Did Angela Merkel heed ClickTell’s warning?

In our 27th May Tweet regarding Google’s decision to locate one of its data centre’s at a Finish coast  – we asked whether in the wake of Fukushima  it was astute to locate even a data centre at the seaside, let alone a nuclear power station.

 Today Germany’s coalition government announced  the closure of nuclear power plants by 2022. Following the crisis at Fukushima in Japan, Chancellor Angela Merkel set up a panel to review nuclear power.

Nuclear power generates a quarter of Germany’s electricity. Therefore, unless this announcement is followed by successful deployment of other sources of energy, it would be hugely damaging to Germany’s industry and economy.

However, given that Germany has already made huge investments in renewable energy this decision will most likely put Germany well ahead of the game in such a way that it will boost her economy and perhaps more importantly avoid the faintest possibility of any devastating disaster of a nature that can be linked to nuclear power.

Germany has shown extraordinary courage and leadership in taking this difficult decision.

During his recent speech to the UK Parliament, president Obama said “.. The world is at a pivotal moment….The time for our leadership is now.”

Well, there you have it, Europe’s largest economy has just walked the talk and led the world in an area so fundamentally crucial to the existence of mankind.


Britain’s first mobile payment service

As of tomorrow, shoppers will be able to make small payments at 50,000 retail outlets using their mobile phones. Britons can now begin to benefit from a service already available in some developing countries and Asia, where shoppers routinely use smartphones in place of credit cards.

The service will not only provide a boost for the makers of the electronic chip that enables contact-less payment but also the mobile payment service providers Orange and Barclays.

This summer Google, MasterCard, Citigroup, First Data and Sprint will make a similar service available in New York and San Francisco.

Innovative Behavioural intervention

At ClickTell we have a track record in implementing successful innovative behavioural interventions in disparate fields ranging from the environment to healthcare. In doing so we utilise our consultants' in-depth knowledge of behavioural psychology and persuasion principles coupled with other evidence-based behavioural models.

According to a recent study [PDF] on reducing energy use, simple non-expensive innovative interventions reduced energy demand by 1.8% on average, with the effectiveness of individual programs ranging from 0.9% to 2.9%. The study, which followed 750,000 homes in six US states, offered home energy reports containing information about energy usage and, importantly, comparing that data to neighbours' usage.

“To get a sense of the magnitude of these effects, a simple extrapolation of the savings rate suggests that reducing residential electricity usage across the United States by 1.8% would save over 26,000 GWh of electricity, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by roughly 8.9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year – equal to the emissions from three 500-MW coal-fired power plants – and save households just over $3 billion dollars per year on their electric bills.”

To discover how your organisation can benefit from such solutions, contact ClickTell.


The Apprentice: Too much pretence and not enough business?

With the help of new technologies and the spread of Business Analytics, the business world is rapidly moving towards making real-time data and information driven decisions virtually on the go.

Against such a backdrop, the reality TV show The Apprentice (UK) appears to be denying its candidates the use of even the humble Internet to do basic research and gain insight.  Unless clearly communicated and justified by the producers, such glaring omissions can somewhat devalue an otherwise entertaining and valuable programme.

In addition to entertaining, The Apprentice undoubtedly has the power to enthuse would be entrepreneurs. Perhaps this should be its main stated goal or perhaps the producers may find room to sway the balance slightly more towards current business practices and less towards a kind of sensationalism with the sole aim of boosting viewer numbers.

The irony in all of this is that as a “business” The Apprentice is more than achieving its goal of attracting “customers” (the new May 2011 series attracted 8 million viewers). Whether this translates to a sustained long term profit for the nation remains to be seen. What is certain is that although The Apprentice is not a replacement MBA programme there is a great deal more entertainment on the way.


Blending Business Analytics with Sustainability

Organisations are beginning to adopt Business Analytics (BA) as one of the effective tools for staying competitive and profitable.

SAP, the world’s largest maker of business management software and one of the major players in the area of BA has correctly read the near future market needs by complementing BA with solutions for sustainability. This was certainly evident at its annual Sapphire conference last week in Orlando, Florida.

Companies are beginning to appreciate the need for paying more attention to sustainability issues. This is mainly driven by factors such as regulations, brand reputation, the growing importance of energy, environmental issues and natural resource scarcity.

To discover how your organisation may benefit from such solutions, contact ClickTell www.clicktell.com


Puma puts a value on it’s environmental impact

ClickTell applauds Puma, for this week publishing a comprehensive economic valuation caused by greenhouse gas emission and water consumption along its entire supply chain.

For some time now, at ClickTell we have held the view  that in the not  too distant future all businesses will eventually have to account for their use of natural resources. This prediction is heavily influenced by data pertaining to severe & unpredictable weather patterns, continuous increase in the world population, shortages, regulations, price increases and geopolitical instability.

In 2008 ClickTell published a white paper entitled, “Towards a Global Low Carbon Economy: The Role of the Wine Industry”.  The following is a short excerpt from the report which was commissioned by a major wine producer:

“While, apart from the environmental impact, currently the production and distribution of wine may be without economic consequences – this situation is most likely to change in the very near future…..The exercise of appropriately responding to the CO2 challenge will most definitely re-write some of the existing business models and practices in addition to highlighting new business opportunities along the supply chain.”