ICYMI: What will a smart city look like in 2050?

ICYMI (In Case You Missed It) is a regular feature on GreenBiz that tracks the latest news on corporate sustainability.

Dear readers: Where to begin this week? In honor of our just-concluded Convergence Paris, most of the highlights of this latest roundup focuses on all things smart, from green IT to the evolution of EVs to the smartest lake in the world. But also be sure to read to the end for the always-enjoyable odds 'n' sods, which this week includes items such as how to make big bucks helping cities prepare for climate change.

• The Cloud really is greener, part 1,000: Why yes, we are still talking about why cloud-based IT services are more efficient than individual company-run data centers. (For early takes on this, see Joel Makower from 2012, Marc Gunther from 2011, me from 2009 and so on.) In any event, the latest round of discussions involves a new report published by Microsoft Europe and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) that projects more than $2 billion in energy savings if 80 percent of public and private organizations in 11 countries (notably not including the US) switched to cloud-based email and other software solutions.

• What else you can do to green your IT: Aside from the seemingly inevitable migration to cloud-based services, companies still can do a large number of things to make their IT operations more efficient. In a new report published in the journal Nature this week, green IT apostle Jonathan Koomey and his co-authors lay out the basics of greening your data centers.

• Software for greener supply chains: In other GeSI news, the organization has just announced a partnership with EcoVadis to launch the Electronic Tool for Accountable Supply Chains (E-TASC) to help increase the visibility and accountability of human rights and environmental sustainability in IT supply chains.

• 3 percent for the planet: In other big-picture news, the WWF and CDP released a report suggesting that companies that invest 3 percent to 4 percent of their CAPEX in "low-risk, profitable carbon-reduction projects" not only would cut their emissions by about 3 percent per year, but also would save millions per year in expenses. HP, Coca-Cola and Sprint are among the companies that already have signed on to the 3 percent Challenge.

• What will a smart city look like in 2050? Autodesk's Emma Stewart describes the features of a smart, connected city at mid-century, but only if we start doing things right -- and quickly.

• From EV maker to battery maker: An obvious hurdle that EVs need to surmount is the battery life/range anxiety issue -- note the hoopla about Tesla's 90-second battery swap, for example. So it's interesting to see failed automaker CODA resurrecting itself as an energy storage company, focused on smart grid and smart building batteries. Maybe, if they're more successful this time around, an automobile spinoff will be in the offing...

Next page: IBM's plans for a "smart lake", and the much-anticipated Odds 'n' Sods

Travelers photo by Dinga on Shutterstock.