Feed aggregator

EU summit to debate multi-billion carbon quota 'transfer' system

REDD Monitor - Sun, 10/26/2014 - 11:23am
EurActiv, 21 October 2014 | European leaders meeting later this week for an EU summit on energy and climate change will discuss proposals allowing energy-rich nations like France and Germany to transfer 10% of CO2 emissions quotas to member states such as Poland, who are struggling to diversify their energy mix. The EU's 28 heads of states and government will try to reach agreement on climate and energy policy for 2030 at the EU summit, which takes place in Brussels on Thursday and Friday (23 and 24 October).
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Brazil must target smallholders to curb rising deforestation

REDD Monitor - Sun, 10/26/2014 - 11:15am
By Anastasia Moloney, The Guardian, 20 October 2014 | Farmers with smallholdings are not responsible for most of the destruction of Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, but their contribution to deforestation is rising and must be addressed if the country is to hold on to recent gains, according to an environmental research group. Government efforts led to a 77% fall in deforestation in the Amazon between 2004 and 2011, but progress has slowed and deforestation is rising, the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) said in a report. The report said that between 2004 and 2011, landowners with more than 500 hectares (1,235 acres) of property were responsible for about 48% of the deforestation. Areas owned by smallholders accounted for 12% of the forests destroyed during the same period. However, since 2005, the contribution to annual deforestation by the largest landowners has fallen by 63%, while that of smallholders has increased by 69%, the report said.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Denmark's plan to offset transport emissions sparks EU row

REDD Monitor - Sun, 10/26/2014 - 11:12am
By Arthur Nelson, The Guardian, 20 October 2014 | A Danish bid to expand carbon offsetting to the transport sector has triggered uproar among NGOs and academics, with one new analysis saying it would devastate efforts to reign in fuel emissions. Transport is responsible for a quarter of Europe’s CO2 pollution and, unlike most sectors, its contribution is rising fast – up 36% since 1990. About half of Europe’s transport emissions come from cars and the EU has ordered car-makers to slash their fuel emissions by 2021. But the latest draft of the EU’s 2030 climate and energy package, due to be agreed later this week, suggests counting transport emissions within the EU’s emissions trading system (ETS). The document, seen by the Guardian, calls for concrete proposals allowing states to achieve their climate goals with “a new flexibility”.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

China's coal consumption drops for first time this century

REDD Monitor - Sun, 10/26/2014 - 11:11am
By Sophia Yeo, RTCC, 22 October 2014 | China’s coal use has fallen for the first time this century – a turning point for a country which currently consumes almost half of the world’s coal supplies. Consumption dropped by 1-2% this year, even as the economy grew by 7.4%, coal analysts at Greenpeace revealed, using official data on China’s imports, production and stockpiles of coal. In contrast, China’s coal consumption more than doubled during the first decade of this century. It has has slowed in recent years; coal imports dropped to just 0.9% during the first half of 2014, compared to 13.3% a year earlier.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Green Bonds Expected To Top $100 Billion In 2015

REDD Monitor - Sun, 10/26/2014 - 11:10am
By Joshua S Hill, CleanTechnica, 23 October 2014 | Another strong quarter for issuances of green bonds has taken the year’s total up to $32 billion, more than double the total issued during 2013, and fuelling predictions that 2015 could see $100 billion worth of green bonds issued. Data from the Climate Bond Initiative published Tuesday claimed $9.2 billion green bonds were issued in the third quarter. “The league table shows that Crédit Agricole, BAML and SEB were the main drivers of the growth of the ‘labelled’ market in the last quarter that saw 28 green bonds issued,” said Climate Bonds Initiative CEO Sean Kidney. “We predict USD100 billion of issuance in 2015 and green bonds to go mainstream in 2016.”
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Unraveling the ‘landscape approach’: Are we on the right track?

