24 March 2010

It's worse than you think, companies save big, and other business, industry, and government news

Top Stories

France Abandons Plan for Carbon Tax.reliability high.
"After months of political rancor and legal obstacles, the French government on Tuesday shelved its plan to introduce a tax on carbon emissions that had been a cornerstone of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s environmental policy. ... analysts said the drubbing handed to the center-right government on Sunday in regional elections brought the U-turn from Mr. Sarkozy." Story at The New York Times.

Cornell Expert: World has underestimated climate-change effects.reliability high.
"As one of the authors of 'A Very Inconvenient Truth,' published in the peer-reviewed journal Oceanography (March 2010), Greene said that he and his co-authors conclude that the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007 4th assessment report underestimates the potential dangerous effects that man-made climate change will have on society." Story at PhysOrg. PDF of article here. [Worth reading--only five pages. We are headed for a very different Earth.]

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

Lighting Retrofit Saves GlaxoSmithKline $46K a Year.reliability high.
"By switching to LED lights at a Canadian office, pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline estimates it is saving $46,000 a year. The lighting retrofit at its Mississauga, Ontario, office, involved switching from fixtures that used 26 watts an hour to new ones using nine watts an hour, said Terrence DeWolfe of GlaxoSmithKline, in a statement. ... DeWolfe said the fixtures should pay for themselves in about two years." From Environmental Leader. [Those 26 Watt fixtures must have been fluorescents already.]

Shutting Down Computers at Night Saves Ford More Than One Million Dollars.reliability high.
"Under a new program called PC Power Management, the power settings on Windows laptops and desktop computers are centrally controlled to reduce energy waste and optimize software updates. A managed shutdown of computer systems not in use, especially overnight and on weekends, further reduces energy use. ... The savings to the company on power cost alone is expected to top $1.2 million annually when the system is fully implemented. By reducing PC power consumption, Ford also stands to reduce its carbon footprint by an estimated 16,000 to 25,000 metric tons annually. ... Ford developed its PC Power Management system with NightWatchman™ software from 1E Inc. 1E research found that almost half of all employees who use computers at work typically do not power them down at the end of the working day. In the U.S. alone, over $2.8 billion of PC power is being wasted every year, according to 1E." Ford press release.

In Response to California Fuel Regulation, Cargo Ships Chart More Precarious Routes.reliability high.
To clean the air, California now requires ships within 24 nautical miles of its coast to use a cleaner-burning (and more expensive) diesel fuel, called lower-sulfur marine distillates, rather than cheaper heavy-fuel oil. Many vessels have therefore put a jog in their route to minimize the distance they sail within 24 nm of the coast. They save a few thousand dollars in fuel cost by sailing outside the established traffic separation scheme and through a military bombing range. See New York Times Green Inc. blog. [Not an unexpected consequence, but a "we hoped they wouldn't" consequence.]

KLM hopes to offer commercial biofuel flights from 2011.reliability high.
"Following on from the operation of its first ever passenger flight powered by sustainable biokerosene in November 2009, Dutch airline KLM, part of Franco-Dutch Air France-KLM, has said it hopes to offer commercial biofuel flights from 2011, according to a report." See NewNet. More in this item (in Dutch) with video.

Mobile phone buyback offered at carrier stores.reliability medium.
"Start-up eRecyclingCorps on Tuesday is scheduled to announce that its customer Sprint is offering a phone buyback program in which consumers can get money for older phones when they upgrade to a newer model. eRecycling Corp has developed an in-store application and a Web service, offered from Sprint's site. The application lets a person see how much an older phone is worth and get a credit for its residual value when buying a new one. A consumer can also use a Web site from home, mail a phone in, and get a credit for the returned product." eRecyclingCorps' "business model is to collect turned-in phones and have the data cleaned off. Right now it plans to resell those phones for the domestic market in which people are seeking replacements for lost or stolen goods. But the company is seeking to establish relationships with carriers in India, China, and other countries outside the U.S." See CNET Reviews. eRecyclingCorps site. Related story at Reuters.

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