Apple, Walmart, PepsiCo offer suppliers leg up on renewable electricity

April 28, 2022 by  
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Apple, Walmart and PepsiCo are among a growing number of multinationals stepping up programs to help their value chains procure renewable electricity.

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Apple, Walmart, PepsiCo offer suppliers leg up on renewable electricity

GM’s BrightDrop gears up to electrify massive delivery fleets of Walmart, FedEx

January 18, 2022 by  
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Electric vehicle and last-mile delivery company BrightDrop, a subsidiary of General Motors, kicked off 2022 with splashy new deals with Walmart and FedEx. 

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GM’s BrightDrop gears up to electrify massive delivery fleets of Walmart, FedEx

HSBC, Walmart add science-based targets to supplier financing program

December 28, 2021 by  
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Under the new program, Walmart suppliers that have set at least three sustainability goals and are working towards a 1.5-degree Celsius target can get access to financing from HSBC.

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HSBC, Walmart add science-based targets to supplier financing program

5 ways to simultaneously improve living standards and limit global warming

December 28, 2021 by  
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We need to find new ways to produce everyday goods, many of which have been built on the back of fossil fuels.

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5 ways to simultaneously improve living standards and limit global warming

California sues Walmart for allegedly dumping hazardous waste

December 23, 2021 by  
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The state of California , through its Attorney general, has filed a lawsuit accusing Walmart of allegedly illegally disposing of hazardous waste in landfills across the state. The  42-page document  directly implicates Walmart for dumping 160,000 pounds of hazardous waste each year over the past six years. Among the items that are said to be disposed of by the retailer include insect killer sprays, lithium batteries, aerosol cans and LED bulbs. The giant retailer stands accused of violating California’s environmental laws in its dumping of hazardous waste in landfills that are not equipped to handle such waste. Attorney General Rob Bonta and 12 other California district attorneys are working together over the allegations.  Related: Loophole allows 1M tons of sludge to be dumped on Great Barrier Reef “Walmart’s own audits found that the company is dumping hazardous waste at local landfills at a rate of more than one million items each year. From there, these products may seep into the state’s drinking water as toxic pollutants or into the air as dangerous gases,” Bonta said in a  statement . In defense, Walmart’s spokesperson said the company will defend itself and said the lawsuit is “unjustified,” according to NPR. “We have met with the state numerous times and walked them through our industry-leading hazardous waste compliance programs in an effort to avoid litigation. Instead, they filed this unjustified lawsuit ,” Walmart Spokesperson Randy Hargrove said. “The state is demanding a level of compliance regarding waste disposal from our stores of common household products and other items that goes beyond what is required by law.” This is not the first time that the retail finds itself in hot soup over waste disposal misconduct. In 2010, the company reached a $25 million settlement agreement with California’s Office of the Attorney General for the illegal disposal of dangerous waste . According to the Attorney General’s office, investigations have proven that the illegal waste dumping has continued since then. “ Walmart is a responsible corporate citizen in California and everywhere we operate. We take our obligation to protect the environment seriously and have industry-leading processes in place to comply with local, state, and federal environmental laws,” Hargrove said. Via NPR and CNN Lead image via Unsplash

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California sues Walmart for allegedly dumping hazardous waste

