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Unilever Asia Receives Honors For Sustainability Efforts In Singapore

November 26, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever Asia was recognized as one of the 10 most sustainable companies in Singapore during the city-state's first Sustainable Business Awards. Presented by events company Global Initiatives and consulting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers, the SBA seeks to highlight sustainable business practices that help the environment and all stakeholders. SBA emphasizes companies' integration of sustainability into their long-term strategies.
Medilyn Manibo , "Unilever Asia emerges top among Singapore’s sustainability leaders", Eco-Business, November 26, 2014, © Eco-Business
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Unilever Launches First TV Branding Campaign In United States, Works Against Child Hunger

November 10, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever launched its first TV branding campaign in the United States. Featuring TV ads created by WPP's Ogilvy & Mather agency, the campaign highlights speeches by Martin Luther King, Gandhi, and young people campaigning against hunger. Unilever, through its Project Sunlight sustainability initiative, aims to eliminate child hunger in partnership with Feeding America. At the same time, the campaign aims to raise consumers' awareness about the company, its sustainability efforts, and its various brands.
Jack Neff, "Unilever Takes Corporate Branding to TV for First Time", Advertising Age, November 10, 2014, © Crain Communications
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Goodwell Seeks Crowd-Sourced Funds For Proposed Sustainable Toothbrush

November 7, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Goodwell is raising funds through crowd funding site CrowdSupply to finance the development of its sustainable toothbrush. Expected to be priced at $69, the toothbrush kit is made from natural materials and will be guaranteed for life. Buyers will have the option to purchase a yearly subscription plan that comes with a new attachment every month. It also comes with an optional Hacker/Tracker data tracker that will help monitor consumers' toothbrushing activities.
Vashti Hallissey , "Goodwell Toothbrush is a Sustainable, Smart Product You Never Have to Replace", PSFK, November 07, 2014, © PSFK
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Kimberly-Clark Receives Honors From Forest Stewardship Council For Conservation Efforts

October 27, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Kimberly-Clark Corporation was recognized by the Forest Stewardship Council for the company's efforts to promote sustainability and environment-friendliness in the marketplace. Conferred at the Annual Design & Build with FSC Awards during the Greenbuild 2014 event, the award acknowledges Kimberly-Clark's actions promoting forest conservation and leveraging markets to promote forest stewardship. Starting in 2009, Kimberly-Clark has expanded by 111 percent its use of FSC-certified fiber in tissue products it manufactures worldwide.
"Kimberly-Clark Corporation Recognized by Forest Stewardship Council As Conservation Champions", Kimberly-Clark, October 27, 2014, © Kimberly-Clark Corporation
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Basel Action Network Encourages Companies To Dispose Technology Wastes Responsibly

October 26, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Basel Action Network launched its e-Stewards Marketplace, an online platform designed to help businesses find certified recycling partners for their obsolete or damaged technology equipment and devices. Featuring registered buyers that are approved e-Stewards operations, the marketplace also allows companies to trade scrap materials and sales of refurbished computers and other electronic equipment. In the United States, IT users generate about 3.4 million tons of electronic waste each year, with the consumer electronics industry collecting 260 million pounds in 2013.
Heather Clancy, "E-waste Trading Platform Woos 'Ethical' Businesses", Forbes, October 26, 2014, © Forbes.com LLC™
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Shiseido Gets CDP's Nod For Sustainability Efforts

October 24, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Japanese cosmetics company Shiseido Co., Ltd., was recognized by the nonprofit group Carbon Disclosure Project for its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and climate change risks. The commendation also highlights the company's inclusion in the Climate Performance Leadership Index. CDP announced the honors during the CDP Japan 500 Climate Change Report 2014 event held in Tokyo on October 15, 2014.
"Shiseido Recognized by "CDP" for "Climate Performance Leadership Index"", Shiseido, October 24, 2014, © Shiseido Co.,Ltd.
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Scientists Developing Genetically Engineered Milk

October 22, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Two California bioengineers concerned about animal welfare and sustainability are developing a way to make milk from genetically engineered yeast. Called Muufri, the Petri dish milk will taste the same as cow’s milk because yeast cultures will produce real milk proteins, fats, minerals and sugars. Using a safe process similar to that which produces synthetic insulin, the scientists insert DNA sequences from cattle into yeast cells, grow the cultures at controlled temperatures and concentrations, and then gather the milk proteins. Though it seems a promising technology, some scientists are skeptical that manufactured milk will ever supplant the real thing.
Linda Qiu, "Milk Grown in a Lab Is Humane and Sustainable. But Can It Catch On?", National Geographic, October 22, 2014, © National Geographic Society
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Seventh Generation Secures Gore Investment Fund's Backing To Buy Other Environment-Friendly Cleaning Products Firms

