The TreeZero News July 9-15, 2018

ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Global quadrupling of cooling appliances to 14 billion could see staggering increase in world’s energy consumption – the University of Birmingham report authors forecast that the 14 billion devices needed by 2050 will consume five times the amount of energy currently predicted for cooling usage. The report – A Cool World – Defining the Energy Conundrum of ‘Cooling for All (PDF)’  https://bit.ly/2KYLoBt

Apple announces $300m China Clean Energy Fund to help power greener supply chain – https://bit.ly/2Ne7a0G

US household energy use falling as homes become more energy efficient – U.S. household energy use fell by more than 10 percent between 2009 and 2015, despite a 4 percent increase in the number of households over the same period, according to analysis of data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. https://bit.ly/2Li4sKo

Journey to the Pole – The South Pole Energy Challenge – Video from Shell – Discover the physical and mental strength it takes to walk to the South Pole using only renewable energy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izAoe2iBDLo

How Much Renewable Power Does the World Use? – Modern renewables achieved a growth rate of 5.4% of total energy consumption across the globe, representing its biggest ever increase.

https://bit.ly/2Lg91kS

Kenya’s ban on charcoal production affects millions – Extraction of wood to be used as fuel has contributed to deforestation in the east African country, forcing the government to ban production of charcoal. But, this has left millions of people without an important source of energy.  https://bit.ly/2uz5t6o

California Beat Its 2020 Emissions Target Four Years Early – In 2016, California’s greenhouse gas emissions were lower than in 1990, despite a larger population and booming economy, the state’s air resources board reportedhttps://for.tn/2uvQda8

New York Announces Plan Of Action For Procuring Offshore Wind – New York has a goal of 2.4 GW of new offshore wind generation by 2030, enough to power 1.2 million New York households. https://bit.ly/2LfNKrN

New investor-backed campaign targets a trillion dollars for US renewables – ACORE has introduced a new campaign to get investment in U.S. renewables and related grid infrastructure to a cumulative $1 trillion by 2030. https://bit.ly/2mgAVCI

Introducing Climate Innovation 2050 – In a new initiative we call Climate Innovation 2050, C2ES is bringing together companies in key sectors to look collectively at plausible pathways to decarbonizing the U.S. economy. https://bit.ly/2un6q27

London’s zero carbon city plans kick-started with £500 million energy efficiency fund – https://bit.ly/2J7fYTp

Ireland will be the first country to divest from fossil fuels – Ireland passed a bill in its lower house of parliament that will require the country’s national investment fund to sell all of its investments in oil, coal, gas, and peat. The fund currently holds investments worth more than $400 million in 150 fossil fuel companies.  https://bit.ly/2me9Xvr

More than 45,000 businesses could be hit with fines of up to €1 million (£0.88m) if they fail to comply with EU energy efficiency reporting rules. Organizations with at least 250 employees or annual revenues of more than €50 million (£44m) must conduct energy audits. That includes calculating their total energy consumption and identifying saving opportunities across their estate every four years, with the next deadline on 5th December 2019.  https://bit.ly/2NedZiQ

 

DEFORESTATION

Take a Walk in the Woods. Doctor’s Orders – Last June the Northside Hospital Cancer Center in Atlanta began to formally offer forest therapy as part of a pilot project in collaboration with the Chattahoochee Nature Center. Twelve patients with newly diagnosed cancers recently signed up for a session, according to Christy Andrews, the executive director of Cancer Support Community Atlanta. “It was a four-hour session that seemed to have an impact on the patients,” she said. https://nyti.ms/2JhhN0p

Explainer: Drought creates a perfect storm for wildfires in U.S. West – The number of wildfires larger than 25,000 acres on U.S. Forest Service land in the West nearly quadrupled in the decade to 2014, compared with the 1980s, according to data from the Department of the Interior. An expected 1.8 Fahrenheit (1C) temperature rise by mid-century is expected to double or triple the annual acreage burned from a current 7 million acres average, according to a study by the U.S. Forest Service and Department of Agriculture. https://reut.rs/2mgxRGB

 

RECYCLING

Nearly 1,000 recycling centers in California have closed in the last two years, about 40% of the total, leaving consumers in many communities with no local place to leave their bottles and redeem their nickels.  https://lat.ms/2uhwjzD

Solar panel recycling to reach new highs thanks to Veolia’s dedicated plant – The state-of-the-art facility is located in Rousset, France, which is currently the 4th biggest solar panel market in the entire EU. The new solar panel recycling centre will process approximately 1300 tonnes of solar panels this year. https://bit.ly/2NzPXj4

Starbucks to scrap plastic straws globally by 2020 – https://usat.ly/2KY7dQC

ALDI Adds How2Recycle Label to All Exclusive Brand Products https://bit.ly/2m57KSH

How San Francisco sends less trash to the landfill than any other major U.S. city – the city diverts about 80 percent of its waste from landfills, or more than 1.5 million tons every year. https://cnb.cx/2NSQSeD

IFIXIT– The free repair guide for everything, written by everyone.  https://www.ifixit.com

 

WATER STEWARDSHIP

Synthesis Report Highlights Challenges in Meeting Global Water Goals – The world is not on track to reach the Sustainable Development Goal on clean water and sanitation (SDG 6), according to an UN-Water Report based on the latest data available for the 11 SDG 6 global indicators. Preliminary estimates suggest that, in high to middle-income countries, 59% of household wastewater flows are safely treated. https://bit.ly/2m9YBZm

Emerald invests in HydroPoint – Emerald Technology Ventures is pleased to announce an investment in HydroPoint Data Systems Inc. HydroPoint helps commercial, government, education and community sites maximize water savings, reduce operating costs and minimize risk.  https://bit.ly/2KOui9o

LifeStraw, a global leader in developing innovative filtration and purification products for safe drinking water, today released its first responsibility report highlighting 13 years of global safe drinking water efforts. LifeStraw is now supporting over one million kids in 1,621 schools where 10,677 purifiers are installed, and over 10,000 follow-up visits have taken place and continue monthly.  https://bit.ly/2Nev9wy

 

SUSTAINABILITY

Krill fishing firms back Antarctic ocean sanctuary – companies responsible for 85% of krill fishing in Antarctic waters announced a “voluntarily permanent stop” to their operations in key areas, including the proposed sanctuary and “buffer zones” around penguin breeding grounds. https://bit.ly/2NFkHzd

When will “socially responsible investing” become just “investing”? https://bit.ly/2L1KZxq

General Mills Utilizes SDGs as ‘Common Language’ for Global Sustainability Initiatives 

https://bit.ly/2J7s6E1

Air pollution is triggering diabetes in 3.2 million people each year – The new estimate, reported in July in The Lancet Planetary Health, holds air pollution responsible for about 14 percent of new cases of diabetes worldwidehttps://bit.ly/2u6Ryor

Raymond James has boosted its model portfolio offering with the launch of its first ever environmental, governance and social (ESG) model portfolios. https://bit.ly/2N2zfIk

How Laundry Is Reducing America’s Carbon Footprint – About 60 percent of the energy used by an item of clothing happens after its purchased, when it enters the home and it’s washed, worn, and washed again.  In 2005, only 11 percent of U.S. households had washers that meet EnergyStar criteria; that number rose to 41 percent in 2016. According to the Department of Energy, replacing all washers in the U.S. with EnergyStar models would save 11 billion kilowatts of energy and 550 billion gallons of water per year.  https://thebea.st/2L9j8rX

Joint Statement Calls on UK Government for Central Modern Slavery Registry – Of the 25 million people estimated to be in modern slavery around the world today, 16 million are thought to be working within the private sector. https://bit.ly/2ueymFh

The State of Restaurant Sustainability 2018 Edition – The National Restaurant Association is committed to helping members move forward on their sustainability path. Additional tools and resources can be found at Restaurant.org/Conserve.  https://bit.ly/2sBONeg

Recruiting Top Talent For Your Company Begins With Social Impact – https://bit.ly/2mhbUXL

Companies Can Improve The World: How CSR And Marketing Tie The Knot https://bit.ly/2LdjVen

FOUR BIG FOOD COMPANIES LAUNCH SUSTAINABLE FOOD POLICY ALLIANCE – Danone, Mars, Nestle and Unilever, have launched a new trade organization, the Sustainable Food Policy Alliance, focused on driving progress in public policies that shape what people eat and how it impacts their health, communities and the planet. https://bit.ly/2umhhts

HP links $700 million in revenue to sustainability strategy – https://bit.ly/2uiZp1o

PepsiCo Reports Waste Diversion and Packaging Progress – By the end of 2017, the company diverted 95% of their waste from landfill, up two percentage points from the 2016 rate.  For 2025, the company also aims to design 100% of their packaging to be recyclable, compostable or biodegradable. PepsiCo’s new report highlighted progress toward their packaging and waste reduction goals. https://bit.ly/2udWCaM

 

THIS COMING WEEK IN HISTORY…

July 19, 1799 – Rosetta Stone found.

July 20, 1969 – Armstrong walks on the moon.

July 21, 1861 – First Battle of Bull Run.

