SB'24 San Diego is open for registration. Register early and save!

ICT and Big Data

IBM, Take Part Web Series Spotlights Innovators Working Toward Smarter Cities

IBM, Take Part Web Series Spotlights Innovators Working Toward Smarter Cities

Last year, as part of its goal to create solutions that help cities all over the world get “smarter” in order to improve their quality of life, IBM created its people4smartercities campaign, through which it engaged citizens and city leaders to lend their ideas to the cause.

NASA: 11 Trillion Gallons Needed to Replenish California Drought Losses

It will take around 11 trillion gallons of water—about 1.5 times the maximum volume of the largest U.S. reservoir—to recover from California's continuing drought, according to a new analysis of NASA satellite data.The finding was part of an update on the state's drought made possible by space and airborne measurements and presented by NASA scientists today at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco. Such data are giving scientists an unprecedented ability to identify key features of droughts, which can be used to inform water management decisions.

CRedit360 Helps Chemical Company Overcome Sustainability Data Challenges

Sustainability software firm CRedit360 has helped global chemistry company Solvay to introduce a consistent, group-wide approach to sustainability reporting, following its acquisition of Rhodia.Equipped with the CRedit360 system, Solvay is set to streamline its data management, improve the quality of the group’s sustainability disclosures and promote greater collaboration between business units. With the time saved, the company says it will place a greater focus on analysis and strategy, as it seeks to make progress on its overarching Solvay Way sustainability policy and move towards integrated reporting.

Big Data + Smart Tech: An Elixir for a Sustainable Future?

The global population is projected to top nine billion by 2050, according to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.And it’s no secret that with our already-assaultive consumption of the planet’s natural resources, the food, water and energy required to feed that population — two billion more than today’s — will be unsustainable unless current patterns are changed.Fortunately, emerging technologies and disruptive business models are playing a key role in helping companies and consumers operate more efficiently.

Arrow Electronics, Close the Gap Create 'Digitruck' to Supply Power to Off-Grid African Communities

Arrow Electronics is helping nonprofit partner Close the Gap (CTG) launch a new program in Africa to convert used cargo containers into fully equipped classrooms and health clinics.Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a longtime advisor to CTG, endorsed the new program, along with 300 executives from the European Union, the government of Brussels and corporations in a Nov 19th ceremony marking CTG’s 10th anniversary.As part of the initiative, Arrow will sponsor the development and deployment of a Digitruck, a mobile solar-powered unit for use in villages off the electricity grid. The unit is scheduled to go into service in the second half of 2015, probably in Tanzania.

Amazon Announces 'Long-Term Commitment' to Switch to 100% Renewable Energy

After ongoing criticism from organizations such as Greenpeace for continuing to run on ‘dirty power,’ Amazon this week announced a “long-term commitment to achieve 100 percent renewable energy usage for our global infrastructure footprint.”The world’s largest cloud-computing company said that its Web Services segment — which provides IT infrastructure to Internet heavyweights including Netflix, Spotify and Pinterest — will aim to be powered by 100 percent renewables, but didn’t set a deadline for achieving that goal.

EcoLab, Trucost Launch Free Water Risk Assessment Tool

EcoLab and Trucost on Wednesday launched a free new tool to help companies assess water-related risks in financial terms and enable more informed decision-making.The Water Risk Monetizer is the first financial modeling tool that enables businesses to factor water into decisions that support business growth and help ensure the availability of this limited natural resource for future generations. The tool provides actionable information to help businesses understand the impact of water scarcity to their operations and quantify those risks in financial terms.

U.S. Companies Can Do More than Excel with CSR Data

U.S. companies are tracking sustainability data more than ever before, but according to a new report, the software tools they use are subpar. The ReScore Project Group, a team of graduates from Columbia University’s Master of Science in Sustainability Management program, recently completed a study of the U.S. market for CSR data solutions in collaboration with Tennaxia, a cloud-based CSR software platform developed in Europe, and consulting firms 2020 Strategies, LLC and The Triana Group, Inc.

Amazon Announces New Carbon-Neutral Data Center in Frankfurt, But Greenpeace Is Skeptical

On Thursday, Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) announced the launch of a new technology infrastructure region in Frankfurt — the 11th such region globally for AWS and the second region in the EU (the first being in Ireland). The company says Frankfurt is the third of its regions that will enable customers to run their cloud computing on carbon-neutral power.

Lead Up to #SB14London: How Greenpeace Is Helping Make Sustainable IT the New Normal

How can our online world help our offline world become cleaner? It's a question often at the forefront of Andrew Hatton's mind. Hatton heads up IT for Greenpeace UK, a role that sees him juggling management of the organization’s internal digital infrastructure with working alongside his colleagues on a number of green IT campaign issues related to sustainability, most notably around the Internet and cloud computing.

