Sustainablog

This blog will cover some news items related to Sustainability: Corporate Social Responsibility, Stewardship, Environmental management, etc.

28.3.07

New Effort to Tap Technology to Aid the Service Economy: The aim of service science is to try to improve productivity and accelerate the development of new offerings in services


New Effort to Tap Technology to Aid the Service Economy
By STEVE LOHR

A group of large technology companies, universities and professional associations are creating a new organization to support and promote research into ways that technology can increase productivity and innovation in the economy's service sector.

The creation of the organization, the Service Research and Innovation Initiative, will be officially announced today. It represents the latest step by technology companies and some universities to promote an emerging field that is being called "service science."

The early academic programs are a blend of computing, social sciences, engineering and management. The aim of service science is to try to improve productivity and accelerate the development of new offerings in services, which account for about 80 percent of the United States economy and similarly large shares of other Western economies.

In the last couple of years, more than three dozen universities in several countries have added service science courses, and the National Science Foundation has begun financing a few service research projects.

Among corporations, I.B.M. has been a leader in promoting service science programs in universities, and it has reoriented its own research laboratories to focus more on services.

"We need a professional organization to help promote service science," said James C. Spohrer, director of service research at the I.B.M. Almaden Research Center in San Jose, Calif. "It is one of the seed crystals around which the new discipline will form."

I.B.M. and Oracle are founding corporate members of the Service Research and Innovation Initiative. Other company members of the organization's advisory board include Accenture, Cisco, Computer Sciences, EMC, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and Xerox.

Researchers from several universities are also members, including some from the University of California, Los Angeles; the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania; and Arizona State University. The European Commission and a German research organization, the Fraunhofer Institute, are also members of the advisory committee.

The new initiative is backed by two professional societies, the Technology Professional Services Association and the Service and Support Professionals Association. The executive director of the new organization, Thomas W. Pridham, is the senior vice president for advanced programs of the service and support professionals group.

J. B. Wood, the chief executive of both the longstanding professional groups, said the purpose of the new effort was to have a neutral, nonprofit professional organization around which to build a community of common interest. "The investment in research by companies and the government has driven so much innovation on the hardware side of information technology," Mr. Wood said. "We think there is a similar opportunity in services."

The new organization, according to Mr. Pridham, will provide a forum for collaboration to help set research priorities, pool corporate funds to support academic programs, and advise the government on preferred targets of basic research. It will hold a symposium on service research on May 30 in Santa Clara, Calif.

26.3.07

[Energy newsclip] Save forests to fight global warming: Stern


Save forests to fight global warming: Stern

AFP, 23 March 2007 - The world should invest 10 billion dollars annually to halve deforestation in the fight against global warming, Nicholas Stern, the author of a key climate change report, said Friday.

Forest clearance for farming or urban development released large amounts of the greenhouses gases blamed for climate change, he told reporters at a meeting in Indonesia's capital, Jakarta.

"The world has to work together to provide a strong fund to cut deforestation in Indonesia, Brazil and other countries," he said.

In a landmark report commissioned by the British government, Stern warned last year that climate change could bring economic disaster on the scale of the world wars and the 1930s' Great Depression unless urgent action was taken.

"The cost of action, strong and urgent action, will be very much less than the cost of inaction," he said in Jakarta.

"If we do nothing, if we go on with business as usual, we will eventually derail growth and development."

Rich nations had a powerful interest in helping to preserve forest cover because they would also be affected by global warming, he said.

"The money is not charity -- it's investing in a future of which they will be the big beneficiaries," said Stern, who is due to visit Indonesia's Sumatra island to see the problem of deforestation close up.

Experts say Indonesia has about two percent of the world's forest area but is losing large amounts of it annually, which releases carbon dioxide and makes the country one of the world's largest greenhouse gases polluters.

The 10 billion dollar global fund could be used to provide compensation to discourage forest clearance, Mike Harrison, an expert from Britain's Department for International Development, told AFP.

