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Digital enviro tech could save companies money but adoption is slow

27 Nov 2020

A new report from Frost & Sullivan, commissioned by Envirosuite, shows that only a third of all companies world-wide are using advanced digital tools for environmental management, despite its value for growth, innovation and bottom-line saving.

The research report, Environmental Intelligence: driving business growth in a changing climate, highlights how environmental data and technology can bring value beyond compliance to transform business and build sustainable communities.

Environmental Intelligence (EI) is an evolution of environmental management; a technology-driven process harnessing the power of big data, artificial intelligence and analytics tools to produce real-time visualisations, predictive modelling and actionable insights for businesses. 

The EI sector is emerging as one where technology meets real-world challenges, and is likely to grow rapidly as climate change and environmental issues dominate public interest.

The report highlights the role that technology and digital transformation has in delivering significant improvements to environmental outcomes across sectors including mining, construction and aviation; achieved through leveraging digital tools including; advances in data analytics, integration of environmental monitoring parameters, sensor technologies and improved connectivity.

Across the globe, only a third of organisations (32%) are already using advanced digital tools for environmental management, while a further 38% of respondents are at the ‘planning’ or ‘watching and learning’ stages; suggesting that a good proportion do not have digital solutions for environmental management.

In addition, the surge in technology development, use cases and funding toward the commercialisation of Machine Learning (ML) solutions and Deep Learning (DL) systems will help take our world well and truly into the connected and digitally-intelligent era.

The report shows environmental factors have significantly impacted more than half of all businesses world- wide, yet the majority are still viewing environmental management and intelligence as a tick-box ‘compliance exercise’ (51%) and the ‘cost of doing business’ (43%).

The research shows a two-speed market emerging in Australia, with a large group of organisations unaware of EI, alongside the third highest rate of organisations who are applying EI right now with one of the highest adoption of advanced digital tools in the space.

Australia is at the forefront of creating solutions and expertise in EI, however a key area of growth for Australia, and indeed globally, is to address the absence or the inadequacy of relevant skills in-house, therefore relying on technology vendors with demonstrable scientific expertise to achieve positive outcomes.

“The strength in digitising environmental management is hugely powerful, and Australia is at the forefront of this concerted shift towards EI, with some of the world’s leading minds working on new technology and innovation in this emerging sector,” says Envirosuite CEO and managing director Peter White.

“Those who underestimate the importance and impact of EI are potentially putting their organisations at risk. Our research shows a growing public concern around environmental factors, particularly in highly regulated industries. These challenges are set to drive increased scrutiny on how businesses adapt and ensure a positive environmental impact and legacy for future generations.”