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Sustainability News for Technology Partners, Business Management Consultants & CXOs: 19 April 2023

April 19, 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 Wednesday, April 19, 2023 include…

A. Sustainability and Net-Zero Partnerships, Research & News

1. Small Business ESG Reporting Software: ESGRI (ESG Reporting Intelligence) has launched a software platform to help SME (small and midsize enterprise) businesses globally generate Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy, reporting and supply chain management, the company said.

2. Talent - Climate Accounting Software: Former Amazon Ads VP Shinji Tsukamoto has joined Persefoni as global chief commercial officer & president, APAC. Persefoni's develops a Climate Management & Accounting Platform (CMAP) for businesses, financial institutions, and governmental agencies.

3. Cisco Partner Program - IT Networking: Viatel Technology Group has been awarded Cisco’s sustainability certification. Viatel customers can now return used hardware to be responsibly reused and recycled. Viatel Technology Group delivers its fully managed SD-WAN service exclusively on Cisco Meraki technology. In early 2023, Viatel published Ireland’s first SD-WAN Report, supported by Cisco.

4. HP Enterprise - Sustainable IT Solutions: HPE's sustainable IT solutions for customers and partners are outlined here.

5. Partnership - Sustainable IT: The San Francisco 49ers and Cadence Design Systems inked a multi-year partnership, revolving around technology, sustainability and giving back to the Bay Area community. The effort will focus on sustainable operations at Levi’s Stadium -- the NFL franchise's home field.

6. Partnership - Cloud Managed Services: VMware unveiled VMware Cross-Cloud managed services, a "set of prescriptive offers with enhanced partner and customer benefits that will enable highly skilled partners to expand their managed services practices." BT, for one, plans to offer the managed services to "help customers innovate, address data sovereignty requirements, and reduce operational costs while focusing on sustainability," according to Colin Bannon, CTO at Business, BT.

7. Partnership - Sustainable Agriculture Technology: Success Rice (owned by Riviana Foods) and farmers in Arkansas will leverage SAI Platform's Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA), a toolset for farms and companies in agricultural value chains to "help assess, improve, and verify on-farm sustainability performance."

8. Partnership - Supply Chain Finance: Citi is partnering with Vodafone’s Supply Chain Finance Programme (SCF). Eligible suppliers to Vodafone will "now be able to access preferential SCF rates from Citi by disclosing environmental data and demonstrating improvements to their performance," the companies said.

9. Partnership - Financial Services: ACE Alternatives and ImpactNexus have partnered to provide fund managers with a "more agile, accountable, and transparent managed services platform to drive their sustainability agenda." ACE is a Berlin, Germany-based FinTech company and managed services provider for Alternative Investment funds. ImpactNexus is a sustainability management software provider that helps venture capital and private equity investors to manage their ESG and impact performance of their portfolios, whilst also complying with reporting requirements such as the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR). 

10. Launch - ESG Consultancy:  7 Centre of Toronto has announced its company launch. The consulting company "promotes an exclusive framework that unites effective ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) disclosures with sustainable engagement."

11. Financial Services: Forbright Bank, a nationwide bank focused on decarbonization, has received Fossil-Free Certification, joining an alliance of banks and credit unions that have pledged to not finance fossil fuel companies or projects moving forward.

12. Research - Semiconductor Industry: As the global semiconductor industry is facing both shortage and oversupply challenges at once, how can companies move forward? Deloitte provides answers and looks at five major trends in the semiconductor industry—including sustainability.

13. Research - Smart Buildings Market Growth Forecast: The global smart buildings market will reach $304.3 billion in 2032, up from $72.8 billion in 2023. That's a 15.8% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), according to a Market.Us report. The growth will typically involve Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML), to improve building energy efficiency, security, comfort, and operational efficiency. This market has three types of buildings residential, commercial, and industrial. Inside this market have various systems like lighting, HVAC, security, and energy management, the report notes.

14. Research: Fully 75% of organizations are now prioritizing sustainability initiatives, up 10% over past six months, according to the Honeywell 2Q 2023 Environmental Sustainability Index.

15. Copper Shortage Threatens Green transition: Details are here from The Wall Street Journal.

16. Research - DEI and Venture Capital: Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) data from 315 venture capital (VC) firms, representing more than 5,700 U.S.-based, full-time employees and $594.5 billion in assets under management, is now available as part of the "VC Human Capital Survey," powered by Venture Forward, the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), and Deloitte. 

17. Accelerator - Food Technology and Sustainability: Mondelēz International has opened applications for CoLab Tech -- an accelerator program that's "designed to help start-up companies address key challenges in food technology and sustainability." The 12-week program includes in-person workshops, hands-on experiences and virtual curriculum sessions, along with 1:1 mentorship, as well as access to Mondelēz International experts and the company’s partners across the globe, the company said.

B. Sustainability Funding, Financing, Mergers & Acquisitions

1. M&A - Sustainability Software: ACT Commodities, a global provider of market-based sustainability solutions, has acquired a controlling stake in Green Project Technologies, a U.S.-based software company delivering a SaaS-based platform to simplify corporate climate accounting. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

2. M&A - Facilities Management and ESG: Lessen has acquired Blue Skyre IBEa global facilities management solutions provider. This acquisition allows Lessen to "extend its offerings in facilities management and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) solutions," the companies said. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

3. M&A - Sustainable Building Consulting: SOCOTEC Consulting has acquired Spinnaker Group, a South Florida-based energy efficiency and sustainability consulting firm focused on the green-building movement. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

4. Venture Capital: Congruent Ventures has launched a $300 million fund focused on climate technology startups.

5. ESG Investments: Companies sold only $6 billion of bonds last quarter to pay for projects that help the environment, achieve a social goal, or improve their governance. That’s down more than 50% from the same time last year, according to Bloomberg.

6. Funding: nZero, a provider of near real-time carbon management and accounting software, has raised $16 million in Series A funding co-led by Fifth Wall and a national US energy company. Additional investors include Piedmont Capital Investments, Inc. with limited partner Henry Kravis, founder and co-chairman of KKR.

C. Sustainability and Net-Zero Government Policies & Regional News

1. United States - Electric Heat Pumps Policy: the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a $250 million funding opportunity to accelerate electric heat pump manufacturing in America. 

2. Australia - Automobile Regulations: Australia will introduce its first fuel-efficiency standards by the end of 2023, as part of the government’s plans to encourage the use of electric vehicles and cut carbon emissions, Bloomberg reported.

3. United Arab Emirates - Startup Competition: The UAE is hosting high potential technology start-ups with a focus on sustainability and decarbonization to participate in a start-up competition launched ahead of COP28. The "Make it in the Emirates Startup Competition" is open to 24 startups worldwide. Applications close May 5, 2023.

D. Send Us Your News Tips

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

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