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Biotech Companies Launch Campaign to Combat Anti-GMO Movement

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - This week, a group of biotech seed companies including Monsanto, Dow and DuPont launched a website to combat mounting opposition to genetically modified foods among consumer groups and activists, according to Reuters.

Nokia Joins O2 Campaign to Ship Cell Phones Without Chargers

WASTE NOT - Nokia has joined O2’s “Chargers Out of the Box” campaign, which makes the Nokia 301 the first mass-market handset to ship without a charger. The handset will come with just a USB cable, encouraging customers to use existing mains chargers acquired through the purchase of existing mobile phones. Those who want a conventional charger can get one from O2 at a discounted price.While the Nokia 301 is the fifth phone to be included in the program, the other four have all been high-end smartphones. O2 claims that 82 percent of customers who have bought a charger-less phone have decided the USB cable is all they need.

Johnson & Johnson, P&G to Halt Use of Microbeads in Beauty Products

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - Johnson & Johnson has started to phase out the use of polyethylene microbeads in beauty products, and is working on an eco-friendly alternative, after activists from environmental group the 5 Gyres Institute found large amounts of the beads in the Great Lakes.Microbeads are used in beauty products as a means of scrubbing away dead skin. After being washed down the drain, the plastic beads are too small to be adequately captured by wastewater treatment and end up in rivers, lakes and the ocean.

What Metrics Are You Using to Measure the Success of Sustainability Initiatives?

NEW METRICS - Calling all innovators & implementers! This month, Sustainable Brands will relaunch an Issue in Focus editorial channel dedicated to showcasing the New Metrics of sustainable business success (#NewMetrics).With the help of our guest editors, corporate sustainability architect Bill Baue and Paul Herman of HIP Investor, the SB editorial team is seeking features, interviews, columns and case studies to publish throughout the year. This is a great opportunity to showcase the innovations you and your organization have pioneered — sustainable business metrics that strategically link to financial, ecological and social performance.

Sustainability Investing Grows Quickly, Though Measuring ROI Remains a Challenge

NEW METRICS - As a growing slice of a larger corporate push to develop more creative solutions to sustainability challenges, impact investing encourages financial actors to consider social and environmental issues when making investment decisions.These financial actors can range from first-generation entrepreneurs who have already integrated sustainability into their company DNA to foundations, family offices and institutions that invest in portfolios that align with their mission, as well as Fortune 500 companies.

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Study: Setting Sustainability Goals Can Improve Financial and Environmental Performance

MARKETING AND COMMS - Companies that set tangible sustainability goals do a better job of improving both their financial and environmental performance, according to a new white paper by CH2M HILL, a global consulting, design, construction and operations firm.Sustainability Goals That Make an Impact focuses on the link between sustainability goal-setting, environmental and financial performance, and stakeholder recognition, making the case for setting more tangible goals.

Mondelez, Kellogg Among Food Brands Backing Campaign to Push 'Facts Up Front' Labeling

MARKETING AND COMMS - The ongoing battle over the increasing girth of American consumers is heating up — again.Marketers have joined forces on a $50 million campaign plugging front-of-pack labeling called Facts Up Front, dually motivated by bettering their image among consumers and getting federal regulators off their backs. The Facts Up Front initiative actually began in 2011, displaying stats such as calories, saturated fat, sodium and sugar content, but it was promoted lightly and had little effect on consumer sentiment.

Sustainable Brands Releases White Paper on Redefining and Measuring New Forms of Business Value

PRESS RELEASE - SAN FRANCISCO– Sustainable Brands® recently released a white paper framing the forthcoming opportunities in the field of emerging sustainability metrics called Redefining Value: The New Metrics of Sustainable Business. The 28-page report introduces the rationale behind the need for metrics that better reflect new forms of business impact and value for the 21st century. It brings together a series of exclusive conversations on the topic that began in 2011 with the Sustainable Brands community held both online at www.SustainableBrands.com as well as via a focused annual conference on the topic hosted at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

Aimco Launches First Interactive Corporate Citizenship Report

MARKETING AND COMMS - Apartment Investment and Management Company (Aimco) has released its first interactive corporate citizenship report, which enable visitors to build their own online report or download a complete version.Aimco is a real estate investment trust headquartered in Denver, Colorado that owns and operates a geographically diversified portfolio of apartment communities. The report offers information about the company’s 2012 accomplishments in the areas of redevelopment, energy conservation, team building, customer service, financial performance and community outreach.

Roatán Completes First Sustainable Tourism Diagnostic and Action Plan

MARKETING AND COMMS - The Honduran island of Roatán has become the first tourism destination to complete a comprehensive 360-degree assessment and action plan for destination-level sustainability, according to a recent announcement by Sustainable Travel International (STI).The Rapid Sustainable Destination Diagnostic was conducted by the Mesoamerican Reef Tourism Initiative in close collaboration with STI, Honduras’ Ministry of Tourism, and Roatán’s local Geotourism Council. The diagnostic process evaluated Roatán’s performance on five key pillars of sustainability, which include sustainable tourism planning and governance, economic linkages, preservation of cultural heritage, social and community issues, and environmental protection.

