Green Deal and data strategy


The power of data lies in its value to help us understand the world around us, to predict the impact of choices that we make and, with this knowledge, to make evidence-based decisions.

This makes it an essential resource to meet the objectives of the Green Deal, including those related to climate change, the circular economy, pollution, biodiversity and deforestation. Data can enable the development of environmentally friendly transport and energy systems, as well as greener and more sustainable cities. For example, a digital twin of the earth, fuelled by data, is being developed to visualize, monitor and forecast natural and human activity on the planet. This will be used to develop and test scenarios for more sustainable development. Digital ‘product passports’ can provide information on a product’s origin, durability, composition, reuse, repair and dismantling possibilities, and end-of-life handling. This is crucial for the development of the circular economy.

This CONNECT University session explored how data will help reach the Green Deal objectives. Participants learned how data on the way we live, eat, consume and travel can be used to understand and monitor our environment, and why this is key to the future of our planet.

Background information

This event is part of the CONNECT University Summer School 2021 on Digital for our Planet that aims to present cutting-edge innovations addressing how can digital technologies be harnessed to tackle climate change, both in terms of a greener digital system, as well as their role in helping reducing carbon emissions across industries. Check this blogpost for the full programme and more information. 

Green Deal and data strategy


Moderator and introductory speech: Yvo Volman, Acting Director Data, DG CONNECT G. Data, European Commission

Title of the presentation: Data and sustainability – a vital symbiosis for Europe

Yvo Volman (1965) is acting Director of the Data directorate in the Directorate General for Communication Networks, Content and Technology of the European Commission.

Yvo studied at the Universities of Amsterdam and Strasbourg and holds a PhD in European law awarded by the European University Institute in Florence. He worked for the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs in the areas of industrial and technology policy, before joining the European Commission in 1998. In the Commission, he dealt with legislative and strategic issues as well as funding programmes related to the information market, digitisation and data.

  • Sandra Särav, Head of Sustainability, Bolt 

Title of the presentation: Incentivising sustainability: the role of Green Deal on the technology sector - Bolt's perspective

Sandra is the Head of Sustainability at Bolt, the leading European mobility platform with more than 50 million customers in over 40 countries across Europe and Africa. Prior to Bolt, Sandra served as the Global Affairs Director in the Government CIO Office of Estonia, leading Estonia's global ICT relations, and was part of Estonia's EU Presidency team in 2017. She also lectures at Tallinn University of Technology on the topics of Legal Framework of e-Governance as well as EU law. 

  • Thorsten Reitz, CEO and Co-founder, Wetransform

Title of the presentation: From the INSPIRE Directive to High-Impact Green Data Ecosystems

M.Sc. Thorsten Reitz is a co-founder and the CEO of wetransform GmbH. At wetransform, he is responsible for strategy and business operations. He has been involved as a project manager or data harmonisation expert in more than a hundred projects to date. Before joining wetransform, Thorsten worked as a scientist and department head at Fraunhofer IGD’s GEO department.  From 2012 to 2015, he worked as a Product Engineering lead for CityEngine and Web Scenes at the Esri R&D Center Zurich.

Thorsten firmly believes in the potential of open ecosystems that are based on interoperable data and open standards. As early as 2004, he saw the potential that the INSPIRE spatial data infrastructure could unlock and got involved with building better tools for INSPIRE. He developed the initial versions of hale studio, the #1 open source tool for spatial data transformation. In his view, the INSPIRE ecosystem will contribute to the EC’s green deal, and open opportunities for European SMEs and Startups to provide innovative solutions for citizens, public authorities and businesses.

  • Ulla Kronborg Mazzoli, Chief advisor, DK Agency for Data Supply and Efficiency

Title of the presentation: Public Sector Data – their role and value in a data driven society

Ulla is Chief Advisor for the Danish Agency for Data Supply and Efficiency where she works with digital government, data infrastructure, data driven innovation and value creation. She is the national INSPIRE Contact Point and Danish representative in several EU expert groups. Ulla holds a Master of Science in Geography and a diploma degree in Leadership and Management. She is the chair of the Danish Association for Geographic Information´s International Committee and she lectures on a freelance basis at universities.

EU Green Deal digital 4 sustainability climate change Digital for our Planet big data Data Policy digital twins