Thursday, 31 December 2009

Environmental-friendly cooling: Port-A-Cool evaporative cooler

The world is becoming more sensitive to the term “green” and what it means to our environment and the health of our planet. Many companies are rushing to redefine their products and business practices to “go green”. Some companies, however, have always been green without even trying to be politically correct. It was just the right thing to do. Port-A-Cool, LLC, is one of those companies.

For example, the flagship product for the company is the Port-A-Cool® portable evaporative cooling unit, manufactured in Center, Texas. The unit features a one-piece, rotationally molded plastic housing which is leak and rust proof and produced at the company’s manufacturing facility. The company recycles all scrap plastic from the manufacture of the units, reducing waste and harm to our environment.

In addition, the unit itself uses a cooling method that is environmentally friendly. The ancient Egyptians used the same principles of evaporative cooling to cool their homes by hanging a damp mat in the doorway and allowing the wind to evaporative the water and provide cooling. Port-A-Cool® units utilize the same natural cooling methods, but have implemented state-of-the-art technology to perfect the process, always keeping in mind the company’s commitment to preserving our environment. Port-A-Cool® units use less than a dollar a day in resources to provide air an average of 7-15 degrees celsius cooler than surrounding air. Because the Port-A-Cool® unit uses a natural cooling process, no harmful greenhouse gases, like CO2 expelled from traditional air conditioning systems, are released into the air to harm our ozone layer.

An environmentally friendly process for cooling, coupled with being “green” before “green” was cool. That has always been the “natural” choice for Port-A-Cool, LLC.

For more information, or to locate a distributor near you, call +34- 932 312 810 or Or, you can visit us online at

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Newsweek: The greenest big companies in America

The magazine NEWSWEEK has been researching the green efforts of US Companies. . For more than a year, the magazine worked with leading environmental researchers KLD Research & Analytics, Trucost, and to rank the 500 largest U.S. companies based on their actual environmental performance, policies, and reputation.
Click here to read the Green Ranking and here to read the full article about this ranking.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

First environmental friendly bar dancing: Watt in Rotterdam

Today an article in the Dutch Telegraaf was published about the first sustainable disco: Watt in Roterdam. This disco, following the 3P-principles (people, planet and party) gets a lot of atention for its green measurements taken. The floor is generating energy, the more the clients the dance, the more energy will be generated. Each area indicates the effect of their way of dancing. Other sustainable measurements are the use of rainwater and for example zero waste bars.
Click on the link of de Telegraaf to see the video.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Driving electrical vehicles in The Netherlands

Dutch newspaper “De Telegraaf” mentions that the consumers who choose to drive an electricity driven vehicle, do not have pay (additional) taxes on their vehicles. This counts for the first two years and the years after that it will be 7 per cent. The normal percentage in The Netherlands for an environmental-friendly car is 14 per cent.

The measurement will be announced later this year, as say well-informed sources from the car sector. Purchasing an elecrical car will remain tax-free untill 2018.

The aim of the new financial plans is to encourage manufacturers to produce electricity driven vehicles, there these type of cars are cleaner, more silent and environmental-friendly.

“De Telegraaf”

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Looking for a biological restaurant in The Netherlands?

The Dutch newspaper Trouw published an overview of the Biological Restaurants that you can visit in The Netherlands. So do you live in The Netherlands or are you planning a visit to The Netherlands and are you looking for a biological restaurant nearby your place of residence, take a look at the website of Trouw.

The Green Store: A greener choice

When you are interested in living greener, we would like to refer to the website The Green Store. This store is an Eco Online Store, with a wide range of environmental friendly products. With these green products you can help to reduce the impact on the planet. The assortment of eco-friendly products is changing rapidly, there the market is introducing more and more green products.
At the website you can also find various tips and tricks of how to live greener, varying from eco office tips, general eco tips up to information on palm oil.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

KLM Airlines generates electricity from garbage rests

Dutch newspaper “De Telegraaf” mentions today that The Dutch Airlines company KLM will generate electricity by using the garbage rests of the meals that come out of the planes. The daily quantity of 50.000 plates of rest garbage appear to be the ideal source for creating new energy.

Next year at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol there will start a test where the plastic couvert, cups and meal rests will be transformed into electricity and warmth. With the generated electricity the suitcases will be transported into the planes. The obtained CO2 will be used as plant nutrition in the greenhouses nearby the airport.

The traditional problem for the airline companies is that the garbage rests from the flights cannot leave the airport area due to the strict security rules. With this new green test they try to find a solution to improve the environment.

Source: De Telegraaf

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Pizza Fusion, a “Fresh, Organic, and Earth Friendly” Pizza place

The American Pizza Fusion is one of the leading US pizza chains looking at the environmental-friendly measurements this company takes.
The environmental mission of this pizza company is to create a sustainable future through the preservation and improvement of the environment with all aspects of their operations and existence. They strive to improve the social, economical and environmental well being of the world through:
- The support of sustainable business by seeking out environmentally conscious vendors and suppliers to partner with
- Environmental eduction to raise awareness for more sustainable approaches to living and business
- Educating the general public on the importance of sustainable living through ecological community service, consumer education and environmental mentoring
- Lobbying for political action to support a more sustainable future
- The support of organic agriculture
- The continuous evaluation of the ecological impact in their processes to reduce their nvironmental footprint.
Some of the measurements they take are the:
- at home delivery of the products with hybrid cars
- discounts for clients who return their pizza boxes
- using eco-friendly materials
- printing their in-store graphics on a banner material made from 100% recycled plastic soda bottles and printed using non-VOC inks
- Building their restaurants according to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification standards set forth by the United States Green Building Council by utilizing a variety of unique energy efficient tactics and eco-friendly products

Friday, 14 August 2009

Emission free distibution center of TNT Real Estate opened in Veenendaal (The Netherlands)

Under the name “Planet Me” the TNT Post is working constantly to further sustainability in their business. This varies from the change of motors in their vans up to the construction or renovation of their distribution centers.

