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.
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Our updates for Thursday, April 6, 2023 include…
A. Sustainability and Net-Zero News and Research
1. Apple Supply Chain: Apple's manufacturing partners now support over 13 gigawatts of renewable electricity around the world, a nearly 30% increase since 2022, Apple disclosed. In total, more than 250 suppliers operating across 28 countries are committed to using renewable energy for all Apple production by 2030, Apple said. This represents more than 85% of the company’s direct manufacturing spend and more than 20 gigawatts in commitments, Apple added.
2. Cloud Services: Salesforce, the cloud CRM and SaaS application giant, announced a Nature Positive Strategy outlining specific actions the company will take to accelerate its existing commitment to a net zero, nature positive future rooted in people and climate justice.
3. IT Services Guidance: Kyndryl Global Sustainability Officer Faith Taylor has penned this step-by-step guide for achieving net-zero emissions goals. Kyndryl is a global managed infrastructure service provider.
4. Data Center Cooling: Scientists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have invented a more sustainable and green method for cooling down servers in data centers, potentially reducing up to 26% in both energy costs and carbon footprint, TechXplore reported.
5. e-Waste: Best Buy is introducing a nationwide program that allows customers to recycle old tech via mail. The company claims to be the the United States' largest retail collector of e-waste. Best Buy since 2009 has recycled more than 2.7 billion pounds of electronics and appliances, the company said.
6. Elon Musk Math: Converting the world to entirely clean energy will require $10 trillion worth of investment, but continuing to rely on fossil fuels would cost about $14 trillion, according to Elon Musk, Bloomberg reported.
7. Net Zero-Alliance - Under Pressure: Zurich Insurance Group AG is leaving a coalition of major insurers that have committed to reach net-zero emissions, the second high profile exit from the group in a matter of days, Bloomberg reported. The Swiss insurer said it’s withdrawing from the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance, which is a sub-unit of the larger Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero. The move comes after Munich Re recently said it also will exit the group, which was convened by the United Nations in 2021 and has about 30 members, Bloomberg noted.
8. Sustainable Aviation: Multiple companies are joining together through the Sustainable Aviation Buyers Alliance (SABA) to purchase sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) certificates at scale. Participants include Bank of America, Boom Supersonic, Boston Consulting Group, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Meta and clean energy nonprofit RMI, according to Bank of America.
9. Blockchain & ESG: A whitepaper from Vechain and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) describes how blockchain technology can assist the march toward sustainability along with environmental, social, and corporate Governance (ESG) goals.
10. Research -Future-Built Companies: Only 6% of companies are currently “future built” – a term that describes the fundamental drivers of superior performance and sustainable competitive advantage, according to Boston Consulting Group.
11. Talent: Former Microsoft Japan CEO Takuya Hirano has joined Persefoni as an executive advisor in Japan. Persefoni develops a SaaS-based Climate Management & Accounting Platform (CMAP).
12. Talent: California Giant Berry Farms has named Justin Kosta as director of sustainability, The Packer reported.
13. Electric Vehicle (EV) Battery Factory: Group14 Technologies is building a second commercial-scale U.S. Battery Active Materials (BAM-2) factory in Moses Lake, Washington, in support of domestic efforts to advance the electric vehicle (EV) market, the firm said,. The one-million-square-foot campus will be home to the world's largest factory of advanced silicon battery materials for EV programs to meet global decarbonization targets, Group14 asserted.
14. Sustainable Building - Houston: Hicks Ventures has announced Framework @ Block 10, the city's first mass timber commercial office project and the first Texas commercial office building targeting net zero energy operational carbon upon completion in 2024.
15. Fossil Fuel Transition: Exxon Mobil Corp's Low Carbon business has the potential to generate hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue and outperform the company's traditional oil and gas as soon as a decade from now, CEO Darren Woods said, according to Reuters.
16. Research - Low-Carbon Hydrogen: Fully 62% of heavy industry companies across sectors are looking at low-carbon hydrogen to replace carbon-intensive systems, Capgemini reported.
B. Sustainability and Net-Zero Government Policies
1. United States - Solar Power: U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris today plans to announce what the Biden administration is calling the largest community solar effort in US history, enough to power 140,000 homes and businesses, Bloomberg reported. The agreement between South Korea’s Qcells and Summit Ridge Energy of Virginia will deploy community solar projects capable of generating 1.2 gigawatts of electricity in Illinois, Maine and Maryland, the report said.
2. Global Regulations: The International Sustainability Standards Board voted to give companies an extra year to disclose sustainability metrics unrelated to climate issues to investors under its soon-to-be-finalized standards, The Wall Street Journal reported.
3. South Africa: Spain is providing 2.1 billion euros ($2.3 billion) to help fund South Africa’s energy transition and water needs, even as some of the world’s richest nations struggle to push forward on a ground-breaking climate-finance initiative with the continent’s most-industrialized country, Bloomberg reported.
4. Sustainability - Country Rankings: MIT Technology Review has unveiled The Green Future Index 2023, which ranks 76 nations and territories on their ability to develop a sustainable, low-carbon future. The index measures the degree to which specific economies are pivoting toward clean energy, industry, agriculture, and society through investment in renewables, innovation, and green policy, MIT said.
5. United Nations and European Union (EU) - Cooperation: Following the 10th U.S.-EU Energy Council meeting in Brussels, participants outlined joint work in such areas as:
- Responding to Russia's Threats to Global Energy Security
- Bolstering Energy Security in Ukraine and Moldova
- Promoting Energy Security Through an Accelerated Energy Transition
- Energy Policy, Technology, and Innovation
- Multilateral Cooperation
C. Sustainability Funding, Financing, Mergers & Acquisitions
1. M&A - Consulting: WSP is acquiring Calibre Professionals Services One Pty Ltd to expand its sustainability services across the full mining asset life cycle.
2. M&A: Fexa is acquiring Trakref, a refrigerant tracking and management software provider. The deal is designed to help Fexa address mounting regulation and compliance requirements across the retail and facilities management sectors, Fexa said. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
D. Sustainability Partnerships, Alliances and Associations
1. e-Waste: Schneider Electric is partnering with e-waste firm Camston Wrather to "increase efficiency and control within their industry-leading e-scrap recycling operation," the companies said.
2. Sustainable Buildings: Johnson Controls and the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) are working more closely together to "helps customers meet their business objectives in areas such as ESG reporting, human and social capital management, and workplace strategy and policy. Moreover, Johnson Controls will expand its existing building certification consulting services to incorporate WELL certification and ratings into its offerings, the organizations said.
3. Cloud Services - Wind Power: Google has signed a 150 MW power purchase agreement (PPA) with Ørsted to purchase renewable energy generated by Helena Wind Farm for the next 15 years, the companies said. The project, located in Bee County, Texas, was commissioned in mid-2022 and provides low-cost electricity to the South ERCOT service territory, enough to power an estimated 90,000 homes, the duo added.
4. Blockchain & Sustainability: Celo Foundation and Google Cloud are working together to help sustainability-focused startups to build and scale Web3 applications, Celo Foundation said.
E. Sustainability Conferences, Summits and Events Calendar
Here are five upcoming sustainability conferences and ESG events for business and technology partners:
F. Send Us Your News Tips
Got news tips, research or data to share? Please email me the details.