Sustainability is trendy: companies, marketing campaigns, TV commercials and airlines talk about it. On a personal level, however, choosing to be sustainable is a completely free decision, guided mainly by our ethical convictions. Some of us cycle to work instead of using the car, we take the train to Madrid instead of going on a plane, or we make sure to recycle all the waste that is generated at home. However, few of us will be willing to spend 24 hours on a train to get to Munich when we can get there from Barcelona in just 90 minutes by plane.
It is precisely in this context that IoT is bringing about a disruptive change in our lives. A few years ago, we entered the era of the Internet of sensors and microdata, the great revolution through which practically everything is monitored. For example, many of us wear Smart Watches that extract data 24/7.
In this context, the ZERTIAIR project was born, led by Smartech Cluster, which aims to develop a network of sensors to measure air quality. These sensors are cheap, simple to manufacture and incorporate LoRaWan technology, which will allow data to be sent without the need to be connected to a Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or 4G/5G network. By mid-2024, we expect to have more than 25 sensors all around Europe.
In addition, and thanks to a novel system based on Blockchain technology, we’ve planned to reward sustainability tokens to citizens who actively participate in programme. These will be virtual currencies that will reward the user for being more sustainable in their everyday life.
Based on data from sensors such as those of the ZERTIAIR project, data from the IoT system installed in Smart Homes or even geolocation data, it will be possible to trace the levels of air quality and pollution over time, allowing municipalities to detect if the actions taken by citizens have had an impact on air quality.
A possible practical application of this project would be to involve the public administration in creating a Sustainability Passport for all citizens in a country. A Digital Passport that shows, quantitatively, how much carbon footprint is associated with every person, as well as the actions the person has taken to minimize it. The proposed solution involves consolidating diverse data into a unified database, fostering active engagement in planetary conservation. To this end, the concept of a Sustainability Passport, endorsed by public administration, could be developed to identify and quantify the carbon footprint of individuals and businesses. This innovative approach envisions offering rewards—such as tax reductions, incentives, and social benefits—to individuals actively committed to reducing their carbon footprint.
In conclusion, this ambitious project aims to transform citizens into integral participants in an urgent ecological transition, recognizing that the time for such transformative initiatives is now.
By: Agustí Padrós, Innovation Project Manager at Smartech Cluster