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Updated 29 December 2014

 

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December 29, 2014 The Honoured Reader (free edition) of the Gallon Environment Letter Vol. 18, No. 8, December 8, 2014 posted as current issue

 

THE GALLON ENVIRONMENT LETTER
Canadian Institute for Business and the Environment

Fisherville, Ontario, Canada
Vol. 18, No. 8, December 8, 2014
Honoured Reader Editon

Table of Contents

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FEATURE: GREEN BONDS
 
GREEN BONDS: CONTRIBUTION TO A GREEN ECONOMY
Staging of Green Bonds into Further Action
CERES: GREEN BOND PRINCIPLES

GREEN BOND INDEX LAUNCHED
"CLEAN CAPITALISM": CLEAN50 RECOGNIZES 2015 CONTRIBUTORS
Project Honourees

PROVINCE OF ONTARIO GREEN BONDS

WORLD BANK GREEN BONDS
Expansion of Green Bonds
Green Bond Principles
Multiple Benefits of Green Bonds

EDC: GREEN BONDS

CALIFORNIA: PROP 1 WATER BONDS
Arguments in support
Arguments against

SANDOR: MARKET-BASED TRADING SYSTEMS FOR REDUCING POLLUTANTS

MISMATCH BETWEEN PACKAGING MAKERS AND MUNICIPAL RECYCLING
So Is it Recyclable by the Consumer?

FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT: AMERICAN STYLE

LET IT SNOW
New York Climate Change Report
IPCC: North America
 
MOTO RESTAURANT: DEFINITELY NOT HOME COOKING 
Kale Chips Recipe

 
READING GALLONDAILY

If you enjoy Gallon Environment Letter or find it useful for your work or interests, may we recommend the GallonDaily report. Found at http://www.gallondaily.com , GallonDaily provides short articles and reports on topics of particular interest to green businesses. One article appears almost every day Monday to Friday - we recommend visiting at least once a week. Our real enthusiasts can also sign up for email notification as new articles are posted. Recent articles
  • Ten low environmental impact Christmas gifts
  • Ontario government publishes ministers’ mandate letters
  • SLAPP lawsuits may backfire on a company’s reputation
  • US agency urges strengthening of pesticide residue monitoring programs
  • Poll indicates that US consumers seek environmentally friendly and socially-responsible food
  • Conservation impact investments: a proven economic growth opportunity
  • Packaging innovation has a long way to go to address waste concerns
  • Shrimp mislabelling is rampant in the US, adding to concerns over conservation, health, and human rights.
  • Report claims that regulation of air emissions from ships is virtually nonexistent today in the developing world.
  • Public opinion poll indicates environment more important than energy prices to Canadians
  • Many food packaging materials lack safety data
 
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ABOUT THIS ISSUE

There's been a lot of talk recently about Green Bonds but it has been somewhat unclear, at least to GallonLetter‛s editor, what it is that makes a bond, or other financial instrument, green. So for this last issue of 2014 we have delved into the topic and have come up - well, read on to find out what it is that we have come up with!

We also discuss some of the features of the recent packaging expo, PACK EXPO, held in Chicago, including the nearby homes and buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, an early US eco-visionary architect. We also use the recent two metre dump of snow on Buffalo, New York, to explain why more snow does not mean less climate change. In fact, the more snow may be caused by climate change.

As we go to press, the nations of the world are gathered in Lima, Peru, under the auspices of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Expectations for major decisions are essentially zero, with next year's meeting in Paris having been designated as the key decision point for a new international agreement on climate change but hopes even for that waypoint are not very high at this point. In our next issue of Gallon Environment Letter, early in January, we will review the Lima meeting, its announcements and its outcomes.

We wish all our readers the very best holiday season and here's hoping for more sustainable development for all the people of the world in the New Year.
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November 12, 2014 The Honoured Reader (free edition) of the Gallon Environment Letter Vol. 18, No. 7, October 14, 2014 posted as current issue

THE GALLON ENVIRONMENT LETTER
Canadian Institute for Business and the Environment

Fisherville, Ontario, Canada
Vol. 18, No. 7, October 14, 2014
Honoured Reader Editon

Table of Contents

 

FEATURE: EDIBLE PACKAGING

PRIMARY PACKAGING ONLY ONE PART OF A SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING SYSTEM

EDIBLE FILMS AND COATINGS - INDUSTRY

EDIBLE FILMS AND ADDITIVES: SELECTED DETAILS

EDIBLE FILM ADDITIVES: ANTIMICROBIAL AGENTS
 
GRAS
  Religion, Health and Choices

EDIBLE CUTLERY AND DISHES
The Edible Picnic Tower

LAVASSA: COOKIE CUP 2003

EDIBLE SEAWEED PACKAGING 

MONOSOL: DISSOLVABLE PACKAGING.
Tide Pods ®: Non-food Application of Dissolvable Packaging

REDUCING FOOD WASTE IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
Packaging Industry

Packaging Solutions Include Indigenous Packaging Materials in Developing Countries

YOGHURT PEARLS: NO CUP OR SPOON REQUIRED
Edible Packaging Wins Dairy Award
WikiPearls Inventor

ALTERNATIVE PACKAGING FOR SPACE

ASCONA: EDIBLE FILM APPLICATIONS

BRING ON THE DOUGH: DOMINO'S PIZZA EDIBLE BOX

CORNISH PASTY: A TRADITIONAL EDIBLE PACKAGE

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS TO GLOBAL DEFORESTATION

OECD: GREENING HOUSEHOLDS

ECO: LEADERSHIP NEEDED FOR CLIMATE CHANGE

SPA-A-A-M

READING GALLONDAILY

If you enjoy Gallon Environment Letter or find it useful for your work or interests, may we recommend the GallonDaily report. Found at http://www.gallondaily.com , GallonDaily provides short articles and reports on topics of particular interest to green businesses. One article appears almost every day Monday to Friday - we recommend visiting at least once a week. Our real enthusiasts can also sign up for email notification as new articles are posted.

Recent topics include:

  • Lack of environmental planning creates problems during and after disaster response
  • Four more substances added to very credible list of human carcinogens
  • Health statistics show there is no safe level of air pollution
  • US Inspector General report updates case against hazardous industrial waste into sewers
  • Is such a small mention at least a step forward?
  • Canada not part of New York Declaration on Forests
  • UN Climate Summit achieves quite a bit more than expected
  • Number of Green Party politicians growing slowly but steadily in Canada
  • Global population may grow to exceed previous projections
  • US Administration takes steps to combat antibiotic resistance

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ABOUT THIS ISSUE

In various recent conferences about packaging and recycling we have heard participants express enthusiasm for the concept of edible packaging. We were somewhat sceptical - after all Canadian diets already contain too much junk, but, wanting to base our opinion on good science and not just idle thoughts, we decided to take a deeper look at the topic. Some of our research is reported in this issue of Gallon Environment Letter. If you thought that edible packaging was confined to edible paper wrapping or if you hoped that maybe we could solve our waste problem by making all packaging edible, read on for some of the information that has led us to the conclusion that there may be a small role for additional edible packaging but it seems that edibles are unlikely to take over a large percentage of North America’s packaging needs anytime soon.

GallonLetter chose this theme of edible packaging as much for our edification as our readers' who are interested and not knowledgeable on this topic. A number of people with whom GallonLetter's editor has had conversations about packaging, have been enthusiastic about the role of edible packaging especially for waste reduction sometimes quoting from McDonough and Braungart, authors of Cradle to Cradle (2002) in which edible packaging was promoted. (see also review of their book The Upcycle in the last issue). What isn't clear is what edible packaging is, whether it reduces packaging waste and what other environmental, health and social impacts might be associated with it. GallonLetter speculates that edibility itself is not a sufficient criteria to conclude that packaging is environmentally preferable. Although raw materials for edible packaging could be synthetic, a comparable case is the issue of biofuels from farm crops, some of which use so much fossil fuel and chemicals that using fossil fuels directly would be just as good if not better.

In our review we look at the definitions of edible packaging and some of the numerous uses of edible packaging. Read on - you may be surprised at where these packaging forms can be found! And beware that edible pizza box - see the article below for the reason why!

As in most issues of Gallon Environment Letter we also look at some other contemporary environment and sustainable development issues. We briefly review a research report on stopping global deforestation authored by Kalifi Ferretti-Gallon. The OECD has a new report on greening households. Ontario's Environment Commissioner describes the economic and financial risks facing countries and corporations in a changing climate.

It is not often that we find ourselves in agreement with Terence Corcoran of the National Post but when it comes to Canada's new anti-spam legislation we are pretty much in alignment. Read the mild version of our comments about anti-spam, something which has added to our distribution burden, reduced our circulation burden, made no difference to the amount of spam email we receive, and added to our frustration in responding to the unnecessary confirmation emails that people who have sent us useful information for years have decided they need to send to us.

The next issue of Gallon Environment Letter will take a look at green bonds and green investments. Meanwhile we hope you find this issue interesting and enjoyable. We invite your comments, for possible publication, to editor@gallonletter.ca.
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July 24, 2014 The Honoured Reader (free edition) of the Gallon Environment Letter Vol. 18, No. 6, June 24, 2014 posted as current issue

THE GALLON ENVIRONMENT LETTER
Canadian Institute for Business and the Environment

Fisherville, Ontario, Canada
Vol. 18, No. 6, June 24, 2014
Honoured Reader Editon

Table of Contents

ONTARIO LIBERAL BUDGET HAS ALMOST NO ENVIRONMENTAL CONTENT, EXCEPT FOR PUBLIC TRANSIT

NOT ENOUGH GREEN IN CANADA'S BIOPRODUCTS INDUSTRY

EU BIOECONOMY INITIATIVE
Product Standards and Sustainability Criteria
Definition of Bioeconomy
Bioeconomy Observatory

Horizon 2020

BC BIOECONOMY
Researching Bioeconomy

BUGGED BY INSECT-SOURCED DYE
Cochineal Insects: Long History of Both Biobased Economic Value and Risks
Health Canada: Proposed Food Colour Labelling

LEAD: NATURAL AS THE DECEMBER SNOW

BIOPROFESSIONALS
Bioskills

CELLULOSE FILAMENT FOR STRENGTH
CF to Strengthen Recycled Cardboard

HERBAL SUPPLEMENTS CAUSING KIDNEY FAILURE HELP TO SOLVE 50-YEAR OLD PUZZLE

INSATIABLE
Temporary Workers and McDonald's Canada
THE UPCYCLE BOOK
The Book as an Example of Upcycling
The Think Chair

STEELCASE INFORMATION ON THE THINK CHAIR

WHAT IS AN ERGONOMIC CHAIR?

