Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region
|Friday, April 5, 2013|
How an energy planning tool changed decision-making at MSU
Michigan State University needed something to measure the impact of different decisions against a set of key environmental metrics. Source: GreenBiz, 4/4/13
What Would a Manufacturing Renaissance Do to US Energy Intensity?
U.S. manufacturing has reduced energy intensity during the past decade, but an increase in output driven by natural gas will test manufacturers, writes Adam James, executive director of the Clean Energy Leadership Institute. Source: GreenTech Efficiency, 4/3/13
|Thursday, April 4, 2013|
Manufacturers' Thermostat Recycling Programs Fall Short
A manufacturer-run program for collecting mercury thermostats is failing to keep the heavy metal out of the trash in most states, according to a new report released today by two environmental groups: the Multi-State Mercury Products Campaign (MMPC) and the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI). Source: Environmental Leader, 4/4/13
Employees Take Corporate Sustainability Efforts Home, Study Says
Employees who participate in workplace sustainability programs are likely to promote sustainable practices at home, and encourage others to participate. And three out of four will make purchasing decisions based on a company's environmentally-conscious practices, a new study finds. Source: Environmental Leader, 4/4/13
Ford Expands CO2-Cutting Paint Process
Ford Motor Company says it is expanding its 3-Wet paint capacity by 50 percent this year, adding the environmentally friendly process to four more plants on three continents. It expects the process to reduce CO2 emissions between 15 and 25 percent at those facilities. Source: Environmental Leader, 4/4/13
UGA discovery may allow scientists to make fuel from CO2 in the atmosphere
Researchers at the University of Georgia have found a way to transform carbon dioxide trapped in the atmosphere into useful industrial products. Their discovery may soon lead to the creation of biofuels made directly from the carbon dioxide in the air that is responsible for trapping the sun's rays and raising global temperatures. Source: University of Georgia, 3/26/13
Record-Breaking 2011 Lake Erie Algae Bloom May Be Sign of Things to Come
The largest harmful algae bloom in Lake Erie's recorded history was likely caused by the confluence of changing farming practices and weather conditions that are expected to become more common in the future due to climate change. Source: University of Michigan, 3/17/13
|Tuesday, April 2, 2013|
Ecolab Launches Toxic-Chemical Free Industrial Laundry Detergent
Ecolab has introduced an industrial laundry program that it says cleans heavily soiled textiles without using hazardous chemicals and can save industrial laundry customers as much as 3 million gallons of water a year. Source: Environmental Leader, 4/2/13
6 Reasons Your Sustainability Innovation Is Failing
Jennifer Woofter applies six barriers to innovation to sustainability initiatives. Source: Environmental Leader, 4/2/13
Torstar Sets Paper Policy, But No Ban on Controversial Fiber
Harlequin romance novels and Toronto Star parent company Torstar has adopted paper procurement principles that it says will eliminate the use of fiber from ancient and endangered forests -- but it doesn't set any target deadlines or percentages. Source: Environmental Leader, 4/2/13
P&G Achieves Zero Waste at 45 Sites
Procter & Gamble today announced that 45 of its facilities have achieved zero manufacturing waste to landfill. Source: Environmental Leader, 4/2/13
Bill McKibben's lessons for business in the age of climate change
Perhaps one of the most well-known climate activists of our times, environmental writer Bill McKibben is on a mission to slow down the effect of greenhouse gases on the earth. Alongside his colleagues at the nongovernmental organization 350.org, McKibben has spearheaded a campaign calling upon communities, governments and universities all around the world to take action by divesting from fossil fuel companies.
GreenBiz Interim Managing Editor Kristine A. Wong recently spoke with McKibben about lessons for business in the age of climate change. Source: GreenBiz, 4/1/13
Moving mountains for Earth's sake at Caterpillar
Interview with Tim Lindsey, Global Director of Sustainable Development at Caterpillar. Source: GreenBiz, 3/31/13
DOE Wireless Metering Challenge
Today, the U.S. Department of Energy's Building Technologies Office announced plans to issue a new Wireless Metering Challenge to spur the development of low cost electric metering devices that can serve growing interest in panel level sub metering being seen throughout the commercial sector.
