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Mike Hower

Managing Director, Sustainability & Social Impact
thinkPARALLAX

Mike Hower is tagged in 834 stories. Page 16 of 42.
22 Million People Displaced by Climate Change in 2013
22 Million People Displaced by Climate Change in 2013

Leadership / Twenty-two million people were displaced by extreme weather events in 2013, three times more than the number displaced by war, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), as reported by Reuters. To put this in perspective, in the early 1970s the total number of people displaced by extreme weather events was only about 10 million.Rising sea levels, as well as extreme weather and natural disasters such as heatwaves, floods and droughts linked to global warming are likely to force millions of people to move, with many never able to return. - 5 years ago

Hershey Exceeds Sustainable Cocoa Goals in 2014, Sets New Targets
Hershey Exceeds Sustainable Cocoa Goals in 2014, Sets New Targets

Supply Chain / The Hershey Company has announced that 30 percent of its globally sourced cocoa was independently certified and verified in 2014—this reflects an accelerated pace for achieving its goal of sourcing 100 percent of its cocoa supply from certified and sustainable cocoa farms by 2020.The announcement follows the company’s 2013 achievement of sourcing 18 percent certified cocoa globally, nearly double its original goal of 10 percent for the first year of its 2020 commitment.Following this accelerated progress, Hershey also announced a new target to source at least 50 percent certified cocoa by the end of 2015, reaching its 2016 goal of 40 and 50 percent one year ahead of schedule. - 5 years ago

Canadian City Moves Toward First Closed-Loop Organics Waste Management System
Canadian City Moves Toward First Closed-Loop Organics Waste Management System

Waste Not / The Canadian city of Surrey has chosen Iris Solutions to build what the city claims will be the first closed-loop, fully-integrated organics waste management system in North America.The Surrey Biofuels Processing Facility will process 115,000 tons of residual kitchen and garden waste from Surrey each year. The process will create a renewable natural gas which can then be used to power the city’s natural gas waste collection trucks. The facility will also produce a compost product that will be suitable for landscaping and agricultural applications. - 5 years ago

Electronics Industry Will Conduct Shadow Audits to Root Out Forced Labor in Malaysia
Electronics Industry Will Conduct Shadow Audits to Root Out Forced Labor in Malaysia

Supply Chain / The Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), a nonprofit coalition of electronics companies dedicated to supply chain responsibility, has announced that it will conduct shadow audits and increase its industry and government engagement in Malaysia to further combat forced labor.The EICC says it has been working for more than a decade to support the rights and wellbeing of workers and communities worldwide affected by the global electronics supply chain. Although the EICC Code of Conduct bans trafficked and forced labor, completely eradicating it in the global electronics industry supply chain remains a challenge for everyone—including EICC members. - 5 years ago

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White Coffee Introduces Organic Coffee in Biodegradable, Compostable Single-Serve BioCup
White Coffee Introduces Organic Coffee in Biodegradable, Compostable Single-Serve BioCup

Waste Not / White Coffee Corporation has introduced a new line of single-serve organic coffees in a new BioCup that is completely biodegradable when aerobically composted.Consumers committed to sustainable packaging will have a large selection of blends and flavors, the company says. These certified organic coffees evoke nature and the environment with earthy, deep and aromatic flavors. The BioCup is available in 11 flavors: Colombian, Breakfast Blend, French Roast, Full City Roast, Mexican High Grown, Peruvian, Rainforest Blend, Hazelnut, French Vanilla, Sea Salt Caramel and Chocolate Morsel. - 5 years ago

Toyota Opens Up 5,680 Patents to Spur Hydrogen Fuel Cell Innovation
Toyota Opens Up 5,680 Patents to Spur Hydrogen Fuel Cell Innovation

Product, Service & Design Innovation / Toyota has announced it will invite royalty-free use of approximately 5,680 hydrogen fuel cell related patents held globally, including critical technologies developed for the new Toyota Mirai.The list includes around 1,970 patents related to fuel cell stacks, 290 associated with high-pressure hydrogen tanks, 3,350 related to fuel cell system software control and 70 patents related to hydrogen production and supply. - 5 years ago

Cashew Nut Byproduct Could Help Trap Tsetse Fly, Create New Value for African Farmers
Cashew Nut Byproduct Could Help Trap Tsetse Fly, Create New Value for African Farmers

