18 March 2010

Adaptation challenges, company actions, supply chain concerns, Wal-Mart consulting, and other green news

Top Stories

Climate Change Impacts 'Pervasive, Wide-Ranging' White House Task Force Reports.reliability medium.
"Climate change is already having 'pervasive, wide-ranging' effects on 'nearly every aspect of our society,' a task force representing more than 20 federal agencies reported  Tuesday. 'These impacts will influence how and where we live and work as well as our cultures, health and environment,' the report states." More about adaptation issues. See NRDC blog. PDF of report here.

Port of West Sacramento Powered 100% by Solar Energy.reliability high.
"A newly installed 637-kilowatt solar power system will supply the Port of West Sacramento with 100 percent of its electricity needs. It will cut the port’s energy costs by more than $20,000 annually and eliminate more than 34 million pounds of carbon-dioxide emissions over 25 years. The system consists of 3,536 solar panels covering 90,000 square feet on the rooftops of two rice warehouse buildings. With the 25-year power purchase agreement, it was installed at no cost to the port by Pacific Power Management (PPM)." See Environmental Leader.

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

Nestle says drops palm oil supplier after report.reliability high.
"Nestle, the world's biggest food group, said it had stopped buying palm oil from Indonesia's Sinar Mas due to concerns about rainforest destruction, following a similar move by consumer goods firm Unilever. Nestle's announcement came after Greenpeace released a report on Wednesday which looked into how the company was sourcing palm oil. Switzerland's Nestle, which uses the edible oil in its food products such as KitKat bars, said it had replaced Sinar Mas with another supplier for further shipments after conducting its own investigations into its palm oil supply chain." Story at Reuters.

Walmart's Emerging Role in Sustainability Consulting.reliability medium.
"The world's largest retailer offered to help Webb Stickney trim energy use at his manufacturing facilities two years ago. ... SEEP has completed roughly 20 projects, with another 40 or so companies in the pipeline, a figure that will likely swell in the wake of Walmart's newly announced climate goal and its well-publicized push to survey suppliers on their environmental impacts. While many suppliers have never heard of SEEP, there's also another fact even fewer are aware of: You don't have to be a Walmart supplier to take advantage of the program." More about SEEP. "This illustrates what he considers to be the biggest challenge of energy efficiency projects: awareness. 'I think most people would get on board with a lot of this stuff,' Longley said, 'but they just don't know it's out there.'" From the GreenBiz blog. [No more excuses.]

Starbucks Sponsors Cup Design Contest to Reduce Waste.reliability high.
"Starbucks is sponsoring the Betacup design competition that is looking for a solution to unrecyclable paper coffee cups, reports Core77. According to Betacup, 58 billion paper coffee cups are thrown away, unrecycled each year. Starbucks is sponsoring the competition as part of its target goal to supply 100 percent of its coffee in reusable or recyclable cups by 2015." See story in Environmental Leader.

Las Vegas Sands Raises the Stakes for Green Development.reliability high.
About the Sands' green building programs. "The Las Vegas properties served as the incubator for the company's green building and business strategies as well as the launching point for the expanded best practices that are laid out in the Sands Eco 360º program, said Las Vegas Sands President and COO Michael Leven. ... For every dollar invested in the sustainability program, the firm saves $4, according to Leven." From GreenBiz.

Government and Regulation

California’s Smart Meter Battle: Google vs. Utilities.reliability high.
"Google says the state should require its big utilities to give near real-time pricing information to every smart meter-enabled customer by the end of next year. California’s big three utilities — Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric — have raised plenty of objections to that deadline . ... Delivering pricing data in real time will be challenging for smart meter networks as they’re currently being deployed. ... Andy Tang, PG&E’s smart grid chief, said during a recent energy symposium in Berkeley, Calif. that asking utilities to replace their batch-based systems with real-time systems was “impossible” in such a short timeframe, at least not at costs that regulators would be willing to pass on to customers." Story at earth2tech. [Google is in the data handling business. The more data it can get the more interesting its products can be to customers. Utilities are in the power business. They will send you a bill at the end of the month.]

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