28 May 2010

Branding, bragging and greenwashing; big firms bet on cleantech, and other green company news

Top Stories

China May Start State-Guided Carbon Market by 2014, Feng Says.reliability high.
"China will likely set up a domestic market for trading carbon emissions by 2014 and hand companies 'half-mandatory' targets for limiting their greenhouse gases, said a government official who oversees climate change issues. Authorities are drawing up the rules for a market to be run by 'associations' overseen by the government, Feng Shengbo, deputy director of the China Clean Development Mechanism Management Center, said yesterday in an interview." More from Bloomberg.

NEC Joins Cleantech Gold Rush with Billion-Dollar Push.reliability high.
"NEC Corporation, Japan's largest PC manufacturer, today became the latest IT firm to announce that it is to push into the burgeoning clean tech market, unveiling plans to invest 100bn yen (£760m) over the next eight years in battery and smart grid technologies. The firm has seen sales of PCs slide over the past decade and said that it was now looking to reposition itself to take advantage of the cloud computing and energy markets." More at BusinessGreen.

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

Find Out Where Your Clothing Really Comes From, Green Fashion You Can Track on Google Maps.reliability medium.
"Talk about full disclosure, eco-fashion label Rapanui lets you track each one of their garments on google maps" Video of youthful founders on their green practices in India and the UK. More at treehugger. See supply chain map here. [A simple analysis. (What about the sources of the inks, dyes, packaging, thread, sewing machines? What about the source of the electricity used in the UK?) But a good way to tout a company's green bona fides. (Compare to the taco analysis here.)]

Mineta San José International Airport Completes Solar Energy System with Canadian Solar PV Modules.reliability high.
"Canadian Solar Inc., one of the world's largest solar companies, and Mineta San José International Airport (SJC) today announced the completion of a roof-mount photovoltaic (PV) solar electric system on the airport's new 3,350-space, seven-story rental car center and public parking garage. The environmental impact of the system is the equivalent of removing 235 passenger vehicles from the road or the amount of carbon that 6,422 trees would sequester annually." More at Renewable Energy World. [What PR person thought 235 cars or 6,400 trees sounded like big numbers? This is a 1.21 MW installation. Those numbers make it sound even smaller. And the irony is that this is a giant parking garage, designed to make it easier for people to use their cars to go to the airport instead of using public transport. And the release goes on to admit that this installation will provide only 20% of this parking facility's (modest) energy requirements. This is window-dressing--or rather roof-dressing.]

Greenwash tackled by environmental experts.reliability high.
"As an increasing number of high profile companies are being caught out for making green claims they cannot back up, a round table event looked at how to expose 'greenwash.' ... floor experts InterfaceFLOR gathered leading green experts for 'Let's Be Clear - Wiping Out Greenwash'." With videos of speakers. Story at edie.net.

Climate Skeptics.reliability medium.
Opinion piece notes a "fundamental failure in communications on the part of numerous governments and NGOs who wish to encourage low-carbon behavior. Every successful advertising executive understands that effective campaigns offer the promise of a better, more attractive life. Yet climate change communications remain stuck in the dark ages, attempting to scare and shock the public into action. While minor inaccuracies have landed the British government’s campaign in trouble with the Advertising Standards Authority, its strategy of alarmism is the true cause for concern." More in The New York Times.

Kodak Launches New Logo and Website to Promote Its Commitment to Environmental Stewardship.reliability medium.
"The company is adding a green and yellow leaf logo ... , plus the tagline 'Kodak Cares,' to marketing, advertising materials and packaging that include claims directly addressing its environmental improvements or programs. In addition to the new branding, Kodak has launched a new sustainability website dedicated to its policies and performance from the perspectives of innovation, stewardship and responsibility." More at 2Sustain. Kodak's sustainability website here.

Peak Day Pricing Begins for Large Commercial PG&E Customers.reliability high.
"In a program designed to reduce California’s peak afternoon grid demand, the CPUC this month moved about 2,000 PG&E customers – large commercial power users with a demand over 200 KW – to a new pricing structure that charges more in summer afternoon hours, and less in off-peak hours. ... The change will provide an incentive for hotel chains, large manufacturers, school districts, hospitals and some office buildings to consider the many available alternatives that would move their power demand to off peak times. Some examples include using night power to supply daytime air conditioning or adding solar that typically produces the most power during peak times, thus offsetting their peak load." More at CleanTechnica.

Daimler and BYD Move Forward With Electric Car Partnership.reliability high.
"Daimler AG announced on Thursday a joint venture with BYD, the Chinese automobile and battery manufacturer, to build a research and technology center to develop electric cars in BYD's home city of Shenzhen. The Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology Company, as the company will be called, will seek to strengthen each brand's position in China's electric-vehicle market. ... Working with Daimler, BYD aims to develop not only more robust vehicle architecture but also, potentially, a unique design language for the venture’s forthcoming E.V.'s." More at New York Times Wheels blog.

Kawasaki Heavy: Revving Up on Energy Storage.reliability medium.
"The big guys are swarming greentech. ... Today I spoke with Kawasaki Heavy Industries, a $15-billion builder of trains, motorcycles, ships, helicopters, and energy plants. In collaboration with another Japanese giant, Mitsubishi, they're looking at smart grid applications -- specifically, grid-scale energy storage." More in Seeking Alpha.

Government and Regulation

UK to miss 2022 carbon budget target, forecast shows.reliability high.
"The UK will miss its future carbon budget target unless the new coalition government introduces firm policies to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency not covered by the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), a new forecast shows. ... A spokesperson for Cambridge Econometrics told NewNet the budget is likely to be missed because of emissions produced by households, transport and the majority of the commercial and public sectors not covered by the EU ETS. 'What we see in the non-traded sectors is that their emissions continue to rise above the targets set out,' the spokesperson said." More at NewNet.

Global carbon emissions to rise 43 per cent by 2035, says US report.reliability high.
"Global emissions of carbon dioxide will grow by 43 per cent by 2035 if current patterns of energy usage continue and no global restrictions are applied, according to the latest figures from the US Energy Information Administration. The emissions rise will be driven by a 49 per cent increase in the world’s energy consumption over the same period. Developing Asia will account for 35 per cent of the increase." More highlights of report. From BusinessGreen. Access report here. [Business-as-usual projections. Report also analyzes other scenarios, including one with higher energy prices. Lots of charts and graphs.]

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