UN wants early warning systems for natural disasters worldwide within five years

Read the full story at The Hill.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Wednesday announced that the U.N. will spearhead an effort to make early weather-warning systems available in the range of everyone on Earth in the next five years.

That effort will be led by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a U.N. agency, Guterres said in a press release from the WMO. It will focus on making alert systems available in the developing world, as they are already widely used by many wealthy countries.

Is jet fuel from waste finally ready for takeoff?

Read the full story at Waste Dive.

Multiple projects are underway to create sustainable aviation fuel from waste, but questions remain about whether it will be a scalable, viable success for the circular economy.

Coffee companies urged to step up efforts to tackle sector’s sustainability issues

Coffee beans

Read the full story from ING.

Global coffee demand is growing but the coffee sector is struggling to tackle sustainability issues at farms. Traders and roasters have been ramping up their initiatives to solve issues and safeguard future supply, but there’s a long way to go.

Toward the Development and Validation of a Model of Environmental Citizenship of Young Adults

Poškus, M. S. (2022). “Toward the Development and Validation of a Model of Environmental Citizenship of Young Adults.” Sustainability 14(6), 3338. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/su14063338.

Abstract: Growing civic participation in environmental movements shows that societies are more engaging in behavior that can be described as environmental citizenship. This behavior, however, may not necessarily be driven by factual knowledge and accurate beliefs. In the present study, a simplified model of environmental citizenship proposed by Hawthorne and Alabaster is tested in a sample of Lithuanian young adults in order to develop a working model of environmental citizenship that could be later used in intervention designs as a change model. A convenience sample of 267 young adults from 18 to 40 years of age participated in the study by filling in a questionnaire that assessed various components that comprise a model of environmental citizenship. The results indicate that, with a few modifications to better fit the data, the model fit the data well and could explain approximately 50% of the variance of environmental citizenship. The study uncovered a gap between factual (concrete) environmental knowledge and environmental literacy (perceived competence), illustrating the need to address this divide in order to ensure evidence-based participation in environmental movements and environmental citizenship behavior.

New buildings are huge carbon hogs. Here’s how to design them to last for centuries

Read the full story in Fast Company.

The threat of climate change calls for architects to design buildings for reuse, adaptation, and unexpected futures.

Guinness brews up new regenerative barley farming pilot in Ireland

Field of barley

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Guinness has unveiled plans for a three-year regenerative agriculture program aimed at slashing carbon emissions from its barley production in Ireland, which it has touted as one of the most ambitious projects of its kind.

The farm-based scheme aims to highlight opportunities for reducing emissions through efforts such as improving soil health and unlocking its carbon sequestration potential, enhancing biodiversity, reducing synthetic fertilizer use, improving water quality and boosting farmer livelihoods, it said.

Green Seal and Healthy Schools Campaign launch national pilot standard for school facilities

Students in school hallway

Source: Green Seal, Inc.

Healthy Schools Campaign (HSC) and Green Seal have announced a pilot Healthy Green Schools & Colleges certification standard to support facilities leaders in identifying and implementing low- or no-cost measures that make a significant difference in school indoor air quality.

The pilot standard is publicly available for any school district or university to use today to improve air quality in their facilities. It is designed to be implemented district-wide or university-wide to ensure an organization-level commitment to standard operating procedures, resource distribution, and facility maintenance that supports the health of all students and staff, as well as the environment.

The 9 school districts and 10 colleges and universities that signed on as Early Adopters during the development of the pilot standard will now begin formally implementing it to provide data and advice on thresholds for certification levels. The full Healthy Green Schools & Colleges program, including self-assessment tools, educational resources, a peer network and certification opportunities, will be available this Spring.

“The pandemic has made creating healthy school environments an urgent national priority and brought to light the significant under-investment in school facilities nationwide,” said Doug Gatlin, CEO of Green Seal. “This national standard fills a critical gap to provide schools with the resources and network to ensure a quality of school facility that every student in America deserves.”

“Unhealthy indoor air, inadequate ventilation, and chemical exposure from cleaning and maintenance routines are linked to poor concentration and test performance in students. These conditions are disproportionately found in schools serving primarily low-income Black and Latinx students, making this an important issue of equity.,” said Rochelle Davis, President and CEO of Healthy Schools Campaign. “The Healthy Green Schools & Colleges program is designed for any school district or university that commits to providing safer and healthier indoor school environments, whether they are just getting started on this path or already are leaders.”

