Cities, organizations and industries in Europe and around the world are striving to reach their carbon neutrality objectives to do their part in the fight against climate change. The European Green Deal’s objective is to make Europe achieve climate neutrality by 2050, aiming to mitigate pollution and simultaneously enhancing the economy through green technology. In addition, the European Green Deal’s purpose is to elevate industry’s and transport’s sustainability to a new level. The challenges originating from climate and environmental issues can be turned into opportunities for all. However, risks can arise as well.
The green transition of energy and sustainability presents possibilities and challenges, even risks, depending on the case and subject. Effective management of transition risks is pivotal for the resilience of businesses in number of global value chains. One possible way to address and streamline the pros and cons of green transition is to enhance and optimize the use of real-time data in an ecosystem’s (e.g., city, industry, organization) day-to-day operations, and use the data as a foundation and leverage of collaboration and engagement with stakeholders.
University of Vaasa’s InnoLab research platform is involved with a project called T-Risk: Managing Transition Risks in Risk Bearing Value Chains, together with Aalto University. The project focuses on the maritime and aviation industries. Organizations operating in these industries are becoming more and more aware of the various risks involved with energy/green transition. These pitfalls can include market risks arising from transitions in market preferences, technology risks created by complex and vast technological changes, regulatory risks due to changes in climate policies, or reputational risks caused by liability concerns in a principally low-carbon future.
Real-time digital data interacting with smarter future
How to integrate the risks into corporate agendas and convert the climate risks into risks that can be managed? Possible measures to be considered are freshened up and enhanced communication, collaboration and interactive engagement through utilization of real-time digital data.
In this golden age of digitalization and smart technologies – e.g, Information Communication Technologies (ICT), Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning solutions, sensor technology, cloud computing and blockchain – digital data can be extracted from various sources existing all around us in an urban ecosystem. For example, numerous cities around the world and in Finland as well, are currently examining and implementing innovative ways and smart technologies to construct city-wide IoT-platforms, which can enable real-time data from traffic and mobility, energy efficiency of buildings and facilities, renewables and other energy sources, and electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Furthermore, the status of weather, climate and emissions are relevant sources of real-time data, as are issues of safety and services, all pivotal for boosting livability, attractiveness and development of a city and enhancing its citizens’ quality of life.
The benefits of using real-time data, instead of resorting to historical one, are vast and more ways are yet to be discovered. It can optimize decision-making processes, planning and monitoring procedures, and execution of operations and projects. Additionally, real-time data can be exploited in procurement processes and enhancing cost-efficiency, implementation of smart solutions and technologies, providing support in quality and risk management, and aiding in communication and interaction with stakeholders.
Indeed, real-time data is engaging. Through real-time digital data, data-platform development and various ways to display and target the AI-crunched data, stakeholders of an ecosystem can access the “real-time status quo of the state of things” and contribute to the green transition, thus, aiding in achieving the sustainability goals in a common front. We are all together in this endeavour, all for one and one for all.
Bob Dylan sang, “For the times, they are a-changin’”.
The times have a way of doing that, now, the next moment, all the time.
Project Researcher – T-Risk
PhD Student – Electrical Engineering, Smart Electrical Systems
InnoLab – University of Vaasa