IBM Strengthens Its Carbon And Sustainability Technology Portfolio With Acquisition Of Envizi

IBM announced today that it had acquired carbon, energy and ESG software provider Envizi for an undisclosed sum. Founded in 2004 and headquartered in Australia, Envizi has developed one of the most robust carbon accounting and energy analytics software applications. At the time of the acquisition the Envizi team of approximately 70 employees supported deployments of the software at close to 200 enterprise clients in multiple industries including CBRE, Canon, Microsoft, NatWest bank and Telstra. In an enterprise carbon management software market with many new entrants, IBM had the confidence to buy Envizi because IBM itself has been using the software for its own global energy and carbon management requirements. This was a huge proof point in terms of scalability and reliability. Envizi will be part of the AI software portfolio at IBM and expands IBM’s sustainability solutions.

This deal reflects a compelling logic for both Envizi and IBM. Firstly, the next five years will see dramatic growth, investment and innovation in carbon, climate and energy technology. Envizi can better tap this opportunity as part of a larger entity with a global customer base. IBM can ensure it has a proven carbon and energy solution to offer clients seeking digital tools to meet new climate and ESG goals. Secondly, IBM’s customers need to implement net zero emissions action plans and energy transition strategies. This requires an information architecture which can both capture data to report on progress as well as applications which can control and improve performance. Envizi enables this upward flow of energy and carbon emissions performance data from operational apps such as the IBM Sterling supply chain solution, IBM Maximo or IBM Tririga for buildings. Importantly, by integrating with these operational software systems, Envizi can also provide Chief Sustainability Officers with the tools to cascade targets down to operational assets. As part of its ESG and sustainability management functionality, Envizi has proven data aggregation and processing capabilities for 500 data types from assets such as HVAC or on-site generation. Thirdly, Envizi can be combined with IBM’s AI applications such as the Environmental Intelligence Suite and IBM Turbonomic which use AI to optimize performance across multiple operational criteria including reliability, risk and environmental emissions.

What are the lessons learnt for other climate and ESG tech entrepreneurs? Envizi successfully navigated the sustainability doldrums of the 2010s by focusing on large firms with a genuine commitment to sustainability – like IBM. By ensuring they delivered a reliable and scalable software application to these committed firms, co-founder and CEO David Solsky succeeded where many competitors failed. Whilst spending on sustainability software in the 2020s will grow dramatically the market will be impacted by policy uncertainty, intense competition and corporate greenwash. To succeed, tech vendors will still need a smart and experienced captain on the bridge.

ESG IBM Strengthens Its Carbon And Sustainability Technology Portfolio With Acquisition Of Envizi

David Metcalfe

CEO, Verdantix

David is the CEO of Verdantix and co-founded the firm in 2008. Based on his 20 years of experience in technology strategy and research roles he provides guidance on digital strategies to C-level executives at technology providers, partners at private equity firms and function heads at large corporations. His current focus is on helping clients understand their market opportunity tied to ESG investment trends and their impact on corporate sustainability strategies. During his 12 years running Verdantix – including 4 leading the New York office – he has helped dozens of clients grow their businesses through fund raising, acquisitions and international growth. David was previously SVP Research at Forrester and Head of Analysis & Forecasting at BT. He holds a PhD from Cambridge University and also worked as a Research Associate at the Harvard Business School.