The money could also be given to national parks to conserve forests and some could be used to fund forest concessions, he said.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation said this month that forests were expanding in several regions of the world, but that each day saw a net loss equivalent to an area twice the size of Paris.

Global forest covers about 30 percent of the world's land area. From 1990 to 2005, the world lost three percent of its total forest area, according to the organisation.

Ten countries account for 80 percent of the world's primary forests, of which Indonesia, Mexico, Papua New Guinea and Brazil saw the highest losses in the five years from 2000 to 2005, it said.

The IPCC, the United Nations' paramount scientific authority on global warming, has predicted the Earth's surface temperatures will rise between 1.8 and 4.0 degrees Celsius (3.2 and 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100.

[CSR newsclip] White goods industry ditches voluntary accords


White goods industry ditches voluntary accords

ENDS Europe Daily, 22 March 2007- New energy efficiency standards for large household appliances should be set through binding legislation and not voluntary agreements, EU white goods industry association Ceced declared on Wednesday.

Announcing a reversal of long-standing policy, Ceced president Magnus Yngen told journalists the association would not renew any of the voluntary agreements it had concluded with the European commission on energy efficiency over the last decade.

"The next round of improvements needs to be driven by legislation that applies to all and is enforced on all," said Mr Yngen, a senior executive with Swedish appliance giant Electrolux.

The move could herald a wider industry move away from voluntary agreements, which have been discredited recently by a European commission acknowledgement that a major agreement by carmakers to cut greenhouse gas emission has failed.

Mr Yngen said the decision had been prompted by two factors. First, national authorities had failed to enforce European energy labelling laws. Second, non-Ceced importers had gained a growing share of the market. Both were encouraging 'free-riders' to flout the standards. Ceced is to carry out a survey of refrigerator energy labels to demonstrate the extent of non-compliance.

Mr Yngen said the agreements had succeed in raising standards but that tougher competition and plans for more ambitious targets under the EU's energy efficiency action plan had increased the need for a level regulatory playing field.

Ceced said policymakers should also consider introducing fresh consumer incentives to buy new, more efficient products. Indesit chief executive Marco Milano suggested tax credits for consumers or producers, price rebate schemes and product buyback programmes. He blamed a consumer culture of "use it till it dies" and high cost for the low take-up of new, more efficient appliances.

[CSR newsclip] UK to hold carbon capture and storage competition


UK to hold carbon capture and storage competition

Environmental Finance, 22 March 2007 - The UK government is to hold a competition to build the world's first, full-scale demonstration of carbon capture and storage (CSS), in a bid to foster a technology which could help curb climate change.

Full details of the competition – including the size and nature of the prize – will be announced in an energy white paper due in May, but the winner is expected to be chosen next year, with the intention that the CCS plant would be up and running in a decade.

Carbon capture and storage works by separating the carbon dioxide from coal or gas either before or after it is burnt as fuel. The gas is compressed and pumped underground, to be stored instead of released into the atmosphere.

Chancellor Gordon Brown made the announcement in Wednesday's Budget, alongside a number of other measures to address climate change.

Trade and Industry Secretary Alistair Darling said: "CCS has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions from fossil fuel power stations by up to 90% and contribute 20% of global CO2 mitigation by 2050.

"Rapid deployment of CCS technology in growth economies such as China and India will be vital. This competition gives innovative UK industries the opportunity to become the leading exporters of CCS technology for the low-carbon age."

Jeff Chapman, chief executive of the UK's Carbon Capture and Storage Association, said that the UK is particularly suited for CCS, because CO2 can be stored under the North Sea, in geological caverns emptied by oil and gas exploration.

He added: "We look forward to working with the government on the development of a suitable challenge fund to support this first project and eagerly await further support to encourage further commercial CCS projects."

David Porter, chief executive of the Association of Electricity Producers, said that a number of electricity generators are "seriously considering" CCS technology. "If the demonstration plant proves successful, this will help the electricity industry to maintain diversity of fuel supply and reduce carbon emissions," he said.

