GSMA urges industry leaders to scale smart tech in the race to net zero

Maryam Farag   

General Energy Manufacturing Canada Economy emissions energy environment manufacturer manufacturing netzero Sustainability

Photo: GSMA.

The GSMA calls on business leaders and policymakers to harness the potential of mobile connectivity and smart technology to achieve net zero by 2050 and limit global heating to within 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

Smart technology could contribute 40 per cent of the required carbon emissions savings for the world’s net zero goals. New research from the GSMA, backed by the Carbon Trust, shows how increased connectivity and mobile technology can enable global savings of around 11 gigatonnes of carbon emissions by 2030. These savings are the same as decommissioning 2,700 coal-fired power stations.

In the energy sector, connected technology is only used in around 35 per cent of solar grids and 10 per cent of wind grids globally. Around five per cent of the manufacturing sector uses connected technology. And yet, these technologies could help fulfil almost 40 per cent of the cuts required in carbon emissions by 2030, if these industries are to reach net zero by 2050.

“Business leaders and policymakers must act now to harness the power of mobile technology and connectivity as a key lever in the global race to net zero,” said Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA. “As low and zero-carbon technology evolves, people might think we will need to rely on future technology solutions to meet net zero goals. At the GSMA, we disagree. We believe that many of the smart tools and technology needed to drive down carbon emissions, especially in the energy sector, already exist – they just aren’t being used to their full potential.”


The key findings of the research in the manufacturing industry include:

  • 16 per cent of the carbon reductions required in manufacturing could be provided by smart manufacturing processes, equivalent to 1.4 gigatonnes of CO2; equivalent to the emissions from manufacturing 140 million cars.
  • Today, connected technology is used in one per cent of factories across the manufacturing sector globally.
  • GSMA Intelligence analysed the impact of smart manufacturing processes including IoT (Internet of Things) sensors for more efficient factory production monitoring, diagnostics, warehouse management, and inventory tracking.




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