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Trending: Ford Seeks Sustainable Rubber Alternative, While Chevy Lightweights New Corvette
Trending: Ford Seeks Sustainable Rubber Alternative, While Chevy Lightweights New Corvette

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Two major American automakers have formed innovative partnerships aimed at producing vehicles with lighter and more sustainable materials.First, Ford is in search of a sustainable alternative to rubber. Due to the extreme price fluctuations of natural rubber and the desire to lower the per vehicle environmental footprint, the company is testing several domestically sourced alternatives.

P&G Fabric Care Overhauling Packaging to Make 230M Bottles a Year from Recycled Plastic
P&G Fabric Care Overhauling Packaging to Make 230M Bottles a Year from Recycled Plastic

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Procter & Gamble (P&G) Fabric Care has announced a new initiative that will see 230 million bottles of flagship brands such as Ariel, Dash, Lenor and Unstopables made out of Post-Consumer Recyclate (PCR — aka recycled packaging). If laid out end-to-end, the 230 million bottles would stretch roughly the distance between the North and South Poles, the company says.

Kimberly-Clark Corporation Releases Annual Sustainability Report
Kimberly-Clark Corporation Releases Annual Sustainability Report

PRESS RELEASE - Kimberly-Clark Corporation (NYSE: KMB) today published its annual report on sustainability, providing a comprehensive overview of the company’s sustainability efforts, focusing on case studies that highlight social and environmental progress throughout the company’s global operations.“Our vision to lead the world in the essentials for a better life is not limited to the products we provide. It also calls us to deliver them in ways that prioritize clean air and water, healthy forests and strong communities, while delivering shareholder value,” said Kimberly-Clark Chairman and CEO Tom Falk. "More than ever, sustainability is part of how we operate to move our business forward.”

More Than 75% of Consumers Influenced By Eco-Friendly Packaging, Report Says
More Than 75% of Consumers Influenced By Eco-Friendly Packaging, Report Says

WASTE NOT - More than three-quarters of consumers claim that environmentally-sound packaging has​ an influence on the beverage brand they buy, according to ​a new global survey of some 6,000 consumers across 12 different countries.The survey, carried out this year for food processing and packaging solutions firm Tetra Pak, revealed a growing appetite among consumers for products that tick the right environmental boxes. When asked about recent purchasing habits, two-thirds said they have bought environmental products, even when they cost more, while around the same proportion have avoided specific brands or items due to environmental concerns.​​​​​​

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MadeRight Helping Apparel Designers Customize Sustainable Supply Chains
MadeRight Helping Apparel Designers Customize Sustainable Supply Chains

SUPPLY CHAIN - If you’re a small-scale designer or apparel brand, managing your supply chain efficiently and sustainably can be a challenge. MadeRight, a startup that recently launched out of Y Combinator, wants to change that.MadeRight is helping designers simplify the textile manufacturing process through its consortium of ethical, global factories and its procedures to streamline product movement.

New Sustainability Reports Highlight Companies' Progress in Events, Flooring Industries
New Sustainability Reports Highlight Companies' Progress in Events, Flooring Industries

ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE - MCI, a leading agency in the global meetings, events and association and congress industries, used its sixth sustainability report, Building Possibilities, to assess the performance of MCI’s client-focused activities in addition to its own internal sustainability strategy.

To Infinity and Beyond: How Levi's Is Embracing the Circular Economy
To Infinity and Beyond: How Levi's Is Embracing the Circular Economy

THE NEXT ECONOMY - At Levi Strauss & Co., our sustainability thinking has traditionally begun at the cotton stage of the product life cycle. The cotton is picked, ginned, spun, and woven into fabric. The fabric is cut, sewn, and finished into a pair of jeans before being sent to a distribution center, then on to your favorite store where the jeans are sold to you.

Hyundai Heavy Industries, Accenture Building Connected 'Smart Ships'
Hyundai Heavy Industries, Accenture Building Connected 'Smart Ships'

CLEANTECH - Hyundai Heavy Industries, a leading shipbuilder, and Accenture are collaborating to design a ‘connected smart ship’ that will enable ship owners to better manage their fleets and achieve potential operational savings through the application of digital technologies. The collaboration is part of Hyundai Heavy Industries’ plans to expand its business, moving from manufacturing to services.Using a network of sensors that will be built into new vessels, ship owners will be able to capture a range of ship voyage information including location, weather, and ocean current data, as well as on-board

Biomass Boiler Helps Dewar's Distillery Cut CO2 by 90%
Biomass Boiler Helps Dewar's Distillery Cut CO2 by 90%

WASTE NOT - The Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery in Scotland has cut its carbon footprint by 90 percent after installing a biomass boiler late last year.Traditionally, distilleries are heavy users of fossil fuels, but this is the latest example of investment in biomass gaining traction industry-wide.“Moving away from boilers that use heavy fuel oil – to more efficient wood pellets – helps reduce energy costs and lower emissions into the environment,” a spokesman for the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) said in a statement.

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New Online Marketplace Will Allow US Companies to Exchange Underutilized Materials
New Online Marketplace Will Allow US Companies to Exchange Underutilized Materials

THE NEXT ECONOMY - The National Materials Marketplace, a new joint pilot project led by the Corporate Eco Forum (CEF), US Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD), and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), brings together more than 20 major companies with operations in the United States, helping them identify ways to reuse or exchange undervalued materials via an online database, and establish new circular supply chains.

