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Wal-Mart Plans To Launch Sustainability Index, Cut Energy Costs

April 30, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart said it plans to develop a sustainability index that would measure the environmental impact for the entire life cycle of every product the retailer sells and reduce costs by $1 billion by 2020. Also, the retailer announced its plan to launch a pilot system of the index. Wal-Mart aims to use the index to improve its energy efficiency and ultimately pass on the expected savings to Wal-Mart and Sam's Club customers.
Shelley DuBois, "Wal-Mart's grand, green plans to reduce prices", CNN, April 30, 2013, © Cable News Network
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US Is World Leader In Using Tax Code To Drive Corporate Sustainability, KPMG List Shows

April 25, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
The United States led 20 other countries that are most actively using their tax codes to encourage companies to adopt sustainability as a corporate objective, according to KPMG's first Green Tax Index. Other leading countries that use tax as a means of promoting corporate sustainability include Japan, Unite Kingdom, France, South Korea, and China. KPMG's Green Tax Index provides companies information on how countries are using taxes to promote corporate sustainability. The list can also help companies' sustainability leaders in allocating budgets and evaluating their global investments, according to KPMG.
"US Ranks No. 1 Using Tax Code To Shape Corporate Sustainability", Environmental Leader, April 25, 2013, © Environmental Leader LLC
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Kimberly-Clark Professional Launches Recycling Program For Cleanroom Waste

April 25, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
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.
"Kimberly-Clark Professional Launches Innovative RightCycle Program To Recycle Single-Use Cleanroom and Laboratory Gloves and Garments", PR Newswire, April 25, 2013, © Kimberly-Clark Corporation
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Clorox Adds Recycling Logos To Cleaning Product Packaging

April 23, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Clorox Co. added How2Recycle logos to the packaging of its cleaning products, including Fresh Step and Scoop Away kitty litter cartons, Green Works laundry detergent and dishwashing liquid, and Oxi stain remover. Designed to explain how to recycle or properly dispose of the product's packaging, the logos will be added to Clorox's other products as part of label redesigns. Clorox plans to add the logo to all product packaging in the United States and Canada by 2020.
"Clorox Adds How2Recycle Logos to Help Consumers Recycle Product Packaging", Clorox, April 23, 2013, © The Clorox Company
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Unilever Recognizes Breakthrough Fuel's Contribution To Sustainability Efforts

April 23, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
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.
"Breakthrough Fuel receives Innovation award from Unilever", PRNewswire, April 23, 2013, © PR Newswire Association LLC.
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Avon's International Fundraising Program Donates Money To Groups Fighting Deforestation

April 18, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Avon Products, Inc. announced that the Avon Hello Green Tomorrow international program has raised $2 million in 2012, bringing the total to $5.5 million since its 2010 launch. Avon awarded the funds to The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund to help deal with deforestation in Brazil and Indonesia. Avon raises funds by selling special products in more than 50 countries through Avon sales representatives and its online stores.
"Avon Hello Green Tomorrow Fundraising Tops $2 Million in 2012; Program Total Reaches $5.5 million since 2010", Avon, April 18, 2013, © Avon Products, Inc.
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Unilever Achieves Zero Landfill Waste Status For All Facilities In North America

April 17, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever announced that all of its 26 manufacturing and non-manufacturing facilities in North America have achieved zero waste to landfill status. Established in 2010, Unilever's Sustainable Living Plan includes efforts to reduce waste sent for disposal. SLP aims to cut by half Unilever's environmental footprint in manufacturing and consumer use of its products by 2020. Unilever said more than half of its 252 global factories have achieved ZLF status.
"Unilever Achieves 100% Zero Waste to Landfill at All 26 Facilities in North America", Business Wire, April 17, 2013, © Business Wire
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Unilever Agrees To Support Ubuntu Award For Sustainable Marketing

April 16, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
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.
"Unilever supports Ubuntu Award", Bizcommunity.com, April 16, 2013, © Bizcommunity.com
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Most Americans Think Their Everyday Actions Have Positive Impact On Environment, P&G Study Shows

