Tuesday Oct 21, 2014

Oracle’s Depot Repair Implementation: Driving Product Take-Back and Recycling at Oracle

By Elena Avesani, Principal Product Strategy Manager, Oracle

As more and more companies establish sustainability initiatives in their reverse supply chains, it is increasingly clear that there is a positive correlation between environmental and financial benefits. The more sustainable the reverse supply chain is, the more cost efficient it becomes. Companies can reduce procurement costs and resource depletion through parts harvesting and recycling, improve customer satisfaction, and achieve fewer returns because of improved product designs. Furthermore, increased take-back improves supply of spare parts to enable extended support life to customers, lowers the cost of parts, and protects the environment while complying with government mandated recycling programs.

Issues around waste electric and electronic equipment (WEEE) in particular are becoming increasingly important for commercial IT organizations, posing both significant risks and opportunities. As a responsible producer of hardware products, Oracle offers various take-back programs to allow customers and suppliers to return excess used products or retired equipment. These programs help protect the environment and provide valuable services to our customers as well as substantial cost savings.

Oracle now automates and manages its returns and take-back of retired computer equipment from customers, internal labs and data centers for asset recovery and recycling through the Oracle Returns Management System (ORMS), an implementation of Oracle Depot Repair. The Oracle Depot Repair solution enables businesses to profitably recover, re-use and recycle products and parts by providing best-in-class tools and intelligence.

The implementation went from proof-of-concept to go-live in just over three months. When integrated with other program improvements, it led to 61 percent increased volume of systems returned compared to the previous year. Improved customer ease-of-use triggered dramatic changes with more than 1,800 systems received, and about 4,000 spare parts harvested for reuse at half the cost of open market purchase through the System Return for Credit (SRC) program. Reduced spares for Last Time Buy (LTB) savings amounted to $8.2 million.

Download Oracle's Depot Repair Implementation white paper for more details. 

Friday Sep 26, 2014

Oracle and Hitachi's Building Energy and Asset Management Solution

By John Muhlner, Alliance Director Hitachi, Oracle

Building energy management systems (BEMs) have commonly been applied to minimize building operation costs through effective building management. However, by leveraging the best-in-class BEMs products with the expanding capabilities offered by more recent Internet of Things (IoT) platforms to integrate to enterprise applications, companies can realize significant benefits.  

Oracle and Hitachi have partnered to create the Building Energy and Asset Management (BEAM) solution to enable companies to achieve these benefits.  By capturing operational data from sensors on building assets and integrating this data to business applications, the solution facilitates direct action to be taken based on this data.  By doing so, the BEAM solution enables companies to significantly drive down energy costs, improve asset and employee utilization, and reduce maintenance costs. 

If you will be at Oracle OpenWorld the week of September 29th, you can see a demo of the BEAM solution in the Hitachi booth, #1701 Moscone South. See additional activities with Hitachi at Oracle OpenWorld.

Monday Sep 15, 2014

Oracle Joins R2 Recycling Leader Program

By Ron Yauk, Supply Chain Senior Manager, Oracle

In line with Oracle's sustainability efforts and our commitment to our customers to manage environmentally compliant take back and recycling programs, Oracle is pleased to announce our joining the Sustainable Electronics Recycling International Group (SERI). SERI is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the safe and sustainable reuse and recycling of used electronics around the world through the development of transparent and consensus-driven standards and R2 certification processes.

By joining SERI 's R2 Leader program, Oracle is joining other electronics producers in increasing the volume of material around the world that is processed through R2 certified recyclers. Oracle's reverse supply chain also ensures that returned products are screened and parts harvested and tested for reuse to support customers with extended life cycle requirements. Both our reuse and recycling programs are important steps in protecting the environment. Read the SERI press release for more details.

Wednesday Aug 20, 2014

Oracle Announces the Winners of the 2014 Oracle Sustainability Innovation Award

Oracle will be honoring the winners of the 2014 Sustainability Innovation Award, one of the Oracle Excellence Awards, at the Oracle OpenWorld conference in San Francisco. This award recognizes the innovative use of Oracle technology to address global sustainability business challenges. The winning customers reduced their environmental footprint while also reducing costs using green business practices and Oracle technology. For these customers, environmental sustainability has become an essential ingredient to doing business responsibly and successfully.

Oracle will also be awarding Lacey Lewis, Senior Vice President – Finance at Cox Enterprises, with Oracle's 2014 Chief Sustainability Officer of the Year award. Lacey is being honored for the comprehensive, deep-rooted environmental sustainability program at Cox Enterprises. With a focus on conserving and protecting the environment, Cox Enterprises uses Oracle Applications and technology to drive efficiency and green business processes throughout its organization.

