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Businesses in all industries are finding out that sustainability lies in automation of their processes. And as automation creeps into almost every area of business, corporations are beginning to understand that doing good by the environment means doing good by their own bottom line. This was a point made clear by Andrew Winston at the Automate/ProMat 2017 in Chicago earlier this year.

Winston further explains that organizations are beginning to understand that their supply chains are being affected by the concerns of their consumers as well. Companies throughout the globe are now beginning to seek sustainable designs, processes and materials that are able to allow them to shave costs on energy and commodity input costs both now and into the future.

“The cost of the commodity inputs keep rising, but the cost of the technology keeps dropping,” he said. “Innovating helps build brand value.”

UPS Looking for Ways to Become a More Sustainable Company

The United Parcel Service Inc. is looking into logistics innovation to decrease its fuel consumption, thus lowering operational costs for its massive fleet of vehicles and aircraft, said Tamara Barker, UPS’s company chief sustainability officer and vice president of environmental affairs.

UPS is using On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation (ORION), which is a system that could save the company $50 million a year, even if it only reduced their drivers’ distance by only one mile a day. They are continuing to tweak the system looking for more improvements in routes and delivery schedules.

SAP’s Grid Infrastructure Analytics Suite

Though SAP is best known for offering some of the best back-office enterprise software on the market, in 2012, it decided to pitch in and help utility companies automate their power grids. Though SAP’s Grid Infrastructure Analytics suite does a number of things, its main job is to figure out when power transformers are about to break down, and when to replace them.

SAP’s transformer health analytics platform also collects data on weather patterns such as local humidity and temperatures, internal transformer oil temperature and dissolved gas, and voltage and power quality readings, just to name a few. All of this data is processed and aims to provide utility companies with more accurate ideas of how well that transformer is doing.

Business Harnessing Wind Power

Companies all over are tapping into renewable energy. One surprising source of sustainable energy a few companies want to harness is wind power. Just last year, Mars, the world’s largest chocolate company made a $1 billion pledge to fight climate change by adopting renewable energy sources such as solar and, believe it or not, wind power.

It already owns two wind farms in Scotland and Texas, promising to add another nine solar and wind farms throughout the globe by next year. They are hoping to cut greenhouse emissions by 27 percent by 2025, and then by 67 percent by 2050.

In Missouri, Ameren Corporation has also stepped up to the plate and said it will dedicate $1 billion in wind power, with plans to add 700 megawatts of power via wind by the year 2020. Michael Moehn, Ameren Missouri’s president, said in a statement that Ameren Missouri it has pledged to cut its carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050. Moehn also stated, “We expect this tremendous growth in wind generation to provide great value to our customers, who will save money on energy costs.”

As I was browsing, researching how businesses are beginning to see the power in wind power, I found an article on TinyHouseHugeIdeas.com that described how easy it is to set up and use wind power for even residential use. With all the money corporations make, it should be even easier for them to do the same. I sure hope that we continue to see strides in the area of sustainability in the future.

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