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30 May 2017 11:42AM

Going green - a price worth paying?

25 Aug 08 ,  Editorial Staff
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Canada’s Victor Group Inc. will be the exclusive mill distributor of ‘GreenShield’ finishing from G3 Technology Innovations, LLC (G3i), an ecological nano technology-based stain and water repellent.

Victor’s ‘Eco Intelligent’ polyester fabrics finished with GreenShield are certified ‘Cradle to Cradle Silver’ by McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC). The new technology is said to differ from other textile finishes in that it can ‘grow’ molecules on the surface of silica-based nanoparticles that are then applied to a fabric. It is claimed that this dramatically reduces the use of chemicals applied to textiles.

 “This can create a multifunctional fabric that is simultaneously water repellent, soil and stain resistant, anti-odor and bacterial resistant, and antistatic. This ‘all-in-one’ approach greatly minimizes the amount of chemistry on the fabric making it safer and much more environmentally friendly,” Dr Sunderrajan, one of the founders of G3 technology.

 The use of the GreenShield finish is one of the latest steps in Victor’s initiatives to encourage sustainable manufacturing, processes and products.
 The GreenShield technology uses the principle of micro-roughness to reduce the use of harmful fluorochemicals on fabrics. This ‘micro-roughness’ works at a molecular level to create a pocket of air between the fabric and water and/or oil, creating a natural repellent.

Blueprint for ‘better’ within two years
The ‘Better Cotton Initiative’ has released its latest global principles as it looks to produce its final version in 2010.

 The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) was established in 2007 to promote improvements in the environmental and social impacts of cotton cultivation. The BCI intends to initiate global change in the mass market, with long-term benefits for the environment, farmers and other people dependent on cotton for their livelihood. Its charter is being developed through a collaborative multi-stakeholder approach involving global buyers of cotton products to grow the demand for larger amounts of ‘better cotton'. 

Unlike organic cotton, ‘Better Cotton’ is produced by farmers who minimize the use and impact of pesticides. It will also ensure that ‘better cotton’ is produced where water use is optimized (both irrigated and rain-fed) and that the water is extracted legally without adversely affecting groundwater or water bodies. 

After receiving, considering and incorporating feedback, BCI will design a recommended supply chain system and related work streams. BCI’s current goal is to complete the supply chain system design at the end of 2008 and pilot the system in 2009, although there will not be a labeling scheme for Better Cotton.

First environmental checks for Japanese fibers
Tokyo-based Teijin Ltd. has unveiled the Japanese fiber industry’s first system for checking the environmental friendliness of products and processes. The recognition system will evaluate the production process lifecycle based on six criteria: energy efficiency, resource conservation, security, environmental friendliness, transparency and environmental impact. Teijin Group employees will use detailed checklists in line with the new “Teijin Group Guidelines for Environmentally Friendly Design” for assessment. The new system will begin in July.

 Teijin Ltd. also announced new goals to cut chemical substance emissions by more than 80 per cent and industrial waste emissions by more than 85 percent by 2020. This is compared to the 1998 levels. 

Teijin’s new green standard and waste reduction goals complement its other environmentally sustainable business developments, such as the Eco Circle? closed-loop polyester recycling system and Biofront? heat-resistant bioplastic.

Wal-Mart steps up supply of organic cotton
The world's biggest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc, is boosting its purchases of transitional cotton as part of plans to introduce more organic cotton clothing. 

The Bentonville, Arkansas based retailer said more than 12 million pounds of transitional cotton is set to arrive in stores for the first time under its exclusive Faded Glory brand. 

And additional products made with transitional cotton will appear on Wal-Mart shelves in the months ahead. 

Transitional cotton is produced on fields in the process of becoming organic, and because chemicals may still be apparent in the soil this prevents farmers from certifying crops as organic. 

Farmers who have adopted organic practices typically harvest transitioning crops for up to three years. However, during the transition crop yields are typically lower and risks higher, so farmers are at financial risk. 

According to the Organic Cotton Exchange, Wal-Mart is the largest user of organic cotton in the world for the second year in a row. 

The retailer has purchased more than 28mn pounds of organic cotton and an additional 12mn pounds of transitional cotton to date.

Alternative and organic fiber apparel and home products sales at Wal-Mart have increased by nearly 100% from 2006 to 2007 - a trend that has continued into 2008. 

Other merchandise launched for Earth Month include ladies' and juniors' organic cotton sleepwear, organic cotton Earth Day T-shirts, and young men's T-shirts made with RPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate), a material manufactured with recycled plastic.

‘Carbon-neutral’ shipping promoted for Thai users
Global logistics provider DHL is offering clients in Thailand and six other Asian nations a “carbon-neutral” shipping service as part of the industry's initiative to combat global warning. 

The GoGreen service allows customers to choose ways to offset carbon outputs created by their shipments, thus helping to reduce the release of greenhouse gases that harm the environment. 

First launched in Europe in 2006, GoGreen is expected to be available in 17 countries in the Asia-Pacific region by the end of this year, said George Kerschbaumer, DHL's executive vice-president for corporate development. 

The service was officially introduced at the World Economic Forum in Davos , Switzerland in January 2007 to support the forum's carbon-neutral commitment, he said. 

Carbon-neutral shipping is being introduced now in Thailand, Australia, the Philippines, India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia.
 DHL was the first logistics company to offer customers the option to offset the carbon outputs of their shipments, said Mr. Kerschbaumer.

By using its own carbon calculation and carbon management systems, DHL can assess emissions created by a customer's shipment, to identify the most appropriate abatement projects and co-ordinate the offsetting of emissions.

According to Mr. Kerschbaumer, DHL has worked with an independent third party, the Swiss-based Socie{aac}te{aac} Ge{aac}ne{aac}rale de Surveillance, to issue an annual certificate stating the total amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) that was offsets on its behalf during the year.

Customers who choose to use GoGreen would be charged an additional 3% “green premium” on top of standard delivery fares. 

DHL calculates carbon emissions generated by transporting each specific customer shipment from the origin to destination, and offsets these emissions by reinvesting in certified carbon management programs such as alternative-fuel vehicle technology, solar panel and reforestation projects, he said.
 The service would also be made available by the end of this year in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh, he added.