The Green Thing Newsletter


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A quick look at what was happening in the green space in early 2008. Written as part of the Luckie & Company Trend Tracker Newsletter series.

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The Green Thing Newsletter

  1. 1. MARCH 31, 2008 INTRODUCTION VOLUME 1 ://: ISSUE 1 Once a quarter, Luckie issues a Luckie Extra newsletter that takes a deeper look at an important topic or cultural event that is happening around us. This quarter we are looking at the “greening” of corporate America. We could probably fill a book with all the content that is out there, but instead will offer a quick snapshot that provides some insight into this massive effort to be green. While being green is clearly a hot trend right now, how to be green is an adventure unto itself. Sustainability, eco-friendly, natural ingredients, organics and hybrid are just some of the terms and ideas companies are using to build their green street cred. THE GREEN POLICE THINKING GREEN With so many products • Starbucks has launched the Planet Green Game, where players can claiming “eco” status lately, explore a virtual world and learn how everyday decisions made by it’s sometimes hard to individuals, cities, schools and businesses can impact the environment distinguish the true friends • Toyota has partnered with the Arbor Day to Earth from those that Foundation to create a Facebook application have been superficially called Tree Planter. Users gift trees to their greenwashed. friends. For every gift sent to a friend, the Arbor Day Foundation plants EVO helps consumers make a tree in one of 11 forests. The cost of sending a tree to a friend is $1. smart choices by The Arbor Day Foundation has a goal of planting 1 million trees in the showcasing the companies first year of the application and products who really • One of the first green boutique hotels ever, Chelsea’s Greenhouse 26 practice what they preach. plans to apply for LEED Gold certification with its environmental The site has created a practices. Some of the planned green innovations include a geothermal ratings scale that factors in heating and cooling system (said to save up to 40% in operating what it’s made from, how it’s costs), recycled water from showers and sinks to be used in toilets, produced, the distance it energy capture from stopped elevators, occupancy sensors that alert travels to reach the staff of empty rooms to allow for efficient cleaning, certified organic in- consumer, and what type of room products (all available for purchase), a café and bar selling energy is used to power it. organic-only fare, and a spacious rooftop garden • Virgin Atlantic has become the first world airline to fly a 747 jumbo jet on renewable fuel. The flight from London to Amsterdam flew on biofuel composed of the environmentally and socially sustainable oils babassu and coconut
  2. 2. CONSUMER GOODS • The Nokia Remade, a concept cell phone, is produced of entirely renewable and recycled parts. The phone’s slim, silver outer case is made of renewable materials instead of petroleum-based plastic. Its electronic innards are made of recycled and renewable parts too • Nike’s new Trash Talk sneakers are made entirely from scrap materials direct from the factories, thus reducing waste • Wal-Mart has discussed with automakers the possibility of selling gasoline-electric hybrid cars and plug-in automobiles • Fujitsu has introduced a corn-based polymer laptop. The laptop’s casing is made from a PLA-based plastic, and the polymer doesn’t generate harmful fumes when burned, meaning that it can be recycled or disposed of without harming the planet • Method and Seventh Generation, makers of “green” laundry ECO-FRIENDLY TOYS detergent, dish soap and other home-spiffing products, are cleaning up. Sales of cleaning products labeled natural (such as those made The fight to save Mother with vegetable- and fruit-based ingredients) have steadily risen as Earth is now permeating the consumers have become more chemical-phobic toy market. Sprig Toys’ • Canadians and Great Britons can now buy battery-free push-and-pump Milk in a Bag. A product that literally action vehicles are perfect comes in a bag and uses 75% less plastic for kids who want all the per container than a traditional plastic bells and whistles of battery- milk jug powered toys. Little Humbugs’ plush dolls are half human, half bug TRANSPORTATION “Super Eco Warriors” in search of human children to • Coca-Cola plans to purchase 120 hybrid-electric trucks in 2008. help them save the planet. Compared to their current trucks, the new trucks will reduce carbon Their adventures can be emissions by nearly 32% and fuel consumption by up to 37%, while followed in books such as requiring minimal maintenance Jasmine the Butterfly Girl • and the Little Humbugs TV Dole Food Co. has started to use B20 biodiesel fuel, a renewable fuel Web site, which also has extracted from natural oils, for its farm equipment and off-road vehicles eco-tips and healthy recipes. in Salinas, Calif., and Yuma, Ariz • BMW launched a TV spot promoting its yet unavailable BMW Hydrogen car. The car produces water rather than carbon dioxide
  3. 3. CONSUMER BEHAVIOR • Research from the Nielsen Co. shows that more than half of U.S. consumers would give up all forms of convenience packaging if doing so would benefit the environment • Becky Bones is one mean, green, pollution-fighting machine. Earth-friendly teens can check out this eco- portal and learn about ways to save the planet, read about other teens making a difference, share stories, pictures and movies and get hip to Becky Bones products. The company has pledged to give 25% of its AIR POWERED CAR profits back to its supporters through the Becky Bones 25 Grant, which backs grassroots projects like recycling After working on the air- programs and planting trees powered car concept for the • Karma Offsetting: Consumers are increasingly looking for ways to past 15 years French alleviate guilt caused by environmentally harmful actions without engineer Guy Negre is about necessarily changing their behavior. As a result, carbon offsetting is to bring this revolutionary gaining momentum, with everyone from bands (Rolling Stones, vehicle to the masses for Coldplay) planting trees to counteract the waste created by rock less than $15,000. concerts and album production, to airlines (Virgin Atlantic, Air France) offering passengers the option to offset their travel with donations to Instead of using gas to environmental nonprofits create an explosion and make the pistons move, the • Sustainability is an important consideration for about 50% of U.S. vehicle’s engine is powered consumers