Lexicon Systems, LLC Blog

lex'•i•con: the vocabulary of a branch of knowledge. Thoughts on environment, health & safety (EHS), sustainability and information technology to support them.


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Internet of Things and other innovations help electric utilities to survive

Image courtesy of 2nix at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of 2nix at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Most Americans take reliable electricity for granted. Electric utilities can no longer count on customers to use more and more power, as conservation efforts and alternative energy sources gain popularity.

To survive, utility companies must focus on efficiency and cost control. The Internet of Things and other innovative technologies will help them to improve and survive despite slow market growth.

Deloitte University Press just published an insightful report,  The power is on: how IoT technology is driving energy innovation.

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Keeping with the space exploration theme of Enablon’s SPF Americas 2014, keynote panel moderator Anna M Clark summarized the interplay among various perspectives on sustainability.

Working together to rocket to success

Courtesy of Capt. John O Creighton, NASA (Retired)

Courtesy of Capt. John O Creighton, NASA (Retired)

In her 22 October 2014 article for GreenBiz, Sustainability consultant, freelance writer and author Clark noted that input from the regulated community and environment, health & safety subject matter experts adds is a much-needed dimension to the sustainability discussion.

Many companies embed corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities as part of everyday business. Yet in the U.S., we often see a line in the sand between environment, health & safety (EHS) and CSR or sustainability initiatives. The interesting part is that mountains of EHS data are available to help improve the Company bottom line, while making the company more sustainable. All we need to do is harness the data, analyze it, share it with the people who need it to make business decisions… easier said than done!

A good, solid EHS technology platform certainly can make it happen. Joe Jones of U.K. consultancy SustainIt says “finding a way to make this data usable allows corporates to really kick start their CSR momentum.”

However, most users still only exploit a fraction of the available functionality of EHS systems. Jill Gilbert, president of Lexicon Systems, explained in her presentation that the breakdown often occurs at a failure to anticipate and meet basic business requirements. “Companies can make emotional decisions. They see bells and whistles and forget what their needs are.”

Click here for the full article.


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Learn from the experts and share best practices at September Sustainable Performance Forum

I am pleased to announce my upcoming presentation, “Business Requirements and Software Selection Best Practices” at the Sustainable Performance Forum, 25-26 September in Chicago, IL. The #Enablon #SPF Americas 2014 program features thought leaders on environment, health & safety (EHS) and sustainability, information technology (IT), and Risk. 

Former NASA astronaut, navy fighter pilot and test pilot and Boeing Chief Technical Pilot John O. Creighton will deliver the keynote talk on risk.

The Keynote panel features senior executives from industry, leading EHS subject matter experts and industry analysts. Author and writer Anna M. Clark will moderate the panel. Enablon CEO Dan Vogel, CTO Marc Vogel, Vice President Pascal Gaude and Enablon North America CEO Philippe Tesler will present their vision and company roadmap.

The Enablon team will lead program tracks on six different Enablon software solutions. Each track will include a session on issues & trends and a case study, in addition to presentations on the solution set and product road map.

Customers will have the opportunity to collaborate with subject matter experts and Enablon on future product enhancements. 

The program features two new tracks this year, beyond solution tracks and software training:

  • Technology Enablers–cross-platform, innovative information technologies
  • Implementation Strategies–best practices for business requirements and software selection; implementation, and more.

SPF also offers networking opportunities like industry roundtables and a gala dinner, and Lunchtime Expert series talks. Learn more here.


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Interbrand names Best Global Green Brands for 2014

Interbrand and Deloitte named the 50 Best Interbrand Best Global Green Brands 2014 Global Green Brands for 2014. Ford Motor Company leads the list, with the closest Performance and Perception scores. The top 10 include four auto manufacturers, four electronics/high tech, one apparel and one consumer packaged goods company.

  1. Ford
  2. Toyota
  3. Honda
  4. Nissan
  5. Panasonic
  6. Nokia
  7. Sony
  8. Adidas
  9. Danone
  10. Dell

Sustainability is ” a business approach to creating long-term value by embracing opportunities and managing risks derived from economic, environmental and social impacts… it also involves creating and maintaining a product, service, or business identity that reflects added value in terms of environmental and social benefits.”

–Best Global Green Brands Report, 2014

The report says the path forward [to sustainability] requires a radical shift in priorities, production and consumption methods and values. The path forward requires innovation, leadership, courage and cooperation.

“…the search for new, more sustainable models, solutions, methods and materials is accelerating…  it is becoming increasingly clear that “business as usual” is not the path forward.”

– Best Global Green Brands 2014


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Best green brands 2012

Interbrand just released its Best Global Green Brands 2012 report on the heels of its Best Global Brands report. It’s interesting that four of the top ten are automotive companies, four are tech/diversified companies and two are consumer products companies. Interbrand and Deloitte rated the companies and came up with a list of the top 50.

Photo: Interbrand

The top ten green brands for 2012 are:

  1. Toyota
  2. Johnson & Johnson
  3. Honda
  4. Volkswagen
  5. Hewlett-Packard
  6. Panasonic
  7. Dell
  8. Siemens
  9. Danone
  10. BMW

Interbrand’s CEO Jez Frampton said,

“Though “green” was once the province of empty promises, the world’s most valuable green brands have earned their place in our report, which examines how leading brands perform in the arena of sustainability and how their environmentally conscious efforts are perceived by the public. These two critical halves—performance and perception—make up the whole of a green company: one that operates sustainably and has built a positive image that can be leveraged to strengthen brand value.”

An interesting note… our household has purchased products from seven of the ten companies. We have not bought two of the auto brands, but our siblings have–repeatedly. And I don’t think that Siemens is in the consumer market! So, it’s probably not a coincidence that companies who have a “green” mindset also make good products.


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If it’s Thursday, it must be recycling day

I woke up this morning–another Thursday, so it’s household recycling day. We put out paper, plastic and glass in the designated recycling bins each week. Our remaining “garbage” fills only one trash bag a week. The sad thing is, we live in Houston–the fourth largest city in the U.S.–and only 22% of households recycle. Seattle, San Francisco and other progressive cities lead the list, with about two-thirds of the population recycling. Chicago and Detroit are at the bottom of the list.

I read in the Houston Chronicle this week that the City of Houston Department of Solid Waste Management is evaluating the possibility of building a large, state-of-the art recycling plant. This would save the City plenty of money, as well as plenty of landfill space. Other, more landlocked cities do not have the luxury of dumping easily recycled materials in landfills.

RecycleRecycling is easy if you make a small effort. The household pickup each week is simple. For $3/month, you get the recycling bin and set it out by the garage on Thursdays. If more neighbors recycled, the cost could go down.

When I purchased a new smartphone last year, I sold the old one to the eBay recycling service for $60. I got a free shipping label and received payment quickly. A few weeks ago, I turned in a 25-year-old laser printer for a $50 rebate on a new, energy-efficient printer. This week I took two old cell phones and a laptop computer to a retail store for recycling.

Local papers and bulletins have notices about community recycling efforts. On October 24, the (Houston) Bay Area Community Advisory Panel (BAYCAP) holds its monthly meeting at the Armand Bayou Nature Center. The topic is the interactions of the 27 plants in the Bay Area, and their recycling efforts. On November 10, the Johnson Space Center Contractors will sponsor free electronic recycling.  Materials will be recycled properly and in compliance with e-waste regulations.

Let’s think about recycling as a lifestyle issue, not a trash issue.