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Environmental News


Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Call2Recycle Hits 100m lbs of Batteries Recycled & Secures R2:2013
Call2Recycle, North America's first and largest consumer battery stewardship program, has marked its 20th anniversary of diverting used batteries and cell phones from landfill by hitting the 100 million pound (45,359 tonne) milestone for batteries recycled since 1994. The organisation explained that it collects and recycles consumer batteries and cell phones at no cost throughout the U.S. and Canada and ensures that the items, which contain valuable resources, are responsibly recycled to create new batteries and other products, keeping potentially hazardous materials from entering the waste stream. Source: Waste Management World, 12/8/14

EPA Announces New Energy Star Tool for Homeowners to Save Money, Energy This Winter
Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is launching its Energy Star Home Advisor, an online tool designed to help Americans save money and energy by improving the energy efficiency of their homes through recommended, customized and prioritized home-improvement projects. Source: U.S. EPA, 12/8/14

Green tape: Do environmental regulations harm the economy?
Recent policy proposals have reinvigorated familiar claims that environmental rules stifle business. But where's the evidence? Source: GreenBiz, 12/8/14

Upstart manufacturer turns fiber waste into building materials
Noble Environmental Technologies is mainstreaming its ECOR technology, with the help of ex-IKEA execs and an institutional investor. Source: GreenBiz, 12/9/14

Our E-Waste Problem Is Ridiculous, and Gadget Makers Aren't Helping
Chances are high that you'll be getting or giving new electronics this holiday season: an iPhone upgrade for mom perhaps, or maybe a new Windows 8 ultrabook. Device upgrades have become increasingly frequent for many of us. Unfortunately, too many people give virtually no thought to what becomes of all these discarded gadgets. And neither are most device manufacturers. Some 41.5 million tons of electronic waste was generated in 2011, and that number is expected to rise to 93.5 million by 2016, according to the research firm MarketsandMarkets. Right now, 70 to 80 percent of all that old gadgetry goes straight to landfills. Source: Wired, 12/8/14

Monday, December 8, 2014
Chemical Footprint Project: The next step in reporting
This is the first common metric for publicly benchmarking companies' use of chemicals. Here's how it works. Source: GreenBiz, 12/8/14

New Tool Launched Today Measures Corporate Progress Towards Safer Chemicals
A group of corporate and NGO leaders today released a new tool for assessing leadership in corporate chemicals management. The Chemical Footprint Project (CFP) provides the first-ever common metric of its kind for publicly benchmarking corporate chemicals management and profiling leadership companies. Similar to Carbon Footprinting, Chemical Footprinting can apply to any business sector. Retailers, health care organizations, governments, and investors all see value in a comprehensive measure of business progress to safer chemicals. Source: Clean Production Action via CSRWire, 12/8/14

Friday, December 5, 2014
Sustainability reporting is stalled -- here's how to add value
The thousands of hours that companies spend on sustainability reporting could be re-engineered to drive financial and social outcomes. Source: GreenBiz, 12/5/14

Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Apple Patent Could Prevent Cracked iPhones
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office this week awarded Apple a patent for a "protective mechanism for an electronic device," i.e. a gravity-defying handset with cat-like reflexes. Thanks to an integrated motion sensor, the phone would detect when it is in freefall, then run rapid calculations to reposition itself in mid-air, landing in the safest way possible. With an air of science fiction, the patent describes the phone's various sensors, including the accelerometer, GPS, gyroscopes, camera, and an as-yet-unreleased ultrasonic emitter, all working together to determine the iDevice's trajectory, spin, and angle of descent--in real time. Source: PC Magazine, 12/3/14

Google, Big Data and robots: Tech's new food security moonshot
Innovation Endeavors, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm co-founded by Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, has teamed with supply chain solutions company Flextronics to convene a "collective" of corporations angling to capitalize on the many obstacles -- and opportunities -- in the agricultural sector. The new collective, Farm2050, already has announced partners including Google, DuPont, AGCO, Sensitech and 3D Robotics. Innovation Endeavors Founding Managing Partner Dror Berman told GreenBiz that he hopes to add to its roster incumbent leaders in food and food manufacturing. Source: GreenBiz.com, 12/1/14

Panasonic's New Smart Town Can Teach Business a Thing or Two About Smart Growth
Tech companies are going to new lengths to showcase their innovations, and here's the latest case in point: a consortium called Fujisawa SST Council will develop an entire "Sustainable Smart Town" for 3,000 souls in Fujisawa City, Japan, under the leadership of Panasonic Corporation. The town, named Fujisawa SST (SST stands for Sustainable Smart Town) had its grand opening last week, and completion of construction is expected by 2018. The stated goal is to create a smart growth community that can support sustainable development for at least 100 years. Source: Triple Pundit, 12/3/14

Tuesday, December 2, 2014
What Role Should Cities Play in Sustainable Consumption?
Interview with J. Lauren Norris who runs the Resourceful PDX program, encouraging Portlanders to buy smart, reuse, borrow and share, and fix and maintain to reduce waste. Source: Shareable, 11/22/14

Nominations now open for 20th Annual Green Chemistry Challenge Award
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced its call for nominations for the 2015 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards for companies or institutions that have developed a new process or product that helps protect public health and the environment. Nominations are due by December 31. Source: U.S. EPA, 11/13/14

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