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Business critical: environmental intelligence key to growth



  • Environmental factors significantly impact over 50% of businesses globally
  • Companies continue to view environmental management as a compliance exercise
  • Most businesses unaware of the power of environmental intelligence in driving growth, optimisation, innovation and bottom-line savings
26 November, 2020: A new report released today shows that environmental factors have significantly impacted more than half of all businesses world-wide, yet the majority are still viewing environmental management and intelligence as a tick-box ‘compliance exercise’ (51%) and the ‘cost of doing business’ (43%).
 
The research report, Environmental Intelligence: driving business growth in a changing climate, undertaken by Frost & Sullivan and partnered by Australian technology company Envirosuite (ASX:EVS), uncovers how some organisations plan to unlock business value from environmental intelligence, while others are lagging in their approach; something that may make or break many in the face of growing environmental challenges.
 
Environmental Intelligence (EI) is an evolution of environmental management; a technology-driven process harnessing the power of big data, machine learning and analytics tools to produce real-time visualisations, predictive modelling, digital simulations and actionable insights. 
 
Peter White, CEO and Managing Director of Envirosuite, commented; “Organisations are slowly starting to realise that EI is so much more than a tick-box exercise; it’s a licence to operate and it’s serious business. Our business and environmental climates are changing, and both customers and the wider community are increasingly calling for accountability and action from government and business leaders.  As such, we need to see more organisations not just understand the need for EI, but to actually implement it in a meaningful, actionable and sustainable way.”
 
Environmental management is perceived by 35% of organisations as ‘good for the planet’ and ‘the right thing to do’, while 31% say it’s critical to enabling business growth, and 18% say it provides a competitive edge. Furthermore, 27% say they anticipate increasing expenditure on environmental management in 2020 compared to 2019, with 62% expecting expenditure to remain unchanged, demonstrating the importance of environmental management in a cost-conscious, COVID-19, global business economy.
 
Despite a growing awareness and understanding of the positive business, community and environmental impacts of EI, one in 10 respondents maintains that it’s neither important nor relevant.
 
Interestingly, the research shows a two-speed market emerging in Australia; with a large group of organisations unaware of EI, but also the third highest rate of organisations across the globe who are applying EI in Australia right now - one of the highest adoption rates of advanced digital tools in the space.
 
Mr White added: “Those who underestimate the importance and impact of EI are potentially putting their organisations at risk. Our research shows a growing public concern around environmental factors, particularly in highly regulated industries. These challenges are set to drive increased scrutiny on how businesses adapt and ensure a positive environmental impact and legacy for future generations.
 
“We’re also seeing a growing trend and understanding of climate adaptation, something that organisations need to recognise and address when it comes to the environment. This is the business’ impact on the environment and the environment’s impact on business. These dual elements are critical to an organisation’s sustainability and growth.”
 
According to a United Nations report on Climate Change, Adaptation and Vulnerability[1], governments at various levels are factoring adaptation into development plans; that is, adapting to life in a changing climate. 

The top benefit of leveraging EI is cited as reduced operating costs (48%), with 32% also citing enhanced brand and positioning. Among the other benefits of leveraging EI cited in the report were reduced health, safety & environment breaches (43%), reduced community complaints and improved engagement (40%), and reduced unplanned shutdowns due to regulatory intervention (35%).
 
Although most businesses still hold traditional views on the importance of environmental management, being that of compliance, there is a growing cohort of early adopters, with 44% of organisations suggesting they are planning to implement EI solutions over the next two years. 
 
The report highlights a range of barriers for businesses when approaching environmental management. Cost pressures (52%) are the main challenge to environmental management in organisations, particularly in manufacturing, mining and construction, followed by inadequate or inconsistent environmental data collection (33%).
 
“The strength in digitising environmental management is hugely powerful, and Australia is at the forefront of this concerted shift towards EI, with some of the world’s leading minds working on new technology and innovation in this emerging sector,” commented Mr White.
 
“However, while awareness of and appetite for EI is growing, our research shows that the majority of businesses are still underutilising it. The risk for organisations that aren’t putting a focus on EI, is that at best they’ll fall behind and at worst they will fail. Taking action now will futureproof an organisation and deliver better outcomes for all stakeholders - today and into the future.”
 
-ENDS-

Media enquiries:
For more information please contact DEC PR on +61 2 8014 5033 or envirosuite@decpr.com.au
 
About the report
Envirosuite and Frost & Sullivan polled 272 senior executives across various geographies and sectors to understand the challenges and approaches to environmental management in airports, cities, mining, construction, waste & wastewater, as well as a range of industrial sites such as heavy manufacturing, ports, smelters, agribusiness.
 
About Envirosuite
Envirosuite (ASX:EVS) is a global leader in environmental intelligence technology spanning more than 15 countries and is a trusted partner to the world’s leading industry operators in airports, cities, construction, mining, heavy industry, waste and water. Envirosuite’s solutions combines leading-edge science, proprietary algorithms and predictive technology with industry expertise to produce actionable insights, allowing customers to optimise their operations whilst managing their environmental impact. By harnessing the power of environmental intelligence, Envirosuite helps industry grow and communities thrive.
 
About Frost & Sullivan
Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, works in collaboration with clients to leverage visionary innovation that addresses the global challenges and related growth opportunities that will make or break today’s market participants. For more than 50 years, we have been developing growth strategies for the Global 1000, emerging businesses, the public sector and the investment community. With over 1,800 analysts, growth consultants, and visionaries in 45 global offices, Frost & Sullivan provides the following critical services to our “partners” supporting their growth strategies: Growth Partnership Services and Growth Consulting, Events & Training. frost.com