Study Confirms APP’s Expansion Plans Won’t Require Natural Rainforest Pulp

| Wednesday September 17th, 2014 | 0 Comments
Saplings at APP’s nursery will become future plantation trees.

Saplings at APP’s nursery will become future plantation trees.

It’s been 18 months since Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) announced its Forest Conservation Policy, which included a commitment to zero deforestation. And its September update report carries with it some further positive news about the company’s long-term pulp supply chain — most notably with respect to the planned opening of a third paper mill in OKI district, in South Sumatra, Indonesia.

Concerns have surrounded the opening of the new plant, and whether existing plantation forests would prove to hold sufficient stock to meet the increased demand for pulpwood. Work done by third-party entities, TFT and Ata Marie, which conducted an independent ‘Growth and Yield’ study, has, according to the company, “confirmed that APP does have sufficient resources to meet the wood demands of the mills,” though “one minor gap” in the supply has been identified in 2020, which the company asserts will be addressed.

The gap identified in 2020 can easily be filled, according to APP, by increasing the productivity of plantation operations between now and then. APP’s update report states that the TFT/Ata Marie study identified a number of efficiency gains and management improvement practices that, if implemented, could substantially increase the wood yield from the existing land-base of its pulpwood suppliers.

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Highlights from 3p Traceability Week: Expert Panelists Answer Your Questions

Mary Mazzoni
| Wednesday September 17th, 2014 | 0 Comments

ktc-globeHow do we know if a product is safe for our families and aligns with our values? Was it produced in an environmentally preferable way that also benefited the person who made it, or are environmental and human rights problems lurking within its supply chain? It’s all about traceability!

Last week, Triple Pundit gathered a panel of experts to get to the bottom of some of the toughest traceability issues in four controversial arenas — seafood, fashion, minerals and medical marijuana. They were here all week to answer your questions, and it turned out to be a pretty interesting conversation.

Here are some highlights from the expert Q&A.

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Google Invests $145 Million to Turn an Old Gas Field Into a Solar Plant

Gina-Marie Cheeseman
| Wednesday September 17th, 2014 | 0 Comments

RegulusLast week, Google invested $145 million in an 82 megawatt (MW) solar power plant in Kern County, California. The solar power plant, called the Regulus project, is being developed by SunEdison on top of an old oil and gas field about 11 miles southeast of Bakersfield, California. It will generate enough energy to power 10,000 homes. The 743-acre site went from 30 oil wells to five as it exhausted its fossil fuel reserves.

The solar project is creating 650 jobs in Kern County, and will help meet California’s renewables portfolio standard of 33 percent of the total electricity load coming from renewable energy by 2020. The project, scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014, is expected to generate $6.1 million in property tax revenue and $25.4 million in sales and use tax revenue for the county over its 20-year contracted life. The power company, Southern California Edison (SCE), is under a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with SunEdison to contract the power produced.

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SOCAP14 Interview: Impact HUB Tokyo

| Wednesday September 17th, 2014 | 0 Comments

This video is part of our ongoing coverage of SOCAP14.  To see the rest please visit our SOCAP 14 page here.

TriplePundit is a proud partner of Impact HUB Bay Area and by extension the many Impact HUBs popping up around the world.  I had a chance to get to know Shingo Potier de la Morandière, co-founder of Impact HUB Tokyo, at Socap14 last week. We talked a little about how cause-based co-working is being popularized in Japan and also about the process by which one creates a new Impact HUB.

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Top Environmentalists Call on Foundations to Turn the Tide on Global Warming

Sherrell Dorsey
| Tuesday September 16th, 2014 | 0 Comments

global-warmingWith just a week away from the United Nations Climate Summit in New York City, 160 leading environmentalists from 44 countries are calling on the world’s foundations and philanthropies to take a stand against global warming.

The group, comprised of award-winning environmental laureates, issued the “Declaration on Climate Change” published in the International New York Times last week, calling on foundations and philanthropies to deploy their endowments and save civilization as we face the dangers of a warming climate heading to 4 degrees and 6 degrees Celsius temperatures.