October 14, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Seventh Generation secured $30 million in funding from Generation Investment Management, former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore's investment fund, to finance its planned acquisition of other green cleaning companies. With annual sales of more than $300 million, Seventh Generation wants to remain independent and privately owned instead of being acquired by a larger corporation. In 2013, Seventh Generation bought Bobble, a manufacturer of filtered water bottles, and more recently, it acquired Gamila Company's range of gourmet coffee and tea products.
Ariel Schwartz, "Seventh Generation Is Buying A Mini Empire Of Sustainable Companies", Fast Co Exist, October 14, 2014, © Mansueto Ventures, LLC.
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Unilever Calls For Bolder Sustainability And Climate Change Targets In Europe

October 14, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever called on the European Member States to adopt a stronger position on sustainability and climate change. Joining 10 other companies, Unilever proposed a greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal higher than 40 percent and called on the European countries, which will meet on October 23 and 24, 2014, to adopt a 40 percent renewable energy objective by 2030. Energy efficiency target should be set at 40 percent, the company also said.
"Unilever calls for more ambitious energy and GHG emissions targets", Unilever , October 14, 2014, © Unilever
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P&G Adds Water Conservation And Packaging To Its Sustainability Goals

October 13, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble Company said it has expanded its sustainability goals in order to conserve resources, protect the environment, and improve the social conditions of low-income people while offering consumers value with their favorite brands and products.  P&G is constantly seeking to “improve the environmental sustainability of its products across the manufacturing, packaging, and delivery stages, according to Martin Riant, the company's executive sponsor of sustainability and group president of its Global Baby and Feminine & Family Care unit. In addition to the company's 12 sustainability goals, P&G said it will put emphasis on water conservation and product packaging.
"P&G Expands Sustainability Goals to Conserve Resources, Protect Environment", Procter & Gamble, October 13, 2014, © Procter & Gamble
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Irma Stops Selling Fabric Conditioner In Denmark

October 13, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Denmark-based supermarket chain Irma said it will stop selling fabric softener at all of its 81 stores across the country. Part of the company's clean water initiative, the decision was made following the decline of sales of softener products in recent years. Irma's parent company Coop, however, said its other retail chains will continue selling the product.
Ray Weaver, "Irma drops fabric softener", The Copenhagen Post, October 13, 2014, © The Copenhagen Post
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Henkel Receives Award For Sustainability Efforts In France

October 13, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Henkel France was honored at the LSA Award for Diversity and CSR for its efforts to promote environmental responsibility. As part of the global parent company's sustainability strategy, Henkel France is implementing the Factor 3 in France, an initiative aimed at engaging all of the company's teams and managers in the country. Henkel's global sustainability program seeks to “triple the value that it creates” compared with the cost of the company's impact on the environment.
"Henkel France scoops award", Henkel, October 13, 2014, © Henkel AG & Co. KGaA
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Unilever Partners With Non-Profit Group Collectively To Promote Sustainability

October 7, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever joined forces with non-profit content organization Collectively to help promote sustainable living. By sharing stories about sustainability-related ideas and innovations, Collectively aims to transform sustainability from a mere ideal into a concrete reality. Targeting people 18-30 years old, the online platform seeks to encourage this demographic group to adopt environment-friendly lifestyles by maximizing their well-being while reducing their impact on the environment to the minimum. The group also works with other leading brands, including Coca-Cola, Google, and Facebook.
"Unilever champions shift to sustainable living with Collectively launch", Unilever, October 07, 2014, © Unilever
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Henkel And Partners Work To Reduce Environmental Footprint Of New Products

October 6, 2014: 12:00 AM EST

Henkel is reducing the environmental footprint of its new products in collaboration with industry partners and specialists. Part of the company's sustainability efforts, the initiative requires every new product to contribute to at least one of the company's sustainability focus areas, which are performance, social progress, health and safety, energy and climate, water and wastewater, and materials and waste. Often, the partnership begins in product development, as the program aims to “understand customer and consumer needs and develop cutting-edge innovations”.