In 2008 the organization placed in Veenendaal “ the most sustainable warehouse of The Netherlands”. This distribution center measures 1.500 square meters (300 sqm offices) and is constructed resulting into an emission free building. All the aspects of the building: design, architecture, materials and the construction methods were realized with the focus on sustainability and energy savings.

The total electricity consumption of 55.000 kWh is completely covered by sustainable energy sources at this location. The builder DGBC-participant VolkersWessels (designer and constructor) had the task to reduce the energy consumption as much as possible. This means good isolation, triple glass and smart ventilation. For the lighthing the day light is used as much as possible. The cooling and refrigeration of the building with subtarrenean warmth and cooling storage. On the roof there are placed several sun panels. When there is no sun, TNT consumes green energy of the electricity network.
A surplus of energy is returned to the energy network when for example the sun panels generate more energy than needed.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Day of Sustainability in The Netherlands 09-09-09

The Netherlands celebrates its “Day of The Sustainability”, Wednesday the 9th of September 2009. At 09-09-09 there are a lot of sustainable activities organized in the whole country, at different locations.

The Netherlands shows the greenest and most social side: big companies and small businesses present their green products, social organizations organize promotions and governments show their effort in promotiong electric cars, scooters and electric recharge points. There are congresses with the theme sustainability, schools participate with several activities and many more actions are done during this sustainable day.

A team of the initiator Urgenda visits, together with several Famous Dutch People, per train and with a total of 99 electrical vehicles several proyects. Urgenda is an organization which target is to promote the sustainability in The Netherlands. Dutch companies, governments, organizations or schools (and even consumers) who want to participate or want to have more information can take a look at their website.

This can be recycling of products, the start of a green campaign, a press release or congress or discounts for green products.


Monday, 27 July 2009

Guardian Charity Awards 2008 Winner: Action for Sustainable Living

Action for Sustainable Living aims to engage people and communities to change their lifestyles in areas such as recycling, waste, energy and growing their own food and tries to help people live more sustainably.
To see the movie: click here.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

New generation green supermarket Tengelmann Klimarkt

Tengelmann opened half a year ago their first Tengelmann Klimamarkt. This follows the objective that the supermarket chain Tengelmann gave itself. Before 2020 they want to reduce to the level of CO2-emissions with at least 20 per cent. Environmental and natural solutions to save the environment.

Their newest Klimamarkt can be seen as an example of an environmental-friendly store. This green supermarket uses 50% less energy than the traditional supermarket and they also succeeded to reduce the emission of CO2 to almost the level of 0.

What did they do and how did they do it? This green supermarket of the newest generation, warmth is being used to transform it into energy, the cooling and refrigeration departments have environmental-friendly furniture with all the doors closed. Furthermore there was a lighting plan created, were LED-lighting could promote the products, make them more sustainable and reduce the level of energy.

Belgian Supermarket Chain Colruyt obtaining energy in their supermarkets by introducing Sun Panels

The Belgian supermarket chain Colruyt is looking for ways to obtain a sustainable way of obtaining energy, this energy needs to support reducing the emission of CO2-gases. The price stunter will install as many sun panels as possible on the roofs of their supermarkets, where possible this will be the new way how the supermarkets obtain their energy.

Currently Colruyt already obtains 7 million kWh of electricity by wind mills, sun panels and warmth recuperation. The Belgian is with these action leading the Benelux revolution in green retailing. In neighbour country The Netherlands we do not yet see this many way to use sustainable energy in the supermarkets.

Mars further develops plan with new action to Sustainable Business

After our recent article of the Green order System of Mars in the Netherlands, Mars comes up with a new action to sustainable business. The Green Order System has the objective to change the order behaviour to reduce the emission of CO2. The impact on the environment will be measured and communicated to the clients.
Mars now communicated that after 2020 they want to produce 100.000 tons cacao with the UTZ-Sustainability certificate. The UTZ-Sustainibility organization focuses in higher productivity on the same area, with the aim to reduce the loss of wood and to improve the income of the cacao farmers. Untill 2020 this will be adapted in different phases.

This manufactured chocolate will be used in the Mars products like Bounty, Twix and Mars. Next to the UTZ certification Mars also works with Rainforest Alliance. The method of UTZ is a structural approach to improve the productivity and reduce the level of poorness in the areas. Farmers learn how to improve their productivity, with improved methods. Furthermore they explain that farmers need to produce a wider assortment of products, to avoid depending to much on one product. Mars thinks this new production methods will increase the benefits between 30 and 50 per cent, mainly focusing on Ivory Coast (worlds biggest manufacturer of cocao for Mars).

