We don’t want to be preachy or boring but this blog is where we share our values and experiences and write about the issues shaping the future of our businesses and our society. Catch a glimpse into our lives and find out what’s new in our world...

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Eating Our Way to a More Sustainable Future

Source: WWF    

The LiveWell for LIFE WWF UK project was launched yesterday in Brussels at a lunchtime policy debate, moderated by Giles Merritt, Secretary General of Friends of Europe.  WWF Director of European Policy Tony Long kicked off the event by revealing some startling statistics that highlight the need for a shift to more sustainable food.  For example, food accounts for roughly 25% of humanity’s ecological footprint and so cannot be forgotten when talking about a sustainable future for our planet.  Any meaningful attempt to reduce CO2 emissions must also include changes in food production and consumption. 

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

How biking to work can be so cool

Photo by C├ędric Zeegers-Jourdain

Cycling to work means escaping the traffic, getting some exercise and having a breath of fresh air.  This morning, a number of bikers, including me, were rewarded with hot coffee while cycling on 'rue Gray' in Brussels.  This was a joint initiative by the Commune of Ixelles, part of Brussels, and the non-profit cycling group GRACQ.  What a cool way to start your day!

Monday, 20 February 2012

Is Sustainability A Luxury?

I'm not thinking about the state of the economy when I throw this question out there. Rather it comes from two conversations I've recently had with people from developing countries.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

There's More to the Bioeconomy than Research

First published on 15 February 2012 as a guest post on Chemical Week

The European Commission published its long-awaited strategy on the bio-based economy, or bioeconomy on Monday.  The Strategy for 'Innovating for Sustainable Growth: A Bioeconomy for Europe' talks about how to shift the European economy towards a more sustainable use of renewable resources.  For chemical or plastics companies in the bio-based sector or those looking to branch out into using renewable feedstocks, this strategy is good news as it mobilises the political thought process to put a focus on bio-based.  But in reality, how can this strategy help chemical companies?

Friday, 10 February 2012

Amazon fungus is able to feed on "indestructible" plastic

Source: Microbiology (2000) 146:2079-2089    
Biodiversity in the Amazonian jungle could help find solutions to our modern-day problems.  Researchers have found microscopic fungus in the Amazon which can eat plastic in zero oxygen (anaerobic) conditions.  This means that plastics like polyurethanes which are prized for their durability (and which are virtually indestructible in the waste phase of life) could potentially be biodegraded by this fungus.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

The airlines and the EU ETS: by the numbers

Source: efreebackgrounds.com    
The contentious relationship between industry and government is a tale as old as time and a new feud kicked off this week over the EU Emissions Trading Scheme or ETS.  On 1 January 2012, the EU enacted its controversial legislation that requires any airline using EU airports to participate in EU ETS by purchasing carbon allocations to account for emissions.  On Monday 6 February, Chinese air regulators announced that Chinese airlines are prohibited from paying any of the fees associated with the EU ETS.  The Chinese reaction kicked off fears of strained relations between China and the EU that could hurt trade and inhibit crucial Eurozone debt talks. 

Thursday, 2 February 2012

The Economic Cloud has a Green Lining

Two high-level reports launched this week have called for the urgent implementation of measures to bring about the shift to a greener global economy. Both reports emphasise that such measures as introducing tax incentives for low-carbon options in products and services may provide the stimulus needed to pull the global economy out of recession.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

UN Report Urges Change To Sustainability

This week, the UN launched its Global Sustainability Panel Report, "Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing", putting forward 56 recommendations to boost sustainable development and better integrate it into economic policy, including a call for governments and organisations to increase the resources allocated to integrate resilience planning into their development budgets and strategies and to minimise disaster risk. The EU agreed on its Sustainable Development Strategy in Gothenburg 2001, aiming to fully integrate sustainable development into policymaking but still in Europe and globally there seems to be a need for this to happen in a more consistent way.