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Del Monte Foods Plants the SEED for Sustainability Excellence

PRESS RELEASE - Del Monte Foods recently announced the winners of its inaugural Sustainability Excellence and Education (SEED) Awards, a program that recognizes its manufacturing and distribution facilities for displaying excellence in environmental sustainability and employee education. Del Monte is proud to recognize its distribution center in Lathrop, California, pet food plant in Buffalo, New York and vegetable manufacturing plant in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota as the program’s first winners.

UK Engineers Develop Urine-Powered Fuel Cell

WASTE NOT - Researchers in the United Kingdom say they have created a fuel cell that uses bacteria to break down human liquid waste to generate enough electricity to charge a mobile phone.Currently, the amount of electricity produced is just enough to make one call on a standard Samsung mobile phone. The researchers say the fuel cell cost around £1 ($1.51) to produce, meaning the devices could provide a new form of cheap power generation. The bacteria used in the fuel cells are the same as those normally found in wastewater treatment plants.While the fuel cell is not much larger than a car battery, the researchers claim they will eventually be able to craft smaller and more portable ones.

Seventh Generation Reduces Virgin Plastic Use By 16% While Increasing Sales

MARKETING AND COMMS - Seventh Generation, a leading brand of non-toxic bio-based and renewable consumer products, has achieved a 16 percent reduction in virgin plastic use and a 13 percent decrease in normalized greenhouse gas emissions — all despite a 9 percent increase in sales, according to its 2012 Corporate Consciousness Report.This year's report is organized around an employee-led realignment of the company's mission into four corporate aspirations: Nurturing Nature, Enhancing Health, Transforming Commerce and Building Communities.

Wilsonart’s Fletcher Distribution Center Moves Closer Toward Zero Waste to Landfill Goal

PRESS RELEASE - TEMPLE, TX (July 30, 2013) – Zero landfill contribution is a daunting sustainability goal, but with its Fletcher Distribution Center also leading the way, Wilsonart is making strides in its waste reduction movement. In just three months, the distribution center went from producing 2,000 pounds of landfill waste per week to less than 150 pounds through greater efforts to recycle, compost and repurpose materials. Wilsonart’s Fletcher Distribution Center is on track to produce less than 500 pounds of landfill waste per month, a reduction of more than 90 percent.

Airbnb, Lyft Partner with New Sharing Economy Advocacy Group

COLLABORATION - Peer-to-peer businesses have a new voice as they go up against traditional industries and, in some cases, government regulations.Airbnb, Lyft, and TaskRabbit are among the companies that have partnered with Peers, a nonprofit that plans to organize sharing-economy users.The newly formed organization made its debut on Wednesday.Executive Director Natalie Foster said the goal of the organization is to promote and protect the businesses and groups that allow people to share goods and services. This means holding events to bring together advocates and users for "community-building" and providing a place for them to share stories and talk about related topics, which includes legislation or local regulations.

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New Leaf Paper Joins 17 Firms Registering as Benefit Corps in Delaware

MARKETING AND COMMS - New Leaf Paper and Plum Organics were among the 17 companies on Thursday that were the first to register as Delaware benefit corporations after the legislation legalizing it was signed on July 17.Some of the other registering companies included leading fair trade food business Alter Eco, popular home goods brand Method Products and online personal delivery farmers' market Farmigo.

Patagonia Launches New Program to Upcycle Flip-Flops

WASTE NOT - Patagonia has commenced a new remanufacturing program to continuously recycle its flip-flops, which could reduce production waste by nearly a third.The clothing company has partnered with small upstart firm PLUSfoam to create flip-flops that are 100 percent recyclable and can be upcycled into new flip-flops at the end of their life with no reduction in performance.

A Powerful Lever for Mainstreaming Sustainability: Moving from 'Should' to 'Ought'

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - In driving engagement and behavior change, the power is often in the subtleties. So here’s a little thought that just might be a big thought: As we work toward mainstreaming sustainability, we should stop talking in terms of should, and instead we ought to start speaking in terms of ought.Here’s what I mean. “Should” makes a demand on us that comes from outside us, and often from above us. Authority figures tell us we “should” clean our room, do our homework, be home by eleven, eat less, move more, live with less, choose wisely and recycle. We feel it pressing upon us as one more thing to add to our list of things to do, or to refrain from doing, to win favor and avoid guilt.

Monadnock Paper Mills Wins EPA 2013 Environmental Merit Award

MARKETING AND COMMS - Family-owned paper company Monadnock Paper Mills has been recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a recipient of a 2013 Environmental Merit Award for its significant contributions to environmental awareness and problem solving.Awarded annually by the EPA since 1970, the Environmental Merit Awards recognize individuals and organizations whose work has protected or improved the environment in distinct ways. A winner in the Business, Industry, Trade or Professional category for the State of New Hampshire, Monadnock has been highlighted for the following achievements:

Consumer Activists Urging Kellogg's to Take Stand Against Deforestation

SUPPLY CHAIN - Environmental activists (and former Girl Scouts) Rhiannon Tomtishen and Madison Vorva, along with over 100,000 people in the U.S. and around the world, are calling on Kellogg Company CEO John Bryant to end the food company’s partnership with Wilmar International, the world’s largest palm oil trader, unless it agrees to stop relying on deforestation.

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