IFS launches global manufacturing study on sustainability and the circular economy

Read the company news release.

IFS, the global cloud enterprise software company, today announced it has conducted a research study with technology analyst, Omdia, to better understand the views of manufacturing companies worldwide around sustainability and the circular economy.  The survey polled a wide range of respondents working for manufacturers across North America and Europe (all employed at director, or C Level, and above).

The survey is timely given the current acceleration in climate change and the need to curb the impact of manufacturing on the environment through cutting emissions and reducing industrial energy consumption. The disruption of the pandemic acted as a catalyst for enhanced sustainability but external pressures such as customer awareness and regulatory pressure are pushing it up the priority list.

The research covers three key areas, each of which impacts manufacturers’ approach to sustainability. The first covers investment drivers, such as environmental responsibility and barriers like legacy infrastructure. The second considers sustainability implementation status, including key areas where companies are currently focusing their sustainability initiatives and level of sustainability maturity; and the third assesses the case for the circular economy, encompassing its key benefits.

Web scraping is legal, US appeals court reaffirms

Read the full story at TechCrunch.

Good news for archivists, academics, researchers and journalists: Scraping publicly accessible data is legal, according to a U.S. appeals court ruling.

The landmark ruling by the U.S. Ninth Circuit of Appeals is the latest in a long-running legal battle brought by LinkedIn aimed at stopping a rival company from web scraping personal information from users’ public profiles. The case reached the U.S. Supreme Court last year but was sent back to the Ninth Circuit for the original appeals court to re-review the case.

In its second ruling on Monday, the Ninth Circuit reaffirmed its original decision and found that scraping data that is publicly accessible on the internet is not a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, or CFAA, which governs what constitutes computer hacking under U.S. law.

The Ninth Circuit’s decision is a major win for archivists, academics, researchers and journalists who use tools to mass collect, or scrape, information that is publicly accessible on the internet. Without a ruling in place, long-running projects to archive websites no longer online and using publicly accessible data for academic and research studies have been left in legal limbo.

The national fight against COVID-19 isn’t ready to go to the sewers

Read the full story at MuckRock.

As COVID-19 testing sites close and experts warn that case numbers are capturing a small minority of infections, many public health experts are turning to a newer source that might tell us what’s going on with the virus: our poop.

In the past two years, scientists have developed systems that can detect COVID-19 in our wastewater. This is a great early warning system, since the virus can show up in people’s waste days before they begin to experience symptoms or are able to get tested. It’s also less biased than case data: Not everyone can find a COVID-19 test and not every positive result will get reported … but everybody poops.

As with so many other COVID-19 metrics, however, interpreting wastewater data is not as simple as it seems. Before COVID-19, this type of data hadn’t been used to track respiratory viruses. This means the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has little established infrastructure to build upon. The agency is attempting to standardize reporting from researchers across the country, many of whom have different water sampling methods. Plus, the state and local health officials who cite wastewater as a potential replacement for underreported case numbers aren’t used to interpreting data from the environment, which has unique caveats and requires a learning curve for those used to looking at numbers from hospitals and health clinics.

The Documenting COVID-19 project surveyed 19 state and local health agencies, as well as scientists who work on wastewater sampling, to learn about the challenges they’re facing. We found that many states are months away, if not longer, from being able to use wastewater data to guide public health decisions, even as the rise of an omicron subvariant, BA.2, looms. Meanwhile, the CDC’s highly shared wastewater surveillance dashboard is a work in progress, and is difficult to interpret for users who might hope to follow the trends in their areas.

Webinar: Let’s Talk About It: A Conversation with Tribes about Environmental Justice

Apr 28, 2022 1 pm CDT
Register here
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Please join Carolyn Hoskinson, ORCR Office Director, at this interactive session to take a closer look at Environmental Justice (EJ) from a tribal perspective. EPA will share its EJ priorities and discuss current and future waste grant programs. Tribes will have the opportunity to express waste related EJ concerns and provide feedback on how EPA’s EJ priorities can assist in building sustainable waste management programs.

A Google-backed carbon footprint tracker could be a game-changer for small businesses

Read the full story at Protocol. The calculator is part of the SME Climate Hub.

Tracking carbon emissions is hard, especially for small and medium-sized businesses. A Google-backed company is coming to their rescue, though.

Swedish startup Normative introduced a free version of its carbon emissions tracker, which it created to help relatively small companies get a baseline understanding of their emissions. That’s the first step to putting together a climate plan.

Climate scientists reconsider the meaning and implications of drought in light of a changing world

Read the full story at the University of California Santa Barbara.

Maps of the American West have featured ever darker shades of red over the past two decades. The colors illustrate the unprecedented drought blighting the region. In some areas, conditions have blown past severe and extreme drought into exceptional drought. But rather than add more superlatives to our descriptions, one group of scientists believes it’s time to reconsider the very definition of drought.

How London plans to make the entire city an Ultra Low Emissions Zone

Read the full story at Fast Company.

Three years ago, London was the first city to introduce an “Ultra Low Emissions Zone,” or ULEZ, which charged the most polluting vehicles a fee to enter—something the BBC called one of the most radical anti-pollution policies in the world at the time. The zone expanded last year. Now the government plans to expand it to cover the entire city.

It’s a way to help tackle three challenges simultaneously: the city’s air pollution, the climate crisis, and congestion that means drivers now spend the equivalent of six days sitting in traffic each year. London has seen pollution start to drop in the center, where the first ULEZ sits–but the benefits weren’t reaching other neighborhoods, and climate emissions from transportation weren’t dropping quickly enough to be on track for the city’s goal to reach net-zero emissions by 2030. The city’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, wanted to go further to address all three problems.

What’s next for Bumble Bee’s sustainable packaging push

Read the full story at Food Dive.

To the Bumble Bee Seafood Company, improving the sustainability and the quality of your packaging can go hand in hand.

Last week, the company announced new outer packaging for its multipack tuna cans made of readily recyclable paperboard. Bumble Bee said that it is the first shelf-stable seafood brand to replace its shrink wrap packaging with a recyclable alternative.

The paperboard is made of 100% recycled material with at least 35% post-consumer content, and is certified by the sustainability nonprofit Forest Stewardship Council. The new packaging has debuted on 23 SKUs, from 4- to 12-can packages.

Stop dawdling and sell your old gadgets already

Read the full story at Fast Company.

If you’re sitting on a pile of old phones, tablets, or computers, now is the best time to sell them for cash.

Technically, this is always true, because used electronics depreciate in value over time. But refurbishers say the ongoing chip shortage has increased the value of certain hard-to-find electronics, particularly iPads and Apple Watches, raising the price they’ll pay even for older models.

Meat companies have a long way to go with water stewardship

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

It’s a tricky time for the meat industry. Global sales are expected to top $1 trillion by 2025, but companies face some huge challenges: shifting consumer behavior; supply chain issues; and wild swings in commodity pricing, to name a few. Yet, there is one fundamental financial risk it faces that it — if it decides to — can manage: water risk.  

Ceres and our partners recently conducted an analysis that found by spending just over 1 percent of their revenue annually — or less if they worked together — meat companies could eliminate water impacts from their operations and supply chains.