Posted by Abe Sauer on May 28, 2013 11:57 PM
Apple is the mine's canary. That's the takeaway from a recent press conference in China where the head of corporate sustainability for China tech giant Huawei told reporters that, unlike Apple, it will "learn from the issues that Apple has faced in China" and "never let supplier issues tarnish our brand.”
Whether Huawei means to "learn" from Apple or just copy it, the brand that has been singled out for a beating in the last few years over everything from China labor issues to tax avoidance has come under fire for a failure to innovate. But those critics all have tunnel-vision for Apple's electronics products.
What about innovating its "cultural product"? What if buying a iPhone 6 meant buying a better future? That just might be what Apple's aiming for with its latest high-profile hire. (Plus, the one better future we already have with Jackson's addition.) Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 28, 2013 05:46 PM
This post has been updated with statements from Chobani and Dannon USA, both of whom are faced with disposing growing amounts of acid whey.
Greek yogurt continues to claim practically every new American yogurt eater in sight, but a fly has emerged in the ointment—or, more rather, a toxin in the culture. An article in Modern Farmer magazine about the production of "acid whey" in the making of Greek-style yogurt has been getting a lot of attention because of the potential implications of the problem.
First, the good news for Greek-style yogurt: It continues to burgeon, serving as the growth engine for what had become a relatively stagnant US yogurt business. Since occupying nearly nothing of the yogurt market six years ago, Greek-style yogurts have grown to 35 percent of the U.S yogurt trade, fueled by the success of the upstart brand Chobani as well as counter-forays by Dannon, Yoplait and others. American consumers have come to crave the substantial mouthfeel and satiety aspects of Greek-style yogurt as well as its tangy taste, compared with standard yogurt fare.
For New York state, the Greek-style bonanza has been huge because of the expansion of yogurt production by Chobani and Fage upstate in dairy country, giving New York a total of 29 yogurt plants. Dubbed the "Silicon Valley of Yogurt," New York now surpasses California in yogurt production by more than 100 million pounds.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 1, 2013 10:34 AM
Three heavyweights of American industrialism were among those who spoke at a Fortune's Brainstorm Green conference, and they had a lot to say about what they're doing to make their companies more sustainable.
GM CEO Dan Akerson, Procter & Gamble CEO Bob McDonald, and General Mills CEO Kendall Powell each held forth at the sustainability-focused confab.
Akerson was the most newsworthy. He is genuinely fond of the Chevrolet Volt and will defend it against all comers, Akerson threw a potential trump card on the table against critics of GM's groundbreaking plug-in hybrid who believe it's way too expensive for whatever environmental benefits it yields, especially given all the federal-government subsidies it gets: The company plans a price cut of $7,000 to $10,000 on the "next generation" of the car and even plans for Volt "to be profitable," Akerson said.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 8, 2013 08:02 PM
Athletes expend a whole lot of energy all over the world. In a world that is desperate for ways to find new sources of sustainable energy, it seems like a no-brainer to try and capture some of that expenditure of energy and use it for good, such as the more than 350 UK gyms that are built to generate their own energy for lighting or the bike energy that helped power the laptops of Occupy Wall Street.
The Paris Marathon has now gotten into the act. More than 40,000 runners made their way through the City of Lights Sunday and every last one of them bounced across an 82-foot stretch of flexible tiles made of recycled truck tires on the Champs-Élysées that used high technology to store the energy generated by all that foot power into a few batteries. The tile maker, Pavegen Systems Ltd., says that “each footstep generates as much as 8 watts of kinetic energy, which is fed back to batteries that can charge display screens and electronic signs along the route,” according to RenewEconomy.com.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 11, 2013 12:57 PM
The United States is currently the world's largest market for genetically modified organisms (GMO)—foods including soy milk, soup and breakfast cereals (made with soybeans), corn and other biotech crops manipulated to make them more resistant to insects and pesticides.
The debate over GMO labeling for organisms genetically engineered by introducing changes into their DNA structure continues to grab the attention of consumers and brands, exacerbated by the November 2012 defeat of Prop 37, a mandatory labeling initiative introduced on the California ballot. Large corporations including PepsiCo and Monsanto spent millions of dollars against Prop 37 and it was defeated.
Now Whole Foods Market is picking up the gauntlet and committing to full GMO transparency. Whole Foods—which made the announcement at the Natural Products Expo West—has committed to labelling all products in its U.S. and Canadian stores that contain genetically modified organisms by 2018.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 7, 2013 06:46 PM
As many high-end brands show off their latest designs at New York Fashion Week, Greenpeace has a big message for the fashion world at large: It's time to clean up your act.
The latest from Greenpeace’s global Detox campaign is its “Fashion Duel,” with Italian actress Valeria Golino leading the charge for the industry to make environmental stewardship a priority in their operations.
The "duel" sets out to rate 15 Italian and French high-end luxury brands on three areas of the global supply chain — leather, pulp and paper and toxic water pollution — and highlights their differences in policy on toxic water pollution and deforestation.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 10, 2013 01:36 PM
“Plastics” may have been the career advice for The Graduate, but since the Sixties the mantra might be, "Plastic? Oh no! Banned" because the ever-expanding number of companies using them in products have come under fire for their impact on the environment.
The latest form of plastic to come under attack isn't about packaging, but the use of tiny pieces of plastic within products: the microbead, the tiny pellet found in personal care items produced by consumer packaged goods companies.
One CPG giant, Unilever, has now capitulated to environmental activists and agreed to stop using microbeads in its personal-care items, such as facial scrubs and toothpaste, following a social media protest involving Europe's Plastic Soup Foundation and its supporters.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on January 9, 2013 12:09 PM
Greenpeace has added Uniqlo to its list of global fashion brands and retailers signing its Detox pledge, making "a public commitment to eliminate all releases of hazardous chemicals throughout its entire global supply chain and products by 2020."
The commitment covers all Fast Retailing-owned brands — Uniqlo, Comptoir des Cotonniers, Princesse TamTam, GU and Theory — which together operate more than 2,000 stores. "Uniqlo recognises clean water as a critical global issue, and is proud to join Greenpeace in its campaign to eliminate hazardous chemical use," stated Yukihiro Nitta, Fast Retailing's executive in charge of social responsibility. The company also vowed to disclose discharge data from at least 80% of its global suppliers (including all their facilities) by the end of this year.
As the environmental group blogged, the Uniqlo deal "comes just a month after Zara, Mango, Esprit and Levi's announced similar individual commitments, responding to waves of pressure from activists and consumers around the world. Competitors in the fashion world including GAP, G-Star Raw and Calvin Klein are looking increasingly out of touch now that 12 of the world's top high street fashion brands have committed to Detox." Other Detox signatories include Adidas, C&A, H&M, Nike, Puma and M&S.