How online ordering could cut food waste

May 8, 2020 by  
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How online ordering could cut food waste Jim Giles Fri, 05/08/2020 – 02:50 This article was adapted from the GreenBiz Food Weekly newsletter.  Sign up here  to receive your own free subscription. “It feels like we’re peeling an onion.” That’s what sustainability veteran Dave Stangis said when I asked him about the long-term changes being wrought by coronavirus. We peel back a layer to reveal one impact, only to realize there’s another beneath. “Some we may not know for months,” he added. This is the third and final part of our onion-peeling exercise. We’ve already seen how the pandemic may decentralize the food system and increase emissions from last-mile deliveries . This week, we’ll look at some potentially good news from the intersection of online delivery and food waste. Any good news on waste is welcome, because the situation is insane. Wasted food is responsible for 6 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions — that’s three times the contribution of aviation and more than any country except China and the United States. Around a third of that waste comes at home, which is a head-scratcher. Why are people paying for something, only to throw so much of it away? There are a host of reasons: We buy too much, forget stuff at the back of the fridge or trash perfectly edible food because it looks less than perfect. A lot of it comes down to bad habits, which is where the pandemic comes in. Until now, food shopping seemed immune to the rise of online retail. Now Instacart is in the process of hiring more than half a million additional shoppers and a third of all consumers say they are using online grocery delivery more often . We tend to make smaller but more frequent orders when buying online. This bumps up emissions from delivery but the total emissions associated with food consumed at home can fall by as much as 41 percent. This shift is a major opportunity, because ordering online can lead to big reductions in wasted food. One reason is that we tend to make smaller but more frequent orders when buying online. This bumps up emissions from delivery but cuts waste to such an extent that total emissions associated with food consumed at home can fall by as much as 41 percent . Ordering pre-prepared meal kits also leads to less waste. This can seem counterintuitive, as meal kits are often criticized for excessive packaging. (Do the parmesan shavings really need their own plastic container?) The packaging is indeed an issue, but meal kits lead to less waste and this more than cancels out the greenhouse gases associated with the extra plastic. A new analysis of kits from one brand — HelloFresh — showed emission savings of 21 percent . One earlier study put the figure at 33 percent . We might save even more if we’re prepared to wait a few days. Last week, we looked at how advanced ordering allows delivery companies to group deliveries and reduce transport emissions. It also cuts waste at the store. Ordering ahead “helps retailers forecast the product they’ll need, leading to reduced excess and wasted food at retail,” Jackie Suggitt of ReFED, a food waste non-profit, told me. “Day-of online ordering, on the other hand, may lead to more waste at retail.” The potential here is significant. What I’d love to see next is the delivery companies get involved in the debate. They have some data we need to check whether these savings are being made. They also can help consumers do a better job of planning meals, which is a critical waste-reduction strategy. (I reached out to the companies for comment: Walmart said, not unreasonably, that their e-commerce team was too busy to respond; Instacart and Amazon did not reply.) Pull Quote We tend to make smaller but more frequent orders when buying online. This bumps up emissions from delivery but the total emissions associated with food consumed at home can fall by as much as 41 percent. Topics Food Systems E-commerce Food Waste Featured Column Foodstuff Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off

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Episode 219: Water, workplaces and well-being

