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Voting Now Open to Nominate 3M Young Scientist Challenge Finalist for Improving Lives Award

Discovery Education

SILVER SPRING, Md. and ST. Paul, Minn., October 4, 2021 /3BL Media/ - 3M and Discovery Education today announced public voting is now open for the Improving Lives Award, a special recognition that will be awarded as part of the annual 2021 3M Young Scientist Challenge (#YoungScientist). From now through October 15, 2021, students, teachers, parents, and other members of the public can vote once per day here, to choose the innovation from the 2021 3M Young Scientist Challenge that they believe has the most potential to make a positive impact on the world. “The 3M Young Scientist Challenge exemplifies the impact that the next generation of scientists can have on solving some of the world’s most pressing challenges,” said Denise Rutherford, senior vice president and chief corporate affairs officer at 3M. “Through the Improving Lives Award, and aligned with 3M’s longstanding commitments to STEM equity and STEM education, we continue to underscore the importance of getting young people interested in and excited about science – encouraging them to find the spark that could lead to making a lasting impact on society.” In June, the top ten finalists were named for the 2021 3M Young Scientist Challenge – now in its fourteenth year as the nation’s premier science competition recognizing outstanding innovations from young scientists in grades 5 - 8. Each finalist will receive $1,000 and the opportunity to work virtually with a 3M scientist who will mentor them as they evolve their invention from idea to prototype. The winner of both the 2021 3M Young Scientist Challenge and the Improving Lives Award will be revealed during an interactive virtual celebration on October 19, 2021. The public is invited to watch the final event live; more details and registration are available here. The 2021 Improving Lives Award winner will receive a unique destination trip, and the grand prize winner of the 2021 3M Young Scientist Challenge will receive $25,000, a unique destination trip, and the prestigious title of America’s Top Young Scientist. In 2020, the public vote identified Anika Chebrolu as the recipient of the Improving Lives Award for using in-silico methodology for drug discovery to find a molecule that can selectively bind to the Spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The project also earned her the title of America’s Top Young Scientist. “The 3M Young Scientist Challenge showcases the power of young people to solve real-world problems through STEM,” said Lori McFarling, president of Social Impact at Discovery Education. “We’re excited to see this year’s finalists demonstrate their science know-how and look forward to welcoming the public to witness the work of these incredible students on October 19th.” The award-winning 3M Young Scientist Challenge supplements the 3M and Discovery Education program – Young Scientist Lab – which provides no-cost dynamic digital resources for students, teachers, and families to explore, transform, and innovate the world around them. All the resources are also available through the Young Scientist Lab Channel and in the Social Impact Partnerships channel on Discovery Education’s recently enhanced K-12 learning platform. To learn more about the 3M Young Scientist Challenge and meet this year’s finalists, visit For more information about Discovery Education’s digital resources and professional learning services, visit, and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Twitter and LinkedIn. ### About 3M At 3M, we apply science in collaborative ways to improve lives daily as our employees connect with customers all around the world. Learn more about 3M's creative solutions to global challenges at or on Twitter @3M or @3MNews. About Discovery Education Discovery Education is the worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platform supports learning wherever it takes place. Through its award-winning multimedia content, instructional supports, and innovative classroom tools, Discovery Education helps educators deliver equitable learning experiences engaging all students and supporting higher academic achievement on a global scale. Discovery Education serves approximately 4.5 million educators and 45 million students worldwide, and its resources are accessed in over 140 countries and territories. Inspired by the global media company Discovery, Inc., Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and trusted organizations to empower teachers with leading edtech solutions that support the success of all learners. Explore the future of education at Contacts Robert Brittain | 3M | Grace Maliska | Discovery Education | View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from Discovery Education on

October 04, 2021 02:06 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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OPPO launches ColorOS 12 based on Android 12


