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Nestlé plans to draw 1.1 million gallons of water from Florida Natural Springs

Madeline Barone

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Natural springs

Controversial brand Nestlé has proposed a plan to take 1.1 million gallons per day from Ginnie Springs. This environmentally detrimental move could cause further damage to the already fragile Santa Fe River. The proposal has gotten significant backlash from conservationists, who believe the company is trying to sell publicly owned water back to the consumer. 

Why is Nestlé’s plan a big deal?

The Santa Fe River is a fragile habitat that houses several species of turtles. The Suwannee River water management district already labeled the river “in recovery” after years of over pumping. This business move by Nestlé will only further the already existing damage. The river simply cannot handle the significant loss of more water. 

Nestlé insists that this environmental claim is not accurate; however, environmentalists think differently. The company insists that spring water is a rapidly renewable resource. Hence, it argues that the draw of more water will not adversely affect the river habitat. They also promise a “robust” management plan for the long-term sustainability of its water sources.

Conservationists, on the other hand, think differently. 

Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson and Jim Tatum, from the conservation group Our Santa Fe River, claimed that:

“[They] have an ethical issue with our state putting large sums of money into conservation practices and recharge projects on the Santa Fe River and then, at the same time, counteracting this action by fomenting the free extraction of a publicly owned natural resource by a for-profit company. Essentially, taxpayers are funding replenishment of the aquifer and then allowing Nestlé to take it out and sell it back to us.”

What is the extent of the backlash?

Campaigners against Nestlé’s plan have started an online forum and petition. More specifically, they have submitted dozens of letters of opposition in hopes of disqualifying the plan. If their efforts are unsuccessful, the plan is set to come as early as November.

Suwannee River Water Management District Program Engineer Stefani Weeks said that because Seven Springs is seeking a five-year renewal of an existing permit rather than making a new application, board members could not consider the Santa Fe River’s protected designation in 2014. 

The district wants an evaluation report of any harm that the project might cause to wetlands and a documented impact study of Ginnie Springs. The permit cannot be granted unless Seven Springs can show that there would be no change in “water levels or flows of the source spring from the normal rate and range of function” and “no adverse impacts to water quality, vegetation, or animal population.”

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Prada Joins The List Of Sustainable Clothing Brands With New $55 Million Deal

Haider Sarwar

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Prada joins other sustainable fashion brands

Sustainable clothing brands are beginning to sprout up from increasing consumer demands. Prada, known for its lavish and novel clothing, recently furthered its sustainability commitment. Like Adidas and other clothing brands, Prada hopes to not only bring attention to environmental issues but also find a way to fight against them. It turns out, companies are listening to their consumers, and these are the results.

Prada Becomes the First Luxury Brand to Sign Onto A Multi-Million-Dollar Sustainability Deal

Prada has taken out a $55 million loan with French banking group Crédit Agricole, which acts as a sort of check on Prada on its ability to commit to sustainable goods. Prada’s Chief Financial Officer, Alessandra Cozzani, said of the initiative:

“This transaction demonstrates that sustainability is a key element for the development of the Prada Group, increasingly integrated into our strategy.”

Indeed, Cozzani believes that becoming a sustainable clothing brand is imperative if it wants to adhere to its consumer’s demands. As part of this 5-year loan, Prada must complete two sustainability-related tasks.

Additionally, Crédit Agricole will adjust interest rates if Prada can meet their sustainability requirements.

Prada Follows the Path to Becoming a Sustainable Clothing Brand

First on the list of requirements is Prada’s ability to foster sustainable stores. A certain number of physical stores must be certified gold or platinum by LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

The purpose of this requirement is to take into account the construction of buildings put forth by Prada. To further analyze the company’s initiative to become a sustainable clothing brand, management and waste will be measured for each building. 

The second requirement is that Prada reinforces its pledge to move away from using virgin nylon by 2021. Moreover, Prada also promises to go fur-free by 2020.

Hard to break down, nylon and other synthetic fibers make up for about 35% of the ocean pollution in the world. Additionally, Prada desires to join on on a circular economy with recyclable products like Adidas and Patagonia.

In fact, Prada has partnered with Aquafil to create nylon products out of recycled ocean plastics.

Summary

Consumer reports show that more people are becoming aware of the goods that they purchase. As a result, sustainable clothing brands are much more desired in today’s economy.

Above all, companies are listening to their buyers. Environmental activism continues to change the world in many different ways. Today, believing that all companies will one day pledge to a more sustainable business plan is not too far-fetched.

