Hexagon technologies for agriculture prevent the emission of 500,000 tons of CO₂ in a year

Process of digitalisation and automation of agricultural production is fundamental for the sustainable growth of the sector

Hexagon technologies for agriculture help in sustainable agriculture

02 February 2022

Approximately 500,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO₂) were no longer released into the environment due to the use of Hexagon technologies on about 8 billion hectares of farms around the world during 2020. With the multinational's pace of growth — which is a global leader in sensors, software and autonomous solutions — it is expected that, in 2030, more than 4 million tons of CO₂ will be avoided with the process of digitalisation and automation of agricultural production promoted by the company. The reduction estimate is equivalent to the amount of gas emitted by the use of one million cars or by a region the size of Stockholm over a year.

"This technological support is fundamental for agribusiness to continue to develop in the current context. Sustainable agribusiness benefits not only the environment and society in general, but also the farmers themselves: there is a better use of the planted areas and more productivity, which results in more income for the rural producer. With technology, sustainability and profit can be, together, the future of agribusiness," reflects Bernardo de Castro, president of Hexagon's Agriculture division — which develops and provides digital solutions for the field and the forest.

According to data from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), in the last 50 years, agribusiness has been responsible for doubling the emission of greenhouse gases, contributing to aggravate climate change and damage to the environment. However, technology has the potential to be one of the protagonists in changing this scenario.

Precision agriculture tools, for example, allow advanced control over agricultural machinery, with systems such as auto steering, controlled sprayer applications, traffic optimisation and fleet allocation. According to surveys carried out by Hexagon's Agriculture division, solutions such as section shutdown or variable rate controller solutions in the application of herbicides can reduce the use of agrochemicals in an agricultural operation by up to 25%.

In turn, automated logistics allows machines to move less and more efficiently. "Detailed planning of operations combined with fleet monitoring tools can generate savings of 10% of fuel by optimising the process," explains Bernardo de Castro. It is estimated that, in 2020, 190 million litres of fuels were saved on farms around the world using Hexagon technologies.

"With innovative solutions, we can achieve more agile, productive and sustainable processes. We cannot separate agriculture from the environment because we work with what nature provides. Knowing how to make the best use of it is a commitment of the sector,", says the president of the division.

Sustainability within the multinational

In 2021, the multinational Hexagon announced the launch of a sustainability program with environmental, social policy and governance (ESG) goals for the company. One of the purposes is to neutralise direct (from sources that belong to or are controlled by the institution) and indirect (from the acquisition of electricity consumed by Hexagon) carbon emissions by 2030. For 2050, the intention is to neutralise the carbon of the entire direct and indirect emissions value chain. The goals also include conducting sustainability audits in 100% of direct suppliers in risk areas by 2023 and occupation at least 30% of leadership positions by women by 2025.

"Hexagon solutions already play an important role for environmental and social sustainability in the market by improving the efficiency of many industries, such as agriculture. With the ESG agenda, the intention is to further expand this sustainability in the processes and internal actions of the company," explains Bernardo de Castro.