February 6, 2013
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SmartBrief on Sustainability
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Setting the Example
Sea urchin may hold key to carbon sequestration
The capture of carbon dioxide from power plants could be made practical and cost-effective, thanks to the sea urchin and the U.K. scientists who noted the role that nickel nanoparticles play in forming the urchin's exoskeleton. The mineralization process in the formation of this exoskeleton is considered the most reliable form of carbon dioxide storage, and nickel appears to be the key catalyst. However, some see this as only an incremental step in the capturing process. "True innovation ... should harness catalytic action in the conversion of CO2 to high value products, such as carbamates," said Mark Keane, a chemical engineering professor. Royal Society of Chemistry (2/5)
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Creating Accountability
White roofs could curb effects of "urban heat islands"
Heat absorbed by black pavement and buildings in urban areas creates "urban heat islands," and large ones can affect the pattern of local jet streams during winter, according to computer-generated climate modeling done by scientists at the University of California, San Diego. White roofs could help offset the effect of these islands because they lower the surface temperatures of buildings. However, the reflective roofs could also affect rainfall, according to researchers at Arizona State University. The International (2/5)
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Green Marketing
Communication is key to successful CSR
Leaders hoping to embed CSR into their organizations need to make a clear business case for going green -- and that means communicating their efforts internally and externally, writes Richard Welford. "Do not over-communicate, but at the same time do not be overly modest about the positive impacts that your CSR can create," he advises. CSR Asia (2/6)
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The Responsible Leader
How your business can eliminate waste
The first step to cutting down waste at your office is to figure out what sorts of things your business is throwing away. Nonprofits and government agencies may be able to help with this step, according to Jay Coalson, executive director of the Zero Waste Alliance. Afterward, make a plan to reduce waste and set goals for your company. Entrepreneur online/The Daily Dose blog (2/5)
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Powering Tomorrow
Wastewater plants could generate power with "waterfall turbines"
The waterfalls at wastewater treatment plants and industrial facilities that are used to release heat and chemicals from water are now deemed the most promising initial market for renewable energy from turbines made by Hydrovolts, a renewable energy company started in 2007. The $75,000, 15-kilowatt turbine is "easy to permit and install," requires little modification at the plant and could offer a payback of between three and five years from the energy it produces. Xconomy (2/5)
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Senators to propose revenue-sharing plan for offshore energy
Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., are planning a bill that would allow coastal states to get a share of income from any kind of offshore energy production. The goal is to give states an incentive to allow coastal projects. Some coastal-state Democrats say they're willing to back the plan if it favors wind and not oil. National Journal (2/5)
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Engage. Innovate. Discuss.
Why good leaders ask "power questions"
Smart leaders are good conversationalists, which means they know that it's better to ask questions than to talk incessantly, says business author Andrew Sobel. Your curiosity will empower the other person, allowing you both to make a good impression and to learn from them. "When you ask thoughtful questions you supercharge your conversations," Sobel explains. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (2/5)
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SmartQuote
I believe in no waste. Some might think it’s impossible and frankly, it is an audacious goal. But so is starting a small business and running it through a recession."
-- Jay Coalson, executive director of the Zero Waste Alliance, as quoted at Entrepreneur.com
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