Sustainablog

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

30.5.08

FYI - Media coverage: IBM releases Carbon Management Tools


FYI

IBM Releases Slew Of Efficiency, Carbon Management Tools

ibm-releases-slew-6259.jpgIBM has launched the Carbon Tradeoff Modeler, a tool that that the company says analyzes and manages the climate impact of supply chains.

IBM's carbon management analysis tool models the cost and carbon impact of several key levers and provides insights for balancing cost and carbon management objectives. Key factors the tool captures include: packaging options, alternative operational processes, alternative transportation modes and energy sources, inventory policies, and sourcing policies. The Carbon Management Analysis Tool can identify and recommend the most desirable actions to take among the many that can be used to achieve carbon dioxide emissions reduction.

ibm_supply.jpgIBM also released a white paper, Mastering Carbon Management. The paper emphasizes how carbon management, energy consumption and other environmental issues should be analysed and approached in an integrated manner — evaluating overall performance goals (cost, service, quality and carbon dioxide emissions) in terms of their relationship to one another.

In other news, IBM has introduced "Software for a Greener World," an expansion of Project Big Green, which the company launched last year with a commitment of $1 billion per year.

The software includes new and existing offerings including: Tivoli software products; WebSphere Virtual Enterprise; Lotus Technologies; WebSphere Portal 6.1; Lotus ActiveInsight 6.1; and Rational Team Concert.

Earlier this month, IBM announced new energy-management software and an energy benchmark.

From: Nancy Klein <Nancy.Klein.fqnkirllvpevd@greenpower.msgfocus.com>
To: Jean-Francois Barsoum/Markham/IBM@IBMCA
Date: 2008-05-29 11:13
Subject: IBM releases Carbon Management Tools




GPN


Welcome back to Corporate Climate Response News. Every Thursday we deliver the latest news on what companies are doing in terms of climate change action. Compiled by Environmental Leader, this is the centre for corporate sustainability updates, covering topics like carbon footprint and life cycle analysis, green power and RECs, energy efficiency, offsetting, emissions trading, climate change policy updates, and more. We also keep you posted on upcoming Corporate Climate Response events.




G8 Pledges 'Strong Will' For 50% Emissions Cuts By 2050, Sets No Mid-Term Goals

Environment ministers from the Group of Eight nations, pledged "strong political will" toward cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050 but stopped short of pledging firm commitments for mid-century or mid-term goals for 2020, which many countries argue are crucial to saving the planet from environmental ... Keep reading >>





Long-Term Sustainability Depends On The Green
Companies realize that environmental initiatives can create great PR, but they're also realizing that those initiatives must be profitable in order for them to be sustainable over the long term - especially with the economy threatening CSR budgets. "Innovation software" companies like Invention Machine and Imaginatik help manufacturing ...
Keep reading >>




S.F. Bay Area Passes Carbon Tax

The San Francisco Bay Area Air Quality Management District's board of directors voted overwhelmingly (15-1) to charge area companies 4.4 cents per ton of carbon dioxide they emit, a first for the U.S.,The Associated Press reports. The new rules, which impose fees on businesses for emitting greenhouse ... Keep reading >>





IBM Releases Slew Of Efficiency, Carbon Management Tools

IBM has launched the Carbon Tradeoff Modeler, a tool that that the company says analyzes and manages the climate impact of supply chains. IBM's carbon management analysis tool models the cost and carbon impact of several key levers and provides insights for balancing cost and carbon management objectives. Key factors ... Keep reading >>





WaMu Targets IT 'Energy Hogs'

Data centers are electricity hogs, and when you add to that the PCs, copiers, printers and phones, "...the smarter you get about specifying and determining your standards around energy consumption, the more progress you can make for the company," Washington Mutual's Chief Information Officer Deborah Horvath ... Keep reading >>





P&G VP Of Sustainability Discusses Green Initiatives

Procter & Gamble's sustainability initiatives include plans to cut its carbon footprint by as much as 40 percent by 2012, in part by cutting the size of its packaging, BrandWeek reports. The company recently announced plans to generate at least $20 billion in cumulative ... Keep reading >>






