Monday, August 08, 2016

New on the GLRPPR Web Site
















New on the GLRPPR Web Site


Event: Calculating the Emissions Impact of Recycling

In 2009 the EPA introduced the concept of Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) which looks at the entire lifecycle of goods and products, not just end-of-life materials management. Waste Management has recently applied these principles to measure the greenhouse gas emissions impact of the solid waste and recycling industry. When the principles of SMM were applied to the materials handled by the solid waste and recycling industry, analysts at Waste Management found that their old way of thinking needed to change to focus more on the overall environmental impacts of their operations. This led them to develop a unique model that identifies the cost per ton of carbon emissions reduction for various solid waste and recycling services. In the first of a two-part series, this one-hour webcast will provide insight into how corporate and urban sustainability leaders can understand the carbon impacts of their own waste reduction and recycling efforts. You'll learn: the role of lifecycle thinking when developing and evaluating materials management goals; and where to focus limited resources to realize the greatest environmental return; how to take actions to to ensure that your goals reflect true environmental improvements. Speakers: Susan Robinson, Senior Public Affairs Director, Waste Management; Rob Hallenbeck, Venturing Analyst, Waste Management; and Elisabeth Resek, Chief of Municipal Source Reduction, EPA.

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The Fix Is Out: Product Repairs Get Tougher in New Age of Obsolescence

Source: NBC News, 8/1/16.

Mike Tyran, a nurse living near Corpus Christi, Texas, bought a used Apple iPod in 2010 and tried to repair it after the battery wouldn't charge. But when the inveterate "fixer" attempted to open the white-and-chrome rectangle, he was stumped. "I had worked on old tube radios ... (which) had diagrams (and) ... schematics. I know where the wiring goes and I know how to open it," said Tyran, 56, a former heavy diesel mechanic. "I looked at an iPod and I had no idea how to open it & because there were no screws." Tyran's realization that the sleek but defective digital music player was nearly impenetrable opened his eyes to a broader truth: He and his fellow tinkerers are living in a New Age of Obsolescence -- a time where repair is, by design, often not an option. There are many reasons that consumer products are increasingly manufactured in ways that make it nearly impossible to fix them. Among them: Ever-tighter design requirements, manufacturers' fears of intellectual property theft or liability if a repair goes wrong, and the growing number of products that contain proprietary software -- a class that will explode in the era of the Internet of Things. But critics say profit generated by repeat product sales is the biggest driver behind disposable consumer products.
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VOC Reduction Case Studies/Success Stories

Links to VOC reduction case studies and webinars developed by MnTAP.

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EPA Issues Final Rule to Protect the Public from Exposure to Formaldehyde

Source: U.S. EPA, 7/27/16.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today moves to reduce exposure to formaldehyde vapors from certain wood products produced domestically or imported into the United States. The agency worked with the California Air Resources Board to help ensure the final national rule is consistent with California requirements for composite wood products.
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Researchers Study Whether Renewable Is Always Better

Source: Carnegie Mellon University, 7/19/16.

Making plastics from plants is a growing trend. It's renewable, but is it better? A recent study by Carnegie Mellon University researchers examines the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of three plant-based plastics at each stage of production compared with that of their common fossil fuel-based counterparts.
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How Milwaukee is brewing energy efficiency, financial innovation

Source: GreenBiz, 7/25/16.

Brew City is removing financial barriers, embracing partnerships and touting a 'new triple-bottom-line' ethos.
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Funding Opportunity: Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program

This program assists in the development, construction, and retrofitting of new and emerging technologies for the development of Advanced Biofuels, Renewable Chemicals, and Biobased Product Manufacturing by providing loan guarantees for up to $250 million.

Funds may be used to fund the development, construction and retrofitting of:

  • Commercial-Scale Biorefineries using Eligible Technology
  • Biobased Product Manufacturing facilities that use Technologically New Commercial-Scale processing and manufacturing equipment to convert Renewable Chemicals and other biobased outputs of Biorefineries into end-user products on a commercial scale
  • Refinancing, in certain circumstances, may be eligible

Required letter of intent due by September 1, 2016.

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Wine without waste: De Bortoli aims to be Australia's first zero-waste winery

Source: The Guardian, 7/25/16.

Solar energy, no sodium and organic fertilizer: how one of Australia's biggest wineries is reducing waste while saving money and energy
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Funding Opportunity: IL: 2016-2017 Public Sector Energy Efficiency Standard, Custom and Clean Water Incentive Program

The Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity's Illinois Energy Now is a portfolio of electric and natural gas efficiency programs administered by the State that includes incentives and services for public sector equipment upgrades, low income housing improvements, and for market transformation technical assistance and education programs.

The Public Sector Program, which is open to local governments, municipal corporations, public school districts, community college districts, public universities, and state/federal facilities located in the territories of Ameren, ComEd, Nicor, Peoples Gas and/or North Shore Gas, offers "Standard", "Custom", and "Clean Water" incentives. The Standard program provides incentives for specific electric and natural gas measures, including lighting, HVAC, equipment, and kitchen. The Custom program provides incentives for other electric and gas energy efficiency measures not included in Standard. The Clean Water program provides incentives for high efficiency blowers, aeration diffusers, and controls.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. No new Applications will be accepted after April 3, 2017. Final Certifications must be submitted by May 8, 2017.

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Event: Wicked Problems, Dynamic Solutions The Ecosystem Approach and Systems Thinking

A MOOC (massive open online course) developed by UNEP. Cost is free. Requires about 7 hours of effort per week.

We live in a complex and dynamic world. Many problems we face today involve interdependent structures, multiple actors, and are at least partly the result of past actions. Such problems are extremely difficult to tackle and conventional solutions have very often led to unintended consequences.

A systems thinking approach focuses on systems as a whole: how the parts interrelate and how interconnections create emerging patterns. Systems thinking tools allow us to map and explore dynamic complexity. With a better understanding of systems, we can identify leverage points that lead to desired outcomes and avoid unintended consequences. Environmental problems are often described as "wicked problems" to highlight their complexity and the difficulties they entail. Finding answers to current crises such as fisheries collapse, climate change, biodiversity loss, infectious diseases, and inequitable access to resources will be amongst the greatest challenges of our time. The ecosystem approach applies systems thinking to gain a better understanding of how ecosystems function. It can help us identify potential solutions to a myriad of problems inspired in part by the complex dynamics of ecosystems themselves.

Two certificates available:

  • Foundations: 40 hours of learning introducing the student to the basic concepts of the ecosystem and systems thinking approaches. This track consists of 10 modules geared towards university students, policymakers, managers and professionals who require an overview of the topic in order to integrate the concepts of the MOOC into their professions.
  • Advanced Certificate: 10 additional hours consisting of a final assignment for those who want to acquire more in-depth knowledge, insights and skills relating to the applicability of the ecosystem approach in their respective areas of specialization, in the larger framework of the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.

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