Minnesota Freshwater Society Offers Opportunities for Residents Interested in Pollution Prevention

April 10th, 2014 by

This post was authored by Lauren Murphy, who joined the GLRPPR staff in March. Lauren is a junior in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois.

Minnesota has always been a welcoming place for organizations advocating for pollution prevention. The Freshwater Society, a nonprofit organization established in 1968, is dedicated to promoting conservation, protection, and restoration of all freshwater resources, which plays a large role in pollution prevention of Minnesota waters.

Recently the Freshwater Society launched two projects aimed at taking action to restore Minnesota’s freshwater resources.

Master Water Stewards Program

The Freshwater Society and the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District recently launched the Master Water Stewards program to certify and support community leaders to implement pollution prevention programs within the District. The program’s goals are to further educate the community, reduce pollutants from urban runoff, and allow more water to soak into the ground before running into storm sewer systems.

The MWS Program provides a 50-hour long program of courses and projects for residents of the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District who would like to become volunteer community leaders for future pollution prevention projects.

Learn more about the program by watching this video.

If you are a resident of the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District and are interested in the program, visit the program’s web site for more information, a calendar of events, and for the application to join the 2014 class.

2014 State of Water Conference

The 2014 State of Water Conference will be held at Cragun’s Resort in Brainerd, MN from May 1, 2014-May 2, 2014. It provides opportunities for individuals who are committed to improving and protecting water resources to network and connect with professionals from around the state, gain technical insights, and identify opportunities to become involved in water resource protection.

The conference will feature 70+ presenters, including Darby Nelson, author of the book For Love of Lakes, and Dr. Peter Sorenson, the head researcher at the new Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center at the University of Minnesota, as well as a variety of breakout sessions offered throughout the two days. These workshops and breakout sessions will give attendees the latest information about water issues related to runoff pollution, local impacts, watersheds, aquatic habitat restoration, and aquatic invasive species. The full conference schedule can be found here:
http://freshwater.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/State-of-Water-brochure.pdf.

For more information and to register to attend the conference, visit http://www.conservationminnesota.org/state-of-water-conference/.

Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards Accepting Nominations through April 30, 2014

March 27th, 2014 by

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting nominations for the 2014 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards. The awards promote the environmental and economic benefits of developing and using novel green chemistry both in academia and industry. The American Chemical Society’s Green Chemistry Institute® administers the awards in coordination with the EPA.

Deadline for submitting nominations is April 30, 2014. Winners will be announced in the fall and there will be a special awards ceremony in Washington DC.

Please visit the EPA’s Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards website for further details and to download this year’s nomination package.

Sustainability and behavior change article roundup

March 18th, 2014 by

Here are some recent articles on behavior change and sustainability.

Tackle your company’s waste and create change from within — The Guardian

It’s hard to reduce anything by 90% – and waste to landfill is especially tricky. But that goal is what Los Angeles-based retail supplier, Farmer Brothers, has been working on for the last few years. The size of the reduction is ambitious. Even more remarkable, though, is that this initiative did not originate in the company’s sustainability department, the facilities crew, or even the CEO. Instead the leader was an inspired product manager named Sarah Beaubien.

myActions Platform Turning Engagement with Waste, Wildlife Initiatives Into Action — Sustainable Brands

Engaging people in sustainability remains one of the cause’s biggest challenges – ensuring their behavior reflects their engagement is another. A number of studies have been devoted to bridging the gap between people’s attitudes and their actions, and it remains a conundrum for many organizations on a mission to promote positive behavior. Luckily, tools such as myActions are helping companies not only engage certain groups on the merit of more conscious behaviors but motivate them to follow through. myActions builds and designs online communities and social tools that track the digital sharing of real-world actions. For every action taken, a donation is made to the cause of the user’s choice. The company partners with organizations from municipalities (Ohio Valley) to nonprofits (Net Impact) to brands (EKOCYCLE) that provide the greatest opportunity for impact through their networks.

Consumers may change behavior if delivered the right message — GreenBiz

If you’ve heard me speak at a conference, you know there’s a point in the presentation where I typically say, “Don’t try to educate your audience into changing their behaviors.” Then I ask the audience to raise their hands if they can think of at least one thing they know they should do on a daily basis to be healthier but that they don’t do. Nearly every hand goes up, and I say, “See, knowing a thing doesn’t mean you’re going to do a thing.”

