Chuck Bennett, vice president of earth and community care at the natural cosmetics giant Aveda, recently made important observations about what sustainability means to his company and others.
“Sustainability is not a program but a philosophy of doing business,” he said. “To be effective in becoming a sustainable company and supporting a sustainable future for society and the planet, requires taking a holistic approach at your business and rethinking many of the ways in which you do business.
“The environmental footprint of any product must account for the ‘life cycle’ of the product. This includes many factors such as energy and water consumption, emissions to the environment. It can significantly misrepresent the actual footprint of a product if the focus is limited to, for example, manufacturing only.”
Bennett’s statements show how the label of ‘sustainability’ among responsible companies has expanded in recent years to be all encompassing and far more than the gesture it represented only a few years ago.
In fact, the non-profit organization, Green Seal, has just introduced the first standard certification of personal care and cosmetics products covering the whole product life cycle. Dr. Arthur Weissman, CEO of Green Seal, said the certification “makes it possible for consumers to identify those products that have been independently certified to have less impact.”
To achieve certification, manufacturers need to satisfy performance, health and environmental, social responsibility, packaging and labeling requirements, as well as providing definitions for common claims such as “natural”, “organic”, and “biobased.”
We hope you enjoy this edition of our newsletter and the many accomplishments our Explore Green team have achieved over the past few months.
Jean-Michel Cousteau, OFS Make Reef Safe Official Sun Care
In an agreement negotiated by Explore Green, Jean-Michel Cousteau and his Ocean Futures Society has named Reef Safe Sun Care by Tropical Seas their official sunscreen. Reef Safe is the only sun care product that fully biodegrades and is non-toxic to sea-life. Most consumers are unaware that ingredients in most sunscreens, such as zinc oxide, are not biodegradable and harm coral reefs and marine life. A portion of the proceeds of each bottle sold will be donated to Ocean Futures.
Amphibian Ark Chooses Explore Green for Corporate Development
Amphibian Ark, a worldwide organization whose mission is to ensure the global survival of amphibians focusing on those that cannot currently be safeguarded in nature, has chosen Explore Green to head its corporate development efforts. Explore Green will assist in raising funds for Amphibian Ark through corporate collaborations and marketing strategies.
More than 30% of all amphibians are threatened with extinction due to climate change and depletion of their habitats through human development. Amphibian Ark works with conservation groups to protect amphibian species by capturing the most endangered for their protection, propagation and, hopefully, their return to the wild. The organization also works globally to raise awareness about the amphibian crisis.
Explore Green’s own Dr. May Berenbaum has been named the 2011 winner of the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. In announcing the award, the Tyler Prize Executive Committee praised Berenbaum’s “groundbreaking work on the science behind the bee population collapse and on the genetics of coevolution between plants and insects.” Committee Chair Owen Lind said, “Professor Berenbaum has done more to advance the field of entomology and explain its significance than nearly any other researcher today.” The award comes with a $200,000 USD cash prize. The Tyler Prize, administered by the University of Southern California, is the premier award for environmental science, environment health and energy.
The Explorers Club has bestowed its coveted Lowell Thomas Award on Explore Green’s Dr. Laurie Marker for her cheetah research and conservation efforts. In a ceremony in New York titled “Exploring Extinction: Is It Forever,” Marker was recognized for her work over three decades to stabilize cheetah numbers in the wild through research, education and building partnerships. Laurie was nominated for the award by wildlife expert Jim Fowler.
The Explorers Club’s award is named in honor of Lowell Thomas, whose ambition was “to know more about this globe than anyone else ever has,” and travelled to remote sites around the world in the early 1900s and led the way for modern explorers and scientists.
Laurie’s Cheetah Conservation Fund was also featured on Oprah.com.
On a sad note, we offer our condolences to Laurie on the passing of her longtime friend and companion, Chewbaaka, the ambassador and symbol of CCF for 16 years. The majestic cheetah will be missed by all.
