Beyond the Plastic Bag: Sparking a Seachange for Reuse

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While we know the greenest bag is the one a customer already owns, and the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag is advancing research and testing to increase instances of customers bringing their own bags, the focus of this report is specific to the testing of reusable bag systems undertaken in summer 2021. We share our learnings from conducting first-of-a-kind reusable bag pilots across select CVS Health, Target and Walmart stores, where customers could “borrow” a bag and use it multiple times before returning it at the same or a different brand’s store to be washed, redistributed and reused by other customers.

Citizens disillusioned about progress on corporate sustainability, poll finds

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

A major polling exercise has revealed widespread skepticism among consumers towards corporations’ sustainability programs, as well as concern over whether products marketed as environmentally sustainable are guilty of “greenwash.”

Interviews with 19,000 people in eight countries found that 70 percent of people are disillusioned about corporate progress towards sustainability goals and suspicious of potential greenwashing activity by businesses.

The research, published by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), found that sustainability is a major concern for citizens of the U.S., Germany, Italy, France, Japan, China, India and Brazil, with four out of five participants in the study reporting they considered sustainability when making day-to-day purchases.

But this heightened concern is not necessarily translating into action, according to the findings, which reveal that just 20 percent of consumers believe they can have a positive impact on the environment through their purchases.

Federal government to prioritize US-made, lower-carbon construction materials

Read the full story from The Hill.

The U.S. government will for the first time prioritize the use of American-made, lower-carbon construction materials in federal procurement and federally funded projects, the General Services Administration (GSA) announced on Tuesday.

To realize this goal, the GSA has issued a request for information about the availability of domestically manufactured, locally sourced “low-embodied-carbon” materials — or those that generate fewer carbon emissions during the process of constructing a building.

The move is part of the Biden administration’s Federal Buy Clean Initiative, which aims to stimulate markets for low-carbon products made in the U.S., according to the GSA.

Request for Comment: AASHE STARS 3.0: Procurement & Waste

As part of the development process for the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) 3.0, AASHE is seeking public comment on a Procurement and Waste section slated for inclusion in the new version (projected release is currently fourth quarter of 2023). AASHE encourages feedback from stakeholders who may have relevant expertise or interest in participating. Public comment is open through Oct. 31.

Free virtual event: Sustainable Refrigeration Summit (Oct 24-28, 2022)

This free virtual summit will bring together the stakeholders needed to solve the puzzle of sustainable refrigeration in supermarkets – including food retailers, manufacturers, service contractors, engineers, consultants, government agencies, policymakers, utilities, energy, and environmental stakeholders.

Hear the latest regulatory and industry trends and learn from leading food retailers, industry experts, and policymakers.

Visit the summit website for the full agenda and to register.

Building consensus for prioritizing groundwater protections in the Great Lakes

Read the full story from the International Joint Commission.

Water flows through a single cycle from air to surface water and groundwater, or from land to lakes and streams, evaporating and beginning its journey all over again. But environmental law and policy often overlook an entire arc of the cycle, regulating groundwater separately and increasing the potential for risks to public health and ecosystem degradation. 

The 2012 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement is beginning to change that. One important step forward is the inclusion of an annex devoted to groundwater. Annex 8 commits the Canadian and United States governments to coordinating groundwater science and management actions. The goal is to build the base of knowledge about the impact of groundwater on the Great Lakes, leading to specific policy and science actions.

Industry pushing for decarbonization of aluminum, ammonia, steel production

Read the full story from Environment + Energy Leader.

More than 200 industry leaders have endorsed strategies from the Mission Possible Partnership (MPP) to decarbonize some of world’s hardest-to-abate, carbon-intensive industries in this decade.

New plans released at New York Climate Week for production of near-zero emissions materials — aluminum, ammonia, and steel — have won support from more than 60 companies, bringing to more than 200 the tally of endorsements for MPP’s published Sector Transition Strategies (STS) which also include aviation, shipping, and trucking.

Industry Insights from NIZO: Sustainable food processing offers path through the energy crisis

Read the full story from Food Navigator.

Sustainability goals have already made reducing energy consumption a priority for the food industry. Now, soaring energy costs are adding economic urgency to that drive. How can vital energy savings be achieved?

New research project converts fruit waste into natural ingredients

Read the full story at Food Navigator.

AINIA, the Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology, and Productos Lácteos Romar embark on a new project to turn citrus, watermelon and kaki waste into functional food items.

How new processing techniques have ‘great potential’ to make food more sustainable

Read the full story at Dairy Reporter.

Processed food can get a bad rap. But according to researchers in Norway, new processing techniques can help extend shelf-life to reduce food waste and its detrimental effects on the environment.