After two long years, we finally met in person again. Even better, we met at the world-famous London Tech Week, the showcase of the UK’s technological capabilities, the ground for inspiring discussions, the place which brings together the big players, the smaller ones, the policymakers and the academia together to help shape the future together.

And the future was at the heart of IoT Tribe’s event during the conference. Hosted by our partners The Singapore Economic Development Board, we discussed the trends, approaches and technologies that enable the acceleration of the energy transition towards net zero.

Tanya Suarez, CEO of IoT Tribe quoted Larry Fink, CEO at Blackrock by saying:

 Every company and every industry will be transformed by the transition to a net-zero world. The question is, will you lead, or will you be led

The session opened by Tanya and moderated by Marko Ellis, IoT Tribe’s Head of Sustainability brought together an exciting range of speakers representing the government, corporations and SMEs. We were joined by:

  • Dr Mike Whiteley, Head of Hydrogen, UK Department for Transport
  • Denise Chan, Director – Sustainability Practice, Microsoft
  • Dr Muhannad Alomari, Head of AI, R2 Factory at Rolls-Royce
  • Tanu Chellam, VP Product, Seldon
  • Dr Dan Williams, CEO & Founder, Measurable Energy

It is without a doubt that these organisations have taken a responsible decision to lead the way to a truly sustainable future and joining events like ours provides an opportunity for them to share their best practices and lead by example. For us, an organisation dedicated to connecting global tech ecosystems and accelerating the adoption of new technologies, the session was an opportunity to introduce our new initiative dedicated to net zero.

 The Net Zero Tech Alliance will provide a fruitful space for industry, government, academia, R&D and the start-up ecosystem to come together, collaborate, and mobilise new technologies that will accelerate the speed of achieving net-zero goals through focussing on skills, technology adoption and data validation. 

 If you would like to find out more about The Net Zero Tech Alliance (NZTA), please do get in touch with Marko who is leading the programme. 

 Going back to the event…

No big change can be made without the big, established players like Microsoft or Rolls-Royce taking action themselves and demonstrating tools to organisations that enable accelerated progress towards sustainability. One of those tools is Microsoft’s Cloud for Sustainability presented by Denise Chan which helps organisations record, report and by doing so reduce the environmental impact through “automated data connections and actionable insights” [source]. Even more interestingly, Microsoft’s goal is to remove all historical emissions since 1975 and become carbon negative, zero waste and water positive by 2030. 

Rolls-Royce’s presentation from Dr Muhannad Alomari included equally impressive information. With the aviation sector generating 915 million tons of CO2 emissions, Rolls-Royce is on a mission to make electrification of aircraft a reality which will make flights “more efficient, silent and sustainable, as well as reducing fuel consumption and operating costs for aircraft operators” [source].  

But such actions from the big players must go hand in hand with the technologies and solutions offered by smaller players which can be implemented right now by an everyday energy consumer. That’s where Measurable Energy’s solution, presented by Dr Dan Williams, comes in. With 400K UK offices emitting 6.6 million tonnes of CO2 each year, their solution has been proven to reduce emissions and the cost of small power energy (e.g. for one of their pilots the results were 42% and 35% respectively). 

Again, data, AI, and machine learning are and will be at the heart of the net-zero transition. Our panellist Tanu Chellam talked about how her company Seldon helps organisations manage machine learning models at scale to optimise production, manufacturing, and building costs with more sustainable materials. 

How about the widely discussed hydrogen? We had to include it in our conversation and have Dr Mike Whiteley from the Department for Transport discuss its role in the UK’s transport industry. With the Road to Hydrogen project, the Government is investing £3 million in the UK’s first-ever hydrogen transport hub which will enable the piloting of hydrogen transport projects and help to make better decisions to meet the 2050 net-zero ambitions.   

 None of the net-zero goals can be pursued without a clear understanding from organisations and individuals that it is an opportunity for them to innovate. The opportunity, however, requires behavioural changes at an individual level, as well as adequate policy changes to support organisations in their transition. 

 At IoT Tribe, we aim to support businesses and organisations in understanding and crystallising their role in the net-zero movement. We will continue to share our activities through our website, social media channels and events so please follow us, contact us directly and sign up for our newsletter to be kept up to date.

Thank you to our panellists, EDB and LTW for the wonderful opportunity to host this important session. 

 Author: Iwona Wilk, Venture Builder, IoT Tribe