As we commemorate Earth Day in the midst of great advances in AI technology, we are constantly reminded of the environmental challenges that we are facing through news, social media and our day to day interactions with the environment. The latest IPCC report highlighted that our greenhouse gas emissions have increased over the last 5 years and more urgent action is needed now to keep warming to 1.5 degrees
At Appen, we are playing our part by signing up to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and committed to net zero emissions across the whole of business by 2030.
The use of AI to tackle Environmental Challenges for Earth Day and Beyond
The use of technology to tackle environmental challenges is not new and the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has unlocked solutions such as ‘smart’ buildings where AI is used to optimise building operations (i.e. heating, ventilation, air-conditioning (HVAC), electrical systems) to reduce energy/water consumption and greenhouse emissions while maintaining comfort for occupants.
On a global scale, AI capabilities are used to analyse complex, multifaceted datasets for environmental management through the digital platform called the ‘World Environment Situation Room’ (WESR). This platform is created by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) to enable near real-time analysis and future predictions in multiple environmental areas such as CO2 atmospheric concentration, changes in glacier mass and rising sea levels.
In a world craving for transparent, independent and trustworthy data, the use of the platform will provide data to make informed decisions and drive actions on issues such as climate change, pollutions and biodiversity conservation, learn more here.
How Appen is reducing our Environmental Impact for Earth Day and Beyond
Climate change is a one of the greatest challenges in the world today and poses a significant risk to community and society.
Appen is doing our part to combat climate change by signing up to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to limit global warming by 1.5 degrees. This environmental impact commitment is backed up by our board approved net zero roadmap where we have set the target of achieving net zero by 2030 across the business based on the following key strategies:
Business operations (Scope 1 and 2)
- Energy management
- Reducing energy consumption by reducing standby times for office equipment, etc.
- Energy efficiency
- Installing energy efficient equipment such as LED lights and energy efficient equipment.
- Conversion of existing gas appliances to electric.
- Renewable energy
- Onsite renewable energy generation (e. solar panels).
- Procurement of off-site renewable energy via agreements (i.e. power purchase agreements, etc.).
- Office optimization
- Consolidation and closure of inefficient offices
- Ensuring new offices will be ‘net zero’ or low emissions based on sustainable design specifications
Supply chain (Scope 3)
- Supplier engagement
- Engaging with suppliers about climate change, setting carbon reduction targets and pursuing carbon reduction activities.
- Crowd contractor engagement
- Creating awareness about Climate Change among our crowd.
- Providing incentives for our crowd to reduce energy consumption and source renewable energy for their places of work.
- Where other strategies or renewable energy are not available, all remaining emissions will be managed via carbon offsets based on criteria which will be defined within our offset strategy.
We have begun implementing the above key strategies this year by engaging with our crowd and suppliers on emissions reduction and formulation of an offset strategy with the aim of achieving Climate Active certification by end of 2024, which will help in our commitment for environmental impact.