A study by the Boston Consulting Group is predicting EV sales in the US will reach 20-30 per cent over the next decade. The resulting fleet of battery powered and plug-in hybrid vehicles will require a network of charging stations, offering a huge opportunity for utility companies. Amongst the innovations utilities could explore are subscription models, flat EV charging fees and providing free home charging stations that run off-peak. Charging infrastructure could be one of the biggest limitations to widespread acceptance of EVs where long distances form a normal part of driving.
Kenya adopts new strategies to improve green biz, country’s import-export gap widened – Dev Discourse
The impact of climate change is being felt in Kenyan staple food production. The country has a shortfall of 3.1 million tonnes of rice, wheat and maize, which it's having to import. This is upsetting the balance of trade, which is also being impacted by a decline in its tea exports. Moves are being made by the government to boost investment in green business by cutting red tape, although what longer term impact this might have on Kenya's ability to feed its population is unclear.
Over the weekend, various politicians made claims about the UK's position as a "world leader" in tackling climate change. While much has been done, does the data support this view. Or is the UK still the "dirty man of Europe"?
CBI: Extinction Rebellion are asking ‘absolutely the right questions’ – and businesses are committed to answering them – Business Green
Big business and environmental activists do not often make comfortable bedfellows. However, the CBI, representing over 190,000 UK business, has offered a cautious welcome to the debate the Extinction Rebellion protests in London have triggered. They're calling on the UK Government to "get a grip" on the problems of tackling climate change and support businesses in transitioning to a low carbon future.
Scotland could be exporting its landfill waste to England by 2021, according to a report commissioned for Scottish ministers. Scotland is planning on banning sending recyclable materials to landfill, but lacks the infrastructure to recycle. While so-called "waste to energy" plants are being built, they're unlikely to come on-stream in time for the ban. The ban was announced in 2012, which suggests Scottish business and government hasn't tackled the problem as aggressively as it should.
The fashion shoe retailer has launched a program in California to recycle old Vans shoes. Customers can return worn-out pairs to certain stores, where they'll be recycled. In return, Vans will give customers "loyalty points" through their mobile app.
Milan Design Week is throwing up some interesting innovations in materials. Amongst those being explored by designers are shells, feathers and volcanic ash. While the exhibitions can be a little indulgent at times, they do provide some insight into how design is evolving and the role sustainability has in its future.
A solar panel should last for a quarter of a century. When it comes to the end of its life, much of it is harmless plastic and glass that can be easily recycled. But they also contain precious and heavy metals, such as silver, which need more care. The same goes for lithium-ion batteries and a host of other technologies essential to our low-carbon, renewable future. At the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Renewable Energy Laboratory, researchers are discovering new ways of recycling these products at scale. The aim is to ensure nothing harmful goes to landfill.
Paying by credit card may not be as green as using cash. The equivalent of 53,000 trees are used to create payment receipts, the vast majority of which go in the bin without being read. Now there are calls to ban the receipts, only giving them to customers if they specifically ask for them. Some retailers already offer the option not to have a receipt, although payment machine limitations mean this can just involve the store clerk binning it for you.
The US company is synonymous globally with plastic food containers. It will shortly start producing Tupperware tubs using a sustainable polymer produced by Saudi chemicals giant Sabic. Sabic has developed a technique that breaks down plastics into their raw constituents, which can then be recycled into a new, high quality material called Tacoil. Given the durability of Tupperware products, this should reduce their environmental impact further, as well as signal companies are taking circular plastics seriously and materials are available to use.
As the cruise season starts in Alaska, concerns about the environmental impact are being raised again. The port at Juneau, the state capital, can get congested during high season, leading to poor air quality. Schedules are being adjusted to reduce the time ships spend idling, and there are calls to expand facilities that allow ships to use shore generated power from the current single berth. Local activists are expressing some frustration though, pointing out proposals and studies haven't been acted on.
Over the next 20 years, South Korea is aiming to generate 30 per cent of its energy from renewable sources, up from 8% now. Offshore wind is expected to play a major role in meeting this target. The country's current target is 20% by 2030, which it's expected to miss. Given commitments made by other highly developed nations, South Korea's goals are modest and a little underwhelming.
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