29 June 2010

Creating your own market for recycling, CDM doubts, Unilever tops green index and other green business news

Top Stories

Starbucks expanding recycling programme with coffee cups in Chicago.reliability high.
"This fall, it will send cups used at its Chicago stores to Green Bay, where a Georgia Pacific paper mill will turn them into Starbucks napkins. The effort is a major push by Starbucks to create a commercial market for its used cups, which include 1 billion plastic cups for cold drinks. Over the past few weeks, it has put recycle and compost bins into 90 Seattle stores to comply with a new city ordinance. ... The new ordinance will prevent 6,000 tonnes of food and service ware from piling onto garbage heaps. Starbucks' cups also are recycled or composted in San Francisco and Ontario, because of laws there. In areas without such mandates, commercial demand determines which products are recycled. 'The biggest roadblock to recycling is the lack of demand for old paper,' said Jim Hanna, Starbucks' director of environmental impact and global responsibility. 'We need to create demand for recyclers for our products.'" Story at imagesfood.com. [Supply chain eats its own tail.]

Tata Power to Double Wind Power Capacity to 400 MW This Year.reliability high.
"Tata Power Ltd., India’s largest non-state generator, plans to double its wind power capacity to 400 megawatts this year, the company said today. The Mumbai-based utility plans to add 88 megawatts of capacity using turbines from Germany’s Kenersys Europe GmbH and will shortly place an order for a separate 150-megawatt project to be set up in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu states ... Tata Power generates about 20 percent of its total 3,000 megawatts of capacity from clean sources, such as wind and hydropower, and plans to expand that share to 25 percent in four years, Managing Director Prasad Menon said in the statement." See Bloomberg Businessweek article. [This doesn't mean it isn't building huge new coal-fired plants at the same time.]

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

Analysis: Silicon Valley all aglow on green lighting.reliability high.
"'Lighting is going to completely change over the course of this decade,' said Alan E. Salzman, the chief executive of VantagePoint Venture Partners, a venture capital fund in Silicon Valley. His firm has $4.5 bn in capital committed to start-ups across different sectors, but lighting is an area he is very bullish about." More about companies and advances in LEDs, including cost reductions. From Reuters.

Lloyd's Offers Clean Shipping Index Verification.reliability high.
"Lloyd’s Register, the London-based ship classification, consulting, and risk management firm, has announced it will offer a verification service to ship-owners and operators wishing to demonstrate their success in reducing the environmental impact of their activities beyond the requirements of classification or statutory rules and regulations in a company press release." Part of the Clean Shipping Project. See Environmental Leader.

CDM offset assessors face fresh criticism.reliability high.
"Companies tasked with evaluating projects for the UN-backed Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) offsetting scheme performed even worse than last year, according to a damning new report. ... It concluded once again that some DOEs were failing to adequately audit and register projects in line with the CDM's rules and warned that the issue could become more pronounced as project verification requirements tighten. ... The report is the latest in a in line of criticisms for the CDM scheme, which has been repeatedly accused of failing to deliver the scale of emission reductions promised by project developers." BusinessGreen story. Access report here.

Unilever tops new climate change index.reliability high.
"Unilever has topped a new index that assesses how Britain's largest companies are dealing with climate change, outperforming other industry leaders such as Tesco and Centrica. The new FTSE carbon strategy index weighs up the "carbon risk and performance" of the UK's largest 350 firms. It compares them on cutting carbon emissions, making their products more energy-efficient and setting the most ambitious reduction targets. ... The index, published today, is one of a series of initiatives to measure and reward carbon efficiency. It argues that firms with a strong grasp of the risks of climate change and of high carbon emissions are likely to be the most efficient and best-run." Article in The Guardian.

Science and Economics

'Carbon storage' faces leak dilemma, study finds.reliability high.
"The new research, published by the journal Nature Geoscience, wades into the debate with an estimate of capturing enough carbon to help limit warming to 2 degrees C ... The gas will have to be stored for tens of thousands of years to avoid becoming a threat to future generations, a scenario similar to that for nuclear waste, it says. This means less than 1 percent of the stored volume can be allowed to leak from a chamber per 1,000 years. ... 'The dangers of carbon sequestration are real and the development of CCS should not be used as a way of justifying continued high fossil-fuel emissions,' said Shaffer. 'On the contrary, we should greatly limit CO2 emissions in our time to reduce the need for massive carbon sequestration and thus reduce unwanted consequences and burdens over many future generations from the leakage of sequestered CO2.'" See item in grist from AFP. Abstract of research report here. [Although politicians and coal companies like the concept, it is not clear that CCS will work on the scale required. We may just be using it as a way to excuse continued use of high-emission technology.]

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