Smart Grids and Smart Buildings From Johnson Controls and IBM

IBM Smarter Planet Initiative

Image via Wikipedia

If you haven’t bookmarked IBM’s Smarter Planet microblog, get to it. They do a great job highlighting all sorts of tools and technologies that help cities and communities move towards sustainability.  For you techies, it’s also an excellent example of a big company using a simple tool like Tumblr to create and share information.  I pulled the image here from a Johnson Controls’ post looking at the day in the life of a smart building manager. We need more simple depictions like this to break things down and normalize what a smarter building really means. A lot of it boils down to the low-hanging fruit like monitoring energy usage and better automation around power management.
 

 

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UPS Leading The Charge On Efficient Packaging

United Parcel Service, Inc.

Image via Wikipedia

I ran across this a few days back from UPS. They’ve started an earth-friendly packaging program encouraging efficiency and conservation.

Through its Eco Responsible Packaging Program, a new contractually based service the company is calling the first of its kind, UPS will evaluate a customer’s shipment packaging processes in three key areas — damage prevention, right-sizing and packaging materials.

I haven’t researched whether any of other logistics companies have similar programs, but it appears UPS is taking the lead so far. Like Wal-Mart and IBM, they have a chance to carry the torch and set some standards. Bravo.

via greenbiz.com

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My Kind Of Supply Chain Visibility – IBM Forcing Suppliers To Become Sustainably Compliant

Image representing IBM as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Say what you want about the big corporate machines, but the fact is they set the agenda (too much at times) for many things. Industry standards, supply and demand, and of course best practices for things like sustainability. A company like IBM has a massive amount of buying power. If they pressure their supply chain, it will adjust.

IBM isn’t giving suppliers a deadline for compliance, but the company hopes that changes will be complete by 2011. And if suppliers don’t get on board, IBM will eventually take its business elsewhere. They won’t be able to hide from sustainability audits for long–now that both Wal-Mart and IBM are on board, it’s only a matter of time before other big companies start demanding the same things.

 

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Plenty Of Texas Sun For This: Solar Powered Battery Charger

I’m not sure who makes this, but it appears you can buy it at ecotopia’s UK site. With the Texas sun about to be in full force, this one might be on the summer wish list.
 
Via Envirogadget.
 
Ecotopia
The solar panel has been built into the lid of the device with the main body of the device to take the batteries requiring charging. The charger can be positioned at an angle due to its adjustable stand so the solar panels can take full advantage of any sunlight around.