Standards & Compliance Briefing: GM, Net Zero Energy, Arctic Climate

by | Jun 11, 2013

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General Motors’ Rosario Automotive Complex is the first GM plant in the Americas, and the fifth globally, to obtain 50001 certification from the ISO.  To obtain the certification, GM Argentina trained 20 internal auditors for 20 hours, then trained 70 percent of the complex’s employees, contractors and suppliers on energy efficiency awareness.

UC Davis’s 8,500 sq ft, $4 million Jess S. Jackson Sustainable Winery Building is expected to be the first university building to be certified Net Zero Energy under the Living Building Challenge, according to its design-build team, Pankow Builders and Siegel & Strain Architects. The builders validated a low air infiltration rate of 1950 cubic feet per minute at 50 Pascals, making the building as tight as a passive house, and used more than 2,500 specially manufactured concrete masonry units made using Carbon Cure technology, which permanently sequesters carbon dioxide into the units. 

The Responsible Jewellery Council is calling for stakeholder feedback on a final draft of the proposed revisions of the RJC Code of Practices – the standard against which all RJC members must be certified within two years of joining – and draft revised Standards Guidance. Major changes include requirements that have been aligned to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, new provisions for Grading and Appraisal, Provenance Claims, Sourcing from Conflict-Affected Areas, and Sourcing from Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining. The current public comment period will be open until August 2.

SCS Global Services launched its Arctic Climate Neutral certification, under which corporations, government agencies, organizations and individuals can establish their life cycle Arctic climate footprints, set reasonable mitigation goals and set strategies for becoming Arctic Climate Neutral on a cost-effective basis. This approach parallels widely-recognized carbon neutral and carbon offset programs, SCS says, and takes into account direct emissions into the Arctic region, as well as emissions of global GHGs. 

Exopack has received fiber sourcing certification to Section 4 of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative standard for its multi-wall bag facilities in Hanford, Calif.; Hazleton, Pa.; Seymour, Ind.; Sibley, Iowa; Spartanburg, S.C.; and Tifton, Ga. Fiber sourcing certification indicates a company maintains a formal tracking system to record the possession and transfer of kraft papers from its origin as wood to its end use in multi-wall bags, Exopack says.
Nucraft Furniture Company says its Flow XT Conference Table has received the first Environmental Product Declaration in the North American furniture industry, independently certified by SCS Global Services. The EPD reports results for five categories: Global Warming Potential over 100 years, Photochemical Oxidation Creation Potential (i.e., smog), Acidification Potential (acid rain), Stratospheric Ozone Formation Potential (ozone hole effects), and Eutrophication Potential (i.e., depletion of oxygen in water bodies caused by pollution).

Monroe Clinic hospital in Green County, Wisc., has achieved LEED silver certification. The building has three garden roofs, and recycles heat for de-icing its helipad and sidewalks, WIFR reports.

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