In the largest commitment of its kind, 20 companies from Italy’s Prato textile district simultaneously announced today in a press conference hosted by Greenpeace in Milan their commitment to Detox, the highest standard in toxic-free fashion production. Prato is home to Italy’s oldest textile manufacturers and most extensive fashion supply chain, that exports over $2.5 billion Euros of clothing annually to global brands including Burberry, Prada, Valentino, Armani, and Gucci.
The Confindustria Toscana Nord, representing the largest textile district in Europe, will oversee the regional adoption of the Detox hazardous chemical elimination standards never before implemented collectively at the supply chain level. The agreement will affect over 13 thousand tons of yarn and raw materials as well as over 13 million meters of fabric every year.
“Prato’s decision will ripple throughout the global textile supply chain and hopefully encourage more manufacturers to Detox,” said Giuseppe Onufrio, Executive Director, Greenpeace Italy. “They have chosen the chemical management `gold´ standard by which all other fashion brands and sectoral hazardous chemical initiatives will be measured. Now that their own suppliers are committing to eliminate hazardous chemicals, brands such as Gucci, Prada, and Armani have no excuse but to follow suit.”
To date, the Prato based companies have already removed several hazardous chemical groups required by the Detox campaign. These include brominated and chlorinated flame retardants, organotins compounds, and amines associated with azo dyes that can have negative effects on human reproductive systems and cause cancer. As required by any Detox action plan, they have set a clear and ambitious list of all hazardous chemicals they should have eliminated from the supply chain by 2020. They have also defined shorter timelines to remove problematic hazardous chemicals including poly- and perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), a chemical group used in outdoor gear, which they will discontinue using by the summer of 2016.
Highlights of the Prato agreement include the removal of hazardous chemicals from:
● Yarn Production: 4,500 tons/year
● Fabric Production: 4,500,000 meters/year
● Textile Raw Materials Production: 1,800 tons/year
● Yarn Dyed: 3,700 tons/year
● Fabrics Dyed: 8,800,000 meters/year
● Chemicals Produced: 3,200 tons/year
“It is important for our association and our companies of Prato to show the world that we are physically and financially committed to putting the Detox requirements into practice,” said Andrea Cavicchi, President, Confindustria Toscana Nord. “In the upcoming months we will continue to detox our manufacturing and further green a supply chain that proudly provides global brands with the highest standard in the textile industry.”
The Confindustria Toscana Nord plans to deepen its commitment to toxic free fashion in 2016 including developing and providing tools to support Detox implementation, creating an auditing protocol, tracking progresses, publishing case studies, and increased transparency through publication of testing results.
The Greenpeace Detox campaign demands that fashion brands commit to eliminate the use of all hazardous chemicals by 2020 and requires their suppliers to disclose the releases of toxic chemicals from their facilities to communities on an online independent platform. The Prato region’s commitments will be added to the growing list of companies choosing to Detox their fashion by 2020 including 35 international fashion and textile brands and retailers, representing more than 15% of global textile production in terms of sales. Among the companies joining Detox are Miroglio and Inditex as well as major international brands such as Valentino, Adidas, H&M, and Burberry.
The first group of Prato companies committed to Greenpeace’s Detox campaign (with company links: https://www.confindustriatoscananord.it/chi-siamo/attivita-e-progetti-speciali/detox):
• Filati Bemiva Spa (yarn manufacturer)
● Cromos Srl (yarn dyeing and finishing)
● Lanificio Bellucci Spa (fabric manufacturer)
● Daykem Srl (chemical manufacturer)
● F.Lli Ciampolini & C. Spa (fabric dyeing and finishing)
● Pecci Filati Spa (yarn manufacturer)
● Achimo Srl (chemical manufacturer)
● Jersey Mode Spa (fabric dyeing and finishing)
● Filatura Papi Fabio Spa (yarn manufacturer)
● Tintoria Alessandrini Srl (yarn dyeing and finishing)
● Progetto Lana Srl (raw materials manufacturer)
● Lanificio Dell’Olivo Spa (yarn manufacturer)
● Industria Italiana Filati Spa (yarn manufacturer)
● Marini Industrie Spa (fabric manufacturer)
● Tintoria Fiordiluce Srl (fabric dyeing and finishing)
● Tintoria Cometa Srl (fabric dyeing and finishing)
● Ilaria Manifattura Lane Srl (yarn manufacturer)
● Filati Biagioli Modesto Spa (yarn manufacturer)
● Furpile Idea Spa (yarn manufacturer)
● Tintoria Biagioli Modesto(yarn dyeing and finishing)
Is Wood Burning Sustainable For Your Home?
Wood is a classic heat source, whether we think about people gathered around a campfire or wood stoves in old cabins, but is it a sustainable source of heat in modern society? The answer is an ambivalent one. In certain settings, wood heat is an ideal solution, but for the majority of homes, it isn’t especially suitable. So what’s the tipping point?
Wood heat is ideal for small homes on large properties, for individuals who can gather their own wood, and who have modern wood burning ovens. A green approach to wood heat is one of biofuel on the smallest of scales.
Is Biofuel Green?
One of the reasons that wood heat is a source of so much divide in the eco-friendly community is that it’s a renewable resource and renewable has become synonymous with green. What wood heat isn’t, though, is clean or healthy. It lets off a significant amount of carbon and particulates, and trees certainly don’t grow as quickly as it’s consumed for heat.
