Geoff Bennett - Editor

Welcome to another two weekly review of energy and environmental events and developments from both here in New Zealand and around the world. As always, we hope you find our collection of stories to be of interest in what continues to be a rapidly evolving area.

We open this issue with an examination of what sells sustainability and conclude that perhaps about everything but the concept of sustainability itself. This is generally due to a lack of awareness amongst managers as to how sustainability actually impacts on their organisation. For example how it influences the ability to hire and retain staff, lower an organisation’s operating costs, and retain customers… All of these core business values when combined actually makes for a compelling proposition.

Which is why when a number of leading companies embrace sustainability they in turn force their suppliers to follow suit. In British Telecom’s case this will entail their 6,000 contracted suppliers being required to now measure, report and reduce their carbon footprints. It’s a form of risk management – make your supply chain become more efficient and you in turn become more resilient.

And its not as if this policy won’t deliver benefits for all concerned as the price of energy is only going to continue to rise. This next article whilst written as a pitch to investors, does highlight how demand for energy is predicted to increase by fifty percent over the next 25 years.

With oil being the backbone of the Western economy, there are obviously some hard choices ahead. As oil is being consumed at far faster rates than it is being found and with a marked decline of output at the large fields, it is simply not possible for oil supply to keep up with rising demand, let alone sustain present levels of consumption for much longer. More so, as with any commodity, its price will be determined by the market and the supply/demand balance. So just how is the world’s economy going to manage itself with oil at $400 per barrel? Can you hear the silence – cuz it is deafening…

Its not just energy and oil the world needs to be bearing in mind. It is how to manage itself in an increasingly commodity constrained world. Our next series of articles looks at what could turn out to be a grim future if plans are not put in place now to deal with a rising population, dwindling arable land, clean water and increasing temperatures. Happy is not such a happy place these days.

Our last two stories take a look at some recent developments in IT. The first is how a Boston start-up company has developed a system for intelligent predictive energy auditing for commercial buildings. The software is designed to generate a report with suggestions as to what kind of retrofit and renovation projects will have the greatest impact on a building from an energy and cost perspective. All without having to conduct a physical audit.

The second is how the Microsoft auditing team has managed to shut down the Spam provider ‘Rustock’. Rustock who is estimated to be responsible for 39 % of all worldwide Spam or 30 billion per day will in turn save an estimated 33 billion kilowatt hours per annum. That is 33 TWhs folks or enough to power 2.4 million homes. Already my inbox is about 100 emails a day lighter.

Thanks for taking the time to read this issue and look forward to catching up with you again. If you have any items of interest you would like to submit, then please feel free to forward them.

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