The global textile and garment industry is one of the world’s largest polluters due to its massive impacts on water, soil and of course, people. While consumers are becoming more aware that their fashion choices have on distant places such as Bangladesh, China and India, much work still needs to be done until the industry can be truly described as responsible and sustainable.
Author: Leon Kaye
What began with appliance donations has become one of Whirlpool’s most successful corporate social responsibility programs. It is hard to argue with the numbers: over US$85 million in donations since 1999, 8,000-plus company employees who have volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, and a renewed lease on life for over 100,000 families.
About 80 percent of California’s water sustains agriculture, but Sacramento is putting the onus on the state’s businesses and residents to find even more ways to conserve this precious resource. One sector scrambling to find even more ways to conserve water is Los Angeles’ denim industry.
One can surmise the many things tobacco companies have in common with fast food corporations, including the fact they must expand their business abroad while sales stagnate on both sides of the Atlantic. The result is that the World Health Organization estimates that 70 percent of the 8.4 million deaths that will be attributed tobacco use in 2020 will occur in developing countries. One country that has long run an aggressive anti-smoking campaign is Uruguay, but its laws are under threat by a lawsuit filed by Philip Morris International.
Shareholder activism made a difference again with yesterday’s announcement that Lowe’s will phase out the sale of neonicotinoid pesticides. Also referred to as “neonics,” which environmental watchdog groups said have been a leading contributor to “colony collapse disorder.” As the populations of bees have declined worldwide, these chemicals are often still sprayed on nursery plants, and are also in pesticides sold on store shelves
#YesWeCode, led by Van Jones, advocates for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) inclusion and wider access to computer science education for minority students across the country.
While solar and wind power continue to become more competitive in price to fossil fuels, the same is not holding true for plastics. The sudden drop in fossil fuel prices over the last several months have sent plastic recyclers scrambling to save their businesses. From China to Quebec, recycling companies have been struggling to stay in the black, even though more municipalities are mandating recycling for either waste diversion purposes or to stay compliant with a local sustainability plan.
Ecologic Brands was founded in 2008 by Julie Corbett who was tired of all the waste from plastic jugs and cartons that her family was generating.
Driscoll’s organic blackberries, strawberries and raspberries can be found in grocery stores throughout the country. Though they are environmentally friendly, a farmworkers’ union in Washington State has recently called for a consumer boycott, citing unfair working conditions.
The purveyor of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell says it will ensure its suppliers meet guidelines set by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). Yum! Brands’ announcement comes fresh off yet another report that showed large companies have a long way to go when it comes to sustainable palm oil.
The pressure is on in Sacramento, where activists protest that Nestlé is draining local aquifers of as much as 80 million gallons annually.
Yesterday Gov. Jerry Brown issued an executive order that he said is necessary in order to make California drought-resistant after the lowest snowpack on record. The executive order calls for increased water conservation, increased enforcement, a streamlined state government response and investment in new water technologies.
Union of Concerned Scientists released its 2nd annual palm oil report, which tracks 40 large companies sourcing huge amounts of palm oil within its supply chains.
Food and commodities giant ADM, which has reached over US$80 billion in revenues, says it will develop a no-deforestation policy in a move to source soy and palm oil more responsibly. The change occurred after a shareholder proposal, submitted by Green Century Capital Management and the New York State Common Retirement Fund, requested that ADM set quantitative goals for a reduction in supply chain impacts from deforestation.