Internet of Things: The Most Sustainable Business Model Ever?

1) Energy, Water, Waste, Civic Engagement: Since the Internet of Things (IoT) works to combine data from various sources into one integrated, usable platform, this technology has the opportunity to benefit many environmental categories.

2) Article Title: Internet of Things: The Most Sustainable Business Model Ever?
Website: Triple Pundit
Link: here

  • As stated in the article, “the Internet of Things is a business model that reduces waste and streamlines processes, promising to deliver greater value from a smaller amount of resources”. Therefore, by employing IoT models, we can achieve greater efficiency and seamless integration across platforms.
  • The article highlights the fact that it was the onset of the internet which disrupted how everything worked before the technological age, so it’s the internet which will also allow for us to continue to upgrade and integrate systems into the future.
  • Future disruptions due to internet advancements are expected to be “enabling”, as opposed to “disruptive”.
  • The value of IoT comes from the ability to collect huge quantities of data and cross-analyze the data to come up with meaningful information.
  • This level of analytical specificity was never possible before the onset of the internet. Now that we have the new capabilities to get into minute details and cross-analyze various data clusters, we are able to reach analytical depths never before imaginable. This can facilitate the transition into a more integrated, efficient, and sustainable future that is able to flex with the changing times.

3) Organizational stakeholders: data software developers, data analyzers, data centers, tech companies, governments, NGOs, private businesses, various market sectors including energy, tech, waste, agriculture, buildings/real estate, transportation, etc. Stakeholders for the IoT are far-reaching.

4) The first 3 steps in deploying this technology:

  • Continue to develop ways to collect data
  • Continue to develop ways to analyze data
  • Keep data platforms non-proprietary so that they can be used across industries/companies/disciplines/sectors
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Big Belly Trash Cans in NYC as Wi-Fi Hubs

1) Energy, Waste:  Not only are we in dire need of renewable and efficient energy sources, we need to manage our waste production and waste management strategies.

2) Article: New York City Is Turning Smart Garbage Bins Into Free WiFi Hotspots

Source: Huffington Post Business

Link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/new-york-city-is-turning-smart-garbage-bins-into-free-wifi-hotspots_55a6925ae4b0c5f0322c0569

  • Over 150 solar-powered Big Belly trash cans have already been installed in Manhattan.
  • The trash cans are data enabled to send a signal when full.
  • A trial included equipping two trash cans with Wi-Fi, and the results showed that the signal was good despite it being nestled into a trash can.
  • The article mentions Link NYC’s plan to convert old phone booth locations into Wi-Fi sources.
  • It seems that, in the areas that Big Belly trash cans already exist, Link NYC may be able to collaborate with the trash can owners to use the bins as hot spots instead of installing new infrastructure.  Though this could save Link NYC installation costs, it may also affect Link NYC’s business plan since the Big Belly trash cans tend to be in visible places (like Time’s Square), so Link NYC may miss out on a marketing opportunity by doing this. However, if Big Belly and Link NYC are both aiming to provide free Wi-Fi in NYC, they are going to have to compete if they don’t work together.

3) Organizational stakeholders: NYC government, other city governments, Big Belly, Link NYC, NYC residents, NYC tourists, utility companies, internet companies, wireless companies, etc.

4) The first 3 steps in deploying this technology:

  • Assess feasibility of expanding Wi-Fi capability to more Big Belly bins.
  • Assess the market if Link NYC is also going to be involved in the same market.
  • Assess collaboration opportunities with Link NYC and other entities.

1 in 3 New Cars in Norway are ELECTRIC!

1) Energy: We are in dire need of finding sustainable energy solutions in order to move away from the rapidly depleting fossil fuels.

2) Article: Norway’s approach to electric cars pays off in a big way
Website: Grist
Link: http://grist.org/list/norways-approach-to-electric-cars-pays-off-in-a-big-way/

  • In Norway, 8,112 new electric cars have been purchased so far in 2015, which means that every one in three new cars bought in Norway in 2015 has been electric.  In the US, 15,000 new electric cars have been sold so far in 2015, meaning one in every 100 new cars in the US has been electric.
  • Norwegians who opt for an electric car are given many benefits, including: they don’t have to pay VAT and purchase tax on the car (usually an additional 50% of the price of the car), they get FREE CHARGING, free parking, and free use of the bus lanes!
  • Norwegians are loving these benefits and responding in a big way.  As a result, the Norwegian government is now changing the benefits, since it will have a hard time keeping up with this kind of success.  Starting in 2018, electric car owners will have to start paying half of the road tax, and in 2020, they will start paying the road tax in full.

3) Organizational stakeholders: Norwegian citizens, Norwegian government, Norwegian companies, utility companies, energy providers, car manufacturers, car salespeople, charging station manufacturers and operators, parking lot owners, Department of Transportation, other countries who want to emulate Norway’s model, etc.

