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Economy

Blue & Green Daily: Thursday 4 September round up

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Today on Blue & Green Tomorrow, we reported on the growing wage divide in UK cities, and the increasing number of Britons trapped in low wage jobs.

We also covered the winning idea that claimed a £250,000 reward in the Wolfson Economics Prize, and looked into the offices of Ethical Corporation ahead of this year’s Responsible Business Awards.

Sir David Attenborough warns of the ‘escalating erosion of wildlife’

Naturalist Sir David Attenborough has warned, ahead of the Conference for Nature in London, that the continued destruction of the environment “threatens us all”. However, he insists we still have a chance to save it.

Tasmanian forests opened for logging despite conservationist efforts

The Tasmanian government has decided to open up 400,000 hectares of previously protected forest to the timber industry, a move that environmentalists say will do serious harm to both the climate and the country’s tourism sector.

Ethical Corporation: helping business do the right thing

Ethical Corporation has grown to become one of the most respected voices in the CSR space. Ahead of its fifth annual Responsible Business Awards, director Sara Baylis and Zara Maung, editor of Ethical Corporation magazine, speak to Tom Revell about the past, present, and future of ethical business.

Government launches badger vaccination scheme

The government has launched a scheme to vaccinate badgers against bovine tuberculosis, to prevent its spread to cattle. Last year the government faced criticism for allowing culls to go ahead in a bid to control the spread of the disease.

Number of UK workers trapped in low pay jobs on the rise

The workforce of the UK’s cities is becoming increasingly divided between high and low wage jobs, with opportunities in the middle fading and social mobility failing, according to a new report that warns being employed does not mean being out of poverty. 

Community Energy Fortnight: Bristol Green Doors

The Community Energy Fortnight hopes to raise awareness of renewable energy projects this September. As part of the national event, Bristol Green Doors – a community interest company – are showcasing a number of homes to the public, free of charge, on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th September. This occasion will demonstrate the energy saving measures householders have implemented to make where they live cheaper to heat, more comfortable and better for the environment.                                                  

Save B&GT: a fifth of the way in five days

You may have read by now that Blue & Green Tomorrow has hit some financial turbulence and we are at risk of ceasing publication. The short version is a sponsor pulled out of our flagship series of events meaning we had to cancel them, creating a possibly fatal hole in our finances. But our readers have rallied.

Carbon credits can boost economic development and conservation

New research has valued the benefits of carbon offsetting at $664 (£403) per tonne, judging the positive impacts on communities where carbon reduction projects take place. As a result, researchers say businesses have an opportunity to use the voluntary carbon market in their sustainability strategies. 

EDF confirms nuclear reactors may stay offline until end of the year

EDF has confirmed that four of its UK nuclear reactors that were shut off last month for safety reasons will not fully resume operations until the end of the December, sparking fears over electricity shortages during winter.

China and Indian leaders will not attend UN Climate Summit

Both president Xi Jinping of China and Indian prime minister Narendra Modi have confirmed they will not be attending the UN Climate Summit, greatly undermining the possibility of a global pact to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Standard & Poor’s: reinsurers underestimate impact of climate change

Rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) has warned that most reinsurance companies do not believe that climate change is having “a material quantifiable impact on their current risk exposure”, despite evidence that extreme weather is likely to cause huge damage over the coming decades. 

Green Port Hull wind turbine manufacturing plans approved by council

Plans to build a new wind turbine production and installation facility in Hull have received approval from Hull City Council’s Planning Committee. 

Expand cities into greenbelt to solve housing crisis, says Wolfson Prize winner

The winner of the 2014 Wolfson Economics Prize has suggested that the UK solve its housing crisis by allowing existing towns and cities to expand into the greenbelt.

Greenpeace warns of ‘long road ahead’ for truly green gadgets

Ahead of Europe’s largest consumer technology show, to be hosted in Berlin this week, Greenpeace has analysed the environmental progress being made by companies attending the IFA 2014. 

Ban Ki-moon: world must act on climate change now

UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon has expressed his concern that the world is not acting fast enough to mitigate climate change, ahead of a UN climate summit set to be attended by world leaders this month. 

Elliot reivew calls for special unit to fight food crime

Britain should form a special unit to tackle food crime in the wake of the 2013 horsemeat scandal, according to a government-backed report by food security expert Chris Elliott. 

Samoa UN climate conference generates $2bn in island-to-continent environmental partnerships

Nearly 300 partnerships have been forged between governments, businesses and civil society organisations at a UN climate conference, generating $1.9 billion (£1.1bn) supporting small island developing states in achieving sustainable development.

Environmentalist of the week: Sir David Attenborough

Naturalist, prolific broadcaster, environmental icon and owner of one of television’s most recognisable voices, Sir David Attenborough is a man of many talents. 

