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Brit Voters Need EU Sustainability and Environment Information

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There are two weeks remaining before Britain’s voters take to the polls to decide whether or not the UK will stay in the EU. IEMA have been conducting polls throughout the build up to gauge how much information is available to voters. In their final poll, 86% of participants still say they don’t know enough to be able to take environment and sustainability issues into account.

The majority of IEMA members polled during the past week believe both the Vote Leave and Vote Remain campaigns have poorly addressed environment and sustainability issues in the lead up to the referendum, despite 75% of respondents thinking that these issues will be at least of some importance in voters’ minds when they cast their vote. 87% believe that these issues should receive a higher profile in the time remaining before 23 June.

Martin Baxter, IEMA’s Chief Policy Advisor said: “The decision on whether the UK remains or leaves the EU is important in terms of environmental protection. Whatever the outcome of the ballot, it is essential that voters have sufficient information to be able to factor these issues into deciding how they cast their vote.”

Almost 1,200 members responded to the third and final of IEMA’s online polls to test views on different aspects of UK/EU environmental policy.  The majority of respondents (over 90%) cite environment and sustainability factors as a consideration in how they will vote.  Over half of respondents (51%) have had to provide information to friends and family on the potential environmental implications of the UK leaving the EU in the absence/minimal level of information provided by the Vote Leave and Vote Remain campaigns.

For the UK to transition to a circular resource economy, 67% believe that this is best achieved by implementing the European Commission’s Circular Economy package of measures, rather than developing UK specific measures (33%).  Two thirds of respondents believe that if the UK were to leave the EU, performance against waste and recycling targets would either decline or improve at a slower rate than is currently being achieved.

When asked at what scale action to generate a circular economy is best initiated, the poll revealed the following (respondents were asked to select up to 3 options):

  • 59% at the EU level
  • 57% at the national level (e.g. UK wide)
  • 38% at the global level (e.g. UN, WTO initiatives)
  • 35% by sector initiatives (e.g. trade bodies)
  • 32% at the organisational level
  • 16% by devolved administrations

Collaboration is a key element in making positive progress in the sustainable management of resources.  71% of respondents who expressed a view believe that opportunities for business collaboration to transition to more circular resource economy modes of operation would be reduced if the UK leaves the EU.  Although only 21% believe their sector is doing enough towards achieving a circular economy, this represents a significant improvement over the last 12 months (up from the 12% reported in the lead up to the 2015 UK General Election).

Air pollution remains the number one environmental cause of death in the EU. It leads to around 400,000 premature deaths each year across the region due to elevated levels of fine particles and ozone. Air pollution also continues to harm ecosystems as more than half of the EU territory is exposed to excess nitrogen deposition (eutrophication) and ozone concentrations.

Half of environment and sustainability professionals believe that legal standards for UK air quality would be reduced if the UK were to leave the EU.  88% of respondents think that the EU policy approach is needed to complement and support national level policies in addressing air pollution.

Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals (REACH) is an EU Regulation which addresses the production and use of chemical substances and their potential impacts on both human health and the environment.  In terms of the relative costs/benefits of the EU (REACH) approach to regulating chemical substances and their use:

  • 34% of those who expressed a view think that the overall environmental benefits of REACH outweigh the costs to business and consumers
  • 44% believe that the overall environmental benefits of REACH are balanced by the costs to business and consumers
  • 22% believe that the cost to business and consumers of REACH outweigh the environmental benefits

In terms of effectiveness, 94% of environment and sustainability professionals with experience of REACH believe it is a very effective or moderately effective in regulating and controlling the use of chemical substances.

Environment

How To Make The Shipping Industry Greener

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green shipping industry

Each and every year more damage is done to our planet. When businesses are arranging pallet delivery or any other kind of shipping, the environment usually isn’t their number one concern. However, there’s an increasing pressure for the shipping industry to go greener, particularly as our oceans are filling with plastic and climate change is occurring. Fortunately, there’s plenty of technology out there to help with this. Here’s how the freight industry is going greener.

Make Ship Scrapping Cleaner

There are approximately 51,400 merchant ships trading around the world at the moment. Although the act of transporting tonnes of cargo across the ocean every year is very damaging to the environment, the scrapping of container ships is also very harmful. Large container ships contain asbestos, heavy metals and oils which are toxic to both people and the environment during demolition. The EU has regulations in place which ensure that all European ships are disposed of in an appropriate manner at licenced yards and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) introduced guidelines to make recycling of ships safe and environmentally friendly back in 2009, but since then only Norway, Congo and France have agreed to the policy. The IMO needs to ensure that more countries are on board with the scheme, especially India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, which are some of the worst culprits for scrapping, which may mean enforcing the regulations in the near future.