Key features of the challenge specification include a low cost target, essential requirements for electrical energy measurement, and wireless data transmission to an onsite collection point. Draft specifications for the wireless metering device are now available for review. Source: Environmental News Bits, 4/2/13
OH: Campus Project Demonstrates How Recycling 'Adds Up'
Ohio University Campus Recycling has created a visual representation of how recyclable materials can add up over the course of just four weeks. Source: WOUB News, 3/26/13
Wash U. to spend $30 million on energy conservation projects
Washington University plans to spend $30 million on sustainability efforts over the next five years, a push that comes as the institution gears up to host a big meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative. Source: St. Louis Beacon, 3/27/13
|Monday, April 1, 2013|
British Columbia: Surrey e-waste recycler charged for illegal exports:
Federal charges against a Surrey recycling firm for the alleged illegal export of hazardous electronics to China don't reflect the success of B.C.'s e-waste recycling system, according to a spokesman. Craig Wisehart, executive director of the Electronic Products Recycling Association (EPRA), said the stewardship agency fully supports the prosecution of "nefarious" recyclers who send e-waste to developing countries, where impoverished workers may be poisoned by toxins. He was responding to Environment Canada's decision to charge Surrey-based Electronics Recycling Canada with shipping cathode ray tube monitors and batteries to Macau in 2011. Source: Surrey Leader, 3/26/13
MA: E-waste bill flies out of committee despite industry opposition
Boston -- Television, computer and other electronics manufacturers would be required to recycle their old products once consumers discard them, under a bill endorsed by a legislative committee immediately following a hearing on it.
If passed by the Legislature, Massachusetts would join 24 other states which have imposed requirements on consumer electronics manufacturers to dispose of products after they are sold. Source: State House News Service, 3/26/13
Energy Biosciences Institute Scientists Develop Regulation Recommendations to Prevent Biofuels Plants From Becoming Invasive Weeds
In the United States, only species listed on state or federal noxious weed lists are regulated, and those lists are often biased toward species that affect agricultural crops. Conversely, invasive plant council lists include species that affect natural landscapes but have no regulatory clout. After comparing the lists and how they are created, researchers at the University of Illinois' Energy Biosciences Institute have developed some suggestions on how to improve the regulation of all invasive plant species, including new biofuels plants. Source: Biofuels Journal, 3/26/13
Industrial design sophomores participate in Discarded to Precious
Industrial design sophomores participated Friday in Discarded to Precious, a competition challenging design students to collect discarded items and transform them into something "precious." Competition results will be announced Monday afternoon. Source: Daily Illini, 3/31/13
Nominations sought for Illinois Recycling Association Awards
Applications are available on the IRA website for the Illinois Recycling Association Annual EXCELLENCE IN RECYCLING Awards. Nominations are accepted from any current IRA member in good standing. Persons/groups can be nominated by another person or by self-nomination. The awards will be presented at the Illinois Recycling Association's Annual Meeting, held during the annual conference at the Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel and Conference Center on Tuesday, June 4, 2013 during the luncheon. Deadline for award consideration is April 12, 2013. Source: Illinois Recycling Association, 4/1/13
|Wednesday, March 27, 2013|
Sprint CEO: Customers not asking for green products
Over the years, Sprint has taken many steps to make its operations greener, such as reducing its paper use, squeezing carbon emissions from its supply chain and removing plastic from its packaging. At the same time, the telecom giant has also focused on its products, including the requirement that all of its cellphones receive green certification. In this Q-and-A with Nina Kruschwitz at MIT Sloan Management Review, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse explains how the company's strong focus on sustainability is paying off in cost savings and long-term brand image, even if customers aren't yet paying attention to whether the phones themselves are green. Source: GreenBiz.com, 3/26/13
B.C. recycler faces charges in export of toxic e-waste
