Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Apple is planning to launch the next version of iPhone on Sept 12.


Apple is planning to launch the next version of iPhone on Sept 12. Even though the announcement hasn’t been made this was revealed by some people who know about the company’s plans. 

Illegal ODS Seized at Mombasa Port: Case Study


Kenya‘s National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and the Customs Department have seized a consignment of 55 cylinders containing banned Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) at the Mombasa Port. The seizure followed a routine random testing and analysis by the Customs Department to ascertain the contents of the consignment.
The cargo originated from Dubai and was imported in April 2012 by a Kenyan company based in Mombasa. The company has an annual license from NEMA to deal in controlled ODS. In the present case, the company had obtained a permit from NEMA to import controlled refrigerants (R410A and R404A). However, upon random testing, one cylinder among the imported consignment was found to contain sufficient quantities of R12 (Dichlorodifluoromethane) which is a banned CFC, the same having been phased out in compliance with the provisions of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The Customs Department notified NEMA about the development and a full verification of the entire consignment was ordered. The verification exercise was conducted jointly by NEMA, Customs, and the Environmental Police Unit. The results revealed that all the 55 cylinders
contained sufficient quantities of the banned CFC (R12).
Under Kenya‘s Environmental Management and Co-ordination (Controlled Substances) Regulations, 2007, it is an offence to import any banned ODS into the country. It is also an offence to mislabel and/or misdeclare any banned or controlled ODS. Sanctions for offenders include criminal prosecution, revocation of license, and/or an order to reship the goods at own cost to the country of origin. In this case, NEMA has ordered the company to reship, at its own cost, the consignment to the country of origin. NEMA is also considering revoking the company‘s annual license once the cargo is shipped out of the country.
This case adds to the growing list of examples of successful partnerships in environmental enforcement by various governmental agencies not only in Kenya, but also in the larger Eastern Africa region. The increased partnerships and collaborations are attributable to the East African Network of Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (EANECE). The steady growth of EANECE in the past two years has resulted in strengthened relationships amongst various government agencies that have environmental compliance and enforcement responsibilities across East Africa.
See also: NEMA & KWS Impound Illegal Aloe Species in Nairobi SOURCE: EANECE Secretariat. By Gerry Opondo, 9 July 2012, http://inece.org/resource/ods-kenya/

Yahoo! Inc. interim chief executive officer ( CEO ) Ross Levinsohn will be leaving the organization today. The board has selected Marissa Mayer, a former Google executive to lead the organization.


Yahoo! Inc. interim chief executive officer ( CEO ) Ross Levinsohn will be leaving the organization today. The board has selected Marissa Mayer, a former Google executive to lead the organization. 

When Mario Monti moves out will Berlusconi come back to power in Italy?


The question that is being debated is will Berlusconi come back to power when the tenure of Mario Monti ends. Mario Monti is a civil servant who was appointed to lead Italy’s government by Italy’s Prime Minister. 

World Bank Report ranked Italy at 30 out of the 31 developed nations. Greece was ranked the last. Italy scored poorly on all the parameters like credit, construction permits, taxes etc.


World Bank Report ranked Italy at 30 out of the 31 developed nations. Greece was ranked the last. Italy scored poorly on all the parameters like credit, construction permits, taxes etc. 

Infineon Technologies AG is Europe’s second biggest semiconductor maker. The company will cut spending to counter declining sales and profitability. The shares of the company rose.


Infineon Technologies AG is Europe’s second biggest semiconductor maker. The company will cut spending to counter declining sales and profitability. The shares of the company rose. 

General Motors Co. has thrown Joel Ewanick who was the marketing chief of the firm. He struck a deal with Manchester United soccer team to display the Chevrolet brand on the team’s jerseys


General Motors Co. has thrown Joel Ewanick who was the marketing chief of the firm. He struck a deal with Manchester United soccer team to display the Chevrolet brand on the team’s jerseys. According to the deal the company has to pay 25 million pounds per year for seven years. 

Northern, Eastern and North Eastern Power grid fail again in India today


Half of India remained powerless as the Northern and Eastern Power grids fail again in India today. Even the north eastern states were affected. About 500 trains might have been stalled due to the power grid failure. This is an unprecedented failure of three grids at the same time. It may take about a day to restore.

