Hannah Winstanley 24 May 2022

Smarter steps to a greener future

Smarter steps to a greener future image
Image: HQuality / Shutterstock.com

I am pleased to share that in March 2022, Dude Solutions, the parent company of our asset management software Confirm, became Brightly Software. It’s a new brand name, but it has a long history of innovation to draw upon – and central to our rebranding message is a deep commitment to sustainability through smarter asset management.

Everyone likes the idea of operating more sustainably, but actually doing it is not always straightforward – particularly in local authorities where for years the focus has been on the condition of the asset and initiatives to improve the performance and find cost savings above all else.

COP26 saw the frequency of countries providing updates on their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) go from every five years to every year. Which means countries need to provide details of how they plan to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change annually – there is now a collective effort to prioritise more sustainable ways of working and living.

In the asset management space, ISO 55000 provides a framework by which organisations can manage their assets across their whole life cycles in a sustainable and consistent way. The value of an asset should leverage all three pillars of sustainable development – environmental, social and economic value

In 2015, the United Nations announced its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are a “shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future”. The ISO 55000 is aligned to seven of these SDGs:

- Clean Water and Sanitation
- Affordable and Clean Energy
- Decent Work and Economic Growth
- Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
- Sustainable Cities and Communities
- Responsible Consumption and Production
- Climate Action

We have also added the SDG for Good Health and Wellbeing, as our clients are delivering on targets for greater road safety and clean air through smart technology and asset management in Confirm.

We are now at a time when, as citizens on earth, everybody has their role to play in contributing to the goal of saving the planet. This includes local authorities, whose contributions towards creating a greener environment, are collectively crucial.

Achieve with Confirm

It all starts with smart assets, and tools like Brightly’s Confirm solution can do that smart thinking for you, enabling your local authority to streamline how asset-related information is captured, stored and managed – ultimately helping it to save valuable time, money and resources.

This means that everything from potholes, lamp columns, drains, trees – and much more – can be monitored, tracked, reported on and maintained, with a single digital solution.

Thinking back to the three ‘pillars’ of sustainability, Confirm can help your local authority to improve in the areas of environment, calculating carbon sequestered by green infrastructure, effective monitoring of pests and diseases associated with arboriculture, and air quality monitoring and calculating the optimum levels of tree canopy cover which can help prevent flooding.

It has been proven that 20 minutes in surroundings that connect you to nature contributes to increased mental well-being and lower stress levels. Access to public areas with green assets and play equipment which are clean and well maintain contributes to the social sustainability pillar.

Lastly the efficiency savings of using IoT and mobile devices which reduces the number of trips to and from an asset saves GHG emissions as well as the cost of sending the crews. Recycling materials and monitoring of waste from highways operations contributes to the circular economy, and has a double win of savings from re-purposing material and reducing the cost of waste.

Making it happen

With many councils declaring a climate emergency we are living in a world where we need to start demonstrating we are reducing the GHG emissions produced in our day-to-day operations. By using Confirm you have a tool which can accurately track the Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions real time from your highways activities based on the fuel use of getting to site to inspect and repair your assets, the materials used and the disposal of waste.

The race to zero starts with tracking and measuring your carbon footprint. To demonstrate that you’ve halved your emissions by 2030, you need to establish a baseline, identify the risks of climate change and create a transition plan of strategies to reduce GHG emissions produced in your operations.

Based on the Greenhouse Gas Protocol we will establish the emissions per type of highways activity and measure the intensity ratios by mile and/or budget spent on highways services. Data generated by your day-to-day operations will start to provide analysis on operations generating the most emissions and how this data can help decision-making on the best strategies to reduce your carbon footprint year on year.

Climate change and environmental challenges more broadly can appear so big as to be insurmountable, but making a real, positive impact begins by taking small steps and using the tools that are available to us. We can achieve more if we all play our role and act now.

Smarter asset management is one of those ‘small steps’ that can set us on the path to a brighter, more sustainable, future.

Hannah Winstanley, Senior Director for EMEA Client Services Centre at Confirm

This article is sponsored by Brightly Software

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