Surrey company Electronics Recycling Canada has been charged with 24 federal counts related to the unlawful export of hazardous recyclable material -- lead-acid batteries, nickel-cadmium batteries and cathode-ray tubes. Source: The Times Colonist, 3/25/13
Michigan Computer Company Owner Sentenced for International Environmental, Counterfeiting Crimes
A Michigan computer company and its owner were sentenced yesterday for trafficking in counterfeit goods and services and violating environmental laws. U.S. District Judge David M. Lawson sentenced Mark Jeffrey Glover, to 30 months in prison and a $10,000 fine, and his company, Discount Computers, Inc. (DCI), a $2 million fine with $10,839 in restitution to Mich. landlord, for trafficking in counterfeit goods and services. DCI was also sentenced for storing and disposing of hazardous waste without a permit. Glover pleaded guilty to the charges on his behalf and that of his company in October 2012. DCI, headquartered in Canton, Mich., with warehouses in Maryland Heights, Mo., and Dayton, N.J., operated as a broker of used electronic components, including computers and televisions. DCI resold working and disassembled broken items, selling them for scrap. A large part of DCI's business involved exporting used cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors to countries in the Middle East and Asia. Egypt prohibits the importation of computer equipment which is more than five years old. To evade this requirement, all three DCI locations replaced the original factory labels on used CRT monitors with counterfeit labels, which reflected a more recent manufacture date. Over a five-year period, DCI sent at least 300 shipments to Egypt, with a total shipment value of at least $2.1 million, constituting more than 100,000 used CRTs monitors. Source: eNews Park Forest, 3/26/13
ISTC now accepting applications for 2013 Illinois Governor 's Sustainability Awards
The deadline for application submittal is May 31, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. Applications will only be accepted electronically. The award ceremony will be held this fall in Peoria, and once again ISTC will also host the Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact Awards Program in conjunction with the Governor's Sustainability Awards program. Source: ISTC, 3/26/13
DEQ seeks nominations for 2013 Michigan Green Chemistry Governor's Awards
The DEQ has opened nominations for the fifth annual Michigan Green Chemistry Governor's Awards.
The Governor's Awards recognize advances that incorporate the principles of green chemistry into chemical design, manufacturing, or use. The awards acknowledge efforts to design, implement, and promote safer and more sustainable chemicals, processes, and products.
Awards are open to individuals, groups, and organizations, both non-profit and for profit. The program was established by the Michigan Green Chemistry Roundtable to celebrate innovations using green chemistry in Michigan. Thirteen winners have been presented with an award in the first four years of the program.
Entries must be sent no later than July 19. The awards will be presented at the 2013 Michigan Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference: "Designing a Sustainable Michigan," which is scheduled October 23-24 at Grand Valley State University. Source: Michigan DEQ, 3/24/13
3 policies the sustainable business community should support
Here are three pro-sustainable business policy items the American Sustainable Business Council is working on in conjunction with many other organizations. Source: GreenBiz, 3/26/13
The best tools for using healthier materials in your products
This article is the first in a three-part series exploring the challenges manufacturers face to design healthier products and the resources available to help them avoid chemicals of concern. Each post will focus one of the three phases in the Cradle to Cradle framework: inventory, assessment and optimization. Source: GreenBiz, 3/26/13
Sprint CEO: Customers not asking for green products
Over the years, Sprint has taken many steps to make its operations greener, such as reducing its paper use, squeezing carbon emissions from its supply chain and removing plastic from its packaging. At the same time, the telecom giant has also focused on its products, including the requirement that all of its cellphones receive green certification.
In this Q-and-A with Nina Kruschwitz at MIT Sloan Management Review, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse explains how the company's strong focus on sustainability is paying off in cost savings and long-term brand image, even if customers aren't yet paying attention to whether the phones themselves are green. Source: GreenBiz, 3/26/13
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