How to design a mission-driven workplace culture with complete employee buy-in
Climate intelligence is a new superpower for decision making. Cervest is the climate intelligence (CI) company putting climate and employees at the core of every decision.
Written by HYER NEWSROOM
Cervest’s cloud-based climate intelligence platform transforms complex climate science into personalized, actionable insights, to not only help enterprises and governments better measure their climate risk but also to unlock new opportunities and ways to protect our most important physical assets, like factories, hospitals, and infrastructures – now and in the future.
Founded in 2015 by CEO Iggy Bassi, the idea for Cervest was actually born much earlier, when Iggy ran a farming business in Ghana and saw the magnitude of the climate risk problem first-hand. His farm’s physical assets sustained major damage due to adverse climate events which people dismissed as freak events. Iggy was convinced that science told a different story. Could climate-related impacts on farms and facilities, like his, be anticipated – and adapted for?
Iggy teamed up with Imperial College and the Alan Turing Institute to find answers. They combined peer-reviewed science with data modeling and machine learning (ML) to create a cutting-edge framework for quantifying asset-level climate risk globally, which led to the creation of Cervest’s climate intelligence platform that customers are using today.
“We have to realise that the physical risks of climate change like flooding, extreme temperatures, and wildfire. These are manifestations because of the activity that has happened over the last 150 years.
These blows are going to come harder, more frequently.”
Karan Chopra, COO at Cervest
Over 80 European and American enterprises have used EarthScan, Cervest’s flagship product on the platform, to screen their most valued assets for common climate shocks and stresses, such as flooding, heatwaves, and drought.. They integrate the resulting climate intelligence into internal and external ESG and financial reporting, and use it to inform adaptation planning and resilience strategies.
In fact, a Cervest survey found that 88% of companies in the U.S. and the UK have already seen a corporate physical asset, such as an office, warehouse, or other building, affected by extreme weather. And Cervest’s COO Karan Chopra points out that accelerating weather events are already costing billions of dollars and putting trillions more at stake. As the UN IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)’s 6th report highlighted, a persistent rise in global warming is triggering more volatile, extreme weather events which will continue to grow in power and frequency.
We saw unprecedented flooding in Germany last July and this year, we’re already seeing record-breaking heatwaves in Spain, Portugal and France with the UK logging its hottest day on record on July 19th.
“ The top mission level statement is how do we empower everyone to adapt with climate change because the climate is changing.
What we really need is the tools and the intelligence to allow us to make decisions on how to live with this reality that we are going to be in. From an impact standpoint is actually pretty fundamental to our economic security to our social security, and to our human security.”
Karan Chopra, COO at Cervest
At a time when Net Zero is dominating headlines, Karan is keen to point out that, “Decarbonisation is only part of the solution. Even if we got to Net Zero tomorrow, the physical risks from climate volatility are already locked in our ecosystem for decades to come. The problem we need to solve first-hand is, information on climate risk at a very granular level that is accessible to anyone, individuals, companies, financial institutions, governments.”
We need climate intelligence to enable us to make decisions on how to live with the new reality, to climate-align our decisions and future-proof our most valued assets. From an impact standpoint, this is fundamental to our economic, social, and human security. We all rely heavily on public and private buildings and infrastructure, and they are all subject to accelerating climate risks. Assets are owned, but we all share the risks on these assets. Karan calls these ‘shared assets of interest'. Everyone whose livelihood depends on them has a stake in protecting them. Cervest’s platform makes a shared understanding of asset-level climate risk possible for the first time.
Critically, this shared understanding begins with a personalised understanding of climate risk. Using Cervest climate intelligence, organisations can truly understand the risks posed to their assets. By making its climate intelligence standardised and universally sharable, Cervest is aiming to enable a Climate intelligence Network whose collective decisions and actions will drive behavioural change at scale to unlock a more sustainable future for our most important assets, including our most valued asset - the planet. “With so much at stake, climate intelligence really is the new decision-making superpower of the 21st century”, says Karan.
In 2021, Cervest became a Certified B Corporation. Its purpose-driven and impact-focused culture has attracted a team of ‘impatient optimists’ – talented scientists, engineers, and technology and commercial experts with a shared passion for using their expertise to help solve one of the most pressing problems of our time - climate change. The company operates on a remote-first basis with executive offices in the UK and the U.S.
Karan Chopra, Chief Operating Officer Biography
An entrepreneur and executive who has scaled high-impact ventures, Karan Chopra is the Chief Operating Officer of Cervest, the climate intelligence company working to put climate at the core of every decision.
Previously, Karan co-founded and helped build Opportunity@Work, a future of work platform focused on rewiring the US labor market, where he now serves as a Board member. He also co-founded, scaled and sold a leading agribusiness in West Africa and has served on the advisory and governing boards of venture-backed startups and nonprofits worldwide. Karan was named in the 2014 list of Forbes 30 under 30 Social Entrepreneurs by Forbes magazine and selected as a New Voices Fellow at the Aspen Institute.