COOL TO CLEAN UP ON FLEECE
Improving Wool Quality

INVASIVE SPECIES AND ECOLOGY: MILKWEED
Side Effects of Invasive Species Control

CANADA EDC RELEASES CSR REPORT

GLOBAL REPORTING INITIATIVE: G4

PLANT SOURCE DOESN'T BY ITSELF ELIMINATE HAZARD

SUSTAINABLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION
Biomass Consumption and Production

COMMENT ON LAST GALLONLETTER'S QUOTE BY LEWIS THOMAS

READING GALLONDAILY

If you enjoy Gallon Environment Letter or find it useful for your work or interests, may we recommend the GallonDaily report. Found at http://www.gallondaily.com , GallonDaily provides short articles and reports on topics of particular interest to green businesses. One article appears almost every day Monday to Friday - we recommend visiting at least once a week. Our real enthusiasts can also sign up for email notification as new articles are posted.
Recent topics include:
  • Air conditioners heat cities!
  • EU claims report shows that it is possible to break the link between economic growth and GHG emissions
  • Nielsen poll shows consumers do care about corporate social and environmental responsibility
  • Demands on Northern Gateway pipeline are less conditions than reporting requirements
  • New study indicates that pollution may be the worlds biggest killer
  • Corn supplies will become tight: sustainability action required
  • Ontario Liberal government environmental commitments
  • Devon state of the environment report is a jolly good model
  • Canada and US governments disagree on polar bear review
  • Lifecycle assessment of US egg production
  • Singapore acknowledged as green building leader

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ABOUT THIS ISSUE 

This issue continues our review of bioproducts and their role in the economy that we began last issue. But this time we are not all about bioproducts. We also have a review of the Ontario Budget; a commentary on use of the word ‟natural" on products; a review of McDonough and Baumgart's new book The Upcycle; an ‛upcycled' product - the Steelcase Think chair;

Under the bioproducts theme we have an article on the relative lack of bioeconomy activity in Canada, except for bioethanol; a review of the EU bioeconomy initiative; the British Columbia bioeconomy plan; remarks about an insect-derived food colouring; biotalent (jobs in the bioeconomy); cellulose filament in packaging products; an example of how natural plant materials can be bad for health (something that is very important to remember - natural does not always mean good for health or good for the environment); the possible role of wool in a bioeconomy; Ontario finally does the right thing on the monarch butterfly's favourite, and only, food for its caterpillar form; and a brief update on the new GRI G4 sustainability reporting guidelines. A thoroughly eclectic issue with, we hope, lots of information for all our readers.

The theme for our next issue will be edible packaging. Another biomaterial or a bizarre idea? You will be able to read our views and the views of other experts. Meanwhile, enjoy this issue, enjoy the summer, and send your comments, suggestions, and even your questions for possible publication, to editor@gallonletter.ca. We promise to publish a selection.
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June 5, 2014 The Honoured Reader (free edition) of the Gallon Environment Letter Vol. 18, No. 5, May 14, 2014 posted as current issue

THE GALLON ENVIRONMENT LETTER
Canadian Institute for Business and the Environment
Fisherville, Ontario, Canada
Vol. 18, No. 5, May 14, 2014
Honoured Reader Edition
 
 
THE ATMOSPHERE: THE WORLD'S GRANDEST PRODUCT OF COLLABORATION

COAL IS NON-RENEWABLE: BLAME IT ON THE MUSHROOMS

Fungi Could Be Key to the Bioeconomy

BIOMASS AS AN ALTERNATIVE FOR COAL AT POWER UTILITIES
Environment Canada: Coal and Climate
Wood Pellets for Power Generation

CANADIAN RENEWABLE FUELS ASSOCIATION CALLS FOR NATIONAL STRATEGY FOR A BIOECONOMY
Bioprocessing Technology

STATSCAN: BIOPRODUCTS SURVEY
 
STATISTICS ON BIOENERGY
Primary and Secondary Sources
Non-energy Uses of Renewable Sources


IPCC REPORT: ENERGY SYSTEMS: INTERCONNECTED PATTERNS SOCIAL, ECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL
Unconventional Resources
Renewable Energy from Biomass: Reality Has Proven More Complex
Land Use

BIOPRODUCTS: NEED FOR LIFECYCLE ASSESSMENT
Bio Is Not Enough
Policy Development
No Perfect Solution: Adjusting over Time to New Information

KENYA: BIOECONOMY PART OF GREEN ECONOMY
Cup of Tea
Biomass for Energy
Agro-forestry

OECD: BIOTECHNOLOGY IN THE BIOECONOMY 2030
 
GLOBE: A REVIEW
 

READING GALLONDAILY

If you enjoy Gallon Environment Letter or find it useful for your work or interests, may we recommend the GallonDaily report. Found at http://www.gallondaily.com , GallonDaily provides short articles and reports on topics of particular interest to green businesses. One article appears almost every day Monday to Friday - we recommend visiting at least once a week. Our real enthusiasts can also sign up for email notification as new articles are posted.
Recent articles:
  • Avoidance of absolutes: a lesson in language
  • President Obamas Walmart gig
  • Electricity likely to play a key role in future energy systems, says IEA
  • Water projects may be providing people with contaminated water
  • Promotional products are rarely, if ever, good for the environment
  • CEO of Avery Dennison talks on the challenges of adopting a sustainability agenda
  • Auditor General criticizes Public Works over environmental due diligence issues
  • Tesco an award winner for reducing transport emissions
  • Ontario budget now a non-event
  • Electric cars: a small but rapidly increasing market share
  • Evidence shows many coastal cities are sinking
  • US EPA Administrator gives a plug to science as a policy tool
  • Green Living Shows evolution
 
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ABOUT THIS ISSUE 

Last issue we promised that this issue of Gallon Environment Letter would be about bioeconomy. According to ETC Group (Action Group on Erosion, Technology and Concentration), an Ottawa-based international bioeconomy ngo headed by well-known advocate Pat Mooney, 'New Bioeconomy' is a term describing a new industrial order that relies on biologically-based materials, technologies and 'services.' According to the biotechnology industry, bioeconomy refers to all economic activity derived from scientific and research activity focussed on biotechnology. We prefer the first definition!

Our research for this issue found even more information than we expected, even though we know that bioeconomy is a rapidly growing field of research and technology development and commercialization. It almost seems that bioeconomy is taking off by itself and with little government involvement, though there is still a long way to go before a bio-based economy begins to supplant the dominant fossil-based economy.

To avoid a GallonLetter that is twice as long as normal, something that readers tells us they would not welcome, we have split the topic into two parts. This issue will focus on some of the energy aspects of a bioeconomy while the next issue will focus on bioproducts and bioproduction.

We start by looking at research on the role of fungi in a bioeconomy. Biomass is often touted as a potential replacement for coal in electricity generation but it is not getting the attention that perhaps it should get. The Canadian Renewable Fuels Association has recently called for a national strategy for a bioeconomy and will be holding a major conference on this theme in Toronto in December. Statistics Canada 2009 survey on Bioproducts in Canada, published in 2011, shows that most of Canada's bioproducts are, or at least, were in 2009 still in the energy sector, so the survey gets covered in this issue.

Just because an energy source is renewable does not mean that it is being used in a renewable fashion. The International Renewable Energy Agency expresses concern about this - we provide a summary of the concern and of the solution which IRENA has adopted. The recent report of IPCC Working group 3 has received much coverage in the popular press but we provide a slightly more detailed summary from GallonLetter's somewhat different perspective. Some developing countries are taking the bioeconomy opportunity very seriously. One such is Kenya for which country we summarize a UNEP Green Economy assessment report. The OECD has an idea for a policy agenda for the bioeconomy to 2030 - we commend it to you.

We conclude this issue with a review of the Globe 2014, Canada's pre-eminent business and the environment conference and trade show, held in late March in Vancouver.

GallonLetter sees elements of a bioeconomy as tremendously useful in advancement of a more sustainable human society. While awaiting the second part of our bioeconomy coverage, and more in the future, we welcome your feedback and comments sent to editor@gallonletter.ca. Some of the letters we receive may be selected for publication.
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April 4, 2014 The Honoured Reader (free edition) of the Gallon Environment Letter Vol. 18, No. 4, March 17, 2014 posted as current issue

THE GALLON ENVIRONMENT LETTER
Canadian Institute for Business and the Environment
Fisherville, Ontario, Canada
Vol. 18, No. 4, March 17, 2014
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FOR OUR HONOURED READERS

From time to time we ask our Honoured Readers, those receiving the no-fee edition of Gallon Environment Letter to resubscribe. This serves two purposes: to help us manage our subscriber lists, and to confirm that all who receive Gallon Environment Letter actually want it. Now is the time for resubscription. Please click on or copy and paste the following link into your browser and answer our very simple three question survey - a 30 second task. The link for the GallonLetter Honoured Reader resubscription is http://surveygoldplus.com/s/46119D7FDB9142A4/27.htm

Please respond by March 31st 2014. If you do not respond your Gallon Environment Letter Honoured Reader subscription will terminate. You may not be able to resubscribe because new registrations to our free subscription will end on May 1st 2014, after which date only our paid subscriptions will be available. However, free subscriptions will continue for the foreseeable future for those who have them as of 1st May.

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Feature: PLASTICS
 
PLASTICS ARE PROBABLY THE MOST UBIQUITOUS MADE-MATERIAL IN EXISTENCE

SUBSTITUTING FOR PLASTIC MAY INCREASE CARBON FOOTPRINT OF PACKAGING

BIOECONOMY FOR ONTARIO: BIOBASED

ADVANCED MICRO POLYMERS INC.

LEGO BUILDS ON SUCCESS
Lego's Responsibility
Zero Waste in Manufacturing

METRO VANCOUVER'S ZERO WASTE CONFERENCE AND LAUNCH OF COUNCIL

INNVENTIA PACKAGING TRENDS REPORT: PACKAGING NEEDS TO BE EVALUATED IN
Sustainability of Plastics
Green Consumer Trends and Lifestyle

RETURNABLE TRANSPORT PACKAGING

PVC AND LEED CERTIFIED BUILDINGS

CITY OF CALGARY: FOCUS ON ICI WASTE

CHALLENGES TO PLASTIC RECYCLING

CONSUMER PACKAGING TRENDS

MARINE GARBAGE: INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION ON POLLUTION AT SEA

 HONOLULU STRATEGY: MARINE DEBRIS

CANADIAN SHIPPING COMPANY CO-WINS ENVIRONMENTAL AWARD

CLEANFARMS: AGRO-PLASTIC RECYCLING IMPROVES FARMER CREDIBILITY

INDIA DRUG TECHNICAL ADVISORY BOARD: BAN PET FOR CERTAIN MEDICAL 
Pharmaceutical Industry: PET Is Safely Used Globally

ORILLIA: DIAPERS

ONTARIO WASTE REDUCTION ACT
Risks and Benefits

ENERGY ADVICE AND LOW INCOME HOUSEHOLDS
Guest Comment by P.K. Thompson BSc, Retired Energy Auditor with forty years experience based in Halifax Nova Scotia. 