REDD Monitor - Sun, 10/26/2014 - 11:04am
By Liz Deakin and James Reed, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 23 October 2014 | ntegrated approaches to land management at landscape scales have been evident in the development and conservation sectors, under various guises, for many years now. But despite initial promise, strategies such as Integrated Conservation and Development Programs, Ecosystem Based Approaches and Integrated Watershed Management have in many cases failed to deliver on reconciling conservation and development objectives concomitantly. Meanwhile, the Integrated Landscape Approach is gaining traction as a more inclusive and equitable land-management tool for balancing competing demands among different sectors. While there have been many recent attempts to describe and define the landscape approach, a number of challenges persist.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

How do different land-use policies interact? New study seeks to find out

REDD Monitor - Sun, 10/26/2014 - 11:03am
By Mark Foss, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 25 October 2014 | A group of international experts from academia, research institutions and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) has developed a typology to analyze the policy “ecosystem” for different land-management tools. “Our goal is to understand what combinations of actions by citizens, consumers, NGOs, corporations and governments are best suited to promote sustainable land use,” said Eric Lambin, a professor with the Georges Lemaître Centre for Earth and Climate Research in Belgium and Stanford University in the US. Lambin is the principal author of a research paper, published recently in Global Environmental Change, that came out of a workshop held in Brussels in 2013 in which participants examined the effectiveness of policies such as eco-certification, payment for environmental services (PES), land-use zoning and commodity roundtables.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Norway announces new contribution to Guyana for its continued low deforestation

REDD Monitor - Sun, 10/26/2014 - 10:59am
regjeringen.no, 23 October 2014 | The Guyana-Norway climate and forest partnership continues to make significant progress. In 2012, Guyana kept deforestation and forest degradation at very low, though increased, levels. Based on this result, combined with improvements in forest governance in 2012-13, Norway today announces that it will contribute 35 million USD to the implementation of Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy. Today’s announcement of a US$35 million payment to Guyana is based on Guyana’s deforestation rate in 2012 as well as the country’s progress on indicators that will enable agreed goals for forest governance. "Guyana’s ambitious goal is to enhance economic growth while preserving the rainforest. I am happy that Norway can contribute to Guyana’s green development through our partnership on forest. Guyana’s deforestation is one of the lowest in the world..." says Tine Sundtoft, Minister of Climate and the Environment in Norway.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

US$35M for Guyana under Norway deal

REDD Monitor - Sun, 10/26/2014 - 10:58am
Stabroek News, 25 October 2014 | Guyana is in line for a new payment of US$35M under its forest protection agreement with Norway, after a marginal increase in deforestation and forest degradation in 2012. Although the figure represents an expected drop in earnings, President Donald Ramotar in an address to the nation characterised the announcement as “a strong rebuttal” to those who he said have tried to “kill” government’s Low Carbon Develop-ment Strategy (LCDS) and the Guyana-Norway partnership, while hinting at progress on resuscitating the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project. Government planned to use some US$80M from payments received from Norway as equity for the project, which was shelved after the developer pulled out last year.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

[Australia] Palmer's softer line increases government hopes on direct action climate change policy

REDD Monitor - Sun, 10/26/2014 - 10:53am
By Lisa Cox, Sydney Morning Herald, 26 October 2014 | Senior Abbott government members are increasingly confident a deal to pass its direct action climate change policy will be reached before Christmas after Clive Palmer appeared to soften his party's hardline position on the scheme. Australia has been without a climate change policy since July, when it became the first country to abolish a carbon price and key crossbench senators stressed their opposition to direct action on the grounds it was expensive and would fail to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The central plank of direct action is an emissions reduction fund - $2.55 billion drawn from the budget that would be used to pay polluters who could deliver emission cuts at lowest cost.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

[Indonesia] International engagement to kill our forest fires

REDD Monitor - Sat, 10/25/2014 - 6:12am
By Wimar Witoelar, The Jakarta Post, 24 October 2014 | President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has never been a foreign minister or diplomat, but he has a keen sense of the world and the reciprocal interests it has with the national needs of Indonesia. As a businessman he had from early on linked his products to international markets and frequently participated in international fora. As a mayor he was internationally recognized and won several awards. Now there is the exciting prospect of extending his global view to the presidency. This will allow him to meet domestic issues with the power of broad perspectives. It will jump-start his presidency beyond the reach of petty political opposition. Jokowi, who won the election by grassroots popular support, can make his presidency a success through strategic foreign policy. One major challenge facing him at the dawn of his presidency is the resolution of the decades-long horror of forest fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Europe and the 'why me?' approach to decarbonisation