These awards will be presented by Jeff Henley, Oracle Chairman of the Board, in Oracle's seventh annual sustainability awards session. Please join us at this awards session on Wednesday October 1 in Moscone West Room 3002 if you will be attending Oracle OpenWorld.

Sunday Jul 06, 2014

Abu Dhabi Education Council Delivers Shared Services to Over 300 Locations, While Using 90% Less Energy and Paper

Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) seeks to develop educational institutions in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, implement innovative educational policies, create plans and programs that improve education, and support educational institutions and staff to advance national development in accordance with the highest international standards. ADEC deployed Oracle E-Business Suite as the foundation for a shared services environment that provides more than 300 locations in three regions with identical enterprise applications and services, significantly reducing their IT infrastructure total cost of ownership. They unified their business logic and procedures by using shared Oracle E-Business Suite applications, which are hosted in a demilitarized zone—dramatically improving business performance and data availability and security. All this while consuming 95% less energy than before when delivering HR, procurement, and financial services.

ADEC also streamlined their procure-to-pay processes with Oracle Advanced Procurement, reducing paper usage in its daily HR and procurement operations by more than 90% by almost fully automating services such as payroll reporting, leave requests, and training requests. Using Oracle Business Intelligence Standard Edition to measure adherence to key performance indicators—such as amount of waste produced and energy consumed—ADEC enables ongoing sustainability that meets international environmental standards. Oracle’s Agile Product Governance and Compliance has also helped ADEC better comply with regulatory directives, such as proactive and retroactive corrective environmental, health, and safety measures. Read here for more information on their story.

Tuesday May 27, 2014

Upcoming Carbon Tax in South Africa

By Elena Avesani, Principal Product Strategy Manager, Oracle

In 2012, the South Africa National Treasury announced the plan to impose a carbon tax to cut carbon emissions that are blamed for climate change. South Africa is ranked among the top 20 countries measured by absolute carbon dioxide emissions, with emissions per capita in the region of 10 metric tons per annum and over 90% of South Africa's energy produced by burning fossil fuels. The top 40 largest companies in the country are responsible for 207 million tons of carbon dioxide, directly emitting 20 percent of South Africa’s carbon output.

The legislation, originally scheduled to be implemented from January 2015 to 31 December 2019, is now delayed to January 2016. It will levy a carbon tax of R120 (US$11) per ton of CO2, rising then by 10 percent a year until 2020, while all sectors bar electricity will be able to claim additional relief of at least 10 percent. The South African treasury proposed a 60 percent tax-free threshold on emissions for all sectors, including electricity, petroleum, iron, steel and aluminum.

Oracle Environmental Accounting and Reporting (EA&R) supports these needs and guarantees consistency across organizations in how data is collected, retained, controlled, consolidated and used in calculating and reporting emissions inventory. EA&R also enables companies to develop an enterprise-wide data view that includes all 5 of the key sustainability categories: carbon emissions, energy, water, materials and waste. Thanks to its native integration with Oracle E-Business Suite and JD Edwards EnterpriseOne ERP Financials and Inventory Systems and the capability of capturing environmental data across business silos, Oracle Environmental Accounting and Reporting is uniquely positioned to support a strategic approach to carbon management that drives business value.


African Utility Week


Monday May 19, 2014

New YouTube Channel for Oracle’s Sustainability Solutions

Check out our new Oracle’s Sustainability Solutions channel on YouTube! This channel includes 5 categories for videos: Sustainability at Oracle, Oracle’s Sustainability Solutions, Customer Success Stories, Sustainability Drivers, and Product Tours. This new channel is in addition to the following ways of getting more information about our solutions:

Thursday May 08, 2014

Energy and Sustainability Summit on June 13 at Oracle in Redwood Shores, CA

Join us on Friday June 13 at the Oracle Conference Center in Redwood Shores, CA for the second annual Energy and Sustainability Summit. Oracle is proud to host and sponsor this important summit run by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. Join 300 other business leaders and learn how to employ the latest technologies and practices to create value and build resiliency in your business. Understand what you can do to prepare for a changing landscape. Meet with more than 300 businesses, nonprofit, and public sector leaders to share best practices, lessons learned and practical solutions in applying advanced technologies to help achieve energy and sustainability goals. Review the agenda here. Hope to see you on June 13!

