Liviya James

Not-So-Green Buildings: New Report Uncovers Construction Industry’s Dirty Secret

Not-So-Green Buildings: New Report Uncovers Construction Industry’s Dirty Secret

NGO calls upon Skanska, Turner, Clark, AECOM to take urgent action to reduce emissions from steel

Read the report

Today, at the largest conference in the U.S. dedicated to green building, Mighty Earth released a new report exposing the enormous carbon footprint of steel used in green construction. The global steel industry emits 2.3 gigatons of carbon dioxide each year – equivalent to the emissions from 569 coal plants

The report shows that the industry could easily take action to mitigate its climate impact: if all steel manufacturers sourced electricity for their electric arc furnaces from clean energy sources, they would reduce the carbon footprint of those facilities by 44 percent.

“We’re releasing this report at Greenbuild to show that even the greenest buildings are using steel produced with dirty electricity,” said Margaret Hansbrough, Mighty Earth Campaign Director. “We can no longer ignore the tremendous amount of energy used in the steel manufacturing and recycling process – and how that electricity is being generated. It’s time to take these emissions into account and for builders to address the impact on our climate.”

The report, Construction Destruction: The Hidden Carbon Costs of Dirty Steel, calls on construction industry behemoths Skanska, Turner Construction, Clark Construction and AECOM to commit to only source steel from manufacturers that have switched to clean energy for all grid-sourced electricity.

As buildings have become increasingly efficient in operation and design, fewer emissions are coming from their operational footprint and the industry is shifting some focus to decrease the embodied carbon of steel and other building materials used in construction. Skanska, Turner Construction, Clark Construction and AECOM are some of the most influential players within the green building industry, but these companies have yet to commit to only buying materials with the lowest possible global warming potential. Skanska is considered the greenest of the group and has committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

“Each year, the embodied carbon of all building materials accounts for 11 percent of global emissions and 28 percent of global building sector emissions,” said Hansbrough. “As buildings emit less day-to-day, their embodied carbon will take up an even greater proportion of their climate pollution. As the largest steel consumer, construction companies must ask their steel suppliers to commit to clean electricity and take other steps to dramatically reduce their emissions.”

Mighty Earth’s first report on the steel industry, Cold Steel, Hot Climate: The World’s Biggest Untapped Clean Energy Opportunity, called upon the entire steel industry to shift toward carbon neutrality, identifying Nucor Corporation as the best-positioned steel company to switch to 100 percent clean energy for its electricity.

Globally, the construction industry accounts for more than 50 percent of all steel produced. Nucor is the largest steel producer in the United States and calls itself “America’s largest recycler,” controlling approximately 29 percent of the U.S. steel market. The production method (Electric Arc Furnace or EAF) used by the company consumes massive amounts of electricity. Mighty Earth sees an opportunity for Nucor to transition to clean energy in the 25 states where it operates and is calling on major purchasers of Nucor steel in the construction industry to push the company to address the embodied carbon of its steel. However, Nucor has not yet made a commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions or to transition its electricity consumption to clean energy.

“The steel sector is America’s biggest clean energy opportunity,” said Glenn Hurowitz. “But instead, its largest company, Nucor, is not only denying climate science but allowing a golden opportunity to pass it by.”

In nearly every state where Nucor operates, there are clean energy procurement options available. Companies like GM, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and more than 100 others have already committed to sourcing 100 percent clean energy and are accelerating the greening of the grid.

These findings were released on the heels of the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report which found that improvements in process and energy efficiency within the steel industry are not enough to keep the world in line with a 1.5 degrees Celsius target. Therefore, to evade the grave consequences of climate change, the steel industry must slash its emissions through other means, including by shifting to clean energy sources for its electricity and investing in climate mitigation activities like methane treatment, forest protection, and wind and solar deployment.


New Investigation Links One of Germany’s Largest Poultry Producers to Forest Destruction in Latin America

Today, a new report released by Mighty Earth and Robin Wood revealed strong evidence that Rothkötter, one of Germany’s largest poultry producers, is buying soy from two companies – Cargill and Bunge – driving illegal forest destruction in Latin America.

The report, Raubbau für Geflügelfleisch or Germany: Meet your Meat, calls on Rothkötter to remove soy harvested on deforested land from its supply chain. In response, environmentalists have gathered at a feed plant owned by Rothkötter in Lower Saxony, Germany, to protest the company.

Rothkötter is a major poultry supplier, “producing” 3.5 million chicks every week for customers including supermarkets and fast food chains like Lidl, Aldi Sud, and Netto Marken-Discount. It has been estimated that one out of every three chickens consumed in Germany comes from Rothkötter.

Using satellite mapping and vessel and navigation data, our team documented ships traveling from Cargill and Bunge facilities in Amsterdam to Rothkötter’s main feed plant in Eurohafen, Germany. While vessel tracking was unable to distinguish between Cargill and Bunge facilities, both companies are notorious for driving massive deforestation for soy across Latin America. Earlier this year the Brazilian government’s IBAMA environmental enforcement agency caught Cargill and Bunge purchasing soy from areas under embargo due to illegal deforestation.

In January 2018, Mighty Earth and Robin Wood asked key German meat producers, including Rothkötter, whether they purchase soy from Bunge or Cargill and demanded the implementation of supply chain traceability systems. Rothkötter declined to answer the inquiry.

While both Cargill and Bunge have published sustainability policies committing otherwise, their supply chain continues to drive deforestation by resisting efforts to expand deforestation-free production. And they have found willing buyers in Germany, where their soy is used by food and meat processers to feed chickens, pigs and cattle to produce meat, eggs and dairy products sold in German supermarkets and restaurants.

“Rothkötter must take immediate action to remove soy deforestation from the company’s supply chain,” said Mighty Earth Campaign Director Anahita Yousefi. “By associating with Cargill and Bunge, Rothkötter is complicit in forest destruction and human rights violations in Latin America.”

The report pressures Rothkötter’s customers to halt all business relations with the poultry producer until the company commits to only source sustainable soy for animal feed.

"Aldi Süd, Lidl and the parent company of Netto Marken-Discount, Edeka, have all committed to 100 percent sustainable soy feed. As customers of Rothkötter, both their commitment to sustainability and their credibility are at stake,” said Tina Lutz, tropical forest advisor to Robin Wood. “These companies can no longer hide behind their private labels to sell Rothkötter meat.”


Palm Oil: Report 9

Mighty Earth Rapid Response Report 9

See PDF

Indonesian companies:

PT Ketapang Hijau Lestari, PT Kruing Lestari Jaya, PT Sawit Mandiri Lestari, PT Berau Karetindo Lestari, PT Subur Karunia Raya, PT Harapan Rimba Jaya, PT Rayatama Jaya, PT Anekareksa International, PT Palmakharima Sekawan, PT Senabangun Aneka Pertiwi, PT Kartika Cipta Pratama, PT Persada Era Agro Kencana, and PT Temila Agro Abadi

October 2018

Prepared with support from Aidenvironment and MapHubs

 


PT Ketapang Hijau Lestari

 

Concession Information: PT Ketapang Hijau Lestari is located in East Kalimantan province. The concession covers an area of 12,357 hectares. (Long 115° 30′ 49′′ E, Lat 0° 35′ 38′′ S)

 

 

 

 

Deforestation: 

Satellite imagery (see below) shows that between July 25 and September 22, 2018, a total of 250 hectares of forest were cleared in the PT Ketapang Hijau Lestari concession. (Imagery © 2018 Planet Labs Inc).

