Thursday Mar 12, 2015

Leading the Way in Eco-Friendly Events

By Elena Avesani, Principal Product Strategy Manager, Oracle

As I mentioned in last week’s blog, Oracle leads the way in designing sustainable world-class events for customers, partners, developers, and employees. Inspired by the practices implemented at Oracle OpenWorld, in 2011 the Oracle Event Marketing team initiated a program to "green" all event marketing activities. What began as a pilot project at 36 events in 25 countries has grown significantly and influenced better, smarter sustainable practices. Since 2011 Oracle impacted 152 cities with 3,255 green events, saving more than $800,000 thanks to sustainability initiatives.

Oracle implements sustainability practices adhering to the following guidelines:

· Waste not: Promote zero waste

· Be cool: Model carbon reduction and responsibility for corporate events

· Give back: Catalyze legacies to benefit host destinations

· Have fun: Inspire event attendees through engaging sustainability experiences

At Oracle Openworld Shanghai for example, 10,000 pieces of plastic were eliminated by serving lunches in reusable boxes that were donated after the event, 50% of the disposable signs were eliminated compared to the previous event by using digital signage onsite, and 60% of waste was diverted from landfill, including 100% of food waste, aligning with Oracle’s zero waste initiative. At HCM World, waste programs prevented the emission of 14 metric tons of carbon, representing nearly half the carbon footprint of guest rooms and meeting space. The Fitbit Wellness Program encouraged attendees to record steps taken during the event, resulting both in a donation to a health-oriented charity and in engaging and fun activities for all attendees. If you want to know more about how Oracle performed in the field this year, look at this report here

Thursday Mar 05, 2015

Oracle OpenWorld Prioritizes Sustainability

By Elena Avesani, Principal Product Strategy Manager, Oracle

Since 2008, Oracle leads the way in designing sustainable world-class events for customers, partners, developers, and employees. Its flagship events, Oracle OpenWorld and JavaOne, continuously implement innovative practices that reduce negative impacts on the environment and create community benefits. In 2013 Oracle adopted a five-year sustainability plan based on these principles:

  1. Waste not: produce zero waste to landfill by 2018.
  2. Be “cool”er: model carbon reduction and responsibility for corporate events.
  3. Give back: catalyze legacies to benefit the host destination and the event industry.
  4. Have fun: inspire attendees through engaging sustainability experiences.

Oracle is working to continuously improve Oracle OpenWorld and JavaOne in ways that reduce negative impacts and create community benefits. Some of the top sustainability wins include:

· JAVAONE DEVOXX4KIDS: Oracle, Oracle Academy and Devoxx4Kids hosted this fun, one-day event which engaged 150 youth in learning more about programming, robotics and engineering.

· MOSCONE PILOT WASTE SORT: Two additional waste sorting stations at Moscone Center helped address waste contamination issues revealed in the 2013 event waste audit.

· EARTH-SMART MENU CHOICES: New steps in 2014 included more vegetarian meals, lower-footprint protein choices and the use of “imperfectly delicious” produce.

· APPRECIATION EVENT: 86% of waste from Oracle’s customer party was diverted from landfill, down from a high of 91% in 2012. In spite of lower diversion, waste was 10.9 metric tons less in 2014 than 2012. Generator fuel use for this event also dropped by 15% since 2013.

For more information read the Oracle OpenWorld Event Sustainability Report here

Tuesday Feb 03, 2015

Managing the Impacts of Sustainability in Supply Chains

Last week in San Jose Oracle held its third annual Oracle Value Chain Summit, the largest gathering of supply chain professionals in North America. There were over 2,500 value chain experts representing more than 425 companies from 31 countries in attendance. A common theme throughout many of the session presentations was the topic of sustainability and the need to integrate sustainability throughout the value chain in order for it to be truly cost and environmentally effective. Andrew Winston kicked off the sustainability discussion during his keynote titled ‘The Big Pivot: Doing Business in a Hotter, Scarcer, and More Open World’. Andrew, co-author of ‘Green to Gold’ and author of ‘The Big Pivot’, is a globally recognized business strategy expert. He highlighted his vision for business success in a fundamentally changed world, discussing how businesses are being challenged and transformed by a number of critical sustainability-related trends including deep demographic shifts, resource constraints, extreme weather events, and radical transparency. But these challenges also offer unprecedented business opportunities, particularly in supply chains which comprise a large component of sustainability impacts for most organizations. Information technology is playing a significant role not only in terms of transparency but also by providing unprecedented means to drive efficiency and innovation. These same thoughts were echoed in a later session titled ‘Radically Practical Strategies to Address Supply Chain Sustainability’. Andrew hosted this panel discussion where sustainability experts from National Instruments, Stanford University, and Oracle discussed various sustainability strategies used at their respective organizations. The panelists discussed both the successes and opportunities they have experienced while implementing initiatives to make sustainability a key embedded component in their organizations. The common thread was that sustainability has emerged as a new business reality that can deliver significant business opportunities to organizations in terms of risk management, cost avoidance, revenue growth, and brand equity.

