26 April 2010

Adding value to cement, Chinese suppliers cut energy use, mysterious fish upgrades and other company, industry and supply chain news

Top Stories

CEMEX Launches First Responsibly Sourced, Carbon-Labeled Cement .reliability medium.
"CEMEX announced last week that its United Kingdom operation (CEMEX UK) is the first cement company in the world to provide certified carbon labels for its cement using the Carbon Trust’s Carbon Reduction Label. The label will show the carbon footprint generated by CEMEX cements in the UK. This measurement is the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases generated by the cement from cradle to grave, including the extraction of the raw materials, manufacturing, distribution, use by customers and disposal at the end of life." See 2Sustain. [The giant Mexican cement manufacturer seems to be leading the way in this sector. It is betting that customers in the UK market will value this information, thus giving an edge in a  commodity market.]

M&S 'fair price' plan rewards dairy farmers for healthy herds.reliability high.
"The new scheme from M&S, called Milk Pledge Plus, offers a price based on a formula that takes into account the M&S retail milk price. In addition, the retailer will pay farmers agreed bonuses based on the objectives of a plan that aims to ensure high standards of animal welfare, health and sustainability." Story in The Guardian. [Fascinating move to pay a premium on top of commodity price to encourage suppliers to use more sustainable production methods. Commodity markets otherwise can drive a "race to the bottom" of cutting costs and corners.]

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

Five Lessons From Walmart's Supply Chain Work in China.reliability medium.
How consultants BSR helped Wal-Mart develop programs to reduce GHG emissions of Chinese suppliers. "By expanding energy-efficiency efforts into their supply chains, companies can quickly and substantially decrease supplier costs, substantially reduce greenhouse gases, produce satisfyingly quantifiable results, and provide a gateway for further sustainability initiatives. ... energy-efficiency investments in China are cost-effective (PDF) compared with similar initiatives in industrialized countries." More learnings from this program. See GreenBiz blog.

Mars test 'sustainable' chocolate in Boulder.reliability high.
Mars "has embarked on an ambitious goal of buying only 100 percent certified sustainably grown cocoa by the year 2020. ... Mars chose to expand the definition of a certification program –- one that could be built throughout the world’s largest cocoa growing areas of West Africa, East Asia and South America. The project, called 'Certification Plus,' is attempting to build a coalition of the largest cocoa buyers as well as major suppliers, while also developing buy-ins by governments and the international donor community." One goal of the program is to triple cocoa yields in 10 years. From Boulder Reporter. [Not quite sure yet what this "certification" program is. Might be more analogous to Wal-Mart's supply chain moves than to a traditional certification program.]

PepsiCo, Waste Management, KAB Launch Dream Machine Recycling Initiative.reliability high.
PepsiCo, Waste Management, Inc., and Keep America Beautiful, Inc. yesterday announced a multi-year partnership to increase recycling in the US through the deployments of kiosks, called Dream Machines. The machines will manage a personal reward system that allows consumers to collect and redeem points for each bottle or can they recycle. ... The Dream Machines will be provided by GreenOps, LLC, a subsidiary of Waste Management, and the rewards system will be operated by Greenopolis. See Sustainable Business. Facebook page here. [Presumably these will be attractive for bottles that don't have a deposit value. Most states don't have container-deposit laws. "Rite Aid is set to be one of the first national retailers to sign on to the program, starting with 150 kiosks in their North Carolina locations." No container law in NC.]

Oracle and Ndevr Simplify Environmental Reporting.reliability high.
"Ndevr's GHG Accounting Software for International mandatory and voluntary environmental reporting schemes, such as Australia’s National Greenhouse Energy Reporting (NGER) legislation, and the GHG Protocol, is now pre-integrated with both the Oracle E-Business Suite and Oracle’s JD Edwards EntepriseOne financials applications." From Oracle press release. [Carbon accounting applications proliferate.]

Caught: inferior fish sold as cod and haddock.reliability high.
"Researchers from University College Dublin found that 25% of randomly sampled "cod" or "haddock" belonged to an entirely different species, with the most common substitutes being pollack, whiting or saithe. ... 'This problem is double edged because not only is the consumer being deceived, they are also being tricked into thinking cod supplies are still plentiful.'" Story in The Guardian. [Supply chain shenanigans. Where is this value being added? Low-value species being codified.]

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