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The climate data revolution: The key to a sustainable future 

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By Fabrizio Dodaro

· 3 min read

In the tumultuous contemporary landscape, marked by the pressing urgency to tackle the climate crisis, a crucial obstacle emerges that could determine the fate of our mitigation and adaptation strategies: the quality and accessibility of climate data. 

Let's take a step back; it is often thought that the corporate world is detached from our daily lives, but every single action has an impact, first as individuals and then as an aggregate. Companies, as we think of them today, are aggregates of individuals who have an impact on a larger ecosystem. 

Now, the necessity to address the greatest revolution comparable to the industrial revolution arises: the revolution related to climate and sustainability. To tackle this challenge, climate data plays an important role. It is not just a technical matter but a strategic priority of vital importance for sustainability professionals and experts. 

For financial institutions, companies, and regulators, climate data represents the lifeblood for understanding the impact of our activities on the environment and for developing effective strategies in response to these needs. This data is indispensable for assessing climate risks, informing investment decisions, and meeting increasingly stringent regulatory requirements. However, the availability of quality, comparable, and timely data is still a mirage for many. 

We live in an era where access to data is fragmented, often inaccessible, or hindered by lengthy and complex collection processes. The fragmentation and heterogeneity of available data hinder a clear and precise view of climate risks. "Measure to mitigate" and the acquisition of ESG and climate data involve significant costs, often unsustainable for many institutions. Additionally, data collection methodologies and evaluation criteria vary widely, making it difficult to compare data from different sources. 

How can we overcome this obstacle? 

To overcome these barriers, the creation of open-source platforms represents a promising solution. These platforms offer free access to raw data provided directly by companies, eliminating potential biases and improving transparency. This approach fosters collaboration among various stakeholders, from industry to the academic community, improving the quality and usefulness of the available data. 

The benefits of collaborative platforms are diverse, including improved accessibility: they remove economic barriers and allow a greater number of actors to access and use climate data. They offer transparency and integrity through raw, unmanipulated data, thereby increasing the trust and reliability of the information used for strategic decisions. They enable collaboration and innovation through the active participation of various actors, facilitating innovation in data collection and analysis methodologies.

The future of climate data platforms lies in their ability to evolve and adapt to user needs. The integration of sector-specific data and the development of more detailed data frameworks will be crucial. It is also essential to incentivize companies to voluntarily share their data, perhaps offering stricter privacy controls and the ability to specify who can access the shared information. 

The challenge of climate data is a battle we can win only through cooperation and innovation, and open-source platforms represent a promising solution, capable of transforming the way we collect, share, and use climate data. For sustainability professionals and experts, embracing these new technologies and methodologies is not just a strategic choice but a moral imperative towards a more sustainable and resilient future.

illuminem Voices is a democratic space presenting the thoughts and opinions of leading Sustainability & Energy writers, their opinions do not necessarily represent those of illuminem.

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About the author

Fabrizio Dodaro is a Consultant at Deloitte and an experienced professional in the ESG field, advising businesses on the integration of sustainable practices into their decision-making and operations. His passion revolves around aiding organizations in identifying and pursuing ESG goals to generate a positive impact on communities, the environment, and their financial performance.

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