Recently in carbon management Category

CZS promises a new approach to tackling energy efficiency programmes within organisations

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I was interested to see that the former Head of Sustainability at the Royal Mail, Dr Martin Blake, has set up a new organisation, Carbon Zero Solutions (CZS) to support organisation executives in the deployment of energy efficiency programmes that improve profitability and reduce environmental and social impact.

While at the Royal Mail, Dr Blake was the architect of the Carbon Management Programme at Royal Mail and oversaw a multi-pronged strategy in the areas of energy reduction and efficiency, waste management, water conservation and workplace diversity. The Royal Mail's team of energy experts is credited with reducing UK Royal Mail Group's annual energy bill by over £30million.

According to Dr Blake, "There are many examples of boards that have not pursued the benefits of energy reduction because they are being sold on outputs that cannot be adequately quantified or explained. Too many initiatives have been conceived and implemented in a piecemeal fashion. Individually they may have been effective, but unless taken together within a wider coordinated programme, it is unlikely they will each deliver quantifiable ROI. It is therefore not surprising that some board directors feel ambivalent or wary."

I wonder whether this will set a trend, with successful heads of sustainability leaving their organisations to set up a company, providing energy efficiency services to others. It will be interesting to see how this approach develops.

The CZS website says this about carbon reduction plans within organisations.

"Too often carbon reduction is hived off into a specialist function from where only incremental savings in energy costs can be made. At CZS we believe businesses could be more ambitious. We understand the importance of getting key stakeholders onboard and engaging the wider workforce. We are familiar with the many reasons to resist change and understand why some organisations remain fixed on 'business as usual' strategies. However, only when there is top down leadership, able to harness the intellectual capacity of an organisation, can the full potential of a business be realised."

 


 

Coalition Announces Pledge to halve Carbon Emissions by 2025 - what role will Green IT play?

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Now that the Coalition has announced its pledge to halve carbon emissions by 2025, the next question is how is it going to be achieved. The devil, as they say, is always in the detail.

Winning the political battle in Cabinet - against, it has to be said, some pretty heavy hitters: Messrs Osborne, Cable and Hammond were reportedly against the plans for fear of affecting the economy - is one thing, Now the hard work starts.

Before the end of the year the Government will announce a package of measures to reduce the impact of government policy on the cost of electricity for energy intensive industries and to help them adjust to the low-carbon industrial transformation.

There is more detail on the announcement on the Department of Energy & Climate Change website.

Prime Minister David Cameron, who supported the targets, said, "When the coalition came together last year, we said we wanted this to be the greenest government ever. This is the right approach for Britain if we are to combat climate change, secure our energy supplies for the long-term and seize the economic opportunities that green industries hold.

"In the past twelve months, we have pursued an ambitious green agenda and today, we are announcing the next, historic step. By making this commitment, we will position the UK a leading player in the global low-carbon economy, creating significant new industries and jobs.

"The transition to a low-carbon economy is necessary, real, and global. By stepping up, showing leadership and competing with the world, the UK can prove that there need not be a tension between green and growth."

Energy & Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne said: "Today's announcement will give investors the certainty they need to invest in clean energy. It puts Britain at the leading edge of a new global industrial transformation as well as making good our determination that this will be the greenest government ever.

"The Coalition Government has set a fourth carbon budget level, in line with the advice from the Committee on Climate Change, that sends a clear signal about our determination to transform Britain permanently into a low carbon economy. By cutting emissions we're also getting ourselves off the oil hook, making our energy supplies more secure and opening up opportunities for jobs in the new green industries of the future.

"Through the Green Deal, electricity market reform and the Green Investment Bank we're already putting in place the tools that will help us meet this ambitious carbon budget. This and every future British Government will have to keep up the pace and put in place the most effective policies to tackle climate change.

"Under this carbon budget, Britain in 2027 will be a different place and transformed for the better with warmer homes powered by green energy, many more cars powered by electricity and far less reliance on fossil fuels to drive our economy."

Under the fourth carbon budget, government will aim to reduce emissions domestically as far as practical and affordable, but also intends to keep open the option of trading in order to retain maximum flexibility and minimise costs in the medium-long term.

Groundbreaking innovation will play a crucial role in helping Britain to decarbonise its energy supplies by 2027 in the most economical way. Today the Energy Technologies Institute is asking industry to design, build and test longer offshore wind turbine blades to improve performance. Currently blades are typically 40-60 metres long, but the next generation of turbines could have blades measuring more than 90 metres - almost the height of Big Ben."

It will be interesting to know what role Green IT will eventually play in hitting these targets. I came across this report, which serves as a reminder of some of the relevant figures. 

 

Coalition Government releases Draft Carbon Plan

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The Government has launched a Carbon Plan, effectively a Government-wide plan of action on climate change, including domestic and international activity, which sets out department by department, actions and deadlines for the next 5 years.

The Plan is available here. It represents ongoing and planned cross-Government action on climate change with specific deadlines providing for both internal accountability and public transparency. Quarterly updates on progress against actions within the Plan will be published on the No.10 website.

