Häagen-Dazs to pilot sustainable vanilla sourcing program

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

The brand known for its rich ice cream is hoping to spread some riches back to vanilla’s source: the farmers in Madagascar who supply Häagen-Dazs and its parent company, Minneapolis-based General Mills.

A two-year pilot training program set to launch this spring among villages in the country’s northeastern Sava region aims to provide training and education to several hundred farmers on how to cure vanilla. Curing — a multistep process that includes drying and storing the pods as a way to release their trademark fragrance — is performed mainly by vanilla suppliers and traders. Farmers will receive access to equipment and curing facilities as part of the program.

How to get real green from your green certifications

The latest P2 Pathways column is available on GreenBiz at http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2013/02/21/how-get-real-green-certifications. Josephine Fleming discusses how companies can make green certification of their products work for them and avoid greenwashing.

Read the P2 Pathways archive at http://www.greenbiz.com/business/engage/enterprise-blogs/p2-pathways.

Why we need more Ray Andersons

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Editor’s note: This article is the third part of a three-part series “Do we need the “S-word?” Read the previous parts here: Part One, Part Two.

An entirely separate article by Joel Makower, “Why Aren’t There More Ray Andersons,” is another great question, and received many fine comments, but is too important to leave siloed. Therefore, we can use it here for perspective on the first and overall question of this series: Do we need the “S-word?” The career of Ray Anderson, what people thought of him, and pondering why we’re not getting more “Rays,” even more clearly shows the answer to the big question is “Yes.”

I’ve taken some of the views expressed in this article, by either Joel or people he quoted (if not further referenced below, that’s where it’s from); some direct comments on that article; and also some views by people to whom I sent the article. I used some of these ideas earlier in the series, but they are now cited by others specifically about what made Ray “Ray.”

These lead to quite a picture, almost a table of contents for a contrarian CSO guidebook, and exacerbate the tragedy if, in a couple of years, we still can’t identify not just another clear new “Ray” — but a league of them!


National Conversation on the Future of Our Communities Compendium

Download the document.

In summer 2012, the Smart Growth Network sponsored a call for papers on the development issues facing our communities in the next 15 years and the steps we will take to solve them. We received 95 papers in response. As we hoped, we heard from established thought leaders in the field and also from many new voices. We heard from planners and architects, university professors, environmental groups and community development organizations, county health departments, engineering firms, a mayor and a police captain, and many others all working to improve the quality of life in their communities.

Each paper was reviewed by a panel of experts from the Smart Growth Network, 20 were selected for a compendium. The panel looked for papers that touched on a broad range of topics, were forward thinking, and presented new ideas.

We hoped with this project to start a conversation on thorny issues the smart growth movement has yet to resolve, issues that have received too little attention, and issues that have escaped us altogether. We believe we have achieved that goal, and we thank the many authors who took the time to draft and submit papers and work with us. We invite you to read them, share them with others, and use them as a springboard to continue the conversation in your community.

Webinar on Tribal Renewable Energy Potential, February 27, 2013

Register at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/553891080

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Indian Energy, the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Tribal Energy Program, and the Western Area Power Administration will present the next 2013 Tribal Renewable Energy Series webinar, “Renewable Energy Potential on Tribal Lands,” on Wednesday, February 27, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The webinar will provide an introduction to the recently released National Renewable Energy Laboratory and ICF International studies on tribal renewable energy resources.