Tag Archives: green

Louisville Kids Take a Stand Against Hunger in Our Community

SOURCE: Yum! Brands

DESCRIPTION:

Louisville, Ky. – Yum! Brands is teaming up with Dare to Care and Chenoweth Elementary fourth and fifth graders to fight hunger here in Louisville.

As a part of Mayor Greg Fischer’s Give-A-Day Week of Service, Yum! Brands has partnered with Dare to Care and Chenoweth Elementary School to collect canned goods and raise awareness about hunger in the Louisville community. Read more…

Tweet me: Louisville kids take a stand against #hunger in our #community http://bit.ly/QkL9j4 via @WLKY @YumBrands #NationalVolunteerWeek

KEYWORDS: Volunteerism & Community Engagement, Business & Trade, Louisville, Dare to Care, Give-A-Day Week of Service, Yum! Brands, Yum! Brands CANStand

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The Future of the Fish Fry

SOURCE: Monsanto

DESCRIPTION:

For those who observe Lent – and the rest of us who just like the food – Fridays in the springtime means going to a fish fry, a fun tradition that brings family and friends together to enjoy a delicious meal.  The name gives it away, but it wouldn’t be a fish fry without fried food, with treats like french fries and hushpuppies most often accompanying the signature dish.

These foods taste great but can be high in “bad fats”¹ because of the cooking oil that’s used. But what if we could give up bad fats for Lent and still maintain the taste and texture we expect from fried foods? At Monsanto, we’ve been working hard to do just that.

Vistive Gold soybeans can be used to create cooking oil with zero trans fat² and significantly reduced saturated fat³ while still enabling the perfect taste. So you can feel less guilty about enjoying a serving size of fried food. Vistive Gold soybean oil can also last longer than traditional oils, which can help to minimize waste.

You can learn more about how Vistive Gold soybeans can help take the heat off of our fried favorites by visiting our website. You can also watch this video to see what nutritionists and dietitians are saying about Vistive Gold.

Notes:

1. As claimed by the American Heart Association, “bad fats” include saturated fat and trans fat.

2. As defined by the FDA for Nutrition Facts Panel purposes.

3. Vistive Gold has 1 gram saturated fat/serving versus 3.0 grams/serving in palm oil; Vistive Gold has 1 grams/serving versus 1.5 grams /serving in fry shortening. Vistive Gold contains a total of 14 grams of fat per serving:  saturated fat – 1 gram/serving; trans fat – 0 grams; polyunsaturated fat – 2.5 grams/serving; monounsatured fat – 10 grams/serving.

Tweet me: #Monsanto Blog and Video: For many, Fridays in the springtime means going to a fish fry. http://bit.ly/1mei8Dc

Contact Info:

Billy Brennan
Monsanto
william.brennan@monsanto.com

KEYWORDS: Health, Monsanto, fish, bad fats, Vistive Gold soybeans

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EU Passes Historic Law Requiring Large Companies to Report on Sustainability

by Vikas Vij

SOURCE: Justmeans

DESCRIPTION:

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – The European Parliament has passed a historic law that makes it mandatory for the largest companies in Europe to include sustainability factors as an integral part of their annual financial reporting. The law, which was passed with a thumping majority vote of 599-55, will apply to publicly traded companies employing more than 500 workers.

This momentous law will require these companies to report on policies, risks and results with regard to social, environmental and human rights impact, diversity and anti-corruption policies in their annual reports. The law was first proposed in 1999 by Richard Howitt, European Parliament Rapporteur on Corporate Social Responsibility. Howitt has welcomed the vote as a major step towards “integrated reporting” by businesses across the world.

Click here to continue reading and comment on Justmeans.

 

Vikas Vij - Vikas is a staff writer for the Sustainable Development news and editorial section on Justmeans. He is an MBA with 20 years of managerial and entrepreneurial experience and global travel. He is the author of “The Power of Money” (Scholars, 2003), a book that presents a revolutionary monetary economic theory on poverty alleviation in the developing world. Vikas is also the official writer for an international social project for developing nations “Decisions for Life” run in collaboration between the ILO, the University of Amsterdam and the Indian Institute of Management.

