More than ever before, companies are facing climate-related damage to their assets, disruptions to supply chains and operations, as well as increasing expectations from consumers and investors to perform as environmental leaders.
Extreme weather, climate action failure and human-led environmental damage were cited as the top three most likely risks for businesses over the next 10 years in the World Economic Forum’s “Global Risks Report 2021.” Businesses need actionable environmental insights to address these challenges, but current methods are often cumbersome and complex – requiring intensive manual labour, climate and data science skills, and computing power.
With this in mind, IBM has announced a suite of environmental intelligence software that leverages AI to help organisations prepare for and respond to weather and climate risks that may disrupt business, more easily assess their own impact on the planet, and reduce the complexity of regulatory compliance and reporting.
The IBM Environmental Intelligence Suite aims to help companies streamline and automate the management of environmental risks and operationalise underlying processes, including carbon accounting and reduction, to meet environmental goals. The suite leverages existing weather data from IBM, the overall most accurate provider globally, advanced geospatial analytics already in use by companies around the world, and new innovations from IBM Research.
The offering is the first to bring together AI, weather data, climate risk analytics, and carbon accounting capabilities in this way – allowing organisations to spend less resources curating this complex data, and more on analysing it for insights and taking action to improve their operations.
IBM Environmental Intelligence Suite is a SaaS solution designed to help organisations:
• Monitor for disruptive environmental conditions such as severe weather, wildfires, flooding and air quality and send alerts when detected;
• Predict potential impacts of climate change and weather across the business using climate risk analytics;
• Gain insights into potential operational disruptions and prioritise mitigation and response efforts;
• Measure and report on environmental initiatives and operationalize carbon accounting, while reducing the burden of this reporting on procurement and operations teams.
The suite delivers environmental insights via APIs, dashboards, maps and alerts that can help companies address both immediate operational challenges as well as longer term planning and strategies. For instance, the suite could be used to help retailers prepare for severe weather-related shipping and inventory disruptions, or factor environmental risks into future warehouse locations; energy and utility companies to determine where to trim vegetation around power lines or which of their critical assets may soon be at greater risk from wildfires due to climate change. Or the suite could be used to help supermarkets get a clearer picture of how refrigeration systems are contributing to their overall greenhouse gas emissions and prioritise locations for improvement.
“The future of business and the environment are deeply intertwined. Not only are companies coping with the effects of extreme weather disruptions on their operations, they’re also being held increasingly accountable by shareholders and regulators for how their operations impact the planet,” says Kareem Yusuf, PhD and GM of IBM AI Applications. “IBM is bringing together the power of AI and hybrid cloud to provide businesses with environmental intelligence designed to help them improve environmental performance and reporting, create more efficient business operations to reduce resource consumption, and plan for resiliency in the face of climate disruptions.”