BCtA Providing Mobile Communication Services to African Farmers

Ghana-based technology provider Farmerline has announced plans to join the Business Call to Action (BCtA) and help empower 500,000 small-scale farmers in West Africa to advance their livelihoods by accessing information that helps them to improve their harvests. The company also plans to provide a specialized mobile communication and data-collection platform to 5,000 development organizations and agribusinesses by 2019.

Southeast Asian Countries to Invest $13.6 Billion In Smart Grid Infrastructure by 2024

Southeast Asian countries will invest $13.6 billion in smart grid infrastructure between 2014 and 2024, according to a new study by market intelligence firm Northeast Group.This investment will include smart metering and the modernization of electricity transmission and distribution networks with sensors, communications and software. By 2024, the largest markets will be Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Vietnam. Smart grids permit power generators and users to monitor usage, which helps utilities to adjust supply to demand and reduce costs by saving energy in transmission.

U.S. Water Partnership Launches Global Water Management Tool

The U.S. Water Partnership has launched H2infO — a new web platform that offers the global community simple online access to a growing library of U.S.-generated water data and knowledge.H2infO currently hosts over 3,000 resources from leading U.S.-based institutions, with exponentially more resources to be centrally accessible as this interactive tool expands. The launch event took place Monday at the U.S. State Department and was hosted by Catherine Novelli, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment.

Convetit Embeds Materiality Mapping Tool Into Virtual Stakeholder Engagement 'ThinkTanks'

Are you daunted by the GRI G4 requirement of engaging stakeholders to determine materiality for sustainability reporting? Convetit, a new online stakeholder engagement platform, is offering a solution: a Materiality Mapping Tool, which embeds an interactive matrix into virtual “ThinkTanks.” There, stakeholders can plot material issues on a dual-axis grid weighing significance to stakeholders against impact on business, and then export that data for integration into corporate sustainability reports and websites.

Sedex Launches Data Tool to Improve Responsible Supply Chain Reporting

Responsible supply chain specialist Sedex Global has announced the expansion of its services with the launch of Data Monitor, a new set of data analysis tools designed to meet the varied sustainability reporting needs of companies across the world.Sedex Data Monitor was developed in response to companies’ demand for improved reporting tools designed to increase their understanding of supply chain risks and to track their progress in addressing responsible sourcing issues.

SAP Creates Dashboards to Help Global Fund Prevent AIDS, Malaria, TB

SAP SE announced today that SAP technology is helping The Global Fund — an international financing organization fighting AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria — to better understand how its financial investments are being used for disease prevention and treatment.SAP previously committed US$4 million over a period of four years to the Global Fund, through its partnership with (RED). SAP is also a founding member of the Global Fund’s Innovation Coalition, which brings together private sector organizations to tackle significant issues related to the organization’s mission of fighting preventable and treatable disease, such as logistics and education.

Google Leaves ALEC, Chairman Says Group Is 'Literally Lying' About Climate Change

Google chairman Eric Schmidt admitted on Monday that his company had made a mistake in funding the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a political group that opposes U.S. action on climate change, and that Google would not renew its membership with the group.In an interview on NPR’s “Diane Rehm show,” Schmidt said the free-market lobbying group is spreading lies about global warming and “making the world a much worse place,” and that ALEC’s anti-climate and anti-clean energy positions are harmful to future generations.

The Latest HP Earth Insights from a Visit to La Selva, Costa Rica

It’s six o’clock in the morning in San Jose, Costa Rica, and I am heading off for a day at La Selva, one of the country’s rainforests. In the lobby I meet with Dr. Jorge Ahumada from Conservation International (CI) and his team, who kindly host me and my HP colleagues on this trip.

PepsiCo Reveals New Tool to Manage Water Risks in Latin America

Last week at the Stockholm International Water Institute’s annual World Water Week, PepsiCo unveiled a new data management and modeling tool that estimates the availability of freshwater use in water-scarce regions throughout Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).Developed in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Hydro-BID is an open-source modeling tool that can forecast water availability and supply in the LAC region under any climate, population and land use scenario. To date, the tool has projected water supplies in Brazil, Peru, Haiti and Argentina, and is expected to impact more than three million people across the LAC region by 2017.

New Tool Offers Global Access to More Than 10,000 U.S. Water Resources

The U.S. Water Partnership has announced the launch of a new platform that offers the global community simple online access to a growing library of U.S.-generated water data and knowledge.H2infO was created to increase global access to important U.S.-generated water information resources, filling a gap in knowledge management identified by the international water community. By the end of 2014, more than 10,000 water resources from leading U.S.-based institutions will be centrally accessible through this expanding tool.The platform was developed by the U.S. Water Partnership, a public-private alliance formed to unite and mobilize U.S. expertise, resources and ingenuity to address water challenges where needs are the greatest.