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IBM Buys Australian Analytics Firm Envizi in Environmental Push

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(Bloomberg) — International Business Machine Corp. has acquired Envizi Pty Ltd, an Australian analytics provider that automates the collection of emissions data, expanding its investments in artificial intelligence to help companies make their operations more sustainable and socially conscious.

Envizi allows businesses with environmental, social and governance goals to monitor their progress on sustainability reporting requirements. It will integrate with IBM’s physical asset management and supply chain software. The company has more than 180 clients, including Microsoft Corp., Uber Technologies Inc. and IBM itself. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed in an announcement on Tuesday. 

Business leaders are pushing for further adoption of ESG themes as regulators, lenders and asset managers are scrutinizing companies with heavy carbon footprints. ESG incentives vary from extra interest in a corporate checking account to lower interest rates for borrowers if certain targets are met, but critics say that companies aren’t going far enough to reduce emissions and that penalties aren’t harsh enough for missed goals. 

The need for a verified framework for tracking emissions is only going to increase in the future, said Kareem Yusuf, general manager of IBM AI applications, in an interview. “Everyone is going to need to have these platforms,” he said, to respond to regulatory pressure or keep up with peers. “Everyone is trying to get a proper read on this.”

IBM Chief Executive Officer Arvind Krishna said at a Bloomberg Technology summit in December that the company’s future acquisitions would be in the areas of automation, artificial intelligence, security and hybrid cloud.

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