Making Data-Driven Decisions for Climate Action

In Britain, we have a target of a 68% reduction of CO2 emissions by 2030, 78% by 2035, aiming ultimately for net-zero emissions by 2050. Though those time frames appear to be far into the future, to keep proper track of progress authorities need to start measuring progress now. But how?

A recent study on greenhouse gas emissions in the UK by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy shows that the British people are still responsible for nearly 800 million tons of carbon dioxide and carbon dioxide equivalent being emitted into the atmosphere every year.

This is a reduction of 10% from last year, and 40% from 1990, but there’s still a long way to go to meet our targets. It will require clear direction and investment by Central Government, achievable and coherent plans by local authorities to turn that direction into action and, above all, a decisive and significant change in personal expectations and behaviour by us all.

Critically, the only way to know whether we are on track is to have access to timely and effective data, but who is responsible for that data, and what does it mean for you?

Local authorities – County, Unitary, District, Borough and City – have dedicated resources and developed systems seeking to deliver on programmes that show carbon emissions are reducing. But these systems can be cumbersome and time consuming and could be skewing the results we see. Some authorities will be using spreadsheets, others bespoke local on-premise software packages. The quantity of data sources and volume of data is increasing exponentially year on year and are becoming difficult to manage with the potential to lead to ill-informed decisions and regulations from Central Government.

Westbrook argues that authorities have not fully appreciated the technology challenge they are facing. That is; an efficient and effective solution for better collection, monitoring and presentation of data from the various sources and local authorities in a way that can satisfy and guide the central direction better. A little forethought and action now will save significant pain and hard work later.

Westbrook’s belief is that local authorities should be investing in data management solutions that are flexible, scalable, and powerful enough to tackle the wave of data that they are collecting and reporting on. Making these decisions now will pay significant long term dividends, saving taxpayer contributions towards climate change and reducing the resource effort required to manage that data.

Technology platforms like Salesforce, provide trusted levels of data security expected by public service providers and offer a truly flexible long-term, scalable solution that can be adapted over time.

Getting to a net-zero emissions goal is a huge task, and we will need to use technology to help us in this journey. Measurement and data will play a vital role in achieving this goal and helping us with this journey. So it’s high time we support our efforts towards a greener future today by harnessing the technology available to us today.

Does this point of view raise any questions for you? Get in touch with Francis Hobbs and we’d be happy to discuss it further – or put your name down for our next Masterclass.

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