More reflections about regenerative grazing and the future of meat

September 25, 2020 by  
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More reflections about regenerative grazing and the future of meat Jim Giles Fri, 09/25/2020 – 01:30 Editor’s note: Last week’s Foodstuff discussion on the impact of regenerative grazing on emissions from meat production prompted a flurry of comments from the GreenBiz community. This essay advances the dialogue. Let’s get back to the beef brouhaha I wrote about last week. I’d argued that regenerative grazing could cut emissions from beef production , helping reduce the outsized contribution cattle make to food’s carbon footprint. This suggestion produced more responses than anything I’ve written in the roughly six months since the Food Weekly newsletter launched. The future of meat is a critical issue, so I thought I’d summarize some of the reaction. First up, a shocking revelation: There’s no truth in advertising. I’d written about a new beef company called Wholesome Meats, which claims to sell the “only beef that heals the planet.” Hundreds of ranchers actually already are using regenerative methods, pointed out Peter Byck of Arizona State University, who is leading a major study into the impact of these methods. This week, in fact, some of the biggest names in food announced a major regenerative initiative: Walmart, McDonald’s, Cargill and the World Wildlife Fund said they will invest $6 million in scaling up sustainable grazing practices on 1 million acres of grassland across the Northern Great Plains . Two members of that team also are moving to cut emissions from conventional beef production. We tend to blame cows’ methane-filled burps for these gases, but around a quarter of livestock emissions come from fertilizer used to grow animal feed . When we consider the best way forward, we have to think about what economists call an opportunity cost: the price we pay for not putting that land to different use. Farmers growing corn and other grains can cut those emissions by planting cover crops and using more diverse crop rotations — two techniques that McDonald’s and Cargill will roll out on 100,000 acres in Nebraska as part of an $8.5 million project. These and other emissions-reduction projects are part of Cargill’s goal to cut emissions from every pound of beef in its supply chain by 30 percent by 2030. Sounds great, right? You can imagine a future in which some beef, probably priced at a premium, comes with a carbon-negative label. Perhaps most beef isn’t so climate-friendly, but thanks to regenerative agriculture and other emissions-lowering methods, the burgers and steaks we love — on average, Americans eat the equivalent of more than four quarter-pounders every week — no longer account for such an egregious share of emissions. Well, yes and no. That future is plausible and would be a more sustainable one, but pursuing it may rule out a game-changing alternative. In the United States, around two-thirds of the roughly 1 billion acres of land used for agriculture is devoted to animal grazing . Two-thirds. That’s an extraordinary amount of land. And that doesn’t include the millions of acres used to grow crops to feed those animals. When we consider the best way forward, we have to think about what economists call an opportunity cost: the price we pay for not putting that land to different use. The alternative here is to eat less meat and then, on the land that frees up, restore native ecosystems, such as forests, which draw down carbon. This week, Jessica Appelgren, vice president of communications at Impossible Foods, pointed me to a recent paper in Nature Sustainability that quantified the impact of such a shift . The potential is staggering: Switching to a low-meat, low-dairy diet and restoring land could remove more than 300 gigatons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by 2050. That’s around a decade of global fossil-fuel emissions. In some regions, regenerative grazing techniques, which mimic an ancient symbiosis between animals and land, might be part of that restorative process. So maybe the trade-off isn’t as stark as it seems. But demand for beef is the primary driver of deforestation in the Amazon, where the trade-off is indeed clear: We’re destroying the lungs of the planet to sustain our beef habit. Once you factor in land use, eating less animal protein and restoring ecosystems looks to be an essential part of the challenge of feeding a growing global population while simultaneously reducing the environmental impact of our food systems. That doesn’t mean everyone goes vegan, but it does mean we should cut back on meat and dairy. Pull Quote When we consider the best way forward, we have to think about what economists call an opportunity cost: the price we pay for not putting that land to different use. Topics Food & Agriculture Regenerative Agriculture 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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More reflections about regenerative grazing and the future of meat