 

Tweet me: #EU passes historic law requiring large companies to report on #sustainability http://bit.ly/QttKEL @Justmeans via @3BLMedia #CSR

KEYWORDS: Reports, Justmeans, sustainability reporting, EU, European Union, sustainability, Teresa Fogelberg

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3-D Printers Take on Challenge of Printing a Human Heart

SOURCE: 3BL Media, LLC

DESCRIPTION:

3D printers have been used to make splints, valves, and even human skin and an ear. Now this innovative technology is targeting a major new goal: to create an entire heart, using a patient’s own cells, that could be transplanted. A heart built with a patient’s cells would sidestep the rejection problems associated with the current practice of using donor organs or a completely artificial heart, and eliminate the need for powerful anti-rejection drugs that have many negative side effects. Cells would be harvested and purified, then fed into a 3D printer that builds a heart layer by layer, with a computer model as a guide. 

The 3D printer uses a mixture of the living cells and a gel to shape the organ. Eventually, the cells grow together to create heart tissue. A medical research team at the University of Louisville has already printed human heart valves and small veins with cells, and has successfully tested tiny blood vessels in mice and other small animals. Hospitals in Louisville have a history of heart replacement innovation. The second successful U.S. surgery of an artificial heart was implanted in Louisville in the mid-1980s and doctors from the University of Louisville implanted the first self-contained artificial heart. Doctors have already used the 3D heart printer to build a model heart on which to practice a surgical procedure on a small child’s heart. The cost for that prosthetic? About $600. Look for more such high-tech, low-cost health care innovations in the future.

I’m John Howell for 3BL Media.

Video Source: 3-D Printers Take on Challenge of Printing a Human Heart

Tweet me: 3D printers may be used to make artificial hearts http://3bl.me/9ze2vk #HealthMinute via @3BLMedia #health #innovation

KEYWORDS: Health, Health Minute, Innovation, fox news, 3bl Media, 3d printing, health care innovation

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Fair Trade Certified™ Coffee Imports Top the Charts

1 Billion Pounds Certified by Fair Trade USA to Date

SOURCE: Fair Trade USA

DESCRIPTION:

Fair Trade USA Announces Key Milestone and New Innovations in Impact Measurement, Farmer Services, and Supply Chain Transparency

Oakland, CA, April 17, 2014 /3BL Media/ – Fair Trade USA, the leading third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in North America, today announced that it has certified one billion pounds of Fair Trade coffee since its founding in 1998. This historic milestone, made possible by the sustainable sourcing practices of nearly 500 coffee companies, helped Fair Trade coffee farmers and farm workers earn almost $124 million in Community Development Premiums to date, with $30.8 million in 2013 alone. In celebration of this historic impact, Fair Trade USA is proud to unveil several new initiatives to help secure the future of sustainable coffee for generations to come.

A Year in Review:

Beyond reaching the one billion mark in Fair Trade Certified™ coffee, 2013 was also a year of monumental challenges for coffee farmers and workers. From the devastating outbreak of leaf rust in Central America to historically low coffee prices, many producers found it difficult to cover their costs and stay afloat. For many, Fair Trade prices and access to finance were critical to survival. A few key statistics to note:

  • In the first half of 2013, Fair Trade farmers earned an average of $0.84-$0.89 per pound above the New York market price. This was a result of quality differentials, Fair Trade prices and premiums, and more direct negotiations with buyers, for example.
     
  • Fair Trade USA launched an Emergency Rust Response Fund, awarding $50,000 in grants to two Peruvian cooperatives—CAC Oro Verde and CAC Satipo—to invest in rust prevention and mitigation based on their compelling proposals.

In the same time period, Fair Trade USA witnessed significant momentum around Fair Trade from both companies and consumers:

  • 67 new coffee companies became partners of Fair Trade USA, including: The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Topeca Coffee, Coda Coffee Company (Roast Magazine’s Macro Roaster of the Year, 2014), Gimme! Coffee (Macro Roaster of the Year, 2013), and Dillanos Coffee Roasters (Macro Roaster of the Year, 2011).
  • The increasingly popular Fair Trade Month campaign was supported by over 60 brands garnering over 700 million impressions and generating retail activity across North America.
  • Consumer awareness of the Fair Trade Certified™ label increased to 55% of the U.S. population, according to a recent study from NMI (Natural Marketing Institute). A similar study found that the Fair Trade Certified label is the most recognized Fair Trade label in Canada.

