Hope to Achieve Net-Zero Emissions? Here’s How Drones Can Help

As the world climate continues changing, so too, are business goals. Today, one of the biggest shifts in operations is to achieve a net-zero emissions presence.

To that end, many businesses are surprised to learn how key a role drones can play.

In fact, for companies looking to achieve net-zero emissions and reduce their environmental impact, drones have become an increasingly popular tool.

That’s because not only do drones help you reach your sustainability goals, but also make the process more straightforward, cost-effective, and let’s face it, a lot more fun than ever before.

Drones hold the potential to revolutionize the way companies operate and you reach sustainability goals.

In fact, the World Economic Forum states drones in the transportation sector alone could reduce carbon emissions by up to 4.5 billion tons per year. And, the possibilities remain nearly limitless. You can use them for nearly anything, delivering packages, inspecting solar panels, and even planting trees.

According to a report by the Drone Industry Insights, the global drone market is expected to reach $43 billion by 2025, with a compound annual growth rate of 21.5%. And, with the projected sustainability benefits, it comes as no surprise to those in the drone industry.

So, if your company hopes to achieve net-zero emissions, with drones, the sky’s the limit.

Let’s take a look at some of the key ways drones can help your business achieve net-zero emissions, and why they provide a modern solution to a global problem.

Surveying and Monitoring

Drones used in surveying and monitoring provide a real game-changer in reducing carbon emissions. And not just because they fly circles around traditional methods.

Drones quickly and safely survey large areas such as pipelines, solar panels, and forests, which means that companies can detect and repair issues faster than ever before. And, they do it all while emitting far fewer emissions than the machinery traditionally involved in such processes.

In fact, according to a study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the use of drones for solar panel inspections can save up to 96% of emissions compared to traditional methods. Even better, they can help increase the energy output of solar panels by 15%.

Of course, solar panels provide just one example of infrastructure that can be effectively monitored by drones on sites.

Long stretches of utility lines, gas and oil pipelines, large-scale site surveys, and much more, all traditionally required either helicopters, airplanes, or a small fleet of wheeled vehicles to inspect. However, drones provide the ability to conduct these same operations with little-to-no environmental impact.

By using drones for surveying and monitoring, companies can better curb their impact on the environment, and come closer to achieving net-zero emissions goals. 

“The World Economic Forum states drones in the transportation sector alone could reduce carbon emissions by up to 4.5 billion tons per year.”

Drone pilot setting up the drone
Related: Looking to hire a drone subcontractor? Here's what to look for. (click image to learn more)

Drone Transportation Helps Achieve Net-Zero Emissions

One of the most obvious ways companies can use drones to achieve net-zero emissions presence is to use them for energy-efficient transportation.

Drones can deliver goods and packages throughout your operations, reducing the need for ground or water transportation and associated emissions.

For example, Amazon and Walmart have tested drones for package delivery, with the goal of reducing emissions and increasing efficiency. While still in testing and trial phases, this function will inevitably become more common for companies worldwide.

What sort of effect could drone delivery really have on achieving a net-zero emissions goal? Well, according to a study by PwC, the use of drones for package delivery could reduce carbon emissions by up to 15 million tons per year.

And, here’s the best part: even if you’re not delivery specialists like Amazon or Walmart, you can still utilize them to great advantage.

For instance, picture a relatively isolated base of operations, like an offshore oil rig, ship, or any number of large-scale land operations. Now, picture if a critical part breaks, and must be brought in via delivery.

While your company potentially loses tens of thousands of dollars for every hour of downtime, which would you prefer: Waiting hours on another ship or truck to deliver your part? Or, would you rather fly it via drone in a matter of minutes?

For modern operations, the choice remains clear: using drones to deliver packages on or offsite is a brilliant way to cut out larger carbon-emitting vehicles and complete the delivery far faster.

A drone delivery service delivering a package with a drone
Here's proof that drone delivery services are in your future (click image to read more)


Drones in agriculture are like having a superhero sidekick on your farm. They can survey fields, spot pests & disease before they become a problem, and even optimize crop yields.

Welcome to precision agriculture.

With precision agriculture, farmers both reduce waste and decrease the use of pesticides and other chemicals. Together, this offers a significant impact on reducing carbon emissions associated with agriculture.

In fact, studies show that precision agriculture could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 30%.

 So don’t be surprised if you see drones flying around farms; they’re just saving the world one crop at a time!

Land Management

One of the most common uses for drones is to survey and map large areas of land.

The incredible precision and high-resolution data provides detailed information about the terrain, vegetation, and other features. This helps you identify areas suitable for sustainable development, such as areas with good solar exposure or areas close to existing infrastructure

While traditional methods of surveying can offer this information, they simply can’t compete with the speed and efficiency drones provide.

Again eliminating the need for expensive crewed aircraft and vehicles, drones help you increase ROI while minimizing environmental impact.

Additionally, drones offer surprising versatility beyond standard visual data, thermal imaging, and LiDAR.

You can equip them with sensors to measure temperature, humidity, and other environmental conditions. This provides you valuable data to help assess the potential environmental impact of a proposed development, and therefore whether to continue or alter direction.

Overall, using drones for site planning and land management helps companies make efficient, data-driven decisions, to improved operations.

Construction worker with walkie talkie. There is a huge dump truck full of dirt and rocks behind him
Here's why your land reclamation project should be using drones (click image to learn more)

Offsetting Carbon Emissions

To help you achieve a net-zero emissions presence, drones not only reduce carbon emissions, but also offset them. 

Drones can plant trees and restore natural habitats, which absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, helping offset emissions from other sources. In many ways, drones are becoming the gardeners of the sky, planting trees and countering negative human impact elsewhere.

For example, companies such as BioCarbon Engineering and Dendra Systems have made tremendous strides in the area. They can use drones to plant trees in areas difficult for humans to access, like steep hillsides or remote areas. By using drones, they can plant up to 100 times more trees per day than traditional methods, significantly reducing the time and costs associated with reforestation.

More and more companies unable to utilize drones in daily operations are actually able to utilize them in this carbon-offsetting method instead.

Bringing It All Together

For companies looking to achieve net-zero emissions and reduce their environmental impact, drones have become an essential tool.

With the ability to collect data and perform inspections quickly and efficiently, drones help companies identify areas for improvement and implement sustainable practices better than ever before.

As technology continues to improve and costs decrease, you can expect to see even more companies turn to drones as a key component of their net-zero strategies. 

So, let’s raise a glass to the drones, the new heroes of the sustainability movement!


So, are you ready to incorporate drones into your organization? If so, how do you get started? Do you hire out or bring your drone program in-house?

If you’re ready to get started, Consortiq can help you take you where you need to go, whether you’re looking to develop a drone program for your business, or simply want to outsource your work to a reputable company.

With headquarters in both the UK and US, our team of trusted professionals is ready to help you get started today. Just contact us using the form below and we’ll be glad to help!

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Picture of James Perry - Contributing Author

James Perry - Contributing Author

James Perry is an aerial content producer and previous interviewer at Flock Cover for the drone video series, Flock Fridays. James has created content for well known international drone and mobility companies, and is particularly interested in modern technologies' potential to enhance sustainability and positively impact the way we live.

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