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Sustainability News for Technology Partners: 12 June 2023

June 12, 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.

Today's lineup is longer than usual because I was on the road June 8-9, 2023 (translation: I'm in catchup mode).

Got News to Share? Email me the details.

A. Sustainable Technology, Talent, Partnerships and Alliances

1. Corporate Sustainability Reports Database: Our database tracking corporate sustainability reports and associated net-zero goals now spans 184 companies and organizations. Today's additions include reports from Alterra Mountain Company, Chesapeake Energy Corp., Cushman & Wakefield, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Palo Alto Networks and Western Digital.

2. Partner Programs: Our database tracking Sustainability Partner Programs now spans 107 technology and energy companies. The latest addition is Deos.Ag, a provider of intelligent building technology.

Musidora Jorgensen
Musidora Jorgensen, chief sustainability officer, Microsoft UK

3. Chief Sustainability Officers: Our Chief Sustainability Officer Database now spans 281 executives. The latest additions include Musidora Jorgensen of Microsoft UK; Jose "Pepot" Miñana from Smashburger parent Jollibee Foods Corporation; and Adam Elman of Google EMEA.

4. Net Zero Data Centers: Edged Energy, a subsidiary of Endeavour devoted to net-zero data center infrastructure for global cloud companies, has started construction on a state-of-the-art, high-efficiency data center in the Chicago-area city of Aurora, the company said.

5. Data Centers - Sustainability Tenant: Carbon Reform — a startup working on carbon capture innovation and air quality technology — is now a tenant at Netrality Data Centers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Carbon Reform leased 5,039 square feet of lab and office space to support its research and development efforts, the companies said.

6. Mobile Networks: NEC has launched Aspire NetZero, a SaaS-based solution that helps mobile network operators in reducing unnecessary energy consumption in the Radio Access Network (RAN). The vendor-agnostic solution supports 3G, 4G and 5G networks, NEC said.

7. ESG Software Platform: Sustaira leveraged Mendix's low-code application development platform to build an environmental-social-governance (ESG) software solution in just six months, the companies said. Sustaira also prebuilt over a dozen ESG and sustainability application templates and custom ESG apps for the Mendix and Siemens Xcelerator Marketplaces. Sustaira is a partner of both Mendix and Siemens Digital Industries Software Solutions.

8. VMware ESG Strategy: VMware CTO Kit Colbert explains the software company's ESG strategy here.

9. Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Stations: A General Motors and Tesla partnership will allow GM's electric vehicles to charge on Tesla's network starting in early 2024. The partnership surfaces a few weeks after Tesla announced a similar relationship with Ford.

10. Building Management Software: German building automation system developer DEOS.AG has launched an encrypted building automation solution, certified with BACnet/SC (Secure Connect).

11. IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) - Compliance: ERI has completed the Service Organization Control (SOC) 2 Type II audit and has received compliance certification, making ERI the "first and only SOC 2 Types I and II certified ITAD & e-waste recycler in the industry," the company asserted.

12. Low-Carbon Energy Transition: Duke Energy Corp plans to spend $65 billion over the next five years with most of it going to pay for the U.S. energy company's transition to low-carbon energy sources, the Duke Energy CFO Brian Savoy told Reuters.

13. Talent: Jose "Pepot" Miñana, chief sustainability and public affairs officer for Jollibee Foods, has been named interim president of restaurant chain Smashburger. Jollibee is Smashburger's parent company.

14. Port Automation, Zero Emissions and Union Jobs: Unions hope a $30 million grant to electrify tractors in a Long Beach, California, port terminal's final push to become the world's first zero-emissions facility will be good for jobs, Reuters reports. How so? The new equipment must be operated by humans, according to a Union requirement, the report said.

15. Wind Power - Technology Manufacturing: Micron Technology has signed a 15-year virtual power purchase agreement for its U.S. operations with Terra-Gen, a developer of renewable energy that operates over 2.2 gigawatt-hours of wind, solar and energy storage throughout the United States. The contract will support Micron’s U.S. target to reach 100% renewable energy by the end of 2025.

16. Sustainability Standards - Feedback Loop: The World Economic Forum plans to establish a Forum ISSB Preparers Group. The group will offer insights and corporate perspectives to the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) following the release of its first sustainability standards in the coming weeks, the organization said.

B. Sustainability M&A, Investments and Funding

1. M&A: Stantec, a global sustainable design and engineering firm, is acquiring Environmental Systems Design (ESD), a 270-person engineering firm in Chicago. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

2. M&A - Energy Software: ESG has acquired Pandell, a provider of SaaS-based software for land and financial applications in the energy sector. The acquisition is part of a "broader strategic vision to be the end-to-end software provider that helps energy leaders thrive in an ever-changing global energy landscape," the buyer said.

3. M&A: Technip Energies has acquired SEED Energy, a startup that specializes in "digital services for innovative, multi-technology renewable energy systems," the buyer said. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

4. M&A Database: Our database tracking M&A deals involving sustainable technology & energy has grown to TK transactions for 2023.

5. Funding: SustainCERT has raised $37 million in Series B funding to further scale the company's digital climate impact verification solution for carbon markets and Scope 3 emissions.

6. Funding: Just Climate has raised $1.5 billion for the company's first Industrial Climate Solutions Fund. Key investors include the Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund.

7. Funding: CleanCapital, which acquires middle-market solar and energy storage companies in the United States,has received an additional commitment of up to $500 million from Manulife Investment Management. CleanCapital will leverage this investment to fund early-stage solar and storage development and acquire renewable energy assets throughout the United States, as well as expand its partnerships in emerging markets, the company said.

C. Regional and Global Sustainability Policies and News

1. United States - Restoring San Francisco: Deloitte, Salesforce and World Economic Forum launched the Yes San Francisco (Yes SF) Urban Sustainability Challenge. The effort is a "direct response to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal 11 of making cities more inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable." The effort calls for entrepreneurs to submit sustainable solutions that contribute to the city's needs and to have the opportunity to receive funding and support. Proposals can be submitted June 9 to July 14, 2023.

2. Middle East and Africa - Google Accelerator: Google has announced Google Startups Accelerator: Climate Change, a 10-week, equity-free hybrid program for Seed to Series A startups tackling Climate Change with tech. In partnership with Google Cloud, the Middle East and Africa program helps high-potential startups based in the Middle East and Africa grow with the best of Google through a mix of in-person and virtual activities, 1:1 mentoring, and group learning sessions. See all Google Startups Accelerators listed here.

3. China - ESG Consulting & Analytics Partnership: WSP and YoujiVest Hong Kong Limited (YJV) plan to jointly explore and develop specialized ESG, sustainability and climate services, especially in the area of material risk identification and management, the two companies said. WSP is a consulting firm. YJV is a Chinese ESG data and analytics firm.

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