Green Blog
| Helping environmentally-conscientious business leaders choose environmentally-friendly solutions.

Environment

The Greenest (and One of the Last?) Winter Olympics Ever

February 9, 2010

There is a crack going around about the 2010 Vancouver Olympics that it is "the greenest Winter Olympics ever". 

The joke refers to the efforts to promote green tech and transportation at the event that has been more than offset by man-made global warming and pollution that has led to record-high temperatures and rain. This has forced organizers to ship in snow (thereby releasing more harmful emissions) to Cypress Mountain that overlooks Vancouver; Whistler, some 2 hours north where most of the outdoor venues are is mild but still in good shape.

My wife and I live in the Metro Vancouver. We park-and-rode into the downtown yesterday to get a feel of the crowds, the activities and the excitement just before the Opening Ceremonies on Friday.

To Go Green (In More Ways than One) Go Virtual...and Bus and Rail

December 31, 2009

Want more proof that going green by virtualizing offices i.e. teleworking and locating those functions that need people to interact with each other and with equipment inside energy-efficient buildings at high-transit-accessible locations is the smart way to go? Why it will save green in more ways than one.

A new report by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2010 covered on TMCnet  illustrates why staying or locating in traditional suburban sprawl office buildings is a bad financial idea.

Keeping the Desert Green By Banning Solar Plants, Wind Farms

December 22, 2009

One of our blog's readers, Sally, sent me a Dec.21 New York Times story on legislation introduced by U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein to protect some 1 million acres of the Mojave Desert in California for two parks, the Mojave Trails National Monument and the Sand to Snow National Monument. Yet doing this, said the paper, will scuttle some 13 big solar plants and wind farms planned for these lands via leases.

The newspaper reports that a fair-sized portion of that land had been donated to the federal government a decade ago by an environmental group, which had purchased the property from Catellus Development with private and federal money. The rest has been protected in some form or another.

Making Solar More Reliable

December 14, 2009

Solar power is in theory fairly straightforward: sun to panel. Yet there are many factors affect solar performance including cloudiness, dust and dirt, shade, obstruction shading, and inter-panel-row shading.

Moreover it is often difficult if not impossible to accurately tell which electricity-producing mechanisms i.e. in this case modules are failing without costly added service visits to detect the issues on top of the amounts charged for fixing them. Solar is not like wind, local hydro or wood/biomass-fed generators where there are visual, aural, and in the case of the last one olfactory clues as to problems. 

Homeowners and small businesses can ill-afford such added expenses. If solar was going to be this much hassle then why go solar? 

Premier Power Renewable Energy has an answer: panels made with microinverter technology that pinpoints which specific modules are failing so they can be identified and replaced on a regular service call. The devices, made by Enphase allows homeowners to maximize their solar energy harvest and reduce their utility bill by selling more solar electricity back to the utility i.e. net metering thus, says the firm, "substantially reducing their utility electricity bill."





Shrink your 'Water Footprint'

November 16, 2009

The best information sources are often your readers.

I received an e-mail last week from Jim McGilligan, who has a degree in engineering from the University of Delware, who just came across this article on water and energy titled: "What is your water footprint?" published in the (Lafourche Parish, La.) Daily Comet. Written by Tom Rooney, president and CEO of SPG Solar in Novato, Calif the article is "the best I've ever seen" on this topic, Jim tells me.

The article raises the key points that we should consider water consumption and concern ourselves with the amounts of energy required to heat and cool water when looking at shrinking our carbon footprints i.e. 'water footprints'.

UPI Vision Rounds Out Eco-Sustainability Efforts

November 6, 2009

Data centers typically are high users of energy because of their cooling requirements; in fact, nationally, data centers are responsible for between 1 percent and 2 percent of total power consumption.

Designed to maximize sustainability, global collaboration and innovation, Panduit's new LEED-certified world headquarters building will leverage state-of-the-art visibility and control into all critical building systems, integrated and aligned under a single, unified and "intelligent" infrastructure.   According to the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED is an "internationally recognized green building certification system that provides third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts."   LEED provides building owners and operators - including Panduit and its customers - a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.

Is Wind Energy Green or Greenwash?

November 2, 2009


The Friday Oct.30 edition of the Peace Arch News that is distributed in South Surrey and White Rock, British Columbia in Metro Vancouver that borders on the U.S. contained a thought-provoking snippet on wind power by Dr. Roy Strang who covers the environment for the publication.

In it he writes: "Europeans are beginning to find that installing windmills to generate electricity has not led to any significant reduction in CO2 emissions--despite all the early hopes and promises. Because wind power blows only fitfully, backup conventional generators are needed, at full capital costs, for intermittent use."

