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UKSIF appoints HSBC exec Lesley Alexander as new chair



The CEO of HSBC Bank Pension Trust, Lesley Alexander, has been appointed as the new chair of the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF).

She will replace current incumbent Martin Clarke, who is stepping down at the end of June after four years, or two terms, in the role.

Alexander, who has worked in the pensions industry for well over a decade, said she was “delighted” to have been given the role.

She added, “The increasing recognition of global ‘mega-risks’ such as climate change and resource depletion mean that sustainable investment must move up the agenda of everyone involved in pensions.

I would encourage everyone involved to collaborate in developing environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies that influence investment strategy, fund manager behaviour and ultimately performance.” 

Alexander joined HSBC in December 2010 after four years as head of pensions at the music recording group EMI. She has also held senior roles at Bull Information Systems and Motorola.

Speaking about her appointment, UKSIF’s chief executive Simon Howard said, “Lesley offers extremely valuable professional experience from right across institutional investment value chain. This complements thestrong body of knowledge and experience in retail already present on the board and elsewhere in UKSIF.

This is an exciting time for UKSIF as we look to build on our progress and achievements during Martin Clarke’s four years as chair.”

Departing chair Martin Clarke, who is also the Pension Protection Fund’s (PPF) executive director of financial risk, was named as the next government actuary in March this year.

He said, “I’m very happy to be handing over the reins to Lesley Alexander and to see UKSIF continue to strengthen its work in the institutional investor space. I want to thank the board, Simon and the team, and every UKSIF member for their support over the past four years.”

It was recently announced that National Ethical Investment Week, the annual week-long event that UKSIF co-ordinates, was to be rebranded as Good Money Week for 2014.

Further reading:

Mainstreaming sustainable finance: UKSIF’s Edinburgh conference

UKSIF rebrands National Ethical Investment Week as Good Money Week

Sustainable investment 2013 review: Simon Howard, UKSIF


UKSIF’s Simon Howard on investing the right way

UKSIF chair Martin Clarke appointed next government actuary


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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