Thursday 17th April 2014                 Change text size:

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McKinsey: ‘cleantech sector is gaining steam’

Despite critics and equity indexes suggesting the cleantech sector has performed badly in recent years, consulting firm McKinsey says the industry is “gaining steam – with less and less regulatory assistance”. An analysis from Sara Hastings-Simon, Dickon Pinner and Martin Stuchtey, all from McKinsey, looks at the myths and...


Photo: Vaughan Willis via Free Images

Which? and Labour call for banking current account competition inquiry

The Labour party has given its backing to calls from the consumer group Which? for a full investigation into competition in the current account market. Earlier this month, figures revealed that over 600,000 UK customers changed providers in the six months since the launch of the new Current Account...


Photo: BriYYZ via flickr

British Airways announces waste-to-sustainable fuel plant in Essex

British Airways has announced that it is moving forward with plans to build the world’s first plant that will convert landfill waste into sustainable jet fuel on an industrial estate in Essex. Located on the site of the former Coryton oil refinery in Thurrock, the pioneering GreenSky facility will...


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Cruise industry failing on corporate social responsibility reporting

Disparity and gaps in data makes it difficult to assess the sustainability of companies within the cruise ship industry, according to new research from Leeds Metropolitan University. The study – which has been published in the journal Tourism Management – analyses the corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports and websites...


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Pollen collected by European bees contaminated with pesticides

New research by Greenpeace has revealed that the pollen collected by European bees contains a ‘toxic cocktail’ of up to 17 different pesticides. Data collected in a report shows that the pollen gathered from 12 EU countries contains a wide range of insecticides, acaricides, fungicides and herbicides. The study...


RBS By Elliott Brown via Flickr

RBS takes top spot in renewable lending and sets out sustainability plans

The Royal Banks of Scotland (RBS) was the leading lender to renewable energy projects in 2013 and now aims to build on this to improve trust and sustainability within the company. It also says it plans to meet customer demand to build a “stronger, values-based culture” in its 2013...


Matt Paish via flickr

Rio Tinto criticised at AGM over sustainability and worker deaths

The Anglo-Australian mining firm Rio Tinto has come up against strong criticism from its shareholders and campaigners at its annual general meeting (AGM), who have accused the company of failing on health and safety and environmental sustainability. Forty-one workers, including 33 Indonesian gold miners, died in an accident that...


Birmingham News Room via flickr

Food bank usage up by a ‘shocking’ 51% – now serving almost 1m Britons

The Trussell Trust has revealed it gave out nearly a million food parcels in 2013, up from 347,000 the year before, with most food bank users blaming the government’s welfare reforms for letting them down. The charity said that the 51% increase in people turning to food banks for...


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EU vote on non-financial reporting ‘historic’ for sustainable investment

The European parliament has voted through new legislation that requires large companies to disclose non-financial information. The changes have been described as “landmark”, making corporate information more transparent and assisting sustainable investors. The new law means that large companies will have to include environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters...


Thomas Brown via wikimedia commons

Alarm over potentially harmful alien species in the UK

A cross-party group of MPs have warned that the UK needs a clear strategy to contain invasive species from overseas, ahead of a vote by the European parliament on a possible ‘blacklist’ for such animals and plantlife. The environmental audit committee has said in a report that non-native plants...


Whalley Hydro

Charity Bank backs community hydro project with £400,000 loan

Social purpose bank Charity Bank has announced its first borrower following a major investment by Big Society Capital will be a community hydropower project in Lancashire’s Ribble Valley. At the beginning of the month, Big Society Capital announced it was to invest £14.5 million of ordinary shares into Charity...


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Abundance launches project to fund solar panels on 19 school roofs

Renewable energy crowdfunding platform Abundance Generation has unveiled a new project, Engynious Schools, which will put solar panels on 19 schools across England and allow investors to pledge as little as £5 to help fund it. With the systems already installed, investors in the project will get a return...


Photo: Dallas Krentzel via flickr

Climate change and deforestation increasing forest fire risk in Amazon

A combination of climate change and deforestation is making the Amazon rainforest increasingly vulnerable to devastating forest fires, a new study has said. The Amazon is one of the most important ecosystems on the planet. It is estimated that about 10% of all known species live in the 5.5...


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Green gas could provide renewable heat to 30,000 UK homes by 2015

By the end of 2015, 30,000 homes could be heated by biomethane, after eight biomethane projects committed to the Green Gas Certification Scheme (GGCS) following a government incentive. Biomethane, also known as green gas, can be produced from a number of sources including biogas from anaerobic digestion, landfill gas...


Photo: CORE-Materials via flickr

‘Wonder material’ graphene used to create tiny hydroelectric system

Graphene, the “wonder material” that has caught the interest of scientists globally, could be used to make microscopic hydroelectric systems capable of powering small electronic devices, a new study has found.  Since its discovery in 2004, many experts have said graphene could change the world. It is the strongest...


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