Posts Tagged ‘carbon footprint’

Eco-Friendly Business Practices for Retail

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

local manufacturingWhile consumers are more in tune with how their decisions affect the environment, it is only logical that retailers, manufacturers, and shippers strive toward the same goal. For any business to succeed in captivating an eco-conscious customer, they need to be fully aware of how their products and practices affect our world. One step that many retailers are missing is the use of eco-friendly materials in their products. Despite the green movement, many companies continue to rely on cheap, toxic and unsustainable materials for their products. Aside from materials, a company should also employ sustainable practices like choosing local suppliers or manufacturers. By choosing local suppliers, companies build a close community, invest in the local market, and reduce their carbon footprint. Shipping costs increase exponentially when using overseas suppliers, not to mention taking an important investment away from a local company that needs the business.

Blog Source: Greener Ideal

Limited Packaging

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

green-packagingEco-friendly packaging characteristics like biodegradable, recycled, and reusable all strive toward the same goal of having the least affect on the environment. In reality, less is more. Next time you search for a “green” product, or environmentally safe packaging options for something you sell, keep limited packaging in mind. Sounds a little crazy coming from a packaging company, right? Well in all honesty, limited or no packaging is really the most environmentally friendly option there is. We are so concerned with the reusablity and recycled content in our packaging products, but if we didn’t use them in the first place we would need to justify using them again. Realistically, you are going to need some form of packaging to protect products in shipping, on the shelf, and even in your car on the way home- so eliminating packaging entirely isn’t necessarily an option. Instead, try to choose packaging that is more frugal with its resources. For example, buy products that are not individually wrapped, bring your own reusable bag to the store, even choose beverage bottles that use less plastic. Incorporating these habits in your shopping and business will save resources, cut costs, and save you the hassle of having to determine which products with “green” claims are really the best choice.

Eco-Friendly Wine Packaging

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

greenPicnicWebGilles Louvet, a vineyard located in the South of France, has announced the release (uncorking) of their new green PicNic organic wines in flexible stand up pouch. National Sales Manager Laura Bret explained that as the leader in organic wine production in France and Europe since 1993, it was only lgical for Gilles Louvet to take an interest in a more eco-friendly packaging solution such as this pouch. Like most wine drinkers, I assume that my wine come in a glass bottle. However, this flexible pouch is said to offer a carbon footprint with only 20% of traditional glass containers. The best part about this new packaging solution is that each 1.5 liter pouch holds the equivalent of two standard bottles of wine. Along with its benefits to the environment, the product offers a long eight week shelf-life, easy-to-open characteristics, and easy to pour.

Source: PackWorld

Partnership to Develop Bio-based Adhesives for the Packaging Industry

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Henkel, the adhesive supplier, and DaniMer Scientific LLC have recently partnered up for the development of hot-melt adhesives for packaging made of bio-based raw materials. At first, this application will be targeted towards the consumer packaging and labeling market. The partnership is beneficial because it will combine Henkel’s adhesive expertise with Danimer’s expertise in biopolymer science. The alliance will hopefully bring to the marketplace a technology platform that will include both bio-based adhesives and hot-melt applications supplied at a global level. The innovative technology that will result from this alliance will finally meet the needs that customers have been asking for. Not only will the partnership increase the amount of renewable materials used in manufacturing, but it will also continue to support the health and safety requirements in packaging applications. The first product results are expected for their market launch in the first half of 2013.

Source: Packaging Digest

Building a Culture of Sustainability in the Workplace

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

The more aware we become of sustainability and what we can do to lessen our impact on the environment, the more organizations are looking to engage their employees in sustainable efforts in the workplace. There are 5 main steps that are extremely beneficial to ensure compliance and engagement with sustainability practices; permit, educate and engage, act, embed, and evaluate. The first step, permit, is important to establish support and permission from top leaders and management. Second, by educating employees of the newly established practices, they are more likely going to be willing and able to engage in eco-friendly practices. The most common ways to do this is to establish “green teams” among employees, volunteers to ensure compliance, social media, and awards or incentives for contributing to the effort. Next, each employee should have the knowledge and resources to be empowered to take action in the office, in their home, and elsewhere in the community. The fourth step is to embed sustainability efforts into the corporate culture. By doing this, sustainability should be mentioned in or involved in recruitment, operations, employee performance reviews, and product/service development. Finally, evaluate how you are doing. Gauge how all of your efforts are impacting the community and how well it has been integrated into the culture of the workplace. The goal of the 5 aforementioned steps is to really create a sustainable culture in a timely manner and realize the value of these efforts.

