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Sustainability News for Technology Partners: 14 June 2023

June 14, 2023 by Joe Panettieri

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

Got News to Share? Email me the details.

A. Sustainable Technology, Talent, Partnerships and Alliances

1. SEC Climate Disclosure Regulations - Potential Timing: The SEC now aims to issue its climate disclosure rules by October 2023, a year later than its initial goal, according to an agency agenda released on June 13, 2023, according to Bloomberg Law.

2. Corporate Sustainability Reports Database: Our database tracking corporate sustainability reports and associated net-zero goals now spans 190 companies and organizations. Today's additions include McKinsey & Co. and UnitedHealth Group.

3. Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) Database: Our database tracking chief sustainability officers (CSOs) now spans 283 executives worldwide. Today's addition is AstraZeneca EVP of Global Operations & IT and Chief Sustainability Officer Pam Cheng.

4. Apple E-Waste: Mac of All Trades, a buyer and seller of used Apple products, has launched a brand awareness campaign, titled "New Life." The campaign aims to raise awareness of the growing e-waste problem and encourage consumers to join the company in giving technology "a new life," Mac of All Trades said.

5. Partnership - IT Consulting and Google Parent Alphabet: Cognizant and Tidal are collaborating to "help blue ocean economies accelerate decarbonization, starting with blue food," the companies said. Tidal is a project from Google parent Alphabet; it is designed to help protect the ocean and feed humanity sustainably.

6. Research - IT Spending Waste: Roughly 36% of desktop software spending represents wasted money. The figures are similar for wasted data center software spending (33%), SaaS (32%) and for SaaS and 32% for IaaS/PaaS, according to this Flexera 2023 State of IT Asset Management (ITAM) report.

7. Consulting - Carbon Neutral Status: Sustainability consultancy TEAM Energy has achieved carbon neutral status, officials said.

8. Consulting - Mobile Sustainability: ENGIE Impact has introduced a Mobility Support sustainability practice for commercial businesses that need EV (electric vehicle) charging infrastructure. The specialized consulting services provide strategic planning, procurement and implementation assistance for portfolio-scale EV charging infrastructure initiatives.

9. Financial Services: Morningstar Sustainalytics has introduced Low Carbon Transition Ratings -- which provide sinvestors with a forward-looking assessment of a company’s current alignment to a net-zero pathway.

10. Education: The Johnson Controls Community College Partnership Program will, for the third consecutive year, provide $1 million total in funding and Johnson Controls equipment to 10 community colleges in North America.

B. Sustainability M&A, Investments and Funding

1. Funding - Bill Gates and Solar Energy Components: Solar energy parts manufacturer CubicPV has raised $103 million to build a U.S. factory to make silicon wafers, key building blocks for solar panels that are produced almost entirely by China, Reuters reported. Early CubicPV backers include Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

2. Funding - ESG Accounting Software: Omnevue (formerly ESGgen), which provides audit-grade ESG accounting for companies, has raised $3.1 million in seed funding. The company is based in London. The funding round was led by venture capital firms Elbow Beach Capital and Pi Labs, with participation from Zone2boost, and multiple angel investors.

3. M&A - Sustainability Consulting: SLR Consulting has acquired Carnstone and IBIS. Carnstone provides sustainability and ESG advice and support to large companies and international institutions. IBIS offers ESG guidance to financial institutions in Africa and Asia.

4. M&A - Sustainability Consulting: EY South Africa has acquired EBS Advisory, which provides ESG advisory services to customers in Southern, East and West Africa.

5. M&A - Environmental Services: APEM Group, backed by private equity firm Westbridge, has acquired Macro Works. On a related note, APEM Group secured a +£50m debt package and additional accordion from Tikehau Capital, the global alternative asset management group, with an additional £7.5m working capital facility from Virgin Money.

6. All M&A Activity: Our M&A database has now tracked 80 mergers and acquisitions involving sustainability so far in 2023. See all M&A deals involving sustainability listed here.

C. Regional and Global Sustainability Policies and News

1. United States vs. European Union - Supply Chain Sustainability Regulations: Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the United States is concerned about the potential “negative, unintended consequences” of European Union efforts to force corporations to screen their supply chains for environmental and social risks, Bloomberg reported.

2. European Union Regulations- ESG Rating Services: The European Union on June 13, 2023 proposed new regulations for firms selling environmental, social and governance (ESG) ratings that could force some to restructure their businesses in a major shake-up of the industry, Reuters reported. Among the companies that could be impacted: S&P Global, Moody's, MSCI and Morningstar Sustainalytics.

3. South America - Chile Solar Investments: Some of the world’s biggest fund managers are piling in to a quirky Chilean business model that offers guaranteed long-term prices for power produced by tiny renewable plants, Bloomberg reported. BlackRock and Brookfield are among firms buying portfolios of small generators known as PMGDs for their Spanish initials.

4. Australia Energy Transition:  ENGIE, Eku Energy and Fluence have launched a battery energy storage system (BESS) at the former Hazelwood Power Station in the Latrobe Valley in Victoria. Hazelwood is the first retired coal-fired power station to host a battery storage system in Australia, the companies said.

5. China - ESG Consulting Partnership: Alaya Consulting and Avarni have partnered to assist Hong Kong-based companies in their decarbonization journeys. Alaya is an ESG consultancy. Avarni develops a carbon emissions management platform.

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