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Preview: Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability News - ENN

Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability News - ENN





 



Air Pollution: The Billion Dollar Industry

Tue, 13 Sep 2016 07:21:00 EST

The World Bank has released a new report highlighting the fact that air pollution costs world governments billions upon billions every year and ranks among the leading causes of death worldwide.The estimates — drawn from a number of sources, including the World Health Organization’s most recently completed data sets compiled in 2013 — can for the first time begin to examine the overall welfare cost of air pollution.(image)



Tropics told to ban coral-killing sunscreen

Thu, 08 Sep 2016 06:57:00 EST

Tropical island nations should team up to ban coral-killing sunscreen products, following the example of Hawaii, a conference has heard. Chemical compounds in sunscreen lotions cause irreparable damage to reefs, which are crucial to the livelihoods of 500 million people in the tropics, scientist and policymakers said at the IUCN World Conservation Congress on 3 September. Hawaii is leading a legistlative effort to ban the use of sunscreen that contains oxybenzone or similar harmful agents at its beaches.(image)



Meet a Surprising Plastic Alternative: Milk

Thu, 01 Sep 2016 07:07:00 EST

What if you could have your packaging and eat it too? We’ve seen rice paper packaging on Japanese candies, but edible plastic? Thanks to researchers at the USDA, it’s not too far in the future.And it’s not just an edible and environmentally-friendly plastic alternative; it’s actually better at keeping food fresh than petroleum-based plastics. It’ll be a few years before you see the material on shelves — don’t start chomping down just yet — but it represents a big revolution in the way we view food packaging.(image)



Thousands of Homes Keep Flooding, Yet They Keep Being Rebuilt Again

Tue, 30 Aug 2016 07:06:00 EST

The U.S. National Flood Insurance Program, which holds policies for more than 5 million homes, is $23 billion in debt after a string of natural disasters this century. As climate change further strains the program, analysts say it is time to shift its focus from rebuilding to mitigating risk.More than 2,100 properties across the U.S. enrolled in the National Flood Insurance Program have flooded and been rebuilt more than 10 times since 1978, according to a new analysis of insurance data by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). One home in Batchelor, Louisiana has flooded 40 times over the past four decades, receiving $428,379 in insurance payments. More than 30,000 properties in the program, run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, have flooded multiple times over the years. Those homes, known as “severe repetitive loss properties,” make up just 0.6 percent of federal flood insurance policies. But they account for 10.6 percent of the program’s claims — totaling $5.5 billion in payments.The new data illustrates the serious problems facing the nation’s flood insurance program. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which currently provides policies for more than 5 million American homes, is $23 billion in debt following a string of major natural disasters over the last decades, including as Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy.(image)



Selecting the right house plant could improve indoor air

Wed, 24 Aug 2016 07:30:00 EST

Indoor air pollution is an important environmental threat to human health, leading to symptoms of "sick building syndrome." But researchers report that surrounding oneself with certain house plants could combat the potentially harmful effects of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), a main category of these pollutants. Interestingly, they found that certain plants are better at removing particular harmful compounds from the air, suggesting that, with the right plant, indoor air could become cleaner and safer. The researchers are presenting their work today at the 252nd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS). ACS, the world's largest scientific society, is holding the meeting here through Thursday. It features more than 9,000 presentations on a wide range of science topics. A brand-new animation on the research is available at http://bit.ly/ACSindoorairpollution."Buildings, whether new or old, can have high levels of VOCs in them, sometimes so high that you can smell them," says Vadoud Niri, Ph.D., leader of the study. (image)



Americans are buying more bottled water than soda

Tue, 16 Aug 2016 07:20:00 EST

This year is on track to see Americans’ consumption of bottled water outpace their soda drinking for the very first time. According to Euromonitor, a market research firm, the average American will buy 27.4 gallons of bottled water, compared to 26.2 gallons of soda drinks.Is this a good thing? It’s hard to argue that less consumption of sugary products is a bad thing. However, Americans aren’t necessarily replacing soda with water — for the most part, they are simply buying more bottled water.(image)



Do eco-friendly wines taste better?

Wed, 03 Aug 2016 07:26:00 EST

t’s time to toast environmentally friendly grapes. A new UCLA study shows that eco-certified wine tastes better — and making the choice even easier, earlier research shows it’s often cheaper, too.Though consumers remain reluctant to spend more on wine from organic grapes, the new study from UCLA researchers shows that in blind taste-tests professional wine reviewers give eco-certified wines higher ratings than regular wines.(image)