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Interview: Dietmar Grimm - Trimble

Headshot of Dietmar Grimm, VP of corporate strategy and sustainability solutions at Trimble

Dietmar Grimm, VP of corporate strategy and sustainability solutions explains how Trimble is showing customers how they can use data to support their organisation’s sustainability claims – and how the company is doing the same. 


Consumers are so concerned by climate change that nearly two in three (63%) would rather a business do as much as possible to look after the planet than pay its full share of taxes, according to 2021 World Economic Forum report

The researchers also discovered that 60% of British people and 66% of Americans are now loyal to and support brands that share their values. And six in ten employees now want to work for a business whose principles are aligned with theirs. One in five has quit a previous employer over the issue. 

This growing trend underlines the need for organisations not only to be purpose- and values-led but also data-driven in how they measure and report on their environmental impact. 

Dietmar Grimm, VP of corporate strategy and sustainability solutions at Trimble, predicts that companies will soon be expected to substantiate their sustainability claims with data. 

“Up to this point, many companies are still only sharing PDFs or reports of claimed [emissions] reductions,” he says. “The future is increasingly moving towards collecting information and following standards or climate-related protocols that third-party validators can use to demonstrate real reductions.”

“Reducing carbon emissions will be driven, in the longer term, by embracing technology, data and transparency.”

Values and talent

Trimble knows first-hand the importance of a credible sustainability story. When assessing the company as a potential employer, talented workers are increasingly interested in its purpose, values and culture, says Grimm.

“It’s a very important part of the conversation when we want to bring in new people,” he explains. Job applicants “ask about our values and how we’re committed to driving sustainability”. 
This commitment is also vital for winning customers and building loyalty, says Grimm. Whether driven by regulation, customers or their own sustainability commitments, buyers are hungry for solutions that help them minimise their emissions. 

Trimble’s role in this is to connect the physical world of farming, forestry, transportation and construction machinery with the digital world of geospatial mapping, computer-aided design and AI. 

This combination allows a farmer, for example, to use satellite navigation technology to ensure they are not covering the same ground twice when spreading fertiliser, which can also lead to reducing fuel consumption. Farmers and agriculture consultants can also use AI to ensure pesticide or other inputs are only applied to the areas of the field where they are needed.

Other examples include optimising routes to help transportation companies save fuel and helping construction companies adopt less carbon-intensive building methods. “We deliver digital transformation, helping industries work better, faster, safer and also greener,” says Grimm. 

Trimble is also putting its own emissions – and those of its supply chain – under the microscope. “As part of our science- based targets, we’re committed to working with our suppliers to help drive down their emissions,” Grimm says. “We’re also looking at different ways in which Trimble delivers its products [worldwide or globally]. So fewer flights and an increase in ocean freight is expected to be an important part of that change.

“One of our greatest impacts, though, will always be in helping agriculture, transportation, construction and other industries reduce their emissions through leveraging Trimble solutions. That’s going to deliver a greater overall impact than we can do ourselves, as a company.”



The data opportunity

To ensure customers, staff and potential new recruits can truly trust Trimble’s commitment to reducing emissions, the company is evaluating how it can be more data-led in the sustainability solutions for its customers and the environmental impact of its operations and supply chain. Reporting on its progress towards science-based targets will allow the company to share its progress, for example.

The same data-led approach will enable customers to monitor how much of an impact Trimble’s products have had on their emissions. “The future we’re headed for is a data-driven service,” Grimm predicts. “We think there’s a big opportunity in being able to share information with our customers.” 


“In transportation logistics, for example, we could show a customer how much fuel they saved from our product, and the carbon that they saved. It’s going to make it so much easier for them to translate that quickly into their own carbon reporting.” 

Trimble’s example points to a near future in which sustainability data is routinely shared along value chains. This can enable consumers to understand whether companies are achieving their ESG claims. In addition, it helps companies with their reporting needs and to better understand – and minimise – the impact of their supply chains.

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