Reduce Emissions

A single large container ship can produce the same amount of emissions as 50 million cars, making international shipping one of the major contributors towards global warming. Stricter emissions regulations are needed to reduce the amount of emissions entering our atmosphere. The sulphur content within ship fuel is largely responsible for the amount of emissions being produced; studies have shown that a reduction in the sulphur content in fuel oil from 35,000 p.p.m to 1,000 p.p.m could reduce the SOx emissions by as much as 97%! The IMO has already begun to ensure that ships with the Emission Control Areas of the globe, such as the Baltic Sea, the North Sea and the English Channel, are using this lower sulphur content fuel, but it needs to be enforced around the world to make a significant difference.

As it’s not currently practical or possible to completely phase-out heavy, conventional fuels around the world, a sulphur scrubber system can be added to the exhaust system of ships to help reduce the amount of sulphur being emitted.

Better Port Management

As more and more ships are travelling around the world, congestion and large volumes of cargo can leave ports in developing countries overwhelmed. Rapidly expanding ports can be very damaging to the surrounding environment, take Shenzhen for example, it’s a collection of some of the busiest ports in China and there has been a 75% reduction in the number of mangroves along the coastline. Destroying valuable ecosystems has a knock-on effect on the rest of the country’s wildlife. Port authorities need to take responsibility for the environmental impact of construction and ensure that further expansion is carried out sustainably.

Some have suggested that instead of expansion, improved port management is needed. If port authorities can work with transport-planning bureaus, they will be able to establish more efficient ways of unloading cargo to reduce the impact on the environment caused by shipping congestion.

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Features

What Kitchen Suits Your Style? Modern, Classic or Shaker?

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shaker kitchen designs

A kitchen is the centre of the home. Your kitchen ranges between where friends and family gather, talk about their day, cook meals, have drinks, to somewhere you can just enjoy each other’s company. The kitchen is the heart of the home. But, everyone’s lifestyle is different. Everyone’s taste is different. So, you need a kitchen that not only mirrors your lifestyle but matches your taste too. Whilst some prefer a more traditional design, others want a modern feel or flair – and it’s all down to personal taste.

When it comes to redesigning your kitchen, what style would you go for? It’s a difficult one isn’t it. With so many different styles to go for, how can you know exactly what you want until you’ve seen it in action? Leading kitchen designer, Roman Kitchens, based in Essex, have provided three examples of bespoke kitchens and styles they specialise in, accompanied with beautiful images. This design guide will get you one step closer to picking your dream kitchen for your home.

1. Modern

New home in the city centre? Or even a sleek new modern build? You want a trendy and modern kitchen to reflect your city lifestyle. In modern kitchen design, colours are bolder and fresher, with sleek design and utilities that are distinctive and vibrant.

modern kitchen designs

This modern kitchen is sleek and smooth with flawless design and beauty. Minimalism doesn’t stop this kitchen standing out. Featured walls of wood and vibrant mint green draw the eye, whilst the white surfaces reflect the light, illuminating every nook and cranny of this kitchen. This kitchen features products from Rotpunkt, innovators of modern kitchen design. Made with German engineering, a Rotpunkt Kitchen is the ultimate modern addition to your home. Rotpunkt Kitchens have timeless design and amazing functionality, they work for every purpose and are eco-friendly. Sourced from natural materials, a Rotpunkt kitchen uses 37% less timber, conserving natural forests and being more environmentally conscious.

2. Classic

Prefer a homely and traditional feel? Classic kitchens are warm, welcoming and filled with wood. Wood flooring, wood fixtures, wood furniture – you name it! You can bring a rustic feel to your urban home with a classic kitchen. Subtle colours and beautiful finishes, Classic kitchens are for taking it back to the basics with a definitive look and feel.

classic kitchen designs

With stated handles for cupboards, Classic kitchens are effortlessly timeless. They convey an elegant but relaxing nature. Giving off countryside vibes, natural elements convey a British countryside feel. The wood featured in a classic kitchen can range between oaks and walnut, creating a warmth and original feel to your home. Soft English heritage colours add a certain mood to your home, softening the light making it cosier.

3. Shaker

Any kitchen planner will tell you that the meeting point between traditional and modern design, is a Shaker kitchen. They have a distinctive style and innovative feel. Shakers are fresh, mixing different colour tones with stylish wood and vinyl. The most important feature of a Shaker kitchen is functionality – every feature needs to serve a purpose in the kitchen. Paired with stylish and unique furniture, a Shaker kitchen is an ideal addition to any home.

shaker kitchen designs

The ultimate marriage between Classic and Modern kitchens, this Shaker kitchen has deep colour tones with copper emphasis features. All the fittings and fixtures blur the line of modern and tradition, with a Classic look but modern colour vibe. Unique furniture and design make Shaker Kitchens perfect for the middle ground in kitchen design. Minimal but beautifully dressed. Traditional but bold and modern at the same time. Storage solutions are part of the functionality of Shaker kitchens, but don’t detour from conveying yours as a luxury kitchen.

Whatever you choose for your new kitchen, be it Modern, Classic or Shaker – pick whatever suits you. Taste is, and always will be, subjective – it’s down to you.

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