Hundreds of Amazon employees risk jobs to protest company’s climate policies

January 28, 2020 by  
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Hundreds of Amazon employees have joined in solidarity, forming the advocacy group Amazon Employees for Climate Justice (AECJ) to protest the company’s climate policies. AECJ seeks to push Amazon into adopting more eco-conscious practices, but Amazon has threatened the protesters with termination for violating its communications policy. Undeterred, AECJ’s campaign continues to pressure the e-commerce behemoth into rethinking its environmental impact. Last autumn, Amazon became The Climate Pledge ’s first signatory, vowing to meet the Paris Agreement 10 years early. Amazon announced, “The Climate Pledge calls on signatories to be net-zero carbon across their businesses by 2040 — a decade ahead of the Paris Accord’s goal of 2050.” Amazon promised to decarbonize, develop low-carbon products and services, invest $100 million toward reforestation and shift toward 80% renewable energy by 2024 and 100% renewable energy by 2030. Related: Over 6,000 employees demand Amazon take climate change seriously In response, AECJ — which bills itself on Twitter as “a group of Amazon employees who believe it’s our responsibility to ensure our business models don’t contribute to the climate crisis” — has called on the tech giant to accelerate its sustainability practices. AECJ wants Amazon to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 and steer away from contracts with fossil fuel companies. To guarantee accountability with its Climate Pledge, Amazon also unveiled a sustainability website . There, Amazon publicly pledged to “promote safe and inclusive workplaces in our operations and throughout our supply chain.” That measure became a point of contention with AECJ, whose members criticize Amazon for not taking sufficient action. For instance, Wired reported that Amazon workers lambasted Amazon’s supply chain for being “built at the expense of warehouse workers who work at a pace that causes higher-than-industry-average industry rates. It’s not humane to have people scared to go to the bathroom.” Perhaps the stickiest of point of all is Amazon’s policy that restricts employees from speaking negatively in public about the company without prior approval. An Amazon spokesperson explained, “While all employees are welcome to engage constructively with any of the many teams inside Amazon that work on sustainability and other topics, we do enforce our external communications policy and will not allow employees to publicly disparage or misrepresent the company or the hard work of their colleagues who are developing solutions to these hard problems.” Despite the policy, AECJ has decided to publicly criticize Amazon for its climate policies, tweeting, “Hundreds of us decided to stand up to our employer, Amazon. We are scared. But we decided we couldn’t live with ourselves if we let a policy silence us in the face of an issue of such moral gravity like the climate crisis … Workers everywhere must have the right to question their own employer’s contributions and responsibilities in the climate crisis.” + Amazon Employees for Climate Justice + Amazon Via Vox and Wired Image via Shutterstock

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Hundreds of Amazon employees risk jobs to protest company’s climate policies

Unilever ambitiously pledges to cut use of new plastics in half by 2025

October 8, 2019 by  
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To better align with green initiatives worldwide, the British-Dutch conglomerate Unilever recently pledged to invest in a more circular economy for plastics via a two-part plan. First, by the year 2025, Unilever will halve the bulk of its non-recycled plastic packaging waste. Secondly, the company will accelerate its recycling endeavors by focusing more on collecting and processing waste plastic rather than selling single-use virgin plastics. Unilever shared on its website that it pledges to “make the blue planet blue again” and especially commits to “making sustainable living commonplace.” To do so, the company will follow a three-pronged approach: 1) investing and partnering to better the waste management infrastructure, 2) purchasing and utilizing recycled plastics, rather than virgin plastics, in its packaging and 3) participating in extended responsibility programs that directly pay for the collection of all Unilever packaging. Related: Unilever’s energy-efficient office is one of the greenest in Europe Currently, Unilever uses about 700,000 tons of plastic packaging annually. To curb its association with the growing plastic pollution crisis, the company will cut its plastic use by 100,000 tons. Unilever vows to replace single-use plastic packaging with recycled materials in a shift toward reusable, refillable and even compostable alternatives. Unilever will also annually collect and recycle more than 600,000 tons of plastic. “Our plastic is our responsibility, and so we are committed to collecting back more than we sell, as part of our drive toward a circular economy,” said Alan Jope, Unilever CEO. “This is a daunting but exciting task, which will help drive global demand for recycled plastic.” Unilever is a portfolio powerhouse, owning many popular brands in both the food and cosmetics industries. It is the parent company that manufactures and distributes Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Breyers ice cream, Klondike bars, Hellmann’s mayonnaise, Knorr spices and Lipton ice tea.  Among its many cosmetics lines, Unilever owns Brut aftershave, Dove soap, Noxzema, Pond’s, Q-tips, Suave shampoo and conditioner and Vaseline. Despite its behemoth range of products that rely on plastic packaging, Unilever has been operating under the “Less, Better, No” plastic framework, planning to eliminate unnecessary packaging by innovating with the refill, reuse and recycled plastic sector as it moves away from virgin plastics. “Over the last five years, Unilever has collaborated with many partners to collect plastic packaging, including the United Nations Development Programme, to help segregate, collect and recycle packaging across India,” reads a company press release. “In addition, it has helped to establish almost 3,000 waste banks in Indonesia, offering more than 400,000 people the opportunity to recycle their waste. In Brazil, Unilever has a long-running partnership with retailer Grupo Pão de Açúcar to help collect waste through drop-off stations.” + Unilever Image via Shutterstock

