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Stories About Technology

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IKEA Solar Lighting Campaign Seeks to Brighten Lives of Refugees in UN Camps
IKEA Solar Lighting Campaign Seeks to Brighten Lives of Refugees in UN Camps

COLLABORATION - The IKEA Foundation has launched a two-month campaign to raise funds to provide solar-powered lighting and other renewable energy technologies to UN refugee camps run through the sale of light bulbs in its stores around the world.For every LEDARE model LED bulb sold at IKEA from February 3 until March 29, the IKEA Foundation will donate €1 to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Yerdle Becomes First Nationwide Sharing Retailer with New, Low-Cost Shipping Option
Yerdle Becomes First Nationwide Sharing Retailer with New, Low-Cost Shipping Option

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Yerdle, the online marketplace where shoppers in the greater San Francisco and New York City areas can give and get things for free, today becomes available across the country by providing low-cost, flat rate shipping for $2-4 nationwide. Yerdle has also updated its iPhone app to offer enhanced discovery browsing, a re-designed home screen, a new social “activity feed,” and a simplified shopping cart.

Japanese Firm Builds First Large-Scale Power Storage System From EV Batteries
Japanese Firm Builds First Large-Scale Power Storage System From EV Batteries

WASTE NOT - Japanese multinational corporation Sumitomo has developed and installed the world's first large-scale power storage system that utilizes used electric-vehicle (EV) batteries. Built on Yume-shima Island, Osaka, the commercial scale storage system will begin operating later this month.Over the next three years, the system will measure the smoothing effect of energy output fluctuation from the nearby Hikari-no-mori solar farm, and will aim to establish a large-scale power storage technology by safely and effectively utilizing the huge quantities of discarded used EV batteries which will become available in the future.

With New Worker-Engagement Technologies, 18 Million Is Just the Beginning
With New Worker-Engagement Technologies, 18 Million Is Just the Beginning

SUPPLY CHAIN - It has the potential to benefit 173 million workers in global supply chains and provide livelihood benefits or savings of US $30 billion annually, according to Vodafone and Accenture.What is the ‘it’? It’s a series of six disruptive opportunities for mobile to enhance the lives of workers in global supply chains. Details are laid out in their report, Connected Worker: How mobile technology can improve working life in emerging economies, with corresponding reach, benefits and business case for each of the six:

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Thai Pulp Company Creating High-Quality Paper from Palm Oil Waste
Thai Pulp Company Creating High-Quality Paper from Palm Oil Waste

WASTE NOT - Pulp Green Tech Holding (PGT), an R&D-focused company that owns Thai Gorilla Pulp Ltd., announced this week that it has successfully achieved a high-grade paper pulp made from empty palm fruit bunches, which are most often treated as waste material from the palm oil extraction process.The company estimates that roughly 95 percent, or 300 million tons, of this raw material is currently discarded per year.PGT says the process is highly cost-efficient and will enable investors, palm oil producers and paper pulp mills to achieve ROI of over 100% in the first year of operation, assuming the pulp is sold at a price of comparable non-wood materials.

New York Offers $21M to Help Dairy Farms Convert Waste to Energy
New York Offers $21M to Help Dairy Farms Convert Waste to Energy

CLEANTECH - New York recently made available $21 million to help the state’s dairy farmers convert farm waste to energy.Most of the funding — $20 million — is available through New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to install anaerobic digester technology that produces renewable biogas used to generate electricity and heat from organic wastes. Food processing manufacturers, farms or municipal wastewater sites would be eligible for up to $2 million per project.

Sprint Takes HFC Technology to Rooftops with Help from Department of Energy
Sprint Takes HFC Technology to Rooftops with Help from Department of Energy

CLEANTECH - Sprint announced today it will deploy hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) technology as backup power to its rooftop network sites thanks to a grant from the Department of Energy (DOE). The solution should allow for lower site maintenance and cleaner network energy sources and will increase network survivability during power outages.

Bear Republic Brewery Unveils Energy-Positive Wastewater Treatment System
Bear Republic Brewery Unveils Energy-Positive Wastewater Treatment System

CLEANTECH - Sonoma County-based Bear Republic Brewing Company and Cambrian Innovation, a water and bioenergy technology provider, have unveiled an EcoVolt water treatment system at Bear Republic’s brewery in Cloverdale. The EcoVolt system uses a proprietary bioelectric technology to treat wastewater and generate biogas.Bear Republic, known for its Racer 5 IPA and commitment to environmental stewardship, is the first brewery to purchase the energy-positive EcoVolt system, which will cut its water treatment costs, generate clean water and energy for use onsite, and significantly reduce the brewery’s CO2 footprint.

New Philips TLEDs Could Save Offices $55 Billion Worldwide
New Philips TLEDs Could Save Offices $55 Billion Worldwide

CLEANTECH - Royal Philips has introduced a new InstantFit LED T8 that reduces the cost for facility managers replacing fluorescent tube lighting with energy-efficient LED technology, known as LED tube lamps (TLEDs).Philips estimates that the installed base for fluorescent tube lighting today amounts to 12 billion (lamp) sockets globally. Linear fluorescent tube lighting with instant start ballast is one of the most common types of general lighting used in shops, offices and industrial spaces. If all current fluorescent lighting was replaced by TLED lamps, Philips says it could result in savings of over $55 billion in energy costs — the equivalent of energy generated by 210 medium-sized power plants.

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Energy-Generating Floor Tiles Make US Debut at NYC Prep School
Energy-Generating Floor Tiles Make US Debut at NYC Prep School

CLEANTECH - “Imagine if children running, playing and walking could help power the lights in their school corridors or the applications in their classrooms. This is the first step towards Pavegen’s vision of a more sustainable tomorrow.”So said Pavegen CEO and founder Laurence Kemball-Cooke in September, upon installing his innovative, energy-harnessing floor tiles at his alma mater, the Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys in Kent — where 24 tiles, covering 12 meters of a corridor, now harness and convert kinetic energy from students’ footsteps into a sustainable energy source.

