Safeguarding Biodiversity – The Conference of Parties on Biodiversity, Hyderabad, 2012

Today, the CoP on Biodiversity Convention of 2012 starts in Hyderabad. To last till 19th October 2012, the CoP is going to be one of the largest activities in the world to safeguard and promote bio-diversity. The World at Risk! Life on Earth can be as simple as a fly, or as complex as an ecosystem of coral reefs. The most unique feature of Earth is the existence of life, and the most extraordinary feature of life is its diversity. Tragically, today biodiversity is disappearing at 1,000 times the normal rate due to human civilization. As human population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, the biodiversity crisis will only get worse as more people consume more resources. When one species disappears, it imbalances the food chain, which may cause some critters to over populate while others starve – the loss of one can impact many. The major causes of biodiversity decline are Habitat loss and destruction, Global climate change, Invasive alien species, Over-exploitation, Pollution and contamination. Even our …

Plastic-powered plane to fly from Sydney to London

Source: businessgreen.com A British adventurer hopes to help change the face of the airline industry by completing a record-breaking flight from Sydney to London in a single engine aircraft powered entirely by fuel made from plastic waste. Setting off in a Cessna 182 later this year, former aerobatics and Flying Doctors pilot Jeremy Rowsell plans to stop along the 10,000-mile route at Darwin, Christmas Island, Sri Lanka, Oman, Jordan, and Malta, cruising at 5,000 feet for stretches of up to 13 hours, before touching down in London six days later. The diesel engine plane will run on fuel developed by Irish companyCynar Plc, which melts down waste plastics in an oxygen-free environment, a process known as pyrolysis, to create the equivalent of a petroleum distillate that can be separated into different fuels. Cynar says this technique releases absolutely no emissions and the end product is not only cleaner than conventional diesel, it is also of a higher quality, while the small amount of plastics that cannot be converted to fuels are …

Nokia Releases 2011 Sustainability Report and New Company Strategy

Source: Triplepundit.com For a long time, whenever I heard the brand name Nokia, only thoughts of virtually indestructible analog cell phones with the Snake game (remember that? hours of entertainment.) came to mind. These days, however, Nokia stands for much much more, especially in terms of its sustainability and social responsibility initiatives. In fact, Nokia has been issuing sustainability reports since 2002, and 2011 marks no difference in that respect. This past year’s report does, however, reflect several monumental changes in the technology company’s strategy towards sustainability and social responsibility. The 2011 report reflects this new strategy within three central pillars: A partnership with Microsoft to deliver industry-leading smartphones using the Windows phone operating system that meet Nokia’s strict environmental requirements. The goal to connect those with limited economic means to the benefits of mobile communications with the February launch of Asha, a range of devices offering consumers smartphone features like touch screen, QWERTY keyboards, and games at lower, more affordable price points. A focus on “future disruptions” – technology, business, and process areas that Nokia …

Green murder for biodiversity meet!

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com How does the city welcome its international delegates for the upcoming CoP-11 Biodiversity Summit? In a shocking irony, the municipal corporation is playing its signature tune of apathy. It has in the last two days chopped off the lush green cover dotting the stretch of road leading to the CoP-11 venue, HICC. The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation has in a master stroke axed over 150-200 trees to widen the road from Hitex to HICC. And what exactly triggered this green murder? This road will be used for vehicles entering and leaving the summit venue. And to support the twisted plan, this leafy stretch has been stripped to its last leaf over the weekend, trees piled up on six trucks and transported . The irony of it all seems lost on the powers that be. The GHMC has put up many hoardings coaxing people to appreciate biodiversity ahead of CoP-11 and planting all kinds of shrubs and trees on road dividers and islands, but the message of conserving this biodiversity …

10 things I learned in my first 100 days

Source: Greenbiz After four years as VP and general manager of U.S. commercial printing paper business, in 2012 Teri Shanahan was appointed VP Sustainability at International Paper (IP), the world’s biggest paper and packaging company. Here are 10 things she learned in her first 100 days. 1. Deforestation is a serious, global problem. We buy most of our wood from tree farmers who maintain high standards and continuously replant to sustain their business. That’s the happy side of the picture. But globally, forests are shrinking and we need to act. 2. Pulp and paper making is not the prime cause of deforestation. Okay, I would say that – but it’s true. The main cause is the need to feed 7 billion humans! Clearing forests for agriculture is primarily responsible for the annual loss of about 13 million hectares of forest, according to the United Nations. And with 2 billion more people expected by 2050, forests will come under even more pressure. 3. The paper and packaging industry uses about 11 percent of …

Can Brands Be Too Big To Do Good?

