Harnessing the power of data and AI to operationalize sustainability
Companies are under mounting pressure from regulators, investors, and consumers to progress toward more sustainable and socially responsible business operations — and to demonstrate these measures in a robust and verifiable way. In fact, corporate responsibility and environmental sustainability risks tied as the third highest concerns for organizations, as ranked by large corporations in a 2021 Forrester report. However, the various types of data that companies need to understand and report on sustainability initiatives remains highly fragmented and difficult for all relevant parties to access.
To help organizations respond to these challenges, IBM has acquired Envizi, a leading data and analytics software provider for environmental performance management. Envizi complements IBM’s growing portfolio of AI-powered software — including IBM Maximo asset management solutions, IBM Sterling supply chain solutions and IBM Environmental Intelligence Suite — to help companies assess the impacts of the environment on business and of business on the environment.
Sustainability innovation is building momentum
As Envizi founder David Solsky pointed out during our recent sit-down, when it comes to sustainability, executives around the world have changed their attitudes dramatically over just the past two years. Today’s leaders are excited and energized by the chance to reimagine business and commerce with a sustainability-first mindset. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic during this same time has shown the power of the enterprise to adapt and thrive in adversity, and the rapid development of new vaccines has shown the power of technological transformation.
Sustainability is now a boardroom issue with a visible effect on the bottom line. Today teams have the proper resources and leadership buy-in to accomplish ESG goals and meet the moment.
But when organizational leaders step back to assess how to tackle sustainability, a common modern-day challenge becomes clear: getting, applying and managing the data. Much of the crucial data for sustainability improvements — for example, energy data across fragmented markets — is difficult to capture and track. While acquiring this data is likely to remain a challenge, we’re working to reduce the burden of acquisition by unifying key systems of record.
IBM with Envizi will accelerate the journey
Supply chain and asset management hold some of the most significant opportunities for environmental improvement and innovation, since they often form the bulk of an end-to-end operating footprint. And it’s the operating systems that already drive these, and other areas of business, which hold the information needed to improve sustainability.
Up to now, IBM and Envizi have represented two halves of the ideal approach: operation-specific improvements through IBM solutions; and ESG-related data collection, analysis and reporting through Envizi. Now we’re bringing them together.
IBM’s portfolio of solutions already helps organizations reduce environmental impact and improve sustainability as part of ongoing business: increasing supply chain visibility with IBM Sterling; enabling intelligent asset management, monitoring and maintenance with IBM Maximo; and enabling intelligent facility management with IBM TRIRIGA. IBM also helps organizations manage direct climate risks with the IBM Environmental Intelligence Suite. With this software, an energy company can automate the scheduling of tree-trimming near power lines, intelligently assign workers to a new location, or optimize the repair and replacement of critical equipment.
Meanwhile, Envizi offers a comprehensive software to drive performance management related to all these activities and systems. Envizi also brings 13 years of experience in sustainability management, including a deep knowledge of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reporting, which is critical to helping organizations address regulatory and voluntary reporting needs.
Now IBM will integrate Envizi with its existing solutions, helping automate the feedback loop between corporate-level reporting and critical operational endpoints. This will bring together day-to-day operations and sustainability data and strategy to create a turnkey solution that allows organizations to move faster and achieve their goals.
Best of all, Envizi and IBM already share a common value: innovation that matters, for our companies and for the world. That became obvious as we worked together in recent years to streamline data management toward our own emissions reduction commitments. Now we’re excited to combine the power of Envizi with IBM’s existing suite and share it with the world.
A sustainable future
This is exciting news for those of us with a passion for building sustainable business and an innovation mind-set. With integrated business solutions, organizations can embed sustainability goals more cleanly into their daily operations and make huge strides toward building more resilient, sustainable businesses.