SHENZHEN, CHINA - Media OutReach - 5 October 2021 - Following Google release of Android 12, OPPO just released its new ColorOS 12 operating system (global version) based on Android 12, making it one of the first OEMs to release Android 12, available first on the OPPO Find X3 Pro in Indonesia and Malaysia. Serving as a pilot version of ColorOS 12, this edition will offer you a glimpse of how the new ColorOS iteration looks and feels. OPPO plans to unveil the full details of ColorOS 12 (global version) with an online event on Oct. 11 at 9am GMT, during which OPPO will disclose the inclusive and customizable design, rich features and strong performance, and the rollout timeline of ColorOS 12. Aiming to cover as many of its users as possible, OPPO is planning to cover 110+ devices and 150 million users across the world, making it the fastest and widest reaching ColorOS update in OPPO history. For the very first time, OPPO is also announcing a major update policy. Specifically, for the OPPO devices releasing from 2019 and onwards the company will guarantee three major Android updates for its flagship Find X Series devices 1, and two Android updates for the Reno/F/K Series and an Android update in some of the A Series models 2. Together with four years of regular security patch updates for the Find X/ Reno/ F/K Series, and three years for the A Series. 1 Excluding the Find X Lite and Neo models, which will be applied to two Android updates. 2 The policy is not applicable to the carrier models. Contact Details OPPO Ricca Huang OPPO Lucas Yan

October 04, 2021 02:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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Cities After Covid: How Can We Create a Positive Legacy for Health and Wellbeing?


