Day: September 4, 2012

Ecover forms green cleaning global player with Method

Read the full story in The Grocer.

Ecover has acquired San Francisco-based eco-friendly cleaning brand Method.

It said the tie-up would create the world’s largest green cleaning company, with collective sales of more than $US200m (£126m) and 300 staff.

Both will continue as separate brands but will work together on innovation and R&D to attract new consumers into the green cleaning and personal care market.

The combined product range and global distribution reach would ensure that there was a worldwide platform for both brands, Ecover said.

Tuesday Webcast for Industry: How to Become a Certified Practitioner and Certified Energy Manager

Date: Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Time: 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT
Register at

The American National Standards Institute developed two accredited Certified Practitioner tracks to help industrial personnel assess opportunities for improved energy efficiency. The first track, Certified Practitioners in Energy Management Systems, prepares individuals to assist industrial personnel in the implementation of ISO 50001. The second track, Certified Practitioners in (specific) Systems, trains individuals to conduct system-specific assessments and identify opportunities for continuous energy improvement. In addition, the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) offers the distinguished Certified Energy Manager designation, which recognizes professionals who demonstrate exceptional experience, aptitude, proficiency, and ethical awareness in the field. This webcast, featuring Angela Gilleland, Instructional Technology Specialist of the Georgia Institute of Technology; Rachel Howenstine, Operations Manager of the Institute for Energy Management Professionals; and Eric Woodroof on behalf of AEE, will provide an overview of each certification and offer guidance for achieving those designations.

Can Walmart, Best Buy and Shell finally kill paper receipts?

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

The latest salvo has been fired against the ubiquitous paper receipts, which are clogging up utility drawers everywhere.

Thanks to a massive push by a plethora of corporations hoping to move retail and food transactions through our electronic devices, paper is beginning to seem passé.

Recently a collection of big-gun corporations came together to form a for-profit company designed to capture the consumer’s mobile wallet. Merchant Customer Exchange is hoping to move to the center stage in creating a standard form of electronic smartphone payment.

Besides Wal-Mart, Shell and Target, there’s a host of others retailers that make up the company, including Lowe’s, CVS, 7-11 and Best Buy. MCX said in a press release that it expects many more to join the bandwagon.

Green Biz on the 50th anniversary of Silent Spring

GreenBiz has three pieces on the 50th anniversary of Silent Spring, Rachel Carson’s classic look at the chemical industry’s effects on nature and ecosystems. They are:

Upcoming Climate and Energy Webcasts for State and Local Governments

EPA Webcasts

September 5, 2:00-3:00 PM (EDT) – School Siting
Sponsored by EPA’s Office of Sustainable Communities and the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools Program, this webcast will discuss EPA’s voluntary school siting guidelines, which can help local school districts and community members evaluate environmental factors to make the best possible school siting decisions. The webcast will focus on how the location of a school affects how students get to it, and how school siting and design influence traffic congestion, air pollution, school transportation budgets, and children’s health and obesity. Presenter Tina Torma is deputy director of EPA’s Office of Sustainable Communities.

September 19, 1:00-2:00 PM (EDT) – Addressing Barriers to Renewable Energy Procurement
Using clean energy is a key component of many organizations’ sustainability goals. However, the process of procuring clean energy at a meaningful scale has proven to be difficult for corporations. In this webcast sponsored by EPA’s Green Power Partnership, learn about common challenges, including market access, deal terms, and risk management requirements that organizations have encountered when trying to source clean energy for facilities or power portfolios. You’ll also learn how to overcome these barriers in a meaningful and cost-effective way. Speakers include Blaine Collison, program director, U.S. EPA’s Green Power Partnership; Charles Esdaile, co-founder and managing partner, Altenex; and Chris Hayes, co-founder and managing partner, Altenex.


ENERGY STAR offers free online training to help you improve the energy performance of your organization. To register for any of these trainings or to see other upcoming ENERGY STAR trainings, visit the ENERGY STAR Trainings page.

September 6, 2:00-3:15 PM (EDT) – Financing Energy Efficient Upgrades with ENERGY STAR
Learn how public sector organizations are improving energy efficiency with innovative solutions to financial barriers. Attendees will learn about financing projects in the public and private sectors, the basics of performance contracting, and how EPA’s tools and resources can help you make the decision to improve your facilities now or later.

September 13, 2:00-3:15 PM (EDT) – Benchmarking Water/Wastewater Treatment Facilities in Portfolio Manager
Learn how to track the progress of energy efficiency efforts and compare the energy use of wastewater treatment plants with that of other peer facilities across the country. Attendees will learn how to measure and track energy use and carbon dioxide emission reductions in wastewater treatment plants to establish baseline energy use, prioritize investments, set goals, and track improvements over time.