Other measures announced in the Budget include an £800 million ($1,576 million) fund to finance projects that reduce poverty and deliver environmental benefits in developing countries; an increase in fuel duty every year for the next three years; an increase in landfill tax of £8 a tonne per year, until at least 2010–11; and an increase in the climate change levy on business' energy use in line with inflation.

Brown also announced that new 'zero-carbon' homes costing £500,000 or less will be except from stamp duty, a tax that must be paid when buying a property in the UK.

In addition, the Chancellor increased the funding available for the over-subscribed Low Carbon Buildings Programme to £18 million. The programme provides financial assistance to homeowners wanting to install microgeneration technologies such as roof-top solar panels or mini-wind turbines.

Tony Juniper, director of Friends of the Earth, said that the measures did not go far enough: "Today's Budget contains some welcome steps toward a greener economy, but falls short of the measures required to tackle climate change. The Chancellor should have done more to make it easier and cheaper for people to go green."

[Energy newsclip] Abu Dhabi begins work on 500MW solar plant in bid to become clean power leader


Abu Dhabi begins work on 500MW solar plant in bid to become clean power leader

Greenwire, 19 March 2007 - Abu Dhabi began work last month on the construction of a 500-megawatt solar power plant that is part of a larger bid by the principality to become a center for the development and implementation of clean energy technology.

Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates and the fourth largest OPEC oil producer with about 10 percent of the known reserves, launched the Masdar Initiative last year to pursue Abu Dhabi's plan to use oil income to develop a more sustainable renewable energy sector and an economy based on green energy expertise.

Solar power is viewed as a chief long-term research interest, and the Abu Dhabi emirate government has already dedicated $350 million to the giant solar power project.

Also, the Masdar Initiative and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently agreed to start a joint venture to help the country's principalities develop their renewable energy sectors.

"They've seen the writing on the wall: where will all these places be, post-oil?" BASE Managing Director Virginia Sonntag-O'Brien asked. BASE is a center in Basel, Switzerland, that promotes investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy. "It's their message that they are an oil-producing nation taking the energy and climate issue seriously and developing their own economy, which is important," she said.

"This is the first oil-producing state that has accepted and agreed with the concept that oil may not be the only source of energy in the future," MIT Technology Development Program Director Fred Moavenzadeh said. "That is a significant realization."

"We realize that the world energy markets are diversifying, so we need to diversify too," Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company Chief Executive Sultan A. al-Jaber said. The company is the government arm that manages the Masdar Initiative. "We see the growth of renewable energy as an opportunity, not as a problem," he added (Hassan M. Fattah, New York Times , March 18).

[CSR newsclip] EU seeks to fight climate change with taxes


EU seeks to fight climate change with taxes

EurActiv.com, 20 March 2007 - The Commission will on 28 March present ideas for "green taxes" to save energy and cut greenhouse gas emissions. It says that such an 'ecological tax reform' could increase the bloc's competitiveness by shifting the burden away from labour taxes.

Background:

EU heads of state and government, meeting in Brussels on 8-9 March 2007, committed themselves to reducing European CO2 emissions by 20% by 2020 compared with 1990 levels – a bold promise, when one considers that Europe is already struggling to meet its current target, under the Kyoto Protocol, of cutting these emissions by 8% by 2012 (EurActiv 10/03/07). 

Currently, the EU's principal tool to reduce emissions is its carbon trading scheme (see LinksDossier on Emissions Trading Scheme), but the EU will have to find new ways to discourage pollution if it is to reach its ambitious goal. 

Taxation could provide an answer as it can be used to orient producers' and consumers' away from non-environmentally friendly goods. 

Already, Europe has set minimum fuel tax rates that are a good deal higher than in the United States, making fuel at the pump more expensive and inducing car manufacturers in the EU to produce vehicles that are on average 30% more fuel efficient than in the US. 

