14 de mayo: jornada de experiencias ynetworking LIFE+
La comunicación de los resultados de dichos proyectos es fundamental para que empresas y organizaciones conozcan las novedades en cuanto a tecnologías, materiales y procesos relacionadas con el medio ambiente, y poder aprovecharlos mediante su explotación.
En este contexto, el centro tecnológico AITEX, REDIT y Cámara Valencia organizan esta jornada, donde además de presentar RESULTADOS DESTACADOS DE PROYECTOS LIFE+, participan: CDTI anunciando el Programa EEA GRANTS que financia proyectos de I+D en medio ambiente y cambio climático, y FERIA VALENCIA, avanzando novedades de la próxima edición de las Ferias del Medio Ambiente y Energías y los Encuentros Empresariales.
En el MARKET PLACE de EEN/SEIMED, se expondrán perfiles de proyectos europeos, demandas tecnológicas y ofertas de colaboración, para que las empresas inicien contactos para colaboraciones internacionales.
La Dir. Gral. de Comercio, Silvia Ordiñaga, presenta Green Commerce a los comercios de La Vall d'Uixó
La Directora General de Comercio y Consumo, Silvia Ordiñaga, junto al alcalde del Ayuntamiento de la Vall d’Uixó, Óscar Clavell, presentaron el 25 de abril la iniciativa Green Commerce, a la que la Concejalía de Desarrollo Económico y Agencia AFIC se ha adheridto a través de un Convenio de colaboración con la Consellería.
Dicho convenio permitirá la implantación de la metodología de reducción del impacto ambiental en las pymes comerciales de la ciudad.
Presentación GreenCommerce en Xirivella
El próximo lunes 22 de abril, a las 13.30h en el salón de plenos del Ayuntamiento de Xirivella, tendrá lugar la presentación a los comerciantes de la ciudad del proyecto Green Commerce, con la asistencia de la Directora General de Comercio y Consumo, Silvia Ordiñaga, y el alcalde de Xirivella, Enrique Ortí.
Vila-real entrega 66 evaluaciones a comercios Green Commerce
El 5/4/13 a las 13.30h tuvo lugar en la Casa dels Mundina de Vila-real el acto de entrega de las evaluaciones personalizadas Green Commerce a 66 comercios de la localidad.
El documento de evaluación contiene un completo informe con el resultado de las cuestiones analizadas en cada tienda así como las recomendaciones de mejora para poder acceder al reconocimiento Green Commerce que distingue a los comercios implicados en la minimización del iimpacto ambiental de su actividad diaria.
Calp presenta Green Commerce a sus comerciantes
La Directora General de Comercio y Consumo, Silvia Ordiñaga, el alcalde de Calp, César Sánchez, y la concejal de Comercio, Antonia Avargues, presentaron a los comerciantes de la localidad el 22 de marzo la adhesión del municipio al proyecto Green Commerce.
La directora general de Comercio y Consumo, Silvia Ordiñaga, destacó la importancia de “implicar a comerciantes y consumidores en el respeto al medio ambiente y la eficiencia económica y energética”.
A este objetivo responde el proyecto LIFE+Green Commerce, liderado por la Generalitat y que se ha desarrollado de forma experimental en los municipios de Torrevieja y San Sebastián, trabajandose en la actualidad en su expansión por la Comunitat Valenciana a través de las Agencias para el Fomento de la Innovación Comercial (AFIC).
Antonia Avargues señaló que trabajadores municipales del área de Comercio irán a visitar a cada uno de los establecimientos locales para explicarles la iniciativa, que es gratuita, y que puedan obtener su sello acreditativo como comercio respetuoso con el medio ambiente y ahorrador.
Buena acogida de Green Commerce entre los comerciantes de El Campello
El Ayuntamiento del Campello presentó el 26 de febrero a sus comerciantes el proyecto Green Commerce
La agencia AFIC informa a los comerciantes interesados de los pasos a seguir para obtener el reconocimiento.
Villena: presentación Green Commerce el 14/3/2013
El 14 de marzo a las 13:00h tendrá lugar en Villena un acto de presentación del proyecto Green Commerce, impulsado por la Dirección General de Comercio de la Generalitat de la Comunitat Valenciana.
El Ayuntamiento de Vilena se ha adherido a dicho proyecto a través de su Agencia para el Fomento de la Innovación Comercial (AFIC)
La Comisión Europea prepara el Plan de Acción del Comercio 2020
La Comisión Europea, en su comunicación COM(2013) 36/2, presenta las bases del Plan de Acción para el sector comercial que, en el marco de los objetivos de crecimiento y creación de empleo con el horizonte 2020, pretende aumentar la competitividad y sostenibilidad del sector del comercio.
>>>> Texto de la comunicación (en inglés)
Jornada de presentación en Picassent
El pasado 24 de enero, en el Ayuntamiento de Picassent, la Directora General de Comercio y Consumo, Silvia Ordiñaga, y la Alcaldesa de Picassent, Conxa Garcia, junto a la Concejala de Comercio y Medio Ambiente, Ester Carbonell, presentaron el proyecto Green Commerce a los comerciantes de la localidad.
Tras la firma del convenio de colaboración con la Generalitat, el Ayuntamiento de Picassent implantará Green Commerce en su municipio a través de su Agencia para el Fomento de la Innovación Comercial (AFIC)
Jornadas para evaluadores Green Commerce
El 12/12/12 tuvo lugar en el Centro de Educación Ambiental de la Comunitat una jornada de formacion a evaluadores del proyecto Green Commerce.
La jornada formativa sobre "Aspectes ambientals per a avaluadors Green Commerce", organizada por Direcció General de Comerç i Consum i la Direcció General de Qualitat Ambiental, a la cual han asistido 31 técnicos procedentes de de 21 Agencias para el Fomento de Iniciativas Comerciales (AFIC).
El projecto Green Commerce, impulsado en la Comunitat Valenciana per la Direcció General de Comerç i Consum de la Conselleria d'Economia, Indústria i Comerç,tiene la finalidad de promover en el pequeño comercio la corresponsabilidad en las afecciones ambientales, la reducción del consumo energético la prevención en la generación de residuos, y en definitiva, implicar al sector en la lucha contra el cambio climático.
+info y descarga de ponencias
Marks & Spencer racks up a billion sustainable products
Major British retailer Marks & Spencer has recently announced that interim results of the retailer’s pioneering Plan A sustainability strategy show that 35 % of its products sold have an eco or ethical feature that goes beyond the market norm. This amounts to over a billion items a year.
Marks & Spencer launched its sustainability strategy Plan A in 2007, setting up 100 commitments to be achieved by 2012. These were extended to 180 commitments to be achieved by 2015, following the ultimate aim of becoming the world's most sustainable major retailer. Plan A follows the goals of combating climate change, reducing waste, using sustainable raw materials, trading ethically, and helping customers to lead healthier lifestyles.
With already more than one third of the products sold having some form of sustainability credential, the company is confident it would reach its goal of embedding sustainability features into half of its products by 2015 and into its entire range by 2020. However, as Adam Elman, head of Plan A delivery at M&S admits, there is still work to do, such as including multiple sustainable attributes into the products and extending the learnt lessons from the sustainable product line to every single product.
Grocery sector on track to meet Courtauld Commitment Phase 2 goals
The recently published Courtauld figures indicate that a significant progress has been made by the grocery sector towards reaching its ambitious Courtauld targets.
The Courtauld Commitment 2 is a voluntary agreement between the UK grocery sector and WRAP, the Waste and Resource Action Programme, aimed at improving resource efficiency and reducing the carbon footprint and wider environmental impact of the UK grocery retail sector. In 2010 they agreed on waste reduction targets concerning three waste streams – grocery packaging waste, household food waste, and product and packaging waste in the grocery supply chain – to be achieved by December 2012.
Supply chain waste has seen a reduction of 8.8%, well ahead of the three-year target of 5%. With a reduction in carbon impact by over 8%, the second year results seem encouraging for the final packaging target (10%) as well, especially considering the fact that they were achieved alongside an increase in volume sales among signatories.
Dr Richard Swannell, the Director of Design & Waste Prevention at WRAP, commented that those were good results and an indicative of the hard work that signatories have been putting in to be more resource-efficient but that there is still more to do.
According to WRAP, the challenges now lie in embedding good practices that allow businesses to take full advantage of the benefits of reducing waste. Reinforced focus on waste prevention is also an important and challenging issue.
In anticipation of the third phase of the Courtauld Commitment, WRAP is presently working with government representatives, Courtauld signatories and trade bodies to determine the best way forward.
Retailers take action to prevent food waste
At the 2012 annual event of the European Retail Forum for Sustainability, Retailers decided to take voluntary action in the fight against food waste.
The European Retail Forum is a voluntary multi-stakeholder platform open to all retailers, which aims to increase the understanding of the practical measures needed to promote sustainable consumption and resource efficiency. It is intended to facilitate the exchange of best practices on sustainability in the European retail sector, to provide better information to consumers and to promote the use of more environmentally friendly and energy-efficient products.
On this years’ annual event of the European Retail Forum, which took place on 9 October 2012 in Brussels, retailers decided to focus on food waste prevention. Following the initiative of 19 Retail Forum members, the Forum decided to run awareness raising campaigns on waste and food waste prevention. The results of these initiatives will be discussed in the upcoming Retail Forum meetings.
Retailers have a key role to prevent food waste. Not only are retailers responsible for a significant proportion of food waste themselves, but they are also especially important because of their customer proximity, having thus the great chance to guide consumers towards more sustainable choices.
Family businesses focus on sustainability to drive competitive edge
Recent research reveals that 72% of the family businesses in the UK have elaborated a sustainable strategy and that 79% have implemented sustainable business strategies. The ‘Sustainable Value Creation’ report, authored by M Institute and published by the Institute for Family Business (IFB), focuses on different aspects in business management that are supposed to create long-term value for family businesses. The report thus identifies four key points in order to achieve this objective:
• Operating efficiency is a sustainable virtue
• Sustainability attracts and retains the best people
• Public forums and government actions are driving sustainability
• Sustainability requires balancing short and long term objectives
On average, family businesses attach most importance to issues related to the environment. The findings of the report show that 40% of family-run businesses furthermore anticipate that having a sustainable strategy gives them a competitive advantage. This perception is backed by the notion of 30%, citing that engaging in sustainability has a positive impact on their local community relations.
Evaluating the findings of the survey, Mark Hastings, Director General for the Institute for Family Business stated that family businesses are already ahead of their competitors in understanding the benefits that a sustainable strategy can bring to their businesses.
Twitter Green Commerce
*LIFE+Green Commerce project is now on Twitter. Follow us!
*El proyecto LIFE+ GreenCommerce estrena perfil en Twitter. ¡Síguenos!
*El projecte LIFE+ Green Commerce estrena perfil a Twitter: Seguix-mos!
Green Commerce webinar held yesterday
With the end of the Life+ Green Commerce project approaching, ACR+ offered its members and other stakeholders the possibility of learning more about the project and its final conclusions during a webinar, held on Wednesday, 26 September.
Recycling performance improving among Irish SMEs
ACR+ Secretary General Olivier De Clercq provided the attendees with a presentation on the objectives, tools, main actions, results and perspectives of the project. The audience could furthermore find out more about good practices for small businesses to reduce their environmental impact, as well as learn about the Green Commerce self-assessment tool.
To download the webinar presentation, please click here.
A recent survey conducted amongst more than 100 firms in the southern Irish region of Munster has found that the overall majority of those are recycling their waste. It showed that the majority of the businesses (92%) not only dispose of unwanted waste through recycling but they are furthermore actively taking part in actions and implementing measures to reduce their environmental impact. The survey results have been published by SMILE Resource Exchange.
Asked about the main advantages of acting environmentally-friendly, most business leaders referred to “cost reduction” and “waste minimisation”, followed by a “better image among customers”, “doing their bit for the environment” and “increased efficiencies”.
Poll shows public support in England for 5p charge on carrier bags
According to a survey carried out lately, a majority of England’s population supports the idea of charging the use of single-use carrier bags with 5 pence. Contracted by a coalition of groups campaigning for a bag tax to be levied in England, the opinion poll showed that 56 % of the sample supported the proposal.
The poll of 1,752 English adults found that 75 % would try to reduce the use of new plastic bags if there was a 5p levy on them. The proposal aims to reduce the amount of waste and the littering of streets, countryside and beaches by these plastic bags. This seems to get even more urgent, as the latest figures show that the use of carrier bags is constantly rising across the UK.
Similar levies in other countries had proved to reduce litter and waste and other parts of the UK are already diverting. The introduction of a 5p charge in Wales last October showed immediate effect, reducing the use of plastic carrier bags significantly. Northern Ireland is bringing in a similar levy next year and Scotland is debating on doing the same. With England not having such plans, 54 % of those polled stated that England should follow the other parts of the UK and seek to introduce a 5p charge.
The coalition who commissioned the survey stated that the results clearly show that the English population would support the introduction of such a levy even in difficult economic times, thus contradicting respective concerns amongst politicians.
European LIFE+ Green Commerce Congress
On September 19th, the final conference of the LIFE+ Green Commerce project took place in Brussels in cooperation with the Brussels Chamber of Commerce (BECI). With the participation of interested stakeholders from all over Europe, the conference was a success.
The final conference of the Green Commerce project was intended to provide a platform for the exchange of information, experiences and good practices for a more sustainable retail sector in European cities and for networking with key people working towards sustainable, dynamic and prosperous small shops in urban area. The participants were furthermore given the opportunity to discover the assessment tool and the requirements for the Green Commerce label.
Eduardo Jorge Dolón Sánchez, the Mayor of Torrevieja and Frederik Leloup, Partnerships & Business Development Manager of BECI welcomed the audience. The first session of the conference was then introduced by Ferenc Pekár from the European Commission, who explained the European Union Retail Forum for Sustainability. This was followed by the project representative Fidel García Meseguer from Valencia Community, who introduced the audience to the European LIFE+ project Green Commerce. The session was continued by César Aliaga from ITENE, who began with the illustration of the self-assessment tool "Green Commerce", hereafter continuing with a brief overview of the results of the Green Commerce assessment implemented in Torrevieja and San Sebastián. This introduction was followed by a more detailed evaluation of the experiences made in Torrevieja and San Sebastián by their representatives Augustina Esteve and Eukén Sesé Sarasti. Juan Valea Lopéz from Valencia Community completed the morning session with giving first ideas for the future prospects of the Green Commerce project.
In the second session of the conference, the Life+ Green Commerce project was put into context with other similar European projects. Antonio Serna provided a brief summary on the experiences of the participants of the Green Commerce projects in Torrevieja, while Dimitra Rappou (nlwa), Mikaël Schneider (Ecoscience Provence) and Laura Rebreanu (BECI) spoke about the experiences with their initiatives in North London, the Provence and Brussels.
The final round table summed the Life+ Green Commerce project up, evaluated it, gave future prospects and discussed its potential merge with other European or local projects and initiatives. Moderated by Olivier De Clercq, Secretary General of ACR+, the panel consisted of Xavier Dehan, Centre de connaissances, BECI, Dr Alexis Mavrommatis, Centre of Retail Management, EADA, Ferenc Pekár, European Commission, DG ENV, Unit Sustainable Production and Consumption and Antonio Serna, President of the Association of Small and Medium Retailers of Torrevieja (APYMECO). Having all different perspectives, they could make very interesting and different remarks on the topics discussed, thus causing a productive discussion.
The experiences and evaluation given as well as the discussion held attracted keen interest in the audience and ensued a lively and open discussion about the potential, advantages, disadvantages and future prospect of the Life+ Green Commerce project and possible options to achieve the objective of improving the environmental impact in retail stores.
This event was organized with the support of the Life+ programme of the European Commission.
Sainsbury's seeks local authority partners for recycling drive
The supermarket chain Sainsbury’s is investing in comprehensive bring banks to compliment its customer service. The new utility is supposed to provide a one stop shop for customer’s household recycling needs and to add value to existing municipal recycling facilities.
With the objective of providing customer recycling facilities at a third of its stores in the UK, the food retailer is looking to establish partnerships with councils. Palm Recycling will take over the management of the recycling facilities. The new recycling service will comprehend recycling containers for mixed paper and card, mixed glass, mixed plastics, mixed cans, textiles and small waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). Currently the new service is provided in 20 stores in greater London.
WRAP, a leading not-for-profit-company for waste reduction and sustainable resource management appreciates Sainbury’s initiative, expecting that it will improve the recycling experience for many of Sainsbury’s customers. They also welcome the use of the Recycle Now branding because of its high consumer recognition.
Environment Agency launches initiative to encourage greener business
Many reports identified a change in attitudes amongst businesses toward sustainable growth in the UK. The green economy of the country grew by £5.4bn in 2011. A new initiative was launched by the Environment Agency (UK) to encourage debate and discussion on « what it takes to achieve greener businesses in economically challenging times ».
The aim of the initiative is to highlight hundreds of organisations which have a greener business approach, as well as identify SMEs, entrepreneurs and other businesses and help them improve their environmental performance and the reduce carbon emissions.
The discussion will last three weeks. Each one will focus on a different theme: the first will concentrate on waste management, the second - on water management, and the third week will involve discussions on improvements in energy efficiency. After the three weeks, the Environment Agency’s latest Greener Business Report will come out, which will look at the environmental performance of regulated business across England and Wales.
Lord Smith, Chairman of the Environment Agency said that businesses are focused on profitability, however, “green” and “growth” are essential elements for economic and social recovery. He added that businesses that will be part of the three weeks’ discussion will set an outstanding example.
Retailers from Toulouse finally recycle their cardboard and it’s a real success!
One year ago, the waste collection in Toulouse, France, was the same for individuals and retailers. That means that if a retailer wanted to recycle his cardboard, he had to go on a voluntary basis to the recycle point. This system was a real constraint because of several reasons such as:
Lack of staff to do this task
Time it take to displace it to the recycle point
Need to store the cardboard somewhere and accumulate it
Since one year, the city of Toulouse implemented a cardboard collection system for retailers through trucks that drive all around the city centre for the collection. There are now 1200 collection points in the area and around 70 tonnes of cardboard are collected every month. Approximately 100 tonnes of cardboards are needed to produce 90 tonnes of pulp to generate new cardboard.
Smaller businesses « pass the buck » on energy efficiency
In July, E.ON carried out research on guidance on energy efficiency. 2.000 professionals working at SME in the UK were interviewed. The results show that small businesses « pass the buck » concerning energy efficiency.
Most workers believe it is someone else’s role: junior executives pass the buck to office managers, who think it is the job of more senior managers. 24 percent of them admit that they rarely think about this issue, and 11 percent admit they do not take any measure to be energy-efficient. Just 22 of the bosses interviewed accepted it was their role.
Nearly 2/3 of the employees interviewed said that the company did not give them any clear guideline concerning energy efficiency and half of the bosses questioned admit that they never spoke to staff about energy saving. However, HR employees are the most effective in terms of communication, as 22 percent of them admit talking about energy efficiency.
The head of Business Sales at E.ON., Iain Walker, said that reducing waste is the responsibility of bosses and senior managers, who should pass the message to all employees.
Let’s not forget that we can all make a difference!
Last chance to register for the Green Commerce Congress!
Check the final Programme and register now!
Registration is free but compulsory. Limited number of seats.
We are looking forward to seeing you in Brussels!
The GC Bulletin #12 is out!
In this new edition, the GC team interviewed Marisa Arias, owner of the Oleoteca La Chinita in Torrevieja, specialized in olive oil and gourmet products. This bulletin also informs you about the results of the LIFE+ 2011 projects. Find more information about the new 202 LIFE+ projects! Finally, you will find information about the GC Congress which will be held in Brussels on 19 September 2012. Have a look and at the programme and register!
*Green Commerce Bulletin #12*
Glasgow retail stores chain achieves zero waste to landfill in six weeks
Shanks Group, the international waste management business, helps client Silverburn Shopping Centre in Galsgow reduce its waste to zero in landfill in just six weeks after winning the contract. Silverburn Shopping Centre, is now sending none of its waste to landfill.
56% « back plastic bag store charge »
Originally, the chain of retail stores comprising of 130 stores and 14 million customers annually, recycled only 9% of its waste, mainly consisting of glass and cardboard, the rest of the waste being transformed in landfill and thus resulting in costly taxes and gate fees.
Since Shank Group took over the recycling management of the company’s waste, it implemented a much structured and efficient recycling policy, with all general waste being processed at Shanks’ recycling facility at Blochairn, Glasgow, and organic waste to its anaerobic digestion plant at Cumbernauld. Here, the organic leftovers are converted into biogas for renewable energy generation and digestate for use as a nutrient-rich soil conditioner. This only leaves 3% of unrecyclable waste, which is processed for energy recovery.
The result is seen as an achievement by both the Shanks Group’s management and its client; it also serves as proof that zero waste to landfill goal can be achieved by any company, provided that there is a well structured recycling policy that differentiated recycling facilities exist.
Between May 30 and June 1, Which? carried out a survey, in which 1.116 adults were interviewed about their use of plastic bags.
According to the survey, more than half of the poll agrees to be charge for plastic bags while on average, consumers have 17 plastic bags stored at home. 56% of the poll support the “5p charge for bags” measure but have bags at home. 70%of the opposed of the charge argue that they already paid enough for their shopping and 45 % think bags should be for free.
Even if consumer still have a lot of bags at home, 92% of the interviewee say that they reuse plastic bag either for shopping or as bin liners. However, 8% of the poll throws away bags in general waste after their initial use.
In 2008, leading supermarkets signed an agreement and took the engagement of reducing 50% of single-use plastic bags by 2009. According to WRAP, 800 million more single-use plastic bags were used last year in comparison with two year ago. This represents an increase of 10%, which is equivalent to 120 bags per customer, just for supermarkets. Marks and Spenser is the only supermarket that charges for bags; the result is that the retailer has 78% depletion in bag use at its stores.
The true cost of food
In order to calculate the full environmental costs of everyday products, Trucost analysed three common food products: breakfast cereals, fruit juice and cheese. The analysis assessed all the stages of production, from farm and orchard to the supermarket’s shelves. The environmental cost was calculated according to carbon impact, water consumption, waste generation and pollution. Carbon was calculated according to social cost and water according to the volume of water required to produce the raw material by gathering data on the location of the production and pricing water accordingly.
Concerning the cost of the products chosen, the results of the analysis show that:
- The cost of a block of cheese should be 18% higher that the retail price, breakfast cereals should be 16% more expensive and fruit juice 6% higher.
- Water is the most significant natural capital dependency for all of the products, cheese is the most carbon intensive product and fruit juice the most wasteful.
The analysis was based on an average. This means that there can be significant variations when analyzing specific products and brands. Therefore, Trucost analyzed the variation in water use and scarcity across the top 10 production locations in order to demonstrate the scale of risk and opportunity. The natural cost of water consumption was determined by variables such as the availability of water at the production site or the type of water consumed. For example, an area with scarce supplies and over abstraction will have higher water costs than a site with high rainfall and less competition. The results of this analysis show that the gap between the lowest and highest cast relative to retail price concerning breakfast cereal was 54%. For cheese it was 14% and for fruit juice 8%. The decrease rate of natural capital leads to a depletion of the resources we rely on.
The analysis concludes that there is a lack of information within food producers and retailers about the environmental impact of their activity: most businesses have limited knowledge or are little aware about the impact of their production on natural capital. If we want to satisfy consumers demand without destroying the ecosystem, this information should be available. Companies could consider natural capital valuation as a tool in the process of decision making as it brings the opportunity to optimize business strategies in line with natural resource availability.
LIFE+ 2011: European Commission provides €268.4 Million for 202 new environment projects.
Life+ is the European financial instrument for the environment. It has a total budget of €2.143 billion for the period 2007-2013. The European Commission launches one call for LIFE+ project proposal per year. The projects have to cover actions in the fields of nature conservation, environmental policy, climate change and information and communication on environmental issues. This year, the Commission received 1078 applications from the 27 EU Member States. The LIFE+ programme will co-fund 202 projects, providing €268.4 million:
- LIFE+ Nature & Biodiversity: the Commission selected 76 projects of the 268 proposals received, where the EU will provide €136 million: The Life+ Programme put a special emphasis on this theme, allocating more than 50% of the overall budget to measures aimed at the improvement of the conservation status of endangered species and habitats. 71 of the projects are specifically focused on Nature and contribute to the implementation of the Birds and/or Habitats Directives and Natura 2000.
-LIFE+ Environment Policy & Governance: of the 607 proposals received, the Commission selected 113 projects, representing a total investment of € 258.4 million, of which the EU will provide €124.4 million. This year, 23 projects are directly focused on climate change and many other projects are focused on other issues related to the indirect impact on greenhouse emissions. Another important area is waste, where 29 projects had been selected and water with 19 projects.
-LIFE+ Information and Communication: in this category, the Commission received 203 proposals and 13 were selected. The total investment will be €16.2 million, of which the EU will provide €7.2 million. The aim of the projects selected is to disseminate information and raise the profile issues as well as provide training and awareness-raising for the prevention of forest fires.
Budget allocation by countries:
Austria (1project - 0.8million), Belgium (8 projects – 44.5million), Bulgaria (3 projects – 3.7 million), Cyprus (2 projects – 2.3 million), Czech Republic (2 projects – 12.1 million), Denmark (4 projects – 9.0 million), Germany (11 projects- 44.5 million), Spain (47 projects – 95.2 million), Finland (4 projects – 7.8 million), France (14 projects – 40.1 million), Greece (8 projects – 13.7 million), Hungary (2 projects – 13.6 million), Ireland (1 project – 2.2 million), Italy (40 projects – 75.7 million), Latvia (2 projects – 2.9 million), Luxembourg (4 projects – 19.8 million), Malta (1 project – 1.0 million), The Netherlands (7 projects- 21.1 million), Poland (16 projects – 39.3 million), Portugal (1 project – 1.2 million), Romania (4 projects – 9.7 million), Slovakia (3 projects – 4.4 million), Slovenia (2 projects – 6.1 million), Sweden (7 projects – 26. 6 million), United Kingdom (8 projects – 20.5 million)
New guidance for businesses to report their sustainability credentials.
A new guidance is proposed by Environment Minister Lord Taylor of Holbeach in order to help UK businesses to demonstrate their sustainability performance to the public and investors. The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is consulting on guidelines to help businesses that want to demonstrate their corporate sustainability credentials to do it in a clear and concise way. The guidance includes advice on how to measure and report on their impact on wildlife and natural services (clean air, clean water, food, timber, flood protection, welfare benefits).
In addition, the proposed guidance will help business to see where they can make savings and meet the increased interest from inventors in environmental information, which is relevant to investment decisions. This idea come from the agreement at Rio+20 between British firms and government, where it was agreed that they will help to secure international support to encourage businesses to include sustainability information in their annual reporting.
Environment Minister Lord Taylor of Holbeach affirmed that this new guidance represents a new step regarding corporate sustainability reporting which should become a normal practice for businesses in order to show their environmental impact.
State of Green Business Report 2012
The fifth edition of the State of Green Business Report 2012 of GreenBiz was published at the beginning of this year. The aim of this report is to measure environmental impacts of the emerging green economies. It measures 20 different aspects of environmental performance:
Carbon intensity: emissions of energy-related carbon dioxide per unit of GDP
Carbon transparency: S&P 500 companies responding to Carbon Disclosure Project
Cleantech Investments: Venture capital investments in clean technology
Clean-energy patents: patents issued by US Patent Office
Corporate reporting: number of reports from S&P 500 companies
Employee Commuting: Number of workers driving solo, carpooling or using mass transit
Employee telecommuting: number of US telecommuter household
Energy efficiency: energy use per unit of GDP
Environmental financial impacts: environmental damage costs as a percentage of economic output
E-waste: percentage of recovered equipment
Fleet impacts: estimated annual greenhouse gas emissions per vehicle
Green IT: products certified under Energy Star and EPEAT
Green office space: renewable energy as a percentage of all electricity generation
Organic agriculture: sales of organic food in the US
Packaging intensity: materials used per unit of GDP
Paper use and recycling: paper and recycling per unit of GDP
Toxic emissions: toxic releases per unit of GDP
Toxics of manufacturing: emissions per year of 27 bio-accumulative and toxic chemicals
Transparency: how much data companies disclose on environmental impacts
According to this report, companies are on the right track: they continue to dedicate time and resources to setting and meeting ambitious environmental goals. However, in some cases, the evolution into greener businesses is slowing on some indicators, such as investments in clean technology innovations, overall energy intensity, certifications of LEED buildings, paper use and recycling.
