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Sustainability News for Green IT and Technology Partners: 05 September 2023

September 5, 2023 by Joe Panettieri

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

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A. Sustainable Technology, Talent, Partnerships and Alliances

1. Annual ESG Reports: Our global database of annual sustainability and ESG reports now spans 287 companies. The latest additions are:

  • Food services company Aramark;
  • technology and consumer electronics firm NEC; and
  • apparel maker On.

2. Chief Sustainability Officers (CSO) List: Our database of chief sustainability officers now spans 327 CSOs. The latest additions include:

3. Executive Leadership - Energy: PPL Corp. has promoted Christine Martin as interim PPL Electric Utilities president. Martin previously was senior VP of public affairs and chief sustainability officer. She succeeds Stephanie R. Raymond, who exited the company by mutual agreement on September 1.

4. Executive Leadership - Consulting: Engineering and professional services firm WSP has promoted Shalonda A. Baldwin to Transportation business line leader for northern California at WSP.

5. Executive Leadership - Electric Vehicles: Rivian Automotive has hired Porsche Cars North America (PCNA) veteran Kjell Gruner as its chief commercial officer and president, business growth. Gruner will oversee Rivian’s commercial function including Sales, Marketing, Customer Care, Delivery, Service, and Fleet. He reports directly to founder and CEO RJ Scaringe. Gruner previously was president and CEO of PCNA.

6. Executive Leadership - Consulting: Global sustainable development consultancy Arup has announced David Hughes as major programs director. Based at Arup’s headquarters in London, Hughes focuses on clientele across energy, transport and the broader built environment.

7. Partnership - IT Services: Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Schneider Electric are partnering to promote sustainable IT services to Asia Pacific customers.

8. Partnership - Cloud Services: Deep Green, which focuses on carbon-neutral compute services, partnered with Civo, a pure-play cloud native service provider. Civo is now Deep Green’s exclusive cloud partner, the two companies said.

9. Partnership - Cloud Services and IoT: Accenture, working closely with Microsoft, has developed a Methane Emissions Monitoring Platform (MEMP) that "enables energy companies to both measure baseline methane emissions in near real-time and detect leaks using satellites, fixed wing aircraft, and ground level sensing technologies," the global IT consulting firm said.

10. Cloud - Customer Award: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) received the 2023 Google Cloud Customer Sustainability Award for its statewide Community Air Monitoring Initiative. The effort collects block-level air pollution data to help identify sources contributing to disproportionate air pollution burdens and develop strategies to reduce air pollution within disadvantaged communities, including greenhouse gas emissions contributing to climate change, the DEC said. The ongoing initiative uses mobile mapping technology and analytics from Aclima, which runs on Google Cloud.

11. Infrastructure - Cooling as a Service: Johnson Controls has unveiled Cooling as a Service (CaaS) -- a capital-free, fully managed solution that includes ongoing operation, service and maintenance – ensuring optimal performance and customer satisfaction. The company will launch the solution sometime in 2023 with a UAE-based customer.

12. Semiconductors: With the boom in human and machine-generated data, IT capabilities, AI and connectivity, the global semiconductor market is likely to double by 2030. Capgemini asserts. Here are the associated sustainability challenges for semiconductor companies, according to Capgemini

13. Salesforce Net Zero Cloud - Silence: Salesforce did not mention the company's Net Zero Cloud platform during the company's August 30 earnings call...

14. Google AI: Amid concerns that AI applications consume lots of energy, Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian sees the situation differently. In an interview tih Diginomica, Kurian said: "One of the reasons that we talk about performance improvement and optimization is that you need to spend a lot less compute time, and therefore a lot less energy watts, in order to train a model. When we say we can run a model training two times faster and better than other companies in the industry, it means you need half the amount of energy to train our model." Related: See all Google Cloud Next 2023 news related to sustainability here.

15. Apple: At a mid-September launch event, Apple is set to shift its iPhone charging port from Lightning to USB-C after pushing back on such a change for years, Bloomberg reported. Among the reasons for the switch: Aligning with industry standards to potentially improve sustainability and reduce e-waste.

16. Home Energy Management: Zendure, an EnergyTech start-up, develops the ZEN+ Home ecosystem for energy consumption management...

