The TreeZero News August 6-12, 2018

VIDEO – TreeZero Sustainability Headlines – https://youtu.be/uRCdbqjfD6o 1 minute 25 seconds

August 12 – World Elephant Day – http://worldelephantday.org/about

ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

One-third of the world’s energy is consumed by buildings, but most are inefficient. “Just implementing today’s best practices could cut global energy demand by one-third by 2050” https://bit.ly/2vq0cPs

US Renewables Are Closing In on Nuclear Generation – Renewables produced more electricity than nuclear for the first five months of 2018  https://bit.ly/2nwHv8p

Carbon Offsetting: The Basics – https://bit.ly/2Mca9KO

Asia, where coal consumption grew by 3.1% a year from 2006 to 2016, accounting for almost three-quarters of the world’s demand for the most polluting fossil fuel.  BP notes that coal’s share of global electricity generation—by far the largest source at 38%—has not shrunk in over 20 years, despite the rise of gas and renewable energy.  https://econ.st/2Omrk99

Researchers at Syracuse University are looking to the geologic past to make future projections about climate change.  Christopher K. Junium, assistant professor of Earth sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) says, “the past enables us to test and hone models on which future projections are based. It also helps us determine what processes are missing from our current Earth system models,” he says. “These things combined help us understand and prepare for what is on the horizon.”  https://bit.ly/2MGVyDi

The UK and Ireland arm of Aldi is planning to go carbon neutral by next year.  https://bit.ly/2B0ocOq

Ball Corp. sets emissions reduction target – Ball has committed to reducing scope one and two greenhouse gas emissions by 27 percent and scope three emission by 25 percent by 2030 https://bit.ly/2vYEamC

Energy-Efficient LED Lighting Provider Orion Lighting Q1 Revenue Rose 10% to $13.8M – https://read.bi/2MeiInR

Harley-Davidson® to commercialize electric motorcycle, LiveWire™ in 2019. https://bit.ly/2mUpeBC

The global wind and solar power capacity has reached 1 terawatt (TW) at the end of June and is expected to double by the middle of 2023, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) said last week.   https://bit.ly/2LUCSE7

Here’s how community solar works.   https://bit.ly/2LYwco8

 

WATER STEWARDSHIP

International Coastal Cleanup – September 15th, 2018 – Volunteers from states and territories throughout the U.S. and more than 100 countries come together each year and participate in a Cleanup event near them.  Next time you’re headed out to the beach or a nearby park, download Ocean Conservancy’s app, Clean Swell and take along a trash bag to collect and document the debris you find. https://bit.ly/2s2rKu0

Microfibers shed from your clothing are polluting our oceans – https://bit.ly/2B07AGE

WKU developing statewide drought warning system – Western Kentucky University is developing a statewide drought warning system with the help of a $200,000 federal grant. Officials will use the money to install soil moisture and temperature probes at 10 sites within the Kentucky Mesonet, a network of 69 weather monitoring stations across 67 counties.  https://bit.ly/2MjyopD

 

DEFORESTATION

Coller FAIRR Protein Producer Index – an assessment of how 60 global livestock and aquaculture companies disclose and manage key ESG risks, including deforestation and biodiversity loss. 84% of the land-based protein companies in our Index – suppliers to some of the biggest food brands in the world – do not have targets or policies to address deforestation risk.  https://bit.ly/2MDUYWW

Iceland’s Comeback Story – In this wonderful short film, Throstur Eysteinsson, director of the Icelandic Forest Service and EUFORGEN National Coordinator, speaks about the work he’s doing to bring the forests back to Iceland.  https://bit.ly/2nvqnjx

Despite Deforestation, Earth Is Gaining Trees As Land Use Changes – analyzing 35 years of satellite data to determine the changes in land cover. While deforestation remains a major problem in the tropics, global tree cover area increased by 870,000 square miles (2.25 million square kilometers), a 7.1 percent change from 1982. https://bit.ly/2w0BXa3

 

RECYCLING

China to enact tariffs on OCC and other recycled paper –  https://bit.ly/2MjmHPM

A Twist On Recycling: Retailers Rebuying Their Merchandise For Resale – Staples accepts any brand and type of electronic at its stores for free recycling.  https://bit.ly/2Mk0Ac4

CRISPR licensing deal could lead to better traits in food, reduce waste – Simplot, which provides fresh, frozen and chilled products including potatoes, avocados and strawberries, said it plans to use the technology to develop desirable traits in certain fruits and vegetables and bring those products to the U.S. market to benefit farmers and consumers.  https://bit.ly/2npvf9Y

Video – Obaggo explains its revolutionary solution for recycling your plastic bags and packaging film. https://youtu.be/xs9Elk0u–E

