CleanMed 2012

Dates: April 30-May 2, 2012
Location: Denver, CO
For more information and to register:

CleanMed is the premiere national environmental conference for leaders in health care sustainability. It’s the one place where health care innovators like you connect to open their minds to new ideas, actively engage with each other, and find innovative ways to inspire their organizations.

  • Discover new approaches for today’s complex health care sustainability issues
  • Network with colleagues who face the same environmental concerns
  • Attend education sessions with practical takeaways
  • See unparalleled exhibits in the expo hall

Keeping climate change on regional agendas despite public apathy

Read the full story in Great Lakes Echo.

While environmental organizations and agencies try to bring attention to climate change in the Great Lakes region, the public apparently doesn’t care much about it.

Two weeks ago, a Pew survey showed global warming ranking last among public priorities.

That comes as the National Wildlife Federation and EcoAdapt release a climate-driven guide for Great Lakes restoration. It draws from peer-reviewed science and summarizes what’s happening with the region’s changing climate, including: warmer temperatures and increased precipitation, and environmental effects like more sedimentation, spreading of invasive species, decreased wetlands and evolving vegetation.

Planting with printers: Chicago man recycles paper with electronic forestry

Read the full story from Great Lakes Echo.

In his spare time Chicago resident Joe Miller runs what may be the coolest eco-friendly company with the coolest name ever.

Print-A-Forest makes a free computer software that turns your routine printing projects into a plant-a-tree fundraiser. By getting a small message from plant-a-tree sponsors across the bottom of your printed pages, you pay for planting trees.

Activists Fight Green Projects, Seeing U.N. Plot

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Across the country, activists with ties to the Tea Party are railing against all sorts of local and state efforts to control sprawl and conserve energy. They brand government action for things like expanding public transportation routes and preserving open space as part of a United Nations-led conspiracy to deny property rights and herd citizens toward cities.

See also today’s statement from ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, which states that “attacks on common-sense local planning must not deter cities and counties from efforts to improve health, prosperity, and livability; now is time for increased dialogue on local priorities.”

2012 Source Reduction Assistance Grant Program solicitation now available

Proposals due: Tuesday, April 10, 2012, 11:59 pm (EDT)
Link to full solicitation:

This Request for Proposals announces that EPA’s Regional Pollution Prevention Program Offices (herein referred to as the Regions) anticipate having up to $147,000 per region or up to $1,470,000 in total award funding to issue Source Reduction Assistance (SRA) awards in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 to support pollution prevention (P2)/source reduction projects activities that will begin in FY 2013. The Regions will issue the awards in the form of grants and/or cooperative agreements. Award selection, funding and grant oversight will be managed by the Regions.

SRA awards are issued annually by the Regions, subject to Congressional appropriation and the quality of proposals received. The purpose of the program is to support environmental projects that reduce or eliminate pollution at the source. Collectively, the Regions are interested in funding proposals that support the P2 program’s strategic goals – reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs), reduce toxic and hazardous materials, increase resource conservation, promote efficient business practices and support P2 integration. However, independently, each Region has developed a set of P2 related priorities (refer to Section I.C) that address specific areas of interest applicable to the Region. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit proposals that demonstrate new, innovative techniques, surveys, or studies that use research, investigations, experiments, and/or training to promote P2/source reduction efforts. Proposals that principally support recycling, clean-up, treatment, disposal and/or energy recovery activities will not be considered for funding.

Regional Priorities

The priorities are provided to highlight specific environmental issues/projects/programs of interest to each Region. At least one or more of the priorities listed must be addressed in the applicant’s work plan. When the applicant determines which priority to address in their work plan, the applicant should make sure to incorporate a method for applying the priority by means of using research, investigation, experimentation, training, surveys, studies, or demonstrations of new or innovative P2 techniques. Work plans that involve more than one Region will not be considered for funding.

Region 1 (CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT)

  • Sector-Based Pollution Prevention efforts (e.g., hospitality, golf courses, grocery stores, autobody and auto repair, healthcare) that will lead to long-term sustainable environmental results.
  • Projects that help states, tribes, local governments and/or businesses manage materials in a more sustainable way and which include an emphasis on source reduction and related measurable environmental outcomes.
  • Projects that develop or strengthen collaborations among assistance providers (e.g., a multi-state or regional approach to the grocery store sector, a region-wide initiative on another multi-state priority area of concern) and include projected environmental outcomes in pounds of hazardous materials reduced, CO2 reduced, gallons of water saved or dollars saved.