"Henkel delivers sustainable solutions with partners", Henkel, October 06, 2014, © Henkel AG & Co. KGaA
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Procter & Gamble Joins Forces With DuPont To Replace Corn-Based Ethanol With Cellulosic Ethanol In Tide Detergent

October 6, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble partnered with DuPont to use cellulosic ethanol instead of corn-based ethanol in the Tide laundry detergent for the North American market. P&G said Tide Cold Water will be the first detergent brand in the world to combine cellulosic ethanol in a “scalable and commercial way”. DuPont will manufacture the renewable material at a new biorefinery the company is building in Nevada, Iowa. Once operational, the factory will be the world's largest bioethanol refinery, with production volume at 30 million gallons per year, the company said.
"DuPont and Procter & Gamble Partner to Bring Cellulosic Ethanol into Tide® Cold Water Laundry Detergent", PRWEB, October 06, 2014, © Vocus PRW Holdings, LLC
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Laundry Detergent Makers Aim For Reduced Water In Washing

October 1, 2014: 12:00 AM EST

Fabric care makers Procter & Gamble and Church & Dwight Co. promised to cut water used in every dose of detergent by 25 percent in the next four years, as the laundry market continues to see falling detergent sales. Data from the 2014 Home Laundry Products report from Mintel showed sales declined 4 percent to $12.6 billion for the past five years. According to IRI, sales of single-dose detergents reached $700 million for the year ending August 10, 2014, making the category the fastest-growing segment of the laundry market. Meanwhile, stain fighting and cold-water effectiveness are the most important features for consumers, according to the Mintel study, which covered 1,896 internet users at least 18 years old. Results of the study showed 55 percent of respondents said they prefer stain fighters, while 43 percent said they opt for cold-water detergents.

Libby Basile, "Getting back in the fold", Grocery Headquarters , October 01, 2014, © Macfadden Grocery Headquarters, LLC
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L'Oreal Opens Biomass Plant At Burgos Manufacturing Plant In Spain

September 25, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
L'Oreal inaugurated its new biomass plant at its Burgos manufacturing site at the Villalonquejar industrial estate in Spain. Considered a pioneering effort in the country in the field of integrating the use of biomass, solar energy technology, and trigeneration energy, the facility will supply the factory with steam, hot water, cold water, and electricity. Moreover, the biomass plant will provide 100 percent of the factory's energy requirements. Opened in 1971, the Burgos manufacturing facility produces all kinds of hair care products, including shampoos, treatments, and lotions.
"L'Oreal Inaugurates New Biomass Plant In Burgos", L'Oreal, September 25, 2014, © L’Oréal
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SC Johnson Wins EPA Recognition, Receives SmartWay Excellence Award

September 23, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
SC Johnson received the 2014 SmartWay Award for freight supply chain environmental performance and energy efficiency from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. One of the 11 companies from the shipper and logistics category of the award, SC Johnson also won the recognition in 2012 and 2013. EPA’s SmartWay Excellence Awards program recognizes the top 1 percent of the agency’s more than 3,000 freight supply chain partners. According to the agency, transportation accounts for almost one-third of greenhouse gas emissions and uses about two-thirds of petroleum-based fuel in the country. EPA launched the program in 2004 as part of its efforts to minimize the sector’s impact on the environment.
"SC Johnson Receives U.S. EPA 2014 SmartWay Excellence Award", SC Johnson, September 23, 2014, © S.C. JOHNSON & SON, INC.
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Kimberly-Clark Gets EPA Recognition For Transportation Sustainability Efforts

September 23, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Kimberly-Clark Corporation received a SmartWay Excellence Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in recognition of the company’s leadership in freight supply chain sustainability and energy efficiency. EPA said the company was recognized for its achievements in collaborating with transportation providers to reduce its carbon footprint. One of the 11 companies honored by EPA in 2014, Kimberly-Clark has received this honor for the fifth time since 2006.
"Kimberly-Clark Receives US EPA 2014 SmartWay Excellence Award", Kimberly-Clark , September 23, 2014, © Kimberly-Clark Corporation
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Scientist Develops Process To Turn Winery Waste Into Useful Compounds

September 23, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Australian scientists have figured out a way to turn the waste materials resulting from winemaking into biofuel and medicinal compounds. Most winery waste is sent to landfills because it cannot be used as animal feed or compost. Researchers investigating how to break down cellulose, pectins and lignins into simpler compounds found that various fungi use enzymes to degrade winery waste into soluble sugars. A 30-minute heat activated pretreatment helped break down these biomolecules. Fermentation takes one to three weeks, producing alcohols, acids and simple sugars with industrial and medicinal potential.
Avinash V. Karpe et al., "Optimization of degradation of winery-derived biomass waste by Ascomycetes", Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology , September 23, 2014, © John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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Clorox Strengthens Ingredient Transparency, Sustainability Initiatives

