The Food-Energy-Water Nexus Conference: 16th National Conference and Global Forum on Science, Policy, and the Environment

January 19-12, 2016
Hyatt Regency Crystal City, Washington DC National AirportFor more information:

Addressing the interconnected systems involving food, water and energy is critical to achieving solutions to one of the most pressing issues facing our planet. The conference will address how to provide food, energy and water for a population of 9 billion by mid-century without overwhelming our environment. Join over 1,000 leaders in science, technology, government, business, civil society, and education to create strategies and initiatives that move policy into practice and transform ideas into action.

EDF’s Kate Zerrenner on the Energy-Water Nexus

The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center has an interview with the EDF’s Kate Zerrenner about the relationship between energy, water, and climate change. Zerrenner will be a speaker at the upcoming Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Awards Ceremony in Chicago.

Climate Week NYC recorded presentations

Following a week of 120+ events across New York City, The Climate Group hosted the Climate Week NYC 2015 Signature Event, Securing a Paris Dividend: Leadership and innovation for a strong, sustainable economy. The recordings from that event are now available at

Preempting the Public Interest: How TTIP Will Limit US States’ Public Health and Environmental Protections

Download the document.

This report details how EU proposals for the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) would usurp US states’ authority to regulate toxic chemicals. These proposals would not only curtail states’ efforts to protect the public from toxic exposure, but also threaten any State regulations in the public interest that exceed federal standards.

Warning of dangers to health, environment, UN experts urge phase-out of hazardous pesticides

Read the full story from the United Nations.

Two independent United Nations human rights experts today called for an immediate worldwide phase-out on use of highly hazardous pesticides that are inflicting significant damage on human health and the environment.

Target Expands Sustainable Product Index to Include 1,000+ Toxic Chemicals

Read the full story at Sustainable Brands.

Target has improved its sustainable product standard by beginning to test category-specific criteria and consider more toxic chemicals. The retailer’s Sustainable Product Index evaluates products based on a points system and the highest-scoring options are promoted under its “Made to Matter” banner.

From incremental to fundamental substitution in chemical alternatives assessment

Peter Fantke, Roland Weber, Martin Scheringer. (2015). “From incremental to fundamental substitution in chemical alternatives assessment.” Sustainable Chemistry and Pharmacy, online ahead of print. Online at (subscription required — if you are unable to access the full article, contact your local library for assistance).

Abstract: Several chemicals in consumer products are subject to binding or voluntary phase-out agreements that are based on international treaties such as the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants or on regulatory frameworks such as the European Union’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH). To facilitate a phase-out process, alternatives assessment is commonly applied as an emerging approach to identifying chemicals (or materials, processes, and behavior changes) serving as substitutes. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), long-chain poly- and perfluorinated alkyl substances (PFASs), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are well-known cases of chemicals where substitution processes can be studied. Currently, there are various challenges in assessing, evaluating and effectively introducing chemical alternatives. These challenges are mainly related to similarity in chemical structures and, hence, similar hazard profiles between phase-out and substitute chemicals, leading to a rather incremental than fundamental substitution. A hampered phase-out process, the lack of implementing Green Chemistry principles in chemicals design, and lack of Sustainable Chemistry aspects in industrial processes design constitute additional challenges. We illustrate the various challenges in the process of phasing out and successfully substituting hazardous chemicals in consumer products and provide guiding principles for addressing these challenges. We propose an integrated approach of all stakeholders involved toward more fundamental and function-based substitution by greener and more sustainable alternatives. Our recommendations finally constitute a starting point for identifying further research needs and for improving current alternatives assessment practice.