ML - Michigan Avenue

2015 - Issue 2 - Late Spring

Michigan Avenue - Niche Media - Michigan Avenue magazine is a luxury lifestyle magazine centered around Chicago’s finest people, events, fashion, health & beauty, fine dining & more!

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 106 of 139

Chipotle Mexican Grill has made a commitment to "Food with Integrity" by serving organic, locally grown, and family- farmed foods. The company has also pledged to offer sustainably produced food and dairy products without synthetic hormones. The Coca-Cola Company is working to achieve its 2020 environmental goals, which include improving water efficiency by 25 percent, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent, raising the recovery rate of its cans and bottles to 75 percent in developed markets, and sustainably sourcing key ingredients. The company has also participated in hundreds of Community Water Partnership projects, providing access to safe water in countries around the world. Hewlett-Packard, through its Living Progress program, employs its technological expertise to help build a sustainable world. As part of the program, the Earth Insights project uses a ground breaking early-warning system that allows scientists to monitor endangered species in tropical ecosystems in almost real time. Marriott International is implementing a comprehensive sustainability strategy that includes commitments to reduce energy and water consumption, green its supply chain, and inspire its guests and associates to conserve natural resources. The company has also provided support to forest and water conservation projects in Brazil and China. Omega partnered with the GoodPlanet Foundation in 2011, and within a year the company showcased the beauty of the world's oceans in the documentary Planet Ocean, examined the stresses on its ecosystems, and offered solutions. To further foster conservation, Omega designed a special timepiece, the Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M GMT GoodPlanet, a portion of whose sales proceeds fully fund a project to preserve mangroves, sea grasses, and coral reefs in the seas of Southeast Asia. Starwood Hotels & Resorts is committed to sustainable practices while continuing to offer a great experience for its guests. The company has set a target of 2020 to decrease energy and water consumption by 30 percent and 20 percent, respectively, and to reduce emissions and waste. Stella McCartney's line features an array of environmentally friendly products, such as eyewear produced with materials like castor oil seeds and citric acid; shoes with soles made from a bio-plastic called APINAT, which degrades when placed in a compost pile; and a faux-leather line created with more than 50 percent vegetable oil, which allows the company to use less petroleum in its products. Tiffany & Co. employs only paper suppliers that have been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council for the brand's famous blue boxes and bags. Unilever has established the goal of sourcing 100 percent of its agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020. In the same time period, the company has also committed to cutting its greenhouse gas emissions, per-customer water use, and waste. Making a Difference These global brands are leading the way in environmentally responsible practices. energy consumption with renewable-energy credits. And through its sustainable coffee-sourcing program, known as CAFE (Coffee and Farmer Equity) Practices, Starbucks is maintaining the quality of its brews while encouraging higher environ- mental, social, and economic standards. The initiative has had a significant positive impact on forest conservation and coffee-farming communities, and the company is expected to meet its goal of serving 100 percent ethically sourced coffee this year. (See sidebar for a list of other eco-conscious companies.) how is the changing climate affecting us now? The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an international body that reviews scientific research on the changing climate, stated in a recent report that it is "unequivocal" that the global climate is warming: "The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, and sea level has risen." The IPCC notes that concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased and projects that if the current rate of greenhouse gas emissions continues, the climate and oceans will continue to warm during the 21st century. That could result in sea levels rising anywhere from 21 inches to three feet by 2100, endangering cities worldwide, from New York and Miami to London and Sydney. Coastal f looding and erosion are expected to increase with rising sea levels. The panel also found evidence that human health, agriculture, water supplies, and in some cases people's livelihoods have already been impacted by climate change. Increased acidification of the oceans (from the absorption of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere) has harmed marine ecosystems, such as coral reefs and fisheries, potentially threatening our food security. The IPCC predicts climate change is pro- jected to impact the availability of fresh water and increase water scarcity, which could result in competition for the resource. The production of crops like wheat and rice is also projected to be negatively impacted by the changing climate. Risks to human health may also rise due to stronger heat waves, decreased food production, and a greater prevalence of disease, according to the panel. One place that is already feeling the impact of the changing climate is the remote nation of Kiribati, which sits just a few feet above sea level in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, more than 1,000 miles south of Hawaii. Kiribati is composed of 33 tiny islands and has a population of just over 100,000. If sea levels continue to rise, this republic, which is directly in the eye of the storm, could literally be swallowed up by the sea. According to the country's president, Anote Tong, rising tides have damaged prop- erty and infrastructure, and sea water is intruding on freshwater plants and damaging food crops. "The future is a very real concern," he says. "My grandchildren will have a very difficult future. We really have to do a lot of work. We need resources to be able to build up the islands in order to be resilient to the impacts that will come in the future." Although people living thousands of miles from Kiribati may not yet feel the effects of climate change directly, eventually they will, Tong adds, and the world should act now, before it's too late. "It is better not to look back and say, 'Oh no, we should have done something,'" says Tong. He sees this issue as "the most serious moral challenge for humanity," adding that "humanity will, at some point in time, see the need and the obli- gation to respond to what is happening. If it's later, we will go down the drain, but hopefully it will be a lesson. I hope that lesson is well learned to ensure that whatever further damage would be caused will not happen." Here at home, the third National Climate Assessment, published last year, reports that people across the United States—from corn growers in Iowa to oyster farmers in Washington State—are already feeling the impact of our changing climate, and that impact is growing. The first decade of the 21st century was the world's hottest on record, and 2012 was the warmest year recorded in the continental United States. According to the report, temperatures in most areas of the country are expected to rise by as much as four degrees Fahrenheit in the coming decades, which threatens US agricultural pro- duction, worth about $330 billion annually. The US defense and intelligence communities are increasingly focusing on the impact of climate change on resource scarcity, food security, and stability within and among nations. The US Department of Defense's 2014 Quadrennial  105

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of ML - Michigan Avenue - 2015 - Issue 2 - Late Spring