ENERGUIDE HOME EVALUATIONS

READING GALLONDAILY

If you enjoy Gallon Environment Letter or find it useful for your work or interests, may we recommend the GallonDaily report. Found at http://www.gallondaily.com , GallonDaily provides short articles and reports on topics of particular interest to green businesses. One article appears almost every day Monday to Friday - we recommend visiting at least once a week. Our real enthusiasts can also sign up for email notification as new articles are posted.
Recent topics include:
  • Environment and the Canada Korea free trade agreement
  • Useful renewable energy work proceeds even without Canada
  • Car sharing could be a good GHG emission reduction strategy for business
  • US Secretary of State Kerry issues order for strong action on climate change
  • How well do we understand water use?
  • Sustainability in Packaging conference highlights key waste issues
  • Portable power from fuel cells
  • Wind turbines are more widespread in the US than many have recognized
  • Conference promotes move to bioproducts
  • GHG emissions trading providing environmental and economic returns in 9 states
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ABOUT THIS ISSUE 
 
Our theme for this issue is plastics, possibly one of the more controversial environmental topics these days. However, plastics are not all bad and many of the environmental risks associated with use of plastics could be reduced if all members of global society became more environmentally responsible. We have numerous articles about the use of plastics in society, products and packaging. 

This issue also includes a guest editorial from a retired Energuide home energy auditor. He makes some excellent points. We follow up with an article on how Energuide currently works.

Next week the biennial GLOBE business and sustainability conference opens in Vancouver with a number of bioeconomy sessions. GLOBE 2014 coverage will be included in the theme of Bioeconomy in our next issue. We will also include a review of a new book from William McDonough and Michael Baumgart on Upcycling. Meanwhile, we hope you find this issue both entertaining and informative. We welcome your comments on items from this issue or on any other environment and sustainability for business topic. Send comments to editor@gallonletter.ca. We will publish a selection of comments received.

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February 27, 2014
The Honoured Reader (free edition) of the Gallon Environment Letter Vol. 18, No. 3 January 31, 2014 posted as current issue

THE GALLON ENVIRONMENT LETTER
Canadian Institute for Business and the Environment
Fisherville, Ontario, Canada
Vol. 18, No. 3, January 31, 2014
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FOR OUR HONOURED READERS

From time to time we ask our Honoured Readers, those receiving the no-fee edition of Gallon Environment Letter to resubscribe. This serves two purposes: to help us manage our subscriber lists, and to confirm that all who receive Gallon Environment Letter actually want it. Now is the time for resubscription. Please click on or copy and paste the following link into your browser and answer our very simple three question survey - a 30 second task. The link for the GallonLetter Honoured Reader resubscription is http://surveygoldplus.com/s/46119D7FDB9142A4/27.htm

Please respond by March 31st 2014. If you do not respond your Gallon Environment Letter Honoured Reader subscription will terminate. You may not be able to resubscribe because new registrations to our free subscription will end on May 1st 2014, after which date only our paid subscriptions will be available. However, free subscriptions will continue for the foreseeable future for those who have them as of 1st May.
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Theme: WHACK-A-M-MOLE orSINGLE-MINDED ATTENTION CAN CREATE MORE PROBLEMS

CAN'T BE WRONG IF IT FEELS SO RIGHT: MEDIEVAL AGE TECHNOLOGY HELPED TO SPREAD PLAGUE

DEALING WITH OZONE DEPLETION AND CLIMATE

PHASEOUT OF HCFCS COULD INCREASE USE OF HFCS AND GLOBAL WARMING
Market Responding

US FOOD MARKETING INSTITUTE: POSITION ON LIMITS ON REFRIGERANTS
 
REFRIGERATION AND USE OF ENERGY IN CANADA

PERVERSE RESULTS HFC CARBON CREDIT .
 
GREENFREEZE: "NATURAL REFRIGERANT"

BARTLETT: EXPONENTIAL GROWTH

INTERCONNECTEDNESS: HUMANS-NATURE SYSTEMS

SHORT TERM COST SAVINGS VS LONG TERM ENVIRONMENTAL AND ECONOMIC BENEFITS
 
GROSS EXTERNAL DAMAGE: ACCOUNTING FOR ENVIRONMENTAL EXTERNALITIES
Bankruptcy Laws
 
US CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT: NATURAL SHOULD MEAN GM-FREE
 
FTC: NATURAL SOURCE NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO BE NATURAL
 
EU LEGISLATION: NATURAL LABELLING FROM NATURAL SOURCES
 
GM-FREE CHEERIOS
 
ORGANICS AND PESTICIDE-FREE
 
ORGANIC TRADE ASSOCIATION: FAQ ON PESTICIDES
 
READING GALLONDAILY
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ABOUT THIS ISSUE

If you have ever visited a midway, and who hasn't, you are probably familiar with Whack-A-Mole, a table with holes through which mechanical moles pop up their heads. You smack one down with the mallet and more pop up elsewhere on the table. A similar problem arises with some environmental issues: you think you have it licked but in fact your solution has caused one or more new unforeseen environmental or social problems.

Some in the deep green movement object to terms like killing two birds with one stone, there is not enough room to swing a cat, or a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush because they infer a degree of cruelty towards animals. Whacking moles must fall into the same category so, to avoid both offence and the perception that we might be promoting animal cruelty, we have decided to call the theme of this issue Whacking the Mechanical Mole, or Whack-A-M-Mole for short.

Within that theme we explore
  • How removing phosphorous from detergents and cleaners makes lakes both cleaner and dirtier at the same time!
  • How trebuchets helped to spread the plague!
  • How initial attempts to reduce ozone depletion contributed to reducing and increasing climate change!
  • How reducing ozone depleting substances increases energy use and global warming, according to the US Food Marketing Institute!
  • In Canada, as summers get warmer, more homes and vehicles use air conditioning, which means more greenhouse gas emissions, which means warmer summers!
  • Dry land farmers in the US west are selling their water rights to municipalities so that householders can have water for their lawns. Soon there may be no water left for farmers to irrigate their crops. Note to householders: do you want food or do you want a lawn?
  • Focus on short term costs and challenges is preventing city dwellers and policy makers from implementing green energy and infrastructure with long term benefits according to a new report from Canada West Foundation.
The Whack-A-M-Mole outcome should not be so unexpected, though it is often forgotten or ignored. A recent article in Science explores the Complexity of Coupled Human and Natural Systems. We provide a brief review. Just as protecting the environment in the wrong way can have adverse economic effects (closing a factory to prevent pollution does little to help jobs), it is also true that damaging the environment may cause more economic costs than the environmentally damaging activity provides economic benefits. One way of addressing this is to include environmental externalities into the system of national accounts. A fairly recent paper in the journal American Economic Review presents a framework to include environmental externalities into a system of national accounts and concludes that solid waste combustion, sewage treatment, stone quarrying, marinas, and oil and coal-fired power plants have air pollution damages larger than their value added.

We also recognize the contribution of physics Professor Albert Bartlett who contributed to Gallon Environment Letter from time to time and who passed away last September.

A US class action suit has addressed the issue of whether a food that contains genetically modified organisms should be labelled natural. The defendant, who used the label on food containing GMOs, settled out of court for a large sum. The US Federal Trade Commission, regulator of environmental labels in the US, has decided that using a natural ingredient and then processing it with environmentally toxic chemicals which emit hazardous air pollutants negates the claim that the product is natural. A court in Europe has come to a somewhat different conclusion about flavourings from natural sources. There is also recent news about GMO-free breakfast cereals, news that has led us to dig down into the cereal bowl.

From time to time skirmishes break out over organic labelling of food and one seems to have started recently. We explore the skirmish.

If you have any comments on anything we write, or on any other environmental or sustainability theme, we invite you to send them to editor@gallonletter.ca. We will publish a selection from all sides of the discussion.

Our next issue will be on the theme of the environmental aspects of plastics. Yo, editor, controversy ahead!
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January 3, 2014
The Honoured Reader (free edition) of the Gallon Environment Letter Vol. 18, No. 2 December 17, 2013 posted as current issue.

THE GALLON ENVIRONMENT LETTER
Canadian Institute for Business and the Environment

Vol. 18, No. 2 December 17, 2013
Table of Contents

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Editorial by Colin Isaacs: WARSAW CLIMATE CONFERENCE MAY NOT HAVE BEEN SUCH A DISASTER

FEATURE: ENVIRONMENTAL DEMOCRACY

RIGHT TO A CLEAN ENVIRONMENT

FEDERAL LIBERALS SAY CONSERVATIVES ARE SELLING OUT THE ENVIRONMENT

THE CHEMICAL INDUSTRY: TURNABOUT ON CHEMICAL WARFARE

MONSANTO, VIETNAM, GMO CROPS
The Toxic Legacy of Agent Orange
Monsanto's View of its Involvement: Now That it Is an "Agricultural Company Selling to Farmers" 
ENVIRONMENTAL RATINGS FAIL TO MEASURE CORPORATE INFLUENCE ON POLICIES

WASHINGTON AG SUES FOOD ASSOCIATION FOR FINANCE CONCEALMENT ON GM LABELLING INITIATIVE

CLIMATE AND MERCURY: THE LESS THAN 3% SOLUTION
Global Mercury Assessment
Mercury Emissions over Time and Space
Who Needs to Act
Global Mercury Partnership

BLOOMBERG: CANADIAN OIL AND GAS ENVIRONMENTAL DISCLOSURE SCORES LOWER THAN OTHER COUNTRIES
Suncor's See What Yes Can Do Campaign

ISO 26000 - CEA SUSTAINABLE ELECTRICITY COMPANY

SEAL PRODUCTS: ETHICS IN WORLD TRADE
WTO Appeal Process
Environmental Disputes

BOISSEVAIN, MANITOBA: COMMUNITIES IN BLOOM
Local Effort Attracts Tourists and Potential Future Residents

GREEN BIRDING: SCRUFFY CORNERS IN YARDS

GREENING CORPORATE GROUNDS

COMMON INTERESTS WITH WHOM?: CIRCLING THE WAGONS

UNFCCC: BUSINESS CARING FOR CLIMATE
Guide to Responsible Corporate Engagement in Climate Policy
Core Elements
The 3% Solution
Indirect Influences in Trade Associations
Caring for Climate Signatories

PIPELINE QUANDARY FOR THE ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT
Brooks: Pipelines Better than Other Bulk Transport Options
CP HOLIDAY TRAIN FOR A GOOD CAUSE

NELSON MANDELA AND HUNGER

READING GALLONDAILY
 
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ABOUT THIS ISSUE AND A PLEASE NOTE FOR THE NEXT ISSUE                      

In this issue we touch on some of the issues that fall under the general heading of environmental democracy, especially including where some actions are leading to shining light into dark corners to help change behaviours hopefully for the better for people and the planet.

