Day: October 29, 2018

EPA rule exempts farms from emissions reporting

Read the full story in Farm & Dairy.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency may exempt livestock farmers from reporting the routine emissions from their farms to state and local authorities.

5 Major Crops In The Crosshairs Of Climate Change

Read the full story from NPR.

Climate change is coming like a freight train, or a rising tide. And our food, so dependent on rain and suitable temperatures, sits right in its path.

The plants that nourish us won’t disappear entirely. But they may have to move to higher and cooler latitudes, or farther up a mountainside. Some places may find it harder to grow anything at all, because there’s not enough water.

Here are five foods, and food-growing places, that will see the impact.

The Sum of the Parts: Developing a Systems-Level Approach to Protect Children’s Health

Read the full story from U.S. EPA.

Despite major advancements and lasting impacts in advancing children’s environmental health over the past 20+ years, significant challenges remain. Keeping the rate of progress ahead of the pace of emerging challenges requires new, more interdisciplinary research efforts and novel ways to holistically consider the many complex interactions linking the environment to children’s health and well-being.

One promising research avenue is the total environment approach. This approach recognizes that stressors impacting childhood health and development are encountered across three broad areas: the built, natural, and social environments. Across these three realms, both chemical and non-chemical stressors contribute to children’s growth and development, oftentimes with long lasting impacts on health and well-being.

Two recent literature reviews show how EPA is advancing the total environment model as a new frontier in children’s environmental health research.

Environmental Assessment of Emerging Technologies: Recommendations for Prospective LCA

Arvidsson, R. , Tillman, A. , Sandén, B. A., Janssen, M. , Nordelöf, A. , Kushnir, D. and Molander, S. (2018). “Environmental Assessment of Emerging Technologies: Recommendations for Prospective LCA.” Journal of Industrial Ecology, 22: 1286-1294. doi:10.1111/jiec.12690

Abstract: The challenge of assessing emerging technologies with life cycle assessment (LCA) has been increasingly discussed in the LCA field. In this article, we propose a definition of prospective LCA: An LCA is prospective when the (emerging) technology studied is in an early phase of development (e.g., small‐scale production), but the technology is modeled at a future, more‐developed phase (e.g., large‐scale production). Methodological choices in prospective LCA must be adapted to reflect this goal of assessing environmental impacts of emerging technologies, which deviates from the typical goals of conventional LCA studies. The aim of the article is to provide a number of recommendations for how to conduct such prospective assessments in a relevant manner. The recommendations are based on a detailed review of selected prospective LCA case studies, mainly from the areas of nanomaterials, biomaterials, and energy technologies. We find that it is important to include technology alternatives that are relevant for the future in prospective LCA studies. Predictive scenarios and scenario ranges are two general approaches to prospective inventory modeling of both foreground and background systems. Many different data sources are available for prospective modeling of the foreground system: scientific articles; patents; expert interviews; unpublished experimental data; and process modeling. However, we caution against temporal mismatches between foreground and background systems, and recommend that foreground and background system impacts be reported separately in order to increase the usefulness of the results in other prospective studies.


The importance of corporate social responsibility for responsible consumption: Exploring moral motivations of consumers

Golob U, Podnar K, Koklič MK, Zabkar V. (2018). “The importance of corporate social responsibility for responsible consumption: Exploring moral motivations of consumers.” Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management. First published: 16 October 2018.

Abstract: The motivations and actions of socially responsible consumers are important for the success of corporate social responsibility (CSR). The issues of responsible consumption or consumer social responsibility (CnSR) nevertheless continues to receive insufficient research attention. To remedy this shortcoming, we built on the value‐belief‐norm theory (VBN) and propose that normative factors induce consumers to enact CnSR in their buying behaviour. Using a survey of 462 consumers, we examined the relationships between values (self‐transcendent and self‐enhancement), an individual’s view on the importance of CSR, awareness of negative societal consequences, ascribed responsibility for prosocial behaviour, personal norms, social norms, and CnSR. The findings indicate that CnSR can indeed be comprehensively explained with the variables included in VBN. Moreover, social norms also tend to significantly shape CnSR. The theoretical and practical implications of our results are discussed.

Promoting employee’s proenvironmental behavior through green human resource management practices

Saeed BB, Afsar B, Hafeez S, Khan I, Tahir M, Afridi MA. (2018). “Promoting employee’s proenvironmental behavior through green human resource management practices.” Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management. First published: 19 October 2018.

Abstract: Success of organizational initiatives for environmental sustainability hinges upon employees’ proenvironmental behaviors. One of the contemporary important challenges faced by HR professionals is to ensure proper integration of environmental sustainability into human resource policies. The green human resource management (green HRM) has emerged from organizations engaging in practices related to protection of environment and maintaining ecological balance. The aim of this study is to examine the effects of green HRM practices (green recruitment and selection, green training and development, green performance management and appraisal, green reward and compensation, and green empowerment) on employee’s proenvironmental behavior. Moreover, this study is going to test the mediating effect of proenvironmental psychological capital and the moderating effect of environmental knowledge on green HRM practices–proenvironmental behavior. Data from 347 employees working in coal generating, power industry, food, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries were collected. Results revealed that green HRM practices positively affected employee’s proenvironmental behavior, and proenvironmental psychological capital mediated this link. Employee’s environmental knowledge moderated the effect of green HRM practices on proenvironmental behavior.

Partnership Aims to Make Credit Cards More Sustainable

Read the full story at Waste360.

For years, the idea of going green in payments has been limited to linking purchases and accounts with donations to environmental causes and carbon offsets. These programs have had an impact in terms of awareness and raising much-needed funds. Now, there’s an opportunity to put these efforts into action across a broader part of the payments industry.

Mastercard and card manufacturers Gemalto, Giesecke+Devrient and IDEMIA launched the Greener Payments Partnership to establish environmental best practices and reduce first-use PVC plastic in card manufacturing.

Microplastics found in 90 percent of table salt used around the world, study says

Read the full story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Microplastics are present in 90 percent of table salts tested worldwide, a study published earlier this month found.

Researchers analyzed 39 brands of sea, rock and lake salt produced in 16 different countries on six continents and determined microplastics were in 36 of them, according to the study published in Environmental Science and Technology.

It’s not what you know, it’s what you learn

Read the full post from Mary Ellen Bates.

The more expertise you have on a topic, the narrower your thinking and the less creativity you may bring to a novel problem. As Shunryu Suzuki noted in the classic, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.”

Mother Nature’s colossal impact on ‘location, location, location’

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

Throughout history, location-specific climate, topography, hydrology, geophysical factors and biospheres have shaped — and sometimes threatened or destroyed — built environments worldwide. This is why many cities look different, why overall urban form, architecture and housing can differ considerably from city to city.

Most of us rarely think about the influence of Mother Nature on the history, culture, design, character and livability of places we occupy. When people consider where to settle, they usually start with a geographic choice — city or suburb — often based on personal familiarity, employment opportunities, family proximity and cost of living.

Residential real estate decision-making follows and typically focuses on other variables: perceived social and visual characteristics of neighborhoods; transportation accessibility; availability and quality of schools, shopping, entertainment, cultural resources and community facilities; house or apartment building curb appeal; dwelling interior functionality; and dwelling affordability.

It’s easy to take for granted natural conditions that have affected land-use patterns; delineation and layout of neighborhoods and street networks; size and landscaping of streets and civic spaces; architectural composition and material attributes of buildings; and the three-dimensional composition and appearance of various housing types.

Comparing Washington to Houston and Boston, places where I have lived, helps illustrate city differences driven, enhanced and constrained by Mother Nature.

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