July 22, 1862 – President Lincoln tells his cabinet about Emancipation Proclamation

The TreeZero News July 2-8, 2018

Video of Key Sustainability Headlines For This Week – (1 min 36 sec) https://bit.ly/2J5wjIg

ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Nations Urged to Raise Emission Targets and Policies Ahead of COP24 – A group of some 23 nations has just signed an agreement, Declaration for Ambition, to raise climate commitments and to increase efforts to get other nations to do the same – by 40 percent of the 1990 levels by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050. https://bit.ly/2No3kmj

According to Signify (formerly Philips Lighting), a global switch to LEDs across the private sector could avoid 403 million tons of CO2 emissions while generating US$94 billion in cost savings.  https://bit.ly/2NrMd3d

China has launched a trading scheme to improve fuel efficiency among car manufacturers – https://carbon-pulse.com/55108/

Cummins Announces Acquisition of Electric and Hybrid Powertrain Provider – Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. (EDI), which designs and produces hybrid and fully-electric power solutions for commercial markets. https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180702005572/en/

Masdar and Norway’s Oil Giant Launch First Battery Storage System Linked to Offshore Wind –  https://bit.ly/2Kz5ql1

The production of renewable energy in Germany has hit a new record, providing more than 40 per cent of the country’s power supply in the first half of 2018.   https://bit.ly/2tT877l

Renewables provide 60% of Portugal’s electricity – https://bit.ly/2NkqD0u

Scientists listen to ocean bubbles – The Earth’s atmospheric methane concentration has increased by about 150 percent since 1750, and it accounts for 20 percent of the total global greenhouse gases.  https://bit.ly/2tXIG4p

Bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef could happen every two years, report finds –  https://bit.ly/2NqdlzB

Rising sea levels are forcing those living in the Outer Banks to grapple with the impacts of climate change – Already, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality says, about six feet of costal land erodes every yearhttps://on.natgeo.com/2u5cbAT

Bill includes $1M for clean energy tech research at UMass https://bit.ly/2Ni3dZK

More Efficient with Fewer Emissions: Cement Factory Finds Sugar-Based Biomass a Sweet Solution – biomass pellets cost about $80 to $100 per ton on the global market, depending on required quantities and quality and have brought a 20% reduction in the plant’s use of coal—along with a 10% drop in CO2 emissions and about a 15% reduction in SOx emissions. https://bit.ly/2tKHp0M

US emissions of methane – a potent greenhouse gas – are 60% higher than EPA thinks – The new study estimates the current leak rate from the U.S. oil and gas system is 2.3 percent, versus the current EPA inventory estimate of 1.4 percent. Although the percentages seem small, the volume represents enough natural gas to fuel 10 million homes – lost gas worth an estimated $2 billion. https://usat.ly/2tnqgtC

The Startup Aiming to Wipe Out Blockchain’s Carbon Footprint – Singapore-based New Era Energy has developed a blockchain-based framework called Carbon Grid Protocol that is intended to help other blockchain players offset emissions. In the case of bitcoin, these are estimated to equal more than 500 kilos of carbon dioxide per transaction. https://bit.ly/2J0lyqD

UK publishes latest results in tackling global climate change – The 2018 International Climate Finance (ICF) results, Supported 47 million people to cope with the effects of climate change – equivalent to the population of Spain; Provided 17 million people with improved access to clean energy; Reduced or avoided 10.4 million tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (tCO2e) – approximately equivalent to the yearly emissions of 2.5 million cars; Installed 590 MW of clean energy capacity; Mobilised 3.3 billion pounds public and 910 million pounds private finance for climate change purposes in developing countries.  https://bit.ly/2KY6rjm

Global warming may be twice what climate models predict – https://bit.ly/2IZgyCD

Experimental Solar Road in Georgia Is Paving a New Way – The first solar roadway in the U.S. debuted on an 18-mile stretch of I-85 in southwestern Georgia. It’s called the Ray C. Anderson Memorial Highway, and the asphalt is a living laboratory now known as The Ray. A small section of the roadway leading to the Visitor’s Center is paved with solar panels and serves as a testing ground for solar roadway technology.  https://bit.ly/2ufhxcv

 

DEFORESTATION

Innovation Forum is partnering with TFA 2020 to host a complimentary webinarThe sprint to 2020: Partnerships in action to end commodity-driven deforestation. The webinar will take place on Wednesday 11th July at 14.00 BST / 9.00 EDT. If you can’t make the time, register anyway and we’ll send you a recording. You can sign up here: https://bit.ly/2tWSa02

The State of the World’s Forests 2018 (SOFO 2018) analyses the role that forests and trees – and the people who use and manage them – can play in helping countries achieve their objectives and bring about a brighter future. The world’s forest area decreased from 31.6 percent of the global land area to 30.6 percent between 1990 and 2015, but that the pace of loss has slowed in recent years.  http://www.fao.org/state-of-forests/en/

Investing in indigenous communities is most efficient way to protect forests, report finds – https://bit.ly/2KtRV6M

Colombia’s Serranía de Chiribiquete becomes world’s largest tropical rainforest national park – https://bit.ly/2KFHMU1

Largest US Reforestation Carbon Credit Issuance – GreenTrees recently completed its latest verification for 1,273,866 metric tons on the American Carbon Registry (ACR). https://bit.ly/2N0bGQd

Pakistan has just planted over a billion trees – https://bit.ly/2IODbJV

New report: New ideas for better rainforest protection – There are three important reasons for the world’s failure to protect the remaining rainforest: Increasing demand for products leading to deforestation, fragmentation of intact and primary forests, and finance flows leading to deforestation. After ten years of high-level talks about forest protection, a new report from the Rainforest Foundation Norway gives recommendations for how the world can be more successful in its battle against forest destruction.  The report can be downloaded here.  https://bit.ly/2zfSBYq

 

RECYCLING

Your county-by-county guide to recycling in metro Atlanta –  https://on-ajc.com/2lUWsjU

For restaurants, tracking food waste, costs ‘could be the difference between succeeding and going out of business’ – SimpleOrder, an inventory management system, was founded in 2012 as a way to help restaurants run more efficiently. https://trib.in/2NjgNw2

Recycling Disruptions Hit 75% of the US Market – https://bit.ly/2L29uae

THE NEW NATURAL: FINDING FABRIC INNOVATION IN FOOD WASTE AND FARMING – From oyster, coconut, and macadamia nut shells to coffee grounds and scraps of cotton literally rescued from the cutting room floor, the next generation of outdoor product innovation isn’t invention—it’s reuse.  https://bit.ly/2IVYY2w

Blue recycling bins now a big billing in Central New York https://bit.ly/2MLXb2z

Japan fans still stayed to clean the stadium after heartbreaking World Cup loss –   https://usat.ly/2MJyUKf

Japan team leave World Cup dressing room spotless with ‘thank you’ note in Russian despite devastating loss https://bit.ly/2KKe5Or

Coke Piloting Kiosks That Reward Recycling With Charitable Donations – at the 2018 Special Olympics. Attendees can stop by the two recycling stations in Seattle to deposit PET bottles or aluminum cans. Each recycled package triggers a $.05 donation to Special Olympics Washington. https://bit.ly/2KHlqOv

Charlotte’s recycling ‘is broken.’ Could your plastic, paper be headed for a landfill? –  https://bit.ly/2u9FMZZ

Amazon, H&M and other multinationals pressing to soften Indian state’s plastic ban –  https://reut.rs/2lPtRwl

Four Million American Anglers Mobilized in Crowdsourced Effort to Collect Data and Trash from U.S. Waters This Independence Day – Keep America Beautiful is partnering with Fishbrain, the world’s most popular mobile app and social network for people who love fishing, to ask the app’s over 4 million US users to undertake the largest-ever one-day crowdsourced audit of litter in the US. https://bit.ly/2u6KwPN

What Happens to the Plastic We Throw Out – How a piece of trash can travel from land to Henderson Island, an uninhabited, remote island in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean.    https://on.natgeo.com/2k60lSs

NPR – China’s Retaliatory Tariffs Hit Small Recycling Business – https://n.pr/2u47s2V

UGA Study: The Chinese import ban and its impact on global plastic waste trade – An estimated 111 million metric tons of plastic waste will be displaced with the new Chinese policy by 2030.  https://bit.ly/2Kyd383

Adidas vows to clean up oceans with UltraBOOST Parley push – The sportswear brand teamed up with TBWA\NEBOKO to push the new UltraBOOST running shoe — made from 11 plastic bottles gathered from the ocean by Parley for the Oceans. https://bit.ly/2KOrl7U

Recycle Across America TV Commercial, ‘You Recycle, Right?’ Featuring Kristen Bell – https://bit.ly/2u1aYLG

E-Waste Offers an Economic Opportunity as Well as Toxicity – In the United States, which generated an estimated 6.9 million tons of e-waste in 2016 (42 pounds per person), most e-waste probably goes straight into the trash. By one account, e-waste makes up just 2 percent of the total volume in American landfills — but more than two-thirds of heavy metals.  https://nyti.ms/2KWxBu8

Researchers race to make bioplastics from straw and food waste – New bioplastics are being made in laboratories from straw, wood chips and food waste, with researchers aiming to replace oil as the source of the world’s plastic. https://bit.ly/2zdMlA9

What is the true cost of the fruit & veg you waste? Calculate your impact on the environment and how much money you could save.  http://www.itsfresh.com/food-waste-calculator/