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Unilever ambitiously pledges to cut use of new plastics in half by 2025

Nepalese volunteers clean 3 tons of trash from Mount Everest

May 10, 2019 by  
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Fourteen Nepalese volunteers collected three tons of garbage from Mount Everest in the first two weeks of their clean-up. The government-sponsored initiative is an effort to reduce growing amounts of garbage on the world’s tallest mountain. Nearly one-third of the garbage collected was taken by helicopter to recycling facilities in Kathmandu, while the remaining trash was sent to a landfill in the Okhaldhunga district. “The clean-up campaign will be continued in the coming seasons as well to make the world’s tallest mountain clean,” Dandu Raj Ghimire, Chief of the Nepalese Tourism Ministry, told Agence France-Presse. “It is our responsibility to keep our mountains clean.” Related: China closes Mount Everest base camp after overwhelming trash problem reports In 2013, the Nepali government implemented a deposit system , requiring every climbing team to bring back 18 pounds of trash per person or lose $4,000 USD. Even despite this expensive deposit, less than half of the hikers returned with garbage. In February, Chinese base camps in Tibet reportedly closed their doors to tourists, limiting visitor traffic to just climbers. In the last 65 years, 4,000 people summited Mount Everest, with 807 in 2018 alone. Thousands more hikers and tourists visit the base camps at the bottom of the famous mountain yearly. With climbing season kicking off around April, the problem of trash remains a rising concern on both the Chinese and Nepalese sides of the mountain. The rising temperatures is causing ice and snow to melt , revealing garbage that was previously hidden. Climbing guides and sherpas say the trash problem gets worse as you get closer to the 29,000-foot summit, likely because exhausted and oxygen-deprived climbers welcome the lighter load that comes with leaving things behind. Related: Mount Everest’s melting glaciers expose the bodies of long-lost climbers Under the melting snow , the volunteer clean-up crew has collected tents, climbing equipment, oxygen tanks, bottles, cans, human excrement and even four bodies of missing climbers. The crew hopes to collect at least 10 tons of garbage by the end of their six-week volunteer clean-up effort. Via Yale Environment 360 Images via Mike ( 1 , 2 )

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Nepalese volunteers clean 3 tons of trash from Mount Everest

It "sounded like an explosion:" avalanche of trash kills 16 people in Mozambique

February 26, 2018 by  
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A devastating garbage landslide precipitated by heavy rainfall wounded six people and killed 16 in Maputo, Mozambique , The Guardian reported . The 42-acre Hulene dump — located in the impoverished neighborhood of Hulene — rises nearly 50 feet above residents who live around the edges, and the avalanche consumed over 10 homes. Local Paulina Cosa told The Guardian, “It was late and the rain was pouring down, but I was woken up by something that sounded like an explosion.” Hulene dump collapse: Sixteen people confirmed dead – #Mozambique civil protection https://t.co/2h9vnyX45T #SADC #Africa pic.twitter.com/b26ecZouGd — Club of Mozambique (@clubOmozambique) February 20, 2018 People who live near the Hulene dump and earn money salvaging trash are exposed to stench, mosquitoes, and disease. Life isn’t easy, and 16 people lost their lives when rains triggered an avalanche around 3 AM one morning last week. The rubbish swallowed around 328 feet of land, consuming houses and killing people. Related: Tel Aviv’s notorious ‘Garbage Mountain’ transforms into world’s largest recycling park Maputo’s director of health and cemeteries Joao Mucavele told The Guardian people from the neighborhood, municipality, and Red Cross came to help. Recovery operations are over now as earth-moving equipment shoves back heaps of trash. Mucavele told The Guardian, “We are now working to return the waste to where it came from. The people who were living here will be given help, but no one can live here from now on.” Residents at the collapse site were moved to a temporary shelter around 30 minutes away. Authorities believe more bodies could be buried at the Hulene garbage dump on the outskirts of Maputo, and a search was underway. https://t.co/0ggbX9kJs1 pic.twitter.com/osRmrCUdFQ — All4Women.co.za (@all4women) February 20, 2018 Some people have called for the resignation of mayor David Simango, who campaigned for re-election in 2013 with the promise to shut down the dump. Livaningo , a local environmental activism organization, has been trying to get the dump closed for 15 years. They say it’s operating way above capacity and creating hazardous living conditions. Activist Manuel Cardoso said they’ve been telling the government such an event like this one would happen for years, telling The Guardian, “What we are looking for now is how we can help these families find justice. Where is the responsibility of the government?” Eight people were buried in a state-sponsored funeral last week. Maputo City governor Iolanda Cintura said in a speech, “On behalf of the government, in my own name we apologize to the Uamusse, Ngovene, Thousene, Mondlane, and Bendene families for what happened. We expect everybody to help all these families to recover their hope.” Via The Guardian Image via Depositphotos

