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Sustainability News for Green IT and Technology Partners: 14 July 2023

July 14, 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. Corporate Sustainability Reports List: Our database of corporate sustainability reports now spans 234 companies. The latest additions are electric vehicle (EV) maker Oshkosh Corp., and fast food restaurant operator Yum! Brands.

2. Sustainable IT Services: Kyndryl, a global technology infrastructure service provider, is adding AI-powered sustainability software to its portfolio of of managed technology services. The net result: Customers should be able to improve energy efficiencies across their IT systems, Kyndryl asserts.

3. Sustainable Broadband Networks: Fully 65% of consumers in EMEA are now concerned about the carbon footprint of their broadband, with young people aged 18-24 the most concerned (73%), Cisco Systems research found. In addition, 77% said they would be willing to pay more for sustainable broadband, with around a quarter prepared to pay a price premium of more than 20%. Related: See Cisco's overall sustainability strategy and milestones here.

4. Siemens Technology Campus: Siemens plans to establish a new Technology Campus in Erlangen, Germany, as part of a $1 billion investment in Germany. The campus will "focus on sustainable and future-oriented high-tech manufacturing, related research and development activities, and the opening of the location for an ecosystem of partners from the business and scientific communities," Siemens said.

5. Sustainable Mobility: The California High-Speed Rail Authority has selected Arup, a consultancy, to support the rail system's sustainability program. The rail system is expected to carrying travelers between Los Angeles/Anaheim and San Francisco in under three hours. The system estimated 62,000 annual airplane trips, and taking an estimated 400,000 cars off the road annually, tr

6. Renewable Energy - Company Breakup: BrightSource Energy, a provider of concentrated solar thermal power (CSP) technology, is rebranding as Kelvin Energy Inc. At the same time, the company is spinning off its Israeli, UK, and South African subsidiaries. Those subsidiaries will form New BrightSource Energy LTD — a new company group headed by Izik Kirshenbaum and Israeli and UK management. New BrightSource will pursue the market for renewable energy, battery storage management, and AI-based smart grid solutions. Kelvin Energy Inc., which maintains its equity position in its Ivanpah, California, project, will continue to provide technical advisory services at Ivanpah and may pursue CSP business opportunities in the US and Canada. 

7. Partnership - Solar: Sysco has inked a partnership with renewable energy firm NextEra Energy Resources to help reduce the food distributor's carbon footprint.

8. Partnership - Solar: Cleantech integrator Ameresco has deployed a solar array for Valmont Industries in Bristol, Indiana. The solar array is designed to offset 100% of the plant's electricity consumption, Ameresco said.

9. Offshore Clean Energy Projects: Solar farms out at sea are clean energy’s next breakthrough, Bloomberg reported. Among the proof points: China Energy Engineering Group proposed building a 1,000-megawatt floating solar farm for Zimbabwe, a nearly $1 billion project, on the world’s largest man-made lake, Bloomberg said. Also of note: A floating solar farm that’s equivalent to about 70 soccer fields in size has begun generating power in Thailand, reflecting the country’s push to achieve carbon neutral status by 2050, Bloomberg also reported.

10. Conference: Black Hat, which hosts cybersecurity conferences, has launched a Sustainability Pledge -- which spans Briefings, a Community Lounge, and Community Program -- to "increase awareness, amplify new purposeful partnerships, and strengthen access to the cybersecurity industry."

B. Sustainability M&A, Investments and Funding

1. Sustainability SPAC Shuts Down: Sustainable Development Acquisition Corp. (SDAC), a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), has decided to dissolve and liquidate the SPAC.

2. Technology Accelerator - Call for Applications: The Net Zero Technology Centre (NZTC) has opened applications for the 2024 cohort of itsTechX Accelerator program. Clean energy start-ups from around the world can apply for a place on the program, and a share of the £1.2M grant funding available (up to £100,000 for each start-up), the accelerator said.

3. Climate Tech Accelerator: Black & Veatch has selected seven startups to participate in its 12-week IgniteX Climate Tech Accelerator program. The startups specialize in such areas as AI technology, carbon capture and reduction, and sustainable nutrition. The lineup includes:

  • EarthEn enables grid resiliency with their novel thermo-mechanical solutions, using CO2 in a closed loop to store energy in a cost-effective manner.
  • CarbonQuest is elevating standard carbon capture and sequestration solutions for commercial, residential, and smaller industrial buildings.
  • Mars Materials replaces petroleum by sequestering CO2 into everyday products such as carbon fiber and wastewater treatment chemicals.
  • Strive is a sustainable nutrition company using precision fermentation to create protein-enriched, animal-free milk and other beverages.
  • Spira uses genetically engineered algae to replace harmful petrochemicals and reinvent the basic materials we use every day.
  • Looq AI automates the creation of digital twins by capturing the complex physical world in detailed and intelligent 3D models.
  • Simerse enhances GIS, asset inventory, and condition monitoring through visual data AI for utilities, telecommunications, and cities.

4. Sustainable Infrastructure Fund: Spring Lane Capital has raised $290 million for second sustainable infrastructure fund, ImpactAlpha reported.

5. Venture Capital - Climate Fund: Prime Coalition, a nonprofit that steers and influences capital to support scalable solutions to climate change, and Azolla Ventures, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based impact-first investing firm launched by Prime, have formed a $239 million blended fund to focus on "overlooked climate solutions," FinSMEs reported.

6. M&A - Fossil Fuels and Carbon Capture: ExxonMobil is acquiring Denbury -- a developer of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCS) solutions, and enhanced oil recovery technologies -- for $4.9 billion in stock.

C. Regional and Global Sustainability Policies and News

1. United States - California Emissions Regulations: A California bill (S.B. 253) would require any company conducting business in California and with more than $1 billion in revenue each year to publicly report its annual greenhouse gas emissions, regardless of whether the company was formed in the state, according to Bloomberg Law. Companies that violate the rules could be fined up to $500,000 a year, the report said.

2. Europe - Scope 3 Emissions Research: Only 37% of Scope 3 emissions from European businesses are addressed by corporate decarbonization measures, Capgemini reported.

3. Philippines: The Philippines' central bank wants lenders to disclose their climate assets, Bloomberg reported. The bank's leader pledged that the Southeast Asian nation’s banking system will join the global efforts to slow climate change, Bloomberg reported.

4. India - ESG Reporting: India is taking an alternate approach towards disclosures norms related to environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics compared to some other global economies, according to KMPG, a Reuters report said.

5. India - Apple Supports Business Accelerator: Apple and Acumen are partnering in a "new effort to support social enterprises in India to improve livelihoods through clean energy innovation. The details: Through the Energy for Livelihoods Accelerator, Acumen experts will lead a 12-week program designed to "help social entrepreneurs scale and refine their businesses to transform the lives of people living in poverty, while also protecting the environment, the companies said.

6. Australia - Greenwashing Warning: Australia’s consumer watchdog has warned companies that using words like “green” and “sustainable” when describing their environmental strategies could be unlawful, Bloomberg reported. Such terms are vague and risk misleading consumers, according to draft guidance for firms released by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the report said.

D. 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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