The Future of Fair Trade Certified:

“Hitting one billion pounds is a monumental achievement for Fair Trade USA and our partners,” said Jennifer Gallegos, Director of Coffee Business Development at Fair Trade USA. “We’re proud of this achievement, but also know that coffee producers and business still face many challenges that can’t be solved by any one organization alone. As we work toward the next billion, our focus will be on collaboration and innovation to create greater shared value for all.”

In Fair Trade USA’s continued effort to improve and strengthen the Fair Trade model, and increase the value of certification, the organization has announced several new innovations:

  • Improving Supply Chain Visibility:  Fair Trade USA has acquired Acopio, Inc., an innovative, technology-based tool that allows cooperatives to capture, analyze, and manage transaction data.  The platform is also expected to enable the exchange of impact data between farmers and buyers.
  • Minimizing Risk: In partnership with producers and importers, Fair Trade USA has launched price risk management programs in Nicaragua, Peru, and Costa Rica. The goal is to develop best practices in risk management, and to begin exploring new simulation technologies that help co-ops better understand the market and manage risk effectively.
  • Certification Collaboration: Fair Trade USA has heard from people across the industry the need to better align with other programs, particularly in areas like standards, audits, and impact definition. In 2014 and beyond, we’re committed to collaborating with others to increase impact and efficiency for all.
  • Creating Solutions for Food Service: The organization has launched a new program called “By-The-Cup,” which is tailored to meet the unique needs of the food service industry.

“Fair Trade USA’s innovations all work towards a common goal,” said Bob Hill, VP & General Manager of Coffee at Fair Trade USA.  “With our partners, we seek to revolutionize how businesses source, how consumers buy, and how farmers and workers produce and trade to create true sustainability for all.  One billion pounds is just the beginning.”

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Editor’s Note: Fair Trade USA and many of its partner brands will attend The Specialty Coffee Association of America Event in Seattle, WA, April 24-27. For more information please contact Jenna Larson, PR Manager (jlarson@fairtradeusa.org), visit us at booth #13107, or attend one of Fair Trade USA’s educational lectures, focused on securing the future of sustainable coffee.

About Fair Trade USA: Fair Trade USA, a nonprofit organization, is the leading third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in North America. We audit and certify transactions between companies and their international suppliers to ensure adherence to the rigorous Fair Trade standards. Fair Trade USA also educates consumers and provides farming communities with tools, training and resources to thrive as international businesspeople. Visit FairTradeCertified.org for more information.

Tweet me: .@FairTradeUSA coffee imports top the charts–1 billion pounds certified to date: http://bit.ly/1hPrMcF

KEYWORDS: Business & Trade, Environment and Climate Change, fair trade, Fair Trade USA, Peru, Coffee, farm worker, Innovation, collaboration, CAC Satipo, CAC Oro Verde, SCAA, Specialty Coffee Association of America, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Topeca Coffee, Coda Coffee Company, Gimme! Coffee, Dillanos Coffee Roasters

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Eco-Topia Is Coming

Green Builder Media’s Celestia Project smashes dystopian narratives about the future; promises instead an age of environmental balance and abundance.

SOURCE: Green Builder Media

DESCRIPTION:

April 17, 2014 /3BL Media/ - A time capsule has been found in New York’s Central Park. But this is no ordinary artifact. It comes from the future—the year 2100. As researchers begin sifting through its contents, they find documents, videos and technology that shake the world from its dystopian trance. A hopeful future is both possible and probable, the record says, as long as we allow current trends regarding food, shelter and resilience to take shape.

“It’s time to challenge the prevailing doom and gloom world view,” says Matt Power, Green Builder magazine’s editor-in-chief. “Dystopian thinking is big right now, and that’s dangerous. Visualization makes things happen. But the future doesn’t have to look like The Hunger GamesDivergent, or The Walking Dead. We have all the tools and some of the awareness we need to turn things around starting right now.”

