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Environmental News

Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Monday, April 2, 2018
How green became the new black for Orsted
As companies embrace sustainability goals, they're taking incremental steps to conserve and reuse in various parts of the supply chain. Some are working with suppliers to reduce water use in farms. Others are making electric fleets to transport goods a priority. But what happens when a company's core mission and product is connected to goods and services no longer considered sustainable? Source: Supply Chain Dive, 3/27/18

U.S. Utilities Look To Electric Cars As Their Savior Amid Decline In Demand
The U.S. electricity sector is eyeing the developing electric car market as a remedy for an unprecedented decline in demand for electricity. Source: NPR, 3/29/18

3-D printer emissions raise concerns and prompt controls
Scientists want to set a voluntary standard that manufacturers compete to meet. Source: Chemical & Engineering News, 3/26/18

Toilet-to-tap: Gross to think about, but how does it taste?
Researchers asked 143 people to express a preference among recycled water, bottled water, and tap water. They hypothesized that all three would score similarly. In fact, tap water was the least popular among the tasters; recycled water and bottled water scored about the same. Source: Science Daily, 3/13/18

8 Ways To Be An Environmentally Conscious Manager
What does it mean to bring your individual environmental values to work every day? Here's how eco-friendly managers can practice what they preach. Source: Working Knowledge (Harvard Business School), 3/19/18

Army Ramps Up Food Waste Diversion and Prevention
A number of Army bases across the U.S. are working to reduce food waste, collecting and turning it into a resource. Source: Waste360, 3/15/18

Packaging as Part of Retailers' Supply Chain Planning
As more retailers play in the traditional consumer packaged goods space, whether through private label, ecommerce, or other, more consumer-direct initiatives, they would be smart to think more about packaging, too, according to several packaging experts. By doing so, and specifically by paying special attention to how packaging fits into their overall supply chain, retailers could improve their efficiencies, contribute to a more sustainable planet, and even find some hidden cost savings. Source: Progressive Grocer, 3/30/18

Thursday, March 29, 2018
With a Green Makeover, Philadelphia Is Tackling Its Stormwater Problem
In a major initiative, Philadelphia is building an extensive network of rain gardens, green roofs, wetlands, and other infrastructure to capture stormwater. The goal is to prevent runoff from overwhelming sewers and polluting waterways and to help green America's fifth-largest city. Source: e360, 3/29/18

12 Asian Entrepreneurs Win $10K for Low-Carbon Mobility, Plastic Waste, Energy Ideas
UN Environment has awarded seed funding to twelve young people with business ideas on how to foster energy-efficient, low-waste and low-carbon lifestyles. Each of the winners of the Asia Pacific Low Carbon Lifestyles Challenge will receive US$10,000 and mentorship to help bring their ideas to fruition. Source: Sustainable Brands, 3/27/18

How H&M Is Leading the Charge in Sustainable Fashion
Forbes Magazine interviews Anna Gedda, the head of sustainability at H&M. Source: Forbes, 3/26/18

App that cuts food waste in the supply chain gets $2M in funding
AgShift, which has developed an app-based method of inspecting produce throughout the supply chain, has raised $2 million in a seed round of funding. Source: Supply Chain Dive, 3/28/18

Europe bans two cosmetic ingredients you didn't know are hazardous
The chemicals that make your personal products silky smooth are banned from all cosmetics that are washed off after use. Source: Treehugger, 3/27/18

Why the industry should consider food waste and packaging intertwined
When we examine current policies around food waste through the lens of the waste management hierarchy, none of these policies tackle prevention. Source: Waste Dive, 3/28/18

Wednesday, March 28, 2018
MnTAP releases annual environmental benefits report
During 2017, over 200 businesses across the state received assistance from MnTAP engineers and scientists; 71 facilities implemented 116 MnTAP recommended process changes and realized reductions totaling nearly 60 million gallons of water, 754,000 pounds of waste, 3.0 million kWh and 192,000 therms of energy. Combined, these reductions are saving companies $1.13 million annually and prevented over 334,400 lbs of harmful air emissions. The 2017 IMPACT report summarizes the robust results and recommendations made to help businesses curb waste and lower operating costs. Source: MnTAP, 3/28/18

