16 November 2009

Leaders cave on Copenhagen deadline, states and companies reduce emissions, other company and industry news

Top Stories

New Report: Pollution Down in One-Third of States Prior to Economic Downturn.reliability high.
"Global warming pollution declined in one-third of the states since 2004, the year in which pollution levels began to peak in many states, according to a new analysis of government data released today by Environment America. Pollution levels, however, rose in the majority of states (33) between 2004 and 2007." For the U.S. as a whole, "emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel consumption increased by 19 percent between 1990 and 2007", mostly from growing emissions from power plants and vehicles, but have leveled off in recent years. See Environment America site. PDF here. [Several states cut absolute emissions by switching from coal to gas for power generation. The detailed data are interesting--it is not always the states you might think that have cut emissions the most.]

Leaders Will Delay Deal on Climate Change.reliability high.
"President Obama and other world leaders have decided to put off the difficult task of reaching a climate change agreement at a global climate conference scheduled for next month, agreeing instead to make it the mission of the Copenhagen conference to reach a less specific 'politically binding' agreement that would punt the most difficult issues into the future." "The agreement on Sunday codifies what negotiators had already accepted as all but inevitable: that representatives of the 192 nations in the talks would not resolve the outstanding issues in time. The gulf between rich and poor countries, and even among the wealthiest nations, was just too wide. Among the chief barriers to a comprehensive deal in Copenhagen was Congress’s inability to enact climate and energy legislation that sets binding targets on greenhouse gases in the United States. Without such a commitment, other nations are loath to make their own pledges." From New York Times. [It has become obvious over the past few months that Obama would not be able to make commitments on behalf of the U.S., since Congress is unable to pass even a weak climate bill. So the goals of Copenhagen have been restated. "'It signifies an abandonment of moral responsibility that a position of leadership on the world stage clearly implies,' Mr. Pachauri said" according to NYT analysis.]

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

Anvil Knitwear Launches TrackMyT.com.reliability high.
Anvil Knitwear has a new "interactive Web site that chronicles and brings to life the complete journey and environmental impact of a t-shirt, from cotton-seed to consumer." It "allows users to explore cotton farms, a gin and spinners, as well as Anvil's textile mill, cut and sew plants, and distribution facility -- all by inputting a unique tracking number printed on their very own shirt." Also provides suggestions for reducing the environmental footprint of your t-shirt. From PR Newswire. Try the interactive site here. [Loads slowly due to unanticipated demand, but worth waiting for. Very clever tool to introduce young consumers to the concept of supply chains.]

Group says electric car is U.S. oil addiction cure.reliability high.
"A coalition of energy companies, automakers and shipping firms unveiled on Monday their cure for America's oil addiction -- electric vehicles." They urge government support. "Instead of going nationwide all at once, the government should target what Diamond calls 'electricity ecosystems,' comprising a handful of large cities. The communities would be chosen on a competitive basis, with the winning cities demonstrating support for electric vehicles from large employers and state and local governments." From Reuters. Group's site here.

Malt whisky ruling may mean the end for green distillery.reliability high.
"An environmentally friendly distillery in Scotland may be forced to cut jobs and abandon efforts to reduce energy use because of new rules defining how traditional malt whisky is made." Loch Lomond Distillery has been trying to be greener, in part by using more energy-efficient distillation technology than traditional pot stills. But it "may have to close or change more than half of its production if plans to define malt whisky as spirit made only from old-fashioned pot stills are passed in parliament." "As it is, we prevent more than 1,400 tonnes of CO2 being released every year and they want us to go back to the old inefficient ways." More on preserving the identity of Scotch vs innovation in energy conservation. See The Guardian.

Wireless Protocols Vie for Smart Grid.reliability medium.
"The Wi-Fi Alliance, a consortium of companies developing wireless technologies, released a white paper detailing the benefits of Wi-Fi as the standard of communication in smart grid solutions." "there are other wireless standards that offer longer range coverage, including WiMax, that some smart grid companies are choosing to use." More on studies, pros and cons of various wireless technologies for smart grid. See New York Times Green Inc. blog. White paper here.

Dow: Sustainability = Money.reliability medium.
"investor presentation from Dow Chemical emphasized their strategy in incorporating sustainability in all aspects of their operations and businesses mostly because it is profitable to do so." Gives some examples of Dow's moves into sustainability. See Green Chemicals blog.

Merciless Ikea memoir flat-packs a punch.reliability high.
"The wholesome Scandinavian image of furniture and lifestyle giant Ikea has been rudely shaken by a new book which claims the company is hostile to foreign employees and uses Stasi-style secret police methods to spy on its thousands of staff worldwide." "His book also alleges that the company makes claims to being an eco-friendly concern, while in reality its huge market share means that it can dictate the lowest prices to its suppliers. 'The key to Ikea's low prices is the supply of cheap raw materials,' Mr Stenebo writes. 'Instead of using the best they use the cheapest.'" From The Independent. Related item from Spiegel.

Sears Holdings Announces New Sustainable Paper Procurement Policy.reliability high.
Sears Holdings Corporation, which owns Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Kmart Corporation, has set a Sustainable Paper Procurement Policy "that it will phase out fiber from unwanted sources, and procure paper sourced from credibly certified forest sources with verified chain-of-custody and/or recycled sources with a preference for post-consumer recycled paper. The policy also outlines supplier requirements and a preferred sustainable supplier program." It is implementing Metafore's Environmental Paper Assessment Tool to assist it in the procurement of sustainable paper. From PR Newswire.

How green are these corporations?reliability high.
Carbon Disclosure Project results: "This year's FTSE 350 Report shows UK companies are disclosing the highest ever levels of greenhouse gas emissions — at 390 million metric tons of CO2-equivalent, equating to 61% of total UK emissions. But only 35% of the FTSE 350 disclosed emissions reduction targets. Some environmental campaigners say this only highlights the unwillingness of major corporations to be open about their environmental credentials. This is lower than the 51% of Global 500 companies reporting emission reduction targets to CDP. So, are British companies just less open than their global peers?" From The Guardian.

[Crossposted from HaraBara.com courtesy of HaraBara, Inc. Copyright © 2009 HaraBara, Inc.]