Green Tech Innovation: How IoT Supports Sustainability and a Healthier Planet

Ron Konezny Ron Konezny, President and CEO, Digi International
April 22, 2022
Concern for the planet is heightened every year at this time as we celebrate Earth Day – an annual tradition that launched in 1970 and has been going strong ever since. But there’s an expression that “every day is Earth Day,” which means that while we choose this day to remember the importance of preserving our natural resources, the actions we take every single day are what truly matter.

At Digi, we’re thrilled to support the many IoT-based initiatives that enterprises, industrial applications and municipalities are building and deploying in the quest to become more sustainable and to reduce their carbon footprint. We applaud organizations like Valmont Industries that strive to integrate sustainability into their solutions so that agriculture and infrastructure projects can reduce energy consumption, improve resource use, and go green. And organizations like Renu Robotics that are bringing green innovations to market, so their customers can become more efficient, more cost-effective, and sustainable.

Incidentally, Valmont and Renu Robotics are two of our 2022 Digi Green Tech Award winners. Let’s have a look at this year’s award recipients.

The Second Annual Digi Green Tech Customer Innovation Awards

You may have seen our press release announcing the 2022 Digi Green Tech Awards. Here are some additional highlights to showcase these customer innovations.

AddEnergie Technologies

AddEnergie logoAddÉnergie Technologies is the recipient of our Green Vehicle Technology award. AddÉnergie is a world leader in electric vehicle charging, providing charging solutions for market segments such as the public sector, the workplace, apartment complexes, fleets, and residential buildings. The company provides the charging infrastructure for the Electric Circuit and the VERnetwork™, the two largest charging networks in Canada.

Using Digi’s XBee® modules and gateways, AddÉnergie builds connected EV charging networks to support preventative maintenance, scalability, and operational efficiency in the rapidly growing electric vehicle market, which is a huge driver in the reduced use of fossil fuels.

Sicom Electronics

Sicom logoSicom Electronics is this year’s winner of our Smart City Lighting award. Based in Chile, Sicom Electronics specializes in helping cities to improve their municipal lighting systems and reduce their carbon footprint. The company created CityMesh®, a scalable smart cities network powered by Digi XBee Zigbee mesh modules, to intelligently control thousands of streetlights and traffic lights with greater precision.

Their CityMesh streetlight system uses solar-powered LED lights which use very little power and can be remotely managed through wireless communications.

Valmont Industries

Valmont logoValmont Industries is our award winner in the category of Smart Infrastructure. Valmont is a global leader that improves life by providing vital infrastructure and advancing agricultural productivity and has demonstrated a commitment to conserving resources while driving innovation through technology leadership.
Digi is extremely proud to partner with Valmont and support connectivity for their many products and solutions. Today, Valmont integrates Digi XBee modules, Digi solutions for LoRaWAN and Digi cellular router solutions across a range of agriculture and infrastructure projects, including smart irrigation systems and smart poles in cities and college campuses – all of which are designed to use resources wisely and reduce truck rolls.

Brown and Caldwell

Brown and Caldwell logoThis year’s winner of the Digi Green Tech Award in the Water Monitoring and Management category is Brown and Caldwell, a full-service environmental engineering and construction firm with 52 offices across North America and the Pacific. Utilizing Digi Connect® Sensor+ and Digi Remote Manager®, the company helps municipalities and private sector enterprises with the critical infrastructure for water and wastewater management – from treatment facilities to catch basins and storm water management.

The results of Brown and Caldwell’s smart water and wastewater management systems include minimized flooding, contamination, and other negative consequences that impact our environment, as well as critical, actionable insights for their customers.

Renu Robotics

Renu Robotics logoThis year we awarded Renu Robotics with a Green Tech Innovation award for their intelligent robotic solution for vegetation management in solar fields. Using sensors, AI, GPS navigation, and wireless communications with Digi XBee RF modules, Renu Robotics developed a sophisticated, autonomous, electric mowing robot, called Renubot.

The result of this innovation is that utility-scale solar power plants can control weeds, grasses, and other vegetation from growing and obscuring solar panels. In addition to lower costs and greater safety, Renubots replace fuel-burning mowers which produce an estimated 160,000 pounds of CO2 annually per 100-killowatt solar site.

Jain Irrigation

Jain Irrigation logoJain Irrigation is this year’s Green Tech award winner in the Smart Agriculture category. Reaching more than 8 million farmers in 120 countries, Jain Irrigation is a world leader of technology for precision agriculture and irrigation solutions that address global food and water shortages.
The company has developed a broad portfolio of solutions to address the watering concerns of large homeowner associations, agricultural enterprises, and other large water users.

Jain’s data acquisition and telemetry (DAT) equipment communicates with the cloud via Digi XBee 3 Cellular LTE modems built into their solutions, which enable their customers to optimize watering and fertilizing strategies, reduce energy use and conserve water.

New York City DOT

NYC DOT logoIn addition to the winners mentioned in our press release, we selected New York City Department of Transportation as the recipient of a Green Tech award in the Smart Transportation category for their Intelligent Transportation System project. This large-scale upgrade of their existing traffic management system involved the deployment of 14,000 Digi transportation routers and a sophisticated management system to support traffic flow and real-time insights across all five boroughs of the city. Additionally, the new system achieved an unprecedented 99.99% availability.

With improved traffic flow and reduced idling comes better air quality. Studies show that CO2 emissions can be lowered significantly by improving traffic operations, specifically through the reduction of traffic congestion. NYC DOT is leading the way with forward-thinking technology to support smart city innovation.

Green Tech Innovation – Supporting Carbon Reduction and Sustainability

Green Tech video
We are extremely proud of these customer innovations, as well as our 2021 Green Tech award winners and other customers whose work supports the global quest to reduce greenhouse gases, improve sustainability and control climate change. IoT technology enables these initiatives in many ways – by optimizing energy use, providing critical data insights that support better stewardship of the environment, help to reduce truck rolls in fuel-burning vehicles, detect environmentally-damaging emissions so they can be better managed, and much more.

Thinking about IoT-driven products or services to support a healthier planet? Contact us to start a conversation and inquire how Digi solutions can support your quest. We look forward to hearing about your project.
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