April 16, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
In the United States, 84 percent of adults say that "simple, everyday actions" make them feel like they are helping the environment and 75 percent say such actions make them feel better about themselves, according to "The Everyday Effect Study" conducted by Procter & Gamble. Aimed at inspiring Americans to perform such acts, P&G is launching the video "Everyday Earth Day." P&G aims to show people how their daily activities can have a positive impact on the environment. The video also highlights how Procter & Gamble is reducing and recycling waste.
"Are You Part of the 84%? Video Inspired by P&G Study Reveals Power of Everyday Acts for the Environment", Procter & Gamble, April 16, 2013, © Procter & Gamble
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Poll Finds That Americans – Especially Men – Are Suspicious Of The Organic Label

April 15, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
A new Harris Poll finds that Americans may be more concerned about the environment than they were a year ago, but they are reluctant to pay more to improve it, especially in the area of organic food. Fifty-nine percent agree that labeling food or other products as organic is “just an excuse to charge more”. Sixty-three percent of men say that, compared to 54 percent of women. Fifty-five percent think organic food is better for you, though studies have shown it’s no more nutritious than conventional food. Forty-one percent think organic food tastes better or fresher than non-organic. Americans are feeling more positive about the economy, but are suspicious of “greenwashing” by companies exploiting confused eco-conscious consumers.
"Majority of Americans See Organic Label as an Excuse to Charge More", Harris Interactive, April 15, 2013, © Harris Interactive
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Unilever Lowers Carbon Dioxide Emissions By 1 Million Tonnes

April 15, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever announced that, since 2008, it has reduced its carbon dioxide emission by more than 1 million tonnes from its manufacturing and logistics operations. What makes the achievement even more remarkable is that the company grew its sales by 26 percent from €40.5 billion in 2008 to €51.3 billion in 2012. Part of the company's Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, reduction in carbon dioxide emissions was helped significantly by Unilever's use of renewable energy from biomass boilers and installation of combined heat and power plants.
"Unilever factories and logistics reduce CO2 by 1 million tonnes", Unilever, April 15, 2013, © Unilever
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U.K. Supermarket Chain To Ban Supplier Use Of Pesticides Harmful To Honeybees

April 15, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Waitrose announced that by the end of 2014 farmers who supply the company with fruit, vegetables and flowers must phase out three neonicotinoid-based pesticides that the European Food Safety Authority has listed as posing a risk to honeybees. The restrictions are a precautionary measure, Waitrose said, until research demonstrates conclusively that the formulations are or are not affecting populations of pollinator insects. The chemicals – imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam – are still legal to use in the U.S., though beekeepers and environmental groups are suing the EPA, complaining that the agency is not protecting bees and their role in pollinating vital food crops.
"Waitrose Bans Pesticides Linked to Bee Decline", Environmental Leader , April 15, 2013, © Environmental Leader LLC
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Johnson & Johnson's Credo Guides Its Sustainability Efforts

April 11, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Johnson & Johnson's sustainability efforts are guided by the company's 70-year old Credo of responsibilities to customers, employees, communities, and stockholders, according to Elizabeth Lascelle, senior director of Environmental, Health, and Safety. Established through the company's Healthy Future 2015 initiative, the sustainability program includes a set of objectives that highlight the company's approach to sustainability and to reducing its environmental impact. Also, the initiative involves innovating in product formulation and packaging aimed at making products more environment-friendly.
"J&J says its approach to sustainability begins with the consumer", Cosmetics Design, April 11, 2013, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Alba Botanica Partners With Recyclebank To Promote Recycling In The United States

April 10, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Hain's Alba Botanica brand of natural beauty and personal care products partnered with Recyclebank to encourage United States consumers to recycle. Part of the company's celebration of the 2013 Earth Month, the two organizations are giving consumers, who buy beauty products sold in recyclable packaging, a $2 discount coupon for use in stores when buying Alba Botanica products. Alba Botanica's previous sustainability efforts include using 100 percent post-consumer resin bottles, which are made from recycled materials and are 100 percent recyclable.
"Alba Botanica® Brand is Urging Consumers to Recycle", Hain Celestial, April 10, 2013, © The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.
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L'Oréal Joins Industry's Call For Government Action On Climate Change In The United States

