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Sustainability News for Technology Partners, Business Management Consultants & CXOs: 03 April 2023

April 3, 2023 by Joe Panettieri

Here is today’s sustainability, Net Zero and circular economy news, research and analysis. This daily update is designed for technology partners, management consultants, CIOs, chief sustainability officers (CSOs) and c-suite members.

Send Us Your News Tips: Got news or chatter to share? Please email me.

Our updates for Monday, April 3, 2023 include…

A. Sustainability and Net-Zero News and Research

1. Green Data Centers - Partnership: Green Mountain and KMW have inked a 50-50 joint venture to build a green data center site in Mainz -- which is close to Frankfurt, Germany. The data centers will be supported by renewables from KMW’s portfolio and operated according to high sustainability standards. Green Mountain designs, builds and operates sustainable data centers in Norway and the United Kingdom. KMW has provided power to the greater Mainz-Wiesbaden area for more than 90 years and supplied district heating since the 1960s.

2. Green Data Centers - Research: U.S. data centers now buy 40GW of renewable wind and solar power, according to S&P Global. That 's up 50% in one year, and represents two-thirds of corporate renewable energy spending in the country. On the downside, those data centers could stress State-level net zero plans, Data Center Dynamics reported.

3. Data Center Legislation: Pending legislation in Oregon could penalize data centers for not meeting emissions standards starting in 2027. The bill, if approved, could have significant implications for hyperscalers with heavy electrical requirements, InsideHPC reported.

4. Talent - Private Equity and ESG: Ernst & Young has named Will Rhode as EY global private equity ESG leader. Rhode is based in London, England.

5. Standards - Flexible ESG Reporting: The International Sustainability Standards Board said it would consider allowing companies to skip broader sustainability reporting in the first year they use the board’s new standards and limit disclosures to just those about climate, Bloomberg Tax reported.

6. Research: Two-thirds of survey respondents actively track and learn about sustainability issues, mostly through online media and television, a 3BL Media and TriplePundit survey found.

7. Research - Solar Roof Shortfall: Tesla Solar Roof has installed 3,000 roofs since 2016 -- which is far short of Tesla’s stated goal of 1,000 installations per week, according to Wood Mackezie research.   

8. Cisco Routers: Cisco Systems is emphasizing sustainability as part of the company's latest router product launch. The new Cisco 800G line card -- designed for the Cisco 8000 Series Routers -- offer up to 68% power savings compared to previous models, the networking company asserts.

B. Sustainability and Net-Zero Government Policies

1. United States: The United States can achieve its 2030 climate goals, but a lot of variables have to go right for that to happen, according to Scientific American.

2. California - Electric Vehicle (EV) Legislation:  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will approve California's plans to require a rising number of zero-emission heavy-duty trucks as the state pushes to cut pollution, Reuters reported. In particular, half of all heavy duty trucks sold in California will be electric by 2035, Governor Gavin Newsom said.

3. United States - ESG Pushback: Republican attorneys general from 21 U.S. states raised fresh concerns with asset managers over their consideration for environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in the votes cast at U.S. corporate annual meetings getting under way this spring, Reuters reported.

4. United States - Electric Vehicle (EV) Legislation: New electric vehicle rules mean fewer EV models will be eligible for tax credits, The Wall Street Journal reported.

5. United Nations - Net Zero Concerns: Munich Re, the world's largest reinsurer, pledged to stick to its own climate targets but said it would exit the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance to avoid antitrust risks, Reuters said. Moreover, Danish pension fund AkademikerPension may leave the Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance because new requirements detailed in a position paper for its 85 members do not attach enough strings to owning the shares and bonds of publicly listed oil and gas companies, Reuters reported.

C. Sustainability Funding, Financing, Mergers & Acquisitions

1. Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund: The $1 billion fund, launched three years ago, has about $400 million left to invest, according to Bloomberg. Where will that money go? The fund’s directors will target areas set to benefit from the $370 billion in climate spending allocated by the Biden administration’s landmark Inflation Reduction Act, Bloomberg said.

2. Funding - Virtual Buildings: Logical Buildings, a provider of decarbonization technology and ESG solutions, has closed a $110M virtual power plant (VPP) project facility with Keyframe Capital. Logical Buildings will use the money to "pursue VPP projects within New York City- and New Jersey-based multifamily residential buildings, providing thousands of operators with reputational and financial incentives to invest in initiatives that will drive energy savings, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and establish new channels for grid services revenue," the company said.

3. M&A: Recycle Track Systems has acquired RecycleSmart Solutions, Canada's largest independent provider of smart waste diversion, organic capture, and recycling management technology now operating as Recycle Track Systems CA. The deal includes Pello waste sensor technology, an Internet of Things (IoT) hardware and software platform developed by RecycleSmart.

4. Grants: The APAC Sustainability Seed Fund -- organized by the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN) -- has awarded $3 million to 13 sustainability organizations. The APAC Sustainability Seed Fund is supported by Google.org, the philanthropic arm of Google and Asian Development Bank (ADB).

D. Sustainability Partnerships, Alliances and Associations

1. Green Cloud Migration: Accenture and Microsoft have migrated consumer goods company Unilever to the Azure cloud. The migration leverages Accenture's Green Cloud Advisor tool, which "facilitates Unilever’s transition to a more sustainable and efficient cloud environment," the companies said.

2. Partnership - Sustainability Software: FigBytes and Patch have integrated their sustainability platforms to help organizations manage environmental, social and governance information. Patch is the platform scaling unified climate action, "empowering companies of any size to help rebalance the planet while advancing their business initiatives," Patch asserts. The FigBytes Sustainability Platform "transforms complex environmental, social, and governance information into simple reporting and functional insights by capturing operational and supplier data in a central, secure, cloud-based platform that manages strategy, automates framework reporting, and simplifies stakeholder engagement, for climate, water, and beyond, the company asserts.

3. Europe - Carbon Capture Projects: Italy's Eni is involved in five carbon capture projects selected by Britain in a first group of initiatives worth 20 billion pounds ($25 billion) of government funding, Reuters reported.

E. Sustainability Conferences, Summits and Events Calendar

Here are five upcoming sustainability conferences and ESG events for business and technology partners:

BonusSee our complete Sustainability Conference Calendar here

F. Send Us Your News Tips

Got news tips, research or data to share? Please email me the details.

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