September 18, 2:00-3:00 PM (EDT) – The Basics of Benchmarking in Portfolio Manager
Learn the basics of benchmarking using Portfolio Manager, EPA’s ENERGY STAR measurement and tracking tool. Portfolio Manager enables you to track the progress of energy and water efficiency efforts and compare the energy use of your buildings with that of similar buildings nationwide. Regardless of whether you are looking to benchmark a K-12 school, fire station, courthouse, retail store, supermarket, or office, this session will show you how easy it is to get started by providing an introduction to ENERGY STAR and walking you through setting up a building in Portfolio Manager. You will learn how to use Portfolio Manager to establish energy and water use baselines, track energy and water use and greenhouse gas emission reductions over time, and assess your building’s energy performance.

DOE & NREL Webcasts

September 5, 3:00-4:00 PM (EDT) – Regulatory Strategies for Driving the Distributed Solar Market
Join the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Program, in coordination with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, for the Solar Technical Assistance Team summer webinar series for state policymakers and staff. Targeting regulators and staff, this webinar will provide an overview of policy and program actions that stakeholders can implement to support solar markets. The presentations will include examples of different regulatory actions that have been successful.

September 18, 3:00-4:15 PM (EDT) – Tapping into Wind in Urban Environments
This webinar will provide information and lessons learned on urban wind turbine projects in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Hull, Massachusetts. The A to Z basics in constructing a wind turbine in an urban environment will be covered, along with the lessons learned. The City of Milwaukee found that information and transparency were two key items that helped win over local officials and the public when planning its 100-kilowatt urban wind project. Learn more about the project from the City of Milwaukee and Northern Power. In 1997, members of the community of Hull, Massachusetts, founded Citizen Advocates for Renewable Energy to develop a wind project to offset the community’s electricity use and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The first wind turbine was completed in late 2001 and the second one was completed in 2006. This presentation will discuss the two projects and the challenges and successes that the community experienced in developing them.

National Highway Institute Webcast

September 25, 1:00-2:30 PM (EDT) – Transportation and Health
This Federal Highway Administration’s Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative Research Program webinar will discuss planning research initiatives planned or underway that are related to transportation and health.

Green Buildings as Sustainability Education Tools

I have an article in the most recent issue of Library Hi Tech entitled “Green Buildings as Sustainability Education Tools.” In it, I provide an overview of green building technologies and practices and illustrate how public libraries can use them as tools to teach their communities about sustainability and foster behavior change.

The full citation for the article is: Barnes, Laura L. (2012). “Green Buildings as Sustainability Education Tools.” Library Hi Tech 30(3), 397-407. (Online at I’ve also deposited a version of this article at for those who don’t subscribe to the journal.

Abstract: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of green building technologies and practices and illustrate how public libraries can use them as tools to teach their communities about sustainability and foster behavior change.

Design/methodology/approach – Through literature searches, case studies analysis, and individual phone and e-mail interviews, the author identified ways that public libraries can use their buildings to demonstrate green technologies and practices and show their patrons how to apply them at home, at work, and in the community.

Findings – Education is a component of LEED certification. Many LEED certified libraries publicize a list of the green technologies used in their building projects. Some sponsor programs related to the green building and include permanent displays in the library to explain how the technology works. The Fayetteville Public Library went beyond these basic techniques to not only improve the sustainability of their operations but also become a community test bed for a renewable energy project.

Originality/value – This paper sheds light on how building projects can be used not only to educate the public about green technologies and practices, but also inspire others to begin using similar techniques at home, at work, and in the community.

Portland to get massive green roof atop the least Portland-y location possible: A Walmart

Read the full story at Mother Nature Network.

In the traditionally Walmart-weary city of Portland, the big box retailer woos concerned locals with plans to top a new store with the largest vegetated roof in the entire state of Oregon.

The Clean Water Act turns 40

Read the full story at Mother Nature Network.

America’s landmark water law will be 40 years old this fall. But amid old legal doubts and new environmental dangers, it may be facing a midlife crisis.

Five UW campuses to collaborate on new master’s degree in sustainable management

Read the full story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Five University of Wisconsin System campuses got the green light Friday to pool their resources and offer a collaborative online Master of Science degree in sustainable management.

The new collaborative degree, approved Friday by the UW Board of Regents, will be a collaboration between UW-Stout, UW-Green Bay, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Parkside and UW-Superior.

The master’s degree will offer an advanced degree for students who earn a Bachelor of Science degree in sustainable management. That degree program was developed three years ago.

Tom’s of Maine, TerraCycle Launch Brand-Blind Recycling

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

Tom’s of Maine has partnered with recycling company TerraCycle to keep product packaging out of landfills.

The free recycling program, called the Tom’s of Maine Natural Care Brigade, accepts toothpaste tubes and caps, mouthwash bottles and caps, deodorant/antiperspirant containers, plastic soap wrappers and floss containers, regardless of brand.

For each piece of packaging collected and sent in, the collector earns points that can be put toward charity gifts or converted to cash and paid to any school or nonprofit organization. Any individual, company, group or school can join for free and all shipping costs are prepaid.

To coincide with the new program, the company has also launched the Tom’s of Maine Less in Landfills Sweepstakes, through which Brigade participants can earn $1,000 for the non-profit or school of their choice.

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