Pollution Prevention (P2) projects often have costs (e.g., new equipment, contractor services) that require cash disbursements upfront, with potential savings (avoided costs) accruing over time. For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), these projects must often compete for limited resources with other internal business priorities that are essential for revenue generation. Small businesses may not be used to borrowing money from external sources or may not realize that it’s possible to do so at affordable terms.
Some lenders can make loans for P2 investment more accessible to SMEs by using a variety of techniques to lower or spread financial risk thereby reducing the borrower’s cost of financing (e.g., lower interest rates and/or longer payback periods to decrease regular loan payments). P2 financing tools can make small business loans more attractive to lenders. Small businesses can contact their lenders and state P2 programs for more information on options for financing P2 projects.
Industrial cleaners and degreasers account for some of the highest use materials in the electronics sector and are under increasing scrutiny from regulators and environmental health and safety organizations. Clean Production Action developed the new certification with Apple, a leader in safer chemistry adoption, to create clear criteria for assessing the safety of cleaners used in the electronics industry and beyond.
For years, Apple has used GreenScreen® for Safer Chemicals to assess and promote safer chemicals in their supply chain and 100% of their supplier final assembly sites now utilize only approved safer cleaners. Today’s launch of GreenScreen Certified creates a path towards an industry-wide transformation by making information about safer alternatives readily available throughout the electronics industry.
“These standards represent a new playbook to help companies everywhere use safer chemicals that are better for people’s health and for the planet,” said Kathleen Shaver, Apple’s director of environment and supply chain innovation. “We’re always innovating and glad to work with our partners to help drive the use of safer chemicals across industries.”
GreenScreen Certified™ for Cleaners & Degreasers in Manufacturing joins the family of GreenScreen certifications that are advancing safer chemicals in products. The criteria for GreenScreen certifications are freely and publicly available and build upon the well-established GreenScreen® for Safer Chemicals benchmark scores. Certification requirements include full ingredient disclosure, compliance with a comprehensive list of prohibited substances including per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), and testing to demonstrate the absence of priority restricted chemicals and chemical classes.
“Knowing which products are safer for workers in the electronics sector is a complicated task,” said Shari Franjevic, GreenScreen Program Manager. “GreenScreen Certified for Cleaners & Degreasers in Manufacturing now provides assurance that these products are third party certified and free of thousands of chemicals of high concern. We are very proud to supply another tool in the toolbox for safer chemistry innovation.”
Clean Production Action is an independent, non-profit organization based in the United States. Our mission is to design and deliver strategic solutions for green chemicals, sustainable materials, and environmentally preferable products. Our core programs are: GreenScreen® for Safer Chemicals, BizNGO, Chemical Footprint Project, and Investor Environmental Health Network.
About GreenScreen® for Safer Chemicals
GreenScreen is a globally recognized tool designed to assess and benchmark chemicals based on hazard. Companies, governments, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) use GreenScreen benchmark scores to identify chemicals of concern to human health and the environment, select safer alternatives, and to track and communicate their progress. GreenScreen criteria and guidance are fully transparent and available for anyone to use.
About GreenScreen Certified™
Built upon GreenScreen® for Safer Chemicals, GreenScreen Certified™ is an independent, non-profit certification that promotes the use of inherently safer chemicals in products and manufacturing.
The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute is hiring two Pollution Prevention Engineers and two Senior Pollution Prevention Engineers to provide P2 technical assistance to industry and other identified sectors. The positions are located in Rochester, NY.
The eighth iSEE Congress will re-address the topic of feeding the world. A major challenge for agriculture in the coming decades: providing a secure and safe supply of food, feed, and fuel to an ever-increasing human population using agricultural practices that are ecologically sustainable and adaptable to climate change.
The Congress will consist of four one-hour sessions during October and November. Register for each session at the links below:
The job is to repair, and tune cars and trucks. Keeping these vehicles running requires the use of an engine degreaser or brake cleaner to remove grease and grime so the mechanics can identify issues and make repairs. Unfortunately, most brake cleaners contain chemicals that are harmful to human health and the environment, and identifying economical safer products within the local supply chain is challenging.
These sites tested various blends of acetone, heptane, hydrocarbons as replacements for more hazardous blends containing xylene, toluene, PERC, TCE and methanol. The safer products were sourced from local Auto Value, Napa and O’Reilly Auto Parts stores. After identifying a working product, the auto shops were given a case of the product to continue testing it to ensure that it met cleaning expectations.
In preparation for reopening their karate studio after being closed for four months in the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the owners of Family Martial Arts Center (FMAC) of Leominster, Massachusetts, needed to identify a reliable source of cleaning and disinfecting products. They knew they needed to increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting required to keep their staff and students safe and wanted to ensure that the chemicals they used would not only be effective but would also not expose employees or students to asthmagens or neurodevelopmental hazards. Rather than continuing to buy pre-packaged products, FMAC purchased equipment that could generate safer cleaning and disinfecting solutions on demand, allowing them to maintain business efficiency, promote safety and stabilize access to cleaning products.