Of course, wood is a much less harmful source of heat than coal, but for scientists interested in developing green energy sources, it makes more sense to focus on solar and wind power. Why, then, would they invest in improved wood burning technology?
Solar and wind technology are good large-scale energy solutions, but when it comes to small-space heating, wood has its own advantages. First, wood heat is in keeping with the DIY spirit of homesteaders and tiny house enthusiasts. These individuals are more likely to be driven to gather their own wood and live in small spaces that can be effectively heated as such.
Wood heat is also very effective on an individual scale because it requires very little infrastructure. Modern wood stoves made of steel rather than cast iron are built to EPA specifications, and the only additional necessary tools include a quality axe, somewhere to store the wood, and an appropriate covering to keep it dry. And all the wood can come from your own land.
Wood heat is also ideal for people living off the grid or in cold areas prone to frequent power outages, as it’s constantly reliable. Even if the power goes out, you know that you’ll be able to turn up the heat. That’s important if you live somewhere like Maine where the winters can get exceedingly cold. People have even successfully heated a 40’x34’ home with a single stove.
Benefits Of Biomass
The ultimate question regarding wood heat is whether any energy source that’s dangerous on the large scale is acceptable on a smaller one. For now, the best answer is that with a growing population and limited progress towards “pure” green energy, wood should remain a viable option, specifically because it’s used on a limited scale. Biomass heat is even included in the UK’s Renewable Heat Initiative and minor modifications can make it even more sustainable.
Wood stoves, when embraced in conjunction with pellet stoves, geothermal heating, and masonry heaters, all more efficient forms of sustainable heat, should be part of a modern energy strategy. Ultimately, we’re headed in the direction of diversified energy – all of it cleaner – and wood has a place in the big picture, serving small homes and off-the-grid structures, while solar, wind, and other large-scale initiatives fuel our cities.
7 Benefits You Should Consider Giving Your Energy Employees
As an energy startup, you’re always looking to offer the most competitive packages to entice top-tier talent. This can be tough, especially when trying to put something together that’s both affordable but also has perks that employees are after.
After all, this is an incredibly competitive field and one that’s constantly doing what it can to stay ahead. However, that’s why I’m bringing you a few helpful benefits that could be what bolsters you ahead of your competition. Check them out below:
One benefit commonly overlooked by companies is offering your employees financial advising services, which could help them tremendously in planning for their long-term goals with your firm. This includes anything from budgeting and savings plans to recommendations for credit repair services and investments. Try to take a look at if your energy company could bring on an extra person or two specifically for this role, as it will pay off tremendously regarding retention and employee happiness.
While often included in a lot of health benefits packages, offering your employees life insurance could be an excellent addition to your current perks. Although seldom used, life insurance is a small sign that shows you care about the life of their family beyond just office hours. Additionally, at such a low cost, this is a pretty simple aspect to add to your packages. Try contacting some brokers or insurance agents to see if you can find a policy that’s right for your firm.
Dedicated Time To Enjoy Their Hobbies
Although something seen more often in startups in Silicon Valley, having dedicated office time for employees to enjoy their passions is something that has shown great results. Whether it be learning the piano or taking on building a video game, having your team spend some time on the things they truly enjoy can translate to increased productivity. Why? Because giving them the ability to better themselves, they’ll in turn bring that to their work as well.
The Ability To Work Remotely
It’s no secret that a lot of employers despise the idea of letting their employees work remotely. However, it’s actually proven to hold some amazing benefits. According to Global Workplace Analytics, 95% of employers that allow their employees to telework reported an increased rate of retention, saving on both turnover and sick days. Depending on the needs of each individual role, this can be a strategy to implement either whenever your team wants or on assigned days. Either way, this is one perk almost everyone will love.
Even though it’s mandated for companies with over 50 employees, offering health insurance regardless is arguably a benefit well received across the board. In fact, as noted in research compiled by KFF, 28.6% of employers with less than 50 people still offered health care. Why is that the case? Because it shows you care about their well-being, and know that a healthy employee is one that doesn’t have to worry about astronomical medical bills.
Unlimited Time Off
This is a perk that almost no employer offers but should be regarded as something to consider. According to The Washington Post, only 1-2% of companies offer unlimited vacation, which it’s easy to see why. A true “unlimited vacation” program could be a firm’s worse nightmare, with employees skipping out every other week to enjoy themselves. However, with the right model in place that rewards hard work with days off, your employees will absolutely adore this policy.
A Full Pantry
Finally, having a pantry full of food can be one perk that’s not only relatively inexpensive but also adds to the value of the workplace. As noted by USA Today, when surveying employees who had snacks versus those who didn’t, 67% of those who did reported they were “very happy” with their work life. You’d be surprised at how much of a difference this could make, especially when considering the price point. Consider adding a kitchen to your office if you haven’t already, and always keep the snacks and drinks everyone wants fully stocked. Doing so will increase morale tremendously.
Compiling a great package for your energy company is going to take some time in looking at what you can afford versus what’s the most you can offer. While it might mean cutting back in other areas, having a workforce that feels like you genuinely want to take care of them can take you far. And with so many different benefits to include in your energy company’s package, which one is your favorite? Comment with your answers below!