J.Crew Group Inc., is a U.S. based apparel retailer. The company’s customers include U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama


J.Crew Group Inc., is a U.S. based apparel retailer. The company’s customers include U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama. The company is planning to open its first Asian store in Hong Kong which will target tourists from mainland China. Subsequently it will also open stores in Beijing and Shanghai.

The retail sales in Germany fell for the third month in June. The sales dropped by 0.1 % when compared to May, Sales were adjusted for inflation and seasonal swings.


The retail sales in Germany fell for the third month in June. The sales dropped by 0.1 % when compared to May, Sales were adjusted for inflation and seasonal swings. 

Electricite de France SA ( EDF ) first half profits have surpassed analysts’ expectations due to increased hydropower output


Electricite de France SA ( EDF ) is the largest power generator in Europe. The first half profits have surpassed analysts’ expectations. The increased output of hydropower has helped to offset the loss due to lower nuclear power output. 

Consumer confidence in U.K remained static for the month at 29 according to GfK NOP Ltd.


The consumer confidence in U.K remained static for the month at 29 according to GfK NOP Ltd. The efforts by the government and the Bank of England have not been able to lift the confidence levels. The levels have been hovering around minus 29 to minus 31 for the past seven months.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Jeff Raikes is the Chief executive officer of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has said that India lacks a strong culture of Philanthropy


Jeff Raikes is the Chief executive officer of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has said that India lacks a strong culture of Philanthropy. He worked for Microsoft for three decades before taking up this role. The foundation has been working on various fronts in India on challenges in global healthcare, sanitation, poverty, education and agriculture.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The largest retailer Amazon.com has reported a drop in profits after spending heavily on business


Amazon.com which is the largest internet retailer. The company reported the biggest drop in net income. Amazon had reached profitability about a decade ago. The company had invested heavily on warehouses to capture more business. 

Focus on Large Building Design and Facility Management

ASHRAE Announces Call for Papers for 2013 Winter Conference, January 26-30, Dallas, Texas. The Conference’s technical program will focus on core HVAC&R tracks and, with the re-branding of ASHRAE highlighting its efforts in building technology, the Conference presents timely tracks on Large Building Design and Facility Management…. Learn more >> www.ashrae.org/Dallas

The European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has signaled that ECB is ready to step into preserve the EURO


The European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has signaled that ECB is ready to step into preserve the EURO. The stock markets have reacted very positively. However it may not be easy for him to bring the other ECB policy members on board and deliver to his promise. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Paul Allen’s Vulcan Capital has invested in Siluria Technologies Inc., trying to build technology which will convert natural gas into transportation fuel and chemicals


Paul Allen’s Vulcan Capital has invested in Siluria Technologies Inc., The company is trying to build technology which will convert natural gas into transportation fuel and chemicals. Vulcan Capital has partnered with Bright Capital.

Solarworld AG led group EU ProSun has filed a complaint with European commission to investigate if the Chinese competitors are dumping their solar products in EU


Solarworld AG is based out of Germany and is Germany’s largest solar panel maker. The company along with other group of manufacturers EU ProSun has filed a complaint with European commission to investigate if the Chinese competitors are dumping their products in the region. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

National Statistics said in London says U.K. economy has shrank in the second quarter


The U.K. economy has shrank in the second quarter. The Gross Domestic Product ( GDP ) dropped by 0.7 when compared with the first quarter. The figures were released by the National Statistics said in London.

Spain’s Inditex S.A. wanted to sell Massimo Dutti apparel in India along with Tata Group's retail arm, Trent Ltd. after the success of its Zara brand


Spain’s Inditex S.A. is one of the largest clothing retailer. The company wanted to sell Massimo Dutti apparel in India and had applied for permission from the government. The company wanted to form a joint venture with Tata Group's retail arm, Trent Ltd. which has been turned down by the Indian government. The company has already tasted success with its Zara brand.

Oscar Winner, Danny Boyle has requested the spectators and people who are a part of the rehearsal not to release the details of the London Olympics opening ceremony


Danny Boyle has requested the spectators and people who are a part of the rehearsal not to release the details of the London Olympics opening ceremony. Danny Boyle who is had won an Oscar for his movie Slumdog Millionaire is looking after the opening ceremony which has a budget of 27 million pounds ( $42 million ). 

