John Deere Invests
in Wind Power
Deere & Company recently announced that it has made
equity investments in several wind-energy projects in the rural United
States, and has created a business unit to provide project development,
debt financing and other services to those interested in harvesting
the wind. Deere said it has no plans to manufacture wind turbines.
John Deere is especially well-positioned to support our farm
customers in this growing industry,” said Robert W. Lane,
Deere & Company chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “For
generations, the world’s most productive farmers have used
John Deere equipment to provide food to the world, and now,
through wind energy, the same farmers can help meet the growing demand
Deere has invested in wind-energy projects located in Minnesota and
Texas, is considering projects in other states and has reviewed projects
in other countries. The wind-energy initiative, Lane said, is consistent
with John Deere’s goal of helping its customers improve
their profitability and productivity.
New Starbucks Water
Product to Aid Poor Children
Starbucks Coffee Company recently announced the official launch of
Ethos™ Water in its U.S. company-operated stores. By purchasing
Ethos Water, customers can be a part of a unique opportunity to help
make a difference. Five cents from the sale of each bottle of Ethos
Water will support Starbucks’ goal of donating $10 million
over the next five years to non-profit organizations that are helping
to alleviate the world water crisis. Starbucks hopes to inspire and
empower customers to play a personal role in helping children and
their communities around the world get clean water.
Through the Ethos Water mission, Starbucks is currently supporting
efforts to bring clean water to children and their communities in
developing countries through support of non-profit organizations
such as UNICEF, CARE, WaterAid and WaterPartners International. The
company hopes to help raise awareness about this work and become
a productive and significant collaborator in support of solutions
to the world water crisis, and will continue to leverage its initiatives
and efforts so that they complement efforts already under way by
these and other organizations.
Wells Fargo Announces
10-point Environmental Commitment
In July, Wells Fargo & Company announced a 10-point Environmental
Commitment to more effectively integrate environmental responsibility
into its business practices and procedures.
We want to be a leader in this important area of corporate citizenship,
especially in processes and procedures for considering environmental
issues in our commercial and business practices,” said Mary
Wenzel, Wells Fargo’s vice president of environmental affairs. “This
commitment to ourselves and our stakeholders shows we’re serious.
We want to make sure Wells Fargo and our more than 80 businesses
and 151,000 team members are committed to being environmentally responsible
stewards in every community in which we do business.”
Wells Fargo’s 10-Point Environmental Commitment includes measures
that will be incorporated into its financing activities, internal
operations, philanthropic activities, external communications and
Dell to Offer Life-cycle
Computer manufacturer and merchandiser Dell has announced that it
will offer services to small-business customers that will manage
the entire life cycle of technology equipment—installation,
support, recovery and recycling.
Customers who recycle with Dell can receive a certificate of disposal
that verifies that recycling was done in a manner designed to meet
EPA guidelines. Customers can also donate their systems through a
partnership with The National Cristina Foundation.
Toyota Motor Corp. hopes “vital technology” will make
up 25 percent of sales in the next decade, as the company is considering
adding hybrid technology to its entire lineup, including trucks,
Toyota’s North American President Jim Press said recently. “To
us, it’s not a passing phase, but a vital technology for the
21st century,” Press said at an annual automotive conference.
Press said Toyota wants hybrids to make up 25 percent of its U.S.
sales by early in the next decade, and wants to sell one million
hybrids worldwide by the same time. That would require the automaker
to sell 600,000 hybrids in the United States, or approximately one-quarter
of its projected sales—a significant increase in U.S. hybrid
Press said Toyota will meet its goal by aggressively introducing
new hybrid versions of its lineup. The company introduced two such
sport utility vehicles this year—the Lexus RX 400h hybrid in
April and the Toyota Highlander hybrid in June—and will introduce
hybrid versions of the Lexus GS sedan and the Toyota Camry next year.
In addition, Press said Toyota has 10 hybrids under development.
to Publish Accountability Ratings
AccountAbility and csrnetwork have have announced that their Accountability
Rating® 2005 will be published in Fortune magazine in September.
The Accountability Rating, now in its second year, measures how well
or how badly the world’s top companies account for their impacts
on society and the environment. The ranking is defined by using the
Global 100 (G-100) companies, as compiled by Fortune.
Scores are built up by detailed analysis of a company’s performance
under six domains: stakeholder engagement, governance, strategic
intent, performance management, assurance and public disclosure.
BP headed the table in 2004, followed closely by Suez and then Royal
The Accountability Rating looks closely at how companies integrate
responsible business practices into their core processes,” said
Mark Line, director of csr- network. “The results indicate
how businesses must change if they are to create long-term economic
value and contribute to sustainable development.”
Simon Zadek, CEO of AccountAbility said, “Accountability has
become the leading business issue of the new century. ...Yet, as
almost every company claims to be changing for the better, we need
to distinguish between genuine best practice and PR spin. The Accountability
Rating reveals the truth behind the rhetoric, and shows that the
biggest are not necessarily the best.”
Partnership to Reduce
Antibiotics in Pork
Food service giant Compass Group North America announced with
partners Environmental Defense and Smithfield Foods, Inc. a first-of-its-kind
purchasing policy to curb antibiotic use in pork production.
The policy prohibits the purchase of pork in which antibiotics
that belong to classes of compounds approved for use in human medicine
have been used for growth-promotion purposes. It also requires
suppliers to report and reduce antibiotic usage over time. Similar
requirements will apply to the company’s purchase of chicken.
The policy applies to all animals that are raised by suppliers
for the duration of their lives.
The overuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture and in human medicine
can cause the drugs to become less effective. Estimates of antibiotic
use in livestock production vary, but there is general agreement
that reducing overall use of antibiotics will prolong the effectiveness
of these important medicines.
Green Chemistry Challenge Awards Given
The winners of the 2005 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge
Awards were announced by the U.S. EPA in July. The following companies
were honored with awards: Metabolix, Inc. received the Small Business
Award; Merck & Co. received an Alternative Synthetic Pathways
Award, as did the team of Archer Daniels Midland Company and Novozymes;
BASF Corporation received the Alternative Solvents and Reaction
Conditions Award; and Archer Daniels Midland Company received the
Designing Safer Chemicals Award. Professor Robin D. Rogers of the
University of Alabama received the Academic Award.
The Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards Program grants
awards annually in recognition of innovations in cleaner, cheaper,