However, many member states, including the UK, Ireland and many of the Central and Eastern European countries, remain reluctant to give up their sovereignty in the field of taxation – and any move at EU level would require unanimity-backing from all 27 EU nations. 

Policymakers, experts and stakeholders came together on 19-20 March 2007 at the Brussels Tax Forum in order to discuss ideas on taxation for sustainable development. 

Issues:

Despite member states' resistance to imposing common taxes at EU level, the Commission and the German Presidency are looking to get all 27 nations on board by convincing them that such a move is essential to the fight against climate change. 

The global warming argument has worked in the past. In 2005, the idea of a common European energy policy was practically unheard of. But, by putting the main focus on the need for Europe to take the global lead on climate change – and with a little help from Russia in stressing the need for Europe to secure its energy supplies – the EU got itself a strategy for a brand new 'common energy policy' in under two years. 

The Commission now hopes it can convince member states to introduce ecological taxation – a move already made by Germany back in 1999. 

The Commission has already made a start, proposing that minimum duties on commercial diesel fuel be raised in order to stop trucks adding to pollution by taking detours to fill up their tanks in the cheapest countries (EurActiv 14/03/07). 

Carmakers are also calling for a harmonised EU tax system; based on cars' CO2 emissions, which they say could tempt consumers to buy greener vehicles, lowering car-fleet average emissions by 5% (EurActiv 13/03/07). 

Positions:

EU Tax Commissioner László Kovács said that taxes had the capacity to steer the bloc's 500 million consumers toward a more efficient use of resources, while at the same time recycling the revenues back into the economy. 

He added that there is a real scope for action in this field: "The tax that the public is most inclined to pay is environmental taxes, because they do understand that what is at stake is the future of mankind…Even governments are inclined to give preference to taxing pollution and consumption because to lower the tax on labour would certainly result in a higher level of competitiveness." 

German Finance Minister Peer Steinbruck said: "The Commission needs to look at tax issues over the whole of the EU," adding that work on harmonising energy taxes across the EU should be accelerated. "We think it's possible to create jobs and protect the environment," he said. 

"The political stage and citizens…are more and more confronted to the consequences of the changing climate and of environmental pollution. So, I think the understanding and the willingness to pay for it increased. And in the meantime, a lot of our industries made the experience that to offer highly technology-oriented projects and procedures is a factor of higher competitiveness," he said. 

"Market-based instruments are the most direct and simplest way to make the polluter pay," Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said, adding "There is a logic for action at EU level." 

Jacqueline McGlade, executive director of the European Environment Agency (EEA)  said "Ecological Tax Reform can help us to realign a European economy that is still characterised by an insufficient use of labour resources and an excessive use of natural resources." 

Business has cautioned that higher taxes could damage the European economy's ability to compete on the global market. 

Latest & next steps:

  • 28 March 2007: Commissioners Dimas (Environment) and Kovács (Taxation) will present a Green Paper on environmental taxes.

[Energy newsclip] Portugal to invest 8.1 billion euros on renewable energy by 2012


Portugal to invest 8.1 billion euros on renewable energy by 2012

AFP, 22 March 2007 - Portugal will invest 8.1 billion euros (10.8 billion dollars) until 2012 to develop renewable energy projects that will create around 10,000 jobs, a senior government official said on Thursday.

The investment in windpower infrastructure alone will be of 1.7 billion euros, Antonio Castro Guerra told reporters on the sidelines of the opening of a biomass plant near the central town of Castelo Branco.

The plant can produce 80 gigawatts per hour or enough energy for 70,000 people.

In January Prime Minister Jose Socrates said Portugal would strive to have renewable energy account for 45 percent of its electricity output by 2010, up from 36 percent in 2005, the last year for which figures are available.

If the target is met the country will lead alternative energy use in the 27-nation European Union, alongside Austria and Sweden.

The government wants biofuels to account for 10 percent of all fuel used for transportation by 2010, a decade before EU member states must meet this target.

