Food Waste Community Energy Sustainable Timber Indoor Air Quality Employee Engagement
We create chemistry that makes compost love plastic. Most plastics donâ€™t biodegrade. However, ecovioÂŽ polymers are certified compostable and biodegrade when composted in a controlled environment. Compostable plastics are an ideal solution for food packaging, especially when it comes to disposal with leftover food. Rather than ending up in landfills, the organic waste can be turned into valuable compost together with the ecovioÂŽ packaging.
I am incredibly proud (and relieved) to be introducing the 2013 Christmas issue of Environment Industry Magazine. To celebrate this season of goodwill, this issue is laden with editorial treats. Consider us the wise men of the environmental arena bearing gifts of Knowledge and Expert Opinion. For example, we all know that Japanese Knotweed is a considerable problem and we spend most of its growing season trying to obliterate it, but did you know that it you can also continue the battle through the winter season as well? Mike Clough, chairman of INNSA and Director of JKSL explains how. This issue, we are very excited to bring editorials from the new Chief Executive of the Renewable Energy Association (REA), Dr Nina Skorupska and the Right Honourable Caroline Spelman MP, former Secretary of State for Environment. Dr Skoruoska is discussing Community Energy Schemes. This is hopefully the first of many editorials from Dr Skorupska, who took over from Gaynor Hartnell this year and we wish her all the best for the future. Caroline Spelman MP has recently chaired an Associate Parliamentary Sustainable Resource Group Inquiry into the export of waste. In her editorial, she examines how to make the most of opportunities associated with waste exports. I am so happy to bring these editorials to you as I have wanted to include both of these leading voices in the magazine for some time. I would also like to draw your attention to two other must read editorials. The first is a brilliant article from Yvonne Orgill, CEO of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association (BMA) discussing the European Water Label Scheme and about educating and informing water users to help change their behaviour. The second editorial is
a new angle in the age old packaging argument. Jane Bickerstaffe, Director of the Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment (INCPEN), highlights the role packaging plays in extending the shelf life of consumable products. This is an important aspect that often seems to be forgotten in the consumer demand to reduce packaging. We need to balance the environmental and economic benefits of reducing packaging against the benefits of food lasting longer and therefore reducing food waste. This leads into the main focus of this issue. Food Waste is a considerable problem to deal with, and as we enter the holiday season, where most of us will over indulge, I wanted to give you some food for thought and focus on, in this issue. Food waste spans a wide variety of issues from the considerable waste at the supermarket to the scraps from the table. With an apparent 170% rise in numbers turning to foodbanks during the past twelve months it seems reprehensible that perfectly edible food from the supermarket shelve still ends up in landfill. With such a desperate need Fareshare has been leading the fight to support vulnerable people and divert this supermarket bounty to the people who need it. We have Fareshareâ€™s Director of Food, Mark Varney, putting this issue into context. Please take the time to read his editorial, if you want to get involved you can find all the information you need at www.fareshare.org.uk. The other side of the food waste problem is the disposal of the inedible post consumer waste. Part of the problem of food waste is that it quickly becomes a stinking, festering pest ridden health hazard, if not dealt with properly. We have a number of editorials concentrating on this issue from the likes of Countrywide Waste and Sodexo. On that note, I am going to sign off and take some time to enjoy Christmas with my daughter. This year Christmas has some real sparkle to it. Seeing through the eyes of a three year old brings back the magic of my own childhood Christmases. So all that is left to do is to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Until next year.
