How The World is Using
New Technologies
for a Sustainable Planet

Across the globe, innovations from the Internet of Things to Artificial Intelligence are building a sustainable future for all

If you have heard of the Internet of Things (IoT), big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain, then you have probably heard of "fintech."

These financial technologies are used across consumer and industrial spaces and are now being embraced by financial organizations with large global investments.

In parallel with the data and fintech revolutions are ongoing efforts at national, regional and global levels to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Could these technologies, associated with concepts like observation, information, context and trust, be the tools we need to build a more sustainable and equitable world?

Across the globe, innovative organizations have already jumped into these challenges to promote sustainable policies and better understanding of the natural and human environments.

Here are just a few examples...

Mining the Galaxy for Data on Earth

Copernicus is a massive system implemented by EU member states—along with space, meteorological and weather agencies—that uses satellite imagery to observe, collect and analyze earth data in real time.

Copernicus has created an Internet of Things network with satellites orbiting the earth in real time that helps fill knowledge gaps and create early warning systems.

The data is used to examine trends and relationships for the atmosphere, marine environment, land, climate change, emergency management and resilience strategies.

The European Space Agency and European Commission clearly understand the value and importance of shared data and information about the earth, and all data and products produced by Copernicus are open access and free of charge, encouraging people to use the massive dataset.

You can learn more about Copernicus here.

In Canada,
lake advocates are using big data
that everyday citizens collect
to learn more about
Lake Winnipeg's health.

Learn more here.

From Sweden's Capital to the Big Apple

As urban populations grow at an extreme rate and cities expand, waste management, infrastructure, air and water quality, energy consumption and traffic are major issues facing the planet's cities.

Some governments and communities are integrating technologies into their cities' design to track their health and make their operations more efficient.

Smart cities are designed by connecting sensors together to make a large network mesh (Internet of Things) that can communicate and provide real-time information the city and its environment.

New York City, has developed smart city technologies throughout the city to increase efficiencies, create early warning systems, improve safety and reduce energy consumption.

For example, a small sensor network in New York was able to detect the 1% of buildings that produce significant levels of sulfur dioxide emissions, resulting in health problems and acid rain. The IoT network caused city officials to target these buildings, causing a 70% reduction in sulfur dioxide emissions.

The City of Stockholm is implementing an IoT monitoring network in their water system from source to sewer. This technology will monitor water quality in real time and will be used to inform citizens of unsafe drinking water and target sources of pollution.

Learn more about Stockholm's IoT network here.

Jarviwiki was founded by the Finnish Environmental Institute to to allow citizens to upload information on the health of local lakes.

The information is used to improve decision making, validate models and improve understanding of local waterways.

Learn more here.

Tracking a Whole Lake to Give a Complete Picture

Lake George in New York State has been studied for over 30 years to understand the effects of road salt, nutrient runoff and invasive species on aquatic health.

Launched in 2013, the Jefferson Project—an Internet of Things network comprising over 40 sensor platforms—monitors everything from lake water quality, weather conditions, lake current, temperature and tributary flows.

The network collects data from its series of sensors and transmits it back to the visualization computing facility that models the lake in real time to track relationships between the watershed and lake health.

The project was designed to improve understanding of the lake, inform decision making and to design a model that can be applied to lakes across the planet.

Learn more here.

The people of the
Mackenzie River Basin
are working together and
using innovative technologies
to monitor their environment
and protect their local water.

Learn more here.

Want to learn more about how financial technologies are changing the world of environmental protection?

Read more here.