Friday, 31 October 2008

A new Green IT climate award with focus on innovation

Here is an invitation to a competition where I'm part of the jury. The framework is the one that we developed for "the first billion tonnes of CO2 reductions with low carbon IT solutions"

Call for Innovation
Dear Sir / Madam
Green IT can make a significant contribution toward making future business activities more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. That is why green IT solutions deserve to be given a prize today: the «Green IT Innovation Award». Orbit and its partners 4C business campaigning GmbH, √∂bu, and WWF are targeting research directors, product managers, innovators, and pioneers with this award.

Anyone who is working on an innovative solution in the field of Green IT, or who can make a contribution of some kind, is encouraged to apply for the «Green IT Innovation Award». The award is aimed at companies based in Switzerland, as well as private individuals who are able to present an innovative solution in any of the following categories:
- Green IT» solutions for IT
- Green IT» solutions for consumers
- Low carbon economy solutions

Numerous studies have shown there is still great potential for IT and telecommunications to become more energy efficient and resource and environmentally friendly. Not only the reduction of the environmental impact of the IT-industry itself, but also the use of IT-technology in other areas promise less C02 emissions (e.g. video conferences instead of air travel). The objective of the Green IT Innovation Award is to put together solutions and climate-friendly technologies, which make it possible to reduce CO2 emissions and environmental pollution.

A group of experts from science, politics, civil society and business will select the most valuable innovations in the three categories. The award ceremony will be held during Orbit 2009 (12-15 May 2009) and will be used to present the innovations to the general public. Subsequently we w want to present a collection of all environmentally and climate-friendly IT solutions to all participants and interested parties.

Read more about this award here

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

CDP launch in China

The first CDP China Report was launched in Beijing International Hotel. With only five replies from 100 companies the presentations and discussions were more interesting than the report. I also remembered how hard Peng Lei had to work to get a 30% response rate on our report about Chinese Companies in the 21st century a few years ago so I was not surprised.

The two key presentations were done by Dongzhi Yu from ICBC and Jennifer Jiang from Merrill Lynch. Both presentations were of very high quality and with focus on the core business of the banks related to a low carbon development and what they are doing. I really hope that we will see more of these kinds of presentations in OECD from people in the finance sector, especially these days.

Then there was a "panel" where I participated together with Allan Zhang, Director, PwC and Richard Shi, Director, China Entrepreneur Club DCE sitting on the chairs on stage. Chairing the session was Feng Jia, Deputy Director, MEP. Our discussions focused mainly on the opportunities mong Chinese companies to become winners in a low carbon economy.

Hopefully the future development of CDP and other instruments that support a low carbon development will focus more on the winners in a low carbon economy and less on today’s big emitters.

UPDATE 29th October: Chinese article with pictures

Baoding and a resource smart development in China

WWF and CAS (Chinese Academy of Sciences) arranged a conference in Beijing with the theme: “Why Ecological Footprint Matters to the Economy and Sustainable development: Practical Solutions to Global Needs”.

I was in a session called “International cooperation on natural resources and energy solutions” together with Yuan Jinghua, head of Baoding Industrial Zone and Liu Daoping, Division Director, State Forest Administration. Professor Cheng Shengkui, Director of institute, IGSNRR, CAS, as chairing the session and Nan Li from WWF ended the session with a very interesting overview of the work WWF done with CAITEC in Africa to see how the Sino-African axis can be a driver for sustainable resource use.

It was encouraging to see the progress in Baoding and I really hope our coming report, that soon will be ready, will be able to make the work there known to a broader audience.

China Mobile: Getting ready for low carbon leadership

To meet with China Mobile is always a pleasure. Their work in the low carbon area is really interesting. They have a balanced approach where they approach both their own emissions and their (mainly positive) impact from use of their products and services. People like Yan Jiang, General Manager, at China Mobile are working hard to deliver concrete results.

Following earlier work, three areas are of particular interest in relation to China Mobile:

1. How China Mobile can keep their own emissions under control, especially emissions from base stations. China Mobile already have a target to reduce CO2 from base stations with almost 7 million tonnes of CO2.

2. Assess the emission reductions due to existing services that China Mobile is providing. Today China Mobile provides a number of low-carbon IT solutions, but no assessment exists on how significant these savings are.

3. Assess the future potential of services from China Mobile. The need for a resource efficient development in China is established by the Chinese government and for a low carbon development it is important to understand the potential for smart low carbon IT solutions.

