Weekly Roundup: Highlights from two major conferences

By Seth Rosenberg

Seth is a current dual MBA/MPA in Sustainable Management student at Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco. He also works as Sourcing Manager for Tomato Sherpa, a new ready-to-cook recipe kit company in the Bay Area.

Mar 7, 2013 | Announcements | 0 comments

A growing global mobile technology exhibition in Spain features a model city and interactive experience for exhibitors and attendees; Intel, Cisco, IBM among nation-wide climate change leadership recognized in Washington D.C.

GSMA Mobile World Conference in Barcelona

Between February 25th and 28th, more than 72,000 visitors from 200 different countries attended the world’s largest exhibition for the mobile industry, the GMSA Mobile World Conference (MWC).

Featuring prominent keynote speakers and showcasing more than 1,700 companies, this year’s MWC included a real city street that “explore[d] how intelligent wireless connections are driving innovation in order to deliver economic growth, successful products, customer value and new business opportunities.”

Also new this year was the theme of Near Field Communication (NFC), a form of contactless communication between devices like smartphones and tablets that enables services ranging from electronic scooter rentals to lighting and music control in hotel rooms. Read more about the conference’s constructed smart city and the many uses of NFC here.

Many companies also used the conference as an opportunity to announce exciting new plans for the upcoming years. To highlight a few:

Micro-fuel cell technology: Telco giant Cable & Wireless and UK-based developer Intelligent Energy announced that they are working together on a project to replace mobile phone batteries with micro-fuel cell batteries.

Improved connected car technology: General Motors announced the launch of 4G LTE mobile broadband services in vehicles in 2014.

Open Web Devices: 18 operators at MWC announced their commitment to Mozilla’s Firefox OS. Firefox OS smartphones will be the first built entirely to open Web standards, allowing every feature to be developed as an HTML5 application.

2013 EPA Climate Leadership Awards

On February 28th, in conjunction with the Washington D.C. Climate Leadership Conference, the EPA announced the recipients of the second annual Climate Leadership Awards (full list here). Awards were presented to organizations across the U.S. “leading the way in the management and reduction of GHG emissions- both in internal operations and throughout the supply chain.”

Among the winners:

Intel Corporation was awarded an Organizational Leadership Award

  • By the end of 2012, the company reduced GHG emissions to 60% below 2007 levels- well beyond its goal of 20%.
  • Since 2008, Intel has been the largest purchaser of renewable energy in the U.S.
  • 100% of Intel’s annual electricity use, over 3 billion KWh, comes from green power.
  • Through server virtualization, Intel is saving an estimated 661 tons of C02 emissions each year.


Cisco Systems, Inc. was awarded a Supply Chain Leadership Award

  • Cisco requests all of its suppliers to report to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), collaborates with them to help them meet their goals, and also uses third-party audits to monitor environmental impacts.
  • Cisco is involved in a joint project with the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition, MIT, and International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative to develop supply chain data collection techniques for major electronics commodities.
  • The company has achieved a 25% GHG reduction goal from a 2007 baseline.


IBM was awarded a Supply Chain Leadership Award

  • In 2010, IBM established corporate responsibility and environmental management requirements for its more than 27,000 first tier global suppliers.
  • In 2011, over 87% of its invited suppliers responded to the CDP Supply Chain project.
  • The company reduced operational C02 emissions by 16% compared to a 2005 baseline.

Discussion

Leave your comment below, or reply to others.

Please note that this comment section is for thoughtful, on-topic discussions. Admin approval is required for all comments. Your comment may be edited if it contains grammatical errors. Low effort, self-promotional, or impolite comments will be deleted.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read more from MeetingoftheMinds.org

Spotlighting innovations in urban sustainability and connected technology

How to Move More People with Fewer Vehicles

How to Move More People with Fewer Vehicles

Accenture analysts recently released a report calling for cities to take the lead in creating coordinated, “orchestrated” mobility ecosystems. Limiting shared services to routes that connect people with mass transit would be one way to deploy human-driven services now and to prepare for driverless service in the future. Services and schedules can be linked at the backend, and operators can, for example, automatically send more shared vehicles to a train station when the train has more passengers than usual, or tell the shared vehicles to wait for a train that is running late.

Managing urban congestion and mobility comes down to the matter of managing space. Cities are characterized by defined and restricted residential, commercial, and transportation spaces. Private autos are the most inefficient use of transportation space, and mass transit represents the most efficient use of transportation space. Getting more people out of private cars, and into shared feeder routes to and from mass transit modes is the most promising way to reduce auto traffic. Computer models show that it can be done, and we don’t need autonomous vehicles to realize the benefits of shared mobility.

Planning for Arts and Culture in San Diego

Planning for Arts and Culture in San Diego

The role of government, and the planning community, is perhaps to facilitate these kinds of partnerships and make it easier for serendipity to occur. While many cities mandate a portion of the development budget toward art, this will not necessarily result in an ongoing benefit to the arts community as in most cases the budget is used for public art projects versus creating opportunities for cultural programming.  

Rather than relying solely on this mandate, planners might want to consider educating developers with examples and case studies about the myriad ways that artists can participate in the development process. Likewise, outreach and education for the arts community about what role they can play in projects may stimulate a dialogue that can yield great results. In this sense, the planning community can be an invaluable translator in helping all parties to discover a richer, more inspiring, common language.

Sustainable Cities Need Smart Investment and Policies

Sustainable Cities Need Smart Investment and Policies

While the outlook for the environment may often seem bleak, there are many proven methods already available for cities to make their energy systems and other infrastructure not only more sustainable, but cheaper and more resilient at the same time. This confluence of benefits will drive investments in clean, efficient energy, transportation, and water infrastructure that will enable cities to realize their sustainability goals.

Given that many of the policy mechanisms that impact cities’ ability to boost sustainability are implemented at the state or federal level, municipalities should look to their own operations to implement change. Cities can lead as a major market player, for example, by converting their own fleets to zero emission electric vehicles, investing in more robust and efficient water facilities, procuring clean power, and requiring municipal buildings to be LEED certified.

Share This