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Sir David King Delivers Climate Change Lecture

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Sir David King FRS HonFEI, Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative for Climate Change, addressed over 230 professionals in his lecture as this year’s recipient of the Energy Insitute (EI) Melchett Award. At the London event Sir David King told attendees that using clean energy in innovative and pioneering ways is key in the battle against climate change.

Addressing more than 230 energy professionals in London, Sir David outlined the UK’s current commitments regarding energy and climate change legislation. He reiterated the long-term goal, as stated in the COP21 agreement, to hold the increase in global average temperatures to well below a 2°C increase above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels.

He described the low-carbon transition as the ‘greatest opportunity of our age’, highlighting the economic benefits of the transition to a low-carbon economy. In 2014, more renewable energy was installed worldwide than fossil fuel. And in the UK this activity generated £46.2 billion turnover and employed 238,500 workers during 2014.

Having been appointed as Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Government in 2000, one of his first actions was to initiate a report, engaging 120 scientific, engineering and social science experts, to analyse the risks of climate change, and make proposals for action to manage these risks. Following this, an all-party agreement was formed and has remained the axis of the UK Government’s action on climate change.

In 2013, Sir David was invited back into Government as the Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative on Climate Change. In this role, he developed the Global Apollo Programme – later renamed Mission Innovation and launched on the first day of COP21 in Paris last December.

At this year’s EI Melchett Lecture, Sir David spoke of the achievements of Mission Innovation to date. He said, ‘Twenty nations have joined Mission Innovation, all of which have committed to doubling clean energy research, development and demonstration (RD&D) spend by 2020. This amounts to an annual spend of $30bn.’

In support of economic growth, energy access and security, and an urgent and lasting response to global climate change, Mission Innovation aims to accelerate the pace of clean energy innovation. This will be key in achieving performance breakthroughs and cost reduction to provide affordable and reliable clean energy solutions that will revolutionise world energy systems.

Sir David King is a physical chemist who worked at the University of Cambridge in surface science and catalysis. He was appointed as the Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative for Climate Change in September 2013, having previously served the Government as Chief Scientific Adviser between 2000 and 2007. Other former roles include Chair of Future Cities Catapult, Chancellor of the University of Liverpool, Founding Director of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at Oxford University, Senior Scientific Adviser to UBS, and Adviser to President Kagame of Rwanda. Sir David has published over 500 papers on surface science and heterogeneous catalysis, and on science and policy.

The EI Melchett Award is named after one of the first EI Presidents, The Rt Hon Sir Alfred Mond, later to become Lord Melchett and Chairman of ICI. This honour is made to individuals for outstanding work, whether in research, administration, construction or other professional activity, involving the scientific preparation or use of energy.

Environment

4 Common Items That Can be Reused Again and Again

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reuse reduce recycle plastic bottles etc
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Vanatchanan | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/vanatchanan%20buahom

As a society we are getting much better at taking our obligations to the world and environment around us more seriously. This is undoubtedly a good thing! The effects of climate change are beginning to manifest across the world, and this is turning the issue from an abstract threat into a very real danger. Trying to introduce some greener, more eco-friendly practices into your life isn’t just a great way of doing something beneficial for society and the world around you. It is a wonderful way of engaging positively with the world and carries with it numerous psychological benefits.

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Being a greener, more ecologically friendly person doesn’t require any dramatic life changes. Breaking or making a few small habits is all it takes to make your life a greener one. In this article we look at one of the easiest, yet most effective green practices to get into: reusing everyday items.

Jars and Containers

Glass and metal are widely recycled, and recycling is a good thing! However, consider whether any containers you buy, whether it’s a tub of ice cream or a jar of coffee, can be washed out and reused for something else. Mason jars, for example, can be used to store homemade pasta sauce and can be washed for future use. Once you start thinking about it, you will find endless opportunities to reuse your old containers.

Soda Bottles

An ice-cold soda is a wonderful treat on a hot day, but buying soda can get expensive, and the manufacturing and distribution of the drinks themselves isn’t great for the environment. However, by holding on to your old soda bottles and repurposing them as water bottles, you can save money on drinks, or use them to measure out water for your garden.

