This article first appeared in Reuters’ new sustainability website.
Around the time of the 2008 global financial meltdown, consumer products giant Unilever decided to swap the push for short-term results — what CEO Paul Polman calls “the three-month rat-races” — for a long-range business plan tied to environmental and social sustainability.
“We don’t do three-month reporting any more,” Polman said in a telephone interview before Unilever’s latest earnings report on Thursday. “We’re not going into the three-month rat-races. We’re not working for our shareholders. We’re working for the consumer, we are focused and the shareholder gets rewarded.”
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Biofuels made from algae, promoted by President Barack Obama as a possible way to help wean Americans off foreign oil, cannot be made now on a large scale without using unsustainable amounts of energy, water and fertilizer, the U.S. National Research Council reported on Wednesday.
“Faced with today’s technology, to scale up any more is going to put really big demands on … not only energy input, but water, land and the nutrients you need, like carbon dioxide, nitrate and phosphate,” said Jennie Hunter-Cevera, a microbial physiologist who headed the committee that wrote the report.
WASHINGTON, Oct 23 (Reuters) – Most Americans have scant
understanding about their water supply, but they are concerned
about it, and believe recycling water gives the United States an
advantage over other countries, a survey said on Tuesday.
However, Americans are less accepting of drinking recycled
wastewater in a practice known as toilet-to-tap, the survey
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An earthquake that killed nine people in Spain last year may have been triggered by decades of pumping water from a nearby natural underground reservoir, suggesting human activities played a role in moving Earth’s crust, scientists reported on Sunday.
The study published in the journal Nature Geoscience centered on the May 11, 2011, quake in the southern Spanish town of Lorca. In addition to the nine deaths, this relatively modest earthquake of magnitude 5.1 damaged numerous buildings in Lorca, an agricultural center.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After a hot spring and a scorching summer, this winter is likely to continue a U.S. warming trend that could make 2012 the hottest year since modern record-keeping began, U.S. weather experts said Thursday.
Drought that ravaged much of the United States this year may spread in the coming months, said Mike Halpert at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center.
WASHINGTON, Oct 16 (Reuters) – Computer models have
accurately forecast conditions on Mars and are valid predictors
of climate change on Earth, U.S. and French astronomers said on
These computer programs predicted Martian glaciers and other
features on Earth’s planetary neighbor, scientists found.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Last month tied for the warmest September in the global modern record, scientists at the U.S. government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported on Monday.
This September tied with the same month in 2005 for the record. The land-and-sea global average temperature was 60.21 F (15.67 C), or 1.21 F (.67 C) above the 20th century average.
WASHINGTON, Oct 9 (Reuters) – Nearly three-quarters of
Americans say global warming influences U.S. weather and made
this year’s record-hot summer worse, a survey said on Tu esday.
Conducted by Yale and George Mason universities, the survey
found 74 percent of Americans believe that global warming is
affecting weather, up 5 percentage points since March 2012, the
last time the two organizations asked these questions.
WASHINGTON, Sept 19 (Reuters) – Arctic sea ice, a key
indicator of climate change, melted to its lowest level on
record this year before beginning its autumnal freeze,
researchers at the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center said
The extent of ice probably hit its low point on Sept. 16,
when it covered 1.32 million square miles (3.42 million square
km) of the Arctic Ocean, the smallest amount since satellite
records began 33 years ago.
, Sept 17 (Reuters) – Perched on a hilltop
outside Washington, the U.S. government’s net-zero energy
laboratory looks a lot like the luxury houses nearby, with two
significant differences: it will make as much energy as it uses,
and only sensors, not people, live in it.
Designed to fit in a typical residential neighborhood, the
4,000 square foot (372 square metre) net-zero lab on the
suburban campus of the National Institute of Standards and
Technology is so energy-efficient that over the course of a year
it is expected to produce as much energy as it needs.