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Environmental News


Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Monday, July 21, 2014
Good product, bad package: top sustainable packaging mistakes
Seven layers of plastic for a bag of chips may seem excessive, but packaging is more complicated than it looks. What are the challenges wrapped around common household products? Source: The Guardian, 7/18/14

Friday, July 18, 2014
Champaign County (IL) Volunteers Needed for Low-cost Radon Reduction Pilot Study
The Indoor Climate Research and Training program of the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, in its capacity as a member of the Partnership for Advancing Residential Retrofit team of the U.S. DOE's Building America Program, is conducting a pilot study on radon reduction through low-cost measures. The aim of this research pilot project is to study the impact of air sealing between the foundation and the living space on radon transport reduction across the foundation-living space floor assembly. It is aimed at reducing radon levels in the lowest living level of the house. Basements used as a living level are not candidates for this study. As a part of this study, we are currently seeking homes in Champaign County with crawlspaces or unfinished basements. During this 3 month project, radon concentrations are measured before and after treatment, which involves air-sealing on the underside of the floor and duct sealing. There is no cost to the homeowner. Homes with known radon issues are preferred but not required. Please contact Stacy Gloss at sgloss@illinois.edu or 217-300-7430 for more information. Source: Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, 7/18/14

New York State Pollution Prevention Institute awards $455,000 in research and development projects
The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I) has awarded approximately $455,000 to fund six research and development projects focused on applied research designed to stimulate solutions that will help New York state companies remain competitive while reducing their environmental footprint. Source: New York State Pollution Prevention Institute, 7/14/14

6 ways collaboration can boost sustainability
Corporate collaboration can drive exponentially greater impacts. It can foster innovative solutions, level the playing field, move an industry, raise expectations for partners, influence policy and catalyze change in myriad ways. This post offers six ways to make collaboration easier. Source: GreenBiz, 7/16/14

Why sustainability requires leadership training
Making sustainability happen -- at scale -- and with the speed required to reap returns on investment under these conditions, requires business leadership to rethink and remix their skill sets to develop the versatility and agility they need. Source: GreenBiz, 7/17/14

Without Much Straining, Minnesota Reins In Its Utilities' Carbon Emissions
While other states and critics of the Obama administration have howled about complying with its proposed rule slashing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, Minnesota has been reining in its utilities' carbon pollution for decades -- not painlessly, but without breaking much of a sweat, either. Source: New York Times, 7/18/14

Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Harness these forces to transform your sustainability practices
Sustainability is no ordinary change-management challenge. An entire economic system is in transition. That's why forces beyond the ordinary are so badly needed. Source: GreenBiz, 7/16/14

How to brew beer better: Less water, less energy, more innovation
In the latest P2 Impact column, Paula Del Giudice highlights the changes that breweries are making to reduce their environmental footprint. Source: GreenBiz, 7/16/14

App aims to broaden the 'eEcosphere' for consumers and business
eEcosphere aims to help users discover, adopt and share actionable ideas to build a more sustainable lifestyle -- providing personally tailored tips and local resources to improve their everyday decisions. Source: GreenBiz, 7/16/14

Sharps Compliance Launches Ship-Back Recycling Program for Universal Waste
Sharps Compliance Corp. SMED 0.00% today announced an arrangement to jointly promote Veolia's RECYCLEPAK, a lighting and battery ship-back recycling program. Sharps will market this service to existing and prospective customers as a complement to Sharps' line of medical waste and unused medication management solutions. Sharps will also feature this new solution as part of its online product offerings available for purchase at: http://www.sharpsinc.com/store/universal-waste.html. Source: Wall Street Journal Market Watch, 7/15/14

Electronic Recyclers International Partners with Recycle Across America to Advance Recycling and Sustainable Manufacturing
Electronic Recyclers International (ERI), the nation's leading recycler of electronics and e-waste, announced today that it has established a partnership with Recycle Across America (RAA), a non-profit organization which has launched the society-wide standardized labeling system for recycling bins that has proven to help people recycle more and help people recycle right. The partnership will involve a sharing of resources and a multi-disciplinary collaborative rollout of cross-branding opportunities by RAA, ERI and all of ERI's subsidiary properties, including 1-800-Recycling.com, urbanmining.org and Green Is Good Radio. Source: Digital Journal, 7/15/14

Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Southwest Airlines upcycles 80,000 leather seats into bags, shoes and balls
From leather seats to tote bags and fish skin into luxury shoes, businesses are creating new value from waste streams. Source: The Guardian, 7/15/14

Five smart supply chain trends for sustainable business
From centralising information to using predictive software, companies use different techniques for adaptable supply chains. Source: The Guardian, 7/15/14

The McDonough Conversations: Who owns sustainability's best ideas?
Should individuals and companies own the breakthrough ideas that will solve the world's biggest environmental and social problems? Or are they somehow a public good, which innovators can then commercialize? Source: GreenBiz, 7/14/14

#Fail: Why CEOs and consumers are out of step on sustainability
A new global study on consumers and companies reveals a troubling disconnect on sustainability. Its findings shed much-needed light on why consumers remain both hopeful and skeptical on whether companies are truly engaged -- and what it means for business to live up to society's expectations. Source: GreenBiz, 7/15/14

Eileen Fisher Leverages Employee Values to Chart Path Toward Long-Term Sustainability
In fashion designer Eileen Fisher's world, 1,000 people are capable of making a difference. And when she says people, she means her employees -- a team committed to social consciousness that has served as a sounding board for many of the leading brand's sustainability initiatives in recent years. Source: Triple Pundit, 7/15/14

Monday, July 14, 2014
Pumping Efficiency Into Electrical Motors
University of Adelaide researchers are using new magnetic materials to develop revolutionary electrical motors and generators which promise significant energy savings. They have used the new motors to develop patented highly efficient water pump systems with potential widespread application. Source: University of Adelaide, 7/14/14

Apple's Environmental Report Reveals Major Accomplishments, More Work To Be Done
Apple's carbon footprint shrank 3 percent from 2012 to 2013. It's a modest decline, but this is the first time the tech giant has seen a year-over-year decrease in greenhouse gas emissions since it started tracking them in 2009. Despite this and other accomplishments detailed in Apple's 2014 Environmental Responsibility Report released this week, the company acknowledged it has a long way to go to reduce its environmental impact, including tackling emissions from its manufacturing partners and addressing its recent increase in water consumption. Source: Triple Pundit, 7/14/14

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