Portugal is heavily dependent on imported energy but has stepped up its efforts to develop renewable energy like wind, wave and solar power since Socrates' government came to power in March 2005.

[CSR newsclip] $4 Trillion Backs Latest Call for Action on Climate Change


$4 Trillion Backs Latest Call for Action on Climate Change

GreenBiz.com, 19 March 2007 - For the first time, dozens of institutional investors managing $4 trillion in assets today called on U.S. lawmakers to enact strong federal legislation to curb the pollution causing global climate change.

Joined by a dozen leading U.S. companies, the investor group outlined the business and economic rationale for climate action as they called for a national policy that reduces greenhouse gas emissions consistent with targets scientists say are needed to avoid the dangerous impacts of global warming.

The group, organized by
Ceres and the Investor Network on Climate Risk, issued a Climate Call to Action at a press conference today in Washington DC. The 65 signers include institutional investors and asset managers such as Merrill Lynch, Allianz and the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), as well as leading corporations such as BP America, PG&E, DuPont, Alcoa, Sun Microsystems and National Grid.

In endorsing the statement, investors and companies sent a strong message that climate policy uncertainty and the lack of federal regulations may be undermining their long-term competitiveness because it is preventing them from investing in clean energy and climate-friendly technologies and practices.

"Global warming presents enormous risks and opportunities for U.S. businesses and investors," said Fred R. Buenrostro, chief executive officer at CalPERS, the country's largest public pension fund, with $230 billion in assets. "To tap American ingenuity and drive business to a leadership position in the low-carbon future, we need regulations to enable the markets to deploy capital and spur innovation."

"Investors and companies are asking Washington to set a clear policy direction to address the risks of climate change," said Ceres president Mindy S. Lubber, whose organization also directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk. "The greatest climate risk facing investors and business is the uncertainty caused by the absence of U.S. policy."

Climate change presents far-reaching risks and opportunities for businesses and investors. Some companies in sectors such as electric power, oil and automotive will face high financial risks from carbon-reducing regulations if they are not prepared to act. Insurance companies and businesses with infrastructure in places vulnerable to extreme weather events also face financial exposure. On the flip side, climate change presents significant economic opportunities for businesses that invest in new technologies and products to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Citing these trends -- as well as recent scientific reports concluding that climate change is taking place and that human activities are the primary contributor -- investors and companies called for the following three actions:

1.        Leadership by the U.S. government to achieve sizable, sensible long-term reductions of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in accordance with the 60-90 percent reductions below 1990 levels by 2050 that scientists and climate models suggest is urgently needed to avoid worst case scenarios. Wherever possible, the national policy should include mandatory market-based solutions, such as a cap-and-trade system, that establish an economy-wide carbon price, allow for flexibility and encourage innovation.
2.        A realignment of national energy and transportation policies to stimulate research, development and deployment of new and existing clean technologies at the scale necessary to achieve GHG reduction goals.
3.        The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to clarify what companies should disclose to investors on climate change in their regular financial reporting.
"As institutional investors focused on the long-term financial performance of a company, we expect a thorough analysis of all significant business liabilities," said Connecticut State Treasurer Denise L. Nappier. "Leading companies have already made progress working to not only assess and report the risks posed by climate change, but to also set in place strategic plans to foster future growth and success."

"Allianz SE believes it is essential to put a price tag on carbon, thereby enabling market mechanisms to drive emissions reductions and climate protection," said Joachim Faber, member of the Board of Management at Allianz SE, which manages $1.6 trillion of assets. "Despite challenges in the application of the European carbon emissions trading system, we firmly believe that appropriately structured carbon cap and trade programs play a central role in addressing the challenge of global climate change."

"California is the country's leader when it comes to fighting climate change," said California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer. "But states and local governments, no matter how aggressive, can only do so much. To effectively combat global warming, we need action on a national scale. We need federal leadership now to preserve our future, safeguard our economic competitiveness, protect investors and help businesses minimize their risks and maximize their opportunities. The longer the federal government waits, the greater the cost our nation and its people will pay."