Ownership Information: 

Group: Fangiono Agro Plantation group

PT Ketapang Hijau Lestari is part of the Fangiono Agro Plantation group, which is owned by Prinsep Management Limited (95%), located in the British Virgin Islands, and PT Fangiono Perkasasejati (5%).

Supply Chain Information: 


PT Kruing Lestari Jaya

Concession Information: PT Kruing Lestari Jaya is located in East Kalimantan province. The concession covers an area of 9,013 hectares. (Long 115° 35′ 19′′ E, Lat 0° 36′ 50′′ S)

 

 

 

 

Deforestation: 

Satellite imagery (see below) shows that between July 25 and September 22, 2018, a total of 184 hectares of forest were cleared in the PT Kruing Lestari Jaya concession. (Imagery © 2018 Planet Labs Inc).

Ownership Information: 

Group: Tsani Hutani Abadi Group

PT Kruing Lestari Jaya is a subsidiary of Tsani Hutani Abadi, ultimately owned by Centrino Investment Ltd, registered in Labuan Island (Malaysia). The Tsani Hutani Abadi Group also owns two other plantation companies in Kutai Barat, PT Rayatama Jaya and PT Harapan Rimba Jaya. Mulyawan Tjandra is Tsani Hutani Abadi’s President Director, who is an ex-Executive Director of Indo Agri Resources.

Supply Chain Information:


PT Sawit Mandiri Lestari

Concession Information: PT Sawit Mandiri Lestari is located in Lamandau Regency, Central Kalimantan. The concession covers an area of 19,635 hectares4. (Long 111°10’42.9″E, Lat 1°52’57.3″S)

 

 

 

 

Deforestation: 

Satellite imagery (see below) shows that between September 14 and October 10, 2018, a total of 111 hectares of forest were cleared in PT Sawit Mandiri Lestari concession. (Imagery © 2018 Planet Labs Inc).

Ownership Information: 

Group: PT Metro Lestari Jaya

Up until December 2015, PT Sawit Mandiri Lestari was a subsidiary of Sawit Sumbermas Sarana (SSMS), part of the Citra Borneo Indah Group. PT Sawit Mandiri Lestari is now owned by Rinawati (60%) and Hamidi Mukhdar Said (40%) through PT Metro Lestari Jaya5.

Supply Chain Information: 

No supply chain information available.


PT Berau Karetindo Lestari

Concession Information: PT Berau Karetindo Lestari is located in East Kalimantan, Berau district. Based on the 2016 IUP permit, the concession covers an area of 7,141 hectares6. (Long 115° 35′ 19′′ E, Lat 0° 36′ 50′′ S)

 

 

 

Peat Development:

Satellite imagery (see below) shows that between July 6 and October 14, 2018, a total of 147 hectares of forest were cleared in the PT Berau Karetindo Lestari concession. (Imagery © 2018 Planet Labs Inc).

Ownership Information: 

Family ownership : Korompis family

PT Berau Karetindo Lestari is ultimately owned by the Korompis family and by Peak Capital Pte Ltd, a Singapore-based holding company owned by Flamire Holdings Limited (registered in the British Virgin Islands). PT Berau Karetindo Lestari Commissioner Daniel Wewengkang Korompis and Director Didi Ferdinand Korompis are listed in the ‘Panama Papers’ for their registered assets in the British Virgin Islands.

Supply Chain Information:
No supply chain information available.

 


PT Subur Karunia Raya

Concession Information: PT Subur Karunia Raya is located in Papua Province, Teluk Bintuni district. Based on the 2015 IUP permit, the concession covers an area of 40,883 hectares8. (Long 133° 00′ 32′′ E, Lat 1° 52′ 50′′ S)

 

 

 

Deforestation: 

Satellite imagery (see below) shows that for the period between June 22 and October 10, 2018, a total of 356 hectares of forest were cleared in the PT Subur Karunia Raya concession. (Imagery © 2018 Planet Labs Inc).

Ownership Information: 

Family ownership – Tuan Junus Sutiono and Tuan Watson Dharma

PT Subur Karunia Raya is 99.6% owned by PT Mulia Abadi Lestari, controlled by Tuan Junus Sutiono and Tuan Watson Dharma. PT Mulia Abadi Lestari owns 29.1% shares in PT Duta Rendra Mulya, a plantation company majority owned by Anthoni Salim (CEO and President of the Salim Group).

Supply Chain Information: 

No supply chain information available.


PT Harapan Rimba Jaya

Concession Information:  PT Harapan Rimba Jaya is located in East Kalimantan, Kutai Barat district. Based on the 2016 IUP permit, the concession covers an area of 11,717 hectares9. (Long 115° 33′ 34′′ E, Lat 0° 37′ 50′′ S).

 

 

Deforestation: 

Satellite imagery (see below) shows that between July 25 to September 22, 2018, a total of 89 hectares of forest were cleared in the PT Harapan Rimba Jaya concession. (Imagery © 2018 Planet Labs Inc).

Ownership Information: 

Group: Tsani Hutani Abadi group

PT Harapan Rimba Jaya and PT Rayatama Jaya (also featured in this report) are both subsidiaries of Tsani Hutani Abadi Group, ultimately owned by Centrino Investment Ltd, registered in Labuan Island (Malaysia). The Tsani Hutani Abadi Group also owns another plantation company in Kutai Barat, PT Kruing Lestari Jaya. Mulyawan Tjandra is Tsani Hutani Abadi’s President Director, who is ex-Executive Director of Indo Agri Resources.

Supply Chain Information: 


PT Rayatama Jaya (Ex. PT Rimba Karya Rayatama)

Concession Information: PT Rayatama Jaya is located in Kutai Barat district, East Kalimantan. Based on the 2016 IUP permit, the concession covers 3,912 hectares. (Long 115°28’32.55″E, Lat 0°35’16.42″S)

 

 

 

Deforestation: 

Satellite imagery (see below) shows that between July 16 and October 16, 2018, a total of 64 hectares of forest were cleared in the PT Rimba Karya Rayatama concession. (Imagery © 2018 Planet Labs Inc).

Ownership Information: 

Group: Tsani Hutani Abadi group

PT Harapan Rimba Jaya and PT Rayatama Jaya (also featured in this report) are both subsidiaries of Tsani Hutani Abadi Group, ultimately owned by Centrino Investment Ltd, registered in Labuan Island (Malaysia). The Tsani Hutani Abadi Group also owns another plantation company in Kutai Barat, PT Kruing Lestari Jaya. Mulyawan Tjandra is Tsani Hutani Abadi’s President Director, who is ex-Executive Director of Indo Agri Resources.

Supply Chain Information: 


PT Anekareksa International

Concession Information: PT Anekareksa International is located in East Kalimantan Province, Kutai Barat district. The concession covers an area of 7,171 hectares11. (Long 115° 47′ 45′′ E, Lat 0° 30′ 29′′ S ).