Eco-Sustainability through Unified Physical Infrastructures

October 26, 2009

As businesses grow, they are faced with the inherent technological challenges that accompany the addition of both headcount and physical footprint - namely, the task of effectively integrating disparate systems and technologies to create a single, unified environment to enable collaboration, business process efficiency, and cost effectiveness.   This holds equally for large enterprises looking to consolidate several large data centers and for smaller, mid-market businesses looking to consolidate their facilities into a single corporate headquarters - like Thornhill, Ontario, Canada-based MMM Group did.   MMM Group had, over five years, grown organically and by acquisition, and had managed to make do by bandaging together its disparate networks and management platforms, but realized this was highly inefficient from a cost and a business process perspective. So, it made the strategic decision to build out a new facility to house the majority of its staff and technology under one roof and a single network architecture.   Of course, MMM Group needed a reliable solution that would provide it the performance and reliability it required, but it also needed to ensure operational efficiency and environmental awareness - but keys to long-term sustainability. Along with operational sustainability, scalability was a key consideration, so that its new data center would be able to accommodate expected continued growth, including system upgrade and expansion.   MMM Group chose Panduit as a partner for its data center build-out, primarily because its unified physical infrastructure approach closely aligned with MMM Group's own ideal of a single, converged network to manage and control all of its network-based systems, including communications, computing, power, control, and security. The goal was to provide a smarter physical infrastructure that would provide the foundation for reliable real-time access to the resources delivered by the logical infrastructure layer, including the integration of all of MMM Group's IP network, including VoIP, video and data, wireless connectivity, security systems, and building access control.   MMM Group, after struggling to achieve cost and operational efficiencies with its disparate staff and networks, realized that its continued success would be dependent upon its ability to build a flexible infrastructure that would ensure real-time availability of applications and services, maintain compliance with industry standards and regulations, reduce power and cooling costs, increase environmental awareness and long-term sustainability, and increase operational efficiency.   Read more about how Panduit helps mid-market enterprises evolve their infrastructures to accomplish all of these goals.

Exposing The Lying Behind The Fight Against Climate Change Action

October 20, 2009

How do you protect your profits when research emerges that what you make or how make your items causes or leads to death and destruction? You lie. Or more accurately you pay or finance others to lie for you.

That's what the tobacco companies did for decades, leading to countless painful deaths and needless suffering not just from lung cancer and emphysema but from fires started by matches and lit smoking materials by promoting a substance that former U.S.

Panduit and Oracle: Unifying the Entire Enterprise Infrastructure

October 18, 2009

For those you who have been following the latest developments at Panduit, you'll know a key focus for the company is driving efficiency in data center environments through the concept of a unified physical infrastructure. The concept allows for more efficient resource utilization and management, resulting in increased operational and cost efficiencies as well a more reliable and sustainable infrastructure.   A key part of the initiative is to help drive eco-sustainability across entire enterprise infrastructures, which is something Panduit itself has made part of its corporate culture for more than 50 years, according to Anil Maheshwari, Director of Marketing at Panduit.   "Panduit embraces 'lean and green' as a core value, and we partner with companies to drive agility, sustainability, efficiency, and, in particular the green IT element, which we drive through savings in power, cooling, space, and energy," Maheshwari told TMC's Amy Tierney in a recent podcast interview.   Panduit's solutions drive unification in the physical layer of the data center, but its work in driving that extends beyond its own solutions, and even beyond the physical infrastructure, to helping businesses unify their logical infrastructures as well.   Even in its own facilities, Panduit leverages Oracle's solutions to streamline operations and drive eco-sustainability. By working in a paperless order processing environment, for instance, it has saved more than 2.2 million pages of paper. Using Oracle software, is also is able to ensure conformity to ISO and ROHS standards for more efficient operations across its global facilities.   "Our company's whole culture has been around resource savings and efficiencies, so we have been a good example of a socially responsible and resource-efficient company," says Maheshwari.   As a testament to its use of Oracle software to drive eco-friendliness, Panduit was named a winner of Oracle's "Enable the Eco-Enterprise Awards" recently. Through a combination of Oracle software and its own UPI-based solutions, Panduit has established itself as a model for eco-sustainable businesses worldwide.   Business that are already using Oracle to unify and consolidate operations at the logical layer can now extend similar efficiencies to their physical infrastructures leveraging Panduit technologies to build on the savings and process improvements they achieve with Oracle. Combing solutions from the two companies, businesses can achieve a completely integrated network infrastructure across the entire enterprise.   "This award validates our strategy," Maheshwari told Tierney. "People are recognizing the value of UPI-based solutions to drive agility, efficiency, flexibility, reliability, sustainability. This helps us a lot in getting the word out."   To hear more about how Panduit is leveraging Oracle solutions to benefit its customers, listen to the podcast here, and for more on how Panduit is helping enterprises create more efficient and sustainable data centers, visit the Smart Data Centers micro-site on TMCnet.
Featured Events