At yesterday’s White House Summit on “Climate & the Road to Paris: Business & Science Coming Together administration officials announced that 81 companies have now made public commitments to the “American Business Act on Climate Pledge.”
The Summit was chocked full of ITI member company representatives. Small wonder. Of the 81 companies that have pledged their support and committed to take action on climate change, 15 are ITI members. That’s almost 20 percent.
Equally impressive are the commitments being made. They highlight the three areas in which ITI member companies are leading in response to climate change: (1) reducing the carbon footprint of our operations; (2) reducing the carbon footprint of our products over their lifecycle; and (3) delivering the ongoing innovations needed to transition the world to a vibrant, sustainable, low-carbon global economy.
Having spent the last several years working with our companies on the third area, it is, of course, the most exciting to me as I believe we are just beginning to see glimpses of the transformational innovation that our member companies are and will be delivering, including:
- Smart grids, with sensors deployed in both traditional electric grids and distributed generation networks that help increase transmission and distribution efficiencies and promote greater visibility to improve system reliability through the use of big data techniques.
- Intelligent transportation systems and connected vehicles that are reducing vehicle emissions while making traveling easier and safer.
- Smart manufacturing processes and engines that are making factory floors far more efficient and productive.
- Building energy management systems (BEMs) that enable comprehensive, systems-based optimization of energy in large commercial or industrial buildings.
- Smart city projects that allow city leaders to provide more livable and more resilient cities at less cost, with many examples recently exhibited at the Global Cities Team Challenge and Smart Cities Week.
- Electronic designs that will allow more affordable and accessible low carbon and renewable energy.
Many of these new innovations will use the power of data, automation, and simulation to optimize energy-using systems and increase resilience. In a recent report, the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) estimated that such intelligent efficiency could enhance overall U.S. economic activity by as much as $600 billion a year. That includes an energy efficiency gain that translates into 1.1 billion barrels of oil savings that cuts the nation’s annual energy bill by about $79 billion. The ACEEE report, and other relevant research, can be accessed at the Digital Energy & Sustainability Campaign’s (DESSC) Knowledge Center.
ITI member companies are not only taking action to respond to climate change, they are leading the response by developing the innovative technologies that will help build a better future.