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Can Calorie Counts Change Consumer Eating Habits? Or Will the Lure of a Quick, Delicious Fix Always Win Out?
Can Calorie Counts Change Consumer Eating Habits? Or Will the Lure of a Quick, Delicious Fix Always Win Out?

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - Anyone who exercises regularly or watches what they eat already knows that fast food is bad for your health. But due to the continued popularity of fast food, the FDA has stepped in to try and provide the general public with more information and get them eating better, announcing last week that fast food chains, vending machine companies and other restaurants with more than 20 locations are now required to list the number of calories in each of their menu items.

Report: Global Environmental Industry Grew in 2013
Report: Global Environmental Industry Grew in 2013

MARKETING AND COMMS - The global environmental industry grew 3.6 percent in 2013, generating revenues of $1.047 trillion, while the U.S. environmental industry grew only 0.7 percent in 2013 compared to 4.5 percent in 2012, according to new research from Environmental Business International.In 2013, the U.S. environmental industry’s total of $344.84 billion in annual revenues represented 2.81 percent of the gross domestic product, while the environmental industry employment reached 1.75 million.

ASBC Summit Attendees Chart Path and Policies to a Sustainable Economy
ASBC Summit Attendees Chart Path and Policies to a Sustainable Economy

LEADERSHIP - The American Sustainable Business Council’s (ASBC) third annual summit Nov. 13 and 14 in Washington, D.C. brought together 150 entrepreneurs, business leaders, investors and elected officials to discuss the state of play—and possibilities—for policies that advance a sustainable economy.Founded in 2009, ASBC is a national business advocacy policy organization representing over 200,000 businesses across the nation. ASBC works on a wide range of policy issues at the federal and state level, working to advance a sustainable economy by shifting markets and policies. ASBC raises up the voice, presence and power of business to create jobs, grow business and build a sustainable US economy.

Report: Cost of Fighting Climate Change Manageable, Must Cut Emissions to Zero by 2100
Report: Cost of Fighting Climate Change Manageable, Must Cut Emissions to Zero by 2100

CLEANTECH - Governments can keep climate change in check at manageable costs but will have to cut greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2100 to limit risks of irreversible damage, according to a new UN report, as reported by Reuters.The 40-page synthesis is a summation of 5,000 pages of work by 800 scientists already published since September 2013, and says global warming is now causing more heat extremes, downpours, acidifying the oceans and pushing up sea levels.

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OECD: U.S. Has Worst Work-Life Balance Among Developed Countries
OECD: U.S. Has Worst Work-Life Balance Among Developed Countries

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - The United States has the worst work-life balance of the 23 developed nations recently ranked by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Better Life Index.The OECD judged work-life balance based on three variables:

Congo, Wildlife Works Unveil Program to Protect 9M Hectares from Deforestation
Congo, Wildlife Works Unveil Program to Protect 9M Hectares from Deforestation

COLLABORATION - With eyes on New York last week as leaders gathered for the UN Climate Summit, a pivotal REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) program has been launched to protect forests in the Congo Basin and promote the inherent value of natural standing forests around the world.

PepsiCo to Phase Out Hydroflourocarbon Equipment by 2020
PepsiCo to Phase Out Hydroflourocarbon Equipment by 2020

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - PepsiCo has announced that, by 2020, all of its future point-of-sale equipment purchased in the United States will be free of hydroflourocarbons (HFCs), a popular chemical coolant and considered a potent greenhouse gas (GHG) that contributes to climate change. The announcement was made alongside the company’s 2013 Corporate Sustainability Report and Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) report.

Accounting for Carbon: New UK Regulations Connect Carbon to Finances
Accounting for Carbon: New UK Regulations Connect Carbon to Finances

THE NEXT ECONOMY - In 2013, legislation quietly passed within the UK that would require companies listed on the London Stock Exchange to disclose global greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) within their publically available annual Directors’ Report. These new reporting rules made the UK the first country to institute mandatory carbon reporting as of October 2013.

Arizona State University and STAR Communities Announce Partnership
Arizona State University and STAR Communities Announce Partnership

PRESS RELEASE - Washington, DC (April 10, 2014) – This week STAR Communities and Arizona State University’s Sustainability Solutions Services announced an official partnership to support local governments who are interested in benchmarking and tracking sustainability performance.

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National Council of Chain Restaurants Urges Further Reductions to Corn Ethanol Mandate
National Council of Chain Restaurants Urges Further Reductions to Corn Ethanol Mandate

CLEANTECH - This week, the National Council of Chain Restaurants (NCCR), which represents just about every US quick-service and table-service chain you can think of, submitted comments to the EPA on its proposal to reduce the levels of corn ethanol mandated under the embattled Renewable Fuel Standard.

Chemicals in Consumer Products: New Progress in Transparency
Chemicals in Consumer Products: New Progress in Transparency

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - The states of Washington and California are breaking new ground by providing consumers with information on potentially harmful chemicals in the products they buy and use on a daily basis. Washington’s focus is on products meant for children; California’s law spotlights cosmetics.