Tuesday Apr 22, 2014

2014 Oracle Sustainability Innovation Awards - Nominations Now Open

Happy Earth Day! I thought it appropriate to include a blog today about our upcoming 2014 Oracle Sustainability Innovation Awards, part of the Oracle Excellence Awards. These awards recognize customers and their partners who are using Oracle products to take an environmental lead as well as to reduce costs and improve business efficiencies using sustainable business practices. For example, a customer may use Oracle Self-Service E-Billing for paperless invoicing or Oracle Advanced Compression for reduced disk space and power usage. Nominations are due Friday June 20. These awards will be presented during Oracle OpenWorld 2014 in San Francisco by Oracle Chairman of the Board Jeff Henley. See this award information page for more details.

Monday Mar 10, 2014

Cleantech Forum in San Francisco March 11-13

Are you attending the Cleantech Forum in San Francisco this week? It runs from March 11-13 (you can still register) and is an annual event for the cleantech innovation community. There are lots of great sessions focused on the theme of Accelerating system change; towards a decentralized future. Check out the agenda here. If you attend, don’t miss the ‘Cleantech Café: Buildings’ session on Wednesday March 12 at 1:30pm. One of this session’s participants is Jenni Grant, Manager of Global Sustainability and Real Estate Programs at Oracle. This session will discuss how facilities and real estate managers are capturing sophisticated new data streams from individual buildings and leveraging new tools for portfolio-wide resource management and occupant comfort. They will investigate how this trend will converge with demand optimization and worker mobility. From co-working spaces to modular furniture to connected devices, this session will explore a vision for the future of sustainable workspaces. Hope you can make it!

Friday Feb 28, 2014

Sustainability Roundtable Recognized Oracle as SBER Outstanding Corporate Leader of 2013

Sustainability Roundtable, a leader in consulting on best practices in more sustainable business, recognized Oracle as the Sustainable Business & Enterprise Roundtable’s Outstanding Corporate Leader of 2013. Sustainability Roundtable (SR) recognized Oracle for this prestigious award due its leadership in developing and driving optimization efforts towards more sustainable real estate and operations globally. They recognized Oracle for its efforts in:

 This past year, sustainability highlights within the Oracle organization include:

  • Implementation of a facility-wide, Environmental Accounting and Reporting (EA&R) module to reduce Oracle's environmental impact and comply with associated regulations
  • Oracle’s newest Utah Compute Facility (UCF), one of the most energy efficient data centers in the industry, uses a very innovative and breakthrough cooling solution that combines cold outdoor air with free humidification from IT equipment waste heat, xeriscape landscaping which nearly eliminates the need for irrigation, and a 20% reduction of the copper needed for power cables by employing higher voltage power

They also recognized Oracle’s setting of ambitious goals through 2016. These goals include a 10% reduction in energy use per employee, a 6% improvement in power usage effectiveness in production data centers, a 15% reduction in potable water use per employee, and a 15% reduction in waste to landfill per employee.

Monday Feb 17, 2014

Silicon Valley Energy and Sustainability Summit on Friday June 13 at Oracle HQ Conference Center

Oracle will again host the Silicon Valley Energy and Sustainability Summit at the Oracle Conference Center in Redwood Shores, California on Friday June 13. This summit brings together more than 300 business, nonprofit, and public sector leaders to share best practices, lessons learned and practical solutions in applying new technologies and practices to address energy and environmental sustainability. This is a great opportunity to meet with your peers and discuss what you can do on a practical level to prepare for a changing landscape and learn how you can employ the latest technologies and practices to create value and build resiliency in your business.

The event will feature a C-suite forum as well as case studies and presentations on best practices in business resiliency, water and energy efficiency, renewable energy, with a special focus on the smart technology and big data revolution. You will hear from different companies across a range of industries presenting various case studies. Case studies are now being collected until March 28. Case studies can include campus projects, customer case studies, or best practices in energy and water efficiency, distributed generation, supply chains, smart grid technologies and ICT applications for environmental sustainability and energy security.  To submit a case study, please send a short (one page or less) description of the case study to Francesca Wahl (fwahl@svlg.org) with the heading "ESS14 Case Study" by March 28.

Sunday Feb 09, 2014

Paris Lodron Universität Decreases Carbon Footprint by 75% and Energy Consumption by 50%

Back in October, I wrote a blog about Oracle’s Eco-Enterprise Innovation Award with a summary of the award winners who use Oracle products to help with their environmental initiatives. Throughout this year, I’ll be providing more details around these award winners and how they’ve been able to both reduce their environmental footprint as well as improve their operational efficiencies using green business practices. Nominations are now open for the 2014 Oracle Eco-Enterprise Innovation award.

