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.

Older Millennials More Cynical About Cause Marketing

Read the full story in Marketing Daily.

While Gen Y continues to expect companies to become more committed to social and environmental causes — and to share about them through social media — there has been a shift, according to new research from Cone Communications. Older Millennials 25 to 34 are increasingly questioning their ability to make a real impact, and are more skeptical about corporate-cause efforts. Only 25% of them, for example, believes that making a purchase can create a significant impact, compared with 36% of those between the ages of 18 and 24.

Food Giants Align For Climate Action

Read the full story in the Huffington Post.

A Republican, a Democrat and a bunch of major food corporations put their support behind meaningful action on climate change Thursday.

Representatives from Mars, General Mills, Unilever, Ben & Jerry’s and Nestle appeared at an event on Capitol Hill calling for strong government action on climate. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Rep. Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.) hosted the event with the sustainable business group Ceres.

Whitehouse has been a major advocate for climate action in Congress, giving weekly speeches on the subject. And Gibson recently led an effort among House Republicans to get party leadership to pay attention to the problem.

EU probes TV makers over energy efficiency test scores

Read the full story from the BBC.

The European Commission says it is “following up” two reports that raise concerns that software used in TVs may be skewing their energy rating scores.

One study indicates that some Samsung TVs nearly halve their power consumption when a standardised test is carried out.

Another accuses a different unnamed manufacturer of adjusting the brightness of its sets when they “recognise” the test film involved.

Samsung has denied any wrongdoing.

Goods manufactured in China not good for the environment, study finds

Read the full story from the University of California-Irvine.

In a study published today in the journal Nature Climate Change, scientists from three universities show that products made in China are associated with significantly higher carbon dioxide emissions than the same products made elsewhere.

DOE: New Pilot Accepting Small Business Requests to Work Closely with Labs

Small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy, accounting for three-quarters of all new jobs in this country. Today, 23 million small businesses in this country represent more than 90% of all employers, account for more than half of all private sector workers, and generate three out of every four new jobs, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Council on Small Business. These small businesses create new products, technologies, and business plans that fuel our nation’s prosperity.

To overcome the technical challenges inherent in bringing innovations to market, the Energy Department launched its Small Business Vouchers Pilot in July to help clean energy small businesses connect with national laboratories.

Starting today, small businesses can now apply to access the Department’s world-class facilities and an enterprise of more than 10,000 leading scientists and engineers at five of our national laboratories – Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory – through the pilot.

The main goal is to make national laboratory capabilities more affordable and easily accessible by small businesses. The pilot intends to accomplish this goal by focusing on essential outreach, networking, competition and review, matchmaking and voucher activities, and in general, making the whole process as small business friendly as possible by creating a single entry point ( to the labs.

Critical technology challenges presented by clean energy small businesses will be evaluated in a uniform and fair process. The technology challenges from highly ranked small businesses will be properly matched with proposed solutions and capabilities from the national labs. The Energy Department will then provide vouchers valued between $50,000 and $300,000 to complete the proposed scope of work at the national laboratory.

The vouchers are limited to specific research and development areas. These areas include: advanced manufacturing, bioenergy, buildings, fuel cells, geothermal, solar, water, wind and vehicles technologies. Both joint research and development that can generate new intellectual property, as well as technology assistance projects, are possible collaborative pursuits under the pilot. The solutions and knowledge gained through these public-private partnerships will be transferrable to other small businesses looking to advance clean energy technologies.

Learn more about the National Laboratory Impact Initiative, along with requirements  to submit a Request for Assistance (RFA), by visiting the Small Business Vouchers Pilot website. The first round of RFAs are due October 23 at 5 p.m. Eastern time. The participating labs have set up concierges to assist small businesses with questions on how to work with the labs, and to arrange introductions to the laboratories’ technical experts in clean energy areas. Two additional rounds are anticipated to be announced in February and May/June next year.

Imagine a world without waste: it’s possible with a circular economy

Read the full story in The Guardian. As Pollution Prevention Week winds down, it’s worth noting that the sustainable design strategies associated with the circular economy are also pollution prevention strategies. P2 lives within today’s sustainability movement. We just don’t call it that very often anymore.

We can remedy our planet’s problems, but only if we are willing to redesign wasteful manufacturing processes and give up our throwaway habits.