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5 Things to Know Today: February 13, 2017

5 Things to Know Today: February 13, 2017

Liz Biscevic—5 Things to Know Today

Photo via Nike

Photo via Nike

In case you missed it, Nike released a powerful ad during Black History Month (video below), and a Los Angeles non-profit is getting into the recycling business with a nearly totally untapped workforce. Planes and hospitals are huge polluters, but both industries are getting serious about change, and a new report claims India could ditch coal completely.

1. Washington Post: Nike’s new video has some of the world’s biggest stars and a powerful message [Watch the video!]
Images of LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Serena Williams, and others take over the screen with a voice over that asks all the right questions. “Is this the land history promised?” the voice asks. “Here you are defined by your actions, not your looks or beliefs. Equality should have no boundaries." Alicia Keys sings Sam Cooke's legendary "A Change is Gonna Come" as some of the world's best athletes remind us that for far too many, racial equality doesn't extend off the court.

2. Business Standard: Aerospace is getting serious about alternative fuels
Even as air traffic increases, the aviation industry is still committed limiting carbon emissions within 20 years. To achieve that goal, the International Civil Aviation Organization explored a number of intriguing options during a two-day summit last week—like partially replacing jet fuel with sustainable biofuels, creating lighter and more fuel-efficient planes, optimizing flight maps, and turning off jet engines on the tarmac to help cut emissions. The ultimate goal, however, is to create a sustainable equivalent to jet fuel, though those plans are still in the earliest stages of development.

3. Fortune Magazine: India could be completely off coal by 2050.
With some government intervention and the prices for renewable energy sources continuing to fall, India could wean itself off of coal entirely by 2050 according to India's Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). A new report from the institute claims the country could potentially cut its CO2 emissions by 10 percent after 2030 if renewables become less expensive than coal within 10 years. Further, TERI suggests that a government-backed electricity grid that favors renewable energy could help India—the world’s fastest-growing emitter of carbon dioxide—wean itself from coal completely by 2050.

4. Mic: Hospitals have the potential to save tons of money if they start prioritizing sustainability.  
A study found that the U.S. health care industry would rank 13th in greenhouse gas emissions if it were a country. A previous study linked health care-related emissions to 12 percent of acid rain, 10 percent of smog emissions and 9 percent of respiratory diseases in 2013. However, by limiting these environmental impacts with fairly straightforward commitments to upgrading lighting, tracking and limiting energy use, and recycling, hospitals could save money and lives in the long run. 

5. FastCo: Homeboy Recycling recycles e-waste, employs the formerly incarcerated, and makes a business case for both
Homeboy Industries, a nonprofit job-training organization for people with criminal records in Los Angeles, just acquired a for-profit e-cycling company with a similar workforce goal. Electronic waste, or e-waste, is the fastest growing trash in the world, and e-cycling services are still pretty rare, which is why this acquisition is particularly alluring for job creation. The new company, Homeboy Recycling, will operate as a for-profit, which will give its workers a better resume to pursue more employment opportunities in the future.

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