Climate change cost to cities, Sainsbury's launches own Fairly Traded label, The Body Shop asks UN to end animal testing, and Tesco slashes carbon footprint with new refrigerant

The Body Shop launches ‘ambitious’ campaign to end animal testing

The Body Shop has launched a new campaign for a global ban on animal testing on cosmetic products and ingredients by 2020 in a new partnership with non-profit organisation Cruelty Free International.

The Body Shop plans to take the campaign to the United Nations and request an international convention banning cosmetics testing on animals. It aims to engage 8 million people to sign the petition calling on the United Nations to introduce an international convention to end the practice. The petition can be signed online or at any of The Body Shop’s 3,000 stores across the world. Consumers are being encouraged to use the campaign hashtag, #ForeverAgainstAnimalTesting, on social media to raise awareness of the issue.

Jessie Macneil-Brown, senior manager international campaigns and corporate responsibility at The Body Shop, said: “The Body Shop passionately believes that no animal should be harmed in the name of cosmetics and that animal testing on products and ingredients is outdated, cruel and unnecessary. This is why The Body Shop and Cruelty Free International have partnered to deliver the largest and most ambitious campaign ever to seek a global ban on the use of animals to test cosmetic products and ingredients.”

Read about how The Body Shop is sourcing from communities, unlocking a pipeline of innovative new ingredients, here.

‘Urban heat island effect’ adds climate change cost to cities 

Credit: John Bilous/Shutterstock Inc.


Heat trapped by dark-coloured roads and buildings will more than double cities’ costs for tackling global warming this century, driving up energy demand and aggravating pollution, according to research at the University of Sussex.

The “urban heat island effect” which makes cities several degrees warmer than rural areas, is expected to add to air and water pollution, as well as making workers less productive, according to the research. Costs for cities to limit climate change could be 2.6 times higher than without the urban heat island effect, according to a survey in the Nature Climate Change journal. For the worst-off city, accumulated losses could be up to 10.9 percent of a city's gross domestic product by 2100.

As detailed in our cities and climate briefing, fighting climate change can take place in cities, rather than at a governmental level. New York, for example, has a “cool roofs” initiative to coat rooftops with a white reflective surface, avoiding the 88°C (190F) temperatures black rooftops can reach, on days when air temperatures are 38°C (100F).

The new research estimated that changing a fifth of a city’s roofs and half the pavements to cooler versions would reduce city air temperatures by 0.8°C (1.4F).

"The focus has been so long on global climate change that we forgot about the local effects," Richard Tol, economics professor at the University of Sussex, England, said. "Ignoring the urban heat island effect leads to a fairly drastic under-estimate of the total impact of climate change."

Sainsbury’s prompts backlash from Fairtrade for ‘Fairly Traded’ label

Credit: Sainsbury's


Sainsbury’s has replaced the Fairtrade logo on its range of own-brand tea with its own ‘Fairly Traded’ mark, negating the need for external ethical certification labels on its products.

As part of its new sustainability standards, the retailer is piloting a sustainability sourcing approach for its tea range, which Sainsbury’s says will provide more direct support to its farmers. If successful, the tea pilot could be scaled up to other key commodities within Sainsbury’s supply chain, in the hope it will reinforce Sainsbury’s identity as a trusted brand.

Under the Fairly Traded pilot, tea farmers supplying Sainsbury’s Red Label and Gold Label ranges will continue to receive a guaranteed minimum price for their crop along with a social premium, as they did under the Fairtrade agreement. But Sainsbury’s claims the new approach will go a step further than the financial support offered through Fairtrade, with the retailer offering tailored strategic advice, data, and practical support to help farmers respond to specific challenges, such as climate change.

The Fairtrade Foundation has condemned the move by Sainsbury’s, which remains the world’s biggest seller of Fairtrade products. Fairtrade’s chief executive Michael Gidney has said that the Fairly Traded approach falls below the core principles offered by Fairtrade, and will take control away from producers.

Similarly, tea producers from Fairtrade Africa stated in an open letter: “We told Sainsbury’s loud and clear: your model will bring about disempowerment. We are extremely concerned about the power and control that Sainsbury’s seeks to exert over us.

“We work for, own our product and own our premium. We see the proposed approach as an attempt to replace the autonomous role which Fairtrade brings and replace it with a model which no longer balances the power between producers and buyers.”

Sainsbury’s has insisted the group’s farmers have been fully supportive of the new approach and Fairtrade are the only people who will lose out through the move.

The new range of Fairly Traded teas will be in Sainsbury’s stores this month. The retailer has maintained its Fairtrade commitments to its premium ranges of own-brand teas, Fairtrade bananas, coffee, chocolate, and flowers.

Tesco to reduce carbon footprint by 40% with new refrigerant

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Tesco have announced plans to move to a new refrigerant over the next three years, reducing its carbon footprint by 40%.

The refrigerants from Honeywell, the US consumer goods company, will be rolled out to 1,200 stores in the UK, with 60 stores already retrofitted with the system. The new refrigerants have a lower global-warming-potential than previous models, well above the 26.5% reduction it is targeting against a 2006 baseline. The reduction is equivalent to removing 70,000 cars off the road.

Tesco’s group head of refrigeration Matthew Reeves-Smith said: “We set aggressive sustainability goals and were committed to achieving them without impacting our customers.”

“We sought the best technology to convert 1,200 stores in three years and found our solution in Solstice N40. This refrigerant meets all our key criteria including energy efficiency, system performance and maintenance. The fact that it is a near drop-in replacement for our current refrigerant helps ensure a smooth, ongoing conversion process over the next three years.”

This announcement comes just after Tesco’s pledge to commit to 100% renewable electricity by 2030 as part of its new sustainability targets.


tesco  refrigerant  carbon footprint  tea  Sainsbury's  Fairtrade  climate change  pollution  cities  urban heat island 

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