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Environmental News


Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Thursday, February 27, 2014
Coffee Recycling Keeps Community Grounded
More than eight tons a month. That's how much organic material in the form of spent coffee grounds the Austin-based Ground to Ground program diverts from area landfills and makes available to people in the community as compost. Source: Texas AgriLife Research, 2/27/14

How companies' community leadership drives political change
Small local businesses across the country are realizing that their ecological footprints are as important as their bottom lines. Visionary business leaders are not waiting for an act of Congress or an executive order to take action. They are at the forefront of their communities in creating a vision for a new era of a sustainable economy. They are leading on this issue -- but they can do only so much on their own. Source: GreenBiz, 2/26/14

Rare Earth Recycling Takes on New Luster
Rare earth mining companies aren't exactly setting the investment world on fire, but for that same reason, prepare to hear about more electronics and automotive manufacturers seeking ways to "mine" these and other precious metals out of end-of-life or discarded products--everything from mobile phones to wind turbines to spent batteries. Source: Forbes, 2/25/14

Tuesday, February 25, 2014
A 3-step sustainability action plan for business leaders
Company executives have moved way past questioning why sustainability is important. Instead, leaders ask how to transform their business model to generate a triple win: operational efficiencies that cut costs, reduce demand on shared natural capital and improve quality of life for communities of people they serve. These leaders seek a new model that returns business value through efficiency and top-line growth drivers. Source: GreenBiz, 2/25/14

Cleansing microbeads are everwhere -- including lakes and rivers
Plastic exfoliating microbeads--pinhead-sized spheres suspended in hundreds of facial scrubs, toothpastes and shaving creams--are silting fresh-water lakes, biologists say. And there's some evidence that they're flowing into the Chicago River. Source: Crain's Chicago Business via Plastics News, 2/24/14

Monday, February 24, 2014
What Government Can Learn from Colleges about Transportation Policy
A new report details transportation policies on college campuses that could help municipalities promote public transit, biking and car-sharing services. Source: Governing, 2/7/14

9 companies to watch as e-cycling movement takes off
Several factors have converged to stoke more interest in services for disposing of IT hardware at the end of its life, redistributing excess electronics inventory or collecting gadgets. Among them: the pace of innovation surrounding mobile technology, an OEM push to collect and reuse rare earth materials, the rise of formal corporate sustainability programs, and the shift among many big companies away from massive on-premises data centers to IT infrastructure and applications delivered by cloud service providers. Source: GreenBiz, 2/24/14

Friday, February 21, 2014
EPA Proposes New Safety Measures to Protect Farm Workers from Pesticide Exposure
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced proposed revisions to the Worker Protection Standard in order to protect the nation's two million farm workers and their families from pesticide exposure. Source: U.S. EPA, 2/20/14

Duluth receives U.S. EPA's first Great Lakes Shoreline Cities Green Infrastructure Grant
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced the award of a $250,000 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant to the City of Duluth to fund green infrastructure projects to improve water quality in the Lake Superior Basin. Duluth is the first of 16 cities to receive funding in the initial round of EPA's new Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Shoreline Cities grant program. Source: U.S. EPA, 2/20/14

Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Illinois thermostat collection nets 8 tons of mercury
A new study by the nonprofit organization, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) shows that 1.86 million mercury thermostats are still used in residential and commercial properties throughout Illinois. Each thermostat contains about .14 ounces of mercury. Source: Great Lakes Echo, 2/18/14

What carpet companies can teach us about a circular economy
When considering a circular economy, we should take a closer look at carpet companies, such as Shaw and Desso. Source: GreenBiz, 2/17/14

Environmental profit and loss: The new corporate balancing act
As concerns grow about climate change and water, among other environmental issues, internalizing externalities is the name of the game today -- with the ultimate goal of creating incentives to avoid risks and create net positive corporate impacts. Source: GreenBiz, 2/18/14

Why you've never measured your carbon footprint
Technology is evolving to enable us to measure our impacts on the environment day-to-day and broadcast the results on social media to inspire a race to the top. Meanwhile, corporations can use this info to reward positive behavior and generate goodwill. Here are some ideas for how. Source: GreenBiz, 2/18/14

Registration now open for the 2014 Great Lakes Green Chemistry Conference
Join leaders from industry, academia, government, non-profits, U.S. EPA Region 5, and those involved in the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable's Safer Chemistry Challenge Program for these exciting events: April 1 -- 2, 2014: 2014 Great Lakes Green Chemistry Conference: Innovating for Success Learn first-hand about the business case for Green Chemistry and how companies can take advantage of technical assistance opportunities to help them move forward in their own effort to promote sustainability. The purpose of this conference is to show how innovations in green chemistry drive advances in business, academia, policy, and human health protection in the Great Lakes region, and how integration and collaboration of these areas are crucial for success. Possible topics may include the connection between business and green chemistry, resources and tools, chemicals policy, research and education, and the state of the Great Lakes. The conference will include keynotes, plenary sessions, panel sessions, breakout sessions, and a poster networking exchange. There will be a half day GLRPPR meeting on March 31 in conjunction with the conference. Source: GLRPPR, 2/18/14

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