 

WATER STEWARDSHIP

An Ode to The Toilet, A Water Conservation Champ – The toilet is the single largest user of water in the home. Each day the average toilet will use about 33 gallons of water. https://bit.ly/2u6PiNn

GLOBAL PRECIPITATION & TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK JULY 2018 – HTTPS://BIT.LY/2NOIVLV

Enormous Potential of Brackish Groundwater Desalination – New research ​suggests ​there’s a ​large untapped ​resource for ​many of the ​increasingly ​water-limited ​regions of the ​U.S. and around ​the world: ​brackish ​groundwater, ​which, in ​theory at least,​ would require ​much less ​energy to ​desalinate than ​seawater. ​https://bit.ly/2zgOjzY

At Staples arena, they’re making ice from thin air – Staples Center will be able to reduce energy consumption by more than 8.2 million kilowatt-hours a year and water consumption by more than 500,000 gallons a year, he estimated.  https://bit.ly/2KCVKa0

 

SUSTAINABILITY

Towards a New Materiality: A review of the current practices of FTSE 100 & a possible path ahead – by Sancroft Team – In this report we share our findings and collective ideas with two objectives in mind: firstly, to assess the state of current practices among the FTSE 100, including common challenges and innovative solutions; and secondly, to inspire new thinking and start the conversation with the broader community of sustainability professionals.  https://bit.ly/2IUGbVh

The Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform (SAI Platform) announces a new vision and mission to drive nine strategic priorities designed to deliver protection, resilience and value to members and the sustainable agricultural sector. https://bit.ly/2zmRDK3

Morgan Stanley IM bolsters ESG offering for $40 bn equity team – The fund aims to offer a concentrated, high-quality global equity portfolio with a low carbon impact, which scores well on ESG factors as measured by third parties.  https://bit.ly/2IV0bqY

CAN WE DEFEAT THE SIXTH MASS EXTINCTION? – In the last 50 years, humans have done so much damage to the environment that it might be impossible to make any tangible recovery, according to a report, Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA), published by the UN. Currently the rate of extinction of both plants and animals is much higher than normal. Although extinction of one species in a million per year is considered normal, conservation ecologist from Duke University, Dr Stuart Pimm, and curator of palaeonology department of American Museum of Natural History, Dr. Michael Novak, believe the rate of extinction of different species will be 1000 times the natural rate within the next few decades; and 50 percent of the world’s species will be lost forever within the next century. https://bit.ly/2zcDGOI

Kroger’s 2018 sustainability report, which reflects their environmental and corporate responsibility efforts for 2017.   https://bit.ly/2KSW57Q

Home Depot – Issues 2018 Responsibility Report – https://thd.co/2zjY3cv

 

THIS COMING WEEK IN HISTORY…

July 10th 1985 – French foreign intelligence agents blow up the Greenpeace boat Rainbow Warrior in Auckland harbor, New Zealand to prevent it interfering with French nuclear tests in the South Pacific

July 12th– 1859 Paper bag manufacturing machine patents by William Goodale, Massachusetts

July 13th– 1568 Dean of St. Paul’s London, Alexander Nowell perfects a way to bottle beer

July 14th– 1789 Bastille Day – the French Revolution begins with the fall of the Bastille Prison

 

The TreeZero news June 25 – July 1, 2018

JOIN THE CLIMATE FORCE CHALLENGE

I recently had a wide-ranging conversation with Robert and Barney Swan, of The Climate Force Challenge, discussing polar expeditions, climate change, inspiration and the importance for individuals and businesses to work towards carbon neutrality.  Below are highlights and a few of my observations from that conversation.

In the early 1980’s, the famed French Oceanographer, Jacques Cousteau, personally inspired a young English Cab Driver, Robert Swan, to adopt a long-term vision to preserve Antarctica.

Monsieur Cousteau convinced Robert that humankind still had a chance to leave one continent natural and unspoiled.  There was just enough time to ensure that the home of 70% of the world’s freshwater, millions of penguins, whales and seals would not be exploited, but could be preserved and conserved for the good of all, if people were inspired to take action.

Antarctica could be forever dedicated to advancing science and education.  No bloody mining, no colonization, no war.  Full stop.

To achieve this vision, Cousteau inspired Rob to create a series of expeditions and to engage thousands of young people, businesses and industries to become part of the story.  Connecting Cousteau’s advice to their recent ground-breaking South Pole Energy Challenge (SPEC) expedition, Robert said, “The basis of success is to have a great story.  In a world of over communications and too much information, what people actually want today is inspiration not more information.”

Rob went on to say, “What young people, corporate leaders and educators need to do is show leadership.  Inspire.  Take a risk. In the Antarctic, we are in a survival situation.  A survivor does not see a problem and do nothing about it.  Leaders need to take risks to solve problems and do things that captures their people’s imagination.  Take bold action that creates inspiration, not more information.”

Driven by mission madness, Rob became the first person to walk to both the South and North Poles, earning him the Medal of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).  For more than 35 years, Rob has hatched and successfully completed a series of missions, inspiring thousands of diverse individuals across the globe to raise awareness and help save Antarctica.  With each new far-flung adventure propelling Rob’s vision for saving Antarctica into clearer focus – to leverage his efforts to safe Antarctica to inspire others to take action.  “The Greatest Threat to Our Planet Is the Belief That Someone Else Will Save It.”

I first met Rob in June of 2002 and later that year helped staff his Mission Antarctica exhibit at the World Summit for Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa.  Shortly thereafter, I had the honor of helping organize and participate in the first two of ten annual, Inspire Expedition Antarctica (IEA) leadership and teamwork missions, partly sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company.

Now, at the age of 61, Rob, this time inspired by his 23-year-old son Barney, decided to see if it could be possible to walk across the Antarctic continent without using fossil fuels for cooking or heating.  Why?  To set an example for the world, that if a small group of explorers could survive a 600-mile trek to the South Pole relying solely on renewable fuels, people back home surely could successfully transition from fossil fuels.

Dozens of sponsors, large and small, helped outfit, orient, fuel and feed the team.  With the help of NASA, build solar devices to melt snow, bio-fuel made from waste materials from Shell and tons of intestinal fortitude, Rob, Barney, Kyle O’Donoghue and Martin Barnett set out on the South Pole Energy Challenge on November 15, 2017.  One interesting culinary innovation was a tasty energy bar made by Atlanta based CSM Bakery.  Packed with 1,000 calories and designed to stay soft even at minus 40 degrees C, the CSM bars were a safe and convenient snack, providing a blast of energy without risk of a broken tooth from biting a frozen slab of nutrition.

The first fortnight or so of the journey was typical Antarctic stuff.  Minus 45-degree Celsius temperatures, frequent wind blasts of over 50 miles per hour, hauling 300-pound sledges 8-9 miles per day under a night-less sky, touches of frostbite, and massive chafing that comes from enduring ice in your underpants.

But as the days rolled on, the team was falling behind their hard and fast goal to cover at least 10 nautical miles per day, due to a nagging hip injury that reduced Rob’s speed and endurance.   Rob knew physically and mentally, he could make it to the Pole, but deadlines would be missed, supply lines strained and an important rendezvous with several expedition sponsors, scheduled to march the final 60 miles with the SPEC team to the Pole, would be blown.

Rob was forced to make a key leadership decision.  “I realized I was becoming weak, because of a hip injury, I was slowing the team down.  I came to the conclusion that making it to the South Pole was not about me, it was about the team being the first expedition attempting an assault on the South Pole surviving solely on renewable energy.”

So, Rob flew back to base camp to rest and recuperate for several weeks before rejoining the team and sponsors for the final 60-mile push to the Pole.  “While this was the hardest decision of my life, I realized this was now becoming Barney’s story, not mine.  At the time it felt like failure.  But now, reflecting on it, clearly, it was the best decision I ever made.”

Rob added, “The lesson for corporate people and NGOs is you don’t always have to lead.  Sometimes you have to support.  Sometimes you have to be a servant leader, not the leader that’s out there.  The impacts of climate change are creating risks to business and commerce and corporate leaders are starting to get that we are facing a survival situation.  Customers are beginning to truly make some choices.  Reducing your carbon footprint, using renewables is now a serious business opportunity.”

Two years of maniacal physical, mental and operational preparation by the SPEC team enabled them to successfully reach the South Pole on January 15, 2018.  I asked Barney if there was any key decision they made that ensured success.  “In our planning, not leaving anything up to an assumption was the rule.  We tried to avoid as much assumption as possible.  Relentlessly double and triple checking systems, supplies, savage organization and to do lists was key to making it all happen.”

Looking back on the journey, Barney pointed to: Day 45, as a pivotal moment.   “It was the toughest day of my life.  I had frost bite on my feet and face, mega bleeding in my crotch from chafing.  It was minus 45 degrees C.  But I realized I was there by choice, not circumstance.  This was my idea.  I chose to walk to the South Pole using only renewables and I was going to finish it. People in life forget that they are often in their situation by choice.  I was thinking of all of those people that suffer hunger, homelessness, or dehydration, due to circumstance, and don’t have a safety net.  Focusing on the bigger purpose of fulfilling promises to sponsors and completing mission got me through.  The greater goal drove me – and has now become the spring board for the next seven years.”

