Technology News Round-Up (Issue 95)
October 03 2007
by Briefing staff
The ICT industry need not only look inward to its own impact on the environment and communities but can also contribute to corporate responsibility by developing online tools as well as sponsoring innovative students.
IBM and the IFC, the private arm of the World Bank, have developed a toolkit to help small businesses in emerging markets as well as small business owners who are women, black, Hispanic, Native American or Asian. The toolkit will enable them to receive business information, tools and training services. The SME Toolkit is free and enables entrepreneurs to implement sustainable business operations. It includes:
- An online calculator that helps small businesses determine their readiness for financing;
- Software to build a website;
- Business forms to assist with employee performance evaluation;
- Online conferencing, blog capability, calendars;
- Survey and quiz builders to help with decision making;
- A multilingual business directory to help small businesses link locally, regionally and globally.
The toolkit will be launched in 13 languages in 24 countries.
HP Responsible Business Award 2007
A Slovakian student company has won the Hewlett-Packard Responsible Business Award for 2007. The team designed a greenhouse made from recycled plastic during the Junior Achievement Young Enterprise Europe Company of the Year competition.
Student companies from 30 European countries compete for the award, which encourages potential entrepreneurs to come up with a comprehensive approach to social and environmental responsibility. HP staff act as volunteer mentors and offer the students advice on integrating corporate social responsibility into their businesses.
The impact of mobile phones on the environment is clear and should be addressed according to a new online debate – What Future for the Mobile Footprint?
Initiatives include recycling of handsets, reducing the power consumption of chargers and the siting of phone masts. The debate asks whether businesses are doing enough to educate their customers and whether it is the company’s responsibility in the first place. Hosted by mobile phone operator, O2, and online magazine, Spiked, the debate was launched on September 4 and brings together policymakers, mobile communications industry figures and experts to discuss how the mobile industry can manage its environmental impact.
What Future for the Mobile Footprint? is part of the Mobile Futures online debate series.
IBM, the technology and consulting corporation, and The Beacon Institute, a science, technology and educational organisation, announced a partnership on August 16, which will see the creation of the first technology-based monitoring and forecasting network for a US river and estuary. The River and Estuary Observatory Network will allow for real-time environmental monitoring in the Hudson River and The Beacon Institute and IBM plan to roll out the initiative to other rivers in the future. Contact IBM www.ibm.com; The Beacon Institute 001 845 838 1600 www.thebeaconinstitute.org