Stories About Technology

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

SAP Partners With Colombian Coffee Growers Federation to Support Rural Workers
SAP Partners With Colombian Coffee Growers Federation to Support Rural Workers

SUPPLY CHAIN - SAP has joined forces with the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) and the Manuel Mejía Foundation to provide coffee farmers with the technology and training they need to develop more sustainable business practices.Technology continues to be scarce among rural communities in Colombia, SAP says. To help change this reality, the company supplied technical training to more than 500 coffee growers, teaching them how to effectively use mobile tablets and computers to access the “coffee portal,” which provides useful information on coffee market news, geographical farm data, coffee purchasing conditions, incentives and support programs.

LG Electronics Earns Marriott's 2013 Supplier Sustainability Award
LG Electronics Earns Marriott's 2013 Supplier Sustainability Award

SUPPLY CHAIN - Marriott International has awarded LG Electronics its 2013 Supplier Sustainability Award. The annual award recognizes the Marriott supplier that has made a significant impact on its guests and properties through innovative ideas toward helping Marriott meet its sustainability goals.Through improving television product development, manufacturing and usage, Marriott says LG supports the hotel chain’s sustainability objectives in 20 countries across a number of areas — including energy efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and waste, and using more sustainable materials to reduce the impact on the environment.

Business Model Innovation
Business Model Innovation

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Choosing the right path to sustainable customer delight is no trivial task. After all, you have to arrive at a business model that delivers on customer expectations and is radical enough to make a dent in pressing sustainability challenges of the day. This channel discusses note-worthy principles, methodologies, processes and tools used in business model innovation around the globe.

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Sustainable Brands® to Spotlight Product/Brand Innovation Driving Economic, Social and Environmental Benefit at London Conference
Sustainable Brands® to Spotlight Product/Brand Innovation Driving Economic, Social and Environmental Benefit at London Conference

PRESS RELEASE - SAN FRANCISCO, October 16, 2013 – Sustainable Brands® recently announced program details for its pan-European conference to be held at the Lancaster London, November 18-19th. The conference will bring together over 500 senior-level brand marketing strategists, product designers, business model innovators and sustainability executives to collaborate and explore how environmental and social innovation is becoming an engine for business growth and brand value.

Microsoft Achieves Carbon Neutrality, Increases Green Energy Use By 70%
Microsoft Achieves Carbon Neutrality, Increases Green Energy Use By 70%

MARKETING AND COMMS - Microsoft says it achieved carbon neutrality after introducing an internal carbon fee for renewable energy and carbon offsets, which led the company to increase the purchase of green energy in the U.S. by 70 percent, from 1.1 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) in 2011 to 1.9 billion kWh in 2012.

Canepa Becomes First Textile Manufacturer to Sign Greenpeace's Detox Agreement
Canepa Becomes First Textile Manufacturer to Sign Greenpeace's Detox Agreement

SUPPLY CHAIN - Italian textile manufacturer Canepa recently announced it has accepted the challenge set by Greenpeace during fashion week last February to create clean and sustainable fashion. The company voluntarily signed up to abide by the guidelines set forth in the Detox Solution Commitment, which aims to abolish the toxic chemicals currently used in the fashion industry by 2020. The challenge has already been accepted by a host of major retail, sportswear and luxury brands — including H&M, Mango, Patagonia and adidas — but this is the first public commitment made by a textile manufacturer.

SAC and Schneider Electric Developing Higg Index 2.0 for Apparel and Footwear Industries
SAC and Schneider Electric Developing Higg Index 2.0 for Apparel and Footwear Industries

SUPPLY CHAIN - Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management, has announced that it has teamed with the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) to develop and implement a dynamic web-based solution for the SAC’s sustainability assessment tool, the Higg Index 2.0. Utilizing Schneider Electric’s sustainability and energy management software platform, StruxureWare™ Resource Advisor, the platform will be a groundbreaking tool for the apparel and footwear industries.

The Evolution of Social Impact Metrics: Where Math and Computer Science Meet the Humanities
The Evolution of Social Impact Metrics: Where Math and Computer Science Meet the Humanities

NEW METRICS - The usefulness of advanced data analytics — Big Data, small data and everything in between — is converging with the needs of corporate sustainability, and this is creating new opportunities for companies pursuing ambitious sustainability goals.

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California Start-Up Creates Self-Filtering Water Bottle
California Start-Up Creates Self-Filtering Water Bottle

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - A Southern California-based start-up called Evo Eau says it has created a reusable water bottle that filters up to 99 percent of contaminants from municipally supplied tap water.The bottle is engineered for everyday use and does more than many of its mainstream competitors in terms of filtering out contaminants and harmful carcinogens such as Chromium 6 in tap water, Evo Eau claims.The start-up says that many filtering water bottles only conform to NSF42 standards, which only asks for filters to remove 50 percent of chlorine from water. Many do not even conform to these standards and bottled water companies are held to even fewer.

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