Thursday Feb 21, 2013

The Case for Corporate Sustainability Gets Stronger

By Jon Chorley, Chief Sustainability Officer and Vice President SCM Product Strategy, Oracle

Much has changed in the world of corporate sustainability over the past year. Organizations have started to take action when it comes to implementing processes around sustainability, and as a result we are beginning to see profit from these efforts.

According to the latest edition of an annual survey of global executives by the MIT Sloan Management Review and the Boston Consulting Group corporate sustainability has become more embedded in business decisions and now defines company culture and corporate reputation. Significantly, the findings from the survey show:

  • Nearly 50% of companies have changed their business models as a result of sustainability opportunities - a 20% jump from last year
  • The portion of respondents reporting profit from sustainability went up 23%, to 37% in total
  • Two-thirds of respondents said that innovation advantage – identifying better solutions early – is the way to profit from sustainability
  • 61% of companies that have changed their business model and have sustainability as a permanent fixture on their management agenda say they have added profit for sustainability
  • Improved brand reputation was the number one benefit to organizations in addressing sustainability (40%)
  • 52% of organizations named customer preference for sustainable products as the number one reason that led to changes in their business model
  • 62% of the respondents report that their company’s CEO has a strong commitment to sustainability

While all of these findings are extremely important and telling on the state of corporate sustainability, there are a few points to highlight.

Organizations noted that the number one challenge in the next two years is innovating to achieve competitive differentiation. Identifying sustainability-driven innovation early will be critical to success. An innovation advantage was the most common response (67%) among organizations when asked where they see profit from sustainability.

Additionally, we expect the percentage of companies that have changed their business models as a result of sustainability to keep climbing. At Oracle, we understand the importance of ensuring there is an integrated approach to sustainability at the core of all business activities. Put simply, it is ineffective to treat sustainability as a separate functional area.

We are focused on delivering solutions that allow our customers to embed sustainability throughout their organizations and to achieve their sustainability initiatives so they too can be part of this exciting strategic opportunity.

Wednesday Feb 20, 2013

Health Authority – Abu Dhabi Increases Performance up to 80% and Lays Foundation for World-Class, Paperless, Healthcare E-Services

Health Authority – Abu Dhabi (HAAD) is the regulatory body charged with ensuring excellence in community healthcare in the emirate. HAAD needed to deploy a reliable and secure infrastructure to facilitate world-class healthcare e-services that could scale to serve millions of citizens across the emirates. The health authority deployed the Oracle E-Business Suite 12.1 to standardize processes and improve efficiency. It reduced customer service transaction workload by 20%, automated the requisition cycle with paperless processes, accelerated processing, on average, fivefold and cut the monthly financial closing process from 10 days to 3 days. By rolling out self-service capabilities, the organization saves 800 work-hours and 25,000 sheets of paper, annually. By moving to a paperless system and reducing their environmental impact, HAAD was selected as one of the winners of the 2012 Oracle Excellence Award: Eco-Enterprise Innovation. With the help of Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition, HAAD increased the performance of its front-office processes, driven by third-party applications that are uploaded into the data warehouse every night, by 80%, on average, and facilitated strategic decision-making through in-depth analysis capabilities. Read more about Health Authority – Abu Dhabi (HAAD).

Tuesday Feb 19, 2013

Now Available: 2012 Corporate Citizenship Report – Sustainability Highlights

In the recently released 2012 Corporate Citizenship Report we are proud to highlight our efforts to minimize Oracle's environmental impact and the work we do to help our customers do the same. The sustainability portion of this report addresses how Oracle technology helps companies better execute and measure their own sustainability initiatives. Oracle provides sustainability solutions that can be easily integrated with our customers' core business activities. These solutions cover an unmatched breadth and depth of capability, and we are continuing to invest and innovate.

Highlights:

·         Oracle develops practices and products that help protect the environment. Our database, middleware, applications, server, and storage technologies help our customers meet their sustainability goals, while providing bottom-line benefits.

·         Oracle's energy efficient data centers have been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers. Many Oracle products are used within our data centers.

·         Oracle’s technology is built on open and public industry standards, and Oracle engineers drive innovation by participating in 119 standards-setting organizations. Open interfaces, documented specifications, and standards-based development tools lower IT costs, while providing increased choice, interoperability, and flexibility.

