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Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Survival Of The Greenest Beer? Breweries Adapt To A Changing Climate
When you hear the words "green brewery," you might picture gleaming solar panels or aerodynamic wind turbines. But the most valuable piece of technology at the $24 million dollar LEED-Gold-certified headquarters of Smuttynose Brewing Co. on the seacoast of New Hampshire isn't quite as sexy. Source: NPR, 6/24/15

When convenience is the enemy of energy conservation
Automatic bill pay lets customers tune out, ignoring the money and energy they waste. How can we make life smoother and yet sustainable? Source: GreenBiz, 6/24/15

How She Leads: Mary Anne Cannon, Pratt & Whitney
This engineer and former operations manager is leading her company's pursuit of aggressive sustainability goals while it is ramping up sales. Source: GreenBiz, 6/24/15

Apple's Lisa Jackson to lead all of Apple's social policy initiatives
Lisa Jackson, former head of the Environmental Protection Agency and Apple's top executive on environmental issues, will become the company's lead on all policy initiatives, including the environment, education and accessibility. Her new title will be the vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives. In a memo to employees, Apple chief executive Tim Cook said that Jackson's new role is in line with the company's dedication to "leaving the world better than we found it." As part of her promotion, Jackson will also take over leadership of the company's global government affairs and public policy teams. Source: The Washington Post, 6/23/15

Tuesday, June 23, 2015
FL: In 'climate change' controversy, a tale of two agencies
This article contrasts the priorities of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Florida Department of Natural Resources with respect to addressing climate change. Source: Miami Herald, 6/21/15

Business planning in an ever more complex world
Businesses should engage in the complex social and political issues lapping at their doors such as inequity and climate negotiations. Here's how. Source: GreenBiz, 6/22/15

Materials from 49ers' Candlestick Park score a second life
How recycling an old professional sports stadium can translate to new economic and environmental benefits. Source: GreenBiz, 6/23/15

Amid Drought and Flooding, States and Localities Look to Harness the Rain
As drought grips California, floods overpower Texas and Eastern cities grapple with crumbling sewers that pump contaminated runoff into waterways, state and local governments are revisiting how they get, use and manage water. Source: Stateline, 6/23/15

Monday, June 22, 2015
American recycling is stalling, and the big blue bin is one reason why
Once a profitable business for cities and private employers alike, recycling in recent years has become a money-sucking enterprise. The District, Baltimore and many counties in between are contributing millions annually to prop up one of the nation's busiest facilities here in Elkridge, Md. -- but it is still losing money. In fact, almost every facility like it in the country is running in the red. And Waste Management and other recyclers say that more than 2,000 municipalities are paying to dispose of their recyclables instead of the other way around. Source: Washington Post, 6/20/15

Surplus food for the homeless is just an app away
Through a website and mobile app, Feeding Forward matches businesses that have surplus food with nearby homeless shelters. Here's how it works: when companies or event planners have surplus food, they tap the Feeding Forward app and provide details of their donation. A driver is dispatched to quickly pick up the leftovers and deliver them to food banks. Source: CNET, 6/21/15

Friday, June 19, 2015
Why engaging employees on sustainability really isn't about money
How do you motivate employees? More specifically, how do you engage employees in sustainability initiatives -- which are often not tied directly to paychecks or profit margins, but rather seek to combat more daunting societal challenges, such as climate change, fossil fuel dependency and water shortages? Source: GreenBiz, 6/19/15

Thursday, June 18, 2015
Why entrepreneurs are suddenly finding the beauty in ugly produce
Misshapen potatoes, multi-pronged carrots and past-their-prime apples -- rebranded as "cosmetically challenged" and "beautiful in their own way" -- are coming into vogue. Campaigns aimed at reducing food waste are bringing these fruits and vegetables, previously reserved for hogs, compost piles and landfills, to the forefront of our minds, if not quite to our grocery shelves. And now, food entrepreneurs are picking them up as ripe for innovation. Source: Washington Post, 5/26/15

How an upcycled battery could keep smartphones from destroying the planet
Better Re is a crowdfunded reusable smartphone battery made by a team in Korea that could help solve the massive global problem of e-waste. Source: TechRepublic, 6/12/15

God's Work: Meet the Woman Turning Evangelicals Into Environmentalists
With the pope's encyclical on the environment expected this week, Rolling Stone spoke to Christian climate activist Anna Jane Joyner Source: Rolling Stone, 6/15/15

Four Strategies for Responding to Sustainability-Oriented Competitors
Sustainability-focused startups are entering established companies' market space, bringing both new threats and new opportunities. Source: Insead, 6/16/15

Can the Pope's climate encyclical spur corporate action?
In his widely anticipated encyclical on climate change and poverty, "Laudato Si," Pope Francis addresses his call to action to "every person who inhabits this planet," noting that the degradation of the planet will have "grave consequences for us all." Businesses, many of which have until now been able to ignore calls for action on climate, might not be able to claim immunity from the pope. Source: GreenBiz, 6/18/15

Federal government sticks with EPEAT after all
Federal officials have allayed concerns that an executive order regarding environmentally friendly electronics purchasing will erode use of the EPEAT program. President Obama's March 2015 executive order on sustainable-product purchasing excluded an explicit requirement that federal agencies give purchasing preference to electronics meeting the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) standards. That omission concerned EPEAT advocates, who feared the decision could lead to the erosion or demise of the standard. But the implementing instructions, dated June 10, indicate nothing less stringent than EPEAT would be acceptable. Source: Resource Recycling, 6/18/15

New Jersey bills tackle e-scrap program, hard drive shredding
Legislation in play in New Jersey would provoke an overhaul of the state's e-scrap program and offer an easing of state requirements for mobile hard drive shredding. Senate Bill 2973 would likely increase original equipment manufacturer recycling targets, and SB 2978 would allow mobile hard drive shredders to operate without a state permit. Both passed unanimously through the Senate Environment and Energy Committee on June 15. The next step for the bills would be a reading on the full Senate floor. Such action is not yet scheduled for either bill. Source: Resource Recycling, 6/18/15

EPA Report Shows Progress on E-Recycling and Identifies Opportunity to Advance G7's Recognition of Circular Economy
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released the Advancing Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Facts and Figures report showing progress in consumer electronics recycling in the United States. Consumer electronics recycling went up from 30.6 percent in 2012 to 40.4 percent in 2013, the same year EPA launched the SMM Electronics Challenge to promote responsible donation and recycling of used electronics. Source: U.S. EPA, 6/17/15

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