15 April 2010

IBM leans on suppliers, Energy Star tightens standards, e-waste issues and other selections

Top Stories

I.B.M. Suppliers Must Track Environmental Data.reliability high.
"I.B.M. said on Wednesday that it will require its 28,000 suppliers in more than 90 countries to install management systems to gather data on their energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and waste and recycling. Those companies in turn must ask their subcontractors to do the same if their products or services end up as a significant part of I.B.M.’s $40 billion global supply chain. The suppliers must also set environmental goals and make public their progress in meeting those objectives. 'We will be amongst the first, if not the first, with these broad-based markers on our supply base and we’re going to have to spend an appropriate amount of time and money to help our suppliers do what we’re asking them to do,' " See New York Times Green Inc. blog.

Companies get sold on green, consumers wary.reliability high.
"U.S. corporations looking to slash costs during the recession found some savings in environmentally conscious business practices, but a higher price tag on green products is a barrier to many consumers. Many companies discovered in the past few years that doing things like lowering energy bills and reducing waste not only saved money, but was good for the planet and for their image, executives at a conference on green efforts said. ... While many consumers say they care about the environment, few put their money where their mouth is -- largely because the benefits to them are not as clear as they are for business. ... Part of the problem is that many green products cost more but don't work as well as the conventional version. A weak U.S. economic recovery and high unemployment also are keeping consumer spending in check. ... Just 1 to 2 percent of shoppers belong to what he calls the "green cult." That group will buy items regardless of whether they work less well, cost more money or are hard to find." See Reuters story.

A Program to Certify Electronic Waste Recycling Rivals an Industry-U.S. Plan.reliability high.
"The Basel Action Network, an American watchdog group that has sought to curb the export of toxic electronic waste from the United States, plans to begin a new certification and auditing program on Thursday for both recyclers and companies that generate electronic refuse. In addition to outlining safe domestic handling and disposal practices for old televisions, computers and other electronic devices, the system would effectively bar participating recyclers from exporting toxic, nonfunctional electronic waste to developing nations. The program will compete directly with a less stringent standard recently developed by industry and the federal government that companies and recyclers say makes more economic sense." More about e-waste recycling issues. See The New York Times for more details. [Banning exports of e-waste--is that a protectionist policy to keep e-waste processing jobs in the U.S.? Aren't there e-waste recyclers in developing countries who need the work and could do it cheaper? Maybe they should be able to get certified under such schemes. See related item below.]

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

All 30 Major League Baseball Teams Join on Sustainability.reliability medium.
"America’s national pastime is leading the way on climate action by adopting a comprehensive conservation and greenhouse gas-reducing program, including a public outreach component at National League and American League ballparks this summer.  The new sustainability drive involves all 30 Major League Baseball teams from coast to coast, in partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council. One main feature of the program is a multi-year environmental data collection drive for Major League Baseball operations that will include energy use, waste generation and disposal (including recycling), water use, and paper goods". See CleanTechnica.

AB, Coke, Pepsi, Bacardi Advance Beverage Industry GHG Reporting Protocol.reliability high.
"Members of the Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER) have completed a set of protocols that incorporate both enterprise inventory and product carbon footprinting approaches for the whole industry. Development of the Beverage Industry Sector Guidance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting (Sector Guidance), Version 2.0, involved input from members such as Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Anheuser-Busch, Bacardi, Nestle Waters, Ocean Spray, Diageo and others. 'The BIER Sector Guidance document places our industry in the forefront of corporations that are seeking to act in a socially responsible manner,' says David Walker, Director of Environmental Sustainability, PepsiCo, in a press release. 'By using this document to communicate consistently and transparently to our consumers, governments, investors, and other stakeholders, we are setting the standard for uniform enterprise and product-level carbon emission reporting.'" See Environmental Leader.

Greens launch NAFTA action on Canada oil sands.reliability high.
The complainants charge "that toxic tailings ponds are being allowed to leak and contaminate ground water. The ponds store residual oil, heavy metals and other byproducts of oil sands processing in the western province of Alberta. They are subject to environmental provisions under the federal Fisheries Act, the groups said. 'We're out of options when it comes to trying to get the government to enforce its law,' Matt Price, policy director at Environmental Defense Canada, told reporters. 'This is one avenue where we can, at the very least, embarrass the Canadian government into trying to enforce its law by having Mexican and U.S. officials essentially poring over our dirty laundry, which is not something Canada wants,' he said." Story at Reuters.

Plans Begin for 10 E-Scrap (E-Waste) Plants to Be Built Worth $135,000,000 by Newly Formed Consortium.reliability high.
"Garb Oil & Power Corp. has formed a consortium with Soil Remediation Inc. (SRI), Steel Valley Design Inc., LMW Holding Company Inc., Odyssey Environmental LLC, Robert D. Carcelli, Inc., Liberian Holding Corporation, Inc., and Three C's Distributing, Inc., to build 10 E-Scrap (E-Waste) plants worth $135,000,000. The Consortium Company will take the name of eWaste USA Inc." See Market Watch from Business Wire.

Government and Regulation

Study: Minority Communities Suffer Most If California Suspends AB 32.reliability medium.
"If California's greenhouse gas emissions reduction law, AB 32, is suspended or poorly implemented, communities of color and poor neighborhoods will suffer the most, according to a new report from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. This is in large part due to co-pollutants like PM10 (particulate matter of 10 micrometers or less), which can cause respiratory problems and come from the refineries and power plants that AB 32 will regulate." From Solveclimate blog. PDF of report here.

U.S. Tightens Requirements for Energy Star Certification.reliability high.
"Under new rules issued by both agencies and effective immediately, the approval process for appliances will no longer be automated, and a staff member will review each application. Manufacturers must submit complete lab test results of their products before applying for Energy Star certification. And companies will be unable to put the Energy Star logo on products that have not been specifically approved. ... By the end of the year, the government said, all tests submitted by manufacturers will have to be from independent certified labs. Until now, that had been the case for only some categories of products, including windows, doors and compact fluorescent lighting." Story in The New York Times.

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