The vertical Environment consists of the protection and conservation of natural capital including the understanding, monitoring, and mitigation of climate change, but also the efficient and green use of resources.
Earth, along with its systems and processes, is immensely complicated and scientific research builds the foundation to understand the complex man made and non-man made changes in the global ecosystem. The global driver of protective regulations is the adaption of international treaties from the Montreal Protocol, through the Kyoto Protocol to the Paris Agreement and beyond.
Climate change monitoring is possible thanks to the provision of key indicators on climate change drivers (e.g. carbon dioxide and short-lived climate pollutants) and the assessment of impacts on the environment (e.g. global ozone depletion, melting of glaciers and sea ice, sea level rise, tropical deforestation). In fact, the importance of remote science via satellites is underlined by the fact that of the 50 Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) identified, 26 can only be monitored from space.
Ocean conservation and restoration of land and forests are well supported by remote sensing – often in combination with other sensors – in a rapid and standardised way (e.g. difficult-to-access areas, lack of long-term records). Environmental protection is closely linked to early warning/alert systems , which can include tracking and exploration of a natural hazards, such as tropical cyclones, landslides, and volcanoes.
Water management is another major global challenge. Water flows, temperature, quality and also the identification of harmful outbreaks of, for example, algal blooms, have to be controlled and detected. Satellites support prediction systems for hydropower production and water management in water intensive sectors.
Corporations have an increasing interest in either monitoring or reducing their environmental footprint. Raising attention by consumers have increased demand for industrial self-monitoring through higher Environmental, Social and Governance standards.