05 August 2010

CSR meets CFO, China moves ahead, climate risk ignored and other green business news

Top Stories

GRI Launches Effort to Marry CSR and Financial Reporting.reliability high.
"In an effort to bring about the convergence of environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) reporting with financial reporting, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), along with the Prince's Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S), announced this week the formation of the International Integrated Reporting Committee (IIRC). ... The goal of the IIRC is to develop a globally accepted framework for integrated reporting, which will bring together ESG and financial reporting in a consistent and comparable format. Its intention is to provide comprehensive information about corporate performance that will meet the needs of a sustainable economic model, and support the information needs of long-term investors as well." See story at Greener World Media. PDF of press release here. [Maybe "sustainability" will end up under the CFO, as suggested in this earlier post.]

China may launch environmental tax trial: report.reliability high.
"Three Chinese ministries will soon submit a proposal for an environmental tax on a trial basis, the China Business News reported on Thursday. ... An environmental tax, likely to be levied on emissions of carbon dioxide and discharges of polluted water, would form part of Beijing's drive to make its economic growth cleaner." Reuters story.

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

Germany expects fast growth of renewable energy.reliability high.
Germany is expecting to get 20 percent of its total energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020 — which would double its current share within 10 years. At CNBC from AP. [This includes energy used in transportation.]

Three Steps to Green Your Office Printing Practices.reliability medium.
"Knowing where to begin is often the hardest part. Many companies don't have a full grasp of how their current printing affects the bottom line, let alone their environmental footprint. By following a simple three-step process, you can get insight into what's working -- and not -- with your office printing, set clear goals, and put an action plan in motion." See GreenBiz blog. [Sometimes I skip over items like this because they are not "news"--these recommendations have been around for years. But I know many companies still have not harvested this low-hanging fruit.]

US slips to second behind China for new wind power in 2009.reliability high.
"The US dropped to second place in annual wind power capacity additions in 2009 by installing 26 per cent of global capacity after four years at the top, falling behind China that captured a 36 per cent market share, according to US official data. The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) annual 2009 Wind Technologies Market Report found that wind power contributed to 39 per cent of all new US electric generating capacity in 2009, down from 44 per cent in 2008." Other highlights of report. From NewNet. PDF of report here.

UK Government: Too many firms ignoring climate risks.reliability high.
"Environment secretary Caroline Spelman last night called on UK firms to urgently improve their resilience to climate change, warning that too many companies were not prepared for the changes to weather patterns that climate change will inevitably bring. ... 'We know that some level of change is now unavoidable and it is the responsibility of us all to think about what a changing climate will mean for our health, our businesses and our way of life,' she said. 'I want to ensure that UK businesses are well placed to take advantage of the new opportunities that arise as well as ensuring they are ready for the difficulties that higher temperatures and more adverse weather could mean for their staff and working practices.'" From BusinessGreen.

Government and Regulation

Local Governments Push for Producer Responsibility.reliability high.
"Local governments are leading the charge by adopting resolutions calling for state policies for extended producer responsibility (EPR), otherwise known as product stewardship.  In California, the City of Roseville became the 100th local government, agency or association to adopt a local EPR resolution. ... EPR is a policy approach to that makes product brand owners responsible for 'cradle to cradle' design and recycling of their products and associated packaging." See Product Policy Institute press release. [A clever strategy. If enough local governments threaten to create requirements, business will support legislation at the state or national level to reduce the complexity of compliance.]