Recent Circular Economy Posts
The Amazon rainforest is the tropical, broadleaf forest which covers most of the 7 million km2/2.7 million mi2 drainage basin of the Amazon River in South America. Of this the forest covers 5.5 million km2/2.1 million mi2,or 79% of the basin (roughly the size of the continental US!) It stretches through nine countries (60% in Brazil, 13% in Chile, 10% in Ecuador, and smaller amounts in other countries) and 3344 indigenous tribal areas. However, in recent decades the existence of the rainforest, despite all its environmental and cultural importance, has come increasingly under threat from deforestation driven mostly by agriculture, particularly cattle farming.
Scientists have discovered a way to make ultra-efficient solar cells on a commercial scale using the “miracle material” perovskite.
A team from the City University of Hong Kong (CityU) and Imperial College London made the discovery in a breakthrough that could have major implications for renewable energy production and reaching zero carbon objectives. Perovskite has been hailed for its remarkable properties compared to tradtional silicon solar cells, however until now they have been too unstable to be suitable for commercial use. The next-generation cells are expected to cost less, have a much higher power conversion efficiency, and be lightweight and flexible – opening up new applications like coating glass windows with thin layers of solar panels.
With fewer of us crossing international borders right now, the humble road trip is enjoying a bit of a renaissance! Whether you’re traveling within or across state lines, a car offers you freedom, flexibility and a safe and simple way to get from A to B. By not flying, you’re helping to lower your carbon emissions, which is a great start to a more sustainable way of traveling. But when we go on any trip, we’ve got to bear in mind that we’re not only enjoying the places we visit, but also having an impact on a destination’s environment and local communities. The best road trip is the one that leaves no trace of you in the environment. Or maybe you even leave some places better than you left them!
From raging fires to life-threatening floods, it’s impossible to ignore the effect climate change is having on our planet. We can’t push it aside and say we’ll solve it in the future. Together, we need to act now by thinking and behaving as sustainably as possible. At Anthony Collins Solicitors (ACS), many of our clients own huge parts of the UK infrastructure, including local authorities, housing associations and schools. We’re here to advise them on everything they can do to help avert the climate emergency. Addressing today’s challenges – Even if an organisation or local authority recognises today’s challenges, that doesn’t mean the policies they write necessarily filter down through the organisation and become part of daily life. That’s where we come in. We bring our experience of emerging good practice to deliver on the sustainability agenda.
The process of global warming begins with the release of greenhouse gases, such as methane, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, water vapour and fluorinated gases. Outgoing infrared radiation, or longwave radiation, is absorbed from the Earth’s surface by these gases as well as aerosols, hence the lower layers of the atmosphere become warmer and less energy is emitted by the Earth’s surface. This is known as the greenhouse effect; without it, the Earth would be a very cold place, with a mean surface temperature about 33°C lower than it is now. But approximately since the beginning of the Industrial Age, the concentrations of greenhouse gases have reached unprecedented levels. The amount of carbon dioxide in the troposphere, or the lowest layer of the atmosphere, has risen from 280 ppm to about 400 ppm. methane levels have exceeded 1800 ppb, an increase from approximately 700 ppb in pre-Industrial times.
Read the full article at: www.mediatheque.lindau-nobel.org
Each year since 2012, the U.S. Department of Education has honored schools and districts across the country for commitment to sustainability by reducing environmental impacts, improving health and wellness, and offering environmental education. For the first time, Bellingham Public Schools received the Green Ribbon award. The district was selected due to its part in Puget Sound Energy’s Commercial Strategic Energy Management program, its compliance with “solar-ready” standards for all buildings and its use of rain barrels and other equipment to reclaim water.
Veolia Water Technologies Launches New Disruptive Technology for Desalination and Water Reuse in Asia Pacific | ASIA TODAY News & Events
Veolia Water Technologies, a subsidiary of the Veolia group and leading specialist in water treatment, announces the Asia Pacific launch of the Barrel™, an integrated plug-and-play reverse osmosis (RO) technology. The Barrel will be showcased at the upcoming CleanEnviro Summit Singapore (18-21 April) and OzWater 2022 trade exhibition in Brisbane, Australia (10-12 May). With increasing demand for fresh water and rising concerns over scarcity in the region, the Barrel meets the challenges and expectations of the desalination market while producing fresh water complying with all water quality standards. It is also suitable for wastewater reuse and low pressure RO applications. The Barrel will empower users with an economically viable and sustainable source of fresh water.
