14 January 2010

Greenwashing makes you look stupid. Other company, industry and government info

Top Stories

California's Building Code Turns a Deeper Shade of Green.reliability high.
"On a unanimous vote, the California Building Standards Commission approved provisions on Tuesday that revise the code adopted in July 2008. That rules package was a set of voluntary green building measures for new construction and took effect in August 2009 with a timetable for transitioning to mandatory standards. Starting January 1, 2011, adherence to the rules adopted this week becomes a requirement for all new construction." There have been some complaints that the code creates a quasi-certification standard, since buildings can be labeled as compliant. From GreenBiz.

Germany moves toward trimming solar power incentives.reliability high.
"The government, photovoltaic companies and consumer lobby groups moved closer on Wednesday toward an agreement on trimming state-mandated incentives for solar power to reflect a steeper overall slide in costs." Having built a large PV industry based on lavish government incentives, Germany is puzzled how to adjust those incentives to avoid a bubble, while not hurting the industry too much. From Reuters.

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

Integra own brand paper now Carbon Neutral®.reliability high.
"Integra Office Solutions Ltd, the leading dealer group in the UK office and IT supplies industry, has achieved CarbonNeutral® accreditation for its own brand initiative multipurpose office paper. . . . To achieve the CarbonNeutral® brand mark, Integra worked with The CarbonNeutral Company to complete an independent assessment of the CO2 emissions produced from the manufacturing, packaging, storage and distribution . . . ." "Integra took the decision to additionally offset the CO2 emissions through carbon offsetting." From Office Supplies News. [Note that they have not offset the emissions generated from the paper after disposal. A pound of paper in a landfill, or in an incinerator, produces more than a pound of CO2 emissions, probably more than was emitted in manufacture, packaging, storage and distribution. This paper is only "Carbon Neutral" in some weird branding sense, not in reality. Also, has someone really registered "Carbon Neutral" as a trademark? No, the headline writer erred: only "CarbonNeutral®" is registered. (Is "CarboNeutral" still available?]

Ecollywood: Kiefer Sutherland on how '24' is going green.reliability high.
Hollywood says it is green. Actors and others tell how much they care about the environment. All trucks blown up in new season of "24" to be hybrids? "Although the show is set in the Big Apple, it still shoots in Los Angeles so Diamantopoulos and his wife Becki Newton (Amanda in the New York-based Ugly Betty) continue their commuter marriage. He took a fuel-burning 51 flights last year, but tries to make up for it by conserving at home. 'Not using bottled water and drinking filtered water is a big thing for us. We switched every single bulb to fluorescents,' he notes, 'and we recycle both in New York and L.A.'" See Mother Nature Network. [Would be funny if it weren't so sad. Do these people realize how lame they sound? Do they think they are setting a good example?]

Gov't cleantech spending successfully soothing VC fears.reliability high.
"Venture capitalists looking for clean energy investments say that the billions in stimulus grants, tax credits and loan guarantees distributed by the U.S. government, particularly the Department of Energy, have taken a lot of risk out of investing in early-stage startups. . . . 'We have a new partners, and that’s the Department of Energy,' said Bruce Pasternack, a venture partner at CMEA Capital . . . ." From VentureBeat. [This won't help start-ups, however.]

Government and Regulation

S.Africa to introduce new car tax despite concerns.reliability high.
South Africa's National Treasury will press on with plans to introduce a new tax on vehicles designed to curb carbon dioxide emissions, an official said Wednesday, despite concerns this could hamper the ailing auto sector's recovery. "The adjusting of existing ad valorem excise duties on motor vehicles to take CO2 emissions into account will still be implemented on 1 March 2010," said a Treasury spokesperson. The government needs the money. From Reuters.

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