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Daily Archives: July 2, 2013

Sustainability Meets the Bottom Line

Read the full story at Ensia.

Leading corporations are beginning to integrate sustainability at the highest level of management.
 
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Posted by on July 2, 2013 in Green business

 

EPA, Commerce Launch Online Environmental Toolkit

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

The EPA and the Department of Commerce have launched an online tool to help international companies connect with US firms that provide environmental technologies and products.

The Environmental Solutions Toolkit links EPA regulations and environmental analysis to US providers of related services, providing other countries a broad perspective on the US approach to environmental issues, the agencies say. The toolkit includes a series of interactive menus, search functionality, and adaptive formatting to allow for a range of mobile uses. Users can select an environmental issue — from emissions control from large marine diesel engines to mercury emissions control from power plants — and view related EPA rules, solutions and US service providers.

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2013 in Green business, Web resources

 

Multiple Universities Sign the Green Chemistry Commitment

Read the full story in Environmental Protection.

Twelve colleges and universities that are initial signers of the Green Chemistry Commitment, making them part of the first national effort to transform university chemistry education. The Green Chemistry Commitment (GCC) is a consortium of universities and industry partners designed to create systemic and lasting change in university-level chemistry education, and to increase the number of green chemists and scientists in the U.S. and the opportunities available to them in the field.

The Green Chemistry Commitment is organized by Beyond Benign, a non-profit foundation created and led by green chemistry scientist Dr. John Warner. Beyond Benign and the Green Chemistry Commitment will be presenting a session about the GCC at the 17th Annual Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference in June 2013.

As an academic and industrial field, green chemistry encourages chemists and scientists to develop safer, non-toxic, renewable chemistry and materials. A 2011 report from Pike Research forecasts that the worldwide green chemistry industry will soar to more than $100 billion by 2020 from less than $3 billion in 2011, with more than $20 billion of that growth in the U.S. The use of green chemistry will save the chemical industry more than $65.5 billion by 2020.

 

The cement industry is the most energy intensive of all manufacturing industries

Read the full story and view the statistics from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The industrial sector, which encompasses manufacturing, mining, agriculture, and construction, accounted for almost a third of total U.S. energy use in 2012. Energy-intensive manufacturing accounted for a little more than half of total industrial energy use. Although the cement industry used only one-quarter of one percent of total U.S. energy, it is the most energy-intensive of all manufacturing industries, with a share of national energy use roughly 10 times its share of the nation’s gross output of goods and services. On average, other energy intensive industries’ share of energy use is roughly twice their share of gross output. Cement is also unique in its heavy reliance on coal and petroleum coke.

 

Sustainability for the Nation: Resource Connection and Governance Linkages

Download the report.

A “sustainable society,” according to one definition, “is one that can persist over generations; one that is far-seeing enough, flexible enough, and wise enough not to undermine either its physical or its social system of support.” As the government sector works hard to ensure sufficient fresh water, food, energy, housing, health, and education for the nation without limiting resources for the future generations, it’s clear that there is no sufficient organization to deal with sustainability issues. Each federal agency appears to have a single mandate or a single area of expertise making it difficult to tackle issues such as managing the ecosystem. Key resource domains, which include water, land, energy, and nonrenewable resources, for example, are nearly-completely connected yet different agencies exist to address only one aspect of these domains.

The legendary ecologist John Muir wrote in 1911 that “when we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.” Thus, in order for the nation to be successful in sustaining its resources, “linkages” will need to be built among federal, state, and local governments; nongovernmental organizations (NGOs); and the private sector. The National Research Council (NRC) was asked by several federal agencies, foundations, and the private sector to provide guidance to the federal government on issues related to sustainability linkages. The NRC assigned the task to as committee with a wide range of expertise in government, academia, and business. The committee held public fact-finding meetings to hear from agencies and stakeholder groups; examined sustainability management examples; conducted extensive literature reviews; and more to address the issue. Sustainability for the Nation: Resource Connection and Governance Linkages is the committee’s report on the issue.

The report includes insight into high-priority areas for governance linkages, the challenges of managing connected systems, impediments to successful government linkages, and more. The report also features examples of government linkages which include Adaptive Management on the Platte River, Philadelphia’s Green Stormwater Infrastructure, and Managing Land Use in the Mojave.

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2013 in Publications, Sustainability

 

Energy Star updates Portfolio Manager for buildings

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Portfolio Manager, used by more than 9,000 hotels across the United States to benchmark their energy and water performance, is about to undergo some significant changes.

On July 10, the EPA will release a complete upgrade of the online tool. Users of the new Energy Star Portfolio Manager tool will enjoy an easier-to-use interface, more streamlined sharing tools and enhanced reporting features, according to EPA.

 

New group seeks to spearhead sustainable purchasing

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Purchasing managers who try to make sustainable choices have a lot of questions to grapple with: What paper has the least impact? What eco-label is the most important for cleaning products? How do you choose a sustainable computer?

Hoping to give purchasers guidance as well as recognize leaders, leaders in business as well as nonprofit and goverment groups are forming the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC). It will launch July 23 with a GreenBiz Group-hosted webcast.

 
 

When will your company begin accounting for nature?

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Corporate accounting may not sound like a domain that intersects neatly with environmental metrics. While this disjuncture has been historically true, it may be undergoing a 180-degree change.

The Dow Chemical Co. and other corporate decision-makers are looking at environmental metrics as important for incorporating into corporate accounting and spreadsheets. Advocates argue that this work would provide a more complete and accurate picture of the investments and flows of natural resource inputs, as well as goods and revenues from a company over time.

This more comprehensive picture of the business realities is contingent upon introduction of new metrics of how mutually dependent business, built infrastructure and natural systems are functioning today and in the future. Once the analytical approaches are developed in the coming years, this work may well become the norm for business.

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2013 in Green business

 

Lego, Motorola sign up with new Windmade product label

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

Businesses that source the majority of their power from renewable sources are being urged to carry the new WindMade label on their products to prove to customers that they back the expansion of green energy.

WindMade last week unveiled the new product label, which is a step up from the original corporate label launched in 2011.

 

Why Chicago is a winner with president’s Climate Action Plan

Read the full Op/Ed in Crain’s Chicago Business.

President Barack Obama’s Climate Action Plan is a turning point for global leadership on climate-change solutions. The president is stepping up with comprehensive executive actions to reduce carbon pollution and accelerate renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean-vehicle solutions. In the classic Chicago tradition of “what’s in it for us,” here’s why Chicago is a big winner.

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2013 in Climate change, Illinois

 
 
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