Posted by Dale Buss on May 1, 2013 10:34 AM
Three heavyweights of American industrialism were among those who spoke at a Fortune's Brainstorm Green conference, and they had a lot to say about what they're doing to make their companies more sustainable.
GM CEO Dan Akerson, Procter & Gamble CEO Bob McDonald, and General Mills CEO Kendall Powell each held forth at the sustainability-focused confab.
Akerson was the most newsworthy. He is genuinely fond of the Chevrolet Volt and will defend it against all comers, Akerson threw a potential trump card on the table against critics of GM's groundbreaking plug-in hybrid who believe it's way too expensive for whatever environmental benefits it yields, especially given all the federal-government subsidies it gets: The company plans a price cut of $7,000 to $10,000 on the "next generation" of the car and even plans for Volt "to be profitable," Akerson said.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 8, 2013 08:02 PM
Athletes expend a whole lot of energy all over the world. In a world that is desperate for ways to find new sources of sustainable energy, it seems like a no-brainer to try and capture some of that expenditure of energy and use it for good, such as the more than 350 UK gyms that are built to generate their own energy for lighting or the bike energy that helped power the laptops of Occupy Wall Street.
The Paris Marathon has now gotten into the act. More than 40,000 runners made their way through the City of Lights Sunday and every last one of them bounced across an 82-foot stretch of flexible tiles made of recycled truck tires on the Champs-Élysées that used high technology to store the energy generated by all that foot power into a few batteries. The tile maker, Pavegen Systems Ltd., says that “each footstep generates as much as 8 watts of kinetic energy, which is fed back to batteries that can charge display screens and electronic signs along the route,” according to RenewEconomy.com.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 11, 2013 12:57 PM
The United States is currently the world's largest market for genetically modified organisms (GMO)—foods including soy milk, soup and breakfast cereals (made with soybeans), corn and other biotech crops manipulated to make them more resistant to insects and pesticides.
The debate over GMO labeling for organisms genetically engineered by introducing changes into their DNA structure continues to grab the attention of consumers and brands, exacerbated by the November 2012 defeat of Prop 37, a mandatory labeling initiative introduced on the California ballot. Large corporations including PepsiCo and Monsanto spent millions of dollars against Prop 37 and it was defeated.
Now Whole Foods Market is picking up the gauntlet and committing to full GMO transparency. Whole Foods—which made the announcement at the Natural Products Expo West—has committed to labelling all products in its U.S. and Canadian stores that contain genetically modified organisms by 2018.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 7, 2013 06:46 PM
As many high-end brands show off their latest designs at New York Fashion Week, Greenpeace has a big message for the fashion world at large: It's time to clean up your act.
The latest from Greenpeace’s global Detox campaign is its “Fashion Duel,” with Italian actress Valeria Golino leading the charge for the industry to make environmental stewardship a priority in their operations.
The "duel" sets out to rate 15 Italian and French high-end luxury brands on three areas of the global supply chain — leather, pulp and paper and toxic water pollution — and highlights their differences in policy on toxic water pollution and deforestation.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 10, 2013 01:36 PM
“Plastics” may have been the career advice for The Graduate, but since the Sixties the mantra might be, "Plastic? Oh no! Banned" because the ever-expanding number of companies using them in products have come under fire for their impact on the environment.
The latest form of plastic to come under attack isn't about packaging, but the use of tiny pieces of plastic within products: the microbead, the tiny pellet found in personal care items produced by consumer packaged goods companies.
One CPG giant, Unilever, has now capitulated to environmental activists and agreed to stop using microbeads in its personal-care items, such as facial scrubs and toothpaste, following a social media protest involving Europe's Plastic Soup Foundation and its supporters.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on January 9, 2013 12:09 PM
Greenpeace has added Uniqlo to its list of global fashion brands and retailers signing its Detox pledge, making "a public commitment to eliminate all releases of hazardous chemicals throughout its entire global supply chain and products by 2020."
The commitment covers all Fast Retailing-owned brands — Uniqlo, Comptoir des Cotonniers, Princesse TamTam, GU and Theory — which together operate more than 2,000 stores. "Uniqlo recognises clean water as a critical global issue, and is proud to join Greenpeace in its campaign to eliminate hazardous chemical use," stated Yukihiro Nitta, Fast Retailing's executive in charge of social responsibility. The company also vowed to disclose discharge data from at least 80% of its global suppliers (including all their facilities) by the end of this year.
As the environmental group blogged, the Uniqlo deal "comes just a month after Zara, Mango, Esprit and Levi's announced similar individual commitments, responding to waves of pressure from activists and consumers around the world. Competitors in the fashion world including GAP, G-Star Raw and Calvin Klein are looking increasingly out of touch now that 12 of the world's top high street fashion brands have committed to Detox." Other Detox signatories include Adidas, C&A, H&M, Nike, Puma and M&S.
Posted by Dale Buss on January 9, 2013 11:13 AM
One of the grandest commitments made to alternative fuels is sputtering. GE is backing away from its ecomagination-spurred promise two years ago (see CEO Jeff Immelt's announcement above) to be the largest fleet buyer of electric vehicles by purchasing 25,000 of them by 2015, the largest single EV commitment to date.
Instead, GE has decided to include models powered by other fuels — natural-gas-powered pickups and propane-fueled vehicles — along with the 11,000 plug-in hybrids and all-electric cars it has purchased so far, mostly from GM and Ford, according to Bloomberg.
General Motors, however, says that it hasn't heard about any change by GE in its purchase plans for the Chevrolet Volt, the original plug-in hybrid that was included by name by Immelt in his November 2010 announcement.
"We've heard of no plans of anything changing," Alan Batey, GM's VP of U.S. sales, service, and global marketing and the company's interim CMO, told brandchannel. "We have a very strong relationship with [GE], and they've purchased lots of Volts."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 18, 2012 03:08 PM
Check out the trash collection area of any restaurant. The containers overflow with the remnants of packaging that once contained the food now found on the eatery’s tables and its customers' stomachs. More than 75 million tons of packaging waste found its way to landfills in the U.S. alone in 2010, Slate reports. A waste, but what's a person to do?
Help is on the way. Researchers are moving quickly toward creating edible packaging that consumers won’t have to throw away. A fast-food chain in Brazil, called Bob’s after founder (and tennis champ) Robert Falkenburg, wrapped its burgers in edible wrappers and encouraged its customers to just not bother unwrapping before eating during a one-day promotion earlier this month, AFP reports.
Bob’s — the country’s first fast-food chain, established in 1952 — was so successful at testing its edible packaging, at right, that not a single customer threw away the wrappings, according to PSFK. The Guardian, meanwhile, notes “two US companies (that) are currently vying to be the first to commercially exploit” this marketplace.Continue reading...