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Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Friday, March 6, 2015
Climate change vs. global warming: How to talk sustainability risk
There is growing concern in sustainability circles that efforts to reverse or mitigate the effects of Earth's changing climate are not gaining momentum fast enough to match mounting risk factors. That's despite over half the general US population saying that they worry "a great deal" to "a fair amount" about our climate, according to a Gallup poll. One reason for the disconnect increasingly supported by research: the language we use to describe the problem, which has climate hawks speculating that perhaps the issue could use a name change to something that elicits greater emotion, -- and thereby more effectively spurs action. Source: GreenBiz, 3/6/15

Bowing to pressure, 3M agrees to reshape its sustainable forestry policies
In a conference call with reporters on Thursday, 3M veep Jean Sweeney said the Maplewood-based corporation will end its reliance on assessments by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, widely regarded as a greenwashing arm of large logging companies, to ensure that its purchasing doesn't needlessly harm forests, communities or workers' rights. Source: MinnPost, 3/6/15

UK Consortium Receives Government Funding for Electronic Waste Processing Project
A consortium of UK firms, led by Tetronics International, has today launched a ground-breaking project to help unlock the value found in discarded electronic products, such as phones, TVs and even toasters. In relation to a £1m project, Tetronics, the leading environmental technology firm and its partners, Metech Recycling and Vale Europe, have received a £600k grant from Innovate UK, the Government body which funds, supports and connects innovative businesses in research to accelerate sustainable economic growth for the UK. The £1m will be used to develop and demonstrate the UK's first integrated plasma facility for the sustainable processing of electronic waste to pure precious metal. Once up and running, it will recover precious metals found in electronic waste including Platinum Group Metals, gold and silver at a smaller and more localised scale than existing large centralised methods without the need for further types of refining. Source: AZO Cleantech, 3/3/15

Global E-Waste Management Market Forecasts and Opportunities 2015-2020
The global E-Waste Management Market is to reach a CAGR of 23.5% during 2014 - 2020. The ever-growing need for adapting the latest technology is the prime factor for a large volume of E-Waste generated across the globe. The Asia Pacific region contributes to the largest revenue share in the global E-Waste management market, followed by European countries. Analysis of the market indicates that the global volume of E-waste accounted for 57.7 million tons in 2013. Source: Research and Markets via PR Newswire, 2/9/15

IL: Compromise possible in state's recycling programs
Manufacturers and those pushing for a change in Illinois' electronics recycling law are inching closer to a compromise to save underfunded recycling programs statewide. House Bill 1455 adjusts the funding formula that's used by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to fund these in-demand electronics recycling programs. If nothing is done, the steep cost of recycling could shift to consumers or to local governments that hold collection events. Source:, 2/10/15

IL: County sees e-waste recycling boom
More than a half-million pounds of electronics have been dropped off at sites in DeKalb, Sycamore and Genoa, including computers, TVs, printers, cellphones, batteries and video games since last year. That's when the county hired New Life Electronics Recycling in Oswego to replace a former contract with Chicago-based Environmentally Responsible Company that left the county unsatisfied. Source: Daily Chronicle, 3/6/15

Thursday, March 5, 2015
New CMI process recycles valuable rare earth metals from old electronics
Scientists at the Critical Materials Institute have developed a two-step recovery process that makes recycling rare-earth metals easier and more cost-effective. Source: Critical Materials Institute, 2/26/15

Wednesday, March 4, 2015
The natural refrigerant set to reduce supermarket energy use
A new waste product derived from sugar beet could help cut supermarket energy consumption from refrigeration. Source: The Guardian, 3/4/15

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar flies toward energy independence
In the March P2Rx P2 Impact article for GreenBiz, Andre Villasenor reveals how the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar won an EPA Federal Green Challenge Award for their mix of recycling, renewables and water conservation. Source: GreenBiz, 3/3/15

Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Pay-As-You-Feel Cafe Feeds Thousands on Food Waste
Adam Smith knows food. A trained chef who has worked in numerous restaurants, the 29-year old also knows firsthand how much perfectly good food is wasted. Smith hails from Leeds, England, but it was a year spent working on farms in Australia that inspired The Real Junk Food Project (TRJFP), which changed the direction of his life. A pay-as-you-feel cafe model, TRJFP intercepts food headed for the landfill and turns it into restaurant-quality meals. Source: Shareable, 2/23/15

2015 Indiana Governor's Awards for Environmental Excellence accepting nominations
The State of Indiana is seeking nominations for the 2015 Governor's Awards for Environmental Excellence. These awards recognize Indiana's leaders who have implemented outstanding environmental strategies into their operations and decision-making processes. The Governor's Awards are open to all Indiana manufacturers and other organizations with projects that qualify under the categories of Pollution Prevention, Energy and Renewable Resources, or Environmental Stewardship. Nominations must be received (not postmarked) by IDEM by 5 p.m. (EDT) on Friday, April 17, 2015. Source: Indiana Department of Environmental Management, 3/3/15

Monday, March 2, 2015
EPA Approves New Climate-Friendly Refrigerants
As part of President Obama's Climate Action Plan, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is increasing the options for refrigerants used in various kinds of refrigeration and air conditioning equipment in the United States that offer better climate protection without harming the ozone layer. This final action addresses refrigerants under the Climate Action Plan that calls on EPA's Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program to identify and approve additional climate-friendly chemicals. Source: U.S. EPA, 3/2/15

ISTC Now Accepting Applications for 2015 Governor's Sustainability Award
The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) is now accepting applications for the 2015 Illinois Governor's Sustainability Awards.The deadline for submitting your application is close of business May 22, 2015. Source: ISTC, 3/2/15

5 Ways to Get People to Recycle More Electronics
Despite states' e-recycling laws, electronics are the fastest-growing type of waste in landfills. Source: Governing, 3/2/15

HP Setting Industry Standard with Zero-Tolerance Policy on Forced Migrant Labor
Last fall, HP became the first company in the IT industry to require direct employment of foreign migrant workers in its supply chain with the release of the HP Foreign Migrant Worker Standard. Three months after HP the release of this new standard for preventing exploitative labor practices and forced labor, Sustainable Brands spoke with Bob Mitchell, Global Manager of Supply Chain Social & Environmental Responsibility, to learn how the program is enabling HP to ethically recruit and manage foreign migrant workers. Source: Sustainable Brands, 3/2/15

Green Electronics Council Catalyst Awards: Now Accepting Nominations
The Green Electronics Council is now accepting nominations for its 2015 Catalyst Awards, a global celebration of innovative solutions and tangible environmental accomplishments throughout the lifecycle of electronic technologies. Organizations and individuals may now submit their nomination online. The inaugural Catalyst Awards recognize electronics and related infrastructures' positive impact on the circular economy, where circular economy is defined as "an economic system that is safe and restorative by intention and seeks to eradicate waste through the careful design, manufacture, use and handling of products and components." Any organization, individual, or combination of organizations and individuals collaborating may apply for an Award. Nominations must focus on the greening of electronics and be for products, processes, policies and programs launched during the past five years. Winning entries must exist in the public domain at the time of submission. Source: Green Electronics Council, 2/25/15

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