Stories for May
Five Duke Projects Awarded
Catalyst Program Funding
The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions has awarded funding to five research projects for 2019–20 through its Catalyst Program.

Now in its third year, the Catalyst Program aims to build on the Nicholas Institute’s mission by increasing engagement with Duke University faculty to incubate and advance new partnerships, enhance policy-relevant knowledge, and create innovative policy solutions based on new creative synergies.

For a full list of projects funded for 2019–20, visit the Catalyst Program web page .
Connect with the Internet of Water
on New Website, Social Media
The Internet of Water (IoW) now has an online home, debuting its new website in late April at internetofwater.org.

In a message announcing the website launch, IoW Executive Director Peter Colohan described the Internet of Water as "a vast yet simple idea: water challenges are large and growing, and everyone can benefit from better access to water data."

Started in 2018, IoW envisions a world engaged in sustainable water resource management and stewardship enabled by open, shared, and integrated water data and information. The project is building a dynamic and voluntary network of communities and institutions to connect data producers, hubs, and users to enable the discovery, accessibility, and usability of water data and information.

You can get the latest news on the Internet of Water on the new website, by signing up to receive the IoW newsletter, or by following on Facebook and Twitter .
April Publications


Vincent Gauthier,  Lydia Olander , and Deborah Gallagher

Businesses impact environmental determinants of health and can play an important role in creating integrated approaches for promoting a healthy environment. This report describes the ways in which the food/agriculture and textile sectors affect environmental conditions that are associated with health risks and assesses how companies are tracking and addressing these interconnected issues. We define environmental and health strategy integration as having corporate goals, policies, metrics, initiatives, and products that strive to improve human health through reducing associated environmental impacts. We used company communication through sustainability reports as a proxy of whether or not companies are implementing environmental and health strategy integration. We followed up with company and industry group interviews to determine the advantages and disadvantages of health and environmental strategy integration. We found that 58% of companies recognized the connection between their environmental impacts and their associated health outcomes. Furthermore, we found that 46% of companies have products, operations, or programs that explicitly connect health and environmental issues within their strategy. This shows that some companies have integrated or are taking steps toward integrating their health and environmental strategies. Our company interviews indicated that integrating health and environment strategies can lead to internal efficiencies, clearer understanding of corporate social responsibility (CSR) purpose by stakeholders, and reduced cost of project implementations. On the other hand, companies pointed out potential challenges of integrating health and environmental strategies, including greater complexity and confusion, and higher costs of larger programs. Our report reveals that integrated health and environmental action is not standard practice within companies but is recognized and acted upon by many companies. Our research found that there are potential advantages to integrating health and environmental action, suggesting that companies may benefit from moving environment and health integration toward standard practice. Further research is necessary to develop the business case for company integration of health and environmental strategies. We hope that this report will engender greater discussion of this topic within the business and sustainability communities.


Marc Jeuland, James Morrissey, and  Jonathan Phillips

On February 21, 2019,  Duke University’s Energy Access Project and Oxfam cohosted a meeting  of approximately 60 energy practitioners and researchers to discuss the role of electricity access in spurring productive use. A motivation for this convening was a paper, produced by Oxfam, which had been confounded by the mixed findings on the impact of electrification on productive use. This note provides a summary of the research agenda that emerged from these interactions.
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