The COVID-19 pandemic has already severely depleted our physical, mental and emotional reserves. Even if the most ambitious timescales for a vaccine are met, it’s clear that the fall-out will last for many years to come, not only from the disease itself but from the indirect impacts of lockdown, economic crisis, disrupted medical treatment and social isolation. It is also becoming clear that those who started with fewer resources and shallower reserves are suffering the most. In this series about healthcare after COVID-19, we’ve considered how to improve resilience from many angles –  at a regional, national or system-wide level,  by making individual facilities more adaptable, and through  the exponentially increasing quantities of data that healthcare environments produce. But the most important source of resilience lies within people themselves: as caregivers, as problem-solvers and, more fundamentally, in the capacity of individuals and communities to cope when crisis hits. COVID-19 has strongly reinforced what researchers already knew: that healthcare itself plays a relatively small role in the overall health of populations. The conditions in which we are born, grow, live, work and age – known as the  social determinants of health  – are far more influential. By confining us to our immediate surroundings, the pandemic has made some of the root causes of ill health – as well as the inequities between communities – all the more apparent. But it has also given us an insight into what healthier, happier places might look like, and the potential for a new kind of urban design, refocused around wellbeing. Applying these lessons to our cities would not only aid the long recovery from COVID, but shore up resilience against whatever the coming decades bring. How the built environment affects our health The social determinants of health are not a new concept, but they are a growing preoccupation for a healthcare sector that has traditionally focused on treatment. Lord Nigel Crisp, a former chief executive of the UK’s National Health Service, has just published a book called  Health is made at home, hospitals are for repairs. “There’s been a massive increase in life expectancy, and we’ve seen some of the biggest gains from healthcare,” he says. “Now we need some big gains from prevention, and we need to refocus on a third thing that has rather been forgotten: health creation. Healthcare is important, but it’s only 10% of health. Health is about your relationships, your context, your environment, about being everything you could be.” Crisp uses Aristotle’s concept of “eudaimonia” or “human flourishing”. Many elements of the urban realm affect our ability to flourish: the quality of the air we breathe, the ease with which we can access healthy food, the opportunities within our neighbourhoods to safely exercise, and to connect with others and with nature. They also influence how likely we are to develop illnesses such as cancer, chronic respiratory disease, heart disease and diabetes.  Incidence of these non-communicable diseases is rising rapidly around the world,  threatening to overwhelm societies with the costs of healthcare over the coming decades.  They are also linked to worse outcomes from COVID. “The social determinants model is really about capturing the stress loads on people as they age,” says Vivienne Ivory, a researcher specializing in social sciences, resilience and public health at WSP in New Zealand. “If you haven’t had those stresses that come from unemployment or poverty or living in a challenging environment, then you can cope with the additional stress from something like COVID much more easily.” In particular, the experience of lockdown has shown what a difference our surroundings can make: “We’ve discovered that things that were seen as nice-to-haves – places to connect, to move around safely, to see the natural environment – are actually hugely important. During lockdown, people who live in nice neighbourhoods really got to know them. Everyone was out walking and saying ‘hi’ to each other at a distance, and children and families were biking around. But in neighbourhoods that aren’t so nice, no one went out because they felt it wasn’t safe. These are the populations that have suffered poorer outcomes.” This is not just a lockdown issue, she adds: the rise of homeworking will make living conditions an even more significant determinant of health. The city as a lab A good first step towards addressing disparities would be to look at where health-supporting amenities are located and identify the populations without access to them, suggests Anna Robak, research and innovation manager at WSP in Canada, and adjunct professor at the University of New Brunswick. “Most municipalities probably know where the gaps are already, but it helps to see it starkly on a map like that. When you overlay health data, you’d almost certainty see that’s where the worst impacts are.” Robak compiled  a report about how the built environment could support better health for vulnerable populations, which draws together many studies that link increased physical activity with lower rates of non-communicable diseases, and with the design of the built environment. For example,  Canadians living in highly walkable areas did significantly more moderate-to-vigorous physical activity than those in the least walkable, while  another study in the US state of New Jersey found that children in low-income areas living within 400 metres of a park were 60% less likely to be obese. It’s easy to dismiss built environment factors as a proxy for poverty – correlation is easy to show, but causation is hard to prove, she concedes. “What would be interesting is to look at what happens over time if you do put in a park. Is that enough, or does there need to be something more than that? Does it get maintained if it’s in a poor area, is there enough demand if the kids’ parents are busy at work and can’t take them to the park? There’s a great opportunity to learn more.” These are not necessarily major investments, but they may not be a priority for municipalities because they are not facing the rising costs of treating chronic conditions. Robak suggests that a more holistic view would see government health authorities co-fund improvements to the urban realm, and make municipalities responsible for a proportion of health outcomes. “Like it or not, what municipalities do already affects our health,” she points out. “The way we invest right now means that our most vulnerable populations are the least healthy because they are further away from parks, transit and active transport corridors, and that puts a further load on the healthcare system.” Those who are most vulnerable to chronic illness tend to have lower incomes, to be older, to be less able-bodied or minded, to belong to First Nations or other minorities, be a recent immigrant, or to live in remote or rural areas. Changing behaviour It’s one thing to provide health-creating amenities, it’s another to get people to use them. COVID achieved overnight what city planners and doctors had been trying to do for decades. As indoor activities were restricted, there was a mass exodus as people of all ages went outdoors to exercise, to socialise or just to pass the time. Rates of walking and cycling soared, as a safer alternative to crowded public transport. “What COVID has taught us is that there is a willingness to change behaviour, but also what we can accomplish when behaviour does change,” says Rasmus Duong-Grunnet, director at Gehl, a Copenhagen-based design and analysis firm. “At a very fundamental level, we should look at how we can use this momentum.” Copenhagen’s world-beating levels of cycling are just a behaviour that has developed over time, he points out. Gehl has developed a data-driven approach to measuring activity in public spaces, so that interventions can be targeted and measured, rather than just based on assumptions. This helped to make the case for the pedestrian-friendly renewal of New York’s Times Square and the transformation of 45km of riverfront in Shanghai into continuous public spaces. More recently,  it compared outdoor activity – how much, what kind, by who – in four Danish cities before COVID, during lockdown and in the early stages of reopening. In particular, it found that local neighbourhood meeting places were thriving more than ever, both during lockdown and afterwards. The most successful shared certain characteristics: they were walkable and accessible, with a diverse mix of amenities. This supports the increasingly popular concept of the  15-minute city, made up of neighbourhoods where almost all needs can be met within a short walk, cycle ride or trip on public transport. Melbourne’s 2017-2050 land use plan is structured around the 20-minute neighbourhood, while “la ville du quart d’heure” was the centrepiece of Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo’s 2020 re-election campaign. “COVID has made it very clear that this is how we should plan cities moving forwards,” says Duong-Grunnet. “Big cities, especially cities that have grown very quickly, are exploring local communities much more as a potential solution.” One place looking to do this is the Toronto suburb of