Ceiva made their name producing good looking picture frames for digital photos that can interface with the internet. Now, Ceiva has taken that intelligence one step further by incorporating a display of household energy data in the frame.
It’s pretty logical when you think about it: people like displaying photos, and they like having a better take on their household energy use. But they don’t necessarily like having energy data displayed at all times for everyone to see. By partnering with utilities, Ceiva offers customers a display at reduced cost, killing two birds with one stone.
The result? Much better energy management options for both consumers and utilities. Learn more in my short video with CEIVA’s VP of Marketing, Jack McKee below…
Special thanks to everyone who joined us yesterday for our Twitter chat on Sustainable Leadership with with the The Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives, a program within the Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University. The chat turned out to be one of our liveliest yet!
The chat was be co-hosted by professors George Basile, Senior Sustainability Scientist with the Global Institute of Sustainability and Professor of Practice at ASU’s School of Sustainability, and Bruno Sarda, Director of Global Sustainability Operations at Dell and professor and consultant for ASU.
After the jump, we’ve got a storify synopsis of the major questions that we asked and answered during the chat, including as many of your as we had time to answer. Please feel free to keep the conversation going by tweeting your thoughts with the hashtag “#sustleadership”.
Darden restaurants is parent company to Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Capital Grille and other up-market chain restaurants. As a result, they serve over 1 million meals a day across North America – that’s a lot of food and a large potential resource footprint. We’ve heard from Brandon Tidwell, Darden’s Manager of Sustainability, from time to time as a guest poster on 3p and I finally had a chance to sit down with him and chat.
Darden has already almost met recent goals to reduce water and energy use by 15 percent by 2015. I talked to Brandon a bit about what comes next. Secondly, we talked a bit about seafood. As one of the world’s largest buyers of seafood, Darden has the opportunity to have tremendous impact on the seafood supply chain.
Hear what Brandon had to say in the video below…
“Making sustainability sexy” is the tagline of online fashion portal, Modavanti.com. The company is an online retailer that works with dozens of fashion brands representing eight different aspects of sustainability called “badges” on which a brand is scored. The badges cover issues ranging from recycled content, labor, being made in the U.S., and other issues. A customer can tailor their fashion search toward brands that score the highest among the badges they care most about, but can rest assured that all of the brands on the site have been vetted.
I had a chance to sit down with David Dietz, Modavanti’s founder, at SXSWeco last week to learn a little bit about the company, and the kind of impact he expects to be able to make – in addition to running a successful company.
Video after the jump….
EcoFactor is a software company that enables “communicating thermostats” to better manage energy use in homes. The idea is to automate energy management in ways that a human being would never be able to do alone. Once up and running, EcoFactor says they can typically provide savings in the ballpark of 10-15 percent – a payback that winds up being instant for most consumers who purchase the service through channels such as Comcast.
EcoFactor’s software actually builds a schedule around household behavior, doing things like turning down the heat or air conditioning when a homeowner is not in the house. To top it off, data is provided to customers offering them information about where they’ve made strides in saving energy and how one’s household use stacks up to their neighbors.
I sat down with EcoFactor’s CEO Roy Johnson to learn more…
As television evolves to be a more independent, internet based medium, entrepreneurs are ready to use it to provide quality, conscientious programming. According to recently launched evox, such programming “inspires positive changes in the way people live and work.”
I had a chance to sit down with evox’s founder, Xav Dubois to learn a little bit about the new channel, how it works, and how the channel aims to enhance the quality of life of its viewers while raising awareness of sustainability.
Learn more on our short video interview below…
BEF is an environmental non profit based in Portland that works with companies to address three big environmental challenges: energy, carbon, and water. BEF looks to use market based solutions such as renewable energy credits, carbon offsets, and water restoration credits to help companies meet their goals of reducing environmental impact.
Of particular interest at SXSWeco this year has been the issue of water. I sat down with Val Fishman, BEF’s VP of corporate partnerships to learn a little but more about how BEF’s various projects are having a positive impact on global water issues and specifically the Colorado River watershed.
Among many corporate partnerships, BEF has also recently helped launch a portal called ChangeTheCourse.us which offers opportunities for individuals to get directly involved in watershed restoration.
Learn more in the short video below…
As something of a cheese aficionado, I’ve always been fond of a high quality Vermont white cheddar. Cabot Creamery Cooperative has been one the more familiar brands out there with a reputation for quality and an eye towards making sure all the members of their cooperative are treated fairly. A certified b-corporation, Cabot’s stated mission is “to provide quality, award-winning dairy foods and exceptional service to our customers, which will generate profitable growth so as to benefit our farmer owners and employees.”
The nearly 100 year old coop has always operated under principals that we might call a part of “sustainability” today, whether they’ve chosen to explicitly talk about it or not. I had a chance to talk to Cabot’s Director of Sustainability, Jed Davis about how the company thinks about sustainability and what they’re doing to advance it.
Please enjoy the short video below…
Biomimicry is a hot topic here at 3p. The basic idea behind biomimicry is that nature is the ultimate product designer. By studying how nature, over millions of years, has managed to solve major problems (metabolizing toxic substances, protecting organisms against harm, or even locomotion) we can learn to mimic nature’s solutions in modern product design. Ideally we not only solve the same problems but we can do so in a way that fits into nature’s ecosystems rather than conflicting with them.
I sat down with Sprint’s Darren Beck to learn a little about how his company has been exploring biomimicry to address some of their sustainability challenges. Specifically, while working with experts at the San Diego Zoo, Sprint found inspiration among Armadillo shells as a way to make product packaging both stronger and lighter.