Chemistry, Materials & Packaging / Researchers have developed a new chemical method applied to a byproduct of cashew nuts that could make it easier to trap tsetse flies and open new revenue streams for nut producers in sub-Saharan Africa, according to a new report. - 5 years ago

Tetra Pak Launches Environmental Benchmarking Service for Food & Beverage Companies
Tetra Pak Launches Environmental Benchmarking Service for Food & Beverage Companies

New Metrics / Tetra Pak has launched a new environmental benchmarking service to help food and beverage companies assess the environmental performance of their production operations, and to identify opportunities for improvement.The service provides an audit of the entire plant, including both the processing and packaging lines, assessing performance in areas such as water efficiency, waste water treatment, energy efficiency, product yield and waste, and carbon footprint. Based on this audit, Tetra Pak will then provide specific recommendations on opportunities for improvement, helping customers not only to reduce their environmental impact, but also to lower cost. - 5 years ago

AkzoNobel Develops Reflective Paint That Keeps You Cool
AkzoNobel Develops Reflective Paint That Keeps You Cool

Chemistry, Materials & Packaging / AkzoNobel, the paint, coatings and specialty chemical company, has developed exterior wall paints that reflect more infrared light to reduce heat absorption and reduce energy consumption.With this technology, an average house can save up to 15 percent on energy, while offices and apartment buildings can save up to 10 percent. Conveniently, architects and designers do not need to compromise the color palette to suit engineering needs. - 5 years ago

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As ‘Internet of Things’ Grows, So Do E-waste Concerns
As ‘Internet of Things’ Grows, So Do E-waste Concerns

Waste Not / The Internet of Things (IoT) will include some 30 billion connected devices by 2020, according to analyst firm Gartner. Although the IoT holds promise for promoting global sustainability, there is a growing concern of what becomes of these devices when they reach end of life. Many end up in landfills because, when they are embedded in objects and technologies, it is almost impossible to recycle them. - 5 years ago

McDonald's Taps Local Partners to Pilot Sustainable Beef Program in New Zealand
McDonald's Taps Local Partners to Pilot Sustainable Beef Program in New Zealand

Supply Chain / McDonald's has initiated two sustainable beef integration programs with Beef + Lamb New Zealand, ANZCO Foods and Silver Fern Farms as part of its aspiration to source verified sustainable beef around the world.The program will highlight a range of best practices, from the farm all the way to the McDonald's customer. It will work with farmers and processors to identify and develop good management practices that support sustainable beef production. This means sustainable production systems, lower inputs, use of new technologies and a focus on animal welfare.An important component of the initiative is using real farm businesses to model the principles and demonstrate success to the wider farming community through workshops, field days and social media. - 5 years ago

Royal Caribbean Retrofitting 19 Ships With Sulfur Dioxide Scrubbers
Royal Caribbean Retrofitting 19 Ships With Sulfur Dioxide Scrubbers

Cleantech / Royal Caribbean Cruises has announced it will retrofit 19 of its ships with advanced emissions purification (AEP) systems, also known as scrubbers, which will remove more than 97 percent of the sulfur dioxide emissions generated by the ships' diesel engines.The move will place the cruise line ahead of all forthcoming International Maritime Organization Emission Control Area emissions standards, and will ensure compliance with existing European Union standards. The decision to install AEP systems instead of switching to a fuel with a lower sulfur content will ensure that RCL's ships can be compliant everywhere they sail, as availability of lower-sulfur fuels is limited. - 5 years ago

PURELL® Hand Sanitizer Producer Hits Sustainability Goals 2 Years Early
PURELL® Hand Sanitizer Producer Hits Sustainability Goals 2 Years Early

New Metrics / Hand hygiene and healthy skin company GOJO Industries, maker of the PURELL® Hand Sanitizer, has exceeded its 2015 sustainability goals two years early, according to the company’s new sustainability report.The company reduced water usage by 40 percent, solid waste generated by 36 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by 46 percent.The new report emphasizes the company's view of sustainability as an opportunity to create value and includes examples illustrating its success in creating social, environmental and economic value for its business and its stakeholders. - 5 years ago

