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PEFC, “Our Global Strength Is Our Local Strength”

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“As a grass roots organization, we are extremely important role to play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as we can deliver them on the ground,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International, as he opened the 20th PEFC General Assembly in Montreux, Switzerland.

“We can through our work in the forest and with forest-dependent people and communities directly contribute to 14 out of the 17 goals. We are committed to making the largest possible contribution to realizing these important goals.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), are an intergovernmental set of aspiration goals with 169 targets with the objective to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice. They are part of the part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and were adopted by world leaders at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit on 25 September 2015.

“80% of the world’s poorest live in and around forests, we have a role to play to enable these communities to have sustainable livelihoods and pull them out of poverty in a way that no one has been able to do before,” continued Mr. Gunneberg. “Our work must go beyond forest management, we must put stronger emphasis on non-wood products, on trees outside forests, on a landscape approach.  We need sustainable landscapes for sustainable livelihoods.”

“100 million people are still without homes, 1 billion people are living in slums – the world needs more homes,” said Mr. Gunneberg, referencing goal SDG 11. “If you build a standard house from wood, it has 50% less greenhouse gas emissions throughout its lifetime than a house built from concrete. So what should be we build these new homes from? Concrete or wood?”

Mr. Gunneberg also highlighted some of the work undertaken by PEFC members from around the world. From the Guinness World Record tree planting by SFI in North America, the huge level of PEFC-certified wood used in the Milano Expo 2015, and efforts by stakeholders in New Zealand and India gain membership in  the PEFC alliance.

“Though we have had many exciting and positive events this year, we must also mention the sad loss of our dear friend and college Richard Stanton,” said Mr. Gunneberg, commenting on the tragic loss of Richard Stanton, AFS National Secretary General, earlier this year in a bicycle accident. “We were proud to participate in the Richard Stanton Memorial Trophy for Excellence in Forestry Management. We miss him dearly and we will continue to support this award.”

In closing his speech, Mr. Gunneberg thanked all the members, staff and board for the work done over the past year: “All of this is not possible without all of you… Our global strength is our local strength.”

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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