Brampton. During COVID, it has seen an influx of Torontonians fleeing their condos for its detached homes with gardens, exacerbating an existing shortage of affordable housing. For the future, it will be promoting higher-density, transit-oriented developments, says City of Brampton policy planner Daniella Balasal. “We’re really seeing the benefit of mixed-use communities that include everything people need within a 20-minute walk. We’ve identified two or three locations and we’re working with the community to develop homes with a mix of social services, retail and high-rise buildings.” This is particularly important for older people, she adds – Balasal is responsible for Brampton’s age-friendly strategy and she says the aim is to build new retirement housing on sites where there are already amenities within walking distance. But how to reconcile higher density with the desire for a backyard? “We can meet some of those preferences in innovative ways. Shared community gardens are a great alternative, or parks or POPS – privately owned public spaces – where a developer could make a private space open to the public. I think we’ll be redefining public spaces and appreciating them a lot more.” Creating health through mobility Active travel – walking and cycling – is something of a magic bullet for health creation. “It obviously makes people more active but it can also have a whole heap of mindset benefits as part of the working day and by getting people outside,” says Katherine Bright, director of transportation planning at WSP in the UK. “It helps to improve air quality and helps to take cars and congestion out of the city, which makes the streets a much nicer place and more enticing.” But taking space from cars is controversial, and meets with fierce opposition from local traders. This is typically why active travel schemes fail, adds Simeon Butterworth, Bright’s colleague and also a director at WSP. “In most transport strategies, the economic viability of the high street takes precedence over the health agenda.” COVID abruptly turned things upside down, forcing through changes that would have taken years. In May, the UK government set up emergency funding for active travel measures. Butterworth and Bright have since worked with more than 30 local authorities to implement measures such as adding cycle lanes and reallocating road space. Active travel is most viable for the first and last mile of a journey, so it needs to be integrated into transport networks, says Butterworth. “For this to have any long-term influence on how we travel, we can’t just do it in glorious isolation.” Enter the “mobility hub” – another concept that is fast gaining ground, and which WSP’s UK mobility teams are also helping local authorities to implement. This brings together new and traditional ways of travelling – trains, buses, taxis, shared bikes, e-scooters, delivery robots – alongside facilities or services that may be missing in the local area, whether that’s a supermarket, walk-in clinic, community centre or parcel lockers. “The idea is to make it easier to travel by sustainable modes,” explains WSP associate John Bradburn. “Rather than someone driving to drop their child off at nursery, then driving to work on the other side of town, then to the supermarket and back to the nursery, they might just be able to travel to the local hub to do everything they need and travel to work from there.” “It’s about being people-centric and place-centric,” adds Toby Thornton, technical director of future mobility at WSP in the UK. “It’s grounded in understanding the specific needs of an area and then looking at the gaps this intervention could fill. That might be a lack of access to essential goods, or to education. Some of the components might be temporary so the function of the hub will evolve over time.” With a greater focus on prevention, health systems might choose to invest in apparently unrelated areas, like transport. Mobility and health are intrinsically linked, argues Stacey Matlen, a WSP employee currently seconded to the City of Detroit as a senior mobility strategist. She has a background in public health and has been working on  a pilot project to give seniors access to health-enabling activities using autonomous vehicles. “My goal isn’t just to demonstrate the technology, but also to demonstrate the business model and the value of transportation to health – to make that causal connection between transportation access and access to basic services and health outcomes.” "If we’ve learned anything from the last 12 months, it’s that our built environment needs to be more inclusive and reflect the world in which we live" Michael Tyrpenou, WSP Active travel is easier in some climates than others. In the sweltering summer temperatures of the United Arab Emirates, making cities walkable would mean providing some form of shade over the majority of walkways, points out Farah Yassine, WSP’s sustainable resource management lead in Dubai. Existing UAE green building regulations do enforce a percentage of shading, and Yassine says that clients are becoming more interested in outdoor thermal comfort as they realise the positive commercial impact of higher footfall, in addition to the health benefits that a connection to nature can offer. Standards such as WELL can be useful for helping developers to understand the features that support health, she says, “but what is really key is that health and wellbeing is a priority in the project brief. Good design that is people-centric will inherently encompass health and wellbeing principles.” Yassine believes that communities should be invited to play a much greater role in shaping new developments. Health can mean different things, she points out: “For some people, it might be having a gym in their building, but for others it might actually be having a playroom for kids. We can create healthier places by asking people what works for them, which will ultimately help them to lead healthier lifestyles.” Empowering people to shape their communities can have a positive impact on mental health too, she adds. Designing social interaction A more people-centric design process would place far greater priority on accessibility and inclusiveness, not only to encourage everyone to move around more but to foster social interaction. This has been one of the great takeaways of the pandemic: just how severely a lack of contact can affect us. Researchers were already discovering a rising trend for feelings of loneliness among those living in big cities. If we don’t manage to arrest this, a bleak future beckons. “If we’ve learned anything from the last 12 months, it’s that our built environment needs to be more inclusive and reflect the world in which we live,” says Michael Tyrpenou, principal of social strategy and design at WSP in Australia. “This is an opportunity to recast the role that cities play, and the way that people use them. We need to include a more diverse range of views and lived experience, and we need to challenge the codes and standards that we design to by involving end users in the process.” “Third places” that are neither home nor work – cafes, libraries, park benches – are a good way to promote casual contacts, says Vivienne Ivory. “Even a bus can be a third place if you go there regularly and you feel that you belong. Designing for those opportunities will become really important.” Loneliness is often framed as a problem for older people. But we need to worry about the young too, says Ivory. “The uncertainty around COVID, in terms of what it means for the next three months, let alone the next ten years, threatens to disengage our youth in particular. We need to find a way of keeping them engaged because if we don’t, society is going to have a real problem.” As unemployment rises, the built environment needs not only to make space for young people, but to invite them to help create it. “We need to think about it in a social value sense: how do we design and construct in a way that involves youth, so that they’re getting that sense of purpose when traditional paths may not be open to them.” In New Zealand, she adds, there is an emphasis on “green jobs” or conservation activities in native forests – could the built environment offer similar opportunities for meaningful work? Ultimately, designing healthier places is essential to ensure the future of cities themselves. COVID and the growing acceptance of homeworking has prompted many urban dwellers to consider a move out, to smaller towns or rural areas where they can find more space, fresh air and nature. Meanwhile, public transit ridership is down and private car use is rising for short trips, increasing congestion, air pollution and carbon emissions. If the pandemic results in a shift to lower-density urban sprawl, it could frustrate our attempts to prevent catastrophic climate change and ecosystem collapse – with consequences for human systems far beyond healthcare. We urgently need to reframe the debate, says Duong-Grunnet. “The question shouldn’t be ‘should we live in cities or not’, it should be ‘how should our cities be designed so that we can live healthy, equitable and sustainable lives in them’.” View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from WSP on