“Our goal with the Environmental Laureates’ Declaration is to help foundations see that the impact of their charitable giving can be augmented by their investment behavior with no risk to their portfolios. Companies, funds and other investor assets that are fossil-free and/or focused on the clean energy economy are now performing at least as well as their more traditional counterparts,” said Aimee Christensen, Hillary Laureate, founder and CEO of Christensen Global Strategies and one of the key signatories of the declaration.

“Major philanthropic foundations, which control hundreds of billions in investments, have a major opportunity to contribute to the rapidly accelerating growth of climate and clean energy solutions. We hope they seize that opportunity and in doing so, reduce their own risk and increase their impact.”

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How B Corp Certification Helps Attract and Engage Employees

Ryan Honeyman | Tuesday September 16th, 2014 | 0 Comments

This is the sixth in a weekly series of excerpts from the upcoming book The B Corp Handbook: How to Use Business as a Force for Good (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, October 13, 2014). Click here to read the rest of the series.

Etsy Hack DayBy Ryan Honeyman

Becoming a Certified B Corporation can help unleash the passion, initiative and imagination of employees by connecting them with the larger meaning behind their work.

Goldman Sachs found that millennials, which represent nearly 50 percent of the global workforce, “have specific needs at work that are dramatically different from previous generations. High among these [is] a desire to align personal and corporate values. To attract and retain this group, we believe that companies need to provide rewards beyond financial gain.”

“Asking ‘Why?’ and clearly identifying your purpose will attract the very best, brightest, and most passionate people to your business. That is what the B Corp movement is all about: taking a holistic, systemic approach that really upholds and supports your values every day.” — John Replogle, CEO, Seventh Generation

Research shows that millennials are not just looking for work–life balance, which means having enough time and energy to enjoy life outside of work. They are also looking for work–life integration, which means applying themselves to something that they feel passionate about, so that they can fulfill both an economic need and a need for a higher purpose. Becoming a B Corporation can help you attract, retain and engage employees around both your company’s higher purpose and the B Corp community’s collective purpose to lead a global movement to redefine success in business.

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‘Big Six’ Development Banks Reaffirm Climate Commitments

| Tuesday September 16th, 2014 | 1 Comment

climatesummit2014 Demonstrators, along with world leaders, are beginning to congregate around the United Nations headquarters in New York City this week in advance of the U.N. Climate Summit 2014. Inviting leaders from around the world to participate in the one-day climate conference, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is calling on them to “galvanize and catalyze climate action” and “bring bold announcements and actions to the Summit that will reduce emissions, strengthen climate resilience, and mobilize political will for a meaningful legal agreement.”

Along with the U.N., multilateral development banks (MDBs), such as the World Bank Group, have comprised the core of the institutional framework for international governance, development and finance since the end of World War II. Criticized for financing coal-fired power plants and supporting polluting, emissions-intensive development in developing countries worldwide, the World Bank just over a year ago said it would only finance coal-fired power plant projects in rare, exceptional circumstances.

On Sept. 11, the world’s six MDBs “reaffirmed their shared commitment to lead by example by continuing to reinforce and further develop climate financing.” The African Development Bank (AfDB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), European Investment Bank (EIB), Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and World Bank Group said they would continue to focus their resources on addressing climate change.

That includes leveraging MDB financing by attracting greater amounts of private-sector investment, as well as “continuing to innovate and promote more robust and transparent climate finance tracking and reporting,” according to a joint press release.

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National Chicken Council to Phase Out Some Poultry Antibiotics

Jan Lee
Jan Lee | Tuesday September 16th, 2014 | 0 Comments

antibiotic_resistanceOnly about 10 percent of the antibiotics used in chicken are actually used to treat humans, says the National Chicken Council. Its statement comes on the heels of a controversial report by Reuters indicating increasing proof that the prophylactic medications used in chickens are fueling antibiotic resistance not just in fowl, but in humans as well.

