Sustainability initiatives within companies are starting to drive a corporate and centralized approach to IoT for commercial and industrial facilities. The need to create carbon dashboards to report on green house gases (GHG) requires data. Most firms have recorded and reported a GHG basis for at least one year, usually completed with information from historical utility bills. This doesn't automatically provide answers on what needs to change, however. Having a near real-time understanding of the operational performance is driving corporations to seek a more centralized and comprehensive strategy to use IoT to address information gaps.

Going forward, most firms have set GHG goals with plans to make improvements that will achieve these goals by 2030 or before. This helps them to stay current with leading environmental initiatives, such as the United Nations Sustainability Directives. So firms are looking for ways to dig deeper into their operational facility performance, acquire more near real-time information, become more responsive to energy and water consumption, take back more control, reduce costs, and protect the environment.

This macro-economic issue has global momentum, and corporate sustainability teams find themselves teaming up with corporate IT teams to figure out how to acquire the necessary data and set up benchmarks to measure what's happening with a new level of granularity. In some cases it's setting a precedent as to how IoT will evolve within a corporate setting, as the corporate IT teams would like to see a more standard architecture and approach that fits across all the business units, enabling a more consistent model and implementation.

There have been some failed cases around IoT, such as expensive sensor upgrades not leading to the information originally intended to be captured. These can be multi-million dollar mistakes, so there is good reason for the corporate teams to get involved and take action on supporting a more successful approach.

By the way, companies should not look at IoT as a stand-alone solution. It's a great way of providing data enrichment that expands beyond current IT systems and databases and increases the depth of information available. IoT can help a company progress its digital transformation for the long term. A great example of this related to GHG is knowing where facilities are affected, which happens at multiple levels:  across the entire building footprint, within each individual building, along manufacturing lines, inside systems, and even with individual assets like refrigeration and lighting.

The above concepts not only cover energy and water consumption, but also apply to interconnections with equipment maintenance, predictive maintenance, benchmarks across different facilities, operational awareness and real-time insights that can help improve the overall heath of the business. 

Personally, I find it particularly awesome that sustainability is a key driver to this advancement of IoT. It's great to have such a wonderful cause creating the need for industry innovation. Who knew that saving the planet was going to be so much fun!