THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE NEWS
Saturday, 01 March, 2014
UNEP and the Executive Director in the News
; NBC (US): TV Interview on World Environment Day
; Climate-L (Blog):UNEP, UN Global Compact and WWF Co-Host B4E Summit
; Images Fashion (Blog):PUMA gears up to be a carbon neutral company ; Asia One (Singapore):Puma aims to be first carbon neutral sportswear company ; Huffington Post (US):What's Up With the Rainforest: More Hope, Less Blame ; Emploi-Stage (Blog):Entreprise et économie verte pour la protection de la biodiversité
Other Environment News
; AFP:West Mediterranean countries unite on climate change ; Reuters: Campaigners urge transparency on climate aid ; Reuters: Climate debate gets ugly as world moves to curb CO2
Environmental News from the UNEP Regions
UNEP and the Executive Director in the News
NBC (US): TV Interview on World Environment Day
4/24/2010 6:17:49 AM:
Today's Talking Pittsburgh. Good morning to you and welcome to Talking Pittsburgh. Joining me today Jeanette, here on behalf of the Pittsburgh World Environment Day partnership including a lot of different things. We want to talk a little bit about World Environment Day.
What is it, and why is it so important for Pittsburgh?
It is so important for Pittsburgh this year. The United Nations Environment Program had established what was called or what is called World Environment Day back in 1972. It’s
the global way of celebrating Earth Day. We celebrate Earth Day here in the United States, which is April 22nd. World Environment Day is scheduled for June 5th. The United Nations Environment Program selected Pittsburgh to be the North American host city for World Environment Day, which is a prestigious honor.
What do you have to do to be in the running for that?
It's the U.N. stamp of approval for how Pittsburgh has handled its environmental transformation and how we are learning to embrace new environmental charges. We have gone from a city that had polluted rivers and air to a city where people are starting to look at our river fronts for development, canoeing and kayaking on the river fronts. We have cleaner air. We’ve improved so much. They recognize that and that’s one of the reasons why they designated Pittsburgh as the host city for World Environment Day.
Who would have thought by the year 2010 we would get such a designation here? A lot
of people worked hard in order for this to happen. You have events planned where it's going to reach out to different people likes and hobbies. I’m excited about one in particular. How can people get involved?
There are actually over 200 organizations that are behind us at this point. More than 120 ndevents are scheduled. We are creating a bridge between Earth Day, April 22, and
World Environment Day on June 5th to join that 6-week period when you are going to find all these events. We have 3 main marquee events that I wanted to mention today. The one you were talking about is the Paddle at the Point on the Allegheny River on Saturday June 5th. We are going to attempting to break the Guinness world record for the largest flotilla of canoes and kayaks. We need 1105 boats. They are trying to get 1500 people to come down. You can go to paddleatthepoint.com. The theme for WED in Pittsburgh day is Water Matters, by having this event on the river it’s a great way to tie
ita ll together.
What are the other events?
rdThe Water Matters Global Matters Conference is scheduled on June 3 and this
conference is going to be a milestone for establishing water an imperative to our region’s
business. There are going to be a number of experts there from academia, business, research. We are going to be talking about how water matters to your home, health, energy, and also how we can use water as an economic driver for our region.
thThere is also another event that is the Rachel Carson Symposium on May 27. E.O.
Wilson is a world renowned entomologist and provided information to Rachel Carson, a Pittsburgh resident, to when she was writing.
Next is the Water Savers competition. People can log on to Savewater.com and record your actions to help conserve water, so it could be anything from not running your dishwasher when it’s not full, really anything that you can do as an individual to become aware of water usage and to conserve water.
Are you also looking for volunteers for some of these events?
If you are interested in volunteering, log on to www.Pittsburgh.wed.com. If you post your
own event on the website, you will be listed as a community leader. We are trying to get everyone involved in this exiting designation for Pittsburgh.
Back to Menu
Climate-L (Blog):UNEP, UN Global Compact and WWF Co-Host B4E Summit
26 April 2010
The UN Business for the Environment Global Summit (B4E Summit) took place in Seoul, Republic of Korea, from 21-23 April 2010.
