Environmental intelligence is business intelligence


3 min read

Prepare your business no matter what the weather

Planning for weather is about more than packing an umbrella

In 2019, there were 373 catastrophic weather events which caused USD 229 billion in global economic loss.1

70% of businesses worldwide say that abnormal weather disrupts:

  • Operations
  • Supply chains
  • Financial performance

Almost every weather-related headline in the media or corporate annual reports focused on the associated negative impacts for organizations, including depreciation, lost revenue opportunities, business operations disruption and increased insurance premiums.

To better understand how weather impacts organizations globally and across industries, the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) in cooperation with Oxford Economics surveyed 1,000 global C-level executives representing 13 industries and 15 countries and learned that today, decisions about the weather are decisions about business.

Icon of semi truck
believe improved weather insights reduce annual operating costs.

See how weather insights can grow your bottom line.

Introducing the IBM Environmental Intelligence Suite

IBM Environmental Intelligence Suite is a suite of applications that allows you to plan for and respond to disruptive weather events to avoid outages and ensure business continuity.

Industries you might not expect are quickly pivoting from “blaming the weather” to capitalizing on it by using the Environmental Intelligence Suite to reduce weather-related disruption. Several, like retail, can even use weather insights to anticipate consumer needs and improve their bottom line.

Industries in the face of the storm

It’s not surprising that 96% of executives surveyed said they incorporate weather data into their organizations’ operational plans — but without analytics to put that data in context, companies can’t ensure weather events won’t affect their business continuity.

To truly ensure asset optimization and supply chain resilience, your company needs more than just weather data — you need advanced analytics and intelligent workflows to reimagine processes and better predict how weather will impact your assets, employees and customers.

Icon of dollar sign superimposed on bar graph icon
believe improved weather insights can positively impact annual revenue growth.

Explore weather impacts on these industries—and how IBM can help:

  • Agriculture and food
  • Energy and utilities
  • Travel and transportation
  • Retail


4 min read

Agriculture and food

Ensure sustainable operation of our global food supply

Abnormal weather disrupts our global food supply — and hence operations and financial performance.

On top of that, this USD 5 trillion industry is currently undergoing massive disruptions and facing serious challenges, including:

Limited supplies of fresh water and arable land are requiring farmers and food producers to discover more efficient and innovative methods for increasing crop yields.
An increase of food recalls and a growing population is leading to greater demand for quantity and quality. However, these goals must be achieved through sustainable practices that help protect and preserve the environment for future generations.
A complex industry network prevents the efficient transfer of useful information, hindering the ability to quickly identify and respond to changing consumer demand. Moreover, an imbalance in the distribution of consumer knowledge can weaken the position of growers, producers and processors during negotiations.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, an estimated one-third of all food produced globally is either lost or wasted due to factors such as pest infestations, harvest problems, or market and supply-chain inefficiencies.
Rapid climate change is causing crop yields and farm operations to be more susceptible to lower margins. In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that 90 percent of crop losses are related to extreme weather.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that 90% of crop losses are related to extreme weather.1 Here are just a few examples:

  • A massive US Midwest Derecho windstorm affected 58,000 holders of crop-insurance policies with a liability of around USD 6 billion in Iowa, including USD 1.86 billion for soybeans, the Iowa Soybean Association said, citing data from the USDA’s Risk Management Agency.2
  • A severe drought in Europe is causing massive crop losses for many key crops including wheat, olives and grapes.3
  • Typhoons and other catastrophic weather events routinely disrupted shipping and production in East Asia and the Northern Indian Ocean.4
Farmer checking weather

From field workers on the farm to the trucker to the dispatch crew and distribution centers and processing plants, every player needs to understand current conditions and proactively forecast future conditions to ensure safety, situational awareness, and operational efficiency.

Employing advanced analytics and intelligent workflows helps businesses like yours reimagine processes and respond quickly to rapidly changing conditions, giving you the foresight required to sustainably remain operational —no matter what the weather brings you.

