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Winter Journal

Volume 28, Issue 1

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Jon Seals



DENVER, Colo. – ViaWest, the leading colocation, managed services, and cloud provider in North America, announces the availability of its Compark data center, located in the Denver Technology Center near southeast Denver.  This highly redundant facility, boasts not only fault-tolerant design, but also high-density configurations supporting 700+ watts per square foot. 

With a suite of managed and cloud services, Compark helps enterprises, technology firms and start-ups power business in a very secure, reliable environment – often too complex and cost-prohibitive for companies to duplicate themselves.

“As our fifth data center in the Denver area and 27th across the U.S., Compark was built to support mission critical infrastructures that require high reliability,” states Margie Sims, Regional Vice President of Sales & General Manager for ViaWest. “We have seen demand from not only Colorado-based companies, but businesses nationwide, for high quality, secure colocation and cloud infrastructure services. Our customers continue to count on us for production and disaster recovery environments and we are pleased to add Compark to our fleet in order to support their ever-changing business needs.”

“ViaWest’s new Denver data center opening is emblematic of the strong technology growth we are seeing throughout the region,” comments, Erik Mitisek, CEO for Colorado Technology Association.  “By establishing another state-of-the-art data center in the region, ViaWest continues its leadership in serving Colorado communities and driving innovation throughout the business marketplace.  The Colorado Technology Association shares this same passion, and our state's diverse ecosystem of organizations is pushing the technology envelope through education, community involvement, technological advancements and in powering business.”

The Compark facility encompasses over 140,000 square feet of raised floor space and offers the following features:

  • 29 MW redundant, fault tolerant diesel power generation capacity
  • 18 MW redundant, fault tolerant UPS capacity
  • 100% uptime Service Level Agreement for power, bandwidth and network services
  • 100% customer satisfaction guaranteed

The data center also is marked by an unprecedented Projected Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) rating of 1.2, which is an industry-wide measurement of a facility’s overall efficiency. In addition, ViaWest has in-house experts to help companies navigate complexities of compliance, and as such designed Compark to meet multiple regulations including SSAE 16 and ISAE 3402 Service Organization Control (SOC) 1 Type II, SOC 2 Type II and SOC 3 reports.

To learn more about ViaWest’s data center, cloud services, managed services, and disaster recovery solutions, please visit www.viawest.com.

The latest version of the Citicus ONE risk and compliance management tool provides a unique capability to triage information systems and other assets, enabling users to specify and prioritize further risk management activities.

The triage approach builds on Citicus ONE’s popular method of assessing criticality of assets and combines this with user-specified parameters to assign assets to different triage levels. The assigned triage level can then be used by Citicus ONE to automate the risk management disciplines and actions appropriate for each asset.

This major new feature adds to other governance, risk and compliance capabilities recently introduced by Citicus into its award-winning software, including:

  • Extensive e-mail-integrated workflow capabilities automating key parts of the risk management lifecycle
  • Interactive risk and compliance reports proving decision makers at all levels with the information and metrics they need to manage risk down
  • A user interface that slashes the learning curve for new and infrequent participants in the risk and compliance management process
  • New specialized control standards including PCI-DSS V3.0, COBIT 5, ISO27001:2013 and the Information Security Forum Standard of Good Practice 2013.

The new capabilities are also available in Citicus’ software for risk management of industrial control systems physical sites, suppliers and other asset classes.

Sian Alcock, Director responsible for software delivery at Citicus says,

“Our new software release delivers capabilities that are hot buttons for our customers. Efficiency of the risk management process is always an important issue, but particularly so in time of severe resource constraints. The ability of Citicus ONE to help organizations prioritize activities in line with objective assessment of risk is a major contribution to reducing the increasing costs of compliance and risk initiatives.”

About Citicus

Citicus Limited has been providing world-class automated risk management tools since 2000. Its flagship software – Citicus ONE - has been implemented in public and private sector enterprises of all sizes around the world. Citicus also provides training and consulting services to help customers implement their governance, risk and compliance initiatives successfully.