UTZ Certified Good Inside is dedicated to creating an open and transparent marketplace for agricultural products. It offers coffee, tea and cocoa certification programs and manages traceability for RSPO certified palm oil, UTZ CERTIFIED vision is to achieve sustainable agricultural supply chains where farmers are professionals implementing good practices which lead to better businesses, where the food industry takes responsability by demanding and rewarding sustainably grown products, and where consumers buy products which meet their standard for social and environmental responsability.

Monday, 20 July 2009

American retail study shows that low Income Shoppers are More Willing to Pay a Premium for Sustainability

The company Miller Zell an Atlanta based retail specialist company researches several different of topics inside the world of retail. Today this retail company published their study on green retailing, which type of consumer purchases green products.
The traditional thougth is that consumers who are most interested in environmental-friendly products have a higher income and overall lifestyle commitment to eco-friendly living. In the research done by this retail design and strategy firm Miller Zell the result is that shoppers with a lower income are the ones purchasing green products.

In the study it states that Income is not the only important factor when consumers decide to do green shopping, consumers with lower income are willing to pay a premium for green products. Women are also willing to pay more than men for green products.

The interest of consumers in sustainable products did not result yet in good promotion and information on the green products manufacturers and retailers have. Wal-Mart last week launched the plan to obtain information on the effects on the environment of their products and communicate the effect of the purchase of this product on the environment.

The study also shows the channels that are most effective to trigger the interest of the shopper in green products as well as differences between the different generations and genders.
To download a copy of the study results, visit the Miller Zell blog, Inside the Aisle at
Does the outcome of this research come as a surprise for you? Which actions do you take to save the environment? Which advices would you like to share with the other readers of this blog?

Organic Food Program and Carbon Neutral Program of Dole

The banana producer, Dole, lets customers “travel to the origin of each organic product”. By typing in a fruit sticker's three-digit Farm Code on Dole Organic's website, customers can read background info, view photos of the farm and workers and learn more about the origin of Dole products (
Dole produces organically-grown bananas in its own farms and sources from independent organic growers located in Honduras, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Colombia and Peru for the European and North American Markets and recently in the Philippines for the Asian Market. 100% of Dole’s organic bananas are certified organic and follow the organic production standards as set by the law in the US, EU or Japan.

Furthermore Dole has a carbon neutral program:
'Carbon neutral,' as applied to the banana and pineapple product supply chains, means that the carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted to produce, pack, transport and distribute the fruit will be offset by mitigation practices which increase the capture of CO2 in order to achieve a 'neutral' balance. These practices entail new, more efficient transportation methods, changes to agricultural processes to reduce CO2 emissions, and partnering with local farmers to implement preservation and reforestation programs.

US Retailer Food Lion to open first green store

US Retailer Food Lion (South Carolina) is planning to open the first green store of the formula and the first LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) grocery store in the region.

The store will feature a number of environmentally friendly construction and energy-efficient services, including an on-site recycling center, skylights for natural lighting, educational kiosks and preferred parking for low-emitting vehicles.By building the first LEED grocery store they plan to reduce energy costs by more than 20 per cent compared to a typical supermarket as well as conserve 44 per cent more water than other Food Lion stores.

For nearly a decade, Food Lion has been dedicated to numerous sustainability initiatives, such as energy conservation and reducing carbon dioxide emissions throughout its 11-state footprint, reducing its energy consumption by more than 27 per cent since 2000 or 2.5 trillion BTUs.”Food Lion’s first green store is expected to open in the fourth quarter of 2009 and will provide employment for approximately 50 associates. Food Lion currently operates 145 South Carolina stores and employs more than 7,600 associates in the state.

Communication of origen of fair-trade products

Yesterday in our article we mentioned the importancy of the communication to your customer that your store a green store is and how which measurements your company take to make it green(er). The same accounts for fair-trade products, where do they come from and how are they produced.
One good example of communication of origen of fair-trade products is the English company Chippindale Foods. This retailer offers full egg traceability via their website Every egg in the supermarket is foreseen of a tracking code. When the clients types in the code into their website, it gives full information on the origen of the egg. Furthermore there are menu suggestions and information on the production of "green" eggs.

What are the green effects and advantages of online shopping?

In an article in the Guardian we could read a topic from Lucy Siegle about the green effect and advantages of shopping online. It sound very environmental friendly to do your shopping from the computer, but is this really true?

In the United Kingdom they expect the online Shopping to grow up to 21,3 billion pounds in 2011, a growth with almost 9 billion pounds. Some people do their shopping with the computer, because they consider it to be green, less transport and less shopping bags. There have been several studies on this topic.

One of these studies goes back to 2000 when Webvan, a big US onliner retailer, when they concluded that wider adoption of online shopping would not result into environmental profits, another study in 2002 of US book retailing did not see greater energy savings when buying online.
One of the most recent studies is the study of Carnegie Mellon University, where they concluded that shopping online via resulted in a decrease of 35 per cent energy consumption and CO2 emissions than the traditional retailer (where they loose energy because of the open doors of the store and bad refrigeration furniture for example).

This effect is caused by the save of the driving to the stores and for example less receipts. But both ways to do your shopping need the transportation to get it to the distribution centers, stores or at home. We can now see more and more retailers who introduce electricity home-delivery cars like the Spanish supermarket chain Condis or the Eco-Truck of Delhaize in Belgium where the route is better planned and the load is bigger to save extra kilometers.