How scientists feel about climate change: Prof Lesley Hughes

In a letter speaking about her feelings on climate change, Prof Lesley Hughes, from the Department of Biological Science at Macquarie University and a founding member of the Australian Climate Council, voices her concerns about the world’s wildlife and biodiversity.

Photo: Sanja Gjenero via Free Images

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Economy

Report: Green, Ethical and Socially Responsible Finance

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“The level of influence that ethical considerations have over consumer selection of financial services products and services is minimal, however, this is beginning to change. Younger consumers are more willing to pay extra for products provided by socially responsible companies.” Jessica Morley, Mintel’s Financial Services Analyst.

Consumer awareness of the impact consumerism has on society and the planet is increasing. In addition, the link between doing good and feeling good has never been clearer. Just 19% of people claim to not participate in any socially responsible activities.

As a result, the level of attention that people pay to the green and ethical claims made by products and providers is also increasing, meaning that such considerations play a greater role in the purchasing decision making process.

However, this is less true in the context of financial services, where people are much more concerned about the performance of a product rather than green and ethical factors. This is not to say, however, that they are not interested in the behaviour of financial service providers or in gaining more information about how firms behave responsibly.

This report focuses on why these consumer attitudes towards financial services providers exist and how they are changing. This includes examination of the wider economy and the current structure of the financial services sector.

Mintel’s exclusive consumer research looks at consumer participation in socially responsible activities, trust in the behaviour of financial services companies and attitudes towards green, ethical and socially responsible financial services products and providers. The report also considers consumer attitudes towards the social responsibilities of financial services firms and the green, ethical and socially responsible nature of new entrants.

There are some elements missing from this report, such as conducting socially responsible finance with OTC trading. We will cover these other topics in more detail in the future. You can research about Ameritrade if you want to know more ..

By this report today: call: 0203 416 4502 | email: iainooson[at]mintel.com

Report contents:

OVERVIEW
What you need to know
Report definition
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The market
Ethical financial services providers: A question of culture
Investment power
Consumers need convincing
The transformative potential of innovation
Consumers can demand change
The consumer
For financial products, performance is more important than principle
Competition from technology companies
Financial services firms perceived to be some of the least socially responsible
Repaying the social debt
Consumer trust is built on evidence
What we think
ISSUES AND INSIGHTS
Creating a more inclusive economy
The facts
The implications
Payments innovation helps fundraising go digital
The facts
The implications
The social debt of the financial crisis
The facts
The implications
THE MARKET – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Ethical financial services providers: A question of culture
Investment power
Consumers need convincing
The transformative potential of innovation
Consumers can demand change
PUTTING FINANCIAL SERVICES IN AN ETHICAL CONTEXT
An ethical economy
An ethical financial sector
Ethical financial services providers
GREEN, ETHICAL AND SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE ISSUES IN FINANCIAL SERVICES
The role of investing
Divestment
The change potential of pensions
The role of trust
Greater transparency informs decisions
Learning from past mistakes
The role of innovation
Payments innovation: Improving financial inclusion
Competition from new entrants
The power of new money
The role of the consumer
Consumers empowered to make a change
Aligning products with self
THE CONSUMER – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
For financial products, performance is more important than ethics
Financial services firms perceived to be some of the least socially responsible
Competition from technology companies
Repaying the social debt
Consumer trust is built on evidence
Overall trust levels are high
THE ETHICAL CONSUMER – SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE ACTIVITIES
Payments innovation can boost charitable donations
Consumer engagement in socially responsible activities is high
Healthier finances make it easier to go green
SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE COMPANIES
37% unable to identify socially responsible companies
Building societies seen to be more responsible than banks….
….whilst short-term loan companies are at the bottom of the pile
CONSUMER TRUST IN THE BEHAVIOUR OF FINANCIAL SERVICES COMPANIES
Overall trust levels are high
Tax avoidance remains a major concern
The divestment movement
Nationwide significantly more trusted
Trust levels remain high
CONSUMER ATTITUDES TOWARDS GREEN AND ETHICAL FINANCIAL PRODUCTS
For financial products, performance is more important than principle
Socially conscious consumers are more concerned
CONSUMER ATTITUDES TOWARDS TRANSPARENCY
Strategy reports provide little insight for consumers
Lack of clarity regarding corporate culture causes concern
Consumers want more information
THE ROLE OF FINANCIAL SERVICES FIRMS IN SOCIETY
The social debt of the financial crisis
THE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF FINANCIAL SERVICES FIRMS
For consumers, financial services firms play larger economic role
Promoting financial responsibility
CHALLENGER COMPANIES AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Consumer trust is built on evidence
The alternative opportunity
The target customer

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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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