3 Martin Kuebler, In Europe, climate change brings new crops, new ideas, DW.COM, August 8, 2020
4 Just add weather (PDF, 1.4 MB), IBM Institute for Business Value


3 min read

Energy, environment and utilities

Keep the power on

Globally, more frequent severe weather and climate change is putting the pressure on energy and utility companies. That’s why understanding the current state of vegetation near utility lines and the impact of weather conditions on assets can help reduce risks and electrical disruptions.

But powerline and vegetation management incur high costs and can introduce human errors. And inspections take place on periodic schedules, but disruptions don’t.

Energy and utility companies need:

  • Early detection and response to severe weather events and disruptions
  • Efficient task force allocations at the right time, right place
  • Insights from weather data and location intelligence available to decision-makers in a digestible, actionable manner

Vegetation Management

With the Vegetation Management solution, you can get precise insights into the state of vegetation in your service territory to help improve risk assessment and enable you to take more efficient preventive maintenance measures in targeted field areas, helping improve operational efficiency while reducing costs.

See how to get precise insights into the state of vegetation in your service territory

Outage Prediction

Utility companies must stay ahead of the storm to restore power quickly when severe weather strikes. With the Outage Prediction solution, you can combine customer-specific outage data with forecasts and machine learning to help you predict weather's impact on your distribution system up to three days in advance, enabling you to optimize restoration efforts.

See how one company got a head start on predicting weather-related outages to ensure business continuity.


1 min read

Travel and transportation

Weather impacts the movement of people and freight around the globe


Woman looking at arrivals and departures info on flight information board

Airport delays cost airlines millions of dollars every year. While these delays are foreseeable, they appear to be unavoidable. Because most airlines consolidate their operations into just a few hub airports, delays can propagate throughout the system.

Airport customer experience largely depends on efficient, effective operations of the airlines at the airport, but detecting accurate weather events at the hyper-localized scale of an airport can be challenging.

Planning for and responding to critical weather events requires a platform that supports stakeholders and communicates real-time weather insights across different functions.

This allows airport operations to respond quickly to:

  • Protect employees and customers from injuries caused by adverse weather conditions
  • Detect high risk weather events and mobilize facility and maintenance teams in advance to prevent damages to assets

Ground transportation

Eighteen-wheeler driving on a highway in the rain

Weather can cause a variety of problems for ground transportation companies. If drivers aren’t prepared, harsh conditions such as icy roads, poor visibility and violent storms may lead to delays, accidents or serious injuries.

Applying AI and analytics to weather and traffic data helps transportation companies and their drivers make better decisions about impending conditions. Customizable mobile alerts help employees and customers avoid danger while staying on schedule.

Learn how Knight Transportation steers clear of disruptive weather to transport goods safely and on time with near real-time alerts to help truck drivers reach their destinations safely and on schedule by avoiding adverse weather conditions that may cause delays and accidents.


1 min read


Open for business—rain or shine

The weather can impact the retail market in ways that you may not be considering. A change in the forecast – abrupt or expected – could lead to impacts on your bottom line. Retail businesses need advanced demand forecast models that are disruption-proof – to guide strategy and resource planning for production, inventory, logistics, sales and operations.

With actionable insights into disparate weather and geospatial data, you can plan for and prepare around weather-related impacts and avoid common pain points such as:

  • Being under- or overstocked globally or at the store level
  • Store operations impacted by COVD-19
  • Shipping delays
  • Sourcing risk

Man picking tomatoes at grocery store

Having weather guidance from factory to warehouse to store lets you see how demand is affected by the slightest breeze so you can optimize your operations and supply chain for optimum profitability.

Learn more about Operations Dashboard for retail.


1 min read

Let's make a plan

You can’t control the weather, but you can be prepared for it

Plan for and respond to critical weather events with advanced analytics to ensure business continuity. Weather impacts every business, every day, requiring industry leaders and asset managers to build intelligent workflows to reduce weather-related disruption.

Woman wearing hard hat using tablet in industrial plant

Minimizing disruption to your business requires more than just weather data—you must employ advanced analytics and intelligent workflows to reimagine processes and better predict how weather will impact your assets, employees and customers.

Fair or foul, when weather strikes, the IBM Environmental Intelligence Suite is a suite of applications that allows you to plan for and respond to disruptive events like weather to avoid outages and ensure business continuity.