Top Stories

January 27, 2015


Stella Artois and team up to ‘Buy a Lady a Drink’

Every day, women in developing countries spend a combined 200 million hours collecting clean water for their families. To raise awareness of this issue and to help provide solutions, Belgian beer maker Stella Artois has launched its first global social impact campaign, “Buy a Lady a Drink.” With the support of, the campaign aims to help put a stop to these water-collecting journeys. Stella Artois has donated $1.2 million to and is now inviting consumers to join the cause by purchasing one of three limited-edition Stella Artois chalices — the company says each chalice purchase will help provide five years of clean water to one person in the developing world. “We are proud to join, Matt Damon and Gary White to help raise awareness of the global water crisis that affects more than 750 million people around the world,” said Miguel Patricio, Chief Marketing Officer at AB InBev, Stella’s parent company. (Sustainable Brands)


Tate gallery criticised for “embarrassingly small” scale of BP sponsorship

Campaigners have accused the Tate gallery in London of ‘selling out cheap to big oil’, after revealing that BP sponsorship makes up just 0.5% of its annual income. The Tate was forced by a tribunal to disclose how much money it receives from BP as part of a campaign to persuade the gallery to shun fossil fuel sponsorship, in line with the growing divestment movement. The figures show the Tate received £150,000 a year from BP between 1991 and 2000, which increased to £330,000 a year from 2002 to 2007. “The figures are embarrassingly small for Tate to go on justifying its BP relationship,” said Anna Galkina of Platform. In a statement, a Tate spokesperson said that BP’s cumulative sponsorship amounts to “considerable funding”. The Tate has also been forced to reveal the minutes of its ethics committee, which in 2010 acknowledged the “reputational risk” of receiving sponsorship from BP, but concluded that taking a moral stance on the oil and gas industry was “outside of Tate’s charitable objectives”. (RTCC)

Technology and Innovation

Nike, NASA bring green chemistry ideas to market

A low-cost, low-energy process for treating high-salinity industrial wastewater and affordable biodegradable plastics produced from methane are among the 10 winners of a green chemistry challenge co-sponsored by Nike and NASA. The latest ‘System Challenge’ initiated by Launch – an open innovation platform founded by NASA, Nike, the US Agency for International Development and the US Department of State to tackle sustainability challenges – sought innovations that advance green chemistry to transform materials and manufacturing to advance global economic growth, drive human prosperity and replenish the planet’s resources. Other winning ideas include the first heavy-metal free, heavy-duty anti-corrosion coating that also provides corrosion protection as well as a solvent-free precision cleaning processes utilising ultrasonic agitation, supercritical carbon dioxide, and plasma. (Environmental Leader)


MeterHero offers cash incentives for water and energy conservation

MeterHero, a Web-based utility monitoring tool, is partnering with utilities to encourage people to conserve water and energy through cash rebates. The company started with a pilot program in Wisconsin that connected businesses with local residents. Those who achieved water savings received discounts and gift certificates. Now, the company says its technology is capable of tracking any meter, anywhere in the world. If a resident has access to a meter and can upload the information to MeterHero, eventually that person can reap some savings, even if they are not a homeowner or landlord. Currently the cash rebate program is at a pilot scale. Users sign up for the service, discover whether their local utilities are participating in such a program, and then upload their data. Once a baseline has been established, participants can receive rebates via PayPal, Bitcoin or Venmo. (Triple Pundit)


China coal production falls for first time this century

The impact of China’s clean air and renewable energy policies are beginning to have an impact on the country’s coal industry, according to reports suggesting domestic coal production fell last year. State media reported yesterday that coal production fell last year for the first time this century, by 2.1 per cent. Meanwhile, Jiang Zhimin vice president at the China National Coal Association (CNCA), said that the sector expected production to decline by a further 2.5 per cent this year. The industry maintains that it was hit by a number of one-off factors, including high rainfall leading to high levels of hydro-electric production, and export restrictions which impacted demand for coal. However, Xinhua acknowledged that much of the pressure on the coal industry is the result of demanding new environmental regulations from the Chinese government and increased investment in renewable energy. (BusinessGreen)


Image source: Tate Britain (5822081512) by Tony Hisgett / CC BY 2.0