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) is planning to sell electric cars (i3 battery-powered city car and i8 plug-in hybrid supercar ) online


Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) is planning to sell electric cars online. This will help the company to reach out to wider audience in an inexpensive way. The company has spent about $3 billion to develop i3 battery-powered city car and i8 plug-in hybrid supercar.

According to a new ruling by the Supreme Court of India an interim ban has been placed on all tourist activities in core areas of Project Tiger forests


According to a new ruling by the Supreme Court of India an interim ban has been placed on all tourist activities in core areas of Project Tiger forests. Earlier the Supreme Court had asked the state government to notify core and buffer zones of tiger reserves, national parks and sanctuaries. Given the slow progress the Supreme Court put on this ban. This would mean that tourists may not be able to visit places like Dhikala in Corbett.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Climate and Clean Air Coalition 2012

Climate and Clean Air Coalition 2012 - Pollutants that are short-lived in the atmosphere such as black carbon soot, methane and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are responsible for a substantial fraction of current global warming and can have significant detrimental health and environmental impacts. Recognizing that mitigation of these short lived climate pollutants is critical to addressing climate change in the near term, a number of countries and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have come together to initiate the first effort to treat these pollutants as a collective challenge. .. Learn more >> http://hqweb.unep.org/ccac/ 
From: Ozo News, UNEP.

Wipro’s billionaire Chairman urges government to act fast to prevent any re-occurrence of violent demonstrations like the one seen in Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar Plant



Wipro’s billionaire Chairman Azim Premji has said that government should act fast to make sure that the social unrest which is building up and which has resulted in some of the violent demonstrations in India like the one seen in Maruti’s Manesar Plant can be prevented in future.

GreenChill webinar, will focus on cascade CO2 refrigeration systems for supermarkets

GreenChill webinar,  will focus on cascade CO2 refrigeration systems for supermarkets. The webinar will be led by Rusty Walker from the Hill PHOENIX Learning Center and will build on the February 9 webinar, which provided an introduction to all types of CO2 refrigeration systems. To join the webinar, you must log on to the link below and call-in to the conference line. 1. Log on to the webinar link: http://bit.ly/I3xfwS 2. Enter your name and email address. 3. Click "Join Now". 4. Call-in toll-free number: 1-866-299-3188, Conference Code: 202 343 9742 REMEMBER: All GreenChill Webinars are recorded and archived online. You can access all past GreenChill Webinars at the GreenChill Web site http://epa.gov/greenchill/events.html
From : Ozo News , UNEP.

Importance of data collection and analysis to successful sustainability initiatives


Importance of data collection and analysis to successful sustainability initiatives



A three-step process to evaluate and revamp corporate social responsibility initiatives. To ensure that the triple bottom line (people, planet and profit) is impacted as strongly as possible, companies need to:


1. Automate and improve data collection to get a better picture of corporate sustainability; 
2. Use analytics applications to find trends and make informed decisions; and 
3. Develop sustainability teams that are data-minded and accountable for business decisions.

By: Michael Koploy

Monday, July 23, 2012

Stocks world wide dropped today as there were fresh concerns that Greece might exit European Currency


The stocks world wide dropped today as there were fresh concerns that Greece might exit European Currency. Also the borrowing cost for Spain increased as Catalonia a part of the Spanish region increased as they asked for bailout aid. 

The week monsoon has resulted in the water levels dropping to record levels in India


The week monsoon has resulted in the water levels dropping to record levels in India. The scanty rainfall is even threatening the winter crops. The country might face drinking water scarcity by February. The country has received normal monsoon only in the one third of the country.

Key bench-marking metrics that can be used to measure operational efficiency in a warehouse


Key bench-marking metrics that can be used to measure operational efficiency in a warehouse: 
  • On time Store Shipments
  • Dock to stock cycle time
  • Lines putaway per hour
  • Fill rate – Order
  • Lines picked per hour
  • Warehouse Capacity used – Average & Peak


Friday, July 20, 2012

Green Carpet Cleaners Is Out To Render Unique Services While Also Safeguarding Our Eco System


Green Carpet Cleaners, the leader in the carpet cleaning industry has joined the millions of individuals and groups in the struggle to preserve our environment by offering organic carpet cleaning services. Yes, with this initiative, our planet is a step further towards replenishing the constantly depleting ozone layer due to our unsafe and careless lifestyle and practices.
SOURCE: PRWEB, May 2012, http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/5/prweb9440046.htm

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Watershed Payment Programs: Scaling Up By Staying Simple


Watershed Payment Programs: Scaling Up By Staying Simple

Author: Gena Gammie and Kelli Barrett


Cities and communities around the world have embraced innovative financing mechanisms designed to ensure long-term supplies of clean drinking water by promoting good stewardship of the surrounding watershed.  Now, say practitioners, it’s time to scale up – by keeping the programs simple, focused, flexible and local.