REDD Monitor - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 4:34pm
By Arthur Nelson, The Guardian, 24 October 2014 | In the economically flush days of 2007 as states prepared poker stances for an anticipated Kyoto II deal in Copenhagen, the EU’s climate and energy targets for 2020 were seen as a ‘me first!’ moment. Six years later, the bloc’s sequel is already being denounced by the clean energy industry and environmentalists as a ‘why me?’ package that barely rises above the EU’s own ‘business as usual’ forecasts, and comes with caveats that could render it toothless. The 20-20-20 benchmarks for 2020 – of 20% CO2 cuts, renewable energy share and efficiency gains – had appeared to offer global leadership. Reciprocal pledges were expected to allow a dynamic new US president to galvanise a coherent response to climate change. The 40-27-27 goals for 2030 slow the EU’s pace of change and extend to renewable energy the one clear failure of the 2008 package – a ‘non-binding’ energy efficiency goal that the bloc looks set to miss.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Conservationists propose Dracula Reserve in Ecuador

Mongabay Rainforest News - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 4:29pm
Deep in the dark, cool forests of Ecuador and Colombia live strange and mysterious organisms. Some inhabit the trees and others stay to the ground, and many are threatened by human encroachment. Because of this threat, Rainforest Trust has launched a Halloween fundraising drive to help pay for the creation of the Dracula Reserve--named for its dramatic inhabitant, the Dracula orchid.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Google's new Gombe Street View lets users 'walk' along chimp trails and into Jane Goodall's house

Mongabay Rainforest News - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 1:22pm
Google Maps is now available for Tanzanian forest paths. Users can walk virtually along the same trails Jane Goodall has used for her decades of chimpanzee monitoring -- and even into her house.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

EU emissions target isn't as ambitious as it seems

REDD Monitor - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 11:28am
By Fred Pearce, New Scientist, 24 October 2014 | It sounds bold and ambitious. European Union leaders last night signed off on an agreement to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 40 per cent by 2030. But climate scientists are wary of applauding the plan. For one thing, the target is a cut of 40 per cent compared with greenhouse gas emissions in 1990 – nearly 25 years ago. Since then, the EU has made cuts of almost 20 per cent, mainly through burning less coal and outsourcing heavy industries to developing countries. So it is virtually halfway there already. EU climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard said after the deal that the new target left the EU's 28 member states "right on target" to meet its longer-term aspiration of an 80 per cent cut by 2050. But it's easy to argue otherwise – we're already nearly halfway there to the new 40 per cent target for 2030, but we'll have to act tougher and faster to cut a further 40 per cent in the remaining 20 years before 2050.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Sustainable Minds and TOTO Accelerate Impactful Innovation in Product Transparency Reporting to Drive Greener Purchase Decisions by Making Environmental Performance Information Understandable and Meaningful

CSRwire - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 11:15am

(Greenbuild, Booth #616) - Sustainable Minds (SM), a cloud software and services company whose mission is to operationalize environmental performance in product development and manufacturing, continued to demonstrate market leadership by launching today ten new SM Transparency Reports™ from TOTO, the largest plumbing manufacturer in the world, for select high-efficiency commercial products, showcasing 15 products across four categories. TOTO's SM Transparency Reports, verified by NSF, can be viewed in the TOTO Showroom, in the SM Manufacturers Showroom.

With the introduction of the SM Transparency Report Program, Sustainable Minds continues to realize the intent of the ISO 14025 standard for Type III environmental declarations (aka EPDs) and the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED v4 (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design), a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices: to encourage demand and supply of products with better environmental performance communicated with verified information that stimulates potential for market-driven continuous environmental improvement – and then to reward project teams for selecting products from those manufacturers.

The SM Transparency Report Program represents a step change innovation in the ISO 14025 process. This new product category rule/environmental product declaration (PCR/EPD) process is designed to standardize, harmonize and make product transparency reporting understandable and meaningful. The SM Transparency Report Framework is a 2-part PCR process regionalized for North America and extensible globally. It provides a common basis for consistent, robust and quality-assured LCAs. It builds on PCR/EPD work being done in Europe and North America and particularly on EN15804, the European standard for construction products.

Faster, scalable, cost-efficient and user-friendly, it delivers a Transparency Report, an EPD++ that informs greener product decisions and drives continuous environmental improvement. It is the first comprehensive program for product manufacturers to design and market greener products to create a continuous improvement loop. TOTO’s leadership in developing and demonstrating the SM Transparency Report Program is highly valuable to stakeholders in all industries.

