Documents Recently Added to GLRPPR Sector Resources

These publications were recently added to GLRPPR’s Sector Resources. This list is continuously updated on the web and is also available as an RSS feed.

The Carbon Chasm
Wed, 26 Aug 2009 18:25:52 GMT
In 2007 the IPCC stated that developed economies must reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80-95% by 2050 in order to avoid dangerous climate change. This report utilises the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) dataset to analyse how the world’s largest companies currently set emissions reduction targets and whether planned reductions are sufficient to combat long term climate change. It also draws evidence from 12 in depth interviews with Global 1003 companies to show what motivates senior management in setting GHG reduction targets. This work was conducted in conjunction with BT (British Telecommunications plc), which has ignited a debate around science led targets with its proposed Climate Stabilisation Intensity target (CSI) methodology.

Zero Energy Home in San Francisco
Tue, 25 Aug 2009 14:01:18 GMT

Homes of the future will go beyond including green design elements, low VOC paints, and solar systems. Homes of the future will be carbon neutral, generate all their own power, some of their own food and have integrated systems to increase energy efficiency, reduce water consumption and minimize waste. Plans for the first Zero Energy House in San Francisco are underway, and this house will be a model of efficiency and green design to other homes in the area.

Be Spartan Green
Thu, 13 Aug 2009 18:28:05 GMT
Michigan State University’s sustainability web site includes videos, project descriptions, and suggestions for how students can be more environmentally aware.

Psychology and Global Climate Change: Addressing a Multi-faceted Phenomenon and Set of Challenges
Thu, 13 Aug 2009 18:16:31 GMT
The primary aim of this report is to engage members of the psychology community (teachers, researchers, those in practice, and students) in the issue of climate change. To this end, this American Psychological Association (APA) task force report describes the contributions of psychological research to an understanding of psychological dimensions of global climate change, provides research recommendations, and proposes policies for APA to assist psychologists’ engagement with this issue.

Green Building and Development as a Public Good
Wed, 12 Aug 2009 17:52:36 GMT
Governments in Canada are attempting to respond to the challenge of global warming and to the expectation Canadians hold for a healthy economy and enhanced quality of life. Actions include energy conservation, the introduction of a carbon tax (British Columbia) and the possibility of carbon cap and trade legislation (or agreements among some provinces). An area of increasing attention is how we develop communities and build and use residential and commercial buildings. In Green Building and Development as a Public Good, Mike Buzzelli argues that green building and development faces a classic policy paradox: we collectively agree that improvements are needed in the built environment but we are caught in a whirlwind of information and debate about how to move forward. We are motivated to “be green” but challenged by implementation. [PDF, 10 p.]

Climate Change Data Portal
Wed, 12 Aug 2009 17:33:45 GMT
The WB Climate Change Portal is intended to provide quick and readily accessible climate and climate-related data to policy makers and development practitioners. The site also includes a mapping visualization tool (webGIS) that displays key climate variables and climate-related data.

Real Transportation Solutions for Green House Gas Emissions
Thu, 30 Jul 2009 13:47:42 GMT
This website, launched by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, highlights strategies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation. Includes best practices, state examples, research findings, and links to other climate change information sites.

Environmental Stewardship Program Members Achieve Significant Environmental Reductions During 2008

[Post author: Wayne Duke]

When businesses engage in activities that result in improvement of their bottom line and a reduction in their carbon footprint, everybody wins.

Members of the Indiana Environmental Stewardship Program (ESP) implemented environmental improvement projects during 2008 and in the process, achieved monumental results.  There are 45 ESP business members across the state, each committed to implementing or maintaining measurable environmental improvements, such as reducing water or energy use, decreasing solid or hazardous waste, or reducing air emissions.

ESP members recently reported their 2008 accomplishments to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM). During 2008, ESP members implemented pollution prevention initiatives that resulted in the reduction of:

  • Water use by 69,413,000 gallons, an amount comparable to 105 Olympic-sized swimming pools;
  • Electricity use by 10,939,149 kilowatt hours, a number comparable to the amount of electricity needed to run 4,101 residential air conditioners for one year;
  • Miles driven by 243,789 miles, a distance comparable to driving from Terre Haute to Richmond and back 877 times;
  • Natural gas consumption by 8,999 therms, which is like eliminating CO2 emissions from 1,875 propane cylinders used for home barbeques;
  • Carbon dioxide emissions by 13,099,680 pounds, which is the amount of carbon sequestered annually by 1,350 acres of pine forests;
  • Copper discharges to water by 3 pounds;
  • Solid waste sent to the landfill by 18,135,195 pounds, which is equivalent to the weight of about 47 Blue Whales;
  • Volatile organic compound emissions by 820,800 pounds, an amount comparable to emissions from painting the interiors of 34,200 homes;
  • Energy use by 2,325 million British Thermal Units, an amount comparable to the energy needed to operate 7 clothes washers for one year;
  • Material use by 2,463,680 pounds, an amount comparable to the weight of 3,079 Monster truck tires; and,
  • Hazardous waste by 12,790 pounds, an amount comparable to the weight of one Asian elephant.

