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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

How UL Environment Is Helping Industry Develop Credible Claims Around Product Chemical Safety
How UL Environment Is Helping Industry Develop Credible Claims Around Product Chemical Safety

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - On Tuesday evening, I had a chance to speak with Dr. Angela Griffiths, Director of the UL Environment Advisory Services group in the Activation Hub at SB ’15 San Diego. She shared with me the newest research and recommended best practices for assessing product health risks associated with chemical content.

How Ford, Goodwill, Sprint Built Effective Recycling/Reuse Initiatives Through Innovative Partnerships
How Ford, Goodwill, Sprint Built Effective Recycling/Reuse Initiatives Through Innovative Partnerships

WASTE NOT - On Tuesday, the week of learning at SB ’15 San Diego continued as Nina Goodrich, director of GreenBlue, moderated a discussion on innovative partnerships around recycling and reuse initiatives.

Indonesian Pulp and Paper Giant APRIL Pledges Zero Deforestation, Greenpeace Applauds
Indonesian Pulp and Paper Giant APRIL Pledges Zero Deforestation, Greenpeace Applauds

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - Asia Pacific Resources International Ltd (APRIL), one of the world’s largest producers of pulp and paper, has today announced an end to deforestation as part of a new Sustainable Forest Management Plan.Deforestation for pulp and paper, and palm oil, is a leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions in Indonesia. If properly implemented, APRIL’s pledge will prove to be another major step by business towards protecting Indonesia’s rainforests and peatlands.

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How to Invest in Municipalities to Increase Recycling in the U.S.: The Case of the Closed Loop Fund
How to Invest in Municipalities to Increase Recycling in the U.S.: The Case of the Closed Loop Fund

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - How do we make recycling work and be cost-effective? Bridget Croke, Director of Partnerships and Communications at the Closed Loop Fund (CLF), posed this question to a panel of three of CLF’s leading investors: Tim Carey, Senior Director of Sustainability & Recycling at PepsiCo; Monique Oxender, Chief Sustainability Officer at Keurig Green Mountain; and Ashley C. Hall, Senior Manager of Product Sustainability at Walmart.

41 Factory Owners, Safety Officials Charged with Murder in Rana Plaza Tragedy
41 Factory Owners, Safety Officials Charged with Murder in Rana Plaza Tragedy

SUPPLY CHAIN - On Monday, Bangladeshi police charged 41 people, including the owner of the Rana Plaza complex, with murder over the 2013 factory collapse that killed more than 1,100 people.

Report: UK Public Sector Embracing Smart Tech, But Financing and Implementation Hurdles Remain
Report: UK Public Sector Embracing Smart Tech, But Financing and Implementation Hurdles Remain

CLEANTECH - A majority (87 percent) of public sector sustainability professionals in the UK have begun to embrace smart technologies, but future projects are stymied by lack of finance and poor implementation strategy, according to new research by GE Lighting and the Carbon Trust.The most common areas where there has been significant smart technology adoption are building efficiency (77 percent), LED lighting (57 percent) and water and waste technologies (24 percent). The smart technologies most commonly installed include intelligent features such as sensors, which combined with internet connectivity and control systems, enhance performance and efficiency and reduce resource consumption, costs and carbon emissions.

CFSI Helping Companies Comply with New EU Conflict Minerals Legislation
CFSI Helping Companies Comply with New EU Conflict Minerals Legislation

SUPPLY CHAIN - The Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative (CFSI) today announced it is available to help companies navigate compliance with the pending conflict minerals legislation recently voted on by the European Parliament.In addition, the CFSI says it is adopting a risk-based approach to its audit program to bolster audits of smelters and refiners of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold worldwide.The draft EU legislation on conflict minerals requires importers and processors of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold to self-certify via independent, third-party due diligence audits of smelters and refiners that their products do not directly or indirectly finance conflict and serious human rights abuses.

Study: Tech Sector Leads the Way in Conflict Mineral Reporting; Packaging, Healthcare, Energy Sectors Lag
Study: Tech Sector Leads the Way in Conflict Mineral Reporting; Packaging, Healthcare, Energy Sectors Lag

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Today, the Responsible Sourcing Network (RSN) released a study measuring large cap company performance on a major human rights risk and ascertained the industries both leading and lagging when it comes to conflict minerals reporting.To conduct the pilot study for the report, Mining the Disclosures: An Investor Guide to Conflict Minerals Reporting, RSN worked with Sustainalytics, a leading provider of environmental, social and governance research, to develop a research tool that offers insights into the quality of corporate conflict minerals disclosures.

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2015 Dupont Packaging Innovation Winners Feature Less Material, Increased Recyclability
2015 Dupont Packaging Innovation Winners Feature Less Material, Increased Recyclability

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - The DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation are the industry's longest-running, global, independently judged recognition of innovation and collaboration throughout the packaging value chain. This year, a panel of experts evaluated almost 140 entries from over 25 countries and on Friday awarded one diamond winner, five gold winners and seven silver winners based on "excellence" in one, two or all three categories: technological advancement, responsible packaging and enhanced user experience."This year's winners … exemplify how collaboration, innovation and packaging excellence converge to generate game-changing solutions that positively impact our lives," said William J. Harvey, president of DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers.

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