Business, Environment and Ecology, Free News Articles, NonProfit and Charities

USBI Applauds Biochar Funding from Microsoft’s $1 Billion Climate Innovation Fund

GOLDEN, Colo. -- The United States Biochar Initiative (USBI) applauds Microsoft's funding for three projects that use biochar for atmospheric carbon removal. The three biochar projects were selected from 189 projects that the company evaluated for funding. Microsoft made awards to 15 suppliers, representing more than 1.3 million mt [metric tons] of atmospheric CO2 removals.

Biochar, a family of porous charcoals, slows global warming when used for amending soils, managing nutrients, animal feed, water and air filtration, odor control, green infrastructure, turf, trees, landscaping, building materials, and asphalt and concrete.

USBI Executive Director Tom Miles notes that Microsoft's choice of biochar affirms the conclusions of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report and The Nature Conservancy's research that biochar is one of the most scalable and cost-effective ways to remove atmospheric carbon. Miles says, "USBI believes that Microsoft's leadership reflects growing interest from funders looking to invest in this promising, carbon-sequestering product."

Miles adds, "Biochar is a 'shovel ready natural climate solution. Its many modern variations have evolved from the centuries-old practice of combining charcoal with food waste to improve the health of poor clayey soils. In all of its over 55 identified uses, biochar can sequester carbon for centuries or longer."

In their new report, entitled "Microsoft carbon removal: Lessons from an early corporate purchase," the hi-tech giant notes that it is one of the "first corporations to conduct due diligence on carbon removal procurement... As a global society we must also remove large amounts of carbon from the atmosphere, to avert the worst social, economic, and environmental impacts of a rapidly changing climate."

About United States Biochar Initiative (USBI):

USBI is an 11-year-old 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, promoting the sustainable production and use of biochar in North America through research, policy, and technology.

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Business, Environment and Ecology, Free News Articles, Regional Events, Webinars

New Webinars Advocate for Climate Wellness Through Soil Health

CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- Synergy for Ecological Solutions announces a series of free webinars that promote climate wellness and increased air quality through improved soil health. This new paradigm meets ESG and Sustainability goals.

"The key to climate health is soil health. Photosynthesis is the environment's own way to remove excess carbon from our air and trap it into soil and roots," says Jeff Holder of Synergy for Ecological Solutions. "Individuals, businesses, and communities can be a part of the solution and the best next step is to attend of our webinars."

The new program, a joint venture between nonprofit Synergy for Ecological Solutions, Carbon Asset Network and Encore Green Environmental, raises donated funds from individuals and businesses who want to create climate wellness for our environment, and then grants those funds to landowners for soil health project to meet their land goals.

"We all understand now that ESG is critical for a business's success - in the board room and with consumers," says Darlene Nash, CEO of Encore Green Environmental. "Until now there was not such a direct way to meet ESG goals."

"This program empowers the stewards of our lands to improve soil health. We have yet to meet a landowner who isn't committed to that," says John Robitaille of the Carbon Asset Network.

The Webinars are sponsored by the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce and will link with other Chambers nationwide.

"We're proud to host these webinars because our communities need to understand how they can improve our environment and help their businesses along the way," says Dale Steenbergen, President and CEO of the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce.

The webinars are hosted by Steenbergen and Lou Harmon, a leading expert in environmental engineering. Jim Magagna from the Wyoming Stock Grower's Association will also be on hand, along with other civic leaders.

All are invited to participate in the free webinars on February 17th and 18th. You can learn more and register at

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Business, Environment and Ecology, Free News Articles, NonProfit and Charities

Pangje Foundation Announces Their Newest Board Member James Turner

BOULDER, Colo. -- Pangje Foundation, a leader in innovative endangered species conservation and community support and education initiatives, announced today their newest Board Member: James Turner. James brings over 30 years of experience from the technology industry.

He serves as CEO of both Qtec Systems and Coloured Lines, and has been instrumental in driving tech solutions across the telco business sector and is a specialist in the Microsoft unified communications platform. James is also an active investor and adviser to multiple other start-ups in legal-tech, reg-tech, platform and property-tech markets. Additionally, James holds a strong passion for big cats and wild places.

His insight into, and drive for, innovative solutions is an appreciated asset to Pangje Foundation's continued work to help save snow leopard in fragile Himalaya environments.