Alex Stacey Editor
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Contents Food & Packaging
Stockholm syndrome in a world of packaging -- Jane Bickerstaffe, Director, INCPEN
Ethical Food -- Kate Lewis, Coffee Manager, Fairtrade
Air Quality 40
Indoor Air Quality: The Elephant in the Low Carbon Room -- Richard John, Director of Sustainable Contruction, BSRIA
The Gasmet story: From an academic idea to a global business -- Dr Petri Jaakkola, Founder and Chairman, Gasmet Technologies Oy
Reducing Food Waste -- Mark Varney, Director of Food, FareShare
Land Management 70
The Brownfield Briefing awards & Winners' Case Studies -- Ian Grant, Managing Director, Brownfield Briefing, Newzeye
Is It Dead Yet? Mike Clough, Director Japanese Knotweed Solutions and Chairman, INNSA
Dealing with Contaminated Land outside of the Planning and Part 2A regime -- Andrew Goddard, Senior Manager, ENVIRON
Sustainable Build & Civil Engineering 80
Making the most of the RHI -- Dave Lacey, Commercial Director, Heating and Renewables, Daikin UK
Revised Building Regulations for Energy Efficiency -- David Bleicher, Publications & Training Manager, BSRIA
Building Smart for the Future -- Neal Silverstein, Director of Physical Infrastructure at Computacenter
Powering up: Why engaging communities in renewable energy is critical for low carbon energy policy -- Dr Nina Skorupska, Chief Executive, REA
Homes and businesses should insulate now to save money and cut carbon -- Neil Marshall, Chief Executive, National Insulation Association
Realising the potential for â€˜smartâ€™ in the European energy industry -- Mark de Vere White, President, Electricity at Itron
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Sustainable construction -- Anwar Harland-Khan, co-founder Sustain Worldwide
For more news, editorials, and product reviews, visit www.environmentmagazine.co.uk
Timber & Forestry
A Burning Question -- Karl Morris, MD, Norbord Europe
GPS vehicle tracking demonstrates extensive benefits for the freight industry -- Derek Bryan, European Sales Director, Fleetmatics
An MTC Perspective on the EUTR -- Sheam Satkuru-Granzella Director Malaysian Timber Council
Taking a voluntary approach to reducing logistics carbon emissions -- Rachael Dillon, Climate Change Policy Manager, FTA
Writing the Next Chapter in Forest Certification and Sustainable Forestry -- Nadine Block, VP, Government Affairs and COO, Sustainable Forestry Initiative
European initiative accelerates sustainable tropical timber sector -- Mark van Benthem & Marijke Popma, IDH/ European STTC
Waste & Recycling
Food Waste Focus -- Philip Simpson, Commercial Director, ReFoodn
It’s all about behaviour -- Yvonne Orgill, Chief Executive, Bathroom Manufacturers' Association
On-site utilisation of food waste as a biomass fuel -- Paul Corbett, Managing Director, Countrywide Waste Management Ltd.
A safe and sustainable future for our environment, one we are proud to hand to future generations -- Tony Harrington, Director, Environment, Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water
Exporting Opportunity? Putting UK waste to work at home and abroad -- Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP
Miscellany 136 Environmental Prosecutions 138 What Makes for a Great Employee Engagement Programme? -- Trewin Restorick, Founder, Global Action Plan
The Wrong Bin Bag: The politics of waste management containers -- Prof Daniel Neyland, Professor in Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London
C a s e
Tackling food waste: Building a common platform for change -- Claire Atkins Morris, Head of Waste Management & Paul Bracegirdle Environmental Manager, Sodexo
S t u d i e s
140 North East Companies lift family out of Fuel Poverty 142 PwC HQ achieves highest ever BREEAM outstanding score 144 Major investment by Grundon fills a gap in aerosol recycling market 145 Thermaskirt breaks the ice in Norway 146 Saint-Gobain’s Innovation Centre is Revamped
environmentmagazine.co.uk | 7 |
Wild Futures Appeals for Help for Diabetic Monkeys Wild Futures’ Monkey Sanctuary in Cornwall is calling for financial support to help cover its annual vet bills for its monkeys, many of whom suffer with diabetic issues. The primate welfare charity currently cares for 37 monkeys, mostly ex-pets. All of the rescued monkeys suffer with physical or abnormal behavioural problems and require continuous specialist care. A third of the rescued monkeys have blood sugar related problems, due to the poor diet they had as pets and require medication and a strictly controlled diet. Grips is a capuchin monkey who was born in captivity and kept as a pet. His mum died shortly after his birth. He was named Grips due to the way he would grip to his owner in the way that he would have gripped to his mum as many vulnerable baby monkeys do. When Grips was rescued by Wild Futures in 2010, he was found to be emaciated and losing fur. Sadly, he was also diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, having been fed sugary fruit, sweets and biscuits as a pet. Wild Futures has experienced a rise in the number of calls it receives to take in more monkeys which indicates an escalation in the number being kept as pets in the UK. The charity estimates about 5,000 primates are privately owned in the UK but fears this number is growing. With an increase in demand for its rescue work and more complex cases to manage, Wild Futures is appealing for financial donations to help it cover its annual £6,000 vet bills. Wild Futures’ Monkey Sanctuary remains the only animal sanctuary to be accredited in Europe by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) and hopes that supporters will come forward and help. Supporters can donate via the Wild Futures website at www.wildfutures.org vetappeal or call the fundraising office on 0844 272 1271. Donations can also be made by texting SANC22 to 70070.