April 10, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
L'Oréal joined a group of leading companies and consumer brands to call on the United States government to address issues and concerns related to climate change. In 2012, the company's efforts to manage and reduce its carbon emissions resulted in L'Oréal's inclusion in the Carbon Disclosure Project Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index. L'Oréal was also named as leader in the household products sector by ClimateCounts, citing the company's achievements in managing its carbon emissions.
"L'Oreal Signs The Climate Declaration In Support Of Climate Change Policy ", PRNewswire, April 10, 2013, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Procter & Gamble, Other FMCG Companies Claim Surpassing Sustainability Targets

April 5, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble, United Biscuits, and British American Tobacco announced they were years ahead in achieving their respective sustainability targets. Aside from claiming success in cutting carbon emissions, the companies also said they have made progress in reducing water usage, waste to landfill, and other outputs. For its part, Procter & Gamble said 45 of its global production sites produce zero waste. United Biscuits announced it has gone beyond its sustainability targets for 2012, which include reducing water use by 52 percent from 2007 levels, way ahead its target of a 45 percent reduction by 2020. Also, British American Tobacco claimed it was ahead of schedule in its program seeking to eliminate the use of natural forest by 2015.
Ian Quinn, "Procter & Gamble, United Biscuits and British American Tobacco 'way ahead' on green targets", The Grocer, April 05, 2013, © William Reed Business Media
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Jason Brand Supports Earth Day Network's Tree-Planting Project

April 3, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Hain Celestial Group's Jason brand of natural personal care products partnered with Earth Day Network's Canopy Project to promote tree planting in different countries. Jason will host a program on its Facebook page, allowing consumers to take part in celebrating Earth Day by doing their part in helping the environment. Running from April 1 to 30, 2013, the program will sponsor a tree to be planted by the Canopy Project for every "Like" the Facebook page receives. After having planted more than 1.5 million trees in 18 countries, the Canopy Project aims to plan 10 million more trees.
"JASON® Brand Joins Earth Day Network's Canopy Project, Encourages Consumers To "Like" Their Way To A Greener World", Hain Celestial, April 03, 2013, © The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.
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Walmart’s Sustainability Blog Gets A Facelift

April 2, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Launched a year ago, Walmart’s “Green Room” blog site – providing information on the retailer’s sustainability efforts – was meant to encourage a dialogue on sustainability with consumers and industry experts. The company has launched a more “robust” version of the blog that encourages visitors to share ideas on creating a sustainable world. The site features a cleaner design with improved navigation, more photos, videos and slideshows that illustrate sustainability topics and company news. Enhanced social sharing tools include interactive polls and quizzes, and mobile optimization.
"Walmart Launches New Look for The Green Room", News release, Walmart, April 02, 2013, © Walmart Stores, Inc.
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Procter & Gamble Announces 44 Of Its Factories Worldwide Produce Zero Waste

April 2, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble will announce that 44 of its manufacturing facilities in 20 countries produce zero waste. Efforts to reduce waste as a company-wide strategy began when a team in Frankfurt, Germany, noticed how much P&G was spending on waste management and proposed that leveraging scale of its purchasing could help reduce waste-related costs. P&G transformed the team into a global task force focused on creating solutions to reuse the 4 percent of materials that were turning into waste. Examples of recycling efforts include reformulation of 600 tonnes of excess Fairy detergent into industrial cleaners for road signs and trucks and transformation of razor cartridges from the Venus line of disposable razors into broom handles.
Will Nichols, "Proctor & Gamble and the case of the disappearing waste", Business Green, April 02, 2013, © Incisive Media Investments Limited
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Unilever Proceeding Rapidly Toward Sustainability Goals

April 2, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
In a time of climate change, water scarcity, and rising populations, sustainable agriculture is increasingly important not only for managing business risk, but also for boosting brand marketability, according to Unilever. For example, last year Knorr was able to claim that a new soup launched in France included tomatoes sustainably grown in accordance with the Unilever Sustainable Agriculture Code. The company procures half of its raw materials from the farming and forestry industries, so sustainability is hugely important. Unilever says it is now sourcing 36 percent of its agricultural raw materials sustainably. Significant progress has been made in raw materials such as palm oil, vanilla, sugar and sunflower oil.
"Unilever Sources Over 1/3 of Agricultural Raw Materials Sustainably While Growing Business", News release, Unilever, April 02, 2013, © Unilever
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Food Seller’s “Traceability Technology” Provides Smartphone Access To Product Ingredients

