15 July 2010

VC growing in BRICs, standardizing food green claims and other sustainability news

Top Stories

Environment ministry requires annual reports from listed companies.reliability medium.
"Following news of the large-scale copper spill, China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) released a notice on Tuesday requiring listed companies to issue annual environmental reports. The MEP stipulated that reports should include information on emissions totals, controls and fees; the prevention of heavy-metals pollution; hazardous materials use and management; and environmental risk management." See China Green News.

Food industry's green efforts.reliability high.
"A European round table bringing together the food industry, farmers and consumer groups has drawn up a series of 10 guiding principles to assess the environmental impact of food and drink products during their entire life cycle. ... Mike Faupel from the Sustainability Consortium, an organisation of global companies seeking to improve consumer product sustainability, noted that the proliferation of eco-labels and other green claims led to confusion among consumers." Story at EurActive. PDF of guiding principles here.

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

Honda to focus on hybrids, drop microcar plant: report.reliability high.
"Honda Motor Co, Japan's No.2 automaker, will drop plans to build a new minivehicle factory and focus on its green vehicles business, the Nikkei business daily reported on Thursday. ... Honda had initially planned to build clean-diesel and other fuel-saving vehicles at the Yorii factory, but has since abandoned the development of clean diesel engines, planning instead to come up with a new hybrid system to boost fuel economy on its bigger vehicles." From Reuters.

Clouds On The Horizon For VC-Dependent Cleantech Startups.reliability high.
"a survey released yesterday by the National Venture Capital Association and Deloitte & Touche" suggests that venture capital money will become more difficult for cleantech start-ups to find. The number of VC firms is expected to decline. "Some of the issues faced by the U.S. VCs  include a more challenging fiscal environment. Indeed,  Congress is pushing to tax at a higher bracket the gains partners at private equity and venture capital funds earn for their investors, also known as carried interest. ... Contrasting with the gloomy outlook of U.S. and Canadian investors, are the bullish sentiments of BRIC economies, (Brazil, India, Russia, China), where early-stage investors expect the number of venture capital firms to grow, not shrink, over the next five years." Item in Green Energy Reporter. PDF slideshow of survey results here.

Renewables see 'resilient growth' in 2009.reliability high.
"The UN-backed study said renewables accounted for 60% of new electricity generation capacity in Europe. And in the US, green electricity accounted for more than half of the generation capacity built last year. The authors added that renewables were set to outpace conventional energy sources across the globe next year." From BBC News. Access report here.

Greenwashing: How to Avoid the Typical Marketing Traps.reliability medium.
"While standards differ globally, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations are a good model to follow virtually anywhere in the world. Listed below are the four factors of most concern to the FTC regarding advertising claims of all types, but specifically environmental claims." See Environmental Leader.

Government and Regulation

Fannie and Freddie Are Sued in California.reliability high.
"The California attorney general’s office on Wednesday sued  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over actions by the mortgage finance companies that have derailed a popular financing program that allows homeowners to pay for energy efficiency improvements through a surcharge on their property taxes. ... The suit’s most novel allegation is that the agency violated federal environmental law by not conducting a review of the potential environmental impact of restricting PACE programs." From New York Times Green blog. [California Attorney General Gerry Brown is running for governor.]