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Sustainability News for Technology Partners: 01 May 2023

May 1, 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 Developments

1. Consulting - Small Business ESG Reporting: Vista Consulting Group of Saint Augustine, Florida, has launched an ESG reporting and advisory service for small and midsize businesses.

2. IT Services - Sustainability Strategy: Here's how various NTT business units are aligning their efforts to assist end-customers with their sustainability strategies, according to NTT Facilities President Kazuhiko Matsubara.

3. Talent - Boeing: Jim Hileman is now VP of Boeing’s Sustainability & Future Mobility organization (S&FM). Hileman leads a team that "ensures the company’s technical expertise and market leadership in sustainability technologies, as well as emerging, advanced aerial mobility applications," the company said. He Reports to CTO Todd Citron, while also working closely with CSO Chris Roberts.

4. Aerospace:  Boeing is expanding its ecoDemonstrator flight-test program to "further accelerate innovation for sustainability and safety," the aerospace giant said.

5. Chief Sustainability Officer: Estée Lauder Companies has named Nancy Mahon as chief sustainability officer

6. Rebrand - Residential Renewable Energy: Emera Technologies has rebranded as BlockEnergy. The startup provides renewable power to residential communities. Local utilities can leverage BlockEnergy to connect homes to smart, shared energy networks, the startup asserts.

7. Q1 2023 Milestones: Schneider Electric announced the 2023 first quarter results of its Schneider Sustainability Impact (SSI) program, alongside its financial results for the quarter.

B. Sustainability Partnerships, Alliances, M&A & Investments

1. Partner Programs. Our database of Sustainability Partner Programs has expanded to include 74 companies. Today's newly added listings include CSRhub, Ecovadis, Measurabl and RepRisk.

2. Partnership - Texas Public Transportation: CapMetro -- a regional public transportation provider in Austin, Texas, has partnered with HOLT Renewables and bp pulse to transition public transportation buses to zero-emission electric vehicles. The project involves roughly 200 zero-emissions buses.

3. M&A - Solar Power: Ignite Power, a UAE-based solar solutions provider in Africa, has acquired the solar solutions portfolio of Mwezi, a Kenyan solar energy distributor, according to SolarQuarter.

4. M&A - Private Equity and Solar Power: True Green Capital Management (TGC), a renewable energy infrastructure investment firm has acquired CleanChoice Energy -- a direct-to-consumer clean energy provider. The deal will expand TGC's footprint to include solar power generation in 16 US states, including Pennsylvania and Ohio, along with approximately 215,000 residential customers, the buyer said. CleanChoice's next five years will be focused on developing, constructing, and operating its project portfolio and providing more consumers with "easy, convenient, 100% pollution free energy," the buyer said. Financial terms were not disclosed.

5. Funding - Smart Buildings: BrainBox AI has raised US$20 million to "support the continued development of BrainBox AI’s cutting edge decarbonization technology and its global commercialization efforts," the company said.

6. Funding - State of New York: NY Green Bank, a division of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the state’s clean energy and sustainable infrastructure financing entity, has launched a $250 million Community Decarbonization Fund.

7. Funding - Carbon Accounting Software Platform: CarbonChain has raised $10 million in Series A funding, co-led by Union Square Ventures (USV) and Voyager Ventures.

8. Funding - Denver: Women and minority-owned small businesses can receive up to $10,000 to fund their sustainability projects. Business located in the city and county of Denver can apply here.

C. Regional and Global Sustainability News

1. United States - Natural Gas Terminology: Environmentalists are pushing U.S. federal regulators to set a policy discouraging companies from using the term “natural gas” in marketing, arguing it inaccurately casts the substance as a clean, green source of energy. Alternatives pitched by activists include “methane gas” and “fossil gas," Bloomberg reported.

2. United States - Oregon Natural Gas Debate: The city of Eugene, Oregon's ordinance restricting gas hookups in new construction was set to be the state’s first — until a local utility and its allies launched a $1 million counterattack, Bloomberg reported.

3. United States - Alaska: A program that has distributed almost $300 million to renewable energy projects in Alaska since 2008 would be made permanent under legislation that passed the state Senate without dissent in April 2023, according to the Alaska Beacon.

4. United States - Hydrogen Production: Efforts to boost production of hydrogen, a fuel seen as crucial for meeting global climate goals, are racing ahead at a rapid pace, particularly in the U.S., threatening Europe’s lead, according to Aurora Energy Research, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.

5. India - IT Services Contract: CSM Tech, an IT consulting and software development firm, signed a multi-million dollar contract with the Ministry of Economy and Recovery in Gabon for implementation of a timber traceability solution and an electronic timber trade platform, New Indian Express reported.

6. Japan - Funding: Japanese trading house Mitsubishi Corp., together with MUFG bank and others, will launch one of the largest decarbonization funds in Japan, Nikkei reported. The fund will invest a total of $1 billion in startup companies with promising technologies in areas such as floating offshore wind turbines and sustainable aviation fuel, the report said.

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