Monday, March 31, 2014

Intern With GreenEDU This Summer in NYC!

Green Education Services (GreenEDU.com) is excited to announce that applications are now being accepted for its 2014 Summer Internship Program in New York City! We are looking for three amazing interns who are ready to catapult their professional careers in a dynamic, friendly, and conveniently-located office.

Our team of talented Interns will be assisting with the daily operations of GreenEDU, gaining first-hand experience in various aspects of the business including sales, marketing, account management, and operations.

Responsibilities will include:
  • Supporting the Marketing and Sales teams with short-term and ongoing projects as needed
  • Creating and optimizing contributions to the company blog
  • Providing support to social media efforts
  • Assisting with company shipments and inventory tracking
  • Performing data collection and online research
  • Verifying and updating client database
  • Light word processing and clerical work
  • Maintaining company databases as needed

Requirements:
  • Undergraduate student
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Self-motivated, with an entrepreneurial spirit
  • Creative problem solving skills
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office
  • Familiarity with Google Apps / Gmail is a plus
  • Open to playing in-office basketball and riding a razor scooter down the hallway

A monthly stipend will be provided.

TO APPLY: No calls please. Please submit your resume and cover letter to careers@greenedu.com.



More About Green Education ServicesGreen Education Services (GreenEDU) provides an online platform for education providers to market, promote, and manage their courses and students. GreenEDU's proprietary system connects professionals across the globe with immediate access to convenient, quality, and affordable training options, delivered by GreenEDU's extensive training network. Visit http://www.greenedu.com to learn more!


Monday, March 24, 2014

EPA Settles Over Lead Dust Violations At Governor’s Mansion

EPA Settles Over Lead Dust Violations At Alaska Governor’s Mansion
(Casey Kelly/KTOO)
Lead poisoning is nasty business. It can cause headaches and seizures, and result in miscarriages. If you’re a child, the symptoms are especially bad.

“Lethargy. Inability to pay of attention. At high enough levels, it can cause death,” says Wallace Reid.

Reid works out of the EPA’s Seattle office, and his team handles investigations into lead violations. Because a lot of modern cases
of lead exposure are caused by home repairs, the EPA implemented a rule in 2010 requiring contractors to be certified in lead paint removal if they’re working on a house that was built before 1978.

Like the Alaska Governor’s Mansion.

The building is a century old, and the state hired Alaska Commercial Contractors to restore the whole exterior a couple of years ago. And that meant removing lead paint, which the company was not certified to do at the time.

“We first became aware of it – this problem in Alaska – because of an anonymous tip and complaint that this work was going on and that there were problems associated with it,” says Reid.

Reid says that as soon as the EPA learned of the violation, they sent two inspectors to check the area for lead paint. They found paint chips on the lawn and on the street.

“When we do this kind of work, all of the lead paint chips and dust has to be maintained within a contained area,” says Reid. “In this case, it was not. And the company was not certified, and the employees were not trained. So those were fundamental violations of our rules.”

Because of the violations, Alaska Commercial Contractors ended up settling with the EPA for $32,000. Their subcontractor, Van Pool Painting, was also dinged $10,000. While the settlements were finalized in September, the EPA only recently made the violations public.

Alaska Commercial Contractors declined to do a taped interview for this story, because there are still outstanding legal questions related to the construction project. But in a written statement, company president Doug Courtney emphasized that Alaska Commercial Contractors cooperated fully with the EPA, and that they became certified in lead paint removal shortly after the incident.

So, why did the state hire a company that was not certified in lead paint removal in the first place?

When asked about that, Administration Commissioner Curtis Thayer declined an interview because of ongoing challenges related to the contract. At $1.5 million, Alaska Commercial Contractors was the highest bidder for the project, and two rival contractors whose bids came in under $1 million appealed the award. The Office of Administrative Hearings rejected both of those protests, but Silver Bow Construction is appealing the decision to the Alaska Supreme Court.

Alaska Commercial Contractors has also requested that the State pay out $150,000 to cover their EPA penalties and legal fees, because they allege that Department of Administration misled them on the scope of the project. The Department of Administration found no merit to that request in January, but the decision is subject to appeal.

Gov. Sean Parnell also declined repeated requests for an interview. Instead, his office referred questions to Larry Hartig, the commissioner of Environmental Conservation.

Hartig says his department’s involvement in the renovation problem was limited. They mostly helped the EPA get access to the governor’s home to make sure the lead paint didn’t pose a health hazard.

