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Behavior Change

The latest developments supporting a shift toward sustainable consumption, as well as specific ways brands are encouraging less wasteful behaviors.

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G8 Taskforce Issues 8 Recommemdations to Catalyze Global Impact Investment

The Social Impact Investment Taskforce, created by the governments of the G8 in June 2013 to nurture a global market for impact investing, has released eight high-level recommendations devised by government and private sector experts from across the G7, EU and Australia to increase impact investment worldwide.The report, The Invisible Heart of Markets: How Impact Investing is Harnessing Innovation and Capital for Public Good, represents one of the most comprehensive initiatives to date to define what is needed from all stakeholders in the effort to advance the tremendous potential of impact investment to improve society and the environment.The eight recommendations include:

Report: Global Economies Must Decrease CO2 Emissions By 5 Times Current Levels

Global economies must cut their energy-related carbon emissions for every dollar of GDP by 6.2 percent — more than five times the rate currently achieved — every year from now to 2100 in order to to limit global warming to 2°C, according to a new report by PwC.Scientists agree 2°C of warming is the limit needed to ensure the serious risks of climate change impacts are avoided worldwide.

Recyclebank Celebrates 10 Years, 1.5 Billion Pounds of Waste Recycled in 2013

2014 marks Recyclebank’s 10th year of inspiring and rewarding smarter, everyday choices for a more sustainable future. Founded in 2004, the company set out with a simple idea: Could education and incentives get people to recycle more? After bringing millions of people together with more than 2,500 local and national businesses over the last 10 years, Recyclebank knows the answer is a definitive yes.Today, the company partners with more than 300 communities across the US who recycled nearly 1.5 billion pounds of waste in 2013 alone. Recyclebank members also took more than 21.6 million environmentally responsible actions for a total of $60 million in rewards value earned in 2013, achieving real-world impact.

Independent Study Shows APP Has Enough Plantation for Its Zero-Deforestation Commitment

An independent study released Wednesday has confirmed that Asia Pulp and Paper Group (APP) has sufficient plantation resources to meet the pulp requirements of its existing mills as well as its future mill in OKI, South Sumatra.The launch of the company’s Forest Conservation Policy (FCP) in February 2013 saw it commit to producing pulp and paper that is free from fiber or activity linked to deforestation. In order to ensure existing supplier plantations have sufficient capacity to meet this commitment, The Forest Trust (TFT) and Ata Marie were asked to conduct an independent “Growth and Yield” study to assess existing plantation areas.

California Says Goodbye to Plastic Bags

The California State Legislature has passed a bill to ban single-use plastic bags in California, which will now head to the governor’s desk.Last Friday, the California senate voted 22-15 to approve the ban, Senate Bill 270. After being signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, the legislation will implement a ban on single-use plastic grocery bags while promoting recycling and California manufacturing. It also will provide financial incentives to maintain and retrain California employees in affected industries.The ban will begin in 2015 for grocery store carry-out bags and create a mandatory minimum ten cent fee for recycled paper, reusable plastic and compostable bags.Specifically, SB 270 will:

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Corruption Costs Developing Countries $1 Trillion Each Year

Developing countries lose at least $1 trillion every year through shady deals for natural resources, the use of shell companies, money laundering and illegal tax evasion, according to a new report by the ONE Campaign.The ONE Campaign, co-founded by Irish rocker Bono to end extreme poverty and disease, says curbing corruption in sub-Saharan Africa could provide money to educate an extra 10 million children a year. Money recovered from corrupt activity could pay the salaries of an additional 500,000 primary school teachers in Africa, provide antiretroviral drugs for more than 11 million people living with HIV and fund nearly 165 million vaccine shots.

Could Marketing Fresh Produce Like Junk Food Get Kids Eating More Fruits and Vegetables?

Getting kids to eat more fruit and vegetables has long been a challenge that, despite their best efforts, many parents struggle to win. It’s not just parents — it appears that no one, including schools, retailers and health experts, has managed to crack it. Despite all the drive towards healthy eating, fruit and vegetable consumption still falls well short of the recommended amount, with Americans only eating, on average, one portion of fruit and 1-2 portions of vegetables a day.

Tyson Foods Could Lose $500 Million in Federal Contracts After Environmental Gaffe

Tyson Foods is in risk of losing close to $500 million in government contracts if found guilty in and ongoing criminal investigation by the Environmental Protection Agency over the recent release of toxic chemicals at a plant in Monett, Mo.The food company has enjoyed more than $4.7 billion in contract business from the U.S. government since 2000, but this could all end with the guilty findings in the Monett investigation.The EPA probe came after Tyson was caught sending Aliment (an additive used in chicken feed) tainted wastewater into Monett’s wastewater plant which released high levels of ammonia into the city’s water system. The ammonia killed an estimated 100,000 fish within four miles of the site.

Toymakers, Advertisers Encouraging Young Girls to Redefine Gender Roles

The gender divide starts young in our society, with boys and girls generally encouraged to adopt a standard set of acceptable behaviors and preferences from an early age. But a number of companies have recently begun to encourage young girls and women to forgo limiting gender roles and fulfill their true potential by embracing their strengths and smarts.

