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Investors With Assets Of £331bn Call On Companies To Commit To Renewable Energy

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20 institutional investors managing over £331 billion in assets are joining forces today to call on some of the world’s largest companies to commit to using 100% renewable power.

The investors are calling on companies to demonstrate their commitment to clean energy by signing up to join RE100. RE100 is a collaborative business initiative that supports companies that make a public pledge to switch to 100% renewable electricity for their international operations by an agreed date. Google and BMW Group are among several influential names to join RE100 in the last week. Other companies that have joined RE100 include Unilever and Marks & Spencer.

Founding members of the investor initiative include Aviva Investors, Strathclyde Pension Fund, Environment Agency Pension Fund, French pension fund ERAFP, Norwegian fund KLP and Menhaden Capital.

The initiative is being coordinated by Responsible Investment charity ShareAction, and will launch at an event in Paris at 3pm CET on 9 December at the offices of ERAFP, during the COP 21 climate conference.

The new investor engagement programme, supported by ShareAction, will see investors engaging with companies through letters, meetings and AGMs, to encourage them to switch to 100% renewable energy.

Speakers at the event include Philippe Desfosses of ERAFP, Jeanett Bergan of KLP and representatives of companies that have joined the initiative, who will be discussing the benefits of joining RE100.

Six new companies announced that they were joining the RE100 initiative on Monday including Pearson. A ShareAction representative attended Pearson’s AGM earlier this year and asked if the company would meet to discuss joining RE100, which they did.

ShareAction has also developed an online platform through which savers can email the person managing their savings at their pension fund, asking them what they are doing to support renewable energy. The platform can be accessed here.

Steve Waygood, Chief Responsible Investment Officer at Aviva Investors said: “Aviva Investors believes that RE100 is an important and welcome initiative. We are happy to recommend RE100 to the companies that we own as worthy of serious consideration. It has the potential to be an important component of managing carbon impact and delivering a business model in line with 2 degrees.”

Philippe Desfosses, CEO of ERAFP said: “The RE100 is an excellent initiative that we are very pleased to support. The promotion of renewable energy is critical to the decarbonisation of the global economy. It makes perfect sense for us as a responsible investor to put our name behind this initiative, and we look forward to engaging with companies on this issue.”

Catherine Howarth, Chief Executive at ShareAction said: “We’re delighted to have brought together investors to encourage companies to take the lead and embrace renewable power. Increasing corporate demand for renewable energy is an innovative and forward-thinking strategy that investors can adopt to combat climate change risk in their portfolios. We hope to see many more companies sign up to go 100% renewable as a result of this initiative.”

Emily Farnworth, RE100 Campaign Director at The Climate Group said: “We’re already seeing companies joining RE100 and committing to 100% renewable power at a remarkable rate, but if we’re going to tip the balance of the energy market in favour of renewables once and for all we need all world leading businesses with us. Investors are uniquely placed to make a significant difference through this programme.”

Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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