Women have always been central to the environmental justice movement. In many parts of the world, women live closest to the earth and must deal with the effects of environmental degredation due to industry and/or climate change. There is a causal interrelationship between gender inequalities and environmental degradation; where the loss of biodiversity, ecosystems and climate change tend to exacerbate existing gender inequalities, which means that the negative impacts of these phenomena are greater on women, placing them, along with girls, in a position of vulnerability where their livelihoods, assets and health are affected.
Universities have an important role to play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, but with major gaps in progress, institutions need to build partnerships, including in research, regionally, with industry and with the community, a regional Asian policy dialogue on higher education and the SDGs has heard. The policy dialogue on the contribution of higher education partnerships towards achieving the SDGs, held from 29-31 March in Bangkok, Thailand, was organised by the European Union’s Support to Higher Education in the ASEAN Region (EU-SHARE) programme.
The Fisheries Council of Canada, a trade group representing Canada’s wild-capture seafood industry, has issued a new guide to Canadian seafood geared toward Canadian consumers. The guide, “Seafood, A Sustainable Superfood” is meant to be a “complete one-stop shop to demystify the process of buying and cooking sustainable Canadian seafood,” it said. It’s available to download for free from the FCC website. “Part of building public trust in the Canadian seafood industry comes from arming consumers with the knowledge they need to source it, buy it and cook it at home,” FCC President Paul Lansbergen said.
Read the full article at: www.seafoodsource.com
Rob O’Grady is an engineer and father of three who has been stirred to action by his reflections on environmental issues and his everyday encounters with the perversity of our current system. Trained in the discipline of “sustainability engineering,” he discerned early in his career that to talk of sustainability in the world of business and politics was “to pour from the empty into the void,” because the underlying context is subversive of such efforts. Rejecting a career dealing in irreconcilable contradictions, he went into the construction industry and helped to build a thriving company that employs some 150 people. But he continued to think about environmental and economic issues.
From pretty much the moment Russia invaded Ukraine, its war in the country has been held up as an example of “fundamental flaws” in sustainable investing. Denunciations have claimed sustainable funds eschew military contractors and fossil fuels at a time the world most needs them. Such critiques are sloppy and unsupported by data. For starters, most critics don’t know what sustainable investing even is. For the most part, their claims reflect a total lack of understanding of the diversity of the field. They seem to think sustainable investing is dogmatic, monolithic, and undifferentiated. What they don’t understand is that sustainable investing is a big tent, addressing a spectrum of investor concerns and preferences. Yes, like all funds, sustainable funds seek to deliver competitive investment results.
Read the full article at: www.morningstar.co.uk
Twitter banned ads that deny the reality of climate change on Friday. Twitter’s announcement on Earth Day came as it tries to fend off an unwanted takeover bid by billionaire Elon Musk, who has said he thinks people should be able to say pretty much whatever they want on the platform. “Misleading advertisements on Twitter that contradict the scientific consensus on climate change are prohibited, in line with our inappropriate content policy,” Twitter global sustainability manager Casey Junod said in a blog post. “We believe that climate denialism shouldn’t be monetised on Twitter, and that misrepresentative ads shouldn’t detract from important conversations about the climate crisis.”
Read the full article at: www.sbs.com.au
At a glance, it’s easy to take an artwork’s materials for granted. Today, however, across all areas of production and consumption, it’s increasingly urgent to consider the environmental impact of materials. When it comes to art, more and more artists are taking the lifecycle of their materials into account, making their art with an eye towards sustainability and protecting the natural world. This can mean using sustainable materials themselves or making art that consciously encourages conversations about pressing climate issues. The international artists in Masters of Eco-Design: Art and Sustainability represent the vanguard of eco-design, producing their art from recycled and upcycled materials towards diverse conceptual and formal ends. Rather than serving as a limitation, sustainable design opens up wide-ranging approaches to artmaking, resulting in rich and novel practices.
