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Technology and Sustainability: Innovating for a Better Future


Earth Day encourages us to reflect on the subject of sustainability; however, it’s an important subject to be considered year-round. Sustainability is about meeting the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations. While the definition is simplistic in words, the concept is very powerful. The success of our world depends on the actions we take today. With resources finite and needing to be used conservatively and wisely, technology can have a positive impact when harnessed in an environmentally sound manner.

Positive Technological Advances

Environmental stresses can be better managed, monitored, and prevented by combining data with technological advances in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), imagery, robotic process automation (RPA), and the Internet of Things (IoT). These technologies can be applied across an array of industries to optimize processes and operate more efficiently.

In the case of the transportation sector, traffic congestion and fuel consumption can be reduced. Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory used AI/ML to teach traffic cameras to recognize specific vehicle types and estimated gas mileage to send this information to the next intersection’s traffic light. AI is helping make autonomous cars a reality. According to a report by the Intelligent Transportation Society of America, autonomous vehicles alone can enact a 2-4% reduction in oil consumption and related greenhouse gas emissions annually over the next 10 years.

Supply chain logistics are being transformed in manufacturing by leveraging AI/ML to better predict demand and optimize fleet management efficiencies in real-time for deliveries. The benefits in the area of agriculture are tremendous. Drones can inspect large acreages for damage after a storm or harm caused by pests. Using this type of imaging can help assess and possibly prevent additional damage. Soil pollution can be better controlled by using data to enhance decision-making on the optimal times to spray and harvest.

Innovating with the Environment Top of Mind

There are many different ways to foster sustainability in the workplace, such as adopting clean energy practices, reducing waste, preventing pollution, and producing sustainable products. As Ness partners with customers to help businesses thrive in the digital economy, it is important to keep sustainability practices top of mind that promote positive social and environmental impact. A few of the many examples include:

Connecting the Smart Home to the Smart Grid

An innovative smart-meter display manufacturer is assisting utility companies to  implement governmental programs for efficient use of energy and minimize ecological impact. To support the roll-out of the UK Smart Meter program, the manufacturer needed to build a product line for in-home displays (IHDs), allowing utilities and homeowners to take advantage of the benefits of smart meters (gas and electricity) and energy displays. After partnering with Ness, the manufacturer now has a simple and intuitive user interface with a secure connection to 4,000,000+ gas and electricity smart meters. This connection provides details and access to energy data services to the homeowner and provides real-time data transmission to energy suppliers.

Championing the Reduction of CO2 Emissions

A European-based telematics company that specializes in fleet and asset management was looking to build a new flagship fleet management platform to support its growth. In response, Ness built a platform that offers fleet management capabilities, analytics to monitor driver behavior, and fuel usage to drive efficiency and cost optimization. This resulted in improved driver safety by reducing speeding by up to 70%, increased fleet savings by an average of £660 (~1,000) per vehicle each year, and it helped the environment by saving 230,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually.

Instilling Ethical Practices

A top 5 diamond manufacturer needed to automate their extensive compliance assessment process known as best practice principles (BPP). The BPP process was time-consuming, manual, and difficult to keep up to date. This opened the door to potential human error and the risk of non-compliance. Ness built a new, more intuitive, and effective platform utilized by 350,000+ people to accurately maintain compliance with BPP ethical standards.

Building eMobility Solutions for a Greener Future

A leader known for the development of high-efficiency battery storage packs for eMobility as well as stationary storage systems was developing the electronic control unit (ECU) software for electronic vehicle prototype projects. With increased demand, the company needed to standardize the software to comply with all automotive regulations and safety standards. The company partnered with Ness to perform the development, integration, and testing of ECUs for the powertrain within electric vehicles.

To learn more about how you can leverage technology and digital strategies to promote sustainability, contact us today.