Mike Hower

Managing Director, Sustainability & Social Impact
thinkPARALLAX

Mike Hower is tagged in 832 stories. Page 7 of 42.
Texas Teen Develops $20 Water Purifier to Fight E-Waste Pollution
Texas Teen Develops $20 Water Purifier to Fight E-Waste Pollution

Chemistry, Materials & Packaging / Eighteen-year-old Perry Alagappan of Texas has created a renewable heavy metal filter capable of removing 99 percent of heavy metals from water that passes through it, The Guardian reports.This could be particularly useful in countries such as China and India, where recycling factories are recovering e-waste exported from around the world, but discharging heavy metals and chemicals into local water supplies in the process. - 4 years ago

Electronics Industry Launches Factory Worker Protection Program in Malaysia
Electronics Industry Launches Factory Worker Protection Program in Malaysia

Leadership / The Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), a nonprofit coalition of leading electronics companies dedicated to supply chain responsibility, on Wednesday announced the launch of a foreign migrant worker protection pilot program that aims to improve communications in electronics factories by providing workers with more effective ways to report issues related to social, environmental and ethical responsibility.The program, called “Suara Kita”, which is Malay for "Our Voice," will be piloted in Malaysia — given the sizable industry presence and large number of foreign workers there — from September 2015 through December 2016 with plans for it to be rolled out globally afterward. - 4 years ago

Seventh Generation Detergents Join Target’s ‘Made to Matter’ Collection
Seventh Generation Detergents Join Target’s ‘Made to Matter’ Collection

Chemistry, Materials & Packaging / Seventh Generation, which makes eco-friendly household and personal care products, on Monday launched a new line of laundry and dishwasher detergents designed to save consumers energy and money, while also helping to protect and care for the environment.Each product in the so-called “Energy Smart” line is formulated with advanced enzyme technology to give the same performance in cold and hot or warm water. This allows consumers to clean dirty dishes and clothes effectively, the company says, all while using low energy settings on their washing machines and dishwashers. - 4 years ago

Musk’s ‘Hyperloop’ on Track to Start Construction in 2016
Musk’s ‘Hyperloop’ on Track to Start Construction in 2016

Product, Service & Design Innovation / Two years ago, billionaire CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX visionary Elon Musk made headlines when he released designs for the ‘Hyperloop’ Transport System, which would be capable of rapidly transporting people from Los Angeles to San Francisco via a tube in under 30 minutes.The proposed system would use pods about two meters, or around 6.6 feet, in diameter. Musk described the Hyperloop as a “cross between a Concorde and a railgun and an air hockey table," instilling images of people-packed pods being blasted pneumatically through vacuum tubes. - 4 years ago

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Dutch Venture Developing Livable Windmills Powered by Wind Energy
Dutch Venture Developing Livable Windmills Powered by Wind Energy

Cleantech / Imagine living in a luxurious circular skyscraper, with a breathtaking view and without electricity bills on the table. As futuristic as that my seem, it may not be too far off, according to Lennart Graaff, director of Windwheel Corporation.The Netherlands-based consortium of companies BLOC, DoepelStrijkers and Meysters has plans to construct what it calls the “Dutch Windwheel,” a double-ring rotating edifice that is powered by the wind energy it generates. - 4 years ago

Indian Airport Becomes World’s First to Operate Solely on Solar
Indian Airport Becomes World’s First to Operate Solely on Solar

Cleantech / Cochin International airport in Kochi, India has become the world’s first airport to completely operate on solar power, according to a recent announcement.The airport is powered by a 12 MWp solar power plant comprising of 46,150 solar panels laid across 45 acres. It now will have 50,000 to 60,000 thousand units of electricity per day to be consumed for all its operational functions, which make the airport 100 percent power neutral. - 4 years ago

Google’s ‘Project Sunroof’ Calculates the Cost of Solar
Google’s ‘Project Sunroof’ Calculates the Cost of Solar

Cleantech / Google is testing a new online tool to help homeowners explore whether they should go solar, according to a recent blog post by the search giant.Now available in the San Francisco Bay Area, Fresno and the Boston area, Project Sunroof utilizes the same high-resolution aerial mapping used by Google Earth to help homeowners calculate their roof’s solar energy potential, right from their laptop or smartphone. - 4 years ago

ClimateCare Named One of the UK’s First Certified B Corporations
ClimateCare Named One of the UK’s First Certified B Corporations

Leadership / ClimateCare, which delivers corporate and government programs to protect the environment and improve people’s lives, today announced that it has received certification as one of the UK’s first Certified B Corporations.With an 18-year track record, ClimateCare claims it is living proof that commercial businesses can deliver positive impacts at scale. In the last seven years alone, the business has deployed $100 million to deliver measurable social and environmental outcomes for corporate and government clients.B Lab, the nonprofit that administers Certified B Corporation status, awarded ClimateCare a score of 141.4 points — well above the average of 97 points. - 4 years ago

Clinton Foundation, Kuli Kuli Looking to Moringa to Tackle Poverty in Haiti
Clinton Foundation, Kuli Kuli Looking to Moringa to Tackle Poverty in Haiti

Product, Service & Design Innovation / Superfood social enterprise Kuli Kuli has announced a partnership with the Clinton Foundation and a Haitian nonprofit, the Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA), to develop a new moringa supply chain in Haiti. Earlier this month, Chelsea Clinton met with Haitian women moringa farmers. - 4 years ago

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Ingersoll Rand Debuts on FTSE4Good Index Series
Ingersoll Rand Debuts on FTSE4Good Index Series

