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.  

Wednesday May 01, 2013

The Carbon Disclosure Project Spring Workshop

Guest author Elena Avesani, Principal Product Strategy Director at Oracle, discusses her participation in the recent CDP Spring Workshop at the New York Stock Exchange

On April 5, 2013 the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), an independent non-profit U.K. organization that collects Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) data of major corporations, invited corporations and investor signatories to attend its annual spring workshop at the New York Stock Exchange. I was one of Oracle’s three attendees and was able to attend many informational sessions led by the CDP staff, including a review of the 2013 CDP questionnaire and scoring methodology, the technical changes from 2012 and an overview of disclosure best practices. I also attended several thought leadership sessions.

Several participating companies explained how they leverage CDP disclosure to work with their CFOs to identify cost savings, develop innovative sustainability initiatives, respond to other regulatory bodies (DJSI, GRI, UNGC) and respond promptly to investors’ inquiries. Several speakers highlighted how speaking the same language as their CFO is crucial to integrate CDP responses into an effective communication with investors. Every year investors are increasingly interested on companies’ ESG performance and integrate CDP data into investment processes. Asset management companies look at governance strategy and engage companies to understand if they are aligned to their long term interests. They also look at data in the context of financial information and narrative. CDP thus provides a detailed framework to talk about climate change and disclosure on carbon, water and supply chain management. The nature of these issues shed light on how the company is managed in the long term.

Particular focus was given to strategies for measuring, managing and reporting Scope3 emissions, whose weight is increasing in the CDP scoring process. Scope3 analysis requires a strong understanding of the upstream supply chain as well as the definition of a directional roadmap identifying raw materials, operations and products, procurement strategies, production strategies and logistics assessment. 

Finally, the CDP pushes companies to engage suppliers on climate change and water risks through disclosure to the CDP Supply Chain Module. This disclosure enables companies to understand how to score and benchmark suppliers’ responses and educate suppliers on climate change and costs reduction. Category managers can check CDP scorecards and verify the performance of the company. It was helpful for Oracle to participate in this conference as we continue to gather our data to participate in the Carbon Disclosure Project.

Monday Apr 08, 2013

Korean Air, Winner of 2012 Oracle Excellence Award, Showcases Its Sustainability Success

Are you employing Oracle products for any of your sustainability initiatives? If you are an Oracle customer with a sustainability story to showcase – don’t miss the chance to nominate your company for the 2013 Oracle Excellence Award: Eco-Enterprise Innovation. Nominations are due June 21. 

One of our award winners last year was Korean Air. Korean Air is South Korea’s airline and its largest carrier. They used a combination of Oracle products to help them meet their environmental sustainability goals, such as reducing paper use, fuel consumption, aircraft noise, and carbon emissions from passenger and cargo transport. Korean Air was able to cut its catering costs by US$2.56 million per year and minimized food wastage, by creating route-specific menus based on accurate passenger numbers and regional demand. It also established an aircraft fuel management system that helped reduce its fuel consumption by 5%, based on revised laws and procedures about fuel allowances and ground-based auxiliary power units. In addition, Korean Air was able to save US$60,000 annually on paper costs and 165,000 sheets of paper per year by establishing a digital library and generating electronic airline tickets and other documents.

Read more about Korean Air’s award-winning story.

Wednesday Mar 27, 2013

Oracle Sponsors UNEP Environmental Forum in Nairobi

Guest author Rich Kroes, Sustainability Product Strategy Director at Oracle, discusses his participation in the recent United Nations Environment Program Forum in Nairobi

Oracle was pleased to sponsor and participate in the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environmental Forum (GC/GMEF) held in Nairobi on February 20-22. The forum brought together environment ministers, permanent secretaries, cabinet officials and other senior opinion formers from over 140 countries to discuss the latest issues on the global environment, particularly in relation to sustainability and climate change. The ministerial consultations during the session also focused on how to drive and support the emerging positions and policy issues following the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on sustainable development held in Brazil last summer.

UNEP understands the value that technological innovation and the development of sustainability solutions brings to bear in terms of addressing the diverse challenges faced by the world’s environment. The organization also understands that the private sector plays a critical role in the development of a broad array of these solutions, hence hosting the Sustainability Innovation Expo at the event to foster the sharing of technological knowledge and discuss future opportunities.

A session on the UNEP-Live program also highlighted the importance of measurement in tracking major environmental developments and events, as well as identifying emerging issues in the global environment. Measurement ultimately forms the basis for and provides the means to deliver lasting and meaningful improvement in the state of the world’s environment – this is a key cornerstone for Oracle's sustainability solutions as well.

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.  

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).

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.

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