and shows how technology is helping companies respond. According to Schneider Electric, the IoT will be the key for companies to take more informed decisions as regards energy and sustainability to reduce their impact on the planet, while improving their profitability.
The infrastructures and buildings infrastructures consume up to 70% of the world’s energy. Given the need to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, companies have started to place sustainable practices at the centre of their strategies. Digitisation, that provides energy efficiency potentials of 82% in the case of buildings and 79% in that of infrastructures, can be the key tool to facilitate sustainability.
In this regard, Schneider Electric has identified four trends in the corporate panorama that technology will help address:
Decoupling economic growth from environmental impact
Our planet’s resources and its demand continue to accelerate. For this reason, companies have to innovative so that their growth does not involve an increasing amount of expenditure in energy and resources. Technology and digitisation facilitate this sustainable optimisation of resources while reducing threats to business continuity. Innovations such as Industry 4.0 – with technologies such as the IoT or Cloud Computing – sustainable supply chains and Everything as a Service (XaaS) will be those that make this possible.
Improving sustainability reports
Companies with well-planned sustainability strategies, clear and informed initiatives based on accurate data can improve their scores on existing global indices and sustainability and environmental programmes. The IoT will be key to improving operational and energy efficiencies yet further, by providing real time data and allowing the auditable and traceable monitoring and identification of this performance.
The need to increase customer engagement
Companies have to learn how to measure, categorise and commercialise their products and services in a sustainable way. The keys are transparent corporate processes, optimised supply chains and a responsible and considered asset management. Technology is the means that make this possible, according to the report from Schneider Electric.
The 3 Ds + E
Digitisation, decentralisation, decarbonisation and electrification are changing the way business is done. The acquisition and analysis of data are crucial for information-based decision-making. As such, investing in digitisation is one of the key factors to shift from reactive business processes to proactive processes and to guarantee a positive rate of return. For example, the report from Schneider Electric shows that, by implementing digitisation projects, significant improvements in efficiency can already be observed within the first 12 months.
Technology as a sustainability and profitability facilitator
The report concludes that the deployment of IoT technologies by companies leads to a more efficient use of resources, an improved return, a more resilient business, enhanced health and safety in addition to risk mitigation.
Companies that reduce their energy consumption by 30 or 40%, can achieve a 10% reduction in their overall operating costs. Companies from every sector are already implementing these improvements, with the report particular highlighting the hotel, manufacturing and data centre sectors. For example, thanks to a new sustainable Data Centre, the Director General of Highways in Taiwan has reduced their energy use by 36%, saving one million Euros a year. In the industrial sector, the report cites machinery manufacturer Semyx, which has achieved improvements in productivity of 50 to 75% as a result of digitisation.