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    Envirogy Renewables

    Air source heat pumps now a viable alternative

    Heating UK homes with air source heat pumps is now a viable and credible alternative to traditional methods and can help to combat rising energy bills through greater efficiency.

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    BT customers have cut carbon emissions by 10 million tonnes. BT's annual Delivering our Purpose report says revenue from products contributing to carbon abatement totalled £5.3bn, representing 22% of its total revenue last year.

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    RBS wins Bank of the Year in Better Society Awards 2017 for JUMP engagement programme

    RBS has won the prestigious 'Bank of the Year' award in the Better Society Awards 2017 for its innovative employee engagement programme, JUMP. The Bank came first in its category, ahead of runners-up HSBC, Liberum, Barclays and Societe Generale. The Bank was recognised for successfully engaging its employees in sustainable behaviours and improving sustainability in the workplace.

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    SAVORTEX

    SAVORTEX announced as Successful Innovator by Cummins

    SAVORTEX, the multi-award winning hand drying technology manufacturer, has been chosen as a Successful Innovator by the American Fortune 500 corporation Cummins, as part of its Environmental Gateway programme. It recognises innovators, small businesses and corporates around Britain and the world who design products which help to reduce carbon emissions.

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Wednesday, 06 January 2016 11:11

Harmful ocean plastic debris leaks mostly from the land - but it can be stopped

Research has found that more than 80% of ocean plastic comes from land-based sources rather than from perceived sources such as fisheries and fishing vessels. Furthermore, of that 80%, three-quarters comes from uncollected waste - but with intelligent efforts this can be prevented say a business environment group.

stop plastic ocean1The McKinsey Center for Business and Environment recently collaborated on a report with the Ocean Conservancy called Stemming the tide: Land-based strategies for a plastic-free ocean which identified the origins of the world's plastic marine debris and how it leaks into the oceans.

They point out that by 2025, a staggering 250 million metric tonnes of plastic are projected to be in the ocean unless action is taken. That is one tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fish!

Plastic not only harms wildlife and habitats through entanglement with larger pieces of refuse, it also fragments into particles that find their way into living organisms in ways we are only beginning to understand.

McKinsey show in their 'Stemming the Tide' report that plastics found in the ocean come from thousands of sources across multiple countries, so no international organization, government, or company has the authority, expertise, or resources to address this environmental threat on its own.

Critically, their research found that more than half of the plastic leaking into the ocean comes from just five countries: China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. As an immediate priority, McKinsey believe there is an opportunity to reduce plastic-waste leakage by 65 percent in these five countries—resulting in a 45 percent reduction globally—through measures including closing leakage points within the collection system, increasing waste-collection rates, using a variety of technologies to treat waste, and manually sorting high-value plastic waste.

As a result they recommend:

1. Obtaining real and meaningful commitments from national governments, governors, and mayors to set and achieve ambitious waste-management targets.

stop plastic ocean22. Providing local integrated waste-management approaches in a number of carefully selected pilot cities as "proofs of concept".

3. Building a best-practice transfer mechanism of global expertise to high-priority cities.

4. Ensuring required project-investment conditions are in place.

5. Facilitating technology implementation by equipping technology providers with detailed data.

6. Bringing leadership and a strategic focus on solutions as part of the global policy agenda on the ocean.

Waste Free Oceans reiterates that, in addition to such recommendations, measures need to be taken in order to optimise port reception facilities when it comes to disposing of marine litter collected at sea. At the moment, landing waste is not free of charge in EU ports – an obstacle for Fishing for Litter by fishermen and a disincentive to fight the marine litter problem.

stop plastic ocean3Munich-based Martin Stuchtey, who leads the McKinsey's Center for Business and Environment, said : "Plastic is a huge, interesting topic. It is the ultimate single-use material. Not only does it clog our ecosystems in very graphic ways but losing a valuable material like plastic after one use is also a huge loss to the economy. Bringing it back into use is at the heart of the solution."

In practice, this means designing economically viable ways to significantly reduce land-based municipal waste and prevent used plastics from entering the ocean. Creating the right economic conditions will be key so that waste collection and aggregation contributes to local economic growth and job creation.

The center aims to lay out its analysis in a way that stakeholders—plastic producers, consumer-goods companies, municipalities, or waste-picker communities—can use as an objective basis for discussion. Then comes the challenge of working with a community of interested parties to develop and implement a plan. "The real art is contributing McKinsey analysis and problem solving while also tapping the expertise of other organizations," Martin explains.

LINKS
McKinsey Center for Business and Environment
Ocean Conservancy
Fishing for Litter
Waste Free Oceans Foundation
Stemming the tide: Land-based strategies for a plastic-free ocean