Smart is the new Green. In the past decades, sustainability was a returning subject everywhere. In politics, business, everywhere. We all knew something had to be done in order to save the planet and to survive here. Many sustainable projects were thought of and executed, on an international, national, local and individual level. There was one problem, the ‘ROI’ for sustainable solutions was too low for all the levels mentioned. But there is a huge ROI for smart solutions. The megatrend of the last decade — Green products — will be replaced in this decade by Smart products and services.
Yes, we all knew something had to change. Humanity has to behave differently should we want to hand over this planet in a sound way to the generations to come. But again, what was in it for us? Human psychology works in such a way that ‘doing something good for the planet’ did not have enough impact in order for us to massively change in the way we act. And perhaps, working on green solutions was more for corporate social responsibility and image.
But now there is a shift. Mukti Mitchell, Smart Home’ pioneer, puts it this way: “Smart Living is a step forward from ‘green’ because it puts our own self interests first. As the Dalai Lama says, “Be wisely selfish”. It’s about making ethical, sustainable choices that come back to hug us rather than haunt us – choices that achieve everything we want at once – inner happiness, physical health, vibrant communities, happy cities and a happy planet.” If positive actions also have a direct ROI for oneself, people are much more motivated. The power of many will take care of the rest.
Smart Living is a step forward from ‘green’ because it puts our own self interests first. Mukti Mitchell
The natural evolution of green products and services will be into smart products and services, with intelligent sensing technology and Internet connectivity driving better optimization. Smart cities are expected to create huge business opportunities, with a multi-trillion market value by 2020. And companies implementing smart solutions can earn lots of money by stepping into this market. In fact, these are the top ten companies who are getting the largest pieces of this pie.
According to Sarwant Singh, contrary to green products, “Smart products—like smart grids, smart meters, and smart buildings—have a ROI of three to five years and provide higher-efficiency returns then green products.
I predict that this decade the failure of green technology to show a manageable and predictable Return on Investment will lead to a shift towards intelligent products, services and even cities that ‘behave’ green by adapting and changing to the environment around them. Sarwant Singh
Take note: the smart concept will enter our lives rapidly, all concepts to make our lives better, and which are merely also good for the planet, but have a direct positive impact on individual lives. And that is good.
*) This article was written by Egbert van Keulen. Egbert van Keulen is Community Manager for Smart City Hub and Manager Expert Content at Emerce.nl. Egbert is eBay-veteran and co-founder of online language lessons platform Myngle.com.