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Sustainable Business Insight Alert Archive

Have a look at some of our recent alerts. These give broad coverage of the industry - if you want something more specific create your own here.

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September 01, 2013, to September 15, 2013

Body Shop's Nutriganics Anti-Aging Products Receive Ecocert's Nod

Natural cosmetics retailer The Body Shop said its Nutriganics range of anti-aging products has been certified as organic by Ecocert, an international organization that promotes environment-friendly and socially responsible business activities. Made with organic ingredients, Nutriganics products offer a full skincare regime the company claims visibly improves the skin. Also, the company said the products come in packaging that features recycled materials.

Simple Modifications At Nestlé Factory In Spain Produce Major Water Savings

A Nestlé factory in La Penilla, Spain, that makes chocolate, confectionery, milk and infant formula was able to reduce its water use per ton of product by almost two thirds in less than 12 months, thanks to some simple modifications suggested by a team of engineers, environmental sustainability experts and the factory manager. The factory now efficiently regulates the amount of water flowing through the condensers of the milk evaporators, for example, leading to a reduction of more than one million cubic meters of water a year. The factory also installed three new cooling towers with a more efficient closed refrigeration loop system that recycles water.

Naturex Launches Sustainability Initiative

Naturex announced its sustainability initiative for its natural ingredients manufacturing operations. As part of the initiative, the company will consider the environmental impact of every stage of its manufacturing process, including research and development and new projects. It will also keep track of its global environmental performance by complying with the Global Reporting Initiative guidelines and reduce the volume of waste sent to landfill by expanding segregation, reuse, and recycling. Naturex also said it plans to expand its use of renewable energy sources and improve energy and treatment processes for waste water and greenhouse gas emissions. The company also pledged to support diversity of farms and agricultural areas.

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August 15, 2013, to September 01, 2013

Salmon Farms Commit To Sustainability By 2020

The World Wildlife Federation announced that 15 companies that represent 70 percent of global farmed salmon production – collectively known as the Global Salmon Initiative – have committed to having all of their production certified as sustainable by 2020. About 60 percent of salmon eaten today comes from salmon farms. The $5.4 billion industry generates two million metric tons of farmed salmon every year. The commitment to sustainability will help eliminate problems that plague salmon production: poorly managed farms that spread disease and parasites; overuse of chemicals and fish waste that affects ocean ecosystems; and the use of marine organisms for feed that impacts natural resources. The WWF says the commitment “will change aquaculture – and can have global ripple effects through the entire food industry”.

Walmart’s Dairy Suppliers Get Behind Company’s Sustainability Index

Food sustainability expert Cheryl Baldwin, Ph.D., believes Walmart – particular its Sustainability Index – is playing a major role in the awakening of the dairy supply chain in the U.S. to the benefits of sustainability. The Index – a set of category-specific questions about sustainability performance on key issues answered by suppliers twice each year – was developed by Walmart as part of its own efforts to achieve its broader sustainability goals. Dairy merchants were among the first of Walmart’s suppliers to begin using the Index in the fall of 2012. The 14 Index questions for dairy suppliers target key environmental hotspots: cow manure; the many inputs required to make feed; gases cows produce during digestion, etc. Walmart’s goal is to have 70 percent of its products using the Index by 2017.

Wegmans Food Markets Appoints Vice President Of Seafood Sustainability

Wegmans Food Markets appointed Carl Salamone as vice president of seafood sustainability as part of the retailer’s commitment to sustainable seafood. Dave Wagner has been promoted to succeed Salamone as vice president of seafood merchandising at the Rochester, New York-based retailer. Wegman’s sustainability manager Jason Wadsworth has handled the company’s sustainability efforts, including its carbon footprint, packaging, recycling, and sustainable sourcing. Family-owned Wegmans Food Market currently operates 81 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Massachusetts.

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August 01, 2013, to August 15, 2013

Kellogg Encourages Sustainable Rice Growing In Louisiana

The Kellogg Company, which uses a lot of medium grain rice in its products, has partnered with the Louisiana Rice Mill and Louisiana State University in an effort to help rice growers in that state use good agronomic methods, adopt sustainable growing practices and understand the connection between sustainability and profitability. The Kellogg Master Grower program also helps insure a continuous supply of rice for Kellogg foods, including Rice Krispies and Special K cereals, while driving environmental improvements in rice production, the company said.

Unilever Renews IT And Telecommunications Outsourcing Deal With BT

Unilever extended its communications and technology outsourcing contract with BT, the third time the deal has been extended since BT first won the first contract in November 2002. Unilever’s commitment to using BT’s lineup of managed services worldwide forms part of its efforts to expand its business, while reducing its environmental and social impact. Besides the delivery of an integrated network that includes voice, data, video, and mobility services for the company’s 173,000 employees in around 100 countries, BT will also provide collaborative services, such as audio-conferencing and videoconferencing.

