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Issue No. 40 : February 2014

Our Perspective

How Can SMEs Manage Supply Chain Pressures to Gain Competitive Advantage?

Supply chain has become a crucial and important part of large corporations’ wider sustainability strategies when it comes to addressing a number of concerns that threaten business operations. As big businesses now thrive and reap the fruits of sustainability efforts, similar expectations have funnelled down to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). This is turn, has increased supply chain pressures that include resource depletion and their stakeholders’ growing concern over corporate ethics and policies. In addition, these companies are receiving external pressures from customers who now “demand” to know more about their business, products, services and even corporate social responsibility initiatives. Read More

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Industry Updates

The Five CSR Trends to Watch in 2014

New materials, genetically modified organisms, climate change adaptation, employee engagement and social entrepreneurs - these are the five trends most likely to keep sustainability professionals awake at night over the coming 12 months. Read More

Sustainability, Local Sourcing Top Restaurant Trends

Locally sourced food, sustainability and waste reduction will be among the top restaurant trends this year, according to a survey of about 1,300 US chefs. Read More

NYC Cuts GHG Emissions 19%

New York City has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions 19 percent since 2005, Reuters reports. Read More

Firms 'Must Close CSR Gap to Grow Business'

Companies that close the gap between consumer expectations and perceptions of their corporate social responsibility work can positively transform their brand, according to Craig Bida, executive vice president of cause branding and nonprofit marketing for Cone Communications. Read More

Energy Efficiency Market Face Financing, Big Data Challenges in 2014

The efficiency industry, driven largely in 2013 by intelligent innovations such as energy management software and virtual audits, will face financing, big data, education and accountability hurdles this year, according to a survey of executives by GTM Research. Read More

Sustainability Helps SMEs Cut Costs, Increase Profitability

A quarter of small businesses say sustainability ranks high on their priority list for 2014 and a third expect to increase their investment in sustainable business practices over the next five years, according to research by Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking. Read More

Data Centers Becoming More Efficient

Energy-efficient data centers will continue to demand attention in 2014, with high energy costs and government regulations and directives on measuring data center energy efficiency continuing to be prominent. Read More

Energy Efficiency Driving Innovation

Emphasis on energy efficient products over the next decade is expected to drive an expanding use of digital power management in applications such as DC-DC converters, says Reinhold Theurer, vice president EMEA in Electronics Weekly. Read More

China to Link Credit to Companies' Environmental Records

Chinese companies are to be rated by the government on their environmental performance records which will, in turn, determine how they are treated under various social and financial aspects. Read More

Sustainability Ranks as Pressing Priority for SMEs in 2014

A quarter of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) say sustainability will be one of their top three priorities this year, despite the fact many are struggling to move beyond implementing simple green measures. Read More

Vietnam to Steer Support to Cities Under Climate Threat

A survey of the harshest effects of climate change on Vietnam's urban areas is scheduled to be completed by 2020 under a project recently approved by the country's Deputy Prime Minister, Hoang Trung Hai. Read More

Western Companies, Suppliers Greening Asia Factories

In the last five years, Western companies and occasionally their Asian suppliers have begun to build green-certified or environmentally friendly factories in developing countries. Read More

Carbon Market Value to Climb 15% in 2014

The analysts attribute the increase to the European Union's plan to postpone sales of emissions permits. This may boost European carbon prices to 7.5 euros ($10) a metric ton - a more than 50 percent rise from today's price of less than 5 euros ($7). Read More

CA Carbon Market 'Well-Constructed, Strong'

The first year of California's cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gas pollution shows the carbon market is well-constructed and strong while the state's economy continues to improve, according to analysis by Environmental Defense Fund. Read More

Michigan Office Offering Energy Audits

The Michigan Energy Office (MEO) has partnered with private-sector technical energy-saving experts throughout the state provide energy audits for qualified recipients. MEO pays for half of the audit cost. Read More

Predictions Made for High Performance Building

Net-zero energy buildings are so 2013. Net-positive energy buildings are the future. That was among the predictions for 2014 made by green builder Hammer & Hand for the US high performance building industry. Read More

Report: Global Environmental Consultancy Market Tops $27bn

The global environmental consultancy market expanded again last year, growing 3.6 per cent year-on-year to $27.4bn as analysts tipped the sector for further expansion over the next five years. Read More

CSR Strategies Reap Financial Rewards

Companies that introduce a sustainability strategy throughout their supply chain generally see a boost in their financial performance — but those that don’t fully commit to the strategy generally see a decline in revenue, according to a study by Clark University researchers. Read More

Sustainability Reporting Changes Top EY's 2014 Trends List

The forthcoming conflict minerals reporting deadlines and transition to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 reporting are among the 2014 sustainability trends that Ernst & Young’s Climate Change and Sustainability Services group have identified for companies. Read More

CO2 Emissions Expected to Increase in 2013

The Energy Information Administration reports that once all data are in, energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2013 are expected to be roughly 2 percent above the 2012 level. A small increase in coal consumption in the electric power sector is responsible. Read More

HSBC: 2014 Marks Start of New Economic Focus on Climate

HSBC has said climate change will rise up the corporate finance agenda this year, highlighting three issues - impacts, carbon risk and green bonds - that will lend impetus to this. Read More

Shanghai Environmental Spending not Matching Economic Growth

Shanghai devoted a smaller share of its resources and has met a smaller proportion of its goals for environmental protection in the five years from 2008 to 2012, despite growing public dissatisfaction with the city's environment in recent years, the local statistics bureau said yesterday. Read More

Water Security Now Ranks as One of Greatest Risks to Civilisation

Water is now one of the highest global risks, alongside the economy, unemployment, food shortages and extreme weather patterns, new research has found. Read More

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