Captains of Sustainability Number 1, 2010
Panduit builds one of the world’s most intelligent buildings life in information
1Joshua Sigel of UNFI, a leading distributor of organic, natural, and specialty foods. Sustainability is ingrained in how the company does business.
Future Cities Studying Climate Change Ember on Smart Energy EMC on IT and Energy Efficiency
inside 7 Storing the Sun MIT’s Daniel Nocera has figured out how to store solar energy. 11 Ms. Winkler Goes to Washington EMC’s Chief Sustainability Officer testifies before the Senate. Driven by Nature 15 Sustainability is ingrained in how UNFI does business.
Future Cities 22 Joseph Pelton offers guidelines for creating intelligent communities. 30 Building Smart for Sustainability Panduit pioneers intelligent building systems. Revolutionizing the Study of 36 Climate Change The Web has given scientists a new way to collaborate. Smart Energy 43 Ember brings energy efficiency to homes and businesses. Information Infrastructure 47 EMC’s Jeff Nick on how information becomes more valuable with efficient IT. Are Private Clouds Green? 52 EMC’s Sanjay Mirchandani answers with a resounding “yes!”
sustainability Wikipedia defines sustainability as “the capacity to endure.” The World Commission on Environment and Development speaks of “forms of progress that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.” And the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency describes it as “the satisfaction of basic economic, social, and security needs now and in the future without undermining the natural resource base and environmental quality on which life depends.” Whatever definition you prefer, it’s clear that sustainability is emerging
The technology that permeates every aspect of modern life promises to enhance our “capacity to endure.”
as a core value in business and government. This issue of ON highlights “Captains of Sustainability”: researchers, entrepreneurs, and IT practitioners who are creating sustainable technologies and driving them into the very fabric of our daily lives. What they share in common is an embrace of innovation and a commitment to the practical application of technology to solve real-world challenges. In a Q and A session with Jason Rubin, MIT’s Daniel Nocera discusses how he cracked one of the toughest challenges in solar energy, developing a robust and affordable approach to storing the sun’s energy. Jean Gogolin explores how the Web is fostering large-scale, global collaboration in the study of climate change. Joseph Pelton describes some of the attributes shared by the world’s “smart” cities and traces how Arlington County, Virginia, has earned a place among their ranks. Robert LeFort, CEO of Ember, explains how low-power mesh networking will soon enable the thousands of “dumb” devices that surround us at home and work to communicate with each other and with an intelligent energy grid, allowing us to
manage our energy consumption with precision and flexibility. We also profile two companies that are practicing what they preach. United Natural Foods, Inc.—a wholesaler of organic and natural foods—has adopted sustainable practices throughout its business, addressing efficient water use, power consumption, fleet management, and facility construction and management. Panduit, which helps customers optimize the physical infrastructure through simplification, agility, and operational efficiency, has incorporated advanced principles of intelligent building design into its headquarters. Lastly, three articles by Kathrin Winkler, Jeff Nick, and Sanjay Mirchandani, all at EMC, re