Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable
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Environmental News

Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Thursday, June 2, 2016
How might we fall in love with industrial waste? Create value from landfill-bound materials.
Sustainability is a journey and we have to start where we are today. How might we create real change within an industry? Embrace waste and all of its potential. This is an inside look into how the Biomimicry Institute is working to change industry from within a large manufacturing corporation by turning what we normally think of as waste into something better. Source: Biomimicry Institute, 5/31/16

Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Digging Up The Roots Of Modern Waste In Victorian-Era Rubbish
Tom Licence has a Ph.D., and he's a garbage man.

When you think of archaeology, you might think of Roman ruins, ancient Egypt or Indiana Jones. But Licence works in the field of "garbology." While some may dig deep down to get to the good stuff -- ancient tombs, residences, bones -- Licence looks at the top layers, which, where he lives in England, are filled with Victorian-era garbage.

Studying what people threw away 150 years ago, Licence is getting to the bottom of an important issue: how much we throw away, and how to change that. Source: NPR, 6/1/16

Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Providers, environmental groups launch green purchasing co-op
Four major health systems have partnered with two environmental organizations to launch a purchasing cooperative focused on green products that could compete with traditional group purchasing organizations. Source: Modern Healthcare, 5/17/16

The Shockingly Short Payback of Energy Modeling
Energy modeling is often used to evaluate energy conservation measure (ECM) payback, calculating the operational energy savings that accrue after an initial capital investment. Energy modeling itself can also be viewed as an ECM, with an upfront cost during design that leads to operational savings. Given that viewpoint, it is interesting to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of modeling. As a rule of thumb, an ECM is considered cost-effective or attractive if its payback is shorter than three years. What is the typical payback of modeling? Source: U.S. DOE, 5/23/16

Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Closing the gap between seeing and doing for corporate supply chains
Recognizing your company has a problem with supply chain sourcing or human rights isn't the same as fixing the problem on the ground. Source: GreenBiz, 5/24/16

Garbage entrepreneurs are turning food waste into a business
Part-time waitress, full-time garbage entrepreneur -- Melissa Tashjian has carved out a niche helping turn smelly food scraps into a dark, rich medium to grow more fruits and vegetables. Source: Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 5/23/16

Know It All: Solving the Fresh Water Crisis at Home
Measures to conserve water are being adopted everywhere, and in endless variety, from low-flow toilets to credit markets for water savings. Some of the most innovative? -- ?but least heralded? -- ?work is being done by water utilities themselves. This article highlights five case studies that together illustrate some broad global trends in confronting the crisis. Source: Pacific Standard, 5/24/16

Friday, May 20, 2016
'I just can't be bothered': why people are greener at home than in the office
Must of us ignore our environmental responsibilities at work, largely because of a lack of control, responsibility or financial interest. Source: The Guardian, 5/20/16

The Road from Paris Leads to Science-based Targets
The Paris agreement is a clear signal of international will to tackle climate change and governments around the world are under pressure to ramp up efforts to cut carbon emissions. Trucost analysis shows that achieving the 2°C target means that the retail sector would have to reduce its carbon emissions by an average of 76% by 2050, while the telecommunications sector would have to achieve an 89% cut by the same year.

To manage their exposure, companies need to set science-based targets that reflect the specific carbon reduction plans for countries in which they operate. This will involve reviewing existing carbon targets -- especially targets based on existing available technology -- to see if they are still fit for purpose. The Science Based Targets Initiative also requires that most companies quantify their Scope 3 value chain emissions, and where appropriate consider those in the target setting. While this may sound daunting, there are time saving modelling tools and techniques that are sufficiently robust for external disclosure and target setting. Source: Environmental Leader, 5/20/16

Other Environmental News

GLRPPR is a member of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange, a national network of regional information centers: NEWMOA (Northeast), WRRC (Southeast), GLRPPR (Great Lakes), ZeroWasteNet (Southwest), P2RIC (Plains), Peaks to Prairies (Mountain), WSPPN (Pacific Southwest), PPRC (Northwest).


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