Online shopping may prove marginally more green in terms of energy saving but we see retailers more and more take measurements to save energy, reduce CO2 emissions and acting green.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Green retailing guide for retailers

What are the advantages and opportunities for a retailer in green retailers? Where do they need to think of and which measurerement they can apply now? A small guide into green retailing.

Some important questions retailers need to think about when they choose a supplier looping at the environmental benefits of this supplier and his products.

What kind of company is your supplier, how are their production methods, are they looping for ways to reduce pollution and garbage and are they reducing the level of energy and water?

Where is your supplier located? What does this mean for the pollution of the transport from the factory to the distribution center and finally the supermarket? This is a difficult paradox, once a company decided to quit all the African products from their assortment to reduce the level of transportation and emissions of gases, on the other hand this decision resulted into a lot of difficulties of the farmers and suppliers in Africa.

What happens with the product after use of this product? What is the level of garbage? Can this be re-used? Can it be recycled?

Communicate with your clients, make sure that your claims can be proved! If you say to reduce the level of plastic bags, reduction of CO2 make sure it happens and very important make it understandable for the consumers.

Communicate how things are measured and what the effects on the environment are. Display these environmental friendly products on an important place, support them with labels of the environmental impacts of the products and the packaging.

Opportunities in green retail
Green retailing gives you a good opportunity to win the trust and the loyalty of the consumers. Search for the measurements you can take to get a green store: Offer reusable packaging and bags, to return it to the supplier or that the consumer can re-use it. Install energy efficient lighting and water saving devices in-store (for example rainwater installation to re-use the water). Reward your customers when they do not need a bag.
Vary the size of a bag; convenience stores can work with smaller bags than traditional supermarkets, offer different sizes.

Tell your customers and employees about your efforts to save the planet!

The advantages for the retailer
- Your customers feel good about shopping in your store
- You reduce your impact on the environment
- Your employees enjoy a better working environment
- You improve your companies “green” image
- You save and earn money

Insight in the retail of the future: the importance of green retailing

The company Accenture did a research about how the retail industry would look like in the year 2020, what are the mayor technological, socio-demographic and business trends we can export in the future of retail. Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, committed to delivering innovation.

In this research they recognize the environment to be one of the most important factor for today´s retailers. Before the retailers did not see that much the importance but consumer demands, regulations from the government and the effect of green organizations changed the world of retail.
Some of the leading retailers started the green revolution, seeking to obtain an environmental-friendly and sustainable business. Tesco for example wants to be recognized "a leader in helping to create a low-carbon economy.” Tesco for example introduced new transportation methods, invested in recycling centers and introduce to their consumers the level of carbon that every product contains and how much they can save purchasing a certain type of product.
Coop, one of the world’s largest grocery chain, is basing its product ranges on green propositions. In fact, working with products of Bio Suisse, 30 organic farming organizations and around 6.300 farms producing organic products in Switzerland.
Accenture asks itself in this report some questions about what will happen in the development in green retail, how will the environmental plan adapted into retail strategies? Premium payments for environmental-friendly products, more low-energy production, and the creation of new—higher—standards for ethical trading?
What do you think what will happen in green retail in the future months and years?

Friday, 17 July 2009

Wal-Mart Supermarkets to share the green impact of their products and services

The American supermarket giant, actual world leader in sales, wants to inform their client more on green retailing impact of their products and services. By better giving information about their products, the clients of Wal-Mart have more options to choose their preferred (green) supplier or products. To obtain this required information all the suppliers need to give an insight of the environmental effect and use of energy of their products.

In history this is the biggest impact on green retailing. The data obtained will result into a rating-system, which will be communicated on the shelves of the supermarkets.

The aim of this new environmental program is to reduce the use of energy, the reduce the level of garbage and to stimulate sustainability in retail. For the manufacturers and suppliers it has a big impact, they need to invest in obtaining the information. To better compete with their competitors and to obtain a better score on the Wal-Marts scorecard and the communication to the customers. To get the total plan operation it will take several years, the Wal-Mart concern expects everything to be ready in ten years. Experts think they can introduce it earlier, in 2011, supported by the wave of environmental measurements international retailers introduce.

An earlier measurement of Wal-Mart (the introduction of energy-efficient lamps in their assortment) had a positive effect on the environment, this green initiative already resulted into the sales of over 100 million energy-efficient lamps.

Supermarkets United Kingdom achieve carrier use reduction of 50% since 2006

Leading supermarkets have failed to meet a target on cutting the use of carrier bags given to customers despite Government campaigns

The amount of plastic bags used by supermarkets has dropped according to research by almost a half in the last three years. This means that retailers were very close to achieving their desired aim of cutting the use by 50%.

This measurement has been taken from leading supermarkets in the United Kingdom Tesco, Waitrose, Asda, Somerfield, Marks and Spencer and the Co-op. This announcement comes as there have been calls this week for supermarkets to be more open about the amount of carriers they use.

Last year, these seven supermarket chains signed up to a voluntary agreement with the Government to achieve a 50 per cent cut in the number of bags given out compared to 2006. In May 2006, 718 million bags were being given out - by May 2009 this had almost halved to 372 million, a reduction of 48 per cent.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Sustainability - should it be just about "green" products or should we focus on sustaining our generations?

