Starbucks installing water-saving faucets
New York City Starbucks Corp. is installing new water faucets that will allow the company to save about 150 gallons of water a day — roughly two bathtubs’ worth — at each of its stores, the Associated Press reported.
The company said it will no longer run water continuously out of its taps to wash spoons and will instead install new faucets that meter out water. Starbucks’ baristas press the faucet once and high-pressure water sprays out long enough to rinse a spoon.
The faucets are now being installed in all U.S. stores and will be delivered to select international locations in the fall. About 600 stores, mainly in California, now have the new faucets.
Stores that do not receive the new metered faucets will use a “single spoon, single pitcher” procedure, which involves using a spoon once and setting it aside to be cleaned and sanitized when dishes are washed.
“These standards balance Starbucks’ need to reduce our environmental footprint and to meet the most stringent health safety standards for customer safety, with minimal cost and operational impact,” the company said in documents obtained by the Associated Press,
The change in policy comes after the company was criticized by environmental groups for wasting water by keeping the tap turned on all day.
Wal-Mart releases results from Ark. energy audit
Little Rock, Ark. Wal-Mart Stores announced today the results of an energy audit of capitol complexes in Arkansas. The report includes recommendations that could save the state more than $430,000 in energy costs and help avoid producing more than 2,800 tons of carbon dioxide annually.
“Wal-Mart’s audit gives us detailed guidance toward reducing the State of Arkansas’s energy costs,” Governor Mike Beebe said. “We appreciate Wal-Mart’s continued commitment to improving its home state.”
During a two-day auditing process, Wal-Mart sent a team of engineering experts to survey state capitol facilities. The team worked with staff from the Arkansas Building Authority, the Office of Energy, the Secretary of State’s office and the Governor’s office. The audit suggests energy-efficiency improvements based on technologies Wal-Mart has successfully deployed in many stores, clubs and other facilities around the world.
The areas covered by the audit include lighting, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems, refrigeration and other equipment, technologies such as programmable thermostats and building structure, including insulation and windows.
“Wal-Mart is committed to sharing its sustainability findings and providing governments and businesses with proven energy solutions that benefit the environment and save money,” said Kim Saylors-Laster, VP energy at Wal-Mart. “It’s evident Arkansas has made many improvements to increase building efficiency. We believe the state can recognize even more energy savings and reduce emissions by implementing the recommendations in our audit.”
Indigo creates environmental fund for collected bag fees
Toronto In response to the City of Toronto imposing a minimum five-cent fee for all plastic bags requested by shoppers, Indigo Books & Music said Friday that it will create the Indigo Environment Fund and donate all collected to fees to local environmental initiatives.
The city’s bag fee law is effective as of June 1. While the chain offers shoppers the opportunity to purchase reusable bags for $1.99, Indigo realizes that some shoppers still want to use plastic. To ease the burden of an imposed fee, the chain plans to use its Indigo Environment Fund as a holding account for all fees. The money will be donated to established environmental groups.