Data in the air – Air Quality Monitoring and the journey to Net Zero with SHAPE-UK

How IOTICS enabled Portsmouth International Port to go green

Use Cases 10 Aug 2022 by IOTICS News

SHAPE-UK is a trailblazing project in proving net zero ports and effective air quality monitoring. Through having an effective digital twin ecosystem that allowed parties access to real time, relevant data, the members of the consortium were able to review trusted data, acting as a single point of truth on matters such as the air quality around the port when certain ships are in dock.

Air quality monitoring

Air quality is not only an environmental issue but also an important aspect of local communities. Air pollution can impact our health. That’s why it’s so important to monitor and gain an understanding of air quality in context for places such as ports.

Senior project manager and assistant harbour manager, Jerry Clarke told the University of Southampton that he sees the port’s air quality improvement plans as a duty,

“The port is owned by the people of Portsmouth, so we have a greater duty than any port to control and reduce the impact of port operations on the local environment and our neighbours,” he said. “This initiative has the potential to provide significant information to the port and will blaze a trail for air quality transparency across the maritime sector.”

The SHAPE consortium consists of seven stakeholders. One of the consortium members, Barter 4 Things (B4T) implemented a ‘smart box’ to monitor air quality. It measures air pollutants such as carbon dioxide, alongside fine particle sensing.

IOTICS brings data together. Each member of the consortium is able to securely share right time data. Having the ability to do this gives the data gathered by the B4T sensors context, shipping information and local weather data is further integrated, to create a comprehensive picture of the environmental impact of port operations. Having this interoperability means that the data provided by the feeds can become more than the sum of their parts and provide valuable insights which can enable holistic solutions to be built. For example, the team is able to understand when the air quality is exceeding limits and which ships are causing it.

Navigating climate targets

Various UK laws have been introduced to implement legally binding limits on air pollution with fines for those who exceed it. It’s designed to hold major polluters to account for putting communities at risk.

The premise of such laws as well as others such as carbon pricing is a justified way for companies to pay for their environmental footprint.

“Polluters must pay for the damage they cause or for its abatement. A carbon price is the most explicit way to ensure this,” says a 2019 policy report by the London School of Economics.

In the instance of a major port, it’s crucial to have access to real time contextual data to be able to be able to understand who the major polluting parties are so that the cost of carbon offsetting can be delegated in the form of a fee.

How data can help

Having the right data in context can help businesses to overcome environmental and community challenges. The Digital Twins can simulate projected future challenges. The knowledges gained from data could be the key to help identify initiatives around issues like:

  • Port operations
  • Supply chain – understanding suppliers and vendors (for ESG reporting)
  • Environmental impacts & Analytics

You can learn how to use your data better and create flourishing ecosystems. Contact us to find out more.



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