The UK government have introduced the Environment Bill, committing to maintaining and improving environmental protections as the UK leaves the EU.
Environmental principles are to be protected by law, including measures to improve air and water quality, tackle plastic pollution, improve waste management and resource efficiency, and restore and enhance habitats.
Read more about The Bill here.
Urban biowaste (organic solid waste from restaurants, homes, gardens, parks and commercial food processing) can be a valuable resource as compost, livestock feed, or redistributed for human consumption. Recently, bio-waste has been utilised to create bioplastics, a biodegradable plastic substitute. The success of bioplastics in replacing oil based plastics now relies on consumer opinion and behaviour change. A study by the European Commission into consumer opinion of bioplastics concludes that consumers are willing to participate in these initiatives, leading to lower costs and better sustainability credentials. “The market is potentially ready for these products and that investing in supply-chain reconfiguration can be viable.”
Read the full study here.
BlackRock, global assets manager, has launched its first circular economy fund in partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The fund is to drive investment in businesses contributing to, or benefiting from, the transition to a circular economy. The aim is to accelerate the transition and contribute to addressing issues such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution. In return, the Foundation provides BlackRock with expert insights and guidance on circular economy principles and practices.
Read the full article here.
7th to 13th October marks 2019's Climate Week for Scotland, and also coincides with the publication of their new Climate Change Bill committing to a target of net-zero emissions of all greenhouse gases by 2045. This target moves further than zero-carbon targets, which only consider balancing carbon dioxide emissions.
"The Scottish Government is currently consulting on plans for Public Sector bodies to set a date for zero emissions – under which buildings, estates and entire operations would cease to generate any emissions."
Read more about Climate Week here.
SPL Director Barbara Morton attended the Sustainable Scotland Network event 'Net Zero Ready' last week. Barbara reported back that: "The number of people attending from a wide variety of disciplines illustrated how timely the event was. It was also good to hear public procurement being referred to as one of the enablers."
Read more about the event here.
I should start by saying I love sport, and am an enthusiastic (but not very talented) participant in various sports. The health and social benefits are of course significant; despite the stress periodically brought on by a poorly performing team!
However, does sport have a problem with climate change? I don’t claim to be an expert in sport and climate change, so post this to generate discussion in an area of interest.
Sport is becoming more global than ever before – this can be a good thing, as it can encourage and enable healthy, fair and enjoyable competition between nations (rather than other more negative nationalist approaches). It does however, bring significant environmental impacts. Not just Formula 1 shipping large quantities of equipment and people around the World, but also the trend to open up competitions to participants from further afield. For example, Toronto Wolfpack’s recent promotion to the Rugby Super League (congratulations to them) means that ‘in 2020 rugby league - and British sport - will have its first ever North American club playing in the top flight of the domestic league’ while the Premier League has dallied in the past with a round of matches outside of the UK. While countries and regions which have not hosted major sporting events must be given the chance to do so, with for example the Middle East hosting the World Athletics Championships, the sight of huge air conditioning units in the Doha stadium did grate a bit.
While there is much debate on the impacts that a changing climate will have, and is already having, on athletes and events, are sports organisations doing enough to mitigate this effect on their athletes?
I recognise that Tokyo 2020 has a strong sustainability ethos, picking up and building on London 2012’s approach, and sports organisations such as World Rowing have made commitments to reduce their impact, but is enough being done? If the movement of athletes and spectators around the World is expected to continue, and to expand, are sports organisations doing what they can to reduce impacts? This includes working with spectators, suppliers, communities, athletes, sports centres, and events.
As governments begin declaring a state of climate emergency, it is time to adapt how we work and embrace the circular economy to tackle climate change. Businesses, financial institutions, and policymakers play an essential role in adapting practices in order to build a thriving and resilient economy.
Selecting renewable energy sources and adopting a circular economy framework are vital measures to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and all industries can benefit from the value the circular economy can offer.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in collaboration with Material Economics, has launched Completing the Picture: How the Circular Economy Tackles Climate Change. A report (applicable to all sectors and industries) examining the production of cement, plastics, steel, aluminium, and food, and shows how the circular economy can tackle climate change by reducing emissions.
SPL Director Philip Duddell was proud to have attended the recent Solent LEP and Green Halo Partnership's masterclass event entitled "Putting a price on nature: Valuing the Solent's environmental assets". The discussions included how businesses can work with the environment to harness natural capital.