“Obviously, there was concerns about the safety of the governor’s family,” says Hartig. “And so they were interested in what was going on – we all were – in making sure that if there is an issue here that would impact the governor and his family, we wanted to be on top of that.”

Hartig says there was no real risk to the Parnell family. He says even the governor’s yellow Labrador, the most frequent user of the mansion’s backyard, was kept safe from lead exposure.

“Annie’s doing fine the last time I saw Annie.”

From Alaska Public Media

Learn more about lead paint and become certified with the EPA to work with lead by registering for a course with GreenEDU: http://www.greenedu.com/epa-lead-certification

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Toledo Proposes New Lead Paint Law

Toledo Proposes New Lead Law That Would Require Abatement and Remediation for Rental Homes
Lead Abatement Worker
Toledo, OH - City Council members and two nonprofit organizations in Toledo are advocating for a new law that would require landlords to remove lead from homes before being able to rent them. According to The Blade, Toledoans United for Social Action and Advocates for Basic Legal Equity (ABLE) are pushing for a law modeled after a similar ordinance in Rochester, New York. Although the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development banned lead-paint in homes built after 1978, over 24 million homes are estimated to still have lead paint hazards.

Under the new law, homeowners would be required to have lead assessments performed on the home before being able to list it on a city registry. Homeowners renting homes not listed on the registry could face misdemeanor charges. If lead was found in the home, the property owner would be required to abate and renovate before renting it out. The rental could only be listed if the city council approves it as lead-safe. Any person performing lead paint abatement or renovation who is not certified by the EPA could face charges up to $37,500 per day.

Proponents of the bill suggest that all of the responsibility for lead-safe homes should fall on the property owner. Robert Cole of ABLE stated, "Trying to address [the lead paint issue] after the poisoning occurred seems to be the wrong approach." Children are at the highest risk for danger if lead paint is present. Even very small amounts of lead paint can cause lead blood levels to rise, IQ to drop, and life expectancy to decline. Children exposed to lead may have a harder time learning and socializing.

However, the bill is being met with resistance by realtors, who fear that the new law would be highly costly for them, leading to foreclosure of the rentals. Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins has also expressed concern for both the lead paint problem as well as the future of housing stock. Over 50% of homes in Toledo are rentals, and this new law may increase costs for those homes.

Some advocates are also suggesting that the city government provide grants to property owners to pay for abatement and renovation. While the ultimate concern for Toledo is the future safety of its children, property owners are skeptical of the new costs it may bring.

Lead abatement and renovation work is expected to increase as the city council finds new ways to deal with this health hazard. Contractors and remodelers should become certified in Lead RRP or Abatement to deal with the expected increase in demand.

Become certified with GreenEDU! We offer a variety of EPA Lead courses nationwide:

Or learn more about renovation vs. abatement here: http://www.greenedu.com/rrp-versus-abatement


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Top Sustainable Companies in the World

Corporate Knights, a Toronto-based company, released its Global 100--a list of the most sustainable companies in the world. Leading in the top spot, is Westpac Banking, an Australian corporation. According to Forbes, Doug Morrow, Corporate Knight's Vice President, stated, "The hallmark of a sustainable enterprise is not just efficiency, but also mechanisms to encourage meritocracy, diversity, innovation and long-term planning. Management teams at sustainable corporations are afforded room to think and plan beyond the next financial quarter."

Corporate Knights released this list at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland last month, encouraging other companies to compete with one another in terms of efficiency and sustainability. This competition will encourage companies to reduce their waste, increase their productivity, and make the world a little cleaner and greener. Several companies in America have also been leading by example, such as Google, Unilever, Sprint, and Starbucks.

Corporate Knights aggregated information of over 4,000 publicly traded companies and narrowed their list down to 350 based off of their financial performance, sustainability, and disclosure practices. The remaining 350 companies were evaluated and compared based on industry. According to Forbes, the companies were evaluated on "key environmental, social, and governance performance indicators, including waste productivity, CEO-to-average-worker pay ratio, leadership diversity, and employee turnover."

According to Forbes, Morrow reported that "[Westpac] was the first bank to join the Australian government’s Greenhouse Challenge Plus and the first financial institution in Australia to create a matching donation program. In the Global 100 methodology, it scored in the top quartile on all four resource productivity indicators (Energy, Carbon, Water and Waste Productivity), and on Leadership Diversity, which looks at gender diversity in management and on the board of directors. Westpac is Australia’s oldest banking institution, with annual revenues of $38 billion (USD) and over 36,000 employees."