Sam’s Club has a new perk for electric vehicle (EV) drivers. And, while it’s not going to make someone drive across town to join the Walmart-owned brand over its rival, it might help people decide when both chains are in similar locations relative to where they live. Sam’s Club has a new offer with its credit card partner, Synchrony (SYF) – Get Synchrony Financial Report that should appeal to EV drivers. As of May, any Sam’s Club member who also holds the warehouse club’s signature Mastercard will earn 5% back in Sam’s Cash on EV charges at eligible EV charging stations in the United States. During “a special electric vehicle charging promotion,” cardholders will earn an additional 5 percent back on EV charges for a total of 10% back in Sam’s Cash for the entire month of May.
We write to provide an update on the progress we’ve made toward the College’s commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2030 through our ambitious Climate Action Plan (CAP). Our last letter, in November, noted that our New England College Renewable Partnership’s solar energy facility went online, providing renewable electricity to meet nearly all of our purchased electricity needs and reducing campus CO2 emissions by more than 3,200 metric tons per year, or 17.5% of our carbon footprint. We also noted that the centerpiece of CAP, the transformation of our fossil fuel-based infrastructure to a renewable energy-based “low temperature, hot water” infrastructure, had reached a design milestone, but cost estimates were considerably higher than anticipated due to pandemic-related market complications coupled with the complexities of the campus’s underground routing structure. Supply chain disruption also contributed to the College’s decision to delay the anticipated Spring ’22 Phase I start of this generational project. Despite these challenges, however, we are pleased and confident that the completion target of 2030 can be maintained.
Megatrend Spotlight: Earlier this year, 3M shared the megatrends we see shaping the next 5-10 years of life on this planet. To understand the source of these trends, and their impact around the globe, we are taking a deeper dive into their key themes and the ways our people, technology and solutions are working to improve lives. The global economy’s linear business model depletes natural resources faster than they can be replenished and puts strain on the natural environment. As we transition to a more sustainable world, it’s important to advance circular business models which reimagine waste from one process as raw materials for another. Despite advances in waste management and recycling processes, recent events like bans on waste imports, record low oil prices, and the global pandemic have brought about new challenges.
Read the full article at: news.3m.com
To become carbon positive by 2025, we need to understand exactly how much carbon we have to reduce or offset. This also enables us to pass on our achievements to our customers by supporting them to calculate how much carbon they can save by sourcing our cocoa and chocolate. We are looking at the carbon footprint created by our own operations (scope 1), the carbon footprint generated by the energy we use (scope 2), as well as the carbon footprint of our entire supply chain (scope 3) which also includes the production and processing of all our sourced raw materials and related land use changes (LUC). Due to our combined carbon reduction efforts, our corporate CO2 equivalent (CO2e) footprint decreased from 9.10 million tonnes to 8.49 million tonnes in fiscal year 2018/19. This represents a reduction of –6.7%, despite an increase in production.
With their futures at stake, university and college students are driving learning leaders to strengthen the role of higher education in sustainability. Many of the 4 million people who took part in the September 2019 youth-led climate strikes are now college-age. A 2021 Deloitte survey also showed that climate change and protecting the environment was the top priority for Gen Z. Clearly, commitments to protect the planet have become table stakes for students. Indeed, 75% of students say that a college’s environmental commitment would influence their choice of school, according to a survey conducted by the Princeton Review. But it’s not just students who are leading the charge. Climate action has become critical for governments globally: At COP26, the 2021 UN climate change conference held in Glasgow, 137 countries agreed to reverse forest loss, and 190 countries agreed to phase out coal power. Addressing environmental sustainability puts higher learning institutions ahead of the curve regarding regulatory pressures.
Celebrate Arbor Day with us at this month’s Living Green workshop! Learn about all the benefits of trees for your landscape, for our communities, and for the planet. The program will cover proper tree selection, placement, watering, pruning, and more. The hands-on portion of this fun workshop will be an opportunity to participate in an Arbor Day Celebration tree planting in the Monarch Haven and Reading Sanctuary Garden located at the Red Mountain Branch Library in the NE corner of the parking lot. The program includes a short overview of the Mesa Climate Action Plan and our commitment to making our city a greener community. Trees are a great solution for heat mitigation, and they help improve our air and water quality. Plus, they absorb greenhouse gasses and pollutants.
Read the full article at: events.mesalibrary.org