From air conditioning to site maintenance duties to product delivery, today’s artificial intelligence technology offers many ways that businesses can reduce their carbon footprint regardless of their business’ size. It may seem counterproductive for business energy suppliers to actively seek out methods to decrease business electricity and gas use, but the environmental importance of reducing commercial carbon footprint can’t be overstated. Besides, when isn’t it fun to find ways to use robots in our daily lives?
According to a recent article from The Wall Street Journal, “The coming wave of disruptive innovation in the energy sector is likely to be driven by digital tools bringing together artificial intelligence, machine learning, data analytics, supercomputing and automation.”
1. Cleaning robots to optimise business energy
One of the most commonly used AI tools in homes, robotic vacuums haven’t managed to break into the commercial sector on a wide scale despite their ability to reduce business electricity use. According to an experiment conducted by The Perfect Little Company, a bank of ten robotic vacuums cleaned the same square footage as a popular commercial vacuum while using 90 kWh less electricity. According to CleaningMag.com, replacing traditional commercial vacuums with robotic vacuums in London alone would reduce carbon output by approximately 2700 tons each year.
2. Perfect office temperature
Your company may already be utilising air conditioning also known as HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) controls to monitor and adjust the temperature in their facilities, but have you considered installing robotic blinds to reduce the need for the HVAC system to cycle in the first place? Whether your business is a high-rise hotel, a manufacturing plant, or a suite in an office building, it has windows. Those windows are responsible for heat loss in cooler weather and solar intake on sunny days, so they impact your business energy use as your HVAC system heats and cools the space. Robotic blinds and shades automatically raise or lower as the temperature in the room changes, adjusting the amount of solar energy allowed in and helping to reduce the amount of energy that your HVAC system uses to heat or cool the space.
3. Product delivery
One area that is frequently overlooked when individual commercial carbon footprints are evaluated is the emissions created through product delivery. After all, if the product is handed off to a third party for the journey to the consumer, it stands to reason that the emissions created during delivery would be the fault of the shipper, doesn’t it? As it turns out, not necessarily. Although it is accurate to say that the delivery vehicle burning the fuel (and thereby creating the emissions) belongs to a different entity, those emissions would not have been necessary if the product hadn’t been manufactured and sold in the first place. Retail organisations are now taking that into consideration and looking for new ways to streamline the product delivery task. On the top of the list? Robots.
It has been well-reported that Amazon is actively investigating the real-business applications of using drones to make individual deliveries, but it may be less-common knowledge that several other big-name companies are also investigating the drone-drop delivery plan. According to a recent article in the retail technical news blog Charged, DHL, Walmart, and UPS are all working on integrating drone delivery into their shipping programs. Walgreens is on-record as having made the first official drone delivery to a home in Virginia, USA in October 2019.
Another alternative to traditional delivery that is already in use closer to home is robotic ground delivery. Currently available in some Milton Keynes areas, customers can pay £7.99 to have their groceries delivered by a robot.
While automated delivery technology is still in its infancy, a successful roll-out will certainly make a difference to the carbon emissions produced during traditional deliveries.
4. Hot water systems
With all the new and exciting robotic tools that can help reduce the negative impact that your company has on the environment, some of the not-as-new can be just as exciting and have a larger impact on your bottom line. Installing heat and hot water systems that operate off of renewable energy can significantly reduce both your carbon footprint and your business energy monthly bill while making a positive impact on your employees and the environment.
Natural resources such as oil and coal are non-renewable and only exist in a finite amount. In 2020, however, most individuals have a firm grasp on the relationship between the use of natural resources and the effect of carbon emissions released into the environment when they are used, and we are interested in reducing the impact that these carbon footprints have on the world we live in and robots may be a helpful way we get there.
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