This week's indicator is 90 percent, which is the percentage of wireless cloud electricity consumption that goes to network infrastructure. This finding, reported in a new study from the Centre for Energy-Efﬁcient Telecommunications, goes against stakeholder reports and stories in popular media, which often ding data centers for their energy footprints. According to the new report, this emphasis has been misplaced. “Wireless networks are the biggest threat to the sustainability of cloud services, not data centers,” the authors conclude.
This week's indicator is 100, which is the number of Tesla Model S vehicles purchased by the Las Vegas-based initiative Project 100. The initiative, which aims to "bring together the ultimate in collaborative consumption," aspires to completely eliminate the need for vehicle ownership in Las Vegas by combining bike sharing, car sharing, taxis, and shuttle buses, into a single membership. This differentiates it from services like ZipCar or Getaround, which address only one corner of the market. The rise of platforms like Project 100 underscores the need for businesses to incorporate collaborative consumption into their products and services.
Near-failing grades and where test prep went wrong
Last week, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) released its quadrennial report card on America's infrastructure. The report examines the status of 16 of America's infrastructure systems across several factors such as the systems' ability to meet current and future capacity demands, existing and near-future condition, innovation, and funding. In somewhat predictable fashion, all water-related infrastructure systems (drinking water, wastewater, inland waterways, and levees) scored a 'D' or below. It's not that the rest of America is doing much better--the average score was a 'D+' with the highest score at a 'B-' grabbed by the solid waste industry--but when the whole class is failing, who really wants to be the dunce that's below the curve?
This week's indicator is 9.1 Gt CO2e, which is the potential annual reduction in global GHG emissions from information and machine-to-machine (M2M) technology by 2020, according to a report by the Carbon War Room. 9.1 Gt is roughly equivalent to the combined annual emissions of the United States and India. But beyond carbon abatement, M2M technology represents an enormous business opportunity: the industry as a whole is projected to be worth nearly $1 trillion by 2020. As the report states, "If we utilize technologies such as M2M to their full potential, 'low carbon' will by synonymous with economic growth and sustainable prosperity, now and into the future."
In 2009, Susan Gladwin, Senior Global Program Manager at Autodesk launched the Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program with the objective to assist cleantech startups through deployment of Autodesk digital prototyping software.
As Autodesk's cleantech initiative global lead, Susan Gladwin is responsible for leading the company's cleantech program and industry strategy. In this role, Ms. Gladwin manages Autodesk's partnerships with cleantech companies and stakeholders in North America, Europe, and Asia, and tracks the sector's sustainability best practices.
This week's indicator is 67 billion kilowatthours, which is the difference between summer and winter residential electricity demand, according to the Energy Information Agency. This "peak" is more than twice as large as the seasonal peaks for commercial customers, and nearly four times as large for industrial customers. These findings show the critical need for demand response programs targeted at residential customers, a space where vendors are beginning to offer more sophisticated solutions.
This week's indicator is 90 by 50, which refers to the Urban Green Council's plan for reducing New York City's emissions 90 percent by 2050. The Council argues that currently practiced techniques—like sealing leaks and triple glazing windows— can enable New York to achieve this goal without the need for technological breakthroughs. This approach of honing in on one sector has implications for cities, as well as companies, in terms of setting sustainability priorities.
This week's indicator is 37 percent, which is the percentage of companies reporting profits from sustainability, according to a study published in the MIT Sloan Management Review. This represents a 23% increase over last year.
It's been an exciting three weeks since we announced the "Cleantech Goes Social" contest, in partnership with Facebook. So far, we've received over 100 entries, with more rolling in every day. Our diverse pool of applicants ranges from students to large corporations and, to date, represents over 25 different countries. Another exciting development is our partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), which, as a technical supporter of the contest, is encouraging the use of open data to help people reduce their environmental impact.
Looking for inspiration or don’t know where to start? Head over to the new Resources section on the Contest website, which offers useful sources for entrants, including Facebook application tutorials, case studies of successful Facebook integrations, and open energy-related data provided by the DOE.
We've got two more weeks to go! Do you have an idea on how Facebook can be used to encourage individuals to reduce their environmental impact and increase the adoption of clean technologies? Enter the contest here and email your completed pitch deck to email@example.com by March 4th to be considered for a chance to win $25,000, personalized guidance from Cleantech Group and Facebook, and the opportunity to present your pitch at Cleantech Forum San Francisco.
