GREEN SHOOTS UPDATE – AUGUST 2014

Now there’s a coffee cup that really will get recycled!

Green cups 

In the UK we throw away about 2.5 billion paper cups each year, most of which end up in landfill or being incinerated.  That’s because they’re lined with plastic, which to date has not been able to be separated from the paper core.

Now a British inventor, Martin Myerscough, has come up with a solution.  Dubbed ‘Green Your Cup’, his new invention allows the plastic liner to come away cleanly from the paper shell during a typical recycling process. It means that cups can be disposed of alongside other normal paper recycling.

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Going for a big beach clean-up?

Beach clean-up

During summer, thoughts naturally turn to the beach.  But is your favourite beach as clean as it could be?  The Marine Conservation Society (MCSUK) is once again calling upon volunteers to help with its annual Great British Beach Clean, which takes place from 19-22 September.  On a similar theme from Cornwall, check out this initiative by campervan cook, Martin Dorey, who is using social media to spread his #2minutebeachclean concept to help rid our beaches of plastic waste.

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McDonald’s goes front foot on CSR messaging

David Beckham

With its recent TV advertising campaign continuing to push its ethical credentials and charitable community involvement, McDonald’s has boosted its local profile still further by renewing its support for the UK’s football associations for a further four years.  The deal includes a pledge to supply 250,000 sets of kit to local football clubs.

Last month, McDonald’s launched a new advertising campaign called ‘Here’s to What Matters’ in celebration of the forty years since it entered the UK market.  It’s the second successive TV campaign by the fast food giant to focus on its CSR credentials, with its most recent ad promoting its Ronald McDonald House charities.

Hot on the heels of the campaign there’s also news that McDonald’s has renewed its agreement with the English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish football associations.  The renewal of the deal, which first started back in 2002, means that every FA Charter Standard accredited club with a youth team will be able to provide brand new kit to its players.

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Food giant opts for wind

Mars 

Releasing its third annual sustainability report last month, Mars reported that it had succeeded in cutting its water consumption and reducing its waste to landfill by two thirds. But a failure to achieve any significant emissions reductions has prompted the petfood and confectionery giant to announce a new investment to increase its use of renewable energy.

By collaborating with the Sumitomo Corporation to construct a new 200 megawatt wind farm, Mars claims it will produce enough energy every year to make 13 billion Snickers bars. Once completed, the project’s annual generation will exceed 100% of the energy needs of Mars’ US operations, a total of 70 sites and 25,000 employees.

According to Mars, this will provide for more than 12% of its global energy use and enable it to meet its 2015 goal of a 25% reduction in fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions. Mars also claims that this represents the biggest long-term commitment to renewable energy use of any US food manufacturing business. 

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Brewer SABMiller launches ‘Prosper’ sustainability drive

 Prosper 

South African based SABMiller, brewer of Peroni and Grolsch, has set about boosting its sustainability efforts with the launch of a new branded programme called ‘Prosper.’ The scheme has five strands, which include a focus on making beer ‘the natural choice for moderate and responsible drinking.

The programme has five core strands, clearly structured around SABMiller’s brewing interests with goals that reflect the company’s production methods, consumers and local communities. The strands focus on: growth and social development; moderate and responsible beer drinking; shared water resources; reduced waste and carbon emissions; and, the responsible, sustainable use of land for growing beer crops.

SABMiller has included various set targets within its Prosper programme, such as a commitment to directly support half a million small enterprises by 2020.  Water is a key theme, with defined numbers for reducing water use in brewing as well as plans to tackle some of the issues around the water resources SABMiller shares with communities close to its production sites.

Prosper also includes commitments to both global and local marketing campaigns which will seek to position beer as the ‘natural choice’ for ‘moderate and responsible’ drinking.

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IKEA aims for 100% sustainable cotton by 2015

 Ikea cotton 

IKEA has made a new commitment to secure 100% of the cotton it buys from more sustainable sources by 2015.  IKEA has been buying increasing amounts of certified sustainable cotton lint since it first committed to improve this element of its supply chain back in 2009 and is partnered with WWF in its ‘Better Cotton Initiative’ (BCI).

The home furnishings giant currently sources 34% from BCI producers and its influence has considerably supported WWF in its ‘Better Cotton’ project.  Working with producers around the world, the aim is to promote measures for sustainable cotton farming whilst ensuring that ‘Better Cotton’ becomes a mainstream commodity for consumers.

Farmers who produce ‘Better Cotton’ are minimising the harmful impact of pesticides, using water efficiently, caring for the health of the soil and conserving natural habitats.  They also commit to producing quality fibre and promoting decent labour practices.

Cotton is the second most important commodity for IKEA after wood – in 2013 the company used 160,000 tonnes of cotton in its products.

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