The Hershey Company today announced it has surpassed its water consumption target three years early and its zero waste to landfill (ZWL) and recycling targets two years early. Last year, the chocolate maker announced that it was on track to do just that.The company says that by the end of 2013, it had converted six of its manufacturing facilities to ZWL, surpassing its 2015 goal of five; achieved a recycling rate of 86.6 percent, beating its 2015 goal of 85 percent; and reduced water consumption per pound of product by 58 percent by the end of 2012, far exceeding its 2015 goal of 10 percent.
The city of Phoenix has partnered with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Republic Services and Salt River Fields at Talking Stick to host Arizona’s first zero-waste Spring Training event as part of an effort to bring awareness to recycling and composting.The one-day event challenges fans to recycle or compost the solid and food wastes they generate during the game instead of sending them to the landfill. The idea for the event was generated by Phoenix’s new long-term sustainability initiative called "Reimagine Phoenix," which encourages residents and businesses to view trash as resources.
Music producer and entrepreneur Pharrell Williams announced last weekend at New York Fashion Week a new partnership with denim label G-Star Raw to create a line of jeans made with plastic collected from the oceans.
"The oceans need us now," Williams said as he announced the collaboration between G-Star and his textile company, Bionic Yarn, which Williams co-founded in 2010 to produce fabric from recycled plastic. The new collection, "Raw for the Oceans," which will be the first denim collection to incorporate marine plastic, will debut in stores and online on August 15.
Japanese multinational corporation Sumitomo has developed and installed the world's first large-scale power storage system that utilizes used electric-vehicle (EV) batteries. Built on Yume-shima Island, Osaka, the commercial scale storage system will begin operating later this month.Over the next three years, the system will measure the smoothing effect of energy output fluctuation from the nearby Hikari-no-mori solar farm, and will aim to establish a large-scale power storage technology by safely and effectively utilizing the huge quantities of discarded used EV batteries which will become available in the future.
In an interesting "band-aid" proposition, oil and gas exploration and production company Range Resources recently announced it would like to start using the waste rock material brought to the surface at fracking sites — known as gas well drilling “cuttings” — as a paving material.
Pulp Green Tech Holding (PGT), an R&D-focused company that owns Thai Gorilla Pulp Ltd., announced this week that it has successfully achieved a high-grade paper pulp made from empty palm fruit bunches, which are most often treated as waste material from the palm oil extraction process.The company estimates that roughly 95 percent, or 300 million tons, of this raw material is currently discarded per year.PGT says the process is highly cost-efficient and will enable investors, palm oil producers and paper pulp mills to achieve ROI of over 100% in the first year of operation, assuming the pulp is sold at a price of comparable non-wood materials.
It is becoming increasingly clear that the traditional view of business existing purely to maximise profit for shareholders is not so much wrong as built for another time. Businesses have been slowly moving towards a model that recognises the impact they have on society and the environment, putting increasing amounts of budget and resources towards mitigating that impact. But just minimising the amount of environmental damage a business does is no longer enough.Nor is it sufficient to rely predominantly on CSR to create a good impression. Information is becoming ever more accessible, which means that businesses are subject to greater levels of scrutiny than ever before.
It was almost one year ago that H&M launched its garment recycling initiative, and now the eco-friendly Swedish retailer plans to launch a new denim line made from recycled fibers at the end of February. The range of jeans, vests and jackets will all contain 20 percent recycled cotton, which is the maximum amount that can be used without compromising the quality. As the company puts its, this new project will “close the loop” on their recycling initiative.
Goodwill San Francisco (SFGoodwill) has announced a new initiative that will make donating textiles as convenient as dropping a bottle in a recycling bin. Developed by global design firm frog in collaboration with SFGoodwill’s internal brand team specifically for use in multi-unit apartment towers, the new Goodwill goBINTM allows residents to donate unwanted clothing, shoes and other items without leaving their buildings.
