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Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Supply-chain fixes are the secret sauce for three NY companies
What do ice cream toppings, mushroom-based packaging and paving stones in common? They all can be greener. In this P2 Impact column, Trish Donohue and Anahita Williamson from the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute, explain how three companies are doing it. Source: GreenBiz, 10/21/14

Sweeping Air Devices For Greener Planes
The large amount of jet fuel required to fly an airplane from point A to point B can have negative impacts on the environment and--as higher fuel costs contribute to rising ticket prices--a traveler's wallet. With funding from NASA and the Boeing Company, engineers from the Division of Engineering and Applied Science at Caltech and their collaborators from the University of Arizona have developed a device that lets planes fly with much smaller tails, reducing the planes' overall size and weight, thus increasing fuel efficiency. Source: Cal Tech, 10/20/14

Monday, October 20, 2014
The case for corporate sustainability? Better employees
The business case for sustainability may come down to employee engagement and retention. Source: The Guardian, 10/15/14

This is the Fortune 500 of companies taking the lead to fight climate change
CDP, a British environmental nonprofit, receives data from almost 2,000 companies around the world showing what they do to fight climate change. From that, the group has compiled a list of the 187 best companies--firms such as Apple, Samsung, and BMW--into a kind of elite (and much smaller) Fortune 500 for environmentally-conscious companies, dubbed the Climate Performance Leadership Index (CPLI), and it says those companies are outperforming the rest of the market. The CPLI returned 37.5% from 2010-2014 to investors, compared with 34.2% for the Bloomberg World Index. Source: Quartz, 10/18/14

SIN List Updated, Substitution Tool Launched
ChemSec's annual Substitute It Now, or SIN list, has been updated with the addition of 28 chemicals identified as Substances of Very High Concern, using criteria defined by the EU's REACH regulation. Source: Environmental Leader, 10/9/14

EPA Finds Neonicotinoid Seed Treatments of Little or No Benefit to U.S. Soybean Production
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released an analysis of the benefits of neonicotinoid seed treatments for insect control in soybeans. Neonicotinoid pesticides are a class of insecticides widely used on U.S. crops that EPA is reviewing with particular emphasis for their impact on pollinators. The analysis concluded that there is little or no increase in soybean yields using most neonicotinoid seed treatments when compared to using no pest control at all. A Federal Register notice inviting the public to comment on the analysis will publish in the near future. Source: U.S. EPA, 10/16/14

Hazardous chemicals in your pizza box? Petition asks FDA to ban them
U.S. manufacturers stopped using a hazardous chemical in pizza boxes and other food wrappers three years ago -- but it may still be seeping into your takeout food. That's because foreign companies can still use perchlorate and perfluorocarboxylates (PFCs) -- which can cause permanent brain damage in infants -- in paper products that are imported into the United States. On Thursday, a group of consumer and health groups filed a food additive petition with the Food and Drug Administration, asking that the agency pass regulations that would close this loophole and clearly ban the chemicals in food production. Perchlorate helps to reduce static and PFCs keep grease from soaking into food containers. Source: Washington Post, 10/16/14

How DuPont and P&G plan to make detergent from agricultural waste
In what may be an industry first, Procter & Gamble and the chemical giant join forces to use ethanol made from farm waste in laundry detergent. Source: GreenBiz, 10/17/14

The Rise of Reusable and Sustainable Packaging
Under constant pressure from government, the mass media and consumers, the packaging industry is exploring more sustainable alternatives. Source: American Manufacturing News, October 2014

EPA Sees Wide Risks in Paint Strippers
Methylene chloride, widely used in paint stripping products, poses a health threat to hundreds of thousands of workers, consumers and project bystanders, U.S. authorities have determined. The findings of the final risk assessment by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could move the agency a step closer to regulating the chemical, also known as Dichloromethane (DCM). Source: PaintSquare, 9/2/14

Friday, October 17, 2014
OSHA launches national dialogue on hazardous chemical exposures and permissible exposure limits in the workplace
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration today announced it is launching a national dialogue with stakeholders on ways to prevent work-related illness caused by exposure to hazardous substances. The first stage of this dialogue is a request for information on the management of hazardous chemical exposures in the workplace and strategies for updating permissible exposure limits. Source: OSHA via Environmental News Bits, 10/17/14