As Pangje expands and scales community based endangered species programs to a global level, James will truly be invaluable.

About Pangje Foundation

Pangje Foundation is a 501(c)(3) Charitable Organization dedicated to advancement of snow leopard conservation initiatives that simultaneously help local communities and the greater Himalaya environment through support of community-based stewardship programs and unique educational opportunities.

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Business, Environment and Ecology, Free News Articles, Product Launches, Software

ESG Enterprise Delivers World’s First SaaS Solution to Help Companies Transition to Net Zero Carbon Emissions

HOUSTON, Texas -- ESG Enterprise, today announced the launch of the world's first Carbon Neutrality Risk Management solution. As more companies trend towards pledging net zero emission by 2050, the carbon neutrality solution will become increasingly needed. The ESG Enterprise SaaS is designed to stay ahead of this trend by providing a solution to create a future-fit carbon neutrality management system. The solution creates transformative opportunities to align business models with climate change policies and changing consumer behavior.

The Perfect Solution for Companies Planning to Net Zero Carbon Emission

Managing net zero carbon emission can be extremely complex and full of uncertainties. Most net zero initiatives involved complicated climate data and carbon footprinting challenges within the organizations and also on the supply chain. Companies need a proven, science-based automated solution to help innovate their current business process to the new clean circular economy.

The ESG Enterprise solves these problems by automating carbon-capturing with GHG quantification, reduction, and offsets management. Built upon award-winning carbon neutrality SaaS solution, the ESG Enterprise platform allows stakeholders to create a future-proof net zero strategy and execution plan with climate modeling and scenario pathways.

"We believe that ESG Enterprise is bringing speed and concrete data to help us to more assertive in our practices," said Elaine Santos, CEO of ECS Ambiental, an environmental consulting firm. "The world is moving fast and we can no longer work with only limited data. For this, ESG Enterprise carbon neutrality solution is important and because it helps us monitor the performance and risks through daily reporting."

Carbon Neutrality Solution That Just Works

The ESG Enterprise carbon neutrality solution is designed to help companies simultaneously transition to net zero economies while managing transitional and reputational risks at the same time. "We are creating a new future in which climate change becomes an integral part of everyday business," said Alan Lee, ESG Enterprise Founder, and CEO. "The unique benefit of this solution is that it stress-tests net zero plan and provides clarity on financial risks and opportunities."

By combining cutting edge climate technology with an innovative way to transition to net zero. ESG Enterprise allows companies to easily design a net zero plan with high confidence of meeting their annual goals.

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Focus on Continued Carbon Tracking

As part of the platform, ESG Enterprise has added continuously carbon tracking to its offering, enabling companies to easily track carbon emissions from all their assets and value chain. This makes ESG Enterprise the leader in carbon capturing, measurement, monitoring, reporting, and auditing ensuring high performance and compliance.

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Free Account

ESG Enterprise is offering free basic accounts for all businesses planning to net zero. The SaaS basic account provides free access to 40,000 company ESG ratings and carbon mitigation tools available for free.

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About ESG Enterprise

ESG Enterprise is an Environmental, Social, and Governance software, SaaS, and data analytics company designed to help businesses, NGOs and governments reduce ESG risks, manage disruptions, and capture opportunities in the transition to a sustainable-growth and low-carbon economy.

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Business, Environment and Ecology, Free News Articles, Manufacturing, Water and Wastes

ITS Looks to A Green Future by Cutting Down on Plastic Packaging

ROCK HILL, S.C. -- For over 30 years, Industrial Test Systems, Inc. (ITS) has been a leading innovator of instruments and chemistries designed to test water quality. The company continues to push industry boundaries by shifting its packaging process and reducing its carbon footprint.

Known among many things for their easy-to-use test strips, ITS has long since packaged their products using blister-style packaging. This packaging style is not only bulky, but it creates unnecessary plastic waste. Despite this, several companies continue to implement blister packaging. ITS however, in an effort to decrease their carbon footprint, has moved away from industry standards and has made strides to produce products focused on sustainability.

ITS recently unveiled a new line of eco-friendly packets. These "pocket packets" use no plastic and opt instead for paper that is light and recyclable. Their packet like design is especially noteworthy as it holds up to 30 water quality tests in a packet that easily fits into the palm of your hand and is no thicker than a few sheets of paper.