The goal of the meeting was to consider the outcome of the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 15) of the UNFCCC and discuss the role of business in realizing a low carbon future.
The Summit was hosted by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the UN Global Compact, WWF, the Korean Ministry of Environment, the Korean Ministry of Knowledge Economy and the Presidential Committee on Green Growth, with over 20 businesses partnering to support the summit.
The meeting brought together 1,000 individuals from 35 countries, representing multinational corporations, governments, international agencies and NGOs, to discuss “Powering growth for the global green economy.”
During the first two days of this paperless meeting, CEOs and leaders of government, international agencies and NGOs presented their experiences; plenary discussion panels focused on the green economy; and participants broke into smaller group discussions on key issues during parallel sessions and working groups.
On the last day, the working groups reported back to the plenary with strategies to address barriers to a low carbon future; a Mexican representative presented on the outlook for COP 16 in Cancún, Mexico; and representatives from UNEP, the UN Global Compact and the Government of the Republic of Korea presented closing remarks on the way forward.
In a video message, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon opened the Summit,
emphasizing the role of green growth in development. He noted that development has ignored the environment over much of the past century, which has contributed to climate change, desertification and biodiversity loss.
He highlighted the challenge of creating a global movement for green growth based on new ideas and the responsible application of economic power.
UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner reframed the financial crisis as an opportunity to transition away from “business as usual” and toward sustainable economic development.
He noted that, in the context of climate change, green market policies are crucial to both economic stability and the survival and sustainable development of nations. He stated that legislation is vital to developing a green economy because the market alone cannot drive change at the required scale and pace.
Georg Kell, Executive Director, UN Global Compact, outlined three post-Copenhagen challenges: to improve transparency and accountability in business; to develop tools and methods for assessing the environmental and social performance of businesses; and to increase confidence that the market will reward good performance.
He called on businesses to take the lead and initiate global transformations toward mainstreaming green approaches.
Back to Menu
Images Fashion (Blog):PUMA gears up to be a carbon neutral company
26 April 2010
PUMA is all set to set an example! PUMA announced at 'The Business for the Environment Summit' (B4E) in Seoul, that the sport-lifestyle brand will offset its global CO2 emissions to become the first carbon neutral company.
In addition, the brand will also offset emissions deducing from international travel of the PUMA-sponsored national football teams taking part in the Football World Cup 2010.
"To be the first carbon neutral sport-lifestyle company is the next logical step in our mission to become the most desirable and sustainable company in the world," said Jochen Zeitz, Chairman and CEO of PUMA.
"We also took UNEP's challenge to offset our football teams' international travels to South Africa very seriously. Our commitment to the environment partnered with our long-standing collaboration with African football made it a foregone conclusion to support their initiative, and we hope in doing so that we inspire other stakeholders in the FIFA World Cup 2010 to follow suit."
PUMA will compensate the company's direct and indirect CO2 emissions, through offsetting projects in Africa that also take the needs of local communities and the conservation of biodiversity and CSR programs into account.
The portfolio of projects in Africa is being verified by an internationally recognized auditing company according to internationally accepted standards such as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), the Gold Standard and Voluntary Emission Reduction standards.
PUMA's total carbon footprint is externally verified utilizing similar methodology applied to the company's carbon neutral headquarters.
Due to the brand's target of sustainability, they have adopted programmes to reduce energy and water consumption, waste and CO2 emissions by 25% by 2015. However, more than only saving energy, PUMA will require its local offices, stores and warehouses to switch to electricity from renewable sources wherever feasible - in line with its PUMAVision Headquarters in Germany, thus reducing the respective building's carbon footprint.
To offset the remaining CO2 emissions at headquarters, PUMA actively supports a wind farm in Turkey as a part of the project. Through this, PUMAVision Headquarters will became the first carbon neutral company head office in the sport-lifestyle and sporting goods industry.
