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Sustainability News 23 April 2024: Cisco, Greenly, Lenovo, OSI Global, More

April 23, 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. Live Blog - Hannover Messe 2024 Day Two: Check out our sustainable IT updates from the Hannover Messe 2024 conference.

2. Lenovo Channel Partner Program : Roughly 2,000 partners have joined the Lenovo 360 Circle program -- a sustainability community that "encourages collaboration and accelerates the adoption of sustainable business models and Environmental, Social, and Governance goals across the channel ecosystem."

3. Lenovo - IT Software: A newly launched Lenovo Intelligent Sustainability Solutions Advisor (LISSA) gives customers "actionable sustainability insights to understand their estimated emissions impact across their IT lifecycle and deploy customized solutions that align with their sustainability goals," the PC, server and data center infrastructure provider said. LISSA integrates with sustainability solutions such as TruScale Device as a Service (DaaS), Asset Recoverypackaging efficiencieslower-carbon shipping optionslifecycle extensionscertified refurbishment, and more. We don't know LISSA is multi-tenant for Lenovo partners.

4. Partnership - IT Networks and Solar Energy: Cisco Systems and Morgan Solar are testing a renewable energy solution that powers collaboration and meeting spaces. The solution involves Morgan Solar’s Energy Blinds, Cisco’s Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) switch, and Webex. Early tests produced up to 50W of renewable energy per window -- enough to effectively run the pilot room’s required equipment and devices. When the room is not occupied, the system stores excess solar energy for later use.

5. Partnership - IT Services and Software: OSI Global, a provider of IT professional services, will leverage Greenly's software as part of its strategy to achieve net-zero emissions. We'll be watching to see if OSI Global leverages Greenly's software to assist customers with their sustainability journeys. Greenly raised $52 million in Series B funding in March 2024. Key investors include Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE).

6. Data Centers - Executive Leadership: Prime, an international hyperscale and wholesale data center provider, has launched an "enhanced sustainability strategy" led by newly appointed ESG Vice President Sarah Martinez. Prime will issue its inaugural sustainability report in the summer of 2024, the company said.

7. Carbon Accounting Services: Major accounting firm Baker Tilly continues to expand its carbon accounting services for end-customers. Key software partners include Sustain.Life and Sumday.

8. Carbon Accounting Software: North Star Carbon Management, which offers SaaS-based carbon accounting and management software, has achieved B Corp certification. This certification identifies companies that "meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose," the company said.

9. ESG Consulting: Keep an eye on Rennie Advisory, an ESG and climate consultancy that is expanding into Asia, according to the Australian Financial Review.

10. Smart Building Technology: Nearly 19,000 buildings now leverage GridPoint to save energy and reduce carbon emissions, the company said.

11. Microsoft - AI Small Language Model: Microsoft has announced Phi-3-mini -- a "cost-effective, small language artificial intelligence model that can perform tasks such as content creation and create social media posts while using smaller amounts of data," Reuters reported.

12. AWS - Generative AI Guidance: Amid concerns that generative AI applications consume substantial energy, AWS has developed an executive guide to generative AI for sustainability.

13. AI Training: IBM is "focused on developing energy-efficient methods to train, tune and run AI models, such as its own Granite foundation models," the company said. At 13 billion parameter models, the Granite models are "smaller and more efficient than larger models, and therefore can have a smaller impact on the environment," IBM added.

14. Partnership - Solar Power: Enphase Energy and Octopus Energy Group are partnering to deploy solar energy and batter systems in the United Kingdom.

15. Lawsuits - Solar Technology: Maxeon Solar Technologies has filed lawsuits against Hanwha Q CELLS and Canadian Solar, alleging various patent infringements., SeekingAlpha reported.

16. Executive Leadership - Power Management Technology: Eaton has named Adam Wadecki as senior VP and controller. He previously was senior VP of internal audit.

17. Boardroom - Enterprise Software: McKinsey veteran Gerard Cunningham has joined Stem Inc.'s board of directors. Cunningham previousl was a partner at McKinsey & Company, where he co-founded and led its global clean technology practice, launched its AI for sustainability initiative, and was a leader in its digital business building practice, Stem noted.

18. EV Fleet Management - Launch: Macquarie Asset Management has launched Vertelo, an EV fleet management business focused on India. Vertelo will offer leasing and financing, charging infrastructure and energy solutions, fleet management services, and end of vehicle life management. Total funding for the business will be roughly $1.5 billion over a 10-year period. 

19. EV Fleet Management - Managed Services: Siemens has introduced Depot360, a portfolio of consulting, deployment and managed services to helps customers to achieve zero-emission fleet operations. The initial offerings include Depot360 Charging-as-a-Service (CaaS) and Depot360 Managed Services. The solutions essentially allow customers to deploy EV charging and fleet management systems with no upfront costs.

20. Progress Reports: Johnson Controls has reduced Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 43.8% and Scope 3 emissions by 27.1% since 2017, according to the company's 2024 sustainability report. Meanwhile, Hitachi Vantara expects to be Scope 1 and Scope 2 carbon neutral by 2030, and the company plans to set near-term goals with SBTi by fiscal year 2025, according to Hitachi Vantara's sustainability report for fiscal year 2023.

21. Partnership - Logistics: DutchX and DeliverZero are partnering to "demonstrate that sustainable logistics can be easily integrated into the food industry," the two companies said.

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

1. Accelerator - AI and Startup Mentoring: For the first time, Google is "pairing employees together with startups to add AI solutions to their most impactful projects — and it’s already making a difference." The effort is part of Google's Startups for Sustainable Development program.

2. Funding - Consulting: Private equity firm Luas Partners has invested €6 million in Catalyst, an ESG consulting and software company based in Dublin, Ireland, Bisnow reported. Catalyst previously was known as i3PT.

3. M&A - FinTech: Karma Wallet has acquired sustainability marketplace DoneGood amid of card and membership programme launch, FinTech Futures reported.

4. M&A - Building Materials: European construction firm Strabag has acquired Naporo Klima Dämmstoff GmbH from Synthesa Group. The deal involves sustainable building materials. Financial terms were not disclosed.

5. 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. United States - Solar Rooftop Grants: President Joe Biden announced $7 billion in grants for residential solar projects that will power nearly a million low-income households, Reuters reported.

2. United Kingdom - Small and Midsize Businesses: BT and the UK Business Climate Hub (UKBCH) are partnering to "help UK small & medium businesses (SMBs) halve CO2e emissions by 2030 and empower them to achieve net zero emissions by 2050," the organizations said.

D. Sustainability and Green Technology Conference Calendar

  1. SOAR Sustainability Conference 2024 (April 24, Magnolia, Arkansas)
  2. 31st Annual Campus Sustainability Summit 2024 (April 24, Boulder, Colorado)
  3. Oman Sustainability Week 2024 (April 28-May 2, Oman)
  4. Sphera Customer Summit (April 29-May 1, Austin, Texas)
  5. Apidays New York 2024 (April 30-May 1, New York, New York)
  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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