Green business

Coffee Horror: Parody Pokes At Environmental Absurdity Of K-Cups

Read the full post from The Salt.

You want a cup of decaf. Your significant other is craving the fully caffeinated stuff. With the simple push of a button, Keurig’s single-serving K-Cup coffee pods can make both of you happy.

But those convenient little plastic pods can pile up quickly, and they’re not recyclable. And that’s created a monster of an environmental mess, says Mike Hachey. Literally…

The point, says Hachey, is to use cinematic tactics to raise awareness of the waste. Consider this startling statistic: In 2013, Keurig Green Mountain produced 8.3 billion K-Cups — enough to circle the Earth 10.5 times. (In 2014, output shot up to 9.8 billion portion packs.)


Food Industry Drags Its Heels On Recyclable And Compostable Packaging

Read the full post in The Salt.

Let’s face it: We are people who consume many of our meals on the go. That means we’re not eating on real plates or bowls but out of plastic containers and paper boxes. And perhaps daily, we drink our coffees and sodas out of plastic or plastic-lined paper cups.

Overall, Americans recycle at the lamentable rate of 34.5 percent and recycle plastic packaging at the even measlier rate of 14 percent. So the majority of that food packaging is ending up in landfills, or on the street as litter, where it may eventually get swept into the ocean. There, our wrappers and cans and cups become a much bigger problem — a direct threat to marine life that may ingest it and die.

According to a report published Thursday by the environmental groups As You Sow and the Natural Resources Defense Council, most of the major players in the restaurant and beverage industry are not doing a whole lot to ameliorate this problem. There’s a big onus on the makers of packaged foods and beverages to reduce plastic and paper waste and also make it easier for us to recycle and compost the materials we use.

Scope 2: Changing the Way Companies Think About Electricity Emissions

Read the full story from the World Resources Institute.

Approximately 40 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions come from energy generation, and about half of that energy is consumed by industrial or commercial users. If a fifth of the world’s emissions come from the energy that keeps the world’s businesses running, how does business report those emissions?

10 members of Congress who actually get sustainable business

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

President Barack Obama last week devoted a good chunk of his State of the Union address to talking economics — particularly as it relates to recent positive job reports. The president also notably weighed in on climate change, stating that no other challenge poses a greater threat to future generations.

What Obama failed to do was draw a connection between the economy and climate volatility.

The notion that a thriving economy and a sustainable society go hand-in-hand is not a popular one on Capitol Hill, where many legislators maintain that we must sacrifice the latter to realize the former. With Republicans dominating the 114th Congress — and many politicians elected with the help of the $721 million spent by the fossil-fuel industry during the last election cycle — this dynamic seems unlikely to change anytime soon.

But what if sustainable business found a political voice? That could re-shape the cultural norms in Washington that strain the relationship between U.S. business leaders and politicians — or at least the few business leaders speaking out for sustainable policies, who are often met with similarly few policymakers to listen.

A good place to start is to identify forward-thinking members of the Senate and the House of Representatives who are already championing sustainable business policies and leading the charge against environmental threats such as climate change. Here are some of the most notable:

What do businesses think of their CSOs?

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

In our first 2015 edition of Proof Points, we take a look at the impact that a chief sustainability officer can have on corporate sustainability. Successful men and women in business know that gaining internal buy-in for a program is crucial in any organization, but what if there is no one to champion sustainability as a critical component of business strategy?

Why businesses should support the EPA’s pollution rules

Read the full story in The Guardian.

As the US political fight over climate change moves from Washington DC to 50 state capitals, companies that are serious about sustainability need to support the EPA’s proposed rules to curb carbon pollution from existing power plants.

So, at least, says Mindy Lubber, the president of Ceres, a nonprofit that brings together companies, investors and public-interest groups to advocate for sustainability.