Learn more in the short video below…
”Smart Cities” has been a running theme here in Austin at the SXSWeco conference for 2013. It makes sense given the tradition of celebrating technology that SXSW is well known for. What makes the issue especially prescient in the context of sustainability is not only the sheer number of people who will be moving to cities this century, but the sheer number of problems cities have – from traffic logistics to managing energy, resources and pollution to far more heady problems like crime and education.
At first glance it seems there’s no end to the complexity of our growing urban challenges, but this also presents tremendous opportunities. Many high tech companies have engaged on a quest to begin providing solutions – Schneider Electric among them.
I had a chance to talk with Schneider’s “Chief Catalyst” of Smart Cities, Melissa O’Mara yesterday about exactly what the opportunities are and how they’re important for Schneider.
Take a look at our short video below…
Customer billing seems like a banal subject, especially in the seemingly mundane world of utilities. But once you learn how complex it can be you gain a newfound respect for the people tasked with its management. You also quickly realize how ripe for improvement it can be. On my recent trip to São Paulo, I spent some time at the headquarters of AES Electropaulo, the principal electric utility for more than 16 million people. There I learned a bit about the many challenges the company faces, not the least of which is simply getting people accurate bills and collecting payments.
Until recently, the process by which a customer received her monthly bill involved a home visit by a utility employee who collected data from her meter then brought that data physically back to the company. As much as three days later, the employee would return to the customer to deliver a bill which could then be paid.
Working with SAP’s software, AES Electopaulo developed a more advanced hand-held billing device which, regardless of having an internet connection or not, is capable of printing out a utility bill on the spot – to deliver to the customer in one visit. Once connected, the device can upload billing data to the company. On the customer’s end the printed bill also contains a great deal more data than in older bills, tracking power usage over time and making it easier for a customer to tell whether they’re saving energy or not. Everything takes less than a minute.
What about smart meters?
The America’s Cup wrapped up last week in San Francisco with a wild come-from-behind victory by Oracle’s Team USA – ensuring that the cup will remain here for another three years. As crowds gathered to witness the neck-and-neck battle between high tech sailing teams, Cup organizers took care to make their sustainability efforts both obvious and subtle. The idea, of course, was to not only showcase to the city that the Cup maintained a responsible event, but to take the opportunity to inspire and educate thousands of people who might have other things on their mind.
This was the spirit we discovered more than a year ago when I wrote about the Cup’s initial sustainability plan. It’ll be some time before all the calculations are done, but the Cup intends to produce another GRI-compliant sustainability report in the future. In the meantime, from a spectator’s view, by far the biggest impact the Cup seems to have had was through education and inspiring behavior change among spectators.
Let’s start with transportation…
Coming up at 7pm PST tonight! If you can’t join us in person, come back to this page and we’ll have a live video feed for you to watch. Please feel free to leave comments here if you have questions in advance.
It’s time again for another live “fireside chat” with an interesting sustainability thought leader. This week, I’ll be chatting with EOS Climate’s co-founder Joe Madden. As always, this chat will be about an hour long and begin with a brief interview. We’ll then open it up to audience members who want to talk about applying market-based principles to dealing with the problem of refrigerants and climate change.
If you are in the Bay Area, please register here to attend in person. If not, just bookmark this page and we’ll have a live streaming video of the whole event ready for you to be virtually present.
In the meantime, if you’d like to get the conversation rolling early, please leave comments or questions and I’ll make an effort to incorporate them into my interview and the ensuing discussion.
IF YOU CAN’T MAKE IT, DON’T WORRY! We’ll be broadcasting the chat live on our Google Plus channel. Just bookmark this post and we’ll have a you-tube style interface you can click on when the chat begins, or to watch later.
One of the “hard to prove” principals we write about here at TriplePundit is the idea that if a company’s culture can simply be made aware of sustainability then inspiration will follow. New ideas around sustainability will start to evolve, and some will take root to not only reduce a company’s negative externalities, but bring forth new and profitable business ideas.
SAP Labs is the research and development arm of SAP with about a dozen global locations. I had a chance to talk to SAP Labs’ Latin America director Stefan Wagner this week in São Paulo about some of the innovation taking place at his organization, and sustainability was very much at the core of what he had to talk about.
Every Wednesday at 4pm Pacific (and every once in a while at other times) TriplePundit founder Nick Aster will takes 45 minutes or so to chat with an interesting leader in the sustainable business movement. This week Nick is on the road, so 3p Editor in Chief Jen Boynton will be filling in! These chats are broadcast on our Google+ channel and embedded via YouTube right here on 3p.
Please join us this Wednesday at 4pm Pacific as Jen Boynton (and hopefully I) chat with Joey Feinstein, a long-time friend, MBA colleague, and founder of Climate Cycle, a non-profit organization, which was founded in 2008 out of a concern that today’s youth lacked the tools necessary to respond to global warming or benefit from the emerging green economy. Today, Climate Cycle leads the charge in catalyzing environmental education in the classroom and in our communities by developing young leaders in sustainability.
Joey’s been working closely with Chicago schools and the Chicago business community and will be here to share some of his stories and successes with us.
The only thing you need to do is pop over to this page at 4pm PST and click “play”. No need to log into anything. However, if you want to ask questions, we’ll be taking Q&A via Twitter from the audience – just tweet to @triplepundit and we’ll incorporate your questions. If you miss the conversation you’ll still be able to watch it later on YouTube.