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The Lowry faces £1m energy bill, united effort tackle climate change & sustainable software is the way to go

The Hark Friday 5 is our top 5 ESG, technology and sustainability stories of the week, curated by the Hark team.
Hark Friday Five

1. Greater Manchester arts complex faces £1m energy bill this winter

A story we’ve heard from many organisations this year; rising energy bills have been a huge catalyst for businesses to begin monitoring their energy consumption more closely (in some cases, with The Hark Platform).

The Lowry, a theatre and gallery complex in Salford, is facing a bill “substantially” higher than its £860,000 annual Arts Council grant. The organisation has committed to reducing its energy consumption but bills will rise in line with national increases.

2. Three quarters of people ‘have made changes’ to help tackle climate crisis

A positive take on climate change, with the collective effort to make a positive impact growing on the daily. In a poll completed by the Office of National Statistics, “75 per cent of the population are worried or very worried about the impact of climate breakdown.

It comes after a survey last month conducted by the European and Climate Intelligence Unit, which supports informed debate on energy and the climate crisis. It found that three-quarters of people in Britain are worried about climate breakdown and want more government action to tackle it. A separate poll published by The Independent found that nearly 70 per cent of people said the UK`s record-breaking July heatwave had convinced them more needs to be done to tackle global heating.

3. The Power Of Sustainable Software

Cloud computing, internet of things and other digital services have considerably increased internet traffic. Data processing involves CO2 use, and this continues to grow with the rise in digital consumption. Electronic waste is caused by all sorts of devices we throw away, including any outdated devices.

How can you diminish the negative impact of the tech industry? There are quite a few ways, including reallocating energy sources and using less environmental-damaging software. Steps all tech companies should consider include building and using sustainable tools and moving toward new ecological standards.

Of course one thing we’d highly recommend, in gaining cloud connectivity for all devices and assets amongst business estates, which provides visibility of data. With this data we see business taking action and making decisions that reduce consumption and improve efficiency (which helps to keep assets at peak performance and gives businesses the ability to predict failures or issues before they even happen).

4. “Existing connections will be shut down” — Google is killing off Google Cloud IoT Core

Google Cloud IoT Core is a “fully managed service that allows you to easily and securely connect, manage, and ingest data from millions of globally dispersed devices” says Google Cloud. A similar offering to what we do here at Hark.

However from August 16, 2023, those millions of devices will need another platform to support them as Google kills off the service. The company has started emailing customers to say bluntly that in 12 months time “your access to the IoT Core Device Manager APIs will no longer be available. As of that date, devices will be unable to connect to the Google Cloud IoT Core MQTT and HTTP bridges and existing connections will be shut down.

5. No watering required: a drought-resistant garden for a changing climate

This is one for all you horticulturalists out there:

Jane Gates’ Sussex garden has become relevant to today’s changing climate. She’s been running experiments to see how plants can cope with intense heat, even in one of the hottest places in the UK.

Some plants, she says, have proved to be more resilient to drought than expected. Hot tip: Gravel is used as a layer for plants to grow through, which allows for the soil underneath to remain moist. Clever eh? Check out the full article for more.

That’s all for today’s Hark Friday Five, as always if you’ve seen a story we’ve missed or got a change then we’re here for it.

Carlos Nisbet
Carlos Nisbet
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