 

 

 

 

Deforestation: 

Satellite imagery (see below) shows that between July 19 and October 3, 2018, a total of 56 hectares of forest were cleared in the PT Anekareksa International concession. (Imagery © 2018 Planet Labs Inc).

Ownership Information: 

Family ownership – Tuan Junus Sutiono and Tuan Dedy Mulyadi

PT Anekareksa International is owned by Mr. Junus Sutiono (40%) and Mr. Dedy Mulyadi (60%). Mr. Junus Sutiono and Dedy Mulyadi own PT Anekareksa International through PT Mulia Abadi Lestari and PT Inovasi Cemerlang. PT Mulia Abadi Lestari owns 29.1% shares in PT Duta Rendra Mulya, a plantation company majority owned by Anthoni Salim (CEO and President of the Salim Group).

Supply Chain Information: 

No supply chain information available.


PT Palmakharisma Sekawan

Concession Information: PT Palmakharisma Sekawan is located in East Kalimantan Province, Kutai Barat district. The concession covers an area of 36,476 hectares13. (Long 115° 48′ 29′′ E, Lat 0° 30′ 50′′ S).

 

 

 

 

Deforestation: 

Satellite imagery (see below) shows that between July 25 and September 16, 2018, a total of 634 hectares of forest were cleared in the PT Palmakharisma Sekawan concession. (Imagery © 2018 Planet Labs Inc).

Ownership Information: 

No ownership information available.

Supply Chain Information:

No supply chain information available.


PT Senabangun Aneka Pertiwi

Concession Information: PT Senabangun Aneka Pertiwi is located in East Kalimantan Province, Paser district. The concession covers an area of 20,011 hectares14. (Long 116° 14′ 04′′ E, Lat 2° 14′ 13′′ S).

 

 

Deforestation: 

Satellite imagery (see below) shows that between July 15 and September 28, 2018, a total of 184 hectares of forest were cleared in the PT Senabangun Aneka Pertiwi concession. (Imagery © 2018 Planet Labs Inc).

Ownership Information:

Group: Jhonlin group

PT Senabangun Aneka Pertiwi is owned by PT Citra Agro Raya and Araya Agro Lestari, which are in turn owned by the daughter and son of Haji Syamsudin Andi Arsyad (Haji Isam), Liana Saputri and Jhony Saputra. Haji Isam is the ultimate owner of the Jhonlin group. 15

Supply Chain Information: 


PT Kartika Cipta Pratama

Concession Information: PT Kartika Cipta Pratama is located in Boven Digoel Regency, Papua. The concession covers an area of 40,882 hectares16. (Long 140°12’31.6″E, Lat 6°20’26.6″S)

 

 

 

Deforestation: 

Satellite imagery (see below) shows that between August 13 and October 8, 2018, a total of 781 hectares of forest were cleared in the PT Kartika Cipta Pratama concession (Imagery © 2018 Planet Labs Inc.)

Ownership Information: 

Group: HSA Group

In 2012, four UAE holding companies (Prestige Holding Ltd., Malindo Investments Ltd, Crescent Investments Ltd, and Green Resources Ltd) believed to be affiliated with the Yemen-based HSA Group purchased a 80% stake in each of these four companies, located in the Boven Digoel district of West Papua, Indonesia: PT Megakarya Jaya Raya, PT Kartika Cipta Pratama, PT Graha Kencana Mulia and PT Energi Samudera Kencana. PT Megakarya Jaya Raya and PT Kartika Cipta Pratama are two concessions included in Tanah Merah project in Boven Digoel Regency. These concessions cover a combined 155,330 hectares. Since January 2014, around 5,000 hectares of forest have been cleared in PT Megakarya Jaya Raya and PT Kartika Cipta Pratama.

Up until June 5, 2018, the four plantation companies had Fouad Hayel Saeed Anam listed as their President Commissioner on their notary acts. Fouad Hayel Saeed is HSA Group’s subsidiary Pacific Inter-Link’s Managing Director & the Regional Director-Malaysia of the HSA Group. The documents also listed Salah Ahmed Hayel Saeed as the Commissioner of PT Energi Samudera Kencana & PT Megakarya Jaya Raya and the President Director of PT Graha Kencana Mulia & PT Kartika Cipta Pratama. Hayel Saeed is the Director of Pacific Inter-ink’s refining division PT Pacific Palmindo Industri. Recent notary acts confirm that on June 5, 2018, Fouad Hayel Saeed ceased to be President Commissioner of PT Megakarya Jaya Raya and PT Kartika Cipta Pratama, and Salah Ahmed Hayel Saeed is no longer Commissioner of PT Megakarya Jaya Raya and the President Director of PT Kartika Cipta Pratama. Nakul Rastogi also disappeared from PT Kartika Cipta Pratama’s notary acts.

However, June 5, 2018 notary acts show no change in PT Megakarya Jaya Raya, PT Kartika Cipta Pratama, PT Graha Kencana Mulia and PT Energi Samudera Kencana shareholders. Hence, it is assumed that these companies remain affiliated with the HSA Group. Little is known about the new directors of the two concessions, except they include some notable individuals in Indonesian politics and business. Mr. Alwi Abdurrahman Shihab, former Foreign Minister of the Indonesian government, has become the president commissioner of PT MJR. Drs. Tommy Sagiman is now the commissioner of PT KCP. He is ex-Inspector General of the police. Nata Singh Gurdev Singh became director of PT MJR in June 2018. Until April 2018, he worked for Sime Darby. Alwi Abdurrahman Shihab is Indonesian President’s special envoy to the Middle East and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

The HSA Group is one of the oldest business conglomerate in the Middle East, founded in 1938 by Al Haj Hayel Saeed Anam and his brothers Mohamed, Abdo and Gazern. The Group is today headed by Abdul Gabbar Hayel Saeed, its Chairman and CEO. The HSA Group is involved in the palm oil industry through its subsidiaries PT Pacific Palmindo Industri, PT Pacific Medan Industry, PT Pacific Indomas, PT Pacific Indopalm Industries, Pacific Oil & Fats Industries and Pacific Inter-Link, which are all RSPO members.17

Additional evidence shows continued family links to the PT Tulen Jayamas Timber Industries timber complex, a joint-venture project ‘with Bumimas Raya Sdn Bhd, Pacific Inter-Link Sdn Bhd, Yakin Dijaya Sdn Bhd and Al Salam Bank Bahrain’ announced by Tadmax Resources in 2012.18 The PT Tulen Jayamas Timber Industries timber complex is situated within the PT Kartika Cipta Pratama concession.

Malindo Investments Ltd which holds 80% shares in PT Kartika Cipta Pratama (see above), also holds 40% of the shares in the Malaysian-based parent company of PT Tulen Jayamas Timber Industries – ie Tulen Jayamas Sdn Bhd. Mr. Salah Ahmed Hayel Saeed and Mr. Fouad Hayel Saeed Anam are directors in Tulen Jayamas Sdn Bhd, in addition to their positions in the Indonesian subsidiary (PT Tulen Jayamas Timber Industries) as of 28 April 2018.

Supply Chain Information: 

The HSA Group company, Pacific Inter-Link (PIL) used to trade with IOI and Nestlé, however both companies have suspended trade with the company due to concerns over its involvement in deforestation. Pacific Inter- Link claims to be one of the largest palm oil traders to the Middle East, Africa, Russia, Ukraine and Turkey.


