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By Rich Handley

Inmarsat Research Finds Industrial IoT Reduces Environmental Impact of Global Supply Chain

Improving the environmental sustainability of operations through the adoption of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technologies is a crucial priority for organizations engaged in the global supply chain, according to a study undertaken on behalf of mobile satellite communications company Inmarsat. To download the report, titled "IIoT on Land and at Sea," visit the company's research microsite.

Across the supply chain, 46 percent of respondents cited monitoring environmental conditions (such as water, soil and air quality) and improving resource efficiency as the two largest drivers behind the adoption of IIoT-based solutions. According to the company, many global supply chain organizations are realizing sustainability objectives through the use of IIoT technologies.

Sixty-seven percent of respondents with fully deployed or trial-stage IIoT solutions said they were achieving environmental sustainability improvements. Access to reliable and resilient connectivity is essential for IIoT technologies to function, Inmarsat explains, enabling the constant transmission of data to optimize operations. With many global supply chain organizations operating in remote regions or at sea, where terrestrial networks are unavailable, satellite communications networks are often vital.

Reported early successes in achieving sustainability objectives have been seen in the implementation of smart electrical grids, smart street lighting, environmental monitoring and fuel efficiency monitoring and telemetry. However, the researchers observed that organizations with unreliable connectivity were far less likely to achieve improved environmental sustainability, reinforcing the importance of connectivity for successful IIoT deployments.

"The global supply chain is faced with a multitude of challenges, tasked with reducing its impact on the environment and adhering to stricter government regulations, while accommodating the needs of a growing population," said Paul Gudonis, Inmarsat's president, in a prepared statement. "Our research shows that organizations are adopting IIoT to help them achieve these goals, and that many are succeeding in this aim."

"However, it is clear that without the right connectivity networks, IIoT deployments won't succeed in delivering the improvements in sustainability they are capable of," Gudonis added in the prepared statement. "The global nature of the supply chain means organizations need reliable connectivity to gather mission critical data from every area of their operations and analyze it in real-time, though patchy terrestrial coverage makes this challenging. With global and reliable coverage, only satellite communications offers the levels of connectivity organizations need to make IIoT a success."

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