Day: December 17, 2012

How to create less waste during the holidays

Read the full post at Mother Nature Network.

From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, household waste increases by more than 25 percent, and this extra trash — mostly food, shopping bags, product packaging and wrapping paper — adds up to an additional 1 million tons of waste a week that’s sent to U.S. landfills, according to the EPA. Luckily, there are many steps you can take that will help you reduce your holiday trash — and even save some cash.

Energy Dept. Funds UW Project to Turn Wasted Natural Gas Into Diesel

Read the full story from the University of Washington.

The U.S. Department of Energy this month awarded a group led by the University of Washington $4 million to develop bacteria that can turn the methane in natural gas into diesel fuel for transportation.

Dock spotted off WA coast

This story is blowing my mind. Read it in Marine Debris Blog.

Federal, state, and local officials are working to locate a large dock reportedly floating off the coast of Washington. The dock, similar in appearance to one that washed ashore in Oregon last June, has not been seen since it was initially reported by fishermen last Friday. The structure is suspected to be debris from the March 2011 tsunami in Japan.

A large structure is spotted off the coast of Washington. Photo courtesy U.S. Coast Guard Sector Columbia River.

A large structure is spotted off the coast of Washington. Photo courtesy U.S. Coast Guard Sector Columbia River.

Hacking away at the sustainable meat industry

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

What role can technology play in helping food companies and grocery stories procure more pork chops, steaks and ribs produced by ranchers and farmers adhering to sustainable and organic business practices?

That was the central question posed by the first ever “Meat Hackathon” (MeatHack) held Dec. 7-9 in New York City.

How will ecosystem services affect corporate decision-making?

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

In January 2012, a potentially significant shift occurred for corporate decision-makers: Companies seeking financing from the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation, as well as from 76 global banks that signed on to the Equator Principles, became subject to due diligence processes that examine corporate impacts and dependencies on ecosystem services. This occurred even as more than 16 national and regional governments continued to focus on ways to integrate ecosystem services into public policy. With small-scale exploratory work underway for several years, corporate applications covered the spectrum — from integration of ecosystem services into accounting to consideration of the issues as an element in risk-management and impact-assessment protocols.

Though few corporate decision-makers have heard of ecosystem services, the decades-old concept is now drawing significant attention to the natural infrastructure from which all natural resource-based goods and services flow and upon which all business and society relies.

But what’s next in terms of new corporate performance requirements related to ecosystem services? And what are the implications for companies?

How AT&T developed a scorecard to monitor water and energy use

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Editor’s note: This interview excerpt is adapted from “Making Data Visible So You Can Act On It,” an article originally published Dec. 11, 2012 by MIT Sloan Management Review. It is reprinted with permission.

As part of AT&T’s corporate sustainability group, John Schulz works closely with several business units on integrating sustainability into their operations. He talks with MIT Sloan Management Review about managing water and energy use, and how AT&T frames sustainability in a business case.

Enter the March Madness tournament for college sustainability

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

GreenBiz Group and Qualtrics are partnering with with Enviance to present the second annual Environmental March Madness tournament, which will evaluate the academic programs and sustainability practices at dozens of universities around the country. Enviance is a leading provider of environmental ERP software, with more than 17,000 users in 49 countries.

Schools interested in submitting for the tournament can find the complete list of questions here and can begin the process of filling out the Qualtrics-hosted survey here. The deadline to submit is January 14, 2013. Student essays, department videos and images, and other supporting information will be collected beginning February 4, after the “Sustainable 16” are announced.