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Sustainable Technology News 26 June 24: Accenture, Climate X, Gartner, HPE, More

June 26, 2024 by Joe Panettieri

Here is today’s sustainable IT services news, research and analysis -- written for technology partners, green IT service providers, CIOs, chief sustainability officers (CSOs) and climate accounting professionals.

A. Sustainable Technology, Talent, Partnerships and Green IT Alliances

1. Sustainability Standards: The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) plans to publish guidance to harmonize how companies across the world publish details on their "transition plans" to meet net-zero targets, Reuters reported. Meanwhile, GRI is planning a new sustainability reporting taxonomy that may also assist sustainability reporting across multiple standards and mandates worldwide.

2. AI in the Cloud: A new report, "Moving onto The AWS Cloud Reduces Carbon Emissions," estimates AWS’s infrastructure can reduce AI's carbon footprint by up to 99%. Accenture and AWS co-produced the report. Still, critics are worried that AI workloads could severely stress the electric grid.

3. Data Center - Hydrogen Power: ECL has delivered the “world’s first” data center using hydrogen as its primary source of power and has announced backing of $10 million from Hyperwise Ventures, H2 View reported.

4. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) - Net Zero Update: HPE's shift to renewable energy is ahead of schedule, but the company's overall emissions rose 8% in 2023 compared to 2022, primarily due to "business growth and changes in the product mix." Much of the carbon reduction challenge involves Scope 3 emissions -- which requires a "longer-term investments and innovations in order to accelerate the decarbonization of the electricity on which HPE, its suppliers, and its customers rely." The data points and perspectives surfaced in HPE's 2023 Living Progress Report.

5. Smart Buildings: Schneider Electric has launched a Smart Buildings Division in Canada.

6. Partnership - Smart Buildings and ESG Data: Measurabl and Susteco Solutions GmbH have partnered to help real estate firms gather, view and manage their ESG and smart building data. The relationship initially emphasizes Germany.

7. Partnership - Consulting and Software: CrossCountry Consulting will pair its own consulting services with Workiva's software to "meet the challenging regulatory and reporting demands its clients face," the companies said. The relationship surfaces amid the Workiva Carbon software platform launch.

8. Partnership - Net Zero Consulting: Lexington Corporate Finance and Green Ibex have partnered to provide customers with "ESG advisory services to help with their carbon reduction goals." Green Ibex is a sustainability and ESG consultancy that works with companies across the United Kingdom and European Union. Lexington Corporate Finance offer strategic advice on everything from growth plans and fund-raising, to acquisitions, company disposals, management buyouts and spin outs.

9. Partnership - Sustainable Advertising: Viant Technology and Cedara announced an integration that provides "comprehensive carbon measurement capabilities for advertisers as well as for Viant’s own corporate emissions," the companies said.

10. Leadership - Higher Education: The University of Michigan has hired Shalanda H. Baker as vice provost for sustainability and climate action. In the newly created role, Baker will "lead interdisciplinary engagement on environmental topics, explore opportunities to integrate sustainability within core curricula and support critical research that addresses the climate crisis," the university said.

11. Research - Low-Carbon Tech Tipping Points?: Gartner and Exeter have identified “Tipping Point” opportunities to help executive leaders embrace low-carbon technologies, the two companies said.

12. Electric Vehicles - Rivian and VW Partnership: Rivian stock soared in postmarket trading on June 25, 2024, after the electric vehicle maker disclosed that it intends to form a joint venture with Volkswagen to create next-gen electrical architecture and best-in-class software technology, SeekingAlpha reported. As part of the partnership, Volkswagen will invest $5 billion into Rivian, SeekingAlpha reported.

13. Self-Driving Cars - General Motors: GM has hired Create at Unity and Microsoft Xbox veteran Marc Whitten as CEO of Cruise -- the struggling self-driving business unit, GeekWire reported. Whitten succeeds Kyle Vogt, who exited in 2023 after a Cruise-related accident that injured a pedestrian.

B. Sustainability M&A, Investments, Funding and Green IT Business Launches

1. Funding - Climate Risk Software: Climate risk intelligence company Climate X has raised $18 million. GV (Google Ventures) led the Series A investment round, supported by Pale blue dot, CommerzVentures, A/O, Blue Wire Capital, PT1, Unconventional Ventures and Western Technology Investment (WTI). Climate X develops a data analytics platform for financial institutions and asset managers.

2. Merger - Open Source and Finance: The Fintech Open Source Foundation (FINOS) has merged with OS-Climate, an open source community dedicated to "building data technologies, modeling, and analytic tools that will drive global capital flows into climate change mitigation and resilience," the two organizations said. As part of the merger, OS-Climate projects (Climate Data Commons, Portfolio Alignment, Risk & Resilience Tools, Transition Scenario Planning) will continue as FINOS projects. Current OS-Climate members will join the nearly 100-strong FINOS corporate member community. Goldman Sachs and IBM's Red Hat business unit, member firms of both FINOS and OS-Climate, support the merger. Financial terms were not disclosed.

3. M&A - Solar Technology: SunDensity has acquired QD Solar, Inc., a solar materials company spun out of research from the University of Toronto. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

4. M&A - Recycling: Heraeus has acquired McCol Metals, a Canadian recycling company that recovers iridium from spent mixed metal oxide electrodes. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

5. Complete M&A List: Here's our database of all M&A deals involving green IT and renewable energy buyers, sellers and investors.

C. Regional and Global Sustainability Policies and News

1. European Union - Net Zero Costs: A group of 112 cities aiming to eliminate their net greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 will need a combined 650 billion euros ($695.83 billion) in investments to deliver the pledge, a European Union initiative said, Reuters reported.

2. Canada - Carbon Capture and Storage Projects: Shell plans to build two carbon capture and storage projects in Canada, in a bid to reduce emissions from its own operations and achieve its climate goals, Reuters reported.

3. Nigeria - Plastic Policy: Nigeria banned single-use plastics in government offices as a prelude to a nation-wide ban set to begin in January 2025, Reuters reported. The move that could stir a storm in a country hugely dependent on plastics, the report said.

4. Thailand - Data Centers: Thailand is rolling out a pilot project that will allow data centers to directly purchase renewable power, Bloomberg reported. The move could make it easier for international tech giants to hit ambitious green goals in the developing nation, the report said.

D. Sustainability and Green Technology Conference Calendar

  1. CleanTech Venture Day 2024 (July 2, London, United Kingdom)
  2. Siemens Beyond 1% Summit 2024 (July 3-4, Sydney, Australia)
  3. Stanford Sustainability Summit 2024 (July 8-9, Stanford University)
  4. Sun Valley Forum 2024 (July 15-18, Ketchum Idaho)
  5. CSR and Sustainability Summit MOZ 2024 (July 17-18, Mozambique)
  6. Complete Calendar of Sustainability Conferences

E. Previous Updates & Future News

  1. Did You Miss Yesterday's Daily Update?: Here is our previous sustainability, green IT and renewable energy news for technology partners.
  2. Future Updates: If you have news to share then please email me the details.
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