The era of sustainability is now.

Globally, 85% of people indicate that they have shifted their purchase behavior towards being more sustainable in the past five years. Heightened sustainability efforts ranks at the top of corporate social responsibility trend lists. Beyond the corporate benefit of sustainability, it’s crucial that we prioritize the health of our planet for there to be a future for younger generations.

The telecom industry seeks to achieve that through the use of 5G and IoT technologies. The potential 5G technology provides for our future is not only disruptive and innovative, but it’s key to the mission of environmental conservation. 

With major players like Verizon and DISH Network releasing their sustainability reports year after year, trend watching shows the increased interest in utilizing 5G networks and the IoT to reduce emissions. 

Internet of Things (IoT): A network of everyday devices, appliances, and other objects equipped with computer chips and sensors that can collect and transmit data through the internet.

With the billions of physical devices connected in the Internet of Things, the impact of 5G technology will reduce environmental impact across sectors. 

Reduced Energy Use

Unlike before, 5G networks provide energy efficiency as a result of allowing devices to enter sleep mode for longer periods of non-use instead of ongoing energy consumption.

Water and Food Waste

Agritech and smart farming utilizes 5G technology in animal agriculture. Between self-propelling tractors, cellular drones for monitoring crops and cattle, weed regulation and irrigation control, the applicability of 5G technology in agriculture is widespread. 

At CES 2022, Deanna Kovar, the Vice President of Production and Precision Ag Production Systems at John Deere, spoke about the importance of 5G in its autonomous efforts, emphasizing the sustainability aspect.

Disaster Prevention

The application of this technology in disaster prevention is incredible –

GeoLinks uses remote camera technology for early detection of wildfires in California, allowing for preventative action to be taken to avoid natural disaster. 

Nokia utilizes drones to monitor the growth of blue-green algae at the Baltic Sea. 

“Smart Sewer” technology is used in SouthBend to reduce e-coli spread to the St. Joseph River.

Remote Work

With the increasing accessibility of 5G networks comes the increased accessibility of remote work. By providing more workers the option to work remotely, 5G can reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with commuting by vehicles and airplanes.

5G supports the remote work infrastructure, creating connectivity that is scalable as workforces grow more remote and global.

Communication, video and collaboration platforms supported by 5G make it possible for teams to work together without being in the same office building – cutting out commutes.


When it comes to emissions, vehicles are getting the 5G facelift too. Through remote cameras, 5G-connected traffic signals and real time data, 5G can decrease traffic congestion, eliminating a portion of CO2 emissions associated with driving.

Opportunity to Use Renewable Resources

As smart city technology grows, doors open for the integration of renewable energy. When a main grid fails or is otherwise unavailable, 5G and IoT enable microgrids to be brought on line, making it possible to better integrate solar or wind energy. 

According to their 2020 ESG report, Verizon has become one of the largest corporate buyers of U.S. renewable energy. 

It’s necessary that the negative impact of the development and implementation of this new technology doesn’t outweigh the environmental benefits. It’s key to keep our planet in mind while balancing this growth. For this reason, many tech companies are committing to goals of “Net Zero” – reducing and eliminating their greenhouse gas emissions in the future.

On her episode of 5G Talent Talk with Carrie Charles, Alexandra Rasch of Caban Systems explores carbon neutral, minimization of fossil fuel use, and the future of clean power infrastructure.


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