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Big data for biodiversity

In 2014, the team at Western Australia Iron Ore identified that digital innovation could help enhance environmental outcomes and developed the Big Data for Biodiversity project. The project provided a landscape-scale, cumulative impact assessment of BHP Billiton Iron Ore’s ‘Life of Asset’ plan.

The team developed a user-friendly tool that provided a quantitative assessment across various temporal scales, spanning approximately 100 years of operating life. This information is helping the business to make informed decisions now because they have the ability to begin with the end in mind.

By taking a ‘big picture’ approach, the project team has been able to quantify the key potential impacts that are most important on a regional scale. They found that the biggest potential threats to protected species were grazing and climate change, and have made their results publicly available to help assist governments, communities and industry, and effectively protect our country’s significant flora and fauna species.