Home Depot, Conoco make big eco-announcements

Big news from big companies: Conoco is entering the biofuels biz, and Home Depot is launching a green-labeling program that could become the largest in the U.S. First, the fuel: partnering with meat giant Tyson Foods, Conoco will make biodiesel from animal fat. The companies hope to introduce the fuel in the Midwest later this year, aiming to churn out 175 million gallons annually within a few years. “That doesn’t sound like much, but it’s very significant,” says Conoco CEO Jim Mulva. “In a tight market, every incremental increase helps improve supply availability and reduces retail-price pressure.” Meanwhile, DIY paradise Home Depot will paste an “Eco Options” label on nearly 3,000 greener products at its sprawling stores, a total that could grow to 6,000 products by 2009. “People hear about the environment … but at the end of the day they don’t know what to do,” says Ron Jarvis, VP of environmental innovation. “We see educating the consumer as being the highest impact of this process.”