Thursday, 17 July 2014 14:16

US Adopts ISO 22301 As National Standard

ISO 22301 Now Included as Part of Private Sector Preparedness (PS-Prep)


PS-Prep program standards provide a comprehensive management systems approach to organizational resilience, and include guidelines that equip decision makers with key processes to improve their organization's ability to maintain operations during and after an emergency or disaster.   

These standards provide realistic guidelines that support the growing importance of business continuity, crisis management, emergency management, and related activities for private sector preparedness.  

As guidelines for private sector preparedness and organizational resilience evolve, standards development organizations periodically revise existing standards, develop new standards, and retire obsolete standards.  PS-Prep ensures its program incorporates the latest versions of these standards.

The PS-Prep program therefore announces changes to its list of adopted standards that serve as its foundation.  In accordance with Department of Homeland Security Directive 078-01, "Adoption and Maintenance of the Department of Homeland Security National Standards," the PS-Prep program will retire  standards that are no longer current  and adopt updated industry standards to replace them.

Two of the previously adopted PS-Prep standards have been retired by the standards development organizations that originally developed them.  The retired standards are:

  1. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1600: Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs, 2007 and 2010 editions.
  2. British Standard (BS) Institution 25999-2:2007 Business continuity management Part 2: Specification.

PS-Prep adopted standards now reflect those changes.  In summary, the PS-Prep program's adopted standards list, and the changes to it, follow.

  1. NFPA 1600: Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs, 2013 edition replaces the 2007 and 2010 editions.
  2. International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 22301:2012: Societal security -- Business continuity management systems --- Requirements replaces BS 25999-2:2007.
  3. ASIS International SPC.1-2009, Organizational Resilience:  Security, Preparedness and Continuity Management Systems - Requirements with Guidance for Use Standards.

PS-Prep program information and references will be updated to reflect these changes.  Since the standards that address the private sector's preparedness and organizational resilience

guidelines are expected to advance and grow, PS-Prep anticipates future changes to its foundational standards.   As presented here, similar announcements of all PS-Prep program standards changes will be made as they occur.  For more information click here.

Cloud Spectator finds dramatically higher throughput, lower latency and better price-performance for real-time big data running Aerospike’s in-memory NoSQL database on Internap compared with Amazon Web Services and Rackspace

ATLANTA – Internap Network Services Corporation (NASDAQ: INAP), a provider of high-performance Internet infrastructure services, and Aerospike, provider of a flash-optimized, in-memory NoSQL database, today announced the results of a Cloud Spectator report, “Performance Analysis: Benchmarking a NoSQL Database on Bare-Metal and Virtualized Public Cloud.” The report demonstrated substantial performance and price advantages for “fast big data” workloads when running Aerospike’s NoSQL database on Internap’s bare-metal servers compared to popular, high-performance virtual public cloud configurations for Amazon Web Services (AWS) Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Rackspace Performance Cloud Servers.

“Due to the on-demand capacity and elasticity of public cloud infrastructure, many organizations using NoSQL databases for the real-time collection and analysis of massive amounts of data have opted to host their environments in public clouds,” said Danny Gee, CIO at Cloud Spectator. “However, our benchmark tests suggest that these types of environments can benefit from price/performance advantages when running on bare-metal infrastructure.”

Key Findings:

To quantify the performance differential of running AeroSpike’s in-memory NoSQL database on bare-metal and virtual cloud infrastructure, Cloud Spectator conducted throughput speed and latency benchmark tests for three different types of workloads on Internap’s bare-metal servers and AWS EC2 I2 class and Rackspace Performance Cloud Servers virtual instances. Key findings include:

  1. Loading Data Workload – This analysis tested “write” speed when loading data into the database, similar to new users populating their account information into a website. Internap outperformed Rackspace by 5x and Amazon by 51 percent on throughput speed. Internap had 77 percent less latency than Rackspace and 56 percent less latency than Amazon.
  2. Balanced Workload – This analysis tested a balance of 50 percent database “reads” and 50 percent updates, simulating the activity of an active ecommerce user and corresponding personalization of digital advertising based on that activity. On throughput speed, Internap outperformed Rackspace by 2.7x and Amazon by 50 percent. Internap had 59 percent less latency than Amazon and 32 percent less latency than Rackspace.
  3. Read-Heavy Workload –The read-intensive workload, which is associated with applications like content tagging, featured 95 percent “reads” and 5 percent updates. On throughput speed, Internap outperformed Rackspace by 2.5x and Amazon by 61 percent. Internap had 51 percent less latency than Amazon and 48 percent less latency than Rackspace.

