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Sustainability News 29 April 2024: AdaniConnex, Ernst & Young (EY), Greenomy, OVHcloud, PwC and More

April 29, 2024 by Joe Panettieri

Here is today’s sustainability news, research and analysis for technology partners, renewable energy consultants 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. Business and IT Consulting Strategy: PwC Australia has announced a three-year strategy that prioritizes four market areas: Artificial intelligence, trust in what matters; climate; and business model reinvention. The strategy emerges as PwC Australia seeks to recover from a tax leak scandal.

2. ESG Consulting: AAB Group of the United Kingdom has launched an ESG division to assist customers with stakeholder engagement, strategic guidance and transparent reporting.

3. Cloud Services & Data Centers: Google is building a $2 billion data center in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Moreover, Google is launching a skilled trade career development program and a collaboration with Indiana Michigan Power Company (I&M) to add clean energy to the local grid. 

4. Data Center Facilities Management - Executive Leadership: Divcon Controls, a global systems integrator focused on facility management automation and monitoring solutions for data centers, has hired CyrusOne veteran Kevin Timmons as CEO.

5. Data Center Cooling: OVHcloud will open source two components used in data center cooling systems, claiming its tools will help operators with sustainability efforts, IT Pro reported.

6. Partnership - Cloud Services: PwC Australia (PwC) has developed a Unified Sustainability Hub on Amazon Web Services. The software can "help organizations rapidly access and manage their ESG data," PwC and AWS said in a blog.

7. Partnership - Data Center Cooling: ExxonMobil and Intel have inked a strategic alliance "focused on the development of next-generation, energy-efficient, liquid-based cooling technologies" for data centers."

8. Partnership - Device as a Service: NTT Data has launched Sustainable Device as a Service. The effort leverages HP Managed Device Services. The service "can be a significant contributor in driving down carbon emissions by up to 35% and provide up to 15% cost savings when it comes to TCO of laptops," NTT Data said. We don't know if the devices ultimately achieve carbon neutrality.

9. Partnership - Geospatial Analytics: ST Engineering Geo-Insights and Ernst and Young (EY) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) involving space technology and geospatial analytics. The partnership will leverage geospatial data to co-develop sustainability roadmaps and form a joint sustainability product development working focused on five areas:

  • Deforestation;
  • water management and quality;
  • compliance with Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures or Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures requirements;
  • carbon accounting; and
  • baselining environmental impacts.

10. Partnership - E-Waste Management: Wichita State University has built a partnership with Starkey, a non-profit organization, to manage and reduce the university's e-waste, according to Waste360.

11. Partnership - IT Services and Carbon Reporting Software: Greenomy and PwC Belgium are partnering to assist European customers with ESG reporting -- including compliance with the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and the EU Taxonomy regulation.

12. Software - Carbon Emissions Tracking: Singularity Energy has launched CarbonFlow, a software platform that "provides granular details about energy flows on the grid and the emissions generated by its consumption," Carbon Herald reported.

13. Software - Industrial Systems: Aspen Technology has unveiled AspenTech Strategic Planning for Sustainability Pathways – a modeling and optimization solution that "aims to guide companies in carbon capture utilization and storage decision making and sustainability strategy investments." The software leverages a licensing agreement with Aramco.

14. Carbon Removal Startup: 280 Earth, a carbon removal startup backed by Google co-founder Sergey Brin, will share more details about its business development efforts in July 2024, Bloomberg reported.

15. Research - HVAC Services Market Growth Forecast: The global market for HVAC maintenance and support services will reach $110.07 billion by 2029, up from $78.50 billion in 2023, according to Arizton research. that's a 5.79% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), the company said. The shift to carbon reduction and decarbonization services will drive much of the growth, Arizton said.

16. Electric Vehicle Leasing - Company Shuts Down: Zevvy has shut down, according to Bay Area Inno.

17. Electric Vehicles - Fisker Buyer?: Four automakers have signed nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) with Fisker as part of a processor to potentially acquire the struggling EV maker, Business Insider reported. Still, NDAs don't guarantee that actual buyout offers will be made.

18. OpenAI Complaint: Advocacy group NOYB of Austria has filed a complaint against OpenAI, alleging that the company's ChatGPT software may breach European Union privacy rules, Reuters reported. Related: Here's our list of generative AI lawsuits, which is updated regularly.

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

1. Private Equity: Beech Tree Private Equity has invested in Sustainable Energy First, a sustainable energy and utilities specialist in the United Kingdom. Sustainable Energy First's management team also invested in the deal. Financial terms of the investments were not disclosed.

2. Financing - Data Centers: AdaniConneX, a 50:50 JV between Adani Enterprises and EdgeConneX, has lined up $1.44 billion in additional financing for sustainability-focused data centers in India.

3. Funding: Stafford Capital Partners has launched its flagship Private Equity Decarbonization program. The program is designed for private equity investors "who aspire to reduce the carbon footprint of their portfolios and contribute towards achieving their net zero targets while benefitting from the returns on offer with private equity," Stafford Capital Partners said. The program has three investment categories: (1) carbon transitioners; (2) decarbonization enablers and climate solutions; and (3) low-carbon businesses.

4. M&A - Real Estate: Galvanize Real Estate, a real estate investment firm focused on building decarbonization, has acquired an industrial property in the Baltimore-Washington corridor near Baltimore Washington International Airport and the Port of Baltimore. GRE believes the real estate "presents significant decarbonization potential through rooftop solar, mechanical upgrades, and other energy-efficient improvements." Both tenants of the fully leased asset "have stated sustainability goals and an interest in pursuing solutions which reduce their costs and carbon footprints," GRE said. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

5. M&A - Real Estate Software and Decarbonization: One Click LCA has acquired Buildrz, a generative AI software company that helps decarbonize real estate projects.

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. G7 - Coal Power Policy:  Energy ministers from the Group of Seven wealthy countries meeting in Italy are discussing setting a target date of 2035 to shut down their coal-powered power plants, Reuters reported.

2. United States - Colorado Right to Repair Legislation: Colorado is poised to add consumer and business electronics to the list of items that Coloradans have the Right to Repair and can get the tools, parts, diagnostics and software access to fix, CoPIRG reported.

3. France - IT Services: The French government sent a letter of intent to Atos with the aim of acquiring all of its activities that the state deems strategic, as the IT consulting firm strives to restructure its debt, Reuters reported. Atos is a Top 10 IT sustainability service provider, though the company sold its climate consulting business to Schneider Electric in 2023.

D. Sustainability and Green Technology Conference Calendar

  1. Apidays New York 2024 (April 30-May 1, New York, New York)
  2. Innovation Zero 2024 Conference (April 30-May 1, London, United Kingdom)
  3. Green Vision Summit and Expo 2024 (April 30-May 2, Malta)
  4. Midwest Regional Sustainability Summit 2024 (May 2, Cincinnati, Ohio)
  5. The Open Sustainability Policy Summit 2024 (May 2-3, Washington, D.C.)
  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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