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Mike Hower

Managing Director, Sustainability & Social Impact
thinkPARALLAX

Mike Hower is tagged in 834 stories. Page 13 of 42.
On-Site Water Recycling Could Create Drought-Resilient Homes in California
On-Site Water Recycling Could Create Drought-Resilient Homes in California

Cleantech / California builders, water & sewer agencies and homeowners are one step closer to being able to construct bona fide drought-resilient homes.Nexus eWater, maker of home water and energy recyclers, has received certification to the NSF/ANSI 350 global standard for residential grey water treatment for its ‘NEXtreater’ home water recycler. The water recycler is capable of safely recycling two out of every three gallons of grey water in the home for non-potable, approved uses.Grey water is drain water from showers, laundry and hand sinks and is the largest potential source of on-site water in homes — typically, this makes up two-thirds of indoor water.The potential water savings associated with in-home grey water recycling are “unprecedented”, Nexus eWater says. - 5 years ago

European CFOs Publish Practical Ways to Embrace Sustainable Business
European CFOs Publish Practical Ways to Embrace Sustainable Business

Leadership / Chief Financial Officers (CFO) from Unilever, Sainsbury's and more than a dozen other large European companies making up the Chief Financial Officer Leadership Network (the Network) have published four guides to help the finance and accounting community address the practical issues of integrating sustainability into their business processes and decisions.Prince Charles’ Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S) launched the Network in 2013 to bring together leaders in the finance, accounting, and investor communities to drive a shift toward resilient business models and a sustainable economy. - 5 years ago

Pee-Powered Toilet Could Help Light Refugee Camps
Pee-Powered Toilet Could Help Light Refugee Camps

Cleantech / Sometimes clean technology doesn't need to be sanitary.Students and staff at the University of the West of England in Bristol now have the opportunity to test out a prototype toilet that uses urine to generate electricity, The Guardian reports.Researchers at the university and the charity Oxfam developed the “pee power” toilet to prove that urine can generate electricity, and show its potential for helping to light cubicles in international refugee camps. The technology uses urine-fed microbial fuel cell (MFC) stacks to generate electricity that can power indoor lighting. - 5 years ago

MIT Climate CoLab Announces 22 Contests to Counter Climate Change
MIT Climate CoLab Announces 22 Contests to Counter Climate Change

Collaboration / The Climate CoLab has announced twenty-two contests that seek high-impact ideas on how to tackle climate change.A project of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Center for Collective Intelligence, the Climate CoLab seeks to harness the knowledge and expertise of thousands of experts and non-experts across the world to help solve this massive, complex issue.The Climate CoLab has a rapidly growing community of over 30,000 members from across the world. Anyone is welcome to join the platform to submit their own ideas, or comment on and show support for other proposals on the site. - 5 years ago

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UK Researchers Make Cheap Solar Cells From Shrimp Shells
UK Researchers Make Cheap Solar Cells From Shrimp Shells

Cleantech / Researchers at Queen Mary University of London have for the first time successfully created electricity-generating solar cells with chemicals found in the shells of shrimps and other crustaceans.The materials chitin and chitosan found in the shells are abundant and significantly cheaper to produce than the metals currently used in making nanostructured solar-cells, the researchers say.The researchers used a process called hydrothermal carbonization to create the carbon quantum dots (CQDs) from the widely and cheaply available chemicals found in crustacean shells. They then coated standard zinc oxide nanorods with the CQDs to make the solar cells. - 5 years ago

GRI Unveils ‘Fast Track’ For Sustainability Reports
GRI Unveils ‘Fast Track’ For Sustainability Reports

New Metrics / The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is introducing a new feature called ‘fast track’, which will give reporting organizations the option to accelerate the review of their draft reports.GRI is fast approaching the busiest time of year, with reporting deadlines drawing closer. During these peak times, GRI says its Report Services Team processes a large volume of draft reports that have been submitted for either the Content Index, Materiality Disclosures, or Application Level Services. The Term and Conditions of these services lay out a specific amount of time within which GRI will review the draft report and issue findings to the reporting organization. - 5 years ago

Association of Climate Change Officers Unveils First Professional Credentialing Program
Association of Climate Change Officers Unveils First Professional Credentialing Program

Leadership / The Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO) has announced its first professional certificate under the CCO Certification program.The Climate Governance Certificate provides a recognized credential to professionals who have developed the competencies and knowledge to integrate an understanding of climate change and related implications into their decision-making. - 5 years ago

McDonald’s to Cut Human-Related Antibiotics for Chicken Sold in U.S.
McDonald’s to Cut Human-Related Antibiotics for Chicken Sold in U.S.