“This standard is such a big deal for our field of work,” said Lazell Ofield, Director of Custodial Services and Warehousing of Kansas City Public Schools. “The goal for all of us in this line of work is to provide a clean, green, healthy space for our staff and school communities. Now we have an actual document to go by, monitor, and adjust as needed to meet those goals.”

“What we need most of all right now is support.” said Jodi Krause, Assistant Director of Housekeeping for Residence Hall Facilities at the University of Wisconsin- Madison. “The way I see it, this standard guides us and brings us together to make healthier, safer, more sustainable decisions.”

About the Standard

The first-of-its-kind standard for healthy and sustainable facilities management was designed in partnership with the award-winning K-12 and university facility directors on the Healthy Green Schools & Colleges Steering Committee and with input from early adopters, stakeholders and the public. It covers the full range of facilities management practices, including:

About the Program

The standard will be the centerpiece of a comprehensive program launching this Spring to support school facility management professionals in transforming the health and sustainability of school campuses. First, a self-assessment tool will allow schools to objectively measure their current indoor environmental health and sustainability performance, while guidebooks, trainings and tools will help facility professionals determine and take the next steps.

Then, the standard’s points-based scoring system encourages schools to keep improving at their own pace, with support from a network of facility management peers across the country who are on a similar journey. Schools that reach the top level of achievement can apply for third-party certification, earning public recognition for their verified expertise in providing healthy school environments.

Learn more about the Healthy Green Schools & Colleges standard and program here.

About Healthy Green Schools & Colleges

Healthy Green Schools & Colleges is a partnership between the Healthy Schools Campaign (HSC) and Green Seal, combining HSC’s extensive experience working with leading school facility directors and Green Seal’s globally recognized credibility in science-based standard development. Healthy Green Schools & Colleges provides school facility leaders nationwide with resources to transform the health and sustainability of school and university environments without making major capital investments. The multifaceted program includes education, certification standards and implementation guidelines; a network to accelerate the adoption of best practices, and recognition of the leaders who achieve success. Learn more at healthygreenschools.org.

About Green Seal, Inc.

Green Seal® is a global nonprofit organization with a mission to transform the economy for a healthier, greener world. Since 1989, Green Seal has applied rigorous standards for health, environmental sustainability, and product performance to its certification programs to empower better purchasing decisions. Green Seal has certified thousands of products, services and spaces from hundreds of leading companies and is specified by countless schools, government agencies, businesses, and institutions. Today, the Green Seal certification mark is a universal symbol that a product or service meets the highest benchmark of health and environmental leadership. Visit greenseal.org or connect with Green Seal on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

Reports: Minn.’s air pollution levels dropped, but still caused early deaths

Read the full story from Minnesota Public Radio.

Air quality in Minnesota has improved but air pollution continues to contribute to premature deaths and hospitalizations — and its impacts fall disproportionately on communities where health disparities already exist.

Rental companies will not fix fashion’s environmental woes

Read the full story at Treehugger.

I have a small bone to pick with fashion rental companies. I’m talking about the companies offering everything from baby clothes to office wear to fancy dresses that people can rent for a daily fee or monthly subscription rate in order to spare themselves the added expense and hassle of buying items outright.

My issue with fashion rental is that I don’t think it’s the eco-friendly savior that so many people make it out to be. That might come as a surprise to Treehugger readers who have read my various articles over the years that praise rental fashion as a more sustainable option to buying new clothes. While I am a staunch proponent of extending the lifespan of clothes for as long as possible, I think the fashion rental industry goes about it in a rather wasteful and illogical way. 

The Rationale for ISO 14001 Certification: A Systematic Review and a Cost–Benefit Analysis

Camilleri, M. A. (2022). “The rationale for ISO 14001 certification: A systematic review and a cost–benefit analysis.” Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 1– 17. https://doi-org/10.1002/csr.2254.

Abstract: This contribution presents the findings from a two-stage systematic review. It relied on PRISMA’s methodical protocol to capture and analyze high-impact articles, that were focused on the International Standards Organization’s ISO 14001—Environment Management Systems. Whilst stage 1 shed light on the most cited publications since 1995, stage 2 narrowed down the search results between 2015 and 2021. The findings suggest that the use of this certifiable standard may result in operational efficiencies through better utilization of resources and waste management systems. It provides opportunities for practitioners to re-conceive their license to operate and to enhance their credentials with stakeholders. Moreover, this review considered potential pitfalls of ISO 14001, like high certification costs, time constraints as well as an increase in paperwork and red tape. It noted that managers and employees may not always be willing or knowledgeable enough to implement the necessary changes to comply with the standard’s requirements.