25 June 2012 | RIO DE JANEIRO | Brazil | Streams and rivers that originate high in the mountains irrigate cities and towns across the world, but encroaching population and increasing pollution jeopardize many mountain watersheds, raising the question -– what will happen to these communities if their upland water suppliers aren’t fit to supply them. 


One solution pioneered in New York and now being implemented in Lima and elsewhere, is to implement a Payments for Watershed Services program, which encourages downstream users of clean water – mostly urban – to financially support those upstream – usually rural – to manage the watershed more sustainably. 

The 2008 State of Watershed Payments report documented 216 such programs around the world, with more than 100 of them in Latin America. Most of these, however, are small programs involving one municipality, while China favors massive programs encompassing large swathes of an entire watershed.  As a result, China's 47 programs protected 270 million hectares in 2008, while Latin America's 101 programs protected just 2.3 million hectares. 

That raised a key question that policymakers,practitioners, and scientists addressed at a Forest Trends side event, co-chaired by Peruvian Deputy Environment Minister, Gabriel Quijandria, here during last week’s United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20): what's the best way to scale up projects?

The consensus to emerge: the best way to scale up is to develop programs that are simple, flexible, and constructed in ways that are compatible with local culture. The challenge will be striking the right balance between getting big fast and maintaining the kind of rigor needed to ensure the ecosystem services are delivered.

Different Regions, Different Models

Nigel Asquith, the director of strategy and policy at environmental non-profit Fundación Natura Bolivia (FNB), pointed out that his organization started in one municipality in Bolivia and is now spreading the same model to 23 municipalities in Bolivia as well as to Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. That model, he says, works well in the Andes, but may not work in other regions. 

“The small-scale municipal model is replicable within the Andes,” he says. “Our next question is how replicable is it to do it to scale in other parts of the world.”

Move Fast

Carlos Muñnoz Piña, director of resource economics at Forest Trends (publisher of Ecosystem Marketplace), stressed the need to be proactive and take advantage of political opportunity. He was able to help create Mexico’s Programa para el Pago por Servicios Ambientales Hidrológicos (Program for the Payment for Hydrological Environmental Services) at the national scale through a political reform that implemented a new forestry law which allowed for payment for environmental services. It was a new administration in Mexico at the time and the reform received full support from the newly elected congress. 

The program was implemented in 2007, and generates payments to conserve forest areas that have been shown to recharge water supplies.

Don’t Get Distracted

Other panelists focused on the need to communicate benefits – and to avoid overloading programs with other objectives, such as biodiversity preservation. 

“Water is going to be the key service which investors are looking at,.” says Madhav Karki, the deputy director of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), a regional organization designed to share information on the effects of climate change on mountain ecosystems.

Terminology Matters

Implementing PWS projects requires involving local communities. Project elements such as terminology and medium of exchange play a role in how successful the project will be. 

Asquith found this out while trying to implement local municipal level PWS projects in Bolivia. Asquith received more local participation when he omitted the word payments-a term the Andean culture is leery of- when explaining watershed services and replaced it with reciprocity.

The mountain communities in Bolivia didn’t relate to cash payments, so the program was structured to offer in-kind benefits. Fruit tree seedlings, bee boxes and barbed wire compensate the local communities for protecting the watershed and while directly assisting the move into alternative livelihood strategies that support healthy watersheds in ways that cash payments would not. Fruit tree seedlings, for example, support agroforestry instead of other agriculture on sloping land, and barbed wire helps to keep cattle out of riparian and forested areas.

Measure the Outcomes

For Bert de Bievre, a key challenge will be improving ways of measuring the environmental outcomes that motivate the, "buyers," or funding source, for PWS projects. A hydrologist with the Consocio para el Desarrollo Sostenible de la Ecorregión Andina (Consortium for the Sustainable Development of the Andean Ecoregion, “CONDESAN”), he says that monitoring, to the extent it has been done, has focused on proxies like hectares of forests and the numbers of trees, rather than on specific ‘watershed service’ outcomes, such as dry season flows.



