IBM, Weather Company create environmental SaaS platform

The Environmental Intelligence Suite was built to provide assistance to organizations dealing with flooding, wildfires and other natural disasters.

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IBM and The Weather Company announced a new tool on Tuesday designed to help companies manage the impact of climate change and assess their own environmental impact. 

The Environmental Intelligence Suite leverages AI to provide weather, climate and operational data within an environmental performance management platform. It was built to provide assistance to organizations dealing with flooding, wildfires, air quality issues and other natural disasters. 

Kareem Yusuf, general manager of IBM AI Applications, said companies are coping with the effects of extreme weather disruptions on their operations while also being held increasingly accountable by shareholders and regulators for how their operations impact the planet.

"The future of business and the environment are deeply intertwined," Yusuf said. "IBM is bringing together the power of AI and hybrid cloud to provide businesses with environmental intelligence designed to help them improve environmental performance and reporting, create more efficient business operations to reduce resource consumption, and plan for resiliency in the face of climate disruptions."

IBM and The Weather Company want the suite of software to address climate-related damage to an organization's assets, disruptions to supply chains and more. But the tool also helps automate things like carbon accounting and reduction, which the companies said was "often cumbersome and complex" while requiring "intensive manual labor, climate and data science skills and computing power."

The Environmental Intelligence Suite is an expansion of the services IBM has already provided to hundreds of companies for a number of years. IBM disseminates weather data daily and the new SaaS platform will leverage that information to warn organizations of potential weather-related problems. 

"The suite delivers environmental insights via APIs, dashboards, maps and alerts that can help companies address both immediate operational challenges as well as longer term planning and strategies," the two companies explained. 

"For instance, the suite could help retailers prepare for severe weather-related shipping and inventory disruptions, or factor environmental risks into future warehouse locations; energy and utility companies to determine where to trim vegetation around power lines or which of their critical assets may soon be at greater risk from wildfires due to climate change. Or the suite could help supermarkets get a clearer picture of how refrigeration systems are contributing to their overall greenhouse gas emissions, and prioritize locations for improvement."

IBM said it will also offer users strategies to reimagine supply chains with the environment in mind and manage emissions.