How Can IoT Help Companies Create A Sustainable Workspace?
Investing in greener workspaces is a top priority for today's corporate world. Read to see how companies can leverage IoT to create more sustainable workspaces.
As companies plan to bring employees back to the office, they have the unique opportunity of restarting operations from a more sustainable standpoint. Investing in green energy, energy-efficient products, and technologies can help companies create a more sustainable workspace that cuts operational costs and helps the environment.
The Internet of Things can be a great ally in creating this sustainable workspace. By using IoT to connect different products, appliances, and machines and implementing automation protocols, companies can gain visibility into their energy consumption, identify wastage and inefficiencies, and adjust protocols accordingly.
Read on for more insights into how companies can use IoT solutions to make their workspaces more sustainable.
How do sustainable workspaces benefit companies?
Sustainable practices are in high demand among businesses today, and for a good reason. Expert research has proven that incorporating eco-friendly initiatives into a workspace pays dividends in the long run.
The following reasons provide a better understanding of why every company needs to prioritize creating a sustainable workspace.
- It's good for the planet: Companies can significantly reduce their carbon footprint by tapping into green initiatives such as energy-efficient lighting, renewable energy sources, and reduced water usage.
- It boosts the bottom line: Sustainable initiatives can reduce operational costs and positively impact the balance sheet.
- It promotes employee engagement and productivity: Employees are more likely to stay longer in a company that takes care of the environment and provides eco-friendly workspaces.
- It helps build a company's brand: Sustainable initiatives can boost reputation and attract more customers. IoT technology has become increasingly popular when it comes to creating sustainable works.
How can IoT help create sustainable workspaces?
With the advent of the Internet of Things, it is now easier to incorporate sustainable practices into the workspace. IoT can help companies monitor performance, detect inefficiencies, automate processes, and make better decisions regarding workspace design optimization. As a result, they can make their offices more efficient and ultimately more sustainable.
Below are four remarkable ways IoT can make company workspaces greener.
1. Energy conservation
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), for instance, the end-use of commercial buildings accounts for up to 20% of the total U.S. energy consumption. Therefore, companies are critical in the march towards net-zero emissions by 2050.
IoT presents several exciting opportunities for reducing energy consumption in modern offices. Here are some compelling examples.
- Intelligent lights can adjust light levels according to occupancy.
- Smart thermostats can automatically adjust office temperature according to external conditions.
- Smart power plugs can monitor and regulate the power being drawn by various office devices and even turn them on when not used.
- Data integration solutions can capture data from various sensors and provide real-time insights into energy usage.
Companies must invest in a combination of these solutions to make substantial energy conservation gains.
2. Paper waste management
Modern-day office buildings generate a tremendous amount of waste. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the average office worker disposes of about 2 pounds of paper daily, cumulatively constituting 90% of the total office waste. Another study reveals that 45% of all printed paper ends up in the trash by the end of the day, and only about half of all paper produced in the office is recycled, leaving the rest either in local landfills or waterways.
Offices must begin prioritizing waste management practices to create a more sustainable environment. The Internet of Things can prove invaluable in this regard. Below are some notable ways workplaces can use IoT to minimize waste.
- Smart waste bins can track trash levels and alert cleaning staff when full.
- Trash compactors can reduce the amount of space a bin takes up and help conserve resources.
- RFID sensors on trash bins can detect recyclable items before they are dumped and alert the employee to move them to a designated recycling bin.
- Automated collection and recycling systems (ACRS), such as robotic sourcing facilities and intelligent collection trucks, can help sort and collect recyclable materials more efficiently and accurately.
- Waste tracking systems can monitor trash bin content over time to identify the primary sources of waste and areas for improvement.
Additionally, deploying IoT solutions to automate various processes, from document management to inventory tracking, can reduce the need for paper-based solutions and ultimately minimize paper waste.
3. Water conservation
Industry research indicates that commercial buildings take up 10-20% of all municipal water in the U.S. A staggering 65% is used for flushing toilets and urinals, while surface cleaning and washing account for around 20%. Most of the remaining 15% is used in various activities such as cooling towers and personal sanitization, and 3-5% is lost through leaky pipes and water fixtures.
IoT-powered water conservation solutions can help companies reduce their water consumption significantly. Here are some mention-worthy ways IoT can promote water conservation in workspaces.
- Intelligent toilets and urinals can detect when flushing is required and adjust the amount of water used to match the level of cleaning required.
- Smart faucets with motion sensors can detect hand movement and automatically turn off when not used.
- Intelligent valves and flow meters can detect water leaks immediately and alert authorized personnel to take action.
- Automated landscape irrigation systems can help companies with outdoor spaces reduce water waste by adjusting the amount of water released for maintenance based on real-time weather data.
- Water usage tracking systems can continuously monitor water usage to identify areas of excessive water utilization and pinpoint improvement opportunities.
In today's highly competitive business environment, companies are trying their best to reduce costs while ensuring that the quality of their products and services remains unchallenged. To achieve this goal, managers have turned to predictive maintenance, which uses IoT devices and analytics to anticipate potential issues before they become significant problems.
Workplace equipment like computers, printers, water dispensers, refrigerators, and air conditioners are all prime candidates for IoT-based predictive maintenance. With sensors that track metrics like temperature, humidity, voltage levels, and vibrations, technicians can detect early signs of malfunction and take action before an issue causes significant downtime.
Besides saving costs and keeping operations running, smart maintenance can go a long way in helping companies reduce their energy consumption and carbon footprint. Below are four excellent examples.
- Keeping equipment running at optimal efficiency can help reduce energy use.
- Anticipating failures and fixing them before they happen can reduce the number of times a company has to use less-efficient alternatives.
- Spare part manufacturing has a substantial carbon footprint. IoT-based predictive maintenance can reduce breakdown frequency, resulting in fewer spare part purchases.
- Unlike breakdown repair, predictive maintenance can be scheduled at off-peak hours, reducing the strain on energy grids.
Make your workspace sustainable with IoT
The modern workspace is being transformed by technology, and IoT is playing a substantial role in shaping its future. IoT solutions are helping companies across numerous industries create more sustainable workspaces and move closer to achieving their sustainability goals.
As a company in today's climate-conscious world, investing in technology to improve your environmental performance can help you stand out from the competition and give your workplace an edge regarding sustainability ratings. More importantly, you can inspire your staff and customers to join the cause and work together for a better future.