With football being a core business of the company, it is only natural that PUMA responded to the United Nations Environment Programme's (UNEP) petition that all Football Federations participating in the FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa offset their teams' international travels.
The PUMA teams that qualified for the World Cup include: Algeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Italy, Switzerland and Uruguay.
To illustrate the importance of UNEP's 'Call to Action', PUMA has decided to go a step beyond and offset all local travel and accommodation as well.
Puma AG, has been collecting E-KPIs (Environmental Key Performance Indicators) from its offices, warehouses and stores worldwide for the last five years to determine the company's total carbon footprint on an annual basis.
PUMA's global emissions are classified in accordance to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, including direct emissions generated through gas, fuel and car fleets as well as indirect emissions generated.
PUMA's carbon offsetting does not include CO2 emissions through transportation of PUMA products. However, PUMA requested its business partners to initiate reduction of their own CO2 footprint.
The company will support the offsetting of its employees' carbon footprints by subsidizing those emissions generated on the way to and from work by 50%. PUMA CEO Jochen Zeitz will also offset his personal carbon footprint, including direct and indirect CO2 emissions, on his own account.
Back to Menu
Asia One (Singapore):Puma aims to be first carbon neutral sportswear company
26 April 2010
Fashion and sportswear companies have kept rather quiet about carbon footprints, while other industries competitively launch offset policies. Puma, however, says it is taking on an ambitious initiative to make an eco-friendly leap.
At 'The Business for the Environment Summit' the world's third-largest sport and lifestyle goods maker announced its goal to become the first carbon neutral company in the sportswear industry. The conference was held in Seoul on Thursday in observance of Earth Day.
'To be the first carbon neutral company is the next logical step in our mission to become the most desirable and sustainable company in the sport and lifestyle industry,' Jochen Zeitz, Chairman and CEO of Puma, told the press before giving his speech at the summit.
Co-hosted by the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Knowledge Economy, UN Global Compact, World Wide Fund for Nature and the United Nations Environment Program, B4E is the world's biggest summit to discuss a variety of environment-related issues. About 1,000 CEOs and high-profile figures participated in the three-day conference which ended yesterday.
Puma plans to tame its direct and indirect carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by undertaking carbon-offsetting projects in Africa, while considering the needs of local communities and conservation of biodiversity.
The company also aims to curb the carbon to be generated by the many Puma-sponsored national soccer teams when they take international and domestic air flights for the World Cup in South Africa this summer.
'We started a long-term sustainability program to reduce our energy and water consumption, waste and CO2 emissions by 25 percent by 2010. But that still leaves 75 percent. We are not quite yet ready to invest into new carbon neutral technologies. So we want to mitigate the remaining parts by offsetting carbon in Africa,' said Zeitz.
'Businesses should feel responsible for their carbon footprints. We are also taking UNEP's challenge to offset our football teams' international travels to South Africa very seriously. We hope in doing so that we inspire other stakeholders in the FIFA World Cup 2010 to follow suit,' the executive stressed.
The portfolio of Puma's offsetting projects follow internationally accepted standards, such as the Clean Development Mechanism and the Gold Standard and Voluntary Emission Reduction standards.
Puma is making efforts to reduce carbon emissions internally as well. It has been collecting Environmental Key Performance Indicators from all its offices, warehouses and
stores worldwide for the last five years to determine the company's total carbon footprint on an annual basis.
The company also established a new Puma Vision Headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Germany last year which is the first carbon-neutral, company head-office in the sporting goods industry. In addition, the company will also require most of its other local offices to switch to electricity from renewable sources.
'PUMA will also support the offsetting of its employees' carbon footprints by subsidizing those emissions generated on the way to and from work by 50 percent,' said Zeitz.
Puma's carbon-cutting policy does not include CO2 emissions through transport and manufacturing of its products, but the company is making efforts in the area by introducing new packaging systems.
One of the key features is the 'Clever Little Bag,' a combined shoe box and carrier bag which was unveiled last week. Designed by San Francisco based industrial designer Yves Behar, the bag is supposed to reduce water and paper use by more than 60 percent annually.
