Aspens in A Changing Climate & IBM Environmental Leadership

Image Credit:  National Geographic Tree Patterns Wallpaper

Image Credit: National Geographic Tree Wallpaper

“Imagine a world of idyll, where a chorus of wavering lime-green leaves creates an ethereal backdrop to columns of bright white trunks.” – Tyler Williams, American Forests

The aspen is a striking tree with it’s silver white bark and golden fall hues.  It’s also a really interesting tree.  Did you know that one of the largest living organisms on earth is actually a 108-acre stand of aspens in Utah called ‘Pando‘?  Groves of aspen trees commonly develop from a single root system, which means that large groups of aspen trees can essentially be a single living organism growing together as a clone.  The aspen tree is often called the ‘quaking aspen’ because aspen leaves will flutter (or ‘quake’) in the slightest breeze, so they can be a loud tree as well.  Legend has it that the Native Americans knew they were approaching aspen trees long before they saw them because they could hear the rustling leaves.  It’s one of the most adaptable tree species, capable of replenishing itself in as little as 50 years, and is the most widely distributed tree in North America with cousins around the world, into the Far East and Africa.  It belongs to a select group of trees dubbed “circumglobal super species,” which means it is capable of spanning continents in strikingly similar forms.

But what’s in store for this beautiful tree as our climate changes?

Aspens have been in decline for the past half century, in large part due to global warming.  Scientists agree that global warming is caused in large part by greenhouse gases that come from fossil fuels in cars, factories, electricity production, landfills, agriculture, etc. – in other words, the growing effect of human urbanization on the planet.

us__none__sustainability__sustainability_icon_2__170x120Did you know that, for more than 40 years, IBM has been ahead of the curve on environmental issues, and is a recognized environmental leader?

“Protecting the environment is in our DNA,” says Wayne Balta, IBM vice president of Corporate Environmental Affairs and Product Safety. “Even before the issuance of our corporate policy commitment to environmental responsibility in 1971, our commitment to being a good corporate citizen was part of the company’s Basic Beliefs and Principles in the mid-1960s.  As stated in those Principles: we understood well that “we serve our own interests best when we serve the public interest” and “we want to be in the forefront of those companies which are working to make our world a better place.”

Image credit:  World Environment Center

Image credit: World Environment Center

  • Newsweek Votes IBM Greenest Company in America (Newsweek, Oct 2012)
  • The European Union recognized 27 IBM data centers in the EU for their energy efficiency in January 2012 – the largest group of data centers from a single company to receive this award.
  • IBM is the only company to have twice received the Gold Medal for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development in the 28-year history of the World Environment Center’s annual award (in 1990 and 2012).

IBM’s approach to sustainability is twofold:  working to make existing products and processes more efficient, while also developing new innovations that can help the world lessen environmental impact.  As one example of a sustainability project that IBM worked on, check out this video on IBM’s partnership with the city of Dubuque, Iowa to create a replicable model of a sustainable city for communities of 200,000 or less.

Learn more:

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–By Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager, The Greater IBM Connection

Get Smarter with IBM Virtual Events in Oct

ibm rainbow

Here’s a round-up of some of the cool IBM learning events coming up in October (all times, when listed are in US ET). Check them out!

Event Date Area Link
(Tweetchat) Creating an Intelligent Customer Experience with Author Bernard Marr 10/7/13 at Noon Big Data Customer Experience  on.fb.me/1bzkoR4
(Podcast & LinkedInChat) Listen to/chat with Luba Cherbakov as she shares her story on becoming the 13th woman named as an IBM Fellow. 10/8/13 at 10am Women in Tech, Women in STEM (Podcast) bit.ly/IBMPodcast (LinkedIn Chat) linkd.in/1fP0DHc
(Webcast) Senior IBM systems and technology execs/experts will share why they believe infrastructure matters, as well as tips on Big Data, Cloud, and IT Storage. 10/8/2013 Smarter Computing, Big Data, Cloud ibm.co/1gkuogI
(Webcast) Cloud without Compromise:  Understanding and Capitalizing on Cloud Computing 10/9/2013 at Noon Cloud bit.ly/19a40AZ
(Tweetchat) Smarter Planet: The Social Employee – How Companies can leverage employees as social brand ambassadors (#P4SPChat) 10/10/13 at Noon Social, Smarter Workforce, Brand (Preview) http://ibm.co/1fHQagB (Tweetchat) twubs.com/P4SPchat
(Tweetchat) IBM Cloud:  The New CIO—how cloud is shifting tech leadership with 3 industry panelists 10/10/13 at 4pm Cloud (preview) ibm.co/1bD7jWY (Tweetchat) twubs.com/cloudchat
(Virtual Learning) Basics of Blogging 10/11/13, 10/25/13 at Noon How to blog, Social ibm.co/1bzi0Kb
(Virtual Learning) Twitter for Beginners 10/18/13 at Noon Social, Twitter basics, How to Twitter ibm.co/1bzi0Kb
(Tweetchat) #IBMSWChat Tweetchat: Topic TBD 10/18/13 at 1pm Smarter Workforce #IBMSWChat
(Videocast) IBM Smarter Analytics:  Smarter Government Finance & Budgeting 10/23/13 at Noon Smarter Government bit.ly/1e3KsRU
(Tweetchat) #GreaterIBM and Smarter Planet: Smarter Machines with author Steve Hamm & IBM Research Manager Dr. Dharmendra Modha (#P4SPChat) 10/31/13 at Noon Cognitive Computing wp.me/p2kcos-2uW

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Related:

- Posted by Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager, The Greater IBM Connection

Engaging People for Smarter Cities, Starting With Waterfront Toronto

smartercities1Waterfront Toronto Taps IBM Intelligent Operations for Major Smarter City Project
Waterfront Toronto, one of the largest waterfront revitalization projects in the world, is using the IBM Intelligent Operations Center delivered as a service on the IBM SmartCloud to help transform city operations to become more efficient.

