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Daily Archives: October 2, 2013

How Renault’s circular thinking is driving down waste

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

The automaker is refurbishing parts and using green energy as part of its company-wide resource strategy.

 

Recycling at Work Website Offers Recycling Bin Discounts

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

Keep America Beautiful’s Recycling at Work initiative, designed to encourage businesses, organizations and institutions to increase workplace recycling, has launched a new website, RecyclingatWork.org, with a host of tools and resources including recycling bin discounts.

By taking the Recycling at Work pledge, companies can receive an exclusive 15 percent discount when ordering recycling bins from Recycle Away and Busch Systems, and can access resources such as recycling best practices, employee engagement activities and customizable promotional materials.

 

A New Way to Go: The Apps, Maps, and New Technologies that are Giving More Americans Freedom to Drive Less

Download the document.

America is in the midst of a technological revolution … and a big shift in our transportation habits.

Over the last 15 years, the Internet and mobile communications technologies have transformed the way Americans live and work. During that same period, growth in vehicle travel slowed and then stopped, with Americans today driving about as much on average as we did in 1996.

Both changes have taken place most rapidly among young Americans, who have been the earliest and most enthusiastic adopters of new technologies, as well as the new social networking tools that are the foundation of the emerging “sharing economy.” They have also been the group that has reduced its driving the most, with the average American between 16 and 34 years of age driving a startling 23 percent less in 2009 than in 2001.

Could these developments – the rapid spread of mobile, Internet-connected technologies, the emergence of social networking, and the recent decline in driving – be related? And what does the future hold?

Early evidence suggests that new innovations in technology and social networking are beginning to change America’s transportation landscape. New transportation services are providing people with an abundance of new options, helping to overcome barriers to the use of non-driving forms of transportation, and shifting the economics behind individuals’ travel choices. Collectively, they are also opening up the opportunity for more Americans to adopt “car-free” and “car-light” lifestyles with dramatically less driving.

 

Coke partners with Segway-inventor on a water purifier

Read the full story at SmartPlanet.

Coca-Cola has faced plenty of criticism over its bottled water business, and it’s been accused of creating water shortages in India because it uses so much to make its soft drinks.

But just last week, the company pledged to provide safe drinking water to 20 countries by the end of 2015. One of the ways Coke plans to do so is combine its know-how with Segway’s futurism. Businessweek reports.

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2013 in Green business, Water

 

Ikea gets into the solar business

Read the full story at SmartPlanet.

Ikea plans to sell solar panels at its U.K. big-box stores, a move aimed at meeting customer demand for the government subsidized energy source.

The Swedish retailer, known for its signature flat-pack furniture and meatballs, said the decision follows a successful pilot project at its Lakeside store east of London, reported The Guardian. The Lakeside location sells one solar photovoltaic system almost every day.

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2013 in Solar

 

Low Carbon IT Campaign — Power Management Pledge

The ENERGY STAR Low Carbon IT Campaign is a nationwide effort to assist and recognize organizations for reducing the energy consumed by their IT equipment. Your pledge helps US EPA evaluate its efforts and improve the campaign. The information you provide will not be shared beyond the ENERGY STAR program. In return for your pledge, you will have access to a number of free resources.

Note that your pledge application may not be accepted until after the government shutdown ends. Other online tools and applications on the ENERGY STAR web site are also currently unavailable.

 

Announcing the Nonprofit Explorer API

Via ProPublica.

We launched our Nonprofit Explorer app in May, combining several IRS open data sets to create an easy-to-use tool for journalists and others who want to research nonprofit groups. Today we’re releasing an update to Nonprofit Explorer, with two new features: First, we now include data for organizations that reported finances on Form 990-PF. That means nearly 100,000 private foundations and charitable trusts are now included in the Nonprofit Explorer database.

Today’s update also includes a free-to-use API that developers can use to access the data behind Nonprofit Explorer programmatically. Developers can use the API to enhance or build their own reporting tools and apps. The API includes endpoints for organization profiles and for full-text search. It returns all of the data we have in our database on a given organization, including dozens of form-specific fields even information that isn’t displayed on the public-facing Nonprofit Explorer website. The API also returns links to all available Form 990 PDF files (as provided by Public.Resource.Org). Our API is available for free as long as you follow our simple Data Terms of Use.

We expect to update the Nonprofit Explorer database each spring, when the Annual Extract of Tax-Exempt Organization Financial Data is released by the IRS.

We’re excited to open this database to other developers. See the documentation for more information and let us know what you’re building with it. We’d love to see what you make.

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2013 in Statistics/Data sets, Web resources

 

10 ways to detect true green design in tech

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

More electronics companies are pitching their products as being green. The products are touted as being smaller, having more functions than previous generations, and made without lead or cadmium. But how can you tell if these claims are valid?

Have the electronics companies actually trained their product-launch teams in leading Design for Environment principles? Have they embedded competitive-level DfE in all of their products? Or are their products simply following Moore’s Law for greater computing power in more efficient packages? Are they just compliant with mandated law?

Here are 10 ways to detect whether the products you’re considering buying — or those your company is selling — are the real deal when it comes to Design for Environment.

 

Why sustainability indexes miss the mark

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

The U.N. Global Compact recently launched the Global Compact 100, its first index comprised of multi-sector companies ranked for their adherence to its 10 principles, which include human rights, labor standards and environmental stewardship.

Initial back-tested performance shows a neutral or positive correlation to financial performance: The GC 100 outperformed the FTSE All World index over the past two years, illustrating the potential for a sustainability-screened group of stocks to outperform the market.

While there are more 1,000 publicly traded signatories to the U.N. Global Compact, the GC 100 was created from a representative sample of slightly more than 700 companies for which environmental, social and governance (ESG) information was gathered by Sustainalytics, the U.N. Global Compact’s partner for the index.

The GC 100 includes companies long appreciated by sustainable shareholders, such as Ericsson, Hewlett Packard, Johnson Controls, Novo Nordisk and Electrolux. But there are some surprises, such as companies in sectors that include oil — even tar sands — natural gas, mining, petrochemicals, automotive and airline sectors, as well as companies with significant military contracts, such as General Electric.

If these are the best representatives of where the U.N. wants the global economy to go, let’s just say, for the record, that this is unacceptable.

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2013 in Green business

 

EPA to be hit hard in shutdown, could delay renewable fuel standard

Read the full story at Planet Ark.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will take one of the biggest hits of any federal agency if the government shuts down this week, operating with under 7 percent of its employees, according to guidance issued by the agency.

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2013 in U.S. EPA

 
 
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