Why is it so clever? The designers explained that by providing structure to a cardboard sheet, the bag uses 65 percent less cardboard than the standard shoe box, has no laminated printing, no tissue paper, takes up less space and weighs less in shipping, and replaces the plastic retail bag.
Puma's apparel collections will be bagged using sustainable biodegradable material as well, replacing current polyethylene, plastic and paper bags. This means that 720 tons of polyethylene bags, 192 tons of plastic and 293 tons of paper use can be avoided every year.
The roll out of the new packaging system is planned for the second half of 2011.
Back to Menu
Huffington Post (US):What's Up With the Rainforest: More Hope, Less Blame
26 April 2010
Celebrations of Earth Day has garnered some more of the world's attention to the environmental crisis threatening the health of the global community and our planet, but we must not forget that working towards a sustainable future is a responsibility that will require dedication all 365 days of the year.
And while some corporations have jumped on the eco-bandwagon in an attempt to attract the green consumer, we would like to call attention to the unsung heroes.
The individuals, communities, and national leaders who have continually shown a dedication to environmental activism, not driven by profit or personal gain, but by the mission of ensuring we have something to celebrate in the decades to come.
We, along with our partner Rainforest Alliance, encourage you to join them, because even though there may be little acclaim for the individual in doing the right thing for the planet, your efforts will lead to rewards that extend far beyond your time.
Our first story reviews a documentary, Climate of Change, which takes a "refreshingly positive look at the future of our planet," revealing the impact actions from committed individuals and small groups from around the group are having on the health of our planet. And in doing so, provides the ingredients we need to take the next step for a better tomorrow -- "passionate young people, quiet heroes and, most importantly, hope."
Education is essential for equipping the younger generation with the knowledge of how to prevent a history of destruction from repeating itself, but also provides the perfect opportunity to instill activism and concern for the broader community from the very beginning.
As seen in South Carolina, where a "Save the Rainforest Club" at Ebinport Elementary School doesn't just teach students about the rainforest, it encourages them to take action -- raising thousands of dollars at events such as "Earth Day Birthday" where club members sold recyclable bags they made themselves, auction off pictures they made in the club and sell bookmarks.
Another young individual trying to do his part is 12-year-old Koa Halpern, who is challenging us all to give up fast food as a way to decrease the stress on the environment the fast food industry has created.
Wise beyond his years, this passionate young man started the organization Fast Food Free, along with the Web site fastfoodfree.org, in order to encourage and educate individuals to make this pledge for a healthier lifestyle and planet.
Next, an interview with Bianca Jagger, who after spending the last 30 years as a human rights, social justice and environmental protection advocate has proved time and again her dedication to the planet.
Jagger's discussion of her latest mission in Niyamgiri not only gives a candid insight into a region where "multinational mining giant Vedanta's operations are threatening the tribals with extinction" but will prompt you to ask yourself, "Are we willing to endanger individuals survival, in order to enable corporations to exploit our natural resources?"
In the Republic of Korea, we see individuals being recognized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) with a Champion of the Earth award for their leadership in the fight to preserve biodiversity and combat climate change.
President Bharrat Jagdeo was one of these recipients, being acknowledged specifically for his ability to recognize the scope of green economy benefits, in terms of not only battling climate change but also "in terms of development; employment; improved water supplies and the conservation of biodiversity."
While its obvious that there are many individuals taking action towards fixing the devastating actions of our past, we end with a look at what we need to accomplish in the next 40 years in order make the future a change for the better. Let's not waste the can do energy Earth Day has rejuvenated.
Our planet needs more than just 24 hours of R&R so we urge you to stay informed on the latest issues and visit us on Facebook to connect with fellow activists.
Back to Menu
Emploi-Stage (Blog):Entreprise et économie verte pour la protection de la biodiversité
26 April 2010
Entreprise et économie verte pour la protection de la biodiversité. Selon le PNUE, l'économie verte est l'ensemble de l'activité économique générée ? par toutes les entreprises qui produisent des biens et services contribuant à éviter, réduire ou supprimer des nuisances pour l'environnement .
