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Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Monday, April 27, 2015
3p Weekend: 10 Companies That Are Rethinking Food Waste
We have a long way to go before we fully address the food waste problem, but a select few companies are taking innovative approaches to cut those figures down to size. From small startups to major multinationals, this week Triple Pundit tips their hats to 10 companies that are rethinking food waste. Source: Triple Pundit, 4/24/15

Indiana wind power could get boost from new EPA rules
Credit the ice ages for making Indiana a good place to turn wind into electricity. All that glacial action scoured flat the northern half of the state and sculpted the perfect terrain for wind turbines. A few million years later, the Environmental Protection Agency is about to use regulatory fiat to make the state even more attractive to industrial windmills. Source: Indianapolis Star, 4/27/15

Best Buy, LG, EPA Flip Out On 'Ellen;' EPA Encourages Replacement Sales
A trio of appliance partners recently kicked off a new energy conservation campaign on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." In observation of Earth Day, Best Buy, LG Electronics USA and the U.S. Environmental Agency (EPA) were invited to launch the latter's new "Flip Your Fridge" initiative on the comedienne's daytime talk show. The Energy Star effort encourages consumers to responsibly recycle their old, power-thirsty refrigerators and upgrade to energy-efficient new ones. Source: TWICE (This Week in Consumer Electronics), 4/24/15

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Senior White House Advisor Brian Deese Announce Partnerships with Farmers and Ranchers to Address Climate Change
In a speech at Michigan State University, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack laid out a comprehensive approach to partner with agricultural producers to address the threat of climate change. Building on the creation of USDA's Climate Hubs last year, the new initiatives will utilize voluntary, incentive-based conservation, forestry, and energy programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase carbon sequestration and expand renewable energy production in the agricultural and forestry sectors. Through these efforts, USDA expects to reduce net emissions and enhance carbon sequestration by over 120 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent (MMTCO2e) per year -- about 2 percent of economy-wide net greenhouse emissions -- by 2025. That's the equivalent of taking 25 million cars off the road, or the emissions produced by powering nearly 11 million homes last year. Source: USDA, 4/23/15

Here's how Method's new Chicago factory went green -- and how much it cost
When a company builds its reputation on making "green" products, the first factory of its own had better be equally green. That's why Method Products, a maker of eco-friendly soaps and cleaning products, pursued the highest level of LEED certification--Platinum--from the U.S. Green Building Council for its Pullman plant. Source: Crain's Chicago Business, 4/25/15

How water offsets can fix the drought (and save energy)
Artificial pricing schemes have misaligned urban and agricultural water users. Investing in offsets to help reconcile that value gap could help. Source: GreenBiz, 4/24/15

CDP's supply chain program: Now $2 trillion plus in purchasing power
As big companies are pushed to disclose more information about their carbon footprints, they are pressing suppliers -- thousands of them -- to do the same. Source: GreenBiz, 4/27/15

The art and science of supply-chain transparency
When it comes to supply chains, ignorance is no longer bliss -- it's a liability. Source: GreenBiz, 4/27/15

Friday, April 24, 2015
Home Depot Says It Will Phase Out Chemical Used in Vinyl Flooring
Facing pressure from consumer groups, Home Depot said it would discontinue use of a potentially harmful chemical in its vinyl flooring by the end of the year. Source: New York Times, 4/22/15

A New Documentary Probes the Vast Human Experiment of Unregulated Chemicals
The Human Experiment, released recently in select theaters, as well as on iTunes and other video-streaming platforms, tells the story of some of the many chemicals we come in contact with every day, and the lengths industry interests have gone to keep their products on the market even after chemicals within them were determined to be harmful to human health. Source: Newsweek, 4/17/15

Tuesday, April 21, 2015
This zoo is crowdfunding tech that turns animal poop into energy
Monday, April 20, 2015
No More Expiration Dates: MIT Is Developing Sensors To Detect When Food Is Going Bad
Forget dubious dates on containers. These sensors could tell when food is starting to rot and reduce food waste. Source: Fast Company, 4/17/15

'One water' can solve many supply problems
While stakeholders will not start with a clean sheet of paper in addressing water scarcity in California and elsewhere in the world (such as Brazil and China), there is a move towards a "one water" strategy, which takes a holistic view of water rather than viewing it in silos. Source: GreenBiz, 4/20/15

How GM gets its employees to row the boat together
When General Motors executive vice president of global manufacturing Jim DeLuca spoke at the GreenBiz Forum 2015 main stage in Phoenix, he didn't come to talk about the Volt, Spark, or Bolt. Instead, he came to tell the audience how GM is working on sustainability in its manufacturing operations for all its vehicles. Talking with GreenBiz's Joel Makower, DeLuca said that GM's strategy is top-down, focusing on making sure every worker in the company is engaged. Source: GreenBiz, 4/20/15

It's time to stop managing waste and start preventing it
Diverting the world's estimated 12 million tons of daily waste is no easy task. Today's waste management strategies are often costly, cumbersome and bad for our environment. In order to really reduce impacts on the environment while increasing profitability, companies need to aggressively shift the focus from waste management to waste prevention. Source: GreenBiz, 4/17/15

Friday, April 17, 2015
EPA: House bill could delay review of toxic chemicals 'indefinitely'
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is concerned that a House proposal to reform the nation's toxic chemical laws could "delay evaluations for some of the most dangerous chemicals indefinitely," a top official said Tuesday. Source: The Hill, 4/14/15

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