Build Trust and Collaboration Around Data to Avoid Climate Disaster, Says New Bright Initiative Report

  • ‘Unlocking Net Zero’ whitepaper from the Bright Initiative released to start campaign following Earth Day
  • Warns the full potential of data in the climate fight will only be unlocked by world governments, civil society, and businesses working together
  • Urges more recognition and exploration of the value and availability of public web data

LONDON--()--The power of diverse data can help us avoid climate catastrophe, says a new report – but only if governments, civil society, researchers and businesses build trust and work together.

Released by The Bright Initiative, a pro bono organisation, powered by Bright Data, the leading web data platform, ‘Unlocking Net Zero : How data can power our fight against climate change’ combines original insights, ideas and inspirational examples from around the world.

The report makes five key recommendations for how global society can better harness data - including unstructured public web data - to help safeguard our future planet;

  • Giving environmental researchers access to the widest possible range and scale of datasets - achieved through governments, public agencies and industry operating in ever more transparent ways.
  • Boosting data infrastructure by growing markets of data-intermediaries, development of central data repositories and strengthening and expanding open data sets.
  • Building a culture of collaboration and mutual trust when it comes to data - starting with embedding understanding of data into the core education system.
  • Greater public and private investment in data-driven innovation, backed up by supportive government policy.
  • Building global data skills and literacy, allowing citizens to appreciate the value of personal data and feel empowered in taking control of how it is used.

The Bright Initiative is a global programme and organisation that uses public Web data to drive positive societal change.

The white paper draws upon research recently conducted with 250 business leaders in the US and UK on their attitudes towards data and the environment. It examines how policymakers are realising data’s role in the climate fight through the UK’s National Data Strategy, and explores a growing focus on data among green start-ups.

Subak is an accelerator for climate not-for-profits and a data cooperative, and features as a case study in the new paper. It is scaling climate impact through a mix of data, policy and behaviour change. New AutoMotive, which is backed by Subak, is a green motoring consultancy supporting the switch to electric vehicles in the UK. They harness diverse datasets to help infrastructure providers and the government to support demand and ensure no community is left behind in the transition to EVs.

Another Subak-supported initiative, Open Climate Fix, is working with the European Space Agency and others to investigate how Machine Learning and satellite data can be brought together to improve forecasts of photovoltaic (PV) power generation. This will help reduce reliance on fossil-fuel generated power reserves.

The report also draws on inspirational examples to show what is possible with data; for example, work being done by the Rainforest Connection, a US not-for-profit that collects sound data from rainforests and uses predictive AI-based modelling to disrupt illegal logging before it starts.

But despite some increasingly innovative uses of data in today’s battle against climate change, the paper warns that its full potential and world-shaping power will only be fully unlocked by the collective efforts of world governments, civil society and business.

Key to this is greater investment in building and enhancing data infrastructure. This could include support to grow markets of data-intermediaries, development of central data repositories, and strengthening and expanding banks of open data sets.

Or Lenchner, CEO, Bright Data, and founder of the Bright Initiative, said: “To have a shot at fighting the climate crisis, we have to move faster, think bigger, and work together, utilising data as an extremely powerful resource.

“But despite the internet being the richest and the largest source of information the world has ever known, more needs to be done to build recognition of the value and availability of public web data, especially in countries like the UK.

“We have seen firsthand from our work with thousands of worldwide customers in multiple industries just how powerful the insights drawn from public web data can be. There is a huge amount to be gained by using it in the fight against climate change.”

Amali de Alwis, CEO, Subak, said: “It is more urgent than ever to equip ourselves, our organisations, and policymakers with the best data and knowledge available to make critical decisions for our planet. We need to drastically transform our approach to data management towards an intrinsically collaborative approach, with an unrelenting North Star of climate action.”

‘Unlocking Net Zero : How data can power our fight against climate change’ is available for download via

The report marks the start of a major Bright Initiative campaign to highlight the importance of data in tackling the climate emergency. The campaign will see videos and blogs that showcase a wide range of data-driven environmental initiatives published on the Bright Initiative website and social media channels throughout the course of this week.


Notes to editors:

About the Bright Initiative
The Bright Initiative was established as a place to make a real impact on our people’s lives. We offer our innovative, data-driven technology and products, know-how, vast expertise, and finely attuned support, aimed at quite literally improving the world as we know it. We focus on three areas:

  • Public Well-being & Environmental Protection: Supporting social justice initiatives & saving lives & driving forward environmental protection campaigns.
  • Academia: Driving critical research forward, encoding much needed data skillset, and developing the next generation of data professionals
  • Promotion of Internet Transparency: Championing programmes and initiatives that promote responsible digital conduct and ethical use

To read more about the Bright Initiative, click here

About Bright Data
Bright Data is the industry-leading web data platform. Fortune 500 companies, academic institutions, and small businesses rely on Bright Data’s solutions to retrieve public web data in the most efficient, reliable, and flexible way so they can research, monitor, train their systems and analyze data to run better strategies and inform decision-making.

About Subak
Baroness Bryony Worthington was inspired to launch Subak after reading about the co-operative water management system developed for Indonesian rice fields in the 9th Century in Roland Kupers’ book ‘A Climate Policy Revolution’. The system allowed for the sharing of critical resources to ensure the survival and growth of the community. Baroness Worthington saw the potential for organisations to collaborate and share data, infrastructure and skills to speed progress.

Subak selects, funds and scales not-for-profit organisations that are tackling climate change through data, policy and behaviour change. The community will allow Subak members, fellows and other organisations to develop stronger environmental insights and opportunities to measure climate impact. Subak seeded £250k and its founding members have already raised over £8.5m in funding, while delivering remarkable data-driven achievements. Individual Subak fellows can receive a £10k grant with an idea for an innovative, data-driven climate project. Fellows receive selected access to Subak support and learning resources. Subak is based at County Hall on the banks of the Thames alongside a growing hub of sustainable tech startups.

To read more about Subak, click here.


Mark Fuller
07498 560 288

Keren Pakes


Mark Fuller
07498 560 288

Keren Pakes