Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable
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Environmental News

Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

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

Friday, February 14, 2014
5 ways EHS professionals can solve pollution challenges
In the latest P2 Impact column, Thomas Vinson of the Zero Waste Network advises environmental health and safety managers about ways that they can show the value of pollution prevention to employees in "core" business areas. Source: GreenBiz, 2/14/14

Pollution Prevention Institute announces awardees in student competition
The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I) at Rochester Institute of Technology has announced the awardees of its third annual NYSP2I Research and Development Student Competition. Source: Rochester Institute of Technology, 2/12/14

Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Plastic shopping bags make a fine diesel fuel, researchers report
Plastic shopping bags, an abundant source of litter on land and at sea, can be converted into diesel, natural gas and other useful petroleum products, ISTC researchers report. Source: University of Illinois, 2/12/14

10 reasons health care needs sustainability treatments
Health care is in conflict with itself -- in some ways, it's its own worst enemy. A sound treatment protocol has to be balanced with resource conservation and management. Here are 10 reasons to practice a better approach. Source: GreenBiz, 2/12/14

Food companies put green procurement on the menu
Eco-friendly products have been mainstream for some time now, and many executives have spent years working toward more sustainable business strategies within their respective companies. These leaders know first-hand just how many aspects of enterprise operations need to be addressed in the effort to move toward greener procurement and production models. Distribution and manufacturing chains have become more complex and geographically spread out, as have companies' customer bases. With no end in sight for this trend, how can businesses make real, measurable efforts to reduce environmental impact and at the same time communicate those successes to consumers? Source: GreenBiz, 2/7/14

William McDonough: 6 ways to move beyond zero-waste
Traditionally, businesses have strived to reduce or eliminate the waste they produce. But McDonough, influential designer, architect, entrepreneuer and co-author of "Cradle to Cradle" and "The Upcycle," thinks this is missing the point. Zero waste is "like going nowhere," he said. Instead, the focus should be a "cycle of endless resourcefulness." Source: GreenBiz, 2/7/14

10 CSR ideas to retool the design and construction industry
The areas where design and construction firms can have the biggest CSR impacts are in specifying responsible products, selecting responsible supply chains (suppliers and subcontractors), minimizing environmental damage, using energy efficient designs, reducing waste during construction and most importantly, maintaining the health, safety and welfare of their (and their supply chain's) employees. Source: GreenBiz, 2/6/14

State of Green Business: Water rises as a risk factor
For much of the past decade, stories about water as "the new oil" or "the new carbon" have come out at a steady trickle. These days, it's more of a stream. Companies, communities and countries are coming to recognize that "water" is increasingly being paired with the words "crisis" or "risk." Source: GreenBiz, 2/3/14

How crowdsourcing can boost green chemistry
As part of its effort to mainstream green chemistry, the manufacturers, brands and retailers in the Green Chemistry & Commerce Council (GC3) has explored Challenge Driven Innovation and other new innovation models and programs that can be used to accelerate green chemistry. The GC3 took a close look at InnoCentive, given its successful track record in the green chemistry space. Here's what we learned. Source: GreenBiz, 2/7/14

Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Why recycling smartphone batteries is vital for sustainability
Recovering metals from lithium-ion batteries has a 90% smaller ecological footprint than primary mining -- so why are recycling rates so low? Source: The Guardian, 2/11/14

What will it take to eliminate hazardous chemicals from everyday products?
Brands such as Burberry and Adidas have pledged to phase out dangerous chemicals, but face significant challenges. Source: The Guardian, 2/11/14

Monday, February 10, 2014
In Developing World, A Push to Bring E-Waste Out of Shadows
For decades, hazardous electronic waste from around the world has been processed in unsafe backyard recycling operations in Asia and Africa. Now, a small but growing movement is seeking to provide these informal collectors with incentives to sell e-waste to advanced recycling facilities. Source: Yale Environment 360, 2/6/14

Piloting Sustainability
So, you have been thinking about pushing a corporate sustainability program within your organization. Where do you start? Source: Environmental Leader, 2/10/14

Data Center Uses Reclaimed Water
DuPont Fabros Technology's Ashburn Corporate Campus (ACC) now uses reclaimed water for the four data centers with evaporative cooling plants. Source: Environmental Leader, 2/10/14

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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