19 May 2010

Hottest year yet, Nestle & Unilever diverge on palm oil, and more green company, science, industry and supply chain news

Top Stories

Nestle bows to Greenpeace pressure with beefed up palm oil policy.reliability high.
"After months of criticism from campaign group Greenpeace over its alleged use of palm oil grown in illegal plantations on previously forested land, Nestle yesterday announced a major overhaul of the food giant's supply chain policy designed to help bring an end to rainforest destruction. The company's executive vice president José Lopez announced that the company would partner with independent NGO The Forest Trust to develop a more responsible supply chain policy that takes better account of environmental and social issues." See BusinessGreen story. [Seems to indicate they are abandoning the ineffective industry-sponsored Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.]

No Silver Lining: An Investigation into Bisphenol A in Canned Foods.reliability high.
"Eating common canned foods is exposing consumers to levels of bisphenol A (BPA) equal to levels shown to cause health problems in laboratory animals, according to a new study released today by The National Work Group for Safe Markets, a coalition of public health and environmental health groups." Story at GreenBiz. PDF of report here. [Check your supply chain. Of course unless you eat nothing but these particular canned foods you won't be exposed to the dietary levels that caused problems in lab animals. But journalists and consumers won't notice that.]

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

Bonuses can be a good thing - if they're linked to carbon emissions.reliability high.
"In its 2009 corporate proxy statement, Xcel explains how a range of sustainability indicators fit into annual incentive objectives for all executives so that it can weigh greenhouse gas reductions and safety performance alongside earnings per share when deciding how to divide up bonuses. ... Xcel is one of a small but growing group of companies, increasingly aware of the power that executive pay policies can exert on environmental behaviour." See The Guardian from BusinessGreen.

Unilever to keep buying Indonesia palm oil despite row.reliability high.
"Anglo-Dutch food and cosmetics giant Unilever said Wednesday it would continue to get 65 percent of its total palm oil purchases from Indonesia, despite concerns about deforestation  by the industry. ... 'Most of the purchases under the current contract (with Sinar Mas) have already been fulfilled and the contract is due to end in weeks,' Unilever Indonesia corporate secretary Sancoyo Antarikso said. 'We have not determined which company will take over the contract, but it will be an Indonesian company.' Greenpeace Southeast Asia forests campaigner Joko Arif said Unilever needed to ensure that "sustainability of forests" was a priority as it seeks a new supplier of palm oil, a key ingredient in many of the company's products." See AFP story in Yahoo.

Americans Strongly Favor Raising Fuel Economy Standards to 50 MPG, Poll Finds.reliability medium.
"A national survey and report released today by the Consumer Federation of America show that, even before the oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico, Americans strongly supported reduced oil consumption and tougher fuel economy standards. In a late March survey commissioned by the CFA and undertaken by Opinion Research Corp., 87 percent of respondents said it is 'important that the country reduce its consumption of oil,' while 54 percent said this was 'very important,' .... This strong support for reduced oil consumption helps explain why nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of respondents agreed that 'the government should increase the fuel economy standard to an average of 50 miles per gallon by 2025,' Gillis said." See edmunds.com Green Car Advisor blog. PDF of survey results here.

PNC Bank: Helping to destroy mountains.reliability medium.
"PNC, a big regional bank (annual revenues: $16 billion) based in Pittsburgh, has become the bank that environmental activists love to hate because of its support for mountaintop removal mining. The bank was identified as the worst of the worst in Grading the Banks: A Mountaintop Removal Scorecard, a new ranking compiled by the Rainforest Action Network and the Sierra Club." From Marc Gunther blog. Access report here. [Illustrates how NGOs are watching you, and can make you look bad. Plan for it.]

Science and Economics

2010 on track to be hottest ever: U.S. climate data.reliability high.
"This year is on track to be the hottest ever after data published by America's climate agency this week showed record global temperatures in April and the first four months of 2010. ... These temperatures surpassed the previous record set in 1998, NOAA added." See Reuters. NOAA report here.

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