article / 29 February 2024

Data data everywhere, but not a byte to use!

Is there really a sustainability data deficiency? We don’t think so.

We live in an age where it's hard to have a business conversation without either ESG or digital data being mentioned. So, it was very surprising to read in a recent Salesforce survey that only 27% of executives feel they have access to the high-quality sustainability data they require. This means 73% are working without the insights that could help them make better decisions for people, the planet and their businesses. 

When it comes to nature, for example, we often hear that the lack of data is a big hurdle to ‘getting started’ on a nature-positive strategy. But is there really a data deficiency? At Earth Blox, we don’t think so. Our expertise lies in spatial data, and the world has more high-quality Earth Observation and spatial data available than ever before. This can give every business a lens on the world we could only dream of just a decade ago, such as daily high-resolution imagery of the entire planet, giving us near real-time insight into issues such as deforestation or glacier retreat. 

The trouble is not data availability but knowing what is out there and having the expertise to create useful, decision-ready insights. Solving that is about having the right tools at the fingertips of business leaders. Well-curated data, with robust insights available from one site to one million sites at the touch of a button. This is what makes the Earth Blox product so exciting: it puts the world’s highest-quality climate and nature data in your hands and allows you to create insights from that data, unique to your business, supply chains and investment assets in minutes rather than months.

Bringing together the best climate and nature data

ESG teams and boards have started to get a good grasp on climate impact and risk disclosures. Nature reporting is next. But it’s even more complex. Imagine understanding how your business interacts with all of life on Earth! But just because your business isn’t used to collecting nature data, it doesn’t mean there is none there. With Earthblox, businesses have started from scratch and can begin to rapidly use existing data sets to assess their risks, impacts and dependencies. For centuries, ecologists have been collecting data in the field and building maps of what lives where to help us build a picture of the most crucial places for biodiversity. We now have more data than ever between work to bring all this field data into high quality data layers and incredible advances in Earth Observation satellites. These and other sources provide data on vegetation conditions, water stress, air pollutants and human settlement expansion. These data help us understand and predict biodiversity impacts, dependencies and pressures and monitor changes in the extent and condition of many of Earth’s precious habitats. It can also tell us about the amount of carbon stored in nature-based solutions and the vulnerability of these areas to future climate stress.

Earth Blox allows our customers to analyse petabytes of spatial data anywhere in the world without deep geospatial expertise or coding skills. By integrating datasets from the most authoritative climate and nature providers like NASA, ESA, IBAT, and Planet, Earth Blox already enables businesses to analyse spatial climate and nature risks, impacts and dependencies not just one site at a time but for more than millions of sites at once. Teams save vast amounts of time and effort at the data analysis phase, providing the insights needed to progress towards action. The platform enables companies to dramatically reduce analysis time from months to minutes.

What sets Earth Blox apart is its breadth of data and modular approach that enables teams to create the analytics they need to respond to many different regulatory frameworks and standards. It offers speed and simplicity: one platform to do it all. We can help with TNFD reporting, due diligence for Nature-based Solutions, and EU Deforestation Regulations to name but a few of the ways spatial data can be put to work by our clients.

Once connected with our software, Earth Blox grows with the needs of your enterprise. From new ESG issues, standards and regulations, to exciting new datasets which give businesses critical insight. Take for example our newest data layer on spatial methane emissions, which can help businesses and investors understand if any of their sites generate fugitive emissions of this potent greenhouse gas. 

There is a lot to keep the modern Chief Sustainability Officer and Chief Data Officer busy. The platform's modular solution builder caters to both advanced and novice users, enabling custom solution development through high-quality data layers or your own proprietary data. Earth Blox also offers a suite of premium pre-built assessments tailored to industry-specific needs for even more speed.

Living in a data-rich world only makes life better if we have the tools to use these data for good. By making spatial data more widely accessible to sustainability teams, we hope to make an exciting contribution to businesses and the planet, by turning data into insight which can drive positive change for climate and nature.

Discover how Earth Blox can transform your sustainability data analysis and reporting - book a consultation here.

Katie Critchlow

Katie Critchlow is a Non-Executive Director at Earth Blox. She brings 20+ years of experience in impact leadership and green innovation to the role. Katie is the former CEO of NatureMetrics, led sustainability initiatives at M&S, WWF, and PwC and was a founding member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Sustainable Finance. Connect with Katie on LinkedIn.

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