The technology industry is critical to global progress and prosperity. We are committed to using our resources to protect the environment, meet regulatory compliance requirements, and employ socially responsible business practices in our operations.

If you would like to share feedback with us, please contact us at citizenship_ww@oracle.com.

Wednesday Jan 23, 2013

Oracle Environmental Accounting & Reporting ISeminar on February 12

Please join us at a free Iseminar on Tuesday February 12 at 10am PT/1pm ET/Noon CT that will cover Oracle Environmental Accounting and Reporting. In this 45 minute Iseminar you will learn about this easy-to-use solution which will help enable you to:

  • Collect the data pertaining to your company’s environmental impact and embed your greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting into the mainstream of business operations within your Oracle E-Business Suite and/or Oracle’s JD Edwards ERP systems.
  • Automate your environmental reporting process to make it more reliable, efficient, and secure.
  • Achieve a rapid return on your investment using Oracle Environmental Accounting and Reporting.

You may be asking what is Oracle Environmental Accounting and Reporting? This is a product that provides a repeatable, consistent, and auditable process to collect and report on your GHG impact. It will help you track GHG and other environmental data against your targets and help you efficiently meet your voluntary and legislated reporting needs. It is pre-built and flexible -- with reporting features, easy deployment, an ability to report on emissions by multiple factors such as source, facility, category, etc.

Register for this Iseminar here and learn how Oracle Environmental Accounting and Reporting can help you improve your overall operational efficiency and reduce cost.

Thursday Jan 17, 2013

Sustainable Progress in the Corporate World

By Jon Chorley, Chief Sustainability Officer and Vice President of SCM Product Strategy, Oracle

At the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Doha in November 2012, the consensus was that it’s time to take action.

In his address to environmental ministers and climate officials from nearly 200 countries, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon summed it up by stating that “the abnormal is the new normal” and he highlighted events such as the flooding in Manhattan and Beijing, to the ice caps melting, permafrost thawing and sea levels rising.

But another aspect of this “new normal” is that business and the market are responding to the challenge. The green economy for example, which can be measured by looking at green jobs, green markets and investment in green industries, is showing genuine signs of momentum.  An article from Steven Cohen, Executive Director, Columbia University's Earth Institute, in the Huffington Post does a great job of capturing the progress made.

There are also signs that businesses are increasing their commitment to sustainability. A new report by Calvert Investments, Ceres and World Wildlife Fund demonstrates the dramatic progress that has been made over last three years. The report, “Power Forward: Why the World’s Largest Companies are Investing in Renewable Energy,” showed that a majority of Fortune 100 companies have set a renewable energy commitment, a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction commitment or both. Additional findings included:

  • 56% of Fortune 100 and Global 100 companies have set GHG reduction goals.
  • Of those, 13% have set specific goals for renewable energy use, with others using renewable energy to meet their GHG goals.
  • Many companies are shifting from purchasing short-term, temporary Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to longer-term investment strategies like Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and on-site projects, indicating a long-term commitment to renewable energy and reaping the benefits of reduced price volatility.

And of course technology will play a critical role in helping businesses act on sustainability goals and objectives. That’s why we continue to expand our sustainability solutions at Oracle and why we recently introduced a waste management solution for the Oracle E-Business Suite. Waste management issues are becoming an increasingly crucial part of environmental sustainability and we see it as one more way Oracle is helping businesses hit sustainability goals. It’s exciting to be part of the progress being made in the green economy and sustainability and we are looking forward to continuing that work this year.

Monday Jan 14, 2013

Don’t Miss the Oracle Value Chain Summit on February 4-6 in San Francisco

By Jon Chorley, Chief Sustainability Officer and Vice President of Supply Chain Management Product Strategy

Please join me at our upcoming Oracle Value Chain Summit in San Francisco on February 4-6. This summit features ~200 sessions across all of the supply chain management solution areas -- including Product Lifecycle Management, Manufacturing, Maintenance, Value Chain Planning, Value Chain Execution and Procurement. Customers, partners, and industry luminaries will discuss how to transform supply chains into value chains for a competitive edge. Hear from our exciting keynote speakers and customers who will share their experiences and discuss best practices for optimizing supply chains. Don’t miss this exceptional opportunity to gain the latest Oracle product knowledge in detailed product sessions and participate in a hands-on solutions pavilion.

