Day: March 31, 2016

GC3 Innovators Internship 2016

The GC3 Innovators Internship places technically proficient students into sustainability-related summer internships with our member companies. The interns spend 10-12 weeks working within a GC3 member company, learning the skills needed in sustainable industry. This year’s interns will also have the opportunity to attend the GC3 Innovators Roundtable.

Eligibility

In order to be considered for the GC3 Innovators Internship, you must be…

  • A current graduate student OR recent recipient of bachelor’s degree (<6 months since graduation)
  • Specialized in a scientific/technical discipline
  • Eligible to receive payment for work in the U.S. during the summer term (citizens, residents, non residents with applicable visas)
  • Passionate about advancing sustainability

Please note that our host companies cannot sponsor visa applications for this time period, so all non-resident applicants must be in possession of a visa at the time of application.

Program Dates

  • April 4, 2016: Application deadline
  • May 24-26, 2016: GC3 Innovators Roundtable
  • June-August 2016: 10-12 week internship period

Job Description

This year’s available positions are in three sectors: electronics/computer, clothing/textile, and one more that will be determined before applications close.

Work scope may include:

  • Assisting in chemical regulatory compliance activities
  • Researching innovative materials and safer chemicals
  • Communicating and information-gathering within supply chain
  • Product development and manufacturing

Qualifications

Desired qualifications for this internship include:

  • Bachelor’s degree in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) discipline, with preference for general chemistry or toxicology knowledge
  • Ability to work collaboratively in a team environment to meet department goals and timelines
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office applications
  • Knowledge of green chemistry principles and/or sustainability practices

Additional qualifications may be preferred depending on specific company requirements.

Locations and Compensation

This year’s internship openings are located in:

  • Corvallis, OR (electronics/computer)
  • Dover, NH (clothing/textile)
  • Alameda, CA (clothing/textile)
  • Minnesota (potential – to be determined)

Compensation will vary based on company, location, and experience, but will generally range from $15-30/hr.

To be considered for the GC3 Innovators Internship Program

Download the application here (docx)

Please send your completed application to us at internship@greenchemistryandcommerce.org along with a copy of your résumé or CV, contact information for 3 professional references, and unofficial transcripts from your undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) institutions.

Questions?

Please email internship@greenchemistryandcommerce.org with any questions.

The future of reporting: Goodbye, annual PDFs; hello, real-time feeds

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

The days of the annual corporate sustainability report are numbered, as the future of reporting will involve real-time sustainability data exchanges enabled by digital technology, according to new research from the Global Reporting Initiative. All of this will be coupled with a new role for stakeholders, who will be empowered by almost real-time interactions with companies.

The report, “The Next Era of Corporate Disclosure” (PDF), is the culmination of the first year of GRI’s continuing Sustainability and Reporting 2025 project, which seeks to discover what the main issues will be in companies’ agendas and public reports in the coming decade.

Managing the unmeasurable in apparel supply chains

Read the full post at GreenBiz.

Tracing consumer goods back to the source isn’t easy, but the garment industry sustainability ills are a prime example of why it needs to be easier.

Water Funder Initiative releases blueprint for philanthropy to advance sustainable water management

The Water Funder Initiative (WFI), a collaborative to identify and activate promising water solutions through strategic philanthropic investments, has released a blueprint to guide and inspire efforts to make our water systems more balanced, resilient, and sustainable.

WFI is supported and guided by the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation as well as the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, Energy Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Pisces Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Walton Family Foundation, and Water Foundation.

Toward Water Sustainability: A Blueprint for Philanthropy (the “blueprint”) offers a roadmap for collaborative and expanded philanthropic action to advance sustainable water management at a scale never before attempted in the water field.

This document, available at www.waterfunder.org, describes the need and opportunity in water issues and describes the six priority strategies that emerged from the Water Funder Initiative’s consultation with experts and stakeholders.

In addition to outlining roles for funders and examples of near-term opportunities, the blueprint summarizes a set of funding action plans that detail how philanthropy can address high-priority problems.

Water is the essence of life and vital to the well-being of every person, economy, and ecosystem on the planet. But around the globe and here in the United States, water challenges are mounting as climate change, population growth, and other drivers of water stress increase. Public, private, and philanthropic investment in water solutions has not been commensurate with the challenges we face.

This underinvestment has led to heightened conflicts and costly litigation among water users as drought and other extreme weather have caused billions of dollars in damage. Precipitous declines in water supplies—both above and below ground—simply cannot be sustained, nor can we continue operating with deteriorating infrastructure and outdated policies that further jeopardize human communities and freshwater ecosystems.

Recognizing the urgent need to solve water problems at scale, a group of foundations launched WFI, a collaborative effort to identify and activate promising water solutions through strategic philanthropic investments in the U.S., starting in the West where scarcity and reliability of clean water are urgent issues.

Over the past 15 months, WFI has been gathering the most promising ideas from across the American West—and from a broad spectrum of stakeholders, including NGO experts, policymakers, funders, scientists, farmers, attorneys, water utility executives, and others. More than 140 people have contributed through individual interviews and six WFI workshops in Arizona, California, Colorado, and Texas. WFI’s analysis also included an extensive survey of foundation interests and we continue to seek insights from a network as diverse as the West and its water community.

WFI envisions a sustainable water future where:

  • Clean water supplies are available for people and nature.
  • Freshwater ecosystems are recovering.
  • Cities, agriculture, and industry continue to thrive by proactively managing the water supply risks that accompany population growth and a changing climate.

