8 guiding principles for building ethical global supply chains

January 12, 2018 by  
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A peek into the sourcing framework used by essential oils company doTERRA.

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8 guiding principles for building ethical global supply chains

This reversible glue puts a screw in manufacturing

January 12, 2018 by  
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It works like a screw and “unclicks” when exposed to a signal after use.

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This reversible glue puts a screw in manufacturing

Waste Reduction, An All Or Nothing Game?

April 29, 2016 by  
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Living an eco friendly lifestyle can be challenging at times. You’d think these difficulties would arise because of the constant composting or the sourcing of environmentally-conscious products; efforts to change the way we live, eat, and get…

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Waste Reduction, An All Or Nothing Game?

Mike Biddle’s Plastic Separation Technology Can Transform the Supply Chain of the Plastics Industry

October 24, 2011 by  
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Mike Biddle calls himself the “Garbage Man” and thinks of garbage piles as ‘above ground mines’. Less than 10% of plastic trash is recycled — compared to almost 90% of metals — because of the massively complicated waste management issues, the problem of finding and sorting the different kind s. In 1992, Mike Biddle, a plastics engineer, set out to find a solution. Frustrated by this waste, Mike has developed a cheap and incredibly energy-efficient plant that can, and does, recycle any kind of plastic. He set up a lab in his garage in Pittsburg, California, and began experimenting with complex-plastics recycling, borrowing ideas from such industries as mining and grain processing. Plastic Waste Management               He says:  “I consider myself an environmentalist. I hate to see plastics wasted. I hate to see any natural resource – even human time – wasted.” Most people, even those who understand the menace of plastic find solace in thinking that “At least I am recycling it”. Even though consumers are doing their part and should continue to do so, these good habits don’t do much to help the situation if there in an inadequate recycling system in place. Throwing water bottles into the recycling bin doesn’t begin to address the massive quantity of post-consumer plastic that ends up in landfills and the ocean. Of the approximately 250 billion kgs (550 billion pounds) of plastic used annually on a global basis, less than 10% of these plastics are currently recycled. In comparison, over 90% of the metals, such as steel, copper and aluminum, are recycled from these same complex waste streams. Why then are plastics—far more valuable than steel on a cost per weight basis—so undervalued as recovered materials? Because it’s so difficult to separate the various kinds of plastics – up to 20 kinds per product – that make up our computers, cell phones, cars and home appliances, only a small fraction of plastics from complex waste streams are recycled, while the rest is tossed. Different kinds of plastic have overlapping characteristics that makes it impossible to separate them. Metals on the other hand have distinct physical and chemical properties that helps the sorting process. EvoSource Task Lighting Since then, Biddle has developed a patented 30-step plastics recycling system that includes magnetically extracting metals, shredding the plastics, sorting them by polymer type and producing graded pellets to be reused in industry – a process that takes less than a tenth of the energy required to make virgin plastic from crude oil. Today, the company he cofounded,  MBA Polymers , has facilities in California, China, Austria and the UK can process over 300 million pounds (over 140,000 tons) of waste per year, selling the purified plastics back to some of the largest manufacturers in the world of IT, electronics, appliances, automobiles, office, home and garden products. Moreover, the process is very efficient, saving over 80% of the energy and between 1 and 3 tons of CO? for every ton of virgin plastics replaced. MBA Polymers is changing the way the world sees recycled plastic, creating a highly valuable commodity while it provides a significant economic benefit—all in a sustainable way.

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Mike Biddle’s Plastic Separation Technology Can Transform the Supply Chain of the Plastics Industry

The Janum Marketplace Tackles Supply Chain Issues and Greenwashing in Consumer Products

October 19, 2011 by  
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Ever wondered where your favorite eco-friendly item came from or what its supply chain actually looked like? I sure do. Supply chains and supply chain management have become so complex and convoluted these days, it is the number one issue that plaques sustainability initiatives and fosters greenwashing claims. One entrepreneur from San Francisco, Julian Coleman, probably had the same questions when he founded Janum. Janum is a unique online marketplace launched September 15, 2011, with the aim of making long supply chains transparent so that consumers, brands and producers all benefit. For every product sold on Janum the company shows consumers, through facts and videos, the places and people who made them, the fabrication steps, the ingredients and their impact on human and environmental health. Julian Coleman, CEO of Janum, explains the concept, “As supply chains are getting longer and more global, consumers and producers rarely see each other. In the past with local production, seeing the person who made the products gave consumers confidence and trust in what they were buying. And when producers could see who they were selling to, they took care and pride in what they produced. Consumers in turn respected and valued the products they bought. I wanted to bring these values back, through our “Show, Not Tell” mission.” How Does Janum Verify the Supply Chain? First Things First- Innovation: For Janum to consider a product for its marketplace, it needs to be innovative. They look for low impact, non-toxic and inspiring concepts. Cycle Analysis: Once a product is singled out for innovative-ness, it goes through a thorough life impact analysis through experts in the field. If everything checks out the team moves on to field verification. Transparency: Janum  documents the entire process and brings it to customers. If the product or company does not permit complete transparency, Janum refuses to bring business. Janum requires its producers to share information about their business practices and allow inspection of their business for public consumption. Janum conducts a streamlined life cycle assessment [LCA], visually records how products are made and shares this footage with the consumer in real-time, via the  Janum blog . Adding Brand Value For brands, this is an opportunity to utilize transparency and authenticity to gain consumer trust. With all the prevalent greenwashing , consumers rarely believe what brands tell them, and the proliferation of eco-labels only adds to consumer confusion. If brands show consumers their supply chains, they can “localize” them and humanize their producers, thereby enhancing brand value. Janum is also working with the right kind of businesses- other social enterprises like cooperatives that need the support and channels to spread their wings. Janum’s Current Product Line-up Janum currently offers two products: the  Cleaner Cloth (a two-sided durable cleaning tool made from organic cotton and jute and designed by the Janum team to decrease the use of sponges and paper towels) and Holy Lama Soaps (a line of natural soaps packaged in compostable palm shells and made by a woman’s cooperative in Kerala, India). Watch the video on the Cleaner Cloth! This is just the beginning for Janum. It was conceived in Amsterdam, developed in India and its foundation was laid in San Francisco. Their mission to inspire a new generation of conscious consumption, bring transparency to commerce and production, and empowering consumers to make informed purchasing decisions is indeed catching on.

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The Janum Marketplace Tackles Supply Chain Issues and Greenwashing in Consumer Products

Green Innovation: A Profusion of Materials

October 18, 2010 by  
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The West Coast Green conference recently took place in San Francisco, featuring three days of speakers and panels and over 300 exhibitors on the trade show floor. The conference tag line was “green innovation for the built environment.” In other words, a focus on new approaches to green buildings.

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Green Innovation: A Profusion of Materials

Two New Bamboo Promo Ideas

March 15, 2010 by  
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This is a guest post by John Simonetta, owner of Proforma Simonetta Freelance, an eco-friendly promotional items consultancy (see  proformagreen.com ). John’s blogs are designed to keep us up to date on the “greening” of his industry. Bamboo as a material was a big mover in 2009.

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Two New Bamboo Promo Ideas

Recycling Bottle Caps Into Signage

December 5, 2009 by  
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is is a guest post by John Simonetta, owner of Proforma Simonetta Freelance, an eco-friendly promotional items consultancy (see proformagreen.com ). John’s blogs are designed to keep us up to date on the “greening” of his industry

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Recycling Bottle Caps Into Signage

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