China Mobile is already well prepared and it is interesting to see how the GRI reporting framework we developed back in 2003 as a supplement for the telecom sector is being used today by China Mobile.

Friday, 24 October 2008

CASS workshop: Low Carbon Development Index work in China

It is encouraging to see how fast things can go when really skillful people want to make things happen. CASS (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences) under the leadership of Jiahua Pan, Executive Director, Research Centre for Sustainable Development, have begun developing instrument to measure the progress towards a low carbon economy. This work builds on the joint work that we launched in Copenhagen earlier this year [link (it is Professor Pan talking on the picture)].

We also used the CASS workshop to formally agree to take the next step and have CASS, WWF together with Baoding, Tiruvallur and Project Zero as leading cities to develop the first global low carbon city development index. Dalberg, that also helped during the Copenmind process, is helping to coordinate this work and to ensure high quality.

Professor Pan presented the work so far and a draft outline for a structure that could be used to assess countries and cities. There is a great need for leadership and while few countries have shown leadership so far a lot is happening on the city level. So far no instrument exists that can measure the progress towards a low carbon society, but the work that CASS is embarking on will contribute to the first instrument that also will be able to measure cities progress toward a low carbon economy.

Building on Pan’s framework Zhuang Guiyang presented some initial finding on a country level and ZHU Shouxian presented initial findings on the regional level in China. The work is still under development and the need to further develop indicators for “human welfare” beyond HDI and look into the import/export aspect as well as thinking about the different aspects that should be included (the infrastructure, consumption patterns, industrial contribution, etc).

Zhuang Guiyang also made a very interesting presentation “Measuring the Efforts of Countries towards Low Carbon Economies”. It is a different approach that compare the commitments and strategies of a country in relation to the reductions that are needed to avoid dangerous climate change. This is then compared to the BAU scenario. Still quite a way to go, also for this approach, but already very interesting results and a promising approach that could be used in relation to not only countries, but also cities and companies.

Suresh Vaswani from Wipro on Green/low carbon IT

An interesting article in Business world by Suresh Vaswani, CEO Wipro. This is an interesting development and we need more CEOs from the IT sector with this message.

Some might be interested that Wipro and WWF are collaborating and the first results will be ready in a few months. See earlier blog

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Shanghai on a smart low carbon city development path

Participated in a workshop about “Shanghai Public Building Energy Consumption Supervision System Progress Report & WWF Low Carbon City Initiative Workshop” in Shanghai. The way IT can be used to create intelligent cities is not well understood, but this project in Shanghai can hopefully increase the understanding about the potential.

XU Qiang, Chief engineer at Shanghai Research Institute of Building Science, did a very interesting presentation and there are clear links to projects that can encourage decentralized energy solutions and even virtual meetings. So it is a clear case of a project with significant "low-carbon feedback" potential.

Beside mr. XU the following persons attended:
Ms. CHEN Xiufen, Deputy Head Officer, Building Admin, Shanghai Urban Construction
and Transportation Committee (SUCTC)
Mr. WANG Baohai, director, Shanghai Energy Efficiency Office
Mr. CHEN Yijin, director, Develop Dept of Shanghai EE service Center
Prof. TAN Hongwei, Research Center of Building EE, Tongji University
Dr. TIAN Zhan, Researcher, Climate Change Center, Shanghai Meteorological Bureau
Ms. Ann-Sofi GAVERSTEDT, Project Manager WWF/IKEA Climate Projects, WWF
Ms. HUANG Miao, Head, China-OECD relations, Climate, WWF Sweden
Mr. Stefano BROWN,S & E Manager, Retail, IKEA Group
Dr. WANG Limin, Deputy Operation Director, WWF China
Ms. CHEN Dongmei, Director, Climate Change & Energy Programme, WWF China
Mr. ZHENG Ping, Business Energy Efficiency Officer, WWF China
Mr. ZHANG Yifei, HCPCP Programme Communication Manager, WWF China
Ms. WANG Qian, Climate Change Mitigation Officer, WWF China
Ms. LI Yuan, Communication Coordinator, WWF China
Ms. Aaron LEE, Project Leader, BCG Consulting
Ms. LI Jie, Consultant, BCG Consulting

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Eight Chinese Cities showing the way towards a global low carbon economy - Smart solutions and export opportunities for the 21st century

On my way to China again and all the possibilities there. First time since the Olympics and I will focus a little extra on eight cities that can influence the future for us all. Cities that already are giving important contributions to a low carbon future.

