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Environmental News

Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Lessons from history: why what we say about sustainability matters
The battle for the heart and soul of business will not be won by inventing new and unfamiliar labels. Source: The Guardian, 3/10/15

Monday, March 9, 2015
Is your business tagging water as a strategic and operational issue?
Understanding that water is a strategic issue, worth management's time and resources, could mean the difference between business resilience and stranded assets. Source: GreenBiz, 3/5/15

An $11 billion quagmire: Corporate waste reduction still lags
As You Sow and the NRDC report that companies' insufficient practices and lack of strong recycling policies are factors in low recycling rates in the United States. Source: GreenBiz, 3/5/15

3 questions to help companies set science-based sustainability goals
Businesses from Honda to General Mills to Unilever are signing on to reevaluate the way they set their sustainability agendas. Here's how to make the most of the process. Source: GreenBiz, 3/5/15

Why Adidas asked a grad student to help overhaul its energy use
Sometimes it takes an outside perspective to hone in on new energy savings -- which is exactly how sporting goods giant adidas Group tackled efficiency in its distribution centers. Source: GreenBiz, 3/5/15

5 essential practices help assure safer chemicals in products
Campaigners unite a under common frame for holding businesses responsible for safer chemicals use. Disclosure and informed substitution are key. Source: GreenBiz, 3/6/15

"Sustainability Leader" Badges On Walmart Products Don't Mean Items Are Good For Environment
If you see a product tagged with a "sustainability leaders" badge on the Walmart website, you might think this is an indication that this item is more environmentally friendly than others. And you might be correct; but you might also be mistaken. Because the truth is that this badge has virtually nothing to do with the product being advertised. Source: Consumerist, 3/6/15

Center for Dairy Research turns yogurt waste into new products
With exploding consumer demand for Greek yogurt, production is up. That's great for food companies' bottom lines, but it also leaves them dealing with a lot more acid whey, a problematic byproduct of the Greek yogurt-making process. Acid whey, if not properly disposed of, can cause environmental problems. Currently, companies typically pay to landspread it on farmers' fields or dump it down the drain. Some plants are starting to send it to anaerobic digesters, where it's fermented to produce methane. Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are developing a better option -- one that will transform this trash into treasure. Source: University of Wisconsin-Madison, 3/6/15

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

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