This year also brought changes to many of the company's other long-running products. Several products were slimmed down and moved away from plastic blistering in efforts to reduce plastic waste. Amongst these were the Safe Well Check™ and the Safe Tap Check™ Kit for water quality testing designed to measure the major parameters in city and well water.

As the company moves forward, there is excitement to see where their next push towards sustainability takes them.

For more information on any of the products offered by ITS, please contact a knowledgeable ITS Product Manager by calling (803) 329-9712 or toll-free at 1-800-861-9712.

Additional information and product details may also be accessed on the web at, or by sending an inquiry via email to

About Industrial Test Systems, Inc.

For 30 years, Industrial Test Systems, Inc. has been a leading manufacturer of instruments and chemistries designed to test water quality within the municipal water treatment, food & beverage, trucking & automotive, pond & aquarium, pool & spa, educational and medical diagnostics industries. ITS is the developer of over 100 tests and proprietary chemistries (many of which have been ETV/EPA performance-verified), including the first and only EPA approved test strip.

ITS, 1875 Langston Street, Rock Hill, SC 29730, (800) 861-9712, (803) 329-9712.





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Awards and Honors, Business, Entertainment, Environment and Ecology, Free News Articles

RVA Environmental Film Festival Announces Award Winners

RICHMOND, Va. -- On February 14 the Richmond Environmental Film Contest Committee will virtually award the winners of the Environmental Film Contest and screen each film. The contest was open to novice and experienced Virginia filmmakers submitting films on environmental topics regarding Virginia. The winners, listed below, were announced recently by Gill Sigmon, President of the Richmond Virginia Environmental Film Festival (RVAEFF).

HONORABLE MENTIONS (Awards presented at 4:05 p.m.)

"Farm Pond" explores the ubiquitous farm pond, its origins, and the vital role it plays as a mini ecosystem. Produced by Phillip Audibert.

"Hidden Dangers - Z Dam" addresses the dangers of low-head dams, specifically focusing on the Z Dam in Richmond, VA. Produced by Stephen Wolf and presented by Colton Wolf.

BEST CATEGORIES (Awards presented at 4:20 p.m.)

Best Short: "Plastic Oceans" highlights the impact of plastics on marine biodiversity using film animation based on a series of ten oil paintings. Produced by Eugene Maurakis, Ph.D and Tyler Rhodes.

Best Cinematography: "Treasures of the Chesapeake" addresses the health of the Chesapeake Bay and its declining wetlands as it suffers from nutrient pollution, human development, sea level rise, and climate change. Produced by Chris Lapinski.

FIRST PRIZE (Award presented at 4:55 p.m.)

"Lynnhaven" is a Virginia Beach fishing town with a big challenge due to seafood imports. As land is developed and seafood is imported, three watermen face the threat of being pushed out of the river they have called home for decades. Produced by Lizzie Bankowski.

GRAND PRIZE (Award presented at 5:05 p.m.)

"Goose Creek Watershed" covers the history, culture, and threats to the Goose Creek watershed, an integral part of the Potomac and Chesapeake Bay watersheds. It also highlights the Goose Creek Association's efforts to address these threats. Produced by Goose Creek Association and Lincoln Studios.

All are invited to view the films, free of charge, however registration is required at

For further information about the Virginia Environmental Film Contest, contact Jean Masters at 804 683-2568.

Visit for a schedule and descriptions of the 20-plus films being shown throughout the RVA Environmental Film Festival, February 12-26, 2021. You will also find information about sponsorship/volunteer opportunities, and how to sign up for the RVAEFF mailing list.

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Business, Education and Schools, Environment and Ecology, Free News Articles, Product Launches, Sciences

Beyond Benign Launches Its Green Chemistry Commitment 25×25 Initiative

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Beyond Benign, a green chemistry education nonprofit, today announced the launch of its Green Chemistry Commitment (GCC) 25x25 Initiative, working to ensure that 25 percent of graduating chemists in the US have a background in green chemistry by 2025 with the support of Beyond Benign partner Dow (NYSE: DOW). The initiative comes at a time when today's societal challenges are immense, as articulated through the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