when shopping for CPG goods, an Information Resources via three compressed air survey found tanks located under its • About 17% of consumers are willing to shift their brand loyalties to chassis. Environmentally “green” companies, according to a recent study by the Natural speaking, this means all that Marketing Institute. For some 60% of the marketplace, the goes out the exhaust pipe is environment is a factor in their purchasing decisions cold, pure air, which can even be used as an air- MORE CONSUMER GOODS conditioning source. The vehicle has a top speed • SIGG USA brings quality Swiss design to reusable aluminum of 110 kilometers per hour water bottles. Their Web site says “not everyone is ready to and a range around 300 buy a hybrid vehicle, but every baby step toward a cleaner kilometers. All that is needed Earth is worth it. Why not drink from something stylish and to fill it is a compressed air eco-friendly?” station. In case of an • emergency, an electrical P&G found that 80%-85% of the energy used to wash source can be used to clothes comes from heating the water, so they introduced power the built-in air Coldwater Tide as a way to conserve energy and save compressor, which can fill money at the same time the air reserve in about three hours.
  4. 4. REDUCE AND REUSE • Whole Foods Market is planning to ban disposable plastic shopping bags in all its 270 stores across the U.S., Canada and the U.K., starting April 22 – Earth Day. Whole Foods will offer consumers several options, including paper bags and reusable plastic and canvas bags • The Coca-Cola Co. has set a goal to reuse or recycle 100% of the aluminum beverage cans it sells in the U.S. The initiative helps fulfill the company’s mission to reduce its carbon footprint. By the end of 2008, Coca-Cola Recycling plans to recycle more than 100 million pounds each of PET and aluminum • Wearable Collections, a nonprofit charity initiative, is leading the crusade to reduce textile waste. The organization is placing recycling bins in designated buildings throughout New York City for the ALTERNATIVE FUEL collection of unwanted garments and clothing GM and Coskata, a • Wal-Mart saved more than $1 million in energy costs when it company that makes unplugged the lights of the vending machines in its employee break cellulosic ethanol from rooms. Wal-Mart will start analyzing how to reduce packaging this year renewable sources like • Food companies including Kraft Foods and Sara Lee are implementing garbage, old tires and plant new programs to cut energy and water consumption. Sara Lee intends waste, have teamed up to to use solar panels for its New Mexico bakery, while Kraft relies on a make cheap ethanol cream cheese byproduct to operate its New York plant ( 1.13.08). • EDF Energy in the U.K. has created a TV ad made entirely from ‘recycled’ film clips, as part of a marketing campaign to promote its Using microorganisms and a commitment to reducing carbon emissions. The TV spot features clips patented bioreactor, they including visuals of flood scenes, an excerpt from one of John F say, reduces carbon dioxide Kennedy’s speeches stating that our environmental problems are man- emissions by 84% and will made, and a clip from a government ad urging consumers to watch result in ethanol that costs their meter about $1 per gallon. • Pepperidge Farm is installing a clean-energy fuel cell at its bakery in The goal of the program is to Bloomfield, Conn. The installation is being supported by the reduce dependence on oil, Connecticut Clean Energy Fund but not at the expense of water and soil. Coskata • Nordstrom is transitioning to fully recyclable gift boxes. During the claims that its process can holiday season, the company will introduce gift boxes that are 100% be used anywhere where recyclable and made of paper stock that is 30% post-consumer waste there’s carbon-based waste. • Their first large-scale Coca-Cola Co. has redesigned its trademark 20-ounce soda bottles to processor will be producing reduce plastic and better emphasize the bottle’s iconic contour shape. ethanol by 2011. The new design reduces the amount of plastic used by 5%
  5. 5. RETAILERS WHO ARE BUILDING GREEN • Target is developing several new store prototypes that will receive LEED certification based on sustainable efforts that include: low- flow restroom fixtures, decreased energy use for heating and air conditioning, and, when possible, recycling or salvaging the majority of construction waste • In 2008, Costco plans to install skylights and solar panels in seven more warehouse clubs as part of its energy-saving and environmental conservation initiatives. The panels cost about $745,000 per store • November 2007 saw Subway’s first Eco-Store open in Florida, boasting such features as a high-efficiency HVAC system, day lighting, low-flow water fixtures and building and decor materials made from sustainable materials. The chain also said that it is rolling out napkins made from 100 percent recycled materials • BP has recycled an old Los Angeles gas station to open the “first LEED-certified gas station in the U.S.” The new station is called Helios House and features eco-friendly landscaping, solar panels, CARBON NEGATIVE and was mostly built from recycled materials. Currently the station only sells unleaded gas but FIJI Water has announced plans to offer alternative fuels in the future plans to go “carbon • J. C. Penney is opening a new store in Denver that will pilot a series of negative,” or to more than sustainability initiatives for new store construction. Sustainability equalize the greenhouse features include: exterior brick manufactured through a waste gases released into the petroleum byproducts firing process; recycled-content ceiling tiles; and atmosphere during the carpet made from 100 percent recycled material. Additionally, production, transportation throughout construction, waste materials such as concrete, metal and and sale of its product. drywall were separated and recycled The company also RESOURCES USED announced plans to preserve forests, conserve water and use renewable We have tapped many resources for the content of this green edition. energy as part of a Special thanks go to our friends at Iconoculture, Trendcentral and comprehensive TrendHunter, as well as: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Minneapolis St environmental effort. Paul Business Journal, The Seattle Times, Supermarket News, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Brandweek, The Boston Globe, Progressive Grocer,,, The Chicago Tribune, Brand Republic, Nation’s Restaurant News, The New York Times, Arizona Republic, The Bloomberg News, Center For Media Research, Fashion Week Daily, Media Daily News and