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Bluesky helps UK Government research into viability of solar energy
Aerial mapping company Bluesky is supporting a million pound research project into the potential costs and benefits of solar energy in the UK. Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), PV2025 aims to answer a number of questions relating to the production of solar energy through photovoltaics across the UK and how geography, legislation and social factors might impact on the costs and benefits to UK Plc. Led by Loughborough University’s Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST), other project partners include Imperial College London, E.ON and SMA Solar UK Ltd. PV2025 project considers photovoltaic energy production in the national context looking at how PV system configuration or regional differences in environmental conditions impact upon factors such as energy generation and the infrastructure required to effectively distribute this energy. With the overarching research question ‘How can we maximise the benefits and limit the costs for UK Plc while having a vibrant PV market?’ PV2025 is split into four topical work packages each addressing key aspects of PV in the UK. Effective collaboration between the academic and industry project partners is an important aspect of the project, with tools developed during the project being made available for general use.
BOC introduces new environmentally friendly car refrigerant to UK
Opteon® YF (R1234yf), a new environmentally friendly refrigerant for cars, is now available in the UK & Ireland from BOC, the UK's biggest industrial gases business and a member of The Linde Group. Produced by DuPont, Opteon YF has a significantly lower global warming potential (GWP) - but the same cooling capability - as the current car refrigerant R134a. The EU's MAC Directive 2006/40 has capped the GWP of mobile air conditioning (MAC) refrigerant gases used in new car design platforms at 150 since January 2011. With a GWP of just 4, Opteon YF is 99.7% lower than that of R134a and substantially reduces the carbon footprint of the refrigeration system over the vehicle's lifetime. As Ruth Leland, BOC's Sales and Marketing Manager for Refrigerants said: "We are extremely pleased to offer Opteon YF across the UK. We are seeing a steady increase in demand for Opteon YF as car manufacturers continue to launch new car models or platforms and need to move to a refrigerant with very low global warming potential." From 2017, the MAC Directive will apply to all new cars regardless of when the platform was introduced. The phase-out of high GWP refrigerants will affect all areas of the automotive industry, from manufacturing to aftercare servicing and repair.
Waste2Tricity International (Thailand) acquires exclusive licence for Alter NRG Westinghouse Plasma Technology in Thailand Waste2Tricity Ltd the innovative structured solutions provider for the wasteto-energy sector, is pleased to announce that its subsidiary Waste2Tricity International (Thailand) Limited, has converted its option for exclusive access to the Alter NRG Corp Westinghouse Plasma Gasification Technology in Thailand into a full exclusive licence agreement. The licence is for all applications of the Westinghouse plasma technology in the Thailand market for an initial term of five years at a price of $2m. Waste2Tricity has paid $1m, with the remaining $1m payable in December 2014. They will now embark on an aggressive deployment strategy to enable a multiple roll out in Thailand of 1,000 tonne per day systems. Smaller Westinghouse Plasma Corp systems may also be built. In conjunction with the existing exclusive licence for AFC Energy fuel cells, the Westinghouse Plasma Gasification license ensures that Waste2Tricity has both the key technologies required to dominate the Thai waste market in years to come. | 10 | environmentmagazine.co.uk
Waste2Tricity has assembled the necessary building blocks and commercial relationships to establish a flagship model in Thailand, which reflects the unique fundamentals of the region including lower gate fees, and can be replicated around the ASEAN market. In addition, the Waste2Tricity process is the most environmentally responsible method of disposing of waste, converting 100% of the waste into either energy or a usable aggregate, eliminating any methane emissions from rotting waste, eliminating ash which is produced using other thermal treatment methods like incineration, and when fuel cells are available, eliminating stack emissions and enabling the capture of carbon dioxide creating a carbon negative model.
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Bath in new consortium to offer Doctoral training in water research Through its membership of the GW4 consortium the University of Bath welcomes significant new funding that will create a ‘Centre for Doctoral Training’ in water research. The new funding is part of a wider scheme announced by the Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts, and is being supplied by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), alongside some match fiunding from industrial partners. The GW4 group comprises the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter, and the new Centre for Doctoral Training will be offered across all four campuses. The Centre will work closely with industrial and international academic partners to offer an advanced PhD training experience for postgraduate students, designed to supply the UK with its next generation of water scientists and engineers. The University of Bath has a strong research portfolio in water, recently bolstered by an investment of more than £2.5m from Wessex Water, and the appointment of a new Professor and further Academic and Research Staff in the multi-disciplinary water research area. Bath will be launching a ‘Water and Innovation Research Centre @ Bath’ in 2014, a facility that will provide a unique environment in which multi- and interdisciplinary research into water technologies and sustainable water resource management will be conducted. Speaking on behalf of the University, Dr Tom Arnot, co-director of the consortium, said: “This new Centre for Doctoral Training enhances the existing strong research partnership between the GW4 Universities, and represents a significant consolidation of the University of Bath’s growing work in water research. PhD students will be involved in research that will drive innovation and development in the water sector in the UK and abroad, and which will connect with key industrial and international academic partners to ensure rapid and effective transfer of new research knowledge into practice. The water research facilities that we are developing here at the University of Bath will be highly valuable in the training of PhD students.”
