A new report from the nonprofit Carbon War Room along with AT&T purports that a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag might be device that ultimately leads the world to a greener economy. In fact, networked smart devices might have the potential to cut carbon by 20% while creating a whole new industry.
In the coming years, 108 million wireless connected devices and sensors may grow by 23% annually for the next seven years. These may account for $948 billion annually by 2020.
The authors of the report discovered that an energy industry enabled by the smart grid might save up to 2 billion tons of carbon by 2020. Transportation might save another 1.9 billion and farms 1.6 billion tons each. This matters because the energy industry, transportation, and buildings and farms were responsible for 18.6% of the globe’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2011.
AT&T has invested in machine-to-machine technology and wants to obtain better marketing and performance data to understand its potential and whether or not connected wireless devices can be used or leveraged to lower carbon emissions.
Seemingly small things, like cars taking the most efficient route, people running their air conditioners a few degrees higher, container ships loaded more effectively, or watering crops more efficiently can actually create a huge carbon savings.
Ultimately, simple actions, almost imperceptible to some, might end up lowering greenhouse gas emissions.