Monthly Archives

3 Articles

Posted by admin on

The Drinks Industry Green Action Plan

For any industry public opinion is a hugely powerful force and one that shouldn’t be ignored.  If you want to see a guarantee of plummeting profits and boardroom unrest any large social movement should be taken heed of.  Most industries nowadays do try and make a positive effort with regards reducing their carbon footprints.  Obviously the profit motive is probably number one, but chief executives live on the planet too.

One of the industries currently in the firing line is that of the Food and Drink manufacturers.  Ever since the Blue Planet programme which aired on BBC iPlayer about the amount of plastics in our oceans,  you can watch it abroad too now – this is from France.  We have seen some more positive movement from many firms in this sector.

There is an industry wide initiative in the UK called Ambition 25 which is leading transformational change with environmental sustainability at it’s core.  There are other positive moves including the British Soft Drinks Association which is focusing on sustainability within it’s Waste and Resource Action Programme.

The figure are actually enormous so action does need to be taken, it’s estimated 16 million plastic bottles are dumped into the UK environment every day!  If you do the maths that’s nearly 6 trillion plastic bottles a year, so it’s truly terrifying to think of what the global figure might be.

Other sectors have similar issues, and there’s some huge environmental concerns in other sectors too.  Take for example alcoholic drinks, it’s probably no surprise after reading blog posts like this one about Selincro, that we’re drinking more too.  Take for example the process of making the malted barley used in whisky and beer, global production just for this small section requires the energy of all the worlds nuclear power plants produce over two days.  That’s just for producing malted barley, so you can imagine what the human race’s other energy requirements end up as.

The alcohol industry has identified this rather than specifically packaging to be a core environmental concern.  This makes sense, there’s less plastic involved in alcohol consumption, although still significant.  Nevertheless being able to prioritize makes sense to achieve positive environmental goals.

There are plenty of companies looking at using more sustainable energy sources for example.  Projects like the one installing a biomass boiler at Chase Distillery’s main production facility.  The boiler named Huxley is powered solely by waste woodchip and an energy crop planted on the distilleries farm.

Posted by admin on

New Zealand Steps up to Environmental Challenges

In a move that many environmental rights groups have described as historic,  the government of New Zealand has blocked a major new offshore oil exploration project.  The decision has been widely applauded however not all sides have been supportive with opposition parties suggesting that there could be grave economic repercussions to the decision.

The decision was made by the Government last Thursday, in the middle of May, when they announced that all new oil and gas discovery exploration would be stopped off the coast of the country.  The strategy is purely focused on reducing the effects of climate change and it will be enforced by ensuring that no new exploration permits are granted.

New Zealand has put itself at the forefront of the battle against climate change and the move has been almost universally applauded.   The director of Greenpeace also praised the government as it and many other NGOs have petitioned for this stance for many years.    The goal of the government is to aim for new zero emissions, the policy is called ‘zero carbon’ and the target date is 2050.

There have been some voices of dissent, including that of the National Party, their energy spokesman is Johnathon Young and he said the move was counterproductive.  He stated that New Zealand still had to fulfill it’s energy requirements and may be forced to look at high emission alternatives instead.  New Zealand has an estimated 10 years left of gas reserves and the suggestion is that they will have to look elsewhere to import energy.  The spokesman continued that production would merely be moved to other places on the planet to the disadvantage of the New Zealand economy.

The government has emphasised  that current permits for both drilling and exploration will not be affected.  Their is confidence that no jobs would be threatened in the short term, it is estimated that over 11,000 people work in the New Zealand gas and oil industries.   The sector generates about $2.5 billion NZ dollars, mostly in the North Island region.

New Zealand has always been in particularly difficult place as regards climate change. Public opinion has always been mostly very positive behind these green efforts, however it also has a long standing tradition of coal mining going back over a century.   Although people will sit and watch programmes like the Blue Planet from the BBC iPlayer in New Zealand – accessible by this method, there are many remote areas completely dependent on coal for their incomes.

Indeed there are some places like the town of Blackball where there are several generations of miners who are completely reliant on the coal mining industry.  They are of course suffering as the global demand for coal falls, due to rising production costs and of course the social and environmental ones.

Further Information on UK Proxies:

Posted by admin on

Accepting our Resources are Finite

Our planet faces many problems which have arguably many different causes. However ultimately they all revolve the same issue, the human race and it’s overuse of the earth’s resources. If you think about almost any environmental problem they all pretty much come down to this in some way or other. We simply use too many resources to support our lifestyles and with population growth generally increasing across the world and habitable land reducing because of climate change this is not going to get better on it’s own.

It need tackling of course on a global level but we can do our part too, the worldwide changes start on a local level and gather momentum.  A prime example is our use of plastic, a decade ago no-one was concerned but now we are beginning to take notice of the waste and damage it causes to our planet.   When individuals start to take notice soon the corporations will follow public opinion, it’s in their interests after all.  If we make it a priority you will see global corporations and events making it theirs too.  If you like sport, just imagine the initiatives that can happen there as well.  When I sit down and watch the Premiership football on Match of the Day online on my computer (accessed like this) , I’m not alone there are millions of people across the world doing exactly the same – it’s a great place to engage an audience.

Anyone can help encourage investment in new wind, solar, wave and tidal electricity by opting to invest in greener electricity through your electricity company. The best policy, as used in Germany and many other countries, is certainly one that guarantees higher payments on the electricity market place for individuals and companies who generate renewable energy. Simply by ensuring a good price was actually paid for green electrical energy, the authorities helped to make wind turbines and solar panels an attractive investment, massively enhancing storage capacity in an only a few years.

Within the UK, the government took on a different plan called the Renewables Obligation. This meant that electricity providers needed to buy a certain proportion of their electricity from renewable generators, As a result of this, the companies could create ‘green’ tariffs simply by reallocating the renewable resource they had to purchase anyway to these particular customers, developing no extra capacity whatsoever. Good greener tariffs Don’t despair: you can nevertheless make a difference by choosing a green tariff if you make certain your electricity company actually transforms some of your money into new wind turbines, wave farms and solar panels.

Ethical Consumer journal gives each a straightforward rating to help you make up your mind. In 2007, the National Consumer Council likewise produced a report called ‘Reality or Rhetoric’, which ranked the various tariffs available to customers ( Both large and small scale eco-friendly energy projects will be needed to deliver our electricity needs in the years to come. By generating renewable energy in your home, you can easily reduce your monthly bills, help sustain a new industry and reduce your carbon dioxide emissions.

Different modern technologies are actually suitable for different houses, and the best option for you will definitely depend upon where you reside, in addition to the design of your house, so do get professional guidance before purchasing any kit. Renewable energy systems that have been used successfully in homes include solar panels, rooftop wind turbines, wood pellet boilers and ground’ and air source heat pumps. Grants to help install renewable energy at home are also available from the government, although they are usually in short supply. In the UK, the Energy Saving Trust and the Low Carbon Buildings Programme can help find expert advice and any available grants.

Additional: information on accessing Match of the Day and Sports online using a VPN.