We look at a range of interesting topics on this theme, including the David Suzuki Foundation's efforts to entrench the right to a clean environment in the Canadian constitution, the Liberals' claim that the Conservatives are selling out the environment, the chemical industry's past support for chemical weapons, the Agent Orange mess, one area of environmental stock index failure, Fox's greenhouse gas emissions reduction program (is it 21st Century Fox company or Fox television news commentators that are hypocrites?), a State lawsuit against food industry political action in Washington State, the problem of mercury pollution around the world, oil and gas industry environmental disclosure, and the Sustainable Electricity Company brand.

We also review the WTO decision against Canadian non-indigenous seal products, a possible major game-changer in other ethically-based trade matters, and the Communities in Bloom program. We review a new book called Green Birding, a website on greening corporate grounds, the federal commitment to ‛circling of wagons', and a guide to responsible business engagement in climate change policy. We report on the CP Rail Holiday Train's appearance in Hamilton, Ontario, and we conclude with a commentary on Nelson Mandela's commitment to overcoming food insecurity.

We will begin the New Year, our next issue, with a feature article on Environmental Whack-A-Mole. A further clue, and a great seasonal song for kids that may drive you crazy when they get hold of it, can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZlxNaTa9gc Meanwhile, please send your comments on the articles in this issue, or on any other business and environment topic of national or international interest to editor@gallonletter.ca, A selection of the most interesting will be published in future issues of Gallon Environment Letter.

Honoured readers (those who receive the no charge edition of Gallon Environment Letter) PLEASE NOTE: In the next two issues, January and February 2014, we will be asking you to renew your subscription by answering a very brief web-based survey. The purpose of this is to assist in cleaning our subscriber lists and confirming our subscriber count. The survey will take no more than 45 seconds. Please help us by completing the survey. Honoured readers who do not complete the survey will be removed from our Honoured Reader list and will receive no more issues of Gallon Environment Letter.
ALSO PLEASE NOTE: no new Honoured Reader subscriptions will be accepted after May 1st 2014. Existing Honoured Readers will continue to receive Gallon Environment letter for the foreseeable future but the only new subscriptions available after May 1st 2014 will be at our individual or corporate rates. To obtain an Honoured Reader subscription at no charge please send an email message with Add GL in the subject line from the address to which you wish the subscription sent. For more information about GL subscriptions visit http://cialgroup.ca/subscription.htm
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December 11, 2013 The Honoured Reader (free edition) of the Gallon Environment Letter Vol. 18, No. 1 October 31, 2013 posted as current issue.

THE GALLON ENVIRONMENT LETTER
Canadian Institute for Business and the Environment

Vol. 18, No. 1 October 31, 2013
Table of Contents

MEMORIES OF DAVE NICHOL
Nichol: Green Product Launch

EDITORIAL: THE FALLACY OF STALE WATER

ECO REPORT: ONTARIO MINISTRY NOT SERVING THE PUBLIC INTEREST
Provincial government slashes funding to CFWIP

US FRIENDS OF THE EARTH GETS MORE INFORMATION ON KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE

ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS IN CANADA FIGHTING FOR RIGHT TO PROVIDE THEIR EXPERTISE

OECD: GLOBAL VALUE CHAINS HAPPENING FASTER THAN RISK DIVERSION
Environmental and Other Risks

WARRANTIES CAN REDUCE WASTE

EWMC: INDUSTRIAL ECOTOURISM

THE ASAHI GLASS FOUNDATION: 2013 BLUE PLANET PRIZE

ANDREW BENEDEK: EDC AND OTHER FUNDING

A&W: BETTER BEEF
Antibiotics For Therapeutic Use Only: Top Priority for Intensive Farm Animal Production

BOOK: AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF LESTER BROWN


SWANA's 2013 EXCELLENCY AWARD WINNERS


BUDGET FOR THE CLIMATE


ENVIRONMENT CANADA: EMISSIONS TRENDS


CANADA'S RESCINDING OF THE KYOTO PROTOCOL


READING GALLONDAILY

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ABOUT THIS ISSUE

 

In this issue we catch up on a few recent environmental happenings that we hope will be of interest to our readers. Dave Nichol, well-known for his role in creating Loblaw’s President’s Choice products, recently passed away. We share our thoughts. Our editorial covers the topic of the water you leave on the bedpost overnight. Like most articles about water or garbage, it could be controversial! We invite your comments.

In this issue we skip our usual theme-based approach and try to catch up on a few recent environmental news topics, something which is very difficult but often quite interesting. Our articles include the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario's opinion on cuts to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources; FOE and Sierra Club's efforts to get more data on Keystone XL; Global Value Chains, where the report we review may help you to understand what these are and why they are important; tourism at the Edmonton Waste Management Centre; the Blue Planet Prize; a new role for Dr Andrew Benedek; controversy over Better Beef at A&W restaurants; an autobiography of Lester Brown, and budgeting for the climate. With this year's international climate change conference coming up (Warsaw, Poland, 11 to 22 November) we also summarize and add commentary on the key finding of the latest IPCC climate change report and look at Canada's GHG emission trends: actual and political!

There's more, which you will find as you scan through this issue. We hope you find it interesting and useful. If you find this issue interesting we recommend you check out our brief environment and business newsletter at gallondaily.com . We also like to read your letters and will publish a selection of those which we think will interest our readers in subsequent issues of Gallon Environment Letter. We invite you to send your letters or comments on any environment and business topic by email to editor@gallonletter.ca. No explicit advertising please, though if you would like to send us your press releases we may choose to report on them.

Barring major developments in other areas, and we are not expecting much in the way of new policy from this year's international climate change conference later this month, our next issue will take an updated look at corporate social responsibility and business support for democratic institutions. We expect it will be a particularly interesting issue.

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October 8, 2013 The Honoured Reader (free edition) of the Gallon Environment Letter Vol. 17, No. 12 September 17, 2013 posted as current issue.

 

THE GALLON ENVIRONMENT LETTER
Canadian Institute for Business and the Environment

Vol. 17, No. 12, September 17, 2013
Table of Contents

Editorial by Colin Isaacs: RETAIL WASTE MANAGEMENT RECYCLING & COMPOSTING

FEATURE TOPIC: SUSTAINABLE RESTAURANTS

RESTAURANT INDUSTRY EDUCATION ON SUSTAINABILITY

Bright Ideas for Sustainable Best Practices
CANTEEN MEALS: THE TASTE OF CLIMATE PROTECTION
 
MSC FISH FROM SUSTAINABLE FISHERIES IN RESTAURANTS
 
EDIBLE INSECTS AS A MENU ITEM

GREASE INTERCEPTORS/TRAPS
Edmonton Updates Sewer Bylaw
WASTE FATS FOR BIODIESEL
 
MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY

UNHEALTHY FOOD IN AMERICA
DIGITAL MENUS

CERTIFICATION OF SUSTAINABLE RESTAURANTS

POLYSTYRENE BAN PROPOSED FOR NYC

PEI: LOCAL FOODS FEATURED IN RESTAURANTS
Local Food and History: PEI Potato Museum

TIM HORTONS
Recycling/waste
Animal Welfare

SIERRA CLUB CANADA: PM NOT TO BE TRUSTED ON CLIMATE CHANGE

THE SIX-MINUTE ENVIRONMENTAL LAWYER 2013


STATISTICS CANADA: WASTE MANAGEMENT INDUSTRY

READING GALLONDAILY
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ABOUT THIS ISSUE

Our feature topic in this issue is sustainable restaurants. There are not too many themes in corporate social responsibility that do not have an impact on restaurants, especially large chains of "quickserve" restaurants. CSR issues include the links of food service to obesity and other health impacts e.g. through highly-processed food, sugar, salt, fats, indoor air pollution due to tobacco smoke now mostly banned in North America, corporate profit taking while paying less than a living wage, waste including food, packaging, litter, unsustainable food sourcing e.g. cutting of the Amazon rainforest, building design, equipment energy and water inefficiency. GallonLetter has chosen just a few of these for review in this issue.

In reading our sustainable restaurant section it is interesting to note how many sustainability issues affecting restaurants also affect other human activities: fats down the drain, sustainable seafood, recycling or banning of polystyrene foam, sustainable initiatives at Tim Hortons, and so on. We think that you will find this feature interesting even if you never go near a restaurant, and who does not go out to eat or to have a beverage at least occasionally?

In other articles we summarize a not very surprising letter from the Executive Director of Sierra Club Canada to President Obama about Canadas trustworthiness on climate change, an upcoming event called The Six Minute Environmental Lawyer (no, you cannot become an environmental lawyer in six minutes!), and the new Statistics Canada Waste Management Industry Survey.
 
The first part of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report on the Physical Science Basis of Climate Change is expected later this month. This may form the basis for our feature topic in our next issue. Other sections of the IPCC Fifth Assessment report will follow: the Synthesis Report in October, Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability in March, and Mitigation of Climate Change in April. Appropriately timed issues will address these reports if we consider their content warrants. If not, our next issues will include discussion of some general environment and sustainable development issues of interest to the business and public interest communities.
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October 4, 2013 The Honoured Reader (free edition) of the Gallon Environment Letter Vol. 17, No. 11 July 31, 2013 posted as current issue.

THE GALLON ENVIRONMENT LETTER
Canadian Institute for Business and the Environment

Vol. 17, No. 11, July 31, 2013
Table of Contents

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IN MEMORIAM

Gary Gallon, highly respected and well-known environmental business leader and founder of the Gallon Environment Letter, passed away 10 years ago. He will be fondly remembered.