October 04, 2021 01:46 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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World Economic Forum Awards Sustainability Leadership at Ericsson USA 5G Smart Factory


The designation comes just six months after the factory was awarded WEF’s prestigious Global Lighthouse accreditation, for overall next-generation manufacturing leadership. Ericsson has invested more than USD 100 million at the U.S. 5G Smart Factory, which primarily serves 5G customers in North America. The Sustainability Lighthouse recognition from GLN’s panel of experts highlights several pioneering sustainability achievements at the factory, including: Ericsson’s greenfield 5G factory is powered 100 percent by renewable electricity from onsite solar and green-e® certified renewable electricity from the utility grid The smart factory integrates sustainable technologies such as thermal ice storage tanks with the IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) stack to proactively monitor energy usage The factory is designed to utilize 24 percent less energy and 75 percent less indoor water usage, avoiding 97 percent operational carbon emission than comparable buildings. This year it became Ericsson’s first factory globally to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold® certification. Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Networks, Ericsson, says: “Sustainability is key to Ericsson’s values, our customer engagement, our contribution to society and our future as a successful industry leader. Our sustainability commitment covers Ericsson’s end-to-end scope, from R&D through manufacturing, production, supply, deployment and customer services. We will continue to invest in sustainability as we see it as a responsibility as well as a benefit. It is significant that, yet again, the World Economic Forum has singled our USA 5G Smart Factory for its global leadership in Fourth Industrial Revolution manufacturing – this time for its sustainability track record.” Francisco Betti, Head of Shaping the Future of Advanced Manufacturing and Value Chains, World Economic Forum, says: “As discussed at the Forum’s Sustainability Development Impact Summit last week, increased global concern for environmental impact has made sustainability a must-have to maintain business viability. The Sustainability Lighthouses make it clear that by realizing the potential of 4IR technologies in manufacturing, companies can unlock new levels of sustainability in their operations and explore a win-win solution: greater operational competitiveness while simultaneously making commitments to environmental stewardship, leading in a cleaner, more sustainable future as a result.” Ericsson continues to invest in the next generation of supply chains through smart manufacturing capabilities in other part of the world, including Estonia, China, and Brazil to ensure close working with customers across the company’s European, Asian and American operations. Ericsson also supports the 1.5 C° ambition  established in the Paris Agreement. To achieve this, the world needs to halve global emissions by 2030 and  reach net-zero emissions  before 2050. Digital technologies such as 5G and IoT deployed across a range of industries, such as manufacturing, can help reduce global carbon emissions by up to 15 percent by 2030. Ericsson’s USA 5G Smart Factory’s sustainability achievements are also highlighted in a  new WEF White Paper  titled: Global Lighthouse Network: Unlocking Sustainability Through 4IR. View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from Ericsson on

