Data Tracking is Revolutionizing the Fight Against Climate Change
March 28, 2023
Climate change and its associated threats will impact businesses on several fronts. Floods, hurricanes, droughts, wildfires, and other natural disasters will cause major problems for properties, transportation, and supply chain links. Farms and livestock will take large hits. The leisure and tourism industry, such as ski resorts, will see reduced operating seasons as the temperatures start to increase.
Other risks come from the introduction of policies and regulations aimed at addressing climate change. These transitional risks can discourage businesses from changing their functions in fear of fluctuations in consumer trends. However, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to climate change. Every company needs to incorporate sustainable strategies mitigating their own climate-related risks.
Decarbonization by businesses is more imperative now than ever before. Methods to reduce greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere are deemed risky and expensive by CEOs, despite the fact businesses contribute heavily to climate change through single-use plastics, fossil fuel productions, and waste generation. Just 20 companies are responsible for 55% of the world’s single-use plastic waste.
It is up to businesses to take responsibility for their unsustainable processes and adapt before the threats associated with climate change create irreversible damage. One way to revolutionize how businesses handle the climate crisis is the implementation of data tracking technology: a process choosing specific metrics to help track and analyze the company’s weak spots in need of improvement.
Businesses are aggregating data at all levels. From tracking their supply chains to working with partner companies, collecting even more data regarding the environment is an added challenge. However, breaking down the data into subsets and observing how each action affects the environment is more constructive. For instance, through the use of technology including artificial intelligence and machine learning to learn from its climate-related data, Microsoft was able to become the first global carbon-neutral company.
Data tracking focuses on metrics which allow companies to better anticipate the effects of climate change as well as track their investments and progress for decarbonization. Amazon built detailed models exhibiting factors that affect the environment such as the grams of carbon dioxide released and the amount of electricity required to power their centers. This information acts as a magnifying glass to the company, pinpointing the amount of carbon dioxide and electricity used in every step of the process: packaging, data centers, transportation, etc. which can be shared with everyone.
Through data tracking, businesses can continue to profit economically while also helping the planet. Online fashion retailers are using digital technologies to screen suppliers in order to identify vendors not meeting company financial, ethical, and operational standards. Sensors — collectively known as the internet of things (IoT) — are placed on buildings to monitor air and water quality and evaluate the factory’s emissions.These and other types of data technology help companies better understand their footprint, the exact problem area, and how to combat it.
The future of the planet depends on the actions taken in the present. No substantial change can occur without governments, businesses, and individuals working together to Invest In Our Planet.