March 26, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
A Canadian company offers food products produced by a network of family farms committed to sustainable “veganic“ farming methods. Veganic farming – “a step beyond organic” – uses only vegetable matter to cultivate seeds and grains. But One Degree Organic adds an innovative marketing twist to its venture. Its “traceability technology” puts QR codes on every product in its line of breads, seeds and flours. The codes can be scanned with a smartphone for immediate access to “a detailed life story of each ingredient, including videos and photo essays”. The products are available at retailers throughout Canada and the U.S.
"Ingredient Traceability Technology Empowers Consumers to Choose Environmentally Responsible Foods", News release, One Degree Organic, March 26, 2013, © One Degree Organic
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Walmart Launches Sustainability-Promoting Web Site

March 26, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart launched The Walmart Green Room blog to promote global sustainability best practices. Designed and developed by digital content creation company Rain, the online platform aims to create a "more sustainable world" to help people improve their lives. Featuring contests and online surveys, the Web site aims to develop sustainable idea sharing between Walmart and the blog's readers.
"Walmart’s Award Winning ‘Green Room’ Blog Creates Online Platform for Global Sustainability Conversation", Business Wire, March 26, 2013, © Business Wire
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Nestlé’s Investment In European Facilities Continues To Expand

March 14, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé has opened a £35 million water bottling factory in Buxton, U.K., that will bottle natural mineral water and Nestlé Pure Life spring water. The new factory is another in the company’s strategic investments in European production facilities. Last year, Nestlé spent £200 million to refurbish its Product Technology Centre for confectionery in York, U.K., and £38 million to enlarge a Purina factory in Hungary. The company also built a Nespresso factory in Switzerland and a Nescafé Dolce Gusto factory in Germany. Last year, Nestlé announced a £ 310 million investment in its coffee manufacturing business in Tutbury, Derbyshire, creating 425 new jobs.
"Nestlé boosts investment in Europe with new factory in the UK", News release, Nestlé, March 14, 2013, © Nestlé
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Whole Foods Market Says To Require GMO Labels On Products By 2018

March 8, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Whole Foods Market said it plans to require all products at its stores in the United States and Canada to have labels indicating if they contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) by 2018. Making the announcement at the Natural Products Expo West event, Whole Foods Market said it has been cooperating with many of its suppliers for several years to source products without GMO ingredients. In 2009, for example, the retailer began subjecting its 365 Everyday Value line to Non-GMO Project verification and encouraged its grocery suppliers to do the same. 
"Whole Foods Market© commits to full GMO transparency", Whole Foods, March 08, 2013, © Whole Foods Market
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Advanced Packaging Helps Retailers Provide Fresh-Baked Organic Breads To Customers

March 8, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Bread, pastry and confectionary producer Pastry Smart has introduced a brand of bread that is certified organic – with fewer than nine ingredients – and shipped to retailers after “par-baking” in a state-of-the-art “bake-able” bag. Retailers finish baking the loaves in their own ovens and sell it to customers as freshly baked organic loaves. The company says its Le Culture brand provides a simple solution for supermarkets and other retailers that do not have certified organic kitchens. Pastry Smart says it is committed to sustainability, use of renewable energy, sourcing local ingredients, and blending traditional handcrafted baking with advanced manufacturing technology.
"Pastry Smart Announces Two New Organic, Humane Brands: Le Culture, A Handcrafted Bread Collection, and Mission Blue Confections", News release, Pastry Smart, March 08, 2013, © Pastry Smart
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General Mills Employees Help Fight Poverty In Africa

March 6, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Partners in Food Solutions, a nonprofit group established by employees of food company General Mills, works to help poor people in Africa through technology and knowledge transfer. The group's efforts include sharing with Africa-based partners and beneficiaries General Mills' knowledge and technical expertise as a food company. Among FPS' partners in Africa are Nyirefami, a flour-milling company in Tanzania, and COMACO, a nonprofit that markets food to consumers while working to save wild animals and ecosystems.
Ken Powell, "How General Mills Uses Food Technology to Make an Impact in Africa", Harvard Business Review, March 06, 2013, © Harvard Business School Publishing
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Unilever Foresees Harsh Business Climate In Nigeria In 2013