Region 2 (NJ, NY, PR, VI)

  • Promote projects that prevent pollution through the use of sustainability (e.g., green chemistry/engineering), and achieve measurable results in reducing greenhouse gases, hazardous materials, conserving water or saving money.
  • Promote projects that address the above criteria and focus on the hospitality and manufacturing sectors; and/or in the geographical areas of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Region 3 (DE, DC, MD, PA, VA, WV)

  • Promote sustainable manufacturing through collaborative efforts with partners including communities, manufacturers, utility companies, and states. Possible federal partners include EPA’s Green Suppliers Network, Department of Energy’s Industrial Technologies Program, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnerships, Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration, and the Small Business Development Program. Of particular interest are proposals to implement the Economy, Energy and Environment (E3) initiative by combining Lean/Green reviews and Greenhouse Gas evaluations.

Region 4 (AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN)

  • Promote P2 using lean and green (refer to ) initiatives by encouraging industries, utilities, municipalities and other institutions to reduce pounds of pollution, conserve water and/or energy, reduce greenhouse gases, and save money. Provide technical assistance and P2 expertise to Economy, Energy and Environment (E3) projects to enable businesses to lean and green their operations.
  • Implement P2 projects focusing on the hospitality sector (e.g., green lodging, green venues).
  • Implement P2 projects for green building and/or construction sectors focusing on reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency and water conservation. Projects that will not be considered under this topic area include those that seek to use funds for equipment and supplies that will be used to retrofit buildings (e.g., changing out lighting, windows etc.) or building systems upgrades.

Region 5 (IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI)

  • Projects that prevent pollution in the hospitality (e.g., hotels, venues, restaurants), health care, and sports sectors through the use of environmentally sustainable tools, processes, practices and/or programs.
  • Promote geographically-based projects that support sustainable manufacturing through the use of pollution prevention. These projects must make use of networks such as Economy, Energy, and Environment (E3) partnerships or other local collaborations to provide technical assistance to the sector.
  • Promote tribal college/university-based technical assistance programs that assist tribal facilities in preventing pollution through the use of tools that promote environmentally-sustainable processes, practices and/or programs.

Region 6 (AR, LA, NM, OK, TX)

  • Promote projects in environmental justice communities with information and/or training on how to live greener, healthier lives, while living within their means.
  • Promote projects that use P2/source reduction techniques and strategies for businesses, government and consumers (e.g., energy efficiency, Lean and Green techniques) and achieve measurable results by reducing pollution and hazardous waste, limiting water use, saving money and/or conserving energy, e.g., through telework, commuter solutions, etc.
  • Promote P2 results in high impact sectors/fields such as entertainment (sports, hospitality, parks), petrochemicals, resource extraction, government and military installations, agriculture and consumer consumption.
  • Promote development and implementation of measurement methods that exceed national standards.
  • Promote P2 integration in emerging environmental challenges, e.g., drought, weather variability, peak demand, etc.
  • Promote scalable demonstration projects that help states, tribes, local governments and businesses manage materials in a more sustainable way with an emphasis on source reduction.

Region 7 (IA, KS, MO, NE)

The Region has chosen priorities that are designed to improve performance by extending current capabilities and experiences. The two-part goal of the Region 7 P2 program is to: 1) improve and increase the use of sustainable practices by businesses and industry and 2) expand P2 education in Region 7. This builds upon historic efforts to build programmatic and industrial capacity to achieve even greater environmental outcomes. The Region anticipates the technical assistance providers will have significant contributions, facilitating powerful numeric outcomes (defined below) and/or innovating strategic efforts to enable institutions to produce a workforce that is more able to achieve those powerful numeric environmental outcomes that are indicators of a more healthy and sustainable community.

Region 7 designates two defined priorities that are to be achieved within three years (by FY 2015). The first objective is numeric. The second objective is programmatic capacity.

  • By 2015, Region 7 through its P2 technical assistance programs proposes to achieve the following numeric environmental outcomes:
    • Reduce carbon dioxide equivalents by 20 million metric tons,
    • Conserve 1 billion gallons of water,
    • Eliminate 1 million pounds of toxics, and
    • Implement savings of $20,000,000 (including both direct and indirect savings)

Consistent with the proposed scoring rubric, Region 7 will assess forecast reliability to achieve implemented environmental outcomes relative to reductions in carbon dioxide equivalents, water consumption and toxic loads, as well as an increase in direct savings. The assessment will measure past ability to forecast implemented outcomes. The assessment acknowledges that programs without experience will have a neutral standing.

  • By 2015, Region 7 educational institutions will have programs that teach the practice of P2. The programmatic capacity objective builds upon a consistent strength in the Region to develop educational programs to produce P2 professionals. The Region will support the development and implementation of rigorous, appropriate P2 curricula for post-secondary education, including continuing education. It is expected that programs could range from vocational-technical training to continuing education for licensed professionals. Such curricula should lead to the accomplishment of an accredited certificate or post-secondary education degree that substantially integrates P2 precepts.