Executives Say Saving Money Is No. 1 Sustainability Driver

Saving money is the number one reason executives cite for taking actions towards more eco-friendly business practices, according to a new report from Grant Thornton.The company’s 2014 International Business Report, Corporate social responsibility: beyond financials, draws on more than 2,500 interviews with business leaders in 34 economies and looks at what companies are doing to make their operations more sustainable and why. The report finds that cost management (67 percent) emerges as the key sustainability driver, followed by customer demand (64 percent) and because it’s the “right thing to do” (62 percent).

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SeaWorld Doubling Size of Whale Environments After Documentary Ruins Revenue

SeaWorld has announced plans to double the size of its killer whale environments at three parks and will fund new programs to protect ocean health and killer whales in the wild.The first of the new environments will be built at SeaWorld San Diego, where the killer whale environment is planned to have a total water volume of 10 million gallons — nearly double that of the existing facility. With a planned maximum depth of 50 feet, surface area of nearly 1.5 acres and spanning more than 350 feet in length, the new environment also will have views exceeding 40 feet in height, providing guests with the world's largest underwater viewing experience of killer whales.

Hyatt Partnering with WWF on Global Initiative to Source Sustainable Seafood

Hyatt Hotels Corporation has announced a global initiative to increase its procurement of responsibly sourced seafood and eliminate the procurement of highly vulnerable seafood species, starting with an initial goal of responsibly sourcing more than 50 percent of its inventory by 2018. In the first phase of a long-term seafood sustainability strategy in partnership with World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Hyatt will also work toward purchasing more than 15 percent of its seafood supply from fisheries or farms that have been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC).

Should Fruit and Vegetables Be Marketed in the Same Way as Pharmaceuticals?

If the health benefits of fruit and vegetables were marketed more like pharmaceutical drugs, it could potentially develop into a multimillion-dollar boon for the pharmaceutical industry, claims one of the UK’s leading dieticians.Catherine Collins, principal dietician at St George’s Hospital in London, was reported by Food Manufacture to have made this claim recently in response to a new study. The study, which measures the effects of eating five fruit and vegetable portions a day, involved over 800,000 consumers — done on such a large scale as to be referred to as a “granddaddy of a study” by Collins.

Report: Climate Change Adaptation Could Be $2 Billion Business

Weather-related disasters present significant opportunities for companies positioned to help clients prepare for, adapt to and even gain competitive advantage from the consequences of climate change, according to a new report by Environmental Business International. The global market for this could be as high as $2 billion.In the report, EBI evaluates the first generation of service providers in this emerging business space, looking at how they are positioning their companies to win contracts and at the challenges involved in pioneering adaptation work.

The Widening Attitude/Behavior Gap: The Curse of an Improving Economy?

Socially and environmentally conscious attitudes are gaining ground, but corresponding purchases and behaviors are stagnant or heading south — and the rebounding economy may be the culprit. That’s the latest finding from Shelton Group’s seventh annual Eco Pulse™ study, released this week. Eco Pulse polls American consumers each year to track shifts in their attitudes, purchases and behaviors related to sustainability.

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Are Campaigns Pushing Fresh Fruit and Veggies Working?

Over the last few years, as awareness and urgency around the issue of obesity have grown, campaigns promoting more fruit and vegetable consumption have been launched all over the developed world. But according to a team of researchers at the University of Sydney, such policy efforts have resulted only in modest gains and increased awareness (especially among children) but have largely been ineffective in bringing about a change in consumption behavior. The research was presented at The Quest for Quality Food 2014 Research Symposium at the University of Sydney.

Commission Threatens Future of Tuna by Sidestepping WWF's Pleas to Limit Catch

WWF says it will now urge a suspension of fishing for Pacific Bluefin tuna, if fishing nations fail to set binding catch limits in line with scientific recommendations this year.WWF’s hardening stance follows an inconclusive annual meeting of the Inter American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC), which deferred discussions on bluefin tuna quotas to October. Catch reductions of at least 50 percent and a drastic reduction in the number of juveniles caught will also need to be implemented by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) in Samoa in December in order to secure the future of the fishery.

Australian Government Backtracks on Carbon Tax

The Australian Senate has voted 39-32 to repeal the country's carbon tax after years of fierce political debate.The tax on the country’s biggest polluters was passed by a previous government. Introduced in July 2012, it charges the 348 highest polluters A$23 (£13; $22.60) for every ton of greenhouse gases they produce.However, the law has faced much criticism. Last year, Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s Liberal-National coalition beat Labor in an election, and made the repeal a central aim of his government.The Labor party claims the tax helps to fight climate change, but the Liberals claim it penalizes legitimate businesses.Australia is the developed world's worst polluter per capita, but critics of the tax say it kills jobs and forces energy prices up.

Give the People What They Want — Start Selling 'Better'

Our annual Eco Pulse study will be out later this month, and we’ll start blogging about what we found over the next few weeks. One consistent theme that we see in this study and last year’s Energy Pulse is this:People want better.They don’t want to feel guilty about how they should do the right thing for the environment, they don’t want to feel scared about the state of the planet, and they don’t want to be told they’re wrong for wanting what they want.

WWF to Fisheries: Catch 50% Less or Lose Pacific Bluefin Tuna Altogether

The long-term sustainability of the Pacific Bluefin Tuna fishery can only be guaranteed by following the science and halving catch limits, WWF will tell the two Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs) covering the Pacific.

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