Climate Change is an Existential Threat, and Businesses Need Data to Fight It

Last year’s COP26 climate summit in Glasgow called the 2020s the critical decade for preventing the most dire consequences of climate change. Now, a recent IPCC report restricts the window even further, reporting that greenhouse gas emissions must peak by 2025 to avoid climate catastrophe. The globe needs both the investment and capability of the business world to transform these warnings into meaningful action. And businesses are answering the call – but they need more tools to accelerate meaningful ESG change.

Public web data can fill the information gap. Trillions of megabytes of web data surround us every day, and they can be refined into insights like social sentiment or SEO insights. When leveraged appropriately, publicly available web data offers the information businesses need to ensure that their regular operational decisions combat the existential crisis of climate change. For example, businesses can use such data when considering whether to choose new suppliers or monitor carbon emissions from manufacturers. Powered by better data, the accumulation of these simple choices may shape us
climate’s future in the decades to come.

Organizations need more data support for ESG decisions

New research confirms that businesses care about fighting climate change – 96% of survey respondents viewed environmental concerns as important to their organization. However, these respondents also expressed a need for more data to guide their environmental decision-making. Just 31% of respondents from the UK and 54% from the US said their organizations have access to all the data they need for these activities.

Data of this size also requires designated software and personnel. For instance, 75% of US respondents expressed that better software for data collection and dissemination would help them transform raw data into actionable ESG insights. Of the respondents, 65% also pointed to personnel with dedicated time and budget as being essential to making use of data. The investment is substantial, but businesses must commit to the tools they require to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

Public web data and ESG activities

But how does web data actually support business decisions? Through publicly available web data, companies can develop a clearer picture of the environmental impact of their full supply chain. Take hospitality as an example: Publicly available web data can help these businesses aggregate information about suppliers’ water stewardship, overall carbon emissions, and even pending litigation. This information empowers the company to find the right suppliers for their needs – whether bed sheets or toiletries – and offers a more transparent and accurate picture of their supply chain.

Businesses urgently need the information public web data can provide. Efforts to improve supply chain sustainability increased throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and external pressures on businesses also intensified. Massive data – like publicly available web data – makes it possible for businesses to gather information about the environmental impact of their supply chain and act upon it.

Climate change is neither theoretical nor new – but businesses need more information to guide their battle against rising temperatures. Without it, supply chains will remain opaque, and the global business community will fail to play its role in protecting the climate. Public web data is an invaluable tool to support businesses as they reassess and reform their operations to prevent climate disasters.

About the Author

Or Lenchner, CEO, Bright Data. Ever since his appointment as CEO of Bright Data (formerly Luminati Networks), Or Lenchner has continued to expand the company’s market base as an online data collection platform dedicated to delivering complete web transparency. For the past three years, under Lenchner’s leadership, the company has advanced its product offerings to include first-of-its-kind automated solutions, enabling its customers to collect and receive data in a matter of minutes. Among Bright Data’s thousands of customers are Fortune 500 companies, major e-commerce firms and sites, prominent finance firms, leading security operators, travel sites, academic and public sector organizations.

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