“The research has cost a lot of money,” Bievre says. “The results of that research are not really visible today in our decision making.”

Indeed, all panelists agreed that more monitoring of ongoing projects needs to be done, but that it’s also important to not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. 

“Get stuff on the ground first,” said Michael Bennett, a senior researcher for Forests Trends working in China. “It’s like a ‘ready-fire-aim’ kind of approach.” 


Emailed to Sustain2Green  by
Kelli Barrett
Editorial Assistant
Ecosystem Marketplace

West Bloomfield man busted for selling refrigerant on Craigslist without proper credentials


A West Bloomfield man’s posting on Craigslist landed him in federal court, facing a $5,000 fine. His crime? Trying to sell the refrigerant R-22, which is illegal to sell without proper credentials and training under federal law.
Douglas Mertz, 38, was sentenced before U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood today for his 2009 Craigslist postings, which raised red flags among authorities.
One posting read: "If you cannot get R-22 on your own, no EPA card or license, we can do business," records show. Another posting stated: "I have virgin 30 lb jugs of R-22 that I will sell to anyone who can't otherwise get one for EPA or license reasons and the distributors deny you."
Mertz, who himself was certified, then obtained 10 containers of R-22 and sold them to a buyer who – unbeknownst to him – was an undercover federal agent. To conceal the illegal sale, Mertz prepared a document that falsely identified the buyer as an employee of his business.
"It is a serious offense to sell R-22 or other ozone-depleting refrigerants to people who haven't been trained to properly handle these substances,” said Randall Ashe, Special Agent in Charge of EPA's criminal enforcement program in Michigan.
“In this case, the defendant not only made this illegal sale, but went further and created a false document to cover his tracks. This case demonstrates that anyone who thinks breaking the law is worth the risk should think again."
According to the EPA, certain refrigerants, such as R-22 can, damage the earth's ozone layer if they are released to the atmosphere. Federal guidelines require that individuals who work with ozone-depleting refrigerants like R-22 are trained to properly handle the substances and minimize their release to the atmosphere.
As part of his sentence, Mertz was required to surrender his EPA certification, which allowed him to purchase and work with refrigerants such as R-22.
He was fined $5,000 for delivering a false document regarding a hazardous material. He also was sentenced to one year probation, and ordered to pay restitution up to $750.
Mertz's accomplice, Wasim Ibrahim Bony, was sentenced on April 19 for aiding and abetting Mertz in making and delivering a false document. He was fined $1,500, and ordered to pay up to $750 in restitution.
SOURCE: freep.com

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Farmers in Nebraska will have to stop irrigating crops. The State’s Department of Natural Resources will now regulate the water that is taken from water bodies like rivers and streams.


Farmers in Nebraska will have to stop irrigating crops. The State’s Department of Natural Resources will now regulate the water that is taken from water bodies like rivers and streams.

Sierra Pacific Industries Inc. , a lumber company based out of California has agreed to pay to settle a lawsuit claimed that it was responsible for a wildfire in 2007 in Plumas County in northern California


Sierra Pacific Industries Inc. is a lumber company based out of California. The company has agreed to pay about $47 million to settle a lawsuit which claimed that it was responsible for a wildfire in 2007 in Plumas County in northern California. The wild fire damaged about 46,000 acres of national forest.

India has issued the third draft of the National Water Policy


India has issued the third draft of the National Water Policy. Earlier States had raised objections to the division of legislative powers which were governing the use of water. India as a country has about 17 % of the world population but only 4% of the world’s renewable water resources. 

Bloomberg New energy Finance has said the acquisitions have increased in 2011 to $10.8 billion



Bloomberg New energy Finance has said the acquisitions have increased in 2011 to $10.8 billion. The developers have now sold the projects to investors who are keeping a long term view of the market

Advancing Ozone & Climate Protection Technologies: Next Steps


This conference will address policy and technical aspects of this transition in the refrigeration, air conditioning and foams sectors. Technical presentations will provide current information on both non-fluorinated and fluorinated alternatives for various applications as well as potential timelines and challenges for continued implementation of these alternatives. In addition, approaches such as reducing charge sizes through advanced technology design, minimizing leaks, and corporate responsibility for refrigerant management will be considered. The conference will also include discussion of policies on HFCs, including those that could be addressed nationally, regionally, and at the international level by the Montreal Protocol.
Learn more > http://www.bangkoktechconference.org/#!