Kitchen Composting Machines Help Australian Restaurants Deal With Food Waste Problem

Some restaurants in Melbourne, Australia, are experimenting with a novel approach to the foodservice food waste problem that they believe will save $5 million in waste collection a year. With the financial support of the Victoria government and a nonprofit foundation, the restaurants will be installing organic matter composting machines in restaurant kitchens. The machines made by Closed Loop decompose and homogenize food scraps in an aerobic environment using controlled temperatures, agitation and airflow. Volume and weight of organic waste is reduced by up to 90 per cent within 24 hours. The compost will be collected and delivered to city gardens; vegetables from those gardens will be sold back to the restaurateurs.

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July 15, 2013, to August 01, 2013

Canterbury Coffee Introduces 92% Biodegradable Single-Serve Coffee Cup

Richmond, British Columbia-based specialty coffee roaster Canterbury Coffee announced the OneCoffee, a single-serve coffee cup the company claims is 92 percent biodegradable. Reportedly similar to Keurig’s K-Cup but with 40 percent less plastic content, the cup is made of polylactic acid resin and is designed to break down in an industrial composting facility or landfill. Capable of being degraded in an anaerobic digester, the cup, however, requires moisture. Also, the company said it plans to replace the cup’s nylon filter, which is its only non-biodegradable component. In the United States, about 13 percent of consumers drink coffee from single-serve brewers compared with 4 percent in 2010.

Coca-Cola Launches Environment-Friendly Soft Drink In Argentina

Coca-Cola launched the Coca Cola Life soft drink product in Argentina. Sweetened with sugar and the natural no-calorie sweetener stevia, the new product comes with a green label. Packaged in the PlantBottle, which is made with 30 percent plant material and is fully recyclable, the new drink comes with 108 calories in a 600 milliliter bottle. Coca-Cola has yet to announce plans to launch in other markets the product, which follows the launch of a new bottle made of ice in Colombia.

Nestlé’s Nespresso Premium Coffee Unit Launches Sustainability Programs In Latin America, Africa

Nestlé’s premium coffee business unit has launched several socio-economic and environmental initiatives targeted at coffee-farming communities in Africa and Latin America from where it sources some of the Nespresso Grands Cru brand. The aim is to build on the success of the company’s 10-year-old AAA Sustainable Quality Program to secure high quality coffee and improve sustainable farming practices and enhance  farmer welfare .Nespresso says it will partner with local governments and a non-profit organization to improve coffee sustainability at farm level, while launching social development programs to support the welfare of farmers, their families and the wider community.

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July 01, 2013, to July 15, 2013

Tenth Indonesia Palm Oil Processing Plant Will Help Unilever Achieve Sustainability Goals

Unilever has broken ground on the construction of a Rp 1.4 trillion ($140.4 million) palm oil processing plant in the Sei Mangkei Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in North Sumatra (Indonesia), its tenth plant in the country. The new plant, expected to be fully operational in 2014, will be run by the PT Unilever Oleochemical Indonesia subsidiary. Unilever in 2010 set a goal of sourcing 100 percent of the palm sustainably by 2015. The target was reached in 2012. Company officials say the new plant will help Unilever achieve a new goal of purchasing all palm oil sustainably from certified, traceable sources by 2020.

Coca-Cola, Britvic, Other Soft Drink Companies Join UK's Industry Sustainability Initiative

UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs launched the Soft Drinks Sustainability Roadmap, with half of the country’s leading soft drink manufacturers and suppliers, such as Coca-Cola and Britvic, among its first partners. Aimed at reducing the soft drink industry’s environmental footprint, the study will also come up with recommendations on how to make the industry more environment-friendly. Based on analysis by consulting firm Best Foot Forward, the roadmap determined the country’s soft drink industry supply chain accounts for 4.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year. It also highlights the industry’s five key impacts on the environment, such as growing and processing of fruit and sugar and packaging materials.

Unilever Launches Rail-Enabled Green Express Sustainable Logistics Program

Unilever launched its Green Express sustainable logistics initiative as part of its efforts to reduce carbon emissions across its supply chain. As part of the program, Unilever will ship its products by rail instead of using the road network. With its initial stage launched in Italy, with the company’s Green Express train making its first ice cream delivery, the project is part of Unilever’s sustainable living plan.