PT Persada Era Agro Kencana

Concession Information: PT Persada Era Agro Kencana is located in Central Kalimantan Province, Katingan district. The concession covers an area of 12,933 hectares20. (Long 113° 17′ 02′′ E, Lat 2° 34′ 09′′ S).

 

 

 

Deforestation: 

Satellite imagery (see below) shows that between August 27 and September 25, 2018, a total of 129 hectares of peat forest was cleared in the PT Persada Era Agro Kencana concession. (Imagery © 2018 Planet Labs Inc).

Ownership Information: 

Group: Mulia Sawit group

PT Persada Era Agro Kencana is a subsidiary of Mulia Sawit group. Mulia Sawit group is owned by Kurnia Lukman Goutama, Tjio Andre Yenatha, Kevin Wusman and Sanjaya Lukman. Tjio Andra Yennatha, also known as Andre, also serves as the first Director in PT Bangun Jaya Alam Permai under the Best Plantation Group.

Supply Chain Information: 


PT Temila Agro Abadi

Concession Information: PT Temila Agro Abadi is located in West Kalimantan Province, Landak district. The concession covers an area of 8,201 hectares21. (Long 109° 37′ 20′′ E, Lat 0° 02′ 48′′ N).

 

 

 

Deforestation: 

Satellite imagery (see below) shows that between August 19 and September 23, 2018, a total of 84 hectares of peat was burnt on the PT Temila Agro Abadi concession. (Imagery © 2018 Planet Labs Inc). It is unclear at this time whether the three separate areas that were burnt, were intentionally burnt with the purpose of developing oil palm plantations. Traders sourcing from Felda Global Ventures should investigate this issue, as the use of fire in plantation development is illegal under Indonesian law.

Ownership Information: 

Group: Felda Global Ventures Holding Bhd

PT Temila Agro Abadi (PT TAA) is a subsidiary of Felda Global Ventures Holding Bhd (FGV). The business core of FGV is concentrated in Malaysia and Indonesia. Datuk Wira Azhar Abdul Hamid is Chairman, Non- Independent Non-Executive Director of FGV. He also known serve as Chairman MSM Malaysia Holdings Berhad22.

Supply Chain Information:


Sources for supply chain information:

Supply chain information included in Rapid Response reports is based on the following publicly disclosed sources. Mighty Earth encourages companies to send updated versions of mill disclosures as soon as they become available and any decision to terminate supplies with a given company listed in those mill disclosures; please send to [email protected].


Soy destruction in Argentina leads straight to our dinner plates

The Guardian | October 26, 2018 

Argentina’s Gran Chaco forest is being razed for soya, ending up in Europe as animal feed, and on our plates. It’s the backbone of Argentina’s fragile economy, but has come at a price for the indigenous people who live there

Read more


World’s Largest Tire Manufacturers Roll Backwards on Sustainability

Today, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s (WBCSD) Tire Industry Project (TIP) launch its long-awaited Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR) – but sustainability advocates claim it prohibits key stakeholders like non-governmental and civil society organizations or small scale farmers from having a seat at the table. No NGOs have joined despite claims from TIP that this platform is a “truly collaborative effort.”

“What the rubber industry needs is a platform that exemplifies leadership, and from the outset GPSNR is already failing,” said Kristin Urquiza, Deputy Director of Mighty Earth. “Deforestation for natural rubber is destroying the habitats of endangered animals, displacing people, and is a growing driver of climate change. In a true leadership position, GPSNR would be aligning industry to best practices for the climate, which is also good business.”

Deforestation in rubber-producing countries like Indonesia, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Cameroon is rapidly increasing, and the tire industry accounts for 70% of rubber use around the world. Deforestation is responsible for approximately 20 % of global greenhouse gas emissions, is destroying the habitats of numerous endangered species – including tigers, gibbons, and elephants – and land grabbing associated with planting of rubber is kicking indigenous communities off the land they have lived on for generations.

Mighty Earth has advocated for tire companies like Bridgestone, Goodyear, Continental, and others to produce transformative rubber-buying polices – encouraging each company to follow an ambitious timeline to stop deforestation and exploitation in rubber producing countries as quickly as possible. To date, six companies have adopted some public policy, although most policies fall short of what experts agree is necessary to protect forests, wildlife, and communities. Advocates say this makes a Platform with teeth all the more critical.

Across commodities, the only platforms that have a track record of success are those that employ multi-stakeholder approaches. The Brazilian Soy Moratorium, for example, has sought to be collaborative and has taken steps to stop deforestation for soy by engaging all stakeholders and having accountability measures that allow industries to answer to a decision-making body that includes more than just industry members. Mighty Earth outlined key concerns in a letter sent to TIP earlier today. In contrast, the GPSNR risks being a greenwashing scheme that does little more than serve as a forum for discussion.

“As global temperatures continue to rise, people are demanding that their tires be made with rubber that is sustainably sourced,” said Mighty Earth Campaign Director, Margaret Kran-Annexstein. “The WBCSD has missed an opportunity but in the coming months could still make their Platform something to celebrate. The need for sustainable solutions to meet the global demand for natural rubber remains urgent, and we are hopeful that WBCSD will rise to the occasion.”

 


Continental and Yokohama Jump on the Almost-Sustainable Rubber Bandwagon

One week before the launch of a new Global Platform on Sustainable Natural Rubber hatched by tire companies and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), two big players, Continental and Yokohama, have released their own sustainable rubber purchasing policies. While each policy has its strengths, both fall short of the commitments needed to guarantee consumers that the rubber in their tires will be untainted by tropical forest destruction, wildlife habitat loss or human rights violations.

The harvesting of natural rubber is a growing cause of deforestation across southeast Asia and Africa. In order to make way for rubber plantations, primary forests are destroyed and animals like tigers, elephants, and gibbons are being wiped out. At the same time, communities are being driven off the land they have lived on for generations without consent or even notice.

The need for sustainable solutions to meet the rising global demand for natural rubber is urgent. Consumers are demanding that their tires are made with rubber that is ethical and that protects critical forests; and tire companies are taking note. In the last year, industry leaders like Michelin, Bridgestone, Goodyear, and Pirelli have all adopted sustainable natural rubber policies and this week, Continental and Yokohama joined them.

While the adoption of sustainable natural rubber policies is a step in the right direction, both Continental and Yokohama have put forward policies that fall short. Both have their merits: for example, both companies describe the hazards of deforestation and burning of carbon-rich peatlands. Continental includes strong language that demands that human rights are respected and Yokohama insists that their suppliers do not engage in land-grabbing.

However, neither company addresses the importance of curbing greenhouse gas emissions and, critically, both lack timelines for implementation and neglect to include consequences that would ensure that these good-sounding standards would be upheld by suppliers.  Furthermore, both lack a credible and concrete roadmap for ensuring full traceability within their rubber supply chains. Unfortunately, this means that these policies could just be words on paper rather than real agents of change.

