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22 March 2024
Built Environment

Local Authorities Adopt Smart Town Technologies to Accelerate NetZero Goals

Many forward-thinking towns across Wales are emerging as beacons of sustainability and environmental stewardship, paving the way for profound reductions in their carbon footprint and fostering a new wave of environmental sustainability strategies.

The Smart towns programme managed by Menter Môn, is now demonstrating how technology and data can be leveraged to make significant strides towards achieving net-zero goals and promoting green practices.

Through advanced technologies like remote monitoring, many of Wales’ towns are beginning to set new standards for environmental responsibility.

Take, for example, the simple yet impactful task of waste collection. Traditional methods involve bin lorries making daily rounds across towns, a process that consumes time, fuel, and financial resources, while also contributing significantly to carbon emissions.

However, by implementing bin sensors and data dashboards, local authorities can now monitor waste levels in real time, allowing for optimised collection routes. This not only reduces the number of unnecessary journeys but also slashes fuel consumption and emissions. Such predictive approaches to municipal services are a game-changer, offering a smarter, cleaner way to manage town infrastructures.

(This clip is part of a wider discussion on the Smart Towns programme)

The impact of adopting smart technologies is both immediate and measurable. It means that Smart Towns can contribute significantly to national and global carbon reduction targets.

Consider the example of bin lorries, which operate with low fuel efficiency due to frequent stops. By optimising collection routes, a single town can save tens of thousands of pounds in diesel costs annually. For instance, Norfolk Council's use of bin sensors has halved their diesel costs, showcasing a practical approach to cutting emissions while also achieving significant financial savings.

When scaled across multiple councils, the potential for fuel savings and emission reductions is enormous. This approach not only supports financial sustainability but also aligns with urgent environmental goals.

(This clip is part of a wider discussion on the Smart Towns programme)

Similarly, remote monitoring of public building temperatures can uncover wasteful energy use, as seen in a leisure centre in Wales that was heated to 27 degrees Celsius in the middle of the night.

Addressing such inefficiencies is critical in the fight against climate change and is a testament to the potential savings and environmental benefits achievable through smart town initiatives.

As more and more towns across Wales embrace the Smart towns programme, their role in promoting environmental sustainability becomes increasingly clear. Through the strategic use of technology and data, local authorities can make informed decisions that lead to greener, more efficient operations.

This transition is not merely about adopting new technologies but about reimagining how towns can operate in harmony with the environment.

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