Top Stories

October 30, 2014


Levi’s, M&S and ASOS pledge to make deforestation unfashionable

Several major fashion retailers, including Marks and Spencer, Levi Strauss and ASOS, have this week signed up to the Fashion Loved by Forest campaign, spearheaded by Canadian forest conservation nonprofit Canopy, which aims to eliminate deforestation from fashion supply chains. Over 25 brands, retailers and designers, including Zara/Inditex, H&M, EILEEN FISHER, Patagonia and Stella McCartney, have already committed to eliminate their use of fabrics that contain endangered forest fibre; engage their suppliers; and advance alternative fabric options such as recycled fabrics or non-wood fibres such as straw. To coincide with the latest announcement, Canopy is releasing a report entitled A Snapshot of Change: One Year of Fashion Loved by Forest, providing an overview of momentum within the clothing sector and highlighting key endangered forest ‘hotspots’. Canopy’s research has found that ancient and endangered forests are increasingly making their way into clothing, driven by the continued expansion of the dissolving pulp industry. (Sustainable Brands)


3M, Adobe, eBay commit to renewable energy

Seven new companies have signed the Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles, joining the 12 initial signatories in an effort to increase their access to renewable energy. By declaring their commitment to buying renewable energy, the companies – 3M, Adobe, eBay, EMC, Cisco, Novo Nordisk and Volvo – aim not only to take control of their energy costs, but to reshape markets so other large and small companies can meet their public climate and energy goals. The Principles were launched in June by 12 major companies, including General Motors, Mars and Walmart, in conjunction with the World Wildlife Fund and World Resources Institute. They frame the challenges faced by large renewable energy buyers, including complicated transactions and inadequate options from utilities, and are intended to foster a dialogue with utilities, regulators, and other stakeholders to create a marketplace that facilitates greater renewable energy use by corporates. (Greenbiz)


Nestlé “cow water” shake-up aims to end drain on water resources

A Nestlé milk factory in Mexico has become the first of its kind in the world not to rely on external water resources. Instead, the factory recycles the waste fluid extracted from milk when it is powdered, and puts it back to work. The company says this will save 1.6 million litres of water every day – about the same quantity needed to fill an Olympic swimming pool, or roughly what 6,400 people use daily. The 71-year-old plant in Lagos de Moreno began working without water in June but was formally inaugurated last week. Nestlé’s approach, created in collaboration with the dairy technology firm GEA Filtration and French wastewater treatment company Veolia Water, was to use the sharp-smelling “cow water” that is a byproduct of the milk pulverisation process. Nestlé aims to roll out the zero-water technology in other plants worldwide, starting with its Mossel Bay dairy factory in South Africa. (FT*)

Responsible Investment

Bank of England raises climate change concerns with insurers

The Bank of England has written to 30 large insurers to express concern and ask them whether climate change poses a material risk to the sector and what the consequences would be to their business models. The letter, which has been seen by the Financial Times, asks insurers if they knew when the effects of climate change, such as rising temperatures and more extreme weather events, could start affecting the viability of your business model”. The letter also asks how climate change could affect investment portfolios and what the role of insurers is when tackling the issue. Earlier this year insurers Lloyds of London noted that firms have incurred “major losses as a result of extreme weather” in recent years. Last month, rating agency Standard & Poor’s warned that reinsurance companies underestimating the impact of climate change on their risk exposure, despite evidence that extreme weather is likely to cause huge damage in the coming decades. (Blue & Green Tomorrow)


Sainsbury’s turning Halloween pumpkins into energy

In the run-up to Halloween, UK supermarket Sainsbury’s has launched a scheme to encourage customers to recycle their unwanted pumpkins locally through WRAP’s Recycle Now campaign. As part of the recycling initiative, customers will be able to bring their unwanted pumpkins back to ten trial stores to be turned into energy via anaerobic digestion through Sainsbury’s waste partner Biffa. The energy generated will, in some cases, be used to power Sainsbury’s stores. Sainsbury’s hopes the new scheme will also encourage more customers to compost at home. The supermarket chain expects to sell over a million pumpkins this week alone – 99% of which will be used for lantern carving before being discarded. The scheme is the latest in a series of recycling ideas generated by Sainsbury’s colleagues, including Easter egg and Christmas card recycling. Last year, Sainsbury’s achieved its target of putting all of its store waste to positive use, becoming the UK’s largest retail user of anaerobic digestion. (Edie)


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Image source: Canopy