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Environmental News


Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Researchers Aim to Put Carbon Dioxide Back to Work
The X Prize Foundation has created a $20 million prize for teams that by 2020 come up with technologies to turn CO2 captured from smokestacks of coal- or gas-fired power plants into useful products. Source: New York Times, 5/3/16

World Bank: The way climate change is really going to hurt us is through water
As India, the world's second-most populous country, reels from an intense drought, the World Bank has released a new report finding that perhaps the most severe impact of a changing climate could be the effect on water supplies. Source: Washington Post, 5/3/16

HFC Refrigerants Phase-Down Is Coming. Is Your Company Prepared?
Carbon dioxide emissions aren't the only greenhouse gases that corporations need to address when considering how to close the emissions gap and keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.

In March the EPA issued a proposed rule under the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program that will expand the list of climate-friendly HFC alternatives and phase out certain HFCs in favor of safer options that are already available. Source: Environmental Leader, 5/3/16


Monday, May 2, 2016
Eyeing sustainability, Chicago hires first resilience officer
Chicago will hire its first chief resilience officer Monday, a position focused on taking on the city's most difficult problems in smarter, more connected ways. Source: Chicago Tribune, 5/1/16

States ask EPA for help on climate rule plans
More than a dozen states have asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to give them more information on how to form implementation plans for the Obama administration's climate rule for power plants. Source: The Hill, 4/29/16

SERI says IL bill illegally impacts R2
The Illinois legislature is currently considering a proposal that attempts to change the R2 standard and certification program (and also e-Stewards). House Bill 6321 -- the bill currently under consideration -- includes language to prohibit Certification Bodies from taking any action if a certified recycler uses retrievable storage for CRT glass. R2 does not allow retrievable storage of CRT glass, instead requiring that it be recycled. The capacity exists for all CRT glass to be recycled. Source: SERI, via R2 Update Newsletter, 4/28/16

Are Your Electronics Socially Responsible?
About five years ago, the sustainability movement emerged, putting a sometimes harsh spotlight on the ethical aspects of producing and using electronics. Today, more and more purchasers understand that sustainable products aren't just supposed to be good for the environment. They're asking bigger questions, like "Was it manufactured by forced or child labor?" or "How were conditions in the factories?" Source: Tripe Pundit, 5/2/16

Reducing food waste would mitigate climate change, study shows
Reducing food waste around the world would help curb emissions of planet-warming gases, lessening some of the impacts of climate change such as more extreme weather and rising seas, scientists said on Thursday. Up to 14% of emissions from agriculture in 2050 could be avoided by managing food use and distribution better, according to a new study from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Source: The Guardian, 4/7/16

Friday, April 29, 2016
Go Green, Save Green: Sustainable Laundry Operations
Properly equipped and functioning, a laundry can use very little water and energy to wash, dry, and iron linens and other items. A sustainable laundry operation requires less water, electricity, natural gas, and other supplies to properly serve a facility's needs than a traditional laundry. It also allows for reusable textile products and careful management of inventory carefully to maximize linen life. Source: Facility Executive, 4/22/16

Thursday, April 28, 2016
A DOE budget request sheds light on the future of advanced manufacturing
The Department of Energy's 2017 budget request was released back in February, and is now awaiting congressional approval. The request included $261 million for the Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO), the part of DOE that focuses on energy use in the manufacturing sector. It does so by bringing together manufacturers, research institutions, suppliers, and universities to promote manufacturing clean energy products and implementing best practices. The increase, over prior years, of the AMO budget allocation demonstrates a continuing interest and commitment by the federal government to invest in energy efficiency in the industry sector, especially in helping energy-intensive manufacturers reduce their energy use and develop new, energy-efficient technologies, processes, and products. Source: ACEEE, 4/28/16

Democrats -- And Republicans -- Are Growing More Worried Over Climate Change
Two polls conducted in March suggest that Americans are more concerned about climate change than they have been in nearly a decade, and one of them shows that concern is increasing among Democrats, Republicans and independents. But that doesn't mean global warming has suddenly become a bipartisan issue -- the politics of it are still very different for each side. Source: FiveThirtyEight, 04/28/16

EPA Administrator McCarthy Announces 2016 Safer Choice Partner of the Year Awards
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is recognizing 24 Safer Choice Partner of the Year award winners across 12 states, the District of Columbia and Canada for outstanding achievement in the design, manufacture, promotion and use of a range of cleaning and other household products that carry the Safer Choice label. Administrator McCarthy announced the winners at an event at a local hardware store in San Francisco today. Source: U.S. EPA, 4/28/16

Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Banned PCBs still haunt Great Lakes
PCB emissions may still threaten residents of Chicago and other Great Lakes communities, according to a recently published study that calls for legislation to control the largest sources of the longtime pollutant. Source: Great Lakes Echo, 4/27/16

Tight budget? Consider other options to fund energy-efficiency projects
Sustainability groups discuss four financing alternatives to help health care facilities get green initiatives off the ground. Source: Health Facilities Management, 4/14/16

The Netherlands puts itself on the map as a circular economy hotspot
A circular economy is first and foremost an economy where working together is the key to success, as the Netherlands has found. Source: The Guardian, 4/27/16

Getting Smart About Waste
Technology has a role in moving toward a goal of zero waste, but so does the "soft" infrastructure of citizen activism and effective policies. Source: Governing, 4/26/16

The 5 toughest challenges tomorrow's cities face
From New York to Shanghai, cities across the globe are swelling, compounding social and environmental sustainability challenges. Source: GreenBiz, 4/27/16



Other Environmental News

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