Barney added, “I am really proud we designed and made this expedition net positive from an emissions standpoint.  It is a model I want to help adventurers, small business, and families replicate.  People need to feel like they can have attainable solutions to balance out their emissions and work toward a carbon neutral future.   We really need to make it happen a lot faster than 2070 if we want to have any hope of keeping our planet’s temperature rise under 4 degrees.”

I asked Barney what was next for Climate Force Challenge? “We proved it was possible to survive with renewables to get to the South Pole.  Now we are setting out on a journey to scale what we achieved.  Over the next seven years, we are going to create and promote a series of projects and convenient solutions, that added together, will be responsible for cleaning 326 million tons of CO2 from the atmosphere.”

“We are working with individuals and organizations to set goals to reduce their carbon footprints.  First step is to identify and commit to a series of simple changes to reduce your footprint.  Like using efficient light bulbs, planting trees, reducing consumption of meat, carpooling or purchasing paper made from sugarcane waste.  Then progressing to more difficult and impactful efforts, such as buying green power from utilities, installing renewable energy systems, starting kelp and algae farms.”

“During the summer of 2019, we will be taking 90 people from around the world to the Arctic.”  Base camp will be Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole.  “We will take Industry leaders, blend them with a mix of students and educators, and create a shared vision of doing a bit more for the planet.  Integrating an experience with commitments – inspiring folks to become ambassadors – creating an incubator to bloom and scale.  Two weeks of leadership, teamwork and setting goals for sustainable solutions.”

“We want to help folks set and achieve goals. Promote sustainable business solutions that make meaningful contributions to reducing CO2.  If you can’t join us in the Artic, we will be visiting many locations across the US over the next seven years where you can join us in setting convenient goals and implementing simple solutions and impactful innovations to save our planet.”

For more information on SPEC checkout this CBS documentary:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/expedition-antarctica-cbsn-originals/

 

DEFORESTATION

Meet Mike Nilan of TreeZero – http://voyageatl.com/interview/meet-mike-nilan-treezero-vinings/

CDP’s 2017 Global Forests Report – Up to US$941 billion of turnover in publicly listed companies is dependent on commodities linked to deforestation, including soy, palm oil, cattle and timber. https://www.cdp.net/en/research/global-reports/global-forests-report-2017

Urban trees can store almost as much carbon as tropical rainforests  https://bit.ly/2yL4ghG

2017 Was the Second-Worst Year on Record for Tropical Tree Cover Loss – according to new data from the University of Maryland, released today on Global Forest Watch. In total, the tropics experienced 15.8 million hectares (39.0 million acres) of tree cover loss in 2017, an area the size of Bangladesh. That’s the equivalent of losing 40 football fields of trees every minute for an entire year. Colombia faced one of the most dramatic increases in tree cover loss of any country, with a 46 percent rise compared to 2016, and more than double the rate of loss from 2001-2015. https://bit.ly/2KifxLH

 Going green with Wildlife Works! – As part of Wildlife Works’ commitment to increasing the forest cover, Wildlife Works has been providing local farmers with tree seedlings and potting bags. This provides a valuable source of income for some community members and also reduces the tendency to exploit forests and animals for economic gain. https://bit.ly/2MkwvWi

International Day of the Tropics is observed on June 29 – According to the UN, the tropics account for 40 per cent of the world’s total surface area and are host to approximately 80 per cent of the world’s biodiversity and much of its language and cultural diversity.  https://bit.ly/2MCENsI

 

ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

CDP – 115 organizations, including CVS Health, Target Corporation, Tesco and Walmart representing over US$3.3 trillion of spend, request environmental data from more than 11,500 global suppliers to cut supply chain emissions. https://bit.ly/2N1dpFF

 Allergies, Glaciers, Pikas: Climate Change in Action – Seas rising, wildfires spreading, allergies increasing: Climate change is measurable globally.  https://bit.ly/2tBtclS

Bloomberg’s annual New Energy Outlook (NEO) report has been released, and projects that the global energy mix will be 50% renewables by 2050 https://bit.ly/2KwuyFE

US Renewables Nearly Tied with Nuclear At 20%, Coal Falls To 27% Renewable energy sources accounted for a fifth of US power generation over the first third of 2018 according to new figures from the US Energy Information Administration ‘Electric Power Monthly‘. https://bit.ly/2MxIgJ8

Land O’Lakes, Inc. and California Bioenergy, LLC (CalBio) have launched a first-of-its-kind collaboration to support the financing, installation and management of on-farm methane digesters to generate renewable compressed natural gas (“R-CNG”) fuel in California. https://prn.to/2tMag4T

Volvo Trucks and FedEx Successfully Demonstrate Truck Platooning on N.C. 540 (Triangle Expressway) – The tractors and trailers traveled at speeds of up to 62 mph while keeping a time gap of 1.5 seconds, maintaining a closer distance than what is typical for on-highway tractors. Drag accounts for up to 25 percent of a truck’s total fuel consumption, and the closer the trucks drive to each other, the greater the fuel-saving potential. Reducing the traveling distance between vehicles also allows for greater highway utilization, helping alleviate traffic congestion.  https://bit.ly/2KhD9zQ

Housing and car industries should be ‘ashamed’ of climate record – according to Lord Deben, chair of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC). The CCC’s annual report, published on Thursday, found the UK is on track to miss its legally binding carbon budgets in 2025 and 2030, due to lack of progress in cutting emissions from buildings and transport. https://bit.ly/2KdEIih

Climate predictions should include impacts of CO2 on life –   https://bit.ly/2NdBKbJ

 

RECYCLING

Beyond 34: Recycling and Recovery for a New Economy is a first-of-its-kind multi-stakeholder pilot project aimed at increasing the current EPA-reported 34% recycling rate in the U.S. https://bit.ly/2yIHFSQ

New Polymer Ups the Ante for Recycling  A team of chemists have produced a polymer that apparently has all the benefits of today’s plastic but can be recycled an immeasurable number of times. https://bit.ly/2NdbXA2

Morrisons Supermarkets to reintroduce paper bags for fruit and veg –  https://bit.ly/2KoeRn2

China’s Recycling Ban Costing North Texas Cities Millions – Last year The City of Fort Worth’s recycling program netted $999,000. This year Fort Worth’s program is projected to lose $465,000, and next year the recycling program is expected to cost the city $1,668,000.  https://cbsloc.al/2Kzoxs1

Think you know how to recycle? Take the quiz – https://bit.ly/2IGQYSX

 

WATER STEWARDSHIP

MillerCoors, Global Water Center achieve firsts in water stewardship – SCS Global Services (SCS), a leading international third-party certifier of environmental claims, has certified that MillerCoors Milwaukee Brewery and the Global Water Center conform with the requirements of the Alliance for Water Stewardship International Water Stewardship Standard (AWS Standard), the first-ever comprehensive global standard for measuring responsible water stewardship across social, environmental and economic criteria. https://bit.ly/2yKVLDb

The World Heritage Committee decided to remove the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System from the List of World Heritage in Danger.   https://bit.ly/2tQebfU

Argentina’s economy shrank 0.9 percent in April from the same month the year before – Treasury Minister Nicolas Dujovne has said the drought will reduce 2018 growth by 1.5 percentage points of gross domestic product (GDP) and reduce the country’s exports by hundreds of millions of dollars. https://bit.ly/2lFOqvj

Federal report: Americans conserving water like never before – In per capita terms, domestic water use has plummeted from 112 gallons per day in 1980 to just 82 gallons in 2015, a 27 percent decrease. https://bit.ly/2Kwwhyc

 

SUSTAINABILITY

The Chartered SRI Counselor (CSRIC) designation is ideal for financial professionals seeking fundamental knowledge and pertinent skills related to SRI investing and impact portfolios, in order to serve a broader network of clients as well as strengthen existing client relationships.  http://www.cffpinfo.com/web/csric.html

Will ESG Die with the Bull Market? – https://bit.ly/2lBnXiq

HOK Partners with BRE to Launch BREEAM New Construction Standard in USA – https://bit.ly/2Kkj3o0

Webinar: Reporting on the Sustainable Development Goals Thursday July 12th | 2pm BST | 3pm CET – http://events.ethicalcorp.com/reporting/webinar/

Office Depot launched their 2018 Sustainability report – Sustainability A Way of Business for Us A Resource for You.  https://bit.ly/2MssAXm

The GRI Standards on occupational health and safety (OHS) and water and effluents have been updated – https://bit.ly/2KxqfNM

The TreeZero News June 18-24, 2018

ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

How to save 60% more CO2 in the fresh supply chain– Reusable containers for fruit and vegetables result in no less than 60% lower CO2 emissions than cardboard packaging. https://bit.ly/2ynoNbG

10 Tips for an Energy-Efficient Home – According to This is Money, it is possible to cut between more than $100 and $250 a year off fuel bills without losing warmth or comfort – simply by using energy efficiently and effectively.  https://bit.ly/2Kd0jn3

