Day: February 7, 2012

Getting Beyond the Basics to Embrace the Science of Sustainability

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Sustainability has become a new dimension to supply chain competitiveness as organizations are increasingly influenced by the broader environment in which they operate. These influences impact the full range of business operations: from product design to production; from sourcing to sales channels; from regulatory reporting to recruiting.

Sustainability initiatives present a complex measurement and management challenge, but they also allow organizations to cut costs, reduce risks, drive revenues, improve their brand reputation and ensure compliance with new environmental focused regulations.

Schick Unveils a Disposable Razor Made with Recycled Plastic

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Plastic hangers, buckets and trays are being recycled to make the handles for a greener version of the Schick Xtreme3 disposable razor, which made its debut last week.

What Companies Can Learn From Cities on Climate Change

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

How might urban climate change affect business? What can business — and cities — do about it? And how might each help the other prepare for a potential threat to what’s clearly a mutually beneficial relationship?

Who better to answer the questions than Cynthia Rosenzweig, Senior Research Scientist at NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the Columbia University Earth Institute, and Adjunct Professor at New York City’s Barnard College.

The world-renowned urban climate change expert is the Co-Editor of the recently released book, Climate Change and Cities: First Assessment Report (ARC3) of the Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN) published in 2011 (Cambridge University Press). The UCCRN was hatched at the C40 Large Cities Summit in New York City in 2007, with more than 300 members from universities in cities around the world.

Tuesday Webcast for Industry: Advanced Manufacturing Partnership

Title: Tuesday Webcast for Industry: Advanced Manufacturing Partnership
Date: Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Register at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/560613344

In 2011, President Obama launched the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP). This Partnership convenes manufacturers, universities, and federal agencies to invest in the development of new technologies to help keep and create manufacturing jobs in the United States. Presenters Carrie Houtman, Senior Public Policy Manager of the Dow Chemical Company and Mike Molnar, Chief Manufacturing Officer of the National Institute of Standards and Technology will provide an overview of AMP and its objectives, as well as how the Partnership is positively impacting American manufacturers and communities. This webcast will also provide information on how participating universities are developing and sharing materials on replicable best practices for industrial energy efficiency.


EPA Releases Document on Energy Efficiency in Local Government Operations

EPA’s State and Local Climate and Energy Program has released a final version of Energy Efficiency in Local Government Operations: A Guide to Developing and Implementing Greenhouse Gas Reduction Programs (PDF) (72 pp, 5.3 MB). This guide describes how local governments can lead by example and achieve multiple benefits by improving the energy efficiency of their new, existing, and renovated facilities and their day-to-day operations. It is designed to be used by facility managers, energy and environment staff, other local government agencies, and mayors and city councils.

Readers of the guide will come away with an understanding of options to improve the energy efficiency of municipal facilities and operations, and how to motivate the private sector and other stakeholders to follow suit. Readers will also understand the steps and considerations involved in developing and implementing these energy efficiency improvements, as well as an awareness of expected investment and funding opportunities.

This document is part of the Local Government Climate and Energy Strategy Series, which is designed to help policy makers and program staff plan, implement, and evaluate cost-effective climate and energy projects that generate economic, environmental, social, and human health benefits.

Sustainable Store Concept Thrives at RISD

Read the full story from EcoRI. This is the Rhode Island equivalent of the I.D.E.A. Store.

A new student-run store at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) offers a break for cash-strapped artists and designers, as well as a boost for the environment.

2nd Life art supply sells and trades repurposed and reclaimed yarn, fabric, wood, power tools, lamps, printers, paint supplies and even bikes at its new storefront on the backside of South Main Street.

Biofuels: Network Analysis of the Literature Reveals Key Environmental and Economic Unknowns

Caroline E. Ridley, Christopher M. Clark, Stephen D. LeDuc, Britta G. Bierwagen, Brenda B. Lin, Adrea Mehl, and David A. Tobias. (2012). “Biofuels: Network Analysis of the Literature Reveals Key Environmental and Economic Unknowns.” Environmental Science and Technology 46 (3), 1309–1315. DOI: 10.1021/es2023253.

Abstract: Despite rapid growth in biofuel production worldwide, it is uncertain whether decision-makers possess sufficient information to fully evaluate the impacts of the industry and avoid unintended consequences. Doing so requires rigorous peer-reviewed data and analyses across the entire range of direct and indirect effects. To assess the coverage of scientific research, we analyzed over 1600 peer-reviewed articles published between 2000 and 2009 that addressed 23 biofuels-related topics within four thematic areas: environment and human well-being, economics, technology, and geography. Greenhouse gases, fuel production, and feedstock production were well-represented in the literature, while trade, biodiversity, and human health were not. Gaps were especially striking across topics in the Southern Hemisphere, where the greatest potential socio-economic benefits, as well as environmental damages, may co-occur. There was strong asymmetry in the connectedness of research topics; greenhouse gases articles were twice as often connected to other topics as biodiversity articles. This could undermine the ability of scientific and economic analyses to adequately evaluate impacts and avoid significant unintended consequences. At the least, our review suggests caution in this developing industry and the need to pursue more interdisciplinary research to assess complex trade-offs and feedbacks inherent to an industry with wide-reaching potential impacts.