The announcement of these two policies back-to-back, a few days before the launch of the Global Platform, is highly significant.  The Platform is being setting up develop sustainability standards for the entire rubber industry. But as currently structured, this Platform will not hold water either. It leaves out crucial stakeholders like NGOs and small-scale farmers from its decision-making body, and looks set to become nothing more than an industry talk-shop. With the majority of tire and rubber companies’ still lacking their own sustainable rubber policies, the Global Platform must have more than a close cabal of industry peers in control if it is to avoid accusations of greenwashing and deliver the transformative standards needed.

Mighty Earth has been working with tire companies to produce progressive rubber buying policies, and have encouraged each to follow an ambitious timeline to stop the havoc being wreaked by rubber as quickly as possible. But with most companies still falling short of what is necessary, we need companies come together in an equitable partnership with civil society, to construct a Platform that can be trusted to develop the standards to badly needed to protect forests, wildlife, and communities from the ravishes of rubber.


Growing the Good

October 2018

Report from the Changing Markets Foundation and Mighty Earth reveals that there is a complete lack of public policies in place to ensure the food sector is part of the solution to climate change. Download


Michelin’s Greenwashing Must End. It’s Time for Sustainable Rubber Production.

Rubber harvesting is causing devastation on a massive scale. In Southeast Asia and Africa, high demand and unsustainable practices are causing forests to rapidly disappear. One industry accounts for 70% of rubber use around the world: the tire industry. And as one of the largest tire brands in the world, Michelin should be leading the charge to drive greener practices in the industry. But where the rubber hits the road, Michelin is falling short.

The need for a solution is dire. Deforestation in rubber-producing countries like Indonesia, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Cameroon is among the most severe in the world, and it’s accelerating. These areas are biodiversity hotspots, and rubber harvesting is destroying the habitats of numerous endangered species, including tigers, gibbons, and elephants. Nor are animals the only ones losing their homes. Exploitative harvesting is wrecking communities in these areas and throwing families off the land where they’ve lived for generations, all to make way for more rubber farms.

But the biggest impacts might not be felt for years to come, because deforestation is a major factor in climate change. At a moment when the IPCC has warned that drastic measures are needed within the next decade to prevent the worst effects of climate change, it’s critical that the rubber industry commit to ending deforestation.

Executives within the tire industry are aware of the scale of the problem. Several major tire companies, including Michelin, have announced sustainability policies, and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) is working with the industry to develop a Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber.

But whether this will lead to industry-wide improvements that dramatically reduce environmental impacts and land-grabbing remains in doubt. The soon-to-be launched Platform has deliberately excluded non-industry voices from its highest decision making body.  As an initiative controlled by the leading tire companies, including Michelin, this sends a worrying signal that the Platform could become little more than a talk shop, with little effect on this urgent problem.

Michelin has long prided itself on being a leader in the industry, and has taken significant steps with its own sustainability policies. It holds a significant market share, and its brand is iconic among consumers.  But unless Michelin shows the courage and leadership to stand up for a genuinely inclusive process to stop the devastation caused by rubber, its Michelin Man mascot could become synonymous with tropical forest destruction and devastated communities.

Mighty Earth, along with our partners and thousands of concerned consumers across the country, are urging Michelin to commit to sustainability. They must reject greenwashing, invite the full and equal participation of civil society experts within the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber, and lead the tire industry to truly sustainable practices. Will Michelin do the right thing?


Rich nations must eat less meat to tackle climate change - campaigners

Reuters | October 16, 2018

Rich countries should encourage consumers to eat less meat and help farmers become more environmentally-friendly, campaigners said on Tuesday as pressure mounts to limit global warming.

Read more


Governments failing to tackle meat over-consumption to meet climate targets

A new report from the Changing Markets Foundation and Mighty Earth reveals that there is a complete lack of public policies in place to ensure the food sector is part of the solution to climate change.

In many EU countries and in the US, meat consumption is more than double the recommended levels for healthy diets. However, the report, Growing the Good:

The Case for Low Carbon Transition in the Food Sector, points to the fact that government policies universally support unsustainable agricultural production systems dominated by intensive meat and dairy farmers and producers.

In contrast, the report highlights positive market trends, notably the growth of plant-based foods and ground-breaking innovation in meat alternatives. The number of vegans and vegetarians is also growing rapidly[1][2] and many more people, particularly among the younger generations, are reducing their meat intake. Instead of fuelling such societal trends, politicians are succumbing to pressure from meat producers by introducing new legislative measures aiming to restrict market growth for alternatives, such as the recent French ban on terms like ‘vegan burger’.

Nusa Urbancic, Campaigns Director at the Changing Markets Foundation, commented:

“The lack of public policies in this sector is alarming. If meat and dairy consumption increases as forecast, there will be almost no room within the total allowable global emissions budget for any sectors other than agriculture by 2050.  

“The window of opportunity to address climate change is closing, while its consequences are already being felt. This year’s droughts resulted in food price increases and even more public subsidies to this polluting sector – mostly to finance feed imports. Unsustainable bail-outs should end, and governments should instead finance the transition towards a low emissions food system with more environmentally friendly farming methods and healthier diets for all.”

Animal agriculture is today responsible for around 16.5% of the world’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, equivalent to the emissions from combustion of all transport fuels. The sector is also responsible for a third of potent methane and nitrous oxide emission. A managed reduction in demand for meat and dairy could increase humanity’s chances to stay below 1.5°C temperature increase and avoid climate the ‘cliff edge’ as highlighted by the last week’s report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.[3]

Low carbon transition in the food sector is also crucial to reduce the pressure on land. Currently, 70-80% of agricultural land is dedicated to animal agriculture, either directly for grazing or to grow increasing quantities of feed. Reducing the number of animals is key to put this land to use for reforestation, climate sequestration and also to more sustainable farming methods.

Anahita Yousefi, Mighty Earth Campaigns Director, said:

“The complete absence of public policies to promote a shift towards plant-based diets means that this critical dietary shift is left to the whims of the market and personal choice. The public is being forced to foot the bill for environmental impact of animal agriculture and the market is being denied opportunities for more sustainable models of food production and healthier diets.”

Bérénice Dupeux, Policy Officer for Agriculture at the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), said:
This report is yet more evidence that to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, the agriculture sector needs to significantly reduce meat and dairy production to reduce overall emissions – just as many other industries are doing. The number of extreme climate events is increasing. As this summer’s droughts showed us, we cannot afford to pour money into continuing the type of agriculture that is exacerbating climate change and leave environmental ambition to good will. Given the immense scale of the problem, our political leaders cannot turn a blind eye on climate change and they must address it within the current reform of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy. Farm ministers and MEPs have a moral obligation to put the rights of future generations first.

The Changing Markets Foundation has drafted a series of recommendations to governments around the world to ensure that food production plays its part in the low carbon transition:

  1. Updating climate targets to include the mitigation potential of animal agriculture and to reflect the 1.5 degree temperature increase pathway.
  2. Updating fiscal policies to reduce meat demand and consumption. So-called meat taxes have been recommended by several reputable institutions, as tax on goods deemed to be unhealthy and/or damaging to the environment.
  3. Establishing implementation strategies for dietary guidelines for the shift to healthier diets including the reduction of animal products.
  4. Shifting subsidies away from polluting intensive animal farms and addressing negative externalities of animal agriculture.
  5. Incentivising the production of diverse and underused protein crops, such as pulses, for human consumption.
  6. Funding the research and development of plant-based and other meat alternatives, such as clean meat.