March 4, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever Nigeria PLC managing director Thabo Mabe forecast business will be more difficult in 2013. Speaking at the company’s 2012 Customers Forum event in Lagos, Mabe said global warming is expected to have adverse impact on the business environment in Nigeria, as well as worldwide. Mabe, however, promised his company will push its products harder despite the forecast hardships. Unilever’s reorganization of its business in the country’s northern region helped made the region the company’s highest sales point in its 2010 financial year, Mabe said.
Princewill Ekwujuru, "Business-Nigeria: Business will be tough this year - Unilever MD", afriquejet.com, March 04, 2013, © Actualité Economie Finances Sports
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Method Launches Cable TV Advertising Campaign

March 4, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Method launched its first television advertising campaign in key markets in the United States and Canada. The manufacturer of environment-friendly household and personal care products expanded its digital campaign with a cable TV buy in seven markets in the region for the whole of 2013. Method launched the "Clean Happy" videos online in 2012 and expanded its Facebook community. Advertising agency Mekanism developed the campaign, which includes commercials featuring the company's major products.
"METHOD BRINGS “CLEAN HAPPY” CAMPAIGN TO TV", Method, March 04, 2013, © Method
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Sustainable Food Trade Association Reports Member Companies Are Expanding Sustainability Efforts

March 1, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Organic food companies are adopting sustainability initiatives, including use of less energy, creation of less waste, reduction of carbon footprints, and donation to the community, according to the Sustainable Food Trade Association. Review of SFTA members’ sustainability reports revealed 100 percent have focused on organic agriculture by selling or producing organic products. Also, member companies are adopting efficiency to reduce energy use, with 37 percent of members saying they have invested in onsite renewable energy generation. Waste diversion rates from landfill rose to 76 percent, while 85 percent of members said they have invested in tracking and integrating carbon management into their operations.
"Sustainable Food Trade Association Releases Its First Annual Sustainability Report", Sustainable Food Trade Association, March 01, 2013, © Sustainable Food Trade Association
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The Body Shop Names Leona Lewis As Brand Activist

February 28, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
The Body Shop appointed singer Leona Lewis as brand endorser. Lewis' support for animal rights and her being a vegetarian make her an ideal partner for the cosmetics retailer. Lewis will support The Body Shop and Cruelty Free International's joint campaign to ban animal testing for cosmetics worldwide. Also, The Body Shop will launch the Limited Edition Collection by Leona Lewis line of cruelty-free fragrance and makeup products.
Rebecca Twomey , "Leona Lewis appointed The Body Shop's new Brand Activist", Marie Claire, February 28, 2013, © Marie Claire
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General Mills and Häagen-Dazs Launch Initiative To Help Madagascar Smallholder Farmers Increase Vanilla Output

February 20, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
General Mills and Häagen-Dazs launched an initiative seeking to enhance the economic conditions of smallholder vanilla farmers in Madagascar and ensure supply of high-quality vanilla in the future. In line with General Mills’ efforts to promote sustainable agriculture worldwide, the initiative will leverage the company’s supply-chain and agronomic knowledge base, Virginia Dare’s understanding of the vanilla market, and nonprofit group CARE’s expertise in fighting global poverty. As part of the initiative, Häagen-Dazs will invest $125,000 over two years to help villages in Madagascar’s Sava region.
"Häagen-Dazs and General Mills to help smallholder farmers increase yields and improve sustainability practices in Madagascar", General Mills, February 20, 2013, © General Mills Inc
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Despite Impressive Growth, Organic Cosmetics Market Fails To Outgrow Niche

February 19, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Although the organic and natural beauty market has expanded with double-digit annual growth rates in many countries, it remains a niche market. For example, the market in France grew at an average of 25 percent in 2005–2011, but natural and organic cosmetics accounted for only 2 percent of the total cosmetics market in 2011, according to Deloitte. In comparison, the segment accounts for 6.5 percent of the cosmetics market in Germany. While an increasing number of companies have joined the market by launching their organic and natural cosmetics, several vendors have ended their presence in the market segment. For example, Clarins terminated the Kibio brand it acquired in 2010, while L’Oréal has failed to grow its Sanoflore brand.
"Organic cosmetics deadlocked?", Premium Beauty News , February 19, 2013, © Premium Beauty News
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The Body Shop Revamps Stores, Launches PULSE Boutiques In The United States