September 23, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Catharine de Lacy, who heads Clorox’s global product safety and environmental activities, said that the company’s adoption of the Preferred Ingredient Calculator and expansion of its Ingredients Inside program to include specific fragrance components supports its ingredient transparency and sustainability goals. The action was meant to help developers consider the sustainability profiles of different raw materials and ingredient formulations. It took awhile to add fragrances to the program, she said, because they “are both a science and art” and fragrance recipes are protected for competitive reasons.
Simone Strydom, "Passing the Smell Test: Clorox Expands Fragrance Disclosure", The Clorox Company Blog, September 23, 2014, © The Clorox Company
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Nestle Partners With Bill Gates Charity To Improve Milk Production In East Africa

September 22, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé has partnered with a Bill Gates charitable organization to boost productivity and quality of life among East African dairy farmers, including those in Ethiopia and Kenya. Small rural farmers in the region rely on milk as a key source of income, calories and nutrients. Collection and transportation of the milk to chilling stations, however, is inefficient and often leads to spilling or spoilage. Under the two-year partnership, Nestlé and Global Good will apply technology and innovation to improve production. They will also provide 3,000 specially designed milk containers known as “Mazzi” to help small farmers maximize the quantity of the milk they sell.
"Nestlé, Global Good partner to help East Africa small dairy farmers", News release, Nestlé, September 22, 2014, © Nestlé
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METRO GROUP Rejoins Dow Jones Sustainability Index

September 22, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
METRO GROUP was relisted on the Dow Jones Sustainability World international sustainability index, according to the rating agency RobecoSAM. After seeing its score rise to 71 points in the 2014 rating, METRO AG will also be included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Europe index. In 2012, after 12 consecutive years of membership in the index, METRO GROUP share was removed from the DJSI World index, which is one of the Dow Jones sustainability indices highlighting companies with the best environmental, social, and economic practices in their industries.
"METRO GROUP joins the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices World and Europe", METRO GROUP , September 22, 2014, © METRO AG
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RB Becomes Part Of Dow Jones Sustainability Index

September 12, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
RB said it has been recognized as the number 1 company in the household products industry in terms of sustainability by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Earning “industry best” scores in the economic and environmental categories, RB posted top scores in several criteria, including innovation management, strategy for emerging markets, and supply chain management. RB aims to reduce by one-third its impact on water resources, its carbon emission, and to derive a third of its revenue from more sustainable products by 2020, as part of its betterbusiness strategy.
"RB joins Dow Jones Sustainability World Index", Reckitt Benckiser, September 12, 2014, © Reckitt Benckiser Group plc
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Henkel Among World's Leading Companies In Terms Of Sustainability, Dow Jones Indices Show

September 11, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Henkel announced its inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and Dow Jones Sustainability Index Europe for the eight consecutive year. According to the company, its listing in both indices confirms its “excellent performance” as one of the leading companies in the Household Products category. Evaluated based on their corporate economic, environmental, and social performance, only 10 percent of the world’s 2,500 largest corporations make it to the lists.
"For the eighth consecutive year included in Dow Jones Sustainability Index", Henkel, September 11, 2014, © Henkel AG & Co. KGaA
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Target, Wal-Mart Partner To Promote Sustainability And Product Safety In Beauty And Personal Care Markets

September 5, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Rival discount retailers Target and Wal-Mart agreed to co-host a forum in Chicago to encourage beauty and personal care products manufacturers to improve their sustainability and transparency strategies. Attended by representatives from personal care makers, such as Procter & Gamble, Unilever, and Estee Lauder, and other retailers, including CVS, Walgreens, and Ulta, the meeting called on manufacturers to be more open about the chemicals and other ingredients they use in making their products. Sustainability and product safety proponents, such as the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, lauded the retailers for rising beyond their rivalry and promoting product safety.
KAVITA KUMAR, "Target, Wal-Mart team up on sustainability", Star Tribune, September 05, 2014, © StarTribune.com
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Häagen-Dazs Makers Will Not Use Synthetic Vanilla Flavoring

