Top Stories

September 10, 2013


European utilities warn EU over energy risks

Nine of the largest utility companies in Europe, including Eon, RWE, GasTerra, GDF Suez and Eni, have joined forces to warn the European Union (EU) that its energy policies are putting the continent’s power supplies at risk.  The companies, which have a combined revenue of €900 billion, said that partly as a result of EU policies, Europe’s energy security is not guaranteed; carbon emissions have increased; investments in the sector are slow; and fuel bills are rising.  The nine utility companies, in line with several European governments, are not in favour of another binding renewable energy target and instead are calling for an ambitious but realistic emissions reduction goal as part of a wider move to strengthen the EU’s emissions trading system, which is the world’s largest carbon market.  (Financial Times*)

Inclusive Business

General Mills launches $1.1 million sustainable sourcing programme

As part of its sustainable sourcing programme, the US food manufacturer General Mills has launched a four year joint commitment with one of its suppliers, the Peruvian food producer AgroMantaro and the global humanitarian charity CARE International, to provide $1.1 million to help smallholder artichoke farmers in Peru to increase crop yields and improve profitability.  The new programme will offer training to approximately 100 farmers on crop management and post-harvest practices, alongside other environmental and financial benefits, including helping the farmers obtain microcredit to purchase new seeds or plants.  General Mills was recently among the first companies to join the World Food Lifecycle Assessment Database, a project run by the Swiss Federal research organisation Agroscope and the consulting firm Quantis, to develop a comprehensive database for food and beverage life cycle assessments by 2015. (Environmental Leader)

Supply Chain

Adidas helps Indonesian suppliers to save 4,715 tonnes of CO2

A two year energy efficiency programme initiated by the German sportswear company Adidas and the German Organisation for International Co-operation (GIZ), has helped 16 suppliers in Indonesia to save 4,715 tonnes of CO2 since 2011. The programme, Greening Global Supply Chains — Focus on Energy in Indonesia,  aimed to build internal capacities within factories so that they would be able to consistently monitor and analyse energy use, identify and review energy management options, propose cost saving measures, and monitor the impact of actions taken.  The project involved three workshop sessions and a series of technical assistance meetings.  Reportedly, all of the participating suppliers now having their own energy teams and some are trying further improving their energy management practices to be able to obtain the ISO50001 energy management certification in 2014.  Adidas said that the programme has improved transparency within its supply chain and has introduced more sustainable manufacturing processes. (Sustainable Brands)                                                                     


Technology and Innovation

Sainsbury’s trialling world’s first naturally refrigerated trailer

The UK supermarket retailer Sainsbury’s is trialling what is reported to be the world’s first naturally refrigerated trailer to transport chilled and frozen goods.  The trial is part of the retailer’s review of its use of transport refrigeration gas as it aims to meet its target of converting all of its stores to natural refrigeration by 2030. Sainsbury’s is working with the US transport refrigeration specialist Carrier Traniscold throughout the two year trial, which uses a modified version of Carrier’s NaturaLINE refrigeration system initially developed for deep sea containers.  Sainsbury’s Head of Transport Operations, Nick Davies, said that the company would “be monitoring the trailer’s performance closely and if successful, it could help us save over 70,000 tonnes of CO2.”  Sainsbury's aims to reduce its depot to store transport CO2 emissions by 35 percent by 2020 and to achieve an absolute reduction of 50 percent by 2030, against its 2005 baseline.  (Edie; Environmental Leader)

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