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Can Companies Achieve Zero Deforestation in their Supply Chains by 2020?

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Anew research report released today from the Global Canopy Programme highlights the urgent need to create sustainable agricultural commodity markets as a practical solution to halting the destruction of the world’s tropical rainforests.

The report entitled “Achieving Zero (Net) Deforestation Commitments: What it means and how to get there” charts how to realise corporate ‘Zero Deforestation Pledges’ and widen global support for them. It examines the deforestation commitments that have been made by hundreds of corporates, the challenges that exist in delivering on these commitments and offers practical recommendations as to how the transition to ‘deforestation free’ global supply chains can be accelerated.

The report finds that, whilst many companies have some kind of policy on deforestation, just 7% have signed up to zero or zero-net deforestation pledges across their supply chains and relatively few investors have any deforestation policies at all. Jeff Seabright, Chief Sustainability Officer, Unilever says “Businesses globally have a huge opportunity to help avert climate catastrophe by partnering with governments and civil society to drive transformational change. Working together to end unsustainable deforestation from supply chains has the potential to be a game changer, and makes good business sense by building more resilient and equitable supply chains.”

Andrew Mitchell, CEO, Global Canopy Programme says “While companies must act, they cannot do so in isolation. Other influential stakeholders including financial institutions and Governments should play a role in creating the right market conditions that will enable a transition to a world where the production of forest risk commodities in a sustainable way, becomes the norm and not the exception.”

In order to accelerate the implementation of Zero (Net) Deforestation commitments and the creation of sustainable agricultural commodity markets, the main report findings are as follows:

– Companies need to strengthen key building blocks towards zero deforestation in their policies and operations. Achieving traceability, maintaining social inclusion and environmental integrity, and preventing leakage are four key areas companies need to understand and embed within their implementation strategy towards zero deforestation commitments.
– Greater transparency and accountability are needed among the key players across sectors and geographies that are driving tropical deforestation. Increasingly available data on forest cover, concessions, trade and corporate policies should be used to provide new insights into corporate impacts and dependence on forests and overall progress towards zero deforestation commitments. Better linkage between emerging transparency initiatives is required to monitor global progress effectively towards 2020 and 2030 targets
– Donors and International Finance Institutions (IFIs) should increasingly co-ordinate their support globally, to fill funding gaps in zero deforestation commitments through public-private partnerships.
–  Financial institutions and investors need to develop a better understanding of the deforestation risks that they are exposed to across their portfolios and look to take advantage of the opportunities that exist to support the sustainable production of forest risk commodities.
–  Civil Society should take a more active role in working with market participants and key sectors to stimulate progress. A particular focus should be on organisations that have not yet taken steps to address forest-risk, in order to accelerate uptake and progress in achieving deforestation free global supply chains.

To download a copy of the full report click here.

“Today’s price signal is wrong and the fundamental rules of the game need to be changed to get it right.” Andrew Mitchell said, “Bank credit, taxation, subsidies, tariffs and regulation need to favour commodities traded that are not destroying irreplaceable natural capital like rainforests, and penalise those that are. That way business case for change will become an irresistible force to which the market will respond globally. This remains the great opportunity over the next decade. Until then, conservation can do little better than King Canute holding back the tide. ”

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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