Being environmentally conscious is not just a fad – it’s a commitment. As citizens of this planet and stewards of the Earth, we must be aware of the impact of our day-to-day routines and how it may affect our quality of life. Each day our seemingly benign activities, such as getting to and from work are regrettably building a heavy carbon footprint.
Erasing our carbon footprint
I’m sure you’ve heard this term – carbon footprint – on several occasions, but you may not be aware of the technical definition. Formally defined, our carbon footprint is the sum of greenhouse gas emissions produced in support of managing human activities – generally expressed in equivalent tons of carbon dioxide (CO2). Which means there is a direct correlation between how we behave as humans and how the health of the planet is affected. Due to this fact, many cities around the world are striving to achieve carbon neutrality.
What will be our environmental legacy?
The question still remains, how do we adjust our ways, mend what’s been broken and still maintain the lifestyle that we’re all accustomed to? Cities, countries and people around the world are working hard to find an answer to this very question. By balancing our output and the managing the effect of our emissions, carbon neutrality can be achieved when cities ensure their actions work to remove or reduce the amount of carbon dioxide they produce. There are a number of ways that city and community leaders are pursuing in order to make this a reality. The spectrum of approaches can range from something as simple as planting trees, to more complex tactics like investing in renewable energy sources. Regardless of the approach, city leaders are showing true commitment to change with new and innovative ideas.
Our recently announced Smart+Connected Digital Platform is helping cities and communities achieve these kinds of changes. Management and insight of their city’s data is allowing leaders to make informed decisions to better plan for today and for the future.
In Copenhagen, city leaders are working toward becoming carbon neutral by 2020. Recent deployments with Cisco, TDC and a wide range of partners has introduced air pollution analytics, smart waste, and soil and water quality sensing as the preliminary environmental sustainability approach of their smart city agenda. And in places like Adelaide in South Australia, smart street lighting is not only helping to save energy and protect resources, but saving the city money as well.
Cities do not become smart over night. Planting trees, installing sensors and changing traffic patterns are important building blocks. But when cities and communities start to turn data into action, the digital transformation vision is brought to life. Once the data starts to flow, city leaders can get an accurate picture of life their communities, which can inform a range of decisions that can impact everything from better transportation, health and wellness, future planning and long-lasting environmental sustainability.