“TOTO products are known worldwide for their quality, innovation and for having first class performance that exceeds customerexpectations and enhances usability. Communicating our products’ performance with SM Transparency Reports goes beyond other types of EPDs that exist today. They bring together functional performance with scientific, yet understandable, environmental performance data. The SM Transparency Report Framework used to create the product category rule (PCR), the standard for how LCAs are done, is efficient and focused. It defines rules for product groups, i.e., products that compete for and deliver the same function or purpose. Product group definitions (PGDs) include the functional performance parameters that are codified in a commonly accepted national standard to drive the requirements for how the LCA for products in that group are done. Based on this common baseline, each manufacturer can then demonstrate business advantage andcompetitive differentiation,” said Fernando Fernandez, Director Codes and Standards, TOTO USA.

The idea for this broad-based program is the result of two people with significant knowledge, experience and vision in very different arenas coming together: Joep Meijer, with world-class expertise in life cycle assessment, PCR/EPD development and international standards creation; and Terry Swack, environmental entrepreneur, industry pioneer and expert on brand experience and designing useful and usable web-based business systems.

"The approach Sustainable Minds follows just makes the most sense. All learnings from the LCA and EPD community of manufacturers and LCA practitioners that benefit the overall system go into Part A, the main body of the PCR. It spells out the rules for all products. It provides the best guarantee for consistency, transparency, reliability and technical rigor for all EPDs. It is build on the experiences with the EN15804:2012+A1:2013 standard which is the most well defined core EPD framework in the world. The product specific rules, which tend to be both an important but also small part of the PCR, are covered in Part B, the product group definition. This split approach expedites the PCR development process tremendously. The combined innovation and rigor of this Part A and Part B is unparalleled in the Northern American market," explains Joep Meier,President, theRightenvironment and Sustainable Minds LCA Technical Expert.

“With the demand for transparency growing, manufacturers will get started when they see the direct correlation to business value. We saw this as an opportunity that needed to move from the standards development space (only), into a market-driven solution space. We’re a small company taking on a huge systemic challenge, but we saw the opportunity and addressed it as a product development challenge, bringing the program to market iteratively using an agile process. As a customer centered design organization, engaging stakeholders and customers and integrating their requirements and feedback into the process has served to continuously improve the offering, and will continue to drive the programs evolution,” said Terry Swack, Founder & CEO, Sustainable Minds. “There are things people in the industry are attached to and would prefer to keep status quo, but the bottom line is that the SM Transparency Report Program is better for the customer, better for the marketplace, better for each industry, and hopefully for people and planet.”

"Sustainable Minds is helping to address one of the construction industry's most significant challenges with product transparency – understanding what the LCA and material health information they’re being provided means, and then how to use it to make decisions. Prominent AEC firms are requesting EPDs and HPDs (Health Product Declarations) from manufacturers in order to be considered for product selection, but there’s an enormous amount of education that’s going to have to happen on both sides to understand what and how to report and how to use the information. Sustainable Minds is helping manufacturers provide concise and understandable information so designers have the ability to start making better informed specification choices now,” said Brad Blank, VP, GreenCE, Inc., the online resource for design professionals who want to learn about sustainable design, conservation and the LEED rating system.

“We look forward to continuing to develop and scale the program through collaboration with certifiers, program operators, LCAproviders, industry organizations and of course, manufacturers and their customers,” said Terry.

Note: High-resolution images of Sustainable Minds Transparency Reports for TOTO are available upon request.

For more information contact: Terry Swack | 617.877.5146 terry@sustainableminds.com

About Sustainable Minds®: Sustainable Minds cloud software and services help product manufacturers, across the value chain, design & market greener products. The company is dedicated to operationalizing environmental performance inmainstream product development and manufacturing in an understandable, empowering and credible way. Sustainable Minds Eco-concept & Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) software for greener product innovation is used by industry and education in more than 750 locations in 75 countries worldwide. Sustainable Minds’ easy-to-use, standardized solutions make it possible for manufacturers – large and small – to dynamically evaluate, compare and improve their products' environmental performance by integrating life cycle thinking and LCA into their product development processes. The brand and market footprint position the company to become the industry standard solution for designing and marketing greener products. Sustainable Minds has been recognized by Gartner® in its 2013 Cool Vendor Report as “innovative, impactful and intriguing.” To learn why, visit www.sustainableminds.com or call 617-401-2269. Follow Sustainable minds on Twitter @sustainablemnds

Farmerline Joins the Business Call to Action with Commitment to Provide Mobile Communication Services to Rural Farmers

CSRwire - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 11:15am

Leading Ghana-based technology provider Farmerline has announced plans to join the Business Call to Action. The company plans to empower 500,000 small-scale farmers by 2019 in West Africa to advance their livelihoods by accessing information that helps them to improve their harvests. The company also plans to provide a specialized mobile communication and data-collection platform to 5,000 development organizations and agribusinesses in the next five years.