Survey: Packaging Pros Have Limited Understanding of Biz Impacts of Resource Scarcity
Survey: Packaging Pros Have Limited Understanding of Biz Impacts of Resource Scarcity

Chemistry, Materials & Packaging / Packaging professionals within consumer packaged goods companies report growing awareness around the business impacts connected to natural resource scarcity, but robust knowledge and understanding is still absent, according to a recent survey by Tetra Pak.Last month, Tetra Pak surveyed 120 sales, marketing, R&D, purchasing and other packaging professionals within the consumer packaged goods industry to explore industry perceptions around company resource management practices, especially in light of diminishing finite natural resources combined with population growth and increased consumer demand for packaged goods. - 5 years ago

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BatteryVampire Wants to Give Second Life to Your AA Batteries
BatteryVampire Wants to Give Second Life to Your AA Batteries

Product, Service & Design Innovation / A start-up called BatteryVampire wants to give renewed life to your discarded batteries by taking advantage of a little known fact — when alkaline batteries appear to be dead, there is sometimes still up to half the energy left. BatteryVampire’s technology taps into that remaining energy and makes it available to the device until all that remaining usable energy is depleted. - 5 years ago

Tradeshift Waiving Fees for Companies Building Circular Economy Apps
Tradeshift Waiving Fees for Companies Building Circular Economy Apps

Product, Service & Design Innovation / Tradeshift, which digitally connects enterprises with their suppliers via a cloud-based platform, announced on Tuesday that it will waive the 30 percent revenue share it receives, for organizations that use its platform to build apps that help to support the circular economy. Organizations that build apps supporting the circular economy will receive all profit from their app. - 5 years ago

Google, Microsoft, Walt Disney and BMW Have Best CSR Reputations
Google, Microsoft, Walt Disney and BMW Have Best CSR Reputations

Marketing and Comms / Google, Microsoft, Walt Disney and BMW have the best CSR reputations globally, according to new research from the Reputation Institute (RI).Although this year Google beat out Microsoft for the top spot, the same companies remain in the top four as last year. The top companies based on their CSR reputation come from the IT, automotive, consumer goods and media/entertainment industries. The new entrant in the top 10 this year is LEGO, while Nestle is no longer in the top 10 list. - 5 years ago

Purdue Researchers Turn Biomass Waste into Valuable Chemical Products
Purdue Researchers Turn Biomass Waste into Valuable Chemical Products

Chemistry, Materials & Packaging / A team of researchers from Purdue University's Center for Direct Catalytic Conversion of Biomass to Biofuels (C3Bio) has developed a new catalytic process that converts biomass waste into chemical products that can be used in fragrances, flavorings or to create high-octane fuel for racecars and jets, Phys.org reports.The process uses a chemical catalyst and heat to spur reactions that convert lignin—a durable and complex molecule that gives the plant cell wall its rigid structure—into valuable chemical commodities. - 5 years ago

Diageo Sets New Responsible Drinking, Social and Environmental Goals for 2020
Diageo Sets New Responsible Drinking, Social and Environmental Goals for 2020

Supply Chain / Global alcoholic beverage company Diageo—maker of such iconic brands as Guinness, Bailey's, Tanqueray and Johnnie Walker—has announced 20 new sustainability and responsibility targets in three core areas to be achieved by 2020: leadership in alcohol in society, building thriving communities and reducing environmental impact.The targets draw on the company’s achievements to date and are aligned with the emerging United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Diageo says the targets focus on the areas of greatest material impact to its business and represent an evolution of its approach to better measure and evaluate the tangible difference its programs make to people’s lives. - 5 years ago

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Companies Boosting Profits by Leasing Chemicals
Companies Boosting Profits by Leasing Chemicals

Chemistry, Materials & Packaging / The traditional business model of chemical suppliers selling their products in the largest possible quantities, while profitable, encourages the overuse of chemicals and places a strain on human health and the environment. But another model has emerged that decouples payment from consumption.Chemical leasing is a business model in which chemical manufacturers and distributors charge for the function that the chemicals perform rather than selling chemicals. Companies that use the chemicals pay for the service that the chemicals provide instead of buying the chemical. The model reduces the waste and inefficiency that often occur with the conventional approach to buying and handling chemicals. - 5 years ago

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