Rackspace Uses Biomass To Run Data Center

IT hosting company Rackspace has announced it has completed the conversion of a former warehouse into its new data center that will receive its power from renewable energy sources from the UK's largest dedicated biomass energy plant. Operated by Scottish and Southern Energy, the plant is ... Keep reading >>





EPA Releases '2008 Report On The Environment'

The EPA has released its 2008 Report on the Environment, which the agency says uses scientific indicators to measure and report on overall progress toward protecting the environment and human health. The EPA 2008 ROE is an update of the draft ROE that was released in 2003. Overall, there is ... Keep reading >>






Office Depot First Retailer To Pre-Certify Store Prototypes With USGBC

Office Depot is the first company to achieve volume pre-certification under the pilot LEED Portfolio Program for its store prototype design - Office Depot was part of the first group of participants to become involved in the pilot program. Retail chains have been working with the USGBC ... Keep reading >>





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28.5.08

Geoengineering Could Slow Down Global Water Cycle (as if we needed additional reasons not to mess around with the weather)

Web address:
     
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/
     080527155519.htm


Geoengineering Could Slow Down Global Water Cycle

enlarge

A schematic representation of various geoengineering and carbon storage proposals. (Credit: Diagram by Kathleen Smith/LLNL)

ScienceDaily (May 28, 2008) — As fossil fuel emissions continue to climb, reducing the amount of sunlight hitting the Earth would definitely have a cooling effect on surface temperatures.

However, a new study from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, led by atmospheric scientist Govindasamy Bala, shows that this intentional manipulation of solar radiation also could lead to a less intense global water cycle. Decreasing surface temperatures through "geoengineering" also could mean less rainfall.

The reduction in sunlight can be accomplished by geoengineering schemes. There are two classes: the so-called "sunshade" geoengineering scheme, which would mitigate climate change by intentionally manipulating the solar radiation on the earth's surface; the other category removes atmospheric CO2 and sequesters it into the terrestrial vegetation, oceans or deep geologic formations.

In the new climate modeling study, which appears in the May 27-30 early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Bala and his colleagues Karl Taylor and Philip Duffy demonstrate that the sunshade geoengineering scheme could slow down the global water cycle.

The sunshade schemes include placing reflectors in space, injecting sulfate or other reflective particles into the stratosphere, or enhancing the reflectivity of clouds by injecting cloud condensation nuclei in the troposphere. When CO2 is doubled as predicted in the future, a 2 percent reduction in sunlight is sufficient to counter the surface warming.

This new research investigated the sensitivity of the global mean precipitation to greenhouse and solar forcings separately to help understand the global water cycle in a geoengineered world.

While the surface temperature response is the same for CO2 and solar forcings, the rainfall response can be very different.

"We found that while climate sensitivity can be the same for different forcing mechanisms, the hydrological sensitivity is very different," Bala said.

The global mean rainfall increased approximately 4 percent for a doubling of CO2 and decreases by 6 percent for a reduction in sunlight in his modeling study.

"Because the global water cycle is more sensitive to changes in solar radiation than to increases in CO2, geoengineering could lead to a decline in the intensity of the global water cycle" Bala said.

A recent study showed that there was a substantial decrease in rainfall over land and a record decrease in runoff and discharge into the ocean following the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991. The ash emitted from Pinatubo masked some of the sunlight reaching the earth and therefore decreased surface temperatures slightly, but it also slowed down the global hydrologic cycle.

"Any research in geoengineering should explore the response of different components of the climate system to forcing mechanisms," Bala said.

For instance, Bala said, sunshade geoengineering would not limit the amount of CO2 emissions. CO2 effects on ocean chemistry, specifically, could have harmful consequences for marine biota because of ocean acidification, which is not mitigated by geoengineering schemes.

"While geoengineering schemes would mitigate the surface warming, we still have to face the consequences of CO2 emissions on marine life, agriculture and the water cycle," Bala said.

27.5.08

Big investors seek stricter climate laws


Big investors seek stricter climate laws
Tue May 20, 2008 3:17pm BST
 

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By Rachelle Younglai

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Investors managing more than $2.3 trillion urged the government on Tuesday to enact strict laws to cut greenhouse gas emissions, saying lax regulation could hurt the competitiveness of U.S. companies.

