The pressure is on for companies to become more sustainable, as consumers become increasingly aware of the ethics associated with business practices and the eco-loading associated with a company’s activities.

For example, the United Nations (UN), estimate that 10 percent of total global greenhouse emissions come from the fashion industry. Ever conscious of their role in global stewardship, in 2016 the UN introduced its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) global regulatory demands. The challenge around this framework is a lack of reporting — regular, transparent and meaningful performance indicators — to profile exactly how businesses are tracking against their SDG initiatives.

Green Consumption: Big data holds the key to sustainability

And this is where data becomes useful. Businesses and governments need metrics to measure and manage their environmental impact, ideally in the form of an eco-dashboard, covering everything from supply chain provenance, employee travel footprint, customers’ use of products, waste management, through to ESG profiles for investments. Managing the sheer volume of that data can be challenging, so businesses look for external help. Volume, variety, velocity and veracity, the four pillars of big data, all stand in the way of building these eco-dashboards. Most importantly the data must stand up to high levels of scrutiny. The data has to be right and unbiased in order to improve these processes and be able to educate their customers on the relevant figures.

If organisations take part in the green revolution and want to demonstrate compliance to high standards of stewardship to their customers, it will not only boost loyalty but also inspire change in other organisations.

The Alqami Take — Gartner reported in January 2019 that 80% of analytics insights will not deliver business outcomes through 2022. In November 2017, Gartner reported that 85% of big data projects fail to move past preliminary stages. Typical challenges encountered with big data and analytics projects are ownership, legacy platforms and too much tactical IT in the form of spreadsheets and email. The time is long overdue to clean up the mess associated with bad IT, and what better trigger than understanding your company’s eco-load on the planet.

Further reading at: Open Access Government. Green Consumption: Big data holds the key to sustainability

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