By Kyle Howell - VIP Recruiter at NWA Green Expo
Most of the topics and discussions about Sustainability are always focused on products or services related to making products more sustainable. I have been working on planning for the 2010 NWA Green Expo and had a meeting today with a non-profit called Teen Action Support Center. This was an eye opening experience that led me to this discussion.
Sustainability is not just about the "greening" of products or our habits, but it also is about taken care of our generations to ensure they are aware and able to take care of the environment. There is always a human side to everything we do. Now, the NWA Green Expo will be partnering with the Teen Action Support Center to create an overall expo that addresses products/services for both the earth and human benefit.
I would like to know what your thoughts on this are and if you have already seen this type of partnership in action, let me know some tips on how to make it successful. Now, to advertise the expo. The expo is hosted by the Bentonville/Bella Vista Chamber of Commerce. It will take place on April 30th - May 1st, 2010, in Bentonville, AR. I am currently trying to sign up keynote speakers, so if you know any or are aware of companies that would be willing to sponsor such speakers, please contact me at

Aquié (Grupo Cuevas) development of green supermarket

Grupo Cuevas is a famous Spanish chestnut manufacturer, who had the wish to develop a new innovative supermarket concept in the region of Galicia, especially in the Ourense Area, next to their 25 supermarkets.

Together with Jos de Vries The Retail Company the formula Aquié has been developed during in 2008 which was based on a new, modern design, the use of new technologies and a well-balanced assortment of healthy groceries. Everything developed thinking of the trend on sustainable Retailing. The company only supplies bio-recycable bags and when the client brings his own bag the client gets a small reward from Aquié. The furniture and lighting was selected on the environmental advantages because of the low consumption of energy.

Next to these innovative aspects of Green Retailing the clients can choose from a selected assortment of daily varying fresh and healthy menus (to prepare or prepacked). These products are tested and prepared by the university of Vigo to create an ecological and healthy product assortment and offering meal solutions for the customers.

This fifth generation supermarket of Aquié directly was very succesfull with this new innovative concept. They are that succesfull that they opened their 2nd store already (in A Porriño, Galicia). The first supermarket could welcome over 1.250 visitors on a daily base and the turn-over is over 29% higher than the other stores of the Grupo Cuevas.

The supermarket concept of Aquié has been choosen as one of the most innovative new retail concepts in the world during the recent World Retail Awards in Barcelona.

Sustainable packing an emerging consumer trend - study

The increasing importance of sustainable packaging as a consumer issue means companies need to constantly reassess the amount of packing they use, according to a new report.

The study, from market analysts Datamonitor, said while sustainable packaging is not yet the main reason for purchasing a product, it is becoming a “consumer expectation”. It is one of a growing number of issues – including ethics, economics and environmentalism- that is driving consumer choice, said report author Matthew Adams.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

New Retail Lighting Guide from Carbon Trust UK

The Carbon Trust has published a new guide on how to reduce display lighting costs in the retail sector. The document is entitled "Display lighting - Creating maximum impact with minimal energy consumption".
The guide shows that retailers could cut their display lighting usage by up to 30% by adopting the latest energy saving technology.In addition, as LED lighting advances the potential savings will be greater.The guide can be downloaded from the website of Carbon Trust (downloading the doucment is for free but registration is required).

Organic Food Concept The Netherlands realized by Jos de Vries The Retail Company



Green order and delivery system in retail sector

Mars Company in the Netherlands is testing a new initiative in logistics: Green order. The objective is to change the order behaviour to reduce the emission of CO2. The impact on the environment will be measured and communicated to the clients. When an order is placed the emission of CO2 will be mentioned at the delivery receipt, to see the effects of the order on the environment.

With Green Order Mars wants to support social responsability and improve the occupation grade of the delivery trucks. The project will be done together with transport company Kuehne + Nagel and the consultancy agency Capgemini.

Introducing the Green Order system they also hope to reduce the number of traffic jams and have lower costs because of a more efficient delivery system. The client will benefit by the more efficient receival of products. Clients will also get a “logistic customer scorecard”, where supplier and client can formulate their environment goals.

German retailer REWE launches plan to reduce CO2 emission by 30 per cent

The German retailer REWE has announced plans to reduce its annual CO2 emissions of 2.5 million tons by 30 per cent by 2015. Compared to the 2006 reference year, the CO2 emissions per square metre of sales floor area will thus be reduced from 320 kg to 224 kg. To achieve this goal, the company will cooperate with the Öko-Institut in Germany and with the Federal Office for the Environment in Austria in the collection and evaluation of data and in taking further steps.

More than 60 per cent of the total emissions of REWE Group are caused by the factor "electricity". By increasing the energy efficiency of the stores and by the switching to green electricity important steps towards achieving the corporate climate goals have already been taken. Now, the aspects of refrigerating agents (15 per cent of the emissions), heat (12 per cent), logistics (8 per cent), paper consumption (3 per cent) and business travels (2 per cent) are on the agenda.

French supermarket chain E.Leclerc launched website for fairtrade products

The French supermarket chain E.Leclerc and Alter ECO (promotor of fair trade products) work together and developed a website ( to inform and educate the French consumers about the origen and availabilty of the FairTrade Products in their French Leclerc supermarkets.
Information point and meant to created an increase awareness of the use and benefits of the fair trade concepts. The website shows fairtrade products, services and fair trade projects. Leclerc sold last year for a total of 22 million euro on fair trade products, this means a 18,5% of the total turn-over of fairtrade products in France. Alter Eco Americas Corporation is a start-up dedicated to the import and distribution of fair trade food products.

