A blog focused on sustainable business issues and challenges

Seat Fabric in Ford Focus Electric Made From Used Plastic Water Bottles

December 26, 2011 | No Comments →

The new Ford Focus Electric features seat fabric made from REPREVE®, a polyester fiber derived from a hybrid blend of recycled materials, including used plastic water bottles and post-industrial waste.

REPREVE is manufactured by Unifi, Inc, a global leader in sustainable textile solutions, and Ford is the first automakers to use this branded fiber for its seats. According to Ford, the seat fabric on each Focus Electric now includes the equivalent of more than 20 plastic bottles per car.

For years, Ford has been committed to finding a sustainable solution for textiles used in car production.

In 2009, the company mandated that fabric suppliers use a minimum of 25 percent recycled content for all 2009 and beyond model year vehicles. Since then, 37 different fabrics meeting the requirements have been developed and incorporated into Ford vehicles.

Now, Ford is taking it a step further by mandating that fabric be 100 percent sustainable in vehicles with eco-conscious powertrains like Focus Electric.

REPREVE fits the bill. Unifi officials report that all told, 22 plastic, 16-ounce water bottles are used in the seat fabric of a single Focus Electric. (more…)

Nissan Announces Six-Year Environmental Plan

November 02, 2011 | No Comments →

Last week, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. announced the Nissan Green Program 2016 (NGP 2016), a new six-year environmental plan that will help the company reduce its carbon footprint, shift to renewable energy and increase the diversity of resources it uses.

By the end of fiscal year 2016, the company wants to be a leader in: (more…)

Major Beverage Companies Signal Willingness to Take Responsibility for Post-Consumer Packaging

August 29, 2011 | Comment (1)

US bottle and can recycling rates are lagging. Of the 224 billion beverage containers sold annually, Americans recycle only a mere 29 percent by weight. The remainder is thrown in landfills or incinerated –a huge waste of natural resources.

Fortunately, several major US beverage brands now appear willing to support efforts to reverse that trend.

A new report, Waste & Opportunity: U.S. Beverage Container Recycling Scorecard and Report, from shareholder advocacy group As You Sow, concludes that leading beverage companies are showing both steady, incremental progress on source reduction and a new willingness to support laws making producers financially responsible for collection and recycling of post?consumer beverage packaging.

The report is As You Sow’s third review of the beverage industry since 2006, and the efforts to promote Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) mandates are new –at least in the US.

“The major development since our last survey has been the willingness of leading beverage companies to consider new legislative mandates requiring them to take responsibility for their post?consumer packaging,” said Conrad Mac?Kerron, Senior Director of As You Sow’s Corporate Social Responsibility Program. “Many beverage and consumer packaged goods companies pay fees in other countries to finance recovery of their packaging. It’s significant that companies are finally acknowledging the need to take responsibility in the US as well.”

Here are a few other key findings: (more…)

Dell, Sprint and Sony Sign Agreement with EPA to Curb e-Waste With Improved Design and Recycling

August 01, 2011 | No Comments →

Business today relies on electronic technology. Computers, cell phones, tablet devices and the like are now integral to how we do our jobs.

Ultimately, though, this dependence comes with a heavy cost. Every year, the US alone produces some 2.5 million tons of used electronics, all made from valuable resources such as precious metals and rare earth materials, as well as plastic and glass.

As a global leader in the design, development and consumption of new and improved electronic technologies, shouldn’t we be doing more to curb e-waste and advance a more sustainable approach to the design and manufacture of electronic products?

Fortunately, the US recently took a significant step in that direction.

Late last month, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),  along with Sprint, Dell and Sony Electronics announced the “National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship,” an exciting new private-public partnership aimed at curbing e-waste, encouraging sustainable electronics lifecycle management and promoting the domestic electronics market.

This new strategy includes the first voluntary commitments made by Dell, Sprint and Sony, and also commits the federal government to take specific actions that will encourage the more environmentally friendly design of electronic products, promote recycling of used or discarded electronics and advance a domestic market for electronics recycling that will protect public health and create jobs.

As outlined in the strategy report, the federal government will take the following steps: (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…)