September 3, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
The makers of Häagen-Dazs ice cream say they will not use vanilla flavoring produced synthetically, though the FDA is expected to approve its safe use in food production. Synthetic biology (“synbio”) vanilla flavoring is made with artificial DNA and genetically engineered yeast. Use of lab-produced synbio vanilla would reduce farm land devoted to vanilla bean production. But advocacy groups say synbio yeast and algae feed on sugar, which would lead to increased sugarcane production. In addition, synbio organisms, which can reproduce, would be impossible to recall if released into the environment. Nestlé makes Häagen-Dazs ice cream in Canada and the U.S., and General mills makes it outside North America.
"Haagen-Dazs Won’t Use Synthetic Vanilla", Environmental Leader, September 03, 2014, © Business Sector Media, LLC
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Major Changes In Food Production Are Necessary To Avoid Climate Change Calamities

August 31, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
British researchers, using what they call a “transparent, data-driven model”, show that reducing food waste by half and diverting global diets away from environmentally-damaging food products – making them more healthful -- might reduce greenhouse gases and boost food security. Currently, the global population is increasing and people’s food tastes are shifting to meat-heavy Western diets. Increased agricultural yields will not meet food demands, however, so more land will need to be cultivated, reducing forested areas and increasing methane emissions. Unless changes are implemented, food production by itself could exceed global targets for total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050.
Bojana Bajželj et al., "Importance of food-demand management for climate mitigation", Nature Climate Change, August 31, 2014, © Macmillan Publishers Limited
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Nestle Says Nespresso Brand Will Be Carbon Neutral Within Six Years

August 28, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
As part of a half-billion dollar sustainability initiative comprising several commitments, Nestle’s Nespresso coffee brand has promised complete carbon neutrality within six years. Other “Positive Cup” commitments include: a pledge to source all Grand Cru coffees sustainably in Ethiopia, Kenya and South Sudan; a pledge to help coffee farmers achieve high certification standards in water management, biodiversity and fair treatment of workers; a plan to expand the capacity to collect and recycle used aluminum coffee capsules; and a promise to further reduce the carbon footprint of the company by 10 percent.
"Nespresso Pledges Carbon Neutrality by 2020", Environmental Leader, August 28, 2014, © Business Sector Media, LLC
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Unilever Ends Membership In BusinessEurope Lobbying Group

August 22, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever said it has ended its membership in business lobbying group BusinessEurope, suggesting disagreements with the group’s stand regarding environmental regulations and sustainability issues. According to a company spokeswoman, Unilever now prefers to collaborate with other companies with similar views. Many green companies are finding themselves at odds with BusinessEurope’s calls for lowering EU environmental targets after 2020.
Jessica Shankleman, "Unilever confirms it has quit BusinessEurope lobby group", Business Green, August 22, 2014, © Incisive Media Investments Limited
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Climate Change Is Intensifying Destructive Impact Of Coffee Rust

August 20, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Scientists worry that climate change could be intensifying and accelerating the cycle of wet years and drought in coffee-growing countries that spurs the spread of coffee rust. Especially affected is Brazil’s Arabica coffee tree, responsible for 70 percent of the two billion cups consumed globally every day. Coffee growers have battled coffee rust – a devastating  fungus that has caused $1 billion in economic damage in Latin America since 2012 – for centuries. But climate change is making it worse, and could drive the price of coffee up, and push growers to switch to the climate resistant, but bitter, Robusta coffee bean. “If things continue like this, maybe 50 years from now, we’ll all be tea drinkers,” one industry observer says.
Jessica Leber, "The Future Of Coffee Looks Bitter And Pricey, Courtesy Of Climate Change", Fast Company, August 20, 2014, © Mansueto Ventures, LLC.
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Chinese Shoppers See California As An Exporter Of High-Quality Foods

August 18, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Food shoppers in China and Hong Kong are paying closer attention to nutrition, sustainability, safety and – logically enough – country of origin, a fact that is driving demand for better quality food products. That’s good news for California food exporters, who are perceived by the Chinese as high quality producers. California has exported about $4 billion worth of food products – fresh produce, health foods, organic foods and premium wines – to Hong Kong and China so far in 2014, a nearly 20 percent increase over 2012. Forecasters see a similar double-digit increase by the end of the year.
Stephen Las Marias, "Hong Kong, China Food Imports from California to Exceed $4B amid Mounting Food Scares", Asia Food Journal, August 18, 2014, © Contineo Media Pte Ltd.
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Seventh Generation Surpasses Sustainability Goals For 2013