Hytch Makes Carpooling Pay in Tennessee – Hytch pays people to carpool. Since launching in February of this year, the company has logged an impressive 2 million miles of shared rides in the state of Tennessee and signed up more than 6,000 participants. Hytch initially launched with Nissan as a sponsor. Nissan and their staffing agency signed up to offer anyone in the state of Tennessee a penny a mile if they teamed up with someone for a ride. They offer five cents a mile during certain commute hours. https://bit.ly/2IohhNu

Biz Group Vows $1T Renewables Investment in 12 Years – Nonprofit group, The American Council on Renewable Energy, or ACORE, includes Amazon, BlackRock, Deloitte, Google, IBM, Morgan Stanley, NRG Energy, Consolidated Edison, Salt River Project, Wells Fargo, universities and advocacy and research organizations, among more than 100 members. https://bit.ly/2K2SIvr

This Florida Utility Has Become a Global Leader in Renewables Investment – NextEra’s recent success demolishes claims that the switch to renewables can lead to a cleaner environment at the cost of higher electric bills. The company says that its principal subsidiary, Florida Light & Power, bills its air conditioning-hungry customers 25 percent lessthan the national utility bill average – and has the lowest bills overall in the Sunshine State.  https://bit.ly/2InjbhC

Flooding from sea level rise threatens over 300,000 US coastal homes – Sea level rise driven by climate change is set to pose an existential crisis to many US coastal communities, with new research finding that as many as 311,000 homes face being flooded every two weeks within the next 30 years. https://bit.ly/2tfiPUo

Looking to the long term, UPS boosts fleet with CNG trucks – UPS announced it’s investing $130 million in five new compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations and 730 CNG vehicles, a move that will help reduce CO2 emissions and boost the company’s renewable natural gas use. https://bit.ly/2tpisqy

Climate Change to Become ‘Greatest Pressure on Biodiversity’ by 2070 https://bit.ly/2toNij7

 

DEFORESTATION

DNA Database to thwart Deforestation – Project is a collaboration between the Norwegian government and the United States Forest Service’s international program. Initially, the project will focus on building a database for the bigleaf maple tree on the west coast. While the experts are gathered to create the DNA Database, it relies on volunteers and citizen scientists as well. And the best part is, you can also help gather samples for DNA testing. All you have to do is complete an online training course on how to collect samples and pass the test. https://bit.ly/2MUhiMP

Deforestation for fashion: The cost of rayon – According to TextileWorld, 5.2 million tons of rayon and related cellulose-based fabrics were produced in 2015.   Patagonia explains that the chemical processing is a concern: “The solvent used for this process is carbon disulfide, a toxic chemical that is a known human reproductive hazard. It can endanger factory workers and pollute the environment via air emissions and wastewater. The recovery of this solvent in most viscose factories is around 50%, which means that the other half goes into the environment.” According to non-profit Rainforest Action Network’s Out of Fashion campaign, 120 million trees are cut down annually to make our clothes.   https://bit.ly/2MQ3kvr

Plant trees in refugee camps to stop forest loss and conflict, U.N. says – https://reut.rs/2togQ1f

Of forests and floods: Devastatingly high water raises clear-cut questions https://bit.ly/2I2T6Eo

Certification ‘making no difference’ to supply chain labour abuses – https://bit.ly/2JPjwPu

A Renewed View of Some of the World’s Oldest Trees – After a three-year restoration project, the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias in Yosemite National Park has reopened, with less asphalt and more concern for the health of the trees. https://nyti.ms/2JLvolr

Opinion – We Need to Talk About How Logging in the Southern U.S. is Harming Local Residents – Deforestation in the American South is four times that of South America’s rainforests — and it’s disproportionately hurting low-income people and people of color. https://bit.ly/2wwH1qf

 

RECYCLING

EACH 2018 NIKE NATIONAL TEAM KIT IS MADE WITH AT LEAST 12 RECYCLED PLASTIC BOTTLES – For both Nike’s Fast Fit Vaporknit kits (worn by BrasilCroatiaEnglandNigeriaPoland and Portugal) and Nike’s Match jerseys (worn by AustraliaSaudi Arabia and South Korea), the process involves melting down 12 or 18 recycled plastic drinking bottles, respectively, to produce a fine yarn. See picture below. https://news.nike.com/news/sustainability-football-kits

UK Recycle Now Campaign 2018-19 – Included in this collection is a host of adaptable campaign assets which have been designed for partners to start using from Recycle Week onwards. Recycle Week 2018- 24 September to 30 September 2018  https://bit.ly/2hiBZGR

 Video – Turning beer and food waste into electricity  https://bit.ly/2tsbAsx

 UK to have nationwide food waste collections – https://bit.ly/2tB8jaz

 U of W student starts organic waste pickup service – https://bit.ly/2KdNf0N

 Dr. Gupta: After all my years of reporting, this haunts me – I promise you that our children and grandchildren will rightly hold us accountable for this tragic misuse of food that has led to a plundering of our land, an accumulation of greenhouse gases and the loss of precious water used to grow and produce that wasted food.  https://cnn.it/2tr4EMp

Investors Demand Nestle, Pepsi and Others Cut Plastic Use – https://bloom.bg/2tkQpt2

Video – It’s not you. Date labels on food make no sense. Food labels don’t mean what you think they mean. https://bit.ly/2KbC1tx

 ShareWaste is an app that uses a digital map to connect individuals with food scraps to nearby neighbors who have a compost system like a heap or a bin. HTTPS://BIT.LY/2K2KN12

New Study Finds Recycling Bags Better than Carts at Reducing Contamination and Program Costs – York University study, “Thinking Beyond the Box” https://bit.ly/2tzB9YH

New technology to reduce food waste at grocery retailers – Apeel Sciences has developed a coating, made from leftover plant skins and stems, that it claims could more than double the shelf life of the fruit.  https://bit.ly/2ly9vb4

 

WATER STEWARDSHIP

 Coral reefs ‘will be overwhelmed by rising oceans’ –  https://bit.ly/2MR2bUc

 USAID and Coca-Cola work with Ohio State’s Global Water Institute to improve water access in Tanzania.   https://bit.ly/2MPGMuA

 This Tech Makes It Easy To Conserve Water In Your Home – Lōtik created a high tech water monitoring solution that acts like a Fitbit for water pipes. The device collects useful details like flow patterns which can help pinpoint problems like disastrous water damage lurking behind seemingly innocent walls.   https://bit.ly/2yBitO4

Deadly Tensions Rise as India’s Water Supply Runs Dangerously Low – A government report released on Thursday said that India was experiencing the worst water crisis in its history, threatening millions of lives and livelihoods. Some 600 million Indians, about half the population, face high to extreme water scarcity conditions, with about 200,000 dying every year from inadequate access to safe water, according to the report. By 2030, it said, the country’s demand for water is likely to be twice the available supply. https://nyti.ms/2liNb50

 How to Extract Clean Water from the Ground: We’re No Longer Stumped! – In an article in Advanced Sustainable Systems, Professor Liangbing Hu and co-workers from the University of Maryland, USA, develop carbon nanotubes (CNTs) as a means to efficiently extract ground water via the roots of tree stumps by means of vaporizing the water under sunlight. https://bit.ly/2HXPovC

 Why Bogotá Should Worry About Its Water – Colombia’s capital Bogotá relies on a unique ecosystem called páramosfor its water. The tropical plants and moss in the páramo act like a sponge, trapping moisture from the foggy air, storing it in the soil during the dry season, and releasing it gradually. HTTPS://BIT.LY/2JZB4SE

National temperature and precipitation maps are available from February 2001 to May 2018. https://bit.ly/2tlnBzJ

 

SUSTAINABILITY

CBS Documentary – Expedition Antarctica – A father and son journey to save the planet – Robert and Barney Swan.  https://www.cbsnews.com/video/expedition-antarctica/

Morgan Stanley Survey Finds Sustainable Investing Momentum High Among Asset Owners – For more information, please see Sustainable Signals: Asset Owners Embrace Sustainability and reporthttps://bit.ly/2JXGZKr

 Harvard Business Review – How Marketers Can Connect Profit and Purpose – https://bit.ly/2tjpjBF

 Asics plans to cut 55% of its supply chain carbon emissions –  https://bit.ly/2I0WHm1

 Soil Health Educational Resources Now Online –  https://bit.ly/2MdkP7I

Corporate Knights seeks nominations for 4th annual Top 30 under 30 Sustainability Leaders list – Accepting nominations until Wednesday, July 18, 2018.  http://www.corporateknights.com/us/30under30/

 Mars leads call for advertisers to donate percentage of ad spend to conservation projects – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s ‘The Lion’s Share’ fund was set up with the ambition of raising $100m a year within three years, with the money being invested in a range of wildlife conservation and animal welfare programs. “Animals are in 20% of all advertisements we see. Yet, they do not always receive the support they deserve. Until now,” said the fund’s special ambassador Sir David Attenborough. https://bit.ly/2KdM01v

 Majorities See Government Efforts to Protect the Environment as Insufficient – HTTPS://PEWRSR.CH/2ICQOOQ

 Hermes launches carbon ESG tool – The $60 billion global manager will launch a tool to calculate a fund’s carbon performance and carbon risk as a part of its ESG toolkit to help fund managers make better decisions about investments.   https://bit.ly/2IkmjuF

