Friday Apr 17, 2015

Oracle Sustainability Innovation Awards - Nominations Now Open

Nominations are now open for the 2015 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’s Agile Product Lifecycle Management to design more eco-friendly products, Oracle Cloud Solutions to help drive down power consumption, 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.

Nominations are due Friday June 19. These awards will be presented during Oracle OpenWorld 2014 in San Francisco by Jeff Henley, Oracle Executive Vice Chairman of the Board. See this award information page for more details.

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

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.

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.

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.

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:

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 Oct 28, 2013

The Grenelle II Act In France: A Milestone Towards Integrated Reporting

By Elena Avesani, Principal Product Strategy Manager, Oracle

In July of 2010, France took a significant step towards mandating integrated sustainability and financial reporting for all large companies with a new law called Grenelle II. Article 225 of Grenelle II requires that many listed companies on the French stock exchanges incorporate information on the social and environmental consequences of their activities into their annual reports, as well as their societal commitments for sustainable development. The decree that implements Article 225 of Grenelle II was passed in April 2012.

Grenelle II is the strongest governmental mandate yet in support of sustainability reporting. The law defines the phase-in process, with large listed companies expected to comply in their 2012 reports and smaller companies expected to comply with their 2014 annual reports. This extra-financial information will have to be embedded in the annual management report, approved by the Board of Directors, verified by a third-party body and given to the annual general meeting. The subjects that must be reported on are grouped into Environmental, Social, and Governance categories.

Oracle solutions can help organizations integrate financial and sustainability reporting and provide a more accurate and auditable approach to collecting, consolidating, and reporting such environmental, social, and economic metrics. Through Oracle Environmental Accounting and Reporting and Oracle Hyperion Financial Management Sustainability Starter Kit organizations can collect environmental, social and governance data and collect and consolidate corporate sustainability reporting data from multiple systems and business units.

For more information about these solutions please contact elena.avesani@oracle.com.

Tuesday Oct 22, 2013

Winners of the Oracle Excellence Award—Eco-Enterprise Innovation

Did you get a chance to attend Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco? With 60,000 attendees and hundreds of sessions to choose from—there was a lot going on. One of my favorite sessions was the Eco-Enterprise Awards and Sustainability Executive Panel Discussion. During this session, Jeff Henley, Oracle Chairman of the Board, announced the winners of the 2013 Oracle Excellence Award—Eco-Enterprise Innovation. It was an enlightening session as we heard several of the winning customers discuss the importance of sustainability to their company and how they’re using various Oracle products to help with their sustainability initiatives. The winning customers include: Centennial Coal, Indaver nv, Korea Enterprise Data, National Guard Health Affairs, Schneider National, SThree, Telstra International Group, Trex Company, University of Salzburg, Walmart, and Yeoncheon County Office. Stay tuned for additional blogs where you’ll learn more about these winning companies’ environmental best practices and why they won this award.

Several partners were also recognized for helping these customers with their sustainability initiatives. Those partners include: CSS International, Daesang Information Technology, i4BI, Infosys, Knowledge Global, Solutions for Retails Brands Limited, and SysGen.

During this same session, Jeff Henley also awarded Robert Kaplan, Director of Sustainability at Walmart, with Oracle’s Chief Sustainability Officer of the Year award. Robert was honored for helping improve Walmart’s supply chain efficiency with their Sustainability Hub. The Sustainability Hub, powered by Oracle Service Cloud, is a central location for Walmart suppliers, associates and business partners to learn, connect, inspire and drive sustainability through collaboration. While at Oracle OpenWorld, I also got a chance to hear Robert Kaplan discuss their Sustainability Hub during an Oracle OpenWorld Live taping.


Friday Aug 16, 2013

Environmental Legislation in the United Kingdom

By Elena Avesani, Principal Product Strategy Manager, Oracle

As part of my ongoing efforts to discuss upcoming environmental legislation – I’m now going to focus on the latest changes occurring in the United Kingdom. Starting on October 1, 2013 the Companies Act 2006 (Strategic Report and Directors’ Report) Regulations 2013 will require all United Kingdom quoted companies to report on their greenhouse gas emissions as part of their annual Directors’ Report. Companies will be required to report on their scope one and two greenhouse gas emissions, including the six primary Kyoto gases and converted to a CO2 equivalent. Initially this requirement will only affect 1,100 incorporated companies listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange, a European Economic Area market or whose shares are dealing on the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ. The new regulations will then be reviewed in 2015 and ministers will decide whether to extend the approach to all large companies starting in 2016.

Companies that are covered by the regulations need to ensure they have a robust data management and reporting framework that covers the GHGs that will need to be reported; and the full scope of their organization based on the emissions they are responsible for. The UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has issued guidance on how companies should report their greenhouse gas emissions. The document outlines the benefit of reporting – lower energy consumption and resource costs, better understanding of exposure to the risk of climate change and brand recognition – and recommends the use of Environmental Management Systems (EMS) to effectively manage environmental data. Although there is no prescribed methodology under the regulations, companies are recommended to use robust and accepted methods, such the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard.

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.

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.  

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