Keeping up with the Joneses – and high-tech consultants

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In 2013, I posted a blog about how technology is changing the way we audit buildings. Since that post, we have seen high-tech advances in smart wind and solar power, agricultural drones, driverless cars and many, many more. It seems like a new app is developed every day, promising to change the way we live.

I think of myself as being fairly tech savvy. But I also find myself being taught how to do things more efficiently on my (already out of date) device by people who seem too young to be telling me how to do anything. All too often I’m thinking “I wish I had thought of that”, or even worse – “hey, I thought of that last year”, knowing full well that I would have never been able to pull it off.

You can now wake up to a song streamed from Spotify™ through the alarm on your iWhatever. Your breakfast may be decided by a nutrition app like MyPlate™ with the recipe downloaded from Yummly™ and the ingredients delivered straight to your door by Hello Fresh™. This is aligned to the fitness and wellbeing plan that is tracked on your FitBit™. You check to see if your bus is running on time via GPS tracking on TripGo™. You get to work and start up your Surface Pro™ just by looking at it because it recognises your face. After work you go out for dinner and drinks at the new, hip place recommended to you by Zomato™. You’ve had a few too many and it’s time to go home so you summon an Uber™, which is usually cheaper than a taxi but tonight it’s more expensive because your phone is telling you that demand exceeds supply… you don’t care. You’re in luck though, because some guy in a Tesla™ shows up and the car drives itself to your place. Okay, maybe that last part is fiction, but will probably be reality in the next few years… or months.

So what am I getting at?

As a sustainability consultant, part of my job is to help our clients deliver solutions more efficiently. Surely these high-tech applications have a role to play. Well then, how come I find myself still writing reports on Microsoft Word™ Version “the same as the last one” and trying to make my Microsoft Excel™ Version “why are we still doing this” spreadsheet look prettier with the new colour palette? Okay, so I’m being slightly cynical and the above is, of course, slightly tongue in cheek.

At Edge, we are continually looking for ways to do things better, more efficiently and to provide maximum value to our clients. This thinking drives the way we do business. When we hire people, we look for ideas and passion first and foremost. We look for different perspectives and continual improvement of ideas rather than a cookie-cutter approach. We try and push the boundaries and promote the unexpected. Rather than sell a generic tool to do the same job for all of our clients, we customise solutions so that they are specific to your goals and objectives.

Over the last few months, Henrique has been working with other key Edge staff to develop new ways of providing client solutions (scroll down for examples). Trust me, there is not an Excel Spreadsheet in sight and he codes in a language Microsoft Word does not understand. We’ve combined our skills to develop a suite of high-tech applications that range from helping clients visualise climate change exposure risk across their asset portfolio to managing their supply chain risk. I’ve included a couple of screenshots but the sky is really the limit when it comes to what we can do. I can see this helping a range of clients across property trusts, infrastructure projects, and local and state government assets.

These high-tech developments are really elevating the way we operate. Sustainability consultants should always be embracing new ways of delivering value, not relying solely on degrees and CVs. I’m excited to see what other technologies we will harness in the future that will see us evolve as a business and an industry.

So if you want to know how we can help manage sustainability within your business to not only keep up with the Joneses but, more importantly, stay ahead of your competition, please get in touch: ken@edgeenvironment.com.au or 0410 654 641.

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Climate change exposure risk
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Cyclone tracking in Australia
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Visualising supply chain risk
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