May 8, 2020 by  
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Episode 219: Water, workplaces and well-being Heather Clancy Fri, 05/08/2020 – 02:33 Week in Review Commentary on this week’s news highlights begins at 4:35. Why global engagement is essential to sustainable supply chains Sustainable infrastructure investments can aid the post-COVID recovery Two ways P&G is working toward its packaging goals Features Intel’s water world (16:25) In 2017, semiconductor and technology manufacturing giant Intel committed to restoring 100 percent of its global water use. This year on Earth Day, the company said it had reached a milestone of 1 billion gallons restored. Todd Brady, director of global public affairs and sustainability, discusses the projects that got it there.  Workplaces and well-being (31:15) Last week, three respected real estate companies — Cushman & Wakefield, Hines and Delos — announced an initiative intended to help companies begin the process of reconfiguring their offices to protect employees’ health as they return to work. Here to discuss the project is Paul Scialla, founder and CEO of Delos, which founded both the International Well Building Institute and the Well Building Standard. On the fringe … consumers (40:45) A highlight from our ” Seeing into the Future ” webcast, featuring sustainability marketing guru Suzanne Shelton. *This episode was sponsored by Villanova University.  *Music in this episode by Lee Rosevere:  “Waiting for the Moment That Never Comes,” “Knowing the Truth,” “Southside,” “Start the Day,” “Thinking It Over,” “Curiosity” and “Introducing the Pre-Roll” Virtual Conversations Mark your calendar for these upcoming GreenBiz webcasts. Can’t join live? All of these events also will be available on demand. Moving to a regenerative food supply. Pioneering companies, NGOs and policymakers will discuss tracking technologies, regenerative agriculture projects and new collaborations that could make food systems more sustainable. Sign up here for the session at 1 p.m. EDT May 12. In conversation with John Elkington. Don’t miss this one-on-one interview featuring GreenBiz Executive Editor Joel Makower and well-respected sustainability consultant John Elkington, who recently published his 20th book, “Green Swans: The Coming Boom in Regenerative Capitalism.” Register for the live event at 1 p.m. EDT May 14. Circularity goes digital.  You don’t have to wait until August for three great discussions on the circular economy . We’ll debate “Reusable Packaging in the Age of Contagion,” “Can Recycled Plastic Survive Low Oil Prices” and “Repair, Resilience and Customer Engagement.” Register here for our half-day event starting at 1 p.m. EDT May 18. Scaling municipal fleets. Experts from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, ChargePoint, Smart City Columbus and the city of Oakland, California share tips at 1 p.m. EDT May 26.   This is climate tech. Join respected venture capitalists Nancy Pfund (DBL Partners), Andrew Beebe (Obvious Ventures) and Andrew Chung (1955 Capital) for a discussion at 1 p.m. EDT May 28 about compelling solutions and startups that address the climate crisis — and how big companies can play a role in scaling them. Resources Galore The State of Green Business 2020.  Our 13th annual analysis of key metrics and trends for the year ahead  published here . Do we have a newsletter for you!  We produce six weekly newsletters: GreenBuzz by Executive Editor Joel Makower (Monday); Transport Weekly by Senior Writer and Analyst Katie Fehrenbacher (Tuesday); VERGE Weekly by Executive Director Shana Rappaport and Editorial Director Heather Clancy (Wednesday); Energy Weekly by Senior Energy Analyst Sarah Golden (Thursday); Food Weekly by Carbon and Food Analyst Jim Giles (Thursday); and Circular Weekly by Director and Senior Analyst Lauren Phipps (Friday). You must subscribe to each newsletter in order to receive it. Please visit this page to choose which you want to receive. The GreenBiz Intelligence Panel is the survey body we poll regularly throughout the year on key trends and developments in sustainability. To become part of the panel, click here . Enrolling is free and should take two minutes. Stay connected To make sure you don’t miss the newest episodes of GreenBiz 350, subscribe on iTunes . Have a question or suggestion for a future segment? E-mail us at 350@greenbiz.com . Contributors Joel Makower Topics Podcast Water Efficiency & Conservation COVID-19 Buildings COVID-19 Collective Insight GreenBiz 350 Podcast Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 49:42 Sponsored Article Off GreenBiz Close Authorship

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Episode 219: Water, workplaces and well-being

