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Period: April 15, 2016 to May 1, 2016
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

Turning Used Coffee Grounds Into Gold

A former British architecture student has found a way to turn used coffee grounds into flammable bricks that can be used as fuel for wood-burning stoves, at the same time reducing food waste. The technology involves removing the oil from the grounds – collected from coffee shops, retailers, airports and coffee factories – then compacting them. The coffee bricks then burn without any coffee aroma. So far, Bio-bean has dealt with companies that spend a lot of money to transport and then dump the used grounds in landfills. The company picks up the waste grounds, processes them, and sells them back to their clients as cheap fuel. Bio-bean feels consumers will also save a lot of money burning coffee ground briquettes rather than conventional charcoal, wood, or coal.

"This fuel made from old coffee will launch in the summer, at half the price of wood", The Telegraph, April 11, 2016

Start-Up Gets Venture Cash It Needs To Market Its Food Waste Solution

A Redmond, Wash.-based start-up has raised more cash in a third financing round, bringing the total to $30 million, to support further development and marketing of a machine that reduces food waste by turning unsold and scrap food into a useful product. WISErg's machine, called the Harvester, is used by food stores to dispose of food waste. Customers include Whole Foods Market, Costco and PCC Natural Markets. The Harvester grinds food waste into a slurry that the company takes and processes into a fertilizer that can be used on organically grown crops. There are Harvesters in more than 20 locations in Seattle alone.

"From food waste to fertilizer: Redmond startup attracts $12.3M", Business Journals, April 11, 2016

General Mills Touts Progress In Sustainability, Healthful Foods

In a corporate progress report, General Mills says it has made significant headway in its plan to sustainably source all of its 10 “priority ingredients” – about half of its yearly raw material purchases – by 2020. The company also noted progress in delivering more healthful foods. It has lowered sodium and sugar content (in cereals and yogurts) and reformulated some products in response to consumer preferences. It eliminated artificial colors and flavors in its cereals and added gluten-free products. It also said it is now “the third-largest U.S. natural and organic food producer.”

"General Mills encouraged by progress on health and wellness goals", Food Business News, April 13, 2016

Hotel Chain To Plant Vegetable Gardens At A Quarter Of Its Facilities

France’s AccorHotels announced it will try to reduce food waste in its 3,900 hotels by 30 percent by planting vegetable gardens at many of its facilities. The group said it generates 25-30 percent of its revenue by serving 150 million meals a year. It implement its plan by first determining how much food it is wasting. Restaurants will be required to weigh and record food that is discarded to best determine how to cut waste. The company said it is supporting “urban agriculture” by planting 1,000 vegetable gardens at its hotels over the next four years. The global chain includes the Pullman, Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure and Ibis hotel chains.

"Major hotel chain to grow vegetables at 1000 properties to cut food waste", The Guardian, April 13, 2016

Cage-Free Eggs: Growing Popularity, Huge Profit

Researcher Mintel – noting the “fever pitch” of the movement among food producers, restaurants, and retailers toward cage-free eggs – reports that half of Millennials put the cage-free/free-range claim among their top five concerns. The claim is less important to Baby Boomers, only 40 percent of whom put it among their top five. Mintel notes that the companies on the cage-free bandwagon may be reacting to consumer demand, or to a genuine concern for animal welfare. But another possibility has more to do with dollars and cents. Though cage-free eggs only cost 15 cents more a dozen to produce, they sell at twice the price of conventional large eggs: an average of $2.99 a dozen, compared to $1.29.

"Cage-Free-For-All?", Blog, Mintel, April 14, 2016

Food Sniffing Tool Could Help Reduce Food Waste

A new gadget linked to a smartphone app may help significantly reduce the £700 ($1,022) worth of food British households waste annually. The Foodsniffer ignores the use-by date and gets right to the “nose” of the matter, analyzing the gases emitted by foods and transmitting findings to the app. The gadget purportedly can let you know if food is fresh, needs thorough cooking, or is downright hazardous to your health. The $129 Foodsniffer was created by a Lithuanian inventor – a company slogan is “You can’t trust your nose! – who claims the device is 85 - 90 percent accurate.

"The END of wasted food? New gadget claims it can tell if your food needs binning", Daily Express, April 14, 2016

Snack Products Make Good Use Of Edible Fruits Destined For Landfills

Two British entrepreneurs have developed a way to take excess, but still fresh, fruit or fruit that is judged unsuitable for selling, and turn it into a healthy “fruit leather” snack. "Snact" comprises apples, bananas, mangoes, and other fruits that are blended, spread out and dried in a dehydrator for eight hours before being cut into small pieces. The bendable and chewy fruit snack is sold in 20-gram bags. Available flavors include apple and raspberry; apple and mango; and apple, blueberry and banana. According to the U.N., 45 percent of all fruit and vegetables produced globally ends up in landfills.