[1] The Vegetarian Resource Group (2016) How many adults in the US are vegetarian and vegan? [Online] Available from: https://www.vrg.org/nutshell/Polls/2016_adults_veg.htm

[2] Chiorando, M. (2017) Veganism Skyrockets by 600% In America To 6% Of Population. Plant Based News [Online] Available from: https://www.plantbasednews.org/post/veganism-skyrockets-by-600-in-america-over-3-years-to-6-of-population

[3] Global Warming of 1.5 °C, (October 2018) http://www.ipcc.ch/report/sr15/


Could Nucor lead the steel industry on clean energy?

Charlotte Business Journal | October 15, 2018 

Mighty Earth says Nucor Corp., the nation's largest steel producer, could push its industry to reduce carbon emissions by converting its electric-arc furnaces operations to clean energy sources.

Read more


It’s time to #FishYamahaOut: TAKE ACTION TODAY

Across the country, people are rising up to call on Yamaha to stop driving overfishing. Sign our petition to protect our oceans today!

From plastic pollution to climate change, our oceans are in trouble. One way that we have been successful in preserving the delicate ecosystems that they sustain is by stopping overfishing in the U.S. Unfortunately, corporations like Yamaha are recklessly spending time and money pushing for policies that would undermine the core principles that keep our fisheries both profitable and sustainable.

We can ensure that our oceans remain full of fish by doing what we have done right for years: balancing all fishing needs while still conserving our resources for future generations. Yamaha has built their global brand on musical instruments and continued to grow their company by manufacturing boat motors. We can’t let this company drive overfishing and prioritize short term sales over the long-term health of our oceans.

Musicians who play Yamaha instruments, their fans, and other potential Yamaha customers around the country know that conservation is critical to the health of our oceans and don’t want Yamaha lobbying to destroy them. Join our movement by signing our petition to Fish Yamaha Out!


In a hot world, companies may be the last, best hope

In a Hot World, Companies May Be The Last, Best Hope

From: Glenn Hurowitz, Mighty Earth CEO |Re: Mighty Earth Update| October 8, 2018 

The world’s leading scientific climate change body, the IPCC, today released a report showing that there is even more urgency to addressing climate change than the world’s scientists had previously thought: that the world must cut pollution by 45 percent by 2030, and reach net zero pollution fifteen years after that. It’s the difference between having some coral reefs survive and virtually none at all; of agriculture surviving across vast swathes of the Earth, or mass wildlife and desertification; the world’s plants would have double a chance of holding onto more than half their habitat; and even oceans would lose 1.5 million tons of their fish. The report makes clear in its sober language that these are life and death questions.

At the same time that the rising heat demands the actions of our whole societies, many governments are turning their back on the environment. The United States official take on climate change is now that it’s so bad that’s there no chance of stopping it, so we might as well just burn as many fossil fuels as possible. Brazil seems poised to elect a leader who has vowed to join Trump in rejecting the Paris climate accord, putting the country’s forests and agricultural viability at risk. And even countries like Japan, which formerly led the way toward action, are subsidizing the burning of coal and palm oil at home and around the world. While other governments such as China and Europe have redoubled their commitments to action, this is a global problem, and they alone won’t be sufficient.

But although the media focuses on the primary role of government, let us not forget that for the most part it is not governments that do the polluting or deforesting,  but companies. Just because governments aren’t doing their job, doesn’t mean the job can’t be done. Indeed, some of the world’s greatest environmental successes have been achieved by companies acting either from their own sense of responsibility, or spurred by customers, investors, and society more broadly – often in ways that end up changing government. The big soy traders have for 10 years protected part of the Amazon when their customers demanded they do so; companies like Apple, Facebook, Google and Amazon have shifted to 100% clean energy; 274 coal plants in the United States have been slated for retirement or stopped by Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign;  investors representing $6 trillion have committed to divest from fossil fuels; and previously notorious paper companies protected millions of acres of Canada’s forests.

No matter how far into a wonderland of suicidal auto-delusion governments descend, companies retain the power to act.  But there is no excuse for private sector lack of urgency, nor backstop if it fails. We have a dozen years. That means companies like Cargill have to get serious and jettison their absurd 2030 deadline for ending deforestation, and industries like steel, cement, oil, and chemicals that have previously taken few steps to reduce their emissions must get started today on the shift to 100% clean energy and carbon neutrality.

How We’re Driving Company Action Even in Red States

Here’s why we know it’s possible. We’re seeing citizens pour out to demand that companies stop polluting even in the “reddest” parts of the United States. Our campaign to transform the US meat industry to stop pollution and destruction of native ecosystems has struck a chord across the political spectrum.  In Haywood County, Tennessee, we helped turn dozens ofpeople out to town meetings to object to Tyson’s expansion plans, many of them wearing “Tyson: Don’t Tread on Tennessee” t-shirts. In response to citizens’ outcry, a frontpage story in the area newspaper reported that Tyson is pulling the plug on its meat factory plans – a major victory. We will continue working with communities in Tennessee to ensure Tyson sticks to its commitment.

In the days following the decision, two local volunteers who’ve been working with Mighty Earth were elected to public office on promises to fight concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) – one became County Mayor, and the other was elected to the County Commission that oversees zoning.

All of our volunteers will be releasing our new Flunking the Planet report about how most major supermarkets and fast food restaurants – including ones that brand themselves as sustainability leaders like Whole Foods – have zero environmental policies in place for the meat they purchase – even though meat is typically by far the greatest driver of environmental impact of any product they sell. Indeed, Whole Foods purchases meat from many of the same sources as McDonald’s, including notorious polluters Tyson Foods and Cargill. Interestingly, the only exception was Wal-mart, which has taken important but modest steps to improve practices for how animal feed is grown and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

A world away in Bolivia, citizens and politicians alike are acting to demand that international companies like Cargill and ADM stop exploiting their natural resources and people. On behalf of more than 100 Bolivian civil society organizations, indigenous organizations, and other representatives, 18 Members of Bolivia’s national and state legislatures and mayors to the world’s leading meat companies asking them to stop companies like Cargill from destroying Bolivia’s forests, and instead focus development on Bolivia’s 11 million acres of degraded lands.

Finally, I’m excited to announce that two impressive advocates are joining our forests team to help us persuade companies and governments to bring the needed urgency to this work. Mat Jacobson is our new Senior Forest Director, and will oversee our forest programs. He comes to Mighty Earth after almost 20 years in senior positions at the Pew Charitable Trusts and elsewhere. Amongst his many accomplishments, Mat was instrumental in securing the protection of more than 50 million acres of America’s last intact roadless forests under the Clinton administration, helped secure commitments to protect hundreds of millions of acres in the Boreal Forests of Canada, and was instrumental in the integration of Indigenous perspectives on nature into World Heritage policies and guidelines.
 
Abdul Tejan-Cole, a celebrated human rights lawyer and advocate, has joined us as our new Senior Director for Africa. He previously served as the Executive Director of the Open Society Institute’s West Africa Initiative, and as head of Sierra Leone’s anti-corruption commission, where he successfully prosecuted a number of high-level cases in fisheries and maritime issues. He has served as Secretary General, Vice President, and President of the Sierra Leone Bar Association, as well as president of the West Africa Bar Association.  Abdul was also a war crimes prosecutor in the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and has been Board Chair of West Africa Democracy Radio and Timap for Justice. Environmental and land rights protection have been a long-time passion for Abdul.


