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Recycling publication highlights local firm's expansion

According to a recent article in Recycling Today, Minneapolis-based Pioneer Industries International opened its eighth location at the end of November.
Pioneer is one of the largest privately owned recycling firms in the Midwest, and its newest location in Milwaukee will offer a range of processing services, including recycling of packaging materials and metal.
In addition to Minneapolis, the company has operations in Chicago, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, and other Midwestern locations.
Talking to Recycling Today about the recent expansion, the company noted that the "principles of excellent customer service, strong end-user relationships and being a true sustainability partner to its customers resonate within this new venture just as it did before."

Minneapolis-St. Paul top cities for jobs

The Orange County Register in California recently reported on a survey from temp firm Ajilon Professional Hiring, which looked at the best places in the country for finding a job.
The firm named Minneapolis-St. Paul as the top spot for job hunters, based on factors like unemployment rate, diversity of industries, cost of living, level of higher education, and the range in size of companies offering jobs.
Ajilon noted that the Twin Cities topped the list mainly because hiring is on the rise among its large industry players in sectors like financial services, health care, retail, and manufacturing. The area is also family-friendly, with low crime and poverty rates, the article noted.

Urban farming changes in Minneapolis highlighted by MPR

Growing fresh food in Minneapolis and selling those veggies will become easier, thanks to recent amendments to the city's zoning code.
Minneapolis already allows community gardens, and has rules that allow residents to keep chickens, but there has been a contentious debate over proposed changes to market gardens. Some members of the City Council weren't particularly supportive of measures to expand urban farming in the city, but the amendments ended up passing anyway.
A story from Minnesota Public Radio reports that Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak--a longtime supporter of urban farming proposals--signed the changes into law at the Dowling Community Garden at Dowling Urban Environmental School.

Minnnesota one of the top 10 states for LEED building

Recently the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) released a list of the top 10 states for green building through the internationally recognized LEED standards.

The results are based on U.S. Census data from last year.

Minnesota rounds out the list that’s topped by the District of Columbia.  

The LEED Platinum Marquette Plaza in Minneapolis is named in a prepared statement about the list.

New U of M wind energy station recognized

North American Windpower (NAW), a publication geared toward professionals in the windpower industry, recently reported on a new wind energy research station in Rosemont, implemented by the University of Minnesota.
The facility consists of a wind turbine and a 420-foot-tall meteorological research tower, located about 25 miles southeast of the university's Twin Cities campus.
As noted by NAW, the station will host active consortium research as well as education and training of wind industry workers. The facility is equipped with instruments and sensors designed to measure factors like wind-capturing ability. 

Agweek highlights Minnesota author who writes about 1950s farm life

Agriculture site Agweek recently profiled Gordon Frederickson, a Minnesota author who's written a number of illustrated books that celebrate his family's small farm in the 1950s.
Published by Beaver's Pond Press in Edina, the books highlight Frederickson's experience of growing up on a dairy farm in New Prague.  The author believes that it's there he learned lessons like the benefits of teamwork and the importance of physical activity.
As noted in Agweek, Fredrickson says that too often, agriculture is portrayed to the public as "a petting zoo," and his aim is to provide a broader view of farm life.

Energy news site highlights Great River Energy

BrighterEnergy.org, a site that focuses on alternative and renewable energy sources, reported on Great River Energy's search for community-based renewable energy proposals.

The Minnesota electric co-op is seeking the energy to meet obligations set out by the Minnesota Renewable Energy Standard, which requires electric utilities to supply an increasing percentage of energy sales from renewable sources.
Eligible technologies for the proposal round include biomass, wind, solar, municipal solid waste, and other sources. 
According to the news item in BrighterEnergy, the co-op is hoping to provide 25 percent of its energy from renewables by 2025.

Sustainable food magazine highlights how local association helps immigrant farmers

A local program that assists immigrant farmers has been spotlighted in Harvest Foodservice Journal, a publication that connects those interested in sustainable food systems with contacts in the foodservice industry.

The Minnesota Food Association (MFA) trains immigrant farmers in techniques that allow them to grow food that can be certified as organic, which opens up new markets and resources for them. That designation can also link them to important wholesale markets that might otherwise be inaccessible.

To build a bridge over cultural differences, the MFA works with translators and various ethnic groups to build educational sessions. The non-profit training program helps by offering low-cost land rental, affordable infrastructure like walk-in coolers, and assistance with taxes.