Sustainability will be discussed throughout this summit. And we also have a general session, ”The Sustainable Value Chain”, that will take place on Tuesday, February 5. Several supply chain experts will join me in discussing how sustainability is a growing factor in business positioning and performance. For product companies - the design, operation and optimization of supply chains is the central component of any meaningful sustainability program. But how to balance costs with benefits? How to measure the effectiveness of any program? How to identify the best business opportunities while avoiding "greenwashing"?  We will discuss the implications of these trends and will review real-world examples of how sustainability can be embedded throughout the supply chain to reduce risks and costs while increasing revenues.

I hope you can join us at the Oracle Value Chain Summit. See the full agenda and registration information here.

Saturday Jan 05, 2013

Sustainability Reporting Doubled in 2012

According to the recent Governance & Accountability Institute’s 2012 Corporate ESG/ Sustainability/Responsibility Report, the percentage of S&P 500 companies that reported on their sustainability strategies, initiatives, programs and performance has more than doubled, growing from 19 percent in 2011 to 53 percent in 2012 (reporting among Fortune 500 companies grew from 20 percent in 2011 to 57 percent in 2012). With more than 50 percent of this important group of companies reporting, those that do not report will feel increasing pressure to do so in the future. Click here for more information.

Call for Nominations for Oracle Excellence Awards: Eco-Enterprise Innovation - Due July 15

Is your organization using an Oracle product to lower its environmental footprint while reducing costs? For example, you may use Oracle’s Agile Product Lifecycle Management to design more eco-friendly products, Oracle Transportation Management to reduce fleet emissions, Oracle Exadata Database Machine to decrease power and cooling needs while increasing database performance, Oracle Business Intelligence to measure environmental impacts, or one of many other Oracle products. Your company may be eligible for an Oracle Excellence Award:  Eco-Enterprise Innovation. Submit a nomination form located here by July 15 if your organization is using any Oracle product to take an environmental lead as well as to reduce costs and improve its business efficiencies by using green business practices. These awards will be presented during Oracle OpenWorld 2013 (September 22-September 26) in San Francisco.

Either a customer or its partner can submit the nomination form on behalf of the customer. Winners will be selected based on the extent of the environmental impact they have had as well as the business efficiencies they have achieved through their combined use of Oracle products. To be eligible for this award, your company must use at least one of Oracle’s products and the solution should be in production or in active development.

These awards will be presented to the winning customers and their partners during Oracle OpenWorld by a senior Oracle executive and will be honored in a special Oracle OpenWorld conference session. Winning customers will receive a free Oracle OpenWorld registration pass and will have the opportunity to participate in Oracle media opportunities. See last year's winners here.  

Friday Jan 04, 2013

Earth Rangers Increases Data Center Energy Efficiency by 90% Without Sacrificing Performance or Scalability by Upgrading Storage System

Earth Rangers, a recent winner of our 2012 Oracle Excellence: Eco-Enterprise Innovation Award, has been building out its Web-based tools to support online learning and education. With its Website content growing by more than 20 terabytes a year, they required a scalable, high capacity, high performance storage solution. Given their organization’s core mission, energy efficiency was also a critical factor in the selection process. Earth Rangers successfully met both goals with Oracle’s Pillar Axiom 600 storage system. It cost-effectively increased storage capacity utilization, improved its power usage effectiveness to 1.5, and increased energy efficiency in the data center by 90%, without sacrificing performance or scalability.

When initializing the organization’s data center, it had two options—standard implementation of enterprise solutions or virtualization coupled with data storage optimization and cooling load reduction. Earth Rangers chose virtualization, which is more cost effective to initiate and operate than traditional servers, and this resulted in an instant return on investment.

The installation has allowed Earth Rangers to avoid consumption of the equivalent of 100,000 kilowatt hours of energy, and 26 tons of greenhouse gas emissions. These savings contributed significantly to the 17.8% energy savings Earth Rangers realized in 2011—all while the organization was growing, both in reach and employees. See
here for more information about Earth Rangers success.

