British telecommunications company Vodafone claims to have used the Internet of Things (IoT) to help its customers save more than 3.5m tonnes of CO2 emissions through its IoT solutions including smart meters, cloud services and smart logistics.
Vodafone’s machine to machine services have proved effective in helping its customers reduce carbon emissions and improve the efficiency of public services – this according to the company’s latest CSR report.
The report stated: “Helping our customers to reduce their operating costs is a clear benefit of M2M services, but enabling the potential for the reduction in a company’s carbon footprint is also an important motivations for many businesses to use this technology.
Carbon-reducing applications for M2M technology are wide-ranging – from improving fleet operations and making utilities more efficient, to enabling wider use of electric vehicles and monitoring stock levels in vending machines remotely.”
IoT driving efficiencies
Vodafone’s services have had far-reaching effects, with its customers worldwide reporting improvements in Africa, the UK, and the Netherlands.
One example is the company’s installation of its SIMs in BBOX solar-powered generators, which deliver off-grid power in several African countries.
The SIM allows operators to check faults, install updates, track usage and monitor payments all from the UK.
In the Netherlands, bus operator, Connexion, used Vodafone’s network to share information about the driving efficiency of 1,500 bus drivers. The operator hopes to improve fuel efficiency by 5% annually, saving more than GBP 2m (US$ 3 118,270).
Impact on Vodafone sustainability
While its services have yielded results for its customers, Vodafone’s net emissions have increased by 10% annually due to the company’s expanding business and doubling the amount of data being carried by its network.
In light of this, Vodafone has decreased its aggressive target of reducing emissions by 50% by 2020 against its 2006/7 baseline to annual increments. This year, Vodafone UK aims to reduce their CO2 emissions by a least 3%.
The company explained: “Our business has changed significantly since we set this objective and we are now replacing it with a new goal that takes into account the emissions reductions our services deliver for our customers as we continue to seek to minimise our own carbon footprint.
Vodafone added that their new goal is to “enable [their] customers to reduce their carbon emissions by twice the amount of carbon we generate through our own activities.”