Minneapolis fifth-most climate-change 'resilient' of U.S. cities

When it comes to global warming, the Twin Cities is more resilient than other U.S. cities.

In response to the Resilient Cities 2011 Conference and Grist.org's list of the 10 most "climate-ready" cities, Nature Conservancy blogger Jeff Opperman compiled his own ranking of cities and climate change that addresses "how vulnerable or resilient a city is to climate change based on the city's environmental context," writes Opperman.

While Minneapolis did not appear on the Grist list, we were number five in terms of the "most resilient/least vulnerable" to climate change, behind Cleveland, Milwaukee, Detroit, and Chicago.

"Rust Belt" cities rank high for their sustainable water supply (like the Great Lakes), low heat-stress rankings, and low vulnerability to natural disasters, he writes. 

Minnesota ranked 7th on clean-energy leadership index

Minnesota ranks seventh among all 50 states in the area of clean energy, according to Clean Edge's clean energy leadership index.

States are ranked based on a number of factors falling into three major categories: technology, policy, and capital, according to a summary of the index online.

Minnesota's score of 57 ties it with New Mexico for seventh place. The number one state is California; the last is West Virginia.

Ethiopian Review counts U of M among greenest colleges and universities

The University of Minnesota is featured in a list of a dozen of the country's most eco-friendly colleges and universities on the website of the Ethiopian Review, a Washington, DC-based journal of Ethiopian and world affairs.

Schools are often "epicenters for environmental activism and change," with advanced recycling, composting and green building initiatives, for example, the post states.

At the University of Minnesota specifically, energy efficiency is a big priority.

Some of the other projects at the university that the website lauds have to do with recently installed cogeneration and biofuels plants, university fleet vehicles that run on alternative fuels, LEED sustainable construction, numerous green-focused student groups, and a popular organic teaching farm, it states.   

Waste Wise creates online sustainability resource for businesses

Minnesota Waste Wise, a nonprofit affiliate of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, is offering advice on how businesses can go green and save money in the process, reports Jeremy Stratton in the Feb. 10 issue of Finance and Commerce.

The Sustainable Business Resource Center (SBRC) went live in late January. The site gives general green-business advice on waste management, resource conservation and employee education, as well as more specific information targeted to industries: education, grocery, health care, manufacturing, office, restaurants, and retail.

U of M spinoff BioCee include on list of top solar-biofuel projects

A Minneapolis startup was spotlighted this week as one of the most promising solar-biofuels projects.

BioCee, a University of Minnesota spin-off we reported on earlier this month, was included this week on a list of the Top Ten Solar Biofuels Projects by Biofuels Digest, a website and newsletter.

The company is developing a method for converting sunlight, water and CO  into liquid transportation fuels. Its technology is a thin latex coating that contains living microorganisms that serve as biocatalysts.

"It is a fascinating technology, which immobilizes living, biologically active microorganisms in thin latex coatings, represent[ing] a paradigm shift in how living microorganisms are used as biocatalyst," local cleantech attorney Todd Taylor tells the publication.

Biofuels Digest says the use of solar to create biofuels is one of the most overlooked stories of the year.

Xcel Energy calls Luverne wind farm battery test a success

Xcel Energy announced the other week that an experiment at its wind farm near Luverne, Minn., proves that batteries can be used to store wind power.

Whether the solution can scale is another question.

Greentech Media takes a closer look at the Xcel Energy's battery trial. The utility integrated an 80-ton sodium sulfur battery into the 11-megawatt wind farm in October 2008. It's shown promising results, the company says.

Batteries are seen as an important piece of the nation's clean-energy solution because wind and solar are intermittent energy sources that often deliver the most power at times of the day when it isn't most needed.

"'This is critical technology,' Forbes Black, a battery technology and energy storage systems engineer, said of Xcel's work. 'We're going to have to figure out ways to store energy for when renewables are not generating and this sounds like a really good step in that direction.'"

Read the Greentech Media article here.

GreenMark gets Associated Press mention in green sports story

GreenMark, a Minneapolis sports-marketing firm (which we wrote about last month), is quoted in an Associated Press story about sports organizations going green.

Mark Andrew, GreenMark's founder, tells the AP that industry will only change if there's money to be made, but that he believes there is.

"Sports has lagged behind the rest of the private sector in implementing truly green practices and operations," Andrew said. "However, they're catching up and sports as an industry is doing a much better job than they were."

Read the entire Associated Press article here.
19 Green Jobs Articles | Page: | Show All
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