If your organization is also using Oracle products to reduce its environmental footprint while reducing costs and improving operational business efficiencies, submit a 2013 Oracle Excellence: Eco-Enterprise Innovation Award nomination here.

Friday Dec 14, 2012

Integrated Reporting Is Getting Closer

By John O’Rourke, Vice President, Product Marketing, Oracle

Oracle recently sponsored a webcast on CFO.com titled:  The CFO Playbook on Integrated Reporting: Integrating Sustainability into Financial Disclosures which focused on why top companies in the U.S. and overseas are incorporating sustainability content into their annual reports and other financial disclosures. 

The webcast speakers, James Margolis, partner with Environmental Resources Management (ERM), a global provider of environmental, health, safety, risk and sustainability consulting services (EHSS) and Mike Wallace, Director of the Global Reporting Initiative's Focal Point USA, discussed the benefits of integrating sustainability reporting with traditional financial reporting. They noted how investors, corporate directors, lenders and most recently, the Securities and Exchange Commission, use this information to better understand, benchmark and value companies. They also talked about the November 2012 release of an Integrated Reporting Framework by the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC).  Read the press release and link to the framework here. 

The shift towards integrated financial and sustainability reporting is gaining momentum with a number of global stock exchanges endorsing this approach in 2012.  Visit these links to listen to the webcast and download the slides. You can also view a demonstration of Oracle's solution for integrated financial and sustainability reporting. If you’re interested in learning more about this and Oracle’s other sustainability reporting solutions, click here.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please feel free to contact me at john.orourke@oracle.com.

Monday Dec 03, 2012

Evaluating Solutions to Manage Product Compliance? Don’t Wait Much Longer

By Kerrie Foy, Director PLM Product Marketing, Oracle

Depending on severity, product compliance issues can cause various problems from run-away budgets to business closures. But effective policies and safeguards can create a strong foundation for innovation, productivity, market penetration and competitive advantage. If you’ve been putting off a systematic approach to product compliance, it is time to reconsider that decision.

Why now?  No matter what industry, companies face a litany of worldwide and regional regulations that require proof of product compliance and environmental friendliness for market access.  For example, Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS), a regulation that restricts the use of six dangerous materials used in the manufacture of electronic and electrical equipment, was originally adopted by the European Union in 2003 for implementation in 2006 and has evolved over time through various regional versions for North America, China, Japan, Korea, Norway and Turkey. In addition, the RoHS directive allowed for material exemptions used in Medical Devices, but that exemption ends in 2014. Additional regulations worth watching are the Battery DirectiveWaste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), and Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) directives. Additional regulations are expected from organizations such as the Food and Drug Administration in the US and similar organizations elsewhere. Meeting compliance requirements and also successfully investing in eco-friendly designs can be a major challenge. It may involve transforming business models, go-to-market strategies, supply networks, quality assurance policies and compliance processes.  Without a single source of truth for product data and without proper processes in place, ensuring product compliance burgeons into a crushing task that is cost-prohibitive and overwhelming.  However, the risk to consumer goodwill and satisfaction, revenue, business continuity, and market potential is too great not to solve the compliance challenge. Companies are beginning to adapt and thrive by implementing systematic approaches to product compliance that are more than functional bandages, they are revenue-generating engines.

Consider working with Oracle to help you address your compliance needs. Many of the world’s most innovative leaders and pioneers are leveraging Oracle’s Agile Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) portfolio of enterprise applications to manage the product value chain, centralize product data, automate processes, and launch more eco-friendly products to market faster.   Particularly, the Agile Product Governance & Compliance (PG&C) solution provides out-of-the-box functionality to integrate actionable regulatory information into the enterprise product record from the ideation to the disposal/recycling phase. 

Agile PG&C is a comprehensive solution that makes product compliance per corporate initiatives and regulations more reliable and efficient. Throughout product lifecycles, use the solution to support full material disclosures, gain rapid visibility into non-compliance issues, efficiently manage declarations with your suppliers, feed compliance data into a corrective action if a product must be changed, and swiftly satisfy audits by showing all due diligence tracked in one solution.

