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Intelligent Transport Systems Enable the Decarbonization of Road Transportation

WSP

Our planet is warming at its fastest pace in history. Securing a world that can support life now and for future generations requires all countries to tackle the urgent global climate change challenge. Immediate and continuous action to nurture planetary health will also improve livelihoods and communities. Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions demands decarbonization efforts across all sectors. This whitepaper explores how intelligent transport system (ITS) expertise can accelerate the decarbonization of road transportation; the principles discussed also apply to other sectors within the overall transportation system. Harnessing the collective know-how of our professionals around the world, we have prepared this analysis as a “greenprint” to help make the rapid transition to solutions that minimize and ultimately eliminate carbon impacts; it is also intended to prepare system designers for the many challenges ahead. The whitepaper proposes a holistic perspective—one that considers people, processes, places, infrastructure, vehicles, technology and associated data—to advance comprehensive change as societies set targets and form pathways to achieve net zero ambitions. Click here to read more and download the whitepaper View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from WSP on 3blmedia.com

October 21, 2021 02:26 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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Developers: Building Smarter Edge Computing Solutions With Smart Sensors

Qualcomm

Edge devices  are playing a key role in  IIoT,  Industry 4.0, and  Edge computing  in general. Edge devices use  sensors  to measure and generate data about physical phenomena such as temperature, humidity, and acceleration. Sensors can include  MEMS devices,  chemical sensors,  biosensors, and  MOS sensors  and may be  fused  to provide more comprehensive information or redundancy. In edge computing, these sensors are physically connected to an edge device equipped with a microprocessor unit (MPU) capable of processing the data and communicating with other devices or the cloud. As edge computing evolves, new demands are being placed on edge technology, which is driving a trend towards the development and integration of smart sensors. A smart sensor is the next evolution of the sensor, whereby the sensing component(s), known as the base sensor(s), are packaged together with the MPU in a single (usually tiny) device. This trend is blurring the traditional definition of an edge device and is giving rise to the notion of the extreme edge. The extreme edge is where smart sensors take on more of the functionality traditionally done by the edge devices where sensors are commonly attached, or to near-edge devices like onsite servers. Now, the burden of processing, intelligence, data processing, and other functionality is handled by these new smart sensors to increase overall performance and enhance power efficiency. Functions of smart sensors By integrating sensors and the MPU onto the same substrate, smart sensors can be implemented in smaller, low-cost packages suitable for space-constrained applications. They can also be more resilient to environmental conditions. Smart sensors have  four general functions they are expected to provide: Measurement: sensing of the physical phenomena via the base sensor(s) such as light, acceleration, environmental conditions, etc., which is then converted into electrical signals and processed by the MPU. Configuration: onboard logic to self-calibrate, detect and warn of drift, and/or ensure correct installation. Verification: continuous monitoring of the sensor’s performance to make sure it’s operating within the required parameters. Logic may be included to switch to backup base sensors or to account for issues like drift. Communication: transmission of data between the base sensor and MPU, as well as the ability to communicate externally (e.g., to send/receive data with other devices or with the cloud). Common examples of smart sensors include level sensors which provide real-time metrics of contents in tanks (e.g., fuel), bins, etc., proximity sensors that detect motion and location, and temperature sensors which can measure environmental conditions or the properties of an object to which they’re attached (e.g., how hot a machine is running). Demands for getting smarter Several demands are driving the trend towards smart sensors. From a compute and security standpoint, growing deployments of edge devices can strain and increase loads on gateways, programmable logic controllers (PLCs), and cloud resources. By shifting as much logic as possible right to the sensor and making it more capable, data can be processed at the point where it’s acquired and filtered, reducing the amount of data that leaves the device. For example, a smart sensor might monitor data values, but only send data to the cloud when a certain threshold has been reached. From a cost and logistics standpoint, organizations, especially those with large, difficult, or remote deployments, want small, low-cost wireless units that are easy to install. For example, smart sensors that monitor voltage on remote power lines may need easy installation and be capable of sending information wirelessly to the cloud via a nearby router. In addition, such organizations may also require lower power consumption, multi-year battery life, and/or onboard  energy harvesting  capabilities, especially for remote devices where maintenance access is difficult, dangerous, and costly. There is also a growing trend towards self-diagnosis, self-calibration, and self-healing. Like any device, smart sensors can suffer from drift, faulty or failing base sensors, damage, or unexpected shifts in installation (e.g., when a unit is bumped out of its expected orientation). With so much dependence on correct data acquisition at the edge, many smart sensors include logic and even additional base sensors giving them the ability to detect, adjust, and/or alert of such issues. Smart SoCs Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. offers a number of SoC’s that could be used for the MPU in a smart sensor. Developers have a rich set of options to choose from with functionality ranging from basic compute to hardware-accelerated AI, along with multiple modes of connectivity like 5G, LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and more. Our  Qualcomm QCA4020 and QCA4024 SoCs  and associated dev kits offer Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), 802.15.4 connectivity, and numerous IO options for IoT applications. For applications requiring additional compute power, you might consider  one of our AQP80xx series application processors  that includes a GPU, hardware accelerated signal processing, and camera support. You can develop for the  Qualcomm APQ8016E Application Processor  using the  DragonBoard 410c  development board. For additional devices and development kits, see the Hardware tab on  QDN. We also recently  announced  several new platforms for developing next-generation IoT devices, so be sure to stay tuned. For further inspiration, check out the following  IoT projects  on QDN that incorporate sensors: Smart Vineyard Smart Airport MDM9206 with Pressure Detector IoT Merchandise Cart on MDM9206 View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from Qualcomm on 3blmedia.com

