Calculating the cost of electric heavy-duty truck charging

Read the full story at Centered.

As Midwest manufacturers work to electrify heavy-duty vehicles, a big challenge remains: how to charge them. 

The trucking industry makes up about one-quarter of the country’s transportation emissions, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Equipment manufacturers including Illinois-based Navistar have developed, or are in the process of developing, commercial electric vehicles to reduce this impact. Charging stations that serve commercial vehicles are starting to pop up in places like Michigan, and five states formed the Regional Electric Vehicle Midwest Coalition last year to accelerate vehicle electrification and charging infrastructure development, especially for fleets.

Keep it or toss it? ‘Best Before’ labels cause confusion

Read the full story from the Associated Press.

As awareness grows around the world about the problem of food waste, one culprit in particular is drawing scrutiny: “best before” labels.

Manufacturers have used the labels for decades to estimate peak freshness. Unlike “use by” labels, which are found on perishable foods like meat and dairy, “best before” labels have nothing to do with safety and may encourage consumers to throw away food that’s perfectly fine to eat.

Nestlé commits more than $1B to coffee sustainability amid climate change concerns

Read the full story at Food Dive.

Nescafe, Nestlé’s largest coffee brand, plans to spend more than $1 billion to help the food and beverage giant source coffee more sustainably.

Nestlé, which previously vowed to source all its coffee sustainably by 2025, also plans to get 20% of its coffee sourced from regenerative agricultural methods by 2025. Half will be sourced that way by 2030.

Studies have shown that rising temperatures, diseases and drought will reduce the amount of land that can be used to grow coffee by up to 50%, while impacting the taste and aroma of the beverage.

Towards a green food system: Japan urges food industry cooperation after sluggish sustainability support

Read the full story at Food Navigator.

The Japanese government has called on local food businesses and producers to co-operate more closely with local authorities and basic regional sustainability plans so the national Green Food System Strategy will hit its 2030 and 2050 targets.

Danone discusses food waste in the home: ‘Changing consumer behaviour can be challenging and takes time’

Read the full story at Food Navigator.

Roughly a third of the food produced globally each year is wasted. In Europe, the majority of waste occurs in the home. How can the food industry influence waste that occurs outside its direct sphere of control? FoodNavigator hears from Amy McDonnell, Social Innovation & Sustainability Manager at Danone UK & Ireland.

Forestry leaders scramble to turn massive new funding into trees

Read the full story at Stateline.

Foresters, nursery managers and urban planners have long sought funding to grow more trees, replant burned areas and help marginalized communities prepare for the effects of climate change.

Suddenly, the money isn’t the problem — it’s figuring out how to spend it.

EPA announces innovative effort to bring new chemicals used in electric vehicle, semiconductor, clean energy sectors to market

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced a new effort under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to implement a streamlined and efficient process under the New Chemicals Program to assess risk and apply mitigation measures, as appropriate, for new chemicals with applications in batteries, electric vehicles, semiconductors and renewable energy generation.

Under TSCA, EPA’s New Chemicals Program plays an important role by reviewing all new chemical substances before they enter the marketplace in order to bring innovative chemistries to market in a way that does not harm human health or the environment. 

The new process is for mixed metal oxides (MMOs), including new and modified cathode active materials (CAMs). MMOs are innovative chemistries and have numerous electrical applications in batteries as well as use as catalysts, adsorbents, and in ceramics. Notably, MMOs, including CAMs, are a key component in lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles, which are a growing and important industry. New MMOs can also be used for semi-conductors, and renewable energy generation and storage, such as solar cells and wind power turbines. They typically consist of lithium, nickel, cobalt and other metals, and they are the key material used in the production of the cathode in battery cells, which are subsequently assembled into a battery.

This effort supports President Biden’s bold agenda to tackle the climate crisis, and will complement the resources flowing to EPA from historic legislation signed by the President. There are incentives attached to clean energy under the Inflation Reduction Act, including tax credits for electric vehicles. Under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, there are also incentives to build a national network of electric vehicle chargers.

Like all chemical substances not listed on the TSCA Inventory, MMOs, including new and modified CAMs, are subject to section 5 of TSCA, which requires manufacturers (including importers) of new chemical substances to provide EPA with notice before initiating the activity by submitting a Premanufacture Notice (PMN). When EPA receives a PMN, TSCA requires the agency to fully assess all the potential hazards and exposures of the new chemical substance, make a determination as to whether it presents an unreasonable risk to human health or the environment, and take steps to address that risk before it can enter commerce

EPA has reviewed hundreds of TSCA section 5 submissions for MMOs, including CAMs and modified CAMs, since the 1980’s. To further describe this new effort, EPA will launch outreach and training for interested stakeholders to outline the new streamlined approach to reviewing MMOs, basics of TSCA statutory and regulatory requirements, and steps for navigating the new chemicals submission process.

