Environmental, Social and Governance Benefits of Automated Monitoring
It’s well-known that automated, real-time monitoring solutions can cut project costs, increase safety, and drive efficiency gains, however the benefits don’t stop there. This technology also contributes significantly to your project’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals and benchmarks.
In a time of significant environmental and social challenges, and increasing regulation, ESG is critical to your organization’s success and sustainability. It impacts your company’s reputation, performance, growth, profitability, and ability to attract top talent.
Here are some of the most valuable ways that Ackcio’s automated geotechnical and infrastructure monitoring solution supports your ESG aims and initiatives.
Environment: Reduce carbon, protect the environment
At a high level, automated monitoring mitigates the risk of an incident that could harm the environment by providing rich, real-time data that empowers proactive maintenance and prevention. Think of it as an early-warning system for the kinds of catastrophic failures of mines, dams and other critical infrastructure that cause massive damage to the natural environment, including, in some cases, irreparable harm to sensitive ecosystems or endangered species.
However, there are many other ways that automated IoT systems such as Ackcio support environmental sustainability, including reducing your carbon footprint. Wireless monitoring eliminates the need for cable–often many kilometers per project–which removes the material inputs and emissions outputs to produce them. Ackcio also offers carbon-neutral power sources for its hardware, including solar panels. And we are proud to be the monitoring partner on projects that support sustainability, such as Neste’s expansion of its renewables refinery in Singapore, a four-year, US $1.75 billion project.
Since our system reliably sends readings remotely, it dramatically reduces the need for workers to travel on site to gather readings or for maintenance. This cuts down on travel-related emissions, which can be significant, especially in remote areas that may only be accessible by air. Ackcio’s low-maintenance, low-power design allows for years of unattended operations. In a age of planned obsolescence and throwaway goods, Ackcio’s industrial-grade hardware is built to last for years, even in rugged settings.
In construction projects, automated monitoring can also reduce materials costs. The more detailed the data, the more accurate the risk assessment, which reduces the margin of error in which the project must be built. This can translate into tons of saved steel, concrete, and other building materials on a large project.
Social: Protect people, preserve culture
Automated monitoring reduces various kinds of project risk, perhaps none more important than keeping workers and the public safe.
In high-risk operations, such as mining, the more you can eliminate dangerous manual roles, such as travelling underground to gather readings, the better. Ackcio’s long-range wireless network is cutting out these sorts of risky tasks. And it also cuts the risk significantly when a worker does need to go underground by providing an up-to-the-minute picture of tunnel safety and stability.
An underground gold and copper mine in Eastern Europe recognised as a leader in digital innovation is using Ackcio’s wireless solution for just this purpose. It approached Ramjack, a full-service technology implementation partner to the mining industry, to automate its geotechnical data collection by connecting sensors to its Wi-Fi network. The client wanted to limit workers making the trip underground. Ackcio’s unique, long-range wireless mesh system helped them succeed in this goal while also offering a reliable, cost-effective alternative to the traditional manual collection.
Just as significant incidents or failures can result in dire environmental consequences, there are often also dramatic human impacts associated with them.
In Taiwan, the Feitsui Dam is one of those sites where protecting the environment directly impacts human health. The pristine setting is the site of a massive freshwater reservoir that provides drinking water to more than five million people in Taipei. By monitoring the landslide-prone area for stability, Ackcio ensures this vital resource remains safe and pure.
In verticals such as construction and railroads, where projects are often based in dense, urban environments and where hundreds or thousands of people could be impacted by an accident, real-time monitoring is essential to ensuring city life continues as usual.
Along with cutting the risk of injury or death, today’s monitoring solutions support the protection and preservation of cultural assets and built heritage. In Madrid, for instance, Ackcio’s system is being used to monitor a historic building façade that is being preserved while the rest of the structure is demolished. Frequent readings give the team the data they need to ensure the façade is unaltered during construction.
Governance: Meet regulations, satisfy stakeholders
It is increasingly important for project owners to demonstrate their commitment to responsible operations to a range of stakeholders, including government regulators, corporate shareholders, investors and the public.
In some verticals, such as mining, international regulations govern operations worldwide, including the new Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management (GISTM). In the wake of headline-grabbing catastrophes, mine owners and operators are under pressure to improve their risk management.
The best way to keep workers and assets safe is to have regular, real-time sensor readings providing a current and ongoing picture of what’s happening underground and across these often massive worksites. Mine operators can quickly identify and investigate anomalous readings and respond in real-time to potentially dangerous movement related to such concerns as displacement or groundwater activity.
In industries that don’t have global standards, as mining does, projects must meet increasingly stringent standards at the provincial, state or national level. And tender specifications increasingly require wireless and real-time remote monitoring, which is becoming the international standard in new projects.
Around the world, critical infrastructure such as tunnels, dams, bridges, buildings, and railroads is aging. Many of these projects were built when the standards were not nearly as rigorous as today. Automated monitoring gives project owners and stakeholders actionable insights about the health of these structures. Knowledge is power–and protection–when it comes to monitoring.
As standards rise, regulations increase and the push towards compliance grows, those organizations that demonstrate rigorous ESG practices are gaining a competitive edge. The business case to meet and even exceed standards is solid.
For all industrial, critical infrastructure, and construction project owners and stakeholders, remote, real-time monitoring is a tangible way of demonstrating your organization’s commitment to the highest standards of environmental and social responsibility and good governance.