City Hippy

The diary of our struggle to live a green and fair life.

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Friday, May 26, 2006

NEWS: The CityHippy Week

Ladies & Gentleman, it's Friday night! Well it's actually early on Friday but as I am away for the weekend posting might be tricky. Welcome to...

The CityHippy Week!

Tesco has set out 10 challenges (Comment from the Times, Telegraph & the Independent) it wants to tackle and I have to applaud them for coming out and putting it on the record. It is easy to be cynical but that will get us nowhere. Let's hold them to their statements and welcome their public committment. And if they get caught greenwashing then we will call them on it and rightly so. Nothing less than transparent success will do.

If they fulfil all 10 challenges they will:
  1. Halve by 2010 the average energy use in all our buildings against a baseline of 2000.
  2. Double the amount of plastic bags that customers bring back to stores for recycling by 2008. (Why not be more ambitious though and aim to reduce plastic bag use to zero by charging for bags and making durable non-plastic bags available i.e. Jute bags?)
  3. Make all Tesco carrier bags degradable from September 2006.
  4. Put nutrition labelling on all 7000 Tesco own-brand products by Spring 2007. (Why not opt-in to the governments labelling standards though instead of having your own standard?)
  5. Work with the Pre-School Learning Alliance to help inform parents, childcare professionals and children in some of the UK’s most deprived communities to make healthier choices.
  6. Get 2 million people running, cycling or walking in events that we will organise and sponsor in the run up to the London 2012 Olympics.
  7. Design and roll out new store fronts to blend better locally and reduce deliveries to cut congestion.
  8. Consult local communities before building new stores to understand local issues and concerns.
  9. Make it easier for small suppliers to gain access to Tesco by hosting open days in every region for them to come and meet our buyers.
  10. Introduce regional counters in our stores and better on-pack labelling to highlight local produce.
The result will be less plastic bag use, greater use of sustainable energy use, healthier people eating healthier food, local consultation and integration and support for local and smaller suppliers.

It's a great start Tesco, this will raise the bar but you will still have room to further improve even if you achieve all of the above but I really do applaud you for taking these initial steps on a much better road. Although Marks & Spencers and Waitrose are arguably already further down this greener road.

We want and need chain stores to be a part of the community and you will have to go a long way to play that role. Right now I and many others are not sure you are capable of it or that you can even genuinely compete locally. You need to not take money out of the community, support the local economy instead of making it dependent on you, encourage sustainable agriculture and so on. That is what we want. We are the market. We shall have what we want. Please don't forget for one minute that the world will be watching.

What else caught my little green eye?

Morethan offer lower insurance for green cars
Green motoring is going to be a massive growth area for the car industry as petrol prices continue to rise and concern over global warming grows. We want to financially reward drivers who are taking steps to do their bit for the environment.

Blue Peter goes Green

The historical move will see it billed – for one night only – as Green Peter. The alteration, on Wednesday 24 May, will be the first of its kind in the show's 47-year history.
Check out the cool Green Peter game here.

Green Green Tea saves the planet
They have made their new product, Green Green Tea, Carbon Neutral, in association with The Carbon Neutral Company, which makes it twice as green – hence the double name.

Londons food strategy
‘London Food’ is a partnership of food experts and organisations that include central and local government. It was set up by the Mayor of London to help deliver a London Food Strategy that would improve the health of Londoners and look at ways of making London's food sustainable over the next 10 years.
…and that's the way it is folks!



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