But I might be wrong.

WaterSense H2Otel Challenge Webinars

March 5th, 2014 by

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officially launched the WaterSense H2Otel Challenge one month ago to help hotels assess, change, and track their water use using best management practices. Interested hotels can dive right in and take the pledge today, and any organization can help spread the word and recruit hotels.

As part of the H2Otel Challenge, WaterSense is offering a series of technical training webinars that begin this week. To learn more about the WaterSense H2Otel Challenge, review specific water best management practices, and hear from professionals who are using water more efficiently, register now:

Registration now open for the 2014 Great Lakes Green Chemistry Conference

February 27th, 2014 by

2014 Great Lakes Green Chemistry Conference
Cleveland, OH
March 31-April 2, 2014
Register at http://www.glrppr.org/conference/register/index.cfm

Learn first-hand about the business case for green chemistry and how companies can take advantage of technical assistance opportunities to help them move forward in their sustainability efforts. Network with others who are interested in adopting green chemistry principles to advance economic development and a healthy environment in the Great Lakes region.

Join leaders from industry, academia, government, non-profits, U.S. EPA Region 5, and those involved in the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable’s Safer Chemistry Challenge Program in Cleveland, OH from March 31-April 3, 2014. Conference events include:

  • Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable meeting (afternoon of March 31)
    • Meeting cost $15 to pay for food during mid-afternoon break
  • Great Lakes Green Chemistry Conference (April 1-2)
  • GreenScreen Training Workshop (April 3)
    • Cost: $150 ($95 for government agencies, NGOs, and educators)

See the conference web site for more information and to register.

2014 Source Reduction Assistance and Pollution Prevention Grants Program solicitations now available

January 24th, 2014 by

EPA has released the RFPs for the Source Reduction Assistance and Pollution Prevention Grants programs.

Source Reduction Assistance Program Grants

Proposals due March 11, 2014
Download the full RFP at http://www.epa.gov/p2/pubs/grants/srap/srap14.pdf.

Source Reduction Assistance (SRA) awards are issued annually, subject to Congressional appropriation and the quality of proposals received. This Request for Proposals announces that EPA’s Regional Pollution Prevention (P2) Program Offices (herein referred to as the Regions) anticipate having up to $147,000 per region or up to $1,029,000 in total award funding to issue SRA awards in Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 to reduce or eliminate pollution at the source.

Collectively, the Regions are interested in funding projects that support five strategic goals of EPA’s P2 program — 1) reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs), 2) reduce hazardous substances, 3) increase resource conservation, 4) promote efficient business practices and 5) encourage P2 integration. Proposals will need to demonstrate P2/source reduction through surveys, studies, research, investigation, experimentation, education, training and/or innovative practices.

Proposals that principally support recycling, clean-up, treatment, disposal and/or energy recovery efforts (e.g., incinerating solid waste to generate electricity) will not be considered for funding. Eligible applicants include: the fifty states, the District of Columbia, the United States Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, any territory or possession of the United States, local governments, city or township governments, independent school district governments, state controlled institutions of higher education, non-profit organizations (other than institutions of higher education), private institutions of higher education, community-based grassroots organizations, and federally-recognized tribes and intertribal consortia.

Note, Regions 1, 7 and 9 representing the U.S. states and territories of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, American Samoa and Guam will not participate in this announcement and will not accept proposals under this competition. Projects proposed in these Regions will not be reviewed. However, applicants working or residing in Regions 1, 7 or 9 are free to propose grant work in a participating Region. Proposals should be sent to the appropriate Region where work will take place.

Region 5′s priorities are for projects that promote:

  • Hazardous substance reduction through the use of environmentally sustainable tools, processes, practices and/or programs. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit proposals that demonstrate new, innovative practices that promote measurable P2/source reduction efforts.
  • Geographically-based initiatives and sustainable manufacturing through the use of P2. These projects must make use of initiatives such as Economy, Energy, and Environment (E3) partnerships or other local collaborations to provide technical assistance to the sector.
  • Promote tribal college/university-based technical assistance programs that assist tribal facilities in preventing pollution through the use of tools that promote environmentally-sustainable processes, practices and/or programs.

