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Environmental News

Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Thursday, November 19, 2015
EPA Now Accepting Applications for the 2016 Safer Choice Partner of the Year Awards
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting applications through January 29, 2016, for its second annual Safer Choice Partner of the Year Awards. Source: U.S. EPA, 11/19/15

Ribbon-cutting for UI's 'solar farm' set for this morning
A solar installation three years in the making is up and running at the University of Illinois, with an official ribbon-cutting and public tours scheduled this morning. Source: Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette, 11/19/15

Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Apple, Adidas have 'greenest' supply chains in China
Apple, Adidas and H&M have the "greenest" supply chains among the 167 brands evaluated by the Corporate Information Transparency Index (CITI) (PDF), a system for assessing companies' sustainable sourcing practices. Jointly developed by Chinese nonprofit Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), CITI analyzes companies' supply chain environmental management in China based on government-issued and public data on suppliers contracted by evaluated brands over the past year. Communication records from 1,607 suppliers that expressed relationships to 86 brands also were evaluated. Source: GreenBiz, 11/18/15

Tuesday, November 17, 2015
EPA Proposes to Reduce Smog-Forming Pollution Transported Across State Lines
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing updates to the agency's Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) to address interstate air quality impacts for the 2008 ozone air quality standards. The proposed updates would reduce summertime emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) from power plants that contribute to downwind ozone problems in the eastern half of the U.S. Source: U.S. EPA, 11/17/15

A way out of food waste: Upcycle food to hunger relief
Although retailers are no longer able to sell the excess food directly to their customers, that food still holds tremendous value. Capturing perishable products by working with a food rescue partner provides an easy and scalable triple bottom line solution for grocers and food retailers to support community members in need, save costs on disposal fees and increase sustainability. Source: GreenBiz, 11/17/15

EPA Recognizes Governments, Organizations and Businesses for Outstanding Waste Reduction Efforts
Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes the waste reduction accomplishments of 29 participants in and endorsers of EPA's Waste Wise program and EPA's Food Recovery Challenge. These collaborative initiatives apply sustainable materials management practices to decrease wasted food and municipal and industrial wastes in the United States, leading to economic and environmental improvements. EPA provides tools, resources and support to help participants establish baselines, set objectives, track progress and realize their waste reduction goals. EPA reviews the data submitted by participants by employing an extensive quality assurance process. Source: U.S. EPA 11/13/15

Chemical Reform and Reporting: What's Next?
Using safer chemicals and improving chemical reporting has become a top priority for companies as the federal government moves closer to chemical reform legislation and consumers increasingly demand safer products and product transparency. The last few years has seen retailers and manufactures including Target, Walmart and SC Johnson take steps to phase out hazardous chemicals in their products while the Retail Industry Leaders Association has rolled out an initiative designed to streamline the required safety data sheet process used by suppliers and retailers to exchange chemical and product information. These companies are on the right track. Chemical reform and stricter reporting guidelines are well underway -- and industry should prepare itself, say business and advocacy groups. Here's what to expect in the upcoming months. Source: Environmental Leader, 11/17/15

Monday, November 16, 2015
How The Food Industry Plans To Help Cut U.S. Food Waste In Half By 2030
Grocers are looking to undersized peaches, sausage scraps and a bunch of other items that were previously sent straight to landfills to ensure that no shelf is left unturned when it comes to recovering food. Source: Huffington Post, 11/6/15

Friday, November 13, 2015
Outdoor activities that boost economy can influence restoration
Ecosystem assets in the Great Lakes region, such as sport fishing, boating, beach use, park visits and birding, contribute significantly to the tourism economy of shoreline communities and can help shape restoration priorities for the lakes, according to a new study that incorporates highly detailed maps. Source: Great Lakes Echo, 11/13/15

Healing fractured water: How Michigan's roadways impact our waterways
In the Great Lakes, we drive to get where we are going. And with tens of thousands of lane-miles of roadway across the basin, in both urban areas and rural areas, the impact of all of that hard surface on our waterways adds up. Source: Metromode, 11/12/15

What Will Revolutionize Sustainability Reporting in 2016 and Beyond?
Major players in the corporate reporting field joined forces this week to help businesses navigate the complex sustainability reporting landscape. In a move that they say will "revolutionize" reporting, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) and Ecodesk created the Reporting Exchange, a freely available, multi-lingual, global sustainability reporting knowledge platform. This platform will provide businesses with relevant reporting information at the national, regional and international level, the partners say. Source: Environmental Leader, 11/13/15

Storage and Treatment of Liquid Waste from Landfills Doesn't Remove All Contaminants, Including Pharmaceuticals
New research from the U.S. Geological Survey details that even after the storage and/or treatment of leachate -- liquid waste that moves through or drains from a landfill - it can still contain a multitude of chemicals and reflects the diverse nature of residential, industrial, and commercial waste discarded into landfills in the United States. Source: U.S. Geological Survey, 11/12/15

A New Material Made From Trash Can Help Clean Mercury Out Of The Ocean
A new type of rubber made from a combination of industrial waste and food scraps quickly absorbs mercury. Because it's made from trash--a material found in orange peels called limonene, and sulfur waste from the petroleum industry--the material is very low cost to make. Source: Fast Company, 11/11/15

Should we abandon the language of sustainability?
How can we evolve sustainability to a language that is more accessible and motivational? Source: GreenBiz, 11/12/15

The big green ball orchard
Yankee Stadium is, arguably, the most iconic sports stadium in the world (the British might vote for Wembley Stadium in London.) The House That Ruth Built opened in 1923 and the Yanks won their first World Series that season. The new stadium opened its doors across the street from the original in 2009 and the Yanks won their 27th World Series that year. Sustainability was a key facet of the design process and is an integral part the new ballpark's operational DNA. GreenSportsBlog visited with Doug Behar, the Yankees' VP of stadium operations, at his offices in Yankee Stadium to discuss the many sustainable aspects of the Big (Green) Ball Orchard in the South Bronx. Source: GreenBiz, 11/12/15

The rise of the non-toxic buyer: 6 case studies on safer chemistry
Environmentally preferable purchasing (EPP) programs initially focused on recycled content and energy efficiency. Now, they are increasingly taking into account the issue of toxicity, nudging buyers toward the purchase of products with less toxic chemistries. Source: GreenBiz, 11/12/15

Adrian Grenier to Uber around NYC, collect e-waste for Dell initiative
Entourage star and Dell Social Good Advocate Adrian Grenier has teamed up with Uber and Goodwill for Dell's NYC Tech Takeback initiative. For the initiative, Uber will offer to pick-up old e-waste from NYC residents and deliver the waste to Goodwill, which will then recycle it through Dell. Source: WasteDive, 11/13/15

NYC Students Establish "Restart Center" to Help Peers with Computer Problems
Later this month, a new resource will be available to Fieldston students looking to replace failing computer parts, troubleshoot software, or fix glitches. Student volunteers, who will receive community service credit for their work, will be manning "Restart Centers" on campus, helping students diagnose their computers' problems and guide them toward buying new parts and learning how to make repairs. Source: Ethical Culture Fieldston School, November 2015

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