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News Article | March 29, 2017
Site: www.theguardian.com

In 2015, when Barack Obama signed the nation’s clean power plan, more than 300 companies came out in support, calling the guidelines “critical for moving our country toward a clean energy economy”. Now, as Donald Trump moves to strip those laws away, Mars Inc, Staples and The Gap are just a few of those US corporations who are challenging the new president’s reversal on climate policy. “We’re disappointed the administration has decided to roll back climate regulations such as the clean power plan and others,” Edward Hoover, senior manager of Corporate Communications for Mars, told the Guardian. “Corporations can’t do it alone. Governments play a critical role in mitigating the effects of climate change on our economy.” The responses come just a day after Trump, flanked by cheering coalminers, signed a sweeping executive order that begins to dismantle steps taken by the Obama administration to cut emissions under the Paris agreement negotiated in 2015. Under the agreement the US had agreed to cut its greenhouse gas emissions 26-28% by 2025 as compared with 2005 levels. “We will continue to support the EPA’s clean power plan and the reduction of carbon emissions associated with electrical power generation,” added Mark Buckley, vice-president of environmental affairs for Staples, calling it “smart business”. The centerpiece for this reduction was the clean power plan, billed in 2015 as the strongest action ever on climate change by a US president but criticised by some for targeting coal-fired power plants, which release more carbon and fine particulate material than other fossil fuels. That was when some of the nation’s most recognizable brands signed a letter to the National Governors Association backing their commitment to the reductions, arguing that better regulation would drive innovation and create jobs, rather than stifle them, as Trump went on to repeatedly suggest during the 2016 campaign. “We believe that investing in a low-carbon economy will not only help foster a healthier environment, it is also a key to unlocking new business growth potential for the US and around the world,” said Gap Inc spokesperson Laura Wilkinson. The clothing manufacturer produces the popular Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic brands. Wilkinson added that the company would continue to “advocate for low carbon policies that will help ensure a healthier and more prosperous future”. Hoover, whose company is the maker of candies like M&Ms, Skittles, Snickers and Twix, added: “We believe the science is clear and unambiguous: climate change is real and human activity is a factor. As a food business, our supply chain and those who work in it are threatened by its impacts.” Trump, for his part, has called climate change a “hoax”. Asked by the Guardian this week if Trump accepted the science of manmade climate change, a senior White House official replied: “Sure, yes, I guess.” Levi Strauss and the eco-oriented Seventh Generation cleaning and paper supply company also confirmed their commitment to the 2015 agreement in statements to the Guardian. “We stand firm in our support of the clean power plan,” said Ashley Orgain, manager of mission advocacy for Seventh Generation. “Climate change is harming our health now, some of us more than others.” Even fossil fuel giant Exxonmobil has chimed in to recommend the US stay on course with the Paris agreement, calling it “an effective framework for addressing the risks of climate change” in a letter to Trump last week. It’s worth noting though, that the energy conglomerate deals mainly in oil and natural gas, not coal, and hopes to gain market share under an agreement that would phase out coal-fired plants. • This article was amended on 30 March 2017. An earlier version misnamed Seventh Generation as Seven Generations.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.theguardian.com