“ESP members go beyond environmental requirements that protect Hoosiers and our environment,” said IDEM Commissioner Thomas Easterly. “Indiana wins when companies use sound business practices to demonstrate their core value of environmental protection.”

To become an ESP member, businesses must maintain an exemplary compliance record, certify that they have adopted and implemented an approved environmental management system, and commit to specific measures for continued improvement in their environmental performance.

ESP members qualify for expedited permit review, flexibility in permitting, reduced reporting frequencies, and coordination of compliance inspections. To maintain ESP membership, companies must report on their environmental initiatives every year and reapply for ESP membership every three years.

Hoosier businesses can submit applications to IDEM for the Environmental Stewardship Program from September 1 through October 31 and April 1 through May 31.  For more details, visit IDEM’s Web site at or contact IDEM at (800) 988-7901.

Protecting the Great Lakes 4 Million Times

[Post author: Wayne Duke]

“Collect 1 Million Pounds of e-waste and 1 Million Unwanted Pills” was the US EPA’s 2008 Earth Day Challenge to residents, businesses and communities around the Great Lakes. Thousands of residents responded by participating in events to properly dispose of unwanted medicines and to collect and recycle electronic waste during the week of April 19 -27, 2008. The 2008 Earth Day Challenge collected the equivalent of 4,400,000 pills and approximately 4,950,000 pounds of e-waste, as reported by 23 unwanted medicine events and 33 e-waste collection events that were held around the Great Lakes (see Tables 1 & 2). The response to the call for events by the US EPA Great Lakes National Program Office was overwhelming and demonstrates the strong interest Great Lakers have in their Lakes, their communities and doing the right thing for their environment.

Why do we want to keep medicines out of the trash and our wastewater (the toilet, sink and septic)? In the United States, sales of over-the-counter medicines have increased by 60% since the 1990s.[1]  In 2006, the U.S. prescription volume rose to 3.7 billion prescriptions.[2] With these increases come concern about the fate and effects of these compounds in the environment. Recent studies have identified a wide range of pharmaceutical chemicals in rivers and streams nationwide,[3]  and it has also been shown that some of these compounds are potentially harmful to aquatic organisms, affecting reproduction and development even at low concentrations.[4] The fate of pharmaceutical chemicals in sewage sludge is also of concern, as sludge from wastewater treatment is often applied to agricultural land as a fertilizer. The long-term impacts of medicine disposal on our health and the health of the environment are not fully known. However, unless action is taken, the quantity of these chemicals reaching our waterways will continue to increase as pharmaceutical usage increases.[5]

[1] Ann Pistell, Maine Department of Environmental Protection. Presentation at Northeast Water Science Forum, August 9, 2007.

[2] “IMS Intelligence.360: Global Pharmaceutical Perspectives 2006”, IMS Health Report, February 22, 2007.,2777,6599_40183881_81567488,00.html

[3] Kolpin, Dana W., et al. “Pharmaceuticals, Hormones, and Other Organic Wastewater Contaminants in U.S. Streams, 1999-2000: A National Reconnaissance.” Environ. Science and Technology. Vol. 36 no. 6 (2002): pp. 1202-1211.

[4] For example, see Nash, Jon P., et al. “Long-Term Exposure to Environmental Concentrations of the Pharmaceutical Ethynylestradiol Causes Reproductive Failure in Fish.” Environmental Health Perspectives. 112.17 (2004): pp. 1725-1733.

[5] Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, “Disposal of Unwanted Medicines: A Resource for Action in Your Community.” Februrary 2008. p. 2

More Details: Protecting the Great Lakes 4 Million Times

Documents Recently Added to GLRPPR Sector Resources

These publications were recently added to GLRPPR’s Sector Resources. This list is continuously updated on the web and is also available as an RSS feed.

Microsoft’s Top 10 Business Practices for Environmentally Sustainable Data Centers: How to Reduce Energy Consumption, Waste, and Costs while Increasing Efficiency and ROI
Wed, 29 Jul 2009 15:46:41 GMT
It isn’t always easy to know where to begin in moving to greener and more efficient operations. With that in mind–along with Microsoft’s commitment to share best practices with the rest of the data center industry–this paper presents the top ten best business practices for environmentally sustainable data centers. The items in this list were submitted by senior members of Microsoft’s Global Foundation Services (GFS) Infrastructure Services team. Their backgrounds include expertise in server and chip development, data center electrical and mechanical engineering, power and cooling architecture and design, research and development, and business operations and administration. [PDF, 10 p.]

