How companies are benefiting from sustainability tech

Businesses are using advanced technology for measurement, efficiency and risk minimization.

Sensors aren't new, but they have proliferated in recent years, with the global environmental sensors market predicted to be worth more than $3 billion annually by 2027. These sensors are making it easier and more affordable for companies to detect, visualize and manage a wide array of environmental impacts.

For example: Methane, the primary component of natural gas, is a potent greenhouse gas responsible for 25% of the warming we're experiencing today. The largest source of industrial emissions is the oil and gas industry, which loses $30 billion worth of methane each year from operations. That's why companies like ExxonMobil and Schlumberger are working with Stanford and Environmental Defense Fund to uncover best in class mobile methane monitoring technologies that can help the oil and gas industry find and manage emissions in a faster, more efficient way.

Using technology to improve efficiency

Google is using AI and machine learning to consume less energy, cut energy bills and reduce emissions. Its DeepMind team has been able to use AI to reduce the amount of energy for cooling in their data centers by up to 40%. The company is also using machine-learning algorithms to harness the power of wind energy by predicting wind output 36 hours in advance and delivering optimal hourly delivery commitments to the power grid. Google reports that "machine learning has boosted the value of our wind energy by roughly 20%, compared to the baseline scenario of no time-based commitments to the grid."

Research from PwC estimates that using AI for environmental applications in agriculture, water, energy and transportation could contribute up to $5.2 trillion to the global economy, create 38.2 million net new jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 4% in 2030 — an equivalent to the 2030 annual emissions of Australia, Canada and Japan combined.

Technology also minimizes risk

The climate risk analysis industry is also on the rise. Jupiter Intelligence, for example, recently raised $23 million to expand its business into new areas like wildfire risk assessment for companies and cities.

Forward-thinking companies like AT&T are also using supercomputers to analyze climate change risk and inform business decisions. AT&T has collaborated with the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory to create climate model datasets that help zero in on extreme weather risks.

The company then uses the data to determine how climate change will affect its business and ensure the safety of its employees, customers and communities. In addition, AT&T is sharing the climate data with the public — from communities to universities — to help all become more climate resilient.

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