Monday Jan 05, 2015

Oracle and Conflict Minerals

By Marsha Ali, Supply Chain Social and Environmental Program Manager, Oracle

As a hardware manufacturer, Oracle is committed to socially and environmentally responsible business practices throughout its supply chain – and this commitment holds true with conflict minerals. The term “conflict minerals” refer to tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold sourced from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and nine adjacent countries in Africa. As part of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Oracle files a “Conflict Minerals Disclosure” statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) – most recently in May 2014. This report is available on our Corporate Citizenship website and on the SEC website.  


Oracle requires all of our direct hardware suppliers, including suppliers associated with recent acquisitions of ACME, Tekelec and Micros – representing at least 80 percent of direct spend – to complete a form developed by the Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) and provide this information to us. The EICC form is consistent with what the electronics industry uses to report on the use of conflict minerals in their supply chains. For our latest report, Oracle suppliers were asked to provide this information to us in September 2014 and again in January 2015. This Reasonable Country of Origin (RCOI) activity is already in progress to collect our suppliers’ data for our 2014 report.

To fulfill this request, our suppliers asked their suppliers for their usage of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold. These suppliers then had to ask their suppliers, and so on and on, until the smelter location was identifiable at a country level. Some of the smelter operators have undergone an audit process to ensure that they have appropriate policies and programs in place. This required suppliers to retrace sourcing activity at least five levels back into the supply chain. Through Oracle’s participation in the EICC coalition’s Conflict Free Smelter Initiative group, we were able to share some of the best practices on understanding this data and the wide differences in industry approach to tackling this issue.

Monday Dec 29, 2014

Oracle Wins Prestigious Data Center Award from Datacenter Dynamics

Oracle has again been acknowledged as a leader in data center energy conservation. Earlier this year, our energy efficient data centers gained accolades by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). The momentum continues with our data center team’s latest win, achieving a prestigious award by DatacenterDynamics in recognition of Oracle’s “Breakthrough Innovations in Large Data Center in Cold Climate” within the Mega Data Center category (net IT load capacity greater than 1 megawatt). During the awards ceremony in New York City on December 2, DatacenterDynamics presented Oracle with this award to recognize our innovation, leadership and best practices in this important category.

We earned this achievement primarily by our innovative approach to cooling data centers using outdoor cold air – also known as air-side economization – which many have been reluctant to adopt in the past. The conventional approach to humidifying large quantities of air requires injection of steam into air whose generation requires energy. The industry learned quickly that it required more energy to humidify dry outdoor air than the energy saved from the use of its free cooling, and air-side economization did not make much headway in data centers. These problems were addressed efficiently in an innovative system installed in one of Oracle’s new state-of-the-art data centers in West Jordan, Utah. The innovation centers on the use of waste heat from the IT equipment for space humidification in the winter; evaporative cooling in summer; reduced primary airflow to the IT equipment; strategic hot air separation with recirculation; and novel controls that enabled the data center to achieve very high cooling efficiency at a lower initial investment cost. With efficient operation and low operating Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE), the system is expected to save over 41,000 MWh a year and the equivalent of 37,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually compared to an average efficient data center. More information on the project details can be found in our new whitepaper on data center cooling design.

Customers can learn from Oracle’s best practices on how to construct, manage, and build their own efficient data center, as well as run their applications on Oracle's public cloud and take advantage of Oracle's power usage effectiveness. Learn more here about how Oracle products and services can help customers optimize their data centers and minimize energy use.

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!




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