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Daily Archives: July 25, 2013

How Canada’s largest city is trying to cut down on its greenhouse gas emissions

Read the full post at Global Toronto.

Toronto has been extremely successful in lowering its greenhouse gas emissions. In 2007, the city adopted the Kyoto Protocol to set goals of its own, specifically, reducing emissions to 1990 levels. A recent report from the city stated that Toronto had reduced its emissions in 2012 by 15 per cent — far ahead of its 6 per cent target.

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2013 in Climate change, Local government

 

House subcommittee approves deep cuts to funding for Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

On Tuesday, the House Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Subcommittee voted to cut FY 2014 funding to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative by nearly 80%, from $285 million to $60 million. A coalition of six House members is working to restore the cuts.

According to the Oakland Press:

The subcommittee rollbacks are part of a broader spending bill that would implement the second year of “sequestration” cuts required after Congress failed to agree on a 2013 budget. The House Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Subcommittee has now sent the measure to the full Appropriations Committee.

 

Delaware Just Made It A Whole Lot Easier For Socially Responsible Companies To Exist

Read the full story at FastCoExist.

On July 17th, Delaware became the 19th state to sign benefit corporation legislation–a move that will make a big difference for triple bottom line entrepreneurs across the country.

For years, companies that want to make money and still do good in the world have had the opportunity to become Certified B Corporations–a status that indicates they have met a rigorous set of standards laid out by B Lab, the organization behind B Corp certification. At the same time, B Lab has worked with entrepreneurs and investors across the country to enact benefit corporation legislation, which supports social entrepreneurs on a legal level. If an organization chooses to become a public benefit corporation, it is required to consider environmental and social impact along with shareholder value (benefit corporations don’t necessarily need to be Certified B Corporations, however). On the flip side, shareholders can’t sue the company if it doesn’t maximize immediate profits, and instead focuses on more long-term gains.

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2013 in Green business

 

NWSC Named “Green” Data Center of the Year

Read the full story from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The press release includes details about the building’s green features.

The NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center (NWSC) has been named the 2013 “‘Green’ Data Center of the Year” at the inaugural Datacenter Dynamics North American Awards.

 

 

Sprouting From Appalachia’s Coal Country, A Mini-Sustainable Revolution

Read the full story at FastCoExist.

In an area where “green” is a dirty word, Sustainable Williamson is trying to create a new clean economy not by supplanting fossil fuels, but by working with them.

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2013 in Local initiatives

 

Marines push to front lines in renewable energy innovation

Read the full story at Yale Environment360.

A backpack that generates electricity? A vest that cools you in a hot tent? As the U.S. military looks to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, the Marine Corps is leading the way with cutting-edge technology and innovative devices.

 

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2013 in Environment

 

Better Building Challenge Helps Los Angeles Track Energy Use

Read the full story in Governing.

Los Angeles wants to slash energy consumption by 20 percent across 30 million square feet of commercial structures by 2020. But acquiring power usage data from all the buildings to evaluate progress hasn’t been an easy task for city officials.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) doesn’t have the capability to transmit its data in an automated fashion, which impedes the timely collection and aggregation of the usage data, according to Dave Hodgins, executive director of the Los Angeles Better Building Challenge (LABBC).

To solve that problem, LABBC has the task of extracting the energy consumption data from dozens of buildings for evaluation and monitoring. LABBC is part of an initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy to reduce energy consumption in existing buildings, from retrofitting city-owned facilities and affordable housing units, to working with the private sector to finance energy and water efficiency upgrades in commercial buildings.

 

18 things climate change may ruin, from allergies to wine

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

The evidence from real-world observations, sophisticated computer models and research in hundreds of fields continues to pile up. Human-caused climate change already is occurring and will continue to get worse as greenhouse-gas concentrations continue to rise.

Because the climate is connected to every major geophysical, chemical and biological system on the planet, it should not be surprising that we are learning more about the potential implications of these changes for a remarkably wide range of things. And while it is certainly possible – even likely – that climate changes may positively affect some things (such as modestly reducing heating bills in colder regions), the planet’s ecosystems and human-built systems have evolved and been built around yesterday’s climatic conditions, not tomorrow’s. Overall, the evidence suggests the bad consequences will greatly – perhaps massively – outweigh the good.

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2013 in Climate change

 

Bad trade, toxic chemicals and climate change: What you can do

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

From issues as big as tackling the effects of climate change to relatively smaller-scale ones like creating safer chemicals, responsible and sustainably-focused business owners have an essential role to play in voicing their opinions to policy makers.

Here are three of the latest policy issues the American Sustainable Business Council is working on, and how like-minded businesses can get involved.

 

Universities’ Sustainability Initiatives Save Money, Resources

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

The University of Toronto uses solar panels to heat water for athletes’ showers and McGill University imposes a student fee of 50 Canadian cents per credit that is matched by the university for its Sustainability Projects Fund.

These are two examples of how Canadian campuses are integrating sustainability into university policy and study life, the New York Times reports.

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2013 in Colleges and universities

 
 
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