19 January 2010

Green key to investment in future. And more company, supply chain, industry and government information

Top Stories

Australian water crisis offers clues for California.reliability high.
Some California planners are looking at the strict water-conservation measures Australia has imposed during its ongoing decade-long drought as the state faces a similarly dry future. Discusses actions taken in Australia that might have to be imposed in California before too long. From Los Angeles Times Greenspace blog. [If any of your suppliers, facilities or customers in California use water this is important to your planning process.]

Deutsche Bank’s Kevin Parker on Investing in Sustainability.reliability medium.
Video interview with "Kevin Parker, Global Head of Deutsche Asset Management, who tells how investors are front and center in the call to finance a low-carbon economy." See Environmental Leader. [This is a good quick overview from someone who is putting a lot of money where his mouth is. Worth 4 minutes.]

Shell faces shareholder revolt over Canadian tar sands project.reliability high.
"A coalition of institutional investors has forced a resolution onto the agenda calling for the Anglo-Dutch group's audit committee to undertake a special review of the risks attached to the carbon-heavy oil production at Athabasca in Alberta. Co-operative Asset Management and 141 other institutional and individual shareholders raise 'concerns for the long-term success of the company arising from the risks associated with oil sands.'" From The Guardian. [Investors are getting more insistent, and more successful, in demanding firms take carbon-regulation risks into account.]

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

Sainsbury's to switch tomato packaging from tins to Tetra.reliability high.
"Sainsbury's supermarket is to switch its "Basics" range of tomatoes from tins to cardboard cartons, in a move that it claims will cut half a million kilos of packaging every year." "Sainsbury's started selling food in such "Tetra Recart" packaging in 2007, but says this is the first time cartons have been used for tinned items in such large volumes. The switch will go some way towards helping the supermarket achieve its target of reducing packaging by a third by 2015. This move alone will reduce carbon emissions by 156 tonnes per year." See The Guardian. [Article says two-thirds of councils in UK recycle cartons, but even if they didn't lower weight and higher cube can save Sainsbury's a lot of money.]

Touch-Points of Responsible Sourcing.reliability high.
"Recent examples show practical ways of responsible sourcing throughout the global supply chain." Examples with links to what various companies have done in green sourcing. See ThomasNet News.

Rush is on to lock up rights to flat Greater Toronto Area rooftops.reliability high.
Ontario's generous feed-in tariff has stimulated a gold rush to contract for roof space for solar panels. "Give them 20-year access to your building's unused rooftop and they'll kindly compensate you for the space – similar to how farmers over the years have earned income by allowing wind turbines on their property. With that secured access, companies will design, build and own the rooftop solar system at no expense or risk to the building owner. They'll then apply to connect the system to the grid as part of the Ontario Power Authority's feed-in-tariff program, which for large commercial rooftops pays between 53.9 cents to 71.3 cents per kilowatt-hour and guarantees quick connection to the grid." Discusses some of the payment schemes, and issues for building owners to take into consideration before finalizing a deal.  From The Toronto Star.

Government and Regulation

Renewables Interactive Map.reliability high.
Interactive map with data about renewable energy capacity, policies, subsidies and other information for specific countries. From Ren21 site.

U.S. government ditches transportation funding limits.reliability high.
The U.S. Department of Transportation is changing its criteria for funding of transportation projects to include more emphasis on environmental benefits and "livability". "In a speech to the Transportation Research Board, [Secretary of Transportation Ray] LaHood promoted the idea of "livability," or combining transportation options with urban development plans to make it easier for people to move through their towns while lessening the impact on the environment. LaHood said the budgeting change will give the green light to popular streetcar projects and will strengthen relationships among the Transportation and Housing departments and the Environmental Protection Agency." See Reuters article. [This change in policy could release more funding for mass transit projects. It adds consideration of carbon footprint to former focus on reducing road bottlenecks.]

[Crossposted from HaraBara.com courtesy of HaraBara, Inc. Copyright © 2010 HaraBara, Inc.]