Walmart drives toward zero-emission goal for its entire fleet by 2040

September 23, 2020 by  
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Walmart drives toward zero-emission goal for its entire fleet by 2040 Katie Fehrenbacher Wed, 09/23/2020 – 01:50 If you needed any more evidence that America’s vehicle fleets are driving toward zero-emission status, it’s this: Walmart just announced that it will electrify and zero out emissions from all Walmart vehicles, including long haul trucks, by 2040.  That includes more than 10,000 vehicles, including 6,500 semi-trucks and 4,000 passenger vehicles. Up until this point, Walmart largely had emphasized fuel efficiency , although it also ordered several dozen Tesla electric semi-trucks for a Canadian fulfillment center.  Why the change? Zach Freeze, senior director of strategic initiatives and sustainability at Walmart, told GreenBiz that “more needs to be done,” and Walmart wanted to set the ambitious goal of zero emission “In order to get to zero, we need to transition the fleet,” Freeze said.  The semi-trucks will be the trickiest vehicles to adopt zero emission technologies, be that batteries, hydrogen or alternative fuels. Some heavy-duty truck fleets are opting for swapping in alternative fuels today, while the electric semi-truck market matures (check out this webcast I’m hosting Oct. 1 on the city of Oakland’s circular renewable diesel project). Expect Walmart’s 4,000 passenger vehicles to go electric much more quickly. Passenger EVs today can help fleets reduce their operating costs (less diesel fuel used) and maintenance costs, leading to overall lower costs for the fleets.  Walmart is just at the beginning of its zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) journey, but the strategy with its announcement is to “send a signal” to the market. “We want to see ZEV technology scaled, and we want to be on the front lines of that trend,” Freeze said.  Jason Mather, director of vehicles and freight strategy for the Environmental Defense Fund, described Walmart’s new goals in a release as “a critical signal to the industry that the future is zero-emissions.” However, these commitments only cover Scope 1 and 2 zero-emission commitments, not Scope 3. Of course, Walmart isn’t the only big company using ZEV goals to send market signals. Last year, Amazon announced an overall goal to deliver all of its goods via net-zero carbon shipments, and the retailer plans to purchase 100,000 electric trucks via startup Rivian.  Utility fleets will be another key buyer for electric trucks. Oregon utility Portland General Electric tells GreenBiz it plans to electrify just over 60 percent of its entire fleet by 2030. Utilities commonly use modified pick-up trucks, SUVs, bucket trucks, flatbed trucks and dump trucks. PGE says that 100 percent of its class 1 trucks (small pickups, sedans, SUVs) will be electric by 2025, while 30 percent of its heavy-duty trucks will be electric by 2030. Its entire fleet includes more than 1,000 vehicles. “It’s really important for us as a utility to be doing this. At the end of the day, we’ll be serving our customers’ electric fleet loads,” said Aaron Milano, product portfolio manager for transportation electrification at PGE. “It’s necessary that we learn and help our customers through this process.” I’ll be interviewing PGE CEO Maria Pope at our upcoming VERGE 20 conference , which will run half days across the last week in October, virtually of course. Tune in for a combination of keynotes and interactive discussions with leaders such as IKEA’s Angela Hultberg, Apple’s Lisa Jackson, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, Amazon’s Kara Hurst, InBev’s Angie Slaughter, the city of Seattle’s Philip Saunders and the Port Authority New York and New Jersey’s Christine Weydig.  Topics Transportation & Mobility Clean Fleets Featured Column Driving Change Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Courtesy of Walmart Close Authorship

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Climate Considerations: Using Circularity to Achieve Carbon Goals

September 14, 2020 by  
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Climate Considerations: Using Circularity to Achieve Carbon Goals How can you advance circularity within your team and throughout your company by championing designers and their process? Design decisions have ripple effects throughout a product’s lifecycle and beyond, affecting production, use and end of life management. In this way, designers and creators hold tremendous influence on material flows throughout the supply chain, determining whether materials end up as waste and pollution, or remain in the economy providing value. As the idea of a circular economy becomes increasingly mainstream, how can we support people making decisions that shape materials, products and business models? Where are these professionals found within your business? What role do they play, and how can you empower them in the context of your circular economy ambition? This discussion is led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, alongside practitioners and thought-leaders at the frontier of circular design. Speakers Benjamin Soltoff, Environmental Innovation Manager, Yale Center for Business and the Environment Eva Gladek, Founder & CEO, Metabolic Anna Vinagradova, Director, Sustainability, Walmart Holly Secon Mon, 09/14/2020 – 14:04 Featured Off

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Climate Considerations: Using Circularity to Achieve Carbon Goals