Two ways P&G is working toward its packaging goals

May 5, 2020 by  
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Two ways P&G is working toward its packaging goals Deonna Anderson Tue, 05/05/2020 – 11:33 Procter & Gamble’s Tide laundry detergent brand first introduced in January 2019 its “Eco-Box,” which has been compared to a wine box because of its design made from paperboard with a tap for dispensing, in an effort to reduce the plastic in its packaging. In mid-May, the Eco-Boxes are becoming available for other fabric care product lines, including Tide purclean, Downy, Gain and Dreft. The initiatives are related to P&G’s current sustainability goals introduced in 2018, Ambition 2030, which include a commitment to make its packaging 100 percent recyclable or reusable by 2030.  Each business unit within P&G has its own approach, and the Eco-Box was one way P&G’s Fabric Care division set out to meet its packaging goal.  To be clear, the Eco-Box package still includes plastic — with the bag that holds the liquid detergent itself — but uses 60 percent less of it than the traditional packaging for P&G’s detergent brands. I think perfection is [figuring] out the technologies to make this so that that bag and tap are also just easy curbside recycling. “We’ve moved to a huge reduction in plastic, but [the plastic bag] not curbside-recyclable,” said Todd Cline, section head for P&G Fabric Care’s research and development team. “I think perfection is [figuring] out the technologies to make this so that that bag and tap are also just easy curbside recycling,” he continued. “But there’s just not technologies for that yet today, to create bags to hold liquids that are puncture-resistant and will survive all of the shipping.” In the meantime, P&G has a stopgap solution for collection and end-of-life processing in place. When the Tide Eco-Box launched, P&G partnered with TerraCycle to offer a recycling option for the inner bag. That program will continue, now including the full Eco-Box portfolio. Cline said P&G uses life cycle assessment (LCA) to guide its work, “particularly as it comes to sustainability,” noting that from an LCA standpoint, P&G is making a huge reduction in its carbon footprint and amount of plastic that’s going to landfills through the Eco-Box packaging effort.  “For us, that’s a technical trade-off at the start. But it’s one of those that if we waited for perfection … we would be sitting on this technology that could have a really great benefit from a sustainability standpoint, but holding it until it’s perfect,” Cline said, referring to the need to engage TerraCycle on collection.  When the new Eco-Box detergents hit the market — the products will be available online only from major U.S. retailers — Cline said they will continue to test and iterate on the packaging to improve it. All paper, no plastic In a different part of the company, P&G Beauty, the packaging strategy is likewise taking another turn away from plastic: toward all-paper packaging. Indeed, these are just two recent examples of how P&G is working to meet its 2030 goal. “This is just one of many innovations that P&G is working on to address the problem of plastic waste. This is an important step forward, and there is much more to come,” wrote Anitra Marsh, associate director of global sustainability and brand communications with P&G Beauty, by email. Two of those beauty and personal care brands are Old Spice and Secret, which will launch all-paper packaging for their aluminum-free deodorants this month at 500 Walmart stores in the U.S. “As the largest retailer in the world partnering with the largest deodorant and antiperspirant brands in the U.S., we know this new paperboard package has the potential to have significant positive impact and lay the groundwork for even broader impact,” said Jason Kloster, senior buying manager for body care and grooming at Walmart, in a press release. Marsh said P&G co-designed the all-paper deodorant packaging for its Secret and Old Spice products with consumers interested in cutting back on plastic waste. The package format contains 90 percent post-consumer recycled content and 10 percent new paper fibers. P&G developed package prototypes then shared the designs with consumers to see which options were “most appealing and easy to use.” P&G isn’t the only company trying to eliminate plastic packaging for deodorant. Across the pond in London, a company called Wild raised $621,775 in seed funding for its refillable no-plastic deodorant packaging — made from durable aluminum and bamboo pulp — after a successful pilot launch in 2019. Marsh said it took less than a year to bring P&G’s all-paper, plastic-free deodorant packaging to market. During the development process, the first package design did not pass a key recyclability test because the glue used for the label diminished the quality of the recycled paper pulp. “We quickly went back to the drawing board to find another label glue that doesn’t impede recycling, and this is what we are using now in our Old Spice and Secret paper tube packages that are launching in May,” she said. The deodorant hit the shelves May 1, and P&G will continue to evaluate the recyclability and repulpability of the packaging this summer, according to Marsh. “We are aiming for 100 percent recyclability,” she said. Pull Quote I think perfection is [figuring] out the technologies to make this so that that bag and tap are also just easy curbside recycling. Topics Circular Economy Design & Packaging Circular Packaging Packaging Recycled Paper Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Tide, Dreft and Gain detergents in eco-box packaging

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Two ways P&G is working toward its packaging goals

4 ways companies can build low-carbon supply chains

March 9, 2020 by  
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From McDonald’s 2001 commitment to sustainable fish to Walmart’s 2017 Project Gigaton launch, the length and path of these journeys ranges widely.