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It "sounded like an explosion:" avalanche of trash kills 16 people in Mozambique

Apple’s New Headphones Aren’t So Eco-Friendly

January 6, 2017 by  
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As electronics take over every part of our lives, the need for easy-to-recycle gadgets becomes more important. If an electronic device is too difficult to recycle, odds are it won’t be. It’s the responsibility of manufacturers to make this a…

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Apple’s New Headphones Aren’t So Eco-Friendly

Fashion Companies Refuse To Compensate Victims Of Bangladesh Factory Collapse

October 12, 2013 by  
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The mainstream media may have forgotten about the Rana Plaza disaster , which killed 1,127, and injured or maimed scores of others, but those working for workers rights have not. Labor non-profit War on Want is working hard to make sure the fashion companies that put Bangladeshi garment workers in danger are required to compensate victims of the factory collapse. Not surprisingly, the companies, some of the most successful clothing brands in the world, are trying to shirk their responsibility. Only a third of the companies that used the Dhaka manufacturing hub have offered compensation to the victims and their families. Some refuse to even respond to requests for negotiation. READ MORE> Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Bangladesh , Fashion , fashion companies , fashion industry , garment factory , garment workers , minimum wage , Worker rights , worker safety        

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Ban Ki-Moon: Addressing Climate Change is the Responsibility of Developed Nations

December 5, 2012 by  
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The challenge of dividing the burden of reducing global carbon emissions is the main issue preventing world leaders from agreeing on a binding climate treaty. But this week at the  UN Framework Convention on Climate Change  in Doha, Qatar, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that richer nations should take the lead on curbing emissions, saying that it is ”only fair and reasonable that the developed world should bear most of the responsibility” in reducing global emissions. Much of the climate problem has come from the industrialization of richer nations, he said, they are historically responsible for the damage to the environment. Read the rest of Ban Ki-Moon: Addressing Climate Change is the Responsibility of Developed Nations Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: ban ki-moon , canada , china , Climate Change , developed nations , Doha , Europe , greenhouse gasses , India , Japan , kyoto protocol , New Zealand , qatar , un framework convention on climate change , un secretary general , US

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Ban Ki-Moon: Addressing Climate Change is the Responsibility of Developed Nations

December 5, 2012 by  
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The challenge of dividing the burden of reducing global carbon emissions is the main issue preventing world leaders from agreeing on a binding climate treaty. But this week at the  UN Framework Convention on Climate Change  in Doha, Qatar, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that richer nations should take the lead on curbing emissions, saying that it is ”only fair and reasonable that the developed world should bear most of the responsibility” in reducing global emissions. Much of the climate problem has come from the industrialization of richer nations, he said, they are historically responsible for the damage to the environment. Read the rest of Ban Ki-Moon: Addressing Climate Change is the Responsibility of Developed Nations Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: ban ki-moon , canada , china , Climate Change , developed nations , Doha , Europe , greenhouse gasses , India , Japan , kyoto protocol , New Zealand , qatar , un framework convention on climate change , un secretary general , US

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Ban Ki-Moon: Addressing Climate Change is the Responsibility of Developed Nations

Native Trails Uses Reclaimed Wine Barrels To Create Unique Bathroom Furniture

December 5, 2012 by  
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The San Luis Obispo-based artisan furnishings company  Native Trails  celebrates culture and the environment by creating inspiring bathroom and kitchen furnishings and fixtures with natural and sustainable materials. For the company’s Vintner’s Collection , Native Trails has produced a line of vanities and accessories made from salvaged winemaking materials. The collection of unique sinks in the  Central Coast of California  celebrates the wine culture by repurposing French and domestic oak barrels into fine vanities, wet bars and mirrors. Read the rest of Native Trails Uses Reclaimed Wine Barrels To Create Unique Bathroom Furniture Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Artisan , Bathrooms , bordeaux , Cabernet , Chardonnay , Decorative Plumbing and Hardware Association , French oak barrels , Furnishings Fixtures , mirrors , native trails , Reclaimed Materials , San Luis Obispo , vanities , Wine Barrels

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Native Trails Uses Reclaimed Wine Barrels To Create Unique Bathroom Furniture

Hasbro Maps CSR Journey with First Corporate Responsibility Report

December 8, 2011 by  
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The process of creating our first comprehensive CSR Report has been an eye-opening experience.

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Hasbro Maps CSR Journey with First Corporate Responsibility Report

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