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High Profile Investors, Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders Back International Festival Business 2016

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A group of leading innovators, investors and leaders from world-renowned brands have today given their support to the International Festival for Business 2016 (IFB2016).

This new cohort of Ambassadors for IFB2016, the largest business festival in the world, covers technology, venture capital investment and enterprise, reflecting Britain’s international appeal in these areas:

  • Eileen Burbidge, Partner, Passion Capital: Eileen is also Chair of TechCity UK and is HM Treasury’s special envoy on FinTech
  • Luke Johnson, Chairman, Risk Capital Partners: Luke is also Chair of StartUp Britain and Co-Founder of the Centre for Entrepreneurs
  • Paul Lindley, Founder and Chairman, Ella’s Kitchen
  • Frank Meehan, Co-founder, SparkLabs: Frank is also Co-Founder and Chief Executive of SmartUp
  • John Mohin, Former Managing Director, Wedgewood
  • Keith Morgan, Chief Executive Officer, British Business Bank
  • Ciaran Quilty, SMB Director EMEA, Facebook
  • Sarah Wood, Co-founder and Co-CEO, Unruly: Sarah is also a visiting Professor at the University of Cambridge and in September 2015 sold Unruly to News Corp for £114 million

The latest group of Ambassadors comes from the forefront of the digital, creative, design, technology and venture capital sectors, highlighting Britain’s global standing in these industries and demonstrating the global growth opportunities that this offers British firms.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport found that the creative industries, at a value of £84.1bn, now account for just over 5 per cent of the UK economy, with a growth rate of 8.9 per cent, almost twice that of the UK average. The Tech Nation 2016 report released by Tech City UK also highlights the UK’s digital industries are growing 32 per cent faster than the rest of the economy.

Backed by HM Government, IFB2016 is the world’s biggest business festival and global marketplace where deals are done. Commencing on 13th June and running for three weeks, it will bring together thousands of global businesses, providing a platform for companies to connect and conduct international commerce.

The new Ambassadors join a first cohort announced in November 2015, representing the energy and environment, and manufacturing industries and featuring some of the UK’s best-known entrepreneurs and investors:

  • Lord Bilimoria CBE, DL, Founder, Cobra Beer
  • Professor Sir Keith Burnett FRS, Vice Chancellor, University of Sheffield
  • Will Butler-Adams, Chief Executive Officer, Brompton Bicycle
  • Wayne Hemingway MBE,Co-Founder, Red or Dead and HemingwayDesign
  • Kelly Hoppen MBE, Interior Designer
  • Manish Madhvani, Co-Founder and Managing Partner,GP Bullhound
  • Juergen Maier, Chief Executive, Siemens UK
  • Ian Stuart, Co-Head of Europe, Commercial Banking, HSBC

The Ambassadors group represent the core three sectors that will be focused on at IFB2106; creative & digital, energy & environment, and manufacturing. The strength of these sectors has been reinforced this month through official recent figures.

Max Steinberg CBE, Chair of IFB2016, said: “The calibre of business leaders supporting the International Festival for Business 2016 is testament to the widely anticipated impact of what will undoubtedly be the greatest global business showcase of the year.

“Our Ambassadors have unrivaled business success records and will play a crucial role in championing the benefits of international commerce as well as ensuring the legacy and impact of the IFB2016.”

On being among the latest business figures to voice their support for IFB2016, Eileen Burbidge, Partner of Passion Capital, Chair of TechCity UK, HM Treasury’s special envoy on FinTech and Ambassador for IFB2016, said: “The UK’s digital industry is continuing to mature as investors are attracted to its diversity and standout sectors such as fintech. Now we need to broaden this success to feed the ecosystem and enable more cross-sector collaboration.”

Frank Meehan, Co-Founder of SmartUp and Ambassador for IFB2016, said: “The UK is an increasingly competitive destination for young talent and entrepreneurs. We need to capitalize on this reputation, and support these businesses to innovate and maintain the momentum. As we are already seeing in finance and education, the digital industry is going to truly transform our traditional sectors.”