Worst types of litter: Plastic straws not even in the top 5 – top five most common forms of litter, according to Keep America Beautiful’s latest national study. Cigarette butts, paper, food wrappers, confections and napkins/tissues topped the list. https://usat.ly/2MCQj7R

City of Enterprise to end curbside recycling program –  https://bit.ly/2vANU7b

Whole Foods’ Walter Robb Is Taking on Food Waste – Robb joined the board of FoodMaven, a digital platform and logistics company that sells oversupplied and imperfect food to restaurants and institutional kitchens at a significant discount. Last week, he also became a board member and investor in Apeel Sciences, a company that extends the shelf life of produce through a naturally derived coating. https://bit.ly/2MydLmC

Seventh Generation Reaches Packaging Milestone – introducing its new green cap for its Natural Dish Liquid, marking the first 100% post-consumer recycled plastic cap on the market.  With this innovation, Seventh Generation has converted nearly 85 percent of their packaging to virgin petroleum free materials. https://bit.ly/2vuQLP2

CHEP Supply Chain Solutions – Discover how by sharing and reusing our equipment throughout the supply chain we can help reduce our customers’ environmental footprint and encourage circular economy.  https://bit.ly/2Ou6Jjr

Indorama Ventures Expands PET Recycling Capabilities with Acquisition of Sorepla –   https://bit.ly/2vQ59AP

Webinar on Steel Recycling: Tuesday, August 21, 2018 1:30 pm – 2:45 pm EDT, Speaker: David Keeling, Director, Recycling, Steel Recycling Institute. REGISTER NOW! Click Here

Video – Piling up: Drowning in a sea of plastic – https://cbsn.ws/2MlfdIX

Sonoco set out key commitments for more sustainable use and increased recyclability of packaging by 2025 – https://bit.ly/2OTWN3K

MAKING CRUDE OIL FROM PAPER PULP? VERTORO CREATES THIS ‘GREEN GOLD’ https://bit.ly/2vCWOkt

Reduce food waste? There’s an app for that – Steve Hamilton, professor of economics at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, has studied a number of different possibilities that have the potential to impact food waste. Companies he studied include: Imperfect Produce; Food CowboyWaste No Food and Food Rescue US.  https://bit.ly/2AZv8vp

 

SUSTAINABILITY

The EPA Is Making It Easier to Use Asbestos Again. Why Is It Dangerous?- https://bit.ly/2nnYQk5

What New EPA Rulings on Asbestos Mean for Consumers and Business – https://bit.ly/2nsVzQj

HSBC, one of the largest banks, issued an alarming warning that Earth is running out of the resources to sustain life https://read.bi/2M4ykdz

Mastercard Commits to Science-Based Emission Targets – https://bit.ly/2AXqNsH

New database highlights benefits of integrated reporting – The database, which is a freely available resource, can be accessed at: http://www.iracademicdatabase.org.  https://bit.ly/2OtwXCC

Majority of impact investors satisfied with investment performance:  https://bit.ly/2B1bWx5

What are Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? – 17 Global goals include eliminating poverty, protecting the environment, reducing economic inequality and ensuring peace and justice for all. New topics such as climate change, economic inequality, innovation, sustainable consumption, peace, and justice have been added.  https://bit.ly/2MyG3xc

Video: Interface CEO: We’re Going Green By Using Other People’s Waste – https://for.tn/2P1AN71

ESG adoption gaining among U.S. asset owners – More than 40% of U.S. asset owners have incorporated environmental, social and governance factors into their investment decisions, up from 37% in 2017 and 22% in 2013, said Callan‘s annual ESG survey report.   https://bit.ly/2nrY3yx

LOLIWARE is the first and only edible disposable cup that provides a completely new drinking and eating experience.100% plastic-free, gluten-free, gelatin-free, BPA-free, non-GMO, all natural, non-toxic, safe, and FDA approved. https://www.loliware.com/pages/about-us

How advisers can capitalize on impact investing – A recent report from Morningstar and WSJ shows that funds focused on sustainable investments have offered superior performance to non-sustainable investments over periods of one, three, five, and 10 years.  https://bit.ly/2Mf4XVZ

Coast to Coast Sustainability Tour Summer 2018 – https://bit.ly/2vJTunZ

 

 

THIS COMING WEEK IN HISTORY…

August 13, 1913 – Invention of stainless steel by Harry Brearley, Sheffield, England

August 14, 1980 – 17,000 workers go on strike at the Lenin Shipyard in Gdansk, Poland, marking the beginning of the Solidarity movement

August 15, 1248 – Construction of Cologne Cathedral begun

August 16, 1954 – “Sports Illustrated” magazine begins publishing

 

Arbor Day: A Celebration and Appreciation of Trees

Let’s celebrate trees this Arbor Day. Trees do so much for us.  They provide shade, reduce energy costs and increase our property values. Along our streets, they reduce storm water runoff that can carry pollutants to our waterways. Throughout our communities, they improve the mental and respiratory health, break up heat islands, create jobs and boost the economy.