Source: Fastcoexist In kindergarten we’re all taught to play fair. It’s the golden rule, the ethic of reciprocity: treat others as you would like to be treated. Yet when it comes to the business world, what becomes of this golden rule? The individual rule of “being good to one another” does not have an equivalent proverb when we consider larger human systems, especially in regards to the corporate world. Still, being viewed as “good” is golden. It’s a desirable and elusive status that triggers businesses to invest large amounts of marketing dollars. Yet nobody seems to have successfully branded themselves as a truly good multinational corporation. In which big business do you have 100% faith in long-term social and environmental sustainability commitments? I’ve been quick to sing the praises of smaller businesses that have built “good” into their brand architecture. But it is significantly easier for small to mid-size businesses to understand their social and environmental impacts. Monitoring down-the-line suppliers is, in theory, a more manageable task. The greater question is about …

How Coca-Cola, McDonald’s worked with nonprofits to get greener

Source: Greenbiz Businesses and nonprofits used to have a one-way relationship: Nonprofit asks for donation; business says yes or no. That relationship has evolved dramatically as the two sides found ways to develop mutually beneficial relationships, and — more recently — collaborative partnerships. In this model, the goal is to create shared value. Nowhere is this more relevant than in the environmental and sustainability arena, where conveying and exemplifying true green value has such a critical impact on the triple bottom line. Of course, no single nonprofit, business or group can do it alone. Solving problems requires the strengths, perspectives and talents that each type of organization brings to the table. When we developed our Impact Awards program, for example, our primary focus was to brainstorm with our corporate partners to create online collaborations resulting in compelling and beneficial experiences for their brands, their consumers and the participating nonprofits. True collaboration So what is true collaboration? Mark Tercek, CEO of The Nature Conservancy [TNC] – a founding EarthShare member charity – believes when we move past donating …

A New Point System Lets You Measure The Sustainability Impact Of Anything

Source: Fastcoexist There are any number of problems facing the world right now, and a limited amount of resources and time to handle them. Sometimes, you have to think about triage. But the scope of the problems can make that hard. What’s more important: creating clean energy or managing water scarcity. Those two issues are measured differently, making it hard for non-experts to compare them analytically. Energy Points is a new startup on a mission to quantify sustainability. Instead of using different ways of conceptualizing consumption (say, of water, electricity, waste, transportation and the like) the company smooths out diverse units and translates them into one common denominator: the amount of energy it takes to generate one gallon of gasoline. The result is that companies (and eventually individuals) can conduct one-to-one comparison of any sustainability project or resource consumption, regardless of the native unit of measure (kWh, gallons, BTUs, CO2 abated). All of these units of measurement are now expressed in energy per gallon, the same way miles per gallon represents …

Carbon savings promised in “biggest railway expansion in 150 years”

Source: Businessgreen A £9.4bn rail upgrade programme to create a faster, low-carbon network was announced by the government today in what ministers hailed as the biggest modernisation since Victorian times. It includes £4.2bn of new projects, including the creation of a high-capacity “electric spine” running from Yorkshire and the West Midlands to South Coast ports; electrification of the Midland Main Line between Bedford and Sheffield; and further improvements to networks in South Wales, routes between York and Manchester, and the East Coast main line. The upgrades come on top of the £5.2bn of projects already committed to between 2014 and 2019, such as Crossrail, Thameslink and electrification of lines between London and Cardiff, Manchester and Liverpool and Preston, and trans-Pennines routes. Initial planning work will also continue on HS2, the £32bn high-speed rail link running from London to Birmingham and the North. The government said its £9.4bn investment under the so-called High Level Output Specification (HLOS) programme would result in faster journey times, more reliable services and new capacity for an extra …

Puma runs away from leather in pursuit of smaller footprint

Source: Greenbiz Puma may soon be waving goodbye to leather. Executive chairman Jochen Zeitz recently said that the company will soon have to give up using the material in its athletic shoes because of the ecological damage it does to the planet. Zeitz said in an interview with the Financial Times that Puma will “eventually” have to study possible leather alternative materials. Zeitz said in the interview that the production and processing of leather are the biggest contributors to Puma’s environmental footprint. “We have to find alternative ways of producing our raw materials without asking nature to do it for us,” the Financial Times quoted Zeitz as saying. The German-based company’s recent announcement is just the latest sign that the sports footwear industry is searching for ways to cut its leather dependency. Shoemakers have long offered alternatives to leather footwear. But only recently has the trend hit the sports market. “Leather is really old school,” said Matt Powell, chief retail analyst with SportsOneSource. “It’s heavy, it doesn’t breathe well, and it isn’t always consistent.” While sustainability is a big …

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