The natural world largely affects the way people live and the way businesses operate. The reverse relationship is also true, and maybe even more important: organizations have a profound influence on the environment, often negatively impacting it’s ability to provide the things we need and maintain its beauty. That’s why many companies are focused on reducing their carbon footprint. Business conservation becomes an even more important effort day by day, and Environmental IoT is the future friendly method to accomplish it.

One way organizations can measure and then reduce their impact on the natural world is with environmental IoT. Environmental IoT involves using sensors to measure certain natural factors, like wind, water, or soil. It’s also a type of technology that actively promotes sustainability and can help improve ecological preservation. 

Read on to learn more about environmental IoT monitoring, key elements, how it’s used, and future developments. 

Understanding Environmental IoT

Environmental IoT is the use of Internet of Things (IoT) technology to monitor and collect data from the environment. This information is then analyzed to understand the natural world and to make decisions that improve organizational operations and sustainability. 

This branch of IoT technology is becoming increasingly popular with businesses because of its ability to transform conservation and reduce a company’s environmental footprint. It provides real-time information, empowering organizations to make data-driven decisions that can positively impact their company and the environment. 

Key Elements of Environmental IoT Systems

Environmental IoT systems are typically set up similarly with four facets: 

Sensors: IoT sensors can monitor a variety of environmental factors including air quality, temperature, humidity levels, light levels, and water leaks. Often the sensors are placed out in the environmental area an organization wants to observe. That might mean placing individual sensors at regular intervals in the soil of a field or attaching wind sensors to a windmill. 

Connectivity: The sensors are only impactful because they’re connected to a central hub. As the sensors gather data, everything is sent through IoT connectivity to the digital space where data is stored until analysis. 

Data processing: Once data is gathered, it needs to be processed. This analysis synthesizes all the information together and lays it out in an understandable way. For example, software might generate charts that show the variations in temperature over the course of a month. 

User interface: The final component is a user interface that allows people to view the data insights and control how they want information processed and displayed. This is often done via a program on a computer that creates visuals for users. That processed information empowers businesses to then make decisions about their operations and conservation efforts. 

All of these pieces come together to form a full system that can drive businesses and sustainability. From the sensors in the soil, water, or other environmental places, organizations can get real-world and real-time information on their devices. 

Real-World Applications of Environmental IoT

Environmental IoT devices can measure anything from the soil to the air to the water. That means they’re useful in a variety of industries and in varied real-world situations, like these five: 

Commercial Farming

The agriculture industry is almost completely reliant on the environment for business success. Environmental IoT gives these business-owners the tools they need to determine the health of their soil, minute temperature changes, crop conditions, and irrigation water quality. That information helps farmers decide how to handle pest control, fertilization, irrigation, and crop health. 

This type of monitoring also helps create more sustainable farming practices. Each and every step of the process is informed by accumulated data from the environment. That protects crop and soil health and creates farming practices that benefit the environment. 

Water Quality Monitoring 

The quality of water affects aquatic ecosystems and human health. Environmental IoT can be used to detect oxygen levels, pH levels, potential pollutants, and contamination that might negatively impact human, plant, and animal health. It might be implemented in municipal water systems that filter drinking water or in a river. 

The data gathered on water quality can also be passed onto local governments and influence potential policies. For example, if data shows regular contamination from certain business practices, that could be used to change restrictions and regulations, ultimately keeping the water cleaner. 

Environmental IoT can also be used to monitor stormwater, groundwater, and agricultural water use. 

Energy Use Monitoring

There are limited energy resources, which means companies need to take measures to reduce use. IoT devices can track usage, anomalies, and changes that might affect energy levels. That information can be used for companies to reduce their own usage and save money that way. Sustainable energy use also makes energy cheaper for everyone on the grid. These practices can also help minimize energy spikes, equipment failures, service disruption, and fossil fuel use. 

Toxic gas detection

Toxic gasses can cause serious harm to humans, plants, and animals. That’s why it’s vital to be able to detect it early. Environmental IoT devices can help monitor the environment and pick up on subtle changes that could indicate toxic gasses. It’s very often used by businesses that use toxic or flammable gasses. These companies monitor usage to ensure safe management. 

