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.

 

Ernesta Baniulyte

Ernesta Baniulyte 
Product Designer

Ernesta has been a full-stack product designer for more than five years. She has valuable experience in the B2B, B2C and B2B2C worlds, and while working at both agencies and product/service companies, she has learned to develop UX research infrastructures to support strategy.

At Cervest, Ernesta contributes to all stages of the product development process – from initial ideation to the exacting detail of UI design – finding new ways to visualise data, and ensure our product is intuitive and user friendly.

Ernesta’s decision to join Cervest was inspired by her desire to make the world a safer, better and more aware place.

Ramani Lachyan 
Junior Research Scientist

Ramani joined Cervest after obtaining her Master’s in Physics from ETH, Zurich. She brings with her valuable experience gained through working on model building and data simulation pertaining to neutrino physics.

Ramani has joined Cervest as a Junior Research Scientist and will be working on creating algorithms that allow for the extraction of physical observables from data from a range of sources.

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Lukas Scholtes 
Statistical Scientist

Lukas completed his maths BSc at ETH Zurich, followed by an MSc in statistics at Imperial College. He wrote his MSc thesis in collaboration with Cervest, on the modelling of North American wheat yields via Bayesian parametric and non-parametric methods.

Following an internship in the NGO sector in Bangladesh and a stint in the world of fintech, Lukas comes to Cervest, excited to apply himself to the challenges that are arising as a consequence of unsustainable land-use policies and climate change.

Aidan Coyne
Junior Researcher

Aidan is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Science and Engineering at University College London with a focus on computer science and data informatics.

At Cervest, Aidan is working on researching and assimilating a database of articles categorising the reasons for extreme decreases in crop yields across Europe. The information will be used to help predict the impact of weather events on crop yield and contribute to  Cervest’s ability to bring clarity to decision making around climatic and extreme events.

While studying, she also volunteers with environmental conservation groups and youth engagement programmes.

Alex Rahin
Chief Product and Technology Officer

Alex is an entrepreneurial technology leader with over 25 years of hands-on experience in developing and executing innovative product and technology strategies.

Prior to Cervest, Alex served as Chief Product & Technology Officer at Beamly, a technology and data company delivering data platforms & infrastructure, data & content management solutions, and AI-powered eCommerce analytics, leading Beamly to a successful exit in 2020.

Before working at Beamly, Alex served as Chief Data Officer at Just Eat, where he built an end-to-end data organization, leading the company’s data-driven transformation with the launch of a unified customer data platform and scalable machine learning products

Earlier in his career, Alex held prominent roles at Zalando, Amazon, Microsoft, Intel, Hewlett Packard, and three technology startups achieving successful exits in all three.

Alex holds a BSc in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science from UC Berkeley.