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New Bottom Line Volume 5.2 – Business and Environment on the World Wide Web (2)

January 15, 1996

This week, we continue our periodic listing of valuable “business and environment” sites on the WorldWide Web. This can only be a snapshot of a rapidly evolving information resource, out of date as soon as it hits print. But it should help to get you pointed in some useful directions.

Last time, we suggested Web sites addressing Sustainable Development, ISO 14000, Design for Environment, Clean Technologies and Manufacturing, Pollution Prevention, Waste Minimization and Recycling. This time we survey Energy, Data Resources, and Life Cycle Assessment.

The wealth of energy related sites on the Web probably has to start with the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Network (EREN) (http://www.eere.energy.gov) with a wide range of energy information resources, with endless links to other sites offering technical assistance, product information, ideas, research, and searchable data bases. Check out DOE’s Office of Industrial Technology (http://www.eren.doe.gov/ee/industrial/anl/oit_top.html), the database of thousands of Industrial Productivity and Energy Assessment audits maintained by Rutgers University (http://128.6.70.23/), and the National Renewable Energy Laboratories (NREL) (http://www.nrel.gov). Of course don’t forget the main DOE page (http://apollo.osti.gov/home.html).

Mentioned last time, but worth noting again is Solstice: Center for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology (http://solstice.crest.org). Other energy related sites of interest include the California Energy Commission (http://www.energy.ca.gov/energy/html/directory.html) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) (http://www.epri.com:80/).

Energy and Environmental related data resources include the Center for Economic Studies (CES): Energy and Environmental Issues (http://www.census.gov/ces/prog2.html), which provides research papers on energy and environmental problems, using unique merged plant and firm level data sets from the Census Bureau, and the Energy Information Administration (EIA) (http://www.eia.doe.gov/) which presents energy data, analysis and forcasting, including manufacturing, residential transportation, commercial buildings, alternative fuels and residential energy consumption surveys; manufacturing related data can also be found at the Manufacturing Energy Consumption Survey (MECS) (http://www.eren.doe.gov/ee/industrial/anl/#MECS1). A massive and more general data resource can be found at STAT-USA (http://www.stat-usa.gov/) which includes the National Trade Data Bank, the National Economic, Social, and Environmental Data Bank, the Economic Bulletin Board Lite Edition, the Global Business Procurement Opportunities, and the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

For more broadly focused environmental technology sites, check the Environmental Technology Gateway (http://iridium.nttc.edu/environmental.html), Australia’s National Environment Industries Database (http://www.erin.gov.au/net/neid.html), MIT’s Technology, Business and Environment (http://web.mit.edu/org/c/ctpid/www/tbe/tbe/index.html), and the White House Technology for Sustainable Future (TSF) Initiative (http://iridium.nttc.edu/env_tsf.html).

Life Cycle Assessment is the focus of a growing number of sites, including the Centre for Technology and Social Development at the University of Toronto (http://www.io.org/~lca/), the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology which reviews CLA software, and provides a building materials containing and other tools (http://www.cfd.rmit.edu.au/Research/LCA.html) and the Canadian Government’s Eco-cycle Program (http://www.doe.ca/prod/ecocycle/eecocycl.html).

Last but not least, we’ve just come across a site humbly named “Best Environmental Directories” at http://www.ulb.ac.be/ceese/cds.html (put up by the Belgian Federal Office for Scientific, Technical and Cultural Affairs) that may actually deserve its name!

Some logistical reminders: Be sure to enter the URL (Universal Resource Locator) exactly as presented here; spelling and punctuation count, and some Web servers are case sensitive, so don’t capitalize or decapitalize letters and expect the same result. (Note: while sentences may end with periods, URLs do not.) Web “browsers” don’t all handle formating the same way, so be prepared for some visual inconsistency if you’re not using Netscape, by far the most common browser and design standard. Finally, remember that the Web is a rapidly evolving resource; check favorite sites, directories and search engines often.

Watch for additional URL recommendations in coming weeks. Meantime, surf’s up.

(c) 1996 Gil Friend. All rights reserved.

New Bottom Line is published periodically by Natural Logic, offering decision support software and strategic consulting that help companies and communities prosper by embedding the laws of nature at the heart of enterprise.

Gil Friend, systems ecologist and business strategist, is President and CEO of Natural Logic, Inc.

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