Nestlé Waters’ resource® Now Comes in 100% Recycled Bottles
Nestlé Waters’ resource® Now Comes in 100% Recycled Bottles

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Yesterday resource® Natural Spring Water announced the debut of a remodeled bottle made entirely of recycled plastic (rPET). Part of the Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA) portfolio of bottled waters, the resource brand reflects Nestle’s exploration of environmentally sound packaging options across its family of beverages.The remodeled bottle, available in 700ml and 1L sizes, is sourced and bottled in the US. It is produced with 100 percent rPET, excluding the cap and label. resource says it hopes the new bottle will focus attention on the uses of rPET and encourage bottle-to-bottle recycling among consumers.

New Bioplastic Production Process May Increase Viability as Alternative to Oil-Based Counterparts
New Bioplastic Production Process May Increase Viability as Alternative to Oil-Based Counterparts

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - The bioplastic known as polylactic acid (PLA) is already a part of our everyday lives — comprising items such as biodegradable drinking cups and vegetable wrapping foil — yet, it is not considered a fully viable alternative to traditional petroleum-based plastics, as it is costly to produce.Now, researchers from the KU Leuven Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis have presented a way to make the PLA production process simpler and waste-free. Their findings were published this week in Science.

UNIFORM: An Ethical Brand Creating Solutions to Social, Business Challenges Left in Wake of Ebola
UNIFORM: An Ethical Brand Creating Solutions to Social, Business Challenges Left in Wake of Ebola

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Though Liberia has begun recovering from the Ebola crisis, the consequences of the epidemic continue to shock the country. Since March of 2014, Ebola claimed 4,500 Liberian lives, left 50 percent of the population unemployed, kept children out of school for eight months, and devastated food security and business, suspending much of West Africa’s commerce with the world.

Sustainability Mythbusters: Is Packaging Always a ‘Bad Guy’?
Sustainability Mythbusters: Is Packaging Always a ‘Bad Guy’?

NEW METRICS - In the sustainability arena, we are used to work with a diversity of common sustainability assumptions. However, some of the assumptions that we trust might not be as right as we think they are. A critical eye is required before we consider basing our work on one of these assumptions. As a science-based method, LCA is an excellent tool to bust some of the myths that surround sustainability. With this piece, we kick off the “Sustainability Mythbusters” series and start exploring the most common sustainability assumptions to see if they are true or just myths. Let’s start checking the impact of packaging.

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How to Rewire Business: SustainAbility Releases Second 'Model Behavior' Report
How to Rewire Business: SustainAbility Releases Second 'Model Behavior' Report

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Despite bold efforts to make companies’ processes and products more sustainable, many businesses that flourish today are inherently unsustainable. Companies must fundamentally change their modus operandi to survive in a future of resource scarcity and climate change — no amount of renewable energy sourcing or green product engineering, for example, can accommodate these conditions.

Ecolab Helped Customers Save 115 Billion Gallons of Water in 2014
Ecolab Helped Customers Save 115 Billion Gallons of Water in 2014

NEW METRICS - Ecolab’s efforts to help customers reduce, reuse, manage and treat water more efficiently led to a savings of 115 billion gallons of water in 2014, according to the company’s 2014 Corporate Sustainability Report, released Thursday.The company also launched the Water Risk Monetizer, a free public tool designed to help change the way water is valued and managed by all water users.Ecolab says its mission is “to provide and protect what is vital: clean water, safe food, abundant energy and healthy environments.” Through partnerships with customers, NGOs and communities, the company helps address some of the world’s most urgent resource and business challenges.

Lego Group Investing $150M in R&D for Sustainable Materials
Lego Group Investing $150M in R&D for Sustainable Materials

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - This week, LEGO Group announced an investment of 1 billion Danish Kroner (~US$152 million) in the research, development and implementation of sustainable raw materials to manufacture LEGO® toys and packaging materials.

RIT Joins Group of Universities Furthering Global Understanding of Circular Economy
RIT Joins Group of Universities Furthering Global Understanding of Circular Economy

THE NEXT ECONOMY - Rochester Institute of Technology has become a Pioneer University within the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF)’s Higher Education program, joining a select group of universities worldwide dedicated to accelerating a global transition to a regenerative, circular economy.

Sprint to Be First US Company to Send Customer Mailings on Wheat-Straw Paper
Sprint to Be First US Company to Send Customer Mailings on Wheat-Straw Paper

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - In its latest effort to optimize paper use and reduce environmental impact, Sprint will pilot a new kind of forest friendly paper for customer mailings, beginning in August. While the paper, made of wheat-straw byproduct, is not noticeably different to the naked eye than wood-derived paper, it offers a sustainable alternative and potential longer-term cost savings, as additional paper sources and suppliers are introduced into North America. Sprint’s pilot to use the wheat-straw paper for mailed customer correspondence is a first in the U.S.

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Kingfisher Highlights Progress Toward Net Positive Goals in 2015 Report
Kingfisher Highlights Progress Toward Net Positive Goals in 2015 Report

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - A collaborative approach to responsible sourcing, packaging and the circular economy has taken DIY giant Kingfisher to new heights in the second year of its Net Positive sustainability plan.On Wednesday, the parent company of B&Q, Screwfix and other European home-improvement brands released its annual Net Positive Report, updating stakeholders on its sustainability ambition to transform the business to have a restorative impact on the environment.

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