Cloud Spectator’s report also revealed that running Aerospike’s in-memory NoSQL database on Internap’s bare-metal servers offered significantly better value than the Amazon I2 or Rackspace virtual public cloud configurations. The equivalent monthly price of hosting Aerospike’s database on Internap’s bare-metal servers was at least 78 percent less expensive than doing so on Amazon I2 or Rackspace Performance Servers. On a comparative hourly basis, the Internap bare-metal servers were 69 percent less. The CloudSpecs Score1 measurements for this study, which compare the infrastructure value based on both price and performance variables, showed that Internap achieved a score between six and twelve times greater than Amazon or Rackspace depending on the workload and performance measurement.

Big Data Growth Drives Demand for High-Performance Infrastructure:

“The ability to rapidly and cost-effectively manage huge amounts of data has become indispensable for companies delivering applications over the Internet. These companies seek not only faster database applications for analyzing massive user pools, but also more robust Internet infrastructure,” said Christian Primeau, senior vice president and general manager, cloud and hosting, at Internap. “Internap’s bare-metal solutions offer unmatched performance and value advantages for running applications like Aerospike’s in-memory NoSQL database when compared to popular large-scale public clouds, allowing companies to gather and analyze data more effectively and efficiently than ever before.”

According to Research and Markets recent report, “The Big Data Market 2014-2020: Opportunities, Challenges, Strategies, Industry Verticals and Forecasts,” big data investments will account for nearly $30 billion in 2014, and are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 17 percent over the next six years. As organizations across industries increasingly use NoSQL databases to store, retrieve and analyze massive amounts of data, performance issues can arise due to processing overhead created by the introduction of a hypervisor layer and numerous tenants and tasks competing for shared resources on a virtualized public cloud. Bare-metal cloud environments, which feature the agility of a traditional virtual public cloud, run without the overhead of a hypervisor layer and – since the entire physical server is dedicated to a single user – eliminate resource syphoning that can impact multi-tenant environments. 

“The Aerospike flash-optimized, in-memory NoSQL database delivers unparalleled performance and reliability, and we want to ensure that our customers are informed about the impact of Internet infrastructure and which types of infrastructure offer the best performance and value for our solution,” said Brian Bulkowski, Aerospike founder and CTO. “The Cloud Spectator benchmarks highlight the advantages bare-metal environments can provide over virtualized public clouds for the performance- and data-intensive workloads our customers run.”

Supporting Resources:

Tweet this news: http://ow.ly/zcUqm


About Internap

Internap is the high-performance Internet infrastructure provider that powers the applications shaping the way we live, work and play. Our hybrid infrastructure delivers performance without compromise – blending virtual and bare-metal cloud, hosting and colocation services across a global network of data centers, optimized from the application to the end user and backed by rock-solid customer support and a 100% uptime guarantee. Since 1996, the most innovative companies have relied on Internap to make their applications faster and more scalable. For more information, visit www.internap.com.


About Aerospike

Aerospike is the open source front-edge database powering a new generation of interactive, real-time Web and mobile applications that operate at global scale. It is the first flash-optimized, in-memory NoSQL database to combine transactions and "hot" analytics with strong ACID consistency and enterprise-grade reliability. Purpose-built to make scaling easy and affordable, it enables all developers to take advantage of predictable, sub-millisecond latency for distributed caching, session management, user profile, and key value store use cases. In production non-stop for nearly four years, Aerospike is deployed at real-time big data companies like AppNexus, eXelate, Chango and [x+1]. Aerospike is headquartered in Silicon Valley. Investors include New Enterprise Associates, Columbus Nova Technology Partners, Alsop Louie, and Draper Associates. Download the open source Aerospike Community Edition at www.aerospike.com, and follow @aerospikedb.

