How She Leads: Kathleen Shaver, Cisco

Read the full interview at GreenBiz.

Kathleen Shaver started her undergraduate degree with the idea of working on Capitol Hill.

She has the public policy credentials to prove it, including a master’s degree in environmental health science from the University of Oklahoma and a bachelor of arts in interdisciplinary studies from American University.

“When I came out of school in the late ’80s, sustainability was just emerging as a concept,” she told GreenBiz. “It was pollution prevention and environmental compliance. I came up through the public health community, started out working in law firms, and I really kind of realized that I liked what I did more than what lawyers did.”

Since that time, Shaver has held roles in both the private and public sector, including director-level positions at AlliedSignal, Honeywell and Mattel, where she was instrumental in shaping the toymaker’s deforestation strategy. Two years ago, Shaver made the jump to Cisco as director of supply chain sustainability, risk management, compliance and security. Not a small job, yet she’s also taken on another important new role, as chairwoman of the Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition.

GreenBiz spoke with Shaver about making the leap to high tech, the two mentors who helped shape her thinking and why she’s excited about influencing Cisco employees who don’t have sustainability in their title. The discussion was edited for length and clarity.

EPA app targets mobile algae forecasting

Read the full post at Great Lakes Echo.

It might not be as addictive as Candy Crush, but a new EPA app could have big implications for water management and the people who drink, swim or fish within the Great Lakes.

The yet-unnamed app will detect blooms of cyanobacteria – a photosynthetic microbe often mistaken for algae and responsible for water quality headaches that particularly affect Lake Erie supplies.

Texas teenager creates $20 water purifier to tackle toxic e-waste pollution

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Consumer electronics, including computers and mobiles, are leaving a legacy of toxic waste in countries including China and India. Recycling factories across Asia are recovering e-waste exported from around the world, but discharging heavy metals and chemicals into local water supplies in the process.

How to safeguard drinking water for local residents is an ongoing battle, with existing solutions such as chlorination, distillation, boiling and high-tech filtration prohibitively expensive and often reliant on fossil fuels.

Now a new filtering device, invented by a US teenager, could provide a cheap and easy way to purify water.

Groundwater Foundation launches 30 by 30 water tracking app

Did you know the average American uses 100 gallons of water every day?  Learn how to reduce your water usage by 30 gallons a day with 30 by 30!

30 by 30 is a fun, free water-tracking app for Android and Apple devices from The Groundwater Foundation.  Track your direct water usage, learn how to use less water, and see your monthly water usage.  30 by 30 makes tracking your daily water usage simple; the app calculates how much water you use, simply choose an activity!  Log your water use every day and receive fun, easy tips on how you can do even better at conserving water and share your achievements on Facebook and Twitter!

Illini Gadget Garage will provide a space to repair electronics on University of Illinois campus

Read the full story from the University of Illinois.

You’ve dropped your cellphone and cracked the screen. Or your computer needs a memory upgrade, the headphone jack no longer works or the hard drive has failed.

You’ve had the electronics for several years, and you could just buy the latest device with the newest features.

Or you could fix the one you have. If repairing an electronic device yourself sounds prohibitively complex and you aren’t sure where to start, help will soon be available on the University of Illinois campus.

The Illini Gadget Garage will open this semester. It will be a place for collaborative repair, modeled after the Campus Bike Center, only for electronics.

Tracing conflict minerals proves elusive — and expensive

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

The clock for corporates looking to get a handle on supply chain conflict minerals is starting to tick much louder.

With just one year to go before stricter reporting is required by the Securities and Exchange Commission, many companies are still struggling to trace their sources for metals such as gold, tungsten, tantalum and tin, according to an analysis of reports submitted for the most recent reporting period.

At the Core of Sustainable Electronics

Read the full post at Environmental Leader.

There’s rightfully much ado about the climate — from extreme weather events, severe droughts and water crises to fossil fuels and the race to renewables. However, there’s far too little talk about electronics and their role in environmental ecosystems.