1. Baoding

Export of PV and wind

2. Beijing
Nanotech for a low carbon future
Smart Construction

3. Dezhou
Himin Solar Valley

4. Guangzhou
Smart city planning and buildings

5. Shanghai
Energy efficient buildings

6. Shenzhen
BYD Electric cars

7. Tianjin
Tianjin Eco-City

8. Wuxi
The headquarter of Suntech +more solar as well as wind energy, biofuel and IT/computer industry

Monday, 6 October 2008

From Carbon Neutral to Climate Positive

A report from an interesting project that builds on work with some of the leading companies in the world is now available in a draft format. Please download if you are interested in how companies can move beyond climate Neutral/zero emissions visions to a positive contribution. Comments most welcome…

Formal launch of final version probably at the BSR event in New York first week in November.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

History unfolding when crime became OK for scientists and mainstream politicians: Time to get tough with coal

I have hardly seen anything about this is the press even though we might see something that might have a central place when future history books are written. In the shadow of the financial crisis (but in a way related to what can also can be seen as criminal on a scale that is hard to understand) we saw a jury in UK, supported by scientists and politicians, clear Greenpeace activists and send the signal to the world that it is criminal to build coal power plants in rich countries.

From the Independent:
“Jurors accepted defence arguments that the six had a "lawful excuse" to damage property at Kingsnorth power station in Kent to prevent even greater damage caused by climate change. The defence of "lawful excuse" under the Criminal Damage Act 1971 allows damage to be caused to property to prevent even greater damage – such as breaking down the door of a burning house to tackle a fire.”
And the article continue:
“During the eight-day trial, the world's leading climate scientist, Professor James Hansen of Nasa, who had flown from American to give evidence, appealed to the Prime Minister personally to "take a leadership role" in cancelling the plan and scrapping the idea of a coal-fired future for Britain. Last December he wrote to Mr Brown with a similar appeal. At the trial, he called for an moratorium on all coal-fired power stations, and his hour-long testimony about the gravity of the climate danger, which painted a bleak picture, was listened to intently by the jury of nine women and three men. Professor Hansen, who first alerted the world to the global warming threat in June 1988 with testimony to a US senate committee in Washington, and who last year said the earth was in "imminent peril" from the warming atmosphere, asserted that emissions of CO2 from Kings-north would damage property through the effects of the climate change they would help to cause. He was one of several leading public figures who gave evidence for the defence, including Zac Goldsmith, the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Richmond Park and director of the Ecologist magazine, who similarly told the jury that in his opinion, direct action could be justified in the minds of many people if it was intended to prevent larger crimes being committed.”
Will this be an historic event where we saw the tide turning and the understanding of how urgent the climate crisis reached the legal system? Mayve, at least some visionary politicians are moving into the area as well. See what Al Gore said in this CNN article.

PS the picture is from Greenpeace at a demonstration outside Vattenfall in Germany, a state owned company (Swedish) that is world leading in lobbying and PR trying to portray coal as clean and have obstructed sustainable energy development in Sweden and other countries since the 80's. They have a huge PR budget and will hopefully be a main target as the agreement that we need to act now and not hide behind technologies that might never work.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

India-China Conclave 2008: Redefining sustainable leadership

The most important “axis” in the 21st century might be the Sino-Indian axis, and in that axis the sustainability links could be seen as the most urgent. While the work in this area is almost totally ignored in the “west”/OECD a lot is happening in China and India. One very interesting event, where I have the honor to be a moderator for one session is the India-China Conclave 2008. An event where the approach and themes discussed are in line with the 21st century. I just got some more details about the event, please see the ICEC webpage for more information.

India-China Conclave 2008 is the 4th annual event under India China Economic and Cultural Council’s (ICEC) India-China Economic Programme. The conclave will be held on 20 -21, November 2008 in New Delhi. The conclave is organized by ICEC Council in collaboration with China Chamber of International Commerce and Rajiv Gandhi Foundation. The conclave strives to increase awareness of the many opportunities in India and China for economic cooperation.

Sectors to be discussed in depth:
v Information Technology
v Telecom
v Financial Services
v Infrastructure
v Power and
v Healthcare
v Environment