McWholeFoods ... We're Not Loving It #CleanUpMeat

McWholeFoods ... We're Not Loving It #CleanUpMeat

Few activities cause as much damage to land, water, and the climate as industrial meat production. That includes the meat that ends up as McDonald’s burgers and Whole Foods steak. These companies have no environmental requirements for the meat they buy, and both sell their customers meat from some of the most destructive and polluting companies on Earth: Cargill and Tyson. Cargill and Tyson are responsible for driving massive destruction of rainforests in South America, water pollution in the Midwest, and an enormous dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico.

McDonald’s and Whole Foods play important roles in our food system, deciding what kind of meat ends up on our menus and dinner tables and setting the standards for how that meat is produced. These companies have a unique ability and responsibility to make sure meat suppliers are using sustainable farming practices to keep our waters clean and forests intact. Yet both are turning a blind eye to the uncontrolled environmental devastation taking place in their meat supply chains and directing customer dollars to some of the worst offenders.

You wouldn’t know it from the menu board, but the burgers and McNuggets sold at McDonald’s are typically prepared by Cargill and Tyson. McDonald’s ranks among the largest meat buyers in the world. As Cargill’s single largest customer and one of the largest fast-food companies – and meat sellers – in the world, McDonald’s is one of the most powerful levers available for moving Cargill and Tyson to clean up their meat.

More surprisingly than that, despite its green branding, chicken and beef sold at Whole Foods also comes from the same sources as McDonalds – Tyson and Cargill. Whole Foods has built a global brand based on promising their trusting customers that their products are sustainable and come from responsible suppliers. Yet, Whole Foods has no environmental standards for its meat and is buying from some of the most polluting companies on the planet.

Industrial meat is a leading driver of climate change and is responsible for about 15% of global climate pollution. Eighty percent of global agricultural land is dedicated to raising meat, equivalent to about a third of our planet’s total. In South America, commodity crop farming (i.e., soy monocultures) and cattle grazing are the leading causes of deforestation, and in the U.S., industrial meat production is the single largest source of water pollution. But this destruction can be avoided by using more sustainable farming practices. It is possible to produce food at a large scale without destroying forests, climate, and water, yet Cargill and Tyson are continuing to advanced the same practices of pollution and destruction around the world. Customers must and are demanding better.

Join Us!

Now we need McDonald’s and Whole Foods to act because their biggest suppliers are destroying wild forests and contaminating our water. As high-profile companies with extreme market power McDonald’s and Whole Foods can get unaccountable companies like Cargill and Tyson to make positive change by setting clear standards requiring responsible practices from suppliers.

Mighty Earth has deployed six campaigners across the continental United States, including Chicago, Illinois; Fayetteville, Arkansas; Indianapolis, Indiana; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Austin, Texas. Our campaigners are educating customers, securing media coverage, and organizing grassroots support. They have already collected 3500 petitions from concerned citizens and held community meetings where over 100 people came to learn more about the issue and take action to clean up meat!

Join us in telling McDonald’s and Whole Foods to stop selling meat from Cargill and Tyson until they make concrete steps to end deforestation and pollution.

Shoot us a note to get involved – [email protected].


Clean energy advocates gather in Charlotte, NC for launch of Stainless: The 100% Clean Energy Steel Campaign

Earlier this week, more than 30 people gathered at Birdsong Brewing in Charlotte, NC for the launch of Stainless: The 100% Clean Energy Steel Campaign. The campaign aims to transition the steel industry to 100 percent clean energy for its electricity supply, starting with Nucor Corporation, the largest steel producer in the United States.

Supporters were energized by speeches from clean energy advocates June Blotnick, Executive Director of Clean Air Carolina; Dimple Ajmera, Charlotte City Councilwoman at-large; Nakisa Glover, founder of local environmental justice group Sol Nation; and Margaret Hansbrough, Campaign Director at Mighty Earth.

“With Nucor Steel’s national headquarters in Charlotte, we are here to urge the largest steel company in the country to move away from carbon-based fuels to meet their massive demand for electricity, and towards a clean energy future using carbon-free renewable energy. We need them to be a leader,” Blotnick said.

“It is about time to ask Nucor and their leadership team to help us reach our sustainability goals but more importantly to continue to be competitive in the industry,” said Ajmera, who started her address by highlighting the campaign’s alignment with Charlotte’s clean energy goals.

Nucor has operations in 25 states. It uses electricity-intensive electric arc furnaces (EAFs) to turn scrap metal into new steel, a method used to produce 68 percent of steel in the United States. Because domestic EAFs source their electricity from the fossil fuel-dominated grid, they emit 11.1 million metric tons of CO2 per year. By committing to clean energy, Nucor and other steel companies can eliminate these emissions.

Hansbrough said, “This is a win-win-win issue. It is good for Nucor, it is good for North Carolina and every state that Nucor operates in, and it is good for the planet.”

To support this campaign, sign the petition, and follow Mighty Earth on twitter (@standmighty) and Facebook to learn more about opportunities to get involved.


Nationwide Campaign Urges Nucor to Switch to Clean Energy

WFAE | October 3, 2018 

Environmental groups launched a nationwide campaign in Charlotte calling on steel makers to stop using electricity generated by burning fossil fuels. The lead target of the "Stainless" clean energy campaign is Charlotte-based Nucor.

Read more


Steel Industry Found to Cause As Much Pollution as 569 Coal Power Plants

New Report: Steel Industry Found to Cause As Much Pollution as 569 Coal Power Plants

Nucor, Skanska Need to Shift to 100% Clean Energy Steel

Today, a first of its kind new report analyzing the opportunities for the steel sector to take climate action is being released by global campaign organization Mighty Earth. The report shows that no company is better positioned to radically change the steel sector than America’s largest steel producer, Nucor (NUE). Just a few weeks after Hurricane Florence devastated Nucor’s home state of North Carolina and caused the company to temporarily shut down some facilities, the report, Cold Steel, Hot Climate: America’s Biggest Untapped Clean Energy Opportunity argues that if Nucor commits to 100 percent clean energy for its electricity, the company will benefit by gaining a competitive edge while reducing its carbon footprint.

Nucor is the largest steel producer in the United States and calls itself “America’s largest recycler,” controlling approximately 29% of the U.S. steel market. The production method (Electric Arc Furnace or EAF) used by the company consumes massive amounts of electricity, and Mighty Earth sees an opportunity for Nucor to transition to clean energy in the 25 states where it operates.    

“There is a clear business case for Nucor to embrace a serious transition to clean energy,” said Margaret Hansbrough, campaign director and report author at Mighty Earth. “The cost of clean energy has plummeted and is increasingly cheaper than fossil fuels. If Nucor wants to remain competitive and stay on top in a global economy where the race is on for countries and companies to pursue the lowest carbon opportunities for growth, then it has to think about what comes next, and clean energy steel is next. If the company acts now to stay ahead of the curve by pursuing cheap, reliable, clean energy resources it could gain a big advantage in the marketplace.”