Subway Joins First Lady in Promoting Healthy Food to Kids by 'Powering Playtime with Veggies'
Subway Joins First Lady in Promoting Healthy Food to Kids by 'Powering Playtime with Veggies'

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - In the latest in a string of recent efforts to engage children in the joys of healthy eating, First Lady Michelle Obama announced last week that Subway® restaurants has joined the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) and Mrs. Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative in a three-year commitment to promote healthier food choices to kids. As part of its commitment, Subway will launch a series of fun, engaging campaigns aimed at increasing fruit and vegetable consumption in children; set and implement new marketing standards to kids; and strengthen its children’s menu offerings, which the chain says are already nutritious.

Food Brands, Farming Groups, NGOs Urge Obama to Enact Federal GMO Labeling Law
Food Brands, Farming Groups, NGOs Urge Obama to Enact Federal GMO Labeling Law

MARKETING AND COMMS - A group made up of over 200 organizations including food companies, organic farming and environmental groups have signed a letter urging President Obama to enact labelling laws highlighting products that contain genetically modified ingredients.

UK Bosses Miss Out on £300 Million Energy and Waste Reduction Opportunity
UK Bosses Miss Out on £300 Million Energy and Waste Reduction Opportunity

PRESS RELEASE - Less than a quarter of UK employees have been asked to help save energy at work, and fewer than half are concerned about the cost of energy for their employer, according to new research by the Carbon Trust.The research highlights how UK workplaces are missing out on more than £300 million a year in savings that could be achieved through encouraging employees to adopt behaviours that reduce energy use and waste.

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Food Companies Seek Federal GMO Labeling Standard, Challenge Washington's Campaign Finance Laws
Food Companies Seek Federal GMO Labeling Standard, Challenge Washington's Campaign Finance Laws

MARKETING AND COMMS - The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) — which represents food-industry giants including Coca-Cola, MARS, Kellogg, P&G, McDonald’s, Mondelez International, Starbucks, Hershey, General Mills and roughly 300 others — announced this week that it will petition to the chief U.S. food safety regulator and Congress to enact a single federal standard for the labeling of genetically modified (GMO) foods.

NYC Now Heating Thousands of Homes with Food Waste
NYC Now Heating Thousands of Homes with Food Waste

WASTE NOT - Just before the turn of the new year, when many of us were enjoying our annual season of gluttony, New York City Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway announced a pilot program that will convert the thousands of pounds of food waste currently shipped to out-of-state landfills into biogas, which will heat up to 5,200 homes throughout the city and help curb roughly 90,000 metric tons of the state’s annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

USAID, P&G, Coke Partnering to Boost Entrepreneurship in Philippine Recovery Effort
USAID, P&G, Coke Partnering to Boost Entrepreneurship in Philippine Recovery Effort

COLLABORATION - The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced today it has signed Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with Procter & Gamble (P&G) and Coca-Cola to support the revival of economic activity and livelihoods in Leyte, the Philippine province most devastated by Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in early November.Under these MOUs, USAID, P&G and Coca-Cola will help establish new sari-sari stores (small community stores) and rehabilitate damaged or destroyed sari-sari stores located in public markets. In addition, the organizations will facilitate store owners’ access to microfinancing loans and other interventions to help them get back on their feet.

New Study Shows 51 of Top 100 Companies Emitting Unsustainable Levels of CO2
New Study Shows 51 of Top 100 Companies Emitting Unsustainable Levels of CO2

COLLABORATION - Today, Climate Counts and the Center for Sustainable Organizations (CSO) released a collaborative report, Assessing Corporate Emissions Performance through the Lens of Climate Science, which revealed that, surprisingly, almost half of the Top 100 companies analyzed rated sustainably in the study, with Autodesk, Unilever and Eli Lilly earning the three top spots in the rating.Of the 49 companies that scored sustainably, 25 of those exhibited revenue growth even as their emissions declined, proving that decoupling of growth and emissions is possible.

UN, BCtA Urge Japanese Private Sector to Embrace Sustainable Business
UN, BCtA Urge Japanese Private Sector to Embrace Sustainable Business

COLLABORATION - United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Tokyo and the Business Call to Action (BCtA) last week hosted the first BCtA event in Japan to encourage the Japanese private sector to participate in innovative business approaches that create development impact.The BCtA forum in Tokyo featured a number of innovative business practices, showcasing how companies can overcome market challenges that can benefit the poor and create social and economic impact in local communities. The event also highlighted the work that UNDP and the BCtA have initiated to promote public-private partnerships.

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Employee Engagement: Why Motivating the Elephant Is Better Than Rewarding the Rider
Employee Engagement: Why Motivating the Elephant Is Better Than Rewarding the Rider

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - Many organisations are grappling with the same question: How do we create an employee reward and recognition programme designed to deliver widely adopted and sustained pro-environmental behaviours?

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