Problem Addressed

This solution was sourced in response to UKGBC’s Innovation Challenge: “How can existing buildings be made more resilient to climate change, with as little disruption to their occupants as possible, by 2030?”

Climate uncertainty makes adaptation and resilience decisions radically more difficult for organisations. 90% of decision makers in a Cervest survey said extreme weather affected at least one of their company’s physical assets in the past 5 years. Yet, only half said climate change is factored into risk planning.

Solution Overview

To see how EarthScan works in under 3 minutes watch this video!

Cervest offers the world’s first science-backed- and AI-driven Climate Intelligence (CI) platform, starting with their flagship product EarthScanTM, that enables everyone to transparently discover, quantify and share climate risk on millions of assets. Bringing together world-leading earth science, data modelling, and machine learning expertise, EarthScan’s on-demand analysis provides a ‘climate health check’ of assets to inform risk mitigation and resiliency plans and protect the top and bottom line.

EarthScan displays a unified view of asset-level climate risk, providing critical analysis and insight into the probabilistic likelihood of climate shocks and stresses such as flooding, heatwaves and drought. It provides insights across multiple risks, timeframes and emissions scenarios simultaneously, for a complete picture of climate risk that’s dynamic and based on the latest peer-reviewed science.

EarthScan displays granular insights – going back 50 years and looking ahead 80 years – across multiple risks that enable users to make confident decisions about investing, divesting, or shoring up assets. Which assets are at greatest risk – now, and in the future? How often and how severely could extreme temperatures, flooding and wind storms affect assets in coming years/decades? EarthScan provides clear, science-backed answers across geographies, time horizons and climate risk scenarios (BAU, 2040 emissions peak and Paris-aligned).

Equipped with answers, decision-makers can act confidently to meet resiliency targets on the assets they own and manage. And they can easily share these insights with partners who carry out the design / construction / refurbishment. The ability for multiple parties (i.e. supply chains, banks, insurers) to see climate risks on shared assets of interest creates transparency that nudges a chain reaction of climate-resilient decisions. Collectively, this drives behaviour change (adaptation) at scale.

Asset owners or managers can make climate intelligent decisions across the entirety of an asset’s life cycle, including where to locate it, how to construct or adapt it and which suppliers to partner with. And they easily can share these insights with partners who carry out the design / construction / refurbishment. For example:

  • Building design: Make design decisions to simultaneously mitigate and adapt with climate risk.
  • Building construction: Understand the most likely climate risks and factor insights into construction materials choices.
  • In-use buildings: Know if likely conditions will damage an asset (i.e. make it non-operational temporarily or permanently); know conditions affecting worker health / safety / productivity, (i.e. temperature, airflow) to cue adaptation measures (i.e. ventilation, air conditioning).
  • Deconstruction: Know which assets are under greatest threat and in which time frames, to identify when divestment / deconstruction planning should replace adaptation decisions.

EarthScan is cloud-based and allows users to build portfolios of assets from an existing catalogue of over 220M globally (building to 500 million assets in 2022), or by uploading .CSV files of their own assets. On-demand insights are available from the dashboard. Users can explore climate risks, time horizons or scenarios at asset or portfolio level; understand customised risk ratings; and generate and share standardised risk reports. Users can download EarthScan Insights as images and insert them into reports, documents and presentations. EarthScan is designed for users with any level of climate risk literacy, with support from in-product tool tips, a Knowledge Base and FAQ sessions with a team of climate scientists.

From 6 April 2022, many UK companies will be subject to government mandated TCFD-aligned climate-related financial disclosure. EarthScan customers can automatically self-generate TCFD-aligned reports with EarthScan for a fraction of the price of using expensive consultants. Out-of-pocket financial savings are projected to be north of 50%. Savings are much higher when internal staff time and resources are also factored in. These savings apply not only to preventing material damage to assets, but also to maintaining that asset’s use of service, reducing business disruption and ensuring operational resilience. Longer-term, users realise ROI when they calculate losses they avoided / protected themselves against.

Verification & Case Study

Effectiveness can be assessed through:

  • The cost-savings associated with preventing asset damage and losses. Key outcome: relationship with climate risk shifts from reactive to proactive — taking early interventions on our most critical assets.
  • Adoption by multiple parties using EarthScan to implement risk mitigation strategies / make adaptation decisions based on the single source of truth. Key outcome: A shared view of risks allows multiple parties to baseline, benchmark, segment, and rectify risks on ‘assets of common interest’ – unlocking new conversations and ‘change’ incentives for the first time.
  • The network effect of multiple parties using the same Climate Intelligence source to make decisions drives behaviour change at scale. Key outcome: a Climate Intelligence Network that unlocks radical transparency at asset-scale, enabled by harmonised ratings, sharing, and integration into key decisions and investments by banks, insurers, supply chains, customers and governments.

Use Case #1:
A large healthcare institution is using EarthScan to assess the climate risks threatening their assets. Assets must continue to function while refurbishments are underway. They used EarthScan to analyse heat stress across their primary sites. EarthScan showed that over a short-term time horizon, many assets would face increased levels of max temperature and heat wave days, posing a threat to occupants and operational uptime. Using this intelligence, the organisation reviewed and amended their HVAC systems across assets most at risk, adapting each one with necessary systems to mitigate against this scenario.

Use Case #2:
An architecture firm is using EarthScan to inform pre-development design and construction decisions. It’s conducting greenfield and brownfield climate risk assessments on commercial real estate developments. The firm uses EarthScan’s insights across different climate hazards to inform the building materials needed to withstand specific risks. For example, EarthScan revealed a large reduction in wind speed on one development, meaning the building would endure a reduction in natural air flow. In response, the customer designed appropriate HVAC systems. By examining the symbiotic nature of climate change and anthropogenic air pollution, the architects included more windows (to increase natural air flow) that were double-glazed (less pollution coming in).

Facts and Figures

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