Arriving in Brisbane in 1981 after working as a scientist at CSIRO in Melbourne, Robin Ormerod found there was little demand for his meteorology qualifications and long range weather forecasting in his new hometown in the Sunshine State. Instead, he was asked to work in air quality, and a somewhat accidental career in environmental consulting followed.
Along with his partner, Kristin Zeise, a former CSGC Board Director, together they built the biggest air quality consultancy in Australia – Pacific Air & Environment. In 2004, they began transforming their consulting expertise into a company of the future; funnelling their knowledge of air quality management into technology that could help clients all around the world monitor their environmental data in real time.
In the years that followed, they continuously improved the software and 18 months ago, in late 2016, they took the leap away from the consultancy arm to focus solely on the Envirosuite software, taking it to the mass market for global sales.
Much of the initial interest came from the Australian mining sector as well as shipping ports, with operators jumping on the software to monitor and respond to environmental issues. It’s now widely recognised by industry and government as leading environmental management software, and the only product of its kind in the world.
Today, Envirosuite’s global clients such as Veolia, RioTinto, BHP and AngloAmerican, to name a few, are using the technology to track the impact of their entire operations on the environment.
“Speed is really important when you’ve got a problem – particularly environmental problems,” Robin says.
“Now, through the Envirosuite software, we can provide pathways to solve a problem a lot faster. One of the things we do is emergency response support – so we can see where the oil spill is going, or where the plume is going and how bad it is.
“In the past, monitoring an operation would have been done across multiple graphs or portals and it would take a while to figure out what was going on. Now you can get all of that data in real time and visualise where the problems lie and predict ahead, so you can get to those areas faster.”
Being a cloud-based, Software as a Service (SaaS) business has allowed the Envirosuite team to set up smaller offices around the world with key staff and sales teams. Growing from only 4 sales staff a year ago, they now have an office presence in Coolangatta, Brisbane, Sydney, San Francisco, Denver, Montreal, Santiago, Madrid and London.
Envirosuite’s hub at Coolangatta, located on the second level of The Strand overlooking Coolangatta Beach, is buzzing with a small team of designers and support staff.
“Coolangatta is one of the best places in the world to have an office,” says Robin.
“We are very representative of the new age of business where we have people thinly spread around the globe. We don’t have a typical Head Office – each office has a different focus and function. We don’t have to be in one place to build something, we can send things digitally everywhere.
“The directors mostly live here or close to the Gold Coast, so Coolangatta is where we have our Board meetings. It’s convenient for our lifestyle and access to wherever we need to go with the most magnificent airport just down the road.”
For now, Australia remains the primary market for Envirosuite’s software, however with close to 50 staff located in various outposts, Europe, Latin America and the US are in their sights as key markets for business growth.
“We are the first and the most developed software of this kind. Nobody does all the things we can do, so it is an exciting time to be now taking our product to the world.”
Envirosuite is located on Level 2 at The Strand at Coolangatta, 72 – 80 Marine Parade. For more information, visit www.envirosuite.com