October 04, 2021 01:36 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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Wisconsin  Nonprofits Receive $75,000 to Fight Hunger and Food Insecurity

Alliant Energy

MADISON, WI /3BL Media/ – As Hunger Action Month wraps up, six Wisconsin-based nonprofit organizations will receive Impact Grants from The Alliant Energy Foundation totaling $75,000 to fight hunger and food insecurity.   “We are proud to support these organizations with our Impact Grants as their services and programs provide care for others that is needed now more than ever,” said Julie Bauer, executive director of the Alliant Energy Foundation. “Funding their efforts to combat hunger and food insecurity are vital for the growth and development of our Wisconsin communities.”    This month, Alliant Energy’s Foundation is donating nearly $545,000 to fund 24 Impact Grants across Wisconsin and Iowa. In Wisconsin, the hunger-focused Impact Grants were awarded to:  Beyond Blessed Pantry: $10,000   Purchasing fresh produce  Baraboo   Caritas: $15,000   Purchasing fresh produce & dairy  Beloit   FOCUS: $25,000   New Freezer/Refrigerator  Wisconsin Rapids  Mission Nutrition DeForest: $5,000   New Freezer/Refrigerator  DeForest  School District of Janesville: $12,500   Bags of Hope  Janesville   United Way of Green County: $7,500   Backpack Program  Monroe  Thus far in 2021, Alliant Energy’s Foundation has awarded nearly $490,000 to 23 Wisconsin-based organizations through its Impact Grants. The Foundation has awarded $810,000 in Impact Grants to 35 organizations across Wisconsin and Iowa.  The Alliant Energy Foundation Impact Grants support co-created, collaborative, high-impact projects that build stronger communities. Impact Grants fund four key focus areas including hunger and housing, workforce readiness, environmental stewardship and diversity, safety and well-being. Grants and donations are funded solely by Alliant Energy shareowners.    For more information about The Alliant Energy Foundation, visit    The Alliant Energy Foundation is a philanthropic organization created by Alliant Energy Corporation (NASDAQ: LNT) and is operated as a separate entity led by its own board of directors. The Foundation is committed to making a positive difference in the communities where Alliant Energy employees, retirees and customers live and work. The Foundation, which is funded solely by Alliant Energy shareowners, seeks to further the corporation’s goal of being a good corporate citizen and contributing member of society. Since 1998, the Foundation has contributed $55 million to innovative projects and local nonprofits. For more information, visit Media Contact Melissa McCarville (319) 786-4169 Contact Media Relations For Iowa inquiries: (319) 786-4040 For Wisconsin inquiries: (608) 458-4040 View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from Alliant Energy on

October 04, 2021 12:56 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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Ørsted Signs Power Purchase Agreement With the Microsoft Corporation