Shares of Facebook Inc. dropped after a report from Capstone Investments showed that number of users dropped over the last six months


The shares of Facebook Inc. dropped after a report from Capstone Investments showed that number of users dropped over the last six months.  The shares of Facebook were trading at $28.09. The shares of Zynga Inc also dropped by 5.2%.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Athleta which is a part of the Gap Inc.’s family is opening stores across U.S. in similar locations as Lululemon Athletica Inc.


Athleta which is a part of the Gap Inc.’s family is opening stores across U.S. in similar locations as Lululemon Athletica Inc. This is an interesting strategy to grow in the one of the most interesting segments. Lululemon is based out of Vancouver and is the dominant player in women’s premium sports- clothing and active-wear.

Companies struggle to connect sustainability with core business goals


"Do good and you will do well!" pundits and companies often assert.

While the tagline sounds great, the reality is that many companies struggle to connect sustainability with core business goals such as increasing sales, reducing costs, or reducing risks. As a result, sustainability departments are often seen as tangential to the core business, and annual CSR reports are mostly filled with anecdotal  feel good stories.

More often than not, environmental impacts, costs, and risks are mostly hidden and do not show up in companies' main accounting systems. As long as a CFO or Procurement Officer does not have visibility on such costs and risks in financial terms, the environment will at best remain a Chief Sustainability Officer issue.
The good news is that change is underway, mostly driven by buyers recognizing their own costs and risks from environmental impacts and asking their suppliers to be a part of reduction efforts, as seen in recent efforts by large retailers and organizations like the US Department of Defense.
Download our new white paper to learn how a Fortune 100 company is responding to buyer pressure and effectively connecting sustainability and profitability , with a rigorous accounting of sustainability impacts, costs, and risks. You will also learn about the 4 KEY STEPS to make sustainability departments integrated parts of core business operations.

This email was sent to: sustain2green by Enviance

The UNEP OzonAction CAP is pleased to announce the release of two new publications related to “HS codes” and “HCFC quota systems” to assist Article 5 countries in their phase out of HCFCs:

Establishing an HCFC import quota system - Parties to the Montreal Protocol are obliged to follow the HCFC phase-out schedules agreed upon in 2007 (Decision XIX/6). Furthermore, developing countries seeking any further assistance from the Multilateral Fund for the HCFC phase out beyond 2012 must provide confirmation that they have an enforceable national system of licensing and quotas in place for HCFC imports and, where applicable, production and exports (Decision 63/17). Since the first control measure for developing countries for HCFCs enters into force on 1 January 2013, developing countries are therefore urged to design and implement such an HCFC quota system without delay to help ensure the country's compliance with the Montreal Protocol. UNEP OzonAction CAP has developed this practical, step-wise guide to assist National Ozone Units in Article 5 countries with designing and implementing such quota systems. This 27-page guide addresses policies facilitating implementation of the HCFC phase out, principles of an import quota system, how to establish an HCFC import quota system, additional measures which may help in enforcement of HCFC import quota systems, and import quota systems for equipment containing or relying on HCFCs. It also provides examples and lessons learnt, as well as suggested formats for questionnaires and accompanying letters to be used in a survey of potential HCFC importers and exporters. The guide was written by Dr. Janusz Kozakiewicz and quality reviewed by OzonAction CAP staff. Read/download >> http://bit.ly/H84xaZ

Reducing carbon footprint in your warehouse

There is a lot of scope for improving processes in a warehouse. The following are some of the areas which can help you to reduce your carbon footprint:
  • Reduce GR turnaround
  • Reduce Pick to ship
  • System based processes to reduce labor dependency
  • Benchmark comparison
  • Economic Order Picking process
  • Reverse Logistics process
  • Cross docking process
  • Layout Changes

The ZEW Center for European Economic Research in Mannheim said that the German Investor confidence declined for the third month to minus 19.6 in July


Various survey’s now show that the German investor confidence is now dropping and slowing down. The ZEW Center for European Economic Research in Mannheim said that the German Investor confidence declined for the third month to minus 19.6 in July. In June it was minus 16.9. 

