Lots more green news and information for you.
A service will be launched in October 2007 that will vows to reduce business mail costs, along with reducing the impact of sending letters in terms of carbon emissions. The Viapost service entails letters being e-mailed by customers to distribution hubs around the UK, where they will be printed out, inserted into envelopes and sorted, prior to being delivered to the recipients by Royal Mail distribution centres in the respective area. The Viapost regional hubs will be much nearer to the 70 access points run by Royal Mail that deal with post for final delivery and as a result will cut by up to 60% carbon emissions related to sending letters.
Ethical investment funds are beating their mainstream rivals hands-down, a survey from financial information group Moneyfacts suggests. Over the past year the average UK ethical fund has grown by 18.3%, against 13.7% returned by non-ethical funds.
Sales of organic and free-range eggs have outstripped sales of eggs from battery hens for the first time, the Soil Association disclosed, underlining the trend for ethically sourced produce. But the association added that soaring grain prices were reducing the incentive for British farmers to switch to organic cereal production.
Marks & Spencer announced that it is building two new branches which will be powered by windmill. A wind turbine development funded by the company in Aberdeenshire will generate enough energy for a large branch in Pollock, Glasgow, which will produce 95% less carbon dioxide thanother stores of the same size, and one in Galashiels in the Scottish Borders. Both stores are due to open in October.
The Financial Times reported on the trend for retailers to publicise ethical initiatives. Known as the ’30:3 phenomenon’ because 30% of interviewees told researchers that they thought about workers’ and animals’ rights and the state of the planet when they decided what to buy, but that sales figures show that only 3% actually act on the thoughts.
The Independent on Sunday reported that the success of organic vegetable box schemes and farmers’ markets have enabled farmers to stop supplying supermarkets and operate exclusively through box and mail-order schemes. Sales of organic products through box schemes rose 50% last year to £146m.
Tesco’s recent attempt to present itself as a force for environmental good has been challenged by development charity Christian Aid, which says Tesco’s carbon footprint does not include the emissions caused by shoppers driving to and from its stores or those incurred by its suppliers. The true impact on the environment could be up to 12 times higher than Tesco’s initial estimation. Campaigners from the charity will meet Tesco representatives to urge the company to reassess its carbon footprint, which stands at 4.13m tonnes of CO2 equivalent.
Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy said he was ready to raise prices to deliver a ‘revolution in green consumption’. He was speaking as the company pledged £25m for a sustainable consumption institute at Manchester University, which will investigate issues from the impact of cleaner technologies and recycling to ways of encouraging consumers to adapt to more sustainable lifestyles.
Marks & Spencer has invited the public to return plastic hangers to their stores for recycling.