Read more at Green Business Times

Geoengineering Experiment in the Pacific

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

The Guardian, a British daily newspapers is reporting a large plankton boom in the Pacific Ocean of up to 10,000 square kilometers due to a large dump of 100 tons of iron sulfate off the coast of British   Columbia. This act was done as a part of a geo-engineering experiment to demonstrate that fertilization of the ocean can draw carbon from the atmosphere in order to combat climate change. This act was spearheaded by California business man  Russ George who was acting on the theory that iron stimulates the growth of phytoplankton, or algae. When the phytoplankton die and the organic material sinks into the ocean, the carbon of the organism goes with it where it can be held for centuries. Some have claimed that this effort violates two international resolutions made at the Convention on Biological Diversity and the London Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping Wastes and Other Matter. Although these claims were made, George still says that the efforts made to increase phytoplankton are not applicable to these resolutions.


Read more here

Travel “Green” and get More out of Your Next Vacation!

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Many think of worrying about being “green” is a hassle. In fact by making small adjustments to your get-a-way can make your time even more enjoyable.

First is transportation. For far away places, take direct flights. Places closer to home, jump on a bus or try some other form of public transportation. Next is choosing where you stay. If you are going to somewhere tropical, pick a good local place where you can explore and wont need a rental car. Finding places that allow for you to walk gives you a chance to explore. Going local not only emerges you into the new culture you are surrounded by, it also improves your carbon foot print. There are also hotels promised to green strides. What I have found is places that are committed to green actions are more likely to have a laid back and relaxing atmosphere. When choosing a hotel also look at what the hotel offers. Hotel activities, all inclusive, and a beach ten steps away can make for not only a more relaxing vacation, but also a more green one!

Kraft Foods Announces Carbon Footprint after Multi-year Study

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

On December 14th, Kraft Foods shared their results of a multi-year study of the company’s total footprint on climate change, land, and water use. Kraft Foods, in partnership with Quantis Inc, was reviewed and analyzed by World Wildlife Fund and the University of Minnesota’s Institute of the Environment. The results, although not surprising, validated that Kraft Foods needs to  focus on working towards sustainable agriculture.

The results found that over 90 percent of Kraft’s carbon footprint comes from outside of their plants and offices – nearly 60 percent is from farm commodities, more than 80 percent of its land impact is from agriculture, and 70 percent of its water footprint comes from growing raw materials.

“Having the ‘big picture’ of our total footprint—from farm to fork—validates the focus of our sustainability efforts, particularly advancing sustainable agriculture,” says Roger Zellner, Kraft’s sustainability director for Research, Development & Quality. “Experts say climate change, land and water use may be among the biggest challenges in feeding a world of 9 billion people in 2050. As we continue our sustainability journey, we now have more insight into where we can make the greatest difference.” 

“This study shows that to make meaningful change and conserve nature’s valuable resources, companies need to work with their suppliers to reduce the impact of producing raw materials,” says Dave McLaughlin, VP of Agriculture at World Wildlife Fund. “This means forging long term partnerships based on shared objectives, creating a transformational supply chain, a key strategy of WWF’s market transformation initiative.”

Kraft, which is the largest packaged food company in the country, said, “while the company does not own farms, the survey supports the work of its sustainable agriculture efforts on key commodities to improve crop yields, reduce environmental impacts and improve the lives of many of the farm workers and their families.”

