12 February 2010

Lots of smart grid stories recently, and Friday Comment

Top Stories

New Report: Largest Companies Fall Short in Managing, Disclosing Water Scarcity Risks.reliability high.
A benchmarking study of 100 companies by the Ceres investor coalition, UBS and Bloomberg finds the vast majority of leading companies in water-intensive industries have weak management and disclosure of water-related risks and opportunities. "Using a scoring scale of 0 to 100, the three highest scoring companies were UK beverage company Diageo, Swiss mining company Xstrata and U.S. electric power company Pinnacle West . . . ." Among the lowest scorers were Dr. Pepper Snapple, Florida Power & Light, Peabody Energy and Archer Daniels Midland & Bunge. From Ceres site. PDF of report here. [Some of these companies have been clients or targets in our Competitive Assessments, so we have seen how their actions and aspirations compare with the perceptions held by others.]

Cisco's Big Bet on New Songdo: Creating Cities From Scratch.reliability high.
Feature about Cisco's participation in new-city projects, especially Songdo in Korea. "'Everything can be connected and everything can be green,' promises Elfrink, who calculates that in addition to creating millions of jobs, smartening up cities could reduce emissions worldwide by 15% over the next decade, saving a ton of CO2 per person and nearly a trillion dollars. The smart-grid market alone 'may be bigger than the whole Internet,' Chambers has said." "the overriding agenda is sustainability". From Fast Company. [We are going to need thousands of new cities. Cities are more energy efficient than rural or suburban living. Smart communications/grids will make them even more energy efficient. You can see why Lord Stern says cleantech industries could "be at least as big as the railways, electricity, the motor car and ['traditional'] information technology." The auto gave us the suburbs and grew a great economic engine over the past century; smart grids will give us new cities and maybe a new economic engine.]

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

M&S: Plan A is 'profit positive'.reliability high.
Marks and Spencer’s CEO Sir Stuart Rose "said that over the past two years he had seen a massive change in how investors view the company’s Plan A green initiative and said it was 'profit positive' for the business as a whole. . . . Sir Stuart Rose admitted that the financial community was sceptical when Plan A was first launched back in 2007, 'but now they can see what value it has built into the [M&S] brand,' he said. 'A massive change in attitude has occurred over the last few years [on sustainability]. Retailers and brands now realise they need to make these changes. For example Wal-Mart was also sceptical 5 years ago, but it is now making great strides with its sustainability index. It realises that this [sustainability] is the way to go.'" From EcoTextile News. [One would assume "profit positive" means "we are more profitable with it than we would have been without it". The EIU survey mentioned in Wednesday's Brief found that few non-cleantech companies are claiming this yet.]

Chicago 2010: Bridgestone's new tires can improve fuel economy by four percent.reliability high.
"At the Chicago Auto Show this week, Bridgestone unveiled two new tires - called the Ecopia EP422 and the Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia - that bring the company's fuel efficient tires to a new class of vehicles." From Autoblog Green. [These new tires are for SUVs, which need all the green they can get. Maybe buying such tires assuages guilt, like buying offsets for air travel. What is the guilt market? Or is it about saving gas/money?]

Duke University Extends Global Learning With Cisco TelePresence Lecture Hall.reliability high.
"Duke University and Cisco today unveiled a first-of-its-kind virtual lecture hall for students enrolled in Duke’s Fuqua School of Business in Durham, N.C. Custom-built using Cisco TelePresence™ technology, the new lecture facility provides business school students with access to professors, business leaders and guest lecturers located around the globe, extending the in-person classroom environment across campuses and into the business world." In Nearshore Journal from Marketwire.

HaraBara Comment.reliability (modesty prevents us . . .)
[One hears a lot of argument about whether global warming is real, and if so what if anything  governments should do about it. (We are amused at how shocked, Shocked! some people profess to be at the nerdy, and ultimately insignificant, emails of a few scientists--what do they think the private discussions of legislators would look like by comparison?) But the stories above, and hundreds of others cataloged in HaraBara GreenBase™, amply illustrate that  businesses are putting a lot of money into responding to sustainability concerns. Sustainability is a competitive weapon whatever happens to the planet.]

[Crossposted from HaraBara.com courtesy of HaraBara, Inc. Copyright © 2010 HaraBara, Inc.]