February 18, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
The Body Shop began redesigning its stores and opening PULSE boutique stores in cities across the United States. Among the first new stores to open are those located at the Mall of America in Minnesota and at the King of Prussia Mall in Pennsylvania, the retailer said. To promote the stores’ opening, the company will offer free body butters to the first 50 customers on opening day. The Body Shop claims the new stores are designed to offer shoppers memorable and hands-on experience, as well as inform them about the company’s natural and sustainability advocacy and community involvement.
"The Body Shop opening new concept boutiques around the country", hello beauty!, February 18, 2013, © hello beauty!
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Lush Cosmetics Says It Will Make Products Without Microplastics

February 18, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Lush Cosmetics said it will remove all glitter and microplastics from its products. Described by Lush Cosmetics ethics director Hilary Jones as a result of a long process, the decision was praised by marine conservation groups. With more than 50 percent of the plastic glitters still used by Lush Cosmetics concentrated into three long-term bestselling products, the cosmetics company needed to find replacements that would not upset and disappoint loyal customers. Several suppliers have launched biodegradable alternatives to microplastics as they try to deal with the controversy regarding the use of microplastics in cosmetics and personal care products.
Vincent Gallon, "Microplastics: Lush hot on Unilever’s heels", Premium Beauty News, February 18, 2013, © Premium Beauty News
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Resources Are Available For Those Interested In Farming In The City

February 17, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Urban farming is catching on all over the country, as people from all walks of life grow food on rooftops, balconies, window sills, etc. To promote the trend and provide resources for novice and experienced urban gardeners, Food Tank  compiled a list of organizations, conferences, videos, and books dedicated to the subject. The City Chicken Project, for example, teaches city dwellers how to keep chickens that provide not only eggs, but also soil aeration and fertilizer. Two organizations in Chicago offer urban beekeeping classes. And “The Urban Farm Handbook” provides instruction for the novice urban farmer and includes “a wealth of relevant topics”.
Danielle Nierenberg and Food Tank Contributor Heather Penn, "Eight Urban Farm Initiatives In The U.S.", Foodtank.org, February 17, 2013, © Food Tank, The Food Think Tank
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Thierry Mugler's The Source Makes Perfume Refilling Cool

February 14, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Fashion and perfume vendor Thierry Mugler launched its The Source perfume refill recycling business. Results of analysis conducted by environmental specialist firm EVEA showed the refill recycling operations could save around 1,515 tons of used fragrance bottles and eliminate the need for 1.35 million new bottles worldwide. There are many obstacles, such as inconvenience, mess, and cost, faced by companies promoting refill recycling; however, Thierry Mugler’s move might make the concept fashionable and be readily accepted by consumers.
Amy Bridgman, "When Refill Recycling Works for Your Brand", Popsop, February 14, 2013, © Popsop Ltd.
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When It Comes To Packaging, Sustainability Is The Key For Global Consumers

February 13, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
A survey of nearly 20,000 consumers in 26 countries by French market researcher Ipsos finds a willingness to pay extra for packaging that keeps food and beverages fresher longer (55 percent), is environmentally friendly (55 percent), is re-usable and easy to use. But consumers were less interested in more sophisticated packaging that prevents mess or spills, keeps food and beverages at the right temperature, or makes it easier to eat and drink on-the-go (31 percent). Ipsos said the findings suggest a marketing opportunity “through innovative package designs that deliver sustainability of freshness as well as sustainability of the planet.”
"Global Consumers Willing to Fork Out More for Fresh and Sustainable Packaging", Ipsos, February 13, 2013, © Ipsos
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SC Johnson Joins Mexico's Wind Farm Program To Increase Renewable Energy Use At Toluca Factory

February 12, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
SC Johnson said it has joined the wind farm program of Mexico’s Comision Federal de Electricidad. Part of the company’s efforts to increase its sustainability, SC Johnson’s participation in the program will allow it to increase its use of renewable energy by 65 percent to about 86 percent of total power use at its facility in Toluca, Mexico. Also, it will decrease the facility’s greenhouse gas emissions by 57 percent. Other sustainability initiatives of the company include the use of wind turbines at its largest manufacturing facility in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, and the use of waste palm shells as a fuel source to heat water for mosquito coil production at its Medan facility in Indonesia.
"SC Johnson Mexico to Use Wind Energy to Produce Trusted Household Products like Glade and Pledge", SC Johnson, February 12, 2013, © S.C. JOHNSON & SON, INC.
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Unilever Joins Metro In Promoting Deodorants With Smaller Packaging