17. Auto Industry Challenges: Automakers and suppliers are deprioritizing sustainability initiatives in their sourcing policies and focusing on lowering exposure to geopolitical risk after years of supply chain turmoil, Reuters reported based on a Capgemini survey.

18. Financial Services: Only five global banks have disclosed the quantitative results of climate scenario analyses to shareholders and clients, according to a report published by the Transition Pathway Initiative Global Climate Transition Centre, an independent research and data provider based in London, Bloomberg reported. And only six of the 26 banks analyzed have disclosed a commitment to immediately end all on- and off-balance sheet finance for new coal capacity, Bloomberg added.

19. Consulting Services: AFRY Management Consulting has introduced dedicated sustainability consulting services focused in the Netherlands. WSP veteran Daniel Loschacoff is leading an AFRY team that has energy transition, decarbonization, ESG and compliance experience in the Netherlands and globally.

20. Consulting - B Corp: Twentyfifty, an ESG consultancy has been re-certified as a B Corp.

21. Anniversary: Stanford University's School of Sustainability celebrated its first anniversary.

B. Sustainability M&A, Investments and Funding

1. M&A - EV Charging Integrator: Drax Energy Solutions, part of the Drax Group, has acquired BMM Energy Solutions -- an EV charging system integrator. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

2. M&A - Sustainable Manufacturing Consulting: Fujitsu has acquired Innovation Consulting Services (ICS), an SAP consultancy in Thailand-based. ICS specializes in sustainable manufacturing and consumer experience (CX).

3. M&A - Data Centers: CapMan Infra has acquired Fuzion, a Danish data centre colocation provider focused on sustainability and green IT services. The deal follows CapMan Infra’s acquisition of Serverius in May 2023 to establish a northern European data centre platform.

4. All M&A Activity: Our M&A database has now tracked 129 mergers and acquisitions so far in 2023. See all M&A deals involving sustainability listed here.

C. Regional and Global Sustainability Policies and News

1. COP28 - Global Climate Concerns: The world is losing the race to meet its climate change goals, the president of the upcoming COP28 climate summit said, as African presidents gathered in Kenya to discuss how to fund the continent's environmental agenda, Reuters reported.

2. Africa: African leaders, under the auspices of the African Union, are committed to tripling the proportion of electricity generated from renewable sources to 60% by 2030 compared with 2019 levels, Bloomberg reported. More details are expected September 6 at the inaugural Africa Climate summit in Nairobi, the report said.

3. Africa: The United Arab Emirates, the host of this year’s COP28 United Nations climate summit, pledged $4.5 billion to help African nations accelerate clean-energy projects, Bloomberg reported.

4. Canada: Royal Bank of Canada's climate plans conflict with Ottawa's vision for a net-zero economy by 2050, according to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), Yahoo Finance Canada reported.

5. Canada and Germany: Canada's Atlantic province of Newfoundland and Labrador selected four companies to develop wind farms to supply power for new hydrogen plants, conditional on further approvals, Reuters reported. The four companies -- EverWind NL Company, Exploits Valley Renewable Energy Corp, ABO Wind and World Energy GH2 -- can apply for approval to use government land, subject to environmental assessment. If the projects proceed, they would help Canada fulfill a pledge last year to supply green hydrogen to Germany by 2025, Reuters said.

6. Europe: The European Union’s planned metric for showing which banks have the greenest balance sheets won’t reflect their efforts to put the economy on a more sustainable footing, according to a German lobby group, Bloomberg reported.

7. United Kingdom: Funds focused on environmental, social and governance issues (ESG) saw a fourth consecutive month of net selling in August 2023, down 953 million pounds - taking the total pulled from such funds to nearly 2 billion pounds since May 2023, Reuters reported.

D. Sustainability and Green Technology Conference Calendar

  1. Sustainability Live 2023 (Sept. 6-7, London, United Kingdom)
  2. ICSD 2023 Sustainability Conference (September 6-7, Rome, Italy)
  3. Sustainability Reporting Europe 2023 (September 6-7, London, United Kingdom)
  4. Reuters Impact 2023 (September 6-7, London, United Kingdom)
  5. RE+ (September 11-14, Las Vegas)
  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: Send Us Your News Tips. Please email me the details.

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