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Period: December 15, 2013 to February 15, 2014
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends

Bamboo May Find A Place In Kimberly-Clark’s Fiber Sourcing Plan

A study commissioned by Kimberly-Clark has determined that using bamboo to make paper products would have a smaller environmental impact than northern softwood tree species because it regenerates so quickly. The life-cycle assessment shows that bamboo could fit in well with the company’s sourcing strategy as an alternative fiber. Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology assessed the environmental impacts of Northern Bleached Softwood Kraft fiber, recycled waste fiber, bamboo, wheat straw, giant cane Arundo donax and kenaf. Bamboo was found to have less impact on land use because it regenerates in three years, instead of the 70 years needed for softwood trees.

"Kimberly-Clark Study Pinpoints Bamboo as Possible Alternative Fiber", Environmental Leader, February 05, 2014

P&G Technical Innovation Leads To Safer Hair Dyes

P&G says one of its technological innovations will have “far-reaching benefits” for consumers of hair coloring products. The ME+ molecule is an advancement that reduces the risk of severe allergic reactions to hair dyes. According to the company, its research and modeling techniques led to an alteration in the molecular structure of the long-used pPD molecule to become the ME+ molecule, combining color performance and reduction in the risk of allergy. Colorists, hairdressers and technical experts who have tested ME+ say it provides permanent gray coverage and color intensity.

"Take a Closer Look at 3 Exciting Behind-the Scenes Innovations", News release, Procter & Gamble, January 31, 2014

Many Large Palm Oil Producers Fall Short Of Sustainability Goals

The Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) has published a report – and produced a short film – showing that big palm oil producers are failing to reach their sustainability targets. Though palm oil buyers – retailers, food companies and consumer goods producers – are using more sustainable palm oil, they are still not using enough to support responsible growers. Of 130 buyers polled by WWF, less than half purchase palm oil that meets social and environmental standards set by the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). Thirty-one percent have made “only vague commitments to buying sustainable palm oil or none whatsoever”. The result is a glut of uncertified palm oil on the market, and not much progress toward protecting rain forests and endangered species like the orangutan.

"Palm oil: WWF name and shame top global buyers", Guardian Professional, January 28, 2014

Though A Debatable Issue, Whole Foods To Ban Use Of Sludge-Based Fertilizers By Its Growers

The safety of sludge (AKA biosolids) – the byproduct of processing municipal waste, including human body waste – as a fertilizer is a debatable issue. But Whole Foods Market, perhaps influenced by anti-sludge activists, has decided it’s definitely bad for customers, and for business. Anti-sludgists say biosolids are loaded with heavy metals and pharmaceuticals that render fertilizers toxic and dangerous. Scientists who have studied biosolids, however, disagree, saying they offer big environmental benefits. At any rate, a new produce rating system being launched by Whole Foods in September will bar its growers from using biosolids. The company acknowledges that none currently use the stuff on their fields.

"Whole Foods Bans Produce Grown With Sludge. But Who Wins?", Report, NPR, January 21, 2014

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