Beyond Benign's Green Chemistry Commitment (GCC) is dedicated to integrating green chemistry and toxicology concepts into chemistry programs with the goal of providing students with the skills to design chemical products and processes to reduce human and environmental hazards. With 64 US signers to date, accounting for 8% of graduating chemists, the GCC program is working to create a systemic change in chemistry education, inspiring additional institutions to pursue and integrate green chemistry. With this new initiative of ensuring 25 percent of chemistry students graduate with a background in green chemistry, Beyond Benign is taking new action to extend the GCC reach and resources to achieve this goal over the next four years. Learn more:

"We believe that by supporting educators and students to teach and learn green chemistry, we are equipping the next generation of scientists and citizens to design and select products that support both human health and the environment," says Amy Cannon, Director and Co-Founder of Beyond Benign. "With chemistry at the foundation of any sustainable solution, we are excited about the potential this initiative brings to build a critical mass of green chemists in the workforce."

To achieve the ambitious goal of preparing the workforce for sustainable action, per the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG 4.7), Beyond Benign will provide resources and support to interested institutions. This support includes an assessment of current chemistry and green chemistry programs, recommended lessons to incorporate into their curriculum and labs, an annual Green Chemistry Commitment Summit to bring all signers together, financial resources and on-going support for mentors, teachers, faculty and staff.

"It is imperative that our incoming workforce is prepared to design, create and produce sustainable solutions for the well-being of humanity," says Eunice Heath, Corporate Director of Sustainability for Dow. "Through Beyond Benign's aggressive GCC 25x25 initiative, we will be able to make a lasting impact on education, science and the global market."

Since 2007, Beyond Benign has integrated green chemistry into K-12 and higher education institutions through teacher training, lesson plans, community networks, webinars, and events. Institutions that are interested in incorporating green chemistry in their classrooms and labs can inquire about participating in the Green Chemistry Commitment by visiting the Beyond Benign website to learn more:

About Beyond Benign:

Beyond Benign, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, envisions a world where the chemical building blocks of products used every day are healthy and safe for humans and the environment. Beyond Benign is fostering a green chemistry education community empowered to transform chemistry education for a sustainable future. Beyond Benign's continuum of sustainable science educational programs including, teacher and faculty training and curriculum development from K-20 are helping to build the next generation of scientists and citizens with the skills and knowledge to create and choose products that are safe for human health and the environment.

Over the past 13 years, Beyond Benign has an extensive history of service, having trained over 6,000 K-12 teachers in sustainable science and green chemistry, designed over 200 open-access lessons, reached over 25,000 youth and community members through outreach, & partnered with 75 universities to transform chemistry education. Together we can catalyze the development of green technological innovations that result in safer products and processes in support of a sustainable, healthy society.

Learn more at:

Find us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and on LinkedIn.

Nicki Wiggins
Director of Development
Beyond Benign

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Ticker: NYSE:DOW / NY: DOW

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Business, Entertainment, Environment and Ecology, Free News Articles

11th Annual RVA Environmental Film Festival to be Presented Virtually, February 12-26, 2021 – Free and Open to the Public

RICHMOND, Va. -- The RVA Environmental Film Festival (RVA EFF) announces its 11th annual showcase of over 20 free local and national films. Many films are hosted by like-minded organizations. Two films are of particular interest to youth: "Microplastic Madness" and "Frozen Obsession." Award-winning Virginian films will be shown on February 14, 2021. Audience members will participate in Question/Answer sessions via chat box following many films. RVA EFF will live stream at fixed times and days. Advance registration is required at

Films are selected to raise awareness of environmental issues relevant to the Richmond, Virginia (RVA) region, our nation, and our world. Unique aspects of the festival include the Virginia Environmental Film Contest, and a film for children, "Microplastic Madness," which documents 56 fifth graders from Brooklyn whose actions on plastic pollution morph into extraordinary leadership and scalable victories.

"Frozen Obsession," the world premiere of the feature-length film, kicks off the festival with a panel discussion to follow. The film is a visually stunning and historically poignant expedition through a dramatically changing Arctic aboard the Icebreaker Oden. The expedition included scientists, historians, journalists, education professionals, and college students, including several from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). The panel includes director and producer David Clark, Gonglai Gong of Virginia Institute of Marine Science, and the VCU students who were part of the expedition.