Pollution Prevention Grants Program

Proposals due March 20, 2014.
Download the full RFP at http://www.epa.gov/p2/pubs/grants/ppis/2014rfpp2grant.pdf.

Under this announcement, the Regions are announcing the opportunity for states (i.e., state agencies, state colleges or universities), federally-recognized tribes, and intertribal consortia to submit proposals under the P2 grant program. Projects that will be funded are those that clearly demonstrate how using P2 concepts, tools or techniques can significantly reduce or eliminate pollution across environmental media (air, water or land).2 Under the authority of the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 (PPA), the Regions anticipate that approximately $4.1 million will be available in FY 2014. Awards will be issued in the form of grants and/or cooperative agreements.

P2 grants are issued to provide technical assistance and training to businesses on P2/source reduction techniques. Acceptable grant activities will emphasize a coordinated and comprehensive approach for promoting and implementing P2/source reduction assistance. Such assistance may be delivered in the form of technical advice, on-site technical assistance and instruction, or certification or training on preventing pollution at the source. Grant proposals should highlight: 1) the recipient of the assistance activity; 2) the type of assistance being provided; 3) how, when and where the assistance will be provided; and 4) how the assistance will be tracked in order to measure performance. Real life examples of acceptable P2/source reduction assistance activities include, but are not limited to: providing on-site P2 training for small to mid-sized businesses to large manufacturers on Lean and Green concepts; helping businesses set up environmental management system protocols; providing educational workshops on P2 to businesses; offering P2 technical advice to state agencies or university staff who in turn use this knowledge to train businesses on best management practices; providing certification seminars to businesses; supporting recognition programs that honor businesses for promoting or implementing P2/source reduction techniques, etc.

Region 5′s priorities for this solicitation are to promote projects that:

  • Develop sustainable P2 practices and achieve measurable results through hazardous substance reductions in processes and products, chemical usage, and/or extension of product life. Such projects would also result in greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions and costs savings. For example, the reduced use of hydrofluorocarbons and other high Global Warming Potential chemical solvents could result in dramatic GHG emission reductions, as well as hazardous substance reductions.
  • Provide businesses with technical assistance in making their operations Lean and Green through initiatives like Economy, Energy, and Environment (E3), by-product synergy with a focus on hazardous substances, greening the supply chain, and/or other collaborative efforts. Projects should result in reduced energy, water and hazardous substance usage, reduced GHG emissions and reduced costs. Refer to link for more information: http://www.e3.gov/about/index.html.

Seeking Articles for P2Rx P2 Impact Column for 2014 – Respond by January 27

January 13th, 2014 by

P2Rx has a successful monthly column called P2 Impact (currently Pathways) running in GreenBiz.com.

We are looking for article contributors for the calendar year 2014.  If you have a unique article idea that promotes the virtues of source reduction to a general business audience, please forward to dwalden@unr.edu by January 27 to be considered for our 2014 lineup. The article ideas will be evaluated by the P2Rx review committee and accepted articles will be published this year.  Article and submission guidelines for the GreenBiz column appear below.

Here is the link to the articles published to date: http://www.greenbiz.com/business/engage/enterprise-blogs/p2-pathways.

Guidelines & Instructions for Submitting Articles to P2Rx GreenBiz Column

P2Rx hosts a monthly P2 column for the GreenBiz newsletter and a landing page on their website. We are seeking authors to write articles according to our guidelines. Articles need to be exclusive to P2Rx and GreenBiz among green-focused websites, with the exception of summaries appearing on your own company or personal site.

What We Want: Current topics relevant to P2 and sustainability program managers and to the green business community. We will accept both shorter (400-600 word) and longer (800-1,200 word) pieces across a range of topics. Examples include (but are not limited to):

  • Stories of companies or initiatives
  • Insights into business process, operations, or technologies
  • Profiles or Q&A with business leaders or thought leaders
  • Case studies and best business practices with respect to P2
  • Advice and how-to pieces

What We Don’t Want: Technical or scientific debates; politics, except to the extent it directly affects business strategy; reviews of consumer products; rants; or repurposed press releases.

