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Environmental News


Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Wednesday, October 8, 2014
How 10 manufacturers took best-in-state environmental trophies
Sustainable manufacturers are winning impressive environmental awards at the state level for cutting waste, reducing water and energy consumption, lowering emissions, and improving environmental performance. Although the companies exhibit environmental stewardship in most areas, many of them excel in one; often in one of regional significance, such as bioenergy from corn in Iowa, and water conservation measures in Texas. Illinois Governor's Sustainability Award winner J.L. Clark is one of the featured companies. Source: Sustainable Manufacturer Network, 9/22/14

Chicago greenhouse to be largest rooftop installation
Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Gotham Greens and Method Products PBC are pairing to install the world's largest rooftop greenhouse in on Chicago's south side. The greenhouse, designed by William McDonough + Partners, will be capable of producing up to a million pounds of fresh produce annually for Chicago-area retailers, restaurants, farmers markets and community groups. It is planned for the rooftop of Method's newest plant, which is expected to be the first Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design Platinum-certified manufacturing plant in its industry, according to a news release. Source: Produce Retailer, 10/7/14

Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Who cares if 97 percent of scientists agree on climate change?
"Scientific consensus" doesn't work. Use the "ice cream argument" instead and win people over to the right side of the climate debate. Source: GreenBiz, 10/7/14

How to communicate your sustainability story
Social media and storytelling are two powerful tools to raise awareness of an organization's story. Five keys will help you focus the story. Source: GreenBiz, 10/6/14

Thursday, October 2, 2014
MSP Airport Building State's Largest Solar Energy Site
A $25.4 million solar energy project now underway at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is being touted as the state's largest and is expected to create more than 250 jobs. Source: Twin Cities Business, 10/2/14

Seattle Assesses Fine to Homeowners for Wasting Food
The city of Seattle has embraced the composting idea with a creative edge: In an effort to encourage residents to stop wasting food, the city council passed an ordinance this last Monday that allows households to be fined $1 each time that garbage collectors find more than 10 percent of organic waste in their garbage bins. Source: Triple Pundit, 9/25/14

Top 10 Sustainable U.S. Breweries
To help you choose a sustainable sip for tonight's happy hour, this week we're rounding up 10 of the most sustainable breweries in the U.S. So, grab a cold one, and rest easy knowing it had little to no impact on our planet. The Great Lakes states are well represented on the list. Source: Triple Pundit, 9/26/14

Wednesday, October 1, 2014
What's a materiality assessment -- and should you be doing one?
Sustainability reports are being held to higher standards than before: They're being asked to relate sustainability to continued business. Are you in? Source: GreenBiz, 10/1/14

Climate Week is over. What do we do now?
These five lessons from the social sciences can change minds among your employees, stakeholders, friends, and family members. Source: GreenBiz, 10/1/14

Energy efficient air conditioning is within sight
Demand for air conditioning will only increase; new materials offer hope of a breakthrough that could cut energy consumption by 90%. Source: The Guardian, 10/1/14

EPA Recognizes Manufacturing, Retail Leaders in Electronics Recycling Challenge
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently recognized leading electronics manufacturers and retailers for their outstanding achievements in used electronics stewardship under the Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Electronics Challenge. Leaders from Best Buy, Dell, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, Sprint and Staples gathered in Washington, D.C. to celebrate their environmental achievements, which include diverting more than 220,000 metric tons of used electronics to third party certified recyclers in 2013 -- an increase of 7.6 percent since 2012.The amount of greenhouse gas emissions saved from this increase is equivalent to removing more than 8,500 passenger cars from the road for one year. Source: US EPA, 9/23/14

NY: Schumer proposes law to ban toxic flame retardants
University at Albany research showing the health risks to firefighters of inhaling smoke infused with flame-retardant chemicals is leading a push for national legislation to ban some of the chemicals, which are ubiquitous in upholstered furniture, toys, and children's bedding and pajamas. U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer was at the Engine 10/Ladder 3 Firehouse on Brevator Street Monday with Susan Shaw of the UAlbany School of Public Health, firefighters and consumer advocates to announce legislation to ban the 10 most noxious flame retardants. The measure would also require the Consumer Product Safety Commission to review others for their safety. Source: The Times Union, 9/24/14

Tuesday, September 30, 2014
EPA seeks input on key e-scrap issues
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency convened a meeting of some 50 key electronics recycling parties last week near Washington, D.C. to receive advice and input. The meeting -- the first "EPA Summit on Electronics" since 2005 -- included representatives of original equipment manufacturers, states, nonprofit organizations, e-scrap reclaimers and trade groups. The two-day session focused on two concerns. EPA sought input on CRT recycling management, including a review of how obsolete CRTs are being handled and how current and future problems can be addressed. Included at the meeting were executives from major CRT processors, including Closed Loop Refining and Recovery, Kuusakoski, Nulife Glass and Universal Recycling Technologies. The second focus of the meeting was sustainable electronics. Much of the discussion targeted two issues: design of electronics for reuse, repair and recycling, and better ways to determine what makes a firm a "good recycler." Source: Resource Recycling, 9/30/14

Detroit Zoo so 'green' animals will soon contribute manure for electricity
The Detroit Zoo is so aggressively green that even the rhinoceroses, giraffes and other animals are about to get in on the act. The zoo by next year plans to have a bio-digester in place that will use methane gas from the animals' manure to create electricity for the zoo's animal hospital, said Gerry Van Acker, chief operating officer at the zoo. Source: Daily Tribune, 9/25/14

Here's hope for the bees: A manifesto
The Honey Bee Health Coalition came together from all sectors to accelerate solutions to improve bee health. And they need you. Source: GreenBiz, 9/29/14

A new era of innovation for a resource-depleted world
Here's how a waterless shampoo invented 20 years ago points the way to the future. It's just one innovation for a resource-depleted world. Source: GreenBiz, 9/26/14

A glimpse into our 2030 waste-free world
Carbon emissions are no curse. If enforced bans on cigarette smoking has taught us anything, it's that individual and collective efforts can change our world for the better. Source: GreenBiz, 9/29/14

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