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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.

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.

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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.

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:

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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.

Environmental Groups Call on Rayovac to Help U.S. Consumers Recycle Their Batteries

WASTE NOT - Texas Campaign for the Environment (TCE) — a nonprofit, grassroots group known for its advocation of electronic waste recycling — has announced a campaign to press battery manufacturer Rayovac to step up its efforts on recycling and waste reduction. The organization asked Rayovac in May to begin taking back its batteries for recycling; now TCE has been joined by 26 other organizations from across the country calling on Rayovac to provide recycling for its batteries in the U.S., as it does in Europe.

European Sustainable Brands Community Leaders to Gather for World-Renowned Brand Innovation Conference

PRESS RELEASE - SAN FRANCISCO, July 31, 2013 – Sustainable Brands® announced today that the Sustainable Brands London conference is set to convene November 18-19, 2013 at the Lancaster London.  The conference theme, From Revolution to Renaissance, will focus on positive shifts currently taking place in product and service innovation and marketing, as well as provide examples of purpose-driven brand innovation that is reinvigorating global and local economies.  

Marriott Pledges to Create Sustainable Development, Jobs as It Grows in Emerging Markets

MARKETING AND COMMS - Marriott International recently released its 2013 Sustainability Report update, which claims the company reduced global water usage by 12 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by 16.5 percent in 2012.The international hotel chain also says it is looking to move beyond its current global footprint of more than 3,800 hotels in over 70 countries and focus on providing sustainable economic activity and local employment. In coming years, more than half of its new hotels will be located in emerging markets, where tourism is a major driver of new jobs and economic development.

Canadian Coffee Company Releases Guilt-Free Single-Serve Coffee Pods

WASTE NOT - A Canadian coffee company says it has developed a more environmentally friendly alternative to the ever-popular, single-serve K-Cup pods, made a household name in recent years by the ubiquitous Keurig home coffeemakers.

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FTC to Mattress Companies: Don't Pad Your Green Claims

MARKETING AND COMMS - If you or your clients make environmental marketing claims, don’t sleep on three actions the FTC just announced against companies that sell mattresses. What's more, the pleadings in one case offer insights into a course of conduct advertisers should avoid in the use of seals and certifications.

Exploring Laundry Habits in Brazil, India and the UK: How Cultural Insights Can Guide Consumer Product Use

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - As businesses and brands reach out to influence consumers’ interactions with products at home, they’re missing a trick by not learning from different cultural contexts. This article shares the findings from pioneering user-centred research into laundry behaviours in Brazil, India and the UK, and offers seven guidelines for creating household products that encourage sustainable behaviours during the use phase.Household laundry behaviours in India, Brazil and the UKThe in-depth, user-centred research focused on 19 middle-income households in Loughborough, UK; Bangalore, India; and Curitiba, Brazil. In-context interviews, observation, household tours and laundry diaries were used as a tool to understand the laundry process.

Follow-Up to SB'13: Lucid's Michael Murray on Using IT to Drive Behavior Change

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - Michael Murray is the president and co-founder of Lucid, a software company providing real-time information feedback designed to “teach, inspire behavior change, and save energy and water resources in buildings.” Since the company’s founding in 2004, over 275 schools and organizations have adopted Lucid’s Building Dashboard, which it describes as a social network for buildings that allows people to view, compare, and share resource usage data online.

Intel, Microsoft and Kohl’s Top EPA’s Green Power Rankings

MARKETING AND COMMS - Intel recently topped the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power list of partner organizations utilizing renewable energy. The technology and telecom company uses renewables such as biogas, biomass, small-hydro, solar and wind to generate more than 3.1 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of clean energy each year.Microsoft came in second, producing just under 2 billion kWh, and Kohl's a close third, generating over 1.5 billion kWh.

Veuve Clicquot Innovates for More Sustainable Packaging

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - This video reveals the development process behind Veuve Clicquot's new potato starch packaging - not only is it 100% biodegradable but it's also isothermal, keeping your champagne cool for up to two hours without refrigeration.

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