Standards & Compliance Briefing: Whole Foods Sued; Apple, Dell Lobby on E-Waste

by | May 7, 2013

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California attorney general Kamala Harris filed a lawsuit against Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Target and dozens of smaller manufacturers, retailers, manufacturers and distributors, alleging violations of the state’s Proposition 65. The filing in San Francisco Superior Court alleges that the companies are selling lead-tainted ginger and plum candies without warning labels, the AP says.

Members of the Information Technology Industry Council, including Dell, HP, Sony, Samsung, LG and Apple, lobbied at the 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention to have waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE) reclassified as “non-waste” to enable it to be exported to developing countries for repair. The Basel Ban Amendment, which has been implemented in 33 countries, makes WEEE export to developing countries illegal, Resource reports.

Basel Action Network, the creator of the e-Stewards standard for e-waste recycling, condemned the electronic companies’ proposal and said it undermined the very reason for the Basel Convention. Executive director Jim Puckett said that if successful, the plan would “widen the floodgates” to allow even more e-waste into Africa and Asia.

North Carolina’s House Committee on Agriculture is today scheduled to discuss House Bill 628, Protect/Promote NC Lumber, which would effectively prohibit public building projects from using the LEED system, the Charlotte Business Journal reports. The bill says these projects may only use environmental rating systems that award points to wood certified under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and the American Tree Farm System – which LEED does not do. The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) building in Raleigh recently achieved LEED Platinum status.

The Vanderbilt Technologies for Advanced Genomics (VANTAGE) laboratory at Vanderbilt University in Nashville has achieved LEED Gold certification. Of the lab’s 15,800 sq ft, about 12,000 were renovated under the LEED Commercial Interiors protocol, the university says. The project achieved a 20 percent cut in lighting energy use and a 38 percent reduction in water use. Most workstations also now have individual controls for thermal and lighting comfort, allowing lab staff to adjust to their preferred settings in their own workspace.

West Virginia’s Wood County Justice Center has achieved LEED certification. The renovation of a 15-year-old, 32,000-square-foot, single-story building included replacement of the existing HVAC system and installation of more efficient lighting with automatic controls, the Parkersburg News and Sentinel reports.

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