Subscribe to OCSPP’s news releases to receive notices about upcoming webinars.

Today’s announcement is supplemented with the release of a Compliance Advisory that reaffirms that new MMOs, which includes CAMs and modified CAMs, are new chemical substances subject to TSCA. Anyone who plans to manufacture (including import) a CAM or modified CAM that is not on the TSCA Inventory must comply with the TSCA section 5 new chemical requirements and implementing regulations.

In January 2022, EPA launched a similar effort to streamline the review of dozens of PMNs for biofuels that could be used to displace current, higher greenhouse gas emitting transportation fuels. Under this effort, EPA has completed about 95 percent of all biofuel PMNs submitted since the initiative was announced.

More information about EPA’s review of new chemicals and MMOs.

Zero waste should be an important part of climate plans, GAIA urges

Read the full story at Waste Dive.

In its “Zero Waste to Zero Emissions” report released Tuesday, the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives described source reduction and waste diversion efforts as critical to climate mitigation and adaptation.

Ultimately, a zero waste model can transform the waste sector — which contributes to global methane emissions — into a net-negative source of greenhouse gas emissions, the report states. Cities that adopt a zero waste approach could reduce emissions by as much as 84%, and could in turn lower the emissions in mining, forestry, manufacturing and energy by leveraging recycled materials.

The report highlighted the power of composting to reduce landfill methane emissions and boost soil resilience, and called for bans on single-use plastics. It also said the sector’s various energy recovery strategies are not effective, saying landfill gas capture is “unreliable” and describing incineration as “a major source of GHG emissions.”

How Feeding America is using inventory visibility tools to improve the flow of donations

Read the full story at Supply Chain Dive.

Smarter Sorting is working with Feeding America through its MealConnect digital platform to help retailers more seamlessly move their excess food to the nonprofit, the tech company announced last month.

The consumer goods data company will integrate its data-intelligence software with Feeding America’s platform to speed retailers’ sorting process, while providing real-time updates about donation packages to improve visibility, according to the release.

Costco, a Feeding America partner, helped to pilot the new service and is expected to scale the technology across its warehouses early next year, Smarter Sorting CEO Jacqueline Claudia told Supply Chain Dive.

U.S. DOE Zero Energy Design Designation programs

The DOE Building Technologies Office awarded its first-ever Zero Energy Design Designation (ZEDD) to 17 leading educational programs of study at 12 institutions around the world. These schools have excelled at preparing tomorrow’s architectural and engineering leaders to design and build the most sustainable buildings possible.

DOE’s Zero Energy Design Designation program distinguishes post-secondary academic programs that teach best practices of zero energy design and require students to apply those concepts in zero energy design projects.

The educational programs that earned the ZEDD are:

  • Appalachian State University (Boone, North Carolina) – August 2022
    • Master of Science in Technology with a Sustainable Building Design and Construction Concentration
    • Bachelor of Science in Building Sciences with a Sustainable Buildings Concentration
  • Ball State University (Muncie, Indiana) – August 2022
    • Bachelor of Architecture
    • Master of Architecture
  • Hawkeye Community College (Waterloo, Iowa) – August 2022
    • Sustainable Construction and Design Program
  • Howard University (Washington, D.C.) – August 2022
    • Master of Architecture with an Equitable High-Performance Energy Design Concentration
  • Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago, Illinois) – August 2022
    • Master of Engineering in Architectural Engineering
    • Master of High Performance Buildings
  • Myongji University (Seoul, South Korea) – August 2022
    • Zero Energy Design Certificate for Bachelor of Architecture, College of Architecture
    • Zero Energy Design Certificate for Bachelor of Traditional Architecture
    • Zero Energy Design Certificate for Bachelor of Space Design
  • The Catholic University of America (Washington, D.C.) – August 2022
    • Master of Science in Net Zero Design/Master of Architecture Joint Degree
  • University of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, Ohio) – August 2022
    • Net Zero Energy Design Track in the Architectural Engineering Program
  • University of Colorado, Boulder (Boulder, Colorado) – August 2022
    • Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering
  • University of Missouri (Columbia, Missouri) – August 2022
    • Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies
  • Vermont Technical College (Randolph Center, Vermont) – August 2022
    • Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering Technology
  • Western Washington University (Bellingham, Washington) – August 2022
    • Bachelor of Science in Energy, Science, and Technology – Net Zero Energy Design Track

To prepare for the 2023 application, please review the instructions and checklist.