Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable
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Environmental News


Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Back to the drawing board: how good design can eliminate waste
From charging for the use of aircraft engines to waste-free supermarkets, experts share ideas for breaking the cycle of unsustainable design. Source: The Guardian, 9/3/14

John Elkington, the 'Breakthrough Challenge' and tomorrow's bottom line
Sustainable business pioneer John Elkington discusses his new book, the big challeges companies face and whether he's optimistic about the future. Source: GreenBiz, 9/3/14

20 years later, Interface looks back on Ray Anderson's legacy
To understand what a green leader achieved, let's look at the changes a businessperson started in himself and the mistakes he was willing to make. Source: GreenBiz, 9/3/14

Which way to recycling? Walmart's Closed Loop Fund vs. EPR
A group of major companies launches the fund to help finance municipal recycling, but some say extended producer responsibility would accomplish more. Source: GreenBiz, 9/3/14

Why 2014 is the year of the energy-water nexus
2014 is shaping up to be the year of the energy-water nexus. First, the United Nation's World Water Day centered on this topic. Then, the U.S. Department of Energy released a 250-page report on the energy-water nexus and indicated that it will be included in its Quadrennial Energy Review. And this week, the biggest international water conference, World Water Week, is taking on the nexus.Held every year in Stockholm, Sweden, World Water Week is led by the Stockholm International Water Institute and serves as a platform for over 200 collaborating organizations and 2,500 participants from 130 countries around the world to discuss global water and development issues. In choosing the energy-water nexus as this year's theme, SIWI and its supporters are affirming -- on a global stage -- what policy experts have been saying for years: energy and water are inextricably linked, and the best way to set the energy-water system on a sustainable course is to plan for both resources holistically. Source: GreenBiz.com, 9/3/14

Facing Climate Change, Cities Embrace Resiliency
Lacking substantial state or federal support, local governments throughout the country are using natural disasters as a way to get their infrastructure, personnel and budgets better prepared for the next. Source: Governing, September 2014

Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Cool Planet: can biochar fertilize soil and help fight climate change?
Although market information and long-term impacts remain unknown, a biofuel byproduct can store carbon and enhance soil quality -- and its market is growing despite higher costs. Source: The Guardian, 9/2/14

Report recognizes importance of groundwater for human health, the environment and economy
An annual report by the Wisconsin Groundwater Coordinating Council highlights the critical role groundwater plays in human health, the environment and economy and supports additional research and cooperation to understand how best to manage the precious resource. Source: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, 9/2/14

Friday, August 29, 2014
Small businesses face too many barriers to increasing energy efficiency
Energy companies and the government need to roll out smart meters and provide support to struggling SMEs. Source: The Guardian, 8/29/14

Science and sustainability goals: what researchers want businesses to know
If companies are to help reach key climate targets and keep the world a viable place to do business, executives need to take a broader view -- and pay attention to the latest science Source: The Guardian, 8/29/14

Thursday, August 28, 2014
Kenya Recycles E-Waste From Around The World, Keeping Pollutants Out Of Landfills
MACHAKOS, Kenya (AP) -- In an industrial area outside Kenya's capital city, workers in hard hats and white masks take shiny new power drills to computer parts. This assembly line is not assembling, though. It is dismantling some of the estimated 50 million metric tons of hazardous electronic-waste the world generated last year. Source: Associated Press via Huff Post Green, 8/22/14

How one Texas electronics recycling facility tries to beat the heat
Step out onto the massive processing floor at ECS Refining in Mesquite, Texas, and the first thing you notice is the air, which on an August morning feels like 100-degree soup. It's not exactly the ideal environment for manually dismantling e-scrap for 10 hours. ECS managers say many potential employees don't make it through the initial three weeks of training, but they note those that can handle the rigors of CRT de-manufacturing and other tasks are actually able to thrive at the Dallas-area facility that spans 250,000-square-feet. A number of unique efforts made by the company help workers weather the conditions in a facility so large that air conditioning is not an economic or effective option. Source: Resource Recycling, 8/28/14

How the zero-waste economy benefits everyone
Welcome to the emerging world of the circular economy. Faced with rising prices for energy and raw materials, along with pressures from environmentalists and regulators who have passed "extended producer responsibility laws" in Europe and some U.S. states, forward-thinking companies are finding ways to take back, reuse, refurbish or recycle all kinds of things that otherwise would be thrown away. In contrast to the traditional "take-make-dispose" linear economy, which depletes resources, a circular economy is an industrial system that is restorative or regenerative by intention and design. Inspired by nature, a circular economy aspires not merely to limit waste but to eliminate the very idea of waste: Everything, at the end of its life, should be made into something else, just as in the natural world, one species' waste is another's food. Source: GreenBiz.com, 8/28/14

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Mars: To transform raw materials supply, we must work together
Creating sustainable supply of key ingredients is not an area for competition, says the confectioner's sustainability director, Kevin Rabinovitch. Source: GreenBiz, 8/26/14

How She Leads: Cindy Ortega, MGM Resorts
Her financial background wins support, but her grassroots employee efforts for energy efficiency and water conservation deliver results. Source: GreenBiz, 8/26/14

Five sustainable boondoggles: greenwashing all the way to the bank
From SeaWorld"s "Cup That Cares" to an underground beer fridge -- these products are touting green creds that may not exist. Source: The Guardian, 8/25/14

Ioxus, Maxwell, Win Inertia bet on ultracapacitors to store energy
While batteries still generate more headlines, the role of ultracapacitors in energy storage and efficiency applications moved toward center stage this summer with high-profile transportation projects for two notable players, Ioxus and Maxwell Technologies. Source: GreenBiz.com, 8/20/14



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