BCG Report: Use AI to accurately measure emissions

By Scott Birch
Boston Consulting Group’s Carbon Measurement Survey Report 2021 says artificial intelligence should be used to measure and address greenhouse gas emissions

According to a new report by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), 85% of organisations are concerned about reducing greenhouse gas emissions but only 11% have cut them in the last five years.

This latest report, produced by BCG’s Gamma team that specialises in AI applications, suggests that one of the main barriers organisations are facing is not being able to accurately measure emissions – with an estimated range of error of between 30% and 40%.

BCG surveyed almost 1,300 organisations across nine major industries worldwide with 1,000 employees or more. Revenues of these companies ranged from US$100 million to more than US$10 billion.

Scope 3 emissions failing to be reported

Strikingly, two thirds of the organisations surveyed said they did not report any of their Scope 3 emissions – those related to the value chain – otherwise known as external emissions.

The report says that in order to halve emissions by 2030 in accordance with the Paris Agreement, they have to be able to ‘measure exhaustively, accurately, and frequently’.

This can be achieved with new AI tools, according to BCG Gamma, which can deliver reductions of up to 40% by tracking results and optimising operations.

Charlotte Degot, one of the report's authors, gave the following TED Talk on how to accurately measure emissions.

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BCG Gamma includes more than 800 data scientists and engineers who apply AI and advanced analytics expertise – including machine learning, deep learning, optimisation, and simulation – to build solutions that transform business performance.

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