The Star-Spangled Banner is the Mount Everest of national anthems – many attempt it, but few ever hit its peak. In a school theater on the hot and dusty outskirts of El Paso, Texas, high school student Gisselle Castaneda nails the high notes to a hearty round of applause from the 100 or so locals gathered to meet their congressman, Beto O’Rourke. These are strange days in El Paso, the pretty little border town that has acted as the bridge to Mexico for 169 years. El Paso and its Mexican neighbor, Ciudad Juarez, pretty much function as a single unit. At the end of El Paso Street, a bridge, Paso del Norte, groans with some of the 200,000-plus vehicles that cross it from Mexico each month. Another 400,000-plus walk over: they come to work, shop, go to school or visit friends and relatives, as they have done for centuries. Now a giant, blimp-like shadow hangs over El Paso: Donald Trump. During his campaign, Trump railed against Mexican drug pushers and “rapists” and promised to build a “big, beautiful wall” to keep out the city’s southern neighbors. Since his election he has threatened to rip up the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta), which cut barriers between Mexico, the US and Canada and which many here say has helped El Paso thrive. Now he is threatening a “border adjustment tax” on goods coming in from Mexico, a tax that he says will pay for the wall and that critics say could trigger a trade war that would hit El Paso first but then spread across the US and the world. At O’Rourke’s town hall meeting, locals are worried. Student Ray Dominguez was born and raised in El Paso and like many here has family in Juarez. “El Paso has always been a very accepting place. Trump is dividing people. The one good thing I would say is that we are more proud of who we are,” he says. And in this topsy turvy political climate, when a Republican president rails against free trade, the climate change-accepting, LGBT-friendly, free trade-loving O’Rourke is having a moment. A rising Democrat star who the Washington Post recently said “looks more like a Kennedy than the Kennedys do”, O’Rourke is set to challenge the oleaginous Ted Cruz for his Senate seat in 2018. When he does, O’Rourke will be the man arguing for free trade while his Republican rival, Trump’s one-time chief critic and now frenemy, will be left defending Republican policies that O’Rourke (and many far to the right of him) argue threaten not just the economy but American safety. Not a brick of Trump’s monumental wall has been laid, no details of the “border adjustment tax” have been finalized and Nafta still stands, but the impact of all this anti-trade, anti-Mexican rhetoric is already being felt in the region, says O’Rourke. On the Mexican side of the border there are organized campaigns encouraging shoppers to stay in Mexico. El Paso’s retail trade is worth $12.24bn a year, and some $980m of that comes from residents of northern Mexico. On the US side, fear is keeping some undocumented people inside and out of the local economy. “The fear is that a broken tail light, an arbitrary arrest, could land people in a deportation proceeding. So people aren’t going out to buy a bucket of chicken, a six-pack, get those diapers or whatever. There’s less cooperation with law enforcement, people just don’t feel comfortable dealing with law enforcement,” says O’Rourke. “It’s changing the character and the safety of a community like El Paso. Before it didn’t matter what your immigration status was, whether you were born here or not you felt comfortable working with law enforcement to report a crime or abuse,” he says. “They knew law enforcement was focused on keeping us safe. Now that focus has changed and ironically it is making us less safe.” Robert Moore, editor of the El Paso Times, agrees. The Times recently reported on the case of an undocumented woman who had sought a court order against a man she accused of abusing her. The alleged abuser told immigration and customs enforcement (Ice) that she was undocumented and when she would be appearing in court. Agents arrested her as she left the courthouse. “Trump might say that is what he wants to happen but for us, that’s deeply upsetting,” says Moore, who sits on the board of the Center Against Sexual and Family Violence and expects the case to have a chilling effect on reports of abuse. Like many El Pasoans, Moore is prone to wax lyrical about the good old days when the border was little more than a mild inconvenience. When Moore started his career in the city, he and his colleagues would nip across the border for cheap beers and pool after work. Crossing into Mexico is still fairly quick, but coming back in a car it can take hours to drive the six short miles that divide the two cities. It’s not all Trump’s fault; border security has been on the rise since 9/11 and was considerably beefed up as Juarez was torn apart by drug-related gun violence a decade ago. The proposed wall doesn’t seem to faze locals at all. Firstly, they argue it will be a boost to the local economy. A $20bn wall would inject $10bn into the Texas economy and create 144,000 jobs, says Tom Fullerton, economics professor at the University of Texas at El Paso. “But over the long run it won’t have much impact at all,” he says. Locals don’t think it will have much impact on drug trade or illegal entries. Drug smugglers are already using mini cannons like the ones used to fire T-shirts into the crowds at sports events to fire their drugs over the border. What they can’t go over, they’ll go under. More tunnels will be dug. But El Pasoans are genuinely angered by Trump’s constant attacks on their neighbors and his portrayal of a wild west border that few here recognise. “It’s deeply personal,” says Moore. “People here feel he’s not just attacking the border, he’s attacking me. Everyone in El Paso knows someone who is undocumented and the way this administration has talked about them is seen as really insulting.” That’s not to say that many in El Paso do not sympathize with Trump’s supporters. The city was one of the first victims of globalization and profoundly impacted by Nafta, says Fullerton. Once the jeans capital of the US and home to manufacturers including Levi Strauss and Farah – at its peak the second largest employer in the city – El Paso fell on hard times as trade barriers fell and manufacturing jobs went south of the border. But the city bounced back. The unemployment rate in El Paso was close to 12% when Nafta was signed in 1994 and it is now less than 5%. “The border region has benefitted from Nafta; so has the entire country,” says Fullerton. Mexican trade is vital to Texas. Some $98bn in exports and imports passed through the El Paso customs district in 2015. According to the Dallas Federal Reserve, a 10% increase in manufacturing on the Mexican side of the border increases employment by 2.8% in El Paso, 2.2% in neighbouring Brownsville, 4.6% in Laredo and 6.6% in McAllen. “People want simple solutions. They want to be told, ‘Don’t worry, we will sort it,” says Fullerton. But economics is not simple. And neither, right now, is politics. Washington is in Easter recess and while Trump plays golf in Florida, the rightwing billionaire Koch brothers are spending millions backing ads attacking his border tax plans, arguing they amount to a consumer tax that will increase costs on everything from clothes and TVs to food and will land the average US family with a $1,700 bill. The ads are playing nationwide in states that elected a president who promised them change but who now, the Kochs argue, is threatening their livelihoods and their pocketbooks. Attacking from the left is O’Rourke. “The five states that would be hurt by a border adjustment tax, which would essentially precipitate a trade war, are mid-western states, states like Michigan. Factory floor jobs in Detroit are inextricably connected to factory floor jobs in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. If you break that connection with a tax or you continue to try to humiliate Mexico, you jeopardize not just jobs in Mexico and El Paso but in Michigan and across the United States.” What was once a proposed 20% border tax may well end up being something far smaller, says Fullerton, but he still believes there is a good chance that some sort of tax is coming. “The sentiment in the country is so anti-trade that I think Congress would be reluctant to vote against a serious proposal,” he says. In the baking-hot parking lot of the College, Career and Technology Academy O’Rourke, the left-leaning liberal Democrat, sets out the case for free trade and against new taxes. America needs to listen to Trump’s supporters. Too many have been left behind, he says. But they need retraining not tariffs. “We need not be paranoid and fearful of the future, of other countries. That’s not America. That’s not Texas.” This is a “dark time” he says. “But I am confident it is getting better.”


