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Environmental News


Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Thursday, March 10, 2016
Stanford scientists make renewable plastic from carbon dioxide and plants
The new technology could provide a green alternative to petroleum-based plastic bottles and other polyester products. Source: Stanford University, 3/9/16

Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Craft breweries bet on sustainable technology
As the craft brewing industry matures, many West Michigan producers have started seeking out technology that provides sustainable solutions to common issues. Source: MiBiz, 3/6/16

How energy efficiency helps business prepare for carbon pricing
Some 75 percent of the largest organizations -- those with revenues between $1 billion and $10 billion -- and 82 percent of all others feel they would be better off or unaffected if a mandatory price on carbon were instituted, according to new research from GreenBiz and Ingersoll Rand. The findings generally were consistent across industries with no clear industry segments that would win or lose based upon the implementation of a carbon tax. Source: GreenBiz, 3/7/16

Eco-Friendly Packaging Isn't Enough
Environmentally conscious products are great. But they don't get at the real problems in a culture that prioritizes disposability. Source: CityLab, 3/7/16

For the birds: keeping coffee green
Eighty percent of Americans drink coffee, and global consumption is projected to rise by 25 percent in the next five years. Some is sustainably-grown, some isn't -- and impacts can add up. In this installment of 89.1 WEMU's "The Green Room," Barbara Lucas explores how the price of coffee can affect far more than your wallet. Source: Great Lakes Echo, 3/7/16

Corporate investment in renewable energy on the rise in Michigan
Going green has been a mantra from some companies for decades, but the business case for it is evident in a new wave of large corporate-led investments in Michigan. While some enable corporations to produce more renewable energy internally, others are aimed at improving overall energy efficiency. That's as the major utilities and state lawmakers debate the merits and downsides of the next round of state energy legislation regarding renewable energy requirements. Source: Crain's Detroit Business, 3/6/16

Monday, March 7, 2016
The Year Ahead in Chemicals Regulation
Companies that manufacture and distribute chemical products across the value chain in the U.S. need to be aware of several legal developments with the potential to impact their business in the year ahead. This Client Alert summarizes regulatory proposals that deserve priority attention, and also notes troubling developments in consumer litigation. Source: JD Supra Business Advisor, 3/1/16

5 strategies to accelerate green chemistry
Ninety percent of manufactured goods are in some way linked to the chemical industry. Yet, despite its environmental, public health and economic benefits, green chemistry is still only a small part of the chemical enterprise. Source: GreenBiz, 3/7/16

How Chicago's quirkiest companies sprouted a circular economy
In the most recent P2 Impact column, John Mulrow explains how pollution prevention in the manufacturing process can be driven by company culture and employee engagement. Source: GreenBiz, 3/7/16

Thursday, March 3, 2016
Can Data-Driven Agriculture Help Feed a Hungry World?
Agribusinesses are increasingly using computer databases to enable farmers to grow crops more efficiently and with less environmental impact. Experts hope this data, detailing everything from water use to crop yields, can also help the developing world grow more food. Source: Yale Environment 360, 3/3/16

Chief justice rejects plea to block air pollution rule
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts rejected a plea Thursday to block a contentious air pollution rule for power plants in a big victory for the Obama administration. Source: The Hill, 3/3/16

How to tell your sustainability story
Sustainability is essentially "an invisible idea," but it doesn't have to stay that way. That's how Solitaire Townsend described it, reflecting the hopes of many attending our GreenBiz 16 event in Scottsdale, Arizona, last week.

Townsend, co-founder of Futerra Sustainability Communications, kicked off a lively presentation that blamed a surplus of acronyms and other barriers for preventing sustainability professionals from making their work known to the C-suite, consumers and so many stakeholders in between. Source: GreenBiz, 3/3/16


Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Dumping Fashion Waste on Craft Rooms Instead of Landfills
Manufacturing in China means plummeting costs of production. It may be good for businesses that it's getting cheaper to make things, however, it's now even easier to just throw consumer items to the dump when they don't meet expectations, stop working, or boast minor defects. Startup the Squirrelz has an interesting idea to tackle fashion's millions of tons of fabric that stock up landfills: sell them for cheap to creatives. Source: PSFK, 3/1/16

When Will Flint's Water Be Safe To Drink?
Residents might have a hard time believing that it can ever be trusted. Source: FiveThirtyEight, 2/23/16

GreenBiz 101: What does 'zero waste' really mean?
"Zero waste" sounds like a straightforward concept. MillerCoors is one example of the many companies trying to translate that ideal into practice. Source: GreenBiz, 3/2/16

EPA Funds Small Businesses to Develop Environmental Technologies
Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced eight contracts to small businesses to develop innovative technologies to protect the environment, funded through EPA's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program. One of the contracts went to MesoCoat, Inc. (Euclid, Ohio) for developing corrosion-resistant coatings on steel to replace current more hazardous methods. Source: U.S. EPA, 2/29/16

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