The Plan sets out what has to happen and by when if the Government is to live up to its green ambitions, meet tough domestic carbon targets and encourage greater action internationally. It is focused on the jobs and economic opportunities of the low carbon economy and on policies that will help insulate Britain from future energy price shocks.

The final version of the Carbon Plan will be published in the autumn, and will be updated annually. Reports last weekend had  suggested that the government wants to take steps - possibly in the Budget on March 23rd -  to 'wean' the country off oil,  amid fears that the Libyan battle for power  has created uncertainty over fuel supplies, and left consumers  facing a further rise in fuel prices.

The energy secretary, Chris Huhne, told the Observer that the UK had no option but to speed up efforts to move away from oil. "Getting off the oil hook is made all the more urgent by the crisis in the Middle East. We cannot afford to go on relying on such a volatile source of energy when we can have clean, green and secure energy from low-carbon sources," he said. "The carbon plan is about ensuring that the whole of government is engaged in a joined-up effort to lead us into a low-carbon world."

One of the options being mooted is a nationwide strategy to promote installation of infrastructure for electric cars by June. It is also expected that new deadlines will be set for building low-carbon homes, and that a firm starting date of September 2012 will be established for a new "green investment bank" to become fully operational.

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How to make data centres efficient

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I came across this piece by the excellently-informed Liam Newcombe of the BCS Daata Centre Specialist Group on the Guardian's Sustainable Business site's low carbon ICT blog. 

Liam argues that we need to adopt a different approach to data centre energy efficiency. He suggests, "We should put in place a cost of goods and services model which allows us to determine the financial and energy cost of each delivered product. This would also assist in creating a competitive market for energy efficient data centres by allowing the consumers to compare service providers - not on an abstract marketing number, but on the actual energy consumption or carbon emissions."

While you're visiting the Sustainable Business site, you might think about entering the Sustainable Business Awards. You have until 7th February to enter.

 

How to make data centres efficient

David Bicknell | No Comments
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I came across this piece by the excellently-informed Liam Newcombe of the BCS Daata Centre Specialist Group on the Guardian's Sustainable Business site's low carbon ICT blog. 

Liam argues that we need to adopt a different approach to data centre energy efficiency. He suggests, "We should put in place a cost of goods and services model which allows us to determine the financial and energy cost of each delivered product. This would also assist in creating a competitive market for energy efficient data centres by allowing the consumers to compare service providers - not on an abstract marketing number, but on the actual energy consumption or carbon emissions."

While you're visiting the Sustainable Business site, you might think about entering the Sustainable Business Awards. You have until 7th February to enter.

 

Water water everywhere, Nor any drop to drink

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OK, it's not every day I get to quote from the Rime of the Ancient Mariner but it seemed appropriate in this case.

This post from Andrew Winston on the Harvard Business Review blogs asks a very good question: is water the next carbon?

It follows the decision of the Carbon Disclosure Project  to publish its first report on the impact of water constraints on the world's largest corporations, clearly illustrating the significance and immediacy of water as a corporate issue.

Granted, it's a stretch to cover Water Disclosure in a blog about Green IT, but Andrew Winston's always a good read. Here, he discusses a few more issues of IT relevance in his Top Ten Green Business Stories of 2010. 

Happy New Year!

Putting the onus on green technologies to deliver green jobs

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I heard David Cameron speaking this morning to the CBI, saying that he wants to tap into green technologies. He also mentioned finding  £1bn for carbon capture and storage and £200m for low carbon technology and announced £60m to help with infrastructure for offshore wind infrastructure. The goal, it appears, is to create 70,000 jobs, which is fine and may be part of the much-discussed plan for the private sector to  create the jobs to cover for those being lost in the public sector.

 

"We need thousands of offshore turbines in the next decade and beyond, each one as tall as the Gherkin," he said.

"And manufacturing these needs large factories which have to be on the coast.

"Yet neither the factories nor these large port sites currently exist and that, understandably, is putting off private investors.

"So we're stepping in. To help secure private sector investment in this technology, we are providing up to £60 million to meet the needs of offshore wind infrastructure at our ports."

 

The Crown Estate would also work with ports and manufacturers to "realise the potential" of its sites.


I like the intention but it still all sounds pretty aspirational and 'conference-speak', and I'm just not sure yet that it's going to be quite so easy to link the theory behind the potential of 'green technologies' with the practical creation of tens of thousands of jobs. It'll be interesting to see what progress has actually been made on this in a year's time.


Nick Clegg, however, is talking up the potential.  

A view on the impact of CRC on ICT

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There is a good summary of the impact of Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) legislation on ICT in this article on the Guardian's Sustainable Business website.

If nothing else, the article suggests that CRC is likely to prompt a continuing take-up of carbon management software, particularly as the long term implications of the scheme sink in. It suggests that ideally all but the smallest companies should be thinking about using the appropriate tools if they're serious about addressing their carbon emissions.

You can read the piece here

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This page is an archive of recent entries in the carbon management category.

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