Merdan N.,Istanbul Commerce University | Sahinbaskan B.Y.,Marmara University | Kocak D.,Marmara University | Ari G.,Levi Strauss and Co.
Asian Journal of Chemistry | Year: 2012

In present study, flowers of the Papaver rhoeas L. plant were used. Usability of the flowers of the Papaver rhoeas L. which has a wide expansion area throughout the world as natural dyes in dyeing the silk fibres was examined. After the silk material was treated with a mordanting process with the common mordanting agents, it was dyed with the dye extracted from the plant through the conventional and ultrasonic methods. L *a *b * values of the dyed material were measured and analyzed by using the CIE L *a *b * colour space system of the samples. Moreover, washing and light fastness properties of dyed materials were examined. It was observed that colour yield increased in dyeing made with natural dyestuff extracted from the Papaver rhoeas L. plant and through the dyeing method performed with environmentfriendly ultrasonic energy.


Gloria T.P.,Industrial Ecology Consultants | Kohlsaat C.,Levi Strauss and Co | Bautil P.,Levi Strauss and Co | Wolf B.,Levi Strauss and Co | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment | Year: 2014

Purpose: Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&Co.) has developed a statistical-based interpretation methodology, E-valuate™, with the primary objective of assessing the environmental impact of a product, a subassembly, or process across whole product lines the nature of apparel manufacturing, with raw materials and manufacturing facilities all across the globe, makes comparisons between individual products inherently difficult. With the multitude of decisions at each manufacturing stage, and localized factors such as grid electricity mixes, a noncontextualized comparison between two products yields little actionable information. By assessing the life cycle impact of products and subassemblies within standardized groups of like products, or cohorts of interest, the E-valuate™ methodology provides directional indication of whether or not the life cycle impacts for a given product demonstrate an improvement, that is, decreased environmental impact or otherwise as compared to the cohort. Methods: Using descriptive statistics of a cohort of products or materials, in this case denim fabrics, performance is determined by percentile rankings. Final scores are expressed as readily understood performance measures of good, better, and best over business-as-usual practices. Thresholds to distinguish good, better, and best scores are based on percentile rankings of performance at the 70th, 80th, and 90th percentiles, respectively. Results and discussion: In this paper we present the assessment of 26 fabrics from raw material production or extraction up to and including the dyeing and weaving of a fabric, demonstrating the ability of the E-valuate™ method to assess life cycle environmental performance of a product or product component relative to a cohort of like products or components. Conclusions: The E-valuate™ method is a first major step in the development of a comprehensive science-based approach to measuring the environmental performance of fabrics and apparel products the pilot assessment of the 26 fabrics has yielded results that can be used to engage both internal and external stakeholders the E-valuate™ method can address the needs of three primary stakeholders: (1) relative rankings to support decisions for product designers and developers, (2) substantiation of external claims of environmental performance, and (3) communication of environmental performance to suppliers and contractors. © 2013 The Author(s).

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