Recycling of packages in Spanish market

The Spanish recycling organisation Ecoembes, recycled last year 1.229.636 tons of packages, a total of 62% of the total market of packages. Furthermore they could turn 99.111 tons into energy value. A total of 1.328.747 tons of packages, 67% of the total market value, was recuperated.

If we look at the typs of material we can see that paper and cartoon was the biggest product group, followed by plastics (+12%) and metal.
The results are higher than the law of packaging from 1997 states. Spain can be placed more and more by the best recycling countries of Europe, countries like France, United Kingdom, Sweden, Czech Republic or Norway.

Since the start of Ecoembes in 1998 they avoided the waste of over 10 million tons of packages, this is the same amount as the contact of 750 football stadions of FC Barcelona. Of this number they recycled over 8 millions of tons, a saving of 7,7 million of tons of CO2, 8.900 Mwh energy (yearly consumption of 900.000 housholds).

In Spain an increasing number of families and companies have the option to separate their garbage. A number of 12.376 Spanish companies work with Ecoembes (90% of the total amount of packaging). The biggest sector of recycling is the food sector, followed by the drinks sector and companies of hygienic and beauty products.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Green Retailing in the Netherlands is booming

n The Netherlands you see the trend that despite, or maybe thanks to, the crisis, that green retailing is hot. For some important Dutch retailers it was a stimulation to further focus on green retailing, sustainable and repsonsable retailing.

When the economical crisis began, many people were afraid of the effects on green retailing, that companies would choose for cost savings instead of social responsability. Partly this happened, retailers competing on price without thinking to much of the environment, but we also some innovative new initiatives to develop environment-friendly retail projects.

Research shows that 59% of the Dutch people is prepared to pay an extra for more sustainable products and/or services.

Below we give some examples of the Dutch retail sector of how some of the mayor players adapted to environmental-friendly and honest retailing.

Maxeda, the organization of 11 retailers launched a program called “keen on green”.
La Place for example serves only Max Havelaar coffee and biological tea

De Bijenkorf launched a clothing brand “Pure”, all products made of biological cotton

V&D increased the assortment of with a lot of new green products

DIY-markets Formado and Praxis increasingly add new construction materials which are used to make houses more environmental friendly, they even decreased the format of the leaflets which are now printed on environmental friendly paper.

Project “The Green Plug” of BCC electronics chain, increasing the consciousness of the consumers for environmental solutions like saving light bulbs. Clients can borrow energy meters for free.

Clothing brands G-Sus and Mexx are now members of the Fair Wear Foundation

Development of Dutch bio-shopping-mall

In the Dutch city Almere they are working and developing a new bio-shopping-mall. The design is foreseen of a green environmental-friendly roof-top. The green roof, let the shopping-mall integrate with the environment, it is also works as a water reservoir, isolation of heatness and coolness and as roof for the parking. It also it seems a parc. The idea is to integrate a greenhouse under the roof. In the shopping mall they can sell the produce of this greenhouse in a biological restaurant and supermarket.

The total area measures 2.500 sqm, everything built in an environmental friendly way, including a supermarket, biological restaurant, several stores and 28 appartments (selected for the image and sustainability).

Ecolabel: the label for green retailers

The European Ecolabel is a voluntary scheme, established in 1992 to encourage businesses to market products and services that are kinder to the environment. Products and services awarded the Ecolabel carry the flower logo, allowing consumers - including public and private purchasers - to identify them easily. Today the EU Ecolabel covers a wide range of products and services, with further groups being continuously added. Product groups include cleaning products, appliances, paper products, textile and home and garden products, lubricants and services such as tourist accommodation.

While the logo may be simple, the environmental criteria behind it are tough, and only the very best products, which are kindest to the environment, are entitled to carry the EU Ecolabel. What is more, this is a label that consumers can genuinely trust. The criteria are agreed at European level, following wide consultation with experts, and the label itself is only awarded after verification that the product meets these high environmental and performance standards.

The EU Ecolabel is a rapidly growing brand. Many producers wanting to sell their products across Europe have realised the benefits that the European Ecolabel brings. Products bearing the Flower logo can be marketed throughout the European Union and the EEA countries (Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein).
The voluntary nature of the scheme means that it does not create barriers to trade. On the contrary - many producers find that it gives them a competitive advantage.
Ecolabel criteria are not based on one single factor, but on studies which analyse the impact of the product or service on the environment throughout its life-cycle, starting from raw material extraction in the pre-production stage, through to production, distribution and disposal.
The flower logo helps manufacturers, retailers and service providers gain recognition for good standards, while helping purchasers to make reliable choices. The EU Ecolabel is part of a broader action plan on Sustainable Consumption and Production and Sustainable Industrial Policy adopted by the Commission on 16 July 2008.

Over the past ten years, the "Flower" has become a European-wide symbol for products, providing simple and accurate guidance to consumers.All products bearing the "Flower" have been checked by independent bodies for complying with strict ecological and performance criteria.
There are currently twenty-three different product groups, and already more than 250 licences have been awarded for several hundred products.

