Should you ban bamboo? | Lucy SiegleGuardian Unlimited | 09 Apr 2011
It's the base of many eco clothes, but just how green is bamboo? THE DILEMMA I have noticed that there is a lot of bamboo in eco clothing and towels, but I have also read something that suggests it isn't very green to use bamboo in these products. I try to run an ethical household, is bamboo something I should buy?
It's not easy being green... rating white goodsGuardian Unlimited | 02 Apr 2011
Does an A rating really guarantee energy efficiency? On the surface it looks good. Some 95% of dishwashers and 98% of washing machines now claim to be A-rated. Until you realise that for an appliance not to score an A it would need to belch out a visible cloud of soot during every wash. The point of energy ratings for machines is to reduce environmental pressures through better efficiency and to let the consumer make that choice.
Ethical investment: Flower powerGuardian Unlimited | 01 Apr 2011
It is good to learn that Kenya's rose-growing industry has been transformed since we reported on its damaging impactIn a world of many bad news stories, it is good to learn that Kenya's rose-growing industry, worth $500m a year, has been transformed since we reported, in 2003, on its damaging impact on the people and environment of the shores of Lake Naivasha.
How can I choose the right ethical brand?Guardian Unlimited | 13 Mar 2011
With large corporations swallowing smaller ones it's hard to know who owns who. Many "ethical" treats have corporate sugar daddies, such as Green & Blacks, famously consumed by Cadbury, which was in turn devoured by Kraft. The original brand inevitably says that its values will stay the same and its new moneyed parent will grow the brand. But what is an ethical company anyway?
Homebuyers ignore efficiency labelsGuardian Unlimited | 02 Mar 2011
A Consumer Focus report found 79% of prospective buyers did not act on recommendations of energy performance certificates. Homebuyers overwhelmingly ignore energy labels designed to encourage greener homes, a new survey revealed on Wednesday. Consumer Focus carried out a survey to find out how useful prospective buyers and tenants found energy performance certificates (EPC), which vendors and landlords are legally required to provide when selling or letting a home.
UK coffee chains ratedGuardian Unlimited | 28 Feb 2011
When choosing between the big coffee chains, consumers should also consider the wages of the workers and the ethics of the company. Walk down your local high street you're likely to be presented with a choice between the big three UK coffee shop chains - Starbucks, Costa or Caffè Nero. Only...
Wine: The trouble with Fairtrade wineGuardian Unlimited | 26 Feb 2011
Fairtrade producers are missing a trick - if they offered more exciting bottles, we'd buy a lot more of them. Those who regularly buy Fairtrade coffee and tea may well be tempted to pick up a bottle of Fairtrade wine over the next couple of weeks, the annual Fairtrade fortnight. But I wonder how much you'll enjoy it. Having tasted a number recently, I was underwhelmed by the overall quality – I'd say Fairtrade wine is where Fairtrade chocolate, tea and coffee were four or five years ago.
'Local' food labelling misleads consumers, regulator revealsGuardian Unlimited | 26 Feb 2011
Consumers are being misled by "local" foods, with almost a fifth of products bearing the label making the claim falsely, a study has revealed. Items that were found to be misleading include "Welsh lamb" from New Zealand, "Somerset butter" from Scotland, "Devon ham" from Denmark and "West Country fish fillets", where the fish had been caught in the West Country but filleted in China.
Co-operative Group commits to ambitious ethical operating planGuardian Unlimited | 18 Feb 2011
Co-op aims to cut carbon emissions by 35%, increase Fairtrade product lines and invest £1bn in green energy. The Co-operative Group is launching an ethical operating plan that it hopes will set a benchmark for corporate responsibility on carbon reduction, fair trade and community involvement. The group, which employs 120,000 staff, also plans to increase its membership from 6 million to 20 million and double its support for green energy to £1bn.
Hedegaard: High targets will boost EU economyGuardian Unlimited | 14 Feb 2011
EU climate commissioner says there is 'debate' - but no row – over raising the carbon targets to a 30% cut by 2020. Europe's climate chief insisted on Monday that tougher greenhouse gas targets would improve the EU's economic performance, rather than push businesses overseas, as companies and green...
New app launches for ethical shoppersGuardian Unlimited | 04 Feb 2011
Shoppers keen to know the ethical status of the goods and services they want to buy can make real-time comparisons using a new mobile phone app that launched today. The Ethical Company Organisation's best-selling Good Shopping Guide has been turned into an app, using its ethical product research...
Who owns which ethical brand?Guardian Unlimited | 26 Jan 2011
A survey published tomorrow shows consumers are largely ignorant of the companies behind ethical brands.
Consumers 'ignorant' of parent companiesGuardian Unlimited | 25 Jan 2011
Most consumers are ignorant of the multinational parent companies behind so-called ethical brands such as Rachel's Organic, Seeds of Change and Green & Black's, according to a survey due to be published this week by the consumer organisation Which?. Three-quarters of the people questioned also believe companies should be clear about ownership on the brand's packaging, but the survey, to published on Thursday, reveals that corporate parents often keep quiet about their ethical offspring.
New labels for wind power productsGuardian Unlimited | 18 Jan 2011
Consumers love certification labels. They allow us to "do the right thing" when shopping with confidence and convenience. Just a quick glance at a familiar logo - Fairtrade, Soil Association, Marine Stewardship Council, Vegan Society, Forestry Stewardship Council, to name just a few – and we can...
UK egg farmers in crisis talks with European CommissionGuardian Unlimited | 09 Jan 2011
Legislation that takes effect next year could make British egg producers less competitive than their Spanish and Polish counterparts. European rules that outlaw the keeping of egg-laying hens in battery pens have prompted farmers to convene a crisis meeting with European commission officials, amid...
...they answer: The Carbon TrustGuardian Unlimited | 29 Mar 2010
Post your questions for the trust on carbon labelling and what you can do to reduce your footprint.
EU Forest Action PlanEurActiv | 04 Sep 2006
The Finnish EU Presidency organises a high-level conference on the competitiveness of the forest-based sector on 28 November 2006. A mid-term assessment of the Forestry Action Plan will take place in 2009 and a final assessment in 2012.
Defra announces review to assure legal and sustainable timber procurementDEFRA - Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs | 08 Jun 2006
A review of five forest certification schemes will begin on 24 June to ensure that the schemes are providing adequate assurances that timber bought by the UK Government is legally and sustainably sourced, in line with UK Government policy on timber procurement. Interested parties are invited to submit comments and evidence to the Central Point of Expertise on Timber (CPET) before 24 June.