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Environmental News

Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Why Your Firm Should Consider Products' Total Cost of Ownership
As corporations look to cut their environmental costs, evaluating total cost of ownership -- or the total direct and indirect costs of owning a product or service -- provides a way to achieve greater environmental accountability and better resource management. Source: Environmental Leader, 10/17/16

EPA Calls for Nominations for 2017 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced its call for nominations for the 2017 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards for companies or institutions that have developed a new process or product helping to protect public health and the environment. Source: U.S. EPA, 10/18/16

How Ford, PepsiCo Plan to Slash Manufacturing Water Use
Within the past week, two corporations in two different sectors, Ford and PepsiCo, have committed to drastically reducing their water use in manufacturing. Source: Environmental Leader, 10/18/16

Monday, October 17, 2016
IJC seeks input on binational approach to address microplastic pollution entering the Great Lakes
The International Joint Commission (IJC) invites public comment on its Preliminary Recommendations on Microplastics in the Great Lakes for binational, science, policy, and education solutions to microplastic pollution. Members of the public are invited to provide comments either online or by email at or until November 10, 2016. Source: International Joint Commission, 10/12/16

Ban for gases that saved the ozone layer but now warm the planet
Kudos for doing the job, but now, for all our sakes, please depart. That's the message the world has given to hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), the chemicals that saved the ozone layer but turned out to be an escalating threat to the climate. Source: New Scientist, 10/17/16

How manufacturers can better inform consumers about food waste
By standardizing date labeling and better communicating with consumers, the amount of food that is thrown away can be reduced. Source: FoodDive, 10/17/16

Friday, October 14, 2016
Why Sustainable Business Leaders Must 'Think Exponentially'
As corporations increasingly embed sustainability into their long-term plans and decision-making processes, new business models are emerging that promise to deliver financial and non-financial (such as environmental and societal) values while working toward a net-zero emissions economy. Source: Environmental Leader, 10/12/16

Turning Beer Wastewater into Energy Storage Benefits Breweries, Battery Manufacturers
Beer wastewater can be converted to materials needed to make energy storage cells -- a development that researchers say could be a "win-win" for breweries and battery manufacturers. Source: Environmental Leader, 10/13/16

Preliminary estimates show that U.S. manufacturing energy consumption increased between 2010 and 2014
Preliminary estimates show that the total U.S. manufacturing energy consumption increased about 3.7% between 2010 and 2014. This is the first measured 4-year increase in manufacturing energy consumption since 2002. Source: Energy Information Adminstration, 10/13/16

Energy Efficiency Is Key To Taking On Climate Change -- Here Are The Numbers That Matter
Energy efficiency needs to account for one-third of all emissions reductions by 2040. Source: Fast Company, 10/13/16

Thursday, October 13, 2016
Can Plant Diversity Help Fight Insect Invasions?
For farmers, insecticides have long been viewed as a necessity of the trade. After all, they need something to chase away all the aphids and such plaguing their plants. But a new study suggests there may be a better way to repel insects: growing more diverse crops. Source: Pacific Standard, 10/12/16

Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Is using less water the secret to cutting our greenhouse gas emissions?
California, which uses 20% of its electricity in supplying water, just passed a law to collect emissions data from water utilities. Source: The Guardian, 10/11/16

EPA Acts on New Chemical Law to Fast-Track Five Chemicals
EPA is taking swift steps to carry out requirements in the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act and to reduce exposure to certain persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) chemicals.

The five chemicals to receive expedited action are:

  • Decabromodiphenyl ethers (DecaBDE), used as a flame retardant in textiles, plastics and polyurethane foam;
  • Hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD), used in the manufacture of rubber compounds and lubricants and as a solvent;
  • Pentachlorothio-phenol (PCTP), used as an agent to make rubber more pliable in industrial uses;
  • Tris (4-isopropylphenyl) phosphate, used as a flame retardant in consumer products and other industrial uses; and
  • 2,4,6-Tris(tert-butyl)phenol, used as a fuel, oil, gasoline or lubricant additive.
The statutory deadline for EPA to propose action is June 22, 2019. Source: U.S. EPA, 10/11/16

Will you recycle a cup if your name is on it?
When you go to a coffee shop and the barista writes your name on the cup, you're more likely to recycle it than if your name was misspelled or wasn't written on the cup at all. That's just one of several interesting recycling behaviors marketing researchers recently uncovered. It turns out we have fascinating biases that help determine what we recycle and what we just toss in the trash. Source: Mother Nature Network, 10/11/16

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