HSBC has been found to be involved in doing business with firms who have been linked to terrorism, violating money laundering in Mexico and also bypassed sanctions against Iran according to investigations by U.S. Senate.


HSBC has been found to be involved in doing business with firms who have been linked to terrorism. It has also been found to violate money laundering in Mexico. The investigations by  U.S. Senate  also revealed that the firm has bypassed sanctions against Iran.

Shares of OCI Co. has dropped as there are reports that China is investigating the sales of Korean – made polysilicon in China and if it is a case of dumping


The shares of OCI Co. has dropped as there are reports that China is investigating the sales of Korean – made polysilicon solar cell in China and if it is a case of dumping. 

Trends in Sustainability Reporting in India

Trends in Sustainability Reporting in India

By Neena Sekharan, Emergent Ventures India Pvt. Ltd.


“Every profession bears the responsibility to understand the circumstances that enable its existence.”[1]

Of the 721,719 Indian ‘companies at work’[2] only 68 have ever developed a Sustainability Report.[3] This highlights the fact that a miniscule 0.0094% of the Indian companies have embarked on the journey to a sustainable business even as their international counterparts try to gain significant advantage from this new understanding in the way businesses should be conducted.

ü  The United States of America leads the pack with 470 companies developing Sustainability Reports followed by Spain with 342 and China with 238 Sustainability Reports.[4]

ü  Even among the BRICS countries, India has the lowest number of companies developing Sustainability Reports. Refer Exhibit 1.

ü  Out of the 9966 Sustainability Reports submitted to the GRI since 1999, only 104 are from India.


Exhibit 1: Number of companies developing Sustainability Reports among the BRICS countries (1999-June 2012)
Sustainability Reporting is a process for publicly disclosing an organizations economic, social and environmental performance. As with any disclosure, the Sustainability Report lays bare the organizations performance to public scrutiny. What distinguishes the Sustainability Report from other reports is the fact that it makes an organization look at its business from every possible quarter in a single document. In an ideal world, the organization’s stakeholders would analyze the report and give constructive feedback to the organization to improve its performance.
With increase in the speed at which information spreads across the globe, organizations now have to appease the all inclusive stakeholder community rather than just the previously important shareholder community. This change in the way the global society is evolving has led to the genesis of Sustainability Reporting that seeks to make an organization answerable to all stakeholders with regard to finance, environment and people.
But Sustainability Reports need to serve a purpose – it should be possible to derive information and knowledge out of them so that they can be compared across organizations. For this purpose, common standards need to be developed. The Global Reporting Initiative is one such endeavor to establish common parameters that need to be reported by organizations. This article uses the GRI database to explore and understand India’s performance in the Sustainability Reporting space.
While Sustainability Reporting is a decade old idea, it is relatively in its early years with the methodology evolving constantly. Still, many nations and organizations have started to understand the concept and incorporate it in their business functions.


Exhibit 2: Growth in number of Sustainability Reports published in India (Source: GRI database)

 
The Indian businesses started looking at sustainability only in the middle of the last decade. While the trend has been positive with more companies adopting Sustainability Reporting with each passing year, there is scope for greater response from Indian businesses (Refer Exhibit 2). Undoubtedly there are valid reasons for this low response from Indian businesses. Some of the reasons are lack of awareness, lack of subject expertise in Sustainability, lack of skilled personnel to develop Sustainability Reports and the general economic conditions where Indian businesses were more focused on survival in the short term rather than have lofty altruistic ambitions.
In the recent past however, there has been a fair amount of capacity addition in the number of skilled persons and organizations who work in the field of Sustainability in India. Some of the notable organizations that provide services for developing Sustainability Reports are Emergent Ventures India Pvt Ltd., KPMG, E&Y, PwC, TERI-BCSD etc. Besides preparing reports, there is a role of External assurance providers that provide ‘assurance’ to the reports. Some of the assurance providers in India are Bureau Veritas, Deloitte, Emergent Ventures, Ernst & Young, KPMG, Pyramid Sustainable Resource, TÜV Rheinland and TUV India Private Limited.
It is interesting to study the Indian companies that have adopted Sustainability Reporting in its repertoire of disclosures. In Exhibit 3 we can see that it is the cash-rich large conglomerates that have started with exploring and incorporating sustainability in their businesses. This is followed by other resource intensive industries like the chemical industry, mining and metals, automobile, construction and energy industries.  Also, out of the 68 Indian companies that prepared a Sustainability Report, 15 made a report only once and never followed up on them.  
Exhibit 3: Sector wise representation of Indian companies in Sustainability Reporting (1999-June 2012)