Per the terms of Ørsted's agreement, Microsoft will buy power from Ørsted's 430 MWAC solar energy center Old 300 in Fort Bend County, Texas, which is expected to come online in Q2 2022. "Microsoft has ambitious sustainability objectives for their Scope 1, 2 & 3 emissions, and we're thrilled to support their targets," said Vishal Kapadia, Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer in Ørsted Onshore. "Given the strong alignment in focus on emission reductions between our two organisations, I'm excited about our continued collaboration." Adrian Anderson, Senior Director, Renewable Energy at Microsoft, said: "On our journey to 100 percent renewable energy, we recognize that innovation and collaboration are fundamental in how we fight against climate change. We're grateful for our collaboration with Ørsted to deliver renewable energy in ERCOT and look forward to continued progress towards a net-zero carbon future." Old 300 Solar Center is located on approximately 2,800 acres of privately owned land located near the City of Needville in Fort Bend County, Texas. The project represents an investment of more than USD 400 million in the local community that'll benefit landowners, schools, and other community services for years to come via lease payments and property taxes. About Ørsted The Ørsted vision is a world that runs entirely on green energy. Ørsted develops, constructs, and operates offshore and onshore wind farms, solar farms, energy storage facilities, and bioenergy plants, and provides energy products to its customers. Ørsted ranks as the world's most sustainable energy company in Corporate Knights' 2021 index of the Global 100 most sustainable corporations in the world and is recognized on the CDP Climate Change A List as a global leader on climate action. Headquartered in Denmark, Ørsted employs 6,311 people. Ørsted's shares are listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen (Orsted). In 2020, the group's revenue was DKK 52.6 billion (EUR 7.1 billion). Visit or follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. Contact information Media Relations Kathrine Ejlskov + 45 99 55 10 23   Investor Relations Allan Bødskov Andersen + 45 99 55 79 96 View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from Ørsted on

October 04, 2021 12:37 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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EDISON Alliance Members Commit to 1 Billion Lives Challenge


The EDISON Alliance, through the  1 Billion Lives Challenge, announced it would accelerate digitally inclusive solutions for 1 billion people through harnessing commitments from governments, companies and other organisations globally. By 2025, Qualcomm is committed to enrich the lives of 27 million people by continuing to bring technology to underserved communities around the world through their Qualcomm® Wireless Reach™ programme and engage 1.5 million students and teachers across the globe in their strategic STEM initiatives. Continue reading View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from Qualcomm on

October 04, 2021 12:36 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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Google and Engie Strike New Renewable Energy Deal


Google has signed a new 140MW renewable energy supply contract with French utility firm Engie, the tech company has announced.  The three-year agreement means Engie will provide Google with renewable electricity from solar and wind sources in Germany, via an energy portfolio.  The solar power will be sourced from a new 39MW photovoltaic (PV) project which is scheduled to operate in 2023. The wind power will come from 22 wind parks in five federal states that will see their lives extended so they continue to produce electricity rather than being dismantled at their end of life.  Google expects the energy delivered to its German facilities to be nearly 80 percent carbon-free by 2022 when measured on an hourly basis and the move will help the firm achieve its Carbon-Free Energy (CFE) target for 2030, which will cover its data centres, Cloud platforms and offices across the world.  The companies first collaborated in 2019 with the signing of a five-year green Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) from offshore wind in Belgium, followed by a similar deal in the Netherlands.  Marc Oman, energy senior lead of Global Data Centers at Google, said: "We selected Engie because of its expertise in decarbonization and its ability to transform the delivery of clean energy.   "We need cooperation and partnerships with leading energy companies such as Engie, who work together for the long-term, sustainable use of energy. "  Ralf Bernhard, senior originator renewables, Engie, said: “Thanks to our expertise in energy and risk management, we can seamlessly integrate renewable energy from existing plants and develop new assets to design a tailor-made product that meets Google’s needs and plans to go even greener.”  Paulo Almirante, senior executive VP responsible for Renewable and Global Energy Management activities at Engie, said: “Engie is delighted to be working with Google again and expanding the existing partnership between the two companies. As a leading player in renewable energy and with global expertise in decarbonization, Engie will be instrumental in helping Google achieve its ambitious goal of carbon-free energy”.  Dulce Flores, Senior Consultant - Europe, said “This is an exciting move for two inspirational companies to join forces once again and galvanize their corporate responsibilities.  “Further greening a company of this scale that continues to grow takes serious expertise and planning and this deal showcases the power and possibilities of renewable energy.”  Google is also planning to expand its Frankfurt Cloud region with a data center and the launch of a new Berlin-Brandenburg Cloud region.  Dulce focuses on supporting corporates, consultancies, tech innovators, and NGOs searching for senior and high executive specialists for strategic, commercial, and operational roles within the Clean Technology ecosystem. She has a strong record of success with placements across Sustainable Energy Services, Carbon Markets, Sustainable Transportation, and Agrotech. Additionally, Dulce is copped with significant experience in talent mapping, headhunting, and candidate engagement on a global scale.  View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from Acre on