August 5, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Seventh Generation achieved Forest Stewardship Council sustainability certification for 62 percent of its wood pulp consumption in 2013, according to the company’s 2013 Corporate Consciousness Report. Details from the report also revealed all products eligible for the USDA’s Certified Bio-Based Product labeling gained the program’s seal and the company reduced its use of virgin plastic by 25 percent. Also, Seventh Generation said it reduced its greenhouse gas emissions per metric ton of product by 11 percent. In 2013, the company’s community volunteering program, which urges employees to spend work time on local causes, recorded a 100 percent participation rate, with total hours donated exceeding the year’s target by 40 percent.
"Seventh Generation Advances Key Sustainability Goals", Marketwire, August 05, 2014, © Marketwire L.P
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Proposal To Export Coffee Beans Whole Raises Serious Sustainability Questions

July 31, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A report of a suggestion by a former Starbucks engineer that billions of pounds of waste coffee pulp be processed from whole coffee cherries into flour in the U.S. has raised some serious eco-issues. Dan Beliveau had recommended that coffee cherries be exported whole, without initial processing on the farms. The waste pulp could then be turned into a gluten-free, fiber- and protein-rich flour. Environmental experts and coffee farmers at the source – one in El Salvador – noted in response to the report that almost none of the nitrogen-rich cherry pulp goes to waste. It is treated and hauled back to the coffee groves, then spread around the trees as fertilizer, furthering sustainability goals. “If well managed, there is no waste in the coffee fields,” said a representative of Cooperative Coffees.
Megan Lavey-Heaton, "Coffee Flour: your questions on edible coffee answered", The Guardian (theguardian.com), July 31, 2014, © Guardian News and Media Limited
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Sainsbury's Announces Planned Store Powered By Recycled Food Waste

July 21, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Sainsbury’s plans to open a retail store in the West Midlands that will be powered solely by electricity generated from anaerobic digestion of food waste. Featuring a food waste recycling technology developed in partnership with waste recycling company Biffa, the Sainsbury’s store will be the first retail outlet to go off the power grid in the UK. Sainsbury’s, the UK’s largest user of anaerobic digestion in the retail sector, generates power enough to light up 2,500 homes each year.
Rebecca Smithers, "Sainsbury’s store to be powered solely by food waste", The Guardian, July 21, 2014, © Guardian News and Media Limited
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New Dishwashing Liquid Helps Advance Henkel’s Sustainability Strategy

July 16, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Henkel says that for the first time its researchers have combined surfactants and enzymes to create a liquid hand-dishwashing product (Pril against Grease and Crust) that can split starch molecules. The achievement, which reduces CO2 emissions as well as the amount of resources and raw materials used, also means that the starch remains of dried rice and noodles can be quickly removed. The company says the concept of “achieving more with less” is the basis of its sustainability strategy: creating value for itself, customers, and communities at a reduced environmental footprint.
"Enzymes for more sustainability", Henkel, July 16, 2014, © Henkel AG & Co. KGaA
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Palm Oil Producers In Indonesia Guilty Of “Greenwashing” Their Deforestation Efforts

July 11, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Greenpeace warns that an initiative by major palm oil producers ostensibly to stop deforestation in Indonesia will actually lead to further forest destruction to create more palm oil plantations. The Sustainable Palm Oil Manifesto (SPOM) sets tougher deforestation standards than those established by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), according to the producers. But Greenpeace says the initiative gives the producers time to determine which Indonesian forests to protect while actually allowing them to clear forests. “Allowing clearance in the name of 'sustainability' is nothing less than greenwashing,” a Greenpeace representative said.
"Greenwash alert as palm oil companies sign onto continued deforestation", News release, Greenpeace International, July 11, 2014, © Greenpeace
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New Disposable Coffee Cup Should Improve Recycling Of Billions Of Containers

July 8, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A British inventor has created a disposable coffee cup with a plastic liner that separates cleanly from the paper shell, making it much easier and affordable to recycle. Though current disposable coffee cups lined with plastic are recyclable, the process is difficult and expensive for recycling plants. That means many disposable cups that could be recycled never are. Starbucks, for example, recycles only about 39 percent of the four billion it uses each year. The new invention, dubbed “Green Your Cup”, can be pooled with all other paper products, including magazines and newspapers, at the recycling plant where the plastic liner is easily stripped from the paper.
Belinda Lanks, "This Coffee Cup Really Will Get Recycled", Bloomberg Businessweek, July 08, 2014, © BLOOMBERG L.P.
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“Foodies” Should Be Into Much More Than Just Eating Good Food

