Consortium finds safer alternatives for aerospace and defense

A consortium, led by the University of Massachusetts-Lowell’s Toxics Use Reduction Institute, that evaluates safer alternatives to coatings containing hexavalent chromium used in the aerospace and defense industry has published its final results for conversion coatings.

Research Manager Greg Morose, in partnership with Raytheon Technologies and Lockheed Martin, authored the recent article in the Journal of Aerospace and Technology and Management. Test results of three conversion coatings that don’t contain hexavalent chromium passed several industry specific performance requirements.

Learn more about the research.

Webinar: Credible Corporate Climate Action: How to Set and Meet Net-Zero Targets

Mar 10, 2022, 1-2 pm CT
Register here.

As public pressure for action to tackle climate change grows, companies are increasingly expected to set and execute on emissions targets aligned with science. However, the landscape of corporate climate action can be difficult to navigate, while the implementation of net-zero commitments across a business is a  complex endeavor.

In this one-hour webcast, speakers from renewable energy company Ørsted, the Science Based Targets Initiative and Oxford Net Zero will discuss how companies of all sizes can take credible climate action.

The speakers will consider questions including:

  • What is the current state of play in corporate climate action?
  • What constitutes credible corporate climate action and why?
  • What are the key steps for starting work towards a target?
  • How can companies balance what is necessary and what is feasible?


  • Jim Giles, Vice President, Net Zero, GreenBiz Group


  • Rasmus Skov, Senior Director, Global Public Affairs & Sustainability Solutions, Ørsted
  • Kate Cullen, Net Zero Researcher, University of Oxford PhD Student, Energy and Resources, University of California, Berkeley

If you can’t tune in live, please register and we will email you a link to access the archived webcast footage and resources, available to you on-demand after the webcast.

Camp Lejeune toxic water victims eye justice as pivotal House bill passes

Read the full story at The Hill.

A bill that could allow military families to seek justice for decades of water contamination at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina passed with bipartisan support as part of a broad piece of toxics legislation in the House on Thursday morning.

If the legislation goes on to receive Senate approval and become law, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 would enable individuals who suffered from on-base water contamination to pursue lawsuits for their illnesses. The bill advanced within the Honoring our PACT Act of 2021 — an expansive act to improve benefits for veterans exposed to toxins — in a 256-174 vote, with 222 Democrats and 34 Republicans in favor.

Tiny tire particles inhibit growth of organisms in freshwater, coastal estuaries, studies find

Read the full story from Oregon State University.

Small particles from tires inhibited the growth and caused adverse behavioral changes in organisms found in freshwater and coastal estuary ecosystems, two new research papers found.

Biden Administration rolls out new climate, economic, and environmental justice tools

The Biden Administration recently released two tools to help identify areas of focus for environmental justice (EJ). On February 18, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) released the beta version of its Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST), which helps agencies identify disadvantaged communities in order to direct federal benefits, as well as measure the percentage of benefits that are being directed to those communities.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also recently released EJSCREEN 2.0. The update includes new environmental justice indices, such as an underground storage tank indicator and an unemployment indicator, as well as updated environmental and demographic data down to the block group level (i.e., about every 1200 persons).

Read a comparison of the tools in the National Law Review.

Our roads are killing wildlife. The new infrastructure law aims to help

Read the full story from NPR.

For the better part of the last century, the Santa Monica Mountains have been effectively cut off from the larger world, hemmed in by seawater and sprawl. Highway 101, carved across the range’s northern foothills, “has become this impenetrable wall for wildlife,” said Beth Pratt, California regional executive director for the National Wildlife Federation. “And both plants and animals need movement to be resilient and survive.”

This spring, Southern California construction crews are expected to break ground on a solution: A 200-foot long bridge, complete with light deflectors, noise suppressors and nursery-raised willow saplings. The wildlife crossing will be the biggest and most expensive of its kind, spanning ten lanes of snarling traffic and reconnecting a severed landscape.

Oregon State researchers makes key advance in turning apple waste into packaging material

Read the full story from Oregon State University.

new study by Oregon State University scientists outlines a key advance in turning apple waste into an environmentally friendly packaging material that could serve as an alternative to plastic.

Southern Illinois Sustainable Business Webinar series: Increasing Profit Margins by Reducing Energy and Water Use

Implementing basic energy efficiency measures can reduce your energy use by 30% and yield significant cost savings. Conserving water can also reduce utility bills and add money back into your bottom line. In this session, we’ll cover the basics of energy efficiency and water conservation, as well as low to no cost strategies that you can launch now to reduce your utility costs. We will also share key resources, incentives and support services that can help you integrate energy and water saving measures.

How to finance Scope 3 emissions reductions on farms

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

As the food and agriculture industry takes a closer inventory of its climate impact and companies start setting science-based targets, reducing Scope 3 emissions becomes top of mind. It’s where 80 to 90 percent of the industry’s climate footprint lies. But how do you transform today’s agricultural system to one that sequesters rather than emits carbon along with delivering other ecosystem benefits? 

Redesigning financial incentives is one part of the answer. And that work doesn’t just lie in the hands of agricultural lenders and other financial institutions. Food companies can play an essential role in breaking down the barriers that prevent farmers from adopting practices such as cover cropping, reduced tillage and conservation strips. 

To help companies get started, a working group at the industry collaborative Field to Market published a report last week. It looks at the intersection of corporate supply chains and farm finance, laying out the barriers and opportunities for financial innovation and providing examples for effective value-chain collaboration.

Ghosts of polluters past

Read the full story at Grist.

As new soil tests reveal the pervasiveness of lead contamination, one California barrio continues its long struggle for justice.