According to the report, 68 percent of American steel is produced using the same EAF method that Nucor uses and globally that number is 30 percent and growing. Steel, an inherently carbon-intensive material, is the leading source of industrial emissions on the planet. The industry produces approximately 2.3 gigatons of CO2 emissions each year equivalent to the annual emissions of 569 coal-fired power plants.

While not all of the steel industry’s emissions can be mitigated by transitioning to clean energy for the industry’s grid sourced electricity, the report highlights ways other steel companies are already decarbonizing through other innovations. In its report, Mighty Earth calls upon the entire steel industry to shift toward clean energy and carbon neutrality by investing in additional methods of reducing climate pollution, such as methane reductions and conservation.

“Nucor’s customers like Skanska, and other construction companies, are looking for ways they can meet their own climate commitments, so Nucor would be missing a huge opportunity if it doesn’t deliver clean energy steel to the marketplace,” said Glenn Hurowitz, CEO of Mighty Earth. “Nucor’s number one priority doesn’t have to be climate change to want to meet the demands of its customers and adjust their practices to do so.”

In nearly every state where Nucor operates, there are clean energy procurement options available. Companies like GM, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and more than 100 others have already committed to sourcing 100 percent clean energy and are accelerating the greening of the grid. Another steelmaker, Evraz Steel, recently signed a major clean energy deal with Xcel Energy in Pueblo, Colorado.

“Increasing the use of clean energy is one of the quickest ways to reduce air pollution and grow the local economy at the same time,” said June Blotnick, executive director of Clean Air Carolina. “North Carolina is still reeling from a hurricane that was made more intense and destructive by climate change. Decades of coal ash contamination were exacerbated in the aftermath of the storm. We need better solutions now, and committing to 100% clean energy is an obvious win for Nucor and communities the company operates in. It’s a win, win, win issue. It will make Nucor more competitive, grow our local clean energy economy, and give North Carolinians cleaner air, cleaner water, and healthier communities.”

Nucor has not yet made a commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions or to transition its electricity consumption to clean energy. For more information on Mighty Earth’s analysis, go to: www.mightyearth.org/steel


Cold Steel Hot Climate: The World's Biggest Untapped Clean Energy Opportunity

October 2018

First of its kind report analyzes the opportunities for the steel sector to take climate action. The report shows that no company is better positioned to radically change the steel sector than North Carolina's Nucor Corporation.

Download


To-Do List for New Tyson CEO: Fulfill Sustainability Commitments

Stepping in as the new CEO of one of the world’s largest meat companies, Noel White will be faced with executing on Tyson’s widely applauded vision to become ‘the most sustainable protein company in the world.’ Mr. White has a decade-long tenure leading pork, poultry, beef, and international business growth at Tyson, which makes him well-positioned to execute on the commitments made by his visionary predecessor Tom Hayes to improve the company’s farming practices and environmental impact

“Under Tom Hayes, Tyson made bold and urgently needed commitments to position itself as a leader on sustainability in the industry,” noted Mighty Earth’s Campaign Director Lucia von Reusner. “The transition in leadership raises questions about Tyson’s future direction, but it is clear that the market is demanding more sustainable farming practices. Mr. White’s decade long experience within Tyson means he is well positioned to turn the company’s sustainability rhetoric into real action across the company’s global supply chain.”

Meat production has a larger environmental impact than almost any other human activity. Animal agriculture takes up 80 percent of the world’s agricultural land and 30 percent of global freshwater.  This industry, which Tyson shaped and dominates around the world, is also responsible for 60 percent of global biodiversity loss and at least 15 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions.

In the United States, meat production is the leading source of water pollution, contaminating drinking water and causing a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico that spans up to 8,000 square miles- the size of New Jersey- each year. Globally, the largest meat and dairy companies—including Tyson Foods— rank among the top contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, comparable to Exxon, Shell, and BP.

Mighty Earth is leading a nation-wide campaign that is calling on Tyson Foods to use its influence in the market to drive more sustainable agricultural practices for feed sourcing, manure management, and greenhouse gas emissions reductions throughout its supply chain.  Tyson is facing pressure from shareholders, customers, local farming communities, and the public to adopt practices that reduce the company’s environmental impacts.

Responding to public demand for more sustainable food options, Tyson has announced several industry-leading commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve farming practices for feed production, in addition to investing in cleaner meat products. However, so far these commitments have not included details on how they will be implemented or verified to ensure that Tyson’s supply chain actually becomes more sustainable.

 


Mighty Earth Field Organizers Target Yamaha in their Backyard

This month, Mighty Earth deployed three organizers to protect our oceans and fisheries from meddling by special interest groups like Yamaha. The organizers will be stationed in Yamaha’s backyard, in cities across the United States. In only three weeks, they have successfully built the ground work for a huge showing of public support that will pressure Yamaha to do the right thing and stop undermining US fishery policy.

Oceans are a critical source of food, livelihood, recreation and biodiversity. They are the lungs of our planet: incredibly important regulators to combat climate change and support diverse and abundant forms of life. Unfortunately, from plastic pollution to oil spills, our oceans face serious threats.

Overfishing is one such problem across all the world’s oceans but, thanks to our management systems, the U.S. has been a real leader in keeping our oceans healthy and our fisheries sustainable.

Unfortunately, in an effort to sell more boat motors, Yamaha has been pushing legislators for policies that would undermine the core principles that have kept our oceans full of fish.

Musicians who play Yamaha instruments, their fans, and other potential Yamaha customers around the country know that conservation is critical to the health of our oceans and don’t want Yamaha lobbying to destroy them.

So, our team has hit the ground in Long Beach, California, a city near Yamaha’s corporate Headquarters, Kennessaw, Georgia, home to the headquarters of Yamaha Motor, and New Orleans, Louisiana, a bastion of music and coastal community that will undoubtedly suffer from a lack of smart fishery policy due to their connection to the Gulf.

Over the next few months our organizers will be building visibility around this campaign exposing the bad policies Yamaha is pushing for and calling attention to the company’s corporate influence over our elected officials.

If you are in the area, reach out to one of our field organizers to find out how you can be part of our growing movement to protect oceans or stop by our organizers’ Campaign Kick-Off Meetings next week!

 

In Long Beach, reach out to Lauren Karpinski at [email protected]

Above: Lauren (center left) with 5 new Fish Yamaha Out volunteers at their first Campaign Action Meeting!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can attend the Kick-Off Meeting on Wednesday, September 19 at 7pm at
Taco Surf
5316 1/2 E 2nd St
Long Beach, CA 90803

And you can RSVP here!

 

In Kennesaw, reach out to Audrey Beedle at [email protected]

Above: Audrey (right) with volunteers, getting petitions signed to Fish Yamaha Out!

You can attend the Kick-Off Meeting on Tuesday, September 18 at 7pm at
Independent Grounds Cafe

3900 Legacy Park Boulevard #a100
Kennesaw, GA 30144

And you can RSVP here!

 

In New Orleans, reach out to Corinne Noonan at [email protected]

Above: Three volunteers on the Fish Yamaha Out campaign in New Orleans, writing Letters to the Editor!

You can attend the Kick-Off Meeting on Tuesday, September 18 at 7pm at
Urban South Brewery

1645 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans, LA 70130

And you can RSVP here!