IoT potentials toward a low carbon footprint in the retail industry for a smart environment

February 23, 2018

Keeping an eye on carbon footprint, retailers have a part to play, by managing their stores with waste reduction in mind together by an efficient energy management. Carbon footprint in the retail industry relates to energy consumption through heating, lighting, air conditioning, ventilation, cooking (e.g. bakery) and refrigeration. In retail where margins are low and revenues are high Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to offer “Smart” environments in the retail space as well.

Reducing energy wastage in the retail store is a big step towards a smart environment

Traditional stores and shopping malls face a challenge when it comes to operating sustainably. The sheer size and long opening hours together with large physical footprint, temperature controlled interiors and lighting make energy composition for retails high. From the number of people insides stores to the weather outside there are many variables to be considered and thus apportion energy appropriately is not easy.

By making stores ‘connected’, retailers can more efficiently manage energy and utilities to meet actual demand and avoid unnecessary waste.

IoT is the option for an efficient energy management for retails.

  • Connected Sensors:- Creating a connected retail outlet embedded with sensors is the solution that can measure data like occupancy in real-time, and transmits it to an IoT platform. The connection between the platform to operational systems like heating and lighting within the stores make it possible to manage energy efficiently according to actual, not anticipated, need.
  • Predictive Maintenance:- IoT predictive maintenance solution can help fix your faulty fridge. This means that a flaw or fault is spotted as soon as it happens – or better yet, when it is about to happen – so that it can be attended to. The IoT platform is notified through sensors that detect flaws in the machinery and automatically trigger a work order for a technician to investigate the issue. No manual investigation is required.
  • Data visualisation and dashboards:- The  IoT platform helps in monitoring consumption by sector and across properties, devices and also identify if there is any sudden increase in consumption, catch wastage and improper billing. This helps in making smarter and intelligent energy efficient decisions by monitoring the energy consumption by different devices and appliances in the store and implementing controls in an automated or manual manner.

Intelligent actions for energy efficient retailers can take:-

  • Implementing Smart Lighting Technology helps in monitoring and controlling the ambience lighting intensity remotely
  • Implementing Motion activated lights with sensors optimises the use of energy by the lighting system depending upon the occupancy in the store.
  • Implementing Smart HVAC system for a store helps measure occupancy levels, indoor air quality and humidity to fine-tune its program and control comfort set points, fresh air and energy usage more effectively
  • Automatic doors with low power consumption, controlled by store manager, avoid energy loss due to air exchange from outside.
  • Control and monitor store refrigeration, digital signage etc. helps energy saving in real time by communicating with these devices through gateways that understand protocols from far off locations.

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