"The innovators: fruitful idea turns waste food into a tasty snack", The Guardian, April 17, 2016

Foodservice Management Firm Collaborates To Cut Food Waste

A multinational facilities and foodservice management company said it is collaborating with businesses, government agencies and nonprofits to achieve the Obama administration’s goal of reducing food waste in the U.S. by 50 percent within 14 years. Sodexo has developed a model that the foodservice industry can follow to cut food waste, free up landfill space and reduce methane gas emissions. The Zero Food Waste to Landfills scheme follows the guidance offered by the recent ReFED report, which outlines 27 strategies to halve food waste by 2030. Though one in five U.S. children are in danger of hunger, America spends $218 billion growing, processing, transporting and discarding food that is never eaten, the company said.

"Sodexo Commits to Zero Food Waste to Landfills", News release, Sodexo, April 18, 2016

USDA App Helps Consumers Reduce Food Waste At Home

The USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) estimates that 133 billion pounds of food in the available food supply – $161 billion worth – go uneaten each year. To help combat the enormous waste problem, the agency offers a free downloadable app called FoodKeeper for Apple and Android devices that helps consumers remember when food stored in the refrigerator, freezer, or pantry was purchased. It allows users to set up automatic notifications when products are nearing the end of their recommended storage date. The app also:  advises on storage methods that extend shelf life; discusses more than 400 food and beverage items; and offers cooking advice to eliminate foodborne bacteria.

"USDA Tips for Reducing Food Waste and Preventing Illness", News release, U.S.Department of Agriculture, April 18, 2016

Root-To-Stalk Cooking Helps Prevent Food Waste

The realization that single-family households in Toronto, Canada, throw out about 275 kilograms of food scraps each year – 75 percent of which is composted by the city – led one cooking teacher and caterer to find a way to reduce food waste. One solution comes in the form of good old-fashioned root-to-stalk cooking of seasonal produce. For hygienic reasons, she discards only the much-handled outermost leaves of a cabbage. Everything else – except the pulpy core – is cooked. Chopped broccoli stalks are pureed for hummus, soups or stir-fries. Potato peels are roasted with olive oil and salt until they are as crunchy snack as potato chips. Other oft-discarded vegetable parts that can be put to good use include woody asparagus ends, dark green sections of leeks, and the stem ends of dill, parsley and cilantro.

"Vegetable scraps go upscale: Root-to-stalk chefs cook with kale ribs, potato peels", National Post, April 20, 2016

Asia Is Serious About Handling Food Waste Efficiently

South Korea and other Asian countries are aggressively tackling their food waste problems. On the national level, South Korea’s food waste management system is part of a decades-old recycling effort created to ease pressure on landfills. Food waste is collected and recycled as animal feed or compost. Or people can buy a home food waste processor that turns table scraps into dried powder for fertilizer. Other countries serious about putting food waste to good use include: Japan (two million tons into animal feed, 0.6 million tons into animal feed, annually) and Taiwan (0.4 million tons a year into pig feed).

"South Korea cuts food waste with 'pay as you trash'", The Straits Times, April 24, 2016

Companies, Organizations  

L'Oreal VP For CSR And Sustainability Describes Efforts To Reach 2020 Sustainability Goals

Seeking to reduce by 60 percent its overall environmental footprint by 2020, L’Oreal wants to incorporate sustainability into its innovation model in order to make each beauty category more sustainable, according to Jonathan Maher, vice president of CSR and Sustainability. Maher said part of his job involves coordinating the company’s Sharing Beauty with All sustainability campaign in the United States. To measure the company’s sustainability achievements, L’Oreal developed a customized eco-design tool that helps product development teams in determining ways to improve new product’s environmental profile.

"L’Oréal puts words into action on sustainability", Cosmetics Design , April 19, 2016

L'Oreal Says It Has Reduced Environmental Footprint Of 74 Percent Of New Products In 2015

L’Oreal said 74 percent of its new or renovated products have an improved environmental or social profile in 2015, against the company’s 100 percent target. According to the company, the calculation corresponds to 85 percent of volumes of products manufactured and includes all product categories, but excludes range extensions. Also, the company said 22 percent of new or renovated products have become more environment-friendly, due to a new formula that lowers their impact on the environment. In addition, 14 percent have an improved social profile because they include raw materials from Solidarity Sourcing programs, while 43 percent have an improved environmental profile, due to a reduction in the environmental footprint of packaging.