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THIS ISSUE'S FEATURE: EXTENDED PRODUCER RESPONSIBILITY

CCME: CANADA-WIDE ACTION PLAN FOR EXTENDED PRODUCER RESPONSIBILITY
Economic/Environmental Value of Recycling
Definition of EPR
Definition of Waste
4R Hierarchy
Performance Indicators
Phasing in of EPR Across Canada
Tools and Strategies
Challenges of EPR Discussed in the Action Plan
Development of EPR in Canada: Bc Leads
State of Waste Management in Canada

SUCCESS FOR THOSE WANTING TO SCRAP (DON'T RECYCLE) ONTARIO'S WASTE DIVERSION ACT

ONTARIO WASTE MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION: POLICY POSITION ON EPR
Individual/collective Responsibility
Changes Needed for Waste Diversion in Ontario

ECO: ONTARIO'S WASTE: FINALLY MOVING FORWARD

ONTARIO TIRE STEWARDSHIP: ANOTHER BACKLASH ON SEPARATE AND RISING RECYCLING FEES
Farmers Protest Spring Hikes in Tire Recycling Fees

ENVIRONMENT CANADA: EPR INVENTORY

BC: PACKAGING AND PRINTED PAPER EPR
MMBC's Board of Directors
Achieving the 75% Recovery Target
Producers
Packaging and Printed Paper
Collectors
Processors
Education and Public Reporting
Product Life Cycle Management
Pollution Prevention

QUEBEC: PRODUCER RESPONSIBILITY FOR DISPOSAL AS WELL AS RECYCLING

EPR CHANGES THE WASTE MANAGEMENT SECTOR

US LAWSUIT BY PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY: BACKLASH BY INDUSTRY
TAIWAN: EPR TO REDUCE WASTE
4-in-1 Program
Take Back Collection Facilities
HONG KONG PLAN: ACTION FOR WASTE REDUCTION USES ASIAN CITY
Taipei's Actions Which HK Identifies as Key to Success
China: Ban on Specified Waste Imports

CALIFORNIA BILL IN WAITING: EPR BY ANOTHER
 
SERVICE PROVIDER RESPONSIBILITY: SAFETY OF TRANSPORT OF HAZARDOUS GOODS ON CANADIAN RAILWAYS
2011 CESD Report
 
ECO CANADA: ENVIRONMENTAL INTERNSHIPS AND WAGE SUBSIDIES

NEW CROPS FROM WILD RELATIVES
Haskap from Blue Berry Honeysuckle

READING GALLONDAILY
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ABOUT THIS ISSUE

Ontario was one of the key leaders in Extended Producer Responsibility in North America with its somewhat less than satisfactory 2002 Waste Diversion Act. That Act is now up for replacement. Some of the articles in this issue of Gallon Environment Letter discuss some of the more general EPR topics and we will return to the subject of Ontario's EPR challenges in another issue. Extended Producer Responsibility is more than one province's initiative, or even than all provincial initiatives. In this issue we look at EPR, what it is, what it means and how it is being implemented (re-implemented) in Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and elsewhere. There are lots of interesting ideas coming from Asian EPR programs to add to those from Canadian experience.

We also take another look at Canadas Commissioner for Environment and Sustainable Development's past comments about transportation of hazardous goods by rail, some available environmental internships and wage subsidies, and new crops from wild relatives.

In some ways continuing our theme of Extended Producer Responsibility but perhaps being of greater interest to feeders and fooders than this issue, our next issue will present green restaurants as a feature topic. If you have a few minutes spare during the summer we invite you to send us a letter to the Editor not only on the articles in this issue but on any business and the environment topic that interests you. Send letters to the Editor to editor@gallonletter.ca; we will publish a selection of the most interesting articles received, as long as they are not just blatant advertising!
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June 25, 2013 The Honoured Reader (free edition) of the Gallon Environment Letter Vol. 17, No. 10 June 17, 2013 posted as current issue.

THE GALLON ENVIRONMENT LETTER
Canadian Institute for Business and the Environment

Vol. 17, No. 10, June 17, 2013
Table of Contents


A GALLONDAILY ANNIVERSARY DRAW
 
THIS ISSUE'S FEATURE: RESPONSIBLE CAPITALISM
 
UNILEVER: LEADERSHIP FOR RESPONSIBLE CAPITALISM
Challenges of a VUCA World
Lecture Series
 
PATAGONIA: DON'T BUY OUR PRODUCT
Patagonias Clean Water Campaign Targets Oil Sands

HEROIC SPIRIT OF BUSINESS: CONSCIOUS CAPITALISM
Sustainable Food
Responding to Misconceptions about the Conscious Capitalism

FRIEDMAN: BUSINESS SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY IS SUBVERSIVE AND MOSTLY FRAUD
Ivey School of Business Dean: Companies and Societies Intrinsically Connected
 
DIVESTMENT OF FOSSIL FUEL INVESTMENTS

ADIDAS: DYEING TO REDUCE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS
Adidas DryDye

THE COSTS OF PERPETUAL CARE

NEWALTA: PRODUCT RECOVERY
Life-cycle Assessment
Water
Research at UWO

CANADAS RESPONSIBLE RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT - TARGET SETTING WEAK TO NON-EXISTENT
Graphics Fail to Illustrate Environmental Responsibility
Money Commitments
Enforcement Commitments
RDD Not in Draft Federal SD Strategy
Bull's Eye

EPR IN CANADA: DUNCAN BURY SAYS THE TRAIN HAS LEFT THE STATION

UPTAKE ON TICKS: CLIMATE AND OTHER CHANGES

READING GALLONDAILY 
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ABOUT THIS ISSUE 

This issue of GallonLetter looks at the question of Responsible Capitalism - what is it, is it real, and who is practising it? We let Unilever's define it for us, then present some possible examples and some critical views. We review one company's Don't Buy Our Product campaign, a book on Conscious Capitalism, one of the authors of which is the co-founder of Whole Foods Market, some work by Milton Friedman, divestment of investments from fossil energy companies, a way to reduce the environmental impacts of clothing by reducing the number of colours, the cost of perpetual care in the waste management field and the corporate subsidies that taxpayers often provide, one company that seems to be doing waste management better, and a review of the federal government's Responsible Resource Development concept.

In all, the topic makes for fun and interesting reading. It is quite amazing how some corporations and organizations try to twist popular objectives to their own profit goals.

We wrap up this issue with a brief review of the tick problem that currently pervades the natural landscaping surrounding our publishing house.

Our next issue will review a topic that is currently getting much attention across Canada - Extended Producer Responsibility. There is a preview of the topic in this issue of GallonLetter. Whether you are a consumer or a brandowner, an importer, retailer or manufacturer, governments are pushing the cost of recycling on to you. Is this a good thing? We'll do our best to answer some of the questions and we will tell you what we think of the Ontario proposals for changes to EPR in that province.

As always, we invite readers to submit Letters to the Editor for possible publication. Send your comments in support, in disagreement, or in inquiry, to editor@gallonletter.ca . We will pick a selection of the most interesting for publication.
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May 21, 2013 The Honoured Reader (free edition) of the Gallon Environment Letter Vol. 17, No. 9 April 30, 2013 posted as current issue.

THE GALLON ENVIRONMENT LETTER

Canadian Institute for Business and the Environment
Vol. 17, No. 9 April 30, 2013
Table of Contents

Theme: PARTNERSHIPS AND SHARING

CORPORATE PHILANTHROPY: PARTNERSHIPS WITH ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS
Advertising vs Contribution to Charity

COCA COLA PARTNERS WITH WWF TO PROTECT POLAR BEARS

Copyrighting Nature

LACK OF RESULTS AND LOGGING ROADS IN THE BOREAL FOREST AMONG THE REASONS ENGOS QUESTION VALUE OF PARTNERSHIP

Greenpeace Says Roads Are Reason for Withdrawal and Then Retracts
Manitoba Parks: Lawsuit on Logging Roads
Canopy Leaves Due to Lack of Failure to Change the Game

P3: PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS: VANCOUVER WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT
PPP Canada Water/wastewater Sector Study

COMMUNITY BENEFITS
Good Energy Utility Pays Community Tariff.
Community Benefits for the Oil Sands

DIS-OWNERSHIP
E: Bikes for Mobility

ECO-INDUSTRIAL PARKS

DEMOCRATIZING MANUFACTURING: HACKING AND DESIGN
NRC-IRAP Partnering for Design

OECD: BASE EROSION: GLOBALIZATION ALLOWS TOO MUCH COLLABORATION
 
SNEAKY: CANADA'S WITHDRAWAL FROM THE UN DESERTIFICATION CONVENTION
Desertification a Risk in Canada
DEFUNDING THE PRAIRIE INITIATIVES TO AVOID DESERTIFICATION IN CANADA
The Dust Bowl of the 1930s - Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Saves Our Bacon
Budget Cuts PFRA
Agriculture Canada Used to Laud the Work of the PFRA

AL GORE'S THE FUTURE: DOESN'T LOOK GOOD
C
apitalism in Crisis
Canada: Barely on Gore's Radar

 
EU: IMPORT BAN ON ANIMAL TESTED COSMETICS

STAMPINGTON & COMPANY: GREENING CRAFTS
Green Craft Magazine: Creative Art from Old Items

OPTIMISM FROM NOW (TORONTO) FOR EARTH DAY
Environmental Heros

KANSAS: PERMITTING REGS JUST GONE

READING GALLONDAILY
 
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ABOUT THIS ISSUE

In this issue GallonLetter looks at partnerships, a topic that attracts much attention and support but which is not always as free of risk or as mutually beneficial as proponents may suggest. Our lead article suggests one indicator for evaluating campaigns which promote products and raise funds for environmental or social ngos. We look at one of the campaigns which is currently running and, in an editorial entitled Copyrighting Nature, we ask whether companies that raid the global commons for images and other aspects to support their advertising should have to pay a license fee to ensure the protection of those species and ecosystems.

One of the business / ngo partnerships which may be running into trouble is the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement. We report on what is happening. Public-private partnerships (P3) are another form of partnership which is not always popular in Canada but which appear to be taking off in other countries. We look at some of the issues influencing P3 in water and wastewater. Community benefits can sometimes be a way to foster company / community partnerships. We look at a couple of examples. Partnerships can also exist in sharing of such things as cars, tools, and accommodation. We ask whether dis-ownership is a growing trend?

Eco-industrial parks are another form of partnership among businesses. Such tools as 3D printing allows for new kinds of relationships between designers, manufacturers, and customers. These new relationship may lead to products with smaller lifecycle environmental footprints.

Beyond partnerships, though still related, we report on a new OECD report on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting and Canada's withdrawal from the UN desertification convention and its international and Canadian implications. We review a new Al Gore book Future: Six Drivers of Global Change and we report on the new ban on animal tested cosmetics in the European Union. One company is helping to green the crafts sector, though Gallonletter is not sure how well they succeed, an article in Toronto's NOW newspaper claims that "An economically effective, fair-minded, compassionate economy...is just about ready to be scaled up and rolled out", and a situation in Kansas illustrates something that GallonLetter has repeatedly noted: when industry wins less environmental regulation it often ends up with a more challenging situation that they had before. Some folks never learn!
 
It is anticipated that the next issue of Gallon Environment Letter will focus on Responsible Capitalism. Until then, enjoy this issue and keep coming with those Letters to the Editor at editor@gallonletter.ca. Whether we agree with them or not, we will publish a selection of those that address issues likely to be of interest to our reader.
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March 12, 2013 The Honoured Reader (free edition) of the Gallon Environment Letter Vol. 17, No. 8 February 26, 2013 posted as current issue.

