22 February 2010

Eco actions don't match attitudes, and other company, industry, and government news

Top Stories

Call for tax on livestock emissions.reliability high.
"'Market-based policies, such as taxes and fees for natural resource use, should cause [livestock] producers to internalise the costs of environmental damages,' the FAO said in its annual report, The State of Food and Agriculture." "The FAO said that without fresh measures – from taxes and fees to cuts in subsidies or a boost in the efficiency of the sector – 'continued growth in livestock production will otherwise exert enormous pressures on ecosystems, biodiversity, land and forest resources and water quality, and will contribute to global warming'." Financial Times story (may require registration or subscription). PDF of report here.

Americans favor conservation, but few practice it.reliability high.
"Most Americans like the idea of conservation, but few practice it in their everyday lives, according to the results of a national survey released today by researchers at Yale and George Mason universities." For example, "81 percent say it is important to use re-usable shopping bags, but only 33 percent "often" or "always" do; 76 percent say it is important to buy locally grown food, but only 26 percent "often" or "always" do; 76 percent say it is important to walk or bike instead of drive, but only 15 percent "often" or "always" do; and 72 percent of Americans say it is important to use public transportation or carpool, but only 10 percent say they "often" or "always" do." From EurekAlert. PDF of report here.

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

Sharing the road.reliability high.
"In North America, membership in car-share services is expected to balloon more than eightfold between now and 2016, a trend that could trim the market for new auto sales by up to one million vehicles. . . . He predicts car-share membership in North America will reach 4.4 million by 2016, translating into a car-share fleet of more than 70,000 vehicles. But then there's the multiplier effect. 'On average, each shared vehicle replaced 15 personally owned vehicles in 2009,' according to Zhao." More anecdotes, quotes, facts & figures. See The Toronto Star.

Why Bringing Employees on Board Helps Sustainability Projects Succeed.reliability high.
About "a new study by the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF), which finds that environmental and sustainability (E&S) employee education and engagement initiatives can boost the bottom line, reduce environmental impacts, and  help retain and attract talent. . . . 'The case studies in this report demonstrate that employee environmental education and engagement helps a business achieve its sustainability goals while also reducing costs,' Margaret Lindeman, a sustainability strategist at Lockheed Martin, said in a statement." More at GreenBiz. PDF of report here.

Marks & Spencer strikes innovative council recycling deal.reliability high.
"Marks & Spencer's high-profile Plan A strategy has moved into a new phase today with the announcement of a pioneering closed-loop recycling initiative that will see the retailer fund kerbside collection for recyclable material, which it will use to make food packaging for use in its stores. The company said it will invest £1.25m over five years in a deal with Somerset County Council that will see it part-fund the kerbside collection of plastics and cardboard. Marks & Spencer will then use some of the collected recyclable material, with the excess being sold on to other packaging producers." See BusinessGreen.

Lag In Intelligent Transportation Could Hurt Economy.reliability high.
"The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation examined what world leaders in transportation are doing and found the United States is far behind  in developing vehicle to vehicle and vehicle to infrastructure communication and telemetry systems. The report found Japan leads the world in adopting such technology, often called Intelligent Transportation Systems or ITS. . . . Factoring in all cost savings, Ezell said, 'ITS systems on average have a benefit to cost ratio of nine to one – far above putting in additional highway capacity, which has a ratio of 2.7 to one.' . . . “If we were all able to have real time traffic information, to deploy such a system would cost $1.2 billion, but it would deliver a $30.2 billion economic return over a ten year period in terms of mobility, safety and environmental savings,” Ezell said." From Wired story. Access report here.

Government and Regulation

In Wyoming, Debate Swirls on Taxing Wind Industry.reliability high.
"A new bill being pushed by Gov. Dave Freudenthal would change the state’s renewable energy landscape by levying an excise tax on wind energy production, the first tax of its kind in the United States, energy experts say. The proposal, which was approved by the Wyoming House of Representatives on Thursday and is headed to the State Senate for a vote, would impose a $1-per-megawatt-hour tax on wind energy production. Revenue from the tax is projected at a minimum of $4 million annually, to be divided between the counties where the wind projects are located and the state. The tax would go into effect in 2012. 'We want to make sure that wind developers pay their way in Wyoming and that the tax burden isn't shifted to the taxpayers,' said Ryan Lance, deputy chief of staff for Mr. Freudenthal, a Democrat. 'These guys are making a lot of money, and we get all the impact — environmental and socioeconomic.'" See New York Times story. [You know a technology had made it to the big time when politicians start trying to use it as a cash cow.]

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