Rampion Offshore Wind Farm, United Kingdom

Arup has become the ODI’s longest-standing strategic partner in a significant move for the two organisations. The partners' new work focuses on net zero data sharing, a crucial area in the journey towards sustainability. In the first year of a three-year renewal, they will connect initiatives across the net zero ecosystem in the built environment and foster collaboration and innovation.

Over the past eleven years, Arup and the ODI have collaborated to explore data sharing in many sectors. They have worked together to identify new trends and challenges in the future of the aviation industry, provided expert advice on diverse business models across the data spectrum, set out the case for net zero data strategies and delivered data skills training. During the partnership, Arup has moved globally from a business that treats data as ‘business as usual’ to one that prioritises ‘creativity with data at scale’.

In 2023, work culminated in a roundtable discussion about net-zero data in the built environment, hosted by the ODI’s executive chair and co-founder, Sir Nigel Shadbolt. At the event, 30 leaders from across the built environment, tech, and data worlds—in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors—came together to discuss urgent issues and opportunities.

This content is not shown because you have denied third-party cookies. You can view it at https://vimeo.com/877076215, or update your cookie settings

Speaking at the time, Arup Director Jim Johnson remarked:

This is the most complex, biggest ecosystem problem that we could possibly be tackling when it comes to open data. The message that really came out loud and clear [at the event] was that we have to focus. So my call to action is to commit - to engage with a process that sees us providing education for the wider built environment, identifying the problem that we want to solve quickly to get the momentum going and to commit resources, money - whatever it takes - to make that happen

In recent months, Arup has been working with the ODI to shape a programme that builds on the ODI's research ‘Exploring net-zero data strategies in the built environment’. Key elements include:

  • Mapping data sharing initiatives across the net-zero built environment data ecosystem, especially the data and value flows that underpin them and identifying key use cases for an investment case in net-zero data sharing infrastructure;
  • Building on the momentum achieved during the roundtable event by convening a community of interested organisations and individuals in the space - who will commit to building an efficient and effective data-sharing ecosystem.

Developing a net-zero data infrastructure for the built environment could bring significant benefits to the overall ecosystem, including improving the ability to track carbon emissions, identifying hotspots to prioritise interventions, determining what’s working well - and not so well - in emissions reduction/removal and more efficient reporting.

We know there are already a number of data-sharing initiatives in the built environment working to reduce carbon emissions, including the Open Climate Data Initiative (OCDI) and Open Net Zero. The ODI isn’t setting out to create another one. Instead, we are pledging to help connect existing initiatives through dedicated engagement, convening, and, where needed, developing new data-sharing infrastructure.
Josh D’Addario
Project lead and principal consultant at the ODI

The long-standing relationship between the ODI and Arup began in 2013, when - along with the BBC and Deloitte - the firm became a strategic partner for the newly established ODI. At the time, the aim was to collaborate on the role of open data in the built environment. Over the years, the focus of the two companies’ work together has evolved to include data across the spectrum.

Working in trusted partnerships over many years allows the ODI the opportunity to create real impact in priority sectors. We are delighted to continue our relationship with our colleagues at Arup and to embark on the next phase of exciting - and important - work with them. We have seen how committed coalitions can achieve real change. We look forward to seeing how our work with Arup will help to facilitate greater sharing of net-zero data in the built environment sector and lead to innovation, collaboration and ultimately, climate change solutions.
Sir Nigel Shadbolt
ODI Founder and Executive chair
Arup and the ODI have enjoyed a long partnership since its inception in 2013. As the significance of data and data sharing continues to accelerate, we look forward to focusing on the solutions of climate change through net zero data approaches in this next phase of collaboration and partnership. Dedicated to the same goals, we have a great foundation to continue to drive progress in the space.
Jim Johnson
Director at Arup

The ODI is inviting organisations - and individuals - involved in net zero data sharing in the built environment sector to get involved in the work. If you are part of one of these initiatives and want to access or share data to reduce carbon in the built environment - get in touch.