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Coles makes wave of change in sustainable seafood

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Coles have created a wave of change becoming the first major supermarket in Australia to offer its customers certified sustainable and traceable seafood in their delis. Australian seafood lovers can now buy Aquaculture Stewardship Council, (ASC) and Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) ecolabelled seafood in the deli at their local Coles supermarket.

Across the country Coles’ fresh salmon will be ASC certified as responsibly farmed and their Queensland wild-caught prawns will be MSC certified as sustainably caught.

MSC Asia Pacific Director Patrick Caleo is extremely pleased with Coles’ leadership and pioneering move into sustainable seafood.

“Coles is the first major supermarket in Australia to offer, certified sustainable seafood at their deli counters.  Not only are Coles’ providing Australians with certified sustainable seafood options, they’ve done an enormous amount of work through the supply chain to ensure their seafood is traceable from ocean all the way to the deli counter. As Aussies love our seafood and want to safeguard our oceans for generations to come, choosing certified sustainable seafood from Coles is an easy and delicious way to contribute to the health of the ocean. ”

Chris Ninnes, ASC’s CEO, said: “As one of Australia’s largest retailers, Coles is leading the way with responsibly farmed seafood sourcing in Australia. By offering ASC certified and labelled salmon in their delis, Coles’ customers don’t have to worry about where their fish comes from and can enjoy their salmon knowing that it is sourced from a farm that treats the environment with care and respect. All they need to do is look for the ASC logo.”

Coles now offers customers sustainably caught or responsibly farmed Coles Brand seafood. This month Coles launches its seafood campaign highlighting its range of Coles Brand responsibly sourced seafood to help its customers make better choices to protect the oceans, environment and local communities.

Charlotte Rhodes, Coles General Manager Deli and Seafood said Coles’ responsible sourcing program is providing greater transparency, traceability and labelling making it easier for customers to choose sustainable seafood.

“With more customers looking for responsibly sourced seafood and keen to know where their food comes from, Coles is proud to ensure our Coles Brand seafood is responsibly sourced and introduce MSC and ASC certified products in our Delis.”

“Coles’ sourcing program means seafood lovers can now be confident when buying from our Coles Brand seafood range that it is responsibly sourced which gives them the choice to help make a difference for the environment and contribute towards a more sustainable future.”

Protecting our future through credible and independent seafood certification

“Seafood is the most consumed animal protein in the world, and the most traded food commodity, with one in 10 people in the world depending on fishing for their livelihood, by choosing certified sustainable and responsible seafood you’re helping to create a positive impact in our oceans,” said Mr Caleo.

About a billion people rely on seafood as a fundamental part of their diet. With more than half of the fish consumed globally coming from fish farming it’s important to recognise and reward farms that operate responsibly with minimal impact on the environment through the work of programs like the ASC.

ASC and MSC certification rewards seafood producers who operate sustainable fisheries or responsibly managed farms. The programs provide credible, independent third-party validation for practices which reduce impacts on the marine environment, protect local surroundings and wildlife, and support local communities. MSC and ASC standards were developed in line with ISEAL’s Codes of Good Practice, meeting the requirements for inclusive and transparent standard setting.  The MSC also offers the only wild capture seafood certification and ecolabelling program consistent with the UN FAO  Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing and Guidelines for the Ecolabelling of Fish and Fishery Products from Marine Capture Fisheries.

Coles ASC certified salmon comes from Tassal, which earned ASC certification across all of its sites in November 2014. Tassal was the first salmon farm in Australia to achieve this certification.

Traceability assurance

All ASC and MSC labelled seafood can be traced back through the supply chain to a responsibly managed fish farm or certified sustainable fishery. In order to achieve chain of custody certification each company in the supply chain must meet strict requirements, be completely transparent and have in place traceability systems that ensure no product mixing or substitutions can occur.

MSC certified fisheries and ASC certified farms must complete annual surveillance audits to ensure that they continue to operate at the high standards required to remain certified. MSC certified fisheries are reassessed every 5 years and ASC certified farms every 3 years.

More than 570 improvements to fishing practices and environmental management have been identified with fisheries in the MSC program.

Economy

Will Self-Driving Cars Be Better for the Environment?

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self-driving cars for green environment
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Zapp2Photo | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/zapp2photo

Technologists, engineers, lawmakers, and the general public have been excitedly debating about the merits of self-driving cars for the past several years, as companies like Waymo and Uber race to get the first fully autonomous vehicles on the market. Largely, the concerns have been about safety and ethics; is a self-driving car really capable of eliminating the human errors responsible for the majority of vehicular accidents? And if so, who’s responsible for programming life-or-death decisions, and who’s held liable in the event of an accident?

But while these questions continue being debated, protecting people on an individual level, it’s worth posing a different question: how will self-driving cars impact the environment?

The Big Picture

The Department of Energy attempted to answer this question in clear terms, using scientific research and existing data sets to project the short-term and long-term environmental impact that self-driving vehicles could have. Its findings? The emergence of self-driving vehicles could essentially go either way; it could reduce energy consumption in transportation by as much as 90 percent, or increase it by more than 200 percent.

That’s a margin of error so wide it might as well be a total guess, but there are too many unknown variables to form a solid conclusion. There are many ways autonomous vehicles could influence our energy consumption and environmental impact, and they could go well or poorly, depending on how they’re adopted.

Driver Reduction?

