Pollution Prevention Institute recognizes Brooklyn Navy Yard for environmental efforts

Read the full story from the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute.

The Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp. (BNYDC), the not-for-profit corporation that manages the 300-acre industrial park, is being recognized by the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I) for a campus-wide solid waste and recycling program that has generated positive environmental and economic benefits for the Yard and its 330 tenants.

The industrial park that spans Brooklyn’s Flushing Avenue earned NYSP2I’s Advancement in Cleaner Production Award for creating an eco-industrial model that has made a significant environmental and economic impact in North Brooklyn. These include:

  • Reducing waste-handling costs for tenants by an average of 27 percent
  • Eliminating 1,600 tons of waste going to area landfills
  • Reducing carting traffic by 90 percent resulting in a reduced carbon footprint

BNYDC received the award after successfully implementing the recommendations of the Industrial Technology Assistance Corp. (ITAC), which assessed and recommended an integrated strategy to address the industrial park’s growing waste-management challenges. ITAC guided the initial implementation of the pilot program and will continue to manage the expansion of the program throughout the Yard as well. ITAC, one of NYSP2I’s partner Regional Technology Development Centers, is a not-for-profit consulting and training organization dedicated to growing New York City manufacturing and technology companies. NYSP2I, which is managed and operated at Rochester Institute of Technology, presented the award to BNYDC during a ceremony at the Yard’s Building 3, the site of the pilot program.

United Launches Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

United Airlines says it will measure and evaluate the sustainability of its suppliers’ products and operations and then set targets for improvements in 2014.

The survey is part of United’s sustainable supply chain initiative. United says it will also integrate environmentally focused questions into its request for proposal process.

Why on earth do we still need Earth Day?

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

A few weeks ago over on LinkedIn, Joel Makower posted a rework of his article from 2011 declaring green marketing “over.” I posted a response then and have more to say today, starting with, “Yes.”

Yes: if we define green marketing as “the marketing of a green product.” Within that context, Joel may well be right. Green products have struggled to break through to the mainstream. According to our ongoing polling of Americans on this topic, the 22 percent of the population that leans green and is willing to pay a price premium for green products doesn’t want to buy mainstream brands. So that rules out Clorox Green Works — but rules in Seventh Generation (and if you look at The New York Times article Joel references that mentions the sales decline of Green Works, you’ll note the article also points out that sales for “pure” green brands such as Seventh Generation and Method are on the rise).

So, yes, if we’re talking about mainstream brands trying to sell a green product with a price premium to the mainstream market, that model has struggled to work.

Where does charcoal, or black carbon, in soils go?

Read the full story in R&D Magazine.

Scientists have uncovered one of nature’s long-kept secrets—the true fate of charcoal in the world’s soils.

The ability to determine the fate of charcoal is critical to knowledge of the global carbon budget, which in turn can help understand and mitigate climate change.

However, until now, researchers only had scientific guesses about what happens to charcoal once it’s incorporated into soil. They believed it stayed there.

Surprisingly, most of these researchers were wrong.

The findings of a new study that examines the result of charcoal once it is deposited into the soil are outlined in a paper published this week in the journal Science.

Toolkit Measures Nature-Related Risks

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development has released Eco4Biz – a toolkit aimed at businesses looking to assess, measure and value the natural resources they use.

The toolkit has been released in report form and is titled Eco4Biz – Ecosystem services and biodiversity tools to support business decision-making. WBCSD says that the report is a “one-stop resource kit” to help environmental managers and companies navigate and choose from a range of available tools to better understand how they rely on nature, leading to more informed and better sustainability decisions.

EMFACT Source Code Released

The Northeast Waste Management Officials’ Association (NEWMOA) and the Massachusetts Office of Technical Assistance (Mass OTA) announced the release of the Energy and Materials Flow and Cost Tracker (EMFACT) source code.

EMFACT is a software tool for systematically tracking materials and energy use and releases, discharges, and waste. Users of EMFACT can produce comparisons of inputs and outputs and a comprehensive picture of resource use and associated costs. EMFACT assists with environmental management accounting by identifying opportunities for cleaner production and sustainable manufacturing. It can help users improve production efficiency and environmental performance.  T

he project partners have created the open source site to encourage interested software developers to help improve and enhance EMFACT and to enable companies and consultants to customize the tool to address their needs. The site welcomes suggestions and encourages potential developers to share ideas. Contact: Andy Bray, NEWMOA (617) 367-8558 x306, abray@newmoa.org.