The scale and urgency of the environmental challenge facing the world is undeniable. Getting to Net Zero emissions quickly will require Australia to harness every available technology, innovate at scale, and to think creatively. Digital technologies are being applied to just about every problem in industry and government, and Net Zero is no exception. If Australia is to keep pace with global competitors – and capture the economic benefits of transitioning to Net Zero– we will need to accelerate digitisation to help us to measure, reduce and report on emissions.
And that’s exactly what a new report commissioned by Cisco and Curtin University has attempted to do. The Smart Zero report was sponsored by the Centre for Networks (a collaboration between Cisco and Curtin, as part of the National Industry Innovation Network (NIIN) to highlight the role and relevance of digital in meeting Net Zero targets. The report highlights the role that digital can play in:
- Measuring emissions: use of sensors and smart environmental monitoring systems to baseline current emissions
- Reducing / avoiding emissions: embracing digital twins to model and refine potential interventions before they are deployed
- Offsetting emissions: use of blockchains and digital marketplaces for trading of carbon credits
- Validating emissions: use of smart contracts to track energy use and greenhouse emissions
- Reporting emissions: digitising the end-to-end reporting process and moving away from analogue, manual processes
Our ability to embrace new digital solutions related to Net Zero is increasingly dependent on the network. Advanced networks will not only need to be optimised for Net Zero, they will also need to be more energy efficient in their own right. Cisco is making strong commitments to improve the energy efficiency of its own equipment but the greatest environmental impact we can make is through the effective use of our technology from measurement to reporting, and everything in between.
I encourage you to read the Smart Zero report and hope that it helps industry partners and government better understand the opportunity presented by digitisation to accelerate our progress towards Net Zero.