In forests, they restore critical wildlife habitat, provide opportunities for recreation and maintain healthy watersheds to protect drinking water resources.  And no matter where they’re planted, trees are working hard to combat climate change, clean the air and shield us from ultra-violet rays.  Trees filter pollutants out of our air and water. They absorb CO2, removing and storing the carbon while releasing oxygen back into the air.  Trees provide food for humans, birds and wildlife, alike.  One apple tree can provide 15 to 20 bushels of fruit a year.

Trees provide immeasurable beauty and serenity that feed the human soul. At times, they can take our breath away.  This Friday, April 28th, is Arbor Day.  Take notice. Observe. Celebrate and be grateful for the trees around you.  TreeZero invites you to plant a tree and make a positive impact in your community.

Visit us at TreeZero.  Learn more about how choosing our tree free paper helps the environment and your business or organization to be more sustainable.

Ready to go tree free? Email us and we’ll get you started.

Clean Your Plate! There are Starving People in…America

According to the relief agency Why Hunger?, 42.2 million people in the US live in food-insecure households.  That’s 1 in 8 of our fellow Americans frequently struggling to get enough to eat.  According to the National Association to End Senior Hunger, 5.8 percent of seniors or 10.2 million individuals age 60 or older in the United States face the threat of hunger. Food insecurity affects seniors, soldiers, families, young people.  It’s rural, it’s urban, it’s ethnic.  It’s unacceptable.

Did you know, as much as 40% of calories society grows and produces does not end up in people’s stomachs?  Each person wastes 36 pounds of food per month according to the USDA.  According to NRDC waste is especially prevalent in restaurants, where diners leave about 17 percent of their food uneaten. Even though seafood is a popular menu item, nearly 47% of the US supply is wasted each year.  Average college student wastes more than 140 pounds of food per year.

food waste in binThe causes on each side of the food insecurity/food waste coin are serious and systemic.  Lack of measurement, processes and traditions that encourage overconsumption as well as concerns about liability can all hinder efforts to prevent wasting of food and matching leftover nutritious food with those in need.  Could we put a significant dent in the food security challenges facing our neighbors if we strove to prevent the wasting of food and reducing our food waste?

According to EndFoodWaste.org, at least 20% of all produce is wasted just because of size, shape, color, or appearance that fail to meet the visual specifications of traditional retailers and their customers.  Ugly fruits and veggies often have the same nutritional value of produce found in traditional markets.  food waste applesFor a list of local programs and retailers providing or considering offering sale of nutritious, if visually unique produce visit  EndFoodWaste.org.

It is difficult to manage something if we don’t measure it.  Preparing that wonderful banquet, five-star meal or dining hall dinner generates significant prep waste, too many uneaten portions, not to mention, oodles of doggie bags full of eatable leftovers.  If you operate a food service business or restaurant, there are several waste prevention programs available that can help you measure waste and identify savings opportunities.  The National Restaurant Association’s Conserve website is full of practical case studies and tools to help reduce food waste.

According to ReFED, waste occurs throughout the supply chain, with nearly 85% occurring downstream at consumer-facing businesses and homes. ReFED is a collaboration of over thirty businesses, nonprofit, foundation and government leaders committed to reducing food waste in the United States. ReFED has identified 27 of the best opportunities to reduce food waste through a detailed economic analysis.  They estimate that we can reduce US food waste by 50% by 2030.

Have you considered partnering with a local foodbank?  Feeding America’s nationwide network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs supports efforts that improve food security; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry.  Find Your Local Food Bank

What would motivate you to take steps to prevent wasting of food; reducing your portion size (as it were) at the local landfill; share with others some of the excess of your bounty; and find a beneficial use for the organic material you generate in your daily life?  Would you be willing to measure consumption and waste and set goals for continuous improvement at home and work?

What more can we all do to eliminate food insecurity and prevent the wasting of food?  How can we work together to match the demands of the hungry with the over-supply from our supply chains, cafes and kitchens? Preventing of food waste and donating usable leftovers can and must play a bigger role in reducing hunger and food insecurity.  Your mother was right.  Clean your plate, there are starving children out there.

The Weekly Round-Up: Focus on Food Waste

Food waste or food loss is food that is discarded or lost uneaten. The causes of food waste or loss are numerous, and occur at the stages of production, processing, retailing and consumption. Current estimates put global food loss and waste between one-third and one-half of all food produced.

This week our Round-Up focuses on news and information on this important topic. 