Food production is a big contributor to climate change, so it’s critically important to be able to measure greenhouse gas emissions from the food sector accurately. In a new study, we show that the food system generates about 35% of total global man-made greenhouse gas emissions.
Breaking down this share, production of animal-based foods – meat, poultry and dairy products, including growing crops to feed livestock and pastures for grazing – contributes 57% of emissions linked to the food system. Raising plant-based foods for human consumption contributes 29%. The other 14% of agricultural emissions come from products not used as food or feed, such as cotton and rubber.
We are atmospheric scientists who study the effects of agriculture and other human activities on Earth’s climate. It’s well known that producing animal-based foods generates more greenhouse gas emissions than plant-based foods, which is why shifting toward a more plant-based diet is recognized as an option for curbing greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.
But to quantify the potential impact of such a shift, we saw a need for better tools to estimate emissions from individual plant- and animal-based food items, with more details about how emissions are calculated and covering all food-related sub-sectors, such as land use change and actions beyond the farm gate.
Current methods rely on sparse data and simplified representations of many key factors, such as emissions from farmland management. They don’t treat different sub-sectors consistently or calculate emissions for producing many specific commodities.
To fill those gaps, we have developed a comprehensive framework that combines modeling and various databases. It enables us to estimate average yearly global emissions of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide from the production and consumption of plant- and animal-based human food. Currently, our study covers the years 2007-2013. Here are some of the insights it offers, using data that represents an average of those years.
Greenhouse gases from food production
We considered four major sub-sectors of emissions from plant- and animal-based food production. Overall, we calculated that the food system produces emissions that are equivalent to approximately 17.3 billion metric tons (17.318 teragrams) of carbon dioxide yearly.
Land use change – clearing forests for farms and ranches, which reduces carbon storage in trees and soils – accounts for 29% of total food production greenhouse gas emissions. Another 38% comes from farmland management activities, such as plowing fields, which reduces soil carbon storage, and treating crops with nitrogen fertilizer. Farmers also burn a lot of fossil fuel to run their tractors and harvesters.
Raising livestock generates 21% of greenhouse gas emissions from food production. It includes methane belched by grazing animals, as well as methane and nitrous oxide released from livestock manure. The remaining 11% comes from activities that occur beyond farm gates, such as mining, manufacturing and transporting fertilizers and pesticides, as well as energy use in food processing.
Which foods generate the most greenhouse gas emissions?
Our framework makes it possible to compare how different food products and food-producing regions affect Earth’s climate.
Among animal-based foods, beef is the largest contributor to climate change. It generates 25% of total food emissions, followed by cow milk (8%) and pork (7%).
Rice is the largest contributor among plant-based foods, producing 12% of the total greenhouse gas emissions from the food sector, followed by wheat (5%) and sugarcane (2%). Rice stands out because it can grow in water, so many farmers flood their fields to kill weeds, creating ideal conditions for certain bacteria that emit methane.
This helps to explain why South and Southeast Asia have the greatest food-production-related emissions by region, producing 23% of the global total. This region is the only place where plant-based emissions are larger than animal-based emissions. South America is the second-largest emitter at 20%, and has the largest emissions from animal-based food, reflecting the dominance of ranching there.
Among individual countries, China, India and Indonesia have the highest emissions from plant-based food production, contributing 7%, 4%, and 2% respectively of global food-related greenhouse gas emissions. The countries with leading emissions from the production of animal-based foods are China (8%), Brazil (6%), the U.S. (5%) and India (4%).
How food production affects land use
Our framework also shows that raising animal-based foods consumes six times as much land as producing plant-based foods.
Worldwide, we estimate that humans are using 18 million square miles (4.6 billion hectares) of land to produce food – about 31% of Earth’s total land area, excluding areas covered by snow and ice. Of this, 30% is cropland and 70% is various types of grazing land.
Looking at how these areas are managed, we estimate that 13% of total agricultural land is being used to produce plant-based foods. The other 77% is being used to produce animal-based foods, including croplands that are growing animal feed and grazing lands. The remaining 10% is being used to raise other products, such as cotton, rubber and tobacco.
Our study uses a consistent framework to provide a complete estimation of greenhouse gas emissions from food production and consumption, covering all food-related sub-sectors, at local, country, regional and global scales. It can help policymakers identify the plant- and animal-based food commodities that contribute the largest shares to climate change, and the higest-emitting sub-sectors at different locations.
Based on these results, governments, researchers and individuals can take actions to reduce emissions from high-emitting food commodities in different places. As U.N. leaders have stated, making food production more climate-friendly is essential to reduce hunger in a warming world.
The zero emissions movement is expanding rapidly at the local, state, and federal levels, expanding regulatory pressures on food retailers to address refrigerant emissions. This free virtual summit will bring together key stakeholders – including food retailers, manufacturers, service contractors, engineers, government agencies, policymakers, utilities, energy, and environmental stakeholders – to advance the solutions needed to achieve a zero emissions future for supermarket refrigeration.
Hear the latest regulatory and industry trends and learn from the food retailers, industry experts, and policymakers shaping the future of sustainable refrigeration.