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Businesses Missing Out On £4 Billion Waste Mine According To New Report

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Businesses Missing Out On £4 Billion Waste Mine According To New Report

Leading resource management company, Veolia, have today released a new report, Imagine 2050, highlighting the innovative business models needed in three sectors to meet resource and waste challenges between now and 2050.

The manufacturing, pharmaceutical & chemical and food & beverage sectors generate a waste mine of around 13 million tonnes, which if properly re-used, recycled or re-manufactured could generate £4 billion of value that is currently ‘hidden’. These three sectors are strategically important for the UK economy.

Veolia’s report highlights the wide range of challenges including population growth, pressure to reduce carbon emissions and utilising technology advances to shape resource use in these three sectors.


It reveals how business models and operations can be re-engineered and redesigned by 2050 so that products and manufacturing processes are completed by closing the loop. By generating energy from renewable sources and no longer treating water as a cheap commodity, but a valuable resource, businesses will become more self-sufficient.

Estelle Brachlianoff, Senior Executive Vice-President, Veolia UK and Ireland, explains:

“The £4 billion hidden value of unutilised resources in these industrial sectors is not something we can ignore. Realising this value has a double windfall – it helps businesses manage their resources more efficiently, and generates new revenue streams.

Long-term planning, minimising waste and more effectively using water, energy and raw materials will help us meet the changing needs of a growing population in a sustainable way.


“Adopting the innovative business models outlined in Imagine 2050 needs to happen now. Long-term planning, minimising waste and more effectively using water, energy and raw materials will help us meet the changing needs of a growing population in a sustainable way. This is at the heart of the circular economy and in Veolia’s DNA.”

To meet these interlinked challenges, the report highlights priority changes and innovations in each sector.

Food production cost pressures will bring about major changes across the food and beverage sector, with companies needing to reimagine the by-products currently thrown away with around £460 million of unutilised resources. New technology will enable better use of energy for the sector and help minimise costs. Although what we eat may not change, where it comes from will be radically different, with cultured meats and insects playing a greater role in our diets. Our emotional investment in food products will be deeper – purchases will be about relationships and trust.

“We’re already growing enough to feed the future world. We just don’t feed people with it. We don’t need to grow more stuff; we just need to stop throwing away the edible stuff that we do grow.” Dr Steve Evans, Director of Research, University of Cambridge

Manufacturing businesses can benefit from £2.8 billion of hidden value in unutilised waste streams by generating, using and recovering energy and water resources and being closer to raw materials to secure supply chains with. By 2050, waste materials will be turned into tradable commodities, potentially enabling 100% recovery rates. Nanotechnology and 3D printing will be embedded into supply chains, enabling more flexibility with production and more efficient use of resources.

“Meeting humanity’s rapidly growing consumption needs, with finite resources on a planet that is already under stress, requires more than greater resource efficiency. With three billion new middle class consumers anticipated by 2030, new business models must be explored if we are to continue to thrive.” Dr Nick Voulvoulis, Reader in Environmental Technology, Imperial College London

Businesses in the pharmaceutical and chemical sector have around £800 million of hidden value in unutilised resources. Designing efficiency into products at a concept stage and new dynamics, including new financial models, will enable medicines to be produced more efficiently. A move to individually treating patients rather than illnesses could also become possible, whilst 3D printing technology could enable the production of drugs on a mass scale at a local level.

“We’re likely to see greater collaboration between these specialist businesses and also with outside partners. Brands like Google are already moving into this space.” Dr Linda Hilton, Innovation Process and Business Consultant.

Environment

Want to Connect With Nature? Start by Disconnecting From Busyness

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Connect With Nature

Have you ever found yourself staring at one of your (many) devices and feeling slightly disgusted with how much time you waste on technology? If so, you aren’t alone. We all have moments like these and it’s important that we use them as motivation to change – especially if we want to be more connected with nature.

How Busyness Impacts Your Connection With Nature

Whether you realize it or not, you live an ultra connected life. Between smart phones, tablets, computers, and wearable devices, you’re never very far from some sort of technology that can connect you to the internet or put you in touch with other people. That’s just the world we live in.


While it could be argued that this sort of omnipresent connectivity is a positive thing, it’s also pretty clear that being permanently tethered to technology impacts our ability to strip away distractions and connect with nature.

When you’re always within arm’s reach of a device, you feel a sense of busyness.  Whether it’s browsing your social media feed, uploading a picture, reading the news, or responding to an email, there’s always something to do. As someone who wants to spend more time in nature, this is problematic.