THE GALLON ENVIRONMENT LETTER

Canadian Institute for Business and the Environment
Vol. 17, No. 8 February 26, 2013
Table of Contents

Editorial by Colin Isaacs: FLAP OVER SUSTAINABLE SEAFOOD

Theme: CONSTRUCTION AND DEMOLITION  WASTE PREVENTION

DON'T WASTE WOOD: FOREST PRODUCTS ASSOCIATION OF CANADA
Role of Municipalities
Best Practices
 
CSA GUIDELINES AND STANDARDS: DECONSTRUCTION AND DESIGN FOR DISASSEMBLY AND ADAPTABILITY
Building Codes Rarely Reflect Environmental Standards

RESEARCH ON WHY BUILDINGS HAVE TOO SHORT A LIFE
Obsolescence as a State of Mind
 
BUILDING SMALLER: ACCESSORY DWELLING UNITS

DECONSTRUCTION PREFERRED

HAZARDOUS MATERIALS IN BUILDING MATERIALS
Flame Retardants: Fire vs Health & Environment

THE GREENEST BUILDING IS THE ONE THAT EXISTS?

MISSION 2030: ZERO C & D WASTE TO LANDFILL
Need for Change
Case Example
Tools
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NATURAL HAZARDS: SUPERSTORM SANDY
Storm by the Numbers
Climate Change May Push Many Other Changes

NEW YORK CITY MTA: EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

ICE-JAMMING PREVENTION TO PREVENT BUILDING DAMAGE: MANITOBA
Quebec Manufacturer

FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT'S IMPERIAL HOTEL: ICON FOR "BRACED FOR DISASTER"

TARGET TARGETS SUSTAINABILITY IN BUILDING CONSTRUCTION AND RENOVATION

WHERE ARE YOU WEARING?
Bangladesh
Hope Mostly in Engaged Consumers?

EC: FEDERAL SD STRATEGY CONSULTATION

Horsemeat on the Menu

READING GALLONDAILY

If you enjoy Gallon Environment Letter or find it useful for your work or interests, may we recommend the GallonDaily report. Found at http://www.gallondaily.com , GallonDaily provides short articles and reports on topics of particular interest to green businesses. One article appears almost every day Monday to Friday - we recommend visiting at least once a week. Our real enthusiasts can also sign up for email notification as new articles are posted.
Recent topics include:
  • China announces aggressive 5 year environment plan
  • US poll suggests GHG regulations more likely than carbon taxes or cap and trade
  • Ban Ki-moon urges governments to adopt green strategies
  • Ontario Throne Speech is environmentally disappointing
  • Global fertilizer issues need to be solved, according to UNEP report
  • Survey shows US consumers get the sustainable seafood message
  • US EPA releases major chemicals in commerce database
  • Greenpeace challenges fashion industry
  • New global ocean organization may raise Cain
  • Roses for your Valentine may not be ecofriendly  
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ABOUT THIS ISSUE 

Our theme in this issue is the elimination of construction and demolition waste. The Forest Products Association of Canada is working to encourage appropriate partners, including architects and municipalities, to reduce the amount of wood going to landfill. The story makes interesting reading. CSA has standards and good practices for disassembly and adaptability of buildings as well as deconstruction: we bring you details. We look at why so many buildings are being demolished and how municipalities can encourage smaller buildings and better use of space. Vancouver actively encourages deconstruction of homes: maybe this is a model that other municipalities could follow. We share some ideas for tools for building deconstruction including knowing about and taking account of any hazardous materials the building may contain.

Building advocates, and, when it comes to homes, that includes almost all of us, should consider that the greenest building is the one that exists. But what does this really mean? An article in this issue shares some thoughts on this topic. Mission 2030 is a Canadian initiative not just to divert C&D waste from landfill but to end generation of C&D waste. We report on its launch. Superstorm Sandy created lots of C&D waste in New York City. We look at the data. An interesting new Canadian technology is helping to protect Manitoba from floods. We introduce you to the Amphibex. As most Canadian shoppers know, Target is moving into Canada. All of its 214 stores will be LEED certified, something which GallonLetter is prepared to consider a Canadian record.

In other news, we review a new book about those who make our clothes, inform you of the location of an Environment Canada consultation on the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy, and, in the context of the European horsemeat scandal, remind you of our previous story about racoons for dinner.

Finally, and on a somewhat different topic, our editorial comments on a flap that has arisen between the Marine Stewardship Council, one of the organizations that certifies sustainable seafood, and other marine experts. The lessons from this difference of opinion have broader relevance to many green product certifications.

MSC is not the only sustainability project that has come out of an industry - environmental group collaboration. Next issue we will review more such greener economy partnerships. Meanwhile, enjoy this issue and if you have comments please send them to editor@gallonletter.ca. We read them all and consider as many as possible for publication.
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February 19, 2013 The Honoured Reader (free edition) of the Gallon Environment Letter Vol. 17, No. 7 January 29, 2013 posted as current issue click here

THE GALLON ENVIRONMENT LETTER

Canadian Institute for Business and the Environment
Vol. 17 No. 7 January 29, 2013
Table of Contents

Editorial by Colin Isaacs: IS AN INTERNATIONAL GREENHOUSE GAS AGREEMENT LIKELY?
Theme: CLIMATE CHANGE

DOHA CLIMATE NEGOTIATIONS
Why the Kyoto Protocol Is Important
The UN Shouldn't Be the Scapegoat

US: NATIONAL CLIMATE ASSESSMENT REPORT
Climate Impacts Beyond Core Operations
Climate Change Risks

UNEP: THE EMISSIONS GAP REPORT 2012 - TIME IS RUNNING OUT
Gap
Best Practices

CEC: GHG EMISSIONS METRICS IN NORTH AMERICA
Carbon Black

IISD: SOME ENERGY SUBSIDIES TOO COSTLY FOR ACHIEVING GREENER ECONOMY

RINKWATCH

ECO: ENERGY CONSERVATION AND CLIMATE CHANGE
Ontario Energy Conservation: Metrics
Climate Change Action

LAKE ECOSYSTEM POLLUTION FROM OIL SANDS

NHL MONTRAL CANADIENS: THE GOAL IS GREEN!

CHURCHILL: THE DOOMSAYER

LOW PROBABILITY - HIGH CATASTROPHIC THREATS
Human-Caused Risks Most Likely

RON JAMES: COMEDIC VIEW OF CLIMATE CHANGE

BIELAK: MOBILIZING KNOWLEDGE
Kudos Welcomed by Gallonletter

READING GALLONDAILY
 
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ABOUT THIS ISSUE 

Drawing on some of the information released around the talks in Doha, Qatar, last month, our issue this month focusses on climate change. Incidentally, Qatar, with a population of about 1.9 million people, is reported to have the highest per capita greenhouse gas emissions in the world.


Our report begins with a review of decisions made, and not made, at the Doha conference. For readers not familiar with the process, it is important to note that although countries such as the US and Canada are not parties to the Kyoto Protocol they are parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and therefore are still participants in much of the conference proceedings.

A US government advisory committee has published a draft national climate assessment report which describes the state of climate change risks and examples of adaptation measures. We summarize the report. The UN Environment Programme has issued a climate change report entitled The Emissions Gap Report which at best we can only describe as less than encouraging. The North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation has looked at reporting of greenhouse gas and carbon black emissions across the three NAFTA countries and has found significant inconsistencies even in this limited area of the world.

Energy subsidies have been a concern of many environmental experts for decades. Recently the International Institute of Sustainable Development has commented on the renewable energy subsidies contained in the US 'fiscal cliff' agreement. The point they make is important for the biofuel industry and biofuel users. The Rinkwatch project provides for Canadians a graphic illustration of climate change - we describe the project. The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario also weighs in on similar topics for his province.

You might have heard that water quality in northern Alberta lakes is being monitored for the effects of oil sand extraction but if it is the data are not being released. The latest study begins with the words "The absence of well-executed environmental monitoring in the Athabasca oil sands". We provide more detail in our article.

One doesn't often think of Canada's national sport (hockey) as green but the Bell Centre, home of the Montreal Canadiens, has taken some key green steps. Maybe hockey can become a green leader across all of Canada. Winston Churchill was not talking about climate change but about war with Germany. However, his remarks have an eerily familiar ring.
 
Finally in this issue, an eminent philosopher says it should be a global priority to pay attention to what he calls 'existential risk to humanity', CBC television runs a comedy skit on climate change, and Alex Bielak gives readers advance notice of the 2013 Canadian Knowledge Mobilization Forum.

Our concept for our next issue may sound like a load of rubble but there have been quite a few interesting developments recently in the area of recycling of demolition and construction waste. We plan to provide an update. Meanwhile we hope you find this issue both interesting and useful. We welcome Letters to the Editor at editor@gallonletter.ca and will pick a selection of the most interesting for publication.
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December 4, 2012 The Honoured Reader (free edition) of the Gallon Environment Letter Vol. 17, No. 6 December 3, 2012 posted as current issue.

THE GALLON ENVIRONMENT LETTER

Canadian Institute for Business and the Environment
Vol. 17, No. 6 December 3, 2012
Table of Contents

 

Editorial: HOLIDAY BAKING AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Theme: SOCIETY OF ENVIRONMENTAL TOXICOLOGY AND CHEMISTRY MEETING
 
SETAC: A FEW SELECTED TAKEAWAYS

Washington State: Children's Safe Products Act
Product Database
Interstate Cooperation

THE GREEN SCREEN(TM)
Data Gaps

HP APPLIES THE GREEN SCREEN

California: Green Chemistry Bills - Deterring Regrettable Substitutions
Selected Elements of the Legislation
Lifecycle Approach
Industry Comment

Oil Sands and Pollution in the Snow

LEGACY OF OIL SANDS DEVELOPMENT

OIL SANDS SCIENCE NOT READILY AVAILABLE TO CANADIANS

NICKEL FROM STAINLESS STEEL COOKWARE

LOS ANGELES: GREEN FESTIVAL
 
MANITOBA: FOSSIL FUEL FREEDOM
Green Jobs Training

ONTARIO: MELANCTHON MEGA-QUARRY
More Efficient Use of Aggregate
Ontario Consumption of Aggregates Projected to Increase

PIGEONS AND RAPTORS AT WAR
Bird Strikes

READING GALLONDAILY
 
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ABOUT THIS ISSUE

Our theme in this issue is the recent conference of the North America section of the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. It is impossible to fully cover an event with more than 800 platform presentations and a similar number of poster presentation but we have selected some highlights both in this issue of Gallon Environment Letter and for some of our recent GallonDaily articles. The highlights in this issue range from behavioural changes induced by exposure to certain substances to stainless steel cook pots to the oil sands. We also cover in greater detail the Children's Safe Products Act now being implemented in Washington State. It is interesting how many reportable chemicals are found in children's products in that state, and presumably across the continent in most cases. Check out the links we provide. We also report on California's approach to discouraging toxic substances in consumer products and US EPA's Green Screen (TM) process for reducing or eliminating toxic substances for greener products.

