Webinar: Protecting the Pollinators: Purchasing Strategies to Protect Bees and Other Pollinators

Wed, Jul 15, 2015 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM CDT
Register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3671741382836935170

State and local governments, school districts, colleges and universities, hospitals and businesses spend millions of dollars a year on landscaping and pest management products and services.

During the past decade, many of these organizations have saved money and reduced toxic chemical use through integrated pest management (IPM). In addition, some organizations have eliminated the use of neonicotinoid pesticides (“neonics”) to protect bees and other pollinators.

On Wednesday, July 15th, Responsible Purchasing Network (RPN) and Friends of the Earth (FOE) are co-hosting “Saving the Pollinators”, a webinar on purchasing strategies government agencies, educational institutions and businesses can take to protect bees and other pollinators.

During this webinar, you will learn about: (1) the latest scientific findings about neonics and their impact on pollinators; (2) what leading organizations are doing to make their landscape and pest management efforts pollinator friendly; (3) how your organization can use its purchasing policies and practices to protect pollinators; and (4) resources available to help organizations like yours take steps to adopt pollinator friendly purchasing policies and practices.

Speakers

  • Tiffany Finck-Haynes, Food Futures Campaigner, Friends of the Earth
  • Chris Geiger, Ph.D., Toxics Use Reduction Program, San Francisco Department of the Environment
  • Rella Abernathy, Integrated Pest Management Coordinator, Boulder, Colorado
  • Ciannat Howett, Director of Sustainability Initiatives at Emory University
  • Scott Williams, Assistant VP of Quality Assurance and Environmental Stewardship for BJ’s Wholesale Club,
  • Susan Kegley, Ph.D, CEO, Pesticide Research Institute

Moderator

  • Rebecca Calahan Klein, RPN

Webinar recording: Student Affairs Leadership in Sustainable Purchasing and Event Coordination

Need ideas about going green with purchasing? Planning large events and want to be as environmentally responsible as possible? Wondering if you really can go green? Get some tips in this archived networking and learning opportunity sponsored by the Higher Education Associations Sustainability Consortium (HEASC). The online gathering featured ideas and examples of how Student Affairs units have implemented green practices in purchasing and event coordination. Hear from experts from the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council and from colleagues who’ve made green a reality in their day-to-day operations.

 

Sprint to switch to wheat straw paper in two-month sustainability trial

Read the full story in The Guardian.

In August, millions of Sprint customers will receive letters from the telecom giant that will look like ordinary pieces of white paper, but will be made from fibers from wheat fields instead of forests.

Sprint is launching a two-month pilot project to test run printing papers made primarily of wheat straw, an agricultural waste that is typically burned. The project is part of the company’s search for an alternative to using paper made of wood, which is the main source of paper material today. Doing so reduces the need for cutting down trees, an important carbon emission absorber, while cutting pollution from burning wheat straw.

Learn About the Safer Choice Label

From the web site:

For the past 15 years EPA’s label for safer chemical products has been known as the Design for the Environment, or the “DfE,” label. We spent more than a year collecting ideas and discussing new label options with stakeholders, such as product manufacturers and environmental and health advocates. Then we took our ideas to consumers and asked what worked best for them. The result is the new Safer Choice label.

Green Good Housekeeping Seal: It’s all in the data

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

There’s so much talk about Big Data nowadays that the importance of “little” data gets lost in the conversation. Yes, Big Data — large scale aggregation of thousands and even millions of data points — is vital for making predictive analytics based on patterns of behavior or preferences.  In the environmental arena, Big Data is potentially useful for addressing issues ranging from climate change to loss of forest cover.

But when it comes to determining whether a single product is “green,” the small details can make the difference.

With many companies trying to gain an edge on becoming more environmentally responsible — whether for corporate social responsibility, cost saving or marketing purposes — we thought we’d share some recommendations and observations about the data tracking and internal collaboration companies need in order to make significant environmental advances. These reflections are based on our work with products that have been considered for the Green Good Housekeeping Seal, a multi-criteria environmental evaluation that is an overlay to the 100-plus-year-old Good Housekeeping Seal.

 

EPEAT Accepting Applications for Purchaser Awards

Via the SEI Blog.

Does your organization use EPEAT to source environmentally preferable electronics? If so, consider applying for the first annual EPEAT Purchaser Awards, which recognize the efforts of those driving environmental improvements through environmentally preferable electronics purchasing. Applications are being accepted through April 6 for the 2015 EPEAT Purchaser Awards. All organizations that purchase EPEAT-registered products are eligible. Learn more and apply today at http://www.epeat.net/epeat-purchaser-awards/.

“Sustainability Leader” Badges On Walmart Products Don’t Mean Items Are Good For Environment

Read the full post at Consumerist.

If you see a product tagged with a “sustainability leaders” badge on the Walmart website, you might think this is an indication that this item is more environmentally friendly than others. And you might be correct; but you might also be mistaken. Because the truth is that this badge has virtually nothing to do with the product being advertised.

In a piece for Grist.org, co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance Stacy Mitchell cites the example of this 150′ roll of bubble wrap that is tagged with the sustainability badge.

Given the availability of more sustainable and eco-friendly packaging options, it seems odd that this particular product, which doesn’t appear to be substantially different from other bubble wraps, would be singled out for this label.

But the key to that answer lies in the full wording of the badge: “made by Sustainability Leaders.” (That’s not a typo. The actual design of the badge has “made by” in lower case.) It’s not about the product, but about the company that makes the product.