Energy Efficiency in Water and Wastewater Facilities: A Guide to Developing and Implementing Greenhouse Gas Reduction Programs

Download the document. Other Local Government Climate and Energy Strategy Guides are available at

This guide describes how water and wastewater facilities can lead by example and achieve multiple benefits by improving the energy efficiency of their new, existing, and renovated buildings and their day-to-day operations. It is designed to be used by facility managers, energy and environment staff, local government officials, and mayors and city councils.

Readers of the guide should come away with an understanding of options to improve the energy efficiency of water and wastewater facilities. Readers should also understand the steps and considerations involved in developing and implementing these energy efficiency improvements, as well as an awareness of expected investment and funding opportunities.

Hilton, Marriott, hotel giants get in bed to count carbon

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

These days, many corporations choose hotels for their events based partially on what their carbon footprint will be.

When they send RFPs to hotel companies, they include questions on carbon emissions. In addition to helping them choose venues, corporations also use that information as part of measuring their own carbon footprint.

But until now it has been a challenge to compare hotels because they all measure their carbon footprint differently. Therefore, 23 global hotel companies put their competition aside to develop a standard way to measure this through the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative.

How corporate reporting improved Microsoft’s supply chain

Read the full post at GreenBiz.

In the past two years we’ve reported on the growing number of organizations using the GRI Reporting Framework and Guidelines to gain better insight into their suppliers’ social and environmental performance.

Microsoft helped lead this wave in October 2011 when the company asked approximately 20 key hardware suppliers and service providers to use GRI’s Disclosure on Management Approach framework to report on how they meet the standards in Microsoft’s Vendor Code of Conduct. The code includes coverage of environmental and social issues such as business ethics, labor and human rights and respect for intellectual property.

These new reports supplement Microsoft’s existing onsite supplier auditing program by helping provide the multinational software corporation with additional information about the management systems key suppliers have in place to meet the standards set out in the Vendor Code of Conduct.

Microsoft has integrated these disclosure reports into its information management systems for these categories of suppliers. More important, it has begun using the data to help enhance some of its training and capacity-building programs to help ensure that suppliers meet the Vendor Code of Conduct requirements.

New synthesis could make biofuel more appealing for mass production

Read the full story in R&D.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) chemical engineers have devised a cheaper way to synthesize a key biofuel component, which could make its industrial production much more cost effective.

The compound, known as gamma-valerolactone (GVL), is attractive because of its versatility, says Yuriy Román, an assistant professor of chemical engineering and leader of the research team. It has more energy than ethanol and could be used on its own or as an additive to other fuels. GVL could also be useful as a “green” solvent or a building block for creating renewable polymers from sustainable materials.

UL, Manufacturers Promote Zero Waste Validation

Read the full story at Environmental Leader.

UL Environment, a business unit of Underwriters Laboratories, says it has developed working relationships with the Green Manufacturer Network in the US and Waste Cost Reduction Services in the UK to encourage companies to achieve its landfill waste diversion claim validation.

The announcement comes less than a month after UL Environment and Waste Management partnered to offer WM’s customers a streamlined route to pursuing zero waste validation.

Business Self-Interest ‘Key to Sustainability’

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

The private sector needs to take on a wider role in proliferating the sustainability solutions required to avoid widespread environmental, social and economic disruptions as government alone can not be relied upon to achieve such goals, according to a GlobeScan and SustainAbility project called the Regeneration Roadmap.

Research conducted for Changing Tack: Extending Corporate Leadership on Sustainable Development — an 18-month collaborative initiative designed to engage the private sector in advancing sustainable development by improving strategy, increasing credibility and delivering results at greater speed and scale — found low expectations that governments will provide the leadership needed to change course. It looks to other institutions, particularly business, to fill the gap.