The reason for Indian companies to start with Sustainability Reporting is generally either a pressure from international stakeholders or to build a positive corporate brand. Except in a few odd cases, there isn’t much appreciation of the concept of sustainability at a deeper level. This is reflected in the qualitative content of the reports themselves. But this cannot be held against the Indian companies who have only just started to understand ‘Sustainability’. Almost always, the Sustainability Report is their first encounter with the tangible concepts of sustainability. The entire exercise of preparing the Sustainability Report holds up a mirror to their business operations as well as business philosophy. The consultants that prepare the Sustainability Report also discuss the business through the sustainability lens and educate the companies on the anticipated risks, mitigation measures by other companies in the same industry, future case scenarios etc.


After the first Sustainability Report, the concepts of sustainability start getting reflected in the company’s vision and goals and the also in the tacit knowledge that all stakeholders of the company have. Over time, with incremental changes in the organizations strategy and vision, the company could gain enough knowledge on building and running a sustainable enterprise for the long term. It is therefore important to see how the various industry sectors of the Indian business have been involved with sustainability through the years. Exhibit 4 shows that in India, year 2011 has representation from most sectors even as some sectors like tourism and logistics make their maiden Sustainability Reports in 2011. We can also see that many sectors started Sustainability Reporting in year 2008 and many abandoned developing Sustainability Reports early on.


 
Exhibit 4: Sector wise participation in Sustainability Reporting through the years in India (Source: GRI database)

Why should Indian businesses develop Sustainability Reports?

In the good old days when the world population was just a billion, when democracy was a fledgling idea, before the petrochemical revolution, before the telecom revolution, when there was lesser participation in the world of business, lesser consumption globally and when the earth seemed to have an endless supply of resources, companies could proclaim that the “business of business was business.” Times have changed and twenty years since the Brundtland commission defined the word, ‘sustainability’ is now an idea whose time has come.

Adopting its principles in spirit and purpose will give the companies both a comparative as well as a competitive advantage. The document is just one of the outcomes of the entire exercise of preparing a Sustainability Report. Its true value is in what it identifies, measures, exposes and highlights. A good Sustainability Report would have a holistic view of the business and would help in giving direction to the company’s future strategy and suitable prepare it for the worst and the best of times. A good Sustainability Report, especially the first one, may not be very flattering but it is perhaps the best way for a company to get ready for a very challenging future.


At present, there is good institutional setup and enough skill set in India for developing Sustainability Reports and so there are no excuses for Indian businesses to not include them in their portfolio. Sooner or later, every business would derive benefits from a sustainable business strategy. Even as the concept of Sustainability Reports evolves with time, investors will also gain skills on understanding and interpreting the data presented in these reports. Therefore, the sooner a company makes it a part of their business, the greater would be its chances for long term survival.
Just as the Indian companies feel a pressure from their international stakeholders to incorporate sustainable business practices, the Indian companies can in turn encourage their Indian stakeholders to adopt sustainable business practices. This would ultimately impact the entire value chain of our economic life and consequently our society and the environment. A good start to this would be preparing a Sustainability Report.


[1] Quote by Robert Gutman – a sociologist devoted to the study of architecture.
[2] As on 31st March, 2011. Source: Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India.
[3] All sustainability report related data in this article is derived from GRI database (http://database.globalreporting.org/)
[4] Includes data from 1999- June 2012

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Sunnyvale, California based Yahoo! Inc. has appointed Marissa Mayer from Google as the next CEO replacing interim CEO Ross Levinsohn.


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Commercial Plant to Start Producing Hydrogen from Woody Biomass in April Idex Eco Energy Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Japanese oil distributor Shin-Idemitsu Co.

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Monday, July 16, 2012

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Stocks in Asia rose as it is believed that China will increase its measures to support eh economy to pick up after Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s comment


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Friday, July 13, 2012

Welspun Energy Ltd. is India’s largest solar project developer, says India will focus on solar energy due to shortages in coal and natural gas


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