In a statement yesterday, the NCC refuted these assertions, claiming that only a small portion of the antibiotics that Reuters journalist Kate Kelland examined – about 10 percent – were also given to humans. The rest of the antibiotics used in fowl do not treat human populations.

“All antibiotics used to prevent and treat disease in chickens are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The majority of these antibiotics are never used in human medicine and therefore represent no threat of creating resistance in humans,” said Ashley Peterson, NCC vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs.

That said, Peterson announced, new changes are on the horizon for those meds that are also used in human populations.

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GE, Nike, BoA Cut from 2014 Dow Jones Sustainability Index

Bill DiBenedetto | Tuesday September 16th, 2014 | 0 Comments

DJSI_Review_Presentation_09_2014_final 1In its annual review, S&P Dow Jones Indices deleted 46 companies from the 2014 Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, and the largest deletions — by free-float market capitalization — included Bank of America, General Electric and Schlumberger. Other large companies cut from list were McDonald’s, Starbucks and Nike.

The three largest companies added (among 32 total) to the list were: Amgen Inc., Commonwealth Bank of Australia and GlaxoSmithKline PLC.

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Chemical Flame Retardant Industry Suffers More Blows

Jan Lee
Jan Lee | Tuesday September 16th, 2014 | 0 Comments

chemical_flame_retardants_crib_nerrissas-ringFlame retardant opponents had a big reason to celebrate this weekend. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced on Sunday that he would get behind the push to ban chemical flame retardants from furniture and children’s products.

Schumer has proposed a ban on 10 specific flame retardants that are used in children’s clothing, bedding and other furniture products. The flame retardant products associated with TDCPP and TCEP in particular have been found to be toxic to humans through long-term exposure.

Plus, Schumer says, there is now question about their efficacy in stopping fires.

“It’s a nightmare scenario that is all too real: Children are being exposed to highly toxic flame retardants — that can cause cancer and developmental delays — just by lying on a changing table and in their cribs, or even by sitting on the family couch. To boot, these carcinogenic chemicals found in foam are not effective in reducing fire risks,” the senator said in press conference on Sunday.

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Expanding the NGO-to-Business Partnership Model in Canada

3p Contributor | Tuesday September 16th, 2014 | 1 Comment
Two generations of women have now benefited from the skills, revenue and empowerment created by the partnership between cosmetics company L'Occitane and the shea nut women’s co-op in Burkina Faso.

Two generations of women have now benefited from the skills, revenue and empowerment created by the partnership between cosmetics company L’Occitane and the shea nut women’s co-op in Burkina Faso.

By Elizabeth Dove

Can value for both business and developing country communities be realized with integrity?

Partnerships between international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) and businesses are fairly new and somewhat uncomfortable territory in Canada. Such collaborations are usually philanthropic and/or volunteer contributions by business, in exchange for bragging rights on good deeds done. Even on this modest partnership plane, there is a great deal of heated discourse from within the Canadian development sector around the appropriateness of INGOs working with business.

There is, however, a small but growing number of Canadian INGOs positioning themselves as having a service to offer business that will create value for both the core business of a company and meet the mandate of the NGO. Examples include World Vision Canada’s work with extractive companies to ensure project alignment with local government and community development and Socodevi’s work to improve the capacity of Van Houtte coffee producing communities in Honduras.

Another such entrepreneurial initiative is the business brokerage service of Uniterra. Uniterra is a co-venture of the INGOs World University Service of Canada (WUSC) and Center for International Studies and Cooperation (CECI). As it has developed into Canada’s largest overseas volunteer-sending program over the past 10 years, Uniterra has established strong business relationships and networks in the countries it works with throughout South and Central America, Africa and Asia. Opportunities to facilitate partnerships with overseas businesses to benefit local communities evolved naturally.

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Fear-Based Marketing Has No Place in the Mainstream Climate Change Debate

3p Contributor | Tuesday September 16th, 2014 | 3 Comments
Voting

When it comes to climate change, voting, marching and innovating are “achievable, empowering, scalable and marketable,” argues Ian Edwards — and are far more successful than fear tactics.