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Stakeholder Meetings: EPA Presentation
Wed, 29 Jul 2009 14:14:30 GMT
Slides from the presentations being given by the U.S. EPA at the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Stakeholder Meetings are now available online. The slides provide background information about the Great Lakes, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Proposed Programs for implementation in Fiscal Year 2010, and the Great Lakes Multi-Year Action Plan Outline. [50 slides, PowerPoint pdf]

Consumers Trepidatious Over TV Recycling
Tue, 28 Jul 2009 13:48:49 GMT
The emerging category of “green” electronics has captured consumers’ attention in the past year. They are beginning to understand the various environmental and health impacts of the plethora of devices they interact with on a daily basis, according to research from the Natural Marketing Institute. Consumers are most anxious that their devices are difficult to recycle, but their concern differs by device, with almost 60 percent of consumers concerned that televisions are difficult to recycle, and only slightly over 40 percent of consumers stating that phones are difficult to recycle, according to the 2008 LOHAS Consumer Trends Database.

Power Management for Networked Computers: A Review of Utility Incentive Programs
Fri, 24 Jul 2009 15:23:11 GMT
This paper reviews rebate and incentive programs currently offered by utilities for activating power management features on computer networks. It explores the rationale behind program requirements, and provides a high-level assessment of their impact. Finally, it offers suggestions for utilities and regulators considering similar programs. Written by J. Michael Walker. PDF Format; Length: 12 pages.

FedCenter – Electronics Stewardship
Thu, 23 Jul 2009 21:13:43 GMT
This portion of the Federal Facilities Environmental Stewardship & Compliance Assistance Center (FedCenter) web site provides resources related to the electronics stewardship program area. This program area addresses the life-cycle management of electronics from procurement to disposal. Links, documents, and case studies are provided for the Federal Electronics Challenge (FEC), the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT), and Energy Star. Sections include: Regulations, Guidance, and Policy; Supporting Information and Tools; Lessons Learned; Training, Presentations, and Briefings; and Conferences and Events.

Toxic Sweatshops: How UNICOR Prison Recycling Harms Workers, Communities, the Environment, and the Recycling Industry
Thu, 23 Jul 2009 21:04:22 GMT
In the past few years, the storm of complaints about UNICOR’s recycling program from prisoners, prison guards, and others has brought these hidden sweatshops into public view. Since 1994, UNICOR has built a lucrative business that employs prisoners to recycle electronic waste (e-waste). A massive array of ewaste is largely hidden from view, as are the workers who handle the waste. Over 100,000 computers become obsolete in the U.S. every day. E-waste includes computers, personal digital assistants, TVs, and other electronic devices. E-waste is a doubleedged sword: it is rich in precious materials that can be recycled, but it also contains a cocktail of hazardous chemicals such as lead, mercury, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and cadmium. This report examines the e-waste recycling programs run by Federal Prison Industries (FPI), a government-owned corporation that does business under the trade name UNICOR.

The Keys to Managing E-Waste: Product Stewardship and Recycling Initiatives
Thu, 23 Jul 2009 13:51:17 GMT
Technological advancements have made our lives faster, easier and more efficient, but with the downside of increasing the proliferation of electronic waste, or e-waste. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, only 18 percent of the 2.25 million tons of obsolete televisions, cell phones and computers in 2007 were recycled; the remainder was disposed of in landfills.

E-Waste: When Landfills Are Not an Option
Thu, 23 Jul 2009 13:47:09 GMT
Headlines abound with stories of branded technology being fished out of rivers and landfills in developing nations leaking toxic metals into the water supply. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates roughly 400,000 tons of e-waste goes to recyclers every year, and that up to 80 percent of the materials sorted for recycling end up in operations in China, India, Southeast Asia and West Africa where it is disassembled and burned or dumped.

Municipal Solid Waste Source Reduction: A Snapshot of State Initiatives
Wed, 22 Jul 2009 21:04:34 GMT

This snapshot reveals state initiatives in five main areas related to source reduction: Source Reduction Planning, through goal setting and research; State In-House Programs, implemented within state governments; Residential Programs, within the homes of the residents; Commercial Programs, in business and industrial workplaces; and Support for Local Governments, through financial and technical assistance. State efforts strive to alter individual behavior through educational and technical assistance programs and also serve the important function of providing financial support for local source reduction activities.

National Source Reduction Characterization Report For Municipal Solid Waste in the United States
Wed, 22 Jul 2009 20:59:53 GMT
This report not only estimates the quantity of source reduction nationwide, but also looks at factors that drive waste prevention activities such as changes in design practices, operational changes, policy trends, and new technologies. Source reduction is addressed in terms of the MSW stream as a whole and in major material categories (i.e., paper and paperboard, food scraps and yard trimmings, plastics, metals, wood, glass). [EPA report number: EPA530-R-99-034][PDF, 80 p.]

