Month: October 2020

Q&A: Liesl Clark Director, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy

Read the full story at MiBiz.

On Sept. 23, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a target for Michigan to be carbon neutral by 2050. While that’s certainly a lofty goal, questions remain over what hitting the target will actually mean in practice. Over the next year, the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) will submit a MI Healthy Climate Plan to Whitmer that essentially acts as a roadmap. It will begin to detail ways the state and private sector — including utilities and industrial and commercial entities — can start chipping away at the carbon reduction goal while also outlining strategies for offsetting carbon emissions. Whitmer’s announcement made Michigan the fifth state with a long-term carbon neutral target, and the first in the Midwest. EGLE Director Liesl Clark recently spoke with MiBiz to discuss the climate goal and the pandemic’s effect on the clean energy sector.

Emissions of Nitrous Oxide, a Climate Super-Pollutant, Are Rising Fast on a Worst-Case Trajectory

Read the full story at Inside Climate News.

Fertilizer is a leading culprit in nitrous oxide emissions, which are nearly 300 times more potent at warming the planet than carbon dioxide and deplete ozone.

Anti-climate ads are flourishing on Facebook, report says

Read the full story in Grist.

Things you might see in a Facebook ad include custom-fitted boxer briefs, a new HBO sitcom, and … climate denial.

new analysis from the nonprofit think tank InfluenceMap finds that climate denial is alive and flourishing on the world’s largest social network. According to the group’s report, Facebook has allowed lobbying groups with opaque funding sources to use the platform’s marketing tools to spread doubt about the science of climate change.

EPA installing monitors to investigate city’s tainted water plume

Read the full story in the Kokomo Tribune.

The Environmental Protection Agency is set to install six groundwater monitoring wells to investigate the contaminated water plume beneath much of Kokomo, marking the first major development since it was named one of the federal government’s top cleanup priorities.

The 294-acre groundwater plume was placed on the EPA’s Superfund national program list in 2015 after tests revealed it was contaminated with arsenic and vinyl chloride, a manufactured chemical used in the production of plastic products and packaging materials. The plume also contains chlorinated solvents, which are chemicals widely used for dry cleaning and to clean machinery and electronic parts.

Study finds more human than animal waste in Southwest Wisconsin wells

Read the full story in the Wisconsin State Journal.

A study of contaminated wells in three southwestern Wisconsin counties has found human waste is more often the cause than animal manure.

Researchers with the Southwest Wisconsin Groundwater and Geology Study — or SWIGG — recently completed a fourth round of tests on private wells in Grant, Iowa and Lafayette counties that had shown previous signs of contamination.

How Ferrero uses data to streamline its supply chain and reduce food waste

Read the full story at Food Dive.

The confectionery giant is working with software company Alloy to improve the efficiency of its operations by cutting down on overstock and out-of-stock items.

Nestlé will support farmers to achieve net-zero carbon by 2050, supply chain chief says

Read the full story at Supply Chain Dive.

The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy formally debuted the Net Zero Initiative Monday, an industry effort to help dairy farms implement new technologies and more sustainable practices to work toward a goal of carbon neutrality and improved water usage by 2050.

The center also announced a commitment of as much as $10 million and a multi-year partnership with food giant Nestlé to help toward carbon neutrality by scaling access to sustainable resources and practices on U.S. farms. 

Nestlé, which makes brands with dairy like Carnation, Stouffer’s and DiGiorno, is the first major partner for the initiative, the center said in the release. Nestlé’s involvement could push other big companies to join the Net Zero Initiative and contribute funding. 

Environmental, health groups call for mandatory PFAS testing in water systems

Read the full story in the Kenosha News.

Nearly three dozen public health and environmental organizations are calling on state officials to require thousands of public water systems in Wisconsin to test for hazardous chemicals known as PFAS.

“The people of Wisconsin have a right to know if their drinking water is contaminated with toxic chemicals, and the only way to obtain that information is through widespread, comprehensive testing,” the groups wrote in a letter to the Department of Natural Resources.

$5 trillion investor group sets tougher portfolio carbon targets

Read the full story from Reuters.

Thirty of the world’s largest investors managing a combined $5 trillion said on Tuesday they plan to set targets to lower their portfolio carbon emissions by as much as 29% over the next five years.

How To Incentivize Producers And Retailers To Adopt Sustainable Farming Practices

Read the full story in Forbes.

Animal agriculture has become a divisive industry as environmentalists and animal welfare activists criticize the “factory farms” for contributing to climate change and harmful treatment of animals. In response, there has been a lot of innovation in animal production and farming techniques since the turn of the 21st century, from plant-based meat alternatives to technological advancements that have allowed a single farmer to feed 5 families in the 1800s to now 168 families. 

Still, consumers are demanding more and more of retailers — they want to know that their animal proteins are sustainably sourced, and they want to know exactly how their purchase contributes positively to the overarching goal of creating an environmentally responsible food supply chain. And while retailers — especially major corporations — are eager to contribute (take, for example, the plant-based burger options that fast food chains like Burger King and McDonald’s), there is a gap in knowledge, as the global animal agricultural supply chain is both complex and byzantine. 

Enter the Environmentally Sourced Retailers Certification Program, an idea borne out of the Forbes AgTech Hackathon this past weekend. A team that spanned from Indianapolis to Bangalore, India, these three entrepreneurs — Chandler Chapman, Mallikarjun Malkiodeyar and Evan Wheeler — quickly identified an information and accountability gap between retailers (ex: McDonald’s) and producers (ex: feedlots). They sought to fill that gap with this program that would bring capital investment from corporations, which could then be used to propel and maintain sustainable farming practices without sacrificing quality, efficiency, or profits for the producers. 

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