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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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Activists Dressed as Bees Protest at Lowe’s Stores in Philadelphia & Brooklyn

Today, activists from SumOfUs.org, joined by concerned citizens in cities around the country are rallying outside Lowe’s Stores in an effort to build awareness of the company’s lack of action to eliminate bee-killing pesticides — known as neonics — from it stores and supply chains.Two protests in Brooklyn and Philadelphia will feature activists dressed as bees, distributing information on neonic pesticides and their impact on critical bee populations.

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

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:

Report: As Companies Commit to Sustainability, Some Remain Skeptical

A growing number of companies are committed to policies to ensure environmental, social and governance sustainability — but some remain skeptical about their benefits, according to a new report from the Economist Intelligence Unit.New Business Models: Shared value in the 21st century, commissioned by Enel Foundation, finds that 66 percent of companies believe there is a direct link between sustainability and long-term financial performance. More managers also understand the wider importance of sustainability and increasing efforts to embed it into their strategies.

eBay, Kindle Rated Most Sustainable Apps

eBay, Kindle and Skype are some of the best apps for creating sustainable behaviors, according to a new study by WSP, a global professional services consultancy.eBay ranked highest due to its huge popularity and ability to make selling unwanted goods uncomplicated, which cuts waste and reduces the need to buy new goods. WSP says. Of all the apps measured eBay was the best promoter of the circular economy. The Kindle app came second as it was also one of the most downloaded apps, avoiding the need to buy a separate reader and the need to print and distribute paper books.

LEGO Ends 50-Year Partnership with Shell After 6 Million People Campaign to Save the Arctic

Following an extensive multimedia Greenpeace campaign, LEGO published a statement this morning committing to "not renew the co-promotion contract with Shell."

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The Answer to Effective Sustainability Marketing? Simple ... But Not Easy

While world leaders were converging in New York last week to debate climate change, I crisscrossed the country to attend three different conferences (thereby adding more carbon to the aforementioned UN debate, I realize). Specifically, I attended the EEBA conference, the Utility Efficiency Exchange and Sustainable Brands' New Metrics '14. At all of these events, I met folks and heard presentations from the private sector’s front lines of energy and environment — all working to create programs and products that will, ultimately, lower our collective environmental footprint.

Report: Half of Global Wildlife Lost Between 1970 and 2010

Global populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish dropped 52 percent between 1970 and 2010, according to a new report by World Wildlife Fund (WWF).The 2014 Living Planet Report says this biodiversity loss is occuring disproportionately in low-income countries — and correlates with the increasing resource use of high-income countries.

CDP: Companies Taking Climate Action Generating 18% Higher ROE Than Peers

S&P 500 industry leaders that are actively managing and planning for climate change are generating 18 percent higher return on equity (ROE) than peers and 67 percent higher than companies that do not disclose on climate change, according to a new report by CDP. The report tracks industry-leaders over the last three years against their financial performance. The analysis revealed that those who lead on climate disclosure and performance have generated higher profitability.

Branson, Carbon War Room Call for More Ports Fighting CO2

The number of sea ports using ship evaluation systems to decrease carbon emissions will expand from two to 10 in the next year, according to Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, Bloomberg reports.Branson is a founder of the Carbon War Room, a nonprofit that rates ship efficiency.Port Metro, Vancouver and the Prince Rupert Port Authority in Canada already use a system that ranks 60,000 vessels in the merchant fleet with an A-to-G scale for fuel efficiency — ships rated A get the biggest discounts on port fees. Metro gave $1.1 million in discounts last year, while Prince Rupert budgeted for $100,000 this year, according to Bloomberg.

PepsiCo to Phase Out Hydroflourocarbon Equipment by 2020

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.

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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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