From the Web: UK tests cheaper, longer-lasting roads made with recycled plastic

Around 24.8 million miles of roads crisscross the surface of Earth. And hundreds of millions of barrels of oil have been used to build them. Engineer Toby McCartney has come up with a solution to that waste of natural resources and the growing plastic pollution problem. His company, Scotland-based MacRebur, lays roads that are as much as 60 percent stronger than regular asphalt roads and last around 10 times longer – and they’re made with recycled plastic.

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From the Web: Timberland transforms recycled plastic bottles into shoes, bags

For its latest collection, Timberland is turning to the bottle—the plastic bottle, that is. The outdoor-wear maker has teamed up with Thread, a Pittsburgh, Penn.-based manufacturer of sustainable fabrics, to transform plastic bottles from the streets and canals of Haiti into a dapper collection of footwear, bags, and T-shirts. Not only does the partnership turn an ecological blight into a resource but it also creates social value in the form of cleaner neighborhoods and job opportunities for one of the planet’s poorest nations.

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From the Web: Is employee activism on sustainability nearing a tipping point?










A new survey shows that nearly two-thirds of those who work for large U.S. corporations want their employers to actively take on environmental and social issues.

The survey — of a random selection of nearly 1,300 U.S. employees of Fortune 1000 companies — found strong support for employer environmental and social action across age, gender, region, employment level, ethnicity, income, company size and other factors. There’s no real difference between red and blue states.


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From the Web: Apple announces goal to make products from 100% recycled materials

The electronics industry is notoriously harsh on the planet. Around 60 million metric tons of e-waste end up in landfills each year, and children are sometimes put to work to mine necessary rare earth elements. Technology giant Apple aims to fix these issues in their company. They recently announced plans to use 100 percent recycled materials in all of their devices.

Apple’s aims are ambitious. In addition to using only recycled materials, the company also wants 100 percent of their supply chain to run entirely on renewable energy. They want their packaging to be made of 100 percent responsibly sourced and recycled paper. And they want to stop mining the earth.

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From the Web: China Moves To Increase Number Of Electric Vehicles On Its Roads

“China’s been pushing very aggressively to move to a greater mix of electrified vehicles,” says Trevor Worthington, vice president of product development at Ford Motor Co. in Shanghai.

The U.S. automaker, which sold 1.3 million cars in China last year, has announced it will electrify 70 percent of its vehicles in China by 2025. This comes as Beijing is calling on auto manufacturers to sell more electric vehicles to reduce vehicle emissions, as well as China’s dependence on foreign oil.

By early next year, Beijing will require automakers in China to ensure that at least 8 percent of all vehicles they manufacture are electric. The country had more than 1 million electric vehicles in 2016 — an 87 percent increase over the previous year. Vehicles range in price from $6,000 to $200,000 (for the most expensive Tesla model).

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From the Web: World’s first mobile recycling plant turns trash into tiles

Wherever it goes, TRASHPRESSO takes local waste and recycles it into tiles for use in architecture. The mobile recycling plant is in a 40-foot container platform that a trailer truck can transport.

The plant opens up similar to how a satellite unpacks in orbit. It can recycle plastic and fabric waste, running on solar power. Garbage is “washed, shredded, melted, and molded” into architectural tiles, and the water to clean the trash is reused in the process.

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From the Web: Target Vows to Use Its Power & Scale to See that All Packaging Is Recyclable

Target says it will use its “power and scale” as one of the country’s largest retailers to advance the idea that all packaging will be recyclable one day, and to help consumers understand how and why recycling is so important. With that in mind, the retailer has joined the Material Recovery Facility of the Future, a collaborative committed to seeing that flexible packaging is recycled and that the recovery community captures value from it. The announcement is one of Target’s five new sustainable packaging goals it released yesterday.

Target’s chief sustainability officer, Jennifer Silberman, says that by using Target’s power and scale as one of the country’s largest retailers, the company can be a catalyst for change in the industry.

One challenge the recycling industry currently faces is that of flexible plastic packaging. Flexible packaging is displacing many types of packaging formats, including those that are traditionally recycled – but currently, in North America, flexible packaging is not accepted in most recycling programs. With the Material Recovery Facility of the Future collaborative, retailers including Target have joined forces to advance the idea that all packaging must be recyclable.

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From the Web: IKEA unveils plan to lift 200,000 people out of poverty

IKEA recently announced it’s building new production centers in Jordan this summer, as part of a plan to create employment for 200,000 disadvantaged people around the world. The facilities will be open and running by August, and will provide jobs to refugees producing rugs, cushions, bedspreads, and other handmade woven items.

These particular facilities are the result of a partnership with the Jordan River Foundation, a non-governmental organization founded by Jordan’s Queen Rania. To start out, these particular plants will only employ 100 people, rising to 400 within two years. About half will be local workers and the other half will be Syrian refugees.

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From the Web: US Business Schools Failing on Climate Change

Coca-Cola and Nestlé have recently closed facilities, and Starbucks is bracing for a global shortage of coffee — all due to effects from climate change. Climate change impacts every resource used by businesses: from agriculture, water, land and energy to workers and the economy. No business will be untouched.

Future business leaders are not being prepared for the climate change challenges their companies are certain to face. (Except for those at SEMBA, of course!)

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From the Web: Can this startup use blockchain to brew up more sustainable coffee?

An entrepreneur with a background in verifying the provenance of so-called conflict minerals is applying that expertise to keep tabs on one of the world’s most widely traded commodities: coffee. Tracking this kitchen staple requires a mélange of emerging technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence and the internet of things.

The goal of his venture, bext360, is to help coffee buyers automate their dealings with fair-trade farmers, allowing them to more closely track the source and quality of the fair trade beans they’re buying while speeding up payments for local growers.

For buyers, the service promises deeper transparency, as well as a way of automating the verification process. For harvesters and growers — largely women — the service could mean more ready access to investment capital, according to bext360 CEO Daniel Jones.

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