Alert Logic Log, IDS and WAF security solutions all now available for annual subscription

HOUSTON –– Alert Logic, a leading provider of Security-as-a-Service (SaaS) for the cloud and an advanced-tier member of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partner Network, today announced the addition of Alert Logic Log Manager to AWS Marketplace, making the entire suite of Alert Logic SaaS security solutions available via AWS Marketplace. Alert Logic Log Manager on AWS Marketplace allows customers to quickly provision comprehensive log management for their AWS environments, while having the simplified benefit of billing the solution to their AWS account. In addition, Alert Logic Log Manager, Alert Logic Threat Manager and Alert Logic Web Security Manager are now eligible for the new annual subscription feature on AWS Marketplace.

Alert Logic Log Manager benefits include:

·         Reduced time to audit-readiness with pre-built and automated compliance reports, saving time and money while reducing complexity. 

·         Unlimited, scalable real-time data collection to accommodate a company's growing and changing AWS environment.

·         Delivered "as-a-Service" so IT departments don't have to focus on managing the storage, compute and software required for 24 x 7 availability.

Along with this new product availability, Alert Logic's full suite of SaaS solutions will now be eligible for AWS Marketplace annual subscription billing. This new billing option gives customers the choice of a yearly pricing structure to simplify the purchasing of the product, while also providing an annual discount to the traditional monthly billing pricing.

"We are excited to have Alert Logic offer their software with annual pricing on AWS Marketplace," said Terry Hanold, Vice President, Cloud Commerce, Amazon Web Services, Inc. "With Alert Logic's full suite of SaaS solutions available on both hourly and annual pricing, customers can quickly launch new initiatives without large up-front costs, while taking advantage of material savings for steady-state, long-term workloads."

The complete suite of Alert Logic solutions provides a unique set of benefits to the customer, including:

·         Deep insights into security via Alert Logic's SaaS-based big-data analytics and correlation engine, global threat visibility and security research focused on emerging threats and security best practices.

·         Continuous protection across the application stack via a 24x7 Security Operations Center that analyzes, escalates and works with customers to remediate threats with actionable intelligence.

·         Cloud-based delivery model—no hardware or software for the customer to manage and a flexible op-ex based licensing model.


"Alert Logic Log Manager availability on AWS Marketplace, coupled with the new annual billing option for all Alert Logic solutions, is another step forward in our commitment to provide enterprise-grade security solutions for AWS Cloud users," said Gray Hall, CEO of Alert Logic. "Users can help further secure their AWS environments with just a few clicks, without taxing their environments or depleting their resources."

More information about Alert Logic Threat Manager, Alert Logic Web Security Manager and Alert Logic Log Manager for the Amazon Web Services Marketplace is available here.

Additional Resources Available:
@alertlogic on Twitter

About Alert Logic

Alert Logic, the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, provides solutions to secure the application and infrastructure stack. By integrating advanced security tools with 24×7 Security Operations Center expertise, customers can defend against security threats and address compliance mandates. By leveraging an "as-a-Service" delivery model, Alert Logic solutions include day-to-day management of security infrastructure, security experts translating complex data into actionable insight, and flexible deployment options to address customer security needs in any computing environment. Built from the ground up to address the unique challenges of public and private cloud environments, Alert Logic partners with over half of the largest cloud and hosting service providers to provide Security-as-a-Service solutions for business application deployments for over 2,500 enterprises. Alert Logic is based in Houston, Texas, and was founded in 2002. For more information, please visitwww.alertlogic.com.

Migration to Cloud Enables Agility At All Levels Within the Company

DENVER, Colo.Peak® (formerly PeakColo), an enterprise-class IaaS Cloud provider for channel partners, announces that its proven cloud computing platform is serving as the secure foundation for DirectBuy, a leading national members-only furniture showroom.  Through its 100% channel focused model, Peak enables service providers such as Komodo Cloud LLC, to white-label Peak’s cloud and offers their own robust cloud practice for end-user clients. 

True to Peak’s unique channel model, Komodo Cloud’s expert team in turn helped DirectBuy migrate from a traditional colocation environment to a 100% cloud operation, allowing DirectBuy greater control and elasticity for its hundreds of franchisee and franchise owners.  In doing so, DirectBuy realized $3.6M in CAPEX avoidance and a 100% reduction in infrastructure related problem tickets in less than six months. As a 43-year old company representing over 700 manufacturers, 100 franchise locations and one million products, DirectBuy’s core business relies heavily on its ecommerce web site.

