Iggy Bassi, Founder and CEO, Cervest

Take advantage of up-to-the-second, transparent climate risk on millions of assets, around the world.

Iggy Bassi’s vision with Cervest to empower everyone to discover, quantify and share climate risk and machine learning methodologies, with detailed, decision-ready insights that help decision-makers future-proof their assets against the impact of accelerating climate change.

What products or services do you provide?

Cervest delivers cloud-based Climate Intelligence (CI) on any asset, anywhere – giving enterprises, governments and financial services the most complete picture of asset-level climate risk.

EarthScanTM (for enterprises and governments) and EarthCap™ (for financial services companies) combine the latest peer-reviewed scientific and machine learning methodologies to provide detailed, decision-ready insights that help decision-makers future-proof their assets against the impact of accelerating climate change.

What kind of companies do you work with?

EarthScan’s early adopters come from a cross-section of industries, including real estate, manufacturing, retail, and hospitality. Many have already faced adverse climatic events during their operations. Mitigation planning and reporting typically begins with the ESG and risk management teams, who take other teams on board as the value of climate intelligence becomes apparent to use cases in other areas, including supply chain management and acquisition planning. Accelerating climate events and introducing mandatory climate-related financial disclosures (already in effect in many countries and in effect in the UK from 6 April 2022) means that every company must incorporate climate information into its workflows to avoid potentially huge losses. In fact, a recent report by global analyst firm IDC called Climate Intelligence a “strategic priority for organizations around the world.”

What problem does your company solve?

We solve the need to understand and future-proof individuals, organizations and economies against the increasing risk of climate change. Extreme events and new regulations are driving organizations in urgent need of new insights and tools to assess, plan, report and price their climate risk at the asset level. They must translate the complexity of climate risk into easy-to-interpret, actionable insights that they can integrate into their risk management and reporting workflows, with clarity and confidence. Yet most decision makers have no idea where to start. Climate science is complex and there is no standardized approach to quantifying asset-level risk. Nine out of 10 decision makers in a recent Cervest survey said their company had seen at least one physical asset, such as an office or warehouse, hit by extreme weather in the past five years. In contrast, only half said they had considered climate change in their risk management planning.

What is your USP?

Cervest empowers anyone to discover, quantify and share climate risks on any asset, anywhere. We call it Climate Intelligence (CI). Cervest’s Climate Intelligence is uniquely built on peer-reviewed science, is quantifiable down to the asset level and will be openly accessible to everyone. Our insights have been developed over the past five years by a team of experts, including more than 250 peer-reviewed publications in the field.

Why CI? Because people have operated for too long thinking that nature is free, thinking that it will always serve us. But nature bites back enormously. The acceleration of climate change requires unprecedented decision-making clarity to strengthen our collective resilience and drive collaboration that will drive behavioral change at scale.

What are your company values? Have you ever challenged them and if so how have you dealt with them?

Our company values ​​are: objectivity, community, integrity, humility, curiosity and benevolence. They are supported by a framework of principles that guide what we do and how we do it: privacy, autonomy, impact, responsibility, holistic approach, fairness, sustainability, prudence and transparency. Together, our values ​​and principles ensure that responsibility and ethical decision-making are at the heart of the work we do.

How do you ensure that you hire a team that aligns with your company values?

It goes without saying that building and nurturing a diverse workforce is central to our success. The challenge we face requires all the skills we can deploy, and it is well known that more diverse teams are also more innovative. When it comes to values, we look for commonality and alignment of the mission. We want team members who share our values ​​and work passionately towards our common goal: putting the climate at the heart of every decision. That’s why, from our very first hires in 2016, our hiring process has included a values ​​alignment assessment. We’ve seen first-hand how values-alignment interviews deliver tangible business benefits alongside fair and objective hiring practices, including higher candidate completion and acceptance rates and increased employee retention and productivity.

Would you like to offer a hybrid working model?

We have been operating remotely for over two years and have built a dispersed team of highly talented people across Europe and North America. We expect to continue this way of working as our business grows. A remote-first model ensures that we have access to the best talent, which is why we have been able to attract such a high level of scientific, technical and commercial team members to Cervest. More than 60% of our team has PhDs and Masters Degrees.

Do you have any tips for managing suppliers and customers effectively?

Work with mission-oriented suppliers. For example, we strive to partner with other B Corp certified companies and companies that share our vision to create a more resilient future for our planet. When you start from a place of shared values, developing a mutually productive relationship becomes a lot easier.

Being customer focused means meeting customers “where they are,” not “where you think they are” or “want them to be.” Climate Intelligence is a brand new decision-making power, and everyone is at a different stage of their learning journey. Our customers come to us because they have a job to do or a problem to solve.

Are there any financial or cash flow tips for new business start-ups?

Understand the difference between profit and cash flow. In the words of Peter Drucker: “Entrepreneurs believe that profit is the most important thing in a new venture. But profit is secondary. Cash flow is the most important.”

Remember, cash flow is just one leg of the crutch. I’m reminded of Jack Welch who said that if he “had to run a company on three measures, those measures would be customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, and cash flow.”

Cherry Martin

Cherry is Associate Editor of Business Matters and is responsible for planning and writing future articles, interviews and more in-depth pieces for what is now the largest print and online source of current business news in the UK.

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