4) The first 3 steps in deploying this technology:

  • Continue to provide incentive opportunities for drivers to continue to purchase electric vehicles.
  • Provide incentives for car manufacturers and salespeople to expand the electric car market.
  • Assess ease and availability of charging stations and continue to expand for driver convenience.

June 2015 – A great month for Passive House! North America’s largest Passive House opens in Oregon

1) Energy – We currently rely on a finite energy source. We are quickly running out of fossil fuels, and they are polluting our earth and harming its inhabitants at the same time.

2) Article: North America’s largest ‘passive house’ opens in Hillsboro, and it’s actually 57 affordable homes

Source: Oregon Live

Link: http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2015/06/north_americas_largest_passive.html

  • North America’s largest Passive House just opened in Oregon (and construction of the world’s tallest Passive House just started on Roosevelt Island!  Read here)
  • The Oregon housing complex was built for low-income residents and only cost 10% more to build than a similar conventional project.
  • The Oregon housing complex will use 70% less energy than its conventional counterpart
  • Passive House is a German building standard which focuses on airtight, well-insulated buildings

3) Stakeholders: Realtors, Property Owners, Developers, Architects, Engineers, Construction Material Manufacturers, Construction Materials Retailers, General Contractors, Lending Institutions, Renters, Property Management Companies, Utility Companies

4) To deploy:

  • Work with Building Departments to push for more stringent building codes
  • Work with engineers, architects, property developers, and contractors to train them on the Passive House standard
  • Plan and design Passive House buildings

Paper Battery Which Extracts Electrons from Dirty Water

1) Energy/Water & Waste Management:  Our energy system currently depends heavily on fossil fuels, a resource which continues to become scarcer and scarcer.  It is no surprise that we need to look elsewhere for cleaner, more abundant sources of energy.  Simultaneously, much of the world struggles with finding clean water, as dirty water abounds.

2) Article: This origami battery is cooler than your crane
Source: Grist
Link:  http://grist.org/news/this-origami-battery-is-cooler-than-your-crane/

  • This new technology, developed by Binghamton University engineer Seokheun “Sean” Choi, costs only five cents to make. It consists of paper, folded to the size of a matchbook, which contains activated carbon. When dirty water is applied to the paper, electrons are harvested, creating a battery.
  • The harvested electrons come from the metabolic actions of bacteria consuming organic matter, both of which are located in dirty water.
  • This technology is very simple, cheap, and lightweight, and uses dirty water–something very abundant–as its fuel source. The end result is a clean energy source.
  • I am curious to see this type of technology applied on a larger scale, to generate larger amounts of energy.  Perhaps activated carbon can be applied to large holding ponds of dirty water.

3) Organizational stakeholders: Organ Energy providers/utilities; Battery manufacturers; Product developers; Lenders/financial institutions; Developing world; Healthcare professionals (particularly in the developing world); Emergency professionals

4) First steps:

  • Research the extent and capacity that this product can be used — how much energy can this actually produce?
  • Locate sources of funding
  • Locate avenues to deploy this technology (i.e.: companies and NGOs to partner with, etc.)

– Maya Ezzeddine

Large Scale Composting Using Anaerobic Digesters

digester

1) Waste: Food waste is a huge problem. Not only does the food waste occupy limited landfill space, the food waste will not efficiently decompose when it is mixed with other non-organic materials. Additionally, if not properly managed, the methane released from the decomposing organic matter exacerbates the effects of global warming. Capturing this methane can also provide an energy source from something otherwise going into the waste stream.

2)  Title: High Solids Anaerobic Digestion + Composting In San Jose

Website Name: BioCycle.net

Link: http://www.biocycle.net/2014/03/28/high-solids-anaerobic-digestion-composting-in-san-jose/

Developer and Owner: Zero Waste Energy Development Company (ZWEDC)

  • The article describes a 10,000-square foot facility in San Jose, California which processes up to 90,000 tons of organic waste each year.
  • In addition to processing organic waste, the facility produces biogas which is used to power a combined heat and power plant which is used to operate a recycling facility which recycles various segregated construction debris materials.  This technology replaces diesel, used in older processing plants. Any unused biogas-generated power is fed into the grid.
  • The plant was deployed in 2012 in response to the City of San Jose’s Green Vision goal to divert 100% of the city’s waste from the landfill by 2022.
  • Once the costs of the improvements are covered, the city will receive $4 for every ton of waste brought into the facility, providing a revenue source for the city.
  • Of the organic wastes brought into the facility, 70% are organic wastes as they should be, and 30% are contaminants which are sorted out.

3) Organizational Stakeholders: Local Governments; Department of Sanitation; Energy Utilities; Individuals & businesses who will start collecting their organic wastes; Agricultural entities who can use the composted final product; Landfill owners; Recycling Facilities; Waste Haulers; Manufacturers of the processing equipment; Landowners

4) First 3 steps in deploying this technology:

  • Team up with local governments and sanitation departments
  • Draft a plan to integrate the new technology into the system
  • Begin constructing appropriate infrastructure