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Sustainability News 16 April 2024: Grid Beyond, KODE Labs, Microsoft Cloud, Uptime Institute, More

April 16, 2024 by Joe Panettieri

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

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

1. Virtual Event - Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability: Microsoft will host a virtual Cloud for Sustainability Technical Summit from May 6-9. The actual agenda will surface April 29.

2. IT Infrastructure and Sustainability: The Uptime Institute has launched the Uptime Institute Sustainability Assessment, an assessment and award service that "empowers organizations to clearly assess, benchmark, and demonstrate the sustainability credentials of their digital infrastructure to all their stakeholders." The assessment can span enterprise data centers, colocation data centers, or hosted services from hyperscalers or managed service providers (MSPs).

3. IT Services: FPT, a major IT services company in Vietnam, has committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2040.  In 2023, FPT recorded a total revenue of US$2.17 billion and 48,000+ employees.

4. Consulting: Kearney had more than 300 sustainability-related engagements in 2023, the , the global management consultancy said. The focus areas range from decarbonization to sustainable supply chains and circularity.

5. Research - Renewable Energy Careers: The renewable energy market grew to support 13.7 million jobs in 2022, up from 12.7 million in 2021, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) reported.

6. Tesla Resignation: EV battery expert Drew Baglino resigned from Tesla amid worldwide layoffs at the EV maker.

7. EV Charging Network: Amazon has installed 17,000 electric vehicle (EV) chargers for delivery vans at 120 warehouses, making the e-commerce and cloud services company the largest private EV charging operator in the US, Bloomberg reported.

8. Renewable Energy - Wind Installs: The global wind industry installed a record 117 gigawatts (GW) of new capacity in 2023, a Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) report said, but the industry needs to add triple this amount annually by the end of the decade to meet climate targets, Reuters reported.

9. Talent - ESG Software:  Measurabl has hired Ten-X veteran Chris Zegal as senior VP of marketing, the ESG software provider for real estate said. Customers use Measurabl to measure, manage, and report ESG data on more than 18 billion square feet of real estate across more than 93 countries, the company said.

10. Executive Leadership - Solar Energy and Managed Services: Chairman Chris Hayes has succeeded Christian Fong as president and CEO of Spruce Power Holding. Among Hayes' key priorities: Building a managed service platform that solar asset owners can leverage. The CEO change surfaced roughly one month after Spruce Power announced Q4 2023 revenues declined 13.3% from Q4 of 2022.

11. Net Zero Career Pledge: Collin Janich and Peter Golding, students at the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School, are creating a pledge for M.B.A. candidates at the world’s top business schools to commit to championing sustainable initiatives and fighting for a net-zero future for the rest of their careers, The Wall Street Journal reported.

12. Report - SaaS Software: Green Badger, a SaaS developer for managing sustainable construction, has released its 2023 Sustainability Report. The company launched a Sustainability Committee in 2023, which sets the stage for expanding sustainability efforts in 2024, the first-time report said.

13. Partnership - 5G Networks: Swisscom will partner with Ericsson to improve the energy efficiency of Swisscom's 5G network in Switzerland, VoIP Review reported.

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

1. Accelerator: Breakthrough Energy, Temasek and Enterprise Singapore are launching Breakthrough Energy Fellows -- Southeast Asia, a multi-year effort to "accelerate the development of early-stage climate-tech solutions in the region. More information and application details for BE Fellows - SEA will be announced in the second half of 2024, the organization said.

2. Funding - Autonomous Smart Buildings: KODE Labs has raised $30 million in Series B funding. Maverix Private Equity, TELUS Ventures and I Squared Capital participated in the round. KODE Labs is striving to "help buildings worldwide achieve net-zero emissions."

3. Funding - EV Trucks: Windrose Technology has raised $110 million in Series B funding. HSBC, HITE Hedge Asset Management, and industrial real estate and digital infrastructure specialist Goodman Group participated in the round.

4. Funding - Smart Energy: GridBeyond has raised €52M Series C funding. Alantra’s Energy Transition Fund, Klima, led the round. The GridBeyond Point technology platform allows customers to manage distributed energy resources.

5. M&A: Solero Technologies, backed by Atar Capital, will acquire Kendrion's automotive business in Europe and the United States. The deal has an enterprise value of roughly US$70 million (EUR 65 million). 

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

C. Regional and Global Sustainability Policies and News

1. Europe - Solar Business Challenges: Solar panel maker Meyer Burger is packing up a German factory to send production to the United States, Reuters reported. Despite booming demand, Europe-based solar panel manufacturers are being crushed by competition from China and the U.S., whose governments give more support to their producers, the report said.

2. India - Renewable Energy: Mahindra Group will invest 12 billion rupees (about $144 million) to set up solar and wind energy projects of 150 megawatt (MW) hybrid capacity in India, Reuters reported.

3. Japan - OpenAI Expansion: The generative AI software developer has expanded into Asia with a new office in Tokyo, Japan. Moreover, OpenAI has launched early access to a GPT-4 custom model specifically optimized for the Japanese language. 

D. Sustainability and Green Technology Conference Calendar

  1. Apidays Singapore 2024 (April 17-18, Signapore)
  2. Green IO Conference Singapore 2024 (April 18, Singapore)
  3. Sustainability Conference on Water as Sustenance (Stanford University, California)
  4. Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development 2024 (April 22-24, Grenada)
  5. EarthX Congress of Conferences 2024 (April 22-26, Dallas, Texas)
  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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