US Plastics Pact 101

September 14, 2020 by  
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US Plastics Pact 101 What is the U.S. Plastics Pact and how are its signatories advancing a circular economy for plastics? The U.S. Plastics Pact brings together businesses, government entities, NGOs, researchers, and other collaborators as part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s network of Plastics Pacts around the world. The U.S. Pact will work collectively towards a common vision of a circular economy for plastics. By bringing together diverse stakeholders and driving collaborative action, the U.S. Pact will deliver a meaningful transition towards a circular economy for plastics, enabling U.S. companies, governments and NGOs to collectively meet impactful goals by 2025 that they could not meet on their own. Learn about the Pact’s launch, targets, and what comes next. Hear from the Pact’s NGOs and companies on why they’re spearheading a common vision for circularity, and the crucial role companies play in plastics recovery. Others in the plastics value chain are welcome to join the U.S. Plastics Pact after its launch. Speakers Erin Simon, Head, Plastic Waste and Business, World Wildlife Fund Ashley C Hall, Director of Sustainable Packaging, Walmart Natalie Betts, Circular Economy Program Manager, City of Austin Holly Secon Mon, 09/14/2020 – 10:58 Featured Off

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Algae and Mushrooms and Pineapples, Oh My! Bioutilization in Action

September 14, 2020 by  
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Algae and Mushrooms and Pineapples, Oh My! Bioutilization in Action   What opportunities exist to incorporate bio-based materials into products and packaging, how can they be sustainably sourced, and what benefits or challenges do these materials afford? From fish scales in electronics to fabrics made from milk protein, the utilization of biomaterials can often seem like a page out science fiction. Whether futuristic or highly practical, new uses of biological materials are garnering attention as a new and exciting approach to circular products. Can the use of these materials offer a sustainable pathway forward? How can bio-based materials be effectively and sustainably scaled, and when should your company take advantage of them? This discussion explores these questions. Speakers Suz Okie, Circular Economy Associate Analyst, GreenBiz Group Sea Briganti, CEO, LOLIWARE Dr. Carmen Hijosa, Founder and Chief Creative & Innovation Officer, Ananas Anam UK ltd Meghan Olson, Business Development Lead, MycoComposite, Ecovative Design Holly Secon Mon, 09/14/2020 – 10:51 Featured Off

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Paper, plastic or neither? Inside the collaboration to reinvent the shopping bag

September 2, 2020 by  
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Paper, plastic or neither? Inside the collaboration to reinvent the shopping bag Tali Zuckerman Wed, 09/02/2020 – 01:45 Replacing the single-use shopping bag may be one of the most complex sustainability challenges of our time. At GreenBiz’s Circularity 20 virtual conference last week, sustainability leaders from Target, Walmart and CVS came together to discuss how they are planning to do just that, and why working together despite being competitors is critical to achieving success. Their initiative, which launched last month , is called “Beyond the Bag” — a $15 million, three-year commitment to developing, testing and implementing an innovative replacement for single-use retail bags. The project, led in collaboration with managing firm Closed Loop Partners and a few other nonprofit and private members, aims to redesign the way customers get goods from store to home. “It’s great to think of a slightly better bag, but the real excitement is when you are open to a transformative idea and a way that hasn’t been thought of,” said Amanda Nusz, vice president of corporate social responsibility at Target, during the Circularity 20 session. The consortium’s goal is to develop a range of solutions to fit consumer needs, including innovations in materials, delivery options and recovery after use. Having different perspectives, different people with different backgrounds … that’s where you get true innovation. But driving such immense, industry-wide change is no easy task. No company is equipped to do it alone. The panelists stressed that the transformation will require a new approach founded in precompetitive collaboration, one that brings diverse voices to the project, signals new needs to suppliers and spreads the core message to consumers. For that reason, the project plans to involve a broad range of consumers, innovators and stakeholders in the development process. “Having different perspectives, different people with different backgrounds … that’s where you get true innovation,” said Jane Ewing, senior vice president of sustainability at Walmart. The panelists noted that any alternatives the consortium creates will need to match the functionality and convenience of current options on the market as well as minimize any unintended consequences along the way. By collectively standing against single-use bags, each company hopes to establish a new normal in retail. “Our collective approach sends an important, unified message of commitment,” said Eileen Howard Boone, senior vice president of corporate social responsibility and philanthropy at CVS. “[It] sends a signal to suppliers and innovators of how closely together we are standing to make sure that we see some change.” Any solution will require work in areas of consumer awareness and education, the panelists said. “There is a lot of education that has to happen,” Boone said. “Part of the benefit of this collaborative is that there will be more voices pushing out the same conversation.” Moderating the session, Kate Daly, managing director of Closed Loop Partners, highlighted the unique position of the retail giants to create “ripple effects” for smaller businesses in the retail industry. Addressing the speakers, she noted: “You’re opening up the market for these innovations, you are doing the heavy lift of testing them and de-risking them, and that makes that available to the ecosystem.” For retailers that want to join this initiative or take on a similar one themselves, the panelists offered several key pieces of advice. Primarily, they stressed that companies must clearly identify what problem they are trying to solve, seek allies that have a shared vision and engage a broad set of stakeholders to drive innovation. Daly also encouraged anyone with ideas or innovations for Beyond the Bag to reach out to her directly. Amidst their hopeful tone, the panelists underscored that the road to plastic-free shopping will be long and complex. “These issues aren’t one-time, short-term solutions,” Boone put simply. “They are going to take a lot of time to course correct.” How much time? We will have to wait and see. Based on the conversation, the more that customers and companies collaborate to drive innovation and push for change, the better the chance for collective success. “Now, coming together with others and bringing more people to the table,” Boone said, “the art of possible has grown very, very large.” Pull Quote Having different perspectives, different people with different backgrounds … that’s where you get true innovation. Topics Circular Economy Circularity 20 Plastic Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Courtesy of Erik Mclean/Unsplash Close Authorship