The Body Shop: beauty products with a positive impact
The Body Shop, founded in 1976 by Anita Roddick who was inspired by her different travels, launched its Community Fair Trade programme 25 years ago. This programme was an attempt to offer a commitment to trading fairly with suppliers, seeking out small-scale farmers, traditional artisans and rural co-ops that are experts in their field.
The CANDELA Community Fair Trade project is currently collaborating with The Body Shop. CANDELA (Comercio Alternativo de Productos No Tradicionales y Desarrollo para Latino América Perú - Alternative Trade of Non Traditional Products and Development for Latin America, Peru) supply around 50,000 Kg of Brazil nut oil for a range of products produced by The Body Shop. In exchange, The Body Shop offers good trading practices and independence-building prices.
Gaston Vizcarra, the founder of CANDELA Peru, manages a group of communities and individuals that collect fruits falling from the trees during rainy season, and then process it into viable raw material. This example shows the benefit that trade in a non-timber forest product can have on the environment. Christina Archer, a senior buyer with the company operating across Latin America, says that, besides protecting the planet, this kind of practices also provide employment for women working in the processing plants, as well as income for the people collecting nuts.
The Body Shop also collaborates with other Community Fair Trade projects, such as oil producers in Nicaragua, organic fair trade alcohol in Ecuador or growers of camomile, peppermint and hemp oil in the UK. The programme touches more than 300,000 people in some of the most vulnerable parts of the world. The commitments of The Body Shop had been recognised by the Ethical Trading Initiative in 2011 as being the highest achiever in the beauty industry.
Lidl shows appetite with food waste drive
The supermarket chain Lidl has now appointed Prosper De Mulder Ldt (PDM) to handle all of its food waste. Lidl was already collaborating with PDM for the collection of unsold meat. Now, with agreement, Lidl also included vegetables, fruit and bread. From now on, all of Lidl’s non-meat waste products will be processed through PDM’s ReFood anaerobic digestion process.
A spokesperson for Lidl affirmed that they recycle 92% of their waste, which is transported from stores to regional depots. Therefore, the collection is made from one location and the carbon emissions are reduced. This new arrangement is part of the sustainable path that Lidl is following and will contribute to the generation of renewable energies.
¡El Congreso Green Commerce se acerca!
Green Commerce tiene previsto exponer sus conclusiones y generar un foro de debate internacional sobre comercio y medio ambiente en el I Congreso Europeo Green Commerce que tendrá lugar en Bruselas el próximo 19 de septiembre con el apoyo de BECI, la Cámara de Comercio y Unión de Empresas de Bruselas. La conferencia tratará los siguientes temas:
¿Cómo puede un pequeño comercio mejorar su relación con el medio ambiente? La herramienta de autoevaluación “Green Commerce”
Resultados de las evaluaciones Green Commerce celebradas en Torrevieja y San Sebastián
Política de expansión de Green Commerce: hoja de ruta para los nuevos socios
La concienciación ambiental del comercio minorista como factor de mejora de la competitividad empresarial. Comercio y medio ambiente: buenas prácticos a nivel europeo
Mesa redonda “Experiencias europeas de promoción de la mejora del impacto ambiental del comercio minorista”
¡Echa un vistazo al programa!
¡Estamos deseando verte en Bruselas!
El registro es gratis pero obligatorio
Para más información por favor contacta con Isabelle Servant: firstname.lastname@example.org ó +32 (0)2 234 65 16.
The Green Commerce Congress is approaching!
The Green Commerce project is now ready to present the conclusions and organise an international debate regarding commerce and environment during the I European Green Commerce Conference, which will be held in Brussels on 19 September with the support of BECI, The Brussels Chamber of Commerce and Business Federation. The Conference will tackle different topics:
How can a small business improve its relationship with the environment? The self-assessment tool and “Green Commerce” label
Results of the Green Commerce assessment implemented in Torrevieja and San Sebastián
Green Commerce expansion policy: roadmap for future partners
Environmental awareness of retail stores as an improvement factor of business competitiveness. Commerce and environment: good practices at European level
Round table “European experiences on the promotion of the improvement of environmental impact in retail stores”
Have a look at the programme!
We are looking forward to welcoming you in Brussels!
Registration is free but compulsory
For more information contact Isabelle Servant at email@example.com or +32 (0)2 234 65 16.
Solar installation makes Sainsbury’s largest operator in UK and Europe
Sainsbury’s has recently invested in photovoltaic solar panels and becomes the largest panel operator in the UK and Europe: the retailer has installed 69.500 new photovoltaic solar panels across 169 stores in the UK. This measure will reduce a total of 6.800 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year and will help to reach Sainsbury’s corporate target to reduce its operation carbon emission by 30%, and 65% by 2020.
Justin King, Chief Executive of Sainsbury’s, affirmed that the supermarket chain produces far more solar power than most commercial farms. He added that the retail sector should take another look at solar energy as way to reduce its impact on the environment. In addition, this new measure supports job creation in the renewable energy sector. King explains that supermarkets have roofs equivalent to a football field and often unused or underutilised: this space should be turned into something positive.
But Sainsbury’s does not only use solar energy as a solution: at the beginning of July, Sainsbury’s announced the roll out of a geo-thermal heat pump technology at up to 100 stores, generating renewable energy from deep underground to provide heating and hot water.
Towards evaluating products with a sustainability scorecard
Nowadays, many manufacturers, retailers and third-party have developed their own certification programmes to assess the sustainability of a product. This complicates the task of the retails to choose a product to sell in his store if every manufacturer has different methods and criteria. Therefore, a standardized approach is needed, so similar products can be compared using the same measures.
In addition to cutting down consumer confusion, it would also save time and money: companies would only have to answer a standardized questionnaire instead of spending hours completing different questionnaires, each one of them requiring different information about the product.
During “The Future of Product Scorecards for Retailers and Suppliers” webinar held on 24 July, Lise Beutel, a UL Environment senior business consultant, said that various industries and groups are making efforts. An example would be The Sustainability Consortium and the Retail Industry Leaders Association, which is developing a library of common questions to assess sustainability at the enterprise and product level as well as sustainability measures.
However, there are still efforts to be made, especially concerning individual retailers. UL Environment results show that there is no standard approach for greener products sourcing. In addition, there is also a gap between the criteria consumers would like retailers to be focused on and the criteria retailers use.
Bexley reaps benefits of SME recycling commitment
The London Borough of Bexley is one of the first councils to sign up the WRAP’s business recycling and waste services commitment and the first council to offer a recycling service to SMEs by collecting just paper and cardboard at the beginning, before expanding to a range of materials such as plastic bottles, cans and glass and food/garden waste.
There are 95.100 properties in Bexely and 77.000 are served by a weekly joint food/garden waste collection and a dry mixed recycling collection as well as an alternate weekly residual waste service. The remaining households are served by a residual waste and weekly recycling service. The council has gradually added the SME to the households’ collections or as separate rounds over the past 16 years.
The head of waste and street services at the London Borough of Bexley Steve Didsbury has successfully supervised an extensive development of a service for SMEs. He argues that local authorities already have the collection systems in place and a market of materials. Therefore, councils only have to factor in the marginal costs of collecting waste. It is a source of income, however, the aim is also to reinforce the message of reducing waste and recycling more. He recognizes that for Bexley is was easier as it is a unitary authority which means the council is responsible for both collections.
Signing up the commitment helped to gathered together more commercial clients. Therefore, it is important for councils to know the market and target the type of business that would benefit from the range of services that local authorities can provide, especially for the locally-based companies or small companies. They are often people who live near the borough as well as their customers and staff and therefore, used to recycling at home.
Commission launches innovation partnership for Smart Cities and Communities.
One of the biggest challenges that Europe is facing is to design and adapt cities into smart, intelligent and sustainable environments. The facts are that:
Cities create some 80% of the EU's gross domestic product with their concentration of trade, business and "people expertise". Cities are a driving force in generating Europe's economic growth.
They will become even more important as the proportion of Europeans living in urban areas grows from just over two-thirds today to a forecast 85% by 2050.
68% of the EU population lives in urban areas, which consume 70% of energy. This accounts for 75% of the EU's total greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).
The information and communications technology (ICT) sector will require more and more electricity by 2020.
Urban transport is responsible for one-quarter of all the emissions from road transport.
Congestion costs Europe about 1% of GDP every year – most of if it from urban areas.
In this context, the Smart Cities and Communities Initiative was launched in 2011 with aim to combine diverse technologies to increase the efficiency of how a city functions. The initiative covered the transport and energy sector in 2012 with a budget of 81 million Euros to projects that had to cover one of the two sectors (rather than combining the two of them). On 10 July 2012, The European Commission launched the Smart Cities and Communities European Innovation Partnership. Starting from 2013, funding will rise to 365 million and will cover three areas: energy, transport and ICT (Information and Communication Technology). From 2013, the projects financed under the scheme must combine the three areas in all projects.
Kind of projects that could be co-financed:
Smart buildings and neighbourhood projects: it could be projects that support nearly zero-energy buildings or the integration and management of local and renewable energy sources.
Smart supply and demand services projects: projects that could provide data and information to citizens on energy consumption/production.
Urban mobility projects: as an example, it could be electric public transport vehicles that are able to exchange surplus energy (braking and accelerating energy) with energy system) or using ICT to manage energy flows.
Smart and sustainable digital infrastructures: a project could be reducing the carbon footprint of the internet or intelligent heating, cooling and lighting solutions.
The call for proposal will be open to industry-led consortia operating in energy, ICT and transport. The consortia will need to include partners coming from three different Member States and/or Associated Countries teaming up with at least two cities. The project presented must be market-oriented and replicable in different countries. Participants will have a few months to propose their projects which will be evaluated by the European commission.
Wales: Distribution of single use carrier bags drastically reduced
Cardiff University undertook a research which aimed to measure the impact of the Welsh Government’s 5p charge for bags which came into force on 1st October 2011. The team monitored attitudes concerning carrier bags before the introduction of the 5p charge and again six months later. In September 2011, 61 percent of shoppers were using their own bags, and in April 2012, 82 percent were using them. In addition the support of the measure also increased from 50 percent to 70 percent. The results of the research showed a reduction in different types of retailer:
Food retailers: reduction up to 96%
fashion retailers: reduction up to 75%
home retailers: reduction up to 95%
Food services retailer: reduction up to 45%
Telecommunication retailers: reduction up to 85%
In addition, the 5p per bag charge are donated to support environmental projects and local good causes. As an example, the environmental charity Keep Wales Tidy has received more than 105 000 pounds since October. The Environment Minister John Griffiths thanked retailers and shoppers for their help and support of this successful policy given that the Welsh public now take their own bag when they go shopping. Therefore, this is a litter reduction as well as a behaviour change.
Emprendedores verdes 2012: Concurso de ideas bajo la definición de línea de negocio o proyecto empresarial vinculado al medio ambiente
A pesar de que crear su propia empresa sea un sueño, también implica un gran riesgo. Por lo tanto, es natural que los primeros pasos del emprendedor estén repletos de dudas e incertidumbres. En consecuencia, hay una necesidad de incentivos, guías y ayudas que promuevan la transformación de una idea en un negocio.
El concurso « emprendedores verdes 2012 », que tiene como finalidad ayudar el diseño de proyectos vinculados con el medio ambiente a través de un proceso controlado y acompañado por asesores especializados, va dirigido a estudiantes, recién licenciados, profesionales y todo aquel emprendedor que quiera poner en marcha iniciativas empresariales verdes.
El plazo del concurso es del 1 de Junio al 22 de octubre. El primer premio comprende un asesoramiento personalizado para la elaboración del plan de negocio y Inscripción y estancia en al Congreso Nacional de Medio Ambiente (CONAMA) o bien una Tablet. El segundo premio es un asesoramiento personalizado para la elaboración del plan de negocio.
The New Green Commerce Bulletin #11 is now online!
In this new edition, you will find the testimony of Cayetano García, manager of tyres in Torrevieja. You will also find more information about “Green Commerce Guide” and the brand new promotional video. This bulletin gives also more details about the presentation of the Green Commerce project at the Green Week held in Brussels in May as well as more details on the Green Commerce Conference held in Torrevieja at the end of June.
This Bulletin also promotes the North London Waste Authority’s Guide for Businesses which gives a lot of useful and simple tips in order to change customers and businesses behaviour.
We finally invite you to the Green Commerce Final Conference with will be held in Brussels on 19 September 2012 so Save the date!
Environmental awareness does not lead to smaller carbon footprints
Click here to see the Green Commerce Bulletin #11. Have a look!
Environmentally responsible attitudes and behaviour do not necessarily translate into real benefits for the environment, according to the results of a new study. The study shows that people who think they are environmentally aware – and even those who, in some respects, seem to behave in an environmentally friendly way – actually have just as large an impact on the environment as other consumers.
Does changing people’s attitude towards the environment translate into the desired environmental impacts? There are two main considerations when trying to answer this question. First, a change in attitude does not always lead to a change in behaviour. The way people behave is affected by many external factors, for example, social norms and infrastructure – such as recycling facilities – may mean that people find it too difficult to change, even if they want to do so. Secondly, even when people report having changed their behaviour, the expected environmental benefits are often not as large as expected. This second problem is referred to as the Behaviour-Impact Gap (BIG) problem.
There are lots of reasons why environmental behavior may not match expected benefits. People may overstate how often they recycle. They may switch to products that they genuinely believe to be "greener" because they display eco-labels – when in reality, alternative products may be just as "green". Transporting renewable resources or waste for recycling over long distances may result in emissions that cancel out the intended environmental benefits. The result is that the consumer's carbon or ecological footprint may not change much, even when they believe they are acting responsibly towards the environment.
Research conducted in Hungary analysed the link between environmental attitudes and behaviour, and environmental impact, by comparing the ecological and carbon footprints of "green" (committed to pro-environmental behaviour) and "brown" (not committed) consumers. Ecological footprints were calculated using a survey of 1,012 Hungarians, which provided detailed data about consumers and their behaviour, including their income, diets, energy use and travel habits. Each person was assigned to a "green", "brown" or "average" category based on their answer to the question, “Have you done any of the following during the past month for environmental reasons?” – eight options were given, including separating their waste for recycling and using their car less. Around a quarter were "green", a quarter "brown" and just over half "average".
There was no difference between the carbon or ecological footprints of "green", "brown" and "average" consumers. This is a clear example of a big problem – a gap between environmental awareness and behaviour, and actual impact on the environment. Worryingly, the results suggest that no matter how environmentally aware a consumer claims to be, he or she will have just as large an impact on the environment.
Income is a major factor influencing consumers' ecological footprints. In the study, ecological footprint increased along with income – even though there were very few "brown" consumers in the higher income brackets. While low income families were more likely to be "brown" consumers, they still had smaller ecological footprints than high income families. The behaviour-impact gap problem was, however, persistent even when the impact of higher income was controlled for in the study. Thus the ecological footprint of "green" consumers in a certain income bracket was not significantly different from the footprint of "brown" consumers in the same income bracket. Although no statistical relationship between pro-environmental behaviour and ecological footprint was found at the macro level, there is still a place for individual action. The results of the study indicate that some individuals are successful at reducing their ecological impacts while acting "green". Hence, pro-environmental behaviour should not be rejected as superfluous or irrelevant.
Waste industry must engage better with SMEs
On 29 May 2012 a conference on commercial waste hosted by edieWaste and LAWR magazine took place in London. Participants such as representatives from Defra, the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Environmental Services Association (ESA) agreed that even if the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) want to “do the right thing”, recycling is not a priority for them.
Louise Clark, Defra’s commercial and industrial waste policy head declared that there was “no silver bullet” to increase recycling rates among SMEs. However, she argued that there are good examples of how to influence SMEs behaviours such as Recyclebank and its voucher-based schemes for household waste. She also mentioned that in the case of multi-office blocks and estates, a waste recycling service on-site is not offered.
For Cllr Clyde Loakes, the LGA’s environment board vice chair, SMEs need to be pushed to recycle more, however, they also need tools to do it. For Matthew Farrow, ESA’s director of policy, the provision of simple solutions to SMEs in order to deal with their waste in a more resource-efficient way is the duty of waste companies. He argued that the information is often hard to understand, and therefore, it needs to be simplified.
Product labelling: Who’s doing it right?
The research shows that more and more, consumers have a special attention to packaging in order to determine if a product is green. Consumers now want to know the composition of a product as well as how it’s made and how socially responsible the company is.
Consequently, the amount of information that should appear in the packaging is quite important. The question now is: Who is doing it right? Karen Barnes, the voice of the consumer for Shelton Group argues that Tom’s of Maine (the sustainable personal care products company partially owned by Colgate-Palmolive) is one of the companies who is doing it right. She explains that Tom’s of Maine managed to put all the information a consumer now want in a single tube:
Discuss the company’s “no animal testing” policy
Give consumers a web address so they can learn about ingredients, their purpose and source
State that sustainable practices are a company-wide priority
Claim no artificial colours, flavours, fragrances, or preservatives
Convey their commitment to maximizing recycled content and recyclability of their packaging
Communicate their policy donating 10% of profits to “human and environmental goodness”
¡El vídeo promocional de Green Commerce ya está en línea!
La Conselleria de Economía, Industria y Comercio de la Generalitat Valenciana ha producido un vídeo bajo el lema “compromiso para la minimización del impacto ambiental en el pequeño comercio” a través del cual pequeños comerciantes participantes al proyecto Green Commerce han tenido la oportunidad de expresarse y promover el proyecto mediante sus testimonios, explicando los pequeños cambios que han hecho en sus comercios con el fin de cumplir con los objetivos del proyecto. Estos pequeños comerciantes se han unido para explicar que actúan unidos para reducir al máximo su impacto medioambiental del ejercicio de sus trabajos.
El video recoge testimonios sobre:
reducir el consumo de energía
reducir el consumo de agua
generar menos residuos
ser más ecoeficiente
ser más ecológico
¡Mira el vídeo!
PRO EUROPE launches New Waste Prevention Website
On 26 June 2012, PRO EUROPE, the European umbrella organisation for packaging and packaging waste recovery and recycling schemes (‘Green Dot’), launched a new website, proeurope4prevention.
It will serve as a platform showcasing a wide range of the waste prevention initiatives that PRO EUROPE members proposed to their clients over the past 15 years in order to improve packaging from an environmental point of view. These measures include, for example, eco-design tools, ‘design for recycling’ advice, best practices, trainings, awards, etc. . Furthermore, the website will provide up to date information about packaging trends, eco-design, waste prevention and packaging legislation.
The association hopes that the website can contribute to spreading the message on the importance of taking actions to reduce the environmental impact of packaging, and be a source of inspiration for all stakeholders.
For further information, please have a look at the website:
M&S launches world's most sustainable suit
The retailer Marks and Spencer presented its first suit made from “the most sustainable materials possible”. This is one of the results of sustainable clothes promoted by M&S Plan A. The suit is made by recycled polyester in the canvas and labels, reclaimed buttons and fabric and organic wool. The retailer already produced 500 suits which will be launched online. You will find it in stores next September in the Savile Row Inspired collection. Mark Sumner, the M&S Plan A sustainable raw material expert, affirmed that this new garment is a huge step forward in the fashion industry.
Marks and Spencer’s Plan A was launched in 2007, setting out 100 commitments to achieve in 5 years. The retailer extended it to 2015 with 180 commitments with the aim to become “the world’s most sustainable retailer” through the cooperation between customers and M&S suppliers in order to combat climate change, reduce waste, use sustainable raw materials, trade ethically and promote healthier lifestyle.
Click here for more information on the Plan A commitments for 2010-2015
Conference on Commerce and Environment: Life+ Green Commerce
The Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce celebrated yesterday the Green Commerce Day in Torrevieja, Valencian Community. The Green Commerce project aims to involve retail stores as well as customers in the fight against climate change through the inculcation of the necessity to reduce energy consumption and waste production through simple techniques, easy to implement. The experimental project implemented in Torrevieja and San Sebastián carried out a total of 187 audits in 2 years, where 44 retail stores from Torrevieja and about 30 in San Sebastian succeeded. Following the comments of Silvia Ordiñaga, General Director of Commerce and Consumption, the aim is now to generalise it throughout the Valencian Community.
During the inauguration of the conference, the General Director affirmed that about 40 municipalities of the Valencian Community have declared the interest on joining the project. In addition, she is confident that before the end of the year, about 30 municipalities will have signed collaboration agreements with the Ministry. The Conference had been closed by the Mayor of Torrevieja, Eduardo Dolón, who demonstrated his satisfaction regarding the work of the shopkeepers concerning the minimization of the environmental impact in their retail store.
Jornada sobre Comercio y Medio Ambiente: Life+ Green Commerce
La Conselleria de Economía, Industria y Comercio celebró ayer la Jornada Green Commerce en Torrevieja, Comunitat Valenciana. El proyecto Green Commerce tiene como finalidad implicar tanto pequeños comerciantes como consumidores en la lucha contra el cambio climático a través de la inculcación en las mentalidades de reducir el consumo energético y la producción de residuos a través de técnicas fáciles de poner en práctica. El proyecto experimental implementado en Torrevieja y San Sebastián ha realizado en 2 años 187 auditorías que 44 comercios en Torrevieja y una treintena en San Sebastián han superado con éxito. La intención ahora es, según Silvia Ordiñaga, Directora general de Comercio y Consumo, que se generalice por toda la Comunidad valenciana.
La Directora General también ha afirmado en la inauguración de la Jornada que unos cuarenta municipios de la Comunidad Valenciana ya han declarado su interés en adherirse al proyecto y confía en que de aquí a final de año la Conselleria haya suscrito convenios de colaboración con una treintena de municipios. La conferencia ha sido clausurada por el Alcalde de Torrevieja, Eduardo Dolón que ha demostrado su staisfacción ante tel trabajo de los comerciantes en cuanto a la minimización del impacto medio ambiental en sus comercios
Four key techniques to encouraging pro-environmental behaviour
The DG Environment of the European Commission made a new analysis on “How to encourage pro-environmental behaviour”. The study was made through the analysis of 87 existing studies on pro environmental behaviour (PEB) in order to evaluate them and identify the most effective ones. This analysis highlighted four categories of techniques:
Convenience techniques: this category involves easy ways to change people’s behaviour such as providing water efficient showerheads to householders, disseminate information for example with stickers.
Information techniques: It involves providing specific information and facts for example on the amount of recyclable waste going to landfill and provide some guidelines in order to make a change.
Monitoring techniques: it includes providing incentives for PEB and also feedback on the impact of behaviour as it can be seen in an electricity bill.
Social-psychological techniques: this last technique involves interaction amongst people who already undertake PEB interact and people who still do not and incite them (social modelling technique). It can also involve the prosecution of beliefs and act consequently such as installing energy-efficient light bulbs (foot-in-the-door technique).
It is agreed that none of the techniques are highly effective for all PEB. However, it is true that certain techniques are more suitable for certain PEB.
How do you choose a certifier?
Following the advice of Gia Machlin, President and CEO of Eco Plum, getting a business green-certified involves choosing a certifier. The label can be issued by:
The government: this kind of label involves paperwork and high costs associated. However, it allows the business to be listed in government websites and use their logo on the products, which reassure costumers. Some of the North American most popular are Uncle Sam, Energy Star, USDA Organic or EPA.
Non profit organisations and nongovernmental organisations: For this kind of certification, there is less paperwork. However, they have rigorous standards that businesses need to fulfil before obtaining it. They also monitor the businesses very closely and some of them run random audits in order to maintain integrity. Some of the better known are Green Seal, Green America or Fair Trade USA
Other third party organisation: third parties such as consulting firms also deliver eco certifications. They also require verifications of standards prior certification delivering. In addition, they provide advice and consulting services in order to guide them into the standards. The best known are Cradle to Cradle and UL Environment.
La Jornada Life + Green Commerce en Torrevieja se acerca!
Queremos recordaros que el 28 de junio se celebra la Jornada Regional Green Commerce en Torrevieja.
Más información aquí.
Jornada: Tendencias y Oportunidades para el Ahorro y la Eficiencia en zonas rurales
El CEEI Valencia y la Federación Valenciana de Municipios y Provincias (FVMP) son participantes del Proyecto Europeo Knowing que tiene como objetivo reforzar la cooperación de los principales actores institucionales y económicos, así como promover la “economía del conocimiento” a través de una plataforma de diálogo trasnacional. Han decidido, tras el éxito de las sesiones anteriores, organizar una nueva jornada bajo la temática “Iniciativas innovadoras para el desarrollo de zonas rurales basado en un uso inteligente de la energía”.
El miércoles 27 de junio tendrá lugar en el Centro Social de Requena, Valencia una sesión llamada “tendencias y oportunidades para el ahorro y la eficiencia en zonas rurales” con los siguientes principales objetivos:
Difundir el concepto de eficiencia energética y el uso racional de la energía ya es fundamental para conseguir la concienciación de los gestores des instalaciones públicas o privadas.
Buscar nuevas tendencias en relación con energías aplicables al medio rural
Asimismo, a lo largo de esta sesión, también se entregaran los premios del concurso: FUTURE-ANDO para la eficiencia y la sostenibilidad en el Medio Rural
Para ver el programa de la sesión y registrarse, haga clic aquí.
Which Ecolabel do you want to obtain? General vs. Industry specific
Gia Machelin, President and CEO of EcoPlum located in New York, (United States) published an article on Green Certification. As the owner of a small media and e-commerce company, she shares her experience concerning eco labeling. A Green-certified business can be resource intensive at the beginning, therefore, choosing the best certification is fundamental in order to succeed.
The first dilemma a business has to face is choosing between a more generic to a specific industry label. This mainly depends on the type of business. If a retail store sells a range of different eco friendly products, there is a variety of eco labels such as Green Seal, Cradle to Cradle, Green America or EcoLogo that cover a range of products. However, manufacturers that are specialised in a particular industry should get certified by experts in their field.
Las pymes pueden ahorrar 3.083 millones con eficiencia energética
El 7 de junio 2012, Gas Natural Fenosa publicó la sexta edición del Estudio de Eficiencia Energética en la Pyme. Para este estudio, se han seleccionado 1.507 de las 2.737 entrevistas telefónicas realizadas. Se trata de empresas de representatividad nacional sectorial y autonómica de entre 6 y 199 empleados que pertenecen a los siguientes sectores: Comercio, Industria, Hoteles, Servicios Profesionales y Restaurantes y Cafeterías, Resto de actividades.
El estudio afirma que las Pymes tienen un potencial de ahorro de 3.038 millones de euros, lo que según Vicente Gramuntel, Director de Mercados de Gas Natural Fenosa, se traduce en 116. 000 empleos. El 63% ya poseen planes de ahorro energético y el 59%ya ha puesto en marcha las medidas de ahorro. Asimismo, Gramuntel sostiene que las pequeñas empresas son las menos eficientes debido a que tienen mayores dificultades a la hora de implementar los programas de ahorro energético.
The CRCI aims to sensitize 400 SMEs
The Regional Chamber of Business and Industry (CRCI) of Paris-Ile de France and the Chamber of Business and Industry (CCI) are promoting the eco-design and waste reduction with the support of the Ile-de-France Region and the ADEME.
The Waste Reduction Plan in Ile de France includes 23 actions. One of them concerns small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and its aim is to sensitize about 400 SMEs. The launch event of this action took place on 31 May 2012. The intention was to share experiences about the operation “test businesses: reduce costs by reducing waste” (Entreprises témoins: réduire les coûts en réduisant les déchets) promoted by the ADEME in 2010. Moreover, 3 SMEs from Ile de France who have experience with “eco-design and waste reduction” shared their knowledge. They affirmed that waste management represent 0,7% of their turnover. Therefore, eco-design is an environmental issue as well as economical.
In addition, the procedures of implementation of the action which will run until 2013 had been discussed. There will be:
80 prevention diagnosis
40 eco-conception diagnosis
20 individual supports
Bolsas para ahorra y no contaminar
En febrero del 2012 nació Rciclo, una tienda online dedicada a la venta de productos reutilizables como botellas, envases o bolsas. La idea nació cuando los co-fundadores se dieron cuenta de que existía un gran vacío en España en cuanto al fomento a la venta de productos reutilizables. Y es que cada día, se pone al mercado unos 51 millones de envases desechables y cada español genera por lo menos 25 Kg de envases de usar y tirar al año.
