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Sustainability and Green IT Services News for Technology Partners: 23 January 2024

January 23, 2024 by Joe Panettieri

Here is today’s sustainability news, research and analysis for technology partners; renewable energy and green IT service providers; management consultants; CIOs; chief sustainability officers (CSOs) and c-suite members.

A. Sustainable Technology, Talent, Partnerships and Green IT Alliances

1. IT and HVAC Management - Restaurants: Panda Express, the Asian food restaurant chain, will deploy GridPoint's technology to "optimize energy consumption, reduce energy costs and ensure that all restaurants remain at maximum temperature comfort for its guests and associates throughout varied climate conditions year-round," the companies said. The effort will allow GridPoint Intelligence's technology to "control all in-store HVAC and lighting at all U.S. locations and provide facility managers with insight into real-time operational and environmental performance, resulting in reportable emissions offset," the company said.

2. Building Energy Management - Launch: Honeywell has unveiled Advance Control for Buildings, a building management technology platform that leverages existing wiring.

3. Expansion - IT Asset Disposition (ITAD): Tech Recovery Pros has opened a facility in Marietta, Georgia. The black-owned business provides the disposal of hazardous e-waste materials for corporate clients.

4. Partnership - Industrial Sector: Veregy and the Industrial Solutions Network are partnering to deliver "unparalleled energy solutions to the industrial sector," the two organizations said. 

5. Partnership - Digital Twins and Manufacturing: Makersite has inked a strategic partnership with WSP. This collaboration marks a "significant step forward in utilizing cutting-edge technology and expertise to revolutionize product lifecycle analysis and digital twin technology for manufacturers worldwide," the two companies said.

6. Partnership - Data Centers: Silicon Ranch -- which specializes in solar energy, battery storage and carbon solutions -- has partnered with Tract to "enable data center operators to build green campuses more quickly while reducing development risk," the companies said.

7. Data Centers - Hydrogen Fuel Cells: Caterpillar collaborated with Microsoft and Ballard Power Systems to demonstrate the viability of large-format hydrogen fuel cells to provide reliable, sustainable backup power for data centers, Dallas Innovates reported.

8. Executive Leadership - Renewable Energy Infrastructure: GE Vernova has named Jessica Uhl as president to oversee R&D and business development, and Pablo Koziner as chief commercial officer. Uhl is co-chair of the Mission Possible Partnership, an organization focused on delivering the decarbonization of industry and transportation at scale, and serves on the board of directors of Goldman Sachs. She previously was CFO of Shell. Meanwhile, Koziner previously held key posts at Nikola and Caterpillar. GE Vernova, which is expected to spin-off from General Electric this year, develops Power, Wind, and Electrification solutions.

9. Executive Leadership - CSO to CFO: Finance veteran and former Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) Ismael Roig is now interim CFO at ADM. The company placed current CFO Vikram Luthar on administration leave amid an ongoing investigation into certain ADM accounting practices in the company's Nutrition reporting segment.

10. Layoffs Amid Energy Transition: Duke Energy confirmed "limited" layoffs amid the company's transition to clean energy production and distribution.

B. Sustainability M&A, Investments, Funding and Green IT Business Launches

1. Funding - Business Energy Management (BEM): Budderfly has secured a $400 million senior debt facility originated by Vantage Infrastructure with the financing co-led by Vantage and the Energy Infrastructure Credit team at Nuveen. Related Podcast: Ahead of this funding, Budderfly CEO Al Subbloie discussed building energy management systems and sustainability in this October 2023 podcast.

2. Venture Capital Fund: ArcTern Ventures has raised roughly $335 million for Fund III. The fund originally targeted a $300 million raise. The result will be one of the "largest dedicated climate tech venture funds in the world," ArcTern said.

3. Funding: H2 Green Steel has raised 4.75 billion euros ($5.17 billion) in new funding for its planned flagship plant in the northern Swedish town of Boden, which will be the world's first large-scale green steel project, Reuters reported. New shareholders include the Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund and Siemens Financial Service, the report said. H2 Green Steel's existing owners include Altor, GIC, Just Climate, Andra AP Fonden, Hy24 and Temasek, Reuters added.

4. Investment - Renewable Energy Infrastructure: Solar and storage specialist Recurrent Energy, a subsidiary of Canadian Solar, has secured a $500 million preferred equity investment commitment, convertible into common equity, from BlackRock. The $500 million investment will "represent 20% of the outstanding fully diluted shares of Recurrent Energy on an as-converted basis." Meanwhile, Canadian Solar will "continue to own the remaining majority shares of Recurrent Energy after the closing of the investment," the companies said.

5. Potential M&A: Brazil's state-run oil firm Petrobras in 2024 will start buying stakes in domestic onshore wind and solar projects to create a roughly 2 gigawatts (GW) renewable energy portfolio, Reuters reported.

6. M&A - IT Asset Reuse and Recycling: Apkudo has acquired Mobile reCell -- which helps enterprises to "automate the recovery, reuse, resale and recycling of company-owned IT assets like smartphones, tablets and laptops," the companies said. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

7. M&A - Battery Storage Systems: TotalEnergies is acquiring Kyron Energy, a battery storage system developer in Germany. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

8. M&A - Energy Management Systems: Flogas Britain Limited, part of the DCC Group, has acquired an energy management division from eEnergy. The initial purchase price is £29.1 million. Flogas may pay an additional £8 million to £10 million in late 2025 , depending on the division's financial performance.

9. Complete M&A List: Here's our database of all M&A deals involving sustainability, green IT and renewable energy buyers, sellers and investors.

C. Regional and Global Sustainability Policies and News

1. Europe - Energy Transition: Europe’s carbon market is heading for its worst start to a year since 2016 as a rapid expansion in renewables lowers the need for fossil fuels, Bloomberg reported. Among the big market influencers: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has accelerated solar and wind deployment, the report said.

2. Europe - Renewable Energy: European energy prices tumbled, with natural gas futures hitting a six-month low as a new Atlantic storm brought unseasonable warmth and boosted wind-power generation, Bloomberg reported.

3. Italy - Renewable Energy: Wind and solar energy production set records in Italy for 2023, as the country more than doubled its newly-installed green source capacity, power grid operator Terna said, according to Reuters.

D. Sustainability and Green Technology Conference Calendar

  1. CleanTech Forum 2024 North America (January 22-24, San Diego, California)
  2. Recycling, Circular Design & Sustainable Sourcing for EV Batteries and Carbon Neutral Vehicles USA Conference 2024 (January 23-25, Detroit, Michigan)
  3. Sustainable Foods Summit 2024 (January 24-25, San Francisco, California)
  4. Green Investment and Sustainability Summit 2024 (January 30-31, Chennai, India)
  5. ARC Industry Leadership Forum 2024 (February 4-8, Orlando, Florida)
  6. Complete Calendar of Sustainability Conferences

E. Previous Updates & Future News

  1. Did You Miss Yesterday's Daily Update?: Here is our previous sustainability, green IT and renewable energy news for technology partners.
  2. Future Updates: If you have news to share then please email me the details.
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