Oracle helps industries transition to a low-carbon economy

November 8, 2022 | 8 minute read
Burcin Kaplanoglu
Vice President, Innovation, Oracle Industry Lab
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The fight against climate change is going to require innovative solutions and the latest technologies to help make a real impact possible. Driven by the European Union pledging carbon neutrality by 2050, Oracle is committed to doing its part to safeguard our planet and achieve net-zero sustainability goals. In addition to participating in the UN Race to Zero and the Exponential Roadmap Initiative, a climate partnership with businesses, we are working across all industries and regions to reduce carbon output, delivering long-term solutions and a more sustainable future.

As the UN convenes this November at the 27th Conference of the Parties (COPS), colloquially known as COP27, we are excited to provide an update into our efforts to being more sustainable, as well as to assist in the push against climate change.

Oracle Industry Lab supporting the sustainability journey

Since our announcement at COP26, Oracle has officially completed construction of its Oracle Industry Lab in Reading, England and is in the process of putting on the final touches to become operational. The Innovation lab will be an open-air town center, complete with electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, wind turbines, and a small urban farm showing humans and nature living in balance. The facility also includes a simulated train station, featuring a sustainably built railcar—repurposed from an existing train using green materials. The lab was recently recognized by the non-profit US Green Building Council with the prestigious and highly regarded LEED Gold Certification.

To achieve this certification we adopted the LEED v4.1 Approach, with emphasis on energy and water conservation, as well as reducing waste and improving air quality in the construction process. We also delivered quality beyond-market best practices during construction by incorporating innovative design, technologies, processes, and material selection strategies. For example, we used toxin-free materials when constructing the facility to deliver cleaner indoor air that can help reduce respiratory illnesses of its occupants.

Achieving high-profile LEED certification isn’t merely about the buildings themselves. A bevy of sustainable design, build, and operational elements are implemented at the Oracle Industry Lab in Reading that promote green best practices. Among the items and processes are:

  • LED lights
  • Sustainable finishes: wallpaper, paint, and carpet
  • Carbon negative flooring
  • Recycled furniture
  • Recycled UK-sourced timber
  • Low carbon concrete
  • Reused pavement and roads
  • Rain harvesting
  • Herb garden
  • Replanted trees
  • A living wall with plants
  • On-site waste management
  • Automated bins
  • EV charging on-site
  • EV car
  • EPD (environmental product declaration) verified materials

LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, typically accredits indoor facilities. The distinction for our indoor-outdoor facility is a significant indicator to organizations that the lab is a leader in climate change practices.

Innovation across industries  

The Reading lab is a unique testing ground where customers and partners can explore, ideate, and innovate solutions together, helping solve some of the greatest challenges across an array of industries including construction and engineering, food and beverage, communications, and hospitality.

The lab will be a space for collaboration that is focused on enhancing technology aimed at enhancing sustainability, mobility, and accessibility. It will also include interactive exhibits and simulations, displays of new technologies, and showcases of cross-industry innovation.

This is Oracle’s third such facility globally, with the others located in Chicago, Illinois and Sydney, Australia. Together, the labs represent a significant investment into creating a real-world test bed enabling true technological innovation, providing a state-of-the-art environment to accelerate technology innovation across the crucial areas of sustainability, mobility, and accessibility.

Innovation in action

The rewards of our investment already are being realized. Circulor, a member of the Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN), is demonstrating at the lab how carbon management can be applied across construction practices by tracking various materials across their lifecycles. They have created a dashboard to show the actual and projected CO2 values sourced from the Circulor system, which can support both a top-down and bottom-up approach to monitoring gas emissions.

NatureMetrics also is at the lab demonstrating biodiversity and its impact on an organization’s environmental, social, and corporate governance commitments. The company combines deep scientific expertise with its wide breadth of knowledge on core client sectors to deliver biodiversity survey solutions to reduce costs of such surveys and improve their biodiversity outcomes.

A proven track record of success

Oracle is committed to enabling the creation and integration of new technologies to help solve climate change challenges facing a complex industry landscape. We are confident that our present and past successes can help ensure a brighter, more sustainable future.

For instance, tools are built into our software that add predictability to organizations’ sustainability goals. The AI-powered Oracle Construction Intelligence Cloud Advisor, identifies potential schedule and supply chain issues, then drive rapid data-driven decision-making to keep projects on time and budget.

Additionally, an Oracle for Research project led by PhD students at the University of Reading will be featured at COP27 as part of an exhibit with the Walker Institute, the University of Reading’s Interdisciplinary Climate Research Centre. Born out of research that found fruit trees across the UK are flowering earlier than ever before, PhD students Chris Wyver and Laura Reeves, along with citizen scientists, have been tracking data from fruit trees, pollinators, and pests to see how their interactions are being impacted by climate change.

This new research builds on an earlier project with Oracle for Research, FruitWatch.org, to examine the phenology of each individual fruit tree, pollinator or pest, the interaction between them, and how overtime that is shifting due to rising temperatures. The researchers are using Oracle APEX on Autonomous Database to develop a new interactive Phenology application based on their research – which includes more than 60 years of data ­– that will be on display and online at COP27, taking place November 6-18th in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. COP is the United Nations Climate Change Conference and the supreme decision-making forum of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Coordinated approach across industries

And our work doesn’t just stop at improving outcomes for the construction and engineering industry, as Oracle Industry Labs across the globe are also working to enhance technologies in industries including food and beverage, communications, hospitality, and energy and water.

Lava.ai, an OPN member, helps businesses engage fans through real-time, behavior-based marketing by utilizing data collected during live or online events such as attendance and purchase behavior to deliver personalized and relevant offers to influence in-the-moment decision-making. For example, working with Oracle MICROS Simphony customers, Lava.ai can provide real time insight into food sales at a stadium during a game. Customers can then provide customized offers to fans mid-game based on surplus food, reducing waste.

Conclusion

The UN’s 2020 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction laid bare how the construction industry is responsible for more than 10% of all global greenhouse gas emissions. We at Oracle are inspired to address and mitigate these troubling trends. With our industry labs, decades of expertise, and cutting-edge solutions, Oracle is proud to play a part in the solution.

Learn more about how the Oracle Industry Lab is embedding sustainability in our business and our customers.

Burcin Kaplanoglu

Vice President, Innovation, Oracle Industry Lab


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