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Government review “disappoints” say Social Enterprise UK



The CEO of Social Enterprise UK has responded to the Cabinet Office announcement that they will conduct a mission-led business review. Peter Holbrook isn’t happy with the Call for Evidence on mission-led businesses review put forward by the Government. He says their expert panel is missing key business voices.

Peter Holbrook, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK, today said: “It’s not uncommon for Government reviews to disappoint, but it’s quite rare for a review to disappoint before it has even begun. Yet that is the view from many within the social economy sector at the Government’s review of mission-led businesses. 

“We acknowledge that social investment is a market with currently too few takers. One good response could be to improve the product. Another good answer could be to build capacity of start-ups to increase supply of investment-ready social enterprises. A further one could be to build awareness amongst commissioners to create more opportunities. All of these could be a good use of limited resources, but judging by the nature of the review team, the Government intends to broaden the social investment market by watering down the definition of what ‘social’ is. 

“People keep calling for clarity of terminology, yet it keeps being added to with ill-defined terms which conflate and confuse. All social enterprises and charities are mission-led but aren’t included in the scope of this review – all our members are interested in profit and impact. It will be difficult to communicate clearly as a profit-with-purpose, mission-led, community-business social venture – because not even the organisation itself will know what it means. 

“Quick fixes tend to turn out as bodged jobs. The expert advisory panel is missing authentic voices of recognised, established and trusted social businesses. Where are the historical insights of the likes of Timpson, Rowntree, John Lewis, Lush, and decades of Quaker-inspired businesses? Where are the voices of social enterprise and co-operatives bringing their expertise in the field? Let us hope that the review group draws on the experience of a wider set of perspectives. The insights of those who have set about protecting a social purpose, with or without success, is critical.

“It is crucial that we strengthen the social responsibility of mainstream businesses, which is why it is disappointing that the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills do not appear to be backing this review.”


A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon




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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IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”



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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