Working with IBM Business Partner Element Blue, Waterfront Toronto is launching newblueedge.ca, a powerful community portal that residents can use to easily connect with neighbors, businesses, and service providers in the surrounding area to keep up with traffic congestion reports, public transit information, weather and news, as well as post their ideas and thoughts on how to improve the area.  It will use IBM’s cloud computing and social business software, services and technologies, and IBM Intelligent Operations Center (IOC) for Smarter Cities (see demo video below).  Ultimately, newblueedge.ca will serve as the platform for a suite of tools that will help residents make smarter decisions about everything from their daily commute to health and wellness, energy and water use, and more.

About People for Smarter Cities (P4SC)

Waterfront Toronto is the first Canadian community to be featured on IBM’s new global People for Smarter Cities site, a place where residents can conduct meaningful online conversations and contribute original ideas about how to make their cities work smarter.

P4SC will be showcased in other cities as well.  IBM Malaysia announced P4SC to its employees in September and will be sharing it with selected local influencers to encourage participation by them and their local communities.  Looking ahead P4SC also will be showcased at global cities events in Morocco and Spain.

Ready to change cities for the better? Join P4SC and start making a difference!  Share YOUR ideas and join the conversation on the site or on Twitter at #P4SC.

About IBM Smarter Cities Intelligent Operations Software

Cities around the globe are confronted with growing populations, aging infrastructure, reduced budgets, and the challenge of doing more with less.  The IBM Smarter Cities Intelligent Operations software, based on open cloud computing standards, helps transform city operations to become more efficient. Designed in collaboration with city leaders, the software also applies predictive analytics to help cities budget for capital improvements and improve the efficiency of water utilities.  With cloud solutions, cities get started immediately, without specialized hardware or procurement delays, making it possible to begin with small projects and scale across departments using one integrated software system available as a service.

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- Posted by Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager The Greater IBM Connection

Calling All Thinkers and Creators – Help Your City Get Smarter (#P4SC)

smartercities3

Are you a doer, thinker, problem solver, creator or dreamer? Help your city get smarter.

smartercities-giantfishsculptures_rio-med

Giant Fish Sculptures Made from Plastic Bottles in Czech Republic

IBM is helping cities around the world use the vast amount of data, analytics, and information already available to fuel more effective solution ideas from citizens.  In turn, they are helping their city leaders transform their communities.
IBM’s new global People for Smarter Cities site is a place where residents can conduct meaningful online conversations and contribute original ideas about how to make their cities work smarter.

One idea that’s been contributed from Paris, France is for interactive trash bins that encourage Metro passengers to recycle their subway tickets instead of throwing them on the floor.  A little imagination and fun is helping keep the station clean.

Ready to change cities for the better? Join P4SC and start making a difference!  Share YOUR ideas and join the conversation on the site or on Twitter at #P4SC.

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Related:

- Posted by Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager The Greater IBM Connection

IBM Tweet Chats

ibm rainbow tweetchat_logo

Here’s a round-up of some IBM Tweet Chats. Do you know of any others?  Submit your comment to let us know, and we’ll add it to the list.  All times are shown in US ET.

Tweet Chat
Time Topic Area
Hashtag
People for a Smarter Planet Thurs 12-1pm as scheduled IBM Smarter Planet, IBM Strategic Themes #P4SPchat
IBM Smarter Workforce Every other Friday 1-2pm Smarter Workforce for HR Leaders and Practioners #IBMSWChat
IBM Cloud 2nd Thurs monthly from 4-5pm Cloud Computing #cloudchat
IBM Blu Every other Wed 1-2pm Big Data #ibmblu
CXO Mon 12-1pm Big Data Customer Experience Optimization #CXO

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Related:

- Posted by Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager, The Greater IBM Connection

How Can Technology Help Conserve Water? Join Friday’s Chat

Water is one of our most essential resources. Of all the water on Earth, only 1 percent can be used by ecosystems and people. As the world’s population increases to an estimated 8 billion in 2025, the demand for water will rise too.

It’s time we get smarter about water.

Join in the Smarter Friday chat on World Water Day, March 22, as IBM Smarter Water Architect Eoin Lane discusses how technology can help us with water: http://on.fb.me/11iZe4q

water slipping away

Related:

Smarter Transformation: What I’ve Learned from a Decade of Change

Author Linda Sanford, Vice President, Enterprise Transformation

by Linda Sanford

Over the past decade, IBM has taken a systematic approach to transformation and has dramatically reshaped the company.

Since I’ve been helping lead that effort, I’m often asked by clients for advice on how to transform successfully. I certainly don’t have all the answers, but there are a few things that most organizations can start doing to create a smarter enterprise.

Read the rest of Linda Sanford’s post at Building a Smarter Planet. A Smarter Planet Blog.