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June 15, 2013, to July 01, 2013

Procter & Gamble Wants 20 Percent Of Hired Trucks Running On Natural Gas In North America

Procter & Gamble said it plans to convert up to 20 percent of its North American truck shipments to natural gas vehicles within two years from July 2013. By working with eight transportation carriers to meet this goal, will realize savings for the converted lanes and cut greenhouse gas emissions by almost 5,000 metric tons. During the initial phase of the initiative, seven percent of P&G’s for-hire transportation in North America will be converted to natural gas powered trucks. This will enable the company to use the trucks on routes that are much longer than the average route for the dedicated fleet model, while supporting the expansion of public natural gas refueling stations.

Burt's Bees Joins National Pollinator Week, Gives Away Wildflower Seed Packs

Burt's Bees announced it is giving away 85,000 bee-friendly wildflower seed packs through its web site as part of its participation in the 2013 National Pollinator Week. Also, the personal care company announced it intends to create 10,000 acres of healthy pollinator forage by 2020 using sustainable agriculture and pollinator forage projects funded by Burt's Bees Greater Good Foundation. Results of studies showed honeybee populations in the U.S. have been declining rapidly since 2006, due to various challenges, including poor nutrition. Last winter saw 31.1 percent of all colonies in the country affected by losses.

About A Quarter Of U.S. Consumers Buy Products From Eco-Friendly Companies, Study Shows

In the United States, 24 percent of consumers buy green products from environment-friendly companies, according to a study by marketing communications firm Shelton Group. These early adopters are affluent, generally the most loyal consumers, and are willing to pay more for the brands they trust. Data from the EcoPulse 2013 study labeled these consumers as "actives"; their purchasing decisions are made based on their values, which align with "social justice, equality and protecting the environment." Results of the survey also revealed consumers are concerned more about how companies manufacture their products than what they produce. One-third of respondents said a company's corporate social responsibility activities play a role in their purchasing decision; however, only 8 percent said they had actually bought a product based on nonprofit partnerships or donations.

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June 01, 2013, to June 15, 2013

Simple Green Launches Flagship Cleaning Product With New, More Environment-Friendly Packaging

Simple Green redesigned the packaging of its Concentrated Non-toxic All Purpose Cleaner environment-friendly cleaning product. Aimed at making the product more sustainable, the redesigned bottle includes a larger label and an ergonomic, easy-to-use shape the company claims helps prevent hand fatigue. Simple Green is the first company in the United States to adopt an advanced trigger spray technology developed by MeadWestVaco. Made from ingredients that include post-consumer recycled plastic, the bottle's new trigger lets users dispense the cleaner either as foam or the usual liquid spray.

Unilever Joins UAE Retailer To Promote Water Conservation And Waste Management In The Country

Unilever partnered with United Arab Emirates-based retailer Choithram to launch a campaign promoting water conservation and waste management. Aimed at providing consumers with water conservation and recycling tips, the campaign will also distribute 40,000 environment-friendly shopping bags across the retailer's 10 main branches across the Dubai and Abu Dhabi emirates. Also, the campaign offers to pay the monthly utility bill of 30 lucky shoppers. Unilever's participation in the campaign is part of the consumer goods company's Sustainable Living Plan, which aims to reduce the company's environmental impact by half by 2020. For its part, Choithram's sustainability efforts include reducing unnecessary packaging and installing energy-efficient refrigeration and lighting equipment.

Cargill Expands Sustainable Cocoa Lineup

Cargill announced its Gerkens, Peter's, Wilbur, and Veliche chocolate brands are now available with sustainability and fair-trading certification options, including UTZ Certified, Rainforest Alliance Certified, and Fairtrade certification. Part of the company's expansion of its sustainable cocoa product portfolio, the products highlight the company's commitment of support for sustainable cocoa and chocolate via its Cargill Cocoa Promise initiative. Also, as part of the initiative, Cargill is training farmers in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana and is likely to achieve its target of sourcing more than 100,000 tons of certified sustainable cocoa beans from Côte d'Ivoire by 2015.

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May 15, 2013, to June 01, 2013

Sephora Launches Cosmetics Collection, Will Donate Part Of Sales To Nonprofits

Cosmetics retailer Sephora launched the YOU + SEPHORA cosmetic collection to benefit the company's partner nonprofit organizations. Retailing at $20, the limited edition collection will be available from June 1, 2013, at the company's retail stores and on Sephora.com. Part of the retailer's Values Inside Out nonprofit initiative, the project will donate $13 for each bag sold in-store to the store's chosen charity, while bags sold online will benefit the American Heart Association. Each collection includes a cosmetics pouch, a mini lips gloss, gold glitter liquid eyeliner, and nail polish.

