WISER – Digital ecosystem for environmental data and greenhouse gas accounting
At a glance
- Project leader : Dr. Marilou Jobin
- Co-project leader : Dr. Martin Feuz
- Deputy of project leader : Dr. Katrin Maria Pakizer
- Project team : Kim Whett
- Project status : ongoing
- Funding partner : Innosuisse (Flagship Initiative)
- Project partner : Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt EMPA, Ernst & Young AG, Microsoft Schweiz GmbH, digitalswitzerland, Universität St. Gallen, Haute école spécialisée de Suisse occidentale HES-SO Valais-Wallis, ecoinvent Association, Ville de Lausanne, Stadt Winterthur, Stadt Schaffhausen, ABB Schweiz AG, Swico, Paul Scherrer Institut PSI
Private and public actors face two systemic challenges when conducting greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting as part of their sustainability assessments. First, there is a persistent lack of methodologically sound pathways to streamline the assessment of carbon footprints and resulting decarbonisation strategies. This way, different GHG-accounting services and tools often arrive at varying results for one and the same issue (lack of consistency). Second, obtaining reliable and comprehensive insights on environmental data and emission factors remains expensive and time-consuming, which is why actors rely heavily on environmental experts to provide such information (lack of transparency). Both systemic challenges lead to the private and public actors’ current inability to conduct a full GHG-accounting on their own, resulting in sustainability and decarbonisation strategies that are often developed on an inadequate data basis.
An open, inclusive, and transparent digital ecosystem for environmental data and GHG-accounting could address both systemic challenges by providing actors with a digital tool to create up-to-date, context-specific and reliable assessments and strategies.
The target of WISER is to build a digital ecosystem tailored to the specific needs of private and public actors to enable more consistent and transparent GHG-accounting. Thus, sustainability and decarbonisation strategies could both be built on a more adequate data basis.
WISER is an applied research project and consists of several subprojects led by five research partners (Empa, HSG, ZHAW, HES-SO Valais-Wallis and PSI) and is conducted in collaboration with ten private and public implementation partners.
Role of ZHAW
With the WISER subproject “Business Model Development”, ZHAW is investigating, on the one hand, the prevalent needs of public and private actors in the market for GHG-accounting and sustainability assessment. On the other hand, ZHAW is exploring potential business models for the long-term viability of WISER, which are co-developed in collaboration with three implementation partners to ensure practice-relevant findings (e.g. through interviews and workshops). A market analysis and several semi-structured interviews lay the foundation of this subproject. The market analysis provides information on the market structure and current supply of GHG-accounting services and tools, while the interviews shed light on the prevalent demand and unmet needs of the market.
In addition to the interviews, a quantitative survey is planned to refine and validate the qualitative results. The market analysis will be updated annually and supplementary interviews as well as quantitative surveys will be conducted.