Free July webinar on hazards of antibacterial cleaning products

Originally posted on Our Kitchen Table:

Hosted by the Great Lakes Green Chemistry Network Michigan Green Chemistry Clearinghouse
“GreenScreen® Assessments of Antimicrobials Triclosan and Triclocarban,” 3 p.m. TUESDAY, JULY 15, 2014

Presented by Beverly Thorpe, Consulting Co-Director and Co-founder Clean Production Action and Fe De Leon, Great Lakes Toxics Policy Expert and Researcher Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA)

Beverly Thorpe

Triclosan and Triclocarban are widely used as antibacterial/antimicrobial agents in many products including cosmetics, personal care consumer products, textiles and food contact materials. GreenScreen® for Safer Chemicals, a recognized tool for comparative chemical hazard assessment, was used to assess the environmental and human health profile of both of these chemicals.
GreenScreen® classifies Triclosan as a GreenScreen® Benchmark 1 (Avoid – Chemical of High Concern) and Triclocarban as a GreenScreen® Benchmark 2 (Use –  but Search for Safer Substitutes).  These results will add new support for the growing movement to restrict Triclosan as well as demonstrate the value of comprehensive chemical hazard screening for…

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Environmental Leader Insider Knowledge Report Needs Your Story

Are you interested in sharing your organization’s sustainability successes with a wider audience?

Environmental Leader, an online sustainable business-focused magazine, is currently collecting results of sustainability initiatives, environmental and energy management lessons, and other insightful advice that businesses have gathered in the past year for their annual 2014 Insider Knowledge report.

Stories that share metrics, before-and-after measurements, and ROI information are preferred. Suggested subjects include (from the Environmental Leader website):

  •  A test or implementation that worked better (or worse) than anticipated.
  • Lessons learned about specific tactics, such as onsite generation, building retrofits, sustainable supply chain initiatives, emission prevention, water conservation, etc.
  • Workplace stories – such as hiring, budgeting, green team activities, auditing & reporting, office politics, etc.

The report will be indexed by the author’s name and company. Anonymous submissions are also being accepted. Entries are limited to 750 words.

The Insider Knowledge Report will be distributed through various media outlets and will be available on the Environmental Leader website throughout 2014. Deadline for submissions is March 7.

For more information, or to submit a story, visit the Insider Knowledge Report website, here.


2014 MSU Greening the Supply Chain Conference Expands and Features WMSBF Members

Building on the success of the 2013 conference, Michigan State University will expand its 2014 Greening the Supply Chain conference to procurement and sustainability professionals in Big Ten and Michigan public universities, in addition to MSU suppliers. The conference will also showcase green business practices and innovations at WMSBF members Grand Valley State University, Steelcase, and Nichols Paper, among other organizations and businesses.

According to Bill Latta, Assistant Vice President for Administration at MSU, the conference is focused on broadening sustainability and reducing environmental impact on campus together with product and service providers. “It’s bringing suppliers that provide products and services tot he university together with staff who purchase those,” said Latta in a 2012 interview. “What we’re trying to do is collaboratively figure out a better definition of what does sustainability mean for our campus and how can we reduce that environmental footprint or impact of the purchases we make.”

The April 21 conference will give participants the opportunity to attend several presentations and panel discussions on subjects ranging from end of life materials management and green construction practices to sustainable food sourcing and environmentally-friendly office supplies. The new Supplier Learning Showcase—an opportunity for suppliers to present on their sustainability practices—will follow these presentations.

The conference will take place at the Jack Breslin Student Events Center, located on the Michigan State University campus in East Lansing, and will run from 8:00 am to 5:30 pm. Registration is $75. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided.

For more information, or to register for the conference, visit the Michigan State University website, here.





DEQ Webinars a Resource for Sustainability Knowledge

With topics ranging from hazardous waste management to soil erosion, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality‘s webinar series provide free information that can be valuable to anyone concerned with sustainability and environmental preservation.

The online seminars, which feature live presenters and slide shows,  are hosted by DEQ representatives and environmental professionals.  Presentations generally last about an hour, and are open to the public.  Viewers can receive certification of participation from the DEQ webinar site.

Currently, registration is open for the February 19 webinar on greenhouse gas accounting and product life cycle management.  Presented by Deanna Lizas of ICF International,  discussion will focus on the implications of purchasing recycled content products on greenhouse gas emissions, as well as source reduction and reuse of materials.

To register for the February 19 webinar, or to view the archive of available recorded webinars, visit the DEQ’s webinar site here.


Green Healthcare Chemical of Concern Webinars

The Michigan Green Healthcare Committee would like to make WMSBF members aware of several free 30 minute webinars on chemicals of concern in many healthcare products during November and December.   A schedule of the webinars is below.  Register or learn more at greensciencepolicy.org/events.

  • November 19, 11am PST: Solvents (toluene, xylene, acetone, etc.)

Liz Harriman, Deputy Director, Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute

  • November 26, 11am PST: Heavy Metals (arsenic, lead, mercury, cadmium, etc.)

Graham Peaslee, PhD, Hartgerink Professor of Chemistry, Hope University

  • December 3, 11am PST: Do We Need It?

Debbie Raphael, Director, California Department of Toxic Substance Control

  • December 10, 11am PST: Green Chemistry

Bob Peoples, PhD, Former Director of ACS Green Chemistry Institute



Wege Prize: Students Solving Wicked Problems

WegePrize Logo

The brightest collegiate minds in West Michigan are gathering to solve a truly wicked problem.  Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) and The Wege Foundation have announced a new, annual transdisciplinary design competition that gives teams of five students the chance to work collaboratively, use design thinking principles, and win the Wege Prize – $30,000 in total cash prizes –  to show the world what the future of problem solving will look like.

