Research, data and new technologies all have important parts to play in sustainability action. Sustainability analytics helps governments, businesses and other stakeholders design, monitor and adjust their actions. Data, information and knowledge help increase awareness, improve governance and support evidence-informed policies that are crucial for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The importance of Research and Innovation (R&I) in achieving the SDGs is also fundamental. R&I contribute to sustainable growth and job creation and are critical to foster the transition to resource efficient low carbon economies. Only by collecting and analysing data and information on a wide range of sustainability-related factors - including energy and resource use, greenhouse gas emissions, and supply chain performance – and by improving modelling capabilities can we generate the deep insights needed to guide environmental initiatives and improve their overall resource efficiency.
R&I continuously improve the huge array of tools to measure and foster sustainable development, from earth observation and AI to blockchain and big data. These include system modelling and scenario analysis that can explain the complex interplay of economic, social, and environmental factors affecting future sustainability strategies and their performance. They can help show the cost, impact, and performance of past and present sustainability initiatives — and anticipate requirements and consequences.