Marketing and Comms / Irish global diversified industrial company Ingersoll Rand has been added to the FTSE4Good Index Series, an equity index series designed to facilitate investment in companies that meet globally recognized corporate responsibility standards.The company, which claims to make “comfortable, sustainable and efficient environments,” was independently assessed according to the FTSE4Good criteria, and satisfied the requirements to become a constituent of the index.Created by the global index company FTSE Group, FTSE4Good companies must meet stringent environmental, social and governance criteria. - 4 years ago

Universities Partnering With Cities to Research More Sustainable Urban Environments
Universities Partnering With Cities to Research More Sustainable Urban Environments

Collaboration / The University of Minnesota has received a $12 million dollar award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to bring together a network of scientists, industry leaders and policy partners committed to building better cities of the future, according to a recent announcement.The network will connect across nine research universities, major metropolitan cities in the U.S. and India, as well as infrastructure firms and policy groups. The project includes 25 faculty members across the nine universities, and will involve more than 40 graduate students conducting research in cross-university interdisciplinary teams. - 4 years ago

WWF Combines Finance With Conservation to Protect Sumatran Rainforest
WWF Combines Finance With Conservation to Protect Sumatran Rainforest

Collaboration / Through an ambitious project model combining innovative financing approaches with traditional conservation, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) and The Orangutan Project (TOP) are partnering with local communities to actively manage Thirty Hills, 100,000 acres of former logging forest in Sumatra, Indonesia. - 4 years ago

Report: Connection Charges Can Encourage Water Efficiency
Report: Connection Charges Can Encourage Water Efficiency

Behavior Change / Even as many U.S. communities struggle to support growing populations with limited water resources, few are utilizing water connection charges to increase water-savvy residential development projects in their communities, according to a new report by Western Resource Advocates, Ceres and the University of North Carolina's Environmental Finance Center. - 4 years ago

USDA Invests $63M to Support Renewables and Energy Efficiency
USDA Invests $63M to Support Renewables and Energy Efficiency

Cleantech / Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Friday announced $63 million in loans and grants for 264 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects nationwide that USDA is supporting through its Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).Eligible agricultural producers and rural small businesses may use REAP funds to make energy efficiency improvements or install renewable energy systems, including solar, wind, renewable biomass, small hydroelectric, ocean energy, hydrogen and geothermal. - 4 years ago

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Startup Develops Solar-Powered ‘Smart’ Garden Watering System
Startup Develops Solar-Powered ‘Smart’ Garden Watering System

Product, Service & Design Innovation / Agriculture consumes close to 70 percent of water demand, but a significant 10 percent goes to domestic applications, such as maintaining lawns and other landscaping.Arguably, the best and most sustainable course of action is to let your lawn die and plant indigenous landscapes but, realistically, not everyone is going to do that. The next-best thing, however, would be to find a way to maintain non-native landscaping using as little water as possible.A company called Blue Marble hopes to help people do just that by leveraging Internet of Things technology to conserve water during domestic irrigation. - 4 years ago

IBM’s 2014 CSR Report Highlights City Resiliency, Public Health Efforts
IBM’s 2014 CSR Report Highlights City Resiliency, Public Health Efforts

Cleantech / The IBM Smarter Cities Challenge last year achieved concrete results in cities in Australia, Ireland, Mexico and the United States, according to the company’s 2014 Corporate Responsibility Report.This included improving infrastructure and its effectiveness, integrating municipally-owned solar energy into the existing power grid, planning for economic development and reversing neighborhood decline while increasing tax revenue.The report details how the company’s technology and talent are transforming governments, institutions, communities and the quality of life for people around the world. - 4 years ago

Investor-Spurned Startup Turns to the Crowd to Fund Eco-Friendly Lunch Box
Investor-Spurned Startup Turns to the Crowd to Fund Eco-Friendly Lunch Box

Product, Service & Design Innovation / San Francisco Bay Area startup ECOlunchbox has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $30,000 to bring to market its Blue Water Bento collection, a new line of lunch containers that combine no-leak silicone lids with non-toxic stainless steel bottoms. - 4 years ago

Report: 90% of Colleges Expect to Invest More in Energy Efficiency
Report: 90% of Colleges Expect to Invest More in Energy Efficiency

Cleantech / Nearly nine out of 10 higher education facility leaders expect to increase or maintain energy efficiency investments next year, according to a new study commissioned by Schneider Electric and the Alliance to Save Energy.The survey found that energy efficiency is recognized among U.S. higher education institutions as key to fulfilling their core mission.Notably, 88 percent of respondents also agree that energy efficiency is the most cost effective way to meet their energy needs while at the same time reducing greenhouse gas emissions and cutting costs. - 4 years ago

Nestlé Launches Global R&D Center to Balance Taste With Nutrition
Nestlé Launches Global R&D Center to Balance Taste With Nutrition

Leadership / Nestlé has opened a $50 million global research center dedicated to transforming the way the world consumes frozen and chilled foods.Located in in Solon, Ohio, the new 144,000 square foot Nestlé Research & Development Center will balance consumer-centered innovation with technology leadership.Although the center’s mission is to sustain global needs, its location in Ohio reflects the growth in size and complexity of Nestlé’s frozen and chilled foods businesses in the United States. That growth made an expanded and collaborative research and development effort necessary, the company said. - 4 years ago

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Google Tests Air Pollution Monitoring With Street View Cars
Google Tests Air Pollution Monitoring With Street View Cars

Cleantech / Google and environmental sensor networks firm Aclima announced this week that they have partnered to map and better understand urban air quality.Three Google Street View cars equipped with Aclima’s mobile sensing platform took measurements of nitrogen dioxide, nitric oxide, ozone, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, methane, black carbon, particulate matter, and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) — air pollutants which can affect human health or climate change. - 4 years ago

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