Por esta razón, han decidido crear esta tienda online que vende envases reutilizables para evitar tanta contaminación y reducir los residuos generados. Además, la mayoría de los productos tienen un precio más que asequible ya que en su gran mayoría no pasan de los 20 euros. Esta especialmente dirigido a las personas que viven en zona urbana, que tienen entre 25 y 40 años, titulados y que por supuesto tienen sensibilidad medioambiental.
Con lo cual, la mayor intención de esta nueva tienda es vender sus envases reutilizables a fin de reducir la cantidad total de residuos y promover el ahorro. Y es que según un estudio del 2009 de la Agencia de Medio Ambiente y Gestión de la Energía francesa (Ademe), el consumo sostenible podría implicar un ahorro de hasta 512 euros al año y por persona. Así, utilizar envoltorios reutilizables para bocadillos o utilizar botellas de agua de aluminio o con filtro de carbón son pequeños gestos que pueden hacer la diferencia.
Waste Prevention for Businesses Case Study -- Hornbeam, Waltham Forest
The North London Waste Authority (NLWA) interviewed Paul Gasson who works at the Horbeam Environmental Centre in Waltham Forest, London.
The Horbeam Centre was created in 1991 and the cafe had been running since 2008. One of their main goal is to establish and implement a zero waste policy. On this basis, they only produce a quarter of a bin bag of waste per week given that all the remaining waste is recycled. What measures do they implement in order to reach this result?
- Sell environmentally friendly cleaning materials
- Ask people to bring along their own bottles in order to reduce plastic waste
- Ask people to bring their old computers in order to reduce WEEE waste
- Set in place a very tight stock control
- Have adopted a re-use and recycling policy
Green Commerce at the Green Week
The 12th edition of the Green Week took place in Brussels between 22th and 25th May 2012. This year, the Green Week was focused on Water. With around 40 sessions, the Green Week 2012 offered a unique opportunity for debate and exchange and good practices.
The 2011 edition attracted more than 3200 participants from government, business and industry, non-governmental organizations, academia and the media. This year, 10 LIFE+ projects were exposed such as Green Commerce. The project partners from ACR+, Generalitat Valenciana and Ayuntamiento de Torrevieja were together presenting the project to those who were interested in more details about it and to Soledad Blanco, the Director of Environment DG-Directorate C: Sustainable Resources Management, Industry and Air.
In order to improve the next edition, the European Commission is asking to participants to take a moment and complete an online survey.
Co-op tones down milk bottle tops to boost recyclability
The Co-operative Food sells about 202 million bottles of milk per year. The tap is coloured and therefore, the amount of recycled material was limited.
Now, the Co-operative has voluntary reduced the amount of tint in its plastic coloured milk bottle. Through this measure, the retailer will increase the recycle content of plastic milk bottles from 10% to 30% which is translated into an increase of 4.500 tonnes/year of recyclable material.
WRAP affirms that this measure is a “quick win” given that it allows a higher achievement of recycled content in milk bottles and consequently, it is a great step in reducing the use of virgin plastic. The environmental manager of the retailer is proud of being the first UK retailer to implement this measure in all of its own-brand milk bottles.
The Japanese Ministry of the Environment supports recycling project with the participation of stores
In Japan, the Containers/Packaging Recycling Act regulates the recycling system of plastic containers and packaging. However, plastic daily products are often incinerated or buried.
In this context, the Japanese Ministry of the Environment organized between this February and March a collection of plastic products at stores. It is a pilot project called PLA-PLUS project which promotes recycling by an efficient system of collection for plastic products. For the moment, six companies agreed to participate to this pilot project. One of them is a major toy manufacturer called Tomy Co. Between Februray 25th and March 8th, 2 of the stores collected unwanted toys at cash registers.
This is not the first time that stores in Japan are part of a project. The MUJI stores of the Osaka prefecture participated to the FUKU FUKU project in 2010 which consisted in collecting unwanted clothes during 2 weeks and recycle almost 100% of the material.
The collected clothing was degraded by natural enzymes and microorganisms to regenerate bio-ethanol from the cotton. Bio-ethanol is used as alternative to industrial ethanol and oil fuels. Other materials such as nylon and polyester were also recycled. The remaining materials were thermally decomposed and used as fuel.
Why businesses should care about waste?
The North London Waste Authority (NLWA) has elaborated a Guide for Businesses called « Reduce Waste, Save Money ». This guide gives some tips about good practices in order to change customers and businesses behaviour. In addition, it highlights the fact that the generation of waste have a cost. Therefore, by reducing the amount of waste, businesses will save money and at the same time they will take care of the environment. Recycling is often a cheaper option than sending waste to landfill.
For businesses, prevention is the best way to save money. The idea involves not producing waste in the first place rather than waiting until it is produced and then think how to deal with it. Businesses can also buy recycled products. Click here and have a look to about 300 recycled products.
Moreover, it gives a competitive advantage: Customers are choosing to “buy green” in order to contribute to the conservation of the planet. Therefore, if the business certifies that it is involved in “green business actions”, it will add a great value. Employees do have to hesitate to talk about it to their customers. Actually, they should explain that they are taking steps to reduce waste and they need customers’ help.
Green Commerce en la Green Week Conference 2012
Durante esta semana el proyecto europeo LIFE+Green Commerce, que tiene como objetivo implicar el pequeño comercio en la lucha contra el cambio climatico y promover la la responsabilidad medioambietal en el sector comercial, estará presente en la 12a edición de la Green Week
Esta Conferencia internacional tiene lugar del 22 al 25 de mayo de 2012 en Bruselas y ofrece una oportunidad unica para el debate y el intercambio de experiencias y de buenas prácticas, convirtiéndose en la mayor conferencia anual sorbre politica europea de medio ambiente.
Waste Prevention for Businesses Case Study -- Natural Health, Barnet
As we explained in the last post, the Guide for businesses « Reduce Waste Save Money, a guide for businesses » gives lots of tips in order to save money but also to take care of the environment. The following video shows an example of a sustainable retail store in Barnet (North London, UK) that uses some of the tips! Watch the video and listen to the explanation of Jay, the owner of Natural Health. He explains in a few minutes how he manages his retail store in a sustainable way. Have a look!
Tips for managing your waste
According to the Guide for businesses “Reduce Waste, Save Money”, about 17.5 billion plastic bags are given by the supermarkets in the UK. It represents 130.000 tonnes of plastic and it would be enough to cover an area of a city like London with a layer of bags.
In order to reduce, it is as simple as asking customers if they need a bag. Another simple measure is to provide reusable glasses and mugs to the staff instead of disposable. Reuse is also a good way to limit waste. As an example, the managers of the stores should encourage customers to bring their own shopping bag or reuse incoming packaging for deliveries. Those are simple acts that reduce the amount of waste and at the same time the owner save money! Managers should definitely teach their customers at the checkout point.
In any case, it is always very useful to contact a waste contractor which will always be a great advisor. For sure they can make businesses save money very easily with simple and immediate small behaviour changes.
The Guide provides a list of 10 tips to save money:
1. Talk to your waste contractor or your council about recycling collections
2. Ask before giving costumers bags, disposable cutlery, or paper serviettes
3. Stock loose items where possible and avoid over-packaged products
4. Purchase good quality durable equipment
5. Ensure staff have reusable mugs and glasses, not disposable
6. Use concentrated cleaning products in refillable containers
7. Reuse incoming packaging and boxes for outgoing deliveries
8. Use rechargeable batteries and refillable printer cartridges
9. Reuse envelopes and convert scrap paper into note books
10. Always print double-sided
Green is in for Zergatik fashion store
The last Green Commerce Bulletin #10 is out. This time, we interviewed Lucía Tauil, partner of Zergatik in Donostia-San Sebastian.
She explains how a fashion store can also be sustainable and take care of the environment.
1. Describe your retail store and activity.
It is a fashion and complements retail store. The retail store is divided in two floors: collection and outlet.
Zergatik is a clothes brand born in Pamplona which has been in the market since more than 10 years. It is characterized by its exclusive designs and colourful pattern.
2. What made you join this Green Commerce initiative?
The initiative Green Commerce helped Zergatik to improve its environmental awareness even if lots of guidelines proposed for joining the Green Commerce label were already implemented at Zergatik
3. What aspects of your business did you consider to be environmentally deficient? And which of these aspects have improved since joining the project?
Every day, the brand tries, as part of its business logic, to implement models of sustainable management and materials in every possible field. However, there are some aspects which are unfeasible because of the cost.
Environmental awareness is not a marketing strategy for us. It is part of Zergatik team’s belief: to live in a more sustainable world.
We took this opportunity to implement the protocol to our 3 other stores (Madrid, Oiartzun, Bilbao) and our offices in Urnieta.
We produced a manual to help shop assistants and we try to improve it day after day.
4. What happened until now? What have you discovered or what surprised you in the auditing process? What changes did you do?
We had a good baseline situation. However, some proposals for improvement made by the auditor were very useful, such as:
- the aerator, which is a dispenser for water saving from the tap.
- adapting computer equipment for energy saving.
- more ecological shopping bags and made of one material. We will start with it when we finish our stock as well as using paper from sustainable forests.
The entrance of the store is illuminated by LED light bulbs. We use low consume light bulbs inside the store, however we plan to replace them by LEDs in the future given that it is cheaper in the long term.
5. How would you value the process, the tools, the proposed solutions and the brand of “Green Commerce”?
We liked very much the practical solutions provided by the technical experts given that it concerned easy things to implement. In addition, it involves costs saving for the company.
6. What are the aspects of this Project you consider most important?
The most important aspects are the environmental and the economical ones as well as the image because our customers have a high sustainable environmental awareness.
7. Do you inform your clients about the Project? How do they react?
Zergatik does not use the project for marketing. However, the brand tries to answer clients’ requests such as the use of sustainable materials and fabrics as far as possible.
8. Do you have any suggestions or comments for the promoters of Green Commerce?
Yes. We would like this initiative to be boosted and extended to other cities. In addition, there should be a monitoring/control of the members in order to keep moving forward given that this initiative allowed us to make progress in a track that we were already following.
9. What would you advise to other shops that are thinking of joining the Project?
It was very beneficial in terms of costs and for a clean and waste free environment. Also key is the image shown to customers as well as their own role towards a responsible and sustainable consumption.
More information available on Zergatik.com
¡Recicla y obtiene puntos para consumir en un comercio local!
Los municipios de Llíria y Utiel de la Comunidad Valenciana estrenan esta semana una nueva medida que tiene que ver con el reciclaje:
El Consorcio Valencia Interior ha decidido elaborar un sistema personalizado donde los ciudadanos podrán descontar hasta un 25% el importe de su Tasa de Tratamiento de Residuos. ¿Cómo lo pueden hacer? El Consorcio ha creado una tarjeta para cada usuario llamada “Mi Cuenta Ambiental”. El usuario tendrá que depositar sus residuos en los Ecoparcs o Ecomobils que pondrán los puntos en las tarjetas en función del peso y del tipo de producto. Estos puntos serán convertibles en cheques que se entregaran en noviembre para compras en comercios locales. Los vecinos podrán ahorrar hasta 100.000 euros y se ha estimado que los comerciantes de Llíria podrían ganar hasta 60.000 euros y 35.000 en Utiel debido a las compras navideñas.
Esta medida tardará unos 6meses en expandirse a los 61 municipios del Consorcio Valencia Interior, cubriendo así 250.000 habitantes. Esta es una medida innovadora donde una campaña medioambiental se une al fomento de los comercios locales.
Growing consumer attachment to green brands
Marketers work hard to create an emotional link between consumers and promoted brands. One way to create that emotional link is by aligning a brand’s identity with the consumer’s sense of self, their understanding of who they are and what they want to be. “The Emotional Brand Attachment and Brand Personality: The Relative Importance of the Actual and Ideal Self” paper published by Lucia Malär et. al. explores the relationship between the consumer’s actual and ideal sense of self, and emotional brand attachment.
According to the paper, consumers generally form greater emotional attachments with brands that align to how consumers view themselves, rather than what consumers aspire to be. Malär et al. identify three significant attributes: the degree of product involvement, the level of consumer self-esteem and the propensity for public self-consciousness. Individuals who score highly in any of these have a positive emotional attachment to brands that focus on their actual sense of self, while those with low scores have a positive attachment with brands that focus on their ideal sense of self.
Product involvement is largely determined by how relevant consumers perceive that product to be in their lives. While less engaged consumers have positive attachment with brands that focus on their ideal sense of self, they will not necessarily respond positively to brands aligned to it: Consumers may be aspirationally green but are often not familiar with the products that can help them achieve this aspiration.
Thus, green marketers might first need to educate consumers about green brands before those brands can become relevant in their lives. One powerful tool is to communicate a goal-driven message around green products while showcasing their actual use by people with whom consumers can readily identify.
Consumer self-esteem is essential for emotional brand attachment as consumers seek out brands that reinforce or enhance their own self worth. Green marketers may interpret self-esteem as a consumer’s confidence in their ability to make greener choices that are right for them.
When engaging green-confident consumers, brands might therefore want to emphasise evidence that confirms the consumer’s self view, for example by praising consumers for taking eco-friendly actions. In contrast, when engaging less confident consumers, a brand may want to shape the perception of what it means to be a greener product, and to actively facilitate their purchase.
Public self-consciousness is a consumer’s awareness of how others perceive them. As people like to be seen positively, green marketers should provide ways for consumers to receive public accolades for eco-friendly behaviour, for example by embedding gaming elements such as badges and points into networked products. Alternatively, brands can encourage the use of social media apps that allow consumers to share and compare energy savings.
Marks & Spencer Launches « Shwopping », aims to recycle as much as it sells.
The retailer Marks and Spencer has been collaborating with Oxfam for four years. They initiated together some projects such as the Oxfam Clothes Exchange which started in 2008 and still running. It consists on bringing the unwanted clothes to Oxfam in exchange of a £5 vouchers spendable at M&S stores.
M&S affirms that every year, about 500.000 tons of clothes are sent to the landfill. In this regard, the retailer installed about 1.200 recycling boxes in all M&S stores (except Simply food) across the United Kingdom. Since yesterday and for one year, costumers are invited to put their old or unwanted clothes from any brand inside the “shwop drops”. All the clothes collected will be sent to Oxfam to be resold (through their website), reused (sent to international market) or recycled (transformed into new materials). The money collected is addressed to people living in poverty and this action will reduce the amount of clothes thrown in the landfill. M&S objective is to recycle as many clothes as it sells, which is about 350 million per year.
Display of the environmental footprint products: French developments-NOW AVAILABLE IN ENGLISH!
• More information
As we already wrote a few month ago, sustainable household consumption is fundamental for a greener economic growth. Since 1st of July 2012 and until 1st of July 2012, France is conducting a national experimentation on consumer product environmental information. Its aim is to optimise the conditions in order to implement environmental labelling/display. In this regard, France had been a pioneer with the Grenelle Environmental Forum. The information about the experiment is now available in English. You can check from here.
Ministere de l’Ecologie, du Développement Durable, des Tansports et du Logement
1er encuentro Green Cities en la Ribera
• Additional information
Full report (in French) available on developpement-durable.gouv.fr
Esta misma mañana se ha celebrado en Alzira en la Comunidad Valenciana el primer encuentro de Green Cities donde van a asistir empresas interesadas en eficiencia energética, emprendedores que desean desarrollar su negocio introduciendo nuevas tecnologías, entidades públicas entre otros participantes.
La participación en este encuentro es particularmente importante ya que, según el estudio “World Urbanization prospects” realizado por Naciones Unidas en el 2007, la población urbana seguirá aumentando y llegara hasta el 84% en el 2050, siendo a día de hoy un 71%. Esto se traduce en un serio incremento en cuanto a consumo de energía, bienes y servicios y en consecuencia una mayor generación de polución y derroche.
Este encuentro pretende desarrollar el concepto de “smart cities” e así impulsar nuevos modelos de negocios, sobretodo ahorrando energía y reduciendo las emisiones de CO2.
Why Walmart wants more consumer pressure for sustainability
There are existent differences between what consumers say they want and what they buy:
Consumers choose products according to what they think is “green” or “sustainable” instead of checking the environmental impact of the product. Libby Bernick, the vice president at UL Environment thinks that marketing plays a significant role to encourage consumers to buy “green”. Companies should disseminate information about their sustainability efforts. In other words, businesses should make sure consumers know that the company is acting in a greener way.
Consumers also pay attention to external certification of the product: it is hard for a consumer to choose between all the sustainable products in a supermarket. Therefore, companies have to differentiate their product. One good practice would be to label the product with an external certification given that products are more trustable if they are accredited by an outside source instead of an internal one.
We usually think that consumers are the ones exerting pressure on supermarkets to have more sustainable products. However, the director of sustainability of Walmart, Jeff Rice, admits that the supermarkets are not getting enough pressure from the consumer. It means that there is a trend of companies pushing consumers to choose more sustainable products.
Las pymes europeas crearán dos millones de empleos verdes de aquí a 2014
Las pequeñas y medianas empresas representan en Europa un 99% del sector empresarial que según la Comisión Europea creará 2 millones de empleos verdes de aquí a 2014. En efecto, la Comisión Europea publicó el pasado 27 de marzo la encuesta “Pymes, eficiencia energética y mercados verdes” a través de la cual se pueden destacar una serie de datos:
El 37% de la Pymes de los 27 países de Europa ya tienen por lo menos un puesto de trabajo dedicado a la producción de bienes y servicios que cuenten con aspectos relacionados con el medio ambiente. Eslovenia, Letonia, Italia y España son los países que encabezan esa lista.
Asimismo, la encuesta afirma que este 37% podría llegar hasta un 39% de aquí a dos años, lo que supondría la creación de dos millones de puestos de trabajo relacionados con el medio ambiente, especialmente en los sectores de alimentación y bebidas así como de electrónica y equipamiento. Las empresas están particularmente interesadas en la economía verde, no sólo porque mejora su imagen, sino que también es debido al considerable aumento de la demanda en relación con bienes y servicios “verdes”.
En cuanto al ahorro de energía, 100% las Pymes europeas interrogadas son conscientes del ahorro energético y han adoptado ciertas medidas para actuar en consecuencia. El 50% afirma que han recibido ayudas públicas. En cambio, para un 35% no ha supuesto ningún coste contra un 27% donde ha supuesto un incremento en el coste de producción.
Más información aquí.
European’s Commission Study on different options for communicating environmental information for products- Results
The communication of environmental information to consumers aims to change their behaviours by making them think smarter and take more sustainable decisions. In order to have an impact and achieve this objective, three main conditions have to be met:
1. Adequate knowledge has to be available
2. Positive attitude to change
3. Access to sufficiently attractive alternatives.
The study on different options for communicating environmental information for products focuses on the first condition. Even though there is actually a significant amount of environmental information available, consumers criticise the lack of information. Therefore, there is an existent necessity of improving the communication of environmental information.
The study is based on a survey carried out in Poland, Italy and Sweden. 1500 participants (500 from each country) were chosen according to their socio-demographic characteristics (gender, age, occupation of the respondent, market size and region) in order to represent the general population.
The questionnaire is built in two parts: the first one comprises questions concerning the general understanding of product environmental information. 57% of the participants affirm that they understand the concept of “the environmental impact of a product”. 38% declare having heard about the expression but are not familiar with it.
The second part involves a test on specific label designs. The majority of the respondents would prefer this information on the product or on the shelves next to the product. In other words, they prefer having this information available at the moment of the decision making rather than looking it up on a website or through a Smartphone.
In addition, the importance of labelling depends on the type of product: the broad majority would like to see labels on food and cosmetics,given that consumers connect the notion of “environmental” with “health”. However, they do not attach such importance to the label when buying toys, electronics or clothes as they do not associate their decision with the environment.
It is important to notice that consumers want a clear, obvious and direct label which will allow an easy comparison with other products. The language is therefore very important when communicating environmental information. For example, consumers prefer a colour-coded scale with “better” and “worse” rather than “less impact” and “more impact”. In general, the population expect this kind of label. Only 4% of the participants are strongly opposed to it. The complete report is available here.
App-etising Solution to Tackle Supermarket Food Waste
Supermarkets have lots of food that need to be taken off shelves daily: stock that needs to rotate, surplus food like bananas with brown spots, or refrigerated items that have to make place for the new delivery. The supermarkets cannot sell these products, and while they sometimes donate them to food banks, more often than not they toss them in the bin. Thus, almost 50% of edible and healthy food gets wasted in supermarkets across the EU. Now, France-based project Zéro Gâchis is planning to step in by providing a platform for businesses to let consumers know in real-time when they have food reaching expiration, for sale at discounted rates.
Merchants that have stock approaching its expiry date will be able to send Zéro Gâchis price reductions they are willing to make on the products. Consumers with the Zéro Gâchis app in close proximity will then be alerted to the discounts in real-time. This will enable supermarkets to reduce the amount of food waste they generate. At the same time, the likelihood of a purchase being made will be increased due to the immediacy with which customers can take action. In addition to the savings, buyers will gain points each time they take advantage of Zéro Gâchis’ discounts. These points can then be converted into cash directed towards food waste charities such as Restos du Coeur or Banque Alimentaire.
In October 2011, Zéro Gâchis won first prize at the Startup Weekend Bretagne for its innovative idea. Follow Zéro Gâchis website for details of a launch date.
ECOLUM aumenta cada año la recogida de residuos de luminarias, llegando a las 542 toneladas en 2011
La Fundación para el Reciclaje de Residuos de Luminarias y Regeneración del Medioambiente (Fundación ECOLUM) nació en el 2004 con el fin de gestionar conjuntamente con ANFALUM (Asociación Nacional de Fabricantes de Aparatos de Iluminación) los aparatos de alumbrado. Desde el 2011 también se encargan de los residuos de los rótulos luminosos.
El 1 de enero del 2012 empezó a prestarse activamente apoyo al sector de residuos de luminarias con lo que se espera una mayor recogida en comparación con los años anteriores. Aun así, La Fundación ve como año tras año se va aumentando la cifra de los residuos de luminarias. Y es que en el 2011 se recogieron un 35% (llegando a un total de más de 500 toneladas) más de residuos luminosos en comparación con el 2010.
Sin embargo, cabe destacar que la recogida de los residuos según su lugar de origen varía significativamente: en el sector domestico se ha observado un aumento de más de 50% con respecto al 2010. En cambio, en el sector profesional y puntual, las cifras de recogida de residuos han sido similares en el año 2010 y 2011.
Japanese Survey Reports that 50% Say Carbon Footprint Display Improves Product Image
“The Survey of Consumer Acceptability Regarding Carbon Footprint of Products” responses had been announced on November 1st 2011 by the Mizuho Research Institute. The survey took place in Kanagawa Prefecture in a shopping mall called “Ario Hashimoto” to be precise.
The idea of the survey was to find out the level of awareness regarding carbon footprint. As a first step, the Institute selected twelve items with their carbon footprint labels, indicating their carbon dioxide emissions.
The results of the survey are based on 735 visitors:
50% of the respondents affirm that this carbon footprint label improves the impression of the product and 40% affirm that le label will gives a better impression concerning the brand image of the manufacturer. A generous majority of the polled would like to see this kind if label on food as a first choice, followed by household products, home appliances, clothing and automobiles. However the survey also shows that 70% of the visitors were not familiar with the notion of carbon footprint.
Eco-aware shoppers increasingly opt for zero waste packaging
The recent ‘Food & Drink Packaging Trends’ survey recently carried out by Mintel UK affirms that the new core purchasing driver is zero waste packaging for eco-aware and cost-conscious consumers. The report shows that British consumers are increasingly conscious of their food waste.
As a result, their priority is strongly focused on the packaging: they want to keep food fresh longer and consequently minimize food waste. Stephanie Moe, the Bord Bia & Beverage sector manager states “Food and packaging manufacturers continue to work together to introduce more environmentally-friendly packaging formats. (...) As well as the environmental benefit, these packaging developments offer savings in transport and storage costs offered by more lightweight packaging formats". Moreover, consumers prefer “clear” packages given that it shows the quality of the product and demonstrates that there is no unnecessary and superfluous packaging.
It is predicted that in 2016, 30% of the population will be over 55 years old. This demographic share represents the new target of the “easy-open” trend which consists in the promotion of easy-to-open jars and bottles as well as smaller pack formats. In fact, the Britain-based Waste and Resource Action Programme (WRAP) affirms that the food waste of a British family represents £680 a year. At national level it represents £12 billion. As a consequence, eco-aware and cost-conscious consumers are increasingly looking for an appropriate size to their needs.
Consumers also consider the “active” and “intelligent” packaging, however, Stephanie Moe notes that “Advancements in active and intelligent packaging are numerous but their penetration remains limited due to their high costs and technical issues often involved in incorporating them into the production process. Examples of this would be the use of thermo-chrome inks, used in the drinks industry to show when a product is at the correct temperature for consumption ( for example Coors beer bottles).”
Sustainable consumption in a time of crisis – the 14th European Consumer Day
On March 15, marking the 14th European Consumer Day, the conference “Sustainable Consumption in a Time of Crisis” explored the possibility of making sustainable consumption a mass-reality in the time of crisis.
Invited by the European Economic and Social Committee and the Danish Consumer Council, representatives from across Europe analysed the potentials and limitations of market-driven sustainability. There was a broad consensus that the current time of austerity should be seen as an opportunity to fundamentally transform the foundations of European economy towards sustainable consumption. Using resources wisely and minimising waste and pollution could boost new economic models while preserving raw materials and the environment.
In this regard, rather than more expensive or not even an option, sustainable products and services should become the ‘easy choice’ for consumers. Various tools allowing consumers to make smart, well-reasoned decisions were discussed. In particular, the importance of implementing proper information standards such as the introduction of an Eco-label was highlighted.
The conference concluded that a dialogue involving EU institutions, national and local governments, and all the social partners concerning the promotion of sustainable consumption was needed, but that this dialogue must also be connected to action. Examples of how you can take on an active role by preventing waste and minimising the impact of products through their life-cycle can be found on the websites of Pre-waste and Green Commerce.
Earlier this year, the European Commission launched a consultation on sustainable consumption and production. Contributions can be submitted until 3rd April 2012 on the Commission’s website.
The 2012 LIFE+ call for proposals is out
The European Commission published the sixthLIFE+ call for proposals on 13 March 2012. More than €276 million are available for co-financing of projects under three headings: Nature and Biodiversity; Environment Policy and Governance; and Information and Communication.
The 2012 Life+ call for proposals puts special emphasis on the first theme, allocating at least 50% of the overall budget to measures aimed at the conversation of nature and biodiversity. Furthermore, national priorities have been specified by three Member States: Projects from Estonia, France and Italy are more likely to be selected for funding if they are in line with the respective national priorities.
Public and private entities registered in the European Union are invited to validate and submit project proposals to the relevant national authority no later than 26 September 2012. The deadline for the Member States to forward proposals to the European Commission is 2 October 2012.
Please note that applicants must use the LIFE+ 2012 application package for the preparation of their proposals, and that these proposals must be created and submitted using only the eProposal tool.
Examples of successful proposals currently ongoing include Miniwaste and Green Commerce as “Environment Policy and Government” projects, and the European Week for Waste Reduction as an initiative launched within the “Information and Communication” LIFE+ component.
Green Commerce Bulletin #9
For more information on the call, including the application guidelines and application forms, visit the LIFE+ website.
The new Green Commerce Bulletin is now available online. You can download it from here.
Itene organiza un taller sobre el cálculo de la huella de carbono
La huella de carbono se ha convertido en un requisito exigido por la gran distribución que afecta especialmente a los envases y embalajes así como a los procesos de transporte y logística. Pero, ¿cómo calcular la huella de carbono?
Fundación Itene celebra el próximo 7 de marzo un curso práctico para que las empresas puedan calcular la cantidad de gases de efecto invernadero que su actividad emite a la atmósfera y cómo asociarlos a los productos a tenor de su ciclo de vida.
El taller se concibe como eminentemente práctico para que los asistentes puedan manejar con solvencia las herramientas que les permitirán realizar el cálculo de la huella de carbono. De hecho, una parte de la jornada se reserva para resolver los casos prácticos que planteen los propios asistentes.