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4 ways companies can build low-carbon supply chains

Can the private sector make it a super year for nature?

March 9, 2020 by  
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Biodiversity crisis is gaining traction in the private sector but a big disparity still exists between knowledge and action on climate and biodiversity.

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Can the private sector make it a super year for nature?

Trend: Circularity becomes measurable

March 9, 2020 by  
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The following is adapted from State of Green Business 2020, published by GreenBiz in partnership with Trucost, part of financial information and analytics giant S&P Global.Having moved from fringe, mostly academic conversations into the boardrooms of Fortune 500 companies and the halls of parliament around the world, the idea of a circular economy is growing up fast.

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Episode 200: Biomimicry maven talks Project Positive, Walmart exec chats up Project Gigaton

December 13, 2019 by  
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Featuring interviews with Biomimicry 3.8’s co-founder Janine Benyus, and Walmart sustainability specialist Zack Freeze. Plus, Dow’s global sustainability director Haley Lowry is passionate about reducing plastic waste.

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Episode 200: Biomimicry maven talks Project Positive, Walmart exec chats up Project Gigaton

Climate change poses an existential risk to ocean industries. Here’s how they can respond.

December 13, 2019 by  
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And three ways to approach solutions.

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Climate change poses an existential risk to ocean industries. Here’s how they can respond.

How Dow seeks to turn plastic waste into a circular resource

December 13, 2019 by  
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The company’s global sustainability director addresses her passion for social innovation, her philosophy for investments and what makes for successful collaboration.

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How Dow seeks to turn plastic waste into a circular resource

Fashion brands ranked for toxic textiles and sustainability

July 25, 2019 by  
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A leading green economy nonprofit, Green America, released a report ranking top fashion companies based on their sustainability and transparency. The results reveal the inadequacies of greening the fashion industry.  Their study investigated 14 major corporations, each with household-name brands. The report scored companies based on transparency, sustainability, working conditions, chemical use, waste and water management. Their findings concluded that none of the top 14 corporations, nor their distinct brands, can be considered industry leaders in terms of ethics or the environment . However, the companies that ranked higher than average include Target, Jan Sport, Nike, Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic and The North Face. Companies that scored below average include Ann Taylor, American Eagle, Ralph Lauren, Abercrombie and Fitch, Walmart, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and Free People. Related: Zara pledges 100% sustainable fabrics by 2025 The worst companies, which failed metrics on Green America’s score card, include J. Crew, OshKosh B’gosh and Forever 21. “Consumers want sustainable clothing, and the market is responding. But too often, many of the promises we hear from conventional companies are token sustainability initiatives that are band-aids to one small part of the problem, or empty platitudes without a plan to achieve real change. Sustainability shouldn’t just be a marketing trend,” said Green America’s social justice campaigns manager, Caroline Chen.  The report also called out corporations’ practice of promoting “token brands,” or one eco-textile line that they can use for public relations knowing that consumers will associate their name with sustainability without looking further into the rest of their lines. Similarly, many corporations make sweeping sustainability pledges without specifying metrics nor timelines and hardly follow through with implementation. Overall, the textile industry uses 43 million tons of toxic chemicals every year, and most companies do not disclose the source of their chemicals so it is difficult to understand the health impacts. Green America’s report suggests that those who are concerned about chemicals in clothing should shop at thrift stores and wear clothing until it wears out– this not only helps reduce the amount of new clothing produced, it also reduces how many chemicals you are personally exposed to. + Green America Images via Pixabay

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