October 21, 2021 02:02 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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Dupont Takes Action to Underscore Climate and Water Commitments

DuPont

Last month, DuPont shared three announcements to reaffirm the company’s 2030 climate action and water stewardship commitments. With Climate Week NYC just behind us and COP26 set for early November, DuPont is joining other industry, governments and organizations accelerating a global shift. On 23 September, the company  announced  it has signed its first Virtual Power Purchase Agreement (VPPA) with a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC to develop new wind energy in Texas. The wind project will have a generation capacity of the equivalent of 135 megawatts and is expected to be operational by the end of 2022. The agreement supports DuPont’s  Acting on Climate  goal of reducing absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30 percent, including sourcing 60 percent of electricity from renewable energy, by 2030, and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. Leading energy advisor Schneider Electric supported DuPont in the selection of and negotiations for the project. “Through this VPPA, together with our 2020 actions, we will soon be sourcing the equivalent of approximately 25 percent of our total electricity needs today from renewable sources,” said Miguel Gonzalez, Chief Procurement Officer at DuPont. To further affirm DuPont’s commitment to renewable energy procurement, the company  has joined RE100, a global environmental initiative led by the Climate Group which brings together companies committed to sourcing 100% renewable electricity by mid-century. Through RE100, DuPont also commits to addressing market and policy barriers to sourcing renewables alongside member companies. The VPPA and the decision to join RE100 signify steps forward in the company’s integrated climate and energy strategy, which has already seen significant progress: In the fourth quarter of 2019 DuPont converted utility supply at its largest manufacturing site to a low carbon source. In 2020 the company completed nearly 100 energy savings projects and reduced its location-based 2020 Scope 2 emissions – indirect GHG emissions associated with the purchase of electricity, steam, heat, or cooling – by 11 percent compared to 2019.  In addition to addressing climate and energy, DuPont  announced it has joined the Water Resilience Coalition and signed the CEO Water Mandate as part of its goal to increase global access to clean water. Through these actions the company is strengthening its commitment to implement innovative, sustainable water strategies across its facilities, especially in high-risk watersheds. “DuPont is proud to join a coalition of organizations that deeply understand the value of water resilience and the importance of industry taking collective action to improve our global water future,” said Ed Breen, DuPont Executive Chairman and CEO. The CEO-led coalition aims to elevate global water stress to the top of the corporate agenda and preserve the world’s freshwater resources. On a broader scale, the CEO Water Mandate advances water stewardship practices in six core areas: direct operations, supply chain and watershed management, collective action, public policy, community engagement, and transparency. Learn more about DuPont’s sustainability goals and progress  here. View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from DuPont on 3blmedia.com

October 21, 2021 02:01 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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Decarbonizing Value Chains Requires the Next Tier of Sustainability Leaders