Article Content and Messaging

Articles need to be practical and P2 relevant. A good example is a case study where people can see how P2 programs were implemented. What are the barriers and what are challenges? Are there areas that require more work? Behavioral change is an important element. Article should revolve around a business interest and not necessarily a public agency need. Articles need to be timely, current and unique. Articles should be source reduction oriented and ideally focused on priority programs or projects that align with EPA’s strategic goals. Topics need to have transferability and relevance across sectors. For example, “how a company changed cleaning processes in order to reduce VOC use.”

Please include a quote, testimonial or case study in your article for better readership.

General Guidelines: Articles need to have a human interest element to better address the GreenBiz.com business focused audience. Do not use P2 jargon; rather use language that’s being used in the general environmental and business community. We want to keep on point about the merits of pollution prevention. Must be original content (not repurposed articles). Articles must address the general business community.

How to Submit an Article Proposal

Send article proposals to dwalden@unr.edu. Include a brief paragraph of the planned article theme, length, focus, topics covered and possible arguments. Include a short biography of the author including P2 experience.

Article Acceptance Process

Article proposals will be judged by a review committee and you will be notified if your proposal is selected. Once accepted, you will be approved to write a professional article according to P2Rx guidelines and timelines. Generally, the article is due three (3) weeks prior to the publish date and accepted any-time after approved concept. Include author biography and digital photo with submission. Once article is finished, the P2Rx article review committee will give you suggestions for improvement if applicable. We may change the order of publishing of articles depending upon timeliness of submittal and content in the article. Any articles that do not meet the author guidelines and acceptable writing standards will be rejected.

What to Submit with your Article Copy

Please send all this information along with your final revised article:

  • A headline (please keep it to 65 characters, including spaces)
  • A short summary (no more than 120 characters, including spaces)
  • Headshot photo and bio: If you or the person you are submitting does not have an profile on GreenBiz, please submit a headshot photo (heads and shoulders only) with a short bio (one paragraph is fine, more if you wish)
  • Photos (landscape orientation only) with photo credit: If you do not have permission to use it, please don’t send it and suggest that it should be used with the blog. Photos are optional, but real-life (and good quality!) photos accompanying the posts are invaluable additions. If you want to earn extra credit, you can resize them to 550×413 pixels.

About GreenBiz

GreenBiz is B-to-B, focusing on the greening of business. Their goal is to help environmental leaders in mainstream companies to be more effective in their jobs by better understanding how they can help their companies by cutting costs, improving reputation, tapping new business opportunities, and generally creating value.

GreenBiz Target Audience: Senior leaders in large corporations. Some have “environment” or “sustainability” in their titles, but many don’t. They come from operations, HR, marketing, purchasing, facilities, real estate, fleets, finance, etc. Their firms are driven by hardcore business goals as much as by environmental ones, and they’re seeking to align the two.

For more information on GreenBiz or the P2Rx P2 Impact column, visit the site: http://www.greenbiz.com/business/engage/enterprise-blogs/p2-pathways

Fred Granek, RIP

January 6th, 2014 by

By Deb Jacobson

fred-granekIt is with sorrow that we share the sad news of Fred Granek’s passing on January 2, 2014 .  Fred was a long time (1993), dedicated supporter and contributor to the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable and the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable.  Fred joined the Canadian Center for Pollution Prevention as President in September 2013.  Prior to Joining C2P2, Fred was the Vice President for Sustainability at the Bloom Centre for Sustainability (2000-2013) and the Manager of the Pollution Prevention Office at the Ontario Ministry of Environment (1993-2000).

Fred was passionate about the environment.  He dedicated his professional life to helping businesses improve their environmental impacts and dedicated his personal life to his family, friends and spending time experiencing nature.  Fred will be missed by all of us who were fortunate enough to be touched by his spirit and zest for life.

You may leave condolences for the family at http://steelesmemorialchapel.com/current.html#Granek.

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency publishes green chemistry case studies

December 12th, 2013 by

This post originally appeared on Environmental News Bits.

For the last several years, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, through a U.S. EPA grant, has funded projects in the state that promote the use of green chemistry in industry and encourage the teaching of green chemistry and design principles in Minnesota’s colleges and universities. The case studies from these projects were recently published on the MPCA web site. Details of the project and links to the associated case studies are included below.

