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Clorox App Gives Consumers Mobile Access to Product Ingredients

The Clorox Company last week launched the first smartphone application and mobile websitegiving consumers easy access to information about product ingredients. The mobile access is an expansion of the company’s Ingredients Inside initiative, which began in 2009 with a website and represents a movement by leading brands to increase transparency about the materials and chemicals used in their consumer products. With the new smartphone app, customers can scan the UPC code of any Clorox household and commercial disinfecting, cleaning or laundry product in the U.S. and Canada and instantly see a list of ingredients. “Mobile computing is triggering a shift in how consumers access information to make purchasing decisions,” says Clorox Chairman & CEO Don Knauss. According to a recent Nielsen Mobile Media report, 49 percent of mobile consumers say they frequently use their smartphones while shopping. In a separate Clorox survey, 62 percent of Americans said they believe it’s important to know what goes into their household cleaning products, and 60 percent who own smartphones said a mobile app would make them more likely to read a household cleaning product’s ingredient information. The application can be downloaded for free from Apple’s iPhone App Store and it will be available for other mobile devices soon, the company said. The Clorox Company’s Ingredients Inside program now also features an application programming interface (API) that allows third-party developers working on product ingredient programs and applications to easily access the company’s ingredient data. Bart King is a PR consultant and principal at Cleantech Communications. Fuente:...

Citroën C-Zero: Primer coche eléctrico en dar la vuelta al mundo

La marca francesa Citroën quiere convertir a su modelo C-Zero en el primer coche eléctrico en dar la vuelta al mundo. Dos jóvenes ingenieros franceses – Xavier Degon de 27 años, ingeniero del grupo energético francés EDF y de Antonin Guy de 28 años, asesor de la empresa consultora de tecnología Cap Gemini Consulting – se subirán el 11 de febrero desde Estrasburgo a bordo de un Citroën C-Zero para emprender la primera vuelta al mundo en un coche eléctrico de serie. Les quedan nada más y nada menos que 250.000 kilómetros por delante, cruzando 17 países en 8 meses por tan sólo 250€ de electricidad. Tras la salida, el recorrido de 200 días discurrirá por lugares tan dispares como las Montañas Rocosas, Japón, China, Kazajistán y Europa Central. Estos dos jóvenes apasionados decidieron ser los pioneros en un audaz desafío: hacer la primera vuelta al mundo en un coche eléctrico de serie. Un hito mundial para promover la movilidad eléctrica que han bautizado como “l’Odyssée Electrique” (La Odisea Eléctrica). Fuente:...

Levi’s Updates Forest Products Policy, Becomes Latest Brand to Avoid Asia Pulp and Paper

Levi Strauss & Company has revamped its forest products purchasing policy to ensure it does not source materials from the world’s endangered forests. In the process, Levi’s becomes the latest major brand that will not buy forest products from Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) due to concerns over APP’s involvement in rainforest destruction in Indonesia. Levi’s new policy covers all wood and paper products purchased by the company and mandates that all paper purchased by the company be at least 30% post-consumer recycled content, with a goal of 100% whenever possible and when not possible that it be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The procurement policy applies to all of Levi Strauss & Co.’s locations worldwide. It applies to all forest products Levi’s may procure, including paper, product packaging and hangtags, corrugated, construction and decoration materials, and furniture. “Levi’s forest products purchasing policy sends a clear message to Asia Pulp and Paper that if they want to do business with respected global companies, they must stop destroying rainforests,” said Lafcadio Cortesi, at Rainforest Action Network (RAN). “It is time for APP to stop pulping Indonesia’s last rainforests for cheap paper products. Instead APP should support the country’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation.” RAN and other Indonesian and international organizations have been campaigning to alert corporate customers to the negative social and environmental problems and reputational risk associated with doing business with APP. Over the past several years, a growing list of major brands have dropped their contracts with APP, including US book publishers Scholastic, Hachette, and Simon & Schuster, leading toy companies Mattel, Hasbro and Lego, fashion giants Gucci and Tiffany and Co., major grocer Kroger, and office supply stores Staples and Office Depot. RAN is currently in negotiations with The Walt Disney Company to create a policy to exclude fiber connected to deforestation from its global supply chains. Indonesia’s rainforests are among the most biologically and culturally diverse landscapes in the world, and the country’s deforestation rates are among the highest on earth. Logging of natural forests for conversion to pulp plantations is a leading threat driving iconic wildlife species like the Sumatran tiger towards extinction. Forest clearing has catapulted Indonesia into the world’s third highest carbon polluting nation. It is estimated that more climate change-causing carbon is released annually from the logging of Indonesia’s forests than all of the cars, trucks, planes and ships in the US combined. APP is currently expanding its business into North American markets, including the recent purchase of five pulp mills in Canada. According to RAN, APP usually does business under the name of subsidiary companies in the US, and many customers may be unaware they are buying from APP. These subsidiaries include Eagle Ridge Paper, Global Paper Solutions Inc., Solaris Paper and Mercury Paper. Levi’s new policy is just the latest step taken by the brand to improve its environmental and social impact. In January 2011, the company introduced its Water<Less process for manufacturing denim productsthat uses up to 96% less water. And in May 2011, the company announced new policies requiring global suppliers to align operations with UN Millennium Development goals. Bart King is a PR consultant and principal at Cleantech Communications....