Headquartered in Ghana, Farmerline is a technology and content company that builds supply-chain and value-chain solutions targeting smallholder farmers and their stakeholders. By utilizing mobile phones, the Farmerline technology provides a valuable link for farmers to better access markets, financing, weather forecasts and agricultural services. Farmerline’s mobile messaging platform allows governments, development partners and businesses to provide farmers with crop management updates faster and at low cost through outgoing messages (Voice/SMS) and mobile surveys to ensure that they receive the right knowledge for increasing yields.

The company is working to bridge the information gap that many farmers face in accessing expert agricultural information and real-time data support. Farmerline provides outbound messaging and seasonal subscription services that offer smallholder farmers individualized messaging via their mobile phones as well as a dedicated support line to answer specific questions.

“Our commitment to the Business Call to Action underscores our interest in promoting greater information for the agricultural sector and providing more reliable services and technology to meet the needs of rural farmers, most of whom are women,” stated Alloysius Attah, CEO of Farmerline.

To assist small farmers in improving their yields and enhancing productivity, Farmerline’s voice messaging and mobile technology inform farmers of best practices in areas like product storage, reducing pest infestations and bringing products to market. The company aspires to expand its services across Africa – and with 75 percent of farmers now owning mobile phones, the company aims to reach an estimated 2 million farmers by 2024.

According to Sahba Sobhani, Acting Programme Manager of the Business Call to Action, “Greater access to agricultural information using the mobile phone is a vital instrument for farmers in key underserved markets in Africa, and opening up crucial access to real-time information helps farmers increase their productivity.”

The company has recently announced plans to target low-income illiterate communities – especially small-scale farmers – with information about the dangers associated with contracting the Ebola virus. In addition, Farmerline is in the midst of creating new ICT tools that can support health workers in Africa. 

 

The Business Call to Action (BCtA) is a global corporate leadership platform, with over 100 member companies that are incorporating inclusive business approaches in their operations to help advance the MDGs.  As innovators in this space, BCtA member companies are advancing the inclusive business agenda by creating novel business models, sharing lessons learned, and forging partnerships to improve scale and increase development impact.  The initiative is the result of a partnership between the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs,  the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), UK Department for International Development (DFID), US Agency for International Development (USAID), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the United Nations Global Compact to meet the anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Companies report on progress toward commitments on an annual basis.  @bctainitiative   

About Farmerline:
Farmerline is a mobile-messaging platform that allows businesses and development partners to instantly communicate and gather data from rural communities, especially small-scale farmers, in their local language through outgoing voice messages, SMS and mobile surveys. Today, the Ghanaian company is leading an ICT approach to Ebola education with its chain of mobile communication and data-collection technologies.

Co-Founders Alloysius Attah and Emmanuel Owusu Addai have recently been named 2014 Echoing Green Global Fellows for their innovation and vision. To read more about Farmerline and its efforts to empower small-scale farmers, visit its website at http://www.farmerline.org

Sustainable Minds and TOTO Accelerate Impactful Innovation in Product Transparency Reporting to Drive Greener Purchase Decisions by Making Environmental Performance Information Understandable and Meaningful

CSRwire - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 9:15am

(Greenbuild, Booth #616) - Sustainable Minds (SM), a cloud software and services company whose mission is to operationalize environmental performance in product development and manufacturing, continued to demonstrate market leadership by launching today ten new SM Transparency Reports™ from TOTO, the largest plumbing manufacturer in the world, for select high-efficiency commercial products, showcasing 15 products across four categories. TOTO's SM Transparency Reports, verified by NSF, can be viewed in the TOTO Showroom, in the SM Manufacturers Showroom.

With the introduction of the SM Transparency Report Program, Sustainable Minds continues to realize the intent of the ISO 14025 standard for Type III environmental declarations (aka EPDs) and the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED v4 (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design), a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices: to encourage demand and supply of products with better environmental performance communicated with verified information that stimulates potential for market-driven continuous environmental improvement – and then to reward project teams for selecting products from those manufacturers.

