ESG – Why IBM has invested in emissions data firm Envizi

By Kate Birch
IBM boosts ESG offer with acquisition of emissions data startup Envizi, as EY reveals CEOs increasingly see M&A as the fastest route to sustainable goals

IBM has announced its latest sustainability-focused software acquisition, as the technology giant looks to build a portfolio of AI-powered products to help organisations accelerate sustainability initiatives.

The acquisition of Australian startup Envizi, a leading data analytics software provider for environmental performance management, adds to the growing arsenal of AI technologies IBM is accruing with the aim of helping its clients create more sustainable operations and supply chains, as well as improving its own operational efficiencies to drive GHG emissions reductions – as the company works to reach net-zero GHG emissions by 2030. 

Pressure on companies towards more sustainable business operations

This comes as companies continue to be put under mounting pressure from regulators, investors and consumers to progress towards more sustainable and socially responsible business operations and to demonstrate these measures in a robust and verifiable way. 

ESG concerns are one of the highest priorities for business right now, with corporate social responsibility and environmental sustainability risks tied as the third-highest concerns for organisations, according to a 2021 Forrester.

And many companies are focused on dealmaking to strengthen their ESG position, both internally and in their offering to clients and the supply chain. 

EY’s just-released CEO survey reveals that one in four CEOs cite strengthening their ESG rankings or their sustainable footprint as the top impetus for mergers and acquisitions – above the usual dealmaking incentives like growing market share or acquiring technology and talent. 

“One thing from the survey that’s really interesting is the strong evidence that ESG considerations are reshaping decision-making at the CEO level in the US, and chief executives see M&A as one of the fastest ways to strengthen their ESG profile and their sustainable footprint,” says Mitch Berlin, the newly appointed EY Americas Vice Chair of Strategy and Transactions.

 

Envizi builds on IBM’s broader AI-powered software portfolio

As a leader and innovator in AI for business, IBM has decades of experience helping organisations worldwide harness the power of their data and act on it, and this latest acquisition grows the company’s portfolio of ESG offerings, to specifically help clients reduce their operational impacts and optimise for the low-carbon future. 

Among its ESG portfolio of products is IBM Environmental Intelligence Suite, IBM Maximo asset management solutions and IBM Sterling supply chain solutions, the latter using the IBM blockchain for sourcing and traceability along the supply chain. 

So, how does Envizi fit into this and what does it offer?

Envizi’s software automates the collection and consolidation of more than 500 data types and supports major sustainability reporting frameworks, allowing IBM to help clients create more resilient and sustainable operations and supply chains by analysing, managing and reporting on environmental goals, identifying efficiency opportunities and assessing sustainability risk. 

And by using Envizi with IBM’s broader AI-powered software, companies will be able to automate the feedback generated between their corporate environmental initiatives and the operational endpoints being used in daily business operations. 

Here’s how Envizi will integrate with IBM’s broader portfolio of AI-powered solutions:

IBM Maximo asset management solutions, which help companies extend the life of their critical assets, reduce environmental impact by providing intelligent asset management, monitoring, predictive maintenance and reliability in a single platform.

  • IBM Sterling supply chain solutions, which help companies gain supply chain visibility, cut waste by right-sizing inventory, reduce the carbon footprint of shipment and logistics, and ensure responsible sourcing with blockchain-based technology for traceability.
  • IBM Environmental Intelligence Suite (EIS), which helps companies increase resiliency by assessing and planning for the impact of environmental conditions on their operations, assets, and supply chains. EIS uses advanced AI and weather technology from IBM, the most accurate forecasting provider globally.
  • IBM Turbonomic and Red Hat OpenShift capabilities, which help companies automate decision making when considering where to run enterprise workloads based on optimisation of performance, cost and GHG emissions.

"To drive real progress toward sustainability, companies need the ability to transform data into predictive insights that help them make more intelligent, actionable decisions every day," says Kareem Yusuf, General Manager, IBM AI Applications. 

"Envizi's software provides companies with a single source of truth for analyzing and understanding emissions data across the full landscape of their business operations and dramatically accelerates IBM's growing arsenal of AI technologies for helping businesses create more sustainable operations and supply chains."

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