25 Companies, Organizations Honored for Sustainability Achievements in Illinois

Read the full story from the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center.

Abbott Laboratories won an Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Award for the 15th time on Tuesday, Nov. 1 at a ceremony at the Union League Club of Chicago. They were among 25 companies and organizations to be honored for their commitment to sustainable business and operations during the Awards’ 30th anniversary year.


African Wetlands Project: A Win For the Climate and the People?

Read the full story at e360.

In Senegal and other developing countries, multinational companies are investing in programs to restore mangrove forests and other wetlands that sequester carbon. But critics say these initiatives should not focus on global climate goals at the expense of the local people’s livelihoods.

Arup trials ‘living wall’ scaffolding

Read the full story in The Construction Index.

Arup has unveiled a ‘living wall’ of scaffolding on a project in Mayfair, which it says has the potential to reduce air pollution by up to 20%.

The ‘Living Wall Lite’ covers 80 sq m of scaffolding on the Grade I-listed St Mark’s Building and comprises a mixture of grasses, flowers and strawberries.

Government to run on green power by 2025: McKenna

Read the full story in the Guelph Mercury Tribune.

The federal Liberals are promising to run all government operations on renewable energy within a decade, [Canadian] Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said Wednesday.

Energy Information Administration releases 2014 State CO2 Emissions data

These estimates of energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) are based on the State Energy Data System. The state CO2 data include a summary table with total energy-related CO2 by state beginning in 1990, a table with emissions by fuel in 2014 and a table with emissions by sector in 2014. There are additional tables by fuels and sectors for all states across time.  Detailed tables for individual states provide emissions by fuel and sector for data beginning in 1980. Documentation for methodology is also included on the page.

Deforestation Opponents Enlist Powerful Ally: Big Food. But There’s A Catch

Read the full story at NPR.

There’s a seductive idea, currently being road-tested, for how to stop the world’s forests from disappearing. It relies on big food companies.

That’s because most forests are being cleared in order to grow crops or graze cattle. And the resulting palm oil, soybeans, or beef find their way into foods being sold by a relatively small number of global companies.

So here’s the strategy: Get those companies to boycott products from deforested land, and much of the economic incentive to clear more forests will disappear. This should slow down or even stop the loss of forests.

At first glance, the strategy looks like it’s working marvelously. According to a new report from some leading environmental groups, 400 of the biggest global food companies have taken steps to make sure that at least some of their suppliers aren’t responsible for deforestation. And 90 percent of those companies do buy raw materials from deforestation “hot spots” like Indonesia and Brazil.

But there’s a catch. In fact, there is a whole series of catches, according to the report.

Promising Practices for Environmental Justice Methodologies in NEPA Reviews

Read the full post from U.S. EPA.

When President Clinton signed Executive Order (EO) 12898 on environmental justice over 20 years ago, he singled out two federal laws that could be especially impactful for advancing environmental justice considerations throughout the federal government. One of those laws was the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA. And for several years now, federal practitioners have been passionately working to make good on EO 12898’s NEPA mandate by furthering its use as a tool to positively impact the environment, health and economy of overburdened and under-resourced communities. A body of over 100 of my colleagues in the NEPA committee of the Environmental Justice Interagency Working Group (EJ IWG) have been reviewing the federal processes detailed in NEPA to compile the best practices, lessons learned, research, analysis, training, consultation, and other experiences of federal NEPA practitioners to create the a report on “Promising Practices for EJ Methodologies in NEPA Reviews.”

Fiscal Year 2017 Environmental Justice Small Grants Request for Proposals

Under this RFP, EPA will award grants that support activities designed to empower and educate affected communities to understand environmental and public health issues and to identify ways to address these issues at the local level. Approximately 40 one-year projects will be awarded at $30,000 each.

Applications are due on January 31, 2017 by 11:59 PM (ET). EPA requires applications for Environmental Justice  grants to be submitted electronically through the Grants.gov website. Hardcopy mailed or delivered applications are only accepted if the applicant has a waiver on file.

In an effort to increase outreach to affected communities in more States and US Territories, this year’s opportunity  will place special emphasis on proposals in two areas:

  1. Underrepresented States – defined as States and US Territories where three or fewer EPA EJ grants have been awarded over the last five years. A list of all Underrepresented States is included in the RFP.
  2. New Potential Grantees – defined asprojects proposed by eligible organizations that have not received an EPA EJ grant award over the last five years.

The goal of this emphasis is to encourage and increase project performance in even more states and communities. Local environmental and public health issues can be found in every state and territory, and this reality should be reflected in the projects that are awarded.

See the Frequently Asked Questions page for answers to common questions about this opportunity. This page will be updated throughout the open solicitation period with additional questions and answers.

