Trusted data: essential to driving smart industries’ sustainability

Trusted data insights are now integral in industrial companies’ drive towards greater sustainability. Companies use trusted data to address environmental and social governance (ESG) targets, reduce waste, lower energy usage, increase decarbonization and comply with regulations.

Industrial companies are under stricter environmental focus from governments worldwide, and it is needed: 50% of total greenhouse gas emissions and over 90% of biodiversity loss and water stress come from resource extraction and processing by industrial companies.

For example, in Europe since January 1, 2024, industrial companies must comply with the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD). It requires companies to report on and be accountable for the impact of their activities on society as well as on the environment, including climate, pollution, water, biodiversity, resources and their investments in circular economics. The Renewable Energy Directive is another EU scheme designed to accelerate the uptake of renewables by companies, with a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

There is also the EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) established last year, which requires any company that trades commodities like coffee on the EU market, or exports from it, to prove their products don’t originate from recently deforested land.

To comply with regulation and to support business and sustainability imperatives, industrial companies must measure the environmental impact of their operations and products all along their lifecycle, so as to reduce and report this impact. For instance, the CSRD legislation requires companies to submit an audited trail of reported information, with guaranteed high levels of data accuracy, completeness and controls. Data should be gathered at each step along the value chain, analyzed, exploited, trust ensured and then used to generate insights.

The trusted data imperative

When considering data from an industrial ecosystem, it is essential that this data is trusted. What this means in reality is that, for example, a supplier’s data access consent is respected and that this consent is notarized and immutable. The European Data Governance Act of 2022 aims to increase trust in shared data, including environmental data. As such, the EU has prioritized boosting the development of trustworthy data-sharing systems.

Using data to achieve sustainability targets effectively relies on access to data all along a value chain, meaning companies need the consent of ecosystem partners to access and utilize their data. Partners have to be accountable for their data, while retaining control and ownership over it. Especially with some of it being sensitive or confidential, and Scope 3 emissions transparency requires gathering data from outside your organization, typically from partners and suppliers. That might be, for example, data on pesticides used in agricultural work. So, for suppliers to share information with you, they may want to control who accesses it and know what purpose it will be used for and for how long. Therefore, an ecosystem built on mutual trust between partners and suppliers is vital to achieve everyone’s ESG goals.

The power of satellite

Another way of gathering data for targeting sustainability improvements is using satellite technology. Satellite can enable industrial companies to monitor locations that were previously out of reach. The EUDR regulation requires that raw materials are sourced from ethical providers and sites; companies need to be confident that, for example, coffee beans don’t come from deforested land. Satellite technology can give them that reach and check that land is being used properly.

Internet of Things and sustainability

When it comes to factories and industrial facilities, Internet of things (IoT)-based sensors and systems are key to producing and gathering data on resource consumption. Today, 72% of industrial companies already have IoT strategies in place, according to research by Microsoft. And it’s never been easier to track data in industrial environments: sensors in factories help build a detailed picture of resource consumption of production lines and of the building itself. This allows companies to track consumption of compressed air, water, gas, electricity and steam, quantify them, and evaluate their impact on the environment. IoT tools give companies the power to gather data and put it into service in the pursuit of sustainability targets.

Achieving sustainability needs with the right partner

There is a lot that can be done to drive greater sustainability, achieve ESG goals and ensure companies work with purpose. Working with a partner who has expertise across every IT touchpoint of the value chain and who understands trusted data is essential.

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At Orange Business, we work with customers and partners to ensure data is trusted and supports sustainability targets. With our Live Identity portfolio, we leverage the power of digital technology so that companies ensure data has provenance and traceability built in.

We have developed specialized IoT solutions that take consumption data, measure it, put it into a dashboard and analyze it. It can be at machinery level, with our specialized partners, or at building level, with the Smart Eco-Energy solution. It analyzes data at a granular level and enables companies to convert data to an equivalent of CO2, coupled with the percentage of consumption coming from renewable energy. It gives visibility of what is consumed in real time and also how and where improvements can be made.

What is clear is that manufacturers and other industrial companies need to move quickly to cope with CSRD requirements and other EU regulations. The right expert partner can help industrial companies on the trusted data sustainability mission.

Orange Business is a network native digital services company, and we specialize in helping companies gather and leverage trusted data. We’re an IoT expert, with years of experience supporting manufacturers and industrial companies in their digital transformation. We’re an integrator that integrates IoT systems and data analysis tools seamlessly into industrial operations to deliver greater sustainability.

Please contact us to visit our showroom for a live demonstration on how digital can support your sustainability challenges in your industrial processes as well as along your value chain.

Cécile Bidois
Cécile Bidois

Cécile Bidois is Head of Industry 4.0 Marketing at Orange Business. Cécile supports our account teams and their customers in the digital transformation of their industrial processes. Together, we aim at pinpointing the challenges of this industrial revolution to improve security, quality and productivity within factories.