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Chemical Industry Agrees to Test 2800 Chemicals … Quickly

Of the 2,800 most widely-used chemicals, complete data on health effects is available for only 7 percent. The Chemical Manufacturers Association as agreed to test these chemicals for environmental and health effects over the next six years, as opposed to the 50 years it would normally take. These chemicals are produced or imported at a volume of more than one million pounds per year. Under the agreement, companies will voluntarily test the chemicals they manufacture and make the information available to the public. Cost estimates for the program range from $500-700 million. The American Petroleum Institute, whose members produce many of the chemicals, endorsed the agreement. The program is much cheaper and more efficient from industry’s perspective, and faster and more comprehensive from the public’s perspective. The EPA will use its regulatory power to require more testing if companies do not voluntarily provide information in a timely manner. The site is not active yet, but results will be posted as they become available: [sorry this link is no longer available]

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News From FSC Working Groups Around the World

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) working group news: Brazil The working group has produced initial documents outlining national criteria and indicators for the Amazon native forests and plantations. They are being reviewed by stakeholders nationwide. After field testing, final documents are expected to be ready in mid-1999 for submission to the FSC board. Canada The first steering committee was elected in April. Three regional groups are developing FSC standards for Canada: * The Acadian Forest Region is finalizing standards for board submission. * In British Columbia, a steering committee is finishing its first draft. * The Great Lakes/St. Lawrence group has released its first draft for public comment. They will be submitted for board approval in January. Germany The German working group has 52 members, mostly organizations. The second draft national standards are completed. UK National standards for Great Britain are complete and submitted to the board. The FSC UK working group and the Forestry Commission agreed to develop a common audit protocol for UK (http://www.fsc-uk.demon.co.uk) Six certification bodies are accredited by FSC to do assessment. They are: IMO, Switzerland Skal Forestry (Eko), Netherlands Soil Association (Woodmark), UK SGS Forestry (Qualifor), UK Rainforest Alliance (SmartWood), US SCS (Forest Certification), US FROM […]

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Keep Up With Climate Change Conference

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), will provide comprehensive coverage of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Fourth Conference of the Parties, November 2-13. IISD will publish daily 2000-word issues of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin in French and English on the state of negotiations. IISD’s bi-lingual multimedia climate change website will carry photos, RealAudio broadcasts of interviews and conference side events, and links to official documents and analyses. [sorry this link is no longer available] To subscribe to free e-mail reports from Buenos Aires, go to: [sorry this link is no longer available]

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Greening MBAs

How environmentally conscious are the nation’s top 50 business schools? Almost nine in 10 have one elective course in environmental management – but only 16 percent have integrated the topic into core requirements. Only 21 percent offer a degree in environmental management (as a dual degree with natural resources or forestry). Those are the findings of a study by the Management Institute for Environment and Business (MEB), a program of the World Resources Institute. The study ranked eight schools as offering the best environmental focus: * George Washington University * New York University (Stern) * Northwestern University (Kellogg) * University of Michigan * University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler) * University of Tennessee/Knoxville * University of Virginia (Darden) * University of Washington To order the report, Grey Pinstripes With Green Ties: [sorry this link is no longer available] To see the survey results: http://www.wri.org/wri/meb/mba-surv.htm

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Top UK Timber Trader Demands FSC Label

Meyer International, the UK’s largest timber trader, announced that it will only purchase FSC-certified timber. The UK is the second largest net importer of timber in the world, and Meyer is “central” to this industry, WWF UK forestry campaigner Steve Howard said. He predicted the announcement would have knock-off effects worldwide – Meyer sources timber from 40 countries. Meyer, which owns the Jewsons and Harcross chains, pledged that 80 percent of its timber will be FSC-certified within five years. According to Amanda Burton of Meyer, the firm has “always kept a close eye on the development of certification and now, as FSC is entering the mainstream we can see it presents an exciting commercial opportunity.”

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New Fund Raises Money for Recyclers

The new Sustainable Jobs Fund(SBJ) will invest in start-up and expanding businesses in recycling, remanufacturing, reuse, and composting industries. One of its objectives is to find jobs for former welfare recipients and people outside the mainstream economy, says David Kirkpatrick, cofounder. “We’ll start by funding small amounts for about 20 seed investments, and the investments will get bigger as the firms grow,” explains Kirkpatrick. SBJ is being organized as a 10-year limited partnership. It will be capitalized by $10 million in investments and $5 million in low-interest loans from financial institutions, foundations, and insurance companies. Most venture capital-funded businesses provide high-tech, white collar, suburban jobs. SJF will focus funding on businesses that provide inner city, blue collar jobs. Kirkpatrick said, “The fund will create 1500-plus jobs and help make recycling markets stronger.” [sorry this link is no longer available]

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Investing in Communities

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Tis the season: move 1% of your savings into community investing and put $10 billion to work rebuilding low-income areas around the world.

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