World Environment Center

Private sector decarbonization commitments are more vital than ever to meet the challenge of climate change. Only days remain until the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow where governments are expected to “ratchet up” their commitments under the Paris Agreement to avoid catastrophic climate change. At this writing, the U.S. Congress has not enacted legislation to back the Biden Administration’s pledge to halve emissions by 2030. China has not accelerated its prior commitment to peak emissions by 2030 and has ordered increased coal production to meet energy shortfalls. Leadership from these two global powers is essential to the summit’s success. Meanwhile, September’s “Climate Week” in New York City saw the number of businesses and local governments pledging net-zero emissions double. According to a UN-backed report, 1,500 companies with combined revenues over $11.4 trillion and emissions exceeding that of the European Union are now committed to net zero. With leadership from national governments uncertain, business can drive the transformation needed in industry and land use to decarbonize economies and adapt to climate change. In the process, business can help mobilize broad-based public support for governments to act more decisively. The greatest challenge for companies to deliver their net-zero commitments lies in Scope 3, the emissions of their suppliers and customers. Often the majority of a company’s total greenhouse gas footprint, these sources are beyond a company’s direct control. Persuading consumers and other companies in a value chain to cut emissions requires a carefully targeted combination of voluntary incentives and public policies. The right tools and approaches vary by industry and geography. WEC is committed to helping companies implement net-zero commitments across their value chains. With Trane Technologies, Chemours, and Toyota we have launched a series of Executive Roundtables on Decarbonizing Value Chains focused on the built environment, transportation, agriculture & land use, and industry & energy production. In these 2-day roundtables, senior executives and technical experts learn from one another about innovative solutions they can deploy in their business today and strategic challenges that demand collective action into the future. Efforts by WEC member companies and others to decarbonize value chains place new demands on suppliers and customers that don’t have a history of engagement on sustainability. The challenge is magnified by simultaneous scrutiny from investors concerned with environment, social, and governance (ESG) performance and rising customer demands for sustainable supply chains more generally. WEC has launched our Next Tier Membership program to support companies that are new to managing sustainability in their business. Next Tier members will benefit from specialized webinars and roundtables that deal with the basics of building a sustainability management system. They will have access to the WECosystem, our new digital platform, so that they can meet and learn from WEC’s global members. The WECosystem includes a geo-located directory of WEC members, a digital toolbox of sustainability resources, and a forum for queries and discussion of challenging topics. Next Tier Members will also be eligible for 1-1 mentorships to learn from more experienced WEC members in a structured, 9-month program that we will organize and support. WEC will do all we can to help our member companies and other businesses drive decarbonization in their value chains. We hope that you will join our Executive Roundtables on Decarbonizing Value Chains and that you will encourage key suppliers and customers to become Next Tier Members of WEC. The more engagement we have from our members, the bigger the impact we can have in driving the transformation to a net-zero economy. We don’t have any time to lose. Glenn Prickett is the President and CEO of the World Environment Center. He has spent three decades leading international environmental, natural resource and climate change policy in some of the world’s preeminent NGO’s. View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from World Environment Center on 3blmedia.com

October 21, 2021 01:47 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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Supporting Employees' Emotional Health During the Pandemic

Quest Diagnostics

When it comes to the well-being of our employees, mental and emotional health are just as important as physical wellness. With the increased prevalence of mental health issues in connection with COVID-19,¹ Quest continues to invest in ensuring our employees and their families have the support they need.  “Quest is committed to supporting employees’ mental and emotional health with services that empower them to bring their best selves to work.” - Jay Wohlgemuth, MD, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Quest Diagnostics Our Employee Business Networks also came together to raise awareness and provide support during Mental Health Awareness Month.To learn more, see page 33. COVID-19 and mental health A CDC report released in August 2020 shed new light on how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our mental health.¹ Read more from Quest Diagnostics' 2020 Corporate Responsibility Report: A year of challenge and change View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from Quest Diagnostics on 3blmedia.com

October 21, 2021 01:46 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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The IWBI Special Report Chapter Series: “K-12 Education: The Pandemic's Impossible Choice”