Europa: Renault ofrece vehículos 100% eléctricos a precio de diésel

Toda la gama de modelos 100% eléctricos de Renault se comercializa a precios equivalentes a las mismas versiones con motorización diésel. Renault tiene como ambición proponer la movilidad sostenible al alcance de todosy, para ello, ha lanzado una gama de modelos 100% eléctricos cero emisiones, a precios equivalentes a sus versiones homónimas con motorización térmica diésel. Por ejemplo, Fluence Z.E. 100% eléctrico, comercializado desde el mes de noviembre de 2011, se ofrece, en su versión Expression 95cv, por 19.800 euros (incluyendo impuestos, transporte y ayuda del gobierno). Sus versiones equivalentes en diésel son la Emotion dCi 90cv, que tiene un precio de 20.910 euros y la Emotion dCi 110cv, con un precio de 22.210 euros con iva, impuesto de matriculación y transporte incluidos. Del mismo modo, Kangoo Z.E. 100% eléctrico, comercializado también a finales de 2011, tiene un precio de 14.000 euros (franco fábrica y con ayudas del gobierno), mientras que la versión térmica dCi equivalente se ofrece a un precio franco fábrica de 14.908 euros....

SGS Launches First Global Product Label for Carbon Footprinting

January 12, 2012—SGS Consumer Testing Services announced the launch of what it says is the first carbon footprint labeling program for individual products manufactured and sold on international markets. Unlike labels limited to a state, a country or a single phase in a product’s carbon journey, SGS’s program offers a global approach that covers all geographies with a single label as well as recognizing multiple levels of environmental achievement. The program consists of a three-label scheme that places a product along a progression towards greater carbon sustainability. SGS Carbon Footprint applies to products for which SGS has calculated the total greenhouse gas emissions over the product’s lifecycle, using internationally accepted standards and listing the results on the label. SGS Carbon Reduction signifies that a product’s carbon footprint has been reduced in a 12-month continuous improvement scheme established after the initial carbon footprint calculation. SGS Carbon Neutral indicates a significant reduction has been achieved and that remaining emissions have been offset through programs such as renewable energy credit purchase systems run by certified third-party organizations. SGS says its sustainability experts around the globe can support companies to set up a carbon reduction strategy and help define an attainable reduction target in order to pave the way for achieving the SGS Carbon Reduction and SGS Carbon Neutral marks. That strategy, based on the product lifecycle analysis, can include steps such as raw material reductions, energy management, implementation of best available technologies and supply chain optimization. These techniques can also help drive savings in production costs, SGS says. Bart King is a PR consultant and principal of Cleantech Communications....

VIA Motors rolls out converted hybrid electric trucks

Trotting out auto industry veteran and theformer public face of Chevy Volt, Bob Lutz, as a spokesman, VIA Motors on Tuesday showed off its technology of converting conventional trucks, cargo vans and SUVs into hybrid electric vehicles and said it plans to start producing a few thousand of them this year. VIA Motors takes new vehicles made by automakers and hires engineering firms to add an electric powertrain and a lithium-ion battery pack to provide up to 40 miles of range. A gasoline engine can deliver another 400 miles of driving, Lutz said during a press conference at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The technology is similar in concept to the GM’s Chevy Volt, and Lutz previously led development of the Volt at GM. The fuel economy should be around 100 miles per gallon, noted Lutz. The Utah company plans to start converting vehicles from GM initially, including the Silverado, Tahoe and Express van, David West, chief marketing officer of VIA Motors, told me by phone after the press conference. The company is targeting corporate customers first, such as utility PG&E, but expects to start selling its hybrid vehicles in a few years (maybe 2013). The trucks will likely be the most popular choice because of their attractiveness with fleet owners and consumers in North America, West said. The company is using multiple lithium-ion battery suppliers, including A123 Systems and Valence Technology, he added. Prices for the hybrids will generally cost 35 percent more than their gasoline-only equivalent, but VIA expects the prices to go down as it increases production, West said. The hybrids also should deliver fuel savings and emission-reduction benefits that will appeal to corporate customers if not also consumers, he said. Lutz mentioned Coca-Cola and Verizon as customers, but these companies are still evaluating VIA’s technology, West said. PG&E appears to be a major customer now since the utility joined VIA executives at the press conference to tout its involvement in VIA’s technology development. PG&E began working with VIA on the hybrid technology in 2008 and has invested $400,000 in the development work. It’s been given VIA feedback on its experience with two hybrid trucks since it began test driving them last year. The utility estimates that the demonstration vehicles it has tested could deliver annual fuel maintenance savings of $7000 per vehicle compared with conventional trucks, said Greg Prutt, senior vice president of corporate affairs at PG&E. PG&E owns two trucks now and plans to order more trucks, which the utility describes as the “beta” version. PG&E is looking at buying 10-12 more of them in the future, but the delivery time frame has yet to be determined. There was no shortage of bold words uttered by Lutz and Alan Perriton, chief operating officer of VIA Motors, during the unveiling. “This is not just a truck, a SUV or a van. It’s a series of products that redefine transportation,” said Perriton, who also worked at GM for years VIA executives are marketing their hybrids as power supplies as well. Companies who won these cars could use the battery power for running tools while on a worksite, for example. A utility could even use the vehicles for dealing with power outages, PG&E said. The hybrids can provide power for “work crews, caterers … outdoor parties, outdoor weddings, outdoor concerts,” Lutz said. “Think of a 3-day camping trip where you have unlimited power with the car you drive into the woods with.” VIA expects to convert 2,000 to 3,000 of GM vehicles this year and hopes to bump up production to 10,000 units next year and 20,000 after that, West said. It’s hired companies such as Roush Engineering to do the conversion work, he added....

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