Archive for September 2009

EPA Finalizes the Nation’s First Greenhouse Gas Reporting System/Monitoring to begin in 2010

September 23, 2009

WASHINGTON – On January 1, 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will, for the first time, require large emitters of heat-trapping emissions to begin collecting greenhouse gas (GHG) data under a new reporting system. This new program will cover approximately 85 percent of the nation’s GHG emissions and apply to roughly 10,000 facilities.

“This is a major step forward in our effort to address the greenhouse gases polluting our skies,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “For the first time, we begin collecting data from the largest facilities in this country, ones that account for approximately 85 percent of the total U.S. emissions. The American public, and industry itself, will finally gain critically important knowledge and with this information we can determine how best to reduce those emissions.” Read more.

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Greenbiz story on last week’s Sustainability Stakeholder Engagement conference in NYC

September 22, 2009

Stakeholder engagement is a critical, yet often overlooked or under-prioritized aspect of many organizations’ sustainability efforts. The Sustainability Stakeholder Engagement (SSE) conference offered insights and practical ways to build effective relations with stakeholders, from customers, employees and investors, to suppliers, NGOs and communities. Read more.

The first food product with a water footprint label

September 15, 2009

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Raisio CEO Matti Rihko  is speaking at our Corporate Water Footprinting conference in December. In this 60-second interview he outlines the details of what is thought to be the first water-footprint label on a food product.

What prompted you undertake the water footprint and label product?

As a pioneer in plant-based, ecological food, and as one of Europe’s most innovative grain companies, Raisio Group is in an extremely good position to answer the new challenges facing the food industry.

During the past years we in Raisio have thought about the motives that are becoming increasingly important to consumers and how to take these factors into consideration when meeting consumer demand. Such key factors include ecology and ethics. Raisio is strongly investing in developing products that comply with consumer needs. Climate change and increasing consumers’ environmental awareness made us realise that it is the time to offer information about our products’ greenhouse gas emissions that the company already had. 

 We have received very positive feedback on adding the CO2 label on consumer products. This feedback encouraged us to expand the labelling and further convinced us that we are on the right track. The H2O label was the natural follow-up step to the CO2 label as we had the information and skills needed to calculate the product’s water footprint.

What did you hope to achieve my determining and publicising the footprint?

We believe that carbon footprint labels will become standard on consumer products. The label will form an integral part of product data in a package to complement the price and nutrition information.

 When launching the CO2 label Raisio wanted to see how consumers react and to get feedback. It was also a kind of risk to add CO2 label to an icon brand that Elovena is in Finland because the single figure looks high without any comparison.

The CO2 label that Raisio introduced has been very well received. Raisio’s actions come as an answer to the quickly strengthening changes in living habits. We firmly believe that people are moving from words to action in order to curb climate change, and the CO2 and H2O labels give them important information in this respect.

Where is the greatest uncertainty in the usage quantity you derived?

Most of the water consumption of Elovena oat flakes, that are H2O labelled, consists of the water that oats use during the growth period and originates from rain water, as a part of the natural water cycle. Since the oat grown in Finland is not irrigated, it does not compete for clean, drinkable water. We wanted to include green water to be able to calculate the total water consumption.

We have asked for feedback to be able to discuss about the water footprint in order to further develop the calculation and labelling. We believe that the water footprint, as a concept, will gain global significance, but it will take years before the related consumer product labelling becomes more common. If consumers find that the H2O label gives them additional information they need for consumption choices, Raisio will enlarge the labelling to other products as well.

What has been the response to the labels from consumers and the industry?

We have received very positive feedback on the labels from experts, consumer organisations and other such sources. The labels have aroused a lot of interest in Finland, and they have also been widely noticed abroad. Footprint labelling is a very young concept in the food industry but awakened consumers awareness about climate change will make footprint label as a standard.

The food industry is more and more aware about environmental impacts caused by food production. Changing consumer demand is encouraging food processors to develop products that are also environmentally friendly.

Interview with Motorola’s Sustainability Director

September 8, 2009

Bill Olson, Director Office of Sustainability and Stewardship, Motorola will be presenting at the upcoming Corporate Climate Regulation event this October 27-28 in Chicago.

60-Second Interview

What are the latest updates to Motorola’s GHG management strategy?

We have launched a strategy to reduce the climate impact of our operations, products and supply chain.
For our operations, we have set absolute and normalized goals to:

• Reduce our greenhouse gas emissions from our operations by 15 percent per million dollars of sales by 2010, compared with 2005
• Reduce our absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 6 percent by 2010, compared with 2000 to meet our Chicago Climate Exchange commitment

We will achieve these reductions by:

• Improving energy management at our operations
• Using more renewable energy

For our products, we are assessing the lifecycle climate impacts of our products to help us understand relative impacts across product lines and within each product category, which will help us focus our efforts where the biggest impacts can be made. We are also making our products more energy efficient and developing alternative energy sources to power our products, and constantly seeking opportunities to develop products that will contribute to the low carbon economy. An example of a product that was designed with climate change in mind is the Moto W233 Renew http://www.motorola.com/renew, which has best-in-class talk time, the most energy efficient charger on the market, and earned CarbonFree® Product Certification, the first on the market, after an extensive product life-cycle assessment.

In terms of supply chain, our long-term goal is to measure and reduce the climate impact of our supply chain. We are working with the Global e-Sustainability Initiative, an industry collaboration, to develop a method to measure supplier emissions.

Will you be reviewing your GHG management in preparation for mandatory cap-and-trade?

Because Motorola does not generate a high level of GHG emissions, we don’t currently anticipate being covered by the proposed mandatory cap-and-trade scheme. If that should change, we are confident that our experience as a founding member of the voluntary, but legally binding Chicago Climate Exchange cap-and-trade system will serve us well should we be covered. Independent of regulation, we will continue to drive our voluntary efforts to help contribute to reducing our climate change impacts and to developing products that contribute to a low carbon economy.

What are you most interested in hearing about at Corporate Climate Regulation?

We are interested in hearing about how the Information and Communications Technology sector and other sectors are developing products that will contribute to a low carbon economy in light of the future regulatory environment.