Utility and site work at SynSel Energy's proposed cellulosic ethanol plant at a former Smurfit-Stone Paper mill in Michigan is expected to commence while completing engineering work over the next 14 months after the company has secured the funds to build the facility. SynSel's biorefineries use non-food biomass feedstock, such as wood waste and forest residue, to produce aviation fuel, synthetic gasoline and diesel.
Ethanol production in the US averaged 1.034 million barrels per day, down by 3,000 barrels per day from the previous week, the third week in a row of declines, according to government data. However, the four-week average increased to 1.040 million barrels per day for an annualized rate of 15.94 billion gallons.
A joint $9.5 million contract was awarded to synthetic biology company Ginkgo Bioworks and robotic automation software developer Transcriptic via the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Synergistic Discovery and Design Program. The funds will be used to hasten iterative testing and advance biological experimentation for synthetic biology.
Smithfield Foods is using renewable energy and improved grain supply chains to work toward its goal of cutting emissions in its US supply chain by 25% by 2025. The company has encountered challenges in quantifying its results due to the number of suppliers and middlemen involved in grain production and other processes, said Bill Gill, Smithfield's assistant vice president for environmental affairs.
FrieslandCampina plans to introduce a certified Top Dairy lineup that will emphasize sustainability through biodiversity and animal welfare. The company will provide higher payments to member dairy farmers that align with sustainable farming requirements, which include a meadow grazing standard.
Sustainability leaders should pair with HR departments to improve their companies in areas such as ethics and pay equity, Sara Enright says. "As a sustainability leader, your team can facilitate this partnership by hosting regular meetings and calls with HR sustainability champions, diversity councils and employee resource groups, creating a space for cross-learning and sharing," she writes.
Companies can no longer make themselves safe from criticism by refusing to take a stand on polarizing issues, according to Daniel Korschun, an associate professor at Drexel University. A recent survey showed that consumers made more unplanned purchases from companies that took a position on controversial issues, while even consumers who disagreed with the companies still purchased more from them, Korschun said.
Nestle, Facebook, Microsoft and other companies signed deals to purchase more than 1,731 megawatts of renewable energy in the first quarter of 2018, according to GreenBiz Research and the Rocky Mountain Institute's Business Renewables Center. "An increasing number of nonutility buyers ... believe they need to be part of the sustainability solution," noted BRC Marketing Manager Kevin Haley.
Correcting a team member in front of others, neglecting to offer career development and forever finding fault with staff are some of the ways leadership shuts down motivation, writes Joel Garfinkle. Give your team the chance to make important decisions and develop individual work styles, he writes.
Wind is a critical economic driver in Ohio's rural communities and the state legislature must update its setback laws to support more wind development, according to the Wind Energy Foundation. "Ohio cannot afford to pass up the type of investments that wind energy developers are making in rural America all across the country," said state Rep. Bill Reineke.