OFGEM gains new powers to protect businesses from misleading marketing
Energy regulator Ofgem has warned that it can now take direct action against ‘rogue’ brokers that miss-sell energy to businesses, after the Government granted them new powers. Under the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations (BPMMR), Ofgem now has powers to clamp down on brokers and other organisations that are marketing energy products or services to business customers in a misleading way. Brokers play an important role in helping businesses to compare the market. However, the latest Ofgem research found that around one third of Britain’s smallest businesses have a negative view of energy brokers. Energy brokers recover their fees in various ways, for example, they can form part of the rate charged to businesses for their energy tariff. However, Ofgem’s survey also found that around one third of businesses approached by brokers did not consider that the broker had been upfront about the costs of their services. Previous Ofgem research has also shown that businesses are concerned about cold calling, high-pressure sales tactics and the unprofessional behaviour of some brokers. If appropriate, Ofgem can seek undertakings from brokers and other organisations to stop misleading marketing activity or apply to court for an injunction to ensure that they are complying with the legislation.
Good Energy announces price hold until spring 2014
Green electricity company, Good Energy, today announced that it will hold its current electricity and gas prices until the end of March 2014. The majority of its external costs are not rising until the 1st April, allowing the company to hold prices over the winter months.
Balfour Beatty completes the sale of its UK facilities management business Balfour Beatty, the international infrastructure group, announces that it has completed the sale of its UK facilities management business to GDF Suez Energy Services. Cash proceeds of £155m remain subject to modest postclosing adjustments for working capital and pension liabilities. These funds will be used in the first instance to reduce borrowings, and over time, to fund investments consistent with Balfour Beatty's strategy. Andrew McNaughton, CEO of Balfour Beatty, said: "I am very pleased with the successful execution of this transaction. Not only have we found a good home for the business, but we have also achieved good value for our shareholders."
Juliet Davenport OBE, Good Energy founder and CEO, said: “We told our customers earlier this month that we were reviewing our prices and can now confirm that we will not be raising them over the winter. This announcement gives our customers the certainty they need to plan their energy budgets. As a renewable electricity company, Good Energy offers something different to the bigger energy companies. Our customers choose us because we are an ethical business offering 100% renewably sourced electricity, award-winning customer service and reasonable prices.” Good Energy’s customer care team is endorsed by the Energy Saving Trust to provide energy efficiency advice and its domestic customers consume around 10% less electricity than the UK average. “This means we’re able to offer sound advice to customers looking to keep their bills down by saving energy,” said Juliet. Good Energy is encouraging people to visit www.goodenergy.co.uk/switch/ quote for a quote and information on how to switch to electricity powered by UK sunshine, wind and rain. Good Energy sources all its electricity from UK certified renewables.
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Ontario - First Place in North America to End Coal-Fired Power Together, Premier Kathleen Wynne and Al Gore Combat Climate Change Ontario is one step closer to being the first place in North America to eliminate coal as a source of electricity generation. Premier Kathleen Wynne welcomed Al Gore, former Vice-President of the United States and Chairman of the Climate Reality Project, to the MaRs Discovery Centre in Toronto. They highlighted the closure of Ontario's coal-burning Lambton and Atikokan facilities ahead of schedule, and the upcoming closure of the Nanticoke Generating Station - the largest coal plant in North America. Over the next year, Thunder Bay Generating Station will stop burning coal and will be converted to use advanced biomass, a fuel for electricity generation. This is the last major step in Ontario's plan to eliminate coal-fired electricity. As part of Ontario's commitment to combat climate change, the province will also introduce the Ending Coal for Cleaner Air Act to ensure the public health and climate change benefits of eliminating coal use for electricity generation in Ontario would be protected by legislation. The Ending Coal for Cleaner Air Act would ensure that once coal facilities stop operating by the end of 2014, coal burning generation on the electricity grid will never happen again. Protecting the environment while providing clean, reliable and affordable power is part of the government's plan to invest in people, build modern infrastructure and support a dynamic and innovative business climate across Ontario. Photo: Joe deSousa
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Connect Plus pioneers innovative approach to motorway repair which reduces delays for drivers Connect Plus, the company which finances, operates and upgrades the 400km M25 network on behalf of the Highways Agency, has pioneered an innovative technique for the replacement of life expired concrete motorway which is reducing the delays experienced by drivers by 80%. The motorway management company, a joint venture between Balfour Beatty, Skanska, Atkins and Egis, has introduced Rapid Cure concrete which cuts the time needed for motorway lane and carriageway closures from 1500 hours per annum to just 300 (the equivalent of 7 weeks).
