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Sunday, October 19, 2014

From Apple to Wal-Mart, Companies Make Bets on Climate Change - Bloomberg

From Apple to Wal-Mart, Companies Make Bets on Climate Change - Bloomberg: "CDP grades companies based on how aggressively they are setting and meeting carbon goals, and on how forthcoming they are about this work. CDP started with a pool of about 2,000 companies that shared information about their climate-related work earlier this year. The 187 companies that received an "A" from group this year made the index. They include some of the world’s leading brands — Apple, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BMW, CVS Health, Google, Northrop Grumman, Samsung, Unilever.

At least part of the strong performance of the CDP carbon index can be attributed to its heavy concentration of tech and financial stocks, sectors that grew faster than average in the last five years. Businesses in those industries have embraced pollution cuts much faster than their counterparts in industries where burning fossil fuels is more central to the core business. The energy sector, for example, "has very few companies" -- five -- "that are able to meet the leadership criteria" laid out by CDP this year, according to the report.

"Energy companies struggle to really put themselves on a path of a low-carbon transition," says Paul Simpson, CDP's chief executive. "Their core business is very carbon-intensive."

The results challenge the still-pervasive assumption that climate-friendly business is automatically bad business. "The A List" study complements a library of research into the benefits to businesses and investors of considering environmental and other sustainability criteria when setting strategy. There's some evidence of a “halo effect” associated with do-gooder companies on low-carbon diets. More likely, the CDP results are a case of already-successful companies taking on climate change, not climate change activities per se categorically pushing stocks higher somehow.

If nothing else, CDP’s new report is a reminder that rational executives atop leading companies are embracing the changes that are already underway in consumer sentiment, regulation and the climate itself."



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UN Messenger of Peace Donates Millions Towards Ocean Conservation—Leonardo DiCaprio : ENVIRONMENT & CLIMATE : The Science Times

UN Messenger of Peace Donates Millions Towards Ocean Conservation—Leonardo DiCaprio : ENVIRONMENT & CLIMATE : The Science Times: "Looking to support marine conservation projects worldwide, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation announced last week that in hopes of helping to establish marine protected areas in the Pacific Islands and the Arctic, as well as strictly enforcing fishing regulations and aiding in the protection of threatened shark populations, they were awarding a $2 million grant to the Oceans 5 international funders' collaborative responsible for a large portion of the world's marine conservation projects.

"The sad truth is that less than two percent of our oceans are fully protected. We need to change that now" DiCaprio says. "My foundation supports Oceans 5 projects that are directly improving ocean health by stopping overfishing and creating marine reserves."

And while his foundation has helped fund many worthwhile causes since its inception in 1998, DiCaprio's newest grant may not only help protect the oceans, but also help him keep a promise to the United Nations. As the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimates that nearly 71 percent of the Earth's surface is covered by oceans' waters, marine ecosystems play a large role in many of the Earth's systems including weather and variable climate. And in helping save the oceans and their many species, DiCaprio may just have a hand in helping to bring about a climate change of his own."



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New IR-reflecting magnetic mirror developed by scientists | General News

New IR-reflecting magnetic mirror developed by scientists | General News: "The development of a new magnetic mirror that can reflect infrared light is being celebrated by the scientists responsible for its construction.



The new mirror uses not-metallic metamaterials to reflect IR light, which exists at wavelengths too long to be seen be the naked eye unaided. The scientists used a series of ultra-small scale magnetic reflectors and placed nanoscale antennas on key points of these mirrors, which aided in focusing electromagnetic radiation. The creation of the new magnetic mirror could have serious implications in how to develop new types of optoelectronic devices like lasers, solar sells and chemical sensors, researchers say in the academic paper that publicized their findings."



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Friday, October 17, 2014

Coffee jackpot? Starbucks offering drinks for life

Coffee jackpot? Starbucks offering drinks for life: "Best holiday gift ever?

Starbucks is offering drinks for life to 10 customers.

Technically, the offer is not "for life" but for a free drink or food item every day for 30 years.

Customers become eligible for the giveaway by using a Starbucks Card or by paying through a mobile device.

The contest is a way for the company to promote its new order and pay ahead mobile program, which is scheduled to launch by the end of next year. Starbucks is offering the program early -- before the end of this year -- in Portland.

"This is the first time we ever offered customers something of this magnitude," said Sharon Rothstein, Starbucks executive vice president, in a statement regarding the Starbucks for Life offer."



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