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Sustainability News for Technology Partners: 31 May 2023

May 31, 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.

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A. Sustainable Technology, Talent, Partnerships and Alliances

1. New Corporate Sustainability Reports: Our database tracking corporate sustainability reports and associated net-zero goals now spans 157 companies and organizations. Today's additions include energy technology company Baker Hughes, data center developer CyrusOne, industrial firm Hillenbrand, food distributor US Foods, and digital infrastructure provider Vertiv.

2. Microsoft Sustainability Hackathon: Four Wipro employees won the Microsoft Pledge to Progress: Sustainability Hackathon. The hackathon provides a platform for organizations and individuals to "develop progressive solutions that can help reduce carbon emissions, save water, manage waste, create green software." The solutions are built on the Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability platform.

3. HP Sustainability Strategy: PC and printer maker HP Inc. has adopted the Corporate Knights Sustainable Economy Taxonomy, CEO Enrique Lores explained during an earnings call.

4. Partnership - IT Consulting and Software: KPMG and Watershed have partnered to help customers "pursue real carbon reductions, where Watershed offers the platform for carbon data, and KPMG leads the advisory services with clients to draw meaningful insights for informed decisions to map pathways to change," the two companies said.

5. Smart Buildings: Capgemini's facilities in India are operating on 100% renewable energy (RE), achieving a new sustainability milestone, the company said.

B. Sustainability M&A, Investments and Funding

1. Microsoft-Accenture Startup Accelerator: Microsoft and Accenture have announced the third cohort of the Project Amplify program. The latest round will support 13 Indian startups with solutions focusing on clean tech, circularity, regenerative agriculture, education and skilling, the companies said.

2. Funding - Carbon Removal Software Startup: CUR8 has raised £5.3 million in pre-seed funding led by GV (Google Ventures). Additional investors include CapitalT, Climate VC, SystemaNova, Force Over Mass and ANIM. CUR8, based in London, will use the money to "grow our team, scale up capacity and further develop our software platform."

3. Funding: Keep an eye on HackCapital, which is striving to "mobilize billions in capital" towards private companies and funds that focus on carbon, energy, transport, materials, food and agriculture.

4. Funding - Sustainable Aviation: Australian airline Qantas has announced the creation of a climate fund which will directly invest in sustainable projects and technology for the aviation industry, Airport Technology reported. The A$400m ($261.77m) fund is the largest of its kind in the world, though it also includes the A$290m partnership already established between Qantas and Airbus to work on the domestic sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) industry in Australia, the report noted.

5. Investment: SEB Greentech Venture Capital has acquired a part-owner stake Esforin, a German company that developed an algorithm-based trading system in the energy market. The technology "contributes to reducing carbon dioxide emissions by bringing more renewable energy to the grid," FinExtra reported.

6. Government Funding - Carbon Capture: Howard Energy Partners (HEP) has been selected for a $3 million funding opportunity through the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Carbon Capture Technology Program, HEP said. The federal funding will be used to evaluate the technical and economic feasibility of transporting up to 250 million tons per year of CO2 from multiple sources in the Gulf Coast region along a pipeline pathway between Corpus Christi, Texas and the Mississippi River, the company said.

C. Regional and Global Sustainability Policies and News

1. Denmark: The Danish state will take a 20% stake in four planned offshore wind farms with a total capacity of at least 6 gigawatts (GW), the country's ministry of climate, energy and utilities said, Reuters reported.

2. Japan - Wind Power: Japan’s wind power body has set a mid-century goal to increase capacity to 140 gigawatts from less than 5 GW now, to meet a third of the country’s electricity demand and help it to hit its 2050 carbon neutrality target, the Financial Tribute reported.

3. Germany - Solar Energy Deployments: The number of solar panel systems in Germany hit three million in May 2023, with total solar PV installed capacity reaching more than 70 gigawatts (GW), according to  industry association BSW Solar, Clean Energy Wire reported.

4. China - Decarbonization Costs: China, the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter, can beat its existing climate targets and hit net zero by 2050 if the nation lifts investment in decarbonization to about $38 trillion, Bloomberg reported.

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