Given the compounding regulation and consumer focus on urgent environmental issues, now is the time to act. Implementing an enterprise-wide systematic approach to product compliance is a competitive investment. From the start, Agile PG&C enables companies to confidently design for compliance and sustainability, reduce the cost of compliance, minimize the risk of business interruption, deliver responsible products, and inspire new innovation.  Don’t wait any longer!

To find out more about Agile Product Governance & Compliance download the data sheet, contact your sales representative, or call Oracle at 1-800-633-0738.

Friday Nov 30, 2012

Oracle Streamlines Tracking of Global Carbon Footprint and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Oracle has automated its global carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions measurement using Oracle Environmental Accounting and Reporting. By using this solution, Oracle was able to increase organizational efficiency and reduce the need for labor intensive, manual processes in the tracking of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for both voluntary and legislated environmental reporting.

The move to Oracle Environmental Accounting and Reporting enables Oracle to more effectively meet both internal and governmental reporting needs, while addressing the associated economic mandates for reporting emissions and sustainability efforts. Organizations across the company can now record environmental data such as energy consumed or energy generated at facilities or locations within the enterprise, and can automatically calculate corresponding GHG emissions resulting from the use of emission sources. In addition, Oracle Environmental Accounting and Reporting includes data integration from multiple applications to ensure proper representation and calculation of emissions across the globe. The result is access to fast, accurate data and reporting to help the company meet its sustainability goals.

Thursday Oct 25, 2012

Will the Global Demand for Water Outstrip the Supply by 2030?

A recent study conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by Oracle Utilities, titled “Water for All?”,considers the preparedness of utilities to supply water to the current global population of over 7 billion people, with a further 1 billion expected by 2030. It compares strategies used by utilities in 10 major countries to address this challenge. This study’s findings show that wide-ranging water management efforts and large-scale investments must be made if utilities are to meet near-certain water stress—demand outstripping supply—by 2030. The report is based on an online survey of 244 executives of water utilities in these countries, supplemented by in-depth interviews with 20 water utility executives and independent experts. The research concludes that utilities worldwide expect to meet future demand, despite increased supply pressure on supplies, due to improvements in water productivity that the wide range of measures utilities and governments will take to ensure that water is used more efficiently. Read more about this here.

Product News: Oracle Unveils a Waste Management Solution for the Oracle E-Business Suite

Oracle recently announced a new product to help organizations reduce the cost and compliance with international hazmat (short for hazardous materials) and recycling and environmental protection laws. This new waste management solution for Oracle E-Business Suite extends the capabilities of  Oracle Depot Repair, Oracle Transportation Management and Oracle Global Trade Management. It automates and monitors waste management processes to help ensure that hazardous materials are tracked and handled in accordance with regulatory requirements. Oracle’s waste management solution for the Oracle E-Business Suite leverages Oracle Transportation Management and Oracle Global Trade Management, enabling customers to view in-transit inventory across the extended supply chain, while also providing a single repository for all legal, regulatory and compliance related information. Read here for more information.

Tuesday Oct 23, 2012

Oracle Congratulates Winners of the 2012 Oracle Excellence Award: Eco-Enterprise Innovation

Oracle recently held its fifth annual Eco-Enterprise Innovation awards ceremony during Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco. Oracle Chairman of the Board, Jeff Henley, awarded select customers for their use of Oracle products to help with their sustainability initiatives. During this session, several award recipients discussed how they embedded various sustainability strategies throughout their organizations to help reduce their costs as well as their environmental footprint. It was an interesting session based around green best business practices and how Oracle products enabled many of these customers’ sustainability efforts.

The winning customers for 2012 are: Dena Bank, Earth Rangers Centre, Grupo Pão de Açúcar, Health Authority – Abu Dhabi, Korean Air, North County Transit District, Orlando Utilities Commission, Ricoh – Europe, Schneider Electric, Severn Trent Water, and Terracap.

Several of these winning customers also selected a partner to co-accept the award with them. These winning partners played a major role in helping these customers achieve their sustainability-related efforts..

Oracle also awarded Ian Winham, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer from Ricoh Europe, with Oracle's Chief Sustainability Officer of the Year award. Ricoh Europe is a multinational imaging and electronics company with a strong commitment to sustainability. Ian was honored for his leadership in reducing Ricoh's environmental impacts by leveraging Oracle's applications and underlying technology.

See here for more details.

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