Register here for Cleantech Forum San Francisco – Sustainability Meets Innovation: Reigniting Cleantech, March 18-20. Speakers include Autodesk, Bill McDonough, Facebook, GE, Google, Morgan Stanley, and more!
This week's indicator is $700 billion, which is the annual potential savings in global consumer goods from material reduction and reuse. The study by The Ellen MacArthur Foundation points to tactics such as textile collection, reusable packaging, and food waste recovery as ways to capture this value.
Cleantech Group and Facebook challenge you to use social to accelerate cleantech
by Sheeraz Haji
Cleantech products and services are inherently social. When my neighbors install solar panels on their roofs or buy an EV, they want to tell all their friends about it. Demonstrating how one is contributing to the broader public good by reducing their impact on the environment has become somewhat of a status symbol (at least in Berkeley!). However, the cleantech industry has not done a great job of using the web in creative ways to amplify the social aspects of cleantech products and services.
With that in mind, Cleantech Group and Facebook are excited to announce "Cleantech Goes Social," a contest that aims to harness the power of Facebook's billion-person network to accelerate cleantech adoption and engage the public on sustainability issues. We are challenging cleantech companies and others to find new ways to use Facebook to accelerate cleantech, whether it's through an app on the Facebook platform or a new method of integrating Facebook into products and services. We are asking contestants to tell us their story about how they will use Facebook to address energy and resources challenges, accelerate cleantech adoption, and engage the public in dialogue about sustainability issues.
The winner of the contest will receive $25,000 of prize money, as well as personalized guidance from my Cleantech Group colleagues and members of the Facebook team on how to deliver on their concept. Cleantech Group, Facebook, and members of the Global Cleanweb Initiative will judge the entries. The three finalists will be invited to Cleantech Forum San Francisco 2013 (March 18-20), where they will pitch their concepts to a panel of investors in front of an audience. To make this experience as interactive as possible, we will ask participants of Cleantech Forum San Francisco to vote on the three finalists. The winner will then be announced from the main stage on March 20th.
In the spirit of social, this contest is very much open. We invite everyone, from around the world, to enter, including cleantech companies, enterprises, non-profits, developers, students and others with a passion for cleantech.
How are you taking cleantech social? Enter the contest now!
This week's indicator is 1,401 GW, which is the installed capacity of coal power plants planned globally as of July 2012, according to the World Research Institute. More than three-quarters of planned coal power capacity is located in China or India.
This week's indicator is 40 percent, which is roughly the percentage of Americans who say they are "not likely at all" to purchase a plug-in electric vehicle (EV), according to a study by Indiana University. This was the lowest level of interest available for selection. Vehicle price and range were cited as the main barriers.
This week's indicator is $40 billion, which is the estimated cost for New York utility ConEd to bury all of its power lines. To recover the cost of this investment, rates for ConEd customers would need to triple for at least a decade.
This week's indicator is $3.19, which is the per Watt cost differential between residential solar panel installation in the U.S. and Germany. According to the study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), the reasons for the gap are varied, but the added cost to customers is undeniable. The differential adds around $16,000 in additional costs for a typically-sized 5kW residential system.
This week’s indicator is 66 percent, which is the percentage of companies with a publicly available climate and energy strategy, according to the latest Climate Counts report. That’s up from 25 percent of companies evaluated in 2007. The report evaluated 145 large companies in 16 industry sectors.
This week's indicator is 3 percent, which was the increase in global carbon emissions in 2011 according to a new study published Sunday. The study's authors predict another 2.6 percent jump in emissions in 2012. Given these developments, scientists say we are unlikely to meet the United Nations goal of limiting global temperature rise to less than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
By Dan Saccardi
I recently concluded a yearlong experiment to track what I eat on a daily basis, not to count calories but to measure—and manage—my environmental impact.
As a sustainability consultant, I've counseled clients that "you can only manage what you measure," but I've not as rigorously applied this adage to my personal life. So, to borrow another adage, I decided to practice what I have preached.
This week's indicator is 2017, which, according to the International Energy Agency, is the year the U.S. will overtake Saudi Arabia as the world's leading oil producer. The U.S. is projected to be a net exporter of oil by 2030.