The SM Transparency Report Program represents a step change innovation in the ISO 14025 process. This new product category rule/environmental product declaration (PCR/EPD) process is designed to standardize, harmonize and make product transparency reporting understandable and meaningful. The SM Transparency Report Framework is a 2-part PCR process regionalized for North America and extensible globally. It provides a common basis for consistent, robust and quality-assured LCAs. It builds on PCR/EPD work being done in Europe and North America and particularly on EN15804, the European standard for construction products.

Faster, scalable, cost-efficient and user-friendly, it delivers a Transparency Report, an EPD++ that informs greener product decisions and drives continuous environmental improvement. It is the first comprehensive program for product manufacturers to design and market greener products to create a continuous improvement loop. TOTO’s leadership in developing and demonstrating the SM Transparency Report Program is highly valuable to stakeholders in all industries.

“TOTO products are known worldwide for their quality, innovation and for having first class performance that exceeds customerexpectations and enhances usability. Communicating our products’ performance with SM Transparency Reports goes beyond other types of EPDs that exist today. They bring together functional performance with scientific, yet understandable, environmental performance data. The SM Transparency Report Framework used to create the product category rule (PCR), the standard for how LCAs are done, is efficient and focused. It defines rules for product groups, i.e., products that compete for and deliver the same function or purpose. Product group definitions (PGDs) include the functional performance parameters that are codified in a commonly accepted national standard to drive the requirements for how the LCA for products in that group are done. Based on this common baseline, each manufacturer can then demonstrate business advantage andcompetitive differentiation,” said Fernando Fernandez, Director Codes and Standards, TOTO USA.

The idea for this broad-based program is the result of two people with significant knowledge, experience and vision in very different arenas coming together: Joep Meijer, with world-class expertise in life cycle assessment, PCR/EPD development and international standards creation; and Terry Swack, environmental entrepreneur, industry pioneer and expert on brand experience and designing useful and usable web-based business systems.

"The approach Sustainable Minds follows just makes the most sense. All learnings from the LCA and EPD community of manufacturers and LCA practitioners that benefit the overall system go into Part A, the main body of the PCR. It spells out the rules for all products. It provides the best guarantee for consistency, transparency, reliability and technical rigor for all EPDs. It is build on the experiences with the EN15804:2012+A1:2013 standard which is the most well defined core EPD framework in the world. The product specific rules, which tend to be both an important but also small part of the PCR, are covered in Part B, the product group definition. This split approach expedites the PCR development process tremendously. The combined innovation and rigor of this Part A and Part B is unparalleled in the Northern American market," explains Joep Meier,President, theRightenvironment and Sustainable Minds LCA Technical Expert.

“With the demand for transparency growing, manufacturers will get started when they see the direct correlation to business value. We saw this as an opportunity that needed to move from the standards development space (only), into a market-driven solution space. We’re a small company taking on a huge systemic challenge, but we saw the opportunity and addressed it as a product development challenge, bringing the program to market iteratively using an agile process. As a customer centered design organization, engaging stakeholders and customers and integrating their requirements and feedback into the process has served to continuously improve the offering, and will continue to drive the programs evolution,” said Terry Swack, Founder & CEO, Sustainable Minds. “There are things people in the industry are attached to and would prefer to keep status quo, but the bottom line is that the SM Transparency Report Program is better for the customer, better for the marketplace, better for each industry, and hopefully for people and planet.”

"Sustainable Minds is helping to address one of the construction industry's most significant challenges with product transparency – understanding what the LCA and material health information they’re being provided means, and then how to use it to make decisions. Prominent AEC firms are requesting EPDs and HPDs (Health Product Declarations) from manufacturers in order to be considered for product selection, but there’s an enormous amount of education that’s going to have to happen on both sides to understand what and how to report and how to use the information. Sustainable Minds is helping manufacturers provide concise and understandable information so designers have the ability to start making better informed specification choices now,” said Brad Blank, VP, GreenCE, Inc., the online resource for design professionals who want to learn about sustainable design, conservation and the LEED rating system.

“We look forward to continuing to develop and scale the program through collaboration with certifiers, program operators, LCAproviders, industry organizations and of course, manufacturers and their customers,” said Terry.

Note: High-resolution images of Sustainable Minds Transparency Reports for TOTO are available upon request.