"Into the Okavango," from National Geographic Documentary Films, documents a 1,500-mile expedition across three countries and shows the effects of increasing pressure from human activity. The Okavango River Basin and the Okavango Delta, one of our planet's last wetland wildernesses, provide a vital source of water to people, African elephants, lions, cheetahs, and hundreds of species of birds.

Major sponsors include: Ellwood Thompson, Ian Patrick of Merrill Lynch, Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine, Citizens Climate Lobby, Enrichmond Foundation, Natural Awakenings, Sierra Club - Falls of the James Group, and Vegan Action.

Thanks to the generous support of these and other sponsors, there is no charge to view any of the films. Advance registration is required through the RVAEFF website or the film festival Facebook and Twitter pages.

For more information on the schedule of films and registration, go to

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Business, Environment and Ecology, Free News Articles

Appalachian Gap Distillery Commits to Become Climate Neutral Certified

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. -- Appalachian Gap Distillery is proud to announce it has committed to become Climate Neutral Certified. The company will be working with Climate Neutral, an independent non-profit organization that helps companies measure their carbon footprint, offset it in its entirety by purchasing quality carbon credits, and reduce emissions moving forward.

Climate Neutral has set rigorous certification standards that all companies must meet before being granted the Climate Neutral Certified status.

"Consumers today are yearning for evidence that companies are aware of their contribution to climate change and committed to erasing it," said Climate Neutral CEO Austin Whitman. "We're thrilled to have Appalachian Gap Distillery commit to this journey. Soon they will join our growing list of certified companies that are proving that we're living in a new era of leadership on climate by top brands."

For Appalachian Gap Distillery, the decision to join this movement was a natural next step in the distillery's journey to reduce the impact of making quality craft spirits. "Doing the right thing, whether making delicious spirits with integrity or distilling in a way that was easier on the planet, has always been part of our ethos as a brand," says distillery co-founder Lars Hubbard. "The first thing people see when they visit our distillery are six solar arrays that provide all of our electricity and are symbolic of our commitment to sustainability."

Other actions the distillery has taken to reduce its environmental impact are less visible but equally important. "We renovated the building with high-performance building standards in mind, by ensuring the distillery was highly insulated, installing efficient heating and cooling equipment, installing daylighting skylights and double-insulated windows, and equipping all lighting with motion sensors" co-founder Chuck Burkins explains. "Another thing we're proud of is that all our spent grains, which are mostly sourced from local farmers, are sent to a biodigester to be turned into clean power." The distillery has made its operations so clean that it is no longer required by the Town of Middlebury to have an industrial discharge permit; the distillery is adding less liquid waste to the system than a residence does over the course of a month.

The distillery still relies on natural gas to power a high-efficiency steam system for their processes, and this is an area the team has identified as an opportunity for further reducing its reliance on fossil fuels that contribute to climate change and are switching over to renewable natural gas (RNG).

The environmental case for reducing carbon has been well understood for years and now the business case for committing to climate neutrality is more compelling than ever. "Customers care about how products are made and are supporting brands that commit to operating responsibly," says Will Drucker, head of sales and marketing at Appalachian Gap Distillery. "I'm proud to work with a brand that has made sustainability a core value and am excited to offer our customers products that address the climate crisis in addition to being delicious to drink. Given the choice, more people want to do good by drinking well."

Over the coming months, the distillery will be compiling information about its carbon footprint, including direct operations, upstream sourcing and downstream shipping in order to create a comprehensive accounting of emissions. Once this is complete, Appalachian Gap will offset its emissions as necessary and commit to actions to further reduce its climate impact in the future. "We will be certified Carbon Neutral this year, which is the last step in our journey towards having our operations reflect our values, one of which is responsibility to the planet and its inhabitants." said Lars Hubbard. "It is the right thing to do."


Appalachian Gap Distillery hand crafts sustainable spirits with a unique Vermont character, in Middlebury, VT. Quality, creativity and a deep respect for the environment are the driving forces behind Appalachian Gap's products. To learn more about Appalachian Gap Distillery, visit


Climate Neutral is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to decrease global carbon emissions by creating a trusted net-zero certification for consumer brands using a standardized process which makes it easier for companies to estimate their greenhouse gas footprint, identify credible carbon offsets, and prioritize measures to reduce their emissions. To learn more about Climate Neutral, visit

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