Electric bus network expected to be in the US in 2022

December 23, 2021 by  
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Over Thanksgiving weekend, FlixBus USA made transit history by transporting a busload of passengers on the first interstate fully electric bus journey. “The driver said there was just this kind of bit of a glow in the bus,” said Pierre Gourdain, managing director of FlixBus USA . “People were really proud. It’s a historic moment.” Related: 20 new electric vehicles driving onto the scene in 2022 But don’t try to book your electric bus ticket yet. The Seattle to Eugene, Oregon trip last month was part of a pilot program. It’s going to take a lot of money and infrastructure buildout before electric buses are plying the nation’s interstates on long-haul journeys. Gourdain talked to Inhabitat about how we might get there and about FlixBus’ place in U.S. transit. FlixBus 101 FlixMobility, the umbrella group that owns the FlixBus and FlixTrain brands, launched in Germany in 2013. The three founders Jochen Engert, Daniel Krauss and André Schwämmlein aimed to combine e-commerce with technological advances and sustainable transportation. The company quickly took off in Europe , becoming the continent’s largest intercity bus network and now running in more than 30 countries. In 2018, FlixBus USA began to conquer the new world, starting in the southwest. Its patchwork expansion around the U.S. accelerated over the next few years. In October of 2021, FlixMobility showed the depth of its commitment to U.S. bus lines by buying Greyhound. For now, Gourdain says, Greyhound and FlixBus will operate as separate brands. “We have a majority of women riding our buses,” Gourdain said. “And the rest of the industry has a majority of men riding in the buses. Ours probably skews a bit younger. We have a lot of students, but also a lot of young professionals. It’s also a bit more urban and less rural. It’s a bit more point to point.” While Greyhound customers may stagger up to a counter in a bus station and pay in cash, FlixBus riders are buying tickets through their phones. Gourdain emphasized that FlixBus is tapping into a whole new market of Americans who want a long-haul alternative to cars or planes. Partnerships with bus companies Now here comes the confusing part. FlixBus doesn’t actually own all those green buses zooming through the highways. In Europe, hundreds of individual bus companies are driving for FlixBus, from Portugal to Norway. FlixBus USA has about 50 private bus company partners. These are the kinds of businesses you call when you want to charter a bus for your high school football team or your church group. “It works a bit like a franchise ,” Gourdain said. “So basically, a partner will come to FlixBus and say, ‘Hey, I really want to get into this long-distance bus game.’” The bus companies themselves buy the coaches, hire the drivers and operate the routes. FlixBus sells the tickets, plans and markets the routes and builds the brand. In the pacific northwest, MTRWestern operates the routes, and drove the Thanksgiving weekend pilot electric run from Seattle to Eugene. The Seattle -based bus company hopes to be FlixBus’ first partner in developing regular electric bus service. Building an electric bus network So what is it going to take to build out a full electric bus network connecting U.S. cities? Well, first you need the buses. Then you need places to charge them. “Those buses are not for sale yet, so you can’t really put your hands on them,” Gourdain said. “And they’re also super costly.” MTRWestern has applied for a grant with the state of Oregon that will pay part of the cost of new electric coaches as they retire old, polluting diesel buses. Next problem, the approximately 200-mile range. This works okay for transit systems operating within a city, where only one charging station is needed, the buses are always close to their power source and the transit operator buys in bulk. Out on the open roads, it’s another matter. While Gourdain says it’s possible to power a bus from an electric car charger, it’s going to take a while. Driving 200 miles, then taking an eight hour charging break is not going to thrill long-haul travelers . FlixBusUSA is counting on the infrastructure bill passed in November allocating $65 billion to improve the U.S. power grid and $39 billion allocated to public transit systems. Advancing technology should drive charging times down further, battery ranges will increase and more public power stations for large vehicles will become available. The recent pilot run from Seattle to Eugene was possible because of Portland’s Electric Island, a heavy-duty electric truck charging site. Daimler Trucks North America and Portland General Electric opened the eight-vehicle charging station in April. It powers up electric cars, buses and even semi-trucks and is open to the public. Helping its operating partners get electric buses and finding charging stations are two very large challenges. Still, FlixBusUSA intends to have a full-time electric bus route up and running in 2022, probably in Oregon. And if that proves successful, it can spiderweb across the U.S. as buses and charging stations become available. “Today, clean transportation is an elite thing,” Gourdain said. “The entry to ride electric with FlixBus is $19. We are already the cheapest way to travel in the U.S. compared to anything else. There’s nothing cheaper than Flixbus. We want that experience, the cheapest, to also be clean and electric.” + FlixBus Images via FlixBus

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Put this tiny home Cabin One anywhere

December 23, 2021 by  
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Cabin Spacey’s Cabin One is a prefab micro-apartment you can put anywhere — on an apartment building roof or in the mountains. It comes pre-wired for lighting with heated floors and towel racks, a skylight and a membrane roof. All you need is a place to put it. Where should you quarantine next? We wish we didn’t have to ask that question, but the truth is that the pandemic has given many people the opportunity to choose where they hunker down. Where better than the Cabin One ? The Cabin One is created with spruce timber frame construction and cellulose insulation. It also has its own ventilation system. You’ll notice it has a bathroom, but the bed sits on top of storage space like you’d see in a tiny apartment in a city. The rest of the cabin, from the kitchen to the living area, is all open to the bedroom area. It’s a comfy setup for a couple on vacation or downsizing to a tiny home. Related: Go glamping in Canada at this mirror cabin The Cabin One has 25 square meters of space inside, which means just enough for a cozy wood-paneled retreat, whether that’s your main abode or a vacation getaway. The cabin can be customized with many details, equipped with solar, or taken off-grid. The designers will work with your architect to prepare the paperwork needed for a permit, depending on where you want to locate the home. Renewable raw materials were used to create the cabin. It also has a prefab construction, so you can have the whole thing finished and delivered on site without the mess and waste of on-site construction. A foundation must be in place with ready wiring on delivery of the Cabin One, which is delivered by crane onto the waiting base. “We have reduced the complexity of the construction industry to three important elements: comfort, quality and user experience,” said Designer Simon Becker. “We do not think in square meters, we think in features.” Large windows, including a big slider door on the side, give the Cabin One a more expansive feel than many tiny homes. It creates the feeling of a modern, backwoods cabin. A small sink and induction burner give the kitchen surface a streamlined but functional feel. At the far end, past the loft bed, you’ll find a cozy bathroom with ceramic tiles . We love the thick overhang on the end of the 10.10 meter-long interior, which both protect a bit from weather and serve as a pleasant design element. The Cabin One is 3.43 meters wide, with a total height of 3.69 meters, so there’s plenty of head room as well. The Cabin One model starts at $120,300. If you’re looking for a backyard studio apartment or a tiny vacation home, this is one to consider. + Cabin One Images via Cabin Spacey

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Put this tiny home Cabin One anywhere

Supply chains are key for carbon reduction in the food sector

November 4, 2021 by  
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At VERGE 21, representatives of the food sector including Walmart and Maple Leaf Foods highlighted working on innovation from inside their supply chains to meet net-zero commitments.

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Supply chains are key for carbon reduction in the food sector

Elizabeth Fretheim, Walmart

October 21, 2017 by  
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Elizabeth Fretheim, Walmart

Carol Sanford, Regenerative Business Summit

October 21, 2017 by  
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