National Grid and AiDash unveil tech to meet net zero goals

By John Pinching
Dash economy: National Grid and AiDash launch new intelligent sustainability management system at COP26

AiDash – a leading provider of satellite and AI-powered operations, maintenance and sustainability platforms – has announced the launch of its Intelligent Sustainability Management System (ISMS).

The technology will help companies achieve their sustainability goals, including the 10% biodiversity net gain by 2030. The new ISMS SaaS solution will enable customers, such as the National Grid, to meet the biodiversity net gain standards (BNG) and increase cost savings and other efficiencies by eliminating the frequent land surveys that are currently performed manually.

AiDash developed ISMS over the past year, working closely with the National Grid Partners Innovation team. The unveiling today at at the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow is led by Stephen Marland, Director of Innovation at National Grid Partners, alongside Abhishek Singh, CEO of AiDash.

Challenge of our lifetime

Organisations with large landholdings – like the National Grid and various other utilities, energy, water and wastewater companies – face the challenge of using traditional on-the-ground surveying methods to accurately map the land type and measure the biodiversity level of each habitat.

The cost and process complexities of using these methods can often hinder the implementation of natural capital enhancement plans for progressive, environmentally conscious organisations.

The UK’s Environment Bill legislating the BNG, when approved, would further strengthen the planning powers in England mandating at least the 10% net gain in biodiversity for all new developments and raise the imperative of land sustainability across many sectors.

In a recent survey by SAP and Oxford Economics, 50% of utility and energy executives said increased process complexity is a hindrance to meeting sustainability goals.

“Sustainably responsible organisations are struggling to find integrated operations platforms that can help them stay on top of their goals and meet the regulations within their sectors,” said Abhishek Singh, Co-founder and CEO of AiDash.

“Existing tools and techniques lack the ability to analyse historical data and make data-driven environmental improvements. Our new platform solves this problem, allowing organisations to achieve resource efficiency and implement individual Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Any organisation and/or government body with large land or water assets can benefit from ISMS,” he added.

Sustainability goals

The ISMS ‘Land’ module would help customers reduce laborious fieldwork through the AI-backed image analysis for systematic mapping, planning and assessing land enhancements, and quantify biodiversity to plan sustainable land development and restoration initiatives based on the environmental value of varying habitats. The GHG emissions are measured across sources like well pads and gas pipelines through the ISMS ‘Air’ module.

"At National Grid, we are committed to improving the environmental value across our sites in the UK by 10% by 2026, from a natural capital and biodiversity baseline,” said Prem Gabbi, Head of National Grid Property. “It's a crucial step in helping us achieve our regulatory obligations and enabling us to make our contribution towards addressing the biodiversity crisis and climate change."

"Collaborating with AiDash's satellite-powered Intelligent Sustainability Management System could enable us to make environmental surveys and audits, relatively seamless, while saving weeks of manual in the field work."

"This means we could efficiently leverage repeatable and transparent satellite data to design optimal strategies for enhancing the biodiversity across c.3500 hectares of non-operational National Grid land in the UK and regularly monitor improvements while reallocating internal resources," he concluded.

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