Region 8 (CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY)

  • Promote partnerships and technical assistance efforts to support EPA’s Economy, Energy and Environment (E3) initiative by testing the approach in manufacturing and agriculture. Assessments and training opportunities will emphasize the following:
    • energy efficiency,
    • hazardous materials reduction,
    • carbon emissions reduction, and
    • sustainable practices and growth.

Region 9 (AZ, CA, HI, NV, AS, GU)

The Region is seeking proposals for projects that can lead to or result in significant marketplace change by addressing demand for or supply of sustainable goods and services. Specifically, proposals should address one or more of the following Regional priorities:

  • Promote market transformation and product redesign through implementing green chemistry approaches and improving public access to and transparency of information on chemicals in products.
  • Promote source reduction projects that demonstrate innovative, scalable approaches for addressing Region 9’s sector priorities:
    • electronics design for the environment,
    • hospitality sector including lodging and sports venues, and/or
    • sources of marine debris including packaging
  • Promote scalable demonstration projects to improve environmentally preferable purchasing of products and services by states, tribes, and local governments; other large institutions; and consumers, with a focus on the sectors mentioned above. Projects will make it easier for other states, tribes, local governments and institutions to buy greener products.
  • Promote projects that develop and implement a financially self-sustaining on-site P2 technical assistance program for manufacturers to support EPA’s Economy, Energy and Environment (E3) partnerships.
  • Promote scalable demonstration projects that help states, tribes, local governments and businesses manage materials in a more sustainable way with an emphasis on source reduction

Region 10 (AK, ID, OR, WA)

  • Promote technical assistance provider programs/networks in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington that assist businesses in preventing and reducing air, water, waste and greenhouse gas emissions at the source.
  • Promote lean and the environment and/or Economy, Energy and Environment (E3) programs in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, to achieve P2 outcomes.

Financing Stormwater Retrofits in Philadelphia and Beyond

Download the report.

Using cost and financial return data based on a prototypical stormwater retrofit project in Philadelphia, this paper presents cash flow models for three financing scenarios: financing entirely with equity from the property owner, traditional commercial lending, and off-balance sheet “project developer” financing. (The latter two models are also generally representative of cash flows associated with PACE and on-bill financing.) These models illustrate how a property owner financing her own retrofit would realize a relatively unattractive return as compared with other financing alternatives. Traditional debt improves the rate of return for the property owner, but the best rate of return is demonstrated by the third-party project developer model, where the building owner is cash flow positive from day one and the project developer realizes a return of 20.5 percent on its investment.

To date, the authors are aware of firms that can perform the “project developer” role in the energy efficiency  sphere, but are not aware of any firms that currently do so for stormwater retrofits. Similarly, while there are existing PACE and on-bill financing programs in operation for energy efficiency retrofits, there are no such existing programs for stormwater retrofits.

Accordingly, this paper concludes by offering recommendations for how a range of public and private actors—including municipalities and stormwater utilities, private firms, and state governments—can actively promote private investment in stormwater retrofits.

Successful examples of private sector investment in stormwater retrofits are critically needed, as cities nationwide are seeking cost-effective alternatives that leverage private dollars to complement necessary public investments in stormwater infrastructure. Philadelphia is a prime candidate to be an early adopter city. By doing so, it could catalyze a broader, perhaps national, market for private third-party investment in stormwater retrofits.

To Help Make Sure Your Home Is Healthy, an Ingredients List

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Peter Syrett, an architect, and Chris Youssef, an interior designer, believe that building materials should be labeled, just like cereal boxes and soup cans, so consumers can avoid ingredients that might be harmful. With the backing of their employer, the global architecture firm Perkins + Will, they have created a database linking common forms of flooring, lumber, wiring, pipes and other construction materials to government warnings about the substances contained in them.

The database, available at, grew out of research that began when the two men were designing a cancer center at Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn, and wanted to make sure it was free of known and suspected carcinogens. Before they could judge the safety of various products, they had to know what those products were made of — information that wasn’t readily available. They began gathering data every way they could, continuing after the cancer center opened in 2003, and after their longtime employer, Guenther 5 Architects, was acquired by Perkins + Will in 2008. To their relief, Mr. Syrett said, the larger firm is equally determined to deliver healthy buildings.

Intended for architects and designers, the database can also be used by nonprofessionals, including anyone shopping for home-improvement products. Recently, the men sat down in front of a display of kitchen counters at a Home Depot near Mr. Syrett’s house in Brooklyn to talk about their work.