4 Practical Ways to Disconnect

If you want to truly connect with nature and live a greener lifestyle, you have to be proactive about finding ways to disconnect. Here are a few practical suggestions:

1. Switch to a New Phone Plan

It’s not always practical to totally unplug from the world. Family and work responsibilities mean you can’t go off the grid and continue to fulfill your responsibilities. Having said that, there are some ways to scale back.


One suggestion is to switch to a prepaid phone plan. When you have a prepaid phone plan, you’re far less likely to spend hours and hours of your time making phone calls, sending texts, and surfing the web. It forces you to be more conscious of what you’re doing.

2. Get Rid of Social Media

Social media is one of the biggest time wasters for most people. Whether you realize it or not, it’s also a huge stressor. You’re constantly being exposed to the best snapshots of everyone else’s lives, which makes you feel like you’re missing out on something (even when you aren’t).

If you want to feel a sense of relief and free yourself up to spend more time in nature, get rid of social media. Don’t just delete the apps off your phone – actually disable your accounts. It’s a bold, yet necessary step.

3. Create Quiet Hours

If you aren’t able to get rid of social media and disable various online accounts, the next best thing you can do is establish quiet hours each day where you totally detach from technology. You should do this for a minimum of three hours per day for best results.

4. Build Community

Do you know why we’re drawn to social media and our devices? Whether consciously or subconsciously, it’s because we all want to be connected to other people. But do you know what’s better than connecting with people online? Connecting with them in person.

As you build real life, person-to-person relationships, you’ll feel less of a need to constantly have your eyes glued to a screen. Connect with other people who have an appreciation for nature and bond over your mutual interests.

Untether Your Life

If you find yourself constantly connected to a device, then this is probably a clear indicator that you aren’t living your best life. You certainly aren’t enjoying any sort of meaningful connection with nature. Now’s as good a time as any to untether your life and explore what a world free from cords, screens, and batteries is really like.

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Environment

6 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Move

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Moving can be a stressful and challenging time. No matter how many times you’ve done it in the past, the process of packing up, transporting, and unpacking isn’t very fun. It’s also not very eco-friendly. As you prepare for your next move, there are things you can do to ensure you leave less of a footprint behind.

6 Tips for a Greener Move

Because of the stress and pressure felt when moving, it’s pretty common for people to rush through the process and focus on getting it done. In fact, a lot of people take an “at all costs” approach; they’ll do whatever it takes to make the process as cheap and fast as possible. Don’t be one of those people. It doesn’t take much effort to turn a standard move into an eco-friendly move.


1. Maximize Each Trip

When moving across town, it’s imperative that you make as few trips as possible. Each trip requires more gas, more emissions, and more waste, and more time.

If you’re taking your personal vehicle, consider pulling a trailer behind it. You’d be surprised how much stuff you can fit into a small trailer. Not only will it make your move greener, but it’ll also save you a lot of time.

2. Donate Things You Don’t Want to Keep

The longer you live somewhere, the more junk you accumulate. This isn’t always obvious until you start packing for a big move. Instead of bringing all of these things with you to your next home, get rid of the stuff you don’t need! If the items are useful, donate them. If the items don’t have much value, toss them.

3. Reuse Moving Boxes

Not only are moving boxes expensive, but they’re also wasteful. If you need a bunch of cardboard boxes, consider looking around on Craigslist, asking friends, or checking the dumpsters behind stores. You can usually find a bunch of recycled boxes of all different shapes and sizes. Here are 12 places you can get them for free.


4. Get Creative With Packing

Who says you need moving boxes? You may find that it’s possible to do most of your move without all that cardboard. Things like storage containers, trashcans, filing cabinets, buckets, and dressers can all store items. Blankets and sheets can be used in lieu of bubble wrap to prevent your items from getting damaged.

5. Use Green Cleaning Supplies

Once you arrive at your new place, resist the urge to pull out a bunch of harsh chemicals to clean the place. You can do yourself (and the planet) a favor by using green cleaning supplies instead. Ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and ammonia are great to start with.

6. Forward Your Mail ASAP

Don’t delay in forwarding your mail from your previous address to your new one. Not only is it wasteful for the Postal Service to route your mail to a place where you don’t live, but the next owner is probably just going to toss your letters in the trash.

Moving Doesn’t Have to be Wasteful

Most people only move once every few years. Some people will go a decade or more without a move. As a result, the process of moving often feels strange and new. The less experience you have with it, the less likely it is that you’ll be as efficient as you should. But instead of just diving into the process blind, take some time to learn about what an eco-friendly move looks like. That way, you can leave behind the smallest footprint possible.

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