The group of some 50 investors, including the world's biggest listed hedge fund firm, Man Group Plc and influential venture capitalist John Doerr, want U.S. lawmakers to pass laws to reduce climate-warming emissions by at least 60 to 90 percent by 2050.

Legislation that promotes new and existing clean technologies on the scale needed to dramatically cut down pollution is needed, they said.

The same group of investors are also pushing the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to force publicly-traded companies to disclose climate-related risks along with other factors that affect their business.

"Establishing a strong national climate policy for emissions reductions will help investors manage the enormous risks and opportunities posed by global warming," Anne Stausboll, Calpers' interim chief investment officer, said in a statement.

Calpers is the largest U.S. pension fund with about $250 billion in assets under management.

Investors said the lack of strong federal laws may hurt U.S. competitiveness because it is preventing companies from making large-scale capital investments in clean energy such as solar and wind power and other low-carbon technologies and practices.

Randall Edwards, Oregon's treasurer, said Europe and individual U.S. states are tackling climate change and it was time for federal lawmakers to step up to the task.

"It's a huge job opportunity," said Edwards, who managed about $80 billion in assets as of March 31. "It will be a shifting economy. No economy is static."

The European Union is aiming to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020 and increase the share of wind, solar, hydro, wave power and biofuels in their energy mix by the same date.

The investors' letter, addressed to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, comes ahead of Senate debate on legislation aimed at limiting the carbon emissions that spur climate change.

The bill, America's Climate Security Act of 2007, also includes a provision that would require the SEC to craft a rule requiring companies to disclose material risks relating to climate change.

Treasurers and controllers for California, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont, as well as the California State Teachers' Retirement System are among those that signed the letter.

(Editing by Andre Grenon)

26.5.08

Response of German Car Manufacturers to the European Union Directive on Reducing CO2 Emissions from Passenger Cars



Thanks to Anshuman


Response of German Car Manufacturers to the European Union Directive on
Reducing CO2 Emissions from Passenger Cars

Author / Reserachers: Professor Anshuman Khare (Athabasca University) &
Professor Dr. Klaus Bellmann (University of Mainz, Germany)

This paper is about the European Union's (EU) response to addressing the
issue of Climate Change with the
auto industry.

This paper starts with examining the commitment of the car manufacturers to
the issue of Climate Change
and comments on how auto manufacturers are adopting different strategies to
meet the Climate Change
goals and targets set by the European Union. The EU has been clear on
aspects on which action is required.
Now the question remains is whether the auto industry will align itself to
this action plan or follow a different
path in addressing the issue of Climate Change.

For the purpose of this paper, the EU documents provide a framework on
which the viewpoints and actions
of the above mentioned car manufacturers can be compared and assessed. This
document aims to inform
policy makers, interested organizations and individuals about the process
adopted by the EU and the German
automobile industry in addressing Climate Change and the challenges
associated with it.

The paper not only presents the viewpoints of the auto manufacturers, but
also sheds light on the progress
they have made, their perception of the future in context of reduced CO2
emissions and other regulations
that may follow. In the concluding section of this document a comparison is
made with the Canadian
situation. The apparent gap is big and there are not many initiatives in
place to address the problem.

The paper ends with a brief assessment of the impact of the regulation on
car manufactures and consumers
and proposes a stronger regulation that limits the number of cars
manufactured and increased investment in
public transportation. This can only be achieved if all players –
government, manufacturers and consumers –
turn their focus away from individual mobility.

Can be downloaded from the following LINK:
http://www.mba.athabascau.ca/Titan/aucimwebsite.nsf/AllDoc/1DCE6EE1780F4E068725744F005B140A/$File/Autos_CO2_Emissions.pdf?OpenElement

Regards,

Anshuman

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dr. Anshuman Khare
Professor for Operations Management
         and Sustainable Development
Centre for Innovative Management
Athabasca University
Suite 301, 22 Sir Winston Churchill Avenue
St. Albert AB T8N 1B4
CANADA

Phone: 780-4187533
Cell: 780-9656785
Fax: 780-4592093
E-mail: anshuman@athabascau.ca
Webpage:
http://www.mba.athabascau.ca
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~