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Metafore Newsletter: In Focus, September 23, 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. NOTE:In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information, go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this newsletter for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
News: GE's environment push hits business realities; Amazon farmers grow grain and save the forest; Many Fortune 1000 companies not prepared for climate risks; Paper policy has its critics; Where in the world is corporate responsibility?; Tully's wants to be greener than Starbucks; Malaysia to step up laws on illegal logging; MeadWestvaco sells 385,000 acres, looks to overseas growth; Survey predicts boost in timber investment; Suit blaming automakers over gases is dismissed; Quebec forestry company won't meet Greenpeace demands to end blockade; Pinched by dollar, Tembec halts sales. Press Release: Tackling Global Warming...One Card at a Time

 

 
 
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In Focus 
For businesspeople focused on evaluating, selecting and
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September 23, 2007, Issue 173
 
 
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News
 
GE's environment push hits business realities

From The Wall Street Journal: Two years ago, General Electric  Co. Chairman Jeffrey Immelt vowed to make GE a corporate leader in addressing climate change. Since then, Mr. Immelt says, he's heard a refrain from some big GE customers: "'Can't you just shut up and sell us stuff?' That would be a paraphrase, maybe with a few blanks in between."

 

Customer grumbling isn't the only hurdle facing the effort to bring earth-friendly policies to a $163 billion-a-year conglomerate that sells everything from airplane engines to light bulbs. Some of Mr. Immelt's underlings have questioned whether carbon-dioxide emissions are a proven cause of climate change.

 
 
Amazon farmers grow grain and save the forest

From the CS Monitor: You might call it the greening of Chicken McNuggets.

 

At first glance, there seems little common ground between fast-food giant McDonald's, US commodities multinational Cargill, and The Nature Conservancy, an environmental group.

 

But here in the Brazilian Amazon, all three are working together to help soy farmers produce grains without cutting down the forest.

 

In fact, under the Responsible Soy Project, farmers in two municipalities in the northern Amazon can only sell soy to Cargill if they promise to plant trees on denuded land. McDonald's, which buys chicken fed with Brazilian soy, set that condition after pressure from environmental groups and consumers. The Nature Conservancy, with $390,000 from Cargill, assists all sides and oversees compliance.

 
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Many Fortune 1000 companies not prepared for climate risks 

From GreenBiz: A survey of 101 board-level executives by the Marsh Center for Risk Insights found that, although almost all companies have taken some steps to prepare for catastrophic risks, half of respondents are not taking steps to address how climate change will affect their operations.

The survey asked executives to rank the likelihood of eight risks, including natural disasters, international terrorist attacks, dramatically rising oil prices, global climate change, pandemics, a housing market collapse, emergence of human health and environmental risks associated with nanotechnology and massive water shortages.

 
Paper policy has its critics 

From The Mid-North Monitor: Earlier this month, the Ontario government announced a paper procurement policy that recognizes only one certification standard raising concerns with the majority of Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA) member companies.

"The OFIA does not oppose forest certification under the Forest Stewardship Council. To the contrary, we support all three internationally recognized and accepted certification standards that exist and are being used in Ontario - Canadian Standards Association (CSA), Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

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Where in the world is corporate responsibility?

From the World Business Council for Sustainable Development: EIRIS, an independent research provider with main offices in London, researched thousands of companies across the globe to compile this report. Looking at company annual reports, sustainability/CSR reports, company websites, survey responses and third party materials. EIRIS' also identified and considered "green-wash" in its research. EIRIS went beyond what companies say they do, to actually considering what processes they have in place, and whether these processes are successful in achieving meaningful results.

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Tully's wants to be greener than Starbucks

From the Environmental Leader: Seattle-based coffee company Tully's is implementing a handful of environmentally friendly business practices in hopes of pulling customers away from Starbucks, the Seattle Post Intelligencer reports. The company will increase prices to help offset the costs involved.

 
 
 
Malaysia to step up laws on illegal logging

From AFP: Malaysia, a major timber exporter, said Tuesday that it would beef up its laws to fight a serious illegal logging problem that could harm the country's reputation.

Deputy prime minister Najib Razak, who also heads the National Forestry Council, said companies involved in logging would now be responsible for providing evidence that they had not cut down trees illegally.

"The council agreed to review and amend the National Forestry Act to incorporate the principle that the burden of proof was transferred to the party that is found to be in possession of timber," he said.

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MeadWestvaco sells 385,000 acres, looks to overseas growth

From CNN Money: MeadWestvaco Corp. said Tuesday it has sold about 385, 000 acres of forestland for $493.1 million as the paper and packaging company continues to transform its business to capture more long-term opportunities in emerging markets.

 

Speaking at the UBS Global Paper & Forest Products Conference, Chief Executive John Luke said the Richmond, Va., company is accelerating its entrance into East Europe, Russia and China, helped by the recent acquisition of Netherlands-based Keltec Dispensing Systems, a provider of foam and air dispensers for the personal care, health care, cosmetic and home care markets.

Survey predicts boost in timber investment

From PIonline.com: The largest domestic pensions and endowments will look to increase their timber investments by an estimated $4 billion in the next three to five years, adding about 10% to the $35 billion to $40 billion asset class, according to a recent survey by Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc., New York.

 

About a third of all respondents (34%) said they planned to increase or would possibly increase their timber investments in the next three to five years for diversification, low correlation or inflation protection reasons.

 
 
Suit blaming automakers over gases is dismissed

From The New York Times: The courts do not have the authority or the expertise to decide injury lawsuits concerning global warming, a federal judge in San Francisco ruled yesterday in dismissing a suit brought by the State of California against six car companies.

 

The decision, by Judge Martin J. Jenkins, was welcome news for automakers, which had suffered a defeat last week in federal court in Vermont.

 

In last week's decision, Judge William K. Sessions III endorsed Vermont's regulations meant to reduce greenhouse gases emitted by cars and light trucks. More than a dozen states have similar regulations, and a lawsuit challenging such regulations in California is pending.

 
 
Quebec forestry company won't meet Greenpeace demands to end blockade

From The Canadian Press: A forestry company whose ship was being blocked from leaving port with a load of pulp destined for Europe says it won't give in to Greenpeace demands.

 

Greenpeace wants SFK Pulp to provide a written guarantee it will engage in sustainable forestry practices.

 

An SFK official said Friday the Quebec-based company already follows proper standards and will not give in.

 

"We will not, we will not, for sure," said Louis Leblanc, a vice-president with SFK.

 
 
Pinched by dollar, Tembec halts sales

From ReportonBusiness.com: Backed into a corner by a surging Canadian dollar, Montreal-based lumber producer Tembec Inc. said yesterday it has temporarily stopped selling lumber on the spot market and would reassess conditions next week.

 

"We have been watching the markets tumble over the last three or four weeks and we've been watching the dollar go up and we are taking a pause," Doug Rounsville, president of Tembec's forest products group, said yesterday.

 
Press Release:
 
Tackling Global Warming...One Card at a Time

Carbon-free Cards, Inc, a new Canadian venture, has developed a line of eco-friendly note cards tailor made for people who want to reduce their impact on global warming. The cards have unique environmental features, including a commitment by the company to plant one tree for each card sold.  The all-occasion greeting cards feature high quality bird, wildlife and nature photographs - with a special line of holiday cards planned for the future.

 

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Black Line  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.
 
NOTE:In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information, go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this newsletter for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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