Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 23, 2014 06:15 PM
During the kick-off to the United Nations Climate Summit on Tuesday, business leaders and political leaders vowed to action plans on behalf of their companies or countries. Commitments made to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the General Assembly included, on the corporate side:
• IKEA announced it's expanding the availability of residential solar panels from the UK to the Netherlands and Switzerland and six additional countries and also unveiled "a new commitment for all plastic material used in its home furnishing products to be 100% renewable and/or recycled by 2020."
• Mondelez International Chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld "joined world leaders at the UN Climate Summit to announce the first global timeline to slow and then end forest loss. The New York Declaration on Forests strives to cut forest loss in half by 2020, and end it by 2030—and also calls for restoring at least 350 million hectares of degraded forest lands by 2030, an area greater than the size of India." She also pledged "new support for the UNDP Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil Platform."
• In all, 39 major companies (incuding Walmart, Unilever and McDonald's) and 32 countries (but not, alarmingly, Brazil) signed the Declaration on Forests, including Asia Pulp and Paper, whose longtime foe Greenpeace welcomed the Declaration but also urged that voluntary action not replace government action.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 22, 2014 02:01 PM
A tipping point has been reached vis-à-vis climate change. Sunday's People’s Climate March (supported by Ben & Jerry's and a host of organizations) drew an estimated 400,000 people in New York alone, making it the largest climate march in history. And it's not just private citizens, but corporate citizens that are taking a stand in response to customer demands ahead of Tuesday’s opening of the UN Climate Summit in New York.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has identified the issue as a top priority and is using NYC's Climate Week to set the stage for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change taking place in Paris in December 2015.
On the eve of this week's Climate Summit, companies are speaking out and aligning their brands with popular sentiment by making pledges to help fight global warming, with the Climate Group announcing commitments by "100 of the world's largest companies" to adopt renewable power by 2020.
Case in point: Apple CEO Tim Cook, barely catching his breath from a record opening weekend for iPhone 6 sales, flew from California to attend a Climate Week kick-off event in New York, where he commented that "Apple has a very core value of leaving the world better than we found it."
In addition to calling Apple's new HQ the "greenest building on the planet," Cook announced that the company's 2013 goal to get its data centers fully powered by renewable energy sources is six percent shy of that goal.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 19, 2014 11:39 AM
Greenpeace’s latest campaign, #ClickClean, targets major tech players like Amazon and Twitter to source more of their energy from renewables such as solar, wind and hydro power.
Featuring musician/comedian Reggie Watts, Greenpeace launched ClickClean following its April report that showed which of the Internet’s biggest players are using dirty or clean energy. The activist group began addressing the cloud issue in 2012, challenging Apple, Microsoft and Amazon to power their data centers with renewable energy. Apple has since complied and is powering its iCloud with 100-percent renewable energy. Google, Facebook, Salesforce, Rackspace and Box also are taking actions to increase their green cred.
"We set out to develop a campaign that had humor at its core and that people would rally behind and share," said Mary Hanifin, executive producer from The VIA Agency that worked with Greenpeace, according to Fast Company. "Positive persuasion by numbers, you could say. Reggie’s unique brand of comedy, devoted following and ability to convey complex themes through humor made him a perfect fit."Continue reading...
Posted by Jerome McDonnell on July 3, 2014 12:56 PM
After more than 20 years of trying, BP has failed to convince the Australian government that its signature shade of green should be granted a trademark registration.
IP Australia, which administers that country’s intellectual property rights system, ruled on June 17 that it found no convincing evidence to support the petroleum giant’s efforts to protect the color shade Pantone 348C—despite the fact that the color has been central to the BP brand since the 1930s. While the company has the right (until July 17) to appeal, this decision is yet another setback for BP, which has successfully secured trademark registrations for the single color in markets including the UK, France, Iran and nearby New Zealand.
Australian retailer Woolworths, whose apple logo also utilizes the color green, had previously opposed BP’s attempts to register the color, and while some media reports have positioned this development as a huge victory for Woolworths, this latest update focuses on less the a war between two corporations but on whether the color, as BP seeks to protect it, actually functions as a trademark and warrants protection.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 3, 2014 03:26 PM
At a critical juncture for Apple, the house that Jobs built is now turning to health and fitness as the antidote to slipping iPhone sales and public criticism that the brand has lost its defining innovation and design mojo.
The company is reportedly working on a sensor-laden iWatch that works in tandem with a “Healthbook” app to monitor and store personal data on steps taken, calories burned, blood pressure, hydration levels and other blood-related metrics like glucose levels, following the growing popularity of health-monitoring devices like Nike's FuelBand, FitBit and dozens of others than debuted at this year's CES.
Apple executives Jeff Williams, SVP operations, Bud Tribble, VP software technology, and Michael O’Reilly, a recent hire and former chief medical officer for Masimo, creator of non-invasive technology that measures blood oxygen, met in December with Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg about “mobile medical applications," according to the New York Times.
Mark A. McAndrew, a partner with Taft Stettinius & Hollister said the out of the ordinary meetings signaled that, “They are either trying to get the lay of the land for regulatory pathways with medical devices and apps and this was an initial meeting, or Apple has been trying to push something through the FDA for a while and they’ve had hangups.”Continue reading...
let's make a deal
Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 14, 2014 12:57 PM
On the heels of CES 2014, Google has effectively tapped into arguably one of the biggest trends in consumer tech—the smart home—by buying Nest Labs for $3.2 billion in cash, its second-largest acquisition to date.
The company founded by former Apple executives Matt Rogers and Tony Fadell, who is credited as a key player in the invention of the iPod, is known for creating smart thermostats and smoke detectors. Nest told Forbes that it has sold about 1 million of its thermostats, placing them in nearly 1 percent of US households.
But Nest, a company started by and filled with ex-Apple employees, doesn't seem to be worried. Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 22, 2013 12:43 PM
Walgreens opened the first net zero energy retail store in Evanston, Ill., yesterday, harnessing power from two wind turbines, nearly 850 solar panels and a geothermal system burrowed 550 feet into the ground. The store will produce energy equal to or greater than it consumes from the power grid—the definition of net zero.
"Currently, we have facilities that utilize wind turbines, solar installations and geothermal technologies,” said Mark Wagner, Walgreens president of operations and community management. “This is the first time we are bringing all three of these technologies and many more together in one place. Our purpose as a company is to help people get, stay and live well, and that includes making our planet more livable by conserving resources and reducing pollution."
Engineering estimates put this store’s energy usage at 200,000 kilowatt hours per year, while generating 220,000 kilowatt hours per year, versus the average Chicago Walgreens store’s energy footprint of 425,000 kilowatt-hours.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 28, 2013 04:13 PM
Brands are—forgive the pun—warming to solar power. Retail brands, in particular, according to the latest report from the U.S. Solar Energy Industries Association, which names Walmart, Costco, Kohl's, Apple and IKEA as its top five "solar champions" in the U.S., as ranked by installed capacity.
Their respective retail footprints are using stores' huge rooftop spaces to expand into solar. Walmart, as the biggest U.S. retailer, leads the pack in the race for commercial solar power, "converting more sun into energy than 38 U.S. states," as Bloomberg puts it. The retail giant has partnered with SolarCity to install solar power at 60 stores in California, part of a company-wide goal to equip 130 stores, or 75% of its stores in the state, with the renewable form of energy.
Apple, which recently hired former EPA head Lisa Jackson as its first VP of environment initiatives to spur its goal of 100 percent renewable energy, is building utility-scale solar projects next to its data centers in partnership with SunPower. The sustainability moves advance the companies' environmental, and financial, goals—naturally.Continue reading...