For more information contact: Terry Swack | 617.877.5146 terry@sustainableminds.com

About Sustainable Minds®: Sustainable Minds cloud software and services help product manufacturers, across the value chain, design & market greener products. The company is dedicated to operationalizing environmental performance inmainstream product development and manufacturing in an understandable, empowering and credible way. Sustainable Minds Eco-concept & Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) software for greener product innovation is used by industry and education in more than 750 locations in 75 countries worldwide. Sustainable Minds’ easy-to-use, standardized solutions make it possible for manufacturers – large and small – to dynamically evaluate, compare and improve their products' environmental performance by integrating life cycle thinking and LCA into their product development processes. The brand and market footprint position the company to become the industry standard solution for designing and marketing greener products. Sustainable Minds has been recognized by Gartner® in its 2013 Cool Vendor Report as “innovative, impactful and intriguing.” To learn why, visit www.sustainableminds.com or call 617-401-2269. Follow Sustainable minds on Twitter @sustainablemnds

Wyndham Worldwide Named Sustainability Leader by Dow Jones Sustainability Index and Carbon Disclosure Project

CSRwire - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 9:15am

(Marketwired) - Building on its track record of industry-leading sustainability best practices and social
performance, Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE: WYN), one of the world's largest hospitality companies, was recently named to four top sustainability leadership indices: the Dow Jones North America and World Sustainability Indices, and the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)  Climate Disclosure and Climate Performance Leadership Indices.

 
"Our commitment to sustainability as one of our top strategic priorities is critical to the long-term success of our business and our ability to meet our customers' increasing needs for efficient,
environmentally-friendly hospitality accommodations," said Stephen P.  Holmes, chairman and chief executive officer, Wyndham Worldwide. "We are proud to be included on such esteemed Indices, but more importantly, excited that our commitment to sustainable growth includes aggressive measurement and transparency that benefits shareholders, customers and employees alike."

 
In its second consecutive year on the Dow Jones North American Index, and the first time on the World Index, Wyndham Worldwide showed strong performance across the assessed criteria, specifically in the areas of its Environmental and Economic programs. The fifteen year old S&P Dow Jones Sustainability Index is one of the most recognized sustainability performance rating tools, with the Index identifying leaders in the areas of sustainable economic, environmental and social performance.

 
Additionally, the Company was also recognized by CDP, the world's largest global environmental disclosure system. Wyndham Worldwide raised its Climate Disclosure Leadership Index performance score – a measure of a company's transparency on climate-related disclosures -- to an all-time high, receiving a score of 97. This is the first time that the Company has achieved a position on the Climate Performance Leadership Index, which evaluates how companies are managing and reducing their carbon footprints.

 
In 2013, Wyndham Worldwide reduced its operationally controlled asset carbon emissions by 13 percent per square foot from the 2010 baseline, bringing the Company closer to its goal of reducing GHG emissions by 20% by 2020, based on energy per square foot.

 
As part of its overall Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)  strategy, Wyndham Worldwide aligns business performance with a responsible approach in its operations around the world.

 
"Through engagement of stakeholders, including employees, suppliers,  and customers, we have not only improved, but also moved our businesses forward by leveraging our CSR focus areas, which includes sustainability, diversity and inclusion, community support, and human rights and ethics," said Mary Falvey, executive vice president and chief human resource officer, Wyndham Worldwide.  


"We are proud to be recognized once again for our diligent and focused work in sustainability and our overall CSR efforts, which is a reflection of our dedicated teams and partnerships that deliver improvements across a broad range of meaningful sustainability objectives in each of our business units and in the countries in which we operate," said Faith Taylor, senior vice president,
sustainability and innovation, Wyndham Worldwide. "It is a clear validation that our accomplishments in a wide range of CSR areas,  from environmental sustainability to corporate citizenship, are recognized."  

To learn more and read about Wyndham Worldwide's corporate social responsibility program, please visit wyndh.am/2013grireport.  

