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Client story


Client: The European Space Agency
Region: Europe
Industry: Aerospace & defense

As part of an established consortium of scientific and industry experts, led by GMV, Capgemini supported the ESA in raising the global standard of emissions data quality to help build a more sustainable future

Client Challenge: The European Space Agency (ESA) wanted to improve decision-making in climate change mitigation by addressing the challenges of inconsistent methodologies, uncertainties in greenhouse gas (GHG) emission inventories, and limited accessibility to atmospheric data.
Solution: ESA’s World Emission portal centralizes global data on GHGs and atmospheric pollutants, leveraging satellite observations to provide more precise, frequently updated information with improved spatial and temporal resolution.


  • The democratization of complex satellite observation data, extending the scientific value chain and supporting more confident decision-making
  • A more complete regional and global picture of pollutants and their origins, location, and composition
  • Easier and more frequent access to GHG emission reports – eventually allowing for the assessment of reduction measurements and their effectiveness
  • More accurate and timely data available to governments, policymakers, and other stakeholders
  • Fewer challenges resulting from fragmented national emissions inventories

The European Space Agency (ESA)’s Earth Observation program helps society better understand the health and complexity of the planet. In turn, this enables decision-makers and citizens to make more informed choices on how political and economic actions affect Earth’s environment.

For example, helping people better understand the makeup of atmospheric pollutants and greenhouse gases (GHGs) is foundational for reducing the emissions that lead to poor air quality and respiratory illnesses. Tackling the impact of pollutants on the Earth’s atmosphere is one of the most important priorities of the modern era as the international community works together to tackle air pollution.

Individual countries maintain emission inventories that provide essential information on the release of harmful gases into the atmosphere, including their source, magnitude, geographic coverage, and how they change over time. These inventories provide governments, organizations, and policy makers with authoritative data against which to benchmark the effectiveness of existing measures and determine future strategies.

But establishing a clear picture of GHG emissions is not straightforward. These pollutants and gases travel over long distances and cross national boundaries while data is compiled in local emissions inventories that use inconsistent methodologies.

To help tackle this issue, the ESA is funding the Earth Observation program’s World Emission project. This two-year initiative is making substantial changes to global emission monitoring by capturing and sharing data on more types of gases and elements on a wider scale than has ever been achieved before. Thanks to the program, policymakers, governments, national reporting agencies, and subsidiary bodies will be able to use inventories based on authoritative satellite data – including chemical components that are only accessible from space. This will complement the traditional, bottom-up inventories that have a low update frequency, bringing additional crucial information into the mix. The use of satellite data, especially from atmospheric composition-dedicated satellites, will enhance the accuracy, timeliness, and resolution of emissions inventories, and help improve the effectiveness of environmental strategies and policies.

A united effort

To deliver on this vision, the ESA worked with an established consortium of leaders from the fields of technology, scientific research, and academia. The international technology business group, GMV, leads the project, alongside institutions that include France’s IPSL-LSCE and Kayrros, Germany’s Max Planck Institute, The Cyprus Institute, and Belgium’s Université Libre de Bruxelles. As part of this consortium, Capgemini provided specialist technology and integration expertise that combined with scientific knowledge to deliver a resilient service that will operate at a global scale.

Capgemini implemented the cloud orchestration required to integrate the algorithm workflows provided by scientific partners in the consortium. Working closely with the consortium partners, the Capgemini team defined the required service architecture and its operational implementation so that it would be capable of integrating and analyzing data from disparate sources.

As a result, different emissions inventories can now merge data into a unified flow so that pollution caused by human activity can be attributed to specific socioeconomic factors and activities. The platform can analyze data at speed, creating visibility into the environmental impact of sudden events like forest fires.

As well as providing global leadership in digital disciplines like cloud, AI, and Big Data, Capgemini’s expertise in working with highly complex satellite and scientific data helped bridge the gap between the technical and scientific demands of the project. This meant that developers and architects from the science and infrastructure communities could really understand each other and work in a spirit of respect and collaboration to achieve a successful outcome.

Most importantly, the relevant data is now available to any user, anywhere in the world, and this transformative service will continue to evolve and expand in the future. By democratizing access to satellite data, anyone can now explore and manipulate data however they want to, enjoying consistent modelling performance to extract insights and value. With more people able to contribute to climate and emissions research, the global community is in a better place to tackle pollution and climate change.

“Because Capgemini adopted a scientific approach to the World Emission project’s infrastructure and development, we helped create a more trustworthy solution, enabling accessibility to accurate data for stakeholders and public institutions.”

Carine Saüt
Sustainable Lead for Industries, Capgemini

Looking ahead with confidence and clarity

Since kicking off in March 2022, the World Emission project has already seen the launch of the open access satellite-based emission inventory: the World Emission portal.

Users and stakeholders around the world can use the portal to access satellite data for gases including Carbon Dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and methane (CH4). A graphical user interface makes it easy for users to interrogate emissions data and view maps that show localized emissions from individual sources or national and regional estimates. These sources include large industrial sites, hotspot emissions from oil, gas, and coal extraction basins, forest fires, and megacities on a regional or national scale.

“World Emission is based on a unique way to promote the uptake of satellite-based emission reporting data at a scale not done before, and it has been achieved in only one year thanks to the consortium between academia and industry.”

Beatriz Revilla-Romero
World Emission Project Manager at GMV

The data in the portal offers access to intelligence that’s more current than other sources. What previously took years to integrate and share is now accessible within a couple of months. As a result, stakeholders can monitor, assess, and update policies quickly if they are not achieving the desired impact. Given the speed with which the world needs to address emissions and pollution, access to timely, trustworthy, and authoritative evidence on which to base decisions represents an important step forward in tackling climate change.

But the hard work doesn’t end with the completion of the Portal. The project consortium members are working on a long-term global emissions-reduction strategy based on the high-accuracy measurement of as many polluting species as possible. In parallel, the World Emission project is bringing together a global network of national reporting agencies, research centers, and municipalities. These teams are working towards developing standardized services that can be applied in different regions, thereby helping to create the global infrastructure that’s needed to address a global issue.

“Improving emissions data is a must to reduce our GHG footprint and deliver on climate pledges, and satellite-based measurements are fundamental to ensure the accuracy of the global stocktake. Harnessing the power of satellite imagery combines a whole ecosystem of private and public entities.”

Romain Vadon
Emissions Solutions Project Manager, Kayrros