Selon deux nouvelles publications du Programme des Nations Unies pour l'environnement (PNUE) parues mardi 20 avril, et présentées à lors du sommet mondial des entreprises pour l'environnement (B4E) à Séoul, en République de Corée, la protection de la biodiversité et la réduction des émissions de carbone sont et seront les moteurs du développement économique.
? La plupart, sinon toutes les entreprises dépendent directement ou indirectement de ressources naturelles ou orientées vers la nature, hors ces mêmes ressources sont de plus en plus rares en raison de la mauvaise gestion et du manque d';investissement en la matière.
Cela peut se traduire par un risque pour les entreprises, mais aussi par une opportunité de faire des affaires ?, avait déclaré Achim Steiner, Directeur exécutif du PNUE.
Dans le rapport du PNUE ? Êtes-vous un leader vert? ?, qui pour objectif d’inciter les
entreprises qui exploitent des matières premières à se doter des techniques de gestions durables, le directeur exécutif du PNUE souligne la nécessité pour ces entreprises d’évoluer vers une économie verte.
L'économie verte est l'ensemble de l'activité économique générée ? par toutes les entreprises qui produisent des biens et services contribuant à éviter, réduire ou supprimer des nuisances pour l'environnement ?.
Cette définition s'applique par exemple aux entreprises de traitement des déchets ou des eaux usées, au domaine de l'insonorisation des bâtiments, ou aux producteurs d'énergie renouvelable.
En 2006, l'Allemagne détenait une part de 16,1% du marché mondial des biens contribuant à la protection de l'environnement, ce qui en faisait le numéro un, selon le ministère allemand de l'Environnement, et quelque 1,8 million d'Allemands, soit 4,5% du total des salariés du pays, travaillent dans des entreprises produisant des biens et services liés à la protection de l'environnement.
Aujourd’hui, de nombreux secteurs reposent sur l'exploitation et la transformation des matières premières comme le bois, le poisson, le coton, les cultures et l'eau potable, ou travaillent en relation étroite.
Mais beaucoup de fournisseurs ne sont pas conscients que ces ressources sont hautement menacées, et ne tiennent compte de ce risque ni dans leurs calculs, ni dans les plans stratégiques des entreprises.
Le rapport du PNUE démontre que les écosystèmes fonctionnent de moins en moins bien, la biodiversité disparaît à un taux 1.000 fois plus rapide que le taux naturel et les pertes économiques mondiales engendrées par la perte de la biodiversité et la dégradation des écosystèmes sont estimées entres 2 et 4,5 milliards de dollars.
Pour sa part, le second rapport du PNUE, intitulé ? L'index de la compétitivité sur le climat ?, qui explique quelles sont les opportunités économiques que représentent la réduction des émissions de carbone et la transition vers une économie verte, estime que 46% des 95 pays étudiés qui représentent à eux seuls 97% des émissions de carbone dans le monde, ont amélioré leurs politiques depuis la Conférence de Copenhague sur le changement climatique en décembre 2009.
En attendant, pour le PNUE, le degré de responsabilité des Etats face au changement climatique et un indice de performance de leurs actions.
Dans ce domaine, quelques pays se retrouvent en tête de liste, notamment, l’Allemagne, la Chine et la République de Corée, qui enregistrent d’excellentes performances.
Back to Menu
Other Environment News
AFP:West Mediterranean countries unite on climate change
26 April 2010
The countries of the western Mediterranean Monday called for a comprehensive plan for combatting environmental blight and climate change in the region.
The meeting of the so-called 5+5 countries on the western Mediterranean rim brought together the environment ministers of Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia and Mauritania from Africa, and from Europe, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal. Malta is also a member of the informal group but was not in attendance.
"This meeting brought our views together. The ministers of 5+5 member countries are committed to work together on a comprehensive plan for the Mediterranean," said Cherif Rahmani, head of the environment ministry of Algeria, which hosted the meeting in the western city of Oran.
"We need a common view, a common plan to fight against global warming," he said at a press briefing.