Behavior Change / McDonald’s announced on Wednesday that it is committing to serving chicken raised without antibiotics used in human medicine in all of its U.S. restaurants within two years.The company isn’t going completely antibiotic-free — but will cut the use of antibiotics that contribute to “superbugs” or drug-resistant bacteria that can also harm humans. Often, these human antibiotics are fed to livestock to maximize growth, rather than to treat illness. - 5 years ago

Survey: Millennials and Women Leading the Sustainable Investing Charge
Survey: Millennials and Women Leading the Sustainable Investing Charge

Behavior Change / Seventy-one percent of active individual investors describe themselves as interested in sustainable investing, and nearly two in three (65 percent) believe sustainable investing will become more prevalent over the next five years, according to a new survey by the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing.The Sustainable Signals report examines the attitudes and perceptions of individual investors towards sustainable investing and considers the broader implications for investors, corporations and governments. - 5 years ago

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Starbucks Partnering with Washington Post Vet on New ‘Social Impact’ Media Company
Starbucks Partnering with Washington Post Vet on New ‘Social Impact’ Media Company

Product, Service & Design Innovation / The Washington Post’s Rajiv Chandrasekaran is reportedly leaving his longtime post at the Post to form a new venture — a media company that will produce longform “social-impact" documentaries, with an initial focus on veterans’ issues, in partnership with Starbucks. - 5 years ago

World’s ‘Most Admired’ Companies Also Are Sustainability Stars
World’s ‘Most Admired’ Companies Also Are Sustainability Stars

Leadership / Apple, Google and Berkshire Hathaway are the world’s most highly regarded companies, according to a new ranking by Fortune magazine.Amazon, Starbucks, Disney, Southwest Airlines, American Express, General Electric (GE) and Coca-Cola rounded out the top ten. - 5 years ago

New Packaging Concepts Could Cut Food Waste
New Packaging Concepts Could Cut Food Waste

Chemistry, Materials & Packaging / UK recycled packaging manufacturer Spectra unveiled a number of new concepts emphasizing closure technology this week at an industry event in Birmingham.One of the new closure concepts is a two-piece cap that features an inner screw mechanism, which allows customers to snap on five alternate outer shells for a mix-and-match outcome. Another idea is a new push button sliding cap that can be operated with one hand, available in twin color options. - 5 years ago

Report: Global Sustainable Investing Market Surpasses $21 Trillion
Report: Global Sustainable Investing Market Surpasses $21 Trillion

Behavior Change / The global sustainable investment market has grown “substantially” in the past two years with assets reaching $21.4 trillion by the start of 2014, according to a new report by the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA).The Global Sustainable Investment Review 2014 finds that the assets employing sustainable investing strategies have risen from 21.5 percent to 30.2 percent of the professional management assets across the regions covered. - 5 years ago

Mars and Fairtrade Extend Sustainable Cocoa Partnership for UK and Ireland
Mars and Fairtrade Extend Sustainable Cocoa Partnership for UK and Ireland

Supply Chain / Mars Chocolate UK and Fairtrade Foundation have extended their partnership to source Fairtrade-certified cocoa for MARS® Bars in the United Kingdom and Ireland by October 2015.Mars is the first UK company to announce a commitment under the new Fairtrade Cocoa Sourcing Programme, which aims to deliver more opportunities for cocoa farmers to sell on Fairtrade terms and connect them with businesses that actively support efforts to improve farmer livelihoods.In 2009, Mars committed to certifying its entire cocoa supply as being produced in a sustainable manner by 2020. - 5 years ago

