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Q&A: Data management in ClimateOS

Karolina Eklöw Thu, 06 April 2023

Managing city climate data has become more complicated. First, cities and citizens are sounding the alarm on reaching net zero fast, and with it comes a greater pressure to collect, analyze, and report on the progress. Second, cities now have access to a range of data sources which is tough to make sense of. Third, cities are increasingly expected to use data to inform their decision-making and measure impact. 

It’s not easy to know where to start. And it’s easy to get stuck in data paralysis instead.  That’s why ClimateOS is built to manage the challenge. So how does ClimateOS ensure data verifiability, and how can it help with decision-making? And what features does it offer for cities? Read on for answers to these questions.

What is ClimateOS?

ClimateOS is a digital platform – a software – designed to help cities manage their climate action more efficiently, and monitor, report and reduce their emissions. It combines data and systemic analysis to enable cities to plan, manage and fund the transition to net zero.

Where does the data in ClimateOS come from?

All data points in ClimateOS are from open sources, ranging from specific national data like mileage and square meters housing, to international research on sustainability. All pre-populated data points have transparent and well-documented sources.

How does ClimateOS ensure data verifiability?

ClimateOS brings all stakeholders and their data together on the same platform, making data collection monitorable and transparent. Each data point is time-stamped with comments, which ensures quality assurance, keeps everyone updated and helps with understanding assumptions. 

What is activity-based data?

Activity-based data refers to data that is related to the activities and behavior of the moving parts within a city. This way, strategies can be created around how these activities can be shifted to others that fulfill the same need. By using activity-based data, emissions are measured using leading indicators, such as the number of heat pumps installed or the number of EVs in the city. 

What are leading indicators?

Leading indicators help you: 1) see progress in your shifts faster, and, 2) understand progress in your local reality. These indicators are basically metrics that predict future performance based on current activity, and enable cities to have shorter reporting cycles. There’s no need to wait for national data releases. This allows each city to identify potential blockers early on.

How does ClimateOS help with decision-making?

ClimateOS is not only designed to make data handling processes meaningful, but make the plan governable. When all climate-related data is gathered in one place, analysis can be made across the system. This makes for better decisions. By centralizing the work, cities understand the full impact of their actions, supporting decision-makers in seeing the bigger picture and prioritize actions. 

Can cities export their data from ClimateOS to global standards?

Yes, ClimateOS allows for direct export of baseline data to different reporting systems, such as the Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories (GPC), enabling cities to report their emissions to CDP.

What features does ClimateOS offer for cities?

ClimateOS offers several features for cities, including:

  • Activity Inventory: City emissions are managed in the activity-based data platform. Operationalize data, monitor faster, simplify compliance, and export.
  • Economic Scenarios: Evaluate the costs and co-benefits of your actions, quantify impacts and understand investment needs. 
  • Energy model: Resource planning is integrated to understand energy needs.
  • Action Planner: Design actions on the basis of your local data, address gaps, align stakeholders, and track status.
  • Plan Visualization: The website visualizes the progress made and journey ahead. Activity-based data makes storytelling interactive.

Is ClimateOS easy to install?

ClimateOS is a cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) platform. It runs on Microsoft Azure servers hosted in Europe only, ensuring compliance with standard security and compliance protocols. Users can access the platform via their standard web browser, and all releases occur seamlessly in the cloud. The platform only requires users' email and name for login purposes, with no personal data involved.

Can citizens access the public climate plan on ClimateOS?

Yes, when cities choose to publish their climate plan, all citizens can see it too. See for instance the plans of Dundee (UK), Cincinnati (USA) and Umeå (Sweden).  

What is the framework that ClimateOS is based on?

ClimateOS is based on a science-based framework called the Transition Elements, which includes over 100 sectors with actionable sub-targets and leading indicators. One Transition Element is a universal building block that models the shift from a high carbon to low carbon activity. 

What is the difference between ClimateOS and ClimateView?

The company behind ClimateOS is ClimateView – a Swedish climate tech company with a team of 60+ people in Germany, the UK, Sweden and the US, founded in 2018. ClimateView’s first customer was the Swedish Government – the Swedish Climate Policy Council and two other Swedish governmental authorities.