Category: Green business

Newly launched Do Good Foods raises $169M to turn food waste into animal feed

Read the full story from Food Dive.

Do Good Foods, a newly launched company formed to turn upcycled food waste into feed for animals intended for human consumption, has started operations backed by $169 million from asset manager Nuveen.

The company has built a production facility in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania, capable of processing 160 tons of excess food from about 450 grocery stores per day.

Do Good Foods expects to introduce its first product, Do Good Chicken, in supermarkets as well as restaurants and other foodservice locations in the United States early next year.

Adidas and ThredUp want to resell your used footwear

Read the full story in Fast Company.

The program aims to “extend the lifecycle” of clothing items by rewarding consumers with points in exchange for their old gear.

A systematic literature review on employee relations with CSR: State of art and future research agenda

Onkila, T., & Sarna, B. (2021). “A systematic literature review on employee relations with CSR: State of art and future research agenda.” Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 1-13. [open access]

Abstract: Within recent years, the literature on employee–CSR relations has grown significantly. However, the research is fragmented throughout various journals and disciplines, and we still lack a comprehensive literature review on the topic to show what we currently know about the employee relationship with CSR, and what we do not know. In this study, we conduct a systematic literature review on employee relations with CSR, based 331 journal articles. We analyze their methodological and theoretical approaches. Based on their key findings, we build a categorization of dominant research findings and their connections. Building on our review, we show how the research has been dominated by a focus on the organizational implementation of CSR and organizational benefits. Employees have been mainly perceived as implementers of top-down sustainability policies and as mediators towards organizational CSR-related benefits. We also discuss the need for future research on the more active role of employees in CSR relations, especially bottom-up change processes and understanding the role of tensions and complexities.

GM, GE look to develop rare earth materials supply chain

Read the full story from the Associated Press.

General Motors and General Electric are looking at developing a supply chain of rare earth materials that help make electric vehicles and renewable energy equipment.

More companies pledge ‘net-zero’ emissions to fight climate change, but what does that really mean?

The world’s pledges so far aren’t enough to stop climate change, U.N. data show. Metamorworks via Getty Images

by Amrou Awaysheh (Indiana University)

You’ll probably hear the term “net-zero emissions” a lot over the coming weeks as government leaders and CEOs, under pressure, talk about how they’ll reduce their countries’ or businesses’ impact on climate change. Amazon, for example, just announced that more than 200 companies have now joined its Climate Pledge, committing to reach net-zero emissions by 2040.

But what does net-zero emissions actually mean?

“Zero emissions” – without the “net” caveat – means emitting no greenhouse gases.

“Net-zero emissions” has more wiggle room. It’s like balancing a checkbook. The country or company cuts most of its emissions through efficiency and clean energy, then offsets the rest by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or eliminating emissions elsewhere.

For example, trees absorb carbon dioxide from the air, so they’re often considered “negative emissions.” The tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan can claim net-zero emissions because almost all of its electricity comes from hydropower, and its forests sequester about three times more carbon than its vehicles, factories and other human activities emit.

Companies have another way to claim net-zero emissions – they can take advantage of carbon reductions elsewhere by buying carbon credits. For example, a U.S. company might pay to protect forests in South America and then subtract those trees’ negative emissions from its own emissions to say that its operations are “net-zero.” Other carbon credits support sustainable development projects, such as installing wind or solar power in poorer countries.

But counting on carbon credits also draws criticism, because it allows those companies to keep generating greenhouse gases. Other concerns are that some projects would happen anyway, the emissions reductions might not be permanent or even verifiable, or they might get double-counted by more than one entity. Some projects, like tree planting, can take years to pay off in emissions reductions while the companies buying forest offsets continue emitting greenhouse gases. [View a chart showing worldwide national net zero emissions pledges]

Why does net-zero emissions matter?

Greenhouse gases trap heat near Earth’s surface. When their concentrations get too high, they fuel global warming.

