green jobs

It’s a great time to be talking about the business case of sustainability; it isn’t about tree hugging and philanthropy.

SAP launches local Sustainability Executive Advisory Council

Despite the increasing focus on carbon emission reductions within IT and business, the widespread appointment of chief sustainability officers (CSOs) across Australia is unlikely, according to enterprise software giant, SAP.

Speaking to Computerworld Australiaahead of the company’s launch of its local Sustainability Executive Advisory Council, SAP’s chief sustainability officer and executive vice president of sustainability, Peter Graf, said an eventual carbon emissions trading scheme or tax on carbon emissions was unlikely to result in an increase in chief sustainability officers.

“When you have a tax or legislation it becomes a compliance issue, so [a CSO] is more prone to having the sustainability issue moved into the risk management or financial optimisation/finance department,” he said. “The point is that if you wait for legislation to hit, you’re not going to create any competitive advantage out of sustainability.”

CSOs who had been employed to address sustainability often face a hard time, struggling to be heard within their companies, Graf said.

“The successful sustainability officers I know are the ones who have an intrinsic understanding of how the business creates its value and have a career in where the value is created. That is the predominant model,” he said. “If I weren’t part of the development organisation and didn’t help create solutions for customers, then I would have smaller voice in the organisation.”

The net result for CIOs was that there was now a strong opportunity to sit down with the business and discuss sustainability beyond greening the data centre. “CIOs I see in many organisations are distracted by the share of voice the data centre gets,” he said. “Greening the data centre is important but it is only 0.4 per cent of global emissions, according to McKinsey, so the real opportunity for the IT organisation is to understand the wider impact that sustainability has on every business process in the organisation.”

For its part, SAP’s Sustainability Executive Advisory Council will seek to address the issue of sustainability as it applies to every organisation regardless of market vertical or size, Graf said.

“Sustainability is an overarching concept which touches every industry in parallel,” Graf said. “It’s also a nascent software market, so for us it’s key to work with leading companies, understand their challenges in dealing with sustainability and examine the practices they have put in place. We can then put those practices into software and then help many, many companies based on the lessons these leaders have learned.”

Current Sustainability Executive Advisory Council members include Telstra and Corporate Express.

“It’s a great time to talk about the business case of sustainability; it isn’t about tree hugging and philanthropy,” Graf said. “There is a lot of money at stake in driving down the costs of compliance and improving resource intensity and energy efficiency of companies and have them bring out more sustainable products.”

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More reasons to worry about Asia’s Clean-Tech push?

More reasons to worry about Asia’s Clean-Tech push?

By Keith Johnson

What do you get when mix a group that passionately believes technology holds the answer to our energy future with angst about Asia’s clean-tech irruption? “Rising Tigers, Sleeping Giant,” a new report out today from the technophile Breakthrough Institute that makes the case that the U.S. is losing ground in a hugely important race.

Flickr So cute when they’re little

The idea that the U.S. is falling behind in Asia, and especially China, when it comes to clean tech isn’t new. It keeps Tom Friedman in business, for starters. And it keeps cropping up in congressional hearings in Washington on energy and climate legislation.

The U.S. hasn’t actually fallen too far behind yet. It’s the future that the Breakthrough Institute is worried about. Specifically, the next five years, when China, Japan, and South Korea are expected to spend about $500 billion to directly promote clean-technology development and depolyment, compared with about $170 billion in the U.S.—and that’s including energy legislation that passed the House and shoaled in the Senate…………………

…………………..At the end of the day, all the worries about the clean-tech race boil down to a much broader question: Does America’s energy and economic future depend on retooling its ailing manufacturing sector, or does the future of manufacturing depend on retooling energy policy?

Full story at

‘Let Them Fail’, the resource intensity of mobility, and society

 The article below brings out the reality we now face, that we have to look at our problems and future holistically.

We have to think about solutions at a ‘systems level’ and base our decisions on our fundamental need in a resource constained environment.

Which is, that we have to continually reduce the ‘resource intensity of society’, and in the case of the industries that provide ‘mobility’, how we mangae change to continually reduce the ‘resource intensity of that mobility’.


 Let Them Fail

…………………Take Chrysler, for example. Since the breakup of its transatlantic marriage to Daimler, the company has lacked both the infrastructure and the ability to design new cars for today’s market. Addressing that fatal flaw will ultimately cost many more billions in taxpayer assistance than what the company requested.

Why on earth should taxpayers be responsible for stringing Chrysler along just so that it can eventually partner up with Fiat (in yet another dubious transatlantic marriage) to produce American-made copycat versions of fuel efficient cars that Europe and Asia have been churning out successfully for decades? Who benefits from that arrangement?

If Congress refuses to give them another bailout, G.M. and Chrysler will almost surely shut down nearly all of their plants and lay off tens of thousands of workers. When that happens, the taxpayer resources that would have gone to propping up these two “zombie companies” should instead be used to transition their profusion of industrial capacity from the business of producing unwanted cars to producing desperately needed solar panels, wind turbines, biomass generators and advanced batteries. ………………

Beyond the obvious imperative to jump-start these industries in order to forestall the worst effects of climate change, there’s a substantial amount of unmet demand for these products in the marketplace. Here in California, the electric utilities are likely to fall well short of their state-mandated renewable portfolio standards next year, not for lack of trying but for simple lack of supply resources…………..


Jim Stack, who is a resource planner at the City of Palo Alto’s municipal electric utility, where he works on renewable energy procurement in an effort to meet the City’s self-imposed RPS mandate of 30% by 2012 and 33% by 2015. He holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and a Master’s in public policy, both from U.C. Berkeley.

Full article at

Less Carbon = More Jobs?

Less Carbon = More Jobs; at first reading a no-brainer, but is it that simple?

We must understand that there are many jobs that are not ‘green’, only in the sense that they are essential to maintaining the fabric of society.

The task is to find these ‘essential’ jobs then work to continually reduce their resource intensity. This is just as critical and perhaps more so.


An interactive map locates companies that will be helped by climate legislation.

WorldChanging Team
March 13, 2009 3:09 PM

A common criticism of proposals to fight global warming is that the U.S. (and the rest of the world) can’t afford it right now because we’re in the middle of a deep recession. Critics also argue that any federal action on climate will cause job losses at a time of high unemployment.

The Environmental Defense Fund paints a very different picture with its new web site, In one of the better examples of a Google Maps mash-up, EDF has catalogued companies whose products or services are helping to reduce carbon emissions. Click on a state and the map shows the location of the companies — along with details on what they make and the number of employees. You can also find information on the local media markets — a handy link that can prompt reporters to write stories about new jobs in the green economy.

These companies will probably grow more if a cap and trade bill passes in Congress. The goal of the web site is to help build a positive political force for climate legislation and counter the effect of fossil-fuel dependent industries that only highlight potential job losses……………..

See article at