Bridging the environmental ‘disclosure gap’
Can real time data reduce environmental risks and improve performance? Michael Groves, Co-founder and CEO of Topolytics, investigates.
While consumer IoT applications receive media attention, use of new analytical, data collection and sensing systems will revolutionise industrial environmental management.
Already, the global market for environmental monitoring and ‘sensing’, including hardware, data acquisition, software and analysis is valued at £10bn and is growing. At the same time, spending on commercial environmental management and safety will increase significantly over the next two years.
As more environmental sensors are activated, they will generate a greater volume and velocity of data. Consequently, there will be growing demand for and value in the ability to interpret and react to the outcomes.
This is why Topolytics has developed a software product that enables companies and other organisations to measure waste, emissions and resource efficiency, adding context, visualising, sharing and generating actionable insights.
Filling the ‘disclosure gap’
Our customers want to fill a ‘disclosure gap’; in other words, they may report publicly on environmental risks and performance, but want to show this in real time or they may receive ongoing requests for information from customers or insurers and want to respond more fully and instantly.
Our customers have a wide range of environmental ‘impacts’ and processes, including solid waste, water use, air emissions and habitat management. The data generated may be manual or digital, from simple measures of weight through to real time sensors. It can be contextualised geo-spatially, therefore our customers can visualise, track movements, trends and the relationships between one location and another. They can also add other contexts, such as narrative and images, to generate instant and powerful insights and reports.
To do this, we have taken discipline and techniques from the world of remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS) and big data analytics, applying them to measuring and reporting on commercial and industrial environmental performance.
Topolytics is being used by RBS to visualise and share information on the environmental processes at Gogarburn, its global headquarters on the outskirts of Edinburgh. Topolytics is also being used to monitor real time gas sensors at the Grangemouth petrochemical facility in central Scotland. When combined with atmospheric, water, transport and other data, it offers a greatly enhanced level of control, risk assessment and response management.
In these and other use cases, we are providing real time situational awareness in order to reduce environmental risks and provide a powerful insight into environmental performance. We believe that applying geographical discipline to waste, emissions and resources can provide actionable insights and enhance transparency.