Archive for June, 2012
A friend recently sent me an article from Forbes concerning the tariffs that the Obama administration has placed on Chinese-manufactured solar panels. It provides an interesting case study of how tariffs invariably have the opposite effect than intended by their imposers. Read the rest of this entry »
Sustainable packaging has emerged as one of today’s hot-button issues in industry. Why is there a huge push for greener and cleaner packaging? What does the term “sustainable packaging” mean? What should producers and purchasers of packaging solutions be doing to reduce their environmental impacts?
And consider this: A new report from Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) claims that the term “sustainable packaging” is “no longer relevant today” and is “too broad a term to be useful at a practical level.” What’s up with that? Would it be better just to abandon the whole idea, as PwC infers? Read the rest of this entry »
Kimberly-Clark, the company behind personal care products such as Kleenex and Huggies, has announced a new initiative to cut the amount of wood fiber it sources from natural forests in half by 2025. To reduce its forest footprint, and reflecting its global sustainability initiatives, the company will shift to alternate fiber sources. Read the rest of this entry »
It seems that you can’t really talk about the environment, and the laws that govern it, without being assumed that the discussion and point of view are driven by politics. And in a presidential election year, just about every single utterance about Congress or the White House is considered political. Read the rest of this entry »
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development recently published a summation of some best practices, collecting examples of how companies are incorporating sustainable manufacturing principles in their day-to-day operations. The OECD has identified three areas where sustainable manufacturing best practices have been successfully implemented: reducing inputs for production, improving the efficiency of facility operations and improving products to reduce impact in use and at the end of life. One point the OECD makes is that sustainable manufacturing isn’t just for huge firms that can afford to retool their operations but is well within reach for firms of all sizes. Read the rest of this entry »
Without Earth’s ecosystems, human life could not exist. But is there any way to place a monetary value on the “services” that the Earth provides civilization and human enterprises? And is there any value in pursuing such an exercise?
The answer is undoubtedly “yes,” according to the 24 global 500 companies that have joined forces under the Corporate Eco Forum (CEF), a membership organization for large companies committed to the environment as a business strategy issue. CEF, in partnership with the Nature Conservancy, recently released a report called The New Business Imperative: Valuing Natural Capital. Read the rest of this entry »
Winston Churchill once famously quipped that a lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to put its pants on. His observation is just as relevant today with the social-media-powered news media today, as demonstrated by a recent politically charged rumor that the Environmental Protection Agency is using drone flights to spy on farmers in the Midwest. Read the rest of this entry »
The case for green cars has been made at length and in detail elsewhere. What doesn’t get covered too frequently, however, is the other side. So let’s take a look at claims made by University of California, Berkeley visiting scholar Ozzie Zehner in his new book, Green Illusions, which cast “numerous hidden side effects of hybrid and electric cars, such as the Tesla, [Nissan] Leaf, Fisker Karma and [Toyota] Prius,” according to the book’s publisher. Read the rest of this entry »
ThomasNet.com Green & Clean has covered various sustainability efforts of the U.S. Department of Defense, including its commitment to biofuels, but learning the specifics of how the agency is becoming greener and cleaner was harder to come by — until now. A recently published overview from the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining sheds light on why and how sustainable manufacturing is a core part of a strong U.S. military. Read the rest of this entry »
But one thing that makes a teacher great, undeniably, is his or her ability to bring the outside world inside the classroom to students — to make them see how their lives are intertwined with what’s happening in the world. Read the rest of this entry »