A new push for energy efficiency in the computer industry is sparking a bare-knuckles brawl, with companies competing to add performance and save power.


Thanks to Sharon for this one



statesman.com
Monday, March 26, 2007

Tech firms fight to be greenest
A new push for energy efficiency in the computer industry is sparking a bare-knuckles brawl, with companies competing to add performance and save power.
By Kirk Ladendorf

For much of the past year, the computer industry has been making nice about energy efficiency.

Ferocious competitors including chip makers Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and Intel Corp., as well as computer makers Dell Inc. and Hewlett Packard Co., have joined a collaborative industry group — the Green Grid — to build awareness of the issue and forge agreements about energy-saving practices and standards.



Amber Novak FOR AMERICAN-STATESMAN
IBM Austin Research Laboratory Director Lorraine Herger says energy-saving innovations that her unit has been working on for years are moving into the company's hardware and software products.

But soon the knives will be coming out, industry insiders say.

One company that charts computer performance, Standard Performance Evaluation Corp. — SPEC — of Warrenton, Va., is finishing work on a comprehensive measure of how energy-efficient various kinds of servers are.

And the federal Environmental Protection Agency is getting ready to deliver its criteria for granting its Energy Star certification for the most power-efficient computers.

That means soon there will be hard data not only on whose computer delivers the most performance, but on which one saves the most energy while doing it.

"It has become a huge issue," said analyst Nathan Brookwood of Insight 64, a technology consulting firm in Saratoga, Calif. "Five years ago, it was really hypothetical. When people talked about power and heat, it was really more idle chatter. Now it has really become top-of-mind for many customers."

The EPA expects to complete its Energy Star rating system for evaluating servers before the end of this year.

That program probably will become a standard basis of comparing computers in this country as well as in Europe and Asia, predicts Andrew Fanara, who heads the Energy Star program.

Bringing the Energy Star rating system to servers and data centers makes sense, Fanara said, because those are some of the critical places where the world's rising information economy is driving energy consumption.

"This is going to be a critical year to get this stuff out, because the (computer) industry is moving really rapidly," Fanara said. "We just need to figure out the best way for (companies) to compete on a fair and level playing field and let the market do its magic."

For Lorraine Herger, who runs IBM Corp.'s Austin Research Laboratory, energy-efficient computing is making a natural transition out of the research lab and into the marketplace.

Energy-saving innovations that started as research projects in Herger's laboratory several years ago are moving into IBM hardware and software products.

"Research plays a vital role," Herger said. "And IBM is a system company. I don't think anybody else can do energy conservation with the kind of depth and breadth that we can. Over the next few years, we are going to leave our competition in the dust."

Those are fighting words, and the computer industry is getting ready for its next big battle.

The driving force behind all this green consciousness in the computer world is the industry's awareness that the world's increasing demand for access to more information is starting to become a small but growing share of the total world energy demand.

A study released last month by researcher Jonathan Koomey estimated that the electrical energy consumed by the estimated 10 million servers in the United States drove $2.7 billion in spending in 2005 to power the machines and to cool them with air-conditioning systems.

That level of energy consumption was more than double the level of energy consumption in 2000 during the height of the Internet's first business boom.

The global spending was far larger — $7.2 billion — estimated Koomey, a staff scientist with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Promoting energy efficiency will deliver major cost savings to businesses, and will mean less wasted power and less dependence on building coal or oil-burning power plants that add up to greater environmental impact, industry and government officials say.

But it also will spark a new bare-knuckles brawl in the computer industry, as companies compete to be the best on both adding performance and saving electricity.

"In the fine tradition of our industry, we will beat each other up, and that (fight) will lead to even greater creativity and innovation," AMD strategist Larry Vertal said.

More work to do

Computer makers say today's servers are already far more energy-efficient than their predecessors, but they acknowledge there is much work to do.

One of the biggest areas of progress has come in new designs for the processor chips, which are among the major consumers of energy within the computer.

