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Archive for the ‘sustainability’ Category

Safe & Sustainable Recycling: Protecting Workers who Protect the Planet

July 16, 2015 Comments off

Safe & Sustainable Recycling: Protecting Workers who Protect the Planet
Source: GAIA, Partnership for Working Families, and National Council for Occupational Safety and Health

Recycling is the right thing to do, but we need to make it safe for recycling workers. Recycling is a key approach for waste reduction and climate action that is used by cities across the U.S. with enormous environmental and economic benefits. But a new report finds that the actual work of sorting recycling can be unnecessarily hazardous to workers’ health and safety. Seventeen recycling workers died on the job between 2011-2013, and recycling workers are more than twice as likely to be injured on the job than the average U.S. worker. These high injury and fatality rates are a result of unsafe working conditions including exposure to hazardous items on the sort line, like hypodermic needles, toxic chemicals, and animal carcasses, and working around heavy machinery. By ensuring health and safety compliance across the industry, cities can protect workers who protect our planet.

Water Legislation : Cost Of Non-Europe Report

June 19, 2015 Comments off

Water Legislation : Cost Of Non-Europe Report
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

This ‘Cost of Non-Europe’ study examines the state of implementation of current EU Water Legislation and identifies the cost of the lack of further European action in this field.

The assessment made of existing water legislation confirms that there are still implementation gaps and areas of poor performance. The subsequent examination of five case studies, where it was believed that a significant potential exists for further EU action, served to demonstrate that there are several barriers which hinder the achievement of the goals set in the legislation. More European action would accordingly be necessary to limit the impact on Europe’s water quality of flooding or of pharmaceutical residues. To limit the use of fresh water more generally, there is a need for European coordination to increase the use of water-efficient equipment and water-metering.

This research makes a cautious estimate that the benefits of full implementation of existing legislation could reach 2.8 billion euro per year. The study also demonstrates that further European action in this field could provide further added value, representing a ‘cost of non-Europe’ of some 25 billion euro per year.

Environmental Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry: Best Practices, Guest Participation, and Customer Satisfaction

May 18, 2015 Comments off

Environmental Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry: Best Practices, Guest Participation, and Customer Satisfaction
Source: Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, Center for Hospitality Research

Certain sustainability practices could be considered nearly universal in the lodging industry, based on a study of 100 resorts in the United States. Among the common green practices are water conserving fixtures and linen-reuse programs. A separate survey of 120,000 hotel customers finds that guests are generally willing to participate in sustainability programs, but the presence of green operations still do not override considerations of price and convenience in selecting a hotel. Additionally, the study finds an increased willingness to participate when hotels offer incentives, such as loyalty program points, for participating in environmental programs. Although the link between environmentally sustainable programs and improved customer satisfaction is weak compared to standard drivers like facilities, room, and food and beverage quality, hotels are increasingly expected to maintain sustainability programs as a regular feature of their business. At the same time, the study did find that environmental sustainability programs do not diminish guest satisfaction. Consequently, the decision regarding which programs to implement should rest on cost-benefit analysis and other operating considerations.

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The UN World Water Development Report 2015, Water for a Sustainable World

March 27, 2015 Comments off

The UN World Water Development Report 2015, Water for a Sustainable World
Source: United Nations

The 2015 edition of the United Nations World Water Development Report (WWDR 2015), titled Water for a Sustainable World, will be launched at the official celebration of the World Water Day, on March 20.

The WWDR 2015 demonstrates how water resources and services are essential to achieving global sustainability. Taking account of economic growth, social equity and environmental sustainability, the report’s forward-looking narrative describes how major challenges and change factors in the modern world will affect – and can be affected by – water resources, services and related benefits. The report provides a comprehensive overview of major and emerging trends from around the world, with examples of how some of the trend‐related challenges have been addressed, their implications for policy‐makers, and further actions that can be taken by stakeholders and the international community.

CRS — Agricultural Conservation: A Guide to Programs (January 12, 2015)

March 10, 2015 Comments off

Agricultural Conservation: A Guide to Programs (PDF)
Source: Congressional Researach Service (via National Agricultural Law Center)

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Farm Service Agency (FSA) in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) currently administer close to 20 programs and subprograms that are directly or indirectly available to assist producers and landowners who wish to practice conservation on agricultural lands. The differences and number of these programs has created general confusion about the purpose, participation, and policies of the programs. While recent consolidation efforts removed some duplication, a large number of programs remain.

CPW Bushmeat Sourcebook

March 10, 2015 Comments off

CPW Bushmeat Sourcebook
Source: Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (Collaborative Partnership on Wildlife)

The e-sourcebook on bushmeat provides an objective and comprehensive understanding of the global tropical bushmeat issue, by disentangling the topic into the following sections:

  • Bushmeat and conservation issues
  • Bushmeat and local livelihoods
  • Bushmeat and human health
  • Bushmeat and governance issues
  • Bushmeat and climate change
  • Bushmeat and extractive industries
  • Bushmeat and sustainable management
  • Recommendations from the Liaison Group on Bushmeat of the CBD

Each section synthesizes available global scientific knowledge, drawing attention to relevant and current references for further reading.

Greener Hospitals: Building Consensus for Health Care Sustainability

March 5, 2015 Comments off

Greener Hospitals: Building Consensus for Health Care Sustainability
Source: Knowledge@Wharton (University of Pennsylvania)

Until recently, health care was not a major part of the sustainability discussion. And the reverse was just as true: Few within the health care industry thought much about sustainability. Yet the two fields overlap in many important ways.

Health care has a sizeable impact on the environment. In her book, Greening Health Care, Kathy Gerwig, vice president of employee safety, health and wellness at Kaiser Permanente, notes that hospitals are the second-most energy-intensive commercial buildings in the U.S. and that the industry is responsible for 8% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. “Health care institutions are consistently among the top 10 water users in their communities,” she writes, and they are “the single-largest users of chemical agents.” The volume of waste flowing out of hospitals is mammoth — more than 2.3 million tons per year — including everything from paper and cardboard to infectious materials and radioactive waste.

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