Connect Plus, working with its supply chain partners, has developed the Rapid Cure technique from best practice in the aviation industry where it is used for repairing airport pavements. It works by introducing a chemical called a super-plasticiser and a curing accelerator to the concrete mix which makes it set much more quickly, ensuring the surface still reaches the required compressive strength to support live traffic of 25 N/mm2. Connect Plus has also introduced other techniques to reduce the duration of concrete repair works including pre-cutting the old concrete and preparing it with lifting eyelets for quicker removal and the use of quick drying heated tents. This complete process from start to finish, including the removal of the old concrete bay and the laying out of traffic management, now takes one overnight closure compared to the previous full forty-eight hour closure. The reduced need for lane closures also provides a carbon reduction benefit with initial assessments indicating that 500 tonnes of carbon emissions have been saved. Approximately 4% of the UK’s motorway network is made of concrete (nearly 10% of the 400km M25 network) and the new Rapid Cure technique could save hundreds of thousands of hours of carriageway closures nationally. The new method also improves safety for road workers as they are less exposed to live traffic on the network with just a fifth of the former duration required.
Recycling plea as 90% of old furniture goes to the tip Britain's "disposable culture" means perfectly good items often end up in landfill. Virtually all of Britain's old furniture ends up at the rubbish tip when it is replaced, says a leading waste disposal and recycling company. According to BusinessWaste.co.uk , the British public is in the habit of dumping its old sofas, beds, tables and chairs instead of finding an alternative means of disposal. Only around 10% of old furniture items are recycled, a figure that Business Waste is keen to see increased. "It's heartbreaking to see perfectly good items being sent to landfill," said BusinessWaste.co.uk 's Commercial Director Mark Hall, "and as a nation we appear to have a collective bad habit of destroying our old furniture first and asking questions later. In our rush to clear a space for new pieces, we seem to forget there are alternatives." 90% of discarded furniture is earmarked for destruction, with barely any being reused. Of the remaining 10%: 7% Sold onwards 2% Given to friends or family members 1% Donated to furniture charities Discarded furniture can be diverted from landfill to recycling. It will be disposed of and re-used appropriately, which is especially the case with unwanted office furniture. Businesses are even worse than households when it comes to getting rid of its desks, chairs and cabinets. However, they're more in tune with their recycle value, particularly when there's metal which can be resold as scrap. The greatest concern is from domestic waste - they often comprise a mix of materials like metals, plastics and fabrics, which leave their owners puzzled as to how they dispose of them correctly. Photo: Dave Bleasdale
Balfour Beatty starts work on the UK’s largest bus depot
The new facility on a ten acre site on Cathcart Road will be the biggest bus depot in the UK with space for up to 450 buses and more than 1,200 employees. The development will consist of three separate buildings. Balfour Beatty will be responsible for constructing a bus maintenance facility, a dedicated service tunnel, with a deep clean facility and a specialist long-term vehicle repair unit. The service tunnel will be fitted with an automated chassis clean unit, two high-specification automated vehicle washes, fuel installation and facilities for vehicle testing and body shop repairs. The new buildings will incorporate some of the latest advances in design. Key features will include new vehicle lifts, 20 prefabricated fully equipped pits, a new spray booth/oven for painting buses, new bus washes and refueling facilities, brand new training facilities and modern accommodation for drivers including lockers and canteen facilities. Sustainability is a key feature of the project and the new facility will be one of the greenest bus depots in the UK. It will achieve this through the introduction of ‘photovoltaic solar cells’ on the roofs. These will be the latest and most effective type of solar paneling and will generate between 175,000 and 185,000 kilowatts per hour of electricity a year – enough to power around 40 houses per year. In addition, rainwater harvesting will be introduced so that roof water can be used in the bus wash, saving a forecast 2.2million litres of water per year. Low energy intelligent lighting will save electricity by dimming when natural daylight is available, through the use of infrared detectors. A Building Management System will be incorporated that senses when a door is opened and automatically shuts down the heating within those areas to minimise heat loss. New fuel tanks fitted with intelligent monitoring will allow instantaneous readings of all fluids and will automatically re-order supplies. The system orders automatically to avoid overfilling and reduce environmental risks and can also detect any water contamination. Groundworks for the construction have already been completed by Raynesway, a Balfour Beatty company.
