Kerri Connolly Director Partner Development, One Commercial Partner Group
Apr 15,2021

AI for sustainability

Photograph of a person building a drone in an industrial setting.

Empowering Canadian organizations to supercharge their sustainability efforts with artificial intelligence

This blog post explores how Canadian organizations, especially in industrial sectors, can supercharge their sustainability efforts with artificial intelligence (AI) and other transformative technologies. We include a link to Microsoft’s Sustainability Calculator, Canadian success stories, and resources to build your own AI practice so you can innovate and accelerate your sustainability efforts.

For both ethical and practical reasons, every individual and organization has a responsibility to better understand and reduce their environmental impact. That truth applies to every industry, even in an economy like Canada’s, where natural resources and manufacturing together represent over 20 percent of the country’s total gross domestic product. (StatsCan)

Sustainability advances with AI. AI-driven solutions enable Canadian organizations across industries—including manufacturing, industrial production, mining, farming, fishing, forestry, etc.—to improve their operations. Canadian organizations use it to take stock and gain insight into their consumption of resources, like energy and water, and the waste they produce, including carbon emissions, then act to improve.

Digital transformation

In fact, sustainability and digital transformation go hand in hand. As organizations modernize their field operations, they can unlock the power of AI, Internet of Things (IoT), and the cloud to design smarter, greener systems. These systems enable organizations to maximize resources and minimize waste, improving profitability while doing right by the environment.

How AI helps industries go green

Optimizing production – Organizations that manage infrastructure and equipment can use AI and IoT solutions to maximize their productivity and minimize their use of resources, including electricity and water.

Pre-emptive maintenance – Instead of waiting for expensive machines and systems to require repair or replacement, manufacturers can use AI and IoT solutions to conduct pre-emptive maintenance that extends the life of assets.

Logistical support – Companies who need to deliver good or services can use AI to better organize and deploy their human resources and assets, like a fleet of vehicles, to maximize their reach and minimize carbon emissions.

What is your cloud footprint? Microsoft’s Sustainability Calculator can help you understand and reduce your organization’s environmental impact.

Partners make it possible

Organizations across diverse segments work with Microsoft-certified experts who specialize in the design and deployment of practical AI solutions for businesses. These partners have the field experience to help industrial organizations make sustainability gains with AI.

BluWave-ai offers an AI-enabled SaaS platform to help communities, corporations, utilities, and EV operators accelerate the adoption and use of renewable and distributed energy sources. Our platform balances the cost, availability, and reliability of energy sources with real-time energy demand in the smart grid.

Canvass AI uses advanced data analytics powered by Microsoft to bring new precision to manufacturing and production processes, netting millions of dollars in saved costs and reduced emissions.

To find more certified AI experts in Canada, search Microsoft’s global network of AI partners.

Building in-house AI expertise

Every organization—and especially every Microsoft partner—should consider building their own ethical AI capabilities so they can follow the lead of innovators nationwide. The Microsoft Data & AI Academy offers free virtual courses and certification exams for Canadian pros to learn, get certified, and achieve their goals faster.

AI sustainability success stories

Terramera recently announced its plan for a global centre of regenerative agriculture leveraging AI and Azure

Ethics matter, especially with powerful technologies like AI. Make sure you can communicate Microsoft’s responsible approach to AI.

Reliable AI

The journey to building an AI practice starts with trustworthy AI. Canadians expect organizations to protect their security and privacy and to apply AI (like any technology) ethically. The Microsoft AI practice development playbook offers a detailed definition of trustworthy AI to leverage. Here’s a quick summary of the six principles it comprises:

  1. Fairness – AI solutions should treat all people fairly and not affect similarly situated groups in different ways
  2. Reliability – AI solutions must perform reliably and safely within a clear set of parameters and respond safely to unanticipated situations
  3. Privacy and Security – AI solutions must be secure and respect existing privacy laws
  4. Inclusiveness – AI systems should engage and empower people and use inclusive design practices to eliminate unintentional barriers
  5. Transparency – People should know how AI systems work and how they interact with data to make decisions
  6. Accountability – Those who design and deploy AI systems must be accountable for how their systems operate

How to bring AI to more customers

Unlike conventional computing, AI solutions mimic human sensory and cognitive capabilities to accomplish tasks efficiently and accurately. To understand how to find opportunities for new AI applications, you can follow this process:

Envision AI

Help organizations see the many possibilities of AI. Identify their AI tipping point–where AI becomes part of the daily operations and the benefits that result from it.

Implement AI

Whether in sandbox or a pilot project, work with your customers to integrate an AI solution using either pre-built AI APIs or developing custom solutions. Doing so deepens the customer experience and adds to the longevity and profitability of your customer relationships.

Deploy AI

AI solutions are complex. Customers often lack the necessary internal resources to support them. Providing support for AI solutions creates a recurring revenue for you. Without your AI support services, how will your customer cope when something goes wrong?

Join the AI revolution! Download the Microsoft practice development playbook for a comprehensive guide to building an AI speciality.