06 May 2010

Greening medical suppliers, regulatory rumbles, and other selections from GreenBase

Top Stories

California utilities fell short of energy-savings goals, watchdog says.reliability high.
"Several California utilities should be penalized for receiving bonuses while falling short of their energy-saving goals, the state utility regulator's independent watchdog arm said Tuesday. From 2006 to 2008, Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric Co., San Diego Gas & Electric Co. and Southern California Gas Co. spent $2 billion of customers' money, amassed through a small charge on each bill, to fund energy efficiency programs that were expected to return $2.7 billion in savings. Instead, ratepayers got benefits of just $426 million, or about 16 cents for every dollar spent, as the utilities funneled $144 million in bonuses to shareholders, the Public Utilities Commission's Division of Ratepayer Advocates said." Utilities dispute watchdog's figures. From The Los Angeles Times.

Kaiser Permanente Unveils Sustainability Scorecard for Medical Products.reliability high.
"Kaiser Permanente has unveiled its Sustainability Scorecard that requires suppliers to provide environmental data for medical equipment and products used in its hospitals, medical offices and other facilities. ... By September, when Kaiser Permanente’s key supply chain partner, Broadlane, adopts the tool, the scorecard could influence $10 billion in medical purchasing." See Environmental Leader. [Kaiser is the Wal-Mart of medical services, and will have even greater impact on suppliers if it really uses this scorecard in purchase decisions.]

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

Wal-Mart to pay $27.6 million to settle California environmental case.reliability medium.
"Wal-Mart has agreed to pay $27.6 million to settle charges that it violated California environmental laws in its handling and disposal of hazardous materials, prosecutors involved in the case announced Monday in San Diego. ... Among the materials being improperly transported, stored and dumped were pesticides, chemicals, paint, acid, aerosols, fertilizer and motor oil. ... In a prepared statement, Wal-Mart Vice President Phyllis Harris said: "It's important to note that these incidents happened at least four years ago. Since then, we have worked closely with the state of California on a comprehensive hazardous waste plan that includes improved training programs, policies and procedures."" See Los Angeles Times Greenspace blog. Wal-Mart's press release is here. [Shows importance of well-established policies, training and supervision.]

Samsung Launches Online Resource for Consumers to Find Appliance Energy Rebates.reliability high.
"Samsung Electronics America, Inc. ... announced a partnership with ApplianceRebate.com to bring a new online tool to www.samsung.com, helping consumers find rebates available on select Samsung home appliances through the State Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program. ... Samsung customers can now visit www.samsung.com/appliancerebates to access a state-by-state database of rebate listings powered by ApplianceRebate.com available on select Samsung refrigerators, washing machines, and dishwashers." See Business Wire. [This site just passes user to EPA site with list of state programs. And it might be a bit late, as many programs exhausted their rebate funds within days of initiation a couple of weeks ago. PR fail.]

Tire-burning plant requests green designation.reliability high.
"The owners of a Ford Heights plant that burns tires for energy say they want the plant designated as a green, renewable energy source. ... Under state law, power companies must get 10 percent of their electricity from green sources by 2015, and the bill would have made the incinerator a significant player in renewable energy." From ABC local news. [Shows how important legislation and regulation can be even to a low-tech businesses' success in the green space.]

Xcel may cut solar-power buy as powerline debate drags on.reliability high.
"Arguments over a proposal to build a power line to bring renewable solar power from Colorado's San Luis Valley to the Front Range have dragged on so long that Xcel Energy Inc. said Tuesday it may cut the amount of solar power it will buy in the next few years. ... the $180 million power-line proposal, from Xcel and its partner, Westminster-based Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, has run into opposition from the billionaire owner of the Trinchera Ranch — which straddles the power line's proposed route as it goes east out of the valley and over La Veta Pass." More details on the dispute. From Denver Business Journal. [Solar developers can't build if there isn't transmission capacity to carry their product to buyers. Xcel wants to sign contracts, but must wait for power line to be approved. Everybody has lawyers. The complicated legal dance continues.]

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