Stories About Manufacturing

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Two Years On, How Are Global Fashion Supply Chains Changing in the Wake of Rana Plaza?
Two Years On, How Are Global Fashion Supply Chains Changing in the Wake of Rana Plaza?

SUPPLY CHAIN - Today marks the two-year anniversary of the devastating collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh. It also marks the second Fashion Revolution Day, launched last year to commemorate the Rana Plaza disaster with the aims of encouraging greater collaboration across the fashion sector supply chain.

The Many Challenges of Plastic Recycling
The Many Challenges of Plastic Recycling

WASTE NOT - Upwards of 100 million tons of plastic are manufactured annually across the globe. That’s 200 billion pounds of new material on-market every year, ready to be thermoformed, laminated, foamed and extruded into billions of products and packages. In the past decades it has been widely adopted by industry, and plastic has become one of the most ubiquitous and versatile materials in the world – and, subsequently, one of the most difficult to reliably collect and recycle.

23 Nestlé USA Factories Achieve Zero Waste to Landfill, Exceeding Nestlé's Global Goal
23 Nestlé USA Factories Achieve Zero Waste to Landfill, Exceeding Nestlé's Global Goal

WASTE NOT - Nestlé USA has had a busy year so far: The company has publicly committed to removing all artificial flavors and colors from its chocolate candy by the end of 2015 and purchased enough certified cocoa to produce its entire Easter chocolate collection, a first for a major U.S. candy manufacturer.

Trending: Levi’s, Armani and SurfRider Speak Up for Water Conservation
Trending: Levi’s, Armani and SurfRider Speak Up for Water Conservation

COLLABORATION - Among mounting concern over the dire water shortages in California and around the world, several well-known companies are taking matters into their own hands, reducing water in their production processes and educating consumers around water conservation.

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#BusinessCase: Gap, H&M, Levi's, Target Mills Save $14.7M Through NRDC's Clean by Design Program
#BusinessCase: Gap, H&M, Levi's, Target Mills Save $14.7M Through NRDC's Clean by Design Program

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) this week announced the stunning latest results of its Clean by Design program, a global model for sustainable manufacturing that is working with multinational apparel brand partners Target, Gap, Levi Strauss and H&M

Activists Petition Nestlé to Shut Down Water Bottling Operations in California
Activists Petition Nestlé to Shut Down Water Bottling Operations in California

MARKETING AND COMMS - As California enters its fourth year of drought, more than 135,000 people have signed a petition to the California Water Resources Control Board to shut down Nestlé’s water bottling operations in the state.Created by the California-based Courage Campaign, the petition says Nestlé extracts water from California specifically for its Arrowhead and Pure Life brands, and bottles its product from at least a dozen natural springs. It says one such bottling plant is located on a Native American reservation “in one of California’s most drought-stricken areas that is exempt from oversight by local water agencies.”

H&M's 2014 Sustainability Report Shows Progress With Garment Collection Program
H&M's 2014 Sustainability Report Shows Progress With Garment Collection Program

NEW METRICS - H&M more than doubled the amount of collected garments with its garment collective initiative in 2014, according to its new sustainability report. In total, more than 13,000 tons of textiles have been collected — as much fabric as in 65 million T-shirts.Now, the apparel company has established a new goal of increasing the amount of products made of recycled fibers by at least 300 percent by the end of 2015.

Forget the Recycling Bin – If All Goes Well, You’ll Soon Be Able to Eat Your Water Bottle
Forget the Recycling Bin – If All Goes Well, You’ll Soon Be Able to Eat Your Water Bottle

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - The latest innovation in the fight against plastic water bottles comes in the form of an edible and flexible water “blob” container called the Ooho!, made by startup Skipping Rocks Lab. To use it, consumers can bite the blob and suck out the contents or eat the entire thing, casing and all.Asking people to carry around their own water bottles and containers has had limited success; unfortunately, it is often just more convenient to buy and drink from a disposable container. The Ooho! claims to offer that convenience without introducing more plastic into the waste stream.

Context, Business Risk & Stampeding Black Elephants
Context, Business Risk & Stampeding Black Elephants

NEW METRICS - Would you invest in a business that gave you only one figure — number of customers — by which to assess both its current state and future prospects? Of course, not; you would inquire about total sales, costs, revenues, margins, market share, and other figures.Any business decision-maker wants multiple figures. Context, and contextualizing data, is key.

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Rhode Island Considering Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging
Rhode Island Considering Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Rhode Island lawmakers have introduced two bills that could put end-of-life product management duties onto the shoulders of packaging producers. If passed, Rhode Island will become the first state to enact legislation for extended producer responsibility (EPR) for printed paper and packaging (PPP).

Social Auditing: A New Tool for Sustainable Development?
Social Auditing: A New Tool for Sustainable Development?

ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE - Can social auditing be repurposed for greater good? That was the question posed during a breakout session of the Sedex Global Responsible Sourcing Conference in London last week. Muriel Johnson, AAG Project Manager at Sedex, asked a panel of leading business representatives if social auditing could be used to advance sustainable development within global enterprise, rather than as a simple mechanism to manage risk in the supply chain.

Amerplast Announces New, Flexible Packaging Made From Sugar Cane
Amerplast Announces New, Flexible Packaging Made From Sugar Cane

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - This week, Amerplast, one of Europe's largest flexo printers and bag converters, began a supply partnership with Braskem, a global leader in biopolymers, to market Green Polyethylene (Green PE) made from a renewable sugar cane ethanol, to tissue segment.

Carbon Fiber Vehicles Could Complicate Circular Economy
Carbon Fiber Vehicles Could Complicate Circular Economy

WASTE NOT - The British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA) is calling on car manufacturers to ensure that using lightweight materials to achieve greenhouse gas reductions doesn't impede circular manufacturing processes, edie reports.

BASF and eight partners cooperate to optimize production processes for renewable-based products
BASF and eight partners cooperate to optimize production processes for renewable-based products

PRESS RELEASE - PRODIAS (PROcessing Diluted Aqueous Systems) fosters competitiveness of the European process industryAim is to decrease production costs for renewable-based products via increasing the efficiency of raw material use and     production processesProject funding by European Union with €10 million – total budget is about €14 millionLudwigshafen, Germany – March 18, 2015 – A consortium of companies in the European process industry from the areas of biotechnology, renewable resources, chemistry, process engineering, equipment supply as well as research organizations recently launched project PRODIAS (PROcessing Diluted Aque

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Can Products Be Convenient Without Being Wasteful?
Can Products Be Convenient Without Being Wasteful?

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Selling a product in today’s world is not just about quality and price point anymore. Packaging has become a key factor in the way companies sell products, and specifically, how (if at all) they are making packaging more sustainable. What companies want to know now is if consumers take their carbon footprint into account when buying products and how they respond when companies make an effort to create more sustainable packaging for their products.

RSPO Cleans House of Companies Failing to Meet Standards; NGOs Applaud
RSPO Cleans House of Companies Failing to Meet Standards; NGOs Applaud

ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE - On Thursday, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) announced it has taken action against members that are not fulfilling basic membership obligations intended to create a more transparent, environmentally sustainable and socially responsible palm oil industry. A number of prominent NGOs working in the field — including World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and Rainforest Action Network (RAN) — commend the action as an important first step, but emphasize the Roundtable's need for more teeth in ensuring progress toward a truly sustainable palm oil industry.

How to Empower Women in Global Supply Chains?
How to Empower Women in Global Supply Chains?

SUPPLY CHAIN - We’ve heard a lot recently about 2015 promising to be the year of sustainability — with global conferences on sustainable development and climate change, new UK legislation fighting modern day slavery, and the forthcoming UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), set to shape the global remit for social, economic and environmental development.One of the key goals of the SDGs is to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls around the world. With this in mind, the post-2015 development agenda offers a great opportunity to drive lasting change for women’s rights and equality.

UK Lagging in Remanufacturing Economy
UK Lagging in Remanufacturing Economy

WASTE NOT - Following the release of a new joint report from the Carbon Trust, Knowledge Transfer Network, High Speed Sustainable Manufacturing Institute, Centre for Remanufacturing and Reuse and Coventry University, leading experts from industry and academia have warned that the UK is falling behind other advanced economies in harnessing the value of a rapidly growing remanufacturing industry.

3M and ForestEthics End Multi-Year Conflict Over Paper Sourcing Policy
3M and ForestEthics End Multi-Year Conflict Over Paper Sourcing Policy

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - After an often-heated six years of confrontation between activist group ForestEthics and paper and packaging giant 3M, the conflict finally came to an end yesterday as 3M announced its new paper and wood pulp sourcing policy. ForestEthics, which has been critical of the corporation’s sourcing policy, has applauded its new commitment to tracing its virgin wood fiber and ensuring it comes from renewable sources.

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WRAP: Extending Product Life by One Day Will Prevent 250,000 Tons of Food Waste
WRAP: Extending Product Life by One Day Will Prevent 250,000 Tons of Food Waste

WASTE NOT - In a report published this week, Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP) estimates that an increase on product life of just one day across a range of foods could prevent roughly 250,000 tons of food waste each year — in households and in the supply chain — by giving consumers longer to eat the food that they buy.The “life” of a product is the time period over which food remains safe to eat, or over which the quality does not deteriorate to unacceptable levels, usually designated on-pack by companies through “Sell by” or “Best before” dates.

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