Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Obama and McCain on the Environment

It’s October 29, 2008. We are facing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression AND we are just under a week away from what many are calling the most important United States Presidential election in their lifetimes (no matter what their age). To truly grasp what an historic moment we are currently living in would be impossible, so we’ll leave that to the real historians.

Today, I’d like to narrow the focus to something more palatable. Yes, we’ll continue to talk about the presidential candidates, but in relation to their views on the environment.

In so many ways, this election is very different from past elections. As it relates to the environment, we’re for the first time seeing two major party candidates who are both deeply concerned about protecting the environment. In the past, the environment hasn’t been given the same consideration. However, there are still some substantial differences between the two candidates’ approaches to the climate crisis. I found a good analysis of the different opinions from -

If you are still undecided, or simply looking to learn a little more about your favorite candidates’ position, this is a great resource to start with.  

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Price of Being Scared

For a few days over the last couple weeks, I was convinced the New York Times had shut down its offices and stopped updating its website. The same scary headline about the stock market’s dramatic decline coupled with a jagged graph showing a steep drop seemed to show up day after day. Of course, the Times didn’t close, but the market did continue to drop. 600 points here, 700 there, and you could literally see people’s retirement funds evaporating into nothing.

If you weren’t at least partially scared about the state of the world’s economy, my guess is you either have your entire life savings safely tucked away in a shoebox under your bed, or have decided to ride out the market fluctuations and try to ignore the daily trends.

From the enterprise perspective, there is a lot of fear about the prospect of spending money. The need to meet more stringent budget requirements has become increasingly commonplace. However, organizations that approach the issue as an opportunity are the ones that will likely be the most successful in the long run.  

While it may be challenging, the tightening of purse strings creates opportunities for researching new ways to save money. Coupled with companies’ recent attempts to become more environmentally-friendly, this need to better stretch budgets creates a perfect storm for getting companies excited about researching and ultimately using tools such as network energy management solutions that reduce energy costs and also curb harmful carbon emissions.

It’s a similar concept to gas prices. While no one enjoys paying over $4 a gallon at the pump, absurdly high prices do force consumers and car companies alike to put more effort into researching environmentally-friendly vehicles that cost substantially less to operate on a weekly basis.

The reality is, tough times make us carefully think about our options. To consider solutions that will serve our future generations well is a skill we haven’t always used in the past, but one we must increasingly use in the future.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Forrester Groundswell Award Entry - Social Impact

Name of entry: Edison

Name of company entering: Verdiem Corporation

Category: Social Impact

Edison Info & Download:

Availability: August 2008 to Present

Application Description
Created by Verdiem Corporation, Edison is a free PC energy management tool for everyone. It is an easy-to-use, consumer-friendly application that allows users to set energy savings controls on their PCs. To use the application, consumers merely have to download Edison, scroll the savings bar to the desired level, set schedules and forget it.

Verdiem chose to offer Edison for free to people who care about energy efficiency. Whether it’s about saving money or reducing carbon emissions, Edison offers a simple way to fight energy waste. In fact, by taking a few simple steps to activate energy management software, computers can require up to 80% less energy (source). We hope that as people use Edison, they’ll become more aware of the global energy waste problem and possible solutions they can implement at home and on the job.

Edison launched earlier this summer to tremendous enthusiasm and praise from organizations and individuals literally from around the world. At launch, Verdiem challenged consumers to help support the Climate Savers Computing Initiative’s goal of reducing PC-related carbon emissions by 54 million tons by 2010. If just 1% of the world’s PCs – or 10 million – used Edison, we could reduce PC-related carbon emissions by 7 billion pounds, which is equivalent to taking 500,000 cars off the road (source).

In addition to the Climate Savers Computing Initiative, Verdiem also worked with Microsoft’s Sustainability teams and the Alliance for Climate Protection (which is affiliated with the We Can Solve It campaign) to promote the launch.

Along with an environmentally-conscious virtual press conference, Verdiem chose to spread the word about Edison through a variety of social media tools, including our website, Power Alley Blog, Facebook page and the viral videos housed on the Verdiem YouTube channel. In addition, we’ll be interacting with users via regular newsletters that will offer tips and tricks for how best to take advantage of Edison and advice on other ways to fight the global climate crisis. Already we see current users who are so pleased with the tool that they have decided to pass it along to their friends, family and colleagues via personal websites, blogs and in some cases, even company websites.

Within all of the tools that we manage, Verdiem has received and continues to receive comments and questions about the application, and is working hard to keep up the open dialogue with users from around the world.

In all, we believe Edison offers concerned citizens the opportunity to make a huge contribution to solving the global climate crisis with minimal effort, and we look forward to continuing to see how consumers respond to the challenge.

How This Entry Accomplishes Business Goals
Verdiem is a mission-driven company committed to reducing the environmental impact of technology. The most fundamental reason that Verdiem created Edison was to make PC energy management easier for all – at home and at work.

By offering a free tool for everyone to use, we are taking another step towards reducing the burden that technology energy consumption places on the planet, and continuing to demonstrate our commitment to our mission.

However, it’s not enough to simply create and distribute this tool to the public; ultimately, the goal of Edison is to reduce PC energy consumption, which can only happen when people install it and use it on a regular basis. This is why the launch of Edison coincided with a challenge for all consumers to help support the Climate Savers Computing Initiative’s goal of reducing PC-related carbon emissions by 54 million tons by 2010. Verdiem believes that educating people about the incredible amount of energy PCs consume and how they can now address it in their own lives is the best solution. Once people understand the problem and how they can help, they are much more likely to become involved.

To date we have seen strong adoption of Edison from around the world. While we have not yet begun sharing download numbers with the public, we are pleased to see that Edison is being used today in more than 130 countries. In addition, we have received a lot of positive feedback from individuals regarding their impressions of the tool and how it could potentially help in their daily lives.

While our overall goal to reduce the environmental impact of technology, along with our Edison-specific goal of helping the Climate Savers Computing Initiative to reach its goal of reducing PC-related carbon emission by 2010 is far from completely achieved, the launch of Edison and the participation by each new user takes us a giant step closer to addressing the problem and meeting our goals.

Friday, August 29, 2008

From the Desk of Edison Support – How to Manage Multiple User Profiles on a Single Computer

Edison is a global user application, which means that the settings in the application are not user-specific and are subsequently applied to all users on a PC. This is something to keep in mind as you set your work schedule.

For example, if the users of a shared computer tend to use it at different times throughout the day, set the schedule to account for the times that the computer is generally in use for all users.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Check it out!

Wanted to let folks know we’ve now got a couple more channels for sharing information online. In addition to our corporate website and Power Alley Blog, we’ve got a Verdiem Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Facebook is a great way to track our latest news and read all of our Power Alley Blog entries, and the YouTube channel is a good way to learn more about our company and products (the Verdiem YouTube channel also includes a couple product demos for those interested).

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Edison featured on CNN and American Public Media

CNN’s “Energy Fix” program last Thursday included commentary on Edison from Verdiem’s Kevin Klustner. To watch the interview online, go here.

If you’re interested in radio coverage, check out this link to hear Kevin discussing Edison and Verdiem’s strategy and goals behind the product on American Public Media’s “Future Tense” program.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

According to CIO, SURVEYOR Helps Washington Mutual Cut IT Costs

CIO posted a great piece on how Verdiem SURVEYOR has helped Washington Mutual reduce energy costs, energy consumption and related carbon emissions.

According to the article, Washington Mutual has cut PC-related greenhouse gas emissions by 65% and is on track to save $3 million on electricity costs in 2008.

To learn more about how Washington Mutual has implemented and utilized SURVEYOR, read the article here.