Asimismo se darán las pautas para analizar los resultados del cálculo y poder aplicar medidas que optimicen los recursos empleados en la producción, realizar una política medioambiental activa y mejorar la competitividad de las empresas.
La huella de carbono permite detectar donde se están produciendo ineficiencias en el uso de materias primas y energía y poder adoptar medidas correctoras. Por otro lado, existe la tendencia creciente entre las grandes distribuidoras europeas de exigir a sus proveedores la huella de carbono, por lo que empieza a ser un requisito obligado para mantener o mejorar la competitividad en el mercado.
El taller está dirigido a directivos y mandos intermedios pertenecientes a empresas de los sectores de envases y embalajes, gran distribución, gran consumo, automoción y logística y transporte intermodal.
Sainsbury's changes food freezing advice in bid to cut food waste
Supermarket issues new guidance as part of a national initiative to change consumer attitudes to freezing food
Brand new labelling on food products being rolled out in all Sainsbury's stores will instead advise customers to freeze food as soon as possible up to the product's 'use by' date.
The initiative is backed by the government's waste advisory body, the Waste and Resources Action Programme (Wrap), whose research shows that 60% of consumers believe food must be frozen on the day of purchase. Wrap estimates that changing the standard advice on all food products could help stop over-cautious shoppers from throwing away as much as 800,000 tonnes – £2bn – of perfectly good food every year.
Research from Sainsbury's shows that 62% of the UK regularly uses the freezer to lengthen the life of food. In a separate study by Wrap, only 21% of people interviewed had frozen food that was nearing its use by date. For this reason, it is hoped that the new labelling, which has been drawn up in consultation with Wrap, will help to change consumer behaviour.
Wrap figures show that UK households waste around 7.2m tonnes of food and drink every year, most of which could have been eaten. This is estimated to costs families up to £50 a month.
Vitoria-Gasteiz: Capital Verde Europea 2012
Vitoria-Gasteiz se estrenaba al comienzo de este mes oficialmente como Green Capital para 2012. La capital vasca tiene durante doce meses la oportunidad de abanderar las políticas sostenibles en Europa y dar ejemplo de su modo de vida urbano respetuoso con el medio ambiente.
"La ciudad en la que nos gustaría vivir a todos". Con estas palabras, el comisario europeo de Medio Ambiente, Janez Potoznick, se refería a Vitoria-Gasteiz, elegida para 2012 como Capital Verde Europea, un premio anual que concede la Comisión Europea y que pretende reconocer el compromiso de las ciudades que trabajan a favor del medio ambiente. Un galardón en el que Vitoria recoge el testigo de la ciudad alemana de Hamburgo y que entregará en 2013 a la localidad francesa de Nantes.
Las ciudades que optan a este título son examinadas siguiendo una lista de criterios ambientales, como su contribución a la lucha contra el cambio climático, el sistema de transportes, las zonas verdes, la ordenación sostenible del suelo, la biodiversidad, la calidad atmosférica el ruido la generación y la gestión de residuos, el consumo de agua, el tratamiento de las aguas residuales y la gestión ambiental. En el proceso, que reconoce las más de tres décadas de políticas medioambientales desarrolladas por la ciudad, Vitoria superó a otras como Barcelona, Malmö (Suecia), Nuremberg (Alemania) o Reikiavik (Islandia).
Calidad del aire
Europa ha valorado especialmente la alta calidad del aire que respiran los cerca de 240.000 habitantes de la ciudad y sus visitantes; su gestión del agua, con uno de los menores consumos por habitante (recortar en un 5% más), la contribución a la lucha contra el cambio climático (con el objetivo de reducir al menos un 20% las emisiones de gases nocivos antes de 2020; así, pretende recortar un 5% el gasto energético de las instalaciones municipales) y la gestión de residuos. Dentro de este último apartado, la ciudad ha potenciado las recogidas selectivas en origen y realiza, además, una gestión integral que incluye una planta de biometanización y compostaje.
Dentro de las muestras de cómo combinar desarrollo industrial y sostenibilidad, destacan dos de los proyectos más ambiciosos de la ciudad: la movilidad sostenible y la naturaleza. El Plan de Movilidad Sostenible elaborado por el Ayuntamiento incluye distintas medidas para reducir la dependencia del vehículo privado (restringiendo el tráfico y aparcamiento en algunas vías principales y ampliando la aparcamiento controlado, encareciendo el ticket), potenciando el uso del transporte público y de la bicicleta (la red prevista de bicicarriles rondará los 150 kilómetros, incluida la conexión con los polígonos industriales).
Otra gran característica que convierte a Vitoria-Gasteiz en la Green Capital europea es el Anillo Verde, que posibilita una transición amable entre la ciudad urbanizada y la zona rural. Se trata de un conjunto de parques periurbanos de alto valor ecológico y paisajístico enlazados estratégicamente mediante corredores eco-recreativos, un ambicioso proyecto iniciado en 1993 con el objetivo de restaurar y recuperar la periferia de Vitoria-Gasteiz, tanto desde el punto de vista ambiental como social, para crear una gran área verde de uso recreativo en torno a la ciudad.
Después de más de 18 años de actuaciones de restauración ecológica y paisajística de zonas degradadas y de acondicionamiento para uso público, el Anillo Verde cuenta actualmente con cinco parques: Armentia, Olarizu, Salburua, Zabalgana y Zadorra, cuya superficie supera las 645 hectáreas. No obstante, en la periferia de la ciudad quedan todavía algunas zonas pendientes de recuperación y está por completar el sistema de conexiones que enlazará unos espacios con otros a través de sendos corredores ecológicos. Así, la superficie total prevista es de 960 hectáreas, gracias a dos nuevos parques proyectados: Berrosteguieta y Errekaleor.
El Anillo Verde posee una gran diversidad de ambientes con una notable riqueza naturalística. Bosques, ríos, humedales, praderas, campos de cultivos, sotos y setos son una muestra de los variados ecosistemas que coexisten en la periferia urbana, algunos de ellos internacionalmente reconocidos por su elevado valor ambiental, como es el caso de los humedales recuperados de Salburua o el ecosistema fluvial del río Zadorra, incluidos en la Red Natura 2000. Vitorianos y visitantes pueden acceder fácilmente a los parques del Anillo desde el centro de la ciudad a pie o en bicicleta a través de sendas urbanas. En su interior, casi 80 kilómetros de itinerarios peatonales y ciclistas.
La cara más ‘verde’ de Zara
Está visto que ser la firma textil con más beneficios del mundo y respetar el medio ambiente no es algo imposible. La coruñesa Inditex, que cuenta con más de 5.500 tiendas en 79 países, se encuentra entre las cien empresas más sostenibles del planeta, según la clasificación que cada año hace la revista Corporate Knights y cuyos resultados se presentaron a finales de enero en el Foro Económico Mundial, celebrado en Davos (Suiza). Sólo cuatro firmas españolas pueden presumir de estar incluidas en este listado de empresas verdes: Acciona (en el puesto número 37), Repsol (49), Iberdrola (55) e Inditex (58).
La compañía textil promueve iniciativas ecológicas en la fabricación del producto, el transporte y las tiendas.
Lámparas de bajo consumo, escaleras mecánicas que sólo se activan cuando llega un cliente, estanterías de material ecológico o vehículos que ahorran combustible son algunas de las medidas que Inditex lleva a cabo con el objetivo de ser respetuosa con el medio ambiente. Además, la compañía cuenta con colecciones de ropa ecológica en varias marcas y colabora con proyectos medioambientales para compensar las emisiones que genera su actividad.
Desde la firma coruñesa aseguran que la variable medioambiental "es clave" en la estrategia global de la empresa, con sede central en Arteixo. "Trabajamos para conciliar el crecimiento económico, el respeto a las comunidades en las que desarrollamos nuestra actividad y la protección al medioambiente", señalan. Prueba de ello es el Plan Estratégico Medioambiental que Inditex aprobó en 2007. Con un protocolo para volver más ecológico todo el ciclo productivo (sedes, producto, tiendas y logística), esta iniciativa logró reducir un 20% las emisiones de CO2 del transporte, un 42% el consumo eléctrico de las nuevas tiendas y consiguió que el 52% de la energía que utilizan los centros Inditex proceda de fuentes renovables en sólo cuatro años. Tras el éxito de este plan, la firma de Amancio Ortega aprobó el pasado año Inditex Sostenible 2010-2011 con el que pretende "extender, consolidar y aumentar las exigencias del anterior plan". Entre sus objetivos está reducir un 10% las emisiones en 2015 y llegar al 20% menos en 2020.
Entre sus múltiples proyectos para respetar el medioambiente, las tiendas ecoeficientes son quizás de lo que más orgullosos se sienten en Inditex. Lo que nació como una experiencia piloto en 2008 -al incorporar elementos sostenibles y sistemas de control a la tienda Zara del centro comercial Dolce Vita de A Coruña y otro establecimiento en Atenas- se convirtió en una realidad en 2009, con la apertura de la primera tienda ecoeficiente en Barcelona. Un establecimiento que presume de ecológico y en el que se logra reducir un 30% y un 50% el consumo de energía y agua, respecto a una tienda convencional. Este Zara-Zara Home -que recibió el sello de Oro de la certificación medioambiental LEED- supuso un antes y un después para la firma coruñesa. A partir de 2010, todas las nuevas tiendas son sostenibles o ecoeficientes, es decir, se construyen de forma respetuosa con el medio, con ecomateriales, incorporando la tecnología más innovadora en la gestión y ahorro energético y con el objetivo de reducir las emisiones siempre en mente.
Ropa y complementos
El producto, lo que mantiene a todo el imperio Inditex, no podía quedarse al margen del objetivo ecológico que persigue la firma. Desde el año 2006, la compañía vende prendas elaboradas con algodón orgánico -cultivado sin pesticidas y libre de sustancias químicas- en varias de sus marcas como Oysho o Zara. "Para saber que son prendas de ropa ecológica hace falta mirar la etiqueta porque el precio es similar al resto de productos de la tienda", indican desde la compañía. En esta línea, Inditex trabajó hace unos años con la Universidad de Santiago para ver cómo podrían elaborarse zapatos ecológicos. "El objetivo era analizar todo el ciclo de vida del artículo para ver el impacto ambiental que ocasiona la compañía desde el cultivo de materias primas y el diseño hasta la fabricación y el reciclado", aseguraban entonces en la firma de Amancio Ortega.
Bolsas y embalaje
Pese a que lo 100% ecológico sería sustituir las bolsas de plástico por las de papel -algo que, de momento, sólo se da en Zara y siempre que no sea época de rebajas-, Inditex defiende que intenta que bolsas y cajas sean lo más respetuosas con el medio que se pueda. "Todos los elementos de papel y cartón (bolsas y cajas) proceden de bosques con una gestión sostenible, que está certificada por los sellos internacionales Forest Stewardship Council o el Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification", indican desde Inditex, donde aseguran que las cajas empleadas en el transporte "se reutilizan entre seis y ocho veces" y que las bolsas de plástico se elaboran con materiales que permiten su biodegradación más rápida, "lo que facilita su reciclaje".
El objetivo fijado por esta firma textil hasta 2015 es el de optimizar las rutas, incorporar al sistema de distribución vehículos eficientes de última tecnología y formar a los conductores para reducir el consumo de combustible. Además, la compañía coruñesa pretende implantar y desarrollar un software que permita evaluar las emisiones de dióxido de carbono que provoca el transporte de sus productos desde la fábrica hasta los puntos de venta.
Conservar la naturaleza
Por muy ecológico que se quiera ser, un grupo industrial del tamaño de Inditex realiza múltiples actividades en su día a día que no ayudan precisamente a conservar el medio ambiente. Por ello, Inditex colabora en varios proyectos para, según reconocen, "compensar" las emisiones de CO2 que produce. Entre ellas destaca el apoyo al banco de semillas y mejora de ecosistemas forestales del Centro de Investigaciones Forestales de Lourizán, dependiente de la Xunta; un programa de creación de reservas marinas para una pesca sostenible o el desarrollo de estrategias ahorrar agua así como el apoyo a otras iniciativas de sensibilización ambiental.
Green is normal in UK
Sustainability is often a confusing concept. Not everybody understands what sustainability means. There are plenty of views on how people can live more sustainably, and what they need to do and buy in order to achieve this.
Many retailers have thought how to make their business more sustainable, based on commitments to reducing waste, using more renewable energy, and sourcing products that sustain people and the environment.
Regardless to products, consumers can give a good insight on how they see sustainability and how their supermarket can improve it.
Asda, for example, undertook a monthly Sustainability Study, asking over 6,000 people each month what matters to them when it comes to 'green' issues, in order to help them as retailers understand how they can better help their customers. Customers are the real experts on what people are thinking, feeling and expecting around sustainability in their daily lives.
In the Sustainability Study, Asda asked their customers what green issues they are most interested in and why; what do they do to be green and what they plan to do in the future; as well as what they think retailers should be doing to support their green agenda.
The results turned up to be very revealing: 96% of customers affirm that they care about green issues, with over 70% claiming to care a lot. The green issue is becoming more and more important for the customers.
‘Sustainability is about making smart choices that minimise waste and preserve resources’, says Julian-Walker Palin, head of Corporate Sustainability of Asda.
Moreover, the overall results from the study showed that retailers should focus on five key priorities that concern consumers:
Help consumers save money, thus the green products shouldn’t cost more.
100% sustainable products that should be easy to find.
Cut the waste, by cutting packaging for example.
Support the local community.
Use consumers as reliable sources for future studies on sustainability.
It is seen that consumers are a powerful barometer for what public thinks and feels about green issues. ‘Green’ is part of their everyday life, therefore their opinions, concerns and suggestions can be of a great value for retailers and their green policy.
Read full report and its supporting data available to download: Asda Sustainability
Duty to label energy consumption of products in Germany
In order to implement the new EU regulations that should reorder the „Energy Consumption Labeling Law“(17/8427), the German Federal Government introduced a draft of a new law.
According to this draft, a product has to be labeled with detailed information about its energy consumption, the consumption of other important resources and its carbon dioxide emissions.
The German Federal Government states that the policy of the statute is the reduction of energy consumption by changing consumer information. The government makes clear that the goal of the mentioned consumer information is, to help consumers make their buying decisions and to motivate them to buy more economical and efficient products.
Moreover, the law redefines other products that are relevant to energy consumption. Those are products that consume energy during use but also products “that have an influence on energy consumption without consuming energy themselves“. Tires for motor vehicles were mentioned in this context.
Retail Group's First Sustainability Report Puts Green Lens on Industry
Retailers’ environmental efforts have been detailed by the Retail Industry Leaders Association in its first report on sustainability practices among some of the largest retail companies in the United States.
RILA's 2012 Retail Sustainability Report, released last week, offers an interesting look at the evolving philosophy on sustainability within an industry that has the largest energy bills and the second largest amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the commercial sector of the U.S. economy, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Many of the challenges are rooted in the fact that the retail industry relies on so many internal and external stakeholders - landlords, manufacturers, suppliers, transport companies, local governments, employees, customers, the communities surrounding stores and social and environmental advocates.
Retailers need to work well with all of them to succeed in terms of business and sustainability. Increasingly, according to the report, retailers are recognizing that need and acting upon it. The industry also is beginning to realize that sustainability and business success are entwined.
RILA's report drew from 30 corporate sustainability reports and in-depth interviews with representatives for 20 firms including grocers, department stores, apparel companies, and DIY and big box retailers.
The report identified four key trends and found that leading retailers are:
Working with stakeholders across sectors to achieve sustainability goals.
Turning from sustainability as a cost and risk reduction measure to an opportunity for business growth.
Developing systems for continuous improvement by pulling together controls, measurement and management tools and IT systems.
Fostering transparency in operations and in the supply chain.
The report also offered four predictions on the growth of sustainability within the industry and said that in five to ten years:
Sustainability will become integrated into the business.
The drive to manage supply chain impacts will transform retailer-supplier relationships.
Industry collaboration will become the standard.
Business models will evolve as consumption habits change.
Customer expectations for corporate social responsibility also will push retailers accelerate their efforts.
The report is available here.
RILA counts more than 200 retail companies, product manufacturers and service suppliers among its members. They represent some $1.5 trillion in annual sales and more than 100,000 stores.
Taller práctico sobre bioplásticos
El próximo 31 de enero 2012 tendrá lugar en las instalaciones de la Fundación Itene un taller práctico sobre bioplásticos.
La jornada tiene como objetivo analizar la actual situación de los bioplásticos como materiales de envase, las barreras legales y de mercado y la percepción del consumidor.
Junto con expertos investigadores, se profundizará en los retos tecnológicos y las oportunidades de negocio que representa la implantación de los bioplásticos como material de envase.
El taller concluirá con una sesión de Roadmap en la que se abordarán las principales tendencias y aplicaciones, así como las principales barreras y limitaciones a su introducción al mercado en un marco temporal de 10-15 años.
El encuentro está dirigido a fabricantes y suministradores de materia prima, fabricantes de polímeros biodegradables y aditivos, empresas transformadoras y usuarias y centros de investigación en materiales y nuevas tecnologías.
El taller estará impartido por expertos de Itene, la Agencia de Residuos de Cataluña, la Asociación Española de Industrias de Plásticos y Mitsubishi Chemical.
Building zero-carbon stores
The new Tesco Cabra store was officially opened last year in November, creating 150 jobs and marking the latest stage in Tesco’s 2011/2012 investment programme in Ireland.
As part of Tesco’s commitment to reduce its carbon footprint, Tesco Cabra is the first zero carbon supermarket in Ireland and the fifth within the Tesco Group worldwide.
The store features a host of cutting-edge, environmentally-friendly technologies, which help to maintain a zero carbon footprint from the store's operations.
Building with wood frames instead of metal. Every cubic metre of steel has been replaced with timber, saving almost a tonne of carbon being less energy-intensive to produce.
Using natural light. By introducing more daylight, it means less artificial lighting and less electricity.
Better ventilation. The new store template has been designed with a more energy-efficient heating and air-conditioning system.
Reducing energy and water consumption. A metering system helps keep a close eye on how much energy and water it is use.
Generating own energy. Combined Cooling, Heat and Power (CHP) plants will generate its own electricity.
Ecofriendly fridges. By introducing refrigeration systems that are cooled with carbon dioxide, which is thousands of times less damaging to the climate than traditional refrigeration gases.
Placing more recyclable signs. Where possible, the new fixtures and signage will be made from materials that are recycled or from sustainable sources and recyclable.
Tesco's investment programme is creating 755 new jobs across the country. Construction work on the various projects is creating another 548 building jobs. The investment programme extends until summer 2012. Last year, Tesco created 825 jobs in Ireland and now employs 14,000 people in the Republic.
Public Consultation launched on Sustainable Consumption and Production
The European Commission has launched a public consultation on how to deliver more Sustainable Consumption and Production. From 11th of January 2012 until 3rd of April 2012, citizens and stakeholders with interested in the implementation of EU Resource Efficiency and SCP Agenda will be able to submit their contribution by answering the online consultation.
The purpose of this consultation is to gather views and additional information on the possible introduction of EU wide measures related to Sustainable Consumption and Production. The consultation also looks at Green Public Procurement (GPP), the Environmental Footprint of Products (PEF) and the Environmental Footprint of Organisations (OEF).
Moreover, the consultation offers an opportunity to all interested parties to express their views, to give their opinion on the proposed policy options.
Share your views today by answering the online consultation!
Basque craft store goes green
In the last Green Commerce Bulletin published in December, issue #8, we tried to bring some testimonies directly from the beneficiaries of Green Commerce project, the retail stores. One of the testimonies came from San Sebastian, from a small craft store located in the heart of the city.
The responsible of the store, Maite Jauregi, gave us an insight view of what has been done and what Green Commerce meant for them.
1. Describe your retail store and activity?
Alboka is one of the stores located in the Old Part of Donostia-San Sebastian.
It specializes in Basque handicrafts, typical autochthonous jackets (kaikus), figurines representing the Basque sport (pelota vasca), the folk music of our land, wood carvings called Kutxa (carved oak cases where outfits or jewelry were formerly kept, etc. Another typical product is the Basque carnival puppets, and also tablecloths, aprons with indigenous designs and so on.
2. What made you join this Green Commerce initiative?
We found out about GC through our Shopkeepers Association of the Old Town (Zaharrean) of which we are partners, dealing directly with the public authority of Fomento in San Sebastian. Specifically, we’ve found out about GC at an event organized by the above mentioned public authority for all Trade Associations in January this year.
3. What aspects of your business did you consider to be environmentally deficient? And which of these aspects have improved since joining the project?
When using the self-assessment tool, we found that we did not have many deficient areas. As craft artisans we do not handle toxic chemicals, but we work with green and recycled products, for example, wood.
Alboka will soon have an Environmental Audit, which we hope will improve the sustainability of our shop.
4. How would you value the process, the tool, the proposed solutions and the brand of "Green Commerce"?
The Green Commerce project has helped us understand how we can become a sustainable shop without changing our sale habits.
5. What are the aspects of this project that you consider most important?
Since we have joined the project we have become more aware of the good environmental practices that we can adapt to our daily work. For example, we have started using more sustainable packaging such as recycled cardboard instead of the plastic bubble wrap, or using cloth bags instead of plastic ones.
6. Do you inform your clients about the project? How do they react?
From Alboka we are raising awareness among our customers, informing them about our participation in the project. Their reaction is very positive, asking us how they can get involved in the project from their work or homes.
7. Do you have any suggestions or comments for the promoter of Green Commerce?
We would suggest that they expand Green Commerce to other sectors, not only retail, but also involving the business and household sectors. The brand of Green Commerce must be recognized by the customers and give a real value to the shop.
Through our Shopkeepers Association of Old Town (Zaharrean) we are in constant communication with the public authority of Fomento de San Sebastian, working together on this line of innovation and sustainability.
8. What would you advise to other shops that are thinking of joining the project?
We try to inform everybody asking about the project and refer them to our Association in order to get all the information regarding the use of the self-assessment tool and how they can join Green Commerce.
Green Commerce Bulletin, issue #8 (December 2011)
New Eco-innovation Action Plan to meet Europe 2020’s goals
The European Commission has launched a new Eco-innovation Action Plan as part of Europe 2020. Building on the lessons-learnt of ETAP, the plan complements the EU policies on innovation, resource efficiency, industry and skills to support the transition towards smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The new Eco-Innovation Action Plan (EcoAP) will boost innovation that reduces pressure on the environment, and bridge the gap between innovation and the market. Eco-friendly technologies are good for business and help create new jobs, so eco-innovation is crucial to the economic competitiveness of Europe.
The Action Plan will accelerate eco-innovation across all sectors of the economy with well targeted actions, taking measures in the areas of regulatory incentives, private and public procurement and standards and it will mobilize support for SMEs to improve investment readiness and networking opportunities.
The key aspects of the new Action Plan include:
Using environmental policy and legislation to promote eco-innovation;
Supporting demonstration projects and partnering to bring promising, smart and ambitious operational technologies to market;
Developing new standards to boost eco-innovation;
Mobilizing financial instruments and support services for SMEs;
Promoting international co-operation;
Supporting the development of emerging skills and jobs and related training programmes to match labour market needs;
Promoting eco-innovation through European Innovation Partnerships.
Therefore, the next steps will consist in the implementation of the plan via partnership between stakeholders, private and public sector, and the Commission. The upcoming mid-term financial review will provide a good opportunity to assess the achievement of the goals set in this Action Plan.
New efforts will focus on product development and demonstration activities to fill the gap between technology and market uptake.
The new Eco-innovation Action Plan provides a clear outline of the actions now needed at EU and Member State levels to meet the challenges for jobs and economic growth in a resource- and environmentally-constrained world.
Courtauld Commitment phase 2 shows significant progress on supply chain waste
According to WRAP's latest report on the second phase of the Courtauld Commitment, the grocery retail and manufacturing sector is making significant progress towards cutting food and packaging waste - despite supply chain challenges and the loss of end-market materials.
As part of the voluntary agreement, started in 2005, signed by 53 leading UK grocery retailers, tough waste reduction targets have been put in place within the grocery retail supply chain to be met by 2012. However, concerns have been raised over the lack of end-markets in the UK for materials that have been recovered from this process.
Closed Loop Recycling's managing director Chris Dow, said that reprocessors face a "ludicrous situation" whereby exporters of these resources are paid a subsidy to send the material off-shore and warned it was damaging the potential to produce sustainable packaging materials in the UK.
Meanwhile the British Retail Consortium's (BRC) head of environment Bob Gordon said that some supply chain issues still needed to be addressed. From the consumer perspective, Gordon said that the current financial climate has had an impact on food waste, which poses an interesting question in terms of how attitudes to waste will continue to change and whether it will lead to environmental and policy change.
However, some smaller retailers have argued that many businesses have been reducing packaging waste for years - mainly as a result of financial pressures.
Key findings from the WRAP report shows that in the first year of the phase 2 Courtauld Commitment, signatories are halfway to achieving a three-year packaging reduction target of 10%, with a 5.1% packaging reduction recorded. Household food and drink waste was found to have been reduced by 3% - on course for an overall three year reduction of 4%.
Supply chain product and packaging waste fell by just 0.4% in 2010 which WRAP plans to focus on this area in order to meet commitment target of 5% for 2012.
However grocery supply chain waste was found to have performed well in diverting waste from landfill, with a 40% reduction reported over the period, with much of the waste sent to renewable energy production using anaerobic digestion.
El Concurso de Ideas de Torrevieja ya tiene ganadores
El concurso de ideas “Comercio de Torrevieja, comercio Green” ya tiene ganadores. Los votos recogidos en la web del proyecto han sido miles y han estado ampliamente repartidas entre las tres categorías establecidas: adultos, estudiantes de secundaria y estudiantes de primaria.
Las propuestas “green” de los torrevejenses a su pequeño comercio han sido más de doscientas treinta y han estado dirigidas a concienciar a comerciantes y consumidores de la importancia de actuar para luchar contra el cambio climático, de innovar con pequeños gestos en temas medioambientales, de reducir el consumo energético y de producir menos residuos.
La participación pública en el concurso de ideas “Comercio de Torrevieja, comercio Green” ha superado todas las expectativas, demostrando cómo comerciantes y consumidores de Torrevieja están interesados en que el sector se implique en la protección del medio ambiente.
Los vídeos con las propuestas medioambientales han superado las 15.000 reproducciones en Internet, de las cuales el 58 % han sido realizadas por hombres y el 42 % por mujeres. Por edades decir que la franja de edad masculina que más ha visualizado los vídeos ha sido la de 35 a 44 años con un 23,2 %, siendo entre las mujeres la de 13 a 17 años la que más ha visitado los vídeos con un 22,4 %. Resulta también interesante saber que el concurso “Comercio de Torrevieja, comercio Green” ha traspasado las fronteras locales, ya que las vídeo-propuestas Greencommerce han sido vistas por usuarios de hasta siete países: España, Finlandia, Reino Unido, Marruecos, Chile, Serbia y Uruguay.
Los ganadores han sido:
Categoría “Adulto” - Mª José Cosmes, a la que han votado 924 personas obteniendo 3440 puntos. Su propuesta para el sector se centra en demostrar que el uso excesivo de embalajes aumenta los costes para los consumidores, por lo que es importante reducir su uso para que ahorremos dinero, aconsejando reutilizar y reciclar.
Categoría “Estudiante de secundaria” - Nereida Pérez, por la que han votado 559 personas obteniendo 2048 votos. Su propuesta green a los comercios es que las luces de sus escaparates no deberían estar encendidas durante el día y aprovechar la luz solar, y que por la noche utilicen luces de bajo consumo, ya que sería más económico y se contamina menos.
Categoría “Estudiante de primaria” - Paula Rodríguez, a la que han votado 281 personas obteniendo 1044 votos. Su propuesta está dirigida a los comercios de Torrevieja a los que aconseja tener bolsas de tela o de papel, biodegradables y reutilizables, porque así no contaminarán al medio ambiente como ocurre si utilizan las de plástico.
La mayor parte de las propuestas recopiladas con motivo del concurso “Comercio de Torrevieja, comercio Green” provienen de escolares e insisten en la importancia de la implicación del comercio de la ciudad en la protección del medio ambiente siguiendo las tres erres: Reducir, Reciclar y Reutilizar. Los vídeos permanecerán en esta web donde podrán ser consultados públicamente.