Electronic Reuse and Recycling
Wed, 22 Jul 2009 17:08:54 GMT
Computers, cell phones, printers and other peripherals are part of the business and educational landscape of our society. We rely on them daily to communicate, educate and conduct business. What happens to these tools when we replace them with newer, faster models? Donating is becoming a common practice for extending the life of working electronics but eventually they will no longer be valuable as products. What do we do with these obsolete electronics as well as our broken televisions, radios, and stereos?

Estimation of Mercury Bioaccumulation Potential from Wastewater Treatment Plants in Receiving Waters: Phase 2
Tue, 21 Jul 2009 16:07:50 GMT
This follow-up to the first phase of 05WEM1CO is a guidance document for wastewater treatment professionals who want to assess the bioavailability of mercury in their wastewater, compare it to other sources, and assess changes in bioavailability in their effluent when it’s mixed in a receiving waterbody. (Note that Phase I provides background for evaluating the bioavailability of mercury in wastewater effluents and receiving waters.) The report includes an Excel-based tool that performs bioavailability computations in a spreadsheet format, allowing users to assess the bioavailability of mercury in effluent and compare it to another effluent or to a nonpoint source. It also predicts near-field concentrations of bioavailable mercury species (methylmercury and reactive mercury) when the effluent is mixed with fresh, brackish, and marine receiving waters. 206 pages. Available for purchase as soft cover report, CD ROM, and online PDF.

WHO Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Dampness and Mould
Tue, 21 Jul 2009 15:52:22 GMT
This publication is the World Health Organization’s (WHO) first guidelines on indoor air quality, addressing dampness and mold. They are the result of a rigorous two-year review of the currently available science by 36 leading experts worldwide, coordinated by the WHO Regional Office for Europe. The authors conclude that occupants of damp or moldy buildings, both private and public, have up to a 75% greater risk of respiratory symptoms and asthma. The guidelines recommend the prevention or remediation of dampness- and mold-related problems to significantly reduce harm to health. The book is the first in a series of WHO guidelines on indoor air quality. They are intended for worldwide use, to protect health under various environmental, social and economic conditions. Future publications addressing selected chemicals and combustion products are being prepared. Together, the guidelines will comprise the first-ever comprehensive evidence-based recommendations to tackle indoor air pollution, one of the major causes of death and disease worldwide. (PDF Format; Length: 248 pages)

Call for Papers Goes Out for the Electronics & Sustainability: Design for Energy & the Environment Symposium

[Post author: Wayne Duke]

The Sustainable Electronics Initiative (SEI), hosted by the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC), a unit of the Institute of Natural Resources Sustainability on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is a consortium dedicated to the development and implementation of a more sustainable system for designing, producing, remanufacturing, and recycling electronic devices. Members of the consortium include academia, non-profit organizations, government agencies, manufacturers, designers, refurbishers, and recyclers. Specific elements of the SEI include programs for research, education, data management, and technical assistance. SEI conducts collaborative research; facilitates networking and information exchange among participants; promotes technology diffusion via demonstration projects; and provides forums for the discussion of policy and legislation.

Americans own nearly three billion electronic products and continually purchase new ones to replace those deemed “obsolete,” even though about two-thirds of the devices are still in working order. To address this burgeoning e-waste problem, SEI will hold the Electronics & Sustainability: Design for Energy & the Environment symposium on February 23 – 24, 2010 at the I Hotel on the University of Illinois campus. Topics to be addressed will include environmental toxicology, life cycle analysis, product design, existing and proposed policy (local, state, national, and international), and more. Designers; electrical engineers; chemists; materials scientists; electronics manufacturers, recyclers, refurbishers, and remanufacturers; government representatives and policy makers; pollution prevention technical assistance providers; relevant non-profit organizations; and others are invited to take part in this symposium.

SEI invites industry and academic practitioners to submit abstracts of their recent research, projects, and design thinking for presentation, publications, or both Proposals can be made for symposium participation in one or more of the following categories: a paper, presentation, panel discussion, or poster display.

For more information about the symposium and/or to access the call for papers, visit: or contact Wayne Duke, Conference Coordinator, Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, One Hazelwood Drive, Champaign, Illinois 61820-7465, 217-333-5793, fax: 217-333-8944,

For more information about the Sustainable Electronics Initiative (SEI), contact Dr. Tim Lindsey, PhD, Associate Director, Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, One Hazelwood Drive, Champaign, Illinois 61820-7465, 217-333-8955, fax: 217-333-8944,