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M&S, Ford reports discuss profitability from sustainability, show water usage now a concern

David Bicknell | No Comments
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I came across an interesting piece regarding the savings Marks & Spencer (M&S) says it is making from its sustainable development initiative, Plan A.

According to this article, initiatives such as being more energy efficient in stores and distribution centres saved £13.5 million last year. It also saved £2 million by using less fuel, £1 million by recycling or reusing clothes hangers, and £11 million on reducing the amount of packaging it uses.

M&S' total carbon emissions have been reduced by 13%, down by over 90,000 tonnes CO2e from 2006/07 whilst its sales floor footage has continued to grow.

There is a useful story here

You can read more from M&S itself on Plan A progress here

Another familiar name that is reporting on its sustainability initiatives is Ford. It released its annual sustianability report last week, with the highlights being:

  • Carbon dioxide emissions for the 2010 model year have been reduced by 10.5 percent for U.S. products and 8.1 percent for European vehicles, when compared with the 2006 model year
  • From an operational standpoint, Ford managed a 5.6 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions between 2010 and 2009.
  • Ford has set a new goal for facility's related carbon dioxide emissions: A reduction of 30 percent by 2025 on a per-vehicle basis.

One of its key concerns is around water usage, as this report from Smart Planet makes clear.

You can read Ford's sustainability report here. There is much detail in a well laid out report, though at first sight, not a lot of references to any notable Green IT or technology developments beyond Ford's core car business.



The cost of wind power

David Bicknell | 2 Comments
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It would be a stretch to discuss a recent story that I read in the Daily Mail Online in the context of Green IT, though it fits into a green technology debate and is, I believe, worth pointing to.

The article discusses the process used to extract neodymium, the element needed to make the magnets in wind turbines.

The piece goes on to discuss how much energy wind turbines will actually produce. It's not a lot, and there are some who believe that money would be better spent developing tidal power.

The tides that surge around the UK's coasts could provide up to a quarter of the nation's electricity, without any carbon emissions. But as this article suggests, the sea environment is harsh and existing equipment - long-bladed underwater wind turbines - is prone to failure.

I wonder, two years on, what happened to this tidal turbine experiment?


Water water everywhere, Nor any drop to drink

David Bicknell | No Comments
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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!

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