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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an idea that corporations have to consider the interests of customers, employees, shareholders, communities, and ecological considerations in all
Socially responsible investing (SRI) describes an investment strategy which combines the intentions to maximize both financial return and social good.

green@work : Magazine : Newlines : May/June 2007

Actions and initiatives worth noting

Mohawk Fine Papers Joins EPA’s Climate Leaders Program

A North American paper company has made a commitment to sustainable business practices by pledging to reduce its corporate-wide greenhouse gas emissions.

Mohawk Fine Papers Inc., based in Cohoes, N.Y., recently joined the Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Leaders program, an industry/government partnership launched in 2002 that works with companies to develop long-term comprehensive climate change strategies. Members of the program set a gas reduction goal and inventory their emissions to measure progress. By reporting inventory data to the EPA, members create a lasting record of their accomplishments.

“Because paper manufacturing depends heavily on energy, water, and other natural resources, we long ago embraced the concept of extended stewardship,” said George W. Milner, Mohawk senior vice president of energy, environmental and government affairs. “We continually examine every aspect of our business with the objective of making our environmental footprint as small as possible.”

A few of the strategies Mohawk is employing to reduce emissions include:

• Embracing renewable energy when it’s economically viable.

• Becoming the first paper mill and one of the first large-scale production facilities in the U.S. to use non-polluting, wind-
generated electricity for manufacturing.

• Striving to be a national leader in the use of wind energy, which provides 60 percent of the electricity for the company’s manufacturing, converting and distribution.

• Using wind power products certified by Green-e.

• Achieving certification from SmartWood to manufacture paper following Forest Stewardship Council standards and carrying a wide range of products with the FSC label.

Yield to Green Initiative Makes Strides To Make Printing Greener

printing produces large graphics, billboards, banners and other eye-grabbing advertisements. This type of printing also causes concern due to the use of vinyl PVC banners and petroleum-based inks.

To make this printing process more eco-friendly, Steve Beard began the Yield to Green initiative to research cleaner printing technologies. Beard found banner material that is safely biodegradable, along with papers and cloths used in Europe that are more sustainable. He also located a New Hampshire company that produces bio-based ethyl lactate inks derived from corn. While the inks require an upgrade from the printer and some set-up adjustments, they have shown promise.

The most notable stride in green printing comes from XLprints in Santa Clara, a company with the largest collection of wide format printers in Northern California. XLprints has agreed to dedicate one of its printers, or a third of its production, to the Yield to Green initiative.

Auto Parts Recycler Receives First Emission-Free Recycling Machine

One of the world’s largest recyclers will receive the world’s first 100 percent emission- and pollutant-free green recycling machine for auto shredder residue (ASR). Global Resource Corporation will supply Gershow Recycling in Long Island, N.Y., with its proprietary technology to reduce landfill waste by approximately 65 percent. The result will recover extra metal for profit and the process will generate virtually no emissions linked to global warming.

Global Resource Corporation created the ASR conversion machine, the HAWK 10. The cutting-edge system uses high microwave frequencies to convert “autofluff,” such as textiles, foams, plastics, rubber, and light metal content extracted from cars into oil and gas. This process significantly reduces the amount of waste that Gershow will send to landfills and it is conducted in a closed-loop system that eliminates pollutants.

Global’s HAWK 10 eliminates these costs and environmental hazards by breaking down the “autofluff” with its patent-pending high-frequency microwave technology. The microwaves gasify the materials and convert them into 80 percent light combustible gases and 20 percent oil. The gas is then cycled in a closed-loop system to fuel the next round of material breakdown, without emitting any harmful waste. The alternative renewable energy system delivers sizable savings by:

• Converting combustible gases and fluids to energy.

• Providing an approximately 65 percent reduction of land fill tipping fees.

• Capturing additional metallic material.

• Earning alternative energy tax credits.

“We expect Gershow Recycling to capture a full return on their investment within one year of use, thanks to HAWK 10’s incredible efficiency, and its ability to lower expenses and recover profit,” said Frank Pringle, CEO of Global Resource Corporation. “Gershow’s agreement to implement the HAWK 10 is an excellent example of their forward-thinking, tech-savvy approach to recycling—one its entire industry should emulate to fight global warming. We’re on the cusp of an energy revolution in our country, and alternative energy technology such as ours offers a clear way to cheaper, cleaner fuel, and higher profits.”

Honeywell Helps Perris Go Green

Honeywell announced that it will help a California city create an energy and environmental conservation program. The city of Perris will participate in a large-scale solar energy project. A variety of upgrades designed to increase energy efficiency in city buildings are expected to reduce the city’s energy use and significantly decrease greenhouse gas emissions.

Honeywell will install solar panels on the roofs of new carports at five sites throughout the city, including the Perris library, the local senior center, the city fire house, the corporate yard and city hall. The custom SolarPorts, designed by SPG Solar, Inc., are expected to produce 370 kilowatts of electricity. This effort should produce enough energy to power about 100 homes per year and cover 20 percent of the city’s electricity needs.

“We’re meeting our energy goals and protecting the environment by using renewable technology,” said Mayor Daryl Busch. “The entire program will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 960,000 pounds per year—equivalent to removing more than 90 cars from the road.”

Home Depot Pledges $100 Million For Urban Homes
and Trees

The Home Depot Foundation pledged a 10-year, $100 million commitment to support efforts to make communities healthier and more stable. The funds will be invested to address two areas of vital concern: access to affordable, healthy homes for working families, and planting and preserving community trees in urban areas. In total, the pledge will support the development of 100,000 affordable, healthy homes, and the planting and preservation of more than 3 million community trees over the next decade.

Kelly Caffarelli, executive director of The Home Depot Foundation said that the foundation views these houses and trees as providing more than just shelter and shade.

“We believe in creating environments—both inside a home and outside in a community—that contribute to the financial stability, personal success, physical health and overall well-being of our neighbors,” Caffarelli said.

The Home Depot Foundation is also working to help communities address the economic, social and environmental issues facing urban areas through the strategic use of trees. Trees reduce energy use by cooling urban areas in the summer and providing shelter in the winter. In fact, placing trees properly in a yard can reduce a home’s energy usage by 30 percent. Trees also provide natural infrastructure that controls storm water runoff and erosion, reducing the need for cities to undertake expensive public works projects. Areas with adequate tree cover also experience less crime and residential property values have been shown to increase by up to 20 percent. Over the past three decades, America has lost 30 percent of its urban forest, which is equal to the removal of more than 600 million trees.

Kyocera to Double Solar-Module Manufacturing

Kyocera Corporation recently announced plans to expand its annual solar module manufacturing capacity to 500 megawatts by the end of March 2011—more than double its current annual capacity of 240 megawatts—in response to global demand. The company has secured supply contracts with silicon producers to ensure the steady increase in production capacity.

“For the last two years, as we endured a shortage of solar-grade silicon, Kyocera has focused on improving solar-cell quality and energy-conversion efficiency,” stated Tatsumi Maeda, senior managing executive officer of Kyocera Corp. and general manager of the company’s Corporate Solar Energy Group. “Among the world’s fully integrated suppliers that manage every stage of the process, from casting silicon ingot to engineering and supplying complete solar electric generating systems, our goal is to lead the industry in both quality and quantity.”

The new raw-material contracts will allow the company to expand capacity throughout its quadripartite global manufacturing network for solar modules, which includes plants in Yohkaichi and Ise, Japan; Tijuana, Mexico; Kadan, Czech Republic; and Tianjin, China. Kyocera will invest an estimated $250 million in plants and equipment throughout this network during the course of the expansion effort.


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