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Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

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

Tuesday, April 26, 2016
This Gorgeous, Sustainable "Leather" Is Made From Pineapple Waste
Your future handbag will be made from fruit--not cow or petroleum. Source: Fast Company, 4/25/16

Old TVs Create Toxic Problem for Recycling Programs Across America
Low commodities prices around the world are making life difficult for electronics recyclers, especially those struggling to get rid of toxic materials from obsolete television sets. The result: Old TVs being dumped in the trash or on the side of the road and e-recycling companies improperly disposing of them, including a Kentucky company caught last year burying old TVs and other electronics devices in a 10-foot-deep hole in a field. And that is bad news for the environment. Source: NBC News, 4/24/16

Monday, April 25, 2016
Phone, Everlasting: What If Your Smartphone Never Got Old?
Alina Selyukh examines strategies to keep phones in service for longer, from fixing to smarter design, for NPR's "All Tech Considered.' Source: NPR, 4/25/16

Choosing to Skip the Upgrade and Care for the Gadget You've Got
Many tech companies are trying to train people to constantly upgrade their gadgets -- part ways with a device, the argument goes, as soon as something newer and faster comes along. Vincent Lai of the Fixers Collective, and Kyle Wiens of iFixit, propose a different strategy. Source: The New York Times, 4/20/16

Mushrooms, whales and hurricanes: how bio-inspiration boosts energy efficiency
As bio-inspired engineering comes into its own, The Guardian takes a look at the innovative technologies using nature as a blueprint. Source: The Guardian, 4/24/16

More St. Louis area businesses look to compost food waste
St. Louis is no Seattle, so it probably won't be requiring food waste be kept out of landfills anytime soon. But that hasn't stopped local groceries and some restaurants from putting in a little extra effort to get their organic waste into composting facilities rather than taking it out with the trash. Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 4/21/16

How Sustainable Practices at Three U.S. Universities are Reducing Waste
Many U.S. colleges have pledged to work toward carbon neutral campuses and are making changes in how they build new buildings, where and how they generate power and what they are sending to landfills. Take a look at what three universities are doing to reduce waste and build sustainable practices in and around campus. Source: Waste360, 4/25/16

How Corporate America Can Support the Paris Climate Deal
Industry, as well as investors, must move beyond a shareholder model focused on managing for a short-term share price to a stakeholder model with sustainability embedded in corporate strategy. Only then will we adequately manage risk and create value for the company and for society--and tackle challenges like climate change. Firms that place sustainability at the core of their business strategy will drive positive climate performance, create wealth while creating competitive advantage, reduce risk and create stable ecosystems that drive both ecological and corporate value. Source: Fortune, 4/22/16

Corporate Sustainability Should Be Core Business Strategy, Requires Paths Unique to Individual Businesses
Prior to the 1990s, there was little concept of corporate sustainability within the textile and apparel industry. However, beginning in the mid-1990s, clothing and apparel corporations began receiving pushback from consumers regarding social, environmental and economic sustainability. In an effort to qualify the process of investing in corporate sustainability, University of Missouri researchers examined two major international apparel brands, Nike and Adidas, to determine the paths taken to reach corporate sustainability. Saheli Goswami, a doctoral student in the MU College of Human Environmental Sciences, says that while both companies are currently models of corporate sustainability, they took very different paths to reach the end goal. Source: Universty of Missouri

Indiana Department of Environmental Management seeks applications for 2016 Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence
The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), in conjunction with the Office of Indiana Governor Mike Pence, Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb's Office of Energy Development, the Indiana Department of Administration and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, is seeking nominations for the 2016 Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence.

The Indiana Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence is the state's most prestigious environmental recognition award. IDEM accepts nominations from all Indiana citizens and organizations, and the selection process is highly competitive. All projects must demonstrate significant, measurable results. The projects must be innovative, comprehensive and thoroughly documented, and only one winner will be selected. Award applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. ET on Friday, May 13, 2016. Source: Indiana Department of Environmental Management, 4/25/16


Friday, April 22, 2016
How a competitor's data can help your company cut pollution
In the latest P2 Impact column, Kara Koehrn and Dave Turk from U.S. EPA's Toxics Release Inventory Program explain how companies can use TRI pollution prevention data to identify opportunities for reducing the use of toxics by looking to see what other facilities in their industrial sector have already done. Source: GreenBiz, 4/14/16

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