28 October 2010

5% of green claims don't mislead, environmental costs of development, going green but not getting greener and more news

Top Stories

"95% of Consumer Products Mislead Buyers with 'Green' Claims"reliability high.
"More than 95 percent of consumer products claiming to be 'green' commit at least one greenwashing offense, according to a report released by TerraChoice, a North American environmental marketing company and part of Underwriters Laboratories’ global network. The worst offenders are toys and baby care products, with 100 percent and 99.2 percent, respectively, guilty of some form of greenwashing. ... Nearly 5 percent of products do not mislead consumers with green claims, compared to only two percent last year." And the number of "green" products is up 79% since 2009. See Environmental Leader. Access the report here.

"Apple Slips, HP Climbs in Green Gadget Ranking"reliability medium.
Greenpeace has come out with the latest edition of its "Guide to Greener Electronics" that ranks makers of computers, game systems, tvs, phones and other electronic devices. HP has increased its score substantially, "partly due to new notebook and desktop lines that are free of PVC and BFRs, a PVC-free printer, and a pledge to phase out beryllium and compounds by July 2011." Apple, while keeping the same score, has been leapfrogged by others and fell from 5th to 9th place. Nokia and Sony Ericsson scored highest. At Reuters from earth2tech. See rankings or download report at here.

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

"Cargill mulls scheme aimed at saving Indonesia forests"reliability high.
Giant palm oil trader Cargill might use the reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) scheme to assure customers about the sustainability of its supply chain. Cargill Tropical Oils Chief Operating Officer John Hartmann told Reuters, "As for our direct involvement in the scheme, we're in the early days. We're exploring this option but we need to see how the rules are written before we make any commitment." From Reuters. [Using the REDD trading system could be an alternative to other palm oil certification schemes run by the oil industry itself.]

"Report: PV Industry Will Grow 92% in 2010 to Surpass 15 GW"reliability high.
A commercial study says "Global solar photovoltaics (PV) panel production will eclipse 15 gigawatts" this year. And panel production will "exceed 25 gigawatts by 2013. At the same time, increasing competition between suppliers will lead to panel prices of less than $1/watt by 2012 for select technologies." See Greentech Media. Press release here. Access to executive summary (registration required) here. [The press release says that of the "top 15 most successful firms in terms of panel production, manufacturing costs, efficiency, and bankability by 2013", 8 are in China, 3 in the U.S.]

"Electric cars need 2 years of government aid: Renault CEO"reliability high.
Renault / Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn says that electric cars will need government subsidies for two years to get established. "Two years of government support are needed to jump-start these markets and then the products will grow on their own and take off." Reuters story. [Could Renault be the first company to say "thank you for your support, government, but you can stop now."? The U.S. taxpayer has been supporting the corn ethanol business for 20 years. Not weanable yet.]

"Dubai Faces Environmental Problems After Growth"reliability high.
Article looks at the problems brought on by rapid city-building in Dubai without consideration of environmental impacts. The city's one sewage treatment plant was trying to operate at two times its design capacity (new capacity recently opened). A fleet of 4,000 tanker trucks is supposed to bring untreated waste from the city to the plant, but some just dump their loads into local waters. The energy demand of desalination plants and industrial projects result in a globe-leading carbon footprint, and may require nuclear plants. Discusses efforts of Dubai and Abu Dhabi to address these and related problems. From The New York Times.

Science and Economics

"Emissions from consumption far outstrip efficiency savings"reliability high.
New research shows "Carbon dioxide emissions from UK consumption grew by 217 Million tonnes(Mt) of carbon dioxide from increased spending between 1992 and 2004 while cuts from more efficient production only led to reductions of 148 Mt leaving a net growth of 69 Mt of carbon dioxide." Increased consumption more than offset improvements in energy efficiency along supply chains. See ClickGreen. Press release here; PDF of report here. [Increasing consumption, even of slightly greener products and services, can lead to greater emissions. All those new TVs and holidays wipe out incremental supply chain efficiency gains.]