• Walmart Sees the Promise in Local Food: It's not surprising, but it is certainly encouraging, that according to the Wall Street Journal, Walmart is finding it can save money by buying more fruits and vegetables grown closer to its stores. The company is benefiting from the growing interest in local foods, and has set a rough definition of "local" as meaning "within 450 miles of its distribution centers."
The article continues: "That's because the Bentonville, Ark., giant has determined that, in an era of high diesel prices, trimming the number of 'food miles' produce travels cuts fuel costs. Buying locally also reduces produce spoilage, Wal-Mart says, though it won't quantify the savings." Also interesting to note is how Walmart's local push could reshape the farm economy: In the past year, Walmart has doubled the number of states that provide it with jalapeño peppers.
• China Embraces Carbon Capture for Climate Fixes: If the Chinese government is going to make large reductions in its greenhouse gas emissions, carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology is going to have to be one of the technologies it uses, according to Radio Australia. China's Climate Change Minister, Xie Zhenhua, laid out the need for CCS at a conference last week, even though CCS has faced a long and stumbling path to get the financing it needs to scale or even to prove its viability.
• Timberland Sets New Goals for Sustainability: Timberland, fresh off its acquisition by VF, has unveiled a new, data-rich CSR website that includes detailed metrics on energy, emissions, materials and facilities, and sets new targets for environmental performance. Timberland, which has long been considered a paragon of CSR reporting, has set new targets that include 30 percent renewable energy use by 2015, 50.5 percent renewable, recycled or organic materials in its products by 2015, and an 18 percent reduction in the number of suppliers that are "high priority" for its code of conduct.
• Making the Yellow Pages More Sustainable: The Local Search Association, a trade group of phone-directory publishers, announced on Friday that it had become a top sponsor of a Zero Waste conference in San Diego. In honor of that commitment, I took the time to opt out of delivery of all eight phone books that I would have otherwise received, and I urge you to do the same at YellowPagesOptOut.com.
Photo CC-licensed by Robert S. Donovan.