February 8, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever partnered with Metro magazine to launch a marketing campaign for the personal care company’s range of compressed deodorants. As part of the campaign, a 24-page downsized edition of the Metro magazine will be launched on February 11, 2013. With a distribution of 300,000, the mini-magazine will include an advertorial highlighting the environmental benefits of compressed deodorants and a story focusing on the rise pro-sustainability consumers.
Angela Haggerty, "Metro and Unilever join forces for compressed mini edition", The Drum, February 08, 2013, © Carnyx Group Ltd
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Natural And Organic Cosmetics And Personal Care Market Grows Slower In 2012

February 7, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Annual growth rate for the global natural and organic cosmetics and toiletries market slowed to 7–9 percent in 2012, according to Organic Monitor. In 2011, the global market was valued at $9.1 billion and today still attracts manufacturers. Europe and North America, which is dominated by natural cosmetics, are the two largest markets. Decline in demand in Europe is the main cause for the global market's slowdown. Asia's market is growing at double-digit levels, while the North American market is recovering from the adverse effects of the 2007–2009 financial crisis. Investment in new products has continued, with 6,999 all natural and organic beauty and personal care product launches recorded in 2012, according to Mintel.
Imogen Matthews , "Natural/Organic Has Room to Grow", Happi, February 07, 2013, © Rodman Media / HAPPI
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Walmart, Mother Nature Network Launch Twitter Campaign For Sustainability

February 6, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart partnered with Mother Nature Network to launch a campaign promoting sustainability on Twitter. As part of the campaign, the partners launched a contest inviting consumers to share ideas and innovations on Twitter for a chance to win a $100 Walmart gift card. Every first Wednesday of the month, a new contest will be announced.
"Walmart and Mother Nature Network Take Search for Sustainability Ideas to Twittersphere", Walmart, February 06, 2013, © Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
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Partnership Promotes Coconut Sustainability In Philippines

February 5, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. food producer and marketer Cargill has partnered with the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and chemical company BASF to develop a certified sustainable coconut oil supply chain in the Philippines. The goal of the partnership, which is co-financed by a German government agency, is to enhance sustainability and improve the livelihoods of 2,500 coconut growers by improving productivity and coconut oil quality. The initiative provides farmers with newly designed coconut dryers to improve the quality of copra (coconut meat) and coconut oil, and provides better access to health insurance. About 3.5 million hectares are dedicated to coconut production in the Philippines, a quarter of the total agricultural land.
"Partnership Sets Out Path to Certified Sustainable Coconut Oil in the Philippines", Cargill, February 05, 2013, © Cargill, Incorporated
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Unilever Reduces Size Of Deodorant Packaging To Enhance Sustainability

February 4, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever said it reduced the size of packaging of its deodorant products to make them more environment-friendly. Deodorants made by the company, including Sure and Dove brands, will be available in 75-milliliter cans instead of the previous 150ml containers. Unilever, however, assured consumers that they will get the same amount of deodorant as before from the new packaging, which the company claims contains less gas and less aluminum. Also, the new packaging means deodorants occupy less space and are easier and cost less to transport.
Sean Poulter, "Your deodorant shrinks... but the price doesn't! Firm reduces size of cans in bid to be green", Daily Mail, February 04, 2013, © Associated Newspapers Ltd
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Multinational Companies In India Are Committed To Buying Palm Oil From Sustainable Sources

February 2, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
A commitment to creating sustainable supply chains is driving multinational companies to encourage producers of palm oil in Malaysia and Indonesia to adopt sustainable production methods. Indian companies that buy palm oil include Godrej Industries, Hindustan Unilever, Adani Wilmar, and Ruchi Soya. They are among 20 multinationals whose goal is to eventually buy only palm oil that originates from plantations certified as sustainable by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).Unilever, for example, has set a target of purchasing palm oil only from traceable sources by 2020.
Rituraj Tiwari & Sagar Malviya, "Eco-friendly Palm oil, a new mantra for sustainability", The Economic Times, February 02, 2013, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd
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Henkel Recognizes Top Suppliers And Partners

