10 February 2010

How green is your perception? And interesting reports, company and industry news, and advice from Gazprom

Top Stories

Study Shows Wide Gap Between Actual and Perceived Green Efforts.reliability high.
"New research suggests some of the world's largest companies are still struggling with communicating their environmental efforts to customers. The latest installment of MapChange 2010 -- a joint effort from Change, a Canadian consulting firm, Angus Reid Public Opinion, and the nonprofit Climate Counts -- measured actual and perceived sustainability efforts of major consumer shipping, food service and banking companies, using a scale of 0-100. . . . The study used data from the most recent Climate Counts scorecard to measure actual brand sustainability. Climate Counts tracks corporate climate action at companies in 10 sectors on how well they've measured and reduced their carbon footprints, engaged on public policy, and communicated their actions. To measure public perception, the study used results from an online Angus Reid Public Opinion survey of 2,032 U.S. adults for 97 companies in 10 sectors." From GreenBiz. Access report here. [This is the reason for HaraBara's assessment reports.]

Corporate sustainability growing but no link to profits yet, report finds.reliability high.
"Sustainability is rapidly emerging as an important part of the corporate business strategy, but companies do not yet see a clear link between profits and sustainable performance, according to a new report by the Economist Intelligence Unit. . . . It found that 86 per cent of executives surveyed agreed that operating sustainable environmental and employment practices were important with 47 per cent saying that sustainability was 'very important' to their firms – although in Western Europe the figure was lower (39 per cent) than in North America (46 per cent) and Asia-Pacific (50 per cent)." Other highlights. See greenwise. PDF of report here. [The usual caveats about surveys, but there might be some interesting data here.]

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

Scrap UK's wind farm plans, says Gazprom boss.reliability high.
"Plans to build thousands of wind farms in the UK are irrational and should be scrapped in favour of more gas plants, according to the deputy chairman of the Russian energy firm Gazprom. . . . 'If we do not want to see the authors of the 2020 strategy decapitated in a public square, I do not think they can forget about gas,' he said. 'We at Gazprom believe gas should be treated on an equal footing as renewables.' " From The Guardian. [No comment.]

Safeway Inc. Announces FishWise Partnership.reliability high.
"Safeway Inc., one of the nation's largest grocery retailers, today announced it will join forces with FishWise – a non-profit organization focused on improving the sustainability and financial performance of seafood retailers, distributors, and producers – to develop and implement a more comprehensive sustainable seafood policy. The partnership will strengthen Safeway's earlier commitments to environmentally responsible seafood by requiring suppliers to participate in sustainability assessments and sourcing improvement plans, training staff on the company's sustainability policy, and providing science-based information on sustainable seafood to Safeway customers." In Grocery Retail Online from Business Wire.

State of Green Business Report.reliability high.
"GreenBiz.com’s annual State of Green Business Report is the landmark study measuring the environmental impacts of the growing green economy.  We document whether and how companies were reducing their environmental impacts, and the mixed results revealed:  More companies are doing more things, but moving the needle of environmental progress only slightly, if at all.  Here is our summary coverage of this year’s findings". From GreenBiz. Access report here (registration required)

Society ignores the oil crunch at its peril.reliability high.
Worries about "peak oil" and its potential impact on businesses and economies are becoming more main stream. "This time the warning is not limited to a prescient few individuals. Major British companies, led by Virgin, Scottish and Southern and Stagecoach, are flagging the danger, in today's report from the UK industry taskforce on peak oil and energy security . So too are the CEOs of oil companies themselves, in the case of Total and Petrobras, and growing numbers of other senior oil industry figures, usually recently retired." See The Guardian. PDF of report here.

Government and Regulation

UK MPs propose carbon tax to boost green investment.reliability high.
"The European Union's Emissions Trading System (ETS) is failing to deliver vital green investment after a collapse in carbon prices, MPs warn in a report out today. The environmental audit committee is calling on the government to introduce measures such as a new carbon tax to push the price of carbon from its level of €15 (£13) a tonne to what the MPs see as a more credible price of €100." From The Guardian.

Science and Economics

New UC Davis study: Climate 'tipping points' may arrive without warning, says top forecaster.reliability high.
A new study modeling change in ecological systems suggests that many systems will show sudden changes when stressed, for instance by climate change, rather than gradual changes that might provide warning. From the abstract: "Here we show that the class of ecological systems that will exhibit leading indicators of regime shifts is limited, and that there is a set of ecological models and, therefore, also likely to be a class of natural systems for which there will be no forewarning of a regime change." From EurekAlert. Access abstract here. [In most ecological systems, by the time you notice, it is probably too late to do anything about it.]

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