Monday, March 26, 2018
California, home to Silicon Valley, considers controversial right to repair
A bill working its way through California's legislature (AB-2110 Electronics: Right to Repair Act) would require electronics manufacturers to make repair and diagnostic information, as well as equipment and/or service parts, available to consumers and repair shops. As written, the bill would allow cities, counties or the state to impose civil penalties of up to $5,000 per day, depending on the number of violations. Source: Waste Dive, 3/19/18

U.S. chemical makers could face tougher, more costly air pollution controls
U.S. chemical manufacturing plants with large industrial boilers may face tighter, more expensive emission control requirements for toxic air pollutants because of a recent federal appeals court decision. Source: Chemical & Engineering News, 3/19/18

New ECHA website informs consumers about chemicals, including information on nanomaterials
ECHA has launched a new dedicated website to make consumers more aware of the benefits and risks of chemicals in their everyday lives. Source: SafeNano, 3/20/18

Friday, March 23, 2018
Hybrid solar cell captures energy from the sun and raindrops
As useful and ubiquitous as solar energy is becoming, it still has one major Kryptonite: gloomy weather. Now, a team of Chinese engineers has developed a hybrid solar cell that can produce electricity come rain or shine, using the triboelectric effect to harvest energy from the movement of raindrops on its surface. Source: New Atlas, 3/7/18

New valve technology promises cheaper, greener engines
New technology reliably and affordably increases the efficiency of internal combustion engines by more than 10 per cent. The patented system for opening and closing valves could significantly reduce fuel consumption in everything from ocean-going ships to compact cars. Source: Science Daily, 3/21/18

Kasich administration declares Lake Erie open waters as impaired
The Kasich administration -- after years of resistance on behalf of agriculture -- announced Thursday it will declare the open waters of western Lake Erie as impaired, marking a reversal on what has arguably been northwest Ohio's most contentious water-policy issue. Source: Toledo Blade, 3/22/18

How GM Ties Daily Sustainability to Biz Value: Q&A with David Tulauskas
Sustainability initiatives are most impactful when they are core to a company's business model and operations. David Tulauskas, director of sustainability for General Motors, understands how energy and environment practitioners can tie their daily work to business value, strengthen relationships with departments such as investor relations and supply chain, and create a culture that empowers all employees to contribute to the momentum. Source: Environmental Leader, 3/22/18

New Life for Toxic Land
Across the U.S., Superfund sites are being repurposed as recreational areas, renewable energy facilities and more. Many offer lessons for the future. Source: Ensia, 3/12/18

EPR: The good, the bad and the ugly
Who should be responsible for the life cycle of a product, especially its take-back, recycling and final disposition? How can that process produce the most benefits, and is there more than one answer? Will recycling in the U.S. be hamstrung by beverage corporation interests, or will it succeed in developing increased recycling and zero waste? Source: Waste Dive, 3/22/18

Target targets clothing waste with denim recycling test program
Target is teaming up with I:Collect (I:CO), which specializes in collecting, recycling and reusing clothing, shoes and textiles, on a two-week denim-exchange program, Sourcing Journal reported. Source: Supply Chain Dive, 3/9/18

McDonald's plans to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 36% by 2030
McDonald's has pledged to slash its greenhouse gas emissions at its restaurant and office locations by 36% by 2030, down from its 2015 levels, plus cut 31% per metric ton of food and packaging. Source: USA Today, 3/20/18

Starbucks Generates An Astronomical Amount Of Waste -- Can It Stop?
Actor Adrian Grenier is leading a movement at Starbucks' shareholder meeting to push the company to develop and implement a bold sustainable packaging goal in line with the coffee company's rhetoric about helping the planet. Source: Fast Company, 3/21/18

Kohler Applies Its Product Development Process to Waste Materials
At Kohler Company, there is more than meets the eye. The American manufacturer might be best known for their gleaming kitchen and bathroom fixtures, but the Wisconsin-based family business also produces tiles, cabinetry, engines, and generators. In addition, the company is developing new materials from foundry waste. Source: Environmental Leader, 3/21/18

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