LESSONS FROM GOOGLE TRENDS
Google trends (www.google.com/trends) can be a source of some interesting statistics. It is basically a plot of popularity for specific search terms. Entering the search term “energy efficiency” brings up the accompanying graph this month. There we can see one of the reasons why the magazine you are reading came into existence: News about energy efficiency has been rising at a rapid pace over the last two years. And its popularity as a search term has as well. Another lesson here: At the end of most years, energy efficiency isn't top-of-mind.
THE BUSINESS CASE FOR SUSTAINABILITY
How do you know whether or not your company is ahead of its peers in sustainability? That was a question the research organization Aberdeen Research Group recently explored. After surveying companies with sustainability efforts in various stages of completion, researchers there came up with a series of measures that could serve as a dashboard for the effectiveness of sustainability directives. The best companies, for example, fold sustainability into measures of their value chain and typically have organization-wide sustainability policies in place.
THE WIND POWER OUTLOOK
The American Wind Energy Association recently compiled statistics about new sources of energy generating capacity. A quick look at their graph shows why there is a lot of enthusiasm for wind energy. New wind projects installed in 2008 represent an investment of $17 billion, the largest capital investment in the U.S. electricity sector last year. AWEA also says about 85,000 people worked in the wind industry as of the end of 2008, up from 50,000 the year before.
WHO MONITORS ENERGY?
Energy management strategies are increasingly common among manufacturers. But some organizations have been measuring their energy use longer than others. It turns out that some of the companies that are best at measuring energy have been at it for more than three years, according to Aberdeen Research Group . In their survey of manufacturers, they found, not surprisingly, that about half the companies considered best-in-class at energy management had been watching their own energy habits for a long time.