 Honey Bees Swarm to Cox Campus – Bee Downtown partners with businesses in cities to collaboratively rebuild healthy honey bee populations by installing and maintaining honey bee hives on corporate campuses. In June, Bee Downtown delivered and installed four honey bee hives to Cox’s Atlanta campus. https://bit.ly/2IiQCBV

 Measurabl, Green Sports Alliance Announce Partnership to Elevate Sustainability in Sports Culture – Measurabl is creating a first of its kind sustainability benchmark that accurately compares sports stadiums around the world, allowing them to evaluate individual performance relative to their peers. https://www.greenbuildermedia.com/green-builder-magazine-may-june-2018

Investors Are Right to Consider ESG Risks, Says New Report By Corporate Governance Association – https://bit.ly/2K651qH

 Sustainability Career Report – CSR/Sustainability Jobs Embedded in all Departments – Recent research identified that 87% of CSR/Sustainability professionals are embedded throughout different departments with multiple portfolios. https://bit.ly/2MgzaQP

TreeZero News June 11-17, 2018

SUSTAINABILITY

Ossabaw Preserve celebrates wild status after 40 years – The development of nearby Hilton Head Island in the 1960s alerted many in Georgia to the prospect of intensive development on barrier islands. It motivated the state to acquire land on barrier islands. And it motivated Ossabaw’s Eleanor Torrey “Sandy” West, whose parents had bought the island for $150,000 in the 1920s, to figure out a way to keep it protected despite a mounting tax burden. West and her family sold the island to the state for $8 million, half its assessed value, with the additional guarantee Ossabaw would be a heritage preserve used only for “natural, scientific and cultural study, research and education and environmentally sound preservation, conservation and management of the island’s ecosystem.” Philanthropist and longtime president of Coca-Cola, Robert Woodruff, donated $4 million toward the purchase and the state provided the rest. West, who was 65 at the time of the sale, remained on a 23-acre life estate on the island until 2016 when she moved to an assisted living facility in Savannah where she celebrated her 105th birthday in January. Her life estate ownership remains in place.  https://bit.ly/2HTlbOl

Nation’s first credit union that promotes clean energy adoption now open –  Clean Energy Credit Union   (CECU) today announced that it has officially launched and is now taking savings account deposits and making clean energy loans.    https://bit.ly/2l862Qf

Dear Future: Coca-Cola Co. USA Calls on Young Adults for Change – Making Ideas to Renew Local Communities – Through Oct. 15, 18 to 24-year-olds across the U.S. can submit ideas to tackle community-specific challenges at  coke.com/dearfuturecommunity . $30,000 grants to 17 change-making ideas. Video: https://bit.ly/2HVgKTb   https://bit.ly/2HDn6WV

50-State Food System Scorecard – Ranking the states on farm and food health. https://bit.ly/2y7lGEV

BlackRock, Wells Fargo Eye ESG Funds For 401(k)s –  https://bit.ly/2l9dKJW

Impact investments made by more than 70% of millennials and Gen Xers  –  https://bit.ly/2sUvI79

Video: Salesforce, Intel Part of a New Goldman Sachs Backed Impact ETF –  https://bit.ly/2JOQ9J3

How Bidets are Saving the Planet, One Spray at a Time – The toilet paper industry is responsible for the destruction of  27,000 trees per day , or a staggering 15 million trees per year. The toilet paper production process results in 15 percent of deforestation. There’s also water waste to the tune of  37 gallons  just by flushing a single roll of toilet paper, whereas a bidet uses only one pint.  TUSHY  is a stylish, modern bidet attachment that works with your existing toilet and it’s taking butt hygiene to a whole new level. https://bit.ly/2JGSyts

Food waste is going to take over the fashion industry –  Through new materials startup  Circular Systems , which converts natural waste fibers into usable materials, Isaac Nichelson wants to set the fashion industry on a new path toward more sustainable production and sourcing. https://bit.ly/2JOKJOr

Your Small Business Needs a Corporate Social Responsibility Report – The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)  offers introductory guidelines  on SME sustainability reporting.  https://bit.ly/2sZxlR2

Project Catalyst is a pioneering partnership between more than 70 innovative Queensland cane growers, Natural Resource Management (NRM) groups, the Australian Government, WWF and The Coca-Cola Foundation. The project aims to support sugarcane growers and promote groundbreaking farm practices that improve water quality from sugarcane farms impacting the Great Barrier Reef.    https://bit.ly/2JXsOZ3

 

ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Exclusive: Global warming set to exceed 1.5°C, slow growth – UN draft –  “If emissions continue at their present rate, human-induced warming will exceed 1.5°C by around 2040,” according to the report, Temperatures are already up about 1°C (1.8°F) and are rising at a rate of about 0.2°C a decade, according to the draft, requested by world leaders as part of the Paris Agreement.  https://reut.rs/2sUkxeS

The European Union has agreed a 32% target for renewable energy after earlier talks on energy efficiency failed to find an agreement. –   https://bit.ly/2l7ojwX

Video Can Kenya sustain its charcoal consumption? – The high demand for charcoal in Kenya is leading to major issues like deforestation, and now companies are finding ways to use it sustainably. –  https://cnn.it/2MqK9rC

Antarctic ice loss has tripled in a decade. If that continues, we are in serious trouble –  Antarctica’s ice sheet is melting at a rapidly increasing rate, now pouring more than 200 billion tons of ice into the ocean annually and raising sea levels a half-millimeter every year, a team of 80 scientists reported Wednesday.    https://wapo.st/2l5P8By

How to save Antarctica (and the rest of Earth too) – Under the worst-case scenario of high greenhouse gas emissions and low or ineffective regulations, the global air temperature would rise nearly 5C above 1850 levels. Antarctica would contribute more than 25 cm to a total global sea level rise of more than a metre.  This could lead eventually to the collapse of the entire West Antarctic Ice Sheet, and around 3.5 m of  sea level rise .   https://bit.ly/2JFkJsz

The #IceBoxChallenge  is a contest and an experiment to demonstrate how a home can be super energy efficient AND comfortable.  https://bit.ly/2JpTu58

End of the ‘gas rush?’ Renewables, storage reaching cost parity, report finds –   https://bit.ly/2y20r7b

Millions of Florida Homeowners Owners Can Access HERO Program to pay for energy efficiency and wind resistant upgrades overtime – www.renovateamerica.com/financing/hero/communities .

What Is A Cool Roof? A Pro Explains This Affordable, Energy Efficient System – DOE Video –   https://bit.ly/2LHIuwH

This concrete can trap CO2 emissions forever –  Cement is responsible for 7% of global man-made greenhouse emissions, making it the world’s second largest industrial source of carbon dioxide. Canadian startup  CarbonCure’s system  takes captured CO2 and injects it into concrete as it’s being mixed. Once the concrete hardens, that carbon is sequestered forever. Even if the building is torn down, the carbon stays put. That’s because it reacts with the concrete and becomes a mineral.   https://cnnmon.ie/2t4bWFn

Students from Columbia University Place First in Net Impact’s Inaugural “Drawdown INNOVATE” Challenge Sponsored by Interface – https://bit.ly/2HPvAdP

All of Interface’s Flooring Is Now Carbon Neutral – At No Extra Cost to Customers – https://bit.ly/2HHudOf

In Argentina,  Coca-Cola FEMSA will become the first company to use 100 percent renewable energy –   https://on.nrdc.org/2JVysrg

Scientists find affordable way to recapture CO2 and burn it –  https://bit.ly/2MxPfT2

 

DEFORESTATION

3D View of Amazon Forests Captures Effects of El Nino Drought  –  https://bit.ly/2HHPIhX

Amazon deforestation surges in Colombia, report says –  https://bit.ly/2ldtziI

England ‘highly likely’ to be suffering from deforestation, campaigners warn https://ind.pn/2JUaDUc

RECYCLING

Chinese company also wants to restart Newberg paper mill – The Atlanta-based owner of Newberg’s shuttered paper mill now says it’s open to “all options” for selling the mill, after the Portland Tribune published a story documenting the company’s efforts to assure the mill’s papermaking machinery is turned into scrap metal so it can’t be reused to make pulp or paper.    htts://bit.ly/2JQPR7Y

American Express is creating credit cards made from plastic found in the oceans –  https://bit.ly/2JEgahu

 Spokane businesses are saving thousands by recycling, thanks to this local company’s help  –  Erik Makinson, founder of Resource Synergy, will literally dive through your dumpster to help you find out just how much money you’re wasting. “What I’ve found is unless four components exist, a program won’t go forward: those are time, knowledge, capital and motivation.   https://bit.ly/2t9I4Yn

 Hello, Recommerce: The North Face Launches Used Clothing Line – https://bit.ly/2JD79C7

 NBA’S HAWKS OFFER SUSTAINABILITY LESSON – The NBA’s Atlanta Hawks partnered with Atlanta’s Rubicon Global, to spend five days pulling out seats and then recycling as much as possible, diverting the seats from a landfill and saving 265 tons of carbon emissions in the process.  “Our partnership with the Hawks and Philips Arena is a great example of a sustainable renovation on a large scale,” said David Rachelson, vice president of sustainability for Rubicon.   https://bit.ly/2sNH9NU

