Global analytics software and services firm SAS is capitalizing on the growing Internet of Things as well as its on-campus solar farms to create a “smart campus” that it says will reduce energy costs and make the firm more sustainable.

“Analytics should be one of the cornerstones of smart city management,” said SAS CEO Jim Goodnight. “Using our own analytics to help us operate more efficiently and identify ways to make improvements on our campus has additional value for our customers. It gives us firsthand insight into how we can help them navigate their own smart city-related initiatives with products and best practices that will help them be successful.”

Sustainability is a big focus at SAS.

“Environmental responsibility plays a prominent role in our numerous offices worldwide, which incorporate the most advanced design, engineering, materials and technology available,” Goodnight wrote in a blog about his company’s efforts and commitments.

“Recycling and energy conservation are priorities. In 2015, SAS generated 3.7 million kWh of clean, renewably sourced energy from rooftop and ground-mounted solar systems. Numerous recognitions in 2015 highlight our efforts as a good corporate citizen.

“With 11 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications and more underway, we remain dedicated to green building standards for all design, construction and renovation. To advance analytics as a cornerstone of “smart city” management, SAS recently became an Envision America partner. Our aim is to help municipalities run more efficiently and improve stewardship of limited resources.”

The new initiative

The IoT effort will include monitoring of equipment to boost efficiency. It’s also updating the panels at the two solar farms.

The newest SAS structure, Building A, will have almost half of its power supplied by a renewable resources when it opens next year, SAS noted.

Also, some waste containers will be linked in for monitoring as well.

“Sensors placed in trash and cardboard dumpsters will deliver hourly volume data, so the company can adjust waste and recycling services,” SAS announced. “With this information, SAS can accurately measure waste and recycling, eliminate unused dumpsters and reduce pick-up schedules – therefore decreasing operational expenses.”

SAS says the project will begin with two buildings and be expanded eventually across the 24-building headquarters campus in Cary.

“Using SAS Visual Analytics, the company will analyze the data gathered from this system to improve operational efficiencies,” the company announced Monday.

“In addition, SAS Event Stream Processing will be used to analyze the streaming data, capture that data and trigger alerts in real time. As the project progresses, data from other sub-meters, wireless sensors and smart-enabled devices will also be analyzed to identify opportunities for improvement.”

SAS also says knowledge gained will be incorporated into its own research and development efforts plus SAS-backed IoT solutions.

SAS is working with Brady Services, a provider of HVAC services, on the project.

“For 40 years, we’ve helped build efficient structures at SAS’ North Carolina headquarters,” said Jim Brady, CEO and of Brady. “We’ve just taken that relationship to another level. We’re excited to work with SAS to change how they manage and operate their campus, optimize their buildings’ performance and drive the desired business outcomes in the digital age.”