Gleaning is all about feeding the hungry – One major area of food waste in America is in farmers’ fields, where crops that don’t meet top-grade quality are left to rot or be plowed under.  The Biblical concept of gleaning is reemerging as a method, not only for feeding the hungry, but also reducing food waste. According to the Society of Saint Andrews, a group that coordinates thousands of volunteer groups participating in gleaning events. Each year, 35,000 – 40,000 volunteers glean over 20 million pounds of fresh, nutritious produce from farmers’ fields and orchards after the harvest for their hungry neighbors.

Volunteer Participating in a Gleaning Event 

The Institute of Culinary Education and The New School Announce Zero Waste Food Conference — Industry leaders, including acclaimed chef Massimo Bottura, will inspire creative solutions to create more sustainable food networks — The Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) and The New School announce the launch of the Zero Waste Food conference, an exploration of sustainable methods for producing, distributing, consuming and disposing of food in the environments where we cook and where we eat. The conference will take place on April 28 and 29, 2017 at locations on The New School and ICE campuses. Bridging the gap between research and practice, academics, activists, chefs and business leaders and producers will participate in panel discussions, and provide culinary demonstrations and hands-on cooking classes, that uncover innovative techniques for creating delicious meals from food waste.

Congresswoman renews campaign to take on food waste Maine Rep. Chellie Pingree is renewing her efforts to reduce food waste with federal legislation. Pingree, a Democrat, is an advocate for making food donation easier and cutting down on the amount of food that gets thrown out. She is a co-sponsor of The Food Donation Act of 2017, which was introduced on Feb. 7. The bill seeks to modernize food donation rules by expanding liability protections for food donors. Pingree also plans to reintroduce a pair of other food waste bills in the coming weeks. One would address food waste using tools like tax credits, research and a public awareness campaign. The other would standardize date labeling on food by distinguishing between quality and safety date labels.

The global food waste scandalby Megan Tatum –  The world binned or burned the equivalent of £2.9 trillion of food last year. A fetid pile of 1.3 billion tonnes – a third of all the food the world produced – went ‘off’ in fields, factories and family homes, says the FAO, belching out more noxious carbon than any country in the world, with the exception of China and the US.  Stuffed into this squalid mountain of discarded food lie 45% of the world’s fruit and veg, more than a third of its fresh fish and seafood, 30% of its grains and cereals and a fifth of its nutrient-rich dairy and meat – enough food to feed all Africa’s hungry.

Here in the West, our weekly shopping habits, obsession with perfect produce and scrupulous quality controls mean a third of waste happens in the final stages of the supply chain. Whereas in the developing world, as little as 5% of food is wasted by consumers and only 20% during processing, with the overwhelming majority lost in the very early stages of production.  “One of the major reasons is storage and the ability to protect the product from the farm through the supply chain to the customer [versus] a lack of storage facilities, poor distribution networks, and poor transportation,” says Liz Goodwin, former Wrap CEO and now director of food loss and waste at WRI.

The Wisdom of Garbageby JESSICA LEIGH HESTERResearchers are digging into heaps of discarded food to uncover clues about why we throw so much of it away—and how cities can cut the waste. Belinda Li, a project engineer at Tetra Tech, has been dispatched by the Natural Resources Defense Council to excavate hundreds of samples of trash in Nashville, Denver, and New York City—three cities where the NRDC has rooting or established relationships with local organizations. The bin digs are a quest to exhume data from detritus—and from there, to glean information about consumer behavior and food waste.  Trashed food exacts an enormous environmental and economic toll: By some estimates, each American family spends some $1,600 each year on uneaten eats.  

Science is great and gross! Researchers sort through bags of garbage collected in Manhattan(Jessica Leigh Hester/CityLab)

Nationally, there’s a larger push to collect and crunch data about wasted food, and then make those stats publicly available with an eye toward shaping policy. Back in January, the Rockefeller Foundation—which is in the midst of a seven-year, $130 million food waste-reduction initiative called YieldWise—threw its support behind a portal designed by a coalition including the USDA and EPA. The Further With Food website allows users to zero in on the data that’s most relevant to them, sorting by audiences (such as students, restaurant workers, hunger relief groups, and lawmakers), sources (like academic, business, and NGO), and topics (including policy, meal planning, and food rescue).  By the end of June the NRDC intends to spin this new data into a toolkit including sample protocols, case studies, and suggestions for scaling up solutions that have proved successful.

Trade groups push to expire confusing food date labels – Consumers are confronted with more than 10 different date labels on packages. The food industry is working to simplify labels on perishable food. Date stamps like “best by,” “sell by,” “use by” and “best before” can be confusing for shoppers.  Those multiple notifications could soon be reaching their expiration date. The trade groups are moving to reduce those “expiration” labels to just two: “use by” and “best if used by.” They say it’ll not only reduce consumer confusion, but also keep people from wasting perfectly good food, reports CBS news correspondent Jamie Yuccas. The new label guidelines are voluntary, but giant retailer Walmart is already on board. It says it supports the effort to “simplify consumers’ lives” and “reduce food waste.”