Another week, another slew of terrifying stories highlighting the inexorable march of climate change.

And most recently: a tale of two water extremes.

In England, the Chief Executive of the Environment Agency warned of future water shortages. The so-called ‘jaws of death’ will see demand outstrip supply in just 25 years thanks to consecutive hot and dry summers coinciding with a rise in population.

Meanwhile, Mozambique has been at the mercy of devastating flooding. The UN estimates that more than three million people have now been affected by the deadly storm surges, as our changing climate makes storms like Idai even more severe.

It’s clear we’re living in climatically volatile times, and these examples underline the narrative of David Wallace-Wells’ infamous new book The Uninhabitable Earth complete with its ominous first words: “It’s worse, much worse than you think”.

However, such a vivid reality check, is creating a new problem. Uncertainty and denial are giving way to equally paralysing panic, anxiety and resignation.

This new “climate denial” is rooted in our fundamental psychology; climate change is becoming too terrifying to deal with, so we are defaulting into a “learned posture of powerlessness” as Wallace-Wells puts it. And if this is the new psychology of individuals, it will naturally extend to the businesses they work for – amplifying a lack of action. The last thing our Earth system and global society needs right now.

It is therefore imperative that we change our collective mentality – as individuals and organisations – from one of resistance and unsolvable to one of empowerment and solutions.

At Cervest, we translate climate change and uncertainty into business continuity and growth, achieved through a long-term ‘decision journey’ with business leaders who have seen first hand how their business is being impacted by climate uncertainty and consumer value shift as a result. Our role is twofold:

  • We quickly help businesses mitigate the very real risks they face in the short term – with a low entry point that allows us to create immediate value
  • We build out a ‘decision platform’ partnership for the long-haul, giving business leaders the means to continuously and dynamically adapt any climate-critical business process through automated, accurate, timely and personalised decisions, across any time period or spatial scale.

Our statistical modelling approach combines cutting-edge science with machine learning, providing us the ability to monitor, predict and simulate the risks and suggest appropriate action. We currently focus our expertise in agriculture and food supply, where climate uncertainty is already having a significant impact on business. Through Cervest:

  • farmers can decide what are the most resilient crops to plant
  • Food and beverage procurement teams get early signals on future crop productivity, helping them to plan sourcing and logistics earlier
  • policy makers at a national and regional level can make decisions about crops and irrigation
  • insurers can incentivise the careful cultivation of farmland rather than its exploitation
  • governments, regulators and financial institutions can apply Cervest’s climate modelling and map it into their own macroeconomic simulations.

Going forward our platform will also enable us to provide wider land-based asset decision support in areas such as forestry, flood management and soil degradation.

Climate change is very real for many and a growing concerns for millions more. For businesses and individuals, it is becoming one of the biggest risks to our economy and financial stability. Although we get it and feel it, we still need practical ways to positively address it. New ‘climate smart decision’ technology means that businesses and individuals alike have the biggest opportunity yet to make an impact, protecting both the planet and their livelihoods, one smart decision at a time.

And when thousands of people across hundreds of businesses start making climate smart decisions every single day, perhaps then we can begin to see a measurable impact.

 

André DuBuisson 
Chief Product Officer

Andre is a product specialist with 16 years’ experience delivering and growing global B2C / B2B products and Marketplaces across multiple sectors.

He’s successfully serviced diverse clients in product management, business analysis, UX and consulting. Recent engagements have included the innovative use of data science & technology in dynamic marketplaces and developing a large-scale customer engagement platform.

He has previously held product leadership positions at Victor Limited and Collinson Group, developing customer loyalty solutions for well-known international brands.

Ruiao Hu
Research Resident

A computer scientist by trade and a mathematician at heart, Ruiao graduated from Imperial College London with an MEng degree in Joint Mathematics and Computer Science.

With industry experience in data engineering gained with world-leading finance firms, Ruiao has joined Cervest for the summer to construct data pipelines for a number of our upcoming projects.

Just as he joined Cervest, Ruiao achieved a first class MEng degree with the Governor’s Prize and Corporate Partnership Programme award for his final year project. After his time at Cervest he will pursue a PhD in stochastic geometric mechanics under the supervision of Prof Darryl Holm at Imperial College London.

James Walsh
Research Resident

James is a Statistical Scientist with a bachelor’s degree in the subject awarded from the Statistics department at the University of Warwick.

James joins Cervest as part of his work with the Warwick Manufacturing Group and The Alan Turing Institute where he is a Research Assistant developing Physically Informed Hybrid models.

He will be spending his time at Cervest applying this expertise to simulating individual crop growth and constructing bulk processing technologies for modelling organic carbon content for soil quality monitoring. He has also worked in the risk team of financial consultants at Albourne Partners building simulations.

Mike Zotov
Research Resident

Mike has recently graduated with a first class honours degree in Mathematics from the University of Warwick.

Having studied Machine Learning as part of his degree, he has joined Cervest for the summer to work on deep generative models for de-noising remote-sensing data.

After his time at Cervest he will continue to pursue his passion for Machine Learning with a Master’s degree at Imperial College London.

Anna Moses
Business Process Lead

Anna has broad experience helping organisations to define and operationalise their processes in order to achieve ambitious business objectives.

Anna has worked across the public, private, and charity sectors with a focus on organisational transformation through business analysis and behavioural science-focused change management, at organisations including the UK House of Commons, the Parliamentary Digital Service and leading US healthcare consultancy The Advisory Board Company.

Inspired by Cervest’s commitment to using technology for good, through both the delivery of game-changing products and an inclusive working environment, Anna is passionate about being part of the solution to the climate crisis.

She has a BA in Political Science and History from Wellesley College, Massachusetts, and also attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Michael Griffiths
Senior Engineer

Michael has been building software for over a decade as both a developer and analyst. He has worked and consulted in a broad spectrum of domains – including insurance, payments and e-commerce – for both early-stage startups and established companies. He is also a passionate open-source developer, being a co-maintainer of a number of developer tools for the Clojure programming language. Further, he has been a teacher for the ClojureBridge organisation, which provides free programming workshops for underrepresented groups in tech.

A dedicated environmentalist, having worked for the National Laboratory Service arm of the UK Environment Agency before entering the software industry, he joined Cervest in 2019 with a commitment to use his expertise to build flexible and scalable distributed software systems to help our world adapt to the growing climate crisis, while promoting sustainability and science-driven decision making.

Michael holds a B.Sc. in Theoretical Physics from University College London.