Access to trusted data is a critical blocker to Net Zero incentives and demonstrable impact. Better access to commercial and open data creates the potential for target-based investments, procurement, products and services, as well as addressing transparency and disclosure. Open standards deliver cohesion & interoperability that can unlock metric-based innovation and reduce the burden of reporting as standards proliferate.

For the UK to hit its national targets we must both re-risk investment and make impact accountable. This will require opening up access to commercial data using low-friction, secure, trusted networks. In addition, data that is in the national interest must be published for access by anyone using open licenses. 

Examples of open standards for data sharing include Open Banking, Open Energy and insurance and asset-level innovation such as SERI.

Open standards can help create open marketplaces for commercial and open data: rapidly expanding proven sector trust frameworks to support the finance sector to find, access and use data; to create incentives, improve decision making and radically increase transparency. 

Imagine a decision-maker could mandate net-zero,
continuously measure progress and
act to adapt incentives in a timely, credible manner.

Our aim at IB1 is to make data work harder to deliver Net Zero—to unlock data flows for better metrics, risk assessment and incentive creation, to model Net Zero strategies and returns, unlock high-resolution economic analysis, and enable the practical application of real-world data down to the asset level. The opportunity is to deliver an open marketplace for commercial data that incentivises the whole value chain. This can be achieved through the implementation of open standards for data sharing.

To deliver a demonstrably Net Zero future requires changes to institutional frameworks of data sharing and access (governance, regulation, transparency). For example, a regulatory mandate not only ‘to’ disclose but ‘how to’ disclose. A trust framework can inform mandates for policy and regulation, legal, operational and technical standards for interoperability. This is a systems-based approach in which financial, engineering, consumption and environmental data can be activated and operationalised.

The approach can enable:

  • Operational open marketplaces for commercial data sharing across sectors
  • Distributed, decentralised activity with a minimum-viable centralised service 
  • Delivery of co-developed, policy-aligned solutions that address market needs
  • Cohesion and interoperability, radically reducing cost and friction
  • Risk-managed and cost-effective solutions for governance and compliance 
  • Industry innovation to support, de-risk and incentivise Net Zero

Icebreaker One has, in collaboration with government, regulators and industry, created a market-wide solution for secure commercial data sharing and is implementing this across energy, transport, water, agriculture and the built world. This is based on a proven blueprint: with Treasury backing, Open Banking opened up secure access to shared financial data. It has since transformed the fintech sector, creating tens of billions of pounds in value. This is expanding to Open Finance and is, also with government support, being developed for Open Energy.