Carbon Labeling: Impacting the Entire Supply Chain
Enhesa’s August 2011 webinar, attended by over 200 EHS* professionals, explored the potential effect of carbon labeling throughout the entire supply chain and discussed the implications of growing government action on carbon labeling.
The webinar examined the case study of France, where the government is contemplating a mandatory environmental labeling scheme and is currently conducting a pilot program with 160 companies.
While voluntary carbon labeling schemes have long been supported by governments in a number of countries, France is the first country to seriously contemplate a mandatory carbon labeling scheme for all consumer goods.
Last year the French Parliament agreed to consider adopting a mandatory scheme after a trial phase of one year starting in July 2011. Over 160 companies are currently providing French consumers environmental information on the goods they purchase as part of this trial. The pilot phase covers a wide range of products (see article in GC Bulletin 7).
To provide a framework for the future scheme, France is currently developing product-by-product methodologies for the assessment of the environmental impacts of products.
Moreover, industry concerns are focused on the reputational and compliance risks of carbon labeling. Around 95% of the participants at Enhesa’s webinar agreed that it was important for their company to be perceived as “green”. Enhesa’s research shows that 60% of the respondents expressed major concerns about complying with mandatory labeling schemes.
However, businesses are already beginning to feel the impacts of carbon labeling, as requirements for carbon footprinting ripple through the supply chain. Carbon labeling requires a full analysis of the production process to identify carbon that is emitted throughout the life cycle of a product. Life cycle analysis is a challenge for any business as it requires communication with companies in the supply chain including a detailed understanding of the inputs involved in the creation of a product. Although this difficulty can be balanced out by the significant financial benefits for companies that achieve it.
Whether a company is a producer of consumer products or a supplier of materials and components, it is likely to be answering more and more requests for information about the environmental impact of their products.
Companies that are unprepared for these requests may face negative market results or damage to their reputation as consumers shift towards suppliers that can demonstrate strong environmental performance.
*EHS: Environmental, Health and Safety
Launch of “Mon commerçant m’emballe durablement” (My shopkeeper packs sustainably) project in France
Nearly 5 million tonnes of household packaging are put on the market each year in France, causing excess natural resource consumption and producing a large amount of waste.
Packaging waste represents nearly 30% of the total amount of household waste. Only part of it is recycled and recycling rates vary, depending on the materials: 80% for glass and only 22% for plastic. The rest is burned or buried with the other residual household waste, causing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
Reuse is considered a priority as part of waste reduction at source, both at European and national level. At the local level, there are many initiatives encouraging citizens and businesses to reduce their waste by favoring the sustainable to the disposable.
Initiated by the CNIID( Centre national d’information indépendante sur les déchets) in the 11th arrondissement of Paris, the project "Mon commerçant m’emballe durablement " aims to promote the use of reusable packaging and the reintroduction of the deposit in the local food retail.
To show that change in behaviors and habits is possible, the CNIID chose to work at the local level. After only a few weeks of mobilization, more than 40 retailers have already committed to implement one or more of the proposed actions.
The CNIID developed 12 proposals for action from a survey of traders who had already experimented with solutions for packaging reuse. The proposals are subject to fact sheets that include tips and feedback. The proposals that the CNIID offers through this project are concrete alternatives to overcome the disposable era.
"Through this project, we want to create a momentum for change at the local level. Traders who wish to engage can contact us to be listed on our website and individuals who would like to know of the actions proposed by their local retailers will find all the resources online, "said Flora Berlingen, in charge of the campaign "Waste reduction" and of the project CNIID " Mon commerçant m’emballe durablement”
Shopping centre signs up 400 retailers for on-the-go recycling
The first retail centre in the southwest of England has launched an on-the-go recycling programme to encourage shoppers to dispose of their waste more responsibly.
Barnstaple contains 400 retail units which are participating in the initiative, organised by Every Can Counts in partnership with Barnstaple Town Council and BID Barnstable.
Every Can Counts has been introduced as part of a focused green strategy, to demonstrate an environmental commitment, which includes diverting as much waste from landfill as possible. The programme also fits with the BID civic pride initiative, which aims to encourage both traders and shoppers alike to take pride in their town centre.
Each of the 400 stores and restaurants within Barnstaple town centre have been provided with recycling boxes and promotional materials to encourage staff and shoppers recycle their empty drink cans.
Rick Hindley from Every Can Counts said: "Through the partnership with BID, we will be engaging with two significant groups of 'on the go' consumers - those who work in businesses in the town centre and shoppers - so it offers us great opportunity to comprehensively promote drinks can recycling to a wide audience. "
Although Barnstaple is the first retail site in the southwest to introduce Every Can Counts, the programme is being actively promoted in workplaces and to 'on the go' consumers around the UK. Some 525 organisations now use the programme and there are more than 4200 Every Can Counts recycling points in offices, hospitals, universities and tourist sites all over the country.
Commission recognizes eco-innovative solutions
The European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) is a management tool for organisations aiming to improve their environmental and financial performance and communicate their environmental achievements. EMAS leads to enhanced performance, credibility and transparency of registered organisations. Since 1995 more than 4,400 organisations across Europe have registered with EMAS.
In 2005 the European Commission decided to reward the excellent work of EMAS registered organisations by introducing the EMAS Awards. The EMAS Awards recognise outstanding achievements in one particular environmental management aspect each year.
The theme of the 2011 EMAS Awards was “Stakeholder involvement, including employee involvement, leading to continuous improvement”. This year, 36 bodies from 15 European countries were nominated. Six winners were selected by a jury of stakeholders and environment experts. Award winners were announced at a ceremony that took place in the Wieliczka Salt Mine - Krakow, Poland.
Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: "The environmental challenges we face today concern all of us and require joint action. I congratulate the winners – and all the nominees – on their commitment to improving the environment. I hope that their innovative solutions and successful involvement of different actors will inspire others to follow suit."
The 2011 winners and their achievements:
Organisations from the private sector
Micro-organisations: Belvas Organic Chocolate (Belgium)
The Belvas waste management process incorporates separation of organic waste and its use in biomethanisation plants. Belvas organises site visits to showcase practical examples of environmental protection in an “ecological factory”.
Small organisations: Kneissler Brüniertechnik (Germany)
This family business involves employees in environmental management and rewards useful suggestions, such as the adoption of new waste management activities, leading to reductions of up to 90% in one production process.
Medium-sized organisations: Ebswien hauptkläranlage (Austria)
This Viennese wastewater treatment plant works with internal and external stakeholders. Employee ambassadors inform the public during plant tours and open days, emphasising water and waste education for children.
Large-organisations: Eurobank EFG Bank (Greece)
This financial institution contributes to the integration of sustainable principles in banking practices through its membership of the Global Steering Committee, and as Chair of the European Task Force of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative.
Organisations from the public sector
Small organisations: Fritz-Erler-Schule Pforzheim (Germany)
This school integrates environmental management into its core teaching activities . Teachers, students and suppliers, including the school’s bakery and facility management work together to improve the school’s environmental performance.
Large organisations: Municipality of Ravenna (Italy)
The Municipality of Ravenna established participatory structures to involve employees and external stakeholders. 100 EMAS "champions" in the Ravenna Municipality buildings use real-time information sharing to improve environmental performance. Green procurement, focusing on the purchase of recycled paper, school furniture made of certified materials and other items, is key. The municipality also carried out waste collection projects involving around 13,000 students and families, doubling the previous level of participation.
Concurso de Ideas: “Comercio de Torrevieja, Comercio Green”
EMAS Awards website
El Ayuntamiento de Torrevieja, dentro del marco del proyecto LIFE+ Green Commerce del cual es socio, está llevando a cabo un concurso durante este ultimo trimestre del año 2011, bajo la denominación de “Comercio de Torrevieja, comercio Green” en el que podrán participar todas las personas que deseen.
Un mini escenario ha estado recorriendo las calles y los Centros Escolares de Torrevieja en donde se han recogido en formato video las iniciativas y propuestas particulares de los participantes sobre cómo lograr uno o varios objetivos del proyecto LIFE+ Green Commerce.
La iniciativa o propuesta de cada categoría más votada públicamente a través de la web www.lifeplusgreencommerce.eu será la ganadora de la edición correspondiente del concurso.
Los videos están disponibles en la web del proyecto y las votaciones abiertas hasta el 6 de diciembre.
EU Retail Forum: The 2011 Annual Event marked the launch of the new phase
The Retail Forum's 2011 Annual Event took place in Brussels on 10th of November, bringing together around 150 participants from business, civil society and EU institutions. This second high level Annual Event marked the launch of the new phase of the Forum starting in early 2012 and discussed how retailers should contribute to implementing the Resource Efficiency Roadmap in the years to come.
Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik presented the recently adopted Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe, which is calling for a large-scale switch to a resource-efficient economy and outlined the ways in which retailers can contribute to solving these issues. The Commissioner said: "I believe it’s the role of the Retail Forum to lead by example and to stimulate retailers to make a significant contribution to the resource efficiency agenda. … With more ambition, more commitment and more effective implementation of the Retail Forum objectives, I am convinced that we will be even more successful in our fight for green consumption and ultimately creating a prosperous and resource-efficient future."
He was joined by Dr. Rainhardt von Leoprechting, Senior Executive Advisor to the Management Board of Metro Group and President of EuroCommerce, who outlined how the retail sector is working on achieving a resource efficient economy and has stressed the achievements of the Retail Forum through the commitment of its members. He added that "if we make small improvements in the majority of products purchased by the majority of consumers, we will quickly see much greater environmental benefits than if we try to make large improvements in a few products purchased by few consumers." Dick Boer, CEO of Royal Ahold and President of the European Retail Round Table (ERRT) also delivered a keynote speech and emphasised that stakeholders can achieve a lot more in the area of resource efficiency if working together in a cooperative manner, just the way they do in the Retail Forum. He commented that "by defining a shared, pre-competitive agenda in platforms such as the Retail Forum, we can move the needle towards real, sustainable progress across the industry. Frontrunners can make it easier for others to follow the best examples."
A report summarizing members’ achievements in 2010/2011 and the commission’s latest assessment will be posted shortly on the Retail Forum’s website.
To read the keynote speeches, please click here.
For photos and a video of the Annual Event, please see the gallery here.
Third European Week for Waste Reduction is here!
Source: Retail Forum website
With the support of the European Commission’s LIFE+ Programme, the European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR) will run for the third time between 19 and 27 November 2011, with the aim of informing European citizens about the simple actions that they can take in everyday life to help reduce waste.
EU Commissioner Janez Potočnik - ‘It’s time to stop wasting food’
According to the last count, 7035 EWWR actions are being implemented in 2011. Once again, the previous year’s record has been broken! (4346 actions in 2010)
In order to coordinate and promote the 2011 Week, 34 Organisers across 20 countries are mobilising stakeholders and validating their actions. The complete list of Organisers and actions can be found on the EWWR website.
At national level, the European Week for Waste Reduction will take place in Andorra, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, the Netherlands and the Dominican Republic.
Moreover, the EWWR Secretariat has promoted the week and coordinated registrations from areas not covered by any EWWR Organiser, receiving projects from other countries including Greece, Hungary, Norway, Poland, Romania, Turkey and other countries.
Under the coordination of the 34 organisers and with the support of the European Secretariat of the Week, a variety of project developers, including administrations, associations and NGOs, businesses and industry, educational establishments, retailers, etc. are getting involved in the EWWR by carrying out awareness-raising actions about waste reduction, with various target audiences (citizens, employees, pupils, etc.).
The European character of the EWWR will be reinforced by introducing common actions across Europe in 2011, which will take place during the Week in different locations in Europe using the same methods, sharing the common objective of highlighting their real impact on waste reduction.
The most outstanding European Week for Waste Reduction actions will be rewarded at the European Waste Reduction Awards Ceremony in June 2012 in Paris.
For more information:
EWWR website (www.ewwr.eu/press) from 17 November 2011.
EWWR Secretariat: firstname.lastname@example.org
On Tuesday 8th of November, the conference ‘Combating food waste in the EU’ was held in Brussels, bringing together EU institutions, national governments, NGO’s, retailers, representatives of the food and drink industry, packaging industry, compliance schemes and waste management industry to assess and further develop winning strategies to prevent and reduce food waste in the EU.
At a time when as much as one third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted every year, the conference provided a unique opportunity to meet all the major stakeholders and policy makers, illustrating how businesses can contribute to food waste reduction and capitalize on new opportunities in this area.
The European Commissioner for Environment, Janez Potočnik, pointed ‘food’ as one of the main priorities of the Roadmap to resource efficiency in Europe.
In the European Union, 90 million tonnes of food are waste every year, which equals to 180 kg/person, the commissioner explained. Therefore, the roadmap targets a reduction of 50% of the edible food wastage in the EU by 2020.
Mr. Potočnik reflected on the required efforts of the whole food supply chain in order to achieve the settled target. ‘Businesses face many challenges to increase resource efficiency across the whole food value chain’.
Consumers are as well an important element of food waste reduction. ‘Their role in preventing food waste is critical’, said Mr. Potočnik. Consumers throw away about 25% of the food they buy. The misunderstanding of end-of-life dates is responsible for about 20% of the edible food waste. Most people are simply not aware of how much they waste. According to the Eurobarometer on ‘Attitudes of Europeans to the proper use of resource’ (February 2011), 11% of Europeans say they throw no food away, and 71% say they throw away less than 15% the food they buy.
In order to inform better consumers, the European Commission launched ‘Generation Awake’ Resource Efficiency Campaign addressing the issue of food waste and giving the right information to consumers.
Regarding the legislation and initiatives that already exist to tackle food waste, the Commissioner referred to the implementation of the Waste Framework Directive into the national Waste Prevention programmes of the Member States, highlighting the importance of prevention as the first objective established in the waste management hierarchy. Mr. Potočnik mentioned that the commission is preparing a guidance document on food waste prevention as a help for the member states, which will be published shortly.
The Commissioner mentioned the joint efforts of the European Retail Forum for Sustainability, who is currently preparing an ‘Issue Paper’ on waste minimization focusing on food waste prevention, and the European Food Sustainable Production and Consumption Round Table, addressing the issue of food waste prevention by improving the use of by-products at production level and raising consumers’ awareness and information on the best ways to avoid food waste.
Green Commerce project is aiming to help retail shops prevent waste by implementing simple technique ideas and raising awareness between small businesses and consumers.
EC Press releases: Janez Potočnik speech
European Commission launches resource efficiency campaign
European Commission launched resource efficiency campaign
Reducing food and packaging waste through retail supply chain joint work
Confusing food labeling increases food waste
EEA - Resource efficiency report
On 17th October, the European Commission had launched an EU campaign designed to encourage consumers to make resource efficiency habit. ‘Generation Awake. Your choices make a world of difference!’ aims to raise awareness about the need to use scare natural resources wisely, and to encourage citizens to think about their impact on the planet when purchasing.
The key message of this campaign is ‘consume differently, and think before you choose’. By making the right choices we can all help preserve natural resources, save money, reduce our impact on the environment and make our future more sustainable.
According to a survey conducted by the European Environmental Agency (EEA), EU member states have put in place a wide range of policies to cut their resource use but only few of them have specific strategies or action plans to achieve this goal. The survey shows that most cases resource efficiency is identified as a priority in various economy-wide strategies while actual measures are specified in sectoral policies. EEA argues that countries should be allowed to choose the right policy mix according to national and local conditions. Survey findings reveal a confusion regarding the meaning of the concept ‘resource efficiency’ and its relation with other concepts, such as ‘sustainable consumption and production’, which, according to EEA, it complicates the efforts of developing policies and setting targets.
European Commission Press Release
Generation Awake (campaing website & videoclip)
More information from EEA:
Courtauld Commitment 3 set to target lifecycle of products
The report 'Resource efficiency in Europe' of the European Environment Agency (EEA) provides an overview of resource efficiency policies and instruments in 31 member and cooperating countries of the European Environment Agency network. Available at: http://www.eea.europa.eu/themes/economy/resource-efficiency/
WRAP's next generation of voluntary agreements for the retail supply chain is likely to tackle issues around products, product design and lifecycle impacts.
Reducing food and packaging waste through retail supply chain joint work
Speaking at LARAC conference in Kenilworth (on October 20th), on a potential successor agreement to Courtauld Commitment 2, WRAP's special adviser Mark Barthel, told delegates that a Product Research Forum had been set up to inform this work.
Drawing on lessons learned during the current Courtauld 2 phase, Barthel said that WRAP plans to consider what will be included within a voluntary agreement. He explained that a broader range of metrics were needed to measure waste reduction in the product supply chain and cited WRAP's introduction of a carbon reduction target as one example.
This, he said, had not only optimized the use of packaging and reduced packaging waste, but also encouraged businesses to use more recycled content and to work with local authorities to increase recycling rates.
"We have an issue around products because 60% of the total environmental impacts arise from our household use and consumption," he told delegates. "How do we tackle these consumption issues and how do we design products so that we waste less and we use them to maximum potential?"
Barthel said the purpose of the Product Research Forum was to create a harmonized approach to resolving these issues, bringing together major retailers and manufacturers with NGOs and government.
"This is what we do so well with voluntary agreements," he said. "We bring these companies together, get them going in the same direction and agree that same direction using resources sustainably and then helping consumers consume more sustainably."
Barthel added that WRAP had developed a product knowledge pathway, which would help the forum devise strategies to reduce the environmental impact of individual products.
"We are building a fairly impressive knowledge base where we are summarizing all of the work on lifecycle analysis that we've done across those products and identifying the impact reduction opportunities and creating a library of materials and information," he concluded.
"We are providing members of the forum with the opportunity to rapid footprint their products so that we can get a better idea of what they are doing."
Source: eddie newsroom
Food and drink manufacturers and retailers can minimize their environmental impact by working together on sustainable waste management initiatives.
IGD and WRAP reported on a waste reduction project involving UK food manufacturers and retailers working in partnership to improve sustainability in the supply chain.
In 2009 WRAP commissioned IGD to conduct a programme with leading grocery retailers and their trading partners aiming at reducing food and drink waste in the supply chain. The programme was designed to support signatories to the second phase of the Courtauld Commitment and provide a demonstration to the wider industry, highlighting how collaborative working can prevent waste arising while providing commercial benefits.
The programme started in December 2009 and ran through 2010, completing in February 2011. Its main objectives focused on reducing food and packaging waste; finding new working way and business practices across the supply chain; and identifying case studies that showcase the benefits of the project.
On overall the programme has successfully prevented approximately 1,400 tonnes of waste until March 2011, with a further 1,193 tonnes expected to be prevented in 2011-2012.
New ways of working developed by the participants in the programme include especially good communications between the retailer and the supplier teams.
Regular meetings between the retailer and suppliers teams;
Daily communications with suppliers;
More detailed forecasting methods linked to an improved order planning process;
Improved tools to assess underperforming lines and for decision making;
Improved tools to make order amendment more accurate;
Regular touch-points to review progress on a regular basis.
Guía para la sostenibilidad en el pequeño comercio
This project has demonstrated that trading partners who work together can reduce the waste that arises at the interface of their trading relations. It is the first project of its kind that has tackled waste reduction through collaborative action along the supply chain. Overall the project would have led to a reduction in waste amounting to around 2,500 tonnes.
Source: eddie newsroom
WRAP report: Reducing food waste through retail supply chain collaboration (pdf)
"Tiendas Verdes y Grandes Ahorros. Una Guía Práctica para Distribuidores", es el título del manual publicado por el Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Medio Ambiente (Pnuma) que explica a los comercios, paso a paso, cómo planear, lanzar, implementar y administrar programas de sostenibilidad.
El sector minorista abarca todo tipo de comercios y su posición dentro de la cadena de abastecimiento es calificada como "privilegiada". Según la publicación "Tiendas Verdes y Grandes Ahorros" del Pnuma, este sector puede contribuir a facilitar el cambio hacia patrones de producción y consumo sostenibles en la sociedad por tener contacto permanente con el cliente final. Por ello resulta muy positivo que el pequeño comercio apueste cada vez más fuerte por la implementación de estrategias sostenibles.
La guía se centra en el concepto de sostenibilidad y lo desarrolla en base a cuatro pilares: el contexto socio-económico actual, punto en el que se analiza la huella ecológica provocada a nivel global por el consumo; las operaciones minoristas, en las cuales se evalúa el impacto ambiental; los proveedores, para los que se establece un programa que pueda transformar la cadena de abastecimiento minorista para que sea ambientalmente respetuosa; y, por último, los consumidores, a quienes el manual relaciona con las campañas de comunicación y publicidad efectiva sobre sostenibilidad.
En este documento se exponen además casos prácticos de éxito en todo el mundo, documentos técnicos y lecturas complementarias de apoyo para su puesta en práctica.
Eco-label products: supply decides uptake
Fuente : CompromisoRSE
Tiendas Verdes y Grandes Ahorros. Una Guía Práctica para Distribuidores
Green Shops and Saving Costs. A Practical Guide for Retailers
Recent research shows that the quantity of green products on the market and how they are distributed significantly affects their consumption. Availability also drives consumption.
Governments should invest resources in increasing the supply and availability of ‘green’ labelled products, rather than getting involved actively in their labelling and certification, a recent study from the University of Mannheim in Germany concludes.
Purchases of eco-labelled goods and organic food were analyzed in 18 European countries using data from a 2007 Eurobarometer survey on attitudes of European citizens to the environment. The study looked at national labels, both public and private, including Blue Angel and BIO-Siegel in Germany, Nordic Swan in Denmark, Sweden and Finland and AB in France. Countries with national eco-labels also tend to have the most products with the EU eco-label.
The importance of four factors was tested in determining green purchase patterns:
1. Government involvement in the label;
2. The number of labels in a country;
3. The quantity of green goods on the market – excluding imports and exports; and
4. The density of small retailers with fewer than ten staff.
This approach was based on the thinking that state involvement increases trust and recognition of eco-labels, while having many different labels may confuse consumers. On the supply side, more green products means more are likely to be bought, while distribution through smaller stores requires more consumer effort to get at them.
Demand-side control variables were included in the analysis, namely: per capita income, the pervasiveness of environmental values and the general level of trust of citizens in each other and in the public and private sectors.
Perhaps surprisingly, state involvement in labelling does not have a significant impact on the purchase of green products. Nor does it matter how many labelling schemes there are. But the more green products are on the market, the more are bought. And the more they are sold through large retailers, the more are bought. Large retailers tend to dominate in northern Europe; smaller stores and producer markets in southern and Eastern Europe.
The general level of trust among the population also had a strong influence on consumer behaviour. Sweden and Denmark, which record the highest levels of green product sales, operate their organic labels in very different ways but a very high level of general trust in both means consumers accept both public- and private-sector solutions.
Overall, governments can deliver the greatest added value by optimizing the supply of eco-labelled products. This should come on top of their work to develop markets through green public procurement, fund if not lead label development, and punish fraud.
Source: ETAP – Policy News
‘Varieties of environmental labelling, market structures, and sustainable consumption across Europe: A comparative analysis of organizational and market supply determinants of environmental-labelled goods’ (Journal of Consumer Policy, Vol. 34, No. 1): Download (pdf)
Eurobarometer 2007 survey
Certificado Ekoscan: un servicio ambiental de éxito para las Pymes
European Commission eco-label web pages
Ya son 735 las organizaciones vascas que han mejorado su comportamiento ambiental mediante la implantación de la metodología Ekoscan impulsada por Ihobe. De estas entidades, 249 se han certificado en este sistema de mejora ambiental.
La mayoría de las organizaciones vascas certificadas en Ekoscan pertenece a sectores no industriales, hecho que demuestra la adaptabilidad de la Norma a todo tipo de entidades, al margen del tamaño y del sector de actividad por el que se caractericen.
Mediante la implantación de la metodología Ekoscan las organizaciones obtienen importantes resultados ambientales y económicos a través de la optimización del consumo de materiales, reducción de residuos emisiones, etc. La publicación ‘PYMES en acción II: 212 buenas prácticas ambientales’, editada por la Sociedad de Gestión Ambiental del Gobierno Vasco, Ihobe, recoge las mejoras obtenidas por estas empresas.
Destacar los resultados obtenidos por empresas Ekoscan como:
- Itelazpi, S.A.: Ahorro de más de 200.000 euros y cerca de 140 toneladas de residuos no peligrosos, mediante la reducción de los residuos vegetales generados en los centros de telecomunicaciones. Itelazpi es una sociedad pública del Gobierno Vasco, ubicada en Zamudio dedicada al sector de las telecomunicaciones.
- DTS-Oabe: Minimización de 45 toneladas de materia prima, mediante la sustitución de disolventes orgánicos por disolventes en base a agua en la producción de lacas insecticidas. DTS-Oabe salió al mercado en 2003 y en 2005 obtuvo la certificación Ekoscan. Además en 2006 fue galardonada en la categoría de Producto para el desarrollo sostenible en los Premios Europeos de Medio Ambiente a la empresa 2005-2006. Este premio supuso un reconocimiento muy importante a su política de desarrollo de productos biocidas ecodiseñados más seguros para las personas y el medio ambiente.
El servicio Ekoscan, enmarcado en el ‘Programa de Ecoeficiencia en la Empresa Vasca 2010-2014′ del Gobierno Vasco, está dirigido a cualquier empresa y organización, y en particular, las pequeñas y medianas empresas de la Comunidad Autónoma del País Vasco, que deseen gestionar sus aspectos ambientales con agilidad y un claro enfoque a resultados.
Para obtener más información sobre las ventajas y ayudas que ofrece este servicio, tienen a su disposición el teléfono de consulta gratuito Ihobe-line: 900.15.08.64 o en la pagina web de INHOBE.
Confusing food labeling increases food waste
According to WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme), 5.3 million tonnes of still edible food is thrown away each year, costing the average family £680/year or more than £50/month. Research shows confusing food labeling is a significant factor of this trend.
Seis galardones reconocerán la labor del comercio local
Therefore a recent guidance from UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and WRAP upholds that packaging should only carry ‘used by’ or ‘best before’ dates, while ‘sell by’ and ‘display until’ labels currently used by supermarkets would be removed to stop consumers from throwing away good food.
‘Used by’ should only be used if food could be unsafe to eat after that date, while ‘best before’ dates should show the product is no longer at its best but is still safe to consume, the advice states. Food likely to require a ‘use by’ date include soft cheese, smoked fish and ready meals, while biscuits, jams, pickles, crisps and tinned foods will only need a “best before’ label.
UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs produced the guidance in consultation with the food industry, consumer groups, regulators, and WRAP. Hence, labeling the food/products properly supermarkets will help consumers avoid the food waste.
Caroline Spelman, the environment secretary, said: "We want to end the food labeling confusion and make it clear once and for all when food is good and safe to eat."
Liz Redmond, head of hygiene and microbiology at the Food Standards Agency (FSA), said: "This new guidance will give greater clarity to the food industry on which date mark should be used on their products while maintaining consumer protection."
Source: The Guardian (UK)
El Ayuntamiento de Torrevieja y la Asociación de Pequeños y Medianos Comerciantes (Apymeco) presentaron el pasado 23 de septiembre 2011 los "Premios del Comercio Local 2011", que en esta ocasión cumplían su VIII edición. Con el afán de seguir incorporando nuevos premios a los ya contemplados, se ha incorporado el Galardón "Comercio Más Innovador"; al que se suman el ya tradicional Comerciante del Año, Comercio Sostenible, Renovación Comercial, Escaparatismo Navideño, según señaló el presidente de Apymeco, Antonio Serna.
¿En qué consisten dichos premios ?
1. PREMIO COMERCIANTE DEL AÑO: reconoce la labor de los empresarios que desarrollan su labor comercial dentro de la ciudad y que han demostrado su capacidad de permanencia, de adaptación a los nuevos tiempos y de compromiso con esta ciudad. En el mes de noviembre el jurado se reunirá y elegirá al galardonado. Cumple ya su octava edición y se han entregado ya a comercios como Modas Astoria, Tomás Martínez, Pastelería Monge, etc.
2. COMERCIO SOSTENIBLE: En este caso es el tercer reconocimiento a un comercio que lleva a cabo medidas para reducir el consumo de energía, reducir residuos, respeto de las normas medioambientales o cualquier otra actividad que sirva para hacer de nuestros comercios un ejemplo de protección medio ambiental. Este premio, lógicamente, tiene una estrecha relación con el proyecto Europeo Green Commerce, en el que el Ayuntamiento de Torrevieja es pionero y que busca aminorar los impactos medioambientales del pequeño comercio, con el fin de lograr la implantación a nivel europeo de buenas prácticas medioambientales.