The EU Eco-label is administered by the European Eco-labelling Board (EUEB) and receives the support of theEuropean Commission, all Member States of the European Union andthe European Economic Area (EEA).The Eco-labelling Board includesrepresentatives such as industry,environment protection groupsand consumer organisations.
Check for the manufacturers and retailers who have this label and/or for more information on this topic.

Dutch soft drink manufacturers plan saving energy

The Dutch soft drink sector will save yearly 2 per cent in energy costs. This plan will include the yearly saving untill 2020. The cooperation of Soft Drinks, Juices and Waters (Dutch name FWS), including companies like Coca Cola, Vrumona, Refresco, United Softdrinks and Hero, agreed this last Friday with the government.

The focus point of the agreement is to lower the quantity of energy per product, for example looking to reduce the quantity of water. The participating companies are responsable for 80% of the energy use in the soft drinks sector.

Trends in Retail: green companies need to think and act green

Trends in Retail: The consumer research of Capgemini shows that there are many new green companies in retail. This research is done together with TNS NIPO and shows the yearly trends and developments in the retail sector.

At the area of eco-retailing / green retailing the most important changes of the retail sector are seen. The consumer can rapidly change their buying behaviour but with the choice for green companies and green products they are secure of their choice; they think green. The influence of green retailing is increasing, many new companies are launched. The companies need to invest in new, fresh concepts with the real green story. It is not only telling that you are a green retail company but more important think and act as a green retailing company.

Asda Supermarket introduces environmental friendly beef product

As one of the first UK supermarkets, Asda has achieved an environmentally friendly product in its low carbon beef. Having made efforts to establish and lower the level Co2 emission of its dairy bulls, the store is now offering beef that emits a third less carbon than the standard twenty-four month cattle. The chain has produced the industry's lowest carbon rate in meat produce.

This new method of supply won the Best Head Office Initiative Award at the 2009 Supermeat and Fish Awards in London last week. The supermarket chain, worked closely together with their suppliers, now rearing dairy bulls for 9-11 months in order to reduce the carbon measurement emitted from the dairy bull during its lifetime. The results are smaller and more manageable portions, a more positive impact on the environment, and a cheaper product for consumers.

Asda hopes that the operation can benefit their stores throughout the UK and that it results into a greener and cheaper product which benefits suppliers, retailers and consumers alike. The group hopes to extend this production process into dairy products like eggs.

Spanish supermarket chain Condis focuses in green retailing by using electric delivery van

The Spanish supermarket chain Condis gives a new impuls to sustainabilty in retail. The last result is the introduction of the electric delivery van, delivering the internet orders at home. The initiative will be tested first in the region of Barcelona, but there are plans to adapt it also to the rest of the stores in Spain.

The new ecological delivery van reaches a maximum speed of 80 kilometer per hour and has a reach of 160 kilometer with an availability of 2 tons of weigth. The recharge point is located at the central office in Montcada I Reixach (province of Barcelona), where the chain also placed 200 sun panels and biodiesel tank for the current vans.

At this moment the Condis Group posesses 20 delivery vans in the metropolitan area of Barcelona to deliver the internet orders at home. The new delivery van, being the first food distributor in Spain, will not be added to the current number of delivery vans but will replace the traditional ones. The big advantage of this new delivery van is that there is no emission of CO2, next to the lower costs in maintenance there the motor is more easy to repair.

Condis supermarkets are located in Catalonia and in the centre of Madrid, with 193 owned supermarkets and 224 franchisers. In 2008 the Condis Group made a turn-over of 762 million euros.

Delhaize Belgium launches ecological, multi-temperature truck

Delhaize Belgium launched a new ecological, multi-temperature truck to limite the impact on the environment and mobility. With 2 levels with differing temperatures this truck has more space inside, therefor less trucks are needed to transport the products to the supermarkets. Less trucks results into lower emission of CO2 and less trafic jams. In the strategy of sustainibility Delhaize also makes a lot of efforts in green retailing. The truck drivers were trained in “eco-proactive driving” to drive more ecological. In 2008 a new planning has been introduced, resulting into 40 trucks less, 2 million kilometers and a reduce in emission of CO2 with 21.000ton. The Ecotruck has now been launched to further lower the emission of CO2. The ecotruck will be used for the longer distances.

More products can be transported because of the 60% extra capacity. With 2 levels and different temperatures more product groups can be transported at once. The first results of this new eco-truck are very positive. Delhaize is now thinking of adding 3 new Eco-trucks to their car park.

Sainsbury´s opens new flagship green store in United Kingdom

Sainsbury’s Dartmouth store is run on renewable energy, reducing CO2 emissions by 40%.

Sainsbury´s opened a new flagship green store in Dartmouth, Devon (United Kingdom), in August 2008. Built with respect for the use of natural resources, including energy, water, waste, timber and land, the store was specifically designed to reduce both its operational and embodied carbon.

The pioneering store will save 40% of its overall CO2 emissions, achieved by the use of cutting edge technology. The store’s ‘biomass boiler' will heat both the building and water, using locally sourced wood that would otherwise be wasted. By using renewable energy, the amount of energy consumed from the national grid has been dramatically reduced by 50%.

Sainsbury's Dartmouth has been designed to leak fewer draughts and employs other measures, such as 'quiet revolution wind turbines' ™, to power the checkouts. This is contributing to cutting electricity usage (kWh) by a third overall.

