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Sustainability News for Technology Partners, Business Management Consultants & CXOs: 20 March 2023

March 20, 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 and chief sustainability officers (CSOs).

Send Us Your News Tips: Got news or chatter to share? Please email me.

Our updates for Monday, March 20, 2023 include…

A. Sustainability and Net-Zero News and Research

1. Cisco Sustainability Strategy: Cisco Systems Chief Sustainability Officer Mary de Wysocki describes her key priorities at the networking company in this interview.

2. APIs and Environmental Data: UL Solutions and CDP Worldwide are partnering to develop a new disclosure application programming interface (API). This API will help companies, cities, states and regions in disclosing their environmental data, the two firms said.

3. AWS - Power Strategy: Amazon Web Services (AWS) is transitioning from diesel to hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO) to power its backup generators at its data centers in Europe, the cloud services giant said. Amazon's overall sustainability strategy is outlined here.

4. Consulting - Taiwan: PwC Taiwan has created a task force to "provide total solutions — including digital carbon tools, renewable energy procurement strategies, sustainable real-estate properties, improvements in the energy efficiency of buildings, energy-saving diagnoses, green technology innovation and green finance — to help companies achieve the net zero goal," the company said in a blog.

5. Circular Economy - Taiwan: United Microelectronics Corporation has broken ground on its Circular Economy & Recycling Innovation Center, a US$58.8 million facility waste recycling R&D center in Taiwan. After the center begins operating in 2025, it is expected to reduce 15,000 metric tons of semiconductor manufacturing waste annually, United Microelectronics said.

6. Corporate Goals: Luxury brand producer Kering plans to reduce its absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2035 (compared to a 2021 baseline). Kering's 2020-2023 Sustainability Progress Report is expected to surface on March 22, the company said. The sustainability effort is overseen by Marie-Claire Daveu, chief sustainability and institutional affairs officer.

7. Talent - Financing: Nadine Anderson and Rachel Reardon have joined Galvanize Climate Solutions as VPs of acquisitions for Galvanize’s real estate investment strategy. Galvanize is a global investment firm focused on climate solutions.

8. Talent - Architecture:  EUA -- an architecture, engineering and design -- has hired Dave Hubka as a sustainability practice leader. 

B. Sustainability and Net-Zero Government Policies

1. European Union: The European Commission presented the centerpieces of a strategy to ensure its industry can compete with the United States and China in making clean tech products and accessing raw materials required for the green transition, Reuters reported. The EU executive's Net-Zero Industry Act and Critical Raw Materials Act, part of its Green Deal Industrial Plan, are designed to ensure the bloc is not just a frontrunner in cutting carbon emissions, but also ahead on the technology required to do so, the report said.

2. Policy - Boston, Massachusetts: Mayor Michelle Wu is asking the City Council to adopt a green building code and is rolling out a new retrofitting program for affordable housing developments, Boston.com reported.

3. Policy - Canada: International Petroleum Corp (IPC), the first foreign oil company to sanction a project in Canada's oil sands in more than a decade, could add carbon capture and storage (CCS) to the plant if more government financial incentives become available, Reuters reported.

C. Sustainability Funding, Financing, Mergers & Acquisitions

1. Climate Investor: Elemental Excelerator, a nonprofit climate tech investor, plans to infuse up to $43 million into climate tech startups focused on social impact. In a statement about the move, Elemental Excelerator said: "On the heels of a chilly VC winter and the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, Elemental is leaning into its position as one of the longest-standing climate technology investors to respond to market conditions and fill funding gaps to accelerate climate solutions with deep community impact."

2. Funding Challenges?: Amid the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, the big question now is whether investor demand to address climate change will continue to help environmental startups secure attractive terms, or if less start-up friendly lenders prove tougher partners as the broader banking system shudders, Reuters reported.

3. Funding - e-Waste and Recycling: Six major companies -- Microsoft, Nestlé, PepsiCo, SK Group, Starbucks and Unilever -- have agreed to back Circular Services, which positions itself as the largest privately held recycling company in the United States. Closed Loop Partners and Brookfield Renewable established Circular Services in 2022. Financial commitments for the recycling firm are approaching $1 billion, the startup said. In late 2022, Closed Loop Partners and Brookfield Renewable ("Brookfield") announced the establishment of Circular Services, a leading developer of circular economy and recycling infrastructure in the United States.

4. Funding - Carbon Removal: Climate tech startup Andes, which uses microorganisms to remove CO2 from the air, has raised an additional $15 million bringing its Series A to $30 million. 

5. Financing: The private investment arm of the Inter-American Development Bank's parent group and Colombia's Banco de Bogota issued a sustainability bond worth $230 million funding social and climate projects, Reuters reported.

D. Sustainability Partnerships, Alliances and Associations

1. Partnership - Cloud Services:  Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Altruistiq, an AWS Partner and climate tech company, are making carbon footprints more transparent for consumers and helping businesses measure, manage, and reduce carbon emissions, About Amazon reported.

2. Partnership - eWaste Recycling: uBreakiFix and Samsung explain their sustainability partnership here.

3. Partnership - Smart Buildings: Global IT consulting firm Accenture and Lendlease of Sydney, Australia, are expanding a partnership to deploy Lendlease's Podium Property Insights (PPI) platform. The relationship allows real estate managers to gather data related to sustainability, cost and employee engagement goals, the two companies said. Lendlease is an international real estate group. Podium is a property lifecycle platform for "creating autonomous buildings of the future."

E. Sustainability Conference Calendar

Here are five upcoming sustainability conferences and ESG events for business and technology partners:

  1. Sustainability Week 2023 (March 29-31, London, England)
  2. Responsible Business USA 2023 Sustainability Conference (April 4-5)
  3. Green Media Summit 2023 (April 13, New York)
  4. Sustainable Skies World Summit 2023 (April 17-18)
  5. EnerCom Dallas 2023 (April 18-19, Dallas, Texas)

F. Send Us Your News Tips

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

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