In The Celestia Project’s future—to be rolled out in 12 installments, beginning on Earth Day 2014—low-tech and high-tech ideas have become integrated. What makes this future more benign than the dystopian one seen in so much popular culture, and longed for by biotech corporations? The choices we make now—choices that will decide whether the fate of the world lies in the hands of the few, or the many.

For example, In Celestia’s vision, extreme technologies such as nanobots have been put to good use restoring desert soils and keeping recycled roads repaired—not (as biotech firms like to imagine) converting cellular paste into food, thus turning food into a raw material that is churned out by the lowest global bidder.

In the project’s first installment, editors tackle the Kitchen of the Future

“IKEA’s vision of our food future is dead wrong,” says Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief of Green Builder magazine, referring to the Swedish company’s recent depiction of a hyper-technical kitchen of tomorrow. “They imagine a technotopian lifestyle where cellular paste is converted into food by 3D printers,” Power says. “Have they never seen Soylent Green? The fact that a technology exists doesn’t guarantee that humans will accept it. If you doubt that, look at the nuclear power industry. It’s against the ropes and going down fast.”

Green Builder’s forecast for the future factors in current trends and scholarly research on how technology acceptance works—to arrive at a creative, healthy lifestyle that merges low-tech and high-tech wisdom. In this world—and this kitchen—you can reach out your hand and pluck a locally grown tomato from the vine, or climb up on to your roof to harvest some grapes. The age of the 2,000-mile salad is over. (See the Museum of Bad Ideas.

“Factory farms and GMO products dominate our current food system,” Power adds. They may continue to exist as the rest of the world transitions, but the backlash against that model is growing. Localism, permaculture, co-ops, community gardens, vegetarianism—these ideas are unstoppable.”

People have begun to recognize the hidden costs of factory food production, he says: bugs that are resistant to antibiotics, low-nutrient food (contributing to lousy health), pesticide-poisoned rivers and lakes, wasteful irrigation methods and destruction of soils.

“Our current food system, like our transportation and housing patterns, is unsustainable,” Power says. “Think of it like a dam that’s riddled with hairline fractures. Ultimately, the whole thing will collapse, but provided we act now to make ourselves resilient, we won’t have to drown along with it.”

Editors: The Celestia Project is a year-long campaign that will address many of the biggest environmental and social challenges of our time. Each month, Green Builder Media will release a new chapter of the Celestia tale, complete with beautiful high-resolution illustrations that you are free to use, with attribution to www.greenbuildermedia.com/celestiaproject. Also see photos embedded in this release with links to high-res images for your use. All editorial features and a media kit/editorial calendar for this project can be found here. More info: Matt Power, email: Matt.power@greenbuildermedia.com

Tweet me: In time for #EarthDay, GBM’s Celestia Project #GBMcelestia smashes dystopian narratives about the future. http://bit.ly/1nefJbK

Contact Info:

Cati O’Keefe
Green Builder Media
+1 (513) 532-0185
cati.okeefe@greenbuildermedia.com

KEYWORDS: Environment and Climate Change, Business & Trade, The Celestia Project, food security, utopia, environment, green living, Green Technology, green future, Sustainable, dystopian, technotopian, biophilia, green transportation, building science, energy conservation, clean water, Green Products, resilience, durability, healthy lifestyle, indoor air quality, community living, Ikea, organic urban gardens, Local Farming, hydroponics, roof gardens, factory farming, green kitchen, food co-op, GMO, Hunger Games, The Walking Dead, Divergent

    

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Moving People to Safety

When, how, and where we build must become a top priority for builders.

SOURCE: Green Builder Media

DESCRIPTION:

Chalk it up to luck, I suppose, but a few weeks back we missed the only real snowstorm to hit our corner of the world this winter because we were traveling elsewhere on business. We received email reports from folks in the neighborhood that our hilly country lane was totally impassible due to ice and wet, deep snow plus plenty of downed trees, and their daily updates indicated that the situation remained unchanged for almost a week.

By the time we returned the little private road was open again, featuring the same jarring winter potholes we had carefully avoided on our departure, but the piles of shattered alder and hemlock, some a foot or more in diameter, still lined many parts of the course and several more weeks would pass before workers and equipment appeared to crush, saw, chip and haul away the debris, leaving the borrow ditches in what we hope will be a condition that can handle the impending spring runoff.

