With all the current discussion on topics like renewable energy, policies to incentivize solar investment, product cost and pricing, and different technologies and which one will emerge as the consumer choice, is anyone asking how the 2 billion people who currently do not have access to electricity obtain that access?
To recognize the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, the leaders of Santa Clara University’s Center for Science, Technology and Society asked that very question to experts in the field at a conference sponsored by Applied Materials last month. Billed as “Power to the People, Renewable Energy for Underserved Communities,” a number of subject matter experts explored the topic with business and community leaders, community benefit organization leaders, and Santa Clara students.
On the 40th anniversary of Earth Day last week, Applied Materials Taiwan announced they would be donating solar heaters to five native elementary schools through sponsorship of the IShare Community Development Association’s "Energy Saving and CO2 Reduction" eco campaign. The association’s campaign will help 10 remote mountain elementary schools install solar heaters in addition to raising environmental awareness to the public.
As part of Applied Materials’ month-long EarthWorks program celebrating Earth Day, employees in Austin joined with their family members to support Keep Austin Beautiful (KAB) by participating in the environmental nonprofit organization’s annual Clean Sweep event. This year’s KAB Clean Sweep included more than 4,000 volunteers city-wide, who completed many tasks aimed up cleaning and beautifying the City of Austin.
As part of Applied Materials’ month-long EarthWorks program celebrating Earth Day, employees in Bangalore, India contributed and supported a variety of activities, including making a conscious effort to continuously recycle, reuse and reduce their footprints on the environment.
Earlier this week Applied Materials was selected as a recipient of Acterra’s 2010 Business Environmental Awards in the Sustainability-Large Company category. Acterra is a Bay Area nonprofit organization that has focused upon the environment for 40 years. Many of Acterra’s program focus upon educating and empowering individuals to take leadership roles in their communities, businesses and as volunteers at other nonprofits. Applied Materials is proud to have been a supporter of Acterra for a number of years.
Applied Materials employees around the world are marking the 40th anniversary of Earth Day with an impressive selection of environmental projects to improve our planet. At Applied, Global citizenship isn’t just viewed as a one-time a year event and so during the month of April we celebrate the environment and our community with our “Earthworks” program.
In this past week Covalence (a Swiss company) released its annual Ethical Reputation Ranking of 581 multinational companies. Applied Materials was #77 on this list and technology companies dominated the top of the list with IBM at #1, Intel at #2, Xerox at #9 and Dell at #10.
For several years, Applied Materials has offered a program designed to create a more flexible workplace - enabling employees to be more mobile and responsive to customers. Called Applied Anywhere (A2), approximately 20% of employees worldwide are enrolled and are enjoying the benefits of greater mobility.
One great thing about working for a company involved in creating a more sustainable future is it has excellent 'Green Bag Lunch Speakers' sponsored through its Santa Clara employee 'green team' and the company's month-long EarthWorks program celebrating environmental awareness. This month, Rod Diridon, Mineta Transportation Institute spokesperson and high speed rail visionary, talked about California's High Speed Rail (HSR) Project. This 790 mile basic system is California's plan to connect the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Inland Empire, Central Valley, San Diego and Sacramento.
Historian Adam Rome calls Earth Day the "most famous unknown event in modern American history." Its grassroots nature, spurred by Senator Gaylord Nelson's '60's wish for Americans to observe it "in any way they want," has become an annual event and international in scale. Many corporations around the world use Earth Day as a centerpiece for employee and community focused environmental programs and Applied Materials is no exception.
Ever wonder how much energy could be saved by a corporation if it set a goal. Or what about the amount of water saved in a year? The answers for these and other sustainability questions - as well as a peak into some of Applied's community achievements - can be found in Applied's recently published 2009 Citizenship Report.
Darkness will fall all around the world this Saturday at 8:30 pm*. That's when global citizens, along with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) will come together to call for action on climate change by doing something quite simple - turning off their lights for one hour.
Last year, nearly one billion people turned out for Earth Hour in 4,100 cities in 87 countries on seven continents. WFF expects millions more in over 115 countries to participate this year.
There is a place where technology giants - Intel, GE, IBM, Microsoft, Dell, Oracle, Cisco and Applied Materials - are pooling their brainpower to try out the best ideas for distributed solar electricity generation and "smart grid" technologies. Where an electric utility is opening up its power grid with 338,000 customers so these companies can experiment outside the lab, in the real world - and see what really will work.
The decision to put a solar array on your home rooftop is not always straight forward. It can be a combination of knowing you are contributing in a positive way to the Earth’s environment as well as making a sound financial investment in your energy needs. Although it can be a complex formula for determining the return on investment, it is worth considering.
I learned a lesson in tree planting while in Bangalore, India recently. The job is much easier and more fulfilling when you team with children, especially from orphan schools, to accomplish the task. Their eagerness, enthusiasm and elbow grease was a perfect compliment for the dozen Applied Materials India employees who ventured to the outskirts of the city to do a good act for mother nature. We partnered with the NGO Trees for Free who made all the arrangements, found the location and provided volunteer experts to show us the proper tree planting methods.
For 12 year old, Savitri from Khandwa district in Madhya Pradesh, India, school was only till dusk and she had to manage with a kerosene lamp, which used to cast shadow on the books and gave limited amount of light. Throughout rural parts of India, many children work in the fields during the day and attend school only at night. Due to electricity outages there is often not enough power to light the classrooms after dark.
Recently, I learned The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has the highest per capita ecological footprint in the world – if every person in the world lived and consumed natural resources like an average UAE resident, we would require 4.5 planets to sustain the consumption levels! More than 80% of its carbon footprint is due to carbon intensive goods and services, such as energy and water.
Solid state (light emitting diode, known as LEDs) street lights, an energy saving device for water heaters, more efficient elevators, and a massaging mouse won top honors at this year’s Future Science Star competition in Shanghai, China.