June 24, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A New York Times op-ed contributor explains why “foodies” need to be more than just people who are passionate about eating good food. In fact, he says, foodies should be aware of how their food is produced and how it impacts our world. Foodies should care that their food is real (not ”hyperprocessed”), healthy (as in “whole”), sustainably produced, affordable, and perhaps even prepared at home or communally. Foodies should support societal changes and government actions that help make good food more accessible to all people. To do that will of course affect “the whole system”, ultimately involving issues of justice, equality, rights, and enhanced democracy across the globe.
Mark Bittman, "Rethinking the Word ‘Foodie’", The New York Times, June 24, 2014, © The New York Times Company
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Waste Not, Want Not Is The Motto Of A Pacific Northwest Bakery Group

June 11, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A century-old bakery group in the Pacific Northwest is making huge strides in its efforts to become landfill-free: recycling everything from product and packaging waste to scrap metal, used oils, paper, cardboard, and plastic. The store in Spokane, Wash., in fact, is 100 percent landfill-free, having figured out a way to recycle, re-use or repurpose just about everything the store consumes in running the business. For example, it filters bakery equipment lubricant oil to re-use as heating fuel for the heater in its truck maintenance garage. Whatever can’t be recycled is sent to a waste-to-energy plant to help provide electric power for the region.
"Bakery Achieves Landfill-Free Status", Environmental Leader, June 11, 2014, © Environmental Leader LLC.
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Canadian Research To Focus On Increasing Durum Wheat’s Resistance To Fungal Diseases

June 10, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
The Canadian government announced that the Canadian Wheat Alliance (CWA) and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) will work together to develop stronger, more resistant durum wheat varieties for farmers in Canada and in developing  countries. Research will focus on improving wheat yield, sustainability and profitability, with special focus on reducing the effects of wheat rust diseases and of Fusarium head blight, a cause of dangerous toxins in grain. The hope is to increase durum wheat's resistance to the global fungal diseases. According to the government, Fusarium head blight has cost Canadian wheat producers more than C$1.5 billion (US$1.38 billion) in lost income over the last two decades.
"International Agreement to Focus on Improved Durum Wheat Disease Resistance", News release, Government of Canada, June 10, 2014, © Government of Canada
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Henkel Gains Government Nod For Sustainability Efforts In Argentina

May 19, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Argentina’s Office of the Ministry of Social Development added personal care goods manufacturer Henkel Argentina to the Register of Social Responsibility Organizations, the agency’s list of companies that observe and promote sustainability. Henkel’s local initiatives which are part of the company’s global Sustainability Strategy for 20130 helped convince the government to recognize the company’s sustainability efforts. The list recognizes private and public organizations for their actions related to human rights, environment, labor standards, and efforts against corruption.
"Recognition for sustainability engagement", Henkel, May 19, 2014, © Henkel AG & Co. KGaA
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Unilever Launches Environment-Friendly Deodorants For Women In UK

May 15, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever said it is launching a range of women’s deodorants that use 50 percent less propellant gas, eliminating 25 percent of the aerosol spray’s carbon footprint per can. A UK innovation, compressed aerosol technology has been developed by Unilever, which invested more than £20 million in perfecting the innovation. Using the technology, the products from the Sure, Dove, and Vaseline lines are as effective and last as long as the full-size versions they are replacing, the company said.
Jackie Wills, "Unilever's compressed aerosols cut carbon footprint by 25% per can", Guardian Professional, May 15, 2014, © Guardian News and Media Limited
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New Smartphone App Hopes To Reduce Food Waste By Restaurants, Grocery Stores

May 12, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. supermarkets and eateries toss out $15 billion in edible foods annually. Now a team of software developers has created an app that will allow the foodservice industry to sell day-old pastries, foods near the sell-by date and imperfect produce to consumers, rather than sending them to landfills. Using the app, dubbed PareUp, grocery stores and restaurants will be able to list their discount-priced leftovers for consumers to browse on their smartphones along with pick-up times. The app – one of several intiatives by entrepreneurs to battle the huge global food waste problem – is being pilot tested in New York City at cafes like Breads Bakery and Oslo Coffee Roasters.
"App to sell restaurant leftovers to help reduce food waste", The Star Online, May 12, 2014, via AFP Relaxnews, © AFP Relaxnews
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Unilever Says Partnership Will Speed Plan To Reach 100 Percent Renewable Energy