Other real-world uses include monitoring CO levels in enclosed spaces, like parking garages or warehouses. It could also be used by mining companies to determine the safety of portions of mines. 

Air Quality Monitoring

Everything from machines to car engines to herds of cattle can affect the quality of the air. Polluted air can cause harm to the environment and humans in the area. IoT technology can be used to monitor the cleanliness of the air, helping companies make smarter decisions about how they affect the environment and the people around them. For example, a company that learns it contributes to pollutants can make choices to reduce that and improve the air quality. 

Air quality monitoring can also be used indoors. For example, it can be used to detect carbon monoxide levels in workspaces, warehouses, parking garages, and homes. 

Benefits of Environmental IoT for Sustainable Development

Implementing environmental IoT technology can benefit organizations in these ways: 

Improving environmental health: Having real-time data about the environment can help organizations reduce their carbon footprints and protect the natural world. They can take targeted actions that have a long-lasting impact. That also helps improve sustainability, an important business-value. 

Reducing waste: Tracking resource use can help companies reduce the amount of excess they produce and waste. Instead, they can use just the right amount of water, energy, and other resources—and avoid generating waste. 

Improving efficacy: Environmental IoT empowers organizations to monitor problems before something escalates into a major challenge. That allows businesses to be proactive rather than reactive and solve problems early on. This improves business efficiency. 

Business growth: Ultimately, protecting the environment can benefit a company. One way is that it helps save money by reducing inefficiencies, waste, and crises. Another way is it shows customers that an organization cares about its environmental impact. Customers are invested in organizations that are working toward sustainability. 

Challenges and Solutions in Environmental IoT Deployment

While environmental IoT monitoring is impactful and beneficial, there are some hurdles to establishing this system: 

Costs: It costs money to fully implement an environmental IoT system. While this type of monitoring can eventually provide a company with growth, the initial expense can be a challenge. To mitigate this hurdle, it’s important to find a highly affordable IoT partner. Often, this means choosing a partner that will work with a company to determine the best pricing options. 

Technology: To get the full benefits of environmental IoT, organizations need sensors and other devices that are of the highest quality. Low quality devices won’t give companies the data they need to impact the environment. The key is to choose an IoT provider that’s proven and is known to provide the best tools. 

Regulatory requirements: It’s also a challenge to ensure that companies stay compliant with all devices and use. The way to mitigate this solution is to regularly check on regulations. Another solution is to work with an IoT partner that’s an industry expert and can provide guidance on how to abide by regulations. 

Future Trends in Environmental IoT Technology

The future of IoT is bright. More and more organizations are adopting IoT devices to inform their business operations and growth. Environmental IoT is already a powerful sector of IoT, but it will only continue to boom in the coming years. Here are some of the trends to watch for in the future: 

Universal connectivity: Currently, there are areas of the world where it’s challenging or impossible to connect IoT devices to the larger network. Future developments will move the world toward universal connectivity. That will allow environmental IoT to be implemented everywhere and impact nearly every area of the world. 

Data protection: As the amount of data grows, security risks also increase. The future of environmental IoT involves greater strategies and measures to protect data. 

Scalability: The future of environmental IoT seems to be large and only increasing. Having tools that are easily scalable to large operations and efforts will continue to enhance the industry. 

Environmental IoT: Bridging Technology and Ecology

Overall, environmental IoT is a powerful way to lessen organizational impact on the planet and to preserve resources for future generations. These devices empower companies to reduce their own environmental impact and to create a more sustainable future. Ultimately, implementing environmental IoT can help increase ecological conservation and reduce an industry’s contribution to climate change. 

Technology can be the future of environmental conservation. 

Get Connected, Get Sustainable

Environmental IoT supports the planet and can be profoundly impactful for certain industries. Adopting these tools will build better businesses and safeguard the future. The key is to find an IoT partner that provides affordable and high-quality IoT connectivity solutions for a variety of organizations. Simon IoT meets all these needs and can help businesses implement environmentally sound IoT technologies into their operations.