Holiday shopping adds to e-waste, but help is on the way

Read the full story from Purdue University.

The mad rush of consumer electronics sales over the holidays will add to the millions of products that become obsolete annually, but researchers are working on new ways to recycle e-waste and develop sustainable technologies.

Stony Brook Team Wins National Award for Technology That Harvests Energy From Railroad Train Vibrations

Read the full story from Stony Brook University

Stony Brook University engineers have won a national award for an innovative energy harvester that has the potential to save millions of dollars in energy costs for railroads while reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The team’s work, “Mechanical Motion Rectifier (MMR) based Railroad Energy Harvester,” was awarded “Best Application of Energy Harvesting” at the Energy Harvesting and Storage USA 2012 conference, held in Washington, DC on November 7-8, 2012.

The Stony Brook team, led by Professor Lei Zuo and two graduate students Teng Lin and John Wang from the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center, developed a new type of energy harvester that converts the irregular, oscillatory motion of train-induced rail track vibrations into regular, unidirectional motion, in the same way that an electric voltage rectifier converts AC voltage into DC.

Texas Tech Energy Commerce Students, Community Light up Tent City

Read the full story from Texas Tech.

More than two dozen Texas Tech University energy commerce students and Rawls College of Business faculty hosted Lubbock community members for a seminar in solar technology and all then spent a recent Saturday afternoon lighting up Lubbock’s Tent City homeless shelter with solar lighting systems.

More Female Board Directors Add Up to Improved Sustainability Performance

Read the full story from the University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business.

As a corporate responsibility consultant, Kellie McElhaney publicly criticized Apple’s recent appointment of another man to an already all-male executive team. McElhaney’s new research goes one step further, indicating that the number of women on a corporate board correlates with a firm’s sustainability performance…

McElhaney found that companies with one or more women on their boards are significantly more likely to have improved sustainability practices. “This is not a women’s or men’s issue, it’s a collective and business opportunity,” says McElhaney who is also faculty director, Center for Responsible Business at the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

The study, Women Create A Sustainable Future, is co-authored by Sanaz Mobasseri, PhD candidate, Berkeley-Haas Management of Organizations Group, and sponsored by KPMG and Women Corporate Directors (WCD). MSCI Inc. provided the dataset of Fortune 1500 companies and their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance, which they have been measuring since 1992.

The Soul of a New, and Old, Machine

From‘s Joel Makower:

A study released today on supply-chain sustainability management in the information and communications tech sector offers insights into how firms such as Facebook, Oracle and Dell are looking at the environmental and social impacts of their operations. Michael Shoemaker provides the first of a four-part series on the topic and I proffer some additional insights. Meanwhile, Barbara Kyle addresses the growing mountains of old (and toxic) cathode ray tubes from TVs and computer monitors that are sitting in warehouses.

ENN, EADS/Airbus to Collaborate on Algae-based Aviation Fuels

Read the full story at Algae Industry Magazine.

China’s ENN and Europe’s EADS have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to co-develop microalgae-based aviation fuels. The agreement was made public at the China International Air Show in Zhuhai, Guangdong province.

Webinar: P2 GHG and Cost Savings Tools

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM CST
Register at

EPA, Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention will be presenting an overview of P2 tools designed to help measure the environmental and economic performance results of pollution prevention activities.  Come hear how newly designed tools can demonstrate the unique multi-media perspective that P2 brings to reduce GHG reductions and cost savings.  Natalie Hummel and Kathy Davey of the Pollution Prevention Division will be presenting.

P2 Greenhouse Gas Calculator:
The P2 GHG Calculator calculates GHG emission reductions from electricity conservation, green energy, fuel and chemical substitutions with lower GHG-intensities, water conservation, and improved materials and process management in the chemical manufacturing sector. This tool will assist program participants to submit higher-quality data for the program measure, and demonstrates the unique multi-media perspective that P2 brings to reduce metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e).

P2 Cost Savings Calculator:
The P2 Cost Calculator assesses cost savings associated with reduced costs for hazardous inputs in a facility process, reduced costs for handling hazardous waste, reductions in annual air permitting fees that are based on actual emissions, reduced water discharge treatment costs based on gallons discharged, reduced charges for water usage, reduced fuel costs, and reduced costs for electricity.   Understanding potential cost savings presents a big incentive for action and collaboration to program beneficiaries.

Gallons to Pounds Converter:
This is designed to provide conversions from units commonly encountered in business to units needed for P2 Program measures.  It is not uncommon for hazardous materials to be measured in gallons for business purposes – gallons of paint, and gallons of waste water, for example.  For program purposes, all these gallon measures need to be converted to pounds of hazardous materials for the program measure “pounds of hazardous materials reduced.”