MetLife Stadium, set to host the upcoming Super Bowl XLVIII, is the first stadium in the world to earn the title of Certified Green Restaurant® stadium from the Green Restaurant Association (GRA), exceeding its certification standards.With a full, game-day seating capacity of 82,500, MetLife Stadium is one of the largest stadiums in the NFL. Operated by foodservice partner Delaware North Companies Sportservice, the stadium has over 200 on-site restaurants servicing up to 100,000 people a day and is the largest food-service operation ever to receive GRA certification.Talk about making the most out your resources: MetLife is the only active venue to serve as the home stadium for two NFL teams, hosting 20 NFL games per season — more than any other stadium.
Just before the turn of the new year, when many of us were enjoying our annual season of gluttony, New York City Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway announced a pilot program that will convert the thousands of pounds of food waste currently shipped to out-of-state landfills into biogas, which will heat up to 5,200 homes throughout the city and help curb roughly 90,000 metric tons of the state’s annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Turns out there’s a use for the often-stinky liquid used to brine cheese — de-icing roads. Milwaukee is using cheese brine, usually a waste by-product of the cheese-making process, to de-ice the city’s dangerously slick roads this winter, according to the New York Times. The city says the brine is a cheaper and more environmentally friendly alternative to rock salt, which can end up polluting waterways.
The UK brewing sector says it has met its 2020 carbon emissions target eight years early, is on track to achieve its 2020 target for improved water efficiency and is making significant progress in reducing excess packaging and waste, as detailed in Brewing Green 2013, a new report published by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA).“The brewing industry has been working hard to minimise its environmental impact for decades,” said BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds. “These latest figures demonstrate that the sector is taking its environmental commitment seriously and delivering results.”
In the past 15 years, Monadnock Paper Mills has reduced its water consumption by 55 percent through the installation of water recycling equipment, utilizing valve restrictors and instituting other projects identified by the company’s water conservation team, according to the paper manufacturer’s first Sustainability Progress Report.Monadnock says it has worked to exceed aggressive impact reduction goals for the last 40 years. The company tracks impact reductions in several areas, including electricity consumption, carbon dioxide equivalent emissions, water usage and solid waste, among others.
Global carpet-tile manufacturer Interface has announced it will switch to using 100 percent renewable gas at its manufacturing plant in Scherpenzeel, The Netherlands, beginning January 1, 2014. The company has signed a contract with sustainable energy supplier Eneco, which will supply the Interface plant with gas produced using certified 'green' waste from the food industry, provided by fish processor A. van de Groep.
Phoenix, Arizona is a huge and growing city — the sixth largest in the U.S. — with a population of 1.4 million residents embedded in a metropolitan area of more than four million people. Because of its location surrounded by mountains in the hot and dry Sonoran desert, Phoenix has by necessity become a leader in the world of sustainability, with a plan focusing on the nexus of energy, water, population and waste. Waste value stream management is one of the most difficult — but potentially rewarding — challenge areas within the city’s strategy.
General Motors announced this week that its company headquarters in Detroit produces 5 million pounds of trash annually — the equivalent of 200,000 full garbage bags — which GM now diverts from the landfill. The automaker says the complex now recycles 49 percent of its total waste and converts the rest, including food scraps and used containers, to renewable energy that powers other nearby businesses.While GM already has more than 100 landfill-free sites, the Renaissance Center is the most complex, and is the only facility open to the public. Covering 5.5 million square feet, the building houses the Western Hemisphere's tallest all-hotel skyscraper, 11 other businesses, 20 restaurants and 27 retailers. It accommodates 12,000 office workers and 3,000 visitors daily.
For those not already familiar with the term, "Lean" is a concept that started in manufacturing but is broadly applicable. It refers to a continuous improvement focus on waste reduction. Most notably, Toyota used Lean to attain world-class manufacturing status but the concept is an amalgamation of many schools of thought. For details, see an overview of lean manufacturing.
This post is part of a series written by MBA and MPA candidates in Presidio Graduate School’s Managerial Marketing course, examining the role of marketing in advancing sustainability across all sectors.