In addition to the SETAC North America event, GallonLetter also visited the Los Angeles Green Expo. We bring you a report. In other news, Manitoba is introducing a Clean Energy Strategy, we bring you details, Highland Companies dropped its plan for a mega-quarry north of Toronto, and here is a dispute over whether pigeons or raptors should get greater protection.

By way of contrast, our editorial in this issue addresses the issue of holiday baking, or baking any time. Don't feel guilty if you don't!

Our next issue will feature the management of construction waste. We wish you a happy holiday season and the very best for the New Year. In the meantime we hope you enjoy the stories in this issue and invite you to send your thoughts and comments for possible publication to editor@gallonletter.ca.
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November 30, 2012 The Honoured Reader (free edition) of the Gallon Environment Letter Vol. 17, No. 5 November 5, 2012 posted as current issue.

THE GALLON ENVIRONMENT LETTER

Canadian Institute for Business and the Environment
Vol. 17, No. 5 November 5, 2012
Table of Contents

Editorial by Colin Isaacs: UN: INTERNATIONAL APPROACH: BEYOND CONSENSUS

Theme: A REPORT ON THE 2012 UK RESOURCE AND WASTE MANAGEMENT
CONSTRUCTION AND DEMOLITION WASTE: TECHNOLOGY
C & D Reprocessing Technologies in Canada
 
ZERO WASTE

ALTERNATIVE WASTE COLLECTION: UNDERGROUND VACUUMS

ENERGY FROM WASTE: ANAEROBIC DIGESTION
Sainsbury's AD Option
Tamar Energy
 
THE FUTURE IS RESOURCE EFFICIENCY


NANOMATERIALS: FURTHER REPORTS ON THE POSSIBILITY OF ENVIRONMENTAL RISKS

CANADA'S DODO AWARD
Background Note by CBD Alliance: Ocean Fertilization
The Dodo

CONVENTION OF BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY: OCEAN FERTILIZATION

MARINE DUMPING CONVENTION: OCEAN FERTILIZATION
Ocean Fertilization Prohibited Except for Scientific Research
Environment Canada: Ocean Dumping
The Law of the Sea
Unimplemented Measure No / More Implementation of Existing Measures Yes

FEDERAL OMNIBUS BUDGET BILL
READING GALLONDAILY
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ABOUT THIS ISSUE 

Our theme this issue comes from the recent Resource & Waste Management Exhibition and Conference held in the UK. This very large event provides good insight into what is happening in recycling and waste management in western Europe. As usual, initiatives are somewhat ahead of those which we see in Canada. Would you believe: in Europe, the future is (or at least may be) resource efficiency?

If not the United Nations for addressing with global environmental challenges, then what? Our editorial in this issue poses the question.

Following our theme articles, we also look in this issue looks at some recent European publications in the emerging field of nanomaterials. This field presents some challenges to commentators. One does not want to be inappropriately alarmist, yet there are some warning signs concerning some nanomaterials. Canada seems to consider nanomaterials as not significantly different from the base material, but the European Commission has quite a different view. Europe is considering assessment of each commercial nanomaterial as something having different environmental properties from those of its non-nano counterpart. The evidence suggests that this is probably a good idea. Once again we have released a bunch of new substances into the environment without any significant assessment and governments are now trying to catch up with assessment of chemicals that are being used in commerce but which have not been subject to a full environmental toxicity assessment. Will we ever learn?

A network of activists and civil society representatives attending the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity have awarded Canada a Dodo award for permitting the ocean dumping of iron sulphate into the Pacific. We bring you the details. Canada has in fact been quite active in support of a moratorium on ocean dumping but it is not so clear where we are headed in the future. We bring you some of the gobbledygook.

We also take a brief look at the environmental aspects of second federal omnibus bill, courtesy of Elizabeth May and some of our legal friends. In future we will be closely watching the implications of federal government actions to reduce environmental regulation, but we don't expect them to be positive - for industry. Watch for more protests, demonstrations, and ngo scrutiny of projects having significant (or even, less significant) environmental impacts. The Federal government has handed Greenpeace and other environmental activist groups an opportunity on a golden platter! Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Our next issue will focus on some of the papers presented at the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) conference being held later this month in California and we will touch on some of the environmental issues of the US election. It should be interesting! In a subsequent issue we will return to the waste management field with a review of recent activity in the field of construction and demolition waste. As always, both issues will include articles of a more general environmental interest and, we hope, a selection of your letters. Send them to editor@gallonletter.ca.
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October 31, 2012 The Honoured Reader (free edition) of the Gallon Environment Letter Vol. 17, No. 4 October 9, 2012 posted as current issue.

THE GALLON ENVIRONMENT LETTER

Canadian Institute for Business and the Environment
Vol. 17, No. 4 October 9, 2012
Table of Contents

 

Theme: LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT WITH A FOCUS ON FOOD

SMALL SCALE LCA: BEST WAY TO BOIL WATER

LAND USE CHANGE

FAO: HARMONIZING LCA FOR LIVESTOCK AGRICULTURE
Data Standards

NRTEE: CANADA NEEDS TO RETURN TO LEADERSHIP ON LCA
Mercury in Lighting

ISO STANDARDS FOR LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT

LCA TYPES: CONSEQUENTIAL LCA: ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF CHANGES
Palm Oil
CLCA: Milk Production in the Netherlands
LCA: Measures by Unit Not Overall Impact
 
LCA ELEMENT: USES FOR LCA

LCA PHASE: GOAL AND SCOPE
 
LCA ELEMENT: FUNCTIONAL UNIT

LCA PHASE: THE LIFE CYCLE INVENTORY ANALYSIS PHASE (LCI PHASE)

LCA ELEMENT: COPRODUCTS AND BYPRODUCTS

LCA ELEMENT: FACTORS

LCA ELEMENTS: DATA QUALITY

LCA PHASE: THE LIFE CYCLE IMPACT ASSESSMENT

LCA PHASE: LIFE CYCLE INTERPRETATION

SWISS LCA DATABASE: ECOINVENT

QUEBEC LCA
 
  LCA: MORE ON COPRODUCTS
  LCA Needed for a System View of Coproducts
 
  JIE: HARMONIZING DISPARATE LCAS
 
  US UPDATES "GREEN GUIDES" FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PRODUCT CLAIMS
 
  IS CHINA SET TO TAKE OVER CANADA's RESOURCES?
 
  ONTARIO ENVIRONMENTAL BILL OF RIGHTS: GOVERNMENT IGNORES PUBLIC RIGHT
  Sewage Sludge
  Biodiversity
 
  FOOD INSPECTION: IN THE SENATE DEBATES MARCH 1, 2012
 
  READING GALLONDAILY
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ABOUT THIS ISSUE 

Life Cycle Analysis, or LCA, is a science-based tool for quantifying the environmental impacts of a product or activity. Not nearly as well known in North America as it is in Europe, many users seek to apply LCA as a tool for comparing the environmental impacts of similar products. While not always as rigorous a technique as one might want, LCA nevertheless provides one of the best tools we have for comparing products and the results are often surprising.

In this issue of GallonLetter we provide an in-depth review of LCA but before we get to the detailed stuff we illustrate use of LCA with some recent and not so recent findings using LCA on food products. The results are at least interesting.

Our review of the LCA process may go into a little more detail than the typical GallonLetter analysis but we felt it important to spread the word about what LCA is, its strengths and weaknesses, and the mechanisms of its application. We still see too many environmental product claims which are not based on scientific principles. The US Federal Trade Commission has recently published a new guide for environmental product claims, essentially the rules that marketers must meet, and we like it. We see it as clearer and more relevant than the current Canadian Guide. If Canadian marketers meet the standard of the US Green Guides not only will they be able to export product with the same claims to the US but they will also most likely be meeting the Canadian requirements as well.

GallonLetter readers may be interested to know that GallonLetter's editor is presenting a paper at the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry North America Conference in Long Beach, CA, from 11th to 15th November 2012 on the subject Application of LCA to Consumer Product Environmental Claims.

As usual, this GallonLetter includes some articles on other business and environment topics. Dr. Dambisa Moyo has written a new book Winner Take All: China's Race for Resources and What it Means for the Rest of the World. Our review recommends it very highly as a useful contribution to this timely subject. The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario has published his 2012 Annual Report and he is criticizing the Government for numerous breaches of the Environmental Bill of Rights as well as other environmental indiscretions. We end this issue with a brief extract from a Senate of Canada debate from March of this year on the topic of food recalls. Apparently the Government House Leader in the Senate considered them to be hypothetical. We wonder what she thinks now?

Our next issue will have the theme Recycling and Waste Management in the United Kingdom. We are inclined to think that there is lots that Canada could learn from the UK. Meanwhile, we hope you find this issue interesting and useful and we invite your feedback and comments on any environment and business topic to editor@gallonletter.ca. We will publish a selection of letters received.

Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (Environmental Quality Through Science) SETAC. North America 33rd Annual Meeting. Catching the Next Wave: Advancing Science Through Innovation and Collaboration. Long Beach, California, USA, 1115 November 2012 . http://longbeach.setac.org/
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September 4, 2012 The Honoured Reader (free edition) of the Gallon Environment Letter Vol. 17, No. 3 August 31, 2012 posted as current issue.

THE GALLON ENVIRONMENT LETTER

Canadian Institute for Business and the Environment
Vol. 17, No. 3 August 31, 2012
Table of Contents

Theme: LOCAL FOOD: CHOICES AND RISKS

LOCAVORE'S DILEMMA: WHICH CAME FIRST GLOBAL TRADE OR LOCAL FOOD?
Something vs Nothing
Moiling for a Slam Dunk
Another View

WHY THE VEHEMENCE AGAINST LOCAL/ORGANIC/SUSTAINABLE/ETHICAL FOOD?
 
