How dealing with complex data is hampering organisations sustainability approach

Mar 3, 2024 | Blog

New research reveals that inadequate data is the #1 barrier holding back sustainability progress. An IBM study found that 41% of executives cite data issues as their top obstacle to ESG and sustainability initiatives. This troubling statistic illustrates how data can often become a complex and overwhelming issue, even with the best intentions, and at large companies.

As environmental regulations and community expectations mount, construction firms, local authorities, and hospitals have to face the challenge of making sense of emissions data to understand how their organisation can meet bold pledges.

Yet amid these good intentions, most organisations admit to little tangible progress in actually meeting clean air targets or embedding emissions accountability across sites.


The Data Problem Stifling Sustainability

Behind these stalled efforts lies a harsh data truth: most companies are drowning in data and sustainability data is one extra complexity. Nearly 3 in 4 surveyed in the IBM report talk about an overload of manual emissions data. This can come from various places – IoT sensors, supply chain partners, financial trackers. But the result is the same, teams who are drowned in data and struggle make heads or tails of it.

These visibility struggles leave companies flying blind on baseline estimates of their environmental footprint. And without clear visuals into problem areas, they cannot set informed reduction targets or determine high impact interventions. 

So data inadequacies in effect debilitate sustainability planning before it even gets off the ground. But the need to change, and expectations from investors and customers aren’t waiting.

We recognise this struggle with complex data that can disempower even the most ambitious organisations. Motivates sustainability managers want to lead on climate action but feel paralysed.

It’s precisely why we wrote this guide – to provide a starting point into defeating data-driven paralysis. We want leaders in construction, government, and community health to feel informed, equipped and optimistic as they tackle environmental objectives – rather than doubtful, uncertain, and stalled before efforts can scale.


Navigating the Complex Data Landscape

While daunting, this sustainability data complexity is navigable. IBM analysis spotlighted that a leader in ESG was seeing higher revenue, profitability, and customer engagement. Their roadmap shows investing in:

  • Automation of data collection and reporting to enable real-time insights
  • Intelligent analytics translating data into more tangible steps
  • Building foundations for accurate data tracking
  • Embedding fully into decisions by providing sustainability KPIs to frontline.


EMSOL: Your Emissions Data Guide

As a sustainability data specialist, EMSOL has built a product that overcomes manual data shifting and data paralysis.

  • Automated Data Collection: Our continuous air quality sensors enable real-time visibility into particulate and nitrogen dioxide pollution across sites. No more fragmented data streams.
  • Intelligent Analytics: Our dashboard translates sensor data into actionable and attributable insights on pollution events – what happened, where, when and likely causes. No more just tracking trends.
  • Accurate Data Foundations: We help establish baseline emissions levels and source contributors. This builds the ground truth for tackling WHO/DEFRA limits, reduction targets and monitoring progress.
  • Embedding Into Decisions: Our platform provides frontline teams with automated alerts and reports to drive corrective actions. But also translating pollution events into simple ways to understand the data that don’t requie expertise.

This is the next generation of air quality monitoring, no more relying on CSV files and tracking trends on graphs. Instead, get a clear view of whats happening including the capability to attribute pollution to specific vehicles or activity on site. We empower faster decision making through simple data visibility. If you are responsible for air quality let us simplify your approach to air quality. Contact us to find out more!


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