Friday, May 20, 2022

Earth Day Special Coffee Briefing April 26, 2022 – Telus launches Buy One, Plant One campaign; Intel commits to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions; and more

Coffee Briefings are timely deliveries of the latest ITWC headlines, interviews, and podcasts. Today’s Coffee Briefing is delivered by IT World Canada’s editorial team!

Missed last week’s Coffee Briefing? We’ve got you covered.

What’s new this week

Telus embarks on a mission to plant its one millionth tree

To celebrate Earth Day and make the planet greener, Telus is inviting Canadians to help it reach its goal of planting its one millionth tree this year through the company’s Buy One, Plant One campaign. The company has announced it will plant a tree on behalf of every Telus, Koodo and Public Mobile customer who buys a certified pre-owned cell phone between April 18 – May 1, 2022.

As consumers become increasingly conscious of their impact on the environment, a Certified Pre-Owned device is a budget and planet-friendly option that helps extend the lifespan of smartphones and keep them out of landfills. To date, Telus has planted more than 800,000 trees and by the time its millionth tree is planted later this year, it says it will have planted the equivalent of 20,000 acres of forest, which is twenty times the size of Stanley Park in Vancouver, B.C. 

The campaign is part of Telus’ commitment to reduce its carbon footprint and become a zero-waste, carbon-neutral company by 2030.

FedDev Ontario makes a $2 million investment to scale up production, commercialize sustainable bioproducts and create 20 new jobs

The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) has announced an investment of $2 million in Mississauga, ON-based Lorama Group to scale up production, commercialize sustainable bioproducts.

Lorama Group is a manufacturer and distributor of colourants and additives in the paints and coatings sector. With today’s investment, the company will acquire advanced manufacturing equipment to commercialize and scale production of its novel, renewable, non-toxic bio-adhesive used in wood composite products. This investment will also create up to 20 new jobs in the Mississauga region.

In 2021, Lorama Group received a $2.6 million-investment from Sustainable Development Technology Canada, an arm’s-length foundation created by the Government of Canada to fund new clean technologies, to develop its bio-adhesive product. 

Since 2015, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has invested over $170 million in over 85 clean technology projects in southern Ontario, creating 4,850 jobs and maintaining over 1,550 jobs.

Intel commits to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in its global operations by 2040

Pat Gelsinger, Intel chief executive officer

American multinational corporation and technology company Intel Corporation has announced plans to further reduce its direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions and develop more sustainable technology solutions. To celebrate Earth Day this year, the company pledged to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in its global operations by 2040, to increase the energy efficiency and lower the carbon footprint of Intel products and platforms with specific goals, and to work with customers and industry partners to create solutions that lower the greenhouse gas footprint of the entire technology ecosystem.

To realize this goal, Intel says it has set the following interim milestones for 2030:

  • Achieve 100 per cent renewable electricity use across its global operations.
  • Invest approximately US$300 million in energy conservation at its facilities to achieve 4 billion cumulative kilowatt hours of energy savings.
  • Build new factories and facilities to meet U.S. Green Building Council LEED program standards, including recently announced investments in the U.S., Europe and Asia.
  • Launch a cross-industry R&D initiative to identify greener chemicals with lower global warming potential and to develop new abatement equipment.

The company says it will continue to provide updates on its net-zero plans and greener computing strategies throughout the year.

New IBM study suggests Canadians hold most stubborn views on environmental sustainability, for better or worse

A recent IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) study surveying more than 16,000 adults from ten countries including Canada uncovered the latest consumer perspectives on environmental sustainability.

Key findings from the IBM study include:

  • More than half (51 per cent) of global respondents say environmental sustainability is more important to them today than it was 12 months ago, and they are demonstrating this through their purchases, household choices, investments, employment, and travel decisions. However, just over a third of Canadians (35 per cent) say environmental sustainability is more important to them now compared to a year ago. For the majority of Canadians (60 per cent), the environmental sustainability views haven’t changed, for better or worse, a spokersperson for IBM told IT World Canada. 
  • When asked if they have made investment decisions, such as increasing investments, divesting or selling holdings, lobbying fund managers, or making major personal purchases, based on environmental sustainability or social responsibility factors in the last 12 months, a shocking 71 per cent of Canadians said none of the above. What is more: 58 per cent of Canadians still plan to do none of the above in the next 12 months, going against the global trend of 62 per cent of personal investors who say their portfolios will take environmental sustainability into account.
  • More Canadians are looking toward companies, particularly their own employers, to be stewards of change when it comes to sustainability. Currently in Canada, 30 per cent say they consider their employer to be socially responsible (higher than the 25 per cent global average but with still a way to go) and only 22 per cent say their employer is environmentally sustainable (on par with 21 per cent globally). This could translate to a major talent risk as research shows organizations known for sustainability have an advantage when it comes to hiring and retention.

Benevity launches campaign to boost support for climate-related nonprofits

To support the Earth Day 2022 theme, “invest in our planet”, Calgary, AB-based global corporate purpose software provider Benevity has launched a campaign that focuses on the power of charitable giving as a way to address environmental issues and support nonprofits in mitigating the climate crisis to help preserve and protect the health of the planet and humankind.

The company announced it is bringing together some of the world’s most high-profile and passionate advocates for sustainability and climate justice to boost support for climate-related nonprofits. As part of the campaign, climate champions Mark Ruffalo, Emmy-winning actor, advocate and co-founder of The Solutions Project and Christiana Figueres, co-host of the climate podcast, Outrage+Optimism and former executive secretary of the UN Climate Change Convention, are sharing their personalized lists of high-impact climate nonprofits, and encouraging others to invest in environmental causes through donations.