Ranked second on Corporate Knight's list is Biogen Idec, an American biotechnology company specializing in pharmaceuticals and is the oldest biotechnology company in the world. The third top sustainable company is a Finnish minerals and metals processing company called Outotec OYJ. The company has focused on sustainability as a means to improve its performance and transparency.

Corporate Knights Ranks Top 100 Sustainable Companies in the World in 2014
Source: Forbes- "The World's Most Sustainable Companies of 2014"
To view the entire list or for more information about Corporate Knight's Global 100, view the Forbes article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2014/01/22/the-worlds-most-sustainable-companies-of-2014/

GreenEDU offers Corporate Sustainability Manager courses online. This course prepares individuals to define and implement organization-wide sustainability goals and strategies. To learn more and register for a course, visit http://www.greenedu.com/corporate-sustainability-manager-online-courses




Wednesday, March 5, 2014

USGBC Announces Top 10 LEED States

USGBC Releases the Top 10 States for LEED Building Certification in 2013
Source: USGBC's Top 10 LEED States
The USGBC recently released "The Top 10 States for LEED in 2013." Based off of census data, commercial, and institutional green building projects, the USGBC has determined which states are the leaders in LEED and the sustainable building movement. According to recent predictions by studies such as McGraw Hill, green building continues to grow as a multibillion dollar industry and is expected to double in value within the next two years. 4,642 new green building projects and an accumulative total of 596.8 million square feet became LEED certified in 2013. The USGBC calculated the top LEED states by determining the square footage of LEED projects divided by the state population according to U.S. Census data.

LEED, the most widely used and recognized green building rating system in the world, not only uses less energy and resources, but also saves money, promotes healthier living environments, and decreases our carbon footprint. USGBC CEO, president, and founding chair, Rick Fedrizzi, is predicting high growth for the green building industry: “As the economy recovers, green buildings continue to provide for jobs at every professional level and skill set from carpenters to architects. I congratulate everyone in these states whose contributions to resources saved, toxins eliminated, greenhouse gases avoided and human health enhanced help guarantee a prosperous future for our planet and the people who call it home.”

  1. Illinois is at the forefront of the LEED building movement. With a population of 12,830,632 in 2013, 29.42 million square feet and 171 projects were certified in 2013. That's 2.29 square feet per capita. Illinois Governor, Pat Quinn, expressed her pride in Illinois' emphasis on long-term investments in sustainable design in a recent USGBC report: "Illinois is proud to be the nation’s green buildings leader, and we are proof that a smaller environmental footprint can help us step toward energy independence."
  2. Maryland ranks #2 on the USGBC's list with 2.20 square feet of LEED certified buildings per person in 2013. 119 projects were certified last year. 
  3. Virginia had 160 projects become certified in 2013. With 16.87 million square feet and a population of 8,001,024, Virginia ranked #3 with 2.11 square feet per person in 2013.
  4. Massachusetts ranks #4 on USGBC's list with 2.09 square feet certified per person in 2013. Massachusetts had 101 projects become LEED certified last year.
  5. New York and California tied for 5th place with 1.95 square feet per person. New York had 37.84 million square feet certified and 259 projects. Similarly, California had 72.73 million square feet and 595 projects LEED certified in 2013.
  6. Oregon came in 6th place with 1.83 square feet certified per person, 47 projects certified, and 6.99 million square feet become LEED certified in 2013.
  7. North Carolina is a newcomer to the list and had 133 projects and 17.18 million square feet become LEED certified in 2013. In 7th place, it had 1.80 square feet per capita.
  8. Colorado had 124 projects, 8.89 million square feet, and 1.77 square feet per person certified in 2013. 
  9. Hawaii is another new state to make the top 10. With only a population of 1,360,301 total, it had 2.32 million square feet certified in 2013 and 17 projects--or 1.71 square feet per person.
  10. Minnesota was the final state to make USGBC top 10 list, with 1.55 square feet certified per person in 2013. Minnesota had 8.21 million square feet total certified and 51 projects certified last year.
The USGBC also recognized Washington D.C., which didn't make the Top 10 State List, since it is a federal district. Washington D.C had 32.45 square feet certified per person. The U.S. federal government has aimed to achieve LEED certification for all of its buildings. 106 projects and 19.52 million square feet were LEED certified in D.C. last year.

For more information on the USGBC's Top 10 LEED States and their notable achievements, click here

Want to become a LEED Expert? GreenEDU offers a variety of LEED Accreditation courses. Check them out and register for a course at http://www.greenedu.com/leed-exam-prep