Business & Technology

Wal-Mart gobbles up local produce

You thought you took home a haul at the farmers market last week, but you’ve got nothin’ on Wal-Mart. The big-box retailer has become the …

Investment in renewable energy skyrockets

Global investment in renewable energy was a record $148 billion in 2007, jumping 60 percent from 2006, the United Nations reported Tuesday. About one-third of …

What I saw at the Summit

Thoughts from the big organic confab in Boulder

Attending last week’s Organic Summit, held within the tasteful confines of the St. Julien Hotel and Spa in Boulder, was a very, well, organic experience. …

Milk jug gets a makeover

Another example of how carbon constraints may benefit big box retailers

Wal-Mart and Costco have adopted a version of the one-gallon milk jug designed with efficiency in mind. The boxier containers stack better, eliminating the need for milk crates and conserving space in trucks and on refrigerated store shelves: The company estimates this kind of shipping has cut labor by half and water use by 60 to 70 percent. More gallons fit on a truck and in Sam's Club coolers, and no empty crates need to be picked up, reducing trips to each Sam's Club store to two a week, from five -- a big fuel savings. Also, Sam's Club can now store 224 gallons of milk in its coolers, in the same space that used to hold 80.

Do plug-ins dream of electric horses?

VW to join Toyota, GM with 2010 plug-in hybrid

The following post is by Earl Killian, guest blogger at Climate Progress. ----- The German government announced it will be helping to fund VW's plug-in hybrid development program with 15 million euros. VM aims for a 2010 vehicle with 31 miles of all-electric range. VW head Martin Winterkorn said that while petrol or diesel powered cars would be around for some time to come, "the future belongs to all-electric cars." According to autoblog, the Twin Drive uses a 82-hp electric motor and a 2.0L turbodiesel producing 122 hp. VW recently signed a deal with Sanyo, which is aggressively ramping up automotive lithium-ion battery production. It expects the hybrid and plug-in hybrid markets to be 4 to 4.5 million vehicles by 2015, and aims to capture 40 percent of this market. Sanyo uses a mixture of Ni, Mn, and Co for the positive electrode, thereby producing a safer battery that exhibits power retention ratio of 80 percent or higher after 10,000 cycles (10-15 years in a hybrid vehicle). Last week, Daimler announced it would bring an electric car to market in 2010. For more on plug ins, see "Turn on, plug in, drop out." This post was created for ClimateProgress.org, a project of the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

Airlines must pay for emissions, E.U. says

All flights into, out of, and within the European Union will be included in the bloc’s emissions-trading scheme as of 2012, the E.U. Parliament decided …

New coal plant approved in Virginia, may fuel mountaintop-removal mining

An embattled $1.8 billion coal plant slated for Wise County, Va., was granted pollution permits Wednesday by a state regulatory board, allowing construction to proceed. …

Auto industry loses suit to sink California vehicle emissions standards

A federal judge has struck down the auto industry’s attempt to gut California’s greenhouse-gas emissions standards for vehicles. California’s law, which would cut vehicle emissions …

Business sense

BP, Shell, Airbus, and other multinationals call for 50 percent emission cuts by 2050

The CEOs of 100 large multinational corporations -- including companies from carbon-intense industries -- have signed a World Economic Forum statement [PDF] that calls on the G8 to create a strategy to cut global greenhouse-gas emissions by at least 50 percent by 2050. The G8 will be meeting in Japan next month, and Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda will be pushing hard for an agreement on climate change. Notable signatories to the statement: Airbus, British Airways, BP, Duke Energy, DuPont, Electricite de France, Entergy, E.ON, Michelin, Petrobras, Renault, Rolls-Royce, and Shell. Are pigs flying? Not quite.