Tougher Regulations And Growing Climate Risk Drive Innovation In The Environmental Data Analytics Market

While there are ongoing technological advancements within the environmental data management market, Verdantix is aware of continuing challenges as well. Nonetheless, effective environmental data management is essential for firms, especially for compliance purposes as regulatory demands continue to grow. For example, in 2016, the UK government introduced new Environmental Permitting Regulations to consolidate the 2010 permitting laws as well as highlight legislative developments including the Control of Pollution Act 1974 and Clean Air Act 1993. Given the intensification of environmental permitting regulations and climate change concerns, environmental risk management has become more complex and requires improved intelligence to guarantee compliance and climate resilience across industries.

Increasing efforts to digitally transform environmental risk assessment procedures were a primary theme when Verdantix attended the Envirocon summit—an annual environmental analytics event in London hosted by Ambisense, a Dublin-headquartered environmental intelligence firm—on September 5. Attendees included senior managers of environmental consultancies and technology providers. Activities at the event included presentations from environmental technology providers and an interactive R coding workshop in which Judith Nathanail, a principal environmental consultant at Land Quality Management, shared tips for improving the manipulation and visualisation of environmental data.

Another theme of Envirocon was the application of data analytics and smarter modelling to predict environmental events and damages. Ambiental—an environmental technology firm that recently was acquired by Royal HaskoningDHV—was represented by product manager Paul Drury, who explained the different capabilities of the vendor’s suite of flood modelling technologies including the FloodWatch and FloodFutures solutions. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has revealed that there is more than 90% probability that global sea level will rise at least 8 inches by 2100. Capitalising on this discovery and the growing popularity of predictive analytics in EHS, Ambiental is developing a solution that leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and live data input from social media to predict floods and support preparedness. However, the modelling tools of technology providers that specialise in flood risk management—such as Ambiental and WSP Digital—cannot make predictions unless they use actual rainfall, which limits the amount of data that can be gathered to prevent actual flooding risks. Similarly, Wayne Jones, the Data Science Lead at Shell, has revealed Shell’s plans to build predictive models for forecasting levels of hydrocarbon concentration in groundwater to facilitate more proactive remediation processes.

Despite such challenges, environmental risk assessment technologies such as those showcased at Envirocon are likely to face an increase in demand from multiple stakeholders including real estate developers, insurance companies and government agencies, as they work towards installing better protection measures for the built environment and both human and non-human lives.

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