Emissions disclosure as a business virtue
Some companies are taking the plunge and submitting reports on how much carbon they emit.
Cupping their hands near holes drilled for cable routing, workers at the Boeing Company's four-acre data processing site near Seattle noticed this year that air used to keep the computers cool was seeping through floor openings.
Mindful of the company's drive to slash electricity consumption by 25%, they tucked insulation into holes there and at five similar sites. The resulting savings are projected at $55,000, or some 685,000 kWh of electricity a year.
Yet Boeing's goal is not just to save money. The hope is to keep pace with other companies that have joined in a vast global experiment in tracking the carbon dioxide emissions generated by industry.
Boeing and other enterprises are voluntarily doing what some might fiercely resist being forced to do: submitting detailed reports on how much they emit, largely through fossil fuel consumption, to a central clearinghouse.
The information flows to the Carbon Disclosure Project , a small nonprofit organization based in London that sifts through the numbers and generates snapshots by industry sectors in different nations.
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Annual Salary Survey
Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey