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Cottonconnect Appoints New Chair To Expand Work Among Retailer Brands And Cotton Farmers

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Ram Gidoomal CBE has been appointed as Chairman of CottonConnect, the organisation with a social mission to help retailers and brands create a more sustainable cotton supply chain.  Ram is also Chairman of Fair Trade pioneers Traidcraft plc and Traidcraft Exchange, so brings significant experience and ambition to the role.

“Brands selling cotton clothes and homeware products are reliant on a supply chain which is facing severe climate change impacts and water shortages. It is in everyone’s interest to work closely with organisations that can influence cotton farmers in conserving and making better use of resources.

CottonConnect offers an opportunity to make that happen. We have access and trust of the farmers through our partners – and we can scale-up our impact more than ten times over with the right support.  Failure to connect all parts of this supply chain will put the future of cotton at risk,” says Ram Gidoomal, Chairman of CottonConnect.

CottonConnect is pioneering a transparent and sustainable cotton supply chain from retailers to farmers to build a sustainable future for the cotton industry by:

1) Connecting retailer brands to cotton farmers and their supply chain – creating relationships, transparency and efficiency, delivering business value, reducing costs and building greater and more sustainable security of supply.

2) Improving cotton farmer livelihoods – helping farmers farm better by supporting them with business skills, access to finance, knowledge and expertise in farming practices – which are better for the farmer and for the environment.

3) Farmer education to share learnings and best practice – developing education programmes and networks of farmers groups to share knowledge, educate on farming techniques, helping smallholder farmers to farm safely and sustainably.

In the last four years, CottonConnect has worked with 130,000 farmers and their families in India, Pakistan and China, proving that basic interventions and education can make a huge difference.  CottonConnect has increased the land under sustainable cultivation by almost 300,000 acres and on average, it has also helped to reduce water usage of those farmers 20% (in many cases 30% to 60%).

Retailer brands need to take action on cotton urgently to protect the future of the cotton industry by working and collaborating together for greater impact – to:

1) Map and ensure greater transparency and closer relationships across the supply chain;

2) Support farmer training programmes for basic interventions;

3) Collaborate and help to fund initiatives to help drive cotton supply chain sustainability at scale.

CottonConnect already collaborates with major brands, including John Lewis, Primark, C&A Foundation along with the Better Cotton Initiative, to help improve relationships with farmers on the ground, improve resilience and share best practice in basic agricultural techniques and technologies, in cotton growing regions of the developing world.

Alison Ward, CEO of CottonConnect, comments: “We are delighted to welcome Ram on board as Chairman, and we look forward to expanding our work connecting retailers to cotton farmers, helping both to work closely together to create a sustainable cotton industry and better business for the future. There are many examples of the positive impact for the cotton industry and we hope more brands will be inspired to act.”

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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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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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