“CIOs today are constantly looking at ways to leverage technology to increase efficiencies, capabilities and to better serve their company’s client base,” states Armin Roesler, CIO for DirectBuy.  “By ensuring that DirectBuy is partnering with the right service providers, such as Komodo Cloud and Peak, we can effectively lead the strategic transformation of our business.  Thanks to Komodo Cloud and their strong relationship with Peak, we experienced a seamless and quick migration to the cloud, which enabled DirectBuy to deliver new service offerings, new memberships, and increase our agility and flexibility at all levels throughout the company.”

DirectBuy had a tight implementation timeline of 60 days, however by leveraging Peak’s patented Layer 2 dedicated network connections, which allows DirectBuy to use its existing network ‘as-is’, Komodo easily migrated and implemented the new environment on-time and on budget.  DirectBuy has realized numerous benefits by placing its production workloads in Komodo Cloud, powered by Peak, including:

  • $3.6M reduction in IT operating expenses
  • 5x improvement on website responsiveness and performance
  • Establishment of best practices to use across each department
  • Instant 40% reduction in IT costs
  • 100% reduction in infrastructure problem tickets, thus improving customer experiences
  • 80% reduction in time to market, which drastically increases business agility
  • Achievement of PCI compliance

“Serving such a wide variety of agents, resellers, distributors and VARs, Peak manages cloud infrastructure in eight geographies  – ensuring a 100% available platform atop which partners layer their unique services,” says Luke Norris , CEO and Founder of Peak. “With Peak managing the platform, partners are free to focus on their core business. Technically astute partners such as Komodo leverage our capabilities where they are needed, complimenting their core expertise. Our close collaboration ensures that Komodo’s customer issues are resolved and improvements are made throughout many levels of their clients’ organizations.”

“Our strong relationship with Peak was invaluable to us in helping move DirectBuy to a virtual environment,” states Eric Hughes, CEO for Komodo Cloud.  “Because we were in lock step with the Peak team, from management to migration, we were able to extend a secure, fast pathway to DirectBuy to migrate its applications and IT environment to the cloud – vastly accelerating a process that would normally take six months.”

For more information about Peak’s white-label cloud program, please contact sales@poweredbypeak.com or visit http://www.poweredbypeak.com

Deployment of Cold Aisle Containment Technology Reduces Energy Usage and Optimizes Equipment Performance

NEW YORKNYI, a New York company specializing in customized technology infrastructure solutions, announces today the deployment of Cold Aisle Containment (CAC) technology to its US data center facilities. As part of an initiative to implement the latest energy efficiency technologies, NYI is working closely with The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), sharing the state agency’s mission of exploring innovative energy solutions in ways that improve New York's economy and environment. NYI’s CAC deployment is made possible through its partner, Subzero Engineering, a designer, manufacturer, and installer of custom, intelligent containment systems and products for data centers, worldwide.

Data Center Cold Aisle Containment fully separates the cold supply airflow from the hot equipment exhaust air. This simple separation creates a uniform and predictable supply temperature to the intake of IT equipment and a warmer, drier return air to the AC coil. Hot aisle and cold aisle containment are primary ways today’s leading businesses, like NYI, help reduce the use of energy and optimize equipment performance within their data centers.

“By adopting Cold Aisle Containment, NYI is increasing air efficiencies within its facilities, thereby translating to increased uptimes, longer hardware life and valuable cost and energy savings for NYI customers,” comments Lloyd Mainers, Engineer for Subzero Engineering. “Through efficiency, CAC also allows for the availability of additional capacity and increased load density, paving the way for higher density customer deployments.”

“When it comes to data center capacity, NYI is constantly monitoring our power density levels to ensure that we are spreading the capacity throughout our data centers most efficiently and decreasing our effect on the environment,” adds Mark Ward, Director of Business Development of NYI. “Cold Aisle Containment helps us to attain that level of efficiency, and not to mention, there are several government and cash incentives for incorporating it into our facilities. Above all, our customers benefit in that their equipment is cooled more effectively, reducing strain on the equipment’s own cooling mechanism and extending the lifespan of their servers.”