Plastic Bags

Most of the time groceries come in paper bags, which are better for the environment than the plastic alternatives, but they are less durable and thus harder to reuse. Whenever the store places your items in a plastic bag, hang onto it so you can reuse the bags again. If you want to take it one step further, consider looking into buying some personalized recycled bags. These bags are designed to last for a long time and are made of recycled materials. They look striking and unique, they’ll turn heads, and maybe even attitudes!

Seeds

If you’re a keen gardener, then you will already probably know how to reseed your plants in order to ensure a fresh crop after each plant’s lifecycle. If you have space in your garden, or haven’t yet tried your hand at gardening, then consider planting a small vegetable plot. Growing your own veggies means that you’ll be helping to cut back on the emissions generated by their transport and production. The best part about growing your own food in this way is that, by harvesting properly and saving the seeds, you can be set up with fresh vegetables for life!

Reusing and recycling common household items is an easy way to make your world a little bit greener. Once you start looking for these opportunities you’ll realize that they’re everywhere!

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Environment

These 5 Green Office Mistakes Are Costing You Money

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eco-friendly green offices
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Stokkete | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/cyano

The sudden interest in green business is very encouraging. According to recent reports, 42% of all companies have rated sustainability as an important element of their business. Unfortunately, the focus on sustainability will only last if companies can find ways to use it to boost their ROI.

Many businesses get so caught up in being socially conscious that they hope the financial aspect of it takes care of itself. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to go green and boost your net income at the same time.

Here are some important mistakes that you will want to avoid.

Only implementing sustainability on micro-scale

The biggest reason that brands are going green is to improve their optics with their customers. Too many businesses are making very minor changes, such as processing paperwork online and calling themselves green.

Customers have become wary of these types of companies. If you want to earn their business, you are going to need to go all the way. Bring in a green business consultant and make every feasible change to demonstrate that you are a green organization from top to bottom.

Not prioritizing investments by long-term ROI

It isn’t realistic to build an entirely green organization overnight. You will need to allocate your capital wisely.

Before investing in any green assets or services, you should always conduct a long-term cost benefit analysis. The initial investment for some green services may be over $20,000. If they don’t shave your cost by at least $3,000 a year, they probably aren’t worth the investment.

Determine which green investments will have the best pay off over the next 10 years. Make these investments before anything else. Then compare your options within each of those categories.

Implementing green changes without a plan

Effective, long-term planning is the key to business success. This principle needs to be applied to green organizations as well.

Before implementing a green strategy, you must answer the following questions:

  • How will I communicate my green business philosophy to my customers?
  • How will running a green business affect my revenue stream?
  • How will adopting green business strategies change my monthly expenses? Will they increase or decrease them?
  • How will my company finance green upgrades and other investments?

The biggest mistake that too many green businesses make is being overly optimistic with these forecasts. Take the time to collect objective data and make your decisions accordingly. This will help you run a much more profitable green business.

Not considering the benefits of green printing

Too many companies believe that going paperless is the only way to run a green organization. Unfortunately, going 100% paperless it’s not feasible for most companies.

Rather than aim for an unrealistic goal, consider the option of using a more environmentally friendly printer. It won’t be perfect, but it will be better than the alternative.

According to experts from Doranix, environmental printers have several benefits:

  • They can process paper that has been completely recycled.
  • They consume less energy than traditional printers.
  • They use ink that is more environmentally friendly.

You want to take a look at different green printers and compare them. You’ll find that some will meet your needs as a green business.

Poorly communicating your green business strategy to customers

Brand positioning doesn’t happen on its own. If you want to run a successful green business, you must communicate your message to customers as clearly as possible. You must also avoid the appearance that you are patronizing them.

The best approach is to be clear when you were first making the change. I’ll make an announcement about your company‘s commitment to sustainability.

You also want to reinforce this message overtime by using green labels on all of your products. You don’t have to be blatant with your messaging at this stage. Simply provide a small, daily reminder on your products and invoices.

Finally, it is a good idea to participate in green business seminars and other events. If your community has a local Green Chamber of Commerce, you should consider joining as well.

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