2011 WINGS WorldQuest Woman of Discovery Award to Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka
Explore Green’s Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka has been given the Humanity Award of the WINGS WorldQuest Women of Discovery of 2011. Gladys was honored for “being instrumental in gorilla conservation in Uganda and among the first to realize that endangered gorillas were threatened not only by poaching, but by exposure to human-borne disease transmitted through contact with visitors to the parks that protect them.” The award, presented in New York, comes with a research grant.
WINGS WorldQuest is the foremost international organization dedicated to supporting and promoting visionary women in exploration. Established in 2003, the Women in Discovery Awards recognize outstanding women who are making significant contributions to world knowledge through exploration. To date, 48 pioneering women have received the awards.
Acclaimed nature photographer Clyde Butcher was honored at Florida House in Washington, D.C. with the state’s Florida House 2011 Distinguished Artists Award. Butcher, best known as America’s foremost black-and-white photographer of the beauty of Florida and other natural places, is the focus of Explore Green’s upcoming, 2012 national exhibition of “The Everglades: America’s Amazon.”
Butcher and his wife, Niki, are honored for “their combined efforts to produce a body of work that invites you into a part of Florida that few get to see in person.”
The Florida House Distinguished Artist’s Award recognizes an outstanding artist in the state whose work enhances the Florida experience.
Congratulations to Dr. Nalini Nadkarni who is taking a new post as a professor at The University of Utah from her previous position at Evergreen State University in Oregon. Before her move, Nalini has been stumping the speaking circuit, including the International Society of Arborists in Chicago, North Dakota State University, University of Florida, Yale University and the California Academy of Sciences Pritzker Lecture.
Oreskes Named Climate Change Communicator of the Year; “Merchants of Doubt” Finalist for Los Angeles Times Book of the Year
Dr. Naomi Oreskes has been named the 2011 Climate Change Communicator of the Year by George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication. The award comes after an international vote to select the one individual whose “excellence deserves acknowledgment.” Naomi will receive her award June 8 at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. where she will also participate in a panel discussion on “Managing the Planet.”
It is a double dose of good news for Naomi.
Dr. Naomi Oreskes’ seminal work, “Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming,” was nominated for Best Science Book of the Year by The Los Angeles Times.
Marshall Book Receives Early Award
Explore Green’s Joseph Marshall III’s new book “To You We Shall Return: Lessons About Our Planet from the Lakota” has been named a finalist for the Books for a Better Life Award by the National MS Society. The awards recognize self-improvement authors whose messages are aligned with the mission of inspiring people to live their best lives.
Marshall will also be the featured speaker at Explore Green’s Labor Day Weekend retreat at The Resort at Paws Up outside Missoula, MT. Joe will conduct a leadership seminar based on his book, “The Power of Four: Leadership Lessons of Crazy Horse, Sept. 1-4.
Also a noted actor, Marshall is featured in a documentary about the life of Joseph Campbell and has narrated the documentary “Standing Bear” for PBS.
The San Francisco-based modern dance troupe Capacitor performed “The Perfect Flower” for Easter in Central Park in New York City as part of a series of works in the “A Clearing in the Forest” program. They also recently performed at the Philadelphia Science Festival.
Jodi Lomask, director of Capacitor and an Explore Green team member, notes that her group is continuing development of “Okeanos,” a performance focused on the world’s oceans in concert with noted marine biologists. The dance will debut in the fall.
Doherty Leads Ecopsychology Group at Sundance
Explore Green’s Dr. Thomas Doherty lead a unique weekend retreat at the Sundance Resort in Utah with 20 participants focused on “the sustainable self.” The journey of personal discovery and restoration within the beautiful Wasatch mountain range was an exhilarating and deeply moving experience for the group.
The weekend featured a diverse gamut of neuroscience, environmental psychology and mind-health exercises that produced revelations and reflections throughout the group.
The film “Play Again,” also premiered at Sundance for the group with co-producer Meg Merrill answering questions about her film depicting what happens when over-stimulated and isolated teens hooked on electronic games and social media are forced to spend their time in nature and away from their gadgets and texting.