Day: April 16, 2020

The CEO of Cabot Creamery on Beating Sustainability Benchmarks

Read the full story in the Harvard Business Review.

A decade ago, when I first heard the term “B Corp”—a designation for companies that commit to pursuing not just profits but also purpose—I was skeptical. At the time, I was CFO of Cabot Creamery, one of the largest dairy cooperatives in the United States, and a great many questions ran through my head: Was this just another certification—like the Real milk seal and the Real Vermont seal that we’d already earned? Would the customers who bought our cheese and other products really care about this new label? What kind of burden would it place on our farmers, who, owing to our cooperative structure, were also our shareholders? How much work would it create for employees? How much would it cost us—up front and on an annual basis? And why on earth was it called a B Corp when it could be an A? That made the whole thing sound second-rate.

Immerse yourself in new water data

Read the full story from CMAP.

Population growth and industrial development, particularly in the collar counties, has led to increasing groundwater withdrawals in the Chicago region. In some areas, groundwater is being withdrawn at a rate that exceeds the recharge rate, resulting in decreasing yields, increasing pumping demands, increasing salinity, and the search for alternative water sources, all of which increase the cost of providing water.

The Chicago region’s comprehensive plan, ON TO 2050, includes a recommendation to coordinate and conserve shared water supply resources. The recommendation is based on recent research showing that the long-term sustainability of the region’s groundwater supply is threatened. In addition, the plan recognizes the ongoing challenge of investing in drinking water infrastructure. During the development of ON TO 2050, it became clear that a critical component to making informed land use, transportation, and infrastructure investment decisions was missing – there was no regional data on long-term water demand or recent water rate data – until now.

Using water withdrawal data from the Illinois Water Inventory Program and collecting detailed rate data directly from municipalities, CMAP and Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) developed critical water demand and rate data for northeastern Illinois. The two final products, now publicly available on the CMAP Data Hub, include past water use and demand forecasts and water and sewer rate data for each community utility.

EU academics call for policy-led shift towards sustainable food system

Read the full story in Food Navigator.

Food production must shift from ‘linear mass consumption’ to ‘a more circular economy’ to meet growing demand for food in a sustainable way, claims a report which will inform much of the EU’s upcoming ‘Farm to Fork strategy for a sustainable food system’.

Removing the novel coronavirus from the water cycle

Read the full story from the University of California Riverside.

Scientists call for more research to understand whether water treatment methods kill the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic

The Future of Food Is Zero Waste

Read the full story in The Atlantic.

As the world starts to reckon with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s dire climate warnings, a good place to begin is food waste. Every year, one-third of the food produced globally for human consumption—1.3 billion tons—is wasted. (Americans in particular throw away 40 percent of their food, despite the fact that most of it is perfectly edible.) In aggregate, the world’s annual food waste produces 3.3 billion tons of carbon. That’s more greenhouse-gas emissions than from 37 million cars. Needless to say, a global effort in the reduction of food waste would go a long way toward mitigating our carbon footprint.

Some people are taking matters into their own hands. Five years ago, Douglas McMaster, a British chef, decided that he wanted to open a restaurant. He traveled the world visiting Michelin-starred restaurants he admired so that he could replicate their success, but was quickly disillusioned. “It was criminal, some of the things that I witnessed with [food] waste,” McMaster says in Matt Hopkins’s short documentary A Failure of the Imagination. “I started to realize that the food industry is a complete disaster. It’s unsustainable… Our expectations and desires are unnatural.”

A spotlight on folks who are being the green change they want to see in the world

Read the full column in the Southern Illinoisan.

Welcome to the first Real Green People column. I’m excited to begin bringing you profiles of local people doing interesting and important “green” things. That’s what this column will be, by the way: A spotlight on folks who are being the green change they want to see in the world.

Special Issue: How We Will All Solve the Climate Crisis

Read the full series in Wired.

The world is getting warmer, the weather is getting worse. Here’s everything you need to know about what humans can do to stop wrecking the planet.

Litter in the age of coronavirus: Discarded masks, gloves show up in Southern Illinois parking lots

Read the full story in the Southern Illinoisan.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended everyone wear cloth face coverings to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Along with the homemade cloth face masks and bandannas, people are wearing disposable gloves and other disposable gear to protect themselves, but what happens to the disposable protective gear when it is no longer needed?

In some cases, that disposable gear is landing in local parking lots and on local sidewalks. Southern Illinoisans have posted complaints on Facebook about protective gear discarded in the parking lots of Schnuck’s Market in Carbondale and Dollar General in Elkville, among others.

Super Bowl venue trades plastic cups and bottles for aluminum

Read the full story in Food Engineering.

Announcements of drinks in aluminum containers seem to be picking up, and two that stood out recently were for some of the beer and water served at the Super Bowl.

The Human Side of Waste

Read the full story at Waste360.

In this week’s episode of NothingWasted!, we chat with Denise Patel, U.S. program director for the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA).

GAIA advances successful, community-driven waste solutions through systems change and policy advocacy, focusing on three initiatives: promoting zero waste; reducing problematic waste streams and; putting an end to the ineffective and hazardous practice of burning waste

We spoke with Patel about her passion for human rights advocacy, how her work is shifting due to COVID-19, what the current pandemic means for our climate and more.

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