El plazo para presentarse a este premio finaliza el día 15 de noviembre de 2011 y únicamente hay que hacer una instancia con los datos básicos y presentarla en el PROP.
3. RENOVACION COMERCIAL: Uno de los premios más “veteranos”, que tiene como finalidad reconocer las inversiones de los comerciantes de la ciudad en sus comercios y por lo tanto la mejora de la calidad visual de los mismos.
Podrán participar todos los pequeños y medianos comercios que hayan llevado a cabo en el año 2011 una renovación de su comercio que suponga una mejora sustancial del mismo o hayan ampliado sus instalaciones o sucursales. El plazo es hasta el 11 de noviembre y al igual que en el caso anterior la solicitud de participación se hará a través de una instancia presentada en el registro del Ayuntamiento.
4. COMERCIO MÁS INNOVADOR: premio de nueva incorporación para esta anualidad. Se premia en este caso a los comercios que han adecuado su establecimiento incorporando nuevas tecnologías que actualmente están disponibles en el mercado a su funcionamiento diario o la su relación con sus clientes; por ejemplo, se tendrán en cuenta cosas tales como el uso de comercio electrónico, redes sociales, métodos de comunicación con los clientes a través de telefonía móvil, firma electrónica, factura electrónica o cualquier otro método que el comercio haya incorporado, pues estas medidas de innovación no son cerradas en absoluto. El plazo de presentación finaliza el día 15 de noviembre y al igual que en casos anteriores es necesario la presentación de una instancia.
5. ESCAPARATISMO NAVIDEÑO: dentro del paquete de premios aprobados por Junta de Gobierno se encuentra el de Escaparatismo Navideño correspondiente a este año 2011. Se premia el escaparate más bonito a juicio del jurado. El plazo para participar es el 2 de diciembre, visitándose los escaparates por parte del jurado a partir de ese día.
6. COMERCIO CON SONRISA: El premio se realiza al igual que en años anteriores a través de una votación popular. Cualquier persona que haya sido cliente de un comercio de la ciudad de Torrevieja, puede de forma completamente libre votar por dicho establecimiento a través del mail COMERCIO@TORREVIEJA.EU. Se acepta un voto por dirección de correo. Toda la información relativa a este concurso se encuentra a disposición de cualquiera en el FACEBOOK de la Concejalía de comercio del Ayuntamiento de Torrevieja. El plazo para votar se ha abierto hace breves fechas y finaliza el día 30 de noviembre.
Es una forma de premiar al comercio que tiene una especial preocupación por un trato amable a sus clientes y por la búsqueda de la satisfacción continua. Cada votante puede tener para ello unos criterios completamente subjetivos.
En esta nueva edición, además de mantener todos los premios de años anteriores, que son el distintivo exterior, el diploma conmemorativo y la difusión del premio en medios de comunicación, la Concejalía ha decidido premiar también al comerciante, como ciudadano, como persona que necesita algun detalle para él o para ella; es por esto que se ha incorporado un lote de distintos regalos para el propio comerciante, que incorporará por ejemplo cenas, entradas a espectáculos de la ciudad, vales para masajes, y que se pueden realizar en la ciudad de Torrevieja.
Todos estos premios se entregarán en la Gala del Comercio, que se celebrará el 10 de diciembre en el Centro cultural “Virgen del Carmen”, a la que están invitados todos los comercios de la ciudad.
Cualquier información añadida que se quiera tener de estos premios puede conseguirse en la página web “portaldelcomerciante.com” o directamente en la Concejalía de Comercio, situada en el antiguo Ayuntamiento, en horario de 8:00 a 15:00 horas.
Fuente: Notas de Prensa Comunitat Valenciana
One Green Score to Rule Them All: The Next Phase of Green Marketing?
When it comes to making purchasing decisions, U.S. shoppers want to answer them in the space of a quick glance. "How much does it cost? How much do I get? How well does it work?" Now, according to a new survey, marketers have to answer one more question during that glance: What does the product do for the planet and for people?
More than 80% of U.S. shoppers want a single sustainability rating for all products that 75% say should be displayed as a numerical score and produced by an independent organization with no profit motive, according to One Green Score for One Earth.
People interested in buying green products define them differently than manufacturers and retailers do, the study found.
Corporate interviewees tended to hew closer to the traditional definition of helping - or at least not harming - the environment for a definition of green. Increasing energy and supply chain efficiency and the resulting cost savings are corporate America's big markers of being a good corporate citizen, according to One Green Score for One Earth.
With such a difference in how sustainability is defined, it's no surprise that the public says it wants a single score that encompasses all aspects of sustainability stamped clearly on each product or at least on the shelf below it. About 80% of those "committed" to buying green products say such a score would influence their buying decisions, the researchers found. Even 55% of those claiming that buying sustainable products doesn't matter to them support the idea of one clear sustainability score.
At least 75% of each type of respondent said an independent, non-profit organization should develop and oversee the scoring structure, yet "leading edge manufacturers and retailers committed to sustainability stressed the need to be at the table to ensure that the sustainability score is realistic and is something that can be implemented."
However it happens, it's vital to develop an easy way to quickly get a product's impact across, the paper says. "As the industry comes to terms with how to communicate sustainability in a way that is useful to shoppers, it is critical that we understand what they (shoppers) want to know," its authors said.
The research white paper was released by Ryan Partnership Chicago, a marketing firm that works with large brands and Mambo Sprouts Marketing, a marketing company focused on the natural and organic sectors that does market research and produces coupon books for retail outlets.
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Re-Action! Sustainability through social innovation
REcentre presents several best practices from the Netherlands and abroad, and compares these to eight projects from Maastricht and the region. The common factor is that it is not the industry that assumes the role of initiator, but individuals and communities that tend to give the impetus for sustainable change. For REcentre this led to the decision to emphasize the importance of social innovation as an agent for sustainability in the exhibition Re-Action!
REcentre – centre for sustainable design is a knowledge and promotion centre propelling the development of sustainable design in the Meuse-Rhine Euregion, consisting of Belgian and Dutch Limburg, Regio Aachen and Liège.
REcentre will create an expertise cluster in sustainable design within the Meuse-Rhine Euregion. By setting up projects together with designers, schools, companies and public institutions REcentre will show how sustainability can become real and what role design can take in this.
During the midissage, that took place on the 18th of September 2011, Kate Bull, co-founder of The People's Supermarket (UK), spoke about the importance of social innovation as a catalyst for sustainability. The People's Supermarket is a sustainable supermarket that shows an alternative, food buying network of affordable, high quality and healthy food producers. The members of the supermarket pay an annual contribution and get a reduction on their purchases and control in the policy. The members are also considered to work there minimum half a day per month. The People's Supermarket received this year an Ethical Award from the British newspaper The Observer.
REcentre also publishes sustainable success stories from companies active in diverse sectors (from coffee to chocolate, from radiators to chemistry,...) out of the Meuse-Rhine Euregion. They all have the same vision: sustainability is an economic necessity! This publication showcases good examples of embedding sustainability in the company's. See Sustainable Success Stories.
Source: REcenter - Center for sustainable design
Unilever UK Achieves Zero Landfill Status
Consumer products brand Unilever has become a “zero to landfill” manufacturer in its U.K. operations, the company has announced.
The company now recycles 97 percent of its waste through its waste contractor Veolia. The remaining three percent is converted into energy, Unilever says.
All 11 of the company’s U.K. manufacturing sites – which combined are responsible for around 25 percent of the company’s European waste – its two U.K. laboratories and two UK office buildings are part of the commitment. The zero to landfill pledge is part of Unilever’s global sustainable living plan, which sets out its ambition to double the size of the business whilst reducing its environmental impact. Unilever has reduced its total waste in manufacturing per ton of production by 77 percent since 1995, according to the company.
In July, U.S. packaging company Sonoco announced a goal of moving five U.S. manufacturing plants to virtually landfill-free status by the end of 2011.
Sonoco is aiming to divert 99 percent of operational waste from landfills with programs in progress at five plants, in the company’s packaging services, consumer packaging, and tubes and cores operations. The company also established a goal of having 10 percent of its global manufacturing operations achieve landfill-free status by 2015.
Fundesarte impulsa la Responsabilidad Social y la sostenibilidad en el sector artesano mediante el proyecto Sustent.Arte
Treinta seis talleres artesanos de Castilla-La Mancha han participado en un proyecto pionero de asesoramiento en Responsabilidad Social Empresarial promovido por la Fundación Española para la Innovación de la Artesanía, Fundesarte. La iniciativa tiene como objetivo incidir en la competitividad del sector artesano fomentando el emprendimiento de negocios artesanos responsables.
El programa, denominado Sustent.Arte, busca concienciar al sector artesano de la importancia de la Responsabilidad Social Empresarial (RSE) en su actividad cotidiana, creando sinergias entre su actividad y la economía social de su entorno. La metodología del programa Sustent.Arte fue creada en 2009 por la Fundación Española para la Innovación de la Artesanía (Fundesarte) en colaboración con la consultora Sustentia, para ayudar a los talleres artesanos y otras pequeñas empresas del mundo rural a mejorar sus resultados a través de la comunicación de sus prácticas socialmente responsables. Sustent.Arte es un proyecto que busca transmitir a los potenciales consumidores de artesanía no sólo la calidad del producto en sí mismo, sino también que ésta es una de las actividades más responsables y sostenibles por su propia naturaleza.
Los talleres participantes han recibido de manera totalmente gratuita el asesoramiento de un experto en responsabilidad social y sostenibilidad. Este asesoramiento personalizado ha consistido en un diagnóstico mediante el que han podido identificar las características principales de su taller relacionadas con su cadena de valor: diseño, producción, comercialización, comunicación, etc. A partir de ahí han trabajado conjuntamente sobre un plan de mejora (de implantación voluntaria) y un plan de comunicación dirigido a transmitir al cliente final el verdadero valor de su producto y con ello mejorar las ventas. Los artesanos asesorados han recibido además una guía de consulta para continuar avanzando por su cuenta una vez el asesor ha terminado su trabajo.
Los talleres que han participado en el proyecto Sustent.Arte pueden identificarse por un cartel en su tienda o taller que acredita su participación en dicho proyecto. Además disponen de etiquetas que identifican los productos que han sido realizados de forma responsable y sostenible, así como de un banner en sus páginas web.
Adidas says 'impossible is nothing' to detox challenge
Recursos: Guía de RSE sustent.arte (PDF)
The world's second-largest sportswear brand, Adidas, committed to a zero discharge of hazardous chemicals by 2020, following similar commitments by Nike and Puma.
Adidas announced it has recruited other brands that will gather for an industry forum in Amsterdam at the end of this month to develop a roadmap that will address the 'zero discharge' challenge posed by Greenpeace.
The commitment follows a high-profile campaign by Greenpeace for high street brands to phase out the use of hazardous chemicals in the supply chain.
The first Dirty Laundry report found that a number of brands were linked to Chinese manufacturers that had been accused of spilling harmful chemicals into local water supplies. The second report found the presence of nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPE) in items of clothing bought in the EU bearing labels from brands such as Adidas, H&M and Abercrombie & Fitch.
Following the release of the reports, a number of other clothing brands have also publicly engaged in the detox challenge. Greenpeace welcomed Adidas's commitment, particularly because it stated some very specific and immediate actions.
Adidas also agreed to address the principle of the 'right to know' by ensuring full transparency about the chemicals being released from its suppliers' factories. The company has promised to deliver a detailed plan within the next seven weeks.
Las bolsas de plástico desaparecerán en 2016 en Cataluña, según el Ejecutivo autonómico
El consejero de Territorio y Sostenibilidad, Lluís Recoder, ha explicado que las bolsas de plástico de un solo uso desaparecerán en 2016 en Cataluña, dos años antes de lo que marca la Ley estatal de Residuos y Suelos contaminado y que fija el plazo límite en 2018.
Recoder ha hecho estas declaraciones tras firmar la prórroga hasta el 31 de diciembre de este año del Pacto por la Bolsa, que se creó en julio de 2009 y al que están adheridas 64 empresas y asociaciones con el objetivo de impulsar las bolsas reutilizables, campañas de sensibilización y políticas comerciales.
Según el presidente de la Agencia de Residuos de Catalunya (ACR), Josep Maria Tost, el consumo de bolsas se redujo un 30 por ciento en 2009 respecto a 2007, ya que en 2009 se consumieron en Cataluña 1.697 millones de unidades, 30,4 por ciento menos que en 2007.
El objetivo es que la reducción de bolsas alcance el 50 por ciento en 2012 respecto a 2007, aunque la buena acogida de la medida por parte de los consumidores puede contribuir a aumentar este porcentaje de cara a esta fecha, lo que permitirá llegar a la desaparición total del bolsas en 2016.
Una de las entidades firmantes del pacto es la Asociación Nacional de Grandes Empresas de Distribución (Anged), cuyo representante en la firma, Roberto Guirado, ha sostenido que la reducción de bolsas en su sector ya alcanza el 70 por ciento en 2011.
El presidente de Pimec Comercio, Alejandro Goñi, ha destacado que el pacto ha sido una iniciativa pionera, a la vez que ha subrayado la implicación del pequeño comercio promoviendo alternativas a la bolsa de plástico, como la bolsa de tela, y contribuyendo a unos "resultados esperanzadores".
Por su parte, el secretario general de la Confederación de Comercio de Catalunya (CCC), Miguel Ángel Fraile, ha reiterado el esfuerzo del pequeño comercio al lado del consumidor para que éste comprenda el valor reutilizable de las bolsas.
El presidente de la Asociación Española de Fabricantes de Bolsas de Plástico, Jaume Coca, ha advertido de que la industria del plástico ha pasado de 30.000 trabajadores a unos 15.000 actualmente, a la vez que algunas máquinas se encuentran paradas. "A la crisis general, se nos ha sumado esta otra", ha lamentado Coca, y ha apostado por buscar alternativas con otros materiales para impulsar bolsas de fácil degradación.
Scottish Executive considers tougher measures for producer responsibility
Questions have been raised over whether companies are doing enough in relation to their producer responsibility obligations, in a new study from the Scottish Executive.
The report says that producers of packaging, electronic equipment and vehicles could play a more effective role in the responsible management of these items at the end of their lifecycle.
The Scottish Government is now exploring the feasibility of setting Scotland-specific packaging recovery targets to drive up recycling rates on a local level, as well as introducing deposit return schemes for drinks packaging.
Other proposals include changing the take-back mechanism for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) at retail shops so consumers can hand in an old product at any shop currently selling equipment in the same category, without having to purchase a new product.
Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said: "Manufacturers and retailers have a responsibility to play their part in preventing waste and encouraging recycling. This report will help us decide how best to ensure responsibilities are shared fairly."
As Scotland drives forward its Zero Waste Plan, the report says there is also scope to consider how existing producer responsibility regimes may more effectively influence and improve the management of waste and resources.
In some European countries where producer responsibility is applied across a range of products and packaging, around 15% of the cost of managing household waste is funded through support from the producer responsibility schemes.
Source: edie newsroom
Key milestone as Courtauld Commitment passes 50 signatories
Reducing the impact of packaging is one of the key aims of the Courtauld Commitment
A leading online retailer and four major drinks brands have signed up to the Courtauld Commitment, taking the total number of major UK brands, suppliers and retailers to 53 signatories.
Ocado, Carlsberg UK, Nestlé Waters UK, PLB Group and Typhoo are the latest UK companies pledging to take resource efficiency measures by signing up to the second phase of the Courtauld Commitment this year.
The voluntary agreement, run by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), aims to support businesses to improve their overall performance and reduce their environmental impact.
Momentum for the Courtauld Commitment remains strong with an additional 17 signatories having signed up in the last year to support three sector targets associated with food and drink waste and packaging, across the UK grocery retail supply chain.
WRAP's director of design & waste prevention, Dr Richard Swannell, said: "Since the second phase of the Courtauld Commitment was launched in March 2010, the UK's leading grocery retail companies have come together to work on solutions to maximise the opportunity for a reduction in waste to the benefit of their businesses and consumers.
"Courtauld Commitment signatories represent the vast majority of leading brands purchased by UK shoppers, which offers huge potential for reducing waste across the
Source: edie newsroom
Timberland opens eco store
In May 2011, the Timberland Company has opened a new store in San Francisco, which it says is one of its most eco-conscious to date.
Europe "must provide green norms and standards"
The building uses sustainable materials such as reclaimed wood and has reused industrial machinery as table bases. The floors are made of recycled stoneware tiles and the interior has been painted using low volatile organic compound paints.
The store is lit with reduced wattage LED lighting - the sales floor is entirely LED-lit and equipment and appliances are Energy Star-eligible. Timberland is a carbon neutral organisation. They achieved this 2010 goal by cutting emissions created by their facilities and employee travel by 38% and purchasing offsets. The company is aiming to use 60% renewable energy by 2015 in Timberland-owned facilities and factories. For 2011, projects include installing solar at the corporate headquarters, LED lighting retrofits for overseas stores and the bulk procurement of renewable energy for stores in the US and UK.
Customers are being asked to vote in-store for their favourite of four environmental organisations in San Francisco. The winner will receive a $2,500 grant from Timberland.
Source: edie newsroom
French businessman Hugues-Arnaud Mayer highlights the challenges and opportunities for eco-innovation from a grass roots viewpoint as a self-made eco-entrepreneur now advising others.
Ten years ago Hugues-Arnaud Mayer launched a business to turn plastic bottles into fibres for quilts. At the same time, he has led a second life as an eco-entrepreneur in biotechnology, producing natural insecticides from plants and flowers. Mayer also wears a third hat. He is president of the new innovation committee at French business confederation MEDEF, as well as president of its Auvergne branch.
What drove you to start making eco-products?
When we started ten years ago it was a way of life, a way of thinking. I wanted to recycle plastic bottles into fibres for quilts. During the first year we didn’t say anything about where the fibres came from, for commercial reasons, but now we say it. Now it helps us to sell them.
I have another business in biotech. We have launched a lot of anti-dust mite, anti-bacterial and anti-insect products. The chemicals in insecticides are not particularly expensive but they require a lot of marketing and offer good profits. We launched an eco-product based on essential oils from plants, without marketing, to keep the costs down. We sell mainly to speciality stores and government bodies.
What is the main barrier to eco-innovation?
Price. Some parts of the market very much like a ‘green solution’ – but people are not so keen to pay for it. So the first thing to look at is an eco solution comparable in price to a ‘non-green’ solution...Where my production costs are high, I don’t put so much into marketing – resulting in better prices.
In some market segments, such as the big hypermarkets and supermarkets, the difference between the prices of eco- and non-eco products is too big. It’s not very easy to obtain a market share there. You have to choose the right product or the right territory before launching.
The big retail chains often want to have a better margin on eco-products. It is a real problem. They think the consumer can pay. To avoid that, I sometimes put a small budget, say 2-5% of the total price, inside my price to help the product establish itself while helping the retailer obtain a good margin.
What can Europe do to help?
It is very important to be sure that everybody is using the same rules. What is required at European level is real certification, with legislation to protect or oblige people to respect what they say.
For example a few days ago I saw ‘95% organic’ on the packaging of a product. Fine, why not? But when I read further, it consisted of 5% chemicals and 95% water! There must be new rules at European level over what is ‘eco’. In the long run, the only way to keep prices in check is through competition. And for this we need to have good European rules to enable us to produce green products.
I think the second point is not to ‘push’ but to ‘pull’. Public policies could help pull eco-products into the market when they are at a critical phase. Green public procurement is the best way to test an eco-product.
What is the role of national governments?
We need real leaders, not political leaders but eco leaders. We need people to show us how it’s done – such as environmentalist Nicolas Hulot in France. It is also very important what we show to kids. I am a sponsor of the Nicolas Hulot project for teaching biodiversity in schools in Brittany. Children come and learn to be eco citizens – 100 kids over 50 weeks! These youngsters are an incredible support to eco policies. I think it could be a good to encourage such a programme of eco schools or eco camps. Afterwards, the young can teach their parents.
Do you face strong competition from abroad?
Outside Europe is a real problem, especially China. China is opportunistic and will want to take the European market share and produce eco-everything. That’s why it’s really important to reinforce standards and controls, because sometimes these third countries don’t do what they promise.
We are now focusing in Europe, where we want to become strong. We sell well in Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands, as well as starting in Spain. We began in the north and headed south as people in the north were a bit more interested in eco products. I sold my first product not in Paris but in Helsinki!
But in France we have been helped a lot by the Grenelle environment laws. Now all the shops have a real offering in eco products. It is part of the political programme – and it’s fashionable. Ten years ago, people were surprised I didn’t have a long beard. They thought eco products were only for special people.
Coca-Cola Enterprises nears zero waste manufacture
Coca-Cola Enterprises is on the verge of achieving zero waste across all of its European manufacturing facilities, according to its latest sustainability report.
The Coca-Cola bottler and distributor is now operating with a 99.5% recovery rate for waste generated in all of its 17 sites. It has also reduced the amount of packaging it uses by 35,000 tonnes, meeting a key target it set in 2008.
The report is Coca-Cola Enterprises' (CCE) first as a European company and provides a detailed overview of its progress towards Commitment 2020, which details a number of CSR targets and goals.
Earlier this year, CCE entered into a joint venture with Eco Plastics to develop a purpose-built plastic bottle recycling facility in Lincolnshire in a pioneering 'industry first' for the recycling sector.
Other achievements include reducing overall carbon footprint by 35,600 tonnes (4%) from 2009, while growing business volume by 4%. Its water use ratio has also fallen to 1.42 litres of water per litre of product, down 6% from 1.51 litres in 2009.
The report also sets out how CCE is engaging with its stakeholders across Europe. The company recently held its second supplier sustainability summit, bringing together its top 50 suppliers to discuss how best to reduce impacts throughout the supply chain.
El Ministerio de Industria, Turismo y Comercio publica una guía de eficiencia energética del comercio y una herramienta de análisis
La Confederación Española de Comercio, en colaboración con la Secretaría General de Turismo y Comercio Interior, del Ministerio de Industria y Comercio y Turismo y el Instituto para la Diversificación y Ahorro de Energía, IDEA, ha editado una Guía práctica de ahorro energético dirigida al comerciante, “Comercio es Ahorro Energético”.
Usar las energías renovables, establecer un plan de ahorro energético, mejorar la eficiencia energética de las instalaciones y equipos, y favorecer la adquisición de buenas prácticas al personal, es decir, consumir menos y mejor, son las claves sobre las que se basan las medidas a aplicar en la actividad comercial que se proponen en la presente guía.
La Comisión Europea ha señalado al sector comercial como uno de los sectores en los que el ahorro de energía puede ser más significativo, con un potencial de reducción estimado del 30% sobre el consumo actual.
La guía práctica de ahorro energético dirigida al comerciante, tiene como finalidad facilitar a los profesionales del sector el análisis de la gestión energética de su establecimiento, proporcionando información, recomendaciones y consejos prácticos para una mayor eficiencia. De esta manera, la guía pretende impulsar la competitividad y la modernización del sector comercial español, reforzar su posición competitiva y dar un paso más en la consolidación de un modelo económico sostenible.
La guía de ahorro energético contiene un cuestionario de evaluación de la gestión energética del establecimiento, una descripción detallada sobre las diferentes fuentes de energía y su impacto sobre el medio ambiente, recomendaciones y consejos prácticos, así como un análisis concreto de los usos energéticos en los establecimientos comerciales (iluminación, calefacción, refrigeración, aislamiento, equipos de frío industrial, electrodomésticos, etc).
La guía viene acompañada de un “Configurador energético” en formato Excel, que una vez introducidos los datos de su consumo energético, permite evaluar la posible mejora en el uso energético del establecimiento si éste aplicara las recomendaciones enumeradas en la guía.
Green Business the Irish Way
What is GreenBusiness?
Greenbusiness.ie is an interesting initiative which offers Irish business assistance in improving resource efficiency. The latter means, in plain language, simply stopping valuable materials from being wasted. Assistance is delivered through the provision of online site assessment and benchmarking tools, a telephone helpline and on-site support. It is publicly-funded through the National Waste Prevention Programme (NWPP) and acts semi-independently from this programme.
What does GreenBusiness do?
Upon entering the website, the business-owner begins by choosing which resource branch they want to focus on - waste, water or energy. This helps them to access site assessment and benchmarking tools, guidance and sources of further support. Further on, a site visit is organised, after which specific recommendations to improve the particular business’ resource efficiency are provided.
Case study – Wexford Opera House
An interesting example of how the service works in practice is Wexford Opera House, a modern, recently built building opened in 2008 in Wexford, Ireland. It has two theatres with good back-of-house facilities, and administration offices including marketing and general offices. It is keen to reduce their environmental footprint. Greenbusiness has thus suggested various measures to consider, with large potential environmental and cost savings.
The site visit identified a range of recommendations with good associated potential benefits including:
• Total cost savings of over €4,500 with many additional savings possible
• Save 855m3 of water by fitting dual flush controls in female toilets, fitting proximity sensors to urinals and fitting spray heads and reduce flow to wash basins.
• Save 16,000kWh per annum by adjusting external lights timer, fitting zone lighting sensors / switches and changing incandescent lamps in chorus rooms to more efficient CFLs.
Wexford Opera House has admitted to have made significant savings, and see the potential for further environmental improvements and cost savings.
· GreenBusiness.ie website
En 2030 ya no podrás conducir coches diesel ni gasolina
Si te gustan los modelos de propulsión tradicional, disfruta de ellos, ya que para “2030 habrán desaparecido del mercado y, en 2040, sólo existirán los coches con célula de combustible –eléctricos propulsados por hidrógeno-”. Así lo ha explicado Juan Verde, secretario de Comercio adjunto del Gobierno estadounidense de Obama en una reciente ponencia en Sevilla.
Verde destacó que el futuro de las energías limpias es imparable por la presión demográfica mundial –este año alcanzaremos los 7.000 millones de habitantes en el planeta, una cifra que podría crecer un 20% en 2030-, que obligará también a replantearse el actual modelo de energía. De hecho, la inversión mundial en energías limpias ha pasado de 52.000 millones de dólares en 2004 a 243.000 millones en 2010.
Verde también destacó que, a medio plazo, el precio medio de barril del petróleo seguirá subiendo, pues el crudo convencional, el que se encuentra en las primeras capas de la tierra, sólo supone el 30% de las reservas, frente al 70% del combustible que es más difícil de extraer y, por lo tanto, más caro. ¿Qué pasará entonces? El futuro plantea tres escenarios posibles: “el más optimista apuesta por un precio de barril de petróleo a 50 dólares, el más realista rondando los 130 y, el más agresivo, situaría su precio en torno a los 200 dólares. Lo que es indiscutible es que ya no veremos más un barril de petróleo por debajo de los 50 dólares como en los últimos 20 años”, explicó.
Como consecuencia de esto, y de la contaminación generada, Juan Verde explicó que el vehículo de combustible tradicional, que ahora ocupa el 99,9% del mercado, tiene las horas contadas y desaparecerá en el año 2030. “El coche híbrido de enchufe, que en 2030 ocupará una cuota de mercado del 22%, desaparecerá en 2040; el coche híbrido convencional, que llegará a una presencia del 40% en 2020, desaparecerá en 2035; y el coche con célula de combustible ocupará el 100% del mercado en 2040”, advirtió.
UK businesses wake up to resource efficiency
• autofacil.es: http://www.autofacil.es/ecologia/en-2030-ya-no-podras-conducir-coches-diesel-ni-gasolina
A recent environment ministry report indicates significant progress by UK businesses in reaping resource-efficiency savings, but says this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Possible and realised savings
A March 2011 study for the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) shows that British businesses could save some £23 billion (€26 billion) a year by making simple no- or low-cost changes to how they use resources. A further £33 billion (€37.5 billion) awaits those who are prepared to wait for more than a year for their return on investment.
These impressive numbers for 2009 hugely overshadow the more humble saving of £6.4 billion (€7.3 billion) identified in an earlier study for 2006. But the new study uses different data and an expanded scope. A like-for-like comparison paints a different picture: it shows that almost a fifth of the savings identified in the 2006 study have since been realised.