By Ian Edwards

The underwhelming launch in August of Milton Glaser’s new graphic campaign — “It’s not warming. It’s dying” — shows in dreary shades of green the many ongoing branding and marketing challenges of the climate change movement.

The prolific graphic design genius behind the happy and ubiquitous “I ♥ NY” slogan (that single-handedly rebranded a struggling city in 1977) can’t even get it right.

His design of a green disk shrouded in a deathly black fog is dull, and the tagline is just plain wrong. The planet is warming according to the many scientific minds at the United Nations’ International Panel on Climate Change, as just one source blaming humans for making climate change worse. Additionally, the people living here are indeed threatened, but this big orbiting rock will outlive us all.

With an issue as polarizing as climate change, accuracy is important.

The ‘sustainability’ conversation – of which the climate change discourse is a critical subset — needs recalibration, traction and a spark that will ignite it in the mainstream beyond the lukewarm response to the crisis to date. How much more evidence do we need that the language of fear, which Glaser uses, fails to engage and inspire action?

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SOCAP14 Interview: Paula Goldman, Omidyar Network

| Tuesday September 16th, 2014 | 0 Comments

This video is part of our ongoing coverage of SOCAP14.  To see the rest please visit our SOCAP 14 page here.

What exactly is “impact investing“? Paula Goldman is Senior Director of Knowledge & Advocacy for Omidyar Network and, according to her, it’s a type of investing that asks for both financial and societal return.  In this brief conversation, Paula discusses both the history of impact investing and how governments can enact policies to encourage it.

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Life After Sandy: How NYC is Improving Its Electric Grid

RP Siegel | Monday September 15th, 2014 | 0 Comments

Editor’s Note: This article is part of a short series on creating resilient cities, sponsored by Siemens. Please join us for a live Google Hangout with Siemens and Arup on October 1, where we’ll talk about this issue live! RSVP here.

Power_pole

The 9-foot storm surge from Superstorm Sandy, which came on top of a 5-foot high tide, inundated the low-lying areas of the city — wiping out electrical service to substantial portions of the city, and ultimately causing some $50 billion worth of damage. Approximately 800,000 customers lost power in the city, along with millions more along the East Coast. The question posed in a recent toolkit was was: What actions can be taken to reduce the impact of a similar event?

With our climate in upheaval, many cities, organizations and businesses are talking about building resiliency into their operations, in order to allow them to better deal with extreme events such as heavy storms, droughts and floods. While these expenditures are often high, given today’s reality they are considered necessary — in keeping with Ben Franklin’s adage that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

While taking steps to improve the resiliency of, for example, a city’s electrical grid, won’t prevent the increasing number and intensity of storms from coming (only reducing our carbon emissions can do that), they can prevent the kind of system-wide damage that New York City and its residents suffered in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

The grid’s 61 substations, 94,000 miles of underground cable and 34,000 miles of overhead cable are susceptible to damage and disruption caused by events ranging from tidal surges, flash floods, blizzards, droughts, high winds and heat waves, all of which are more likely to occur given the onset of global warming. Recommended actions fell into three categories: robustness and redundancy of equipment, keeping the demand from overwhelming supply, and enhanced coordination of resources through smart infrastructure.

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Hundreds of USDA Violations Linked to Foster Farms Salmonella Outbreak

Jan Lee
Jan Lee | Monday September 15th, 2014 | 0 Comments

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe’ve been reporting for more than a year on Foster Farms’ mysterious salmonella infections, which earlier this year the U.S. Department of Agriculture linked to three California processing plants. In July, the agency issued a Class I recall after more than 600 people had been sickened by the infection, and a 10-year-old boy was hospitalized – the lynch pin, it seems, to finally linking the epidemic to its point of origin.

What wasn’t disclosed to the public until now, however, was just how extensive the infections were, or the number of times that the factories were found in noncompliance during routine inspections.

All of that came to light last week, when the Natural Resources Defense Council published the results to its recent Freedom of Information Request to the USDA.

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