Chip designers have borrowed power-saving techniques that were first developed for battery-powered laptop computers and applied them to server chips. Those techniques allow sections of the server chip to shut down for a short period when not being used to save energy.

Chip makers also developed server chips with multiple computing cores that enable them to get more work done while operating at lower speeds and saving on energy consumption.

Other companies are looking at other components inside the computer.

Austin startup ColdWatt Inc. says it can deliver major power savings to server makers from its new-technology power supplies. Power supplies convert electricity into the direct current power that is used inside servers.

ColdWatt says it is attracting interest from many server makers and already has a supply agreement to one of the handful of major server manufacturers.

Dell Inc., one of the top suppliers of lower-cost servers, has developed a more power-efficient line of servers that use a selection of power-conserving components, from the processor, to the electrical power supply, to the memory and even the cooling fans inside the box.

"As we are designing products, we're taking power into the equation," said Jon Weisblatt, a senior manager at Dell. "How much power is needed to run the system and how much power to cool the system?"

A positive response

Dell says it has gotten a positive response from the recent introduction of its power-efficient server lines, but the company says it is too early to tell whether its power-efficient models will become a larger part of its server product line.

For IBM, which concentrates on developing a variety of higher-end servers, engineering for power efficiency takes into account designs for processors, other key components and the software that manages the server's operations.

IBM has developed power management software called Power Executive that enables customers to set priorities on the kind of work being done by the computer and to set an upper limit on the amount of power being consumed.

When the computer starts hitting that upper limit, it starts delaying tasks of low priority for a few seconds or a few minutes, when the computer is less busy. That power management software is especially appealing to some customers who operate their server farms under tight power consumption budgets.

Power conservation is going to be one of the standards that the industry is measured by, industry experts say. Computer and technology companies had best be ready to deliver the goods or be trampled by competitors.

"If you want to talk about computing systems in the future, if you are not talking about power management, security, performance and reliability, you are not having a full conversation," said Brad McCredie, the IBM Fellow who directed the design of the recently completed Power6 processor.

IBM is using design innovations in chips, hardware, software and even data center design to deliver measurable energy and cost savings to its customers, McCredie said.

"If you can take money out (from operations), it is probably going to happen," he said, "because there is this incredible machine going on right now with (big companies) grinding the cost of information technology down. That is what is driving most of the innovation in the industry."

kladendorf@statesman.com; 445-3622


Number of servers

Servers in U.S. Servers worldwide

2000 5.6 million 14.1 million

2003 8.1 20.1

2004 9.1 24.7

2005 10.3 27.3


Electrical consumption (millions of kilowatts)

2000 2.6 6.7

2003 4.0 10.2

2004 4.5 12.5

2005 5.2 14.0


Total electricity bill (billions of dollars)

2000 $1.3 $3.1

2003 $1.9 $5.0

2004 $2.2 $6.1

2005 $2.7 $7.2

Source: Study by Jonathan Koomey,

staff scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
 
http://www.statesman.com/business/content/business/stories/technology/03/26/26electric.html  



Sharon L Nunes, PhD
Vice President, Strategic Growth Initiatives
Big Green Innovations
IBM Systems & Technology Group
Somers, New York 10589
914 766 3266

assistant Gina Jorde (gjorde@us.ibm.com)
914 766 3409

GM, IBM, Others To Cut Greenhouse Gases By Up To 50%


GM, IBM, Others To Cut Greenhouse Gases By Up To 50%
381 words
22 March 2007
09:25 pm GMT
Dow Jones News Service
English
(c) 2007 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

 
  By Laura Mandaro
 

Twelve large companies including General Motors Co. (GM) and International Business Machines (IBM) laid out goals with the nation's top environmental regulator on Thursday to cut their carbon dioxide emissions by 5% to 50%.

The Environmental Protection Agency also said 16 companies, including Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. (BUD), Deere & Co. (DE), Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) and Kellogg Co. (K) had joined its five-year-old climate leaders program.