Journalists Invited to Apply for Career-Changing Science Immersion Fellowship

Would you like to take your reporting to the next level of excellence? Do you have the science background, tools, and sources to break new stories and advance your career?

Call for Applications
The University of Rhode Island’s Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting is accepting applications for its 19th Annual Science Immersion Workshop for Journalists: Global Change in Coastal Ecosystems, June 4 – 9, 2017. Ten early- to mid-career journalists will be selected for the fellowship, which includes tuition, travel support, room and board thanks to the generosity of private donors and the Metcalf Institute endowment. Two of the ten slots will be awarded to internationally based journalists.

About the Workshop
The workshop is held at the URI Graduate School of Oceanography, one of the nation’s premier research institutions and home to Metcalf Institute. Using the world’s best-studied estuary, Narragansett Bay, as a living laboratory, the workshop gives journalists opportunities to explore and understand the effects of human activities on coastal ecosystems. In the field, lab, and classroom, Metcalf Fellows will:

  • Gain a greater understanding of how scientists conduct research
  • Develop the skills and confidence to translate scientific publications for general audiences
  • Build confidence in their abilities to discern the credibility of scientific sources
  • Acquire the skills needed to comb through complex scientific data to break stories on a range of science and environmental topics
  • Conduct a fisheries survey aboard a URI research vessel
  • Interact with leading researchers, policy experts in an informal, off-deadline atmosphere to cultivate new sources
  • Network and develop lasting relationships with journalists from around the globe

Metcalf Alumni
Metcalf Institute Annual Workshop alumni hail from the U.S. and around the world, including Nigeria, Italy, Pakistan, Philippines, Israel, South Africa, China, Singapore, Brazil, and India. Metcalf Fellows represent a wide variety of large and small news organizations ranging from local and regional newspapers and broadcast outlets to online and national/international outlets such as National Geographic, The New York Times, CNN, Marketplace, The Associated Press and PRI’s The World.

“It was one of the most extraordinary professional experiences of my life,” said 2016 Annual Workshop alumnus, Jeff Mosier of the Dallas Morning News. “I was absolutely floored.”

“I can’t emphasize enough how important this opportunity was for me,” said 2016 Annual Workshop alumna Catalina Jaramillo, freelance journalist. “I learned so much and made connections that I hope will last for a long time.”

“I now know how to interpret the science for my publications and actually tell the audiences the stories they need to hear,” said 2016 Annual Workshop alumna Doyin Adeoye of the Nigerian Tribune. “I’m ready to take African environmental reporting to the next level.”

To Apply, Click Here.

The Fellowship is geared to early to mid-career, full-time journalists from all media who are looking to start or expand coverage of the environment. Applicants must demonstrate a need for training in topics relating to global change in coastal environments. The fellowship includes room, board, tuition, and travel support paid after the program in the amount of up to US$500 for U.S.-based journalists and up to US$1,000 for internationally based journalists with written assurance that they have full travel funds and can obtain the appropriate visa. Applications for the 2017 Annual Science Immersion Workshop for Journalists must be postmarked or emailed by February 6, 2017. View application information.

About Metcalf Institute: Metcalf Institute is a globally recognized leader in providing environmental science training for journalists. The Institute also offers communication workshops for scientists, science resources for journalists and free public lectures on environmental topics. Metcalf Institute was established at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography in 1997 with funding from three media foundations: the Belo Corporation, the Providence Journal Charitable Foundation and the Philip L. Graham Fund, with additional support from the Telaka Foundation. Metcalf programming is underwritten by federal and foundation grants, as well as private donations managed by the University of Rhode Island Foundation.

Webinar: The Garden Gurus’ Watershed Approach to Landscaping

Thu, Nov 17, 2016 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM CST
Register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7969346417649344771

To create truly sustainable and resilient landscapes G3, Green Gardens Group trains and certifies its irrigation system auditors to think holistically. Healthy soil, climate-appropriate plants, treating rainwater as a resource, and water-efficient irrigation all play a role.

Through G3’s “Garden Gurus” program, Watershed Wise Landscape Professionals conduct one-on-one garden coaching sessions with home and property owners. In addition to conducting a visual irrigation system audit, Garden Gurus take time to educate homeowners about the merits of a Watershed Approach to landscaping.

This webinar is co-sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense program and the Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE). Speakers Marianne Simon, G3’s certification coordinator, and Pamela Berstler, G3’s chief executive officer, will introduce the Watershed Wise Landscape Professional certification and explain how Garden Gurus’ consultations entice homeowners to create water-efficient and sustainable landscapes. EPA’s WaterSense program will also highlight other WaterSense labeled professional certification programs and summarize key elements of its certification program specifications.