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Waste Not

The latest in the growing number of efforts directed at reducing, repurposing and ultimately eliminating waste in all its forms.

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How Can a Business Succeed by Giving Back More Than It Takes?

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.

H&M Converts Donated Clothes Into a New Denim Collection

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's New goBINs Allow People to Donate Goods Without Leaving Home

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.

Dining Options at Super Bowl XLVIII Will Be the ‘Greenest’ in History

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.

NYC Now Heating Thousands of Homes with Food Waste

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.

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Cheese Brine Helping De-Ice Milwaukee Roads, Make Them 'Smell Like Wisconsin'

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.

UK Brewers Meet 2020 Carbon Target Eight Years Early

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.”

Monadnock Reduces Water Consumption by 55% in 15 Years

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.

Interface to Use Food Waste to Power Dutch Plant

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.

How Phoenix Is Transforming Trash Into Resources

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.

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GM Global Headquarters Achieves Zero Waste

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.

Rethinking the Obvious: Lean and Sustainability

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.

Helping PDP Engage Brands to Revalue Plastic

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.

Browns' Food Waste Program Helping Turn Cleveland Into 'a Green City on a Blue Lake'

Waste-to-energy is a trend we’re happy to see growing like wildfire, with new initiatives seeming to pop up weekly that turn waste generated by everything from food and alcohol to heat, humans and

Detroit Renewable Energy Steaming Up GM Assembly Plant

General Motors and Detroit Renewable Energy have announced a renewable energy project to turn solid municipal waste from the city of Detroit into process steam that will be used to heat and cool portions of GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant.When the project is operational, 58 percent of the plant’s energy needs will come from renewable energy, making Detroit-Hamtramck the top GM facility in the world by percentage of renewable energy used.

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Sainsbury's Ups the Zero-Waste Ante with First 'Triple Zero' Stores

Sainsbury’s new supermarket in Leicester, opening Wednesday, November 27, is one of the British retailer’s two new “triple zero” stores. The 81,700 sq ft store will produce zero carbon emissions from all on-site energy used, send zero waste to landfill and have zero impact on the water usage of the local catchment area because of its water-neutral status.Neil Sachdev, Sainsbury’s Property Director, said: "We aim to be the UK’s greenest grocer and achieve our 20x20 target to reduce our operational carbon emissions by 30 percent absolute. To do this we’re now building and running highly sustainable, low-carbon stores.

Heat Generated by London Underground Trains Will Now Heat Homes Instead of Commuters

In the spirit of the just-wrapped SB London conference, the city has announced just the kind of ingenious, waste-to-resource solution that we love: Excess heat generated by London Underground trains will now be captured and used to help warm homes and cut energy bills in the Islington district.The project — the first of its kind in Europe — is a partnership between Islington Council, London Mayor Boris Johnson, UK Power Networks and Transport for London.As anyone who has ever ridden it knows, the Tube generates large amounts of heat; its capture and utilization through a nearby vent off the Northern Line will not only warm local homes, it could very well make the ride more comfortable for the millions of daily commuters.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Achieves 99.8% Waste Diversion

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is the first to receive the US Zero Waste Business Council’s platinum certification — the highest possible rating — for successfully diverting 99.8 percent of its waste.The company says its waste-management efforts also saved some $5,398,470 in avoided disposal costs and $903,308 in 2012 revenue, which we believe is called "proving the business case." By diverting 51,414 tons from landfill and incineration, Sierra Nevada avoided 11,812 tons of carbon dioxide, according to USZWBC.USZWBC audited the Zero Waste diversion processes at Sierra Nevada in Chico, Calif. and found that the facility is successfully reducing, reusing, recycling and composting at an unprecedented rate.

Bureo Poised to Make Waves of Change in the Skateboard Industry

For Ben Kneppers and David Stover, the dream was always sun, sand and a great day of skateboarding and surfing. But their passion for sustainability and the environment made them keenly aware of plastic pollution in the oceans — when the two took on beach cleanups as a hobby, all it took was a brief epiphany that this plastic could be put to use, and Bureo Skateboards was born.

P&G Utilizes More Than 99% of Materials Entering Its Plants

Over the past fiscal year, more than 99.35 percent of all materials entering Procter & Gamble’s (P&G) plants were used in products and through recycling, reuse, and conversion of waste to energy, according to the company’s 2013 Sustainability Report.Additionally, more than 50 of the Company’s global sites now send zero manufacturing waste to landfill, including every site in Germany. Since 2010, P&G says it has reduced manufacturing waste by 56 percent per unit of production — more than double the company’s original goal.

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