HSBC and BT are the lead sponsors of IFB2016 – and the Festival’s commercial partners include ARUP, DLA Piper, DONG Energy, Heathrow, PwC, Siemens and Virgin Trains.

Environment

How to be More eco-Responsible in 2018

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Shutterstock / By KENG MERRY Paper Art | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/kengmerrymikeymelody

Nowadays, more and more people are talking about being more eco-responsible. There is a constant growth of information regarding the importance of being aware of ecological issues and the methods of using eco-friendly necessities on daily basis.

Have you been considering becoming more eco-responsible after the New Year? If so, here are some useful tips that could help you make the difference in the following year:

1. Energy – produce it, save it

If you’re building a house or planning to expand your living space, think before deciding on the final square footage. Maybe you don’t really need that much space. Unnecessary square footage will force you to spend more building materials, but it will also result in having to use extra heating, air-conditioning, and electricity in it.

It’s even better if you seek professional help to reduce energy consumption. An energy audit can provide you some great piece of advice on how to save on your energy bills.

While buying appliances such as a refrigerator or a dishwasher, make sure they have “Energy Star” label on, as it means they are energy-efficient.

energy efficient

Shutterstock Licensed Photo – By My Life Graphic

Regarding the production of energy, you can power your home with renewable energy. The most common way is to install rooftop solar panels. They can be used for producing electricity, as well as heat for the house. If powering the whole home is a big step for you, try with solar oven then – they trap the sunlight in order to heat food! Solar air conditioning is another interesting thing to try out – instead of providing you with heat, it cools your house!

2. Don’t be just another tourist

Think about the environment, as well your own enjoyment – try not to travel too far, as most forms of transport contribute to the climate change. Choose the most environmentally friendly means of transport that you can, as well as environmentally friendly accommodation. If you can go to a destination that is being recommended as an eco-travel destination – even better! Interesting countries such as Zambia, Vietnam or Nicaragua are among these destinations that are famous for its sustainability efforts.

3. Let your beauty be also eco-friendly

eco-friendly

Shutterstock / By Khakimullin Aleksandr

We all want to look beautiful. Unfortunately, sometimes (or very often) it comes with a price. Cruelty-free cosmetics are making its way on the world market but be careful with the labels – just because it says a product hasn’t been tested on animals, it doesn’t  mean that some of the product’s ingredients haven’t been tested on some poor animal.

To be sure which companies definitely stay away from the cruel testing on animals, check PETA Bunny list of cosmetic companies just to make sure which ones are truly and completely cruelty-free.

It’s also important if a brand uses toxic ingredients. Brands such as Tata Harper Skincare or Dr Bronner’s use only organic ingredients and biodegradable packaging, as well as being cruelty-free. Of course, this list is longer, so you’ll have to do some online research.

4. Know thy recycling

People often make mistakes while wanting to do something good for the environment. For example, plastic grocery bags, take-out containers, paper coffee cups and shredded paper cannot be recycled in your curb for many reasons, so don’t throw them into recycling bins. The same applies to pizza boxes, household glass, ceramics, and pottery – whether they are contaminated by grease or difficult to recycle, they just can’t go through the usual recycling process.

People usually forget to do is to rinse plastic and metal containers – they always have some residue, so be thorough. Also, bottle caps are allowed, too, so don’t separate them from the bottles. However, yard waste isn’t recyclable, so any yard waste or junk you are unsure of – just contact rubbish removal services instead of piling it up in public containers or in your own yard.

5. Fashion can be both eco-friendly and cool

Believe it or not, there are actually places where you can buy clothes that are eco-friendly, sustainable, as well as ethical. And they look cool, too! Companies like Everlane are very transparent about where their clothes are manufactured and how the price is set. PACT is another great company that uses non-GMO, organic cotton and non-toxic dyes for their clothing, while simultaneously using renewable energy factories. Soko is a company that uses natural and recycled materials in making their clothes and jewelry.

