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Standards & Compliance Briefing: Rainforest Alliance, LEED Certifications, WEEE

Hershey’s says that later this year, U.S. consumers will be able to purchase Hershey’s Bliss products with 100 percent cocoa from Rainforest Alliance-certified farms. The certification addresses environmental protection, social equity and economic viability.

Burbank Water and Power (BWP) and AHBE Landscape Architects (AHBE) have announced the completion of the first phase of the revamp of Burbank Water and Power’s main campus. With phase one complete, the campus has three LEED Platinum buildings, including a warehouse. BWP’s EcoCampus was the only industrial project out of 150 national and international projects to be chosen for the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) pilot program.

Reckson offices, a division of SL Green Realty Corp., in White Plains, N.Y., have earned LEED Gold for energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable operations. At the 384,000-square-foot, 12-story office building, recycling has been improved by 50 percent, energy use decreased by 25 percent and water consumption by 20 percent. Improvements to reduce water usage in restrooms have saved 500,000 gallons of water annually at the downtown building, writes WestFair Online.

The Department of Veterans Affairs Healthcare Annex in Midland, Mich., has earned LEED Silver certification for new construction. Features of the building include recycled block used for the building exterior, recycled carpet and floor tile, white membrane roofing and low-water landscaping. It is also the first LEED-certified building for local developers BGI South, writes the Midland Daily News.

Food company and distributor US Foods will receive certification in food safety and quality from the International Featured Standards (IFS) making it the first national distributor to meet the global standard for food and non-food supply chain standards. Third-party NSF International conducted the review at 60 US Foods distribution facilities, all of which are expected to be certified by the end of 2013, the company said.

Used solar photovoltaic modules must now be recycled, under revisions to the European Union’s Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive, PV Magazine reports. The change is part of the WEEE recast passed on January 18.

IT manufacturer HP says that compliance costs under the WEEE Directive overcharge producers by about $75 million due to the rising value of e-waste, writes EcoBlogger. HP’s report argues producer responsibility was based on waste being a cost; however, increases in commodity prices have increased the value of WEEE while actual costs of recycling have fallen.

The International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) has announced 2012 award winners, with two top honors going to the International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (INECE). INECE will receive the Global Environment Award for its promotion of compliance and enforcement of domestic and international environmental laws, and the Corporate Initiative Award for its strategic environmental assessment of twelve planned hydropower dams on the Mekong River.

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