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Towards a smarter 2030

Smart technology has revolutionised how we do business. Now it just might help us save the planet.

Can technology save us from the worst of climate change? Under the Paris Agreement of 2015, Australia has undertaken to reduce carbon emissions by 160 million tonnes per year by 2030 – and adopting ICT-driven efficiencies has the potential to get us there. 

The SMARTer2030 report from the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) has found that carbon emissions avoided through ICT solutions are nearly 10 times greater than the carbon emissions generated by deploying it.

Moreover, most of Australia’s emissions come from electricity generation, direct combustion of fuels, agriculture and transport. Taken together, these areas are responsible for 80 per cent of Australia’s total carbon emissions. 

As of 2015, Australia’s emissions were 549 million tonnes per year, and under a business-as-usual scenario this would climb to 683 million tonnes by 2030. 

One sector with considerable potential for a major reduction in carbon emissions in Australia is agriculture. By using ICT-enabled solutions such as sensor-based field equipment, data analytics, big data and traceability and tracking systems, yields can increase. Smart agriculture solutions can reduce waste, leading to a considerable fall in agriculture-generated carbon emissions.

Other areas ripe for ICT-led reductions in carbon emissions include manufacturing and energy, where smart ICT solutions can match demand to supply. Smart buildings integrate hardware and software to create intelligent work and living spaces. 

If ICT can reduce carbon emissions by 188 million tonnes per year by 2030 by using smart technologies, it has the potential to reduce Australia’s emissions by 27 per cent by that date. This means a sustainable future driven by smarter agriculture, smarter logistics and buildings, together with more efficient, technologically driven ways of doing business.

By 2030, ICT will have the potential to provide benefits across the triple bottom line, from reducing emissions and resource use to generating additional revenues and cost savings, as well as wider societal benefits.

To learn more, download the SMARTer 2030 Report.

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