13 April 2010

Giving shoe boxes the boot, future of cap & trade, why Wal-Mart went green and other selections

Top Stories

Puma ditches shoe boxes in eco initiative.reliability high.
"Puma said it would roll out the new packaging in the second half of next year and that by putting its shoes in cardboard frames wrapped in reusable shoe bags, it would save 8,500 tonnes of paper -- the weight of more than 1,400 adult elephants. It also said the change would mean a reduction of 60 percent in water and energy used during the production process and the amount needed for transportation due to lighter packaging." See Reuters story.

TRX and OAG to Provide Industry's Leading Airline Carbon Emissions Reporting Service.reliability high.
"Under the terms of the agreement, OAG will resell the TRX Airline Carbon Emissions Calculator and Reporting Services to its customer base including corporations, airlines, and airports needing visibility into carbon emissions generated from air travel. The services provide access to the robust set of calculations and data required to accurately assess the carbon footprint generated from air travel." From PR Newswire. [Now corporate travel departments will have access to emissions data by flight? Could emissions affect corporate travel planning on a flight-by-flight level? Could airlines compete on carbon as well as price and service? Also, will this tool make it clear how much more first- and business-class flights cost in carbon emissions?]

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

Honda to lease electric scooters from December.reliability high.
"The green fad in Japan is expanding from cars to bikes with Honda's zero-emission super-quiet electric EV-neo scooter. The EV-neo, shown Tuesday at Honda Motor Co.'s research facility in this Tokyo suburb, zipped around emitting just a calm whirring sound, with none of a motorcycle's gritty growl. Honda plans to start leasing the scooters — the equivalent of a 50cc gasoline-powered bike — in December and says its target market is companies that make deliveries, such as newspapers and pizza parlors. The EV-neo has a cruising range of 30 kilometers (19 miles) on one charge." At CNBC from AP..

Europe Finds Clean Energy in Trash, but U.S. Lags.reliability high.
"Far cleaner than conventional incinerators, this new type of plant converts local trash into heat and electricity. Dozens of filters catch pollutants, from mercury to dioxin, that would have emerged from its smokestack only a decade ago. In that time, such plants have become both the mainstay of garbage disposal and a crucial fuel source across Denmark, from wealthy exurbs like Horsholm to Copenhagen’s downtown area. Their use has not only reduced the country’s energy costs and reliance on oil and gas, but also benefited the environment, diminishing the use of landfills and cutting carbon dioxide emissions. The plants run so cleanly that many times more dioxin is now released from home fireplaces and backyard barbecues than from incineration. ... 'Europe has gotten out ahead with this newest technology,' said Ian A. Bowles, a former Clinton administration official who is now the Massachusetts state secretary of energy." Story in The New York Times. [Another industry, like wind energy, where the U.S. will have to import European equipment and hire European companies.]

Wal-Mart chairman: Go green for money, not image.reliability high.
"Wal-Mart Stores pushed forward with a risky sustainability initiative at a time when its public image was suffering. But ultimately the company's rationale for "going green" was purely economic, according to former CEO Lee Scott. ... Its actions have raised suspicions and admiration from outsiders, politicians, and employees. But the effort has endured because the motivation was purely economic, said Scott ... "What Wal-Mart has done is approach this from a business stand point and not from a point of altruism. If we as a company focus on waste, we can make Wal-Mart a better company and at the same time, become a better citizen," he said." More on Wal-Mart's thinking. From CNET News.

How to develop a sustainable water strategy.reliability medium.
"In 20 years' time, water availability will be 40 per cent below where it needs to be to support a growing global population. That is the stark warning from the 2030 Water Resources Group, a collection of industry experts, academics and NGOs which earlier this year produced a report detailing the scale of the looming water crisis. ... So what should the average UK business do to address water-related risks and develop a sustainable water strategy? The first step is to accept there is a problem." Gives suggestions for addressing the problem. From BusinessGreen. Access report here.

Government and Regulation

Don't Think That Cap-and-Trade Is Over.reliability medium.
Scandals and problems don't mean carbon trading is dying. "Such predictions are almost certainly wrong. Carbon trading, also known as cap and trade, is on the cusp of generating mammoth amounts of money for governments — money that could start flowing just in time to help nations emerge from the worst financial crisis in a generation. The prospect of those earnings is one of the key reasons that nations are determined to stick by carbon trading, despite the setbacks and scandals. Such revenues also help to explain why Australia, Japan and the United States are still exploring how soon they can set up such a system." More about the revenue potential of permit auctions. See New York Times Green Inc. column.

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