April 14, 2022
Happy Thursday from your Protocol Climate team. Unless you’re in Guam, in which case, happy Friday. Time, it’s all relative. Wherever and whenever you are, we’re happy you’re here now. Today, we’re doing a Big Tech clean energy two-for-one: Both Apple and Intel have announcements about cleaning up their carbon emissions. They have us catching a faint whiff of Earth Day, which is just around the corner.
You got your iPhones. Your MacBooks. Your Apple Watches. Apple wants to be your one-stop shop for consumer tech. On Thursday, it announced it's taking some big steps to address some of the emissions associated with making and using those products by investing in a solar farm going up in Texas and cleaning up its supply chain.
Apple is tackling part of its Scope 3 emissions. The biggest challenge for nearly any company is addressing carbon pollution from the manufacturing and use of its products. And Apple has a lot of products in circulation.
So, what’s a major multinational corporation to do? Invest in solar and twist some arms, apparently. On Thursday, the company made some major announcements about clean energy.
All this is great news — and more needs to happen. I’m as sick of writing that sentiment as you are of reading it. But we’re here to talk about the unvarnished climate truth, and the reality is no company can ever do enough.
Chip giant Intel is the latest tech company to throw its hat in the net zero ring. On Wednesday, it committed to bringing its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2040. However, the plan comes with some major caveats. Were you looking for a chance to put what you learned from our very first newsletter — a how-to on analyzing climate pledges — to work? Step right up.
The plan focuses on Intel's operations. The company committed to zeroing out its Scope 1 (largely raw materials) and Scope 2 (largely manufacturing) emissions.
Intel has committed to interim targets, another must for credibility. By 2030, the semiconductor designer and manufacturer’s plans include using exclusively renewables for electricity across its operations and investing roughly $300 million in energy conservation.
But the plan currently leaves out Scope 3 emissions. Those emissions are tied to the distribution and use of its products.
As one of the largest manufacturers of the world’s most advanced chips, Intel is in a fairly unique position. Because of its size, the decision to reach net zero emissions by 2040 could have ripple effects across suppliers and the rest of the industry. I suspect other companies throughout the sector will be keeping a close eye on its successes — or, heaven forbid, failures — as a guide to taking similar steps— Lisa Martine Jenkins (email | twitter)
"To win more revenue for your sales teams, start with the customer. Understand what your customers need, and make sure that those needs are aligned to clearly defined internal success criteria. Build trust across the teams that what you sold the customer is what is being delivered." - Pilar Schenk, COO at Cisco Collaboration
Enerkem, a Montreal-based developer of renewable fuels and chemicals from waste, raised $255 million in new equity and convertible debt funding. Repsol led with $75 million in equity and $95 million in convertible debt, and was joined by Suncor Energy, Monarch Alternative Capital and Avenue Capital Group.
Emerald Technology Ventures wants to invest in sustainable packaging, and it’s launching a new fund with a target of more than $200 million to do so.
Choco, a German startup trying to help end food waste, raised $111 million in series B2 funding. That makes it a unicorn.
Wireframe Ventures has raised another $77 million for pre-seed and seed funding for climate and health startups.
Invert, a carbon credit firm, and Ripple have inked a deal to purchase $30 million in carbon dioxide removal services from CarbonCure, a startup that makes carbon-sequestering cement.
The solar drone inspection provider Raptor Maps (has there ever been a more edgy combination of words?) raised $22 million in series B funding, which was led by MacKinnon, Bennett & Co.— Lisa Martine Jenkins and Brian Kahn
How is tech setting and measuring its climate goals?Net zero. Carbon offsets. Scope 3 emissions. These are just some of the terms you’ll find in Big Tech’s climate plans. Understanding what they actually mean is vital to ensuring the industry is meeting its goals — and understanding whether those goals are the right ones. We’ll talk with some of the people responsible for setting those goals and experts who are monitoring them to find out what tech companies are really doing. RSVP here.
Keep your dirty bitcoin out of Wikipedia’s coffers. Editors are asking the Wikimedia Foundation to stop accepting bitcoin donations because of crypto mining's climate impact.
Yelp offers eco-help. Hate plastic? Love EV charging? Now Yelp will let you find cafes, restaurants and other businesses offering a suite of sustainable options.
Supercharging peak hours just got a little longer. California Tesla drivers will have to pay a premium to charge their car at the company’s Supercharger stations from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., a two-hour increase.
Wind turbines are getting supersized. Multiple companies are racing to develop huge turbines.
In news that is somehow both alarming and encouraging, Ukraine averted a major Russian cyberattack that officials say could have compromised 2 million people’s power.
Climate change is wreaking havoc on the most unglamorous of technologies. Septic tank failures are on the rise as waters rise and rains intensify.
— Lisa Martine Jenkins and Brian Kahn
"Trying to make every deal as big as possible often adds complexity and extends sales cycles. To accelerate growth, sellers should focus on landing faster, and then expanding, and expanding again. Getting customers into your solution sooner helps you solve their initial problems, then later, you can grow together." - Michael Megerian, Chief Revenue Officer at Yello
Thanks for reading! As ever, you can send any and all feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. See you next week — have a great weekend.