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Environmental News

Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Wednesday, November 19, 2014
WM exec delves into contamination concerns
Don't fear the evolving waste stream. But be judicious about what new packaging you allow in your recycling program. That was the message from a Waste Management leader speaking on an EPA webinar last week. Source: Resource Recycling, 11/18/14

Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Thinking outside the box: unwrapping a massive packaging problem
As online purchases increase, packaging grows. Several companies are working to reduce waste and find green alternatives. Source: The Guardian, 11/18/14

Monday, November 17, 2014
Coming to a mall near you: a green alternative to Home Depot
Three decades after he transformed home organization, Container Store co-founder Garrett Boone is putting his money behind TreeHouse, a green home improvement retailer. But is the market ready? Source: The Guardian, 11/17/14

Friday, November 14, 2014
IL: Future of Will County electronics recycling program in jeopardy, director warns
Will County's electronics recycling and collection program -- a free public drop-off service for residents -- could be in jeopardy. That was the message Wednesday from Dean Olson, who heads up Will County's Resource Recovery and Energy Division, during a county board Legislative and Policy Committee meeting. Olsen characterized the issue as "urgent," noting immediate action is needed during the state legislative veto session next week or during the lame-duck session in January. Olson said the rising cost of recycling -- coupled with low annual recycling goals set by state law for electronics manufacturers -- is to blame. Once manufacturers meet those weight goals, they no longer have to pay recycling contractors to process items, he said. Source: The Herald-News, 11/12/14

Building a sustainable future: why energy efficiency is everybody's business
Few dispute the need to make building stock more energy efficient. But is a lack of coherent central government thinking and bold grassroots leadership stalling progress? Source: The Guardian, 11/13/14

Ford to install wind and solar energy at dealerships
Auto giant Ford announced innovative new plans this week that could see its dealers across the country become renewable energy hubs. Source: GreenBiz, 11/14/14

3 ways sustainability managers can expand their influence
The job prospects in this field have never been better. Here's an action plan to make an impact in your company at every level. Source: GreenBiz, 11/14/14

Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Listen: Farmers, environmentalists at odds over proposed EPA water rule
In middle of the 20th century, America's rivers were in rough shape. Decades of urban growth and industrial pollution had turned many of them into dumping grounds for everything from hazardous chemicals to human waste. A burgeoning environmental movement and high profile events like the 1969 fire on the Cuyahoga River finally pushed Congress to take action. In 1972, it passed the Clean Water Act, giving the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency the authority to regulate water pollution. But which waterways the agency can regulate has been a source of conflict and confusion. In March, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed a rule it says clarifies its jurisdiction. Environmentalists say it will close loopholes that allow pollution into streams and wetlands go unchecked. But farm bureaus in many states including Michigan are saying the rule goes too far and could hurt the agricultural industry. Current State talks with Laura Campbell, Manager of Agricultural Ecology at the Michigan Farm Bureau, and John Rumpler, Senior Attorney for Environment America. Source: Great Lakes Echo, 11/12/14

MIT Sloan Management Review launches Sustainability Insurgency Series
Successful sustainability executives are leading a "sustainability insurgency" motivated by shared organizational and societal values. The goal? To alter the way business is done in every function everywhere in the company. In a series of four installments, sustainable business strategy expert Gregory Unruh shows how CSR directors are rebelling against outward-facing programs that "talk the talk" of sustainability, and engaging corporate culture at a deeper level. By empowering allies and helping them link social intelligence with their job responsibilities and the company's overall sustainability strategy, today's managers are inciting a sustainability revolution from within. Source: MIT Sloan Management Review, 11/12/14

The Chilling Effect
Emily Byrd reports on the hurdles faced by the University of North Carolina GreenLabs program as they tried to convince researchers to participate in the National Freezer Challenge, a contest that aims to change how scientists use their ultra-low temperature freezers. Source:, 11/12/14

29 qualities for business leaders to create a sustainable society
To mark the launch of a new leadership hub, a manifesto for executives to embrace new ways of leading their corporations at a time of unprecedented challenges. Source: The Guardian, 11/12/14

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