Monday, January 24, 2011
Energy Sustainability in Technology Companies, Setting the Stage for 2011 and Beyond
Kathrin Winkler of EMC Corporation and Cynthia Curtis of CA are serious about the long term. Sustainability in their eyes is about longevity for our planet and their companies. "There is no Planet B" said Cynthia Curtis. Kathrin Winkler added that if we don't take care of our Earth the long term for EMC does not look promising. Both women are Chief Sustainability Officer's of large Massachusetts technology companies and long-time friends. In the session, moderated by Vanessa Fox, Partners in Productivity, the two talked candidly with audience members about how they are working to meeting their companies Sustainability goals. The audience jumped into the conversation immediately asking thought provoking questions about how CA and EMC created their offices of Sustainability; how the US compares globally in Sustainability; and what strategies technology companies are using to motivate their companies' workforces. Although both CA and EMC have CEO's with a long term view of how to keep their companies at the forefront of technology and business, surprisingly for CA, the motivation to add an Office of Sustainability is being pushed by their customers. Customers are holding suppliers to a higher environmental standard in today's marketplace. To compete globally, technology companies have to think in terms of Sustainability. This means more than recycling in the cafeteria, although the compostable trays at EMC headquarters were a big win for Kathrin Winkler. A large part of EMC's Sustainability focus is on energy efficiency in data storage. Kathrin shared the statistic that IT contributes 2% of greenhouse gases globally, yet IT is a large tool being used to mitigate greenhouse gases. For every 1kW that IT consumes, 10kW are saved in the US. "Motivate from the top down and Energize from the bottom up," is Cynthia Curtis' mantra when it comes to culture change at CA. She has worked to bring Sustainability into their corporate strategy and meet their customer expectations. CA's eco-Software is helping EMC and other companies to assess their energy consumption. Kathrin Winkler's team is rolling out a new Online greenhouse gas reporting system that will now include water usage. This type of Sustainability transparency also serves to change behavior, focus strategies and execute. The morning ended with the audience pitching ideas for future MassTLC Energy events. Ideas included, Sustainable Supply Chains, How Sustainability drives Innovation, Communications and Culture change, Global Sustainability Initiatives. Stay tuned to see what comes next. For more on Sustainability at EMC and CA Technologies go to, http://www.emc.com/about/sustainability/sustainability-reports.htm and http://community.ca.com/blogs/greenit/default.aspx. Post contributed by MassTLC Energy Cluster staff leader Elizabeth Newstadt.