January 31, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Henkel honored five of its suppliers for their “outstanding cooperation,” at the 2013 American Cleaning Institute Annual Meeting and Industry Convention in Orlando, Florida. Novozymes and Dow Corning received Henkel’s Best Innovation Contributor Award, while the Henkel Sustainability Award went to Monosol and Evonik Industries. Ashland received the Best Supply Performance Award. Henkel’s corporate senior vice president of global purchasing, Bertrand Conquéret in expressing his company’s appreciation, said, “A close strategic partnership with our core suppliers enables us to leverage the full potential in all our businesses.”
"Henkel presents awards to outstanding suppliers", Henkel, January 31, 2013, © Henkel AG & Co. KGaA
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Unilever's Social Experiment Aims To Find Ways To Improve Household Sustainability

January 30, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever launched the Bathroom Challenge, the second chapter of its sustainability social experiment in the United Kingdom. Highlighting the company's personal and household care brands Radox, Domestos, and Persil, the program asks 12 UK households to discover ways to lower their water and energy use and bathroom waste while doing daily activities, such as washing hands and brushing teeth. Data from Futures Company show heating water for household use accounts for 23 percent of domestic heating bills and one-fifth of households' carbon footprint in the UK. Launched in November 2012, the first part of the Sustain Ability Challenge asked 12 households to reduce the environmental impact of their kitchens.
Rosie Baker, "Unilever launches second phase of sustainability scheme", Marketing Week, January 30, 2013, © Centaur Media plc
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Unilever Joins Davos Conference On Global Development

January 25, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever chief executive officer Paul Polman discussed at the 2013 World Economic Forum in Davos the challenges the world faces as resources decline and demand for food, water, and energy keeps rising. Polman joined United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron, and other world and business leaders in discussing ways to deal with poverty and related issues. Polman is a member of the High Level Panel of Eminent Persons convened by Ban Ki-moon in July 2012 as his advisory council on global development issues beyond 2015.
"Unilever debates global development at Davos", Unilever, January 25, 2013, © Unilever
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Unilever Claims Half Of Its Factories Produced Zero Landfill Waste In 2012

January 24, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever reported that more than 50 percent of its factories have achieved the company's goal of generating no landfill waste in 2012. What makes this achievement more remarkable, however, is the €51 billion in annual sales reported by Unilever. Unilever claimed 100 percent of its factories in 18 countries produced no landfill waste in 2012. The company recently revised its Sustainable Living Plan objective of reducing waste for disposal to 2008 levels or lower by bringing the 2020 commitment five years forward to 2015.
"Unilever reduces waste by one million household bins while growing business", Unilever, January 24, 2013, © Unilever
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Peanut Butter Project Tests Beneficial Effects Of Whey Protein On Malnourished African Children

January 24, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
The humanitarian organization known as the Project Peanut Butter (PPB) that developed a Ready-To-Use Therapeutic Food to battle childhood malnutrition in African countries, is launching a clinical trial to determine whether adding whey protein to the mix would provide even greater health benefits. The current nutritional supplement – a mix of peanuts, powdered milk, oil, sugar, vitamins and minerals – is energy dense, resists spoiling, does not need to be cooked and can be given in small amounts. The organization is testing whether lactose-rich whey permeate – a by-product of cheese making– would benefit immature digestive systems by promoting mineral  absorption and stimulating beneficial bacteria growth in the gut, creating a stronger digestive and immune system.
"Project Peanut Butter", Joanna Cosgrove, January 24, 2013, © Rodman Media
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Dietary Changes Since 1960 Have Strained The Supply Of Rare Resource: Phosphorous

January 17, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Over the last four decades, increases in meat consumption and total calorie intake have led to a 38 percent increase in the world’s per capita phosphorous footprint, according to researchers at Canada’s McGill University. They calculated the total amount of phosphorus applied to food crops for humans and animals by using fertilizer-application rates. They then looked at the statistical relationship between economic development and phosphorus-footprint values, finding that dietary changes since the early 1960s have fueled a sharp increase in the amount of mined phosphorus – a relatively scarce resource. "Our results demonstrate that changes in diet can be a significant part of the strategy for enhancing sustainability of phosphorus management," the lead author said.
"Dietary shifts driving up phosphorus use", Press release, Environmental Research Letters, January 17, 2013, © AAAS, the science society
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