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The Latest Tesla Sustainability Initiative: Patenting Sustainable Car Seat Foam

Maryanne Derkaloustian

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Tesla sustainability

Tesla vehicles are some of the most environmentally-friendly, but the company just showed more sustainability promise with a new seat patent. Though the company launched cruelty-free seats in 2017, the patent underscores its continued commitment. Today’s cars are way ahead of their predecessors in terms of energy usage and emissions. This, however, makes it easier for companies to neglect other factors.

The Problem With Traditional Seats

Polyurethanes typically make up the base of the common car seat. Looking into replacements is only necessary, since in this case, they are neither recyclable nor breathable.

Other varieties are also used in bumpers, doors, windows, spoilers, and other parts, so getting rid of it could be a long process.

Making the foam itself, though, is a tedious, time-consuming process, which entails pouring and mixing a whole cocktail of chemicals.

Shaping the material after that produces a lot of non-recyclable leftovers that have nowhere to go but landfills.

Tesla Sustainability Push Includes Patented Sustainable Fibrous Foam

While the star of this patent is the “architecture” of the foam, it is important to remember the materials involved.

The Tesla sustainability push entails a choice of low-melt polymers that are easier to repurpose for future use.

And although the processing methods it plans to adopt may require more attention to detail, Tesla can reduce a significant amount of manufacturing waste.

Ultimately, the company aims to use this technology in other “foamy” car parts. Consequently, that will help minimize even more non-recyclable waste.

Summary

It is especially important for a company like Tesla to switch gears like this. While other companies like Ford are nearing their zero-waste goals, 40% of Tesla’s raw materials still go straight to landfills.

However, the two companies switch places when it comes to carbon dioxide emissions. With mixed information available to the general public, it can be hard to tell how sustainable companies actually are.

Companies should keep all of this in mind. Because in the end, their every move leaves a mark on the planet.

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Australian National Airline Announces Ambitious Sustainability Plan

Rich Bowden

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Australian national airline Qantas

Australian national airline Qantas, which flew its first zero-waste flight earlier this May, has outlined its plan to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. The national carrier, which announced the pledge in a November 11th press release, is the first Australian airline to commit to a net-zero emissions target. Though it appears that its goals are ambitious, the Australian national airline believes that they are fully achievable.

“Ambitious But Achievable” For The Australian National Airline

Qantas revealed the road towards the target will begin immediately and revolved around three key strategies.

It will:

  • Immediately double the number of flights being offset.
  • Cap net emissions from 2020 onwards.
  • Invest $50 million over 10 years to help develop a sustainable aviation fuel industry.

Alan Joyce, CEO of the Australian national airline, said the announcement reflects Qantas’s need to continue to curb climate change

“We’re effectively doubling our carbon offsetting program from today and we’re capping our net emissions across Qantas and Jetstar from 2020 so that all new flying will be carbon neutral,” he said.

He added: “These short-term actions will go towards a longer-term goal of being completely net carbon neutral by 2050. It’s ambitious but achievable.”

Joyce told the media that the airline hoped the announcement would encourage passengers to offset their travel’s carbon usage.

“Qantas offsets all of its own travel needs and so do many of our customers. By matching their efforts, we’re hoping it will encourage even more people to offset and the program will keep growing.”

Company Behind Qantas’s Offset Program Sees Demand Growth

Meanwhile, Tasman Environmental, the company specializing in carbon offset programs for business clients including Qantas, has reported strong demand growth.

Executive chairman Andrew Grant said the boost in consumer awareness of the effects of climate change propelled the demand growth.

“The demand for our services has increased dramatically as consumer awareness grows around the environmental implications of travel, products and goods and services and the desire by consumers and corporations to lighten their environmental footprint,” Grant said.

Biofuels Preferred Over Investment In Electric Plan Alternatives

The airline industry has come under pressure in Australia over recent years to curb its emissions. Data from the Clean Energy Regulator showed Qantas as one of the top greenhouse gas emitters in the country.

However, an article in an Australian environment magazine points out that the Australian national airline has decided not to invest in alternatives like electric planes. Instead, the company has chosen to back the development of biofuels for its aircraft.

Long-Term Solutions For The Australian National Airline

The airline has committed to working in partnership with government and institutions to reduce carbon emissions. “Qantas will work with industry, research institutions and governments to develop the long-term solutions to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the aviation industry over the next three decades,” said the company in a statement.

With a number of clear metrics set in place, the Australian national airline will be interesting to follow.

Final Notes: If you are a part of the Qantas team, reach out at tips@mediusventures.com. We’d be interested in staying in the loop about your progress and sharing it out with our readers.

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