Location Intelligence for Sustainability

How Location Intelligence Supports Sustainability Initiatives


People can use location intelligence to account for hidden variables and uncover unseen patterns, maximizing the positive impact of their sustainability initiatives. Governments, cities, and businesses already use it in all kinds of industries.

What Is Location Intelligence? 


Location intelligence is a practice where people extract insight from geospatial information — things like addresses, coordinates, zip codes, and satellite imaging. Depending on their goal, they also use traffic, weather, commerce, or behavior statistics. In other words, they analyze data sets to solve problems, predict outcomes, or improve decision-making. 

Although location intelligence may seem like a geographic analysis, it’s more complex. In reality, it examines the relationships between many data sets and points of interest to uncover hidden patterns. Rather than simply looking at where things are, it focuses on how their placement impacts them. 

Most companies view it as a valuable tool for decision-making because it provides unique insights. For example, someone could use it to determine where to open a business by analyzing customer concentration and environmental impact. They can see exactly how variables will interact, which improves their decision’s outcome — a function few other technologies have. 

How Sustainability Initiatives Utilize Location Intelligence 


State governments, cities, and businesses can use location intelligence to support sustainability initiatives. 

  • Green Spaces 

City planners and state governments can use location intelligence to determine where to put greenery. If they analyze satellite imaging, addresses, traffic, and behavior, they can predict demand and place parks or landscaping in the ideal spot. Planners can optimize green spaces for foot traffic and route efficiency to minimize fossil fuel use, decrease air pollution, and reduce carbon emissions. 

  • Agriculture 

The agriculture industry produces tons of greenhouse gases. It was responsible for nearly 11% of all emissions in the U.S. in 2021 alone. When farmers, suppliers, and businesses use location intelligence, they can identify the most efficient routes and farm placement to minimize their environmental impact. 

The same concept applies to agriculture’s resource usage. Globally, crop irrigation accounts for 70% of all freshwater use on average. With location intelligence, farmers can catch waste and identify the most efficient water sources.

  • Sanitization

In cities, trash like cigarette butts and plastic wrappers are a massive problem. Policymakers and city planners can use location intelligence to discover where people are most likely to litter. From there, they can install more trash cans and improve cleaning routes to minimize pollution.

  • Delivery

Trucks, planes, and cargo ships transport more packages every day. In fact, vehicle delivery frequency will rise 36% in the 100 biggest cities by 2030, causing a 32% increase in traffic-related greenhouse gas emissions. Fortunately, location intelligence can pinpoint solutions.

Using traffic, purchasing, and delivery frequency data, companies can identify the shortest or most efficient routes. They minimize fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, improving sustainability.

Companies are already using these solutions. In 2013, UPS launched ORION, claiming it could save 1.5 million gallons of fuel annually by shortening trips to just one mile per driver. In 2021, it accredited its 100,000 metric tons of emission reductions to its project’s location intelligence. 

  • Transportation

Transportation has consistently and significantly contributed to climate change. In 2021, it accounted for 29% of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. Commercial trucks were responsible for 81% of that total, with planes, trains, and ships making up the remaining percentage. 

Fortunately, city planners and local governments can use location intelligence to improve roadways. By analyzing traffic, vehicle type and demand, they can determine how to build, move, or decommission roads. They reduce fossil fuel consumption and carbon emissions. 

Moreover, planners can increase clean energy usage. If they uncover demand for electric vehicles, they can place charging stations in the best places alongside roadways. Location intelligence encourages people to switch to renewable transportation.

  • Recycling 

Although curbside and drop-off recycling programs are popular, they’re unavailable in most places. In the U.S., only 25% of people recycle. However, more people would if they had the option. 

If city planners and state governments use location intelligence to uncover demand, they can perfect recycling center placement. They can keep things out of landfills and improve their local circular economy.

Location Intelligence Improves Initiatives Impact


Using location intelligence, people can maximize the positive impact of their sustainable initiatives. Since they can use it to predict decision outcomes and uncover obscure trends, they can account for all hidden variables.