Further carbon savings are made through the use of lower lighting levels and increased use of daylight, and cool air will be collected from chillers to keep the store cool during warmer months.

Rainwater harvesting is one of the techniques being used to reduce water consumption. Collected rainwater is used to flush customer and colleague toilets, and to irrigate plants. The store will save over one million litres of mains water every year, and uses 60% less water overall as a result.

The store's construction is also environmentally responsible, and where possible recycled or recyclable materials have been used or FSC-approved timber. As 200 trees have been used for the frame of the store, Sainsbury's will also re-plant 400 trees in the local community.

The Dartmouth store is an important stage in the plans to roll out sustainable features to the remainder for further expansion of Sainsbury´s in the United Kingdom. These plans make a significant contribution to their overall target to reduce CO2 emissions per square metre by 25% by 2012.

More information on

McDonalds goes green with Eco Learning Lab in Chicago

When you think of McDonald´s you do not directly think of green retailing, but this will change. In August 2008 McDonald´s opened the first green restaurant in Chicago. This new restaurant is seen as a “learning lab”, testing all green technologies to adapt to existing and new restaurants.

The new site design includes Unilock permeable pavers on the parking lot, which allow maximum water drainage while maintaining a surface strong enough to support the traffic of a 24-hour restaurant. The use of permeable pavers will also reduce the cost of the onsite drainage system, clean surface stormwater and minimize stormwater runoff. The drive-through lanes have been built with reflective concrete.

The restaurant’s exterior signage is constructed around energy-efficient light-emitting diodes (LEDs), just the second time such lighting has been used on a McDonald’s. By using signage with LEDs rather than traditional sign lighting, McDonald’s will consume less energy – aprox. 25% less enegry. The LEDs will last ten to twenty times longer than the average incandescent light bulb. Along with the environmental benefits and energy efficiency they provide, LEDS also supply strong lighting In addition, TV screens in the dining area help educate customers about the restaurant’s green features.

When fast food diners have finished their burgers they don’t have to dump their waste in the trash. Collection containers around the property encourage patrons to recycle food containers, newspapers and plastic bottles, and the kitchen preparation area has its own set of receptacles for packing related recycleables.

The site itself is landscaped with hardy, native plants, resulting in much-diminished water needs; no potable water will be used for irrigation. Water collection systems have been set up to channel rainwater from the roof and condensation from the HVAC system into a cistern buried underground that will then re circulate the water for irrigation. The highlight of the landscaping effort is a rain garden, which promotes natural sheet draining of rain water and ultimately serves to recharge the aquifer deep below the surface of the soil. The rain garden will also scrub pollutants out of water that drains from the drive-through lanes, which may carry automobile pollutants. Overall, the company is hoping for a 50 percent reduction in water use through these sustainable techniques.
McDonald’s new “learning lab” also features a green roof: the upper portion is more functional, planted with extensive species, while the lower portion has been made attractive to passers-by through the use of more visible plants, semi-intensive.

In the building’s mechanical guts, a pair of heat-recovery systems are positioned to draw heat from the condensing units. Solartube skylights are visible throughout the restaurant to take advantage of natural light and reduce energy use. The indoor artificial lighting is controlled by a sophisticated system that adjusts the foot-candle illumination based on light entering through the skylights. Lighting controls will also sense and adjust energy use in lavatories and support spaces.

Inside the restaurant, the dining room is filled with materials made from recycled content, and paints and cleaning chemicals were chosen for their low environmental impact.

Reducing the use of Plastic Carrier Bags in retail

One of the most succesfull campaigns about plastic carrier bags was where the market town of Modbury in Devon banned all shoppers from using plastic carrier bags. People were instead provided with biodegradable cornstarch, recyclable paper or reusable cotton and jute bags.

In 2007, hundreds of rich fashionistas queued outside Sainsbury’s to buy a bag designed by Anya Hindmarsh (a designer, see left for an example) carrying the slogan “I’m not a plastic bag”. For a while this became the latest must-have accessory.

In February 2007, the retail industry agreed to reduce the overall environmental impact of carrier bags by 25 per cent by the end of 2008. This is a comprehensive objective aimed at cutting the total amount of raw materials and energy used in bag manufacture and minimising the effect of their disposal. This will involve: reducing the environmental impact (using alternative materials and lighter weight bags); encouraging customers to take or use fewer bags; and enabling the recycling of bags, eg by offering collection facilities.

7 billion plastic bags are given away annually in the UK of which only 1 in 200 are recycled, according to The Guardian. Environmental groups complain that the bags use up natural resources, consume energy to manufacture, create litter, choke marine life and add to landfill waste. It goes without saying, of course, that all those copies of The Guardian, its supplements and blasted wallcharts never add to global warming.

London Councils are to urge the Government to allow them to set a charge of 10p per bag in London. Retailers would oppose this as being too comprehensive.

Waitrose is trialing baglessness: free carrier bags have been removed from all checkouts at the Saffron Walden store and at selected checkouts in fourteen other stores for a two-week trial in May. No results provided yet.

Meanwhile The Guardian is campaigning to encourage shoppers and retailers to support the first ever national plastic bag-free Christmas. We Are What We Do hopes to persuade retailers to tell shoppers that they will not automatically get a plastic bag, and to display a colourful logo saying "Plastic Ain't My Bag". Who thinks these things up?
Blog Widget by LinkWithin