Cleaning Trends Expected In 2013

Read the full story at CleanLink.

Over the years, Corinne Zudonyi has talked a lot about cleaning trends her readers can expect moving forward. This year, those cleaning trends are not just possible; they are unavoidable. For example, facilities that focus on green and sustainable cleaning will begin to see changes in the marketing and labeling of products. To comply with revised “Green Guides” from the Federal Trade Commission, terms such as “green” and “environmentally friendly” will need to be substantiated. Certifications and seals of approval may also need to provide a disclaimer and qualify products’ certifiable attributes.

A Prescription For Energy Efficiency

Read the full story in Healthcare Design.

In order to maintain competitiveness and profitability, healthcare systems must balance rising energy costs with increased needs for advanced technology. But is it possible for hospitals to increase their use of energy-intensive medical equipment while also reducing energy consumption?

Sustainability Pays

Read the full post at U.S. News and World Report.

In recent years, many U.S. companies have found that a commitment to sustainability can boost the bottom line. It’s a finding that has surprised critics, who have long claimed that when a business considers any goals other than pure financial returns, profits fall. Now, a recent study published in Harvard Business Review shows that sustainability pays off, even for companies in the developing world. Sustainability pays, even though environmental standards are minimal, and most consumers don’t have the luxury of buying high-end organic groceries and other lifestyle goods.

How milk jugs can make 3D printing cheaper

Read the full story at SmartPlanet.

With 3D printing, anyone with a 3D printer can make just about anything using a digital design and plastic filament. And while you can get simple open-source printers for surprisingly cheap (anywhere from $250-$500), one kilogram of the plastic filament can set you back between $30-$50. But there’s one solution that might be sitting in your refrigerator right now: milk jugs.

Researchers at Michigan Technological University are looking to milk jugs as a way for 3D printing to gain more widespread use. To make this practical, the research group created the RecycleBot, a device that melts the plastic (after it has been washed and the labels have been removed) and turns it into a long, thin string of plastic filament. This way you cut out the recycling middleman or the landfill and turn your milk jugs into useful objects. The design for the RecycleBot is open-source and available here.

Why carbon capture and storage will never pay off

Read the full post at SmartPlanet.

Will carbon capture and storage (CCS) ever pay off?

For many years, we’ve been told that CCS systems and processes will allow us to reduce carbon emissions and stop global warming while continuing to use fossil fuels. CCS has been a key assumption of the “450 Scenario” in the International Energy Agency’s annual energy outlook reports, in which the world can meet its energy needs while keeping atmospheric carbon concentration below 450 parts per million (ppm). If you read the news, you might even think CCS systems are well on their way to becoming a commercial reality.

But the fact is, they aren’t. And current trends suggest they never will be.

Scaling Up Multifamily Energy Efficiency Programs: A Metropilitan Area Assessment

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This report provides an assessment of the current landscape of multifamily energy efficiency programs in the 50 metropolitan areas with the largest multifamily housing markets. The authors describe spending on utility customer-funded programs for the primary utilities in each metropolitan area.  Additionally, they identify the specific opportunity in each metropolitan area to scale up multifamily programs based on a three-part analysis of: (1) local housing market characteristics; (2) the scope of current utility customer-funded energy efficiency programs; and (3) the statewide policy environment and potential for local partnerships with non-utility-funded energy efficiency programs.

Energy efficiency programs funded by utility customers represent a significant opportunity to save energy in multifamily buildings. However, multifamily buildings present unique challenges that can easily be overlooked when grouped into programs for single-family and/or commercial buildings.  By failing to effectively deliver programs that reach this market segment, utility-sponsored programs miss out on significant energy savings potential.

How AB InBev brews water, waste and energy savings

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

The world’s biggest beer brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev, has met its three-year environmental goals for water, energy and waste, in large part because of dedicated process controls and technology that allows almost real-time insight into these metrics across 95 percent of its global operations.