A blog focused on sustainable business issues and challenges

Archive for January, 2011

FedEx Express US Makes LEED Certification the Standard for New Buildings

January 31, 2011 | Comment (1)

Last year, a newly-constructed FedEx Express facility in Las Vegas became the company’s first building to receive LEED certification. Then, the FedEx Memphis-based World Headquarters received LEED Gold certification under the USGBC’s LEED for Existing Buildings Rating System.

Now, FedEx Express has announced that LEED Certification is the standard for all of its newly-built US facilities.

LEED, the green building rating system developed by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) is the leading benchmark for buildings that are designed, constructed and operated sustainably.

According to FedEx, which is an active member of the USGBC, the Las Vegas LEED Gold building provides significant water, energy and waste reduction benefits. For example: (more…)

Tyco Electronics Releases First CSR Report

January 28, 2011 | Comment (1)

Tyco Electronics Ltd. (TE) has released its first corporate responsibility report and launched the Tyco Electronics Responsibility Advantage (TERA) program, which the company bills as a commitment to its employees, customers, shareholders and communities.

Over the past few years, the electronics industry has been in the spotlight for manufacturing processes that endanger workers in the supply chain and poison the environment. Companies like Tyco are beginning to realize that by choosing to ignore these issues they are putting their operations –and their reputations –at significant risk.

“Tyco Electronics Responsibility Advantage is a key tool in our company’s strategy to deliver superior earnings to our shareholders, to be a premier partner for our customers and to attract and retain highly engaged employees,” explains Tom Lynch, CEO of TE.

Here are two highlights from the report that underscore TE’s environmental stewardship: (more…)

Greenpeace Report Shows Europe Could Convert to Almost Entirely Renewable Energy Resources by 2050

January 26, 2011 | Comments (7)

We’ve known for years that smart grid management is important.

A new report shows just how significant updating the grid can be.

As remarkable as it sounds, the report, ‘Battle of the Grids,’ produced by engineering consultancy Energynautics on behalf of Greenpeace, concludes that Europe can convert to almost entirely renewable energy-supplied electricity by 2050 using smart grid management.

More specifically, the report uses extensive computer modeling to show that:

1. Large-scale integration of renewable electricity in the European grid (68 percent by 2030 and a whopping 99.5 percent by 2050) is both technically and economically feasible with a high level of security of supply, even under the most extreme climatic conditions with low wind and low solar radiation.

2. Of course, this type of integration would require significant changes in the energy mix. For instance, in the model presented in the report, by 2030, gas plants provide most of the non-renewable electricity and serve as a flexible backup for wind and solar power. Then, between 2030 and 2050, natural gas as a fuel is phased out, as are 90 percent of the existing coal and nuclear plants.

Report Says Apple Supply Chain Degrades Environment and Poisons Workers

January 24, 2011 | Comment (1)

Once again, Apple’s supply chain is making headlines –for all the wrong reasons.

Last week, a coalition of 36 of China’s leading environmental groups released a new report claiming the company’s manufacturing processes are degrading the environment and poisoning workers.

The coalition, called the Green Choice Initiative, examined the environmental impact of 29 major IT firms that manufacture products in China. Apple finished tied for last place.

In a statement, the Green Choice Initiative said: (more…)

Tesco Expands Sustainable Tuna Pledge

January 21, 2011 | No Comments →

All the canned tuna Tesco sells is independently certified as 100 percent dolphin-friendly by the Earth Island Institute. And, the company is committed to buying all of its seafood from responsibly managed fisheries.

New last week, the company expanded its commitment to sustainable seafood even more with the announcement that all of its canned tuna will be caught by the pole-and-line method by the end of 2012.

To achieve this target, Tesco says it will work with suppliers and independent conservation organizations to guarantee the sustainability of pole-and-line caught tuna. The company will analyze possible impacts on the marine food chain, improve traceability of tuna through the supply chain and ensure that food safety standards meet stringent requirements. (more…)