BRAG Biobased Products Blog: July 26, 2019
DOE EERE Continues To Support Small Businesses
On July 22, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) highlighted small businesses funding under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. Having received $43.6 million in funding from DOE thus far, small businesses continue to grow as DOE announces Phase II awards. Last week, DOE announced Phase II Release grants that demonstrate commercial feasibility for innovations during the second phase of small businesses’ research. Nine EERE technology offices will fund 42 awards ranging from $975,000 to $1,150,000, with a two-year duration.
DOE Recognizes BBA Partner For Leadership In Energy Efficiency
On July 23, 2019, DOE announced its recognition of Gundersen Health System (Gundersen), a Better Buildings Alliance (BBA) partner, for its portfolio-wide energy efficiency advances at its Sparta Clinic in Sparta, Wisconsin. Gundersen, as part of its Envision Sustainability Program, continues to pursue energy efficiency through low-energy design standards and renewable energy combined. According to DOE, since 2008, Gundersen has saved over $11 million dollars through energy efficiency upgrades. Today, Gundersen’s Sparta Clinic uses less than 50 percent of the energy used by an average clinic. DOE is, as it should be, proud of its BBA program and has now more than 900 organizations as partners. Energy costs have reduced by $8.4 billion to date. BBA provides leaders in the private and public sectors to make commercial buildings, industrial plants, and homes more energy efficient.
U.K. Announces Open Consultation Call For Evidence To Develop Standards For Compostable, And Biobased Plastics
On July 22, 2019, the United Kingdom (U.K.) Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs announced an open consultation for the development of standards for biodegradable, compostable, and biobased plastics. The consultation welcomes views from any interested parties to identify gaps and provide expert advice on:
The overall sustainability of biobased and biodegradable plastic products in comparison with other materials;
Existing relevant plastic degradation standards and how they are promoted without adverse environmental effects; and
The design and implementation of standards for biodegradable plastics to ensure they are fully biodegradable in a reasonable timeframe.
With a focus on obtaining robust evidence backed by scientific theory, direct practical experience, or analysis, rather than opinion, views from environmental scientists, bioscience or biotechnology practitioners, standards authorities, manufacturers, waste processors, consumers, producers, and certification authority experts are welcome. Consultation responses must be submitted by October 14, 2019. For further details, the call for evidence can be accessed here.
Brazil Approves Measures To Clarify Agrochemical Classification In Accordance With GHS
On July 23, 2019, the Agencia Nacional de Vigilancia Sanitaria (ANVISA -- National Sanitation Surveillance Agency) in Brazil approved measures that clarify the toxicological classification of agrochemicals. Under the approved rules, the evaluation criteria of agrochemicals’ toxicity categories are established and label requirements are updated to include clearer warnings and pictograms. The changes established by ANVISA were based on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), aligning Brazil’s regulations with European Union (EU) and Asian countries, among others. With the aim of strengthening the commercialization of national products abroad, the approved rules allow one year for stakeholders to begin implementation. Out of the 2,300 agrochemicals registered in Brazil, ANVISA has already received information for the reclassification of 1,981 products.