Happy Friday, dear friends. Have you ever had a day when you were cranking along and getting a ton of stuff done and then something steps into your way?
Today was like that for me, and all of a sudden I felt stressed out. Someone asked me to do something for them, and my flow came to a screeching halt. At first, I was irritated, and then a little voice reminded me of how many times other people had stepped in to support me. I remembered the give and take of friendship, and that changed my perspective and feelings in an instant.
Because I had to focus on getting something done for someone else, I had to then, actually ask another person to help me out. I put aside getting it all done by myself, and reached out for assistance down the line. That assistance was happily given, and I felt the flow of support in both directions. I could ask for help, so that I could help someone else.
This is the basis for energy exchange in the new world. We first accept that things change, and we are willing to move into that change with flexibility. We then offer what we can, and see how others are willing to support us if we need assistance. We must be willing to receive as well as give. Many in service have issues with receiving, and these situations provide the perfect classroom for balance. I am happy to give and happy to be supported. What a win-win situation!
Today we look at some interesting international business decisions that seem to be directly influenced by the public’s desire for sustainability. We move on from there.
Brazilian Bank raises millions for renewable energy projects.
The Brazilian government has been moving towards reducing it’s international debt. It has also been exploring ways to create more sustainable energy infrastructure.
The international banking industry has been slow to create incentives to invest in renewable energy, but Brazil has an increased focus on risk diversification. Because of this dynamic, the Brazilian bank Itau Unibanco Holding SA, decided to try and raise the money themselves.
The results were monumental, and in fact reflect the largest capital investment in renewable energy and water projects in Latin American history. The bank raised $408Million US for new projects, from a consortium of international banks who are increasing the percentage of their portfolios in renewable energy over the next few years.
This is a benchmark for Latin America and renewable energy. It shows that countries do not have to follow the old way of generating investment dollars, if the pathways do not suit their needs.
It also proves that many banks thought to be old school, like Bank of America, are reevaluating their portfolios to include renewable energy. This means that their detailed analysis of the future of energy shows that renewables are here to stay and will in fact increase in the coming years. If return on investment were not predicted, these banks would not be putting money into the projects in the first place.
Glass might be recyclable, but big beer producer wants to move to biodegradable bottles.
We all know that glass and aluminum are recyclable, but to be recycled, it must first be delivered to a processing facility, broken down and then reused. Gone are the days of mass refilling of reusable deposit bottles. While many municipalities encourage recycling, as most US states have bottle deposit laws, a large number of glass and aluminum items end up in land fills. That means the items are not truly sustainable, because the loop from production to use and waste is not a closed one.
The Carlsburg Group is of the largest beer manufacturers in the world. In 2013 they sold a total of 36 billion bottles of beer in 150 markets worldwide. In their sustainability evaluation, packaging accounts for 46% of their carbon footprint.
The company is committed to reducing their environmental impact. They recently announced a partnership with ecoXpac, Innovation Fund Denmark, and the Technical University of Denmark to bring to market a completely biodegradable beer bottle, within the next 3 years.
The Green Fiber Bottle will be produced using sustainably sourced wood and fiber pulp. It will be much lighter, thus decreasing shipping costs. It will be unbreakable, thus eliminating breakage losses, which keeps costs down. The bottle will resemble the materials used in cardboard egg cartons, but will be specially lined to maintain flavor.
Best of all, you can toss it in your compost pile, when you are done drinking a brew and it will completely break down. This will reduce the company’s end product waste to zero, which is a benchmark for sustainability, and so good for the earth too.
Giant palm oil company to create transparency in their supply chain.
Years ago, most manufactured baked goods included palm and coconut oil, because it had a long shelf life. Then scientists announced that saturated fat was bad for human consumption and industry set about creating hydrogenated vegetable oil to fill the void created by the removal of the saturated vegetable fats.
The population was introduced to trans fats, and then, in a complete reversal, science realized they had not only got their information wrong, but had created a huge health monster in the process. Nation after nation began to ban trans fats from their products, and manufacturers tried to source saturated vegetable fats.
In the interim between Palm oil being good, then it being bad, many traditional suppliers of the oil went out of business. When demand disappears, companies cannot continue to exist. All of a sudden, the demand returned, as manufacturers scrambled to buy up the short supply. At this point, there was a huge pressure to produce palm oil at any cost. The result was massive environmental damage in production countries.
Small and large farmers alike, slashed down indigenous rainforest in order to plant new palm oil trees. This reduced the habitat of many endangered species who live in these countries. The animal rights and environmental activists were up in arms and the supply chain of palm oil producers began to be questioned.
Consumers are starting to demand that a food not only be good for them, but it should also be sustainably produced in order for it to be of value. They want to see how the products they purchase are produced, and that the company practices are ethical.
With this demand for transparency from the end user, Wilmar International, the world’s largest producer of palm oil products, with interests in Malaysia and Indonesia, has partnered with the Forest Trust, to provide an online supply chain portal. This portal shows where the oil is produced, where it is refined, and even has an area where users or suppliers can report improper activities.
Additionally, the company announced in 2013 that it would no longer purchase oil from producers who grow trees on deforested land, or those that exploit their workers. This is a step toward applying Fair Trade practices to the production of palm oil, and ultimately, that would be best for the environment, endangered animals and workers in these developing nations.
Something unusual popped up on the NASA HD International Space Station camera and the internet feed was immediately blocked.
What happens when scientists are viewing the feed of the earth’s horizon from the International Space Station, and something pops up that shouldn’t be there? The feed is cut of course, and the images become temporarily unavailable. That is a whole lot easier than explaining what that unexplained object is.
Of course, sometimes quick thinking individuals who are watching the feed, capture the unexplained object and share it on the internet. That is exactly what happened in this case, as a large object rises above the horizon. Very interesting indeed.
That’s the news for today. Have a sensational day. I hope to see you back here tomorrow for more news.
Be Well. Be Joy. Be Love!