International WELL Building Institute

Excerpt republished from: Prevention and Preparedness, Resilience and Recovery: An IWBI Special Report When the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic in March of 2020, school officials around the world faced often impossible choices, choices to be made against the backdrop of grim circumstances present before the pandemic—including long-standing issues with the state of our school buildings. As spring gave way to summer in 2020 and the debate over whether to reopen our schools reached a fever pitch, one Arizona superintendent in the United States described the agony of the decision. “This is my choice,” he said, “but I’m starting to wish that it wasn’t. I don’t feel qualified. I’ve been a superintendent for 20 years, so I guess I should be used to making decisions, but I keep getting lost in my head. I’ll be in my office looking at a blank computer screen, and then all of the sudden I realize a whole hour’s gone by. I’m worried. I’m worried about everything. Each possibility I come up with is a bad one.” The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in nationwide school closures in 188 countries around the world, affecting upwards of an estimated 1.6 billion children globally—over 87 percent of the world’s student population. One of the clearest and most immediate lessons to come out of school closures was just how integral schools are to the fabric of our communities at large. We may all be able to immediately recognize how our children access fundamental educational needs through schools. But COVID-19 made clear that these places serve as a bedrock in our communities in far-reaching ways, and when schools close, other fundamental needs are compromised as well: social and emotional needs; nutritional and physical needs; needs of working parents who lost a crucial source of community support in the way we share caretaking duties for our children across society. Despite the clear, critical and multidimensional function schools play in our communities, we have been largely neglecting them. Coming out of this crisis, we have an opportunity to re-invest in the resilience of this basic infrastructure of our society, and with schools, this means improving the fundamental state of educational facilities themselves. Where We Learn Matters “Where we learn matters.” This was a powerful rallying cry advanced when IWBI’s President and CEO Rachel Hodgdon was leading the Center for Green Schools. “It had a deep and personal meaning to me having visited school after school and seeing stunning conditions that were compromising not only learning but health,” she said. “These cherished places house our children and are meant to prepare them for success—but they were not living up to the promise. For a sector that should be a paragon of health, many schools were cheerless places where too often students and teachers alike longed simply for working buildings that could adequately protect them from the cold in the winter and the heat in the summer.” Our school facilities, where students, teachers and administrators spend so much of their time, have a huge effect on their lives. In fact, each of us will spend roughly 90 percent of our lives inside a building. For the billions of students who go to school every day around the world, that equates to more than 15,000 hours in a school by the time secondary school ends, representing their longest indoor time, second only to being at home. Long before COVID-19, we knew schools were struggling to address a litany of pervasive health risks and barriers to learning: poor indoor air quality, including harmful toxins like mold, radon and asbestos; thermal discomfort; noise and bad acoustics; and inadequate lighting. A U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) study from 2020 found the neglect was so widespread in the U.S. that more than half (54 percent) of public school districts need to update or replace multiple building systems or features in their schools.4 Drilling down further, the study found an estimated 41 percent of districts needed to update or replace heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in at least half of their schools, which represents a staggering 36,000 schools. Clearly, investing in the school buildings themselves is a top priority. This is easier said than done. National and sub-national governments need to get serious about addressing and overcoming entrenched structural and systemic failures that inhibit fair and equitable funding across school facilities. And it’s not any given school’s fault. All around the world, funding for schools is at best inconsistent, often falling behind in addressing operations and maintenance needs or other annual upkeep. Regrettably it is a largely broken system, distressed by chronic underinvestment and riddled with disparities from one community to another. The U.S. prides itself on its public education system but has as steep a hill to climb as any country, underscored by the fact that it is already contending with an annual $46 billion investment gap in its school facilities. Further, we know this gap is disproportionately affecting schools in our poorest and most vulnerable communities. We can do better. As Mary Filardo, Executive Director of the 21st Century School Fund, put it, “Our public school facilities are also a part of our public health toolbox. Our schools need to be modernized to deliver healthy indoor air and daylight efficiently, to be resilient in the face of natural disasters, to be free of hazardous materials, to be aligned to our public education mission and to be an anchor for communities. This is a tremendous task, but not out of our reach.” Getting this right is central to upholding the solemn responsibility and goal that we all share—to provide all children everywhere with a strong education helping them reach their full potential. Against this backdrop, COVID-19 laid bare many failings and wreaked havoc on our school systems, turning cracks into fractures everywhere across the school landscape. Invariably, the health risks posed by aging school buildings elevate significantly when faced with protracted underinvestment, but they are made downright frightening when fighting an airborne disease that reached global pandemic status. COVID-19 can be a historical turning point. It should be a moment when we forever change how we think about school facilities; a moment when we all commit to delivering on the promise of better schools that protect and support health and well-being. Already, we are seeing the types of solutions that will get us there. In England, a funding program is supporting schools in London to add new air-quality sensors to better address environmental and health inequalities. The effort, called “Breathe London,” will track and monitor thresholds for three particularly harmful pollutants, PM2.5, PM10 and NO2, as well as maintain a national and searchable database.6 All of our schools around the world could benefit by moving in this same direction. Excerpt: In the near term, schools around the world have struggled with the challenge of when and how to reopen. To help guide these decisions, we have turned to what we know from the research on COVID-19 and how it affects school-aged children as well as the adults who teach in and operate our schools. Studies indicate that fewer school-aged children contract COVID-19 compared to adults. If contracted, the disease appears generally mild in most children, with some experiencing no symptoms at all. Children are, however, still able to transmit the virus to others… Excerpt: “We cannot replace the presence of teachers and pedagogical relationships,” said Italian Education Minister Lucia Azzolina during the first online meeting of education ministers from several countries around the world organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization(UNESCO) in March of 2020. “But we have no choice and must do our best to support principals, teachers, parents and learners while ensuring their safety.”… …Other sections with additional recommendations include: Equitable Access and Diverse Kinds of Support Getting Creative to Support our Schools Excerpt: COVID-19 has forced us to re-think many parts of our ways of living, and to realize that some of our previous conduct and decisions no longer have a place in our world moving forward. Some of the changes we have had to adopt will be temporary. Some in fact will likely become permanent—such as what we can do to improve the physical state of our underinvested school buildings, and how we can prioritize the needs and well-being of our children and the educators who support their growth. Much is still unclear, but what we know for sure is that our schools are here to stay, and improvements enacted in all our schools can lead to critical benefits not only in cognition and learning for our students, but in the overall health and well-being of our children, educators and communities around the world. Read the full section  View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from International WELL Building Institute on 3blmedia.com