May 7, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever has partnered with NRG Energy to provide onsite and offsite renewable energy generation, furthering Unilever’s goal of 100 percent clean energy use at U.S. locations by 2020. Unilever buys all of its  electricity from renewable sources for all U.S. sites through renewable energy certificates (RECs), which are credits for using energy from third-party renewable sources. The partnership with NRG will help Unilever take the next step beyond RECs. Unilever N.A. President Kees Kruythoff said the partnership with NRG would make the company “more resilient, sustainable, and profitable”.
"NRG Energy and Unilever Announce Formation of Strategic Partnership on Renewable Energy", News release, Unilever, May 07, 2014, © Unilever
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Millions Could Be Saved By Taking A Fresh Look At Direct Store Delivery Systems

April 30, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A Honeywell report based on a survey of 350 C-level consumer goods execs and  directors from around the world says that millions of dollars could be saved annually if companies would re-evaluate their transportation systems using process re-engineering. Organizations that have tried process evaluations to improve direct store delivery (DSD) – how products are ordered, sold, delivered and merchandised – have cut costs an average of $734,000 a year. At least half the companies surveyed said increased transportation costs have damaged profit margins. Twenty percent said they expect to save a minimum of $1 million through DSD process re-engineering. Those with 3,000 or more employees expect to save at least $3 million.
"Direct Store Delivery ‘Can Save $3M Annually’", Environmental Leader, April 30, 2014, © Environmental Leader LLC.
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Unilever To Incorporate Renewable Algal Oils In Largest Soap Brand

April 30, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever has agreed to use oils derived from sustainably produced microalgae in its Lux consumer soap brand. The algal oils are produced by Solazyme, Inc., a renewal oil and bio-products company based in South San Francisco, Calif., has collaborated with Unilever for five years on several projects. The supply agreement calls for an initial delivery of 10,000 metric tons of algal oils. Most of the oil will be produced in the new renewable oils facility in Moema, Brazil. Unilever said it will probably buy the full volume within twelve to eighteen months. Unilever is committed to using only sustainably sourced agricultural raw materials by 2020.
"Unilever formulates first soap bar using sustainable Algal Oils", News release,Unilever, April 30, 2014, © Unilever
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Target Netherlands Adds Method's Airopack Air Fresheners To Environment-Friendly Product Line

April 17, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Retailer Target’s Netherlands division added Method’s Airopack line of home fragrances to its range of ecology-friendly and organic products. Target chose leading brands whose products are already being sold at its stores, and called on them to offer products that are natural, organic, or sustainable. Method’s home air fresheners come with the Airopack air-powered dispensing system the company claims offers a “fully transparent, all-plastic pressurized dispenser” that combines effectiveness and environment-friendliness.
"Airopack's Air-Powered Room Fresheners to Join Target's New Sustainable Range", PR Newswire, April 17, 2014, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Food Companies Try To Settle The Argument Over Paper Versus Plastic Foam Cups

April 10, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Plastic foam cups do a great job of keeping cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot. But there is a perception among many consumers – and even some companies – that foam cups are not environmentally friendly because they do not recycle well. Scientists continue to debate the issue, but in the meantime retail restaurants like Starbucks, McDonald’s and Jamba Juice have turned to paper cups, particularly the more expensive double-walled ones that provide extra insulation. The big challenge for food companies is to find cups that work as well as plastic foam, don’t end up costing the consumer more and are more recyclable, according to industry analysts.
Laura Stevens, "Hot Drink Debate: Paper or Plastic?", The Wall Street Journal, April 10, 2014, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc
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Computer Models Show That Solar Farms Can Harvest More Than Electricity

April 9, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Stanford University scientists have developed computer models that use the principle of co-location of crops and solar panels on solar farms to harvest biofuel plants as well as electricity. The idea would work especially well in sunny, arid regions where water is scarce. Photovoltaic solar farms run on sunlight, but water is used to wash away dust and dirt from solar panels to ensure maximum efficiency. Water also dampens the ground to prevent the spread of dust. Crops planted beneath the solar panels capture runoff water used to clean the panels, optimizing the land. The plant roots help anchor the soil and foliage reduces the ability of wind to kick up dust.
Ker Than, "Stanford scientists model a win-win situation: growing crops on photovoltaic farms", News release, Stanford News Service, April 09, 2014, © Stanford University
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