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.

Monday Jun 03, 2013

Intelligent Efficiency White Paper: Innovations Reshaping the Energy Efficiency Market

I recently read a white paper by Stephen Lacey from Greentech Media that I think you may find interesting. He talks about “intelligent efficiency” from an energy perspective. What is “intelligent efficiency” you ask? Stephen discusses the many significant advances in web-based monitoring, real-time data analytics, and utilities using peak pricing and how energy efficiency is now becoming an asset that companies can measure, manage, buy and sell. He talks about an emerging, information-driven approach to energy efficiency. Companies can get more granular information and are empowered to turn energy from a cost into an asset. This new paradigm is labeled “intelligent efficiency.”

While Stephen admits that information is not the only solution to breaking down all energy efficiency barriers, he notes that less expensive sensors are enabling the granular monitoring of every piece of equipment in a facility; web-based monitoring platforms are making energy consumption actionable; and analytic capabilities are allowing companies to find and predict trends. This intelligence is turning energy efficiency from a static, reactive process into a dynamic, proactive strategy.

Historically, energy efficiency was a one-dimensional process that involved replacing discrete pieces of equipment. But with instant communications and comprehensive analytical capabilities, efficiency is becoming an ongoing process – one that is connecting energy management, storage, distributed renewables, and traditional efficiency sectors to create a dynamic market. It is also enhancing project performance as real-time monitoring allows for ongoing adjustment and verification across facilities. You can read the white paper in its entirety here.  

Wednesday Mar 13, 2013

Electronics Disposal Efficiency (EDE): An IT Recycling Metric For Enterprises And Data Centers

Guest author Steve Stawarz, Principal Solutions Consultant and Sustainability Lead at Oracle discusses a new white paper offered by the Green Grid

I had the privilege to be a contributing author to the newly released Electronics Disposal Efficiency (EDE) Metric White Paper, an offering from The Green Grid. The Electronics Disposal Efficiency (EDE) metric is the first universal metric launched by The Green Grid to help end users of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) measure their success in the responsible management of outdated equipment. EDE is a simple metric that helps organizations calculate and measure their progress in improving equipment disposal processes over time. This metric is a first-of-its-kind and will help ensure companies responsibly handle electronics and electrical equipment at the end of its useful life. 

The Green Grid Association (TGG) is a non-profit, open industry consortium of end users, policy makers, technology providers, facility architects, and utility companies that works to improve the resource efficiency of information technology and data centers throughout the world. Over the past few years, TGG has developed a series of metrics for use in evaluating and enhancing data center operations. This series includes power usage effectiveness (PUE™), data center energy productivity (DCeP™), energy reuse effectiveness (ERE™), data center compute efficiency (DCcE™), and others. The Green Grid now proposes a new metric—electronics disposal efficiency (EDE)—to increase industry awareness regarding the responsible disposal of IT assets. By providing a simple metric that is easy to use, The Green Grid believes that organizations will be able to measure themselves and set goals to improve how they dispose of IT assets. The EDE metric complements the data center maturity model (DCMM), which contains clear goals and direction for improving energy efficiency and sustainability throughout a data center.

Click here for a copy of the whitepaper.

Wednesday Mar 06, 2013

Agrion Summit: An Energy Agenda Focused on Market Opportunities and Strategic Investment

By Elena Avesani, Principal Product Strategy Manager, Oracle

On February 19th and 20th, 2013 Agrion, a global business network for energy, cleantech and corporate sustainability, held its annual energy and sustainability summit in New York. Business leaders came together to exchange experience and expertise in order to advance the conversation on energy and sustainability. I was at the summit along with 400 other participants. We heard from experts in the renewable energy, smart cities, smart grid, corporate sustainability and energy efficiency fields.

In the sustainability track, speakers from various companies discussed their sustainability programs in terms of ROI of corporate social responsibility, employee engagement, materiality, relations with the investor’s community, and sustainable supply chains. Some of my key take-aways included:

  • It is imperative for practitioners in the sustainability space to build a business case with their CFOs to continue pushing forward their sustainability agenda within their organizations. Activities and projects should be linked to financial and operational metrics and results.
  • While the proliferation of sustainability performance surveys from customers and vendors often generates confusion, it also indicates a significant cultural change. Sustainability is being further integrated into organizations’ business values and overall strategy and companies are being more transparent in what they are disclosing.
  • While organizations and thought leaders around the world are pushing for further integration of sustainability data – with financial information and for environmental and social factors to be considered as equal contributors to the value of a company – the disconnect on the financial markets and the investor relations (IR) team is still a blocking factor. In some companies the CSO office and IR office rarely communicate. However, analysts are increasingly looking at companies’ environmental practices and investors better understand how sustainability practices affect the value of the company and have a strong impact on risk.
  • Uniform regulation remains the missing element in the field and could be the final catalyst. Stock exchanges are now requiring or recommending companies to disclose environmental, social, and governance  data, but the implementation of this requirement requires a common action in the industry as this type of requirement can discourage companies that want to get listed.

Highlights from the energy track included keynote presentations by Richard Kauffman, Chair of Energy Policy and Finance Sub-Cabinet in the State of New York, and Reed Hundt, CEO of the Coalition for Green Capital. Both made the case for green banks, intended to provide low cost financing to clean energy projects, and the need for partnering within the private sector to foster investment in alternative energy. Low cost lending can substantially reduce the cost of a clean energy project, making it cost competitive with fossil fuel generation or close to cost competitive and thus requiring lower subsidies.

 Bradley Williams, VP of Industry Strategy at Oracle, spoke about the impact that the Microgrid will have on the energy industry from production to distribution, storage, billing and the connection to the grid, and the technology skills and assets required.

It was an interesting summit and the Oracle participants, myself included, enjoyed participating in these energy and sustainability discussions.  

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.

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.

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.

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