Yale Journal: How, When, and Why Industrial Ecology is Good for Business
A new special feature of Yale's Journal of Industrial Ecology, titled "Industrial Ecology as a Source of Competitive Advantage," presents new research on how, when, and why the use of industrial ecology by business can lead to cost savings, higher profits, and other, more intangible, business benefits. Articles in the special feature will be freely available online for a limited time. Source: Yale University, 10/15/14

E-Stewards Launches E-Waste App
The environmental watchdog group Basel Action Network has launched a mobile app that will measure the positive environmental impacts of using e-Stewards Certified Recyclers to manage electronic waste. The e-Stewards Global Impact Calculator app, currently available on the Apple Store for free, provides three different metrics of sustainability: greenhouse gases avoided; toxic metals diverted from landfill or global dumping; and valuable and precious metals recovered. Source: Environmental Leader, 10/16/14

Vietnam to start sorting electronic waste in 2015
Electronics producers and importers in Vietnam will have to set up disposal points, starting next January, to collect discarded products and reduce environmental pollution, according to a government decision. The businesses will receive the broken items from users and take them away for recycling or proper disposal, news website VnExpress reported. Local authorities will encourage people to join the effort, according to the decision signed by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung. Businesses and consumers participating in the cause will receive due support, it said, without providing specific information. The disposal points will begin by receiving fluorescent bulbs, compact discs, computers and their parts, printers, fax machines, scanners, cameras, cell phones, tablets and DVD players. Starting in 2016, people can also bring photocopiers, televisions, refrigerators, air conditioners and washing machines to the electronic recycling points. Source: Thanh Nien News, 10/13/14

Illinois Homecoming: Gameday Recycling Challenge
This year's U. of I. Homecoming game against the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers is about more than Orange and Blue -- it's also about green. Various campus and community partners are working together to raise awareness and have a positive lasting impact at the inaugural zero-waste football game. Hundreds of volunteers from the Champaign-Urbana community will assist the thousands of spectators in reducing waste. Source: University of Illinois News Bureau, Inside Illinois, 10/16/14

Saturday, October 11, 2014
Trash to Treasure: A New Sharing Economy Launches in Detroit
The Reuse Opportunity Collaboratory Detroit initiative brings together Michigan institutions, businesses, and entrepreneurs to develop zero-waste partnerships in which one organization's waste becomes another's raw material. Source: FastLane, 10/10/14

Friday, October 10, 2014
Oil Companies Quietly Prepare For a Future of Carbon Pricing
The major oil companies in the U.S. have not had to pay a price for the contribution their products make to climate change. But internal accounting by the companies, along with a host of other signs, suggest that may soon change -- though the implications of a price on carbon are far from clear. Source: Yale Environment360, 9/23/14

Icann: environmentalists to control use of .eco internet domain name
The .eco domain name will be controlled by the environmental community following a decision by internet regulators. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) this week granted control of the domain name to a coalition of about 50 environmental groups, assembled by a Canadian company. Green NGOs have fought to control the domain because they feared it would be hijacked by corporations to give their commercial activities an unwarranted environmental tinge. Source: The Guardian, 10/9/14

New York Environmental Leaders (NYEL) Program Application Period Now Open
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (Department) is pleased to announce the launch of the open enrollment period for the NYEL program for eligible businesses and organizations. The open enrollment period began on September 1st and applications will be accepted until October 31st. Source: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, 10/7/14

How the Northwest is working to mainstream green chemistry
A new nonprofit is bringing together industry, researchers and educators to solve chemical policy issues. Source: GreenBiz, 10/10/14

GM Kokomo, Indiana Ops Recognized In Environmental Stewardship Program
The Indiana Environmental Stewardship Program has deemed General Motors' Kokomo Operations the newest member to its organization. The voluntary organization honors companies for going far beyond the state of Indiana's environmental regulations. Source: GMAuthority.com, 10/8/14

Why Americans need to ante up for water
Squeezed by drought, U.S. consumers and western farmers have begun to pay more for water. But the increases do not come close to addressing the fundamental price paradox in a nation that uses more water than any other in the world while generally paying less for it. And some of the largest water users in the East, including agricultural, energy and mining companies, often pay nothing for water at all. Source: GreenBiz, 10/10/14

How Ford aims to drive down its energy costs by $7 million a year
Ford will invest more than $25 million in LED lighting at its global manufacturing facilities -- cutting annual energy use equivalent to running over 6,000 average-sized homes a year. Source: GreenBiz, 10/10/14

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