This year’s wicked problem: How can we create a circular economy? A circular economy is a tightly looped, restorative economic cycle where resources can be re-adapted for use without limiting the desirability of products or the loss of revenue. If we continue to rely on our current model of extract-manufacture-dispose, which is contingent upon vast reserves of expendable resources and an environment that can absorb the waste, we will never inhabit a sustainable planet. Your challenge is to design a product, service, or business model that can function within and help create a paradigm shift towards a circular economic model.

Teams will have until Feb. 16, 2014 to develop a solution.

To participate on a team and compete for the Wege Prize, you must be a full-time undergraduate student (12+ credits/semester). All teams must consist of five students from least two different educational institutions and represent three or more different academic disciplines. Find your teammates, create a team, and go to wegeprize.org/registration to learn the details of the competition and to register.

Registration begins Nov. 1, 2013, and teams must be registered in full by no later than Dec. 1, 2013.

Solutions will be judged on cogency, process, impact, and illustration. What have you designed? How did you arrive at your solution? Have you considered all the necessary factors of the wicked problem? Can your solution be realistically implemented on a large scale? Can you communicate your solution visually in a way that will convince others of its worth? These are the questions that should come up repeatedly as you work.

All submissions will be initially judged by a review panel, which will select the top five solutions to move on in the competition. These five entries will be displayed at Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts and online at wegeprize.org.  The public will view the entries and cast their vote for the one that impresses them most. The finalists will present their solutions to a panel of guest judges who will examine the solutions and name the winners of the 1st and 2nd place awards.

Member News, Uncategorized

New Member: Michigan Works! of Kent & Allegan Counties

Michigan Works! Business Services Representatives work with companies in Kent and Allegan counties to create a customized solution that address unique talent needs.

  • Access to the broadest talent pool in Michigan and can help you find candidates that match your unique employment needs, no matter the level or skill set.
  • A wide range of Human Resource services such as wage research, recruitment, pre-hire assessments and job fairs.
  • Through a variety of state and federal programs, Michigan Works! is able to provide a number of training options to help you develop a strong, skilled and educated workforce.

Business Services Representatives work with employers within industry sectors such as manufacturing, information technology and health care, to develop in-depth expertise on a specific industry and identify common talent needs and trends.  It maintains partnerships with regional economic development agencies and educational institutions to provide the most comprehensive solution to your current and future employment demands.  Ask about funding for worker training.

Learn more about Michigan Works! here.

Uncategorized, Upcoming Events

Where Green Meets Black: What Works and Why for Sustainable Business

Leaders in business, education and research will review the latest findings on emerging trends, lessons learned and strategies for future sustainable business practices during a one-day conference scheduled for Thursday, October 10, at the University of Michigan’s Rackham Auditorium in Ann Arbor.

“Where Green Meets Black: What Works and Why for Sustainable Business,” is Michigan’s only annual statewide sustainability-focused symposium designed for businesses of all sizes and industries. Participants will acquire the latest data and have the opportunity to share best practices to directly influence the state’s economic future.

Conference co-hosts include the Southeast Michigan Sustainable Business Forum, the University of Michigan Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise and EarthShare Michigan.

Guest speakers and topics include:
Lauren Bigelow of Growth Capital Network, speaking on “Michigan Trends in Sustainable Entrepreneurship”

  • Robert W. Kuhn, an international corporate strategist, investment banker and public intellectual, addressing “How Sustainable Business Practices Enhance Profitability and Venture Capital”
  • Andrew Hoffman, the Holcim Professor of Global Sustainable Enterprise, presenting findings from his new book: Flourishing: A Frank Conversation about Sustainability.
  • Plus panel discussions on entrepreneurship, governance, sustainable branding and more, as representatives from the public and private sectors will lead several panel discussions to address sustainability’s critical role in business, from strategy to management.

Tickets for “Where Green Meets Black” are $100.  Admission to the all-day event (8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) includes all speaker presentations and panel discussions, a continental breakfast and lunch. For more information and tickets, please visit smsbf.org.


November Monthly Meeting

November 12, 2012; 12:00 noon – 2:00 p.m.
WMSBF Monthly Meeting
Kentwood Office Furniture
3063 Breton SE, Grand Rapids

The WMSBF Energy Committee, supported by the Tools & Resources Committee, will be introducing the Energy Assessment Guide (EAG), a complement to the Primary Self Assessment Guide (SAG) completed by many of you on the Chalk & Wire web-based tool. This is the next phase of our DEQ grant supported pollution prevention project. The SAG included a section on Energy but this guide provides a much more comprehensive approach to evaluating knowledge and integration of energy efficency/conservation practices. It is intended to be a valuable tool to a range of business sizes and sectors. Following background on the process and a look at the final product, there will be table top dicussions to elicit member input. Stay tuned for information on upcoming Waste and Corporate Social Responsibility Assessment Guide roll-outs…

If you would like to attend this meeting, you must register by email to llocke@wmsbf.org (mailto:llocke@wmsbf.org) by Thursday, November 8. Cost of attending is $10 for members/$15 for non-members. Payment may be made by cash or check at the event or by credit card in advance through the home page of our website, Programs & Events/Monthly Meetings on the top menu, http://www.wmsbf.org. A $1 additional processing charge is included for credit card payments.