the Built World

Digitization has the potential to reduce U.S. emissions by 13%.


A World of Impact

Gecko Robotics partnered with Rho Impact, a third-party environmental impact research firm, to understand the environmental impact of digitizing critical infrastructure.

The Impact of Digitization

Four studies across diverse industries highlight the environmental cost of inadequate infrastructure health data. These blind spots lead to asset failures and operational inefficiencies, each of which has a tangible environmental cost. 

Digitization tools, such as robotics and software, are used to increase the efficiency of asset inspections and optimize maintenance and operations processes.

The impact of digitization is clear. Improved asset monitoring leads to greener infrastructure.

In total, robotics-enabled digitization of key industries can reduce emissions by an additional 623 MMT CO2e, which is equivalent to 13% of U.S. emissions, per year by 2030:

Reduce fugitive emissions from oil & gas pipelines

Fugitive emissions are the unintended release or leakage of gases, including greenhouse gases, from equipment including piping, tanks, valves, and more. Early detection of corrosion and other damage can lead to a 556 MMT CO2e reduction in fugitive emissions from failed pipelines.

Optimize asset efficiency in manufacturing

Corrosion is a major problem in the manufacturing industry, causing billions of dollars in damage each year. Digitizing key physical assets in the pulp and paper industry specifically could result in an annual emissions reduction of 46 MMT CO2e. Digitization can drive a 6% emissions efficiency improvement compared to undigitized assets.

Increase maritime vessel availability

Load optimization and leak detection present significant opportunities for addressing greenhouse gas emissions in maritime shipping. The largest ships in the global maritime fleet can be up to 70% more efficient than smaller, less fuel-efficient ships. Digitization could avoid 11 MMT of CO2e emissions by improving the availability of the most efficient vessels.

Decrease traffic emissions through bridge digitization

Transportation agencies experimented with deploying robots to collect inspection and maintenance data and found subsequent improvements in closure lengths and construction associated traffic. Inspection digitization results in better data on bridges, fewer closures, and more effective maintenance, potentially reducing traffic-related emissions by 10 MMT CO2e.


cost of corrosion in industrial sectors.


of CO2e are avoided through digitization.


equivalency to U.S. carbon emissions.

The Cumulative Effect

These studies are in addition to previous research that found digitizing boiler tubes at energy generation sites can lead to a 230 MMT CO2 reduction by keeping more efficient baseload generation online instead of relying on less efficient backup generation.‍

In total, these studies prove that digitization and improved operation of existing infrastructure can result in an 853 MMT CO2 reduction, or 18% of U.S. emissions, without needing to build new "green" infrastructure.

The Path to Availability, Reliability, and Sustainability

Read the full report from Rho Impact.