Day: December 10, 2012

WaterSense at Work

WaterSense has developed WaterSense at Work, a compilation of water-efficiency best management practices, to help commercial and institutional facilities understand and better manage their water use, help facilities establish an effective water management program and identify projects and practices that can reduce facility water use.

New research creates carbon emission measurement standards

Read the full story at

A recent panel held at the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Fall Conference explored the findings of the hotel industry’s latest method for measuring a property’s carbon emissions.

The Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative, developed by WTTC and the International Tourism Partnership, grew out of the mutual need for hotels to be able to track and report their overall carbon footprint to corporate clients requesting them. The Initiative creates a common calculation for rooms of the footprint for rooms and meetings by measuring the total square footage of a property’s guestrooms, corridors, meeting space, back of the house and public areas.

D.C.’s proposed building codes take ‘green’ requirements to another level

Read the full story in the Washington Business Journal.

The District has released a revised set of building codes that will inexorably alter the way that new buildings are constructed and the effect those projects have on the environment.

Both the regulators and the regulated will have much to get used to, most notably an unprecedented set of green building codes that will apply to all new or substantially renovated commercial buildings larger than 10,000 square feet and multifamily residential four stories or taller. The District anticipates each project built under the new code will use 30 percent less energy than new projects under the existing regulations.

National Surveys on Energy and Environment: Public Opinion on Climate Policy Options

Download the document.

This report presents the views of American citizens on a range of issues linked to the possible development of federal and state policies intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This report responds to the evolving American debate over alternative roles that federal and state governments might play in attempting to address the issue of climate change, including specific policies that have either been enacted or remain under serious consideration in Washington, D.C. or in state capitals. The findings are drawn from a Fall 2012 telephone survey conducted under the auspices of the National Surveys on Energy and Environment (NSEE), which reflect a formal partnership between the Muhlenberg Institute of Public Opinion at Muhlenberg College and the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. This survey secured responses from 917 American citizens, drawn from all regions of the nation and comprising a statistically representative profile of the citizenry.

DOE and EPA release annual fuel economy guide with 2013 models

Read the full post at Green Car Congress.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) released the 2013 Fuel Economy Guide. The 2013 models include efficient and low-emission vehicles in a variety of classes and sizes, but notable this year is the growing availability of hybrids and the increasing number of electric vehicles.

This year, for the first time, EPA and DOE have added a second top ten list of most efficient vehicles—separating advanced technology vehicles from conventional gasoline and diesel vehicles.

The 2013 guide provides an estimated annual fuel cost for each vehicle. The estimate is calculated based on the vehicle’s miles per gallon (mpg) rating and national estimates for annual mileage and fuel prices. The online version of the guide ( allows consumers to enter their local gasoline prices and typical driving habits to receive a personalized fuel cost estimate. The 2013 guide also includes a greenhouse gas rating for each model.

5 ways the Safe Chemicals Act can benefit business

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

The Safe Chemicals Act, sponsored by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), champions the protection of consumers from the hazards of household products. While many public interest groups have hailed this legislation as an unambiguous win for consumers and a punishment for Big Chemical, the Safe Chemicals Act would actually benefit businesses in the long run by inspiring greater public confidence and by rewarding sustainability innovators.

The Safe Chemicals Act would deliver improvements all along the value chain, from large-scale chemical manufacturers to the consumer goods companies that process and package chemicals into the cleaners and personal care products sold in the supermarket aisle.

Antibiotic-Eating Bug Unearthed in Soil

Read the full story from the American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), and Soil Science Society of America.

It’s well known how bacteria exposed to antibiotics for long periods will find ways to resist the drugs—by quickly pumping them out of their cells, for instance, or modifying the compounds so they’re no longer toxic.

Now new research has uncovered another possible mechanism of antibiotic “resistance” in soil. In a paper published on Dec. 6 in the Journal of Environmental Quality, a group of Canadian and French scientists report on a soil bacterium that breaks down the common veterinary antibiotic, sulfamethazine, and uses it for growth.