October 21, 2021 01:31 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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Quiz: What Type of Conscious Consumer Are You? Let Us Guess!

T-Mobile

Here at T-Mobile, the idea of “caring for our customers” is woven into the very fabric of the company, from our mission statement to our values to our actions. This last year alone was filled with a number of company-wide milestones that made us proud! We were recognized as #5 in Top Employers’ Response to the Pandemic by Forbes and JUST Capital, received a 100% score in the Disability Equality Index and made $100 million in direct and in-kind donations to support local communities — just to name a few. Though we are excited about these achievements, we realize that a  company's work is never done, and we're just getting started in our goal of contributing to a better tomorrow. With such a  wide variety of issues  that matter to us, it can be difficult to properly share a comprehensive view of our charitable causes. However, as published in our  most recent Corporate Responsibility Report, our primary focus has been on three important areas: bridging the digital divide, diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) and contributing to a thriving planet. We designed this quiz to see if we’re contributing to a cause that matters to you. It’s a day in the life adventure where the seemingly simple choices you make as you navigate an otherwise unassuming rainy day can reveal so much! We’ll catch up with you at the end, where you’ll be awarded a special charitable title and learn a bit more information about our companywide efforts along the way! Take the quiz View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from T-Mobile on 3blmedia.com

October 21, 2021 01:03 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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Entergy Mobilizes Customer Information Centers in Areas Hard Hit by Ida

Entergy Corporation

Since Hurricane Ida passed through southeast Louisiana, thousands have been on the front lines helping restore power, but they have not experienced this journey alone. Several Entergy employees from across our four-state service territory have traveled to join their coworkers in serving Louisiana customers’ needs, in-person, at Customer Information Centers until power is restored to the area. For the past three days, these employees have gathered at local establishments to provide updates and information about  estimated restoration times  and  disaster resources. The information centers (referred to as CICs) are generally open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There, customers not only receive valuable information, but also portable battery chargers, car chargers, hand sanitizer and more. “Connecting with our customers following major events like Hurricane Ida is incredibly important,” said Yovanka Daniel, Entergy Louisiana vice president of customer service. “They’re counting on us to provide information they need to prepare for tomorrow and the days following, and that’s our mission in deploying Customer Information Centers across southeast Louisiana.” Customers can visit our  Facebook  and  Twitter  daily to find out where the information centers will be each day. View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from Entergy Corporation on 3blmedia.com

October 21, 2021 01:02 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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Drawdown Georgia Celebrates First Year: Kicks Off Business Compact with Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business

Ray C. Anderson Foundation

Drawdown Georgia  is officially one year old today, and we're celebrating with the launch of the  Drawdown Georgia Business Compact, hosted at the Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business at the Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business. The compact kicks off today with 16 inaugural members during a panel presentation entitled, "Climate Action and Business Leadership in Georgia," hosted by Dean Maryam Alavi of the Scheller College. Featured panelests are from Goodr, Better Earth, Google and Norfolk Southern.  Register here  to join the celebration at 2:00 p.m. Eastern today. View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from Ray C. Anderson Foundation on 3blmedia.com

October 21, 2021 01:01 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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