And the agency lauded three companies - utility American Electric Power Co. (AEP), defense contractor United Technologies Corp. (UTX) and Quebec's St. Lawrence Cement - for having met their earlier goals.

In advance of anticipated federal legislation aimed at curbing global warming trends, big manufacturers have been busy setting up roadmaps for reducing greenhouse gases - and finding ways to record their green progress. The EPA's program, which is a voluntary partnership, requires members to report their emissions progress every year.

A total of 113 companies have joined the program, though only 67 have already established aggressive emissions-cutting goals, said the EPA. The agency projects that the goals announced so far would eliminate the amount of yearly carbon dioxide emissions created by over seven million cars.

General Motors said it will cut carbon dioxide emissions from its North American manufacturing facilities by 40% by 2010 from 2000 levels. The world's largest automaker said it has already cut emissions from its facilities by 25% from 2000 levels.

IBM said it aims to reduce its global greenhouse gas emissions by 7% from 2005 to 2012.

And privately owned paper maker Boise Cascade plans to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 10% from 2004 to 2014.

The EPA said American Electric Power of Columbus, Ohio, has met its 2006 goal by reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 4% from 2001 to 2006. The company plans to reduce emissions by a total of 6% by 2010.

United Technologies achieved a target of cutting emissions by 46% per dollar of revenue in the five years to 2006. It is aiming to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 12% from 2006 to 2010, the EPA said.

-Laura Mandaro; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com [ 03-22-07 1725ET ]

Business urges City to lead carbon battle


Business urges City to lead carbon battle

By John Willman, Business Editor

Published: March 25 2007 22:32 | Last updated: March 25 2007 22:32

Leading banks, insurers and professional services firms are calling for the City to follow their example in declaring an intention to become carbon neutral.

The chairmen and chief executives of some 20 large City businesses have asked the City Corporation, the Square Mile's local authority, to take the lead in co- ordinating the move.

The call comes as the City of London on Monday unveils a multimillion pound project to attract investment into carbon emission reduction by identifying technologies that will appeal to the growing number of investors seeking a stake in the climate change industry.

Some of the largest companies have already set their own targets for reducing their carbon footprints, including HSBC, Goldman Sachs, Aviva and PwC.

The corporation, which has cut its own emissions by 35 per cent since 1997, is planning a series of measures to reduce the financial district's carbon footprint, including a 10 per cent reduction target by 2010.

It would also create a City-approved carbon-offsetting scheme available to City businesses that would use accredited and transparent schemes. The proliferation of unaccredited schemes has recently led to criticism by environmental campaigners and ministers.

Michael Snyder, chairman of its policy and resources committee, said the corporation could help smaller businesses in the City reduce their emissions. "There is a lot of confusion out there about carbon offsetting and we could put the City brand on an appropriate scheme."

Today's launch of the London Accord will draw on the resources of several of the world's largest investment banks, including Barclays Capital, Société Générale, Credit Suisse, ABN Amro, Morgan Stanley and WestLB.

Their researchers will team up with academics from Cambridge University, the London School of ­Economics and the Santa Fe Institute to find climate change solutions that ­investors can finance with confidence.

Institutional investors such as Legal & General, USS and Insight, the HBOS asset management arm, are also involved.

The plan is to produce a report in the autumn that will identify technologies capable of attracting long-term investment and policies needed to sustain them.

The participants will contribute resources worth more than £5m in research time.

The project will be directed by Jan Peter Onstwedder of BP, one of its sponsors. He said the technologies investigated would include solar and geothermal energy, biofuels and carbon-reducing building and transport schemes.

"A key idea will be to test if something is more than an idea – if it is also scalable and investable."

Michael Mainelli of Z/Yen Group, a City consultancy that is another sponsor, said the economics of climate change solutions did not add up at the moment. Long-term investors would prefer measures that created carbon rights and markets for trading in them to new or higher taxes that governments could easily alter.

"If the numbers add up, people will invest," he said.