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Startup Develops World’s Thinnest Speaker
Startup Develops World’s Thinnest Speaker

Product, Service & Design Innovation / A startup called Soundlazer claims to have developed the world’s thinnest speaker, made from a new class of plastic polymer. With the ability to reproduce a large range of audio frequencies, the company says it can be used to deliver audio in tight or unique spaces. - 5 years ago

Dow Pilot Program Shows Plastic Waste Can Be Turned Into Fuel
Dow Pilot Program Shows Plastic Waste Can Be Turned Into Fuel

Product, Service & Design Innovation / The Dow Chemical Company recently completed a pilot program aimed at showing how certain plastics such as juice pouches, candy wrappers and plastic dinnerware — which are not easily recyclable under traditional models — can be converted into synthetic crude oil for fuel.As part of the Energy Bag Pilot Program, Dow partnered with the Flexible Packaging Association, Republic Services, Agilyx, Reynolds Consumer Products and the city of Citrus Heights, Calif. to drive a collection pilot program meant to divert non-recycled plastics from landfills and to optimize their resource efficiency across the lifecycle. - 5 years ago

Kuli Kuli Shines Through in Crowded ‘Super Food’ Market
Kuli Kuli Shines Through in Crowded ‘Super Food’ Market

Product, Service & Design Innovation / The term “super food” has become trite in today’s health-crazed dietary marketplace — used to describe everything from kale to blueberries. The word is rarely used by dietitians or nutrition scientists because few foods pack enough of a nutritional punch to merit “super” status.But there still are a few deserving of the title — and a plant called moringa is one of them. The moringa tree is a plant native to parts of Africa and Asia renowned for its nutritional value — each leaf contains seven times the vitamin C of oranges, four times the vitamin A of carrots, four times the calcium of milk, three times the potassium of bananas and twice the protein of yogurt. - 5 years ago

Walmart Raises Hourly Pay for 500,000 Store Employees
Walmart Raises Hourly Pay for 500,000 Store Employees

Behavior Change / Walmart has announced it will give pay raises to approximately 500,000 full-time and part-time associates at Walmart U.S. stores and Sam's Clubs in the first half of the current fiscal year.Starting in April, current and future hourly associates will make $9.00 per hour, or $1.75 above the federal minimum wage. By February 2016, current associates will earn at least $10.00 per hour.The compensation announcement came as part of $1 billion worth of comprehensive changes to the company’s hiring, training and scheduling programs, as well as to store management structure. The retailer says these changes will give its associates the opportunity to earn higher pay and advance in their careers. - 5 years ago

Report: Reusing and Remanufacturing Mobile Devices Can Cut CO2 by 50% While Increasing Sales
Report: Reusing and Remanufacturing Mobile Devices Can Cut CO2 by 50% While Increasing Sales

Product, Service & Design Innovation / New strategies for reuse and remanufacturing of mobile devices can cut the carbon footprint of each device by up to half while expanding sales, according to a new report from the Green Alliance.A circular economy for smart devices identifies how laptops, tablets and smartphones up to five years old can be profitably recovered and resold in the UK, US and India. It describes six business models that companies can use to adapt to consumer preferences for lower cost, longer-lasting electronics and how reuse can bring the benefits of internet connected devices to new consumers in the developing world. - 5 years ago

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GM Set to Achieve Renewable Energy Goals 4 Years Early
GM Set to Achieve Renewable Energy Goals 4 Years Early

Cleantech / General Motors for the first time is procuring wind to power its manufacturing operations, enabling one of its Mexico facilities’ electricity needs to be run mostly on renewable energy. This addition of 34 megawatts of wind power allows GM to achieve its corporate goal of renewable energy use four years early.GM says construction of the wind farm will begin in the second quarter of this year. When complete, more than 12 percent of the company’s North American energy consumption will come from renewable energy sources, up from 9 percent. GM’s current renewable energy use — comprised of solar, landfill gas and waste to energy — totals 104 megawatts against a goal of 125 megawatts by 2020. - 5 years ago

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