To realize this vision, we must achieve two goals:

  • Bring basins into balance for people and nature. We must use existing supplies more carefully so that, over the long term, we use no more water than is available and our supplies support vibrant ecosystems, communities, and economies.
  • Strengthen resilience of water systems in a 21st century climate. Extremes are becoming the norm as the planet warms, and many of climate change’s impacts will manifest through the hydrological cycle. Water management systems must be flexible and resilient enough to cope with times of water stress and mitigate risks to water users.

WFI’s expanding network of experts and advisors has identified key areas where targeted and strategic philanthropic investment can advance sustainability:

  • Shape healthy water markets: Meet changing needs, reduce over-allocation, and embed social equity and environmental considerations into equitable and transparent markets.
  • Develop new funding sources: Expand and diversify funding for sustainable water management and infrastructure, including by properly valuing water.
  • Improve water governance: Promote governance structures that reduce over-allocation, protect environmental values, support disadvantaged communities, and respond to climate variability.
  • Drive decisions with data: Accelerate the development of open data and information systems to support sustainable management.
  • Strengthen communications and build political will: Improve the field’s strategic communications capacity and build the political will and constituencies needed to support water management reforms.
  • Accelerate innovation: Accelerate development and deployment of innovative technologies and practices to advance goals in the urban, agricultural, energy, and environmental water sectors.

The American West, where WFI has focused its efforts thus far, is a complex, diverse landscape that ranges from deserts to rainforests and defies any simple definition, but much of the region faces inherent water challenges due to its aridity and highly variable precipitation. Across the region, policymakers, water managers, industry executives, NGO leaders, and others are seeking new ways to meet the water needs of cities, farms, energy providers, and ecosystems sustainably.

Within the West, WFI is focusing on three areas—California, the Colorado River Basin, and Texas—where nearly a third of the nation’s people and GDP depend on increasingly unreliable water supplies. Although WFI’s initial focus is on the American West, many of the approaches are applicable elsewhere in the world and lessons from other regions can help solve water problems confronting the West.

WFI is continuing to work with funders, NGOs, water experts, and a diverse group of stakeholders to develop funding action plans to address the most pressing water challenges. WFI is not a grantmaking institution and does not accept proposals. For more information on WFI, see our website, www.waterfunder.org, which provides the full blueprint, an executive summary, graphics, frequently asked questions, and other resources.

Spring Cleaning? National Library of Medicine Household Products Database can help

Spring cleaning?

The Environmental Protection Agency ranks indoor air pollution among the top environmental dangers.

Common cleaning products can contribute to this problem. Immediate effects of exposure to indoor pollutants can include headaches, dizziness, and fatigue, as well as irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, and exacerbated symptoms of asthma and other respiratory illnesses.

Learn what’s in these products, their potential health effects, and about safety and handling with the National Library of Medicine (NLM) Household Products Database (HPD).

HPD links over 15,000 consumer brands to health effects from Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) provided by manufacturers and allows scientists and consumers to research products based on chemical ingredients. The database is designed to help answer the following questions:

  • What are the chemical ingredients and their percentage in specific brand?
  • Which products contain specific chemical ingredients?
  • Who manufactures a specific brand? How do I contact this manufacturer?
  • What are the acute and chronic effects of chemical ingredients in a specific brand?
  • What other chemical information is available from the National Library of Medicine?

Explore the Household Products Database at http://hpd.nlm.nih.gov/.

This Data-Viz Tool Is As Easy To Use As A Post-It Note

Read the full story at FastCompany.

Beam makes charts and graphs simple and disposable. Which could be great for increasing the public’s graphic literacy.

DOT Wants To Create A National Transit Map

Read the full story from CivSource.

The US Department of Transportation is launching an effort to create a national transit map from state and local transit data. DOT sent a letter to transit officials nationwide this week asking for access to transportation maps, bus times and other data points that will go into creating the project.

Where the Wild Kids Are

Read the full story in CityLab.

Adventure playgrounds aren’t a new concept. Also known as waste-material playgrounds, they were popularized in Europe and the U.K. after World War II, when people realized that kids were playing in bombed-out lots. “It was a very urban, rough play experience,” explains Robin Meyer, a playground design project manager and one of eight board members of play:groundNYC. Hanna Rosin gave a great overview in her 2014 Atlantic article on the subject, and Erin Davis’s 2015 film The Land documents a modern Welsh adventure playground in all its tree-climbing, fire-starting, free-range glory.

The primary components of an adventure playground are moveable parts (which can include items like boxes, pipes, paint, hammers, and even saws) and trained, paid grown-up “playworkers,” who oversee and facilitate the play without interfering. Children are free to build their own structures, tear them down, climb, graffiti, create. They are encouraged to take calculated risks in order to learn resilience, grit, and problem-solving skills. The concept of vandalism is moot at an adventure playground—it is child-led play in its freest, most anarchic form. It is organized chaos.

U.S. FTC sues Volkswagen over diesel advertising claims

Read the full story from Reuters.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday sued Volkswagen Group of America, saying the U.S. arm of the German automaker falsely advertised more than a half million diesel vehicles as environmentally friendly when it knew they were emitting excess pollution.

The FTC filed suit against the wholly owned Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) unit in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. The agency said U.S. consumers suffered “billions of dollars in injury” as a result of deception by VW, which has admitted to using software that allowed 580,000 diesel vehicles built since 2009 to emit up to 40 times legally allowable pollution.

Probe of Exxon’s climate change disclosures expands

Read the full story from Reuters.

The top attorneys from Massachusetts and the U.S. Virgin Islands said on Tuesday they will investigate whether Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) misled investors and the public about the risks of climate change.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Earl Walker announced their probes at a news conference in New York, flanked by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and top attorneys from other states.

They said their probes into Exxon will be similar to ones launched by New York and California.

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