IKEA’s new Greenwich store awarded highest sustainability rating

A new IKEA store in the London borough of Greenwich has been awarded the highest rating score for a retail unit to date by a leading building science organisation.

Building Research Establishment (BRE) has awarded IKEA Greenwich an ‘Outstanding’ rating in the BREEAM UK New Construction certification, which rates the sustainability of buildings.

The IKEA branch achieved a score of over 90%, making it the first building in the UK and second retail unit in the world to receive such an accolade.

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Source: Environment Journal

UN Unveils Alliance to Combat the ‘Destructive Practices of Fashion’

The UN Alliance for Sustainable Fashion – launched last week at the UN Environment Assembly – seeks to halt the environmentally and socially destructive practices of fashion. The alliance hopes it will “harness the industry as a driver for improving the world’s ecosystems.”

The alliance says it will analyze the efforts of UN agencies, identify solutions and gaps in their actions, and present these findings to governments to influence policy. These agencies include the Food and Agricultural Organization, the International Trade Centre, and UN Environment.

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Source: Environmental Leader

Amazon Announces “Shipment Zero” Plan To Drive Net Zero Carbon Shipments

Online retailer and internet megalith Amazon has announced plans to make all its shipments net zero carbon under the banner “Shipment Zero” with an interim target of making 50% of all shipments net zero by 2030.

At the same time as Amazon has come under fire for its failure to follow through on its 100% renewable energy promises for its data cloud service, Amazon Web Services, the company came out on Monday and announced that it plans to make all its shipments net zero carbon.

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Source: Clean Technica

Ikea Prolongs Product Lifecycle with Furniture Leasing Option

Ikea will begin leasing furniture as a trial initiative in Switzerland. Customers can rent pieces of furniture for a set period until it is no longer needed; the retailer will then refurbish the pieces and keep them in circulation and prolong their lifecycle, which means less waste and more recycling, according to Torbjorn Loof, chief executive of Inter Ikea, owner of the brand (via the Express).

Businesses will have the option to lease office furniture; homeowners can even borrow entire kitchen units, with the option of swapping them out for different colors and designs.

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Source: Environmental Leader

Despite Increase in Cost, Samsung Replaces Plastic Packaging with Sustainable Stuff

In the latest corporate announcement regarding plastic waste – such announcements have flooded the news since the start of 2019 – Samsung Electronics says it will begin replacing plastic packaging materials with environmentally sustainable materials effective immediately. Packaging currently used for products like mobile phones, tablets and home appliances will be replaced with materials like paper and recycled or bio-based plastics.

A dedicated task force is focusing on design and development, purchasing, marketing and quality control for new packaging ideas.

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Source: Environmental Leader

Tiffany & Co. Leads New Era Of Diamond Transparency

Tiffany & Co. announced today that it will begin sharing with consumers the provenance (region or countries of origin) of its newly sourced, individually registered diamonds – a significant step for diamond transparency – and by 2020, their craftsmanship journey – an industry first.

With its Diamond Source Initiative, Tiffany is tracing each of its individually registered diamonds (0.18 carats and larger) by a unique “T&Co” serial number etched by laser and invisible to the naked eye, and providing consumers geographic sourcing information specific to their diamond. Beyond general assurances of “conflict free,” Tiffany believes that knowing provenance is critical to ensuring its diamonds are among the most responsibly sourced in the world.

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Source: Press Tiffany & Co.

Sir David Attenborough issues dire warning about climate change

Sir David Attenborough has warned that climate change is the greatest threat to humanity and could lead to the collapse of civilisations.

The stark message was issued to world leaders at United Nations climate talks in Katowice, Poland, who were urged to take action to drive down greenhouse gas emissions.

Sir David said the world was facing its “greatest threat in thousands of years” and that time was running out.

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Source: Telegraph.co.uk

Sustainable Fashion Searches Surged In 2018

Consumers have been putting their money where their mouth is when it comes to sustainability as Lyst’s year in fashion, out today, shows.

The fashion search engine tracked more than 100 million searches on their shopping site over the past 12 months to analyze the biggest trends and most buzzed about brands.

Lyst has reported a 47% increase in shoppers looking for items that have ethical and style credentials with terms such as “vegan leather” and “organic cotton”

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Source: Forbes

European parliament approves sweeping ban on single-use plastics

The European parliament has overwhelmingly backed a wide-ranging ban on single-use plastics in an effort to tackle pollution in seas, fields and waterways.

Under the proposed directive, items such as plastic straws, cotton swabs, disposable plastic plates and cutlery would be banned by 2021, and 90% of plastic bottle recycled by 2025.

Described by the European commission as a clampdown on “the top 10 plastic products that most often end up in the ocean”, the proposed legislation passed 571 votes to 53.

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Source: The Guardian

Tesco trials reverse vending machines

Tesco has begun trialling in-store recycling machines which will pay customers for every plastic bottle returned.

Trials will take place at selected stores in Borehamwood, Swansea, Edinburgh, Manchester and Birmingham and will pay 10p for bottles returned.

Customers will also be able to reuse their own plastic containers when they buy meat, cheese or fish from the deli and fish counters, a move introduced by Morrisons earlier this year.

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Source: Recycling & Waste World