Friday, June 26, 2009

Environmental Awards for Sustainability and Best Practices

2009 Northeast Ohio Environmental Awards
The Biodiversity Alliance and Dominion are proud to announce that nominations are now being accepted for the 2009 Northeast Ohio Environmental Awards. The awards program recognizes and honors the outstanding achievements of organizations, businesses and individuals in a wide range of environmental initiatives throughout the region and pays tribute to those that have demonstrated a commitment to environmental excellence, leadership and accomplishment in their respective fields.

Awards categories are:
Primary/Secondary Education
Higher Education

The awards are open to any group, program, organization, business or individual located and working in Northeast Ohio. Nominations can be made by the person or persons involved in the activity or by a third party and must address activities or initiatives that were in place in 2008. Successful nominees will demonstrate some measure of results achieved and/or impact of the activities. All nominations will be evaluated by an independent panel of judges.

All finalists will be honored at an awards ceremony to be held at The Cleveland Museum of Natural History on Friday, October 2, 2009. Award winners will be presented with a plaque and a cash award of $2,500 during the ceremony.
For more information or to download a submission form please visit Biodiversity Alliance

Crain's Emerald Awards
The Crain’s Cleveland Business Emerald Awards recognize Northeast Ohio companies that have implemented sustainable strategic priorities which significantly trim costs or increase cash flow with innovations and products that reduce its environmental footprint.

This program defines sustainability as the commercialization or adaptation of processes and products which are both feasible, economical and make a positive impact on the triple bottom line: Profits, People, Planet.

Crain's will be soliciting nominations of companies, organization and executive leadership in a wide array of categories, such as:

* New or Improved Processes — Reducing energy and/or raw material consumption, zero-waste manufacturing and resource conservation management.

* New Product Creation — Development of new components for alternative energy sources (e.g., parts for windmills and fuel cells).

* Decreased Energy Consumption — Innovations in equipment, physical plant and employee behaviors.

* Supply Chain — Working with suppliers to create energy-efficient logistics, implementing fair trade agreements.

* Land Revitalization — Restoring brownfields to viable business use, restoring habitat.

Judging will be done by a panel of experts from each discipline, applying specific metrics against how well each submission delivers on what we are calling “the triple bottom line” of profits, planet and people. Finalists will be announced in the pages of Crain's and the winners will be feted at an awards event later this year.

For more information or to download a submission form please visit Crain’s Cleveland Business Emerald Awards

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Myths Surrounding Paper - what is the most sustainable solution?

Paper has been around for almost 2000 years, and during this time it has undoubtedly established itself as the most effective and versatile means of communication.

Even in today’s digital age with the availability of alternative media, paper’s unique practical and aesthetic qualities simply can’t be achieved by using electronic alternatives. That’s not to say that one is less suitable than the other. Both paper-based & electronic communication have a role to play and can compliment each other.

In recent years, however, paper has been the target of negative and often misinformed environmental criticism. Listening to some people, its benefits are outweighed by the mass of misleading environmental disadvantages; shrinking forests, excessive energy consumption, and overflowing landfill sites. So as far as the environment is concerned, paper appears bad.

While paper does use trees, its production does consume energy and too often, waste paper ends up in landfill sites, it is also one of the few truly renewable and recyclable raw materials we have.

A few facts about paper:

• Paper production is not a major cause of deforestation

• Industrial wood, pulp and paper production saves forests

• Paper is a fully renewable, sustainable resource

• For every tree logged in managed forests, 3–4 are replanted

• Forest certification promotes wood from managed forests

• We plant more trees than we harvest for making paper

• The paper industry is one of the biggest users of renewable, low carbon energy

• Half the energy used to make paper in Europe comes from renewable sources

• Very often, the water used to make paper is cleaner when it comes out of the mill than when it goes in

• Growing forests absorb carbon dioxide helping to counter the Greenhouse Effect

What others are saying:
‘Forestry, paper and packaging are among the most sustainable industries in existence’
CEO Perspectives 2008, Price Waterhouse Coopers

‘Almost half of the timber harvested from the world’s forests is used to make paper products, so the paper industry has a huge opportunity to make sure that those forests are responsibly managed and will be here for generations to come’ In managed forests, for every tree cut down, three to four are replanted in its place. It’s estimated that there are 25% more trees in the developed world today than there were in 1901.
Forest Stewardship Council

‘A sustainably managed forest can be relatively carbon neutral if logging is balanced with re-growth’
The Sustainable Procurement of wood & Paper products: An introduction.

‘Reading a newspaper can consume 20% less carbon than viewing news online’
Swedish Royal Institute for Technology

'The paper industry has eight representatives in the UN’s list of the world’s 100 most sustainable companies, more than any other industry’
Promotion of Paper
Australian Paper Industry Association, 2008

'When people use more paper, suppliers plant more trees. If we want bigger commercial forests, then we should use more paper not less. Our policies should directly protect important wildlife habitats, not try to reduce our demand for paper.’
Edward L. Glaeser,
Professor of Economics at Harvard University
© Copyright 2007 Globe Newspaper Company

'There aren't many industries around that can aspire to becoming genuinely sustainable. The paper industry, however, is one of them; it s inherently sustainable.'
Jonathon Porritt, Chairman UK Sustainability Development Commission & Founder Forum for the Future

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Wordle - word clouds

Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends.

Image source

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