This incident actually illustrates how fortunate we are to have experienced such a mild winter, especially compared to so many parts of the country. Even today, several weeks after our “big” snow event and well past the official start of spring, the battered residents of New England and other parts of the East coast are hunkering down in anticipation of up to a predicted foot of new snow and ugly conditions. This comes after months of evening newsreels showing the aftermath of storm after storm and the misery endured by so many communities this winter.

I can’t help thinking about the mounds of mud and indescribable muck that loomed, layer upon layer, along the streets of many neighborhoods in New Orleans the first time I visited the region following Katrina and the mountains of shocking wreckage left in the wake of the devastating tornadoes that have destroyed entire towns in recent years.

I am left with the undeniable recognition of the fact that some things are beyond our abilities to control them. This will not be the last hard winter. What I’m more troubled by however, and this really brings me to my point, are the tragedies that we have at least some capacity to avoid but seem to be willing to ignore until it is too late.

Depending on your specific location, your home and family could be susceptible to any number of natural and/or manmade threats. In one place or another you may be at higher risk from flooding, wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, mudslides, and so on. Yet, we support policies that encourage people to rebuild over and over again in these zones.

It seems that almost daily we hear or read reports of bad things that happen to good people in ordinary communities because they don’t heed the warnings intended to protect them. So many times we have heard stunned victims say “I never thought it would happen here” or “We should have listened.”

Because there are things we can control, perhaps the building industry has an inherent responsibility to take a more firm position on not only what we build and how we build, but also on where we build.

More blogs from Ron Jones…

Tweet me: Moving People to Safety: The What, How and Where of Responsible Building http://3bl.me/2vm64z #disasterplanning

KEYWORDS: Environment and Climate Change, Education, disaster planning, disaster recovery, disaster mitigation, Disaster preparedness, responsible building, sustainable building, Green Builder Media

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AT&T Energy Director to Expand Focus to Include Smarter Buildings

SOURCE: AT&T

DESCRIPTION:

John Schinter, who was hired as AT&T’s first Director of Energy in 2009, was recently appointed Assistant Vice President of Energy and Smart Buildings. 

While continuing with his current role to oversee company-wide energy management efforts, Schinter’s focus will expand to include the deployment of new M2M and big data solutions to optimize facility equipment operational performance and reliability. 

“Big data and machine-to-machine technologies are strategic tools that can be used in Real Estate operations to optimize equipment reliability and further accelerate our progress in responsible energy management,” said Mark Schleyer, Senior Vice President of Corporate Real Estate at AT&T. “With John Schinter leading our Energy and Smart Building work, AT&T will be even better suited to optimize our equipment operations and improve energy efficiencies that can positively impact AT&T’s network reliability, the environment and our bottom line.”

Over the next five to six years, Schinter will focus on:

  • Driving a technology transformation;
  • Deploying centralized real-time data analysis to support the reduction of the company’s real estate footprint and identify potential efficiencies;
  • Expanding alternative finance structures; and,
  • Expanding alternative/renewable energy, including solar and fuel cell technology.

Under Schinter’s leadership, AT&T implemented over 14,300 energy efficiency projects, producing annualized savings of over $151 million from 2010-2012. Such successes have been part of a company-wide focus on energy conservation.

Through AT&T’s employee engagement program, Do One Thing (DOT), employees across the company drive positive impact with small changes at work, at home and in their communities. The DOT for the month of March was dedicated to energy conservation.

“Personally, I have chosen a DOT to save energy both in my personal and professional life because it aligns with my work and interests, and I encourage employees across the country to join us in this movement to make a positive difference for themselves, their communities and AT&T,” Schinter said. “There’s no single action that’s going to move the needle. The collective actions of thousands of people create an impact.” 

Tweet me: .@ATT AT&T Energy Director to Expand Focus to Include Smarter Buildings http://soc.att.com/1l1OaON

KEYWORDS: Energy, Business & Trade, Smart Buildings, do one thing, Technology, carbon footprint reduction

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