LOCAL FOOD in U.S. FARM POLICY

ECOLOGICAL FARMER TO FARMER EDUCATION FOR CHANGE

GLOBAL RISKS AS DRIVERS TO CONSUMER CHOICES

USDA: STUDIES OF LOCAL FOOD MARKETS

VIRTUAL WATER
Leaky Exports
Fraser and Okanagan Areas
 
FURUNO: SOME SUBSISTENCE FARM, SOME SMALL CHANGE
Takao Furuno: the One Duck Revolution
Not Subsistence

CITIES AS PARASITES OF THE RURAL LANDSCAPE

LOCAL FOOD ADVICE

FAO REPORT: STATISTICAL YEARBOOK
Organic Farming

IN SEASON
Efforts to Produce Food Available Longer
Greenhouses

FOOD SELF-SUFFICIENCY

ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINTING FOR AGRICULTURE

TRCA LEASES URBAN FARM TO EVERDALE ORGANIC FARM AND LEARNING CENTRE

READING GALLONDAILY
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ABOUT THIS ISSUE 

This issue of Gallon Environment Letter reviews the local food movement, something that is seen frequently as an environmental initiative. A new book which is implicitly critical of the local food movement has been getting lots of publicity, especially on CBC radio. The GallonLetter team discussed whether we should even give this environmentally controversial book any publicity at all but eventually decided that a response is more useful than silence. You can read our take on this book, and the issues that it raises, in this issue.


Food interacts with essentially all human activity. Though much of environmentalists' focus has been on water, there is a strong case that food is just as essential as water. Though we may be able to survive a little longer without food than without water, in the long run we cannot survive without food and people facing severe long-term food shortages will quickly become unhealthy. We have an article on the food-water nexus and the issue of 'virtual water'. We look at duck-rice production. We review a recent FAO annual report which includes the statement "Thus far, organic agriculture has proven to be a relatively cheap and practical option to address climate instability". Sounds interesting to GallonLetter. We bring you more details below.

There is so much to write about food that this issue is all about food and food systems in Canada and elsewhere. Next issue we will return to our more usual blend of articles but will continue the food theme by featuring issues like food miles and lifecycle analysis of food products. Meanwhile we encourage you to comment on this issue, or on anything else relevant to environment, sustainable development, and business by writing to editor@gallonletter.ca. A selection of letters received may be published at the editor's discretion.
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September 2, 2012 The Honoured Reader (free edition) of the Gallon Environment Letter Vol. 17, No. 2 July 25, 2012 posted as current issue.

THE GALLON ENVIRONMENT LETTER

Canadian Institute for Business and the Environment
Vol. 17, No. 2 July 25, 2012
Table of Contents

AN EDITORIAL BY BILL MCKIBBEN 


Theme: BUSINESS ACTION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AT RIO+20
BASD: OUTPUT DOCUMENT
Opening Plenary
Agriculture
Chemical Industry
Oil and Gas Industry
Power (Utilities)
SMEs
Consumer Goods: Ecosystem Services/Natural Capital
Corporate Sustainability Reporting
Green Economy
Policy Frameworks for Sustainable Development
Water (Cross-sector)
Sustainable Consumption
Business Schools
Closing Plenary: Ideas to Scale up

BUSINESS IMPERATIVE: VALUING ECOSYSTEM SERVICES
Example: Clorox

RIO+20: INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS AND TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER

OTHER RIO+20 CORPORATE ANNOUNCEMENTS

EDC: NEW IFC PERFORMANCE STANDARDS

ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

            Subject: EnviroHansard                  
            Subject: Drain Water Heat Recovery
            Subject: It's Getting Hot in Here, So... Take a Look at Tips from Leading Ecologist Inside!
            Subject: Sustainability Applied 2012 October 17-18, 2012 Toronto, on

ACEEE: 2012 INTERNATIONAL ENERGY EFFICIENCY SCORECARD
 
ENERGY CONSERVATION: HUMAN BEHAVIOUR AFFECTS BENEFITS OF TECHNOLOGY

CRS: OIL SANDS AND THE KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE
Consideration of Environmental Impacts Outside of the United States
CO2 Emissions: Lifecycle
Slow Reclamation

AN AWARD FOR GREEN CORPORATE CITIZENSHIP

CSR: CREDIBILITY GAP

DARK MATTERS 2: CANADA: A BLEAK DAY FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

READING GALLONDAILY
 
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ABOUT THIS ISSUE 

This issue we are highlighting some of the business activities that took place at the Rio+20 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. While governments made little progress the business community seemed to think it would be making great green progress. We will leave it readers to decide whether it did.

We highlight some of the conclusions of the Business Action for Sustainable Development Business Day, many of which are quite interesting in the context of the business community in Canada today, and look in depth at the Ecosystem Services session. The concept of Ecosystem Services seems to be gaining a significant agenda in the international business community and in international governmental organizations. The challenge for governments of providing technology transfer to developing countries while intellectual property rights to the technologies are owned by the private sector is one that Gallon Environment Letter has addressed before. We are pleased to see that a law professor is now addressing the conundrum in a useful way. We also provide a list of some of the other corporate initiatives that were announced or discussed at Rio+20.

Our editorial in this issue consists of a link to another publication, Rolling Stone Magazine. Perhaps not where one would expect to find a thoughtful and relevant piece on climate change and the "real enemy" but we thought it so interesting that we wanted all our readers, and not just those who subscribe to Rolling Stone, to see it. It is a long piece so we provide a link but we very much encourage you to follow the link and read McKibben's words for yourself.

We have five Letters to the Editor, one from our friend Will Amos at EcoJustice telling us (and our readers) about a new Environmental Hansard that EcoJustice is launching. We think this will be very useful for keeping up with the environmentally sound (and silly) things that our federal parliamentarians say in the House of Commons. The second letter is about a new technology. We do not usually allow Gallon Letter to be used for product and service promotion, though we are thinking about doing so more formally (business speak meaning 'for a fee') but this one seemed to be of sufficiently broad interest and sufficiently eco-sensible that we decided to run it. The third letter is about keeping cool without air conditioning in this summer heat, something that even Gallon Letter's editor is very much trying to do. GallonLetter's offices are in a former farmhouse in which air conditioning is available but we try not to use the aC unless it is absolutely essential. Believe it or not, so far this hot summer we have managed to keep the AC turned off, though some of our IT equipment seems to be affected just as much as the humans involved and periodically shuts down without warning. The two other letters are equally interesting - read on to find what they are all about.

The Washington-based American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy issued its first scorecard ranking 12 of the world's largest economies based on 27 metrics to measure how efficiently these economies use energy. The results, which we bring you, are not too surprising! Also in the realm of energy efficiency we discuss the Prebound effect, something which governments planning energy efficiency programs almost certainly do not consider, and a Congressional Research Service report on the oil sands and the Keystone XL pipeline, a report that gives more credit to the NGO position than one SH seems capable of doing. Our corporate sustainability awards issue missed a few - we tell you of one - and we will update our listings in a comprehensive way early in the new year. A recent Globe Scan survey indicated that only 38% of respondents, mostly professional sustainable development types, like GallonLetter's editor, believed that CSR reporting was honestly communicated. We will be addressing this issue in GallonLetter early in the Fall.

Next issue we will be revisiting and updating some of our coverage of the local food scene. In the meantime we welcome your letters to the editor, send to editor@gallonletter.ca, and invite your comments. We hope you enjoy this issue of Gallon Environment Letter.
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July 12, 2012 The Honoured Reader (free edition) of the Gallon Environment Letter Vol. 17, No. 1 June 27, 2012 posted as current issue.

THE GALLON ENVIRONMENT LETTER

Canadian Institute for Business and the Environment
Vol. 17, No. 1 June 27, 2012
Table of Contents

Editorial by Colin Isaacs: WAS RIO+20 SO BAD THAT THE EFFORT SHOULD BE SCRAPPED?

THEME: TOOLS FOR SUSTAINABILITY
SUPPLY CHAIN: UN GLOBAL COMPACT TOOL

ENVIRONMENTAL ACCOUNTING: PPR/PUMA

WIKI: IISD ENTREPRENEUR'S TOOLKIT

SECTOR PROJECTS: CEMENT SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVE

WATER TOOLS: WATER FOOTPRINT AND LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT

WATER: GLOBAL WATER TOOL
Other Tools

PEPSI: WATER AWARD AND CRITICISM
Positive Water Balance
 
ENVIRONMENTAL MATERIALITY: UNEP FI
Examples of Initiatives
 
FORD: STAKEHOLDER CONCERNS AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT: MATERIALITY ANALYSIS

COLLABORATIVE LEARNING: SUSTAINABLE HAMILTON
Boot Camp

BOOT CAMP: THE SUSTAINABILITY PLAN

COMMUNITY GHG PROTOCOL

PRODUCT RESPONSIBILITY: PRODUCT DONATION
Second Harvest
Indigo

DARK MATTERS
 
OECD: ECONOMIC SURVEY FOR CANADA

CARBON PRICING AND GOVERNMENT POLICY

CANADIAN CHILDREN'S OPERA: LAURA'S COW
 
SOME CITIES NO LONGER RECYCLE GLASS
 
READING GALLONDAILY

MESSAGE TO PM HARPER:
NEW CANADIANS NEARLY AS BAD AS ENVIRONMENTAL CHARITIES?

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ABOUT THIS ISSUE 
 
Our theme for this issue is Tools for Sustainable Development. GallonLetter sometimes cringes at this use of the word 'tools'. After all we are not talking about screwdrivers, wrenches, or hammers, even though one sometimes wishes we could use such tools to build a more sustainable society! Tools for sustainability are usually spreadsheets, questionnaires, financial reports, or mechanisms for achieving education or social change, not the kind of thing that ordinary people would think of as 'tools'. However, use of the 'tools' jargon has become so common in sustainability circles that we will, somewhat hesitantly, abandon our objections and follow the crowd..

Many organizations around the world have developed and published all kinds of mechanisms to help organizations, companies, and even governments to make their operations and activities more sustainable. Globally, participation in the movement towards a more sustainable society is growing and many of the mechanisms that organizations are using are being made available in the public domain. In this issue we provide summaries of some of the more interesting 'tools'.

A senior federal Cabinet minister has criticized the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy for recommending a carbon tax on multiple occasions. The daily media has pointed out that the criticism is unfounded. GallonLetter digs a little deeper, pointing out that the work on carbon that the NRTEE undertook was required by law. We also look at environmentally conscious approaches to product donations; a piece of art by by Kazimir Malevich in the Hermitage in St. Peterburg (you will have to read the article to see what that has to do with the environment!); the latest OECD economic survey for Canada; carbon pricing and government policy; recycling of glass; and a new Canadian opera called Laura's Cow. There's also an interesting survey on the attitudes of new Canadians from TD Friends of the Environment Foundation.
 
As mentioned in our Rio+20 editorial, the next issue of Gallon Environment Letter will focus on some of the advances in Sustainable Development thinking and action that have risen to the top in 2012. In the meanwhile we hope you find this issue interesting and useful. We welcome your comments, reactions, and suggestions for possible publication to editor@gallonletter.ca
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Please note: Except for occasional issues, the Honoured Reader edition of the Gallon Environment Letter does not contain most of the links of the paid subscription. However, any urls listed, checked at the time of publication of each issue, may no longer be current later.

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