A blog focused on sustainable business issues and challenges

Archive for July, 2011

FedEx Expands Its Fleet with More Than 4,000 Fuel Efficient Vehicles

July 29, 2011 | No Comments →

FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. and the world’s largest express transportation company, is expanding its fleet of fuel efficient vehicles.

This summer, FedEx Express will:

  • place 24 new all-electric vehicles into service, adding three new cities and more than doubling its fleet to 43 all-electric vehicles while growing the diversity of suppliers it uses for electric vehicles,
  • pilot composite vehicles made from recycled rubber material, resin, fiberglass and poly core and
  • upgrade more than a tenth of its conventional vehicle fleet to more energy-efficient vehicles.

The 24 new all-electric vehicles will be analyzed to further our understanding of all-electric technology and its demands on the energy grid. For example: (more…)

GISR Promises Standardization of Sustainability Ratings

July 27, 2011 | No Comments →

Here’s some welcome news: A new coalition promises to develop an independent, non-commercial framework for rating sustainability performance. If successful, this new Global Initiative for Sustainability Ratings (GISR) could

  • eliminate market confusion,
  • reduce conflicts of interest between rating agencies and the companies they survey and

Launched last month, GISR is a joint initiative between Ceres, a national coalition of investors and public interest organizations, and Tellus Institute, one of the world’s leading sustainability research and policy organizations.

A more uniform framework is important because sustainability ratings have the ability to push capital and consumer markets towards companies that have embedded sustainability within their operations and supply chains. But, the proliferation of sustainability ratings over the past decade means that in some cases, companies can manipulate the results from various ratings systems and promote only the scores that put their company in a favorable light. Of course, those same companies also can “cherry pick” among results, avoiding the mention of other surveys that are less flattering.

Confusing matters further, some ratings offer little or no transparency about the methodologies used to determine their ratings, which blurs the line between the raters and the companies they rate.

Will this new, additional sustainability standard muddy the waters even more? (more…)

Is Cloud Computing the Green IT Solution for the 21st Century?

July 25, 2011 | No Comments →

According to a survey released last week by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), cloud computing can both save American businesses billions of dollars in energy costs by 2020 and help their information technology (IT) operations run more efficiently.

The study, Cloud Computing–The IT Solution for the 21st Century, polled 11 global firms that have used cloud computing services for at least the past two years. This new research, conducted by Verdantix and sponsored by AT&T, includes analyses that demonstrate how business can use cloud solutions to decrease carbon emissions while simultaneously improving the bottom line.

For example, the data shows that: (more…)

PepsiCo Beverages Canada Announces 7UP EcoGreen Bottle

July 22, 2011 | Comment (1)

PepsiCo EcoGreen 7Up BottleOver the past few years, there have been dramatic developments in sustainable packaging options for the world’s leading beverage manufacturers.

First, the Coca-Cola Company developed the recyclable PlantBottle, made partially from plant-based material.

Then, PepsiCo unveiled the world’s first PET plastic bottle made entirely from plant-based resources, and began offering eco-friendly cup options to its foodservice customers.

Now, PepsiCo Beverages Canada has announced the introduction of the 7UP EcoGreen™ bottle, Canada’s – and North America’s – first soft drink bottle made from 100 percent recycled PET plastic. (more…)

Sprint Earns Highest “Green Grade” For Reduced Impact on Forests

July 20, 2011 | No Comments →

Sprint, the third-largest wireless provider in the US, has finished at the top of the class in ForestEthics’ 2011 Green Grades Report Card.

In its fifth annual report card, ForestEthics gave Sprint the highest score, an “A,” in recognition of the company’s work to reduce the impact that its paper consumption has on the world’s forests.

This year, ForestEthics rated 12 large companies in the telecommunications, insurance and credit card sectors.  What’s the common denominator among these three sectors?  They all are noted for their heavy consumption of paper, especially those direct marketing offers that end up in our mailboxes.

Sprint received the highest grade for the following reasons: (more…)