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Last week’s State of the Union address included a major focus on energy efficiency and renewable energy, and this week’s news has a number of stories showing how the private sector is making progress toward those goals. Environmental writer and strategist Andrew Winston published a case study in the Harvard Business Review on Diageo North America, a multi-billion dollar spirits company that has emerged as a leader in decreasing their carbon emissions. Greentech Media also showed that energy efficiency is more crucial to economic productivity than energy production and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released a very interesting fact on new energy capacity.
At Microsoft we’re firm believers in the power of technology to address sustainability challenges, whether that’s by making cities smarter or enhancing efforts in energy efficiency. Smart cities were front and center in SmartPlanet, which cited a report that the collective ‘smart city industry’ could be poised for threefold growth by decade’s end. Meanwhile, the New York Times Green Blog asked how the Obama Administration will tackle climate change in the next four years by covering a guide released by the World Resources Institute.
Tuesday’s State of the Union address has dominated environmental news coverage this week following President Obama’s commitment to aggressively combat climate change in his second term with investments in renewable energy and a renewed focus on boosting energy efficiency in buildings. Some other news stories this week shed light on approaches to combatting climate change, including the role of renewable energy, which received attention in a new factbook from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, and how IT is behind some of the globe’s smart cities.
This week, Seattle’s new Bullitt Center received prominent coverage as the ultra-energy efficient building moves closer to its official opening. The Center will feature a large roof covered in solar panels and a 50,000-gallon underground cistern, making it one of the greenest buildings constructed to date. Also, as Super Bowl Sunday is nearly upon us, The New York Times featured an article on its Green blog explaining how the big game affects energy use across the nation.
There is a significant amount of energy wasted by applications because of how they are designed and operated. Typically there are more than enough IT resources provisioned as a buffer to ensure performance, which leads to a lot of wasted energy when use for that application is low. Cloud computing platforms like Windows Azure provide the ability to break this cycle of over-provisioning by allowing developers to have more control over resource use and IT costs.
Sage, a major business software solution provider, was working on a project to expand their on-premises enterprise management system to allow their customers to have easier and quicker access to information as well as reduce their costs. With their on-premises solution, it was difficult for workers in the field to get timely information. Since there were more manual processes involved, that information could be prone to error.