Defra sees this is significant progress, well above the 1%-a-year efficiency gain to be expected from technological improvements. It points out that in times of economic crisis resource efficiency by businesses is seen as an opportunity to decrease costs and build resilience as well as comply with environmental laws. It can also open up new markets through innovation.
Save but… on what?
The greatest opportunities for resource efficiency lie in waste, particularly waste prevention through leaner manufacturing. In total, less waste and less waste to landfill could save UK businesses £40 billion (€45.5 billion) a year, nearly three-quarters of the total potential savings identified. Energy and water efficiency would deliver the remainder, about £11 billion (€12.5 billion) and £5 billion (€5.7 billion), respectively.
When the focus shifts to greenhouse gas emission savings however, it is energy efficiency that has the most to offer. Improved energy use should deliver about half the total possible emission savings of 90 million tonnes of CO2 – 13% of UK annual emissions.
There are still significant opportunities in diverting waste away from landfill. The UK’s National Industrial Symbiosis Programme (NISP), where one company’s waste becomes another’s raw material, is just one example. Although the 0.32 tonne of CO2 saving per tonne of waste diverted is only about a third of the saving for waste prevented, there are high volumes to tackle and some waste is unavoidable, for example in construction. Some of this waste could be re-used on site however.
Sectors with the greatest savings opportunities in their waste stream are chemicals, metals manufacturing and utilities, according to the new study. In the 2006 report, the food and drink, and retail sectors were amongst the top, but these have started cashing in on savings.
For energy, the sector with the greatest opportunity is the same as in 2006: road freight. Few efficiency opportunities have been realised here because of constraints such as customer delivery requirements.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) should be the target for future actions to promote resource efficiency. Defra recommends information campaigns, low-cost loans, SME-specific resource efficiency benchmarks and voluntary agreements to realise substantial untapped savings.
EC Environmental Technological Action Plan:
The further benefits of business resource efficiency, (Defra):
A resource-efficient Europe – Flagship initiative of the Europe 2020 strategy:
El Congreso da luz verde a la ley que impulsa los envases retornables
El Congreso aprobó ayer la ley que da vía libre a la implantación en España del SDDR, siglas del Sistema de Depósito, Devolución y Retorno, lo que en la práctica significa el regreso del antiguo modelo de los envases reutilizables que se guardaban en casa y luego se llevaban al comercio a cambio a de una cantidad de dinero. La ley de residuos y suelos contaminados (ese es su nombre completo) no establece ninguna obligación sobre el SDDR, ni mucho menos plazos sobre su implantación, pero sí supone un reconocimiento de que el sistema “que ya funciona en nueve países europeos, entre ellos Holanda y Alemania” es beneficioso y hay que apostar por él.
La ley, que traspone una directiva comunitaria y actualiza la normativa española en esta materia (1998) obliga a España a llevar a cabo una recogida separada de distintos materiales procedentes de residuos (papel, plástico, vidrio, metales), antes del 2015.
La norma da la estocada a las bolsas de plástico de un solo uso, que deberán quedar erradicadas del mercado español en el 2018. El calendario marca que para antes del 2013 hay que sustituir el 60% de las bolsas de un solo uso no biodegradables; en el 2015 el 70%; en el 2016 el 80% y en el 2018 hay que llegar al objetivo del 100%, a excepción de las que se utilizan para pescados, carnes y otros productos perecederos.
La norma ha sido criticada tanto por los ecologistas, que la consideran poco concreta, como por las patronales del reciclaje, para quienes el SDDR supone una amenaza a su negocio. Las asociaciones de consumidores, por su parte, apoyan el sistema siempre y cuando no repercuta en los bolsillos de los ciudadanos, mientras que fuentes parlamentarias socialistas defienden que la ley “ha quedado equilibrada” y “garantiza las cautelas necesarias” para que solo se implante si queda acreditado que supondrá una mejora.
Una de las grandes incógnitas que se plantean ahora es, además de la fecha en que el sistema podría entrar en marcha, si lo hará en exclusiva o conviviendo con el actual modelo de recogida en contenedores. Varios sectores avisan de que no supondrá lo mismo devolver los envases para quien viva junto a un supermercado que para quien resida en una pequeña población rural.
La ley ocupa 81 páginas y aborda numerosos aspectos, pero los capítulos con mayor impacto social son los que esperan reducir la generación de envases y su efecto económico, especialmente los fabricados a partir del petróleo, y así evitar el problema ambiental que supone deshacerse de ellos. De hecho, los principales beneficiarios serían la botella de vidrio, que permite ser reutilizada 50 veces antes de ser reciclada, y cualquier otro envase que se pueda usar varias veces.
Otra novedad es la creación de una comisión para la cooperación técnica y la coordinación entre administraciones públicas en materia de residuos.
Food labels: clearer information for consumers
El periódico Mediterráneo:
Food shoppers will be able to make better informed, healthier choices as the result of new EU food labelling rules approved by MEPs on 6 July. Labels will have to spell out a food's energy content as well as fat, saturated fat, carbohydrate, sugar, protein and salt levels, in a way that makes them easy for consumers to read.
MEP Renate Sommer (EPP, DE), who led Parliament's team in successful negotiations with the Council, said in the debate ahead of the vote: "The new rules are supposed to provide more and better information to consumers so they can make informed choices when buying. But is more than that: the food industry should benefit too. There should be more legal certainty, less bureaucracy and better legislation in general. (...) this is very important for SMEs (...) more than 80 percent of the European food sector is SMEs."
Nutrition values compulsory
Under the new rules, the energy content and amounts of fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, sugars, protein and salt must all be stated in a legible tabular form on the packaging, together and in the same field of vision. All this information has to be expressed per 100g or per 100ml. It may also, in addition, be expressed per portion.
Currently all ingredients - including allergenic substances - must be indicated on the labels of pre-packed foods. In future it will be easier for consumers to see if a product contains allergenic substances, as they will have to be highlighted in the ingredient list. Shoppers will thus be able to see information on allergens at a glance. The new rules also state that information on allergens must be given for non-packaged foods, for example on food sold in restaurants or canteens. Member States may themselves decide how the information is to be made available to consumers.
Country of origin
Under existing EU rules, the origin of certain foods - such as beef, honey, olive oil and fresh fruit and vegetables - already has to be shown on the label. This also applies where the failure to do so would mislead the consumer. This rule will now be extended to fresh meat from pigs, sheep, goat and poultry, at Parliament's request. The Commission will have to introduce implementing rules for this purpose within two years of the regulation's entry into force.
Shoppers must not be misled
The new rules will also ensure that consumers are not misled by the appearance, description or pictorial presentation of food packaging. In addition, it will be easy to spot "imitation foods" - foods that look similar to other foods but are made of different ingredients, such as "cheese-like" foods made with vegetable products. Where an ingredient that would normally be expected has been replaced, this will have to be clearly stated on the front of the pack in a prominent font size and next to the brand name. Meat consisting of combined meat parts must be labelled "formed meat". The same will apply to "formed fish".
When will the new rules apply?
Parliament approved the new food labelling rules by 606 votes to 46, with 26 abstentions. Once the legislation is published in the EU Official Journal, food companies will have three years to adapt to most of the rules, but five years for the rules on nutrition values.
European Parliament Press Service:
2018, año sin bolsas
Cuando faltan siete años para 2018, fecha en que Plan Nacional Integrado de Residuos ha previsto la eliminación total de las bolsas de plástico no biodegradables de un solo uso, son varias las cadenas minoristas que ya están adoptando nuevos usos en el empaquetado de sus productos para adaptarse a la nueva normativa, cuyo objetivo es reducir al 50% el consumo de bolsas de plástico de un solo uso en 2012.
Dos de los grandes distribuidores del mercado español, Mercadona y El Corte Inglés, se han sumado a la iniciativa. La cadena líder de supermercados empieza hoy mismo, 6 de junio, a cobrar las bolsas en los más de 1.300 establecimientos que tiene repartidos por toda España. La bolsa de plástico tradicional costará dos céntimos; las reutilizables, diez y las cestas de rafia 60 céntimos. Con ello, la empresa valenciana generará un ahorro de 35 millones de euros anuales.
La iniciativa no es nueva para Mercadona, que, desde el año pasado, ha ido ‘probando el cobro’ en algunas zonas como Cataluña. Andalucía y Madrid, hasta llegar a su implantación definitiva.
El Corte Inglés, por su parte, iniciará la venta de bolsas el próximo 27 de junio en las enseñas Supercor (83 puntos de venta), Hipercor (37) y Opencor (184). La compañía ofrecerá bolsas tradicionales al precio de cinco céntimos y bolsas biodegradables a un costo de 50 céntimos, en dos variedades, una de color blanco y otra en verde con el logotipo de la empresa, que ha afirmado que lleva más de tres años trabajando en este proyecto.
Actualmente, el consumo de bolsas de plástico en España asciende a un total de 13.500 millones de unidades, de las que sólo se recicla el 10%. El consumo per cápita alcanza las 238 bolsas. La mayoría de las que se utilizan en establecimientos comerciales tienen una vida útil de 20 minutos, frente a las 15 veces que puede se empleada una que sea reutilizable.
In the Market for Green Energy
In recent months fruit and vegetable traders in Ridley Road market, north London, have been bagging up their green waste to be converted into electricity. It is, says Larry Julian, chair of the Ridley Road Market Traders Association, the ultimate form of green energy as vegetable waste that in the past went to landfill is transported to Bedfordshire for anaerobic digestion.
Julian and his brother are fourth generation fruit and vegetable traders in one of the capital's largest markets. They agreed last November, along with the market's other 35 fruit and vegetable traders, to be part of a trial between the AD specialist BiogenGreenfinch and Hackney London Borough Council which is about to be rolled out across more of the council's markets.
AD's environmental credentials are impressive. Each year we throw out between 12 and 20 million tonnes of food waste, 8.3 million tonnes of which is collected by local authorities.
According to Defra, every tonne of food waste digested rather than sent to landfill cuts our emissions by between 0.5 and 1 tonne of CO2 equivalent. The main culprit is the methane emitted when food waste is landfilled, which is 20 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
Then there is the biofertiliser by-product that can be used on crops and the energy produced by converting methane into electricity. Government figures show that 5.5 million tonnes of food waste is enough to meet the power needs of 340,000 households.
AD is not limited to food. When you throw agricultural waste and sewage sludge into the mix, the government estimates that it could account for up to 7.5% of the renewable energy we will have to produce by 2020 to meet our obligations under the Renewable Energy Directive.
For BiogenGreenfinch this means having to keep up with a very fast expanding market. The company plans to build another 10 plants over the next five years throughout the UK. It currently has three plants - Biocycle in Shropshire, Twinwoods in Bedfordshire and Westwood in Northamptonshire.
Where the Bedfordshire-based company believes it has the edge on competitors is that it has developed the technology to exclusively process food waste. Plants that only process food waste produce more methane that agri-AD plants. This methane can then be used to generate electricity. At Twinwoods in Bedfordshire, the plant produces 1.85 megawatts of electricity, which is fed into the national grid.
According to Simon Musther, head of commercial operations for BiogenGreenfinch, it only takes nine months to get a plant built and running. "At the moment demand is outstripping supply. We have people calling us up from quite far distances saying they want to send their waste to us," says Musther.
One obstacle to AD meeting its full energy potential is the number of local authorities stripping food out of their waste streams. According to WRAP, 94 UK authorities separate food waste, although it expects numbers to rise as the cost of landfilling biodegradable municipal waste increases. Until more local authorities segregate food the challenge will be to source waste in enough volume and close enough to existing plants to make collections economically viable.
A win-win situation
That is why this latest project with Hackney LBC to process food waste from Ridley Road market may prove to be a win-win for local authorities wanting to cut landfill costs and companies keen to convert food waste to energy. Since November Ridley Road market has produced 10-tonnes every three weeks for conversion into energy.
Rather than collecting from the markets, BiogenGreenfinch provides specially-designed food skips at the Hackney transfer station that it picks up when full. The cost to local taxpayers of sending market food waste for AD is almost half that of sending the equivalent waste to landfill.
A note of caution
Back at Ridley Road market, Julian has a note of caution for councils interested in turning market waste to energy. For the scheme to reach its full potential he believes that councils must remember to spend time re-educating stall holders about the importance of collecting their green waste.
Vehículos ecológicos para dar un respiro energético a Euskadi
"I'd like to see the council making more effort to keep talking to the traders to get them to change their ways," he says. "For the old traders it takes time to change habits and the new traders will look at what they do and follow suit. A bit more hand holding would make all the difference."
Las ayudas del departamento de Industria, Innovación, Comercio y Turismo del Gobierno vasco, a través del Ente Vasco de la Energía (EVE), promueve la compra de bicicletas con pedaleo asistido, la adquisición de vehículos eléctricos así como vehículos que pueden utilizar biocarburantes. Para ello cuentan con una dotación presupuestaria total de 975.000 euros.
El Gobierno vasco intenta mejorar la eficiencia energética del transporte en Euskadi y diversificar las fuentes de energía que se utilizan en el mismo. En este sentido, el Gobierno lleva tiempo impulsando diferentes ayudas para la compra de vehículos eléctricos o sustitución por uno apto para biocarburante.
La convocatoria de ayudas a la adquisición de bicicletas eléctricas, que aún se encuentra abierta, incluye un subsidio de hasta un 25% del coste total, hasta un máximo de 500 euros por persona/bicicleta. Mientras que las ayudas para la adaptación de los vehículos de gasolina al consumo de carburante con un contenido de al menos un 85% de bioetanol o vehículos con motor de gasóleo que quieran ser adaptados a biodiesel con un contenido mínimo del 30% de biocarburante, podrán ser subvencionados por una cuantía de hasta 2.200 euros.
Finalmente, el departamento de Industria de Euskadi otorgó también ayudas para facilitar la puesta en circulación de nuevos vehículos eléctricos altamente eficientes y cada vez con mayor presencia en las calles. Estas ayudas, cuya convocatoria ya ha finalizado, estaban destinadas a la compra de vehículos turismos híbridos enchufables o eléctricos de autonomía ampliada con capacidad de tracción eléctrica al 100%; vehículos eléctricos puros, alimentados exclusivamente de baterías recargables en la red eléctrica; o motocicletas eléctricas.
Todas las iniciativas se inscriben en la línea de la eficiencia energética y sirven para impulsar e inspirar a nuevas propuestas que favorezcan el avance hacia un uso responsable y limpio de la automoción.
First Waste Responsibility Deal Unveiled to Help SMEs
In the UK, the first of a series of responsibility deals announced under the Government's Waste Review has been launched by environment minister Lord Henley on 23 June 2011.
Under the deal, which is voluntary, the Government will work with the Environmental Services Association (ESA) to help businesses prevent waste and recycle more of what they do produce. The deal will make it easier for businesses to deal with their waste by improving recycling services for SMEs and giving them better information on prevention and treatment methods.
To help achieve this, ESA will encourage its members - mainly waste contractors - to increase awareness of their services among SMEs and be more innovative by offering a more bespoke approach. The association will also develop a code of practice for materials recycling facilities (MRFs) to boost quality levels in recovering recyclates.
Both the ESA and government will work with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), other business trade bodies and chambers of commerce, and local government organisations to drive waste prevention. The ESA and FSB will also work on developing and promoting best practice on making contracts more user-friendly.
Meanwhile the Waste Resources & Action Programme (WRAP) will investigate and publicise a range of trade waste service models that could be adopted by waste contractors, local authorities or social enterprises to improve service access for SMEs. Defra also plans to include provisions on improved SME collections in the revised waste and recycling services commitment it is developing with councils. According to the department, UK businesses could save up to £18bn a year by taking steps to reduce their waste.
Announcing the "ground-breaking" deal, Lord Henley said: "Businesses will benefit from more user-friendly waste management services while the Government will be looking for ways to recognise good performance by waste management companies and in particular to cut red tape for those who are doing the right thing." The deal will also promote consistent and proportionate enforcement by the Environment Agency, reduce red tape and other burdens on good performers, and maintain a level-playing field between public and private waste contractors.
Comercios por el reciclaje
Las tiendas del centro de Valencia promueven el 'reduce, reutiliza y recicla'.
Son comercios comprometidos, por eso fomentan el uso de bolsas biodegradables y reutilizables, aconsejan ir a comprar a pie o en transporte público y atar las bicis a sus aparcamientos y no a los árboles. Desde ayer y hasta mañana, varios animadores vestidos de flor pueden abordarle en uno de las 450 tiendas asociadas a Comercios Centro Histórico de Valencia y entregarle un folleto con ecoconsejos. "Queremos sensibilizar a los clientes y por eso esta campaña de apoyo al Día Internacional del Medio Ambiente, que se celebra el 5 de junio", explicó la gerente de la asociación, Julia Martínez. Según Martínez, el centro histórico de Valencia "es un lugar singular, único e irrepetible. ¿Cómo quieres encontrarlo? Pasea por la ciudad sin dejar huella", dice en alusión a la campaña.
Los consejos son sencillos: además de moverse en bus, metro o bici y no despilfarrar en plástico, los comercios abogan por las tres R; reduce, reutiliza y recicla. Llevan tiempo organizándose y, por ejemplo, ya han conseguido que un día a la semana se recoja puerta a puerta todo el cartón generado. "También disponemos de un servicio de alerta", añade la gerente, "donde denunciamos comportamientos incívicos. Se trata de conseguir entre todos que la cosa mejore".
Swiss Retailers Leading the Way in Sustainability Management
The sustainability rating agency oekom research put 130 of the world’s largest retail companies under the microscope in its recent rating of the sector. 105 companies exhibited so little engagement or transparency that they failed to qualify for a detailed analysis. 25 companies can point to having implemented comparatively wide-ranging measures, and eleven of them are playing a pioneering role. These meet the requirements for sound sustainability management defined by oekom research, and the analysts have awarded them “prime” status. The Swiss co-operative Coop came out as the top company in the sector, achieving a score of B+ on the rating scale from A+ (highest score) to D-. It was followed by another co-operative, the Swiss company Migros (B-), and the UK retailer Marks & Spencer (B-). The average score for all the companies analysed in detail was C+.
Key lever of product mix policy increasingly being applied
More and more, consumers are reaching for fair trade or organic products. “As the intermediary between producers and consumers, the retail trade has a key role to play in promoting sustainable consumption,” is how Lisa Häuser, analyst at oekom research, assesses the retail trade’s responsibility. “After more than 25 years of debate on this so-called ‘gatekeeper function’, we are at last seeing the retail trade playing this part more actively.” The majority of retailers are now offering at least some products that meet the rising social and environmental demands of consumers. Some chains have even introduced their own organic brands. This is also true of the discounters, who had previously competed for customers chiefly on price. Only a few companies, however, are pursuing a comprehensive strategy, with clear goals and measures, that systematically promotes the range concerned.
Suppliers not the only ones with precarious working conditions
Retail corporations purchase their goods from hundreds of suppliers. Many of these are based in emerging and developing countries, where working conditions are often precarious. The majority of the 25 companies analysed in detail therefore require their suppliers to comply with international labour standards. However, the companies have yet to implement consistent systems for monitoring this requirement. For example, H&M and Marks & Spencer have comprehensive management systems for their supply chains. Labour rights violations by some of the suppliers of these two companies demonstrate, however, that even the best monitoring systems are not yet functioning seamlessly.
Wages constitute a particular problem where suppliers are concerned, as they are often not sufficient to meet the basic needs of workers and their families. The UK retailer Marks & Spencer is breaking new ground here: by 2015, it plans to guarantee that its textile suppliers from the least developed countries can pay their workers a living wage.
For the retail trade, as one of the largest employers, the way it treats its own employees is also a key issue. There is constant criticism of the low wages paid and of the way in which workers are prevented from organising themselves in trade unions.
The challenge of climate change
Climate change also represents a major challenge for the sector: retail companies are directly responsible for significant greenhouse gas emissions, through the operation of their sales outlets and distribution centres, as well as the transportation of goods using their own fleets. However, the majority of the emissions accrue in the supply chain, for example in the cultivation and manufacture of products, and in the use phase. Almost all the companies evaluated report having programmes in place to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their own branches and in their freight transport. Only in a very few cases is the supply chain also included here. The UK retailer Tesco, for example, has recorded the carbon footprint of more than 500 different products to identify starting points for improving the carbon balance in production. In order also to reduce emissions accruing during the use phase, Tesco provides its customers with information about relevant potential savings.
More engagement necessary
The fact that only one in 12 retail companies is awarded “prime” status by oekom research reveals the need for further action, however. “Numerous positive initiatives in different individual areas show what is actually possible. However, what is lacking generally is a comprehensive and systematic approach to the principles of sustainability,” is how analyst Lisa Häuser sums up the situation.
Carbon Footprint Pilot Starts in France
From 1 July 2011, a national experiment will be carried out in France for at least one year, to inform consumers on product carbon footprint through environmental labelling. There are 168 global companies taking part in the pilot, which runs for 12 months. It will then be reviewed by the French Government and, if successful, all products could bear the carbon footprint as a compulsory measure from as early as 2012.
It will involve displaying the carbon footprint of products on sale across all sectors, such as cosmetics, clothes, food, electronic equipment, furniture and finance services. The scheme will incorporate both products that are manufactured and consumed in France and products that are imported into the country for consumption. The voluntary scheme is part of a wider programme to:
Include an environmental component in consumer purchasing choices to support behavioural change.
Provide the entire production and distribution chain with new indicators to encourage better eco-designed products.
In the long term, there will be a requirement to consider not only the equivalent impact in terms of CO2 throughout the lifecycle of a product, but also the most significant specific impacts of each type of product too. For example, a washing powder will be required to display its biodegradability capacity.
Unlike existing labels, this display is not intended to be selective: all products will eventually be required to display the requisite environmental information but the commercialization of products will not be conditional on the value of these indicators. On this particular point, this new labelling is comparable to the existing system used for the nutritional characteristics of food (calories, protein, carbohydrates, etc.).
Calculating Water Footprints: How Much Water in Your Food?
The smallest footprint wins
In addition to the direct issue of consumer information and support for behavioural change, this environmental display also represents a competitive element for businesses. It will encourage them to reduce the environmental footprint of their products and their organisations. Consequently, it will also enable them to increase their resilience against variations and increases in energy costs and growing pressures regarding raw materials.
This comes only a few weeks after Coca Cola Enterprises challenged its suppliers to measure their carbon footprints and develop carbon reduction plans at the company's second annual “Supplier Sustainability Summit”. In addition, last month, PUMA published an economic valuation of the environmental impacts caused by greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption along its supply chain.
It is hoped that the French carbon footprint will help inform consumers and inspire behaviour change as well as provide the production and distribution chain with new indicators to encourage better eco-designed products.
The environmental impact of food production in terms of contribution to climate change is well documented. Fertilizer use, soil degradation, and transportation from far flung farms to the table are all sources of greenhouse gas emissions. However, food production also has a steep water footprint. The water footprint is an environmental yardstick that measures how much water goes into the production of goods. And it goes without saying that wasted food is also wasted water.
Water footprint should be visible
In 2009, the Food Ethics Council (FEC) declared in a report that food products should come with water footprint information in addition to carbon information. Because water scarcity is such a growing problem, they argued that such information will make consumers more aware of the impact of their buying habits.
As a general rule of thumb, crops like sugar and vegetables are more water-intensive than cereals. Meat and dairy are even more water intensive. One cup of fresh coffee needs 140 litres of water to produce while the production of one kilogram of beef requires 16 000 litres of water. According to the FEC report, in order to understand how to reduce our use of water, we need to measure this “embedded” or “virtual” water.
The water we waste with our food
Another recently released report by WRAP and WWF examined how much water is wasted in the UK when food is thrown away. It found that nearly two-thirds of this wasted embedded water originated outside the UK. For example, most “summer” vegetables like tomatoes and melons are imported from Spain. It takes 24 000 litres of water to produce one kilogram of chocolate, most of which comes from Ghana. According to the Water Footprint Network, a kilogram of tomatoes requires 160 litres of water in comparison.
The WRAP report focuses on the water and carbon footprint of wasted household food and drink in the UK for the first time. They hope that this information will highlight the major environmental consequences of food and drink waste in the UK and globally. The Best Foot Forward network, sustainability consultants leading the way in carbon and ecological footprinting, have recently released an infographic that gives the water footprint of various foods at a glance.
According to the Water Footprint Network the water footprint of US citizens is 2840 cubic metre per year per capita. About 20% of this water footprint is external. The largest external water footprint of US consumption lies in the Yangtze river basin, China. The organization has worked to develop the Water Footprint Standard that companies are now using to reduce the water footprint of their products.
Think about our footprints
Several companies like Pepsico and Coca-Cola have been focusing on reducing their water footprint through innovative initiatives. For example, including water labels on products may be an effective way to educate consumers about their individual water footprints. For many consumers who are unaware or are on the fence about environmental issues, it may prove to be information overload much like the introduction of carbon information. However, it is a matter of time before consumers start thinking about water and carbon labels as a norm just like we do nutritional information. Even more sustainable shopping is on its way!
Result of LIFE+ consultation: major support for this EU tool
Nearly 85.8% of respondents to a recent public consultation on the future of LIFE+, the European Commission's environmental funding tool also funding the GC project, consider that there is a need for a specific EU financial instrument for environment and climate action. A majority (54.6%) also think that the budget for the instrument should be increased. In the run-up to the next multiannual financial framework 2014-2020, the results of this consultation will feed into an evaluation of the need for a specific environmental and climate action programme in the EU's budget.
As part of ongoing reflections on a financial successor for LIFE+, stakeholders have been widely consulted over the past months. Respondents have expressed their views on the need for a specific financial instrument for the environment and climate action, on ways to boost its added value, and on the architecture of such an instrument in the next programming period.
The conclusions show that:
An overwhelming majority of stakeholders consider that there is a need for a specific EU financial instrument for the environment and climate action.
Limited resources were identified as one of the key factors limiting the effectiveness of LIFE+. 54.6% of respondents called for an increase in the budget.
An EU-level programme for the environment is needed in particular to help Member States to effectively implement EU environmental policy.
82.1% of respondents considered that this should be the most important focus of a future LIFE. The programme should also be used to address European and global challenges, contribute to sharing best practices, promote transfers of knowledge and capacity-building, and raise awareness.
Stakeholders agreed that the instrument should allow for some activities to be carried out outside the EU provided that they serve specific EU policy objectives.
"Integrated Projects", a new feature aimed at improving synergies and facilitating investments in the environmental sector, was perceived as a very useful tool.
The development and implementation of environmental policies is highly affected by Member States' failures to implement environmental legislation, the lack of integration of environment into other policy areas, and difficulties in using EU funding instruments to support environmental investments.
These conclusions draw together the results of several consultations carried out by the European Commission. A broad stakeholder consultation on the future of LIFE+ was conducted from November 2010 to February 2011. The consultation received 912 contributions, from citizens, national authorities, social partners, businesses and NGOs, across the EU and from some non-EU countries.
This on-line consultation was complemented with a specific survey of 147 LIFE project managers. An expert workshop was held on 28 January 2011, attended by approximately 100 stakeholders including LIFE+ National Contact Points, NGOs, and economic and social partners. In parallel, the Committee of the Regions conducted a consultation on the territorial impacts of the successor to LIFE+ and received 40 contributions.
The results of these consultations will be factored in a combined impact assessment and ex-ante evaluation of a successor for LIFE+. The Commission intends to prepare a proposal for a future financial instrument for the environment and climate action by the end of 2011.
Sainsbury's challenges the UK to Switch the Fish
Sainsbury's, a British retailer, has launched a campaign to highlight sustainable fishing and will be offering free fish to customers who switch to a more sustainable variety.
Customers buying one of the Big 5: cod, haddock, tuna, salmon and prawns, will be offered alternatives such as pouting, megrim and coley for free. The retailer is hoping to encourage customers to try other varieties of fish and make more sustainable choices.
Jamie Oliver, a British celebrity chef and restaurateur, is heading up the Switch the Fish six-week campaign, which is being launched on 17 June in English and Scottish stores. He said: "Earlier this year I joined the debate to encourage people to try new, less loved fish which had a great response. Sainsbury's is really taking the next step with its campaign Switch the Fish demonstrating its commitment to getting customers to widen their choice when it comes to eating something other than the Big 5.