One of our 2013 award winners is the University of Salzburg, one of Austria’s major universities. More than 18,000 students are enrolled in its classes, and the university employs approximately 2,700 staff members. University of Salzburg reduced its carbon footprint from 96 tons to roughly 25 tons per year by migrating a large number of hardware components, software platforms, and service-related processes to Oracle Engineered Systems. They were able to deliver extreme performance by deploying Oracle Exadata Database Machine and Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud with preconfigured, pretuned, and pretested database servers, storage servers, and network connections, decreasing their total cost of ownership by 30%. The University of Salzburg reduced its energy consumption by 50% in less than 12 months—including the energy used by cooling systems—by consolidating multiple servers into Oracle Engineered Systems stacks.

Florin Guma, their CIO stated “We aim to be an example for our students in protecting the environment with more sustainable processes, such as more efficient cooling of data centers or better print management. Oracle helped us achieve all of our sustainability goals—75% lower carbon footprint, 50% less energy consumption, and 20% less paper use. It empowers us to set higher targets in the future, while providing 10x better performance at a 30% lower total cost of ownership.” Read more about their story here.

Wednesday Jan 08, 2014

Trends of Sustainability Reporting Policies Worldwide

By Elena Avesani, Principal Product Strategy Manager, Oracle

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) recently released the third edition of the Carrots & Sticks publication, which analyzes the growing number of national and international reporting policies from around the world. In the seven years of the series, the amount of policy and regulation has markedly increased. This includes a notable increase in the number of mandatory reporting measures. In 2006, 58 percent of policies were mandatory; now, more than two thirds (72 percent) of the 180 policies in the 45 reviewed countries are mandatory. All policies and guidance included in this publication are either governmental or market regulatory requirements and voluntary initiatives for the public disclosure of sustainability information; CSR initiatives requiring or providing guidance for sustainability reporting or other forms of public disclosure; or requirements or recommendations covering a single topic (e.g., greenhouse gas emissions) or sector (e.g., mining), provided the disclosure has to be public.

The analysis shows an increasing emphasis on a combination of complementary voluntary and mandatory approaches to organizational disclosure. The gradual integration of organizational performance data is on the rise, with attempts to combine corporate governance, financial and sustainability reporting. Their research shows the highest number of reporters per country is in the USA, followed by Japan, South Africa, China, Brazil, Spain, Sweden, Australia, Korea, and a number of other EU Member States.

Going forward, it is likely that more governments will issue sustainability reporting policies. Report readerships will grow, and the discussion of sustainability data – including around its credibility – will continue to increase. This enhanced participation of report users will occur partly due to improvements in the user-friendliness of sustainability reports, utilizing XBRL and other reporting innovations. Reports will increasingly focus on sustainability issues that are material for stakeholders and investors, thereby providing the most accurate and relevant view of organizations’ sustainability performance and impacts.

Oracle Environmental Accounting and Reporting supports these needs and provides consistency across organizations in how data is collected, retained, controlled, consolidated and used in calculating and reporting emissions inventory. EA&R also enables companies to develop an enterprise-wide data view that includes all five of the key sustainability categories: carbon emissions, energy, water, materials and waste. The report is available for download on the GRI website.

Monday Dec 02, 2013

Acorn Paper Products Reduces Energy and Paper Use While Improving Customer Service

Many organizations believe they can’t afford to address sustainability-related initiatives because they’re too expensive or possibly too disruptive. In several earlier blog posts, I’ve provided examples of customers who have not only improved their environmental footprint, but have also been able to improve their operational efficiencies. Another great example of this is Acorn Paper Products Company. Acorn Paper has significantly reduced its energy and paper use while improving its customer service. It stocks thousands of ready-to-sell boxes, packaging supplies, and janitorial/sanitary products, in addition to operating a sizeable custom-manufacturing operation.

The company has long held a strong commitment to environmental sustainability, using advanced biodegradable and eco-friendly packaging. Acorn Paper Products also relies on its IT systems to support sustainability across its business operations. For example, the company uses
Oracle E-Business Suite applications, as well as Oracle Sales Cloud applications to automate core business processes, from order entry, to e-commerce, to distribution. As a result, it is reducing manufacturing waste as well as cutting paper and energy use across the business. Greater automation and standardization across business processes have also improved order accuracy, reducing waste as well as unnecessary shipments and returns. For example, using Oracle Order Management, Acorn sales representatives can configure boxes to the exact dimensions a customer requires, which cuts down on raw materials and waste, while improving profitability.

The company’s recent upgrade to Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.2 also promoted an architecture refresh that has upgraded and consolidated servers, reducing the energy it uses to run and cool the infrastructure. We are proud to have customers like Acorn Paper using our products to further their sustainability initiatives. As their CEO David Weissberg recently stated "Oracle is our partner in environmental sustainability. The company’s applications and technology enable us to streamline operations and reduce waste, paper use, and energy use, while improving overall operating efficiency. It’s a winning proposition for the company, our customers, and the environment.” Read more about their story




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