Computerworld Honors 2013: Tech projects that are changing the world

These organizations are using technology to solve some of society's most pressing and complex issues.

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Organization Project Name Project Achievements  
The Green Grid Improving Universal Data Center Resource Efficiency with Metrics and Benchmarking Models

Advocacy and education on resource-efficient data centers increasingly influences data center design and operations, with IT and data center managers using Green Grid tools as well as metrics to produce energy and cost savings

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21st Century Award winner
Microsoft Corp. Microsoft's Energy Smart Buildings Initiative Real-time analysis of data generated from facilities' systems helps Microsoft fully understand its buildings' performance, allowing the company to better optimize operations and reduce maintenance costs as well as environmental impact Finalist
IBM & School District of Palm Beach County, Fla. School District of Palm Beach County, Fla. Centralized system manages school district's entire leasing program, helping the district generate millions of dollars in extra revenue from rental fees by automating many of the tasks associated with leasing out the district's facilities Finalist
Hewlett-Packard Co. Data Center Services -- Global Facilities Data Center Sustainability Initiative Initiative aimed at reducing company's carbon footprint, increasing energy savings and lowering operational costs encompasses multiple projects and activities, including consolidation of data centers into fewer energy-efficient facilities and construction of a next-generation data center Finalist
Schizophrenia Society of Canada (SSC) SSC Goes Virtual Nonprofit closes its head office and transitions to a virtual office model to save money and resources, relying on cloud-based collaboration tools to support remote teams and functions that were redistributed to provincial societies Finalist
Aetna Innovation, Technology & Service Operations Sustainable Data Center and Technology Initiative Project to drive innovation and collaboration between IT and facilities teams yields a new, more efficient "green data center within a data center" design that uses virtualization to drastically cut power consumption and improve server utilization rate
Biodiversity Heritage Library Biodiversity Heritage Library Digitization of science literature allows researchers around the world to access tens of millions of text pages without the need to travel to the library that houses the material, while an active social media presence engages scientists on the topic of biodiversity
Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) MetroPulse Chicago Website uses application programming interfaces and pulls together fragmented information to support data visualizations, downloads and exports as well as other features and functions valuable to those working on public policy issues
City University of Hong Kong University Paperless Office Project Guided by its commitment to sustainability, this project digitizes processes and storage that had been paper-based, helping to reduce paper and space consumption while making administrative processes more efficient and secure
Coyote Logistics Private Fleet Proprietary technology identifies trucks scheduled to travel to their destinations empty so they can be filled with freight to be shipped, eliminating so-called empty miles and the CO2 exhaust they produce while creating more value for shippers
Energy Future Holdings Extreme Makeover: Green Edition Initiative to create more sustainable facilities and operations includes transforming an aging data center into an Energy Star-rated, LEED-certified building that meets strict energy-efficiency performance levels
IT-VETS Inc. Hire Our Heroes Nonprofit organization hires returning veterans to work with experienced IT staff providing IT support for clients, which gives veterans hands-on training while delivering affordable IT support services to community businesses and organizations
Lehigh Hanson Inc. Cadman Ready Mixed Concrete Fleet Navigation & Water Meters Computing platforms deliver real-time data on concrete trucks' locations as well as the material being delivered, allowing fleet managers to optimize truck routes to reduce vehicle idle time as well as cut use of fuel and raw materials
Liquidity Services Enhancing Sustainability for Leading Organizations Company provides business and government clients as well as buying customers with a transparent, innovative and effective online marketplace for buying and selling surplus industrial machinery, equipment, materials, vehicles and inventory
Quality Attributes Software Haverford Environmental Center Green Touchscreen application showcases community's LEEDcertified building so residents and visitors can learn about the center's energy conservation features and the methods used to reduce its carbon footprint
SAP AG Sustainable Asset Lifecycle Management (SALM @SAP) Project seeks to optimize the lifecycle of IT assets and increase IT's sustainability through numerous initiatives, including installation of power management software on computers, use of asset management tool to eliminate unused or duplicate devices, and deployment of automated paperless ordering process
SmartDrive Systems Inc. SmartDrive Fuel Service combines technologies including video, mobile applications for drivers and a fuel management center to minimize fuel waste; fleet managers see how fleets are using fuel, where waste occurs, and where opportunities exist for fuel conservation
TellEmotion Inc. Greenlite Conservation-promoting products draw on best practices developed by computer scientists, graphic artists, sociologists, engineers, environmental scientists and psychologists; products such as animated polar bears link consumers' use of resources to their environmental impact to encourage conservation
The Energy Authority Hydroelectric Optimizer System Software creates virtual simulations of the Columbia River hydroelectric system and incorporates dynamic programming to generate feasible schedules with the highest economic value to the utility
The Hartford Paperless e-Commerce Initiative Project allows customers to view and download current and historical documents from their desktops and mobile devices; company representatives can also present and receive documents, including customer consent, electronically
Verne Global Dual-Sourced 100% Renewably Powered Data Center Data center campus in Iceland uses only renewable energy sources (hydroelectric and geothermal energy along with year-round free cooling) to provide an environmentally friendly, competitively priced option that leaves no carbon footprint

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