 Stop Junk Mail For Good –  https://www.catalogchoice.org

CNN Money Video Interview with James Quincey, President & CEO of The Coca-Cola Company – How big brands are trying to pull off a recycling revolution.   https://cnnmon.ie/2JD0M1u

 Podcast: Sancroft consultant, Ross Lakhdari, is joined by Lord Deben and Alison Hampton to discuss the evolving narrative around plastics from an investor’s perspective. https://bit.ly/2HLw5pc

 US, Japan abstain from Ocean Plastics Charter, reactions vary – https://bit.ly/2t2X5Ly

 British retailer Tesco  has announced  that it will sell ‘green’ lemons to help customers facing a UK shortage, and to cut down on food waste.   https://bit.ly/2JPR0MQ

 PepsiCo’s Recycle Rally Program Challenges Schools to Reduce Waste, Increase Recycling –  https://bit.ly/2lbjXFe

 How recycling more steel and aluminum could slash imports without a trade war –  https://bit.ly/2lgXsi6

 Wishful recycling turns wasteful: Athens-Clarke County warns of recycling contaminants – The recycling plant takes in about 80 tons of materials each day, Joe Dunlop , waste reduction administrator for the ACC Recycling Division said. About 17 percent of those materials are not recycled and are sent to the landfill because of contamination.     https://bit.ly/2ycsIrH

 McDonald’s to ditch plastic straws – McDonald’s will replace plastic straws with paper ones in all its UK and Ireland restaurants, starting from September. https://bbc.in/2MtFwgz

 Burger King has announced that it will roll out compostable straws in its UK restaurants this year as it works to make all its packaging recyclable, biodegradable or compostable by 2025.      https://bit.ly/2HLRYVt

 SeaWorld getting rid of plastic straws, plastic bags at all US parks – https://fxn.ws/2LMvTsd

 How to Rinse Your Recyclables Without Wasting Water   https://bit.ly/2l4TpW1

 

WATER STEWARDSHIP

 IS AUSTRALIA’S DROUGHT CAUSED BY CLIMATE CHANGE?    https://bit.ly/2HHQag9

Coral reefs save humans billions of dollars every year –   https://bit.ly/2yiVWpd

 Sushi Served with a Secret Ingredient: Microplastic – the remnants of plastic bags, takeout containers and straws that almost-but-not-quite disintegrate in the oceans — are found in 3 out of 4 fish, such as squid, cuttlefish and swordfish in markets around the world, say the authors of a February study.   https://bit.ly/2MpJved

NEW ONLINE PORTAL FOR FLOOD AND DROUGHT MANAGEMENT NOW LIVE – http://www.flooddroughtmonitor.com/home

 

#WorldEnvironmentDay2018

While today, June 5th, is officially World Environment Day, for so many of you, World Environment Day happens each and every day.  Your friends at TreeZero want to give a heartfelt thank you to all those individuals who have made stewardship of the environment their mission.  It is due to your dedication, vision, inspiration and leadership that we are so optimistic about the future.

More and more organizations are measuring their impact and setting science based, public, timebound goals to increase recycling; eliminate threats of deforestation from supply chains; and reducing carbon footprints.

Designers are adopting circular economic principles that mimic nature.  Where no waste is created; and products and services provide community, environmental and economic value.

Innovation and technological advances are making renewable energy not only competitive with fossil fuels, but in many cases, superior in service and cost.

Purchasing agents are creating demand for efficient, sustainable products and services by incorporating the full lifecycle costs of the goods and services we use and purchase.

Marketers are investigating the entire supply chains of their products from raw material extraction to final disposal and embedding sustainability into their brand value architecture.

Employees are volunteering to protect watersheds, pick-up litter and prevent pollution.

Consumers are demanding companies and brands provide increased levels of transparency, take greater responsibility for reducing impacts and provide solutions to any leftover pollution.

Individual, institutional and corporate investors are using social, environmental and governance commitments and performance as primary criteria for investing trillions of dollars annually.

Each of us has responsibility in our personal and professional lives to strive to leave the earth a better place than when we arrived.   We can all, and must, do more.

Please accept our thanks and gratitude for your vision for environmental excellence, your servant leadership and partnership with the environment.

 

Your friends at

 

 

 

INSPIRING BROWN INDUSTRIES TO GREENUP – A CONVERSATION WITH DAN HENDRIX

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Dan Hendrix, who happens to be Chairman of the Board of Directors of both Interface and TreeZero, to discuss the foundations for sustainability at Interface, views on transitioning from a linear to circular economy and his vision for TreeZero.

What follows are excerpts from my conversation with Dan.

  • Dan, can you provide some insights into what motivated Interface to take such a risky and innovative path to sustainability back in the mid-1990’s?

When Interface started in 1973, it was a brown company in a brown industry.  As the business grew, customers, designers, associates and other stakeholders began questioning company leadership about our commitment to the environment.

Like most companies, our initial response was, we comply with the law.  In 1994, our founder, Ray Anderson, read a book,  The Ecology of Commerce, which he said impacted him like a spear in his chest.  It inspired Ray to radically change the culture of the company and set us on a journey to phase-out our reliance on petroleum for raw materials and fuel.  Ray defined our challenges on seven fronts, taking us on a journey that was like attempting to climb a summit higher than Mount Everest.

As we developed our strategic approach to sustainability – it evolved into our go-to market strategy.  We measured our carbon, water and waste footprints.  We established baselines and set long-term goals to eliminate our emissions.  We removed waste from products in ways that improved their performance.

Ray inspired our associates toward a higher purpose – that working for Interface was bigger than a paycheck – there was a better way to make carpet – one that would not harm the planet.  We all bought in – in a big way.  We changed the whole business model and pushed our industry to evolve from an industrial plunderer to a sustainable one.

  • What is the business case for sustainability?

The business case for sustainability requires creating innovations to help you deliver on your promises; capturing market share; and growing the category.  Sustainable goods and services are typically going to cost more than a commodity – because they internalize the environmental and social costs most companies outsource to the community. Innovation, along with good-will, funds sustainability.

  • What moments of truth standout from Interface’s journey toward sustainability?

Bringing our suppliers along for the ride.  Seeking advice from world-class experts and then walking the talk when others began to waver.  A real watershed moment came during a milestone update on our largest ever R&D effort – which was a project to close the loop – to enable us to recycle old carpet as a raw material to make our new products.  With mounting costs and increasing complexity, there was significant pressure to cancel the effort.  But our team reminded us that we had publicly committed to using recycled carpet; technically it was feasible; and the future success of the company rested on us delivering on that promise.

  • Is there a secret sauce to Interface’s sustainability success?

There are several ingredients that influence our success with sustainability.  A key revelation happened when we began to seriously consider how nature would make carpet tiles.  There is no waste in nature and everything in nature looks different.  First, we had to determine whether it was even possible to make every tile look different from the next.  Once that hurdle was overcome, principles that mimic nature were incorporated into our design process.  While there were some skeptics, facility operators loved the product.  It enabled them to seamlessly replace damaged tiles with new ones that did not break the existing visual pattern.   Biomimicry really helped open the $100 million plus education market for Interface.

  • How do you define circular economy ?

It’s a pretty simple concept where three stakeholders: the community, the environment and the business all benefit.  It requires that you to bring others with you – as you create a better approach to product design and production – delivering benefits to the business and environment while giving back to society. It has to be self-funding.  We dematerialized our products – light weighting them – and they performed better. We make long-term commitments to purchase from diverse suppliers.  We significantly improved the efficiency of our factories; experimented with all kinds of renewable energy options and even designed the longest landfill to natural gas pipeline project in the nation to power boilers at one of our factories.

Following Ray’s lead, I launched  Mission Zero ® in 2001 – it was a stake in ground stating what we were going to do – eliminate our carbon footprint, maximize recycled content – reduce water use while delivering a superior product and service.  After nearly 20 years, I am proud to say we are getting really close to achieving each of those goals.

  • What’s the next sustainability or business challenge for Interface?

After the world financial crisis, many businesses took a step back from sustainability, reducing the resources deployed against energy efficiency, renewables and recycling. Not Interface.

We interviewed our employees and what kept coming back was the need to set more ambitious goals, ones bigger than reducing the footprint of our business, goals that solve challenges outside of Interface, including global warming.  We believe this is the most significant issue facing humanity and we felt we could not continue to discuss and practice sustainability without addressing it and putting it front and center.  And Interface associates – or better yet our ambassadors – believe it is time to double down on our efforts to reverse global warming.

We want our business to move toward positive impacts, including in our operations and our products, we aspire to have our factories to operate like forests – to evolve and take carbon from the atmosphere – and to store carbon in our products.  We call this new mission, Climate Take Back™ and we want to share it with the world.

  • What motivated you to invest in TreeZero?

I was an early investor in TreeZero.  I love the passion of the people at TreeZero. It’s an easy concept to sell, but hard to execute. I believe TreeZero has the potential to be a catalyst for change in the paper industry.   A carbon copy of Interface, pun intended.  We believe there is a better way to make and sell paper.  TreeZero can help change how people think about paper – biodiversity, deforestation, carbon neutrality, use of recycled material – matters to large companies, local governments, colleges and universities.  TreeZero is a pivot or disruptive company.  It was a natural fit to come on board and help.  Sustainability can be a huge catalyst for innovation and that’s certainly true for TreeZero, which has created an alternative to paper products sourced from trees by tapping into an agricultural waste stream. The team at TreeZero is poised to grow the company, make a positive impact on society and reduce environmental impacts.  It’s an exciting time to be a part of the journey.