All in all

The truth is – being eco-responsible can be done in many ways. There are tons of small things we could change when it comes to our habits that would make a positive influence on the environment. The point is to start doing research on things that can be done by every person and it can start with the only thing that person has the control of – their own household.

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Energy

Top 5 Changes You can Make in Your Life to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

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reduce carbon footprint
Saving money and reducing your carbon footprint? What isn’t to love? - Image from Shutterstock - https://www.shutterstock.com/g/thodonal88

In a world, where war rages and global warming threatens our very existence, the inhabitants of earth need to be extra vigilant in their efforts to go green. This includes reducing your carbon footprint on the earth and leading a more sustainable life.

Many homeowners feel perplexed by all of the options available to reduce their carbon footprint. They may even feel (falsely) that making their household more green will fail to make that much of a difference in the fight to save our planet.

Even a single home going green has a massive impact on the environment. We can win this battle on home at a time. If you’re interested in accepting the challenge of making your household a green home, read on below for a few of the top changes you can make in your life to reduce your carbon footprint. We all stand to benefit from making the earth safer for future generations – and your wallet won’t complain when you start to see the savings in annual energy costs.

Switch From Dirty Energy to Clean Solar

The ION Solar reviews tell it all–solar is the best way to go. Whether your goal is to slash your energy bills, or to reduce your carbon footprint, the sun is a fantastic source of renewable energy.

It’s important to get past the hype from solar installers. Instead, listen to the plethora of impartial customer reviews that mention everything from a $20 energy bill, to the incredible feeling of knowing that you are doing your part by going green and minimizing harmful emissions in to our atmosphere.

The average investment is $15,000 to $30,000 for installation and purchase of solar panels. Optional battery power packs can help provide consistent power during both night and day. And many government agencies provide federal, state or local grants to help offset upfront investments in clean energy.

Depending on which installed you choose, your household may qualify for low-interest or zero interest loans to cover the up-front cost of your installation. And the loan payments are usually less than your current monthly power bill.

It really is a win-win, as home buyers are looking for homes that feature this technology – meaning solar power installation improves the resale value of your property.

Home Modifications

And there are a number of additional home modifications that can help improve the energy efficiency of your home. A programmable thermostat can better manage energy consumption from home cooling and heating systems while you’re away from home. And weather stripping your doors can help keep cool air in during the summer, and warm air in during the winter.

Of course, energy conservation starts at home. And this includes setting a powerful example for your kids. Teach your children how to close windows, strategically keep doors open or closed based on airflow, and encourage them to leave the thermostat alone – opting for adding or removing layers of clothing instead.

Unplug Appliances and Shut Off Electronics

Unplugging your appliances when they aren’t in use, such as the toaster and the coffee maker, has more of an impact than you might think. Set your TVs and stereos on sleep timers, instead of letting them run around the clock. The cumulative impact of wasteful electronic device usage is horrible for our environment – putting unnecessary strain on our electrical grid.

Recycle

One of the simplest and easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint is by recycling. You are already throwing this stuff away anyway, right? It doesn’t take much more effort to just put recyclables in a separate container to be recycled, now does it?

Oh, and did I mention that you can earn money for recycling? Yes! Many cities and towns have recycling centers that will purchase your clean plastic and glass bottles for reuse.

Minimize Your Water Usage

Water is one of the easiest things to forget about when it comes to reducing your carbon footprint. Preserve water by turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth. Shorten your shower by a few minutes and turn down the heat on that water heater. You’ll be surprised at how much lower your water bill and your energy bill will be.

Saving money and reducing your carbon footprint? What isn’t to love?

These are just a few of the top ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint and start living a greener lifestyle. And we aren’t factoring in all of the advantages that we’ll reap from public investments in a smarter energy grid.

From decreasing your water usage, to switching to solar for your home’s energy needs, you will feel good at the end of the day knowing you are doing your part to save the future of this planet for generations to come!

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