Posts Tagged ‘energy’

Target tests “green” refrigerant at 11 stores

May 18th, 2011 Comments off

As mentioned in class, companies are taking a close look at environmentally-friendly initiatives and sustainability.  Management accountants can help with this by identifying opportunities and measuring performance against environmental criteria.  In a local example, Minnesota-based Target was featured in a Star Tribune piece this week as testing a new refrigerant at 11 stores with the idea that it could be expanded to other stores if it is successful.  This new material is supposed to result in fewer leaks and, ultimately, reduce operating costs though I’m sure Target will play up the fact that it is using “green” chemicals and processes as well.

The bottom line is that the gas is a “high temperature” refrigerant less prone to leakage and more energy efficient. It is also used in automobile air conditioners.

“These are very complex systems,” said Target’s Dan Riley of the coolers and freezers in the chain’s “PFresh” food sections. “In each Target store there are many, many miles of coils. At every junction there is an opportunity for a leak. These [existing] gases are very leak prone. They are under pressure.”

In December, Target announced its commitment to sustainability and the GreenChill program fit into the chain’s intention to use resources responsibly and reduce the company’s carbon footprint.

Ultimately I don’t think many companies will do things like this if they don’t see a benefit in terms of reduced costs or marketing opportunities, but those opportunities exist and the planet and society can benefit as a result.  Management accountants need to be prepared for this role and to seize the opportunities.

Target tests green chillin’; The retailer is trying a new, more energy-efficient refrigerant in 11 stores around the country as it tries to go green. By David Phelps. Star Tribune. Minneapolis, Minn.: May 15, 2011. pg. D.4

Why is Google buying wind energy?

July 22nd, 2010 Comments off

Here is a short piece I heard this morning on MPR that talks about environmental initiatives at Google which include buying wind energy.  Listen to the audio at the link below for more detail and for a discussion as to why Google would do this.  Mainly it boils down to making business sense in that some customers will use Google primarily because they are doing things like this…or at least that is the opinion of the person from CNET that is being interviewed.

Interesting to see companies enter “non-traditional” areas like this I think.

Most news from Google involves stuff like search ads, web services, mobile computing. The occasional Buzz or Wave, perhaps, that is a little confusing. But at the very least, no matter what Google does, it always involves a computer in some way. Well, not any more. Google has begun investing in wind power. This week, Google agreed to buy 114 megawatts of electricity from an Iowa wind farm.

via Why is Google buying wind energy? | Episodes | Future Tense with John Moe | American Public Media.

The Greener, Cheaper Way of Doing Business

October 27th, 2009 Comments off

WSJ_LogoThe second piece from yesterday’s WSJ section, “Business Insight“, that caught my eye has to do with companies embracing a greener approach to doing business.  Not surprisingly, the way to get the attention of business people is to appeal to the “better AND cheaper” aspects of making a particular choice.  I would venture to guess that only when green technology pays off in terms of dollars will it be widely adopted.  Perhaps the time is near.

Business Insight (A Special Report): Sustainability — Greener, Cheaper: Companies can get there from here, and use a lot less energy than they do now. Susan L. Golicic, Courtney N. Boerstler, Lisa M. Ellram. Wall Street Journal. (Eastern edition). New York, N.Y.: Oct 26, 2009. pg. R.7