Data and Decarbonization - Role Of Data In Your Business’ Decarbonization Journey

Big Data Sustainability December 16, 2022

Data and decarbonization

Organizations around the world are more aware than ever in terms of their indulgence of where they are investing their money. Most successful businesses are adopting sustainable practices in their digital transformation. They want to deal with the businesses aligned with the same priorities. Companies devoted to decreasing the negative environmental impact left behind by their industry.

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Hitachi in its zero emission goals, has become a pioneer in the technology industry by pledging to help create technology that improves the process of exchanging data through blockchain and IoT.

Consumers increasingly prefer to buy from businesses that are aware of their ESG efforts and businesses are acknowledging it. Meeting ESG goals is one of the keys to building consumer trust and justifying what they are buying is worth their money.

How exactly can data help businesses achieve their net zero goals?

Where Data Comes into Play in Decarbonization

A sophisticated data management system is necessary for businesses to make sense of the data from their processes. It will take data-powered intelligence to close the gap between ambition of zero emissions and implementation. A data collection system will:

  1. Make sure data is complete, consistent, and accurate. Further, data from different sources should also be consistent with the frameworks

  2. Have a data collection logic that repeats over each batch of data and continually integrates it.

  3. Optimize the data for your data analytics platforms which help you make sense of the data.

Further, a data management platform empowers your business’ journey towards ESG goals by:

1. Sharing carbon footprint data securely

  • The first step to tackle the issue of reducing carbon footprint is to develop an understanding of the product carbon footprint or PCF. Providing your consumers and investors with the correct knowledge on the labeled PCF establishes consciousness and creates a chain of responsibility that all parties can rely on.

  • Data privacy is an important aspect to pay attention to when it comes to reducing carbon footprint. Sharing of data securely without disclosing the secrets of an organization or its products is of importance. Crypto based technology allows data sharers to exchange data amongst each other on a need to know basis.

  • Decentralization of data maintains the integrity of the data shared. Not having one person responsible for the domain containing data means less risk of losing the data or having it corrupted.

2. Making evidence-based decisions to reduce emissions

Processing the data on carbon emissions becomes easier when there is a system tracking and analyzing this information. Tracked information can then be audited to gain a deeper understanding of emission chains within different processes. When this data is accurate, it’s much easier to point out inconsistent standards.

A dedicated space to store, verify and then deduct the learnings from data can boost our current knowledge on the environmental problems. Which automatically makes us better prepared. Better planned decisions can be made while keeping the data findings highlighted.

Combining Data with AI in Your Decarbonization Strategy

Sustainability is an essential part of digital transformation. Artificial Intelligence can learn from massive amounts of data from various sources and find patterns to predict future trends is known as artificial intelligence and data analytics. This data can give us an accurate idea of the carbon tax and keep a tab on ESG goals.

  1. Reducing greenhouse gasses emissions

It is necessary to monitor the amount of carbon dioxide emissions in specific processes in an organization. Artificial intelligence is the most important technology to combine and understand multi-sourced data including data from sensors and remote imaging.

An excellent example is how the Skoltech team used AI to reduce greenhouse gasses emissions. Their team collected and processed data from thousands of hydraulically fractured wells in Western Siberia along with colleagues from the Gazpromneft Science and Technology Center in order to create an AI-assisted model to maximize production.

The successful model worked on the data from reservoir characteristics, fracturing design, and production. This, as a result, minimized the carbon footprint as well as the spend of chemicals for the production.

Businesses can also rely on processes such as Carbon capture and storage (CCS). Carbon Capture Storage is a technology where carbon dioxide emissions are captured underground after they are released from power plants and factories. This process can capture as much as 90% of the emissions. Which naturally brings the emission levels down.

2. Reducing energy expenditure

Data centers are a huge contributor to electricity usage. As we discussed above as well, in bringing down gas emissions, lowering the amount of electricity we use is important. Hence, Data centers need to come up with a plan to consume less electricity.

Air conditioning consumes the highest amount of electricity in a data center. It is time to come up with a better solution to the cooling systems being used by data centers in order to stop them from consuming the world's electricity.

Google has developed an AI system that has closely observed and worked on several chillers and cooling systems for a period of a few months. The AI, after taking control of the system, managed to reduce the consumption of electricity by 40%. Consistently evolving such technology and sharing it with the rest of the world can make the required difference.

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Final Word

Data is an essential enabler in creating resilience towards climate related hazards. We have technology on our side to help build us a solid system that can encourage decarbonization across the world. Optimize, electrify and decarbonize - by following these three main strategies of decarbonization intelligently, can drive ourselves faster towards reaching our net-zero goals.

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Written By

A technology veteran, investor and serial entrepreneur, Mohan has developed services for clients including Singapore’s leading advertising companies, fans of Bollywood movies and companies that need mobile apps.

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