On the brink of a global collapse

Recently, I had the opportunity to watch a documentary called: Collapse (2009). It was a detailed discussion about the topic of “peak oil”. Peak oil is defined as the point at which 50% of all the oil in the world will have been consumed.  Not only that oil will run out, but the supply of oil can cause a major spike in prices as seen below in 2008. The effects could be devastating. [Read more…]

Green supply chain analysis

If there’s one thing I can urge companies to do is to request that their orders be shipped complete, whether it’s from an office supply company or for your new laptop. When you contact them, just ask that the order be shipped together and not as stock becomes available. This option is not usually available when ordering online and is something organizations would rather not do- you may have to call in your order. The reason they detour shipping in this method is that it inflates inventory; the product stays on the shelf longer waiting for its counter parts to arrive.  Another quick way is to order from as few companies as possible, further reducing deliveries. This project was to promote shipping complete in an effort to reduce packaging and carbon dioxide from couriers.

To begin this project, I first took a look at how many orders were shipping partial, what the carbon emissions were for those shipments and what was it costing the company to move stock off the shelves faster. [Read more…]

You are the captain of your Enterprise…

“One of the advantages of being a Captain is being able to ask for advice without necessarily having to take it.”  – James T. Kirk

You don’t need to have the heavily punctuated dialect of Captain Kirk to be able to enjoy the benefits of video conferencing. New technology is making it even easier to connect with clients and colleagues from the bridge of your boardroom…without having to travel light years or sacrifice the human touch (unless you are meeting with Vulcans!)

But are people really using it? It can really cut your costs as well as your carbon footprint by leveraging the in which you have technology you have invested to reduce travel. One barrier I’ve found is that people don’t really know video conferencing etiquette and it’s intimidating.

I found this fantastic how-to guide on video conferencing that outlines things that your staff needs to know (and it might make them warm up to it more) like avoiding bright colors or busy patterns and addressing people in the meeting by name. 

You can read it here ….  enjoy and live long and prosper!

Getting it there green

Following a monthly Softchoice Green Team meeting I’d like to share with you some of the projects I am working on.

Supply Chain Analysis from a sustainability perspective: This is a report I had done for one of our clients looking at where their suppliers are located, the frequency of deliveries, the CO2 generated by all deliveries, distance traveled, and total number of deliveries to their various locations, etc. What I’m trying to uncover is no different from that of other business cases. I’d like to know where waste exists and how to eliminate it. The only difference is that the factor of time is weighted against the amount of pollution caused. Having things JIT (Just in Time) may cause more pollution and that is an important thing to consider. [Read more…]

Buying Carbon Offsets

This project green initiative was to reduce or eliminate the impact of Softchoice’s logistics by purchasing carbon offsets. In case you are unfamiliar with what carbon offsets are, and how they work, the brief most direct definition is that carbon offsets are ways in which companies can have a positive impact on the environment to make up for  harm caused in its operation. The price of a carbon offset is generally based on the cost of an environmentally positive company reducing one ton of carbon in the atmosphere.  These offsets are issued by a third party who distributes the funds to companies working on green products or directly from the company. 

Initially the project was only to buy carbon offsets but later evolved to providing data direct to customers on the statistics and geographic route mapping of their purchase. Generally these were roughly twenty-six dollars per ton and could be bought by a variety of vendors. The second task in this purchase was to find out how many carbon credits were necessary.  After combing the internet for carbon calculators I was able to locate a company which had a calculator specific to shipping emissions. Using another calculator to determine the proper sample size needed to in order to draw conclusions about our total emissions I ran the sample through the calculator [Read more…]

Green Search Engine

This morning the GreenTeam received a great email from a Softchoice employee about a search engine, Ecosia (http://ecosia.org/), that donates 80% of its income to saving the rainforest. Just like other search engines such as Google and Yahoo Ecosia makes money when you click their sponsered links.  However, by using them 80% of that money goes to helping the rainforest instead of the pocket of someone.

The front page of their website makes the claim of  “Each free web search saves about 2.4 yd²of rainforest. We have already protected 234,567,410 yd².”

Plus, since they are linked up with Yahoo and Bing you aren’t losing any searching functionality or missing any important results.  I have been using Ecosia for my searches this morning and so far I have been unable to tell a difference from my normal searching on Google.  Try it out.