The press release states that based on 2010 figures, Kraft Foods has set the following goals for 2015:

  • Increase sustainable sourcing of agricultural commodities by 25 percent
  • Reduce energy use in manufacturing plants by 15 percent
  • Reduce energy-related CO2 emissions in manufacturing plants by 15 percent
  • Reduce water consumption in manufacturing plants by 15 percent
  • Reduce waste at manufacturing plants by 15 percent
  • Eliminate 50,000 metric tons (100 million lbs.) of packaging material
  • Reduce 80 million km (50 million miles) from its transportation network

Although Kraft has a lot of work to do towards becoming more sustainable these next few years, they have already made significant progress  towards reducing energy, CO2 emissions, water, waste, packaging and transportation across its global operations.

  • Energy use is down 16 percent
  • CO2 emissions are down 18 percent
  • Incoming water is down 30 percent
  • Net waste is down 42 percent
  • Packaging is down 100,000 metric tons (200 million lbs)
  • 96 million km (60 million road miles) have been removed from its transportation/distribution network 

After Centuries, Bananas Finally Get Packaging

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

The history of the banana goes back centuries but the fruit has never had its own packaging. Maybe it’s because a banana doesn’t need packaging? The banana skin itself is strong and biodegradable but has now, after all these years, been deemed insufficient.

Del Monte has come up with their individual plastic wrappers as packaging for bananas. Many people think it’s completely unnecessary because bananas don’t need packaging and adding the plastic wrapper is wasteful. Del Monte however, says the plastic banana package features “Controlled ripening technology” which extends the shelf life of the fruit. Further, this technology could actually reduce the carbon footprint by cutting back the frequency of deliveries. Plus, it’s recyclable.

It’s a very interesting argument. Tell us what you think. Is this banana wrapper necessary or completely preposterous?

Top 3 Green Companies

Monday, June 6th, 2011

The act of going green is defined as the process of changing one’s lifestyle for the safety and benefit of the environment. People who decide to go green and take on an eco-friendly lifestyle consider the outcomes their decisions have on global warming, pollution, and other environmental concerns. Sounds simple right? Well if you are a business it may be harder than you think. Those who do decide to make their business practices green have the potential to make a big impact in helping save the environment. They also set a positive attitude for their company, differentiate themselves from competitors, improve efficiency, and reduce costs. Going green is an big process to tackle, but the end results are great.

One problem that arises when businesses decide to go green is green washing. Green washing is the practice of companies making unsubstantiated or misleading claims of the environmental benefits of a product or service. Those who rise above this maintain a good company name and brand, while also promoting eco-friendliness.

Here are the top 3 green companies that have made commitments to become sustainable companies:

1. Dell: Dell has made a commitment to transform their packaging by making it safe for the environment. They started by trying out different materials for their packaging. Dell worked with bamboo because it replenishes itself quickly. They also just recently turned to mushrooms as part of their cushioning for their server packaging. Mushrooms are grown, not manufactured, using less energy to produce the packaging. Dell has made many goals in becoming a sustainable company. They plan on reducing waste and making their packaging recyclable. They are constantly looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint.

2. Wal-Mart: The CEO of Wal-Mart decided a few years ago to make a commitment to becoming more sustainable. They decided to make goals of running their stores on 100% renewable energy, implementing a zero waste system, and redesigning products so they are more eco-friendly. Wal-Mart has been successful in meeting their goals and becoming a more sustainable company. They have drastically reduced its waste, cut down on packaging for the goods they sell, improved fuel efficiency, and monitored their suppliers carbon footprint. Wal-Mart has saved millions of dollars by going green, which has helped their business as well as the environment.

3. Waste Management: When you think of this company, eco-friendly probably is the first words that come to mind. But they are taking initiative to change that. Waste Management is no longer just a garbage company, but an environmental answer resource. They are taking charge and finding advances in technology to reduce waste, increase recycling and reuse, creating safer disposal options, and developing sources of renewable energy. They have also found a way to capture methane from landfills, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions and has generated enough renewable energy to power 1 million homes. They are more than just a garbage company to 20 million customers and are continuing to find ways to protect the environment.


If these 3 companies can take the imitative to go green, so can others. These companies have done a great job at setting examples for other companies to hopefully follow.