In 2015, countries around the world agreed to limit global warming to well under 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 F) compared with preindustrial times, with a goal of 1.5 C (2.7 F). To keep warming under 1.5 C with the least disruption, the United Nations says the world needs to be on a path to reach net-zero emissions by about 2050. To put those temperatures into perspective, global warming today is just over 1 C (1.8 F) above preindustrial levels, and rising seas and extreme weather are already a problem.

Several countries, including the United States, have pledged to meet the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. But when the U.N. analyzed each country’s commitments under the Paris Agreement in mid-September, it found they still fall short by so much that even if every pledge is met, temperatures will rise about 2.7 C (4.86 F) this century.

Chart showing temperature limits and emissions trajectories to reach them.
Keeping global warming to 1.5 C will require negative greenhouse gas emissions. Climate Analytics and NewClimate Institute

How a company gets to net-zero emissions

To see how a company might get to net-zero emissions, let’s imagine a hypothetical company, ChipCo, that makes, packages and distributes potato chips. ChipCo purchases electricity from a local utility to run machinery at its factory. It also has boilers to generate steam to heat the building and for some production processes. And it uses delivery trucks to transport its products to customers. Each step generates greenhouse gas emissions.

To achieve net-zero emissions, ChipCo’s first step is to ramp up energy efficiency. Improvements in insulation and equipment can reduce the amount of energy needed or wasted. A simple example is switching out incandescent light bulbs that use 60 watts of energy with LED bulbs that give off the same brightness, yet consume only 8 watts.

The second step is to switch from fossil fuels – the leading source of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions – to renewable energy, such as solar or wind power, that doesn’t produce greenhouse gas emissions. Once the company’s electricity is renewable, using electric delivery vehicles further cuts emissions.

Homes and office buildings can also be built to net-zero, or carbon-neutral, standards. In that case, the focus is on making them extremely energy-efficient and relying on heating and electricity from clean energy sources.

ChipCo’s third step is finding negative emissions. It might be too expensive or not yet technologically possible for it to replace its steam boiler with a carbon-neutral product. Instead, ChipCo might purchase carbon credits that would remove the same amount of carbon from the atmosphere that would be generated by the boiler.

Companies are increasingly under pressure from governments, activists and their customers, as well as some powerful investors, to cut their emissions.

To tell if a company is taking its responsibilities seriously, look for its action plan and performance so far. A company that announces a net-zero target of 2030 can’t wait until 2029 to take action. There needs to be a consistent trajectory of improvements in energy efficiency and clean energy, not just promises and carbon offsets.

Amrou Awaysheh, Assistant Professor of Operations Management and Executive Director, Business Sustainability Lab, Indiana University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Global standards are being set. Where are the Americans?

Read the full story at Financial Executives.

To make the prospect of global harmonization real, CFOs need to get involved and authorize their companies to substantively engage at the SEC, IFRS and EU.

Companies won’t reach their science-based targets without suppliers on board

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Many companies provide voluntary disclosures relating to Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions. However, investors, customers and other stakeholders are looking for information beyond this.

New chemical safety assessment tools developed to help the electronics sector clean up its supply chains

Read the full story at Environment + Energy Leader.

Last week, green chemical solutions advocate Clean Production Action unveiled GreenScreen Certified for Cleaners & Degreasers in Manufacturing, a tool to assess chemical safety in the industrial sector.

Food tech startup uses fermentation to grow seafood alternatives

Read the full story at Food Business News.

Food technology startup Aqua Cultured Foods is developing whole-muscle cut seafood alternatives created through microbial fermentation. The company plans to introduce its first commercial products early next year.

Del Monte Foods begins trials on two new plant-based plastic alternatives

Read the full story from Environment + Energy Leader.

Del Monte Foods has published its fiscal year 2021 Sustainability Report, highlighting, among other goals and commitments, trials on two new plant-based plastic alternatives for packaging.

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