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Environmental News

Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Wednesday, September 24, 2014
These 5 companies strive to convert CO2 to cash
A growing list of innovative companies is dedicated to reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions by turning them into something else entirely. Unlike traditional carbon-capture technologies, the focus is on creating something that could produce a stream of revenue while addressing emissions. Source: GreenBiz, 9/22/14

Businesses find cash in composting organic trash
Small businesses have sprung up to serve the needs of those willing to pay a little extra to have their garbage recycled into compost. Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9/13/14

Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Can cloud computing stay green?
On one hand, organisations of all sizes are being urged to throw their data and operations into the cloud to radically boost their efficiency. On the other, they are being told to think about environmental sustainability and boosting their green credentials. With the former trend involving such huge consumption of power and data, is this fundamentally incompatible with 'greenness'? To find out, we put some questions to Peter Hopton, founder and CEO of server platform specialist Iceotope. Source: TechRadar Pro, 9/9/14

New Chin Strap May Harvest the Power of Chewing to Provide Energy to Electronic Devices
Scientists continue to search for ways to collect power for sustainable energy. Now, they've created a chin strap that can actually harvest energy from the jaw movements associated with chewing, which may just be able to power small devices in the future. Source: Science World News, 9/19/14

Friday, September 19, 2014
EPA Rules Could Breathe New Life into Cap and Trade
Cap and trade may be dead on Capitol Hill, but states could use it to meet new EPA targets for reducing power plants' carbon emissions. Source: Governing, September 2014

Avnet's Global Solutions Center A Model Of Efficiency And Sustainability
For a production and distribution facility that measures 228,000 square feet, it'd be understandable for one to assume that its eco-footprint would correlate to a large impact. For Avnet and its Global Solutions Center, it's quite the opposite. Avnet's Global Solutions Center uses a warehouse-management system, just-in-time production and in-house repair systems to be more effective, reduce life cycle carbon emissions, and reuse and recycle electronic waste. "We realized that as the sustainable recycling product industry matures in the interim, we can't have one or two partnerships," said John Beimfohr of Avnet. "We have to find lots of local partnerships to make sure this stuff doesn't end up in the ground. This all took years to figure out." Source: Industrial Distribution, 9/11/14

Why we buy organic and fair trade: Feelings matter
Many people visit sites like TreeHugger to learn about environmentally friendly products and design solutions, but new research suggests that ethical consumer choices are motivated by more than just having all the facts. Ahir Gopaldas, a researcher and assistant professor at Fordham University, is working to understand how emotions also play an important role in motivating ethical consumers. "Thoughts become action when they are emotionally charged," Gopaldas says. Source: TreeHugger, 9/18/14

Thursday, September 18, 2014
How leaders from Apple to ZDHC are opening up on chemicals
Corporate giants, government agencies and industry groups are creating smarter ways to secure every link in the supply chain. Source: GreenBiz, 9/17/14

Hacking the way to 7 stages of eco-innovation
Everyone from information scientists to CPAs comes together to build environmental apps, starting with brainstorming and ending with execution. Source: GreenBiz, 9/18/14

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Construction Begins at a Carbon-Capture Plant, but Will It Ever Be Completed?
A FutureGen project in Illinois aimed at capturing carbon dioxide from a rebuilt coal power plant is threatened by a lawsuit and a deadline. Source: MIT Technology Review, 9/15/14

Retail Horizons: Food shopping in a water-scarce world
The future of food is both exciting and precarious. While technological advances promise changes in what and how we eat, the basic inputs required to make food for humans, such as water and fertile soil, have changed very little. Of these, changes in water availability could have the most drastic impact on the types of foods available to tomorrow's consumer. Source: GreenBiz, 9/17/14

Scientists Use ACS Sci-Mind: Case Study to Examine Biopolymers Industry
The field of Biopolymers is growing rapidly and with that growth comes renewed debate on what exactly constitutes a biopolymer. In addition, in today's fast-paced chemical industry, it is crucial for a scientist to be able to quickly assess real industry issues and have hands-on experience to be able to solve real-world problems. Sci-Mind Biopolymers, launching this October, is bringing together experts from different backgrounds and opinions to help scientists, engineers and business professionals learn more about the latest developments in the field. Source: ACS Green Chemistry blog, 9/10/14

Are sustainability reports driving change or just 'losing the signal'?
The avalanche of corporate sustainability information makes it hard to separate the wheat from the chaff -- or the vitally important from the merely interesting, writes AMD's Tim Mohin. Source: The Guardian, 9/11/14

Personalising climate change through open data and apps
Government-released open data has generated a host of new climate-change related apps, the challenge is to make it clear and usable. Source: The Guardian, 9/11/14

Hospitals Stop Purchasing Furniture with Toxic Flame Retardants
Advocate Health Care, Beaumont Health System, Hackensack University Medical Center, and University Hospitals will stop purchasing furniture treated with toxic flame retardant chemicals. Source: Environmental Leader, 9/11/14

Stewardship 2014 Keynote Speaker challenges attendees to explore product stewardship on a broader level
Jennifer Nash, executive director of the Regulatory Policy Program at Harvard Kennedy School, kicked off Stewardship 2014 by challenging attendees to consider what the phrase "product stewardship" truly means to them, both in theory and in practice. In her keynote address, Nash, who also serves as associate director of the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, urged product stewardship professionals gathered at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio to integrate stewardship more fully into their organizations and actions. Source: ISHN, 9/8/14

Why banning dangerous chemicals is not enough
To feed the world's chemical addiction, production has had to grow rapidly over the last 40 years. Are companies doing enough to make products and processes safer? Source: The Guardian, 9/16/14

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