Pollution is put on the map

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Faculty at three of America’s top business schools are putting pollution on the map - literally. They have set up a website which uses the latest mapping technology to show where the largest industrial polluters in the US are based and the levels of pollution they create.

Faculty at the Fuqua school of business at Duke University, Harvard Business School and Tuck at Dartmouth College, together with some Dartmouth students, have created the MapEcos website which provides a view of the environmental performance of more than 20,000 industrial facilities across the US.

The map displays government data on toxic pollution, as well as data from the companies themselves, to show the pattern of industrial pollution across the entire United States. Users of MapEcos can view both maps and satellite imagery with industrial facilities colour-coded according to their emissions levels. Map users can search for facilities by name, location, corporate owner, industry or emissions levels.

Michael Toffel, assistant professor at Harvard Business School, says the professors involved wanted to move beyond finger-pointing. “We believe MapEcos is the first website that presents information about companies’ environmental performance while providing their managers with an opportunity to publicise their environmental practices and awards, he says.

http://mapecos.org

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