Sainsbury's has recently ran a poll on consumers’ fish buying and eating habits. It showed that 41% of the UK eats cod at least once a month and a fifth of people eat tuna at least once a week. The poll of more than 2,000 adults also revealed that 43% of fish eaters were put off from trying a different type of fish if they were unsure about its taste. Similarly, 31% said they were discouraged from trying a fish if they didn't know how to cook it.
Minister for the Natural Environment and Fisheries, Richard Benyon MP, applauded the campaign. He said: "If more people start to choose a wider variety of fish, this will help in our battle to end the terrible waste of millions of edible fish being thrown back into the sea dead because of an out-dated system."
The problem of overfishing was thrust into the spotlight earlier this year by TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, whose January 2011 programme Hugh's Fish Fight attracted widespread media coverage and sparked a campaign calling for an end to discards.
So why not discover new dishes in a sustainable way?
Smart Shopping in North London
For more details on the campaign and the less known yet tasty kinds of fish, check Sainsbury’s webpage
Within the North London Waste Prevention Plan, NLWA (The North London Waste Authority) launched several waste prevention actions concerning local businesses. In addition to its Prevention Guide for Businesses, it decided to involve several small retail shops in the promotion of waste prevention among their clients. The aim of the two-month Smart Shopping in North London project (January – February 2011) was to encourage the use of reusable shopping bags by offering shoppers a total of 7,000 free reusable cotton bags instead of plastic carrier bags.
The retailers targeted by the project included small to medium sized independent shops that typically give out a lot of plastic carrier bags. They were all provided with a Proud to Support Smart Shopping in North London sticker, awareness-raising posters, a copy of the Waste Prevention Guide for Businesses and, most importantly, reusable cotton bags, which were to be given out to those clients who needed a bag but did not bring one of their own. Apart from handing them the free bag, the shopkeepers were also expected to remind their clients to bring the bag with them next time they shopped. Each bag was accompanied by a smart shopping tips card. Finally, as a special bonus, customers who registered their bag online had the chance to win a solar powered DAB digital radio.
The project turned out to be a big success. The 29 shops which encouraged a total of 7,000 residents across north London to reuse their shopping bags achieved the direct diversion of an estimated 7 tonnes of waste produced by plastic bags. It is important to note that encouragement of use of reusable shopping bags in north London could achieve a diversion of 208 tonnes of waste, and so there is much potential for improvement.
All in all, the Smart Shopping project, by achieving all its objectives, shows that this kind of positive behaviour change among customers is possible and should be pursued.
Japan for Sustainability - Personal CO2 Emission Trading
The GC assessment tool officially launched in Brussels on the occasion of the Green Week
The world's first experiment studying personal carbon trading was carried out by the Japanese Supply Chain Consortium between February 9 and 22, 2011, in order to develop environmental technologies. At its Kitasuna store (Koto Ward, Tokyo), Ito-Yokado Co., a major Japanese supermarket chain, sold cartons of canned drinks with attached seals indicating carbon credits. Purchasers could not only offset their own CO2 emissions, but also cooperate in offsetting those of Koto Ward, Sunamachi Elementary School and two non-profit organizations.
The member organizations in the Consortium had their own roles in the experiment. The National Institute of Informatics, a general academic research institution, proposed the methods used as the basis of the experiment in order to unify the experimental process. Toppan Printing Co., a major Japanese printing company, developed an emission trading system, and managed the office for the experiment. Nihon Unisys, Ltd., an ICT service provider, set up carbon credit accounts and built models for implementing account administration. Seven & i Holdings Co., a major Japanese retail chain operator, provide the Ito-Yokado store. Mitsubishi UFJ Lease and Finance provided its carbon credits and conducted a series of procedures related to carbon offsetting.
There were three types of carbon credit seal, corresponding to 300, 500 and 700 grams of CO2. Reading the QR (Quick Response) code with a cellular phone or other device provided information about the CO2 emission credits. The experiment was budgeted by both the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Promotion Program for Reducing Environmental Load through ICT Innovation (PREDICT), and was supported by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
All Green Commerce partners met today at a public seminar in the offices of ACR+ in order to present the new developments within the project, as well as officially launch the online self-assessment tool, which is now available on our website. The seminar was a side-event of the European Green Week and gathered participants from different regions and cities in Europe as well as representatives of the private sector and other stakeholders.
Don't Miss: Call for Proposals 2011
The first part of the Seminar included a presentation of the project by Silvia Ordiñaga Rigo from the Valencian Government, followed by the presentation of the Life+ Programme, delivered by Santiago Urquijo Zamora from the European Commission. Finally, Juan Valea López (Valencian Government) and César Aliaga Baquero officially introduced the newly-created self-assessment tool, which will enable businesses find out what the degree of compliance with the requirements set for Green Commerce recognition is.
The second part of the Seminar was devoted to the experiences related to pilot implementation of the GC labelling process at municipal level in the Spanish cities of San Sebastián and Torrevieja. Agustina Esteve Huertas (Municipality of Torrevieja) and Lourdes Blanco (Municipality of San Sebastián) have given us thorough presentations of their activities aiming at greening retail shops. Finally, Olivier de Clercq from ACR+ has given a number of conclusions and comments on the perspectives of the project in relation with associated issues and EU policy developments.
A question and answer session was followed by a buffet lunch, where the participants continued to discuss their areas of interest.
We would like to thank all the Speakers for their interesting input and the participants for being there with us today. We were very happy to meet you!
Get in touch!
Do you have any questions? Would you like to share your impressions from the Seminar? We would love to hear from you! This blog is a perfect platform for discussion – we are looking forward to reading your comment!
All the presentations can be downloaded here:
Got a great business project that could make Europe greener but don't know how to get it off the ground? The 2011 Eco-innovation call for proposals may be for you!
The CIP Eco-innovation initiative seeks to support innovation and competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It goes in line with the Europe 2020 strategy, which aims at transforming the EU to a smarter, greener and more inclusive economy through greater innovation and more efficient resource management.
The CIP Eco-innovation programme will support projects in different sectors which aim at the prevention or reduction of environmental impacts or which contribute to the optimal use of resources. In order to take part in the Call, you must be a legal person, established in the EU territory. Clear priority will be given to SMEs.
There are five main priority areas for this Call for Proposals:
Sustainable building products
Food and drink sector
The deadline for submitting applications is 8 September 2011.
The objective is to promote the adoption of new and integrated approaches to eco-innovation and the encouragement of taking up of environmental solutions by increasing the market and by removing the barriers to market penetration.
CIP Eco-innovation stands for Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme – Eco-innovation First Application and Market Replication Projects and forms part of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (EIP).
Towards Green Shopping - the ENECO Project
Call for Proposals Application Pack – here you will find detailed information on how to apply
Have you already heard of ENECO? This interesting cross-border project focuses on working towards sustainable eco-economy in the context of small and medium companies. Find out how they define green shopping and what their future plans are.
The ENECO project has six partners, namely Centro de Recursos Ambientales de Navarra (CRANA), Asociación de empresas de la Merindad de Estella (LASEME), Agencia de Desarrollo Económico de La Rioja (ADER), Association pour l’Environnement et la Sécurité en Aquitiane (APESA), Fundación Ecología y Desarrollo (ECODES) and Agence Régionale pour l’Environnement de Midi-Pyrénées (ARPE). The partners, competent in the environmental sustainability field, work towards mobilizing small and medium commerce to become more sustainable. The project is being developed in Spain (the regions of Navarra, La Rioja and Aragón), as well as France (Aquitaine and Midi-Pyrénées).
In general terms, green shopping means that the producers take responsibility for the products they make available on the market. In other words, they make sure the waste created in the production process is minimized, while the products, at the end of their life-cycle, can be recycled or reused, so that fewer natural resources are consumed. For instance, a good green shopping practice could consist of only purchasing these articles which consume little energy and this reducing the CO2 emissions.
Many small and medium companies in the regions engaged in the project have taken part in the ENECO initiative, particularly when it comes to green shopping. The rule is simple: we need to have in mind how and from whom we buy. For instance, by paying special attention to the paper we use, we can make sure it was not produced by damaging natural reserves, that it is made from recycled materials, etc. The interested companies can consult the Green Shopping Guide on the project’s website, which will help them make the right decision.
Even though ENECO has come to its end in May 2011, many companies involved in the project wish to continue working towards sustainable economic development. A similar project, ENECO+, is already being prepared. It is to be launched on 1 January 2012 and will last until August 2014. Its main objectives include reinforcing cross-border integration, creating an online knowledge exchange platform, as well as direct relationships between the companies and technology and investigation centers, and, finally, developing common actions and tools.
Interested? Pop by again soon!
If you want to know more about ENECO, do visit our blog in the near future. We will present some of the companies that have taken part in the project!
The ENECO project “Environmental and energetic management of small and medium commerce and development of eco-economy for a sustainable cross-border economic development” is financed by the FEDER fund, through a Programme of Territorial Cooperation Spain-France-Andorra (POCTEFA) 2007 – 2013. It will be implemented from February 2009 till May 2011.
Smart Green Businesses go for Green
Small and medium sized businesses in London have started to record financial and environmental savings as a result of their engagement in the Smart Green Business Programme. Smart Green Business is an initiative for businesses in central London which offers free services to help businesses improve their environmental performance, gain competitive advantage and save money.
There are seven environmental services on offer including developing environmental management systems, recycling and managing resources more efficiently, carbon and energy reduction, travel planning and sustainable procurement. Through professional advice and support, as well as training and the opportunity to gain environmental accreditations, SGB helps businesses to enhance their environmental programmes.
The programme is funded by European Regeneration Funding, matched by a number of public and private sector contributions. It runs until June 2012, by which time it aims to have engaged over 650 businesses, achieved 1300 tonnes of waste diversion from landfill, and savings of over 5 000 m3 of water and 1500 tonnes of CO2.
Go green business!
¡Regístrense hoy! Seminario Europeo GC
Seminario Europeo Green Commerce, organizado por ACR+, junto con los Socios Green Commerce, tendrá lugar dentro de dos semanas. Si todavía no se han registrado, ¡no esperen!. ¡Regístrense hoy!
Register Today! GC European Seminar
Este exclusivo evento presentará los primeros resultados del proyecto Green Commerce, el cual tiene como objetivo promover la responsabilidad medioambiental del pequeño comercio en Europa. Les presentaremos de manera oficial la recién creada herramienta de autodiagnóstico y los requisitos técnicos para la marca europea "Green Commerce", junto con las experiencias piloto de las ciudades participantes (San Sebastián y Torrevieja).
El evento tendrá lugar el próximo miércoles 25 de mayo de 9:00 a 14:00 en la sede de ACR+ y Brussels-Europe Liaison Office, en la Avenue d’Auderghem, 63 de Bruselas.
Para más información sobre el evento conslute la página web de ACR+ y la agenda.
The European Information Seminar about the Life+ Green Commerce project, hosted by ACR+ together with the Green Commerce Partners, will take place in a bit more than two weeks. If you haven't registered yet, go ahead and do it today!
Green PRO: Promoting Green Products in Romania
This exclusive event will present you the first outcomes of the Green Commerce project, which aims at greening the activities of the small shops in Europe. The newly-created GC self-assessment tool and the technical requirements for the GC European label will be officially presented for the first time, together with the pilot experiences in the participating cities (San Sebastián and Torrevieja).
The event will take place on 25 May 2011, from 9:00 to 14:00 at ACR+ offices c/o Brussels-Europe Liaison Office, avenue d’Auderghem 63, 1040 Brussels.
For more information on the event visit ACR+ webpage and consult the agenda.
Today we would like to present you a Romanian project financed by the LIFE+ programme of the European Commission, which began on 1 January 2010 and will last until 2013.
The “Promoting Green Products” project aims at developing a campaign meant to raise awareness in order to promote the production and consumption of green products. Overall, GREEN PRO promotes the EU environmental policy and market-based tools regarding environmentally friendly products and its main added value is that it promotes the EU environmental policy as well as voluntary tools, such as eco-label, EMAS and the EU business awards for the environment, by the use of market-based tools founded on a consumer-oriented approach.
Within this project, the six partners involved in its implementation are working towards raising producers’ and consumers’ awareness about green products, increasing the recognition of green products compared to the non-environmentally friendly ones, as well as increasing consumers’ preference for green products by proving their financial and environmental benefits.
Moreover, a “green list” and a “black list” of products will be compiled, the latter including goods that could be mistakenly perceived by the consumer as eco-friendly. The awareness raising campaign will include the creation of a DVD movie, the design and distribution of leaflets and e-newsletters, the placement of information stands at supermarkets and more. In addition, several informative events and training sessions are planned, as well as a promotional event, where producers/distributors will be informed on how to apply for the EU business awards for the environment.
Green Attitude Change
In the long run, it is hoped that the promotion of environmental products will reduce the environmental impact caused by production and consumption. Ideally, consumers will identify and express preference for the green products as opposed to the non-green ones, thus modifying the green products’ distribution chain. As a result, more and more green products will be manufactured and used, tipping the overall balance in favour of eco-friendly products. The final goal is to change production and consumption patterns and to minimize the burden on the environment.
Waste Management Initiative to Motivate Retailers in Brussels
Source and more details:
- Green PRO webpage
An interesting project in the waste management domain is currently carried out in the districts of Molenbeek, Anderlecht and Ixelles in Brussels. With the support of the Public Administration for the Environment and Energy in the Brussels Capital Region (IBGE), Brussels Enterprises Commerce and Industry (BECI), together with Atrium, an urban development agency, have developed a 15-month project, whose main aim is to improve waste management strategies in retail shops in the areas in question.
The idea behind the project is to promote good practices in the field of waste management. On the one hand, it is expected to serve as incentive to look for new sustainable solutions. On the other, it aims at raising the retailers’ awareness and motivating them to green their waste policy.
The project consists of two stages. Firstly, twenty-two Atrium teams will receive training in waste management issues. Then, in the second stage of the project, a call for nominations will be issued among different retailers in several neighbourhoods. The trained teams will then help the selected shops to improve their waste prevention and waste management practices. The shops will also receive information and distinctive labels, in order to raise the clients’ awareness. Following these pilot experiences, Atrium will elaborate practical information leaflets, which will be made available for all retailers in the district.
The project will be evaluated on the basis of pre-established indicators, which include the number of retailers involved in the project and the number of those who have tried to reduce the produced waste, the number of trained Atrium personnel and more.
To visit the BECI website click here.
The French Choose Ecological Packaging - Recent Survey Shows
According to a recent survey carried out by the Ifop Institute for Alliance Carton Nature (ACN), the notion of packaging’s environmental impact is becoming more and more important for the French consumers. 31% of people claim that they choose the product basing on the impact of its packaging, while 70% are willing to change shops if the one they usually go to is not green enough.
How Do Consumers Assess the Eco-Friendliness of Food Products?
The study has also proved that nowadays the French know more about the environmental impact and the different stages of a product’s life cycle. Preceded only by the practicality criterion (60%), the environmental impact is the deciding factor for 31% of people while choosing packaging. Weight and appearance are significantly less important (7% and 2% respectively).
Interestingly, consumers no longer consider the transport stage as the most contaminating one (actually, it only accounts for 10 - 15% of the total impact), but they pay more attention to the exploitation and treatment of resources.
67% of French consumers consider the possibility of recycling as the most important criterion while choosing packaging. However, they also acknowledge their own role in the impact reduction. The impulse for selective sorting might come from a logo informing about sorting (50%) or a greater availability of bins in the neighbourhoods (41%). 37% would gladly sort their garbage if financial encouragement was offered.
The consumers also admit that big retail shops work towards the reduction of the impact of house brand packaging (62%) and elimination of over-packaging (51%). Their expectations are high, however: 93% wish for the shops to give preference to products in eco-friendly packaging, while 70% are ready to change shops if they are not green enough. Even though this last number is lower than in 2010, it is important to note that it is mainly the committed consumers (the 78% who choose labeled products), who are willing to move around in search of certified products.
For more information visit Ifop.
Source: Dechetcom.com after Les Français et les emballages de produits alimentaires, study by Ifop for ACN, April 2011.
A recent Swiss study compared consumer perceptions of the environmental friendliness of vegetables with the results of scientific assessments of the vegetables’ environmental impact. The two did not always tally and findings from this study can provide useful information for sustainable consumption campaigns.
The results revealed that most consumers thought the production methods (organic production) and transportation were the main criteria for environmentally friendliness. They placed most emphasis on transport distance rather than means of transport, and seemed to overestimate both the environmental benefit of organic production and the environmental harm of packaging.
In addition, consumers generally rated domestic products more favourably and tended to believe products from less developed countries were lower in quality and environmental performance. Organic production dominated consumers’ minds when thinking about green characteristics. This was to be expected since organic products are visibly labelled in Switzerland, and retailers and farmers actively promote these products as the green alternative.
The findings indicated that current product information for vegetables is insufficient for judging their environmental friendliness. The authors suggest that a simple communication tool, similar to labels used to communicate nutrition, would be beneficial to facilitate eco-friendly food consumption. As the eco-friendliness of vegetables is subject to seasonal changes, consumers would also need to be informed about the reasons why the eco-friendliness of the same product varies throughout the year.
There are environmental benefits to consuming seasonal and domestic vegetables and avoiding air transportation, heated greenhouse production and refrigeration, which could be highlighted in information campaigns. Moreover, educational information with criteria, such as the environmental harm from air transportation and greenhouse production methods, could also help consumers avoid such products.
Seminario Europeo Green Commerce
Science for Environment Policy, European Commission DG Environment News Alert Service, edited by SCU, The University of the West of England, Bristol, 7 April 2011, after
Tobler, C., Visschers, V. & Siegrist, M. (2011) Organic Tomatoes Versus Canned Beans: How Do Consumers Assess the Environmental Friendliness of Vegetables?. Environment and Behavior. 1-21.
ACR+ organiza, junto con los Socios Green Commerce, el Seminario Europeo sobre el proyecto Life+ Green Commerce.
Este exclusivo evento presentará los primeros resultados del proyecto Green Commerce, el cual tiene como objetivo promover la responsabilidad medioambiental del pequeño comercio en Europa. Les presentaremos de manera oficial la recién creada herramienta de autodiagnóstico y los requisitos técnicos para la marca europea "Green Commerce", junto con las experiencias piloto de las ciudades participantes (San Sebastián y Torrevieja).
El evento tendrá lugar el próximo miércoles 25 de mayo de 9:00 a 14:00 en la sede de ACR+ y Brussels-Europe Liaison Office, en la Avenue d’Auderghem, 63 de Bruselas.
European Seminar Green Commerce
Para más información sobre el evento y la inscripción, conslute la página web de ACR+.
ACR+, together with the Green Commerce Partners, hosts the European Information Seminar about the Life+ Green Commerce project.
This exclusive event will present you the first outcomes of the Green Commerce project, which aims at greening the activities of the small shops in Europe. The newly-created GC self-assessment tool and the technical requirements for the GC European label will be officially presented for the first time, together with the pilot experiences in the participating cities (San Sebastian and Torrevieja).
The event will take place on 25 May 2011, from 9:00 to 14:00 at ACR+ offices c/o Brussels-Europe Liaison Office, avenue d’Auderghem, 63 at 1040 Brussels.
For more information on the event and how to register, visit ACR+ webpage.
UK Retailers Lead Recycling Breakthrough
For the first time, UK shoppers can easily recycle thin plastic packaging such as bread bags and cereal liners thanks to an agreement between the country's biggest supermarkets and the On Pack Recycling Label (OPRL) scheme, used by more than 100 companies on over 60,000 product lines.
From now on, stores which collect plastic bags for recycling will accept clean plastic film packaging in the same facilities, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) announced. A new version of the on-pack label will appear on relevant packaging to encourage customers to dispose of it in this way. Such carrier bag banks can be found at more than 4,500 supermarkets.
It is important to note that the thin plastic makes up 43% of all plastic household packaging and weighs in at 645,000 tonnes every year. By comparison, plastic bottles account for 32% or 480,000 tonnes. While thin plastic film is fully recyclable, until now most people have had no means of recycling it.
Retailers recognise in-store collection of thin plastics is an efficient way in which they can contribute further to recycling efforts. They expect to see council sites and kerb-side collections handle the majority of packaging and other waste, such as electrical goods, which is not appropriate for return in store.
The retailers supporting the scheme are: Asda, The Co-operative Group, WM Morrison, J Sainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose. The products involved include: plastic-wrapped bakery goods, breakfast cereal liners, packaging for household goods (toilet roll wrap, kitchen roll wrap) plastic-wrapped grocery produce (fresh and frozen), multipack shrink wrap.
Euro Coop conference “Boosting Renewable Energy Supply and In-Store Energy Efficiency”-13 April 2011 Brussels
For more information visit BRC and OPRL.
In the framework of the European Union Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) 2011, Eurocop will organize the conference a “Boosting Renewable Energy Supply and In-Store Energy Efficiency”, which will be held in the morning of 13th April 2011 at the Charlemagne building (Rue de la Loi 170, Brussels).
Corporate environmental footprinting and product environmental footprinting - European Commission calls for organisations to participate in the development of the LCA methodology
The event, aims to give a snapshot of the EU institutions and environmental NGO standpoints on energy sustainability as well as to present the factual contribution that consumer co-operatives are giving to implement it in their daily operations.
For further information and to register to the conference visit:
DG Environment is working, in collaboration with the Joint Research Centre Institute for Environment and Sustainability, on the development of two methodological guides for the calculation of the environmental footprint of products and companies.
Defra publishes findings on food labelling for behaviour change /El Ministerio de Medio ambiente del Reino Unido publica un estudio sobre marcas ambientales en productos de alimentación
This activity is the answer of the Commission to the call by Member States and other stakeholders to develop a common European methodology for quantitative assessment of environmental performance of products and companies. These methodological guides will be a basis for coherent application of life-cycle assessment in the existing and future policy instruments at European level.
The Commission will test the draft methodology by carrying out a series of pilot projectsThe call for volunteers is now open for EU organisations with life cycle assessment experience (companies or consortia of companies, trade unions, professional bodies, etc.) of all sizes and from any sector to participate in the pilot studies.
The call for volunteers is open until 13 May 2011.
You can find background information including objectives, timelines and applications at the following links:
Product Environmental Footprint: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/eussd/product_footprint.htm
Corporate Environmental Footprint: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/eussd/corporate_footprint.htm
If you need any further information please contact the DG environment by email at: email@example.com
Defra has just published the findings of research, undertaken by University of Hertfordshire, the Policy Studies Institute (PSI) and the Food Ethics Council (FEC). The report is entitle “Effective approaches to environmental labelling of food products".
UK – Published a new report on life cycle environmental impacts of carrier bags. / El Reino Unido publica un nuevo estudio sobre el ciclo de vida y el impacto ambiental de las bolsas de supermercado
The aim of the research was to investigate practicality and effectiveness of environmental labelling of food as a mechanism to promote behavioural change so as to reduce the negative environmental impacts of food production and consumption. It also sought to compare the pros and cons of different labelling formats, including omni-labels, and to assess the potential burden, particularly costs, that introducing such a label would have on industry including food producers and exporters.
For more information and to download the report :
In February 2011, the UK Environment Agency published a study on “Life Cycle Assessment of Supermarket Carrier Bags” that ompares the carbon footprint for carrier bags.
The report shows that commonly-used plastic 'bags for life', if used four or more times, will have a lower carbon footprint than single-use carrier bags.
If a lightweight plastic bag were to be used three times, a cotton 'bag for life' would need to be used for almost 400 trips to tip the environmental balance in its favour. Lightweight single-use carrier bags have the lowest carbon footprint per bag based primarily on resource use and production. Paper, heavyweight plastic and cotton bags all use more resources and energy in their production. A key issue, however, is how many times bags are reused.
The popular plastic 'bags for life' (low-density polyethylene), provided by many supermarkets, need to be used only four times to ensure they have a lower carbon footprint than lightweight bags used only once. Premium, heavier weight 'bags for life' that look like fabric and are made from woven plastic if used 11 times will have a lower carbon impact than single use bags.
The report - Life Cycle Assessment of Supermarket Carrier Bags - was requested by the previous UK Government, and was undertaken by Intertek Expert Services. It was part of an overall study they were carrying out on how to reduce the environmental impact of retail and food packaging. It has been published today following a period of peer review and discussion with the retailers.
Copies of the Environment Agency report Life Cycle Assessment of Supermarket Carrier Bags (2 MB) can be downloaded from: http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/static/documents/Research/Carrier_Bags_final_18-02-11.pdf
Euro Commerce conference towards a more efficient and sustainable retailer sector/ Conferencia europea sobre eficiencia y sostenibilidad del comercio
On 12 January, during the conference held in Brussels, “A competitive commerce sector: key for a sustainable food supply chain” organized by Euro Commerce, it has been highlighted the key role of commerce in driving sustainable initiatives, as a go-between from producers to consumers .
As stressed by Euro Commerce the EU is currently implementing initiatives examining ways to support a more efficient and sustainable retail sector in Europe.
For more information:
More than 230 companies have applied to take part in the French pilot project on environmental product labelling /Más de 230 empresas solicitan participar en el proyecto francés de etiqueta ambiental
The 1st February, the French Minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transport and Housing , Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet announced that more than 230 producers and retailers had applied to take part in the test project on environmental product labelling. It’s already a success asserts the Minister.
Italy governement bans plastic bags /El gobierno italiano prohibe las bolsas de plastico
Candidates that applied to take part to the project are big retail groups and producers , from France and abroad, but also small and medium enterprises. The products that have been submitted to be part of the project are varied: food (1/3 of candidates), textiles and clothing, but also furniture, cleaning products, printing and edition products. At the end of February, the Ministry will announce the list of candidates that will take part to the pilot project.
The pilot project, which will start from 1st July 1 2011 for at least one year, aims to improve the quality of the information about environmental aspects of products.
The project will offer environmental product information to the consumers. It will also test different markets, methods and means to deliver information about environmental impacts at all stages of the production and distribution chain.
More information available at:
Italy, which uses more than 20 billion plastic bags a year, from the 1st January 2011 banned the non-biodegradable bags.
The « Carbon-Label », a green indicator in the U.K. / La "Carbon Label", un indicador verde en el Reino Unido
Italy is the first EU country to ban plastic bags. After stores use up existing stocks of PE bags, they will only be able to offer biodegradable, cloth or paper bags to their customers. It is estimated the amount that stores will charge for biodegradable bags will be at least twice as much as they had charged shoppers for PE bags.
Italy has one of the highest rates of consumption of the bags in Europe. The environmental group Legambiente estimates italians use about 20 billion bags a year -300 plastic bags a year per person- that is about one-fifth of the total used in Europe . Furthermore it is estimated that 180,000 tons of gasoline would be saved if everyone used just 10 bio-degradable bags a year for their shopping.
The Italian ban is a key initiative promoting environmental sustainability in the retailer sector concerning all the supply chain.
The Carbon Trust Company (CTC), a British non-profit firm encouraging companies to cut their carbon footprint, established a Carbon Reduction Label that indicates whether products are being produced by companies that are committed to reducing their carbon emissions.
Brands that want to ‘wear’ this label, quite easily recognisable on packaging, are required to calculate the exact footprint the product produces based on a calculation developed by Carbon Trust, along with the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and BSI British Standards.
More than 90 brands and 5,000 individual product lines have already shared such data, including the raw materials and packaging needed to produce their goods, all the way through to manufacturing, transportation, then sale to the end user, use and finally its disposal.
The progress of the label is still in its early stages, but more and more companies are signing up and customers show they have a real interest in its developments.
20 January 2011 - Welcome to the Green Commerce European Blog
More information: http://www.carbon-label.com/
We are pleased to announce the Green Commerce Blog is now officially launched.
The Green Commerce blog is going to be a frequently updated resource with news and articles related to the reduction of the environmental impact of retail businesses in Europe. The European Blog will aim at keeping all the interested parties up-to-date in relation to Green Commerce initiatives.
If you have any interesting experience, news or good practices concerning environmental initiatives of the small retail sector, do not hesitate to share it on the Blog.
The Blog is also a place for discussion and debate, so bookmark us and post regularly your comments and posts!
Your opinion is interesting
¿Conoces alguna experiencia interesante en materia de reducción del impacto ambiental del pequeño comercio? Por favor, déjanos tu comentario
Do you know any interesting experience about the reduction of the environmental impact of retail business? Pleas, leave your comment