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Metafore Newsletter: In Focus, November 4, 2007

by Metafore — last modified Jan 10, 2013 10:03 AM
Contributors: rhessmiller
This newsletter was made possible through support provided by the Global Development Alliance and the Office of Environmental and Natural Resources, Bureau for Economic Growth Agriculture and Trade, U.S. Agency for International Development, and by the USDA Forest Service International Programs, under the terms of Award No. 03-DG-11132762-027. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the USDA Forest Service.
News: World Wildlife Fund joins forest companies in carbon-neutral plan; Related Press Release: Canadian Forest Products Industry Aims to be First Carbon-Neutral Sector; IBM unveils recycle plan for silicon; Bill Clinton, Wal-Mart pitch plan to cool earth; P & G sets 'greener' products targets; WSJ inquiry pushes FSC to cancel logging certification in endangered forest; Handicapping the environmental gold rush; The green mirage; Fires undo forests' climate benefits, scientists find; Eco-Cities take root.

Metafore - In Focus


In Focus 
For businesspeople focused on evaluating, selecting and manufacturing environmentally preferable products, Metafore is a source of tools, information and innovative thinking.
November 4, 2007, Issue 180
News
World Wildlife Fund joins forest companies in carbon-neutral plan

From The Vancouver Sun: The Canadian forest industry is joining with the World Wildlife Fund in a bid to become Canada's first carbon neutral industry by 2015 without purchasing carbon credits.

Saying the industry is responding to markets, not just government regulations, Forest Products Association of Canada head Avrim Lazar announced the new initiative at a climate change conference in Ottawa Tuesday.

But not all environmental groups are convinced the forest industry has indeed committed to reducing its carbon footprint, particularly over the issue of greenhouse gas emissions caused by logging.

IBM unveils recycle plan for silicon
From CNNMoney: Big Blue is getting a little greener. IBM has invented a simple, inexpensive way to recycle defective silicon wafers and reuse them in its own factories and for solar-energy panels. The tech giant already is using the process in two chip factories in Burlington, Vt., and East Fishkill, N.Y. Now it plans to license the process to other chipmakers.

IBM plans to talk publicly for the first time on Tuesday about the process, which it created a year ago and has been honing ever since. "It reduces our cost and it reduces our carbon footprint," said IBM (NYSE:IBM) manager Thomas Jagielski, who heads up environmental operations at the company's Burlington chip factory. "And it provides resources to the solar industry."

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Bill Clinton, Wal-Mart pitch plan to cool earth

From MSNBC: Clinton told more than 100 mayors Thursday that his foundation is teaming up with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to save cities money on environmentally friendly supplies by buying in bulk.

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P & G sets 'greener' products targets

From Financial Times: Procter & Gamble has set itself a sales target for environmentally improved products, marking what senior executives describe as a major evolution in the corporate philosophy of the world's largest consumer products company.

P&G's new sustainability goals for the next five years include selling at least $20bn of products whose environmental impact is at least 10 per cent less than those of previously available products. It is believed to be the first time a consumer products company has set itself a financial target for developing and selling new "greener" items, rather than for waste or energy reduction.

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WSJ inquiry pushes FSC to cancel logging certification in endangered forest

From Mongabay: An inquiry by The Wall Street Journal prompted the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an environmental body that runs a widely accepted "green" labeling system for forestry products, to effectively revoke certification for a Singapore-based Asia Pulp & Paper Co. (APP) project on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

The admission by the FSC, which has come under fire of late from environmentalists for relaxing its certification standards to the point at which APP could qualify for the eco-label despite a poor environmental record, threatens to undermine the credibility of its labeling scheme.

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Related Press Release

WWF Statement on the Forest Stewardship Council in Response to Oct. 30 Wall Street Journal Article
Handicapping the environmental gold rush

From Wall Street Journal: The green stampede is on. As a global economy powered by cheap fossil fuel comes under intense pressure to change, corporate executives are racing to stay ahead of the tectonic shift in their world.

From Capitol Hill to California and Brussels to Beijing, multinational companies are stepping up their lobbying and tweaking their product lines in response to demands that they get more environmentally attuned. New companies -- even new industries -- are challenging the established giants to exploit a growing market for everything from green cars to green fuels.

And a host of middlemen have sprung up to make markets in new financial instruments created by the proliferation of green-oriented subsidies and mandates. All these players are jostling to shape the new government rules to give them the bulk of the benefit -- and hit someone else with the bulk of the burden. Ultimately, the cost will be passed on to consumers.

The green mirage

From US News & World Report: We're in the midst of a green revolution, right? Actually, no. Despite Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize and the green-branding of products from toothpaste to toilet paper, most consumers are unwilling to pay extra or make sacrifices to be more environmentally friendly. A recent study by the market research firm Yankelovich found that only 13 percent of Americans are passionate about environmental issues-while 29 percent have virtually no interest. For most companies, green products represent only a "niche" opportunity, according to the report.

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Fires undo forests' climate benefits, scientists find
From Edmonton Journal: A huge swath of Canada's boreal forest, one of the largest storehouses of carbon on the planet, is now spewing more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than it soaks up, scientists say.

"The sink has become a source," says forest ecologist Tom Gower, at the University of Wisconsin, whose team has documented an ominous shift in the "carbon balance" of the forest blanketing northern Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba."These boreal forests not too long ago were helping offset rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations by taking up carbon dioxide and storing it," Gower said in an interview.

Eco-Cities take root
From GreenBiz: The home -- and the neighborhood -- of the future is on its way. Coming soon to a market near you is a zero-carbon property, surrounded by a meandering stream that treats your wastewater and recycles it to you. The heat from the sun generates enough electricity to power the entire house. The green roof and smart walls of the house provide natural, radiant heating and cooling. You and your neighbors will bike or walk to work; you'll also have the option to car-share any of the electric vehicles at their charging stations.

This home of the future is coming, but you'll find it in China before it springs up in the U.S.

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