Google to Acquire Nest Labs, Inc for $3.2B
Google to Acquire Nest Labs, Inc for $3.2B

CLEANTECH - Google has announced an agreement to buy smart home appliance company Nest Labs, Inc. for $3.2 billion.Nest’s mission is to reinvent oft-overlooked but important devices in the home such as thermostats and smoke alarms. Since its launch in 2011, Nest’s innovative, user-friendly Learning Thermostat has been a consistent best seller — and its recently launched Protect (smoke + CO detector) has received rave reviews.

Nestlé Partners with Stem Cell Tech Company to Study Link Between Nutrition and Disease
Nestlé Partners with Stem Cell Tech Company to Study Link Between Nutrition and Disease

COLLABORATION - The Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences (NIHS) has signed a long-term research agreement with Wisconsin-based Cellular Dynamics International (CDI), a leading developer of stem cell technologies for in vitro drug development, stem cell banking and in vivo cellular therapeutic research.The agreement gives Nestlé access to certain types of CDI’s cell products to support nutrition-research programs on maintaining health and helping to prevent conditions such as diabetes and obesity.

South America's Largest Solar-Thermal Plant Planned for Chile
South America's Largest Solar-Thermal Plant Planned for Chile

CLEANTECH - Abengoa, an international company that applies technology solutions for sustainability in the energy and environment sectors, has been selected by the Ministry of Energy of the Chilean Government and Corfo (Corporacion de Fomento de la Produccion) to develop a 110 MW solar plant using tower technology with 17.5 hours of thermal energy storage using molten salts.Located in the Atacama Desert, the region with the highest solar radiation concentrations in the world, the project will be the first solar-thermal plant for direct electricity production in South America.

Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions to Broaden Possibilities for Internet of Things and Services
Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions to Broaden Possibilities for Internet of Things and Services

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Bosch has expanded its offering beyond the design of home appliances to form a new company, Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions GmbH, for the Internet of things and services: The company will supply compact electronic products and software expertise designed to make devices and objects intelligent and web-enabled across a broad range of applications. It will initially focus on sensor-based applications for intelligently networked homes, or “smart homes,” as well as for activities in the fields of traffic, transportation and logistics.

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IBM's Plastic 'Ninja Polymers' Could Be MRSA Bacteria's First Worthy Opponents
IBM's Plastic 'Ninja Polymers' Could Be MRSA Bacteria's First Worthy Opponents

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - A team of research scientists at IBM and Singapore’s Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) have drawn upon years of expertise in semiconductor technology and material discovery to crack the code for safely destroying the antibiotic-resistant and sometimes-deadly superbug MRSA.IBM says the researchers have made a nanomedicine breakthrough by converting common plastic materials such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) into non-toxic and biocompatible materials designed to specifically target and attack fungal infections.

Ford C-Max Solar Energi Concept Provides Sunny Glimpse of Future for Clean Vehicles
Ford C-Max Solar Energi Concept Provides Sunny Glimpse of Future for Clean Vehicles

COLLABORATION - Ford Motor Company announced today the C-MAX Solar Energi Concept, a first-of-its-kind sun-powered vehicle with the potential to deliver the best features of a plug-in hybrid without relying on the electric grid for fuel. The concept car will be exhibited at the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas next week.Instead of powering its battery from an electrical outlet, the C-MAX Solar Energi Concept harnesses the power of the sun by using a special concentrator that acts as a magnifying glass, directing rays to solar panels on the vehicle roof.

Finalists for Unilever’s Young Entrepreneurs Awards Creating Groundbreaking Social Solutions
Finalists for Unilever’s Young Entrepreneurs Awards Creating Groundbreaking Social Solutions

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Unilever and the Cambridge Program for Sustainability Leadership (CPSL) have announced the seven finalists for the inaugural Unilever Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneurs Awards, an international awards program designed to inspire young people around the world to tackle environmental, social and health issues.The competition, open to anyone aged 30 years or under, looks for inspiring practical, tangible solutions to help make sustainable living commonplace.

Microsoft Releases Carbon Fee Playbook
Microsoft Releases Carbon Fee Playbook

MARKETING AND COMMS - Earlier this month, the CDP released a report highlighting 29 public U.S. companies across various industries that have incorporated an internal carbon price as a strategic planning tool, effectively holding themselves accountable for the carbon emissions produced as a result of daily operations.

SASB Standards for Tech & Communications Sector Now Open for Public Comment
SASB Standards for Tech & Communications Sector Now Open for Public Comment

MARKETING AND COMMS - Innovation in the Technology and Communications sector is playing a powerful role in improving the sustainability performance of companies, governments and individuals across the economy. Disruptive sector trends such as cloud computing, expansion of mobile device usage, machine learning and big data analytics present new risks and opportunities for companies in the sector. This year SASB conducted research and convened industry working groups to identify and refine a minimum set of material environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues and related accounting metrics for six industries.

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Sprint Offering Buyback Credit on All Phones to Encourage Trade-Ins on America Recycles Day
Sprint Offering Buyback Credit on All Phones to Encourage Trade-Ins on America Recycles Day

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - Despite being the No. 3 wireless carrier in the United States, Sprint leads the industry in phone recycling. Last year, Sprint reclaimed 4.4 million phones through voluntary collection programs — compared to AT&T’s 3.1 million and Verizon’s 3 million — and in September, Guinness World Records recognized Sprint for shattering the record for the number of cellular phones recycled in one week: 103,582 cellular phones, more than double the previous record.

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