Aug 24, 2023

2 min read

A great deal of Green!

In an era of technological wonders, the incessant quest for sustainable innovation often remains overshadowed by immediate advancements. But, as the digital revolution paves the way for the Internet of Things (IoT), there emerges a silent environmental adversary: batteries. The seemingly small components that power countless devices play a daunting role in environmental degradation. Here's an in-depth look into the alarming consequences of batteries in IoT and the potential path towards a greener horizon.

The Environmental Consequences of Batteries in IoT Devices

IoT devices are transforming our world. But behind this revolution is a significant environmental concern: batteries. Did you know that around 28 billion batteries, weighing a staggering 1.7 million tonnes, are discarded globally each year? These numbers, drawn from the US Environmental Protection Agency, highlight the vast environmental footprint of batteries. From mining metals like cobalt and lithium to end-of-life disposal challenges, batteries have a problematic life cycle.

Commonplace lithium batteries entail harmful extraction processes that demand vast amounts of water and energy. Furthermore, the key metals in these batteries are finite resources. For instance, the global demand for cobalt is predicted to surpass supply by 64 kT in 2030. Recycling solutions seem promising for large batteries, but smaller ones, frequently found in consumer electronics, face disposal issues as they predominantly end up in landfills.

The bottom line is evident: batteries are detrimental to the environment, endangering habitats and compromising the health of communities worldwide. As a result, removing them from IoT devices becomes a pressing priority.

The ONiO Solution: Going Green

Enter, a transformative solution that aims to replace battery-powered microcontrollers in IoT devices. By doing so, it significantly reduces the environmental burden posed by batteries. As per ONiO's analysis, the environmental savings accrued from powering IoT devices with instead of lithium batteries are compelling.

But the benefits don't stop at direct environmental savings. By promoting the adoption of self-powered IoT systems, ONiO also envisions vast indirect environmental advantages:

  • 1 Smart Buildings & Homes: Energy-saving measures in smart buildings can reduce emissions by as much as 88 MTon of CO2-equivalent annually in Europe.
  • 2 Freight Transport & Logistics: Transforming this sector with ONiO's battery-less tags can result in a CO2 reduction of 22 MTon annually in Europe.
  • 3 Precision Agriculture: Utilizing ONiO's technology in precision agriculture might save up to 39 MTon of CO2-equivalent emissions per year in Europe.

Collectively, these three sectors alone could save 149 MTon CO2-equivalent annually in Europe. Extrapolate this potential to a global scale, and the impact is monumental.

In Conclusion

ONiO champions the cause of energy harvesting technologies that eliminate the need for batteries in small IoT devices. Besides direct environmental benefits, these technologies can catalyze the wider adoption of IoT solutions, enhancing efficiency and sustainability across sectors. Imagine a world where we save enough lithium for 13 million Tesla cars and cut CO2 emissions equivalent to all cars in Germany – that's the potential ONiO brings.

You can download the full whitepaper here for those keen on diving deeper.


About the author

Runar Finanger


Runar, the co-founder and CMO of ONiO, adeptly connects product innovation to customer desires. Championing brand-building, he heightens consumer awareness and consistently propels brand preference through diverse channels.

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