Henkel Joins Industry Event Promoting Sustainable Consumption

Henkel participated in the 2013 Efficient Consumer Response Europe Conference and Marketplace, an event for the consumer goods industry. Henkel contributed to the discussion aimed at how all stakeholders in the value chain can cooperate to promote sustainable consumption. Franz Speer, corporate director for industry affairs at Henkel's laundry and home care department, headed a forum which allowed participants, including Belgium-based retailer Colruyt, the Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production, and the International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products, to present their perspectives and initiatives on sustainability. For its part, Henkel shared the findings of its investigation into consumer purchasing behavior, which included interviewing about 30,000 consumers in 22 countries.

Nespresso Coffee Farmers In Colombia Have Higher Income And Productivity Levels, Study Shows

Coffee farmers who are participating in Nespresso's AAA Sustainable Quality Program in Colombia have better socio-economic conditions, including higher income, better living conditions, and enhanced farm productivity, according to a study by CRECE. Developed in partnership with the Rainforest Alliance, the program aims to produce high-quality green coffee while improving sustainable farming practices and helping promote the welfare of coffee farmers. Results of the study also showed program farmers have a net income more than 40 percent higher than those of farmers not participating in the program in 2011. Higher income lets coffee farmers invest in more fertilizers and resilient coffee varieties, the study also revealed.

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May 01, 2013, to May 15, 2013

Seventh Generation And Poet Koyczan Call For Toxin-Free Generation

Seventh Generation partnered with Canadian poet Shane Koyczan to launch a marketing campaign seeking to promote a toxin-free generation. Koyczan's composition, "A Poem for a Toxin-Free Generation," highlights the campaign described by the manufacturer of plant-based household cleaners and personal care products as a fight for the future of the planet. Seventh Generation also introduced seven tips on how to live a life that is more toxin free, which include opening all windows at least once a week and avoiding recycling receipts.

Johnson & Johnson Demands Stronger Sustainability And Human Rights Commitment From Suppliers

Johnson & Johnson said it plans to expand its sustainability and corporate social responsibility efforts. According to the company's 2012 Citizenship & Sustainability report, it aims to establish sustainability criteria and strengthen its human rights policies in dealing with its suppliers. With an annual spend of $30 billion on manufacturing supplies, Johnson & Johnson said 41 percent of its strategic suppliers had at least two sustainability goals as of December 2012. Also, 76 percent of purchasing professionals have been trained on human rights by the end of 2012, the report says.

WEC Recognizes Unilever's Sustainability Achievements, To Present Sustainability Gold Medal To Consumer Goods Giant

The World Environment Center said it will present the 2013 Gold Medal Award for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development to Unilever during the sustainability advocacy group's WEC Gold Medal Gala in Washington, D.C. Former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa p. Jackson will present the award, which recognizes the consumer goods company's sustainability efforts and achievements as represented by the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan. Unilever CEO Paul Polman said the award validates the company's "business model for sustainable, equitable growth."

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April 15, 2013, to May 01, 2013

Kimberly-Clark Professional Launches Recycling Program For Cleanroom Waste

Kimberly-Clark Professional launched the RightCycle large-scale recycling initiative for nontraditional cleanroom waste. Described by the company as a new level of recycling, the program aims to make it easy to recycle previously hard-to-recycle articles, such as cleanroom garments, gloves, hoods, boot covers, and hairnets. Items are placed in a RightCycle collection box or in client's own collection boxes. Filled boxes are collected by Kimberly-Clark Professional's recycling partner TerraCycle. Collected products are transformed into raw materials used in manufacture of ecology-friendly items, such as plastic Adirondack chairs and benches.

Unilever Recognizes Breakthrough Fuel's Contribution To Sustainability Efforts

Unilever honored Breakthrough Fuel with the Winning Through Innovation award during the consumer goods company's 2013 North American Partner to Win event in New York City. Recognizing the supply chain management and transportation energy consulting firm's contribution to Unilever's sustainability and cost saving efforts, the award highlights Breakthrough Fuel's role in the company's development and implementation of a fuel management initiative. Founded in 2004, Breakthrough Fuel has helped logistics companies manage more than 1.5 billion gallons of fuel, according to the company.

Unilever Agrees To Support Ubuntu Award For Sustainable Marketing

Unilever agreed to join Loeries in supporting the Ubuntu Award for sustainable marketing. Launched in 2010, the Ubuntu Award welcomes all brands in Africa and the Middle East. It recognizes the positive effects of brands on society and the environment. Entries must demonstrate a balance between corporate environment-friendliness and doing good business. As part of Unilever's partnership with Loeries, the consumer goods manufacturer will join the International Seminar of Creativity.
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