First Take: Greenpeace's Quick 'Barbie' Win, Green Buildings Aren't Hazardous, and More ...

First Take: Greenpeace's Quick 'Barbie' Win, Green Buildings Aren't Hazardous, and More ...

Image licensed by Flickr user vikk007

• Another One Bites the Dust: That was fast.

Mattel announced late Wednesday (PDF) that it has ordered its suppliers to stop buying wood products from Asia Pulp & Paper while it investigates charges of deforestation, according to the Los Angeles Times. The news follows the Tuesday launch of a global Greenpeace campaign aimed at getting the toy maker to discontinue using packaging materials sourced from a company that has allegedly played a prominent role in deforestation in Indonesia. APP, a subsidiary of Sinar Mar, has been on Greenpeace's hit list for years; the nonprofit previously muscled Burger King and Nestle into dropping the company as a supplier.

• Keep Calm and Carry On. A study by the Institute of Medicine makes measured and common-sense recommendations on what can be done to ensure that climate change and efforts to mitigate it don't make existing indoor environmental problems worse. Contrary to some alarmist headlines, the report does not suggest that green buildings are hazardous to the health. The report commissioned by the EPA can downloaded free from the National Academies Press at www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13115.

AEP to Shut Down 6K MW of Coal Generation: American Electric Power will spend as much as $8 billion over the next four years to retire nearly a quarter of its coal fleet and retrofit others in order to comply with upcoming environmental regulations, Reuters reported. The utility has warned the proposed EPA rules -- related to mercury, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides emissions, coal ash disposal and use of cooling water towers -- will push its electric rates up by between 10 percent and 35 percent.

• Take That to the Bank: U.K. retailer Marks & Spencer saved some £70 million last year from its Plan A sustainability program, which includes initiatives such as building energy efficiency projects, reduced packaging, recycling or reusing hangers, and using less fuel in its fleet, BusinessGreen reported today. In its latest sustainability report, the company also revealed that renewable energy, in the form of small-scale hydro, anaerobic digestors and wind power, generate 5 percent of its energy needs.

• Welcome Aboard: BT has tapped a former Saatchi & Saatchi executive as its new chief sustainability officer, ComputerWorld UK reported. Nialle Dunne previously led sustainability at the advertising company, as well as Accenture. Dunne will oversee BT's sustainability strategy, working side-by-side with the company's director of corporate responsibility, Caroline Sheridan. Dunne starts his new position July 4.

• The Daily 'We're Doomed': If you live anywhere but the West Coast, which has had a wet, cool spring, you've probably been dealing with warmer than normal temperatures (not to mention tornadoes, floods, fires, etc.). According to a forthcoming study from Stanford University, it's only going to get worse: "[B]y the middle of this century, even the coolest summers will be hotter than the hottest summers of the past 50 years." Time's Bryan Walsh writes about the report here.

• In Related News: Yale and George Mason Universities have released the first of four sets of results about the public and global warming: Slightly more people believe the planet is heating up (64 percent, up from 61 last year), but fewer believe it's humans' fault (47 percent, down from 50 last year). That certainly doesn't bode well for comprehensive climate regulations ...

Image licensed by Flickr user vikk007.