About Wyndham Worldwide
One of the world's largest hospitality companies, Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE: WYN) provides a wide range of hospitality services and products through its global portfolio of world-renowned brands. The world's largest hotel company based on the number of properties, Wyndham Hotel Group is home to many of the world's best-known hotel brands, with approximately 7,500 franchised hotels and 650,200 hotel rooms worldwide. Wyndham Exchange & Rentals is the worldwide leader in vacation exchange and the world's largest professionally managed vacation rentals business, providing more than 5 million leisure-bound families annually with access to over 107,000 vacation properties in over 100 countries through its prominent exchange and vacation rental brands. The industry and timeshare ownership market leader, Wyndham Vacation Ownership develops,  markets, and sells vacation ownership interests and provides consumer

financing to owners through its network of over 200 vacation ownership resorts serving approximately 907,000 owners throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific.  Based in Parsippany, NJ, Wyndham Worldwide employs approximately
32,800 associates globally.  

For more information, please visit www.wyndhamworldwide.com.

 
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World's Leading Producers of Beer, Wine, and Spirits Launch International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD)

CSRwire - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 9:15am

(Marketwired) - Today the International Center for Alcohol Policies (ICAP) and the Global Alcohol Producers Group (GAPG) announced that Ann Keeling will serve as CEO of the new organization established as a result of the ICAP-GAPG merger.  

In addition, today it was announced that the new organization's name will be the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD).  IARD will work to help reduce harmful drinking and promote responsible drinking through research, programs, and balanced debate around the world. 

Also central to IARD's mission will be supporting and accelerating implementation of the Beer, Wine and Spirits Producers' Commitments to Reduce Harmful Drinking (www.producerscommitments.org). The organization will promote effective policies and programs, as well as contribute to an informed debate by providing balanced and evidence-based science. 

Ann Keeling is currently serving as United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Representative Pakistan. Her 30-year career includes deep experience with social development and non-communicable diseases in national and international agencies, and NGOs. Keeling previously served as Chief Executive Officer of the International Diabetes Federation, and is Founding Chair of the NCD (Non-Communicable

Diseases) Alliance, where she successfully led a campaign for a UN High Level Summit on NCDs. Keeling's first day as CEO will be January 1, 2015. 

"Ann will bring to IARD a strong track record in working to solve complex challenges in both developed and developing nations around the world," said Rick Wilson, IARD  Chairman and Senior Vice President, External Affairs & Corporate Responsibility,

Bacardi-Martini, Inc. "Under Ann's leadership, IARD will continue to build on last year's Commitments launch, enabling member beer, wine, and spirits producers to make even more rapid, focused progress in promoting the responsible use of our products." 

"Harmful drinking is a serious global public health issue. We need new thinking and urgent action to identify effective solutions and save lives. The world's governments have committed to targets on reducing harmful drinking and agreed to involve all sections of society in achieving those targets," said Keeling. "Public, private, and non-governmental sectors must all be part of the solution. I look forward to leading IARD as a new alliance dedicated to reducing harmful drinking, and am optimistic IARD will make a positive difference." 

The formation of IARD is an extension of member companies' work over the last two decades to build the evidence base, inform decision-makers, and advance hands-on programs to reduce harmful drinking. The organization will:

 

  • advocate for the most effective policies and programs,
  • communicate the views and perspectives of member companies, and
  • serve as a single global point of contact for international and    national agencies, member states, NGOs, and other stakeholders.

Member companies announced in April 2014 their plan to merge ICAP and GAPG into a new single global organization. IARD headquarters will be in Washington, D.C., where ICAP's headquarters have been located since its founding in 1995.

Marcus Grant will continue to serve as interim CEO of IARD until his previously-announced retirement at the end of 2014. Mark Leverton will continue to serve as Director General of GAPG through 2014. Both have agreed to serve in an advisory capacity thereafter. 

Provisional board members of the new organization include: Anadolu EFES; AB InBev; Asahi Breweries; Bacardi; Beam Suntory; Brewers Association of Japan; Brown-Forman Corporation; Carlsberg; Constellation; Diageo; Heineken; JSLMA; Kirin; Moet Hennessy; Molson Coors; Pernod Ricard; and SABMiller. 

For editors:

The International Center for Alcohol Policies (ICAP) and the Global Alcohol Producers Group (GAPG) have merged to form the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD). Continuing and expanding ICAP's work, IARD will support implementation of the Beer, Wine and Spirits Producers' Commitments to Reduce Harmful Drinking (www.producerscommitments.org), promote understanding of the positive role of alcohol in society, and contribute to an informed debate by providing balanced and evidence-based science.

 

1225 19th Street NW, Suite 500

Washington, D.C. 20036 USA 

Tel: +1.202.986.1159

Fax: +1.202.986.2080 -- www.icap.org

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