Nike, Starbucks Join New Environmental Business Coalition
Oakland, Calif. Nike, Starbucks, Sun Microsystems, Levi Strauss & Co. and The Timberland Co. have partnered with Ceres to create a business coalition, dubbed Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy, (BICEP) that will lobby Washington for swift and stringent climate-change legislation.
“Jump-starting the transition to a clean-energy economy will require bold energy and bold climate policies from Washington, and all businesses, not just the major emitters, must have a voice in crafting these policies since climate change will impact all sectors of our economy,” said Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres, a coalition of investors and environmental groups working to address sustainability challenges.
The new group plans to flex its muscles for aggressive new environmental policies based on the following eight principles:
1. Reducing greenhouse-gas emissions 25% below 1990 levels by 2020, a more stringent goal than California’s far-reaching climate-change regulation, which aims for cutting emissions to 1990 levels by 2020;
2. A nationwide greenhouse-gas cap-and-trade system in which all emissions permits are auctioned off, not given away;
3. Creating aggressive policies that will lead to a doubling of the historic energy-efficiency-improvement rate;
4. A national renewable portfolio standard where 20% of electricity will come from renewable sources by 2020, increasing to 30% by 2030;
5. Investment in renewable energy and carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies and the elimination of subsidies for fossil fuels;
6. No more coal-fired power plants unless they use CCS technology, with a plan to eliminate existing plants without CCS by 2030;
7. Boosting more efficient transportation in the form of plug-in electric and fuel-efficient vehicles, low-carbon fuels and transit-friendly development; and
8. Green-collar job investment.
Cub Seeks LEED Gold for New Green Store
Stillwater, Minn. Cub Foods has opened an eco-friendly store in St. Paul, Minn. The company, a division of Supervalu, is seeking LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification for the outlet.
The new store features 44 skylights that will illuminate 75% of regularly occupied spaces using a solar-powered GPS system that tracks and redirects sunlight as needed. Other sustainable elements include:
- Half of the waste from buildings torn down on the construction site has been reused in the construction of the new building or recycled;
- Thirty-five percent savings in lighting costs compared to typical Cub stores;
- Amaintenance-free floor that eliminates the need for chemicals during the cleaning process;
- Alandscape irrigation system that uses 50% less water than typical systems; and
- Seventy-five percent of the building construction waste will not end up in landfills. Instead, it will be recycled and turned into other useful materials.
Ben & Jerry’s Testing Green Freezers
Burlington, Vt. Ben & Jerry’s is introducing a cleaner, greener freezer for testing in the United States with the hope that it will eventually be approved for long-term use.
The company announced the launch of a pilot project testing hydrocarbon-based freezers that are designed to minimize the freezer’s impact on global warming. The featured technology is currently allowed in every country except the United States.
“This is an important step for our business which we hope will clearly demonstrate that a more environmentally friendly refrigeration technology can work in the U.S. market,” said Walt Freese, CEO, Ben & Jerry’s. “The technology is commonplace in Europe with literally millions of home and commercial units in place.”
Ben & Jerry’s has approval to test up to 2,000 freezers in the next few years. The debut installation took place in the Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop in the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C.