Top Stories

February 21, 2013

Supply Chain

The North Face ‘Clothes the Loop’

The clothing retailer, the North Face, has launched a pilot clothing take-back/recycling programme, in the USA, called ‘Clothes the Loop’, aimed at keeping clothing and footwear out of landfill. Customers can drop off used clothing, hats and footwear from any brand in any condition at bins in ten participating The North Face retail stores. Collected items are sent to an I:Collect (I:Co) recycling centre where they are sorted and either resold or recycled into raw materials such as insulation, carpet padding or toy stuffing. Proceeds accrued through the programme will be donated to The Conservation Alliance, which funds community-based campaigns to protect outdoor areas. (Environmental Leader)

Social Business

Grassroots innovation for sustainability in India

A new foundation in India will encourage grassroots innovators to develop and implement sustainable solutions to problems such as agricultural waste. In India, 30 to 40 percent of farm produce perishes due to a lack of processing and storage facilities. So-called ‘backyard innovations’ are being given a chance to access international markets thorough the Government's National Innovation Foundation (NIF).The NIF documents ideas, innovations and traditional knowledge practices from all over India in a central network and converts them into value-added technologies. The foundation calls it the ‘Grassroots to Global’ programme and has so far filed over 550 patents on behalf of the innovators. (BBC)

Unilever uses rotis to promote handwashing campaign

One of India’s most popular foods, roti, is being used by Unilever to communicate its message about the importance of handwashing. The company had arranged for more than two million of the flatbreads to be literally “branded”, as part of a campaign for the Lifebuoy soap. On each roti, the message, “Did you wash your hands with Lifebuoy?” was scorched on in Hindi, in an effort to link hand hygiene with eating. Unilever’s campaign to increase hand washing with soap across the developing world is an important part of their effort to reduce the instance of deaths from diarrhoeal diseases. (TriplePundit)


Eight law firms make payroll giving pledge

Eight law firms have pledged to sign up at least ten percent of their employees to payroll giving by May, as part of a campaign to promote the tax-free donations scheme. The initiative calls on all law firms to hit the same target. The launch was part of a series of events to mark the fifth anniversary of the ‘Geared for Giving’ campaign, which is funded by Workplace Giving UK, a professional fundraising organisation that promotes payroll giving. The campaign is now targeting sectors full of high earners, such as lawyers and bankers, to encourage them to sign up to payroll-giving schemes. (Third Sector)


China pushes forward with carbon tax

The Chinese Government has provided further details of its plans to introduce a carbon tax. State news agency, Xinhua has reported that plans are progressing and that there will be a new carbon tax and environmental protection plans to replace existing pollution discharge fees. The Government will also push forward with plans for resource taxes, including new levies on coal and water. Ministers are under mounting pressure to address the smog crisis afflicting many of China's cities, as well as pledging to try and cut the carbon intensity of the Chinese economy by 40 to 45 percent against 2005 levels by 2020. (Business Green)