NYI Cold Aisle Containment Benefits include:

  • Predictable, reliable, and consistent temperature to IT equipment at any point inside the aisle
  • One (1) degree temperature difference from top to bottom
  • Double or triple kW per rack
  • Reduced white space requirements through optimized server racks
  • Average of 30% energy cost savings
  • Consistent, acceptable supply to IT intake
  • Leaves more power available for IT equipment; increased equipment uptime
  • Longer hardware life
  • Increased fault tolerance (i.e. HVAC units that were required to achieve certain temperature goals are now redundant.)
  • US Department of Energy recommended

A strong leader in the data center sector for more than 18 years, NYI is continuously focused on innovation and enhancing infrastructure services to benefit its clients. The CAC deployment to NYI’s data centers represents NYI’s commitment to its customers – through energy and cost savings – and the environment as a whole.

NYI’s highly secure, state-of-the-art data centers are located in New York, New Jersey, Seattle and Los Angeles and offer colocation, cloud computing and managed services engineered with best-in-breed technology.

For more information about NYI and Cold Aisle Containment, visit http://www.nyi.net/facilities.

LONDON, UK – Steria, a leading provider of IT-enabled business services, announced today that it has renewed its contract with Tesco to support and develop the retail giant’s mission-critical IT services, including distribution, stock replenishment, product, pricing and payroll systems. The application management and development contract will run for a further three years.

The contract has been renewed due to Steria’s proven results in maintaining and enhancing Tesco’s core IT operations through delivery excellence, use of offshore services and improvements in productivity. Steria will continue to develop and support Tesco’s mission-critical distribution and replenishment systems, which deliver stock, including fresh produce, into shops and into the hands of customers every day. These are the systems that sit at the very heart of the UK’s market leading retailer’s operations.

Steria’s experts work in close collaboration with Tesco staff. Over the years the experienced Steria team has not only built up unparalleled knowledge of these core retail systems in order to ensure delivery excellence from both their onshore and offshore teams, they have also delivered productivity improvements and operational savings for Tesco.

Chris Evans, the IT Director previously in charge of Supply Chain and Distribution at Tesco, and now heading the company’s Marketing IT team said, “We view Steria’s staff as an extension of our team, as they work so closely with our employees on a day-to-day basis. Steria has delivered impressive results, consistently over many years. We look forward to continuing to work closely together in future to deliver further improvements that help Tesco to stay at the forefront of retail in the UK.”

Adam Trott, Head of Retail at Steria Limited, said, “This contract renewal is an excellent example of Steria’s long term trusted partnerships. Our track record of reliability is second to none and thus Tesco is confident that their IT systems can support them effectively in the fast moving world of retail.”

CAMBRIDGE, UK – CRedit360 (www.credit360.com) has become the first software provider to achieve G4 reporting certification in German by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). A long-established GRI technology partner, CRedit360's award-winning sustainability software solution is already GRI-certified in English and Brazilian Portuguese.

With its GRI G4 certification in German, CRedit360 meets the growing demand for sustainability software solutions among businesses in Germany, Austria and Switzerland (the DACH countries). Using the CRedit360 solution also helps companies to prepare for the EU reporting requirements recently made mandatory for companies with more than 500 employees.

"Our recent G4 certification in German underpins our engagement in helping progressive German-speaking companies meet the GRI's exacting reporting standards and improve their sustainability performance," says Elisabeth Huber, CRedit360 Business Development Manager, DACH region. "It also shows our ambition to deliver first-class solutions to our customers."

The CRedit360 system was independently tested by GRI analysts, who confirmed its technical capabilities and suitability for robust, transparent reporting. In addition to being the only software solution to have achieved German language G4 certification, the system offers streamlined data collection as well as new and more accessible reporting formats.

Diana Wicht, Corporate Responsibility Manager, McDonald's Deutschland appreciates the certification: "As we make the move to G4 reporting, it's great to see a partner like CRedit360 offering a German language option at an early stage. The company's GRI G4 German language certification will be helpful to German-speaking companies keen to prepare the ground for a smooth transition to G4 reporting."

