How to Put Sustainability On the Books

Corporate social responsibility reports are often a company’s beachhead effort on sustainability, and most focus on relatively easy-to-achieve metrics, such as employee volunteerism rates, corporate giving and supplier diversity. Advocates say even this kind of transparency can spur companies to further action. That’s the logic behind the Global Reporting Initiative, which provides a framework for companies to evaluate their own CSR reports. The GRI Framework doesn’t give points for good or bad outcomes, however; companies earn points simply for disclosing information.

Sounds easy, right? Wrong. CSR data is notoriously complex. Putting together a report can mean pulling data from environmental health and safety departments, community and education programs, philanthropic giving records, supply chain partners and operations records. Historically, companies have pulled that data into Excel spreadsheets to create new data sets for CSR reports. But as stakeholders — and shareholders — show more interest in sustainability concerns, companies are beginning to eye more sophisticated software to help them manage and report that data.  Read More about How to Put Sustainability On the Books

The Reboot: Going (Mostly) Paperless

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I’m rebooting my life. After 10 years at the BBC, I’m switching careers and running my own business full-time. And that’s not the only big switch going on around here — I’m also moving from Windows to Mac (s aapl) for just about everything. Moving everything to the Mac doesn’t just affect my business, it shapes the very heart of my digital world. It also introduces its own interesting challenges.

Entrepreneur or ordinary consumer, regular TAB readers may find these are problems we have all faced. Finding solutions has been challenging and fun in equal measure — so it seems prudent to share them here. If I do a good job, maybe my solutions will work for you, too. Read More about The Reboot: Going (Mostly) Paperless

Software Will Save the Planet & Your Job

robbernardheadshotGood news for all you software developers worried about finding work in the downturn: Software development is at the core of reducing the world’s energy consumption, according to Rob Bernard, chief environmental strategist for Microsoft (s MSFT), at the Green Grid technical forum this morning in San Jose, Calif. Bernard (who will be giving a keynote at our Green:Net conference in March) said that software will not only be key to reducing the amount of energy that goes into computing (currently 2 percent of global energy consumption), but also the other 98 percent of energy consumed across the globe.

While many might think of software as being confined to computers, gadgets and data centers, software is increasingly fundamental to managing all hardware and systems, including buildings, vehicles and the power grid. Smarter systems and devices mean fuel and energy can be used more efficiently and ultimately carbon emissions can be reduced. For example Microsoft has been working on creating the traffic-routing service Clearflow, which alerts users to the fastest driving routes based on traffic conditions. That means less traffic, less time on the road, less fuel used.
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Google Phone on the GigaOM Network

nullIn addition to our live coverage of the Google phone launch and our round-up of four things you need to know about T-Mobile 3G, NewTeeVee has info on plans for the phone’s video capabilities while Earth2Tech looks at the carbon footprint calculator app it will feature, the Ecorio. And OStatic talks to the LiMo Foundation to gets its take on the device. Meanwhile, the guys at jkOnTheRun apply their mobile expertise to evaluate the G1, including deciding whether or not to buy one. And for existing T-Mobile customers, they tell you how.