October 04, 2021 12:31 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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Survey Finds That Access to Specific Zero Emission Vehicle Models Is More Important Than Brand Loyalty for Major Companies and Fleet Operators


October 4, 2021 /3BL Media/ - A major alliance of large companies is calling on U.S. auto and truck manufacturers to produce new and more diverse zero emission vehicle models and to support the deployment of critical charging infrastructure and to actively collaborate to improve interoperability between vehicle brands and charging networks. In a letter released today, the Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance, a group led by Ceres, urged manufacturers to expand their zero-emission model offerings, and shared the results of a recent internal survey of Alliance members, which showed that respondents plan to buy at least 377,750 U.S.-based, zero-emission vehicles in the next five purchase years — and 95% of them would switch vehicle manufacturers in order to get the specific capacity and features they need. “Over the next few years, the accelerating demand for zero emission vehicles will be both substantial and specific,” said Sara Forni, senior manager of clean vehicles at Ceres, and leader of the Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance. “Global car and truck manufacturers are already racing to fulfill company and consumer needs in new models. This is a critical moment if the U.S. industry hopes to compete on the global stage, and if we hope to drive zero emission vehicle deployment at the speed and scale necessary to meet the demands of the global climate and public health crises.” The Alliance, which is made up of 28 members including Amazon, DHL, T-Mobile, Uber, and UNFI (United Natural Foods, Inc.), represent more than $1 trillion in annual revenue and collectively own, operate, or lease more than 1.3 million on-road vehicles in the U.S. alone. Members represent a wide variety of industries including shipping and logistics, e-commerce, electric power, and telecommunications, and are committed to engaging in collaboration and leveraging industry and policy advocacy to drive radical change. The survey collected information about range and other critical specifications, including minimum towing capacity, gross vehicle weight rating, and cargo capacity, for a variety of desired vehicle types and segments, including sedans, pick-up trucks, SUVs, box trucks and tractor trailers. The survey also found that roughly 51% of survey respondents’ planned charging will occur at a fleet depot, 30% at employees’ homes, and 20% on-route or while travelling. Companies need both vehicle models with sufficient battery capacity and strategically placed, cost-effective charging infrastructure in order to successfully electrify commercial fleets, particularly for long-haul and regional use cases and transportation network companies. “The results from Ceres’ survey are reflective of a fundamental shift in the transportation market – it’s no longer a question of if we’re seeking an EV future in the United States– it’s happening right now,” said John DeBoer, head of Siemens eMobility solutions and Future Grid Business in North America. “With a goal of transitioning our own fleet to carbon neutral by 2030 and also deploying the next generation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure to support our customers and suppliers in their electrification journey, Siemens will continue championing an open and accessible EV charging infrastructure and the workforce needed to support it.” “As states across the country consider adopting policies like California's Advanced Clean Truck rule, manufacturers have a golden opportunity to get out ahead of any upcoming regulations,” Forni said. “Policies like the Advanced Clean Truck rule help drive availability of zero emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles in the U.S., and have strong support from businesses, investors, and institutions.” “As a member of the Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance, AT&T supports the transition to zero-emission vehicles,” said Charles Herget, AVP of Global Environmental Sustainability, AT&T. “We’ve committed to be carbon neutral across our global operations by 2035. To meet that goal, we’ve already reduced U.S. ground fleet emissions by 38% from our 2008 baseline, and we’re exploring the electrification of our vehicles to lower fleet emissions further. AT&T connectivity also plays a critical role in helping to optimize EV charging station performance and overcome EV range anxiety by making it easy for drivers to find and operate charging stations.” “We understand that, in order to design and produce new ZEV [zero emission vehicle] models outside of your current production plans, you need strong evidence of customer demand and a clear business case,” the letter to manufacturers reads. “We’re hoping to provide just that. By demonstrating the significant demand among our members for existing, new, and diverse ZEV models, we hope to provide the proof points you need to fill gaps in the current market and meet the needs of some of your largest customers.” About Ceres Ceres is a nonprofit organization working with the most influential capital market leaders to solve the world’s greatest sustainability challenges. Through our powerful networks and global collaborations of investors, companies and nonprofits, we drive action and inspire equitable market-based and policy solutions throughout the economy to build a just and sustainable future. For more information, visit and follow @CeresNews. View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from Ceres on

October 04, 2021 12:26 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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