The ASX ‘clean tech’ small caps to watch as environmental risk rises up the corporate agenda
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A new report has highlighted the importance of environmental risks to business and ways in which organisations can better protect their bottom line using new data-driven technology.
Commissioned by clean tech company Envirosuite (ASX:EVS) the report authored by Frost & Sullivan revealed that half of businesses in a survey have experienced dramatic or significant impact from environmental factors over the past three years.
One example given in the report was in South Korea, where the government forced the temporary closure of the country’s coal-fired power plants in the 2019 winter because of the risk of air pollution in major cities.
The report said around $US44 trillion ($59.7 trillion) of economic value generation, equivalent to half the world’s gross domestic product – is moderately or highly dependent on nature.
For the first time, environmental risk factors dominated the list of top five long-term global business risks in the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Perception Survey.
The top risks identified were, extreme weather events, inaction on climate change, natural disasters, lost biodiversity, and human-made environmental disasters.
Three trends – urbanization, digital connectivity and concern for the environment – are driving change at a corporate level as the world’s population rises toward 8.5 billion by 2030, from 7.7 billion currently, said the report.
The report was based on survey responses from 270 business executives from a range of business sectors including airports, construction, industry, mining, and waste management.
A mining executive told the report’s authors the integration of environmental management into the company’s performance management system had encouraged a shift in behavior across the organisation.
The report identified a knowledge gap for companies in having access to the right information in terms of data on environmental risk factors and their impact on companies.
The new business tool of Environmental Intelligence or EI is enabling companies to use modern technology to visualise the impact environmental factors have on their organisation.
The technique brings together data analysis, machine learning, cloud technology and analytical tools to create predictive models, digital simulations, and real-time visualisations of environmental impacts.
“Environmental intelligence is the ability to leverage environmental data through technology-driven processes to optimise business value and unlock growth, build social licence, and reduce impact on the environment,” said the report.
Envirosuite uses technology to provide data-driven solutions to business in an environmental context, and its clients include miners, water firms, ports and airports.
Environmental Intelligence still has some way to go in being adopted by Australian businesses, according to the report.
Envirosuite is featured in the Deloitte Australia Clean Tech index which last year outperformed the ASX 200 index.