  • What is your vision for TreeZero?

To provide the highest quality products and services while reducing the impact of making, selling and using paper.  Be a big influencer.  To shine a light on the paper industry and say, hey, there is a better way to do this. TreeZero is going to be disruptive.  We strive to become the alternative to recycled content paper.

  • Why should organizations and individual buy TreeZero paper?

Waste is nothing but unsellable product.  Climate change is real.  Eventually, all organizations in North America will have to report their carbon footprint and implement programs to offset their emissions.  TreeZero provides a value-added quality product that serves as a simple example of a better way of doing business.  It is a transformative product; one that helps reduce waste, deforestation and climate change.  Forward thinking companies, local governments and universities that care about sustainability love our product; and growing numbers of organizations and individuals know using it is the right thing to do.

  • Dan, can you please give us a quick run-down on your bio?

I grew up in Florida and graduated from Florida State University.  I joined Interface, Inc. a leader in the commercial carpet tile industry, in 1983. I became the chief financial officer in 1985.  I had the pleasure of working alongside Interface Founder Ray Anderson, as he put the company on an ambitious path to zeroing out our environmental footprint.  I was appointed Interface president and CEO in 2001.  I retired as CEO in March of 2017; and continue to service as Chairman of the company.

In November of 2017, I was named chairman of the board for  TreeZero .

My wife and I have two grown children.

Sustainability Pays… But, It Requires Investment

More than 400 purchasing gurus and sustainability wallahs gathered in Minneapolis for the 5th annual Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC) May 14-16. SPLC has become the premier event where professionals with purchasing responsibility and budget interact with corporate, government, university and sustainability strategists.

Circular economy, stewarding embedded water, deforestation, sustainable financing, and challenges with global recycling markets were just a few of the issues, trends and innovations that were debated, discussed and dissected.

A highlight every year is Connect, where attendees can book as many as twelve 20-minute one-on-one meetings with peers, suppliers, customers and experts.  Conversations were focused, useful information was gleaned and many a lead harvested.

More than 25 diverse organizations from Ecolab, Cubehydro, Interface, and TreeZero to the United Nations were represented in the exhibit area – a recycled train depot.

A highlight was SPLC’s 5th anniversary party held at US Bank Stadium – the Gold LEED Certified – home of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings. Attendees were treated to a behind the scenes tour of this marvelous 68,000 plus capacity stadium that somewhat resembles a Viking ship.

US Bank Stadium is 100% powered by renewable wind energy.  Rainwater is collected, stored, filtered and slowly recharged into the local aquifer – eliminating the need to pump runoff into the city’s sewer system.  Nearly all packaging used in the stadium is compostable.  Administrative offices use 100% post-consumer recycled paper.  As host of Super Bowl LII, 91% of all game day waste, more than 63 tons, were recycled, composted, reused or donated.

The 6th Annual SPLC will be held in Portland, OR in mid-May 2019.  TreeZero plans to attend again because we’ve seen the ROI in a number of ways, not only in our business deals coming out of the Summit, but also the invaluable brand visibility in front of hundreds of sustainability and procurement leaders.

Mulling at Work | 09-25-17 Mike Nilan and Jeff Foote with TreeZero

Mulling at Work | 09-25-17 Mike Nilan and Jeff Foote with TreeZero

A version of this interview originally aired on Mulling at Work


The Story

Recently, our CEO and co-founder, Mike Nilan along with Jeff Foote, our SVP, Sustainablity joined Emory Mulling on his Mulling at Work radio show discuss TreeZero’s mission along with the advantages of working for a “green” company. Below is the recording along with a few excerpts from the interview. You can also find the entire conversation on the show’s website!

 

The Highlights

Emory Mulling: What motivates someone to work for a conservation-minded company?

  • MIKE: We have a common value in our company.  We stress fiscal responsibility and sustainability responsbility. It permeates our entire company.

Emory Mulling: As a company with a sustainability focus, what is your approach to managing people? Is it different than managing a company which is not a sustainability-focused company?

  • JEFF: The way you manage people is really important.  It really shouldn’t differ whether you’re a sustainable company or not.

 

The Facts

  • Mike Nilan is Co-Founder and CEO of TreeZero, an Atlanta-based sustainable solutions company that markets, supplies and distributes agro-fiber paper and other environmentally responsible products for Fortune 2000 companies, colleges and universities, government agencies and consumers with a passion for sustainability.TreeZero’s flagship product TreeZero paper is the only premium, 100 percent tree free, carbon neutral paper made from sugarcane waste fiber. It is completely recyclable within existing recycling systems and compostable. According to Ricoh, TreeZero paper delivers excellent print quality when compared to regular recycled paper. TreeZero paper is available at major office supply distributors such as Office Depot/Office Max®, Ricoh Canada, Staples®, Veritiv™, Artlite and W.B. Mason, online at Amazon and in-store at FedEx® Office.Prior to founding TreeZero, Nilan was the CEO of an international sourcing company, The MarketSource, which focused on consumer goods for companies like Pepsi and Tropicana for eight years. Prior to The MarketSource’s success, Nilan served as the Founder, Chairman and CEO of One Coast Network, the largest wholesale gift and home accessory company in North America. To learn more about TreeZero, visit their website, and follow them on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
  • Jeff Foote was appointed Executive Vice President of Sustainability for TreeZero in 2017 to oversee the strategic direction of the company’s sustainability efforts. Foote is charged with marketing and distributing a revolutionary paper product that could potentially save millions of acres of trees each year, in addition to leading the company’s carbon neutrality project and developing the business’s relationships with major environmental groups. Foote previously worked at The Coca-Cola Company, where he was a distinguished sustainability leader for more than 20 years. During his time with Coca-Cola, Foote was an influential leader and conservation-minded executive who played a key role in developing world-class sustainability goals for the company. Foote’s leadership and accomplishments are felt within the local community and around the world. In his hometown of Atlanta, Foote currently serves on the board of the Georgia Recycling Coalition and has previously supported the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Task Force on Controlled Environment and the Green Spirit Farms of Georgia. In his quest for sustainability, he has traveled to all seven continents including Antarctica, where he led two leadership and teamwork expeditions to help inspire over 150 business leaders to reduce impacts on climate and to promote water stewardship. To learn more about TreeZero, visit their website, and follow them on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

World Environment Day: Connecting People to Nature

Connecting People to Nature is this year’s theme for World Environmental Day.  World Environment Day, celebrated each June 5th, was first designated by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972.  In 100+ countries, this day is the UN’s signature annual event for encouraging environmental stewardship. From your backyard to your favorite national park, nature is closer than you think. It’s time to get out and enjoy it.  Be a part of a world-wide event and share your photos and videos using #WorldEnvironmentDay or #WithNature.

Rocky Mtns naturewaterfall colorado nature

I frequently spend time outdoors to connect with nature.  A hike along the Chattahoochee River or a walk or swim in my neighborhood brings me closer to nature. My travels take me across this country and the globe –  to all the seven continents.

colorado rocky mtns

The Rocky Mountains: the majesty of nature

Recently, I witnessed the majesty of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.  The colonies of aspens, magnificent elk, soaring golden eagles, playful prairie dogs and yes, even snakes, took my breath away.

No matter where my travels take me, I’m always amazed by nature’s grandeur, stunning beauty and the plethora of free environmental services such as clean water and oxygen to soil and pollination.  Today few organizations or individuals directly pay for the environmental services received from nature.  Compounding this free rider status, many of the related externalities (waste) of commerce based on extraction of natural resources are not accounted for on the cost ledger of our organizations. If we don’t start accounting and paying for these environmental services that we all enjoy – how will our quality of life be impacted?  What are the risks to our businesses?  At a minimum, might we all be ignoring an enormous bill that is already past due?

I would argue that the status quo is unsustainable.

As much as 80% of the environmental impact of a brand comes from the activities of our supply chains.  Businesses, NGOs and governments all have opportunities to collaborate with suppliers and partners to protect and preserve the environment.  Here are some questions to consider posing across your supply chain:

  • How can we mimic nature to improve our products and services?
  • Do you collaborate with your key suppliers to measure and set reduction targets against use of energy, water, waste and packaging?
  • What waste streams are generated along each point within your supply chain that should be reduced, eliminated or examined for potential sale or donation to other organizations?
  • Do individual departments set budgets for use of energy, water, office supply use?
  • Does your organization report greenhouse gas related emissions publicly?
  • Are water-related risks or deforestation-related risks publicly reported by your organization?
  • How do you trace the origin of ingredients, raw materials and supplies and manage the quality of your direct suppliers?
  • What benefits do or can your service or product deliver to society?
  • Do your brand managers tour and experience the entire supply chain of your business?
  • What new initiatives should you pursue to help connect with nature as a way to enhance the influence and growth or your brand, while protecting and preserving the environment?

This World Environment Day, I encourage you to take steps to connect your brand, organization and yourself more closely with nature.  If you are not routinely asking questions like those above to your suppliers, my question to you is, what do you have you to lose?