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Fujitsu Aims to Cut 15m Tons of Customer GHGs; Verdantix’s 5 Steps to Metric Enhancement

Fujitsu has retooled its environmental metrics to take account not only of its own emissions, but those of its customers, according to Alison Rowe, global executive director of sustainability

Rowe was speaking to participants in Environmental Leader’s latest webinar, The Business Processes of Sustainability. (Click the link to listen to a recording of the webinar.)

She said that Fujitsu adopted its first sustainability policy in 1993 and has been reviewing the policy every three years, as it does for KPIs across its business. In 2009, the program expanded to start measuring the impact of customers using Fujitsu products.

Rowe said this policy has two key components: “Of IT” refers to reducing the environmental footprint of the products and services Fujitsu provides. “By IT” refers to Fujitsu’s ability to act as an enabler, helping businesses drive down emissions through efficiency or innovation.

Fujitsu’s current targets call for a 15 million ton cut in customer emissions between 2009 and 2012, 12 million of which will come through “by IT” measures, and three million “of IT”.

These measures have included the introduction of a “0-watt PC” – what Fujitsu says is the world’s first PC to draw zero watts of power in both off and hibernation modes.  The company also introduced an eco keyboard and eco mouse, in which much of the plastic has been replaced with biodegradable material.

Although the IT industry produces about three percent of global GHG emissions, Rowe said this is projected to increase to six percent by 2020, and Fujitsu is working to address the issue.

Rowe said Fujitsu is predicting a profound and rapid shift in how companies and consumers access information, with more types of devices interacting over a range of different networks, and systems starting to converge. Consumers will soon be able to monitor their home energy use on their phones, for example. Systems such as building automation and control, disaster prevention and structural health monitoring will all be visible through fixed and wireless networks with a range of different meters, Rowe said.

ICT companies will therefore play a key role in keeping down the emissions of these processes.

The company says its IT offerings span a wide variety of industries, including agriculture, retail, logistics, financial, government, transportation, health, education, communications and manufacturing. In one example, Fujitsu agriculture products and services are providing farmers with information about soil, climactic conditions and fertilization dates, to cut down on the manual process of going out into the fields to inspect crops.

Rowe said Fujitsu plans to review each new service after 12 months to see the progress it has made on GHG savings.

Also on the webinar, Verdantix senior manager Janet Lin told participants that the analyst firm expects companies to spend about 32 billion this year on sustainability initiatives (see chart). Data collection and management are going to increase exponentially over the next few years, she said.

In a white paper released today, commissioned by CA Technologies, Verdantix said it has found a movement towards the creation of sustainability management information which links operational energy and environment data with financial data, clarifies the connection between strategic objectives and sustainability goals, and quantifies how sustainability management reduces risk exposure.

The firm recommended five actions that companies can take to enhance their sustainability performance metrics:

  1. Create a single system of record for sustainability management information.
  2. Set sustainability goals based on constantly updated baselines.
  3. Define sustainability performance targets with data-driven forecasts
  4. Focus on customer-centric metrics that go beyond corporate reporting.
  5. Focus on customer-centric metrics that go beyond corporate reporting.

 

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