Green Chemistry and Design Demonstration Project

Background

Demonstration projects tested whether grants of around $50,000 can provide threshold funding to businesses to undertake green chemistry and design changes to their products, or to the components of products they deliver to customers or supply chains.

Grants co-funded basic chemistry research, moved research or development already in progress closer to completion, or adapted off-the-shelf green chemistry technology. Actual implementation of product changes through retooled production were the ideal end-result, but product design or redesign and testing with a commitment to carry the new design through to production sufficed.

Funds were awarded in the form of a grant to a company that controlled the design of a product or component and committed to a green chemistry and design improvement of such a product or component. Internal teams and external partnerships were vital and could include the company designing the product or component, their customer(s), their production supply chain, and either internal or third-party (external) technical resource providers such as consultants, graduate research students, labs or testing facilities, mentoring companies, or others.

Demonstration projects were designed to support the research and development side of the product design process. Grant funds could not be used for purchasing the equipment necessary to produce the newly designed or redesigned product. Equipment purchases could be made through state low-interest loan programs, either MPCA environmental loans or those available through other state agencies.

More information is available at http://www.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/topics/preventing-waste-and-pollution/p2-pollution-prevention/reducing-toxicity/green-chemistry-and-design/green-chemistry-and-design-demonstration-project.html.

Case Studies

Green Chemistry and Design College Curriculum Grant Projects

Background

The MPCA has been exploring the most effective means for state government to promote wider use of Green Chemistry and Design. The MPCA has pursued this exploration as part of its 22-year-old Pollution Prevention program, to arrive at both life-cycle environmental improvement and a more profitable and sustainable economy.

The MPCA is researching and evaluating a number of mechanisms for supporting broader use of Green Chemistry:

  • Grants to Minnesota companies in various sectors to pursue Green Chemistry, Engineering and Design improvements in products;
  • Improved multi-stakeholder networks to facilitate awareness and information exchange (including the Minnesota Green Chemistry Forum, annual Minnesota Green Chemistry conferences, and the Environmental Initiative’s Chemicals Policy stakeholder process);
  • Integration of Green Chemistry information and best practices into existing State-funded assistance services;
  • Broadening markets for Green Chemistry and overall greener products through State purchasing, facilitation of greener private-sector supply chains, and use of existing or new tax incentives;
  • High-level State Green Chemistry initiatives and policy proposals;
  • Grants and networking to strengthen Green Chemistry education.

Learning from this exploration of potential state government programs supporting Green Chemistry will be reported to the Governor and Minnesota Legislature periodically to inform future policy decisions.

These grants supported the development of Green Chemistry and Design curricula at more post-secondary institutions in Minnesota and strengthen the Minnesota and national network of post-secondary faculty teaching aspects of Green Chemistry and Design. More information is available at http://www.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/topics/preventing-waste-and-pollution/p2-pollution-prevention/reducing-toxicity/green-chemistry-and-design/green-chemistry-and-design-college-curriculum-grant-projects.html.

Case Studies

 

U.S. EPA Region 5 hosts one-day green chemistry/green engineering training

December 11th, 2013 by

On December 9, U.S. EPA Region 5 held a one-day training session that provided an introduction to green chemistry and engineering basics for pollution prevention technical assistance providers. The event was also broadcast as a webinar.

Speakers and topics included:

Online modules are also being developed using this training material. They will be available in early 2014. Training materials are available from the following links:

Agenda and Overview

Presentation Slides

Module Resources

Pictured (L-R): Jeri-Lyn Garl, USEPA Region 5; Kathy Davey, USEPA HQ; Laura Barnes; Dan Marsch; Laura Babcock, MNTAP; Daniel Tietelbaum, USEPA HQ; Christine Anderson, USEPA Region 5

Pictured (L-R): Jerri-Anne Garl, USEPA Region 5; Kathy Davey, USEPA HQ; Laura Barnes, GLRPPR; Dan Marsch, ISTC; Laura Babcock, MNTAP; Daniel Teitelbaum, USEPA HQ; Christine Anderson, USEPA Region 5