A new suite of environmental intelligence software from IBM leverages AI to help organizations 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.
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 an environmental leader. Extreme weather, climate action failure and human-led environmental damage were cited as the top three most likely risks for businesses over the next ten 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 labor, climate and data science skills, and computing power.
The IBM Environmental Intelligence Suite announced on 12 October aims to help companies streamline and automate the management of environmental risks and operationalize 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 artificial intelligence, weather data, climate risk analytics, and carbon accounting capabilities in this way – allowing organizations to spend less resources curating this complex data, and more on analyzing it for insights and taking action to improve their operations.
IBM Environmental Intelligence Suite is a SaaS solution designed to help organizations:
- 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 prioritize 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 prioritize 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,” said Kareem Yusuf, Ph.D., General Manager, 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.”
Companies around the world are already using many of the core weather and AI technologies found within IBM’s Environmental Intelligence Suite. For example, IBM environmental data and geospatial analytics are being used by Brazilian ethanol, bioelectricity and sugar company BP Bunge Bioenergia to help it better understand its agricultural sugarcane production and improve its market intelligence estimates regarding global sugar production and by agribusiness leader Cajamar to help Spanish farmers aiming to improve yields and reduce environmental impact via its digital Plataforma Tierra tool.
The IBM Environmental Intelligence Suite also takes advantage of AI-driven innovations from IBM Research that make it easier for climate and data scientists to analyze massive environmental datasets, and a new climate risk modeling framework used to generate data on future wildfire and flooding risks. Additionally, the suite will leverage unique technologies from IBM Research which apply natural language processing and automation designed to help companies estimate carbon emissions and identify opportunities to reduce them across their operations or with suppliers.
The Environmental Intelligence Suite can be integrated with IBM’s broader software portfolio for additional efficiencies across business operations – including IBM Maximo Application Suite to help companies protect and extend the lifecycle of their critical assets and IBM Supply Chain Intelligence Suite to help build more sustainable and resilient supply chains.
Businesses can also tap into the cross-industry expertise of IBM Global Business Services to help design, implement and accelerate their environmental business transformation journeys. These strategies include reimagining operations, supply chains, emissions management, or ESG and climate risk reporting with the help of emerging technologies to assist organizations in meeting their environmental goals.
For more details on IBM Environmental Intelligence Suite, visit: ibm.biz/environmental-intelligence. To learn more about how innovations across IBM are helping clients seeking to create a more sustainable and resilient future, please visit: ibm.com/sustainability.