To further encourage investment in the planet, Benevity and its majority owner have committed C$1 million in matching funds for campaigns focused on climate action. The matching amounts are being donated by Hg Capital, a software and services investor, and its partners. For every dollar donated to this campaign by the public via Benevity’s Community Impact Portal, Benevity says it will add another dollar, up to C$250,000, until May 6. Benevity is partnering with non-profits and its growing community of over 850 corporate clients to leverage employee and customer giving as a powerful way of activating their ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) initiatives throughout the year. 

Each of the climate champions has curated a personalized giving list of high-impact climate organizations working on everything from climate change mitigation to climate justice, conservation and Indigenous land rights. In total, up to 20 organizations will benefit from this initiative. Details on climate champions and donating can be found here.

Telus’ and Vector Institute’s Energy Optimization System for datacentres across Canada

Source: dzm1try | Getty Images

Telus and the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence have launched the Energy Optimization System (EOS), with the aim to help reduce operational costs and minimize electricity use in commercial buildings, such as datacentres, across Canada. This collaborative development uses model-based reinforcement learning (MBRL) to fine-tune the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems across network locations, allowing for energy-efficient temperature control.

By optimizing HVAC systems with this new artificial intelligence (AI) technology, it is possible to achieve significant energy savings in datacentres and other network locations, reducing the overall environmental impact. Results from a pilot test showed a decrease of almost 12 per cent in reduced annual electricity consumption in a small datacentre. These results are based on a summer test completed in a small Telus datacentre (equipment room) in Cambridge, ON.

More information on this system can be found here

More to explore

Welcome to the new face of itbusiness.ca

As you likely noticed when you visited itbusiness.ca Monday morning, the website has had a long-overdue facelift. Not only is the new design more attractive and more functional on all devices, it is designed to make the reader’s overall experience even better.

Samsung Electronics Canada launches protection plan for corporate devices

Samsung Electronics Canada today announced the launch of Samsung Care+ for Business, a device lifecycle management service that provides businesses with Samsung device repairs, an extended warranty of up to three years and coverage for physical damage and liquid intrusion.

Apple App Store and Apple Music experienced issues

Apple’s App Store and music service, Apple Music are currently experiencing issues, according to Apple’s system status page. The system status page notes that “users may be experiencing a problem” with the App Store. A similar message is linked to Apple Music saying, “users may be experiencing intermittent issues.” 

Canada, U.S. in group planning to bridge global privacy rules

Canada, the U.S., and five other Pacific rim countries will try to create international rules to bridge different regulatory approaches to data protection and privacy.

This week in ransomware – April 22, 2022

Ransomware continues to grow as a threat. While the overwhelming number of attacks are from a few of the “big players”, even when these gangs disappear, more arise to fill the gap. Even more troubling, there is collaboration and even overlap between the players, which might lead to multiple attacks.

Quebec government embarrassed by web faux pas

The Government of Quebec has recently had to deal with some embarrassing incidents involving its presence on the web. On April 14, the ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (Ministry of Health and Social Services) daily Twitter message about the status of COVID-19 included a link to a video from the Pornhub site, instead of the usual pandemic status page.

LoRaWAN-enabled IoT being used to save Africa’s endangered wildlife from poachers

Volunteering Africa, a South African non-profit organization which works for the preservation of wildlife, has partnered with Abeeway and Actility to create a system which will let the group monitor rhinos’ locations in order to protect them against poachers.

Canadian government invests in woman-led, sustainable AI company in Toronto

The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) today  announced an investment of over C$5.7 million in Canvass Analytics Inc. (Canvass AI)  a woman-led artificial intelligence (AI) company whose mission is to make AI easy-to-use so that the industrial sector can accelerate its transformation into a profitable and environmentally sustainable industry.

Rogers announces 2.5Gbps internet as a free upgrade to some customers

The fast gets faster: On the heels of its 8Gbps internet plan coming this summer, Rogers has released another subscription tier to its Ignite Internet, this time clocking in at 2.5Gbps, just a hair shy of the 3Gbps internet package Bell recently announced.

Channel Bytes April 22, 2022 – Microsoft rebrands compliance and governance products; ConnectWise launches new service for MSPs; One Identity enhances partner program; and more

Staying informed is a constant challenge. There’s so much to do, and so little time. But we have you covered. Grab a coffee and take five while you nibble on these tidbits.

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Trending

Twitter accepts Elon Musk’s buyout deal, Netflix is facing a morale crisis, and Apple must pay a customer $1000 for not including a charger with his iPhone.

Listen to the latest episode of Cyber Security Today

This episode talks about a report that shows how Lapsus$ gang was successful; and the recently released patches for Atlassian, Java and Amazon software

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Tendances (Hosted by Direction Informatique)

If you live in Quebec or prefer to consume the latest technology news in French, our sister publication Direction Informatique has you covered. Follow them on Twitter as well.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Pragya Sehgal
Pragya Sehgal
Born and raised in the capital city of India - Delhi - bounded by the river Yamuna on the west, Pragya has climbed the Himalayas, and survived medical professional stream in high school without becoming a patient or a doctor. Pragya now makes her home in Canada with her husband - a digital/online marketing fanatic who also loves to prepare delicious meals for her. When she isn’t working or writing around tech, she’s probably watching art films on Netflix, or wondering whether she should cut her hair short or not. Can be contacted at psehgal@itwc.ca or 647.695.3494.

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