"L’Oréal 2015 Progress report", L’Oréal, April 20, 2016

How Colorado Is Turning Food Waste Into Electricity

National Public Radio, April 05, 2016


Mintel, April 14, 2016

Marketing & Advertising  

Unilever Expands Efforts To Promote Packaging Recycling

Unilever is expanding its #RethinkRecycling campaign to promote recycling of empty bottles and other packaging of bathroom products in the United States. According to the company, an estimated $11 billion of used packaging materials go to landfills instead of recycling centers each year. Unilever became a founding investor in the Closed Loop Fund to help promote recycling in the country.

"Closing The Loop: Boosting Recycling In The Bathroom And Beyond", Unilever, April 19, 2016

Kroger Launches 2016 Earth Day Marketing Campaign

Kroger Co. announced its “Sustainability Lives Here” campaign, as part of the retailer’s celebration of 2016 Earth Day. Also aimed at highlighting the company’s sustainability commitment and efforts, the campaign includes the launch of a new website, SustainabilityLivesHere.com, which features tips on becoming environment-friendly, healthy recipes, and recycling projects; in-store events, such as sampling of wholesome meal designed for Earth Day and “Meet the Farmer” events; and in-store signage aimed at highlighting sustainable areas of the grocery store.

"Kroger to Celebrate Earth Day in Stores with 'Sustainability Lives Here'", Kroger , April 22, 2016

Press Release  

Kimberly-Clark Professional Joins US Composting Council And Keep America Beautiful To Create Guide To Workplace Composting

Kimberly-Clark Professional joined the US Composting Council and Keep America Beautiful to launch the Guide to Workplace Composting. Designed to help companies and organizations develop composting programs at the workplace, the guide features detailed instructions and resources for business enterprises and facilities seeking to recycle organic matter into fertilizers and soil conditioners. Composting can also reduce erosion, improve the soil’s drought tolerance, and reduce the creation of greenhouse gases.

"Kimberly-Clark Professional Partners with US Composting Council and Keep America Beautiful to Create Workplace Composting Guide", Kimberly-Clark, April 19, 2016

Procter & Gamble Sees Earth Day As Time To Reflect On Sustainability Achievements

Procter & Gamble said it sees Earth Day as an opportunity to reflect on the company’s achievements in terms of integrating sustainability into its business operations worldwide. According to the company, it has a long history of environmental stewardship, with P&G publishing its first environmental safety publication, which focused on surfactants in rivers, in 1956; developing the first method for evaluating chemical biodegradability in 1973; and creating a corporate sustainability department in the 1990s. Some of the company’s sustainability achievements include launching Tide purclean, the first bio-based laundry detergent with the cleaning power of Tide, in North America; making bottles from recycled content in Europe; and achieving advances in water purification and solar energy in China.

"Earth Day 2016: Everyday Changes That Make a World of Difference", Procter & Gamble, April 22, 2016

EPA Recognizes Personal Care And Household Care Companies For Supporting Safer Choice Standards

Several personal care and household care companies are among the Safer Choice Partner of the Year 2016 award winners announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Among the brands to be honored on May 9, 2016, for their efforts to support the agency’s Safer Choice standards are Clean Control Corporation, Clorox Co., Reckitt Benckiser, and Seventh Generation Inc. According to the EPA, the Safer Choice standards were created through a multi-stakeholder process. EPA evaluates product ingredients for the Safer Choice program based on a full chemical identification.

"EPA Administrator McCarthy Announces 2016 Safer Choice Partner of the Year Awards", Environmental Protection Agency, April 28, 2016

Products & Brands  

Organic Personal Care Market To Grow To $13.2 Billion By 2018, TMR Says

By 2018, the world’s organic personal care products market is forecast to expand at a CAGR of 9.6 percent to $13.2 billion, according to Transparency Market Research. Accounting for 32.1 percent of the organic market, skin care is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.9 percent during the period covered by the study. Grand View Research, in comparison, estimated the skin care segment grew to $2.5 billion in 2013, and will grow at a CAGR of 9.6 percent through 2020. North America accounted for 35 percent of demand for organic personal care products, according to TMR, with the U.S. market growing at a CAGR of 10.2 percent.

"Natural & Organic: How Big is Big?", GCI Magazine, April 22, 2016

Demand For Environment-Friendly Beauty Packaging Drives Growth For PET In Western Europe

PET bottle packaging is forecast to expand at a 3 percent CAGR, or 174 million units more, in Western Europe during the years 2015–2019. Driven by demand for premium and sustainable packaging, PET is expected to be the most popular packaging for the beauty care market. With Western Europe expected to see more growth in beauty and personal care packaging, beauty brands need to provide consumers with an enhanced buying experience while continue pushing for environment-friendly packaging.

"Beauty Packaging in Western Europe: PET Meets Growing Demand for Greener Solutions", Euromonitor International, April 24, 2016

High-altitude thirst

The Economist, April 27, 2016

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