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Amid record oil price fluctuations, circular plastic strategies prevail

August 27, 2020 by  
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Amid record oil price fluctuations, circular plastic strategies prevail Jesse Klein Thu, 08/27/2020 – 01:45 The coronavirus pandemic threw almost every market into a tailspin, including the notoriously sensitive oil market. And when crude oil prices fell into negative territory in April, the recycled plastic industry experienced a reckoning. Would corporations still invest in relatively expensive circular plastic commitments if virgin plastic prices, closely tied to the petroleum industry, nosedived? So far, most big companies seem to be standing by their pledges. “Our strategy hasn’t changed,” Yolanda Malone, vice president of global foods packaging at PepsiCo, told a digital crowd at GreenBiz’s Circularity 20 event this week. “We aren’t letting the oil prices and the fluctuations in the market sway us from our long-term vision. Our strategy needs to be strong enough to weather it.” Shifting the focus away from everyday volatility and instead emphasizing the long-term benefits of an overarching and durable circular packaging plan can help brands avoid reacting to oil price dynamics and enable them to ignore the small short-term benefits — such as lower virgin plastic prices — in favor of long-lasting ones, according to Malone and other speakers who addressed the topic during the online event. We aren’t letting the oil prices and the fluctuations in the market sway us from our long-term vision. “One thing we did was to remind our associates and merchants that you can’t claim something is recyclable if it doesn’t actually get [turned into] recycled content,” Ashley Hall, lead for sustainable packaging at Walmart, said during the session. “That was a really important ah-ha moment for our clients and reaffirmed their commitment to get past these low prices and reassess moving forward.” But like good businesswomen, Malone and Hall are ready to adapt to a changing landscape, and the market volatility that occurred during the early days of the pandemic has prompted some soul-searching. According to Malone, her team is working on ways that ensuring Pepsi’s tactics can support a circular plastic initiative even amidst dropping oil prices — even if that means some tactics might need to change, such as shifting conversations away from cost savings associated with circular initiatives and instead turning the focus to consumer purchasing trends, the value of having a qualitative lifecycle assessment and the potential for refillable containers. Taylor Price, global manager of sustainability at packaging company Aptar, suggested that shifting to refillables rather than focusing almost exclusively on recycled content could be one way for companies to combat the effect of sinking oil prices on their packaging strategy.  “What we’ve seen as a packaging company is it’s not really an either/or,” she said. “Refillable solutions, for us, are really a co-strategy.”  Hall agreed that strategy diversification is important: “One solution won’t solve our issues. We need to work on all of them.” The consensus among the panelists was that a sustainable, circular packaging plan that includes a variety of levers to pull and different types of projects would be best suited to survive changing oil prices and other shifting market dynamics.  “Don’t reinvent the wheel,” Hall said. “Pull from existing resources. And on the other side, share not only what works but where you’ve had troubles. And by doing that you can help other people avoid making some mistakes that you [have] made along the way so we can all move forward.” Pull Quote We aren’t letting the oil prices and the fluctuations in the market sway us from our long-term vision. Topics Circular Economy Circularity 20 Circular Packaging Plastic Circularity 20 Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off As oil prices fall, recycled plastic initiatives have a new obstacle. //Unsplash

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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

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