One of the big selling points of autonomous vehicles is their capacity to reduce the total number of vehicles—and human drivers—on the road. If you’re able to carpool to work in a self-driving vehicle, or rely on autonomous public transportation, you’ll spend far less time, money, and energy on your own car. The convenience and efficiency of autonomous vehicles would therefore reduce the total miles driven, and significantly reduce carbon emissions.

There’s a flip side to this argument, however. If autonomous vehicles are far more convenient and less expensive than previous means of travel, it could be an incentive for people to travel more frequently, or drive to more destinations they’d otherwise avoid. In this case, the total miles driven could actually increase with the rise of self-driving cars.

As an added consideration, the increase or decrease in drivers on the road could result in more or fewer vehicle collisions, respectively—especially in the early days of autonomous vehicle adoption, when so many human drivers are still on the road. Car accident injury cases, therefore, would become far more complicated, and the roads could be temporarily less safe.

Deadheading

Deadheading is a term used in trucking and ridesharing to refer to miles driven with an empty load. Assume for a moment that there’s a fleet of self-driving vehicles available to pick people up and carry them to their destinations. It’s a convenient service, but by necessity, these vehicles will spend at least some of their time driving without passengers, whether it’s spent waiting to pick someone up or en route to their location. The increase in miles from deadheading could nullify the potential benefits of people driving fewer total miles, or add to the damage done by their increased mileage.

Make and Model of Car

Much will also depend on the types of cars equipped to be self-driving. For example, Waymo recently launched a wave of self-driving hybrid minivans, capable of getting far better mileage than a gas-only vehicle. If the majority of self-driving cars are electric or hybrids, the environmental impact will be much lower than if they’re converted from existing vehicles. Good emissions ratings are also important here.

On the other hand, the increased demand for autonomous vehicles could put more pressure on factory production, and make older cars obsolete. In that case, the gas mileage savings could be counteracted by the increased environmental impact of factory production.

The Bottom Line

Right now, there are too many unanswered questions to make a confident determination whether self-driving vehicles will help or harm the environment. Will we start driving more, or less? How will they handle dead time? What kind of models are going to be on the road?

Engineers and the general public are in complete control of how this develops in the near future. Hopefully, we’ll be able to see all the safety benefits of having autonomous vehicles on the road, but without any of the extra environmental impact to deal with.

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Environment

Road Trip! How to Choose the Greenest Vehicle for Your Growing Family

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Greenest Vehicle
Licensed Image by Shutterstock - By Mascha Tace -- https://www.shutterstock.com/g/maschatace

When you have a growing family, it often feels like you’re in this weird bubble that exists outside of mainstream society. Whereas everyone else seemingly has stability, your family dynamic is continuously in flux. Having said that, is it even possible to buy an eco-friendly vehicle that’s also practical?

What to Look for in a Green, Family-Friendly Vehicle?

As a single person or young couple without kids, it’s pretty easy to buy a green vehicle. Almost every leading car brand has eco-friendly options these days and you can pick from any number of options. The only problem is that most of these models don’t work if you have kids.

Whether it’s a Prius or Smart car, most green vehicles are impractical for large families. You need to look for options that are spacious, reliable, and comfortable – both for passengers and the driver.

5 Good Options

As you do your research and look for different opportunities, it’s good to have an open mind. Here are some of the greenest options for growing families:

1. 2014 Chrysler Town and Country

Vans are not only popular for the room and comfort they offer growing families, but they’re also becoming known for their fuel efficiency. For example, the 2014 Chrysler Town and Country – which was one of CarMax’s most popular minivans of 2017 – has Flex Fuel compatibility and front wheel drive. With standard features like these, you can’t do much better at this price point.

2. 2017 Chrysler Pacifica

If you’re looking for a newer van and are willing to spend a bit more, you can go with Chrysler’s other model, the Pacifica. One of the coolest features of the 2017 model is the hybrid drivetrain. It allows you to go up to 30 miles on electric, before the vehicle automatically switches over to the V6 gasoline engine. For short trips and errands, there’s nothing more eco-friendly in the minivan category.

3. 2018 Volkswagen Atlas

Who says you have to buy a minivan when you have a family? Sure, the sliding doors are nice, but there are plenty of other options that are both green and spacious. The new Volkswagen Atlas is a great choice. It’s one of the most fuel-efficient third-row vehicles on the market. The four-cylinder model gets an estimated 26 mpg highway.

4. 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

While a minivan or SUV is ideal – and necessary if you have more than two kids – you can get away with a roomy sedan when you still have a small family. And while there are plenty of eco-friendly options in this category, the 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is arguably the biggest bang for your buck. It gets 38 mpg on the highway and is incredibly affordable.

5. 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Diesel

If money isn’t an object and you’re able to spend any amount to get a good vehicle that’s both comfortable and eco-friendly, the 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Diesel is your car. Not only does it get 28 mpg highway, but it can also be equipped with a third row of seats and a diesel engine. And did we mention that this car looks sleek?

Putting it All Together

You have a variety of options. Whether you want something new or used, would prefer an SUV or minivan, or want something cheap or luxurious, there are plenty of choices on the market. The key is to do your research, remain patient, and take your time. Don’t get too married to a particular transaction, or you’ll lose your leverage.

You’ll know when the right deal comes along, and you can make a smart choice that’s functional, cost-effective, and eco-friendly.

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