Apple, Akamai, Etsy, Swiss Re collaborate on renewable energy
Apple has partnered with global businesses on a project for the procurement of renewable energy.
The tech giant has signed an agreement with ecommerce company Etsy, insurer Swiss Re and cloud platform Akamai, all of which are at different stages in their quest for sustainability. Together with Apple, the businesses will obtain energy from renewable sources in the US.
The four companies will work with two new wind and solar farms in the east of the country and have agreed to purchase a total of 125MW of energy from a wind farm near Chicago, Illinois, and 165MW from a solar farm near Fredericksberg, Virginia.
Akamai operates its cloud service platform across over 200,000 servers in 130 different countries. Edie reports that the company expects the new agreement to supply more than 40% of its US energy consumption (which is 20% globally) and is working towards the aim of sourcing 50% of its global energy needs by 2020 from renewable resources.
For Etsy’s part, the ecommerce platform has made a significant commitment to 100% renewable energy by 2020, but as of 2016 it only got 16% of its energy from such sources.
Swiss Re provides insurance, reinsurance and other risk transfer services and has 80 offices around the world. It is already a member of RE100 and as of 2016 it sourced about 84% of its power from renewables, so partnership with Apple will boost this commitment.
It is hoped that the involvement of Apple will provide buying power to be leveraged by the other companies, which previously had limited access to energy sources.
Lisa Jackson, Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives at Apple, said: “At Apple, we’re proud to power all of our operations around the world with 100% renewable energy.
“In the process, we’ve chartered a course for other companies and organisations to purchase renewable energy and transition their own operations to greener power. The collaboration announced today shows how companies of all sizes can address climate change by coming together.”
Gartner: Women in supply chain at five-year high
Women now represent a greater percentage of the supply chain workforce than at any other point in at least the past five years, according to a recent Gartner survey.
The Women in Supply Chain Survey 2021, conducted by Gartner and Awesome, surveyed 223 supply chain organisations with more than $100m in annual revenue from February through to the end of March 2021.
- Women represent 2% more of supply chain workforce than in 2020
- Women now account for 42% of the workforce
- Number of women in exec-level positions declined by 2%
- Just 15% of top leadership are women (17% in 2020)
- 84% of organisations say COVID-19 did not impact efforts to advance women
It found that women now represent two per cent more of the supply chain workforce than in 2020, accounting for 42%, compared with 39% last year. Dana Stiffler, Vice President Analyst with the Gartner Supply Chain practice, says the impact of COVID-19 on supply chain was significant, though different to other sectors.
"Contrary to other industries, supply chain’s mission-criticality during the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that many sectors did not reduce their workforce, but rather continued to hire and even faced talent shortages, especially in the product supply chains," she said. "This resulted in many women not only standing their ground in supply chain organisations but increasing their representation in organisations. We also recorded a record number of specific commitments and supply chain-led actions and saw existing programs starting to pay off."
Supply chain still lacks women in executive leadership
But the elephant in the boardroom remains. Though the figures present a positive step towards greater diversity and gender equality at all levels, the number of women in executive level positions declined by two per cent in the past year. Women represent just 15% of the upper echelons of supply chain leadership. Gartner did however record a rise in women at all other levels of leadership.
The vast majority (84%) of organisations surveyed said the outbreak had no discernible impact on their ability to retain and advance women. But more than half (54%) admitted that retaining mid-career women was becoming increasingly difficult. A lack of career opportunities was cited as the biggest challenge to this, while other blamed a lack of development opportunities.
Despite these challenges, companies of all sizes are becoming broadly better at gender diversity. Around a third more said they had a targeted initiative focused on attracting women and advancing their careers.
Stiffler said a push towards measurable and formal initiatives is at least pointing in the right direction: “It's encouraging to see that the larger share of this jump was for more formal targets and specific goals on management scorecards. For these respondents, there is greater accountability for results — and we see the correlation with stronger representation and inclusion showing up in pipelines.”