Using the CRedit360 solution, companies can collect relevant information for GRI reporting from multiple stakeholders and benefit from the efficiency offered by integrating the GRI reporting framework within their existing enterprise data management system.

"Our G4 certification gives companies peace of mind that they can trust our system to meet their data management needs as they gear up for G4 reporting," explains Mark Shields, Managing Director, CRedit360. "Data integrity will only become more important in this equation, as businesses complete ever-more rigorous analysis of performance against key material issues."

Spotlight on G4 reporting changes
Companies reporting to the new G4 standard will note an increased focus on materiality and a greater emphasis on measuring the social and environmental impacts of their entire value chain. The GRI advises conducting a materiality assessment to identify the sustainability issues that most affect a company and its stakeholders (including aspects that may not be under its direct control), with a view to focusing the report precisely on these issues. Companies will need to be explicit about the process they followed to determine their material issues.

The GRI's push for more concise, complete and relevant reporting has also seen a change in report structure. The different A/B/C application levels used to categorise G3.1 reports have been replaced with two options: Core and Comprehensive. For every ‘aspect' deemed material, the Core option requires organisations to report progress against at least one indicator, while the Comprehensive option requires progress against all indicators to be disclosed. This is intended to help companies maintain a strict focus on material issues and allay concerns that firms may be opting to report against indicators that position their performance in the best possible light.

Finally, companies will now provide details of any external assurance within their report rather than adding a ‘+' to the application level to indicate that it has been externally assured. GRI now requires an explanation of the assurance scope on a line-by-line basis, which should make it easier for readers to determine which aspects have been assured. The GRI still recommends that companies seek external assurance (although it does not prescribe it).

About CRedit360
CRedit360 helps companies to accurately capture, manage and analyse environmental, safety, supplier and social data; providing a 360-degree view on their sustainability performance. The modular web-based platform allows clients to seamlessly integrate all aspects of EHS and sustainability data management across multiple regions and business units, and rapidly share results with employees and external stakeholders.

Founded in 2002, CRedit360 has over 175 customers including Philips, HEINEKEN, Staples and McDonald's. The company is headquartered in Cambridge, UK, with offices in the USA, Australia and Hong Kong. CRedit360 was recently named as a leader in both the Verdantix 2014 Green Quadrant Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S) Software report and the Verdantix 2013 Green Quadrant Sustainability Management Software report introducing sustainability innovation into EHS management.

For further information, please visit www.credit360.com

Wednesday, 16 July 2014 13:44

Typhoon Rammasun heads for Manila

According to catastrophe modelling firm AIR Worldwide, with sustained winds of 157 km/h (~98 mph), Typhoon Rammasun made landfall in the Philippine province of Sorsogon July 15, late afternoon local time, and headed toward Manila. Although smaller and much less intense than deadly and highly destructive Super Typhoon Haiyan – which devastated parts of the Philippines in November 2013 – Typhoon Rammasun nonetheless prompted sizable evacuations and resulted in some disruption of transportation, as well as school and office closings. Widespread damage is not expected, but some areas could experience storm surge flooding, flash flooding, and/or mud slides, as well as wind damage.

“Rammasun rapidly intensified in the 12-hour period prior to landfall, with its central pressure decreasing from 975 to 945 mb and maximum sustained wind speeds increasing from 120 to 157 km/h (~75 to ~98 mph), according to JMA intensity estimates,” said Dr Kevin Hill, senior scientist at AIR Worldwide. “At landfall, Rammasun featured the well-defined eye and symmetric eyewall, indicative of a strong typhoon. Rammasun is not a significant threat to areas affected by Typhoon Haiyan (2013).”

Typhoon and flood damage are usually covered together in the Philippines and are given under separate fire policies with named perils extensions. Insurance penetration varies by region. Typhoon Rammasun will affect some densely populated and urban areas, including Manila, where insurance penetration for residential lines would be around 5-10%, 25-30% for commercial/industrial. Still, given that insurance penetration in this area is around 10% to 20%, insured losses are not expected to be significant as a result of this typhoon.