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IPP acquires Black Mountain Insulation
Black Mountain Insulation, the UK's only dedicated manufacturer of 95% natural sheep's wool and hemp insulation materials has been acquired by Essex based IPP Ltd. IPP's strategy of developing a range of sustainable building products fits perfectly with the Black Mountain range. The company has committed to a programme of investment and development in order to manufacture products of the finest quality at the lowest cost. MD Gordon Pirret commented: "We intend to ensure that the words ‘sustainable and environmentally friendly' should definitely not mean unaffordable." BMI sheep's wool and hemp materials are becoming increasingly recognised for quality in the natural insulation market. They attract the VOCs which contribute to sick building syndrome and, unlike man-made materials, sheep's wool insulation can absorb 30% of its own mass without adversely affecting thermal performance. Moisture is released naturally as the building warms thereby minimising risk of condensation forming in the roof space. Materials have a high natural fibre content, use up to 90% less embodied energy and are ‘carbon negative'.
British Gas is piloting 28 Nissan e-NV200 vans throughout the winter to determine the future viability of 100% electric vehicle technology as part of its 13,000 home service vans fleet. Run in collaboration with Hitachi Capital Commercial Vehicle Solutions and Gateshead College, the pilot will see the four strategic partners working together during this testing period. Nissan has been globally piloting the e-NV200 for two years ahead of the van going on sale to the public next year. As the UK’s largest ever electric commercial vehicle evaluation to date, the winter test underlines the importance of the relationship between Nissan and British Gas to be involved in this important phase of zero-emission vehicle testing. The pilot of the Nissan e-NV200s is being conducted nationwide from November 2013 until April 2014 to assess how the vans perform in winter conditions during typical British Gas home services daily usage patterns. As part of a long-standing contract to manage the entire fleet for Centrica, British Gas’ parent company, Hitachi Capital Commercial Vehicle Solutions’ dedicated British Gas team has been involved with extensive testing to prove the concept and played a key role in rolling out to engineers and then providing on-going 24 hour support. Hitachi Capital has also undertaken IMI training to a high level in conjunction with Gateshead College and will be involved in generating accurate total cost of ownership modelling to compare this technology with the conventional internal combustion engine drivetrain. Gateshead College has delivered all of the training to the British Gas drivers to ensure they are fully briefed in how to drive and live with the 100% electric Nissan e-NV200. Local to Nissan’s Sunderland Plant, Gateshead College is Europe’s leading facility for training in LCV development and will ensure drivers are fully able to exploit the Nissan e-NV200.
Department for Transport Supports HAUC and GeoPlace Initiative to Monitor Street Works Performance
The Department for Transport (DfT) has welcomed an initiative from the UK Highway Authorities and Utilities Committee (HAUC (UK)) to produce a quarterly performance scorecard analysing works on the road network. The initiative will provide an evidence base of the works and activities of utility companies and local authorities. Performance indicators are being extracted and analysed from the local authorities’ street works management systems, as developed by the Electronic Transfer of Notification (EToN) developers. This will detail the sets of street works that are taking place across the county and how disruptive they are on a daily basis. The purpose of the scorecard is not to create a league table but to support self-regulation and good practice. The measures are a summary of statistical information relating to both utility and highway authority works, currently held in EToN software systems. The results will be helpful to both local and central government and HAUC (UK) where decisions need to be made about legislation using factual information.The system relies on submission of data already input into EToN by utilities and by local authorities and the subsequent analysis of this data. GeoPlace will carry out the analysis of the data on behalf of HAUC (UK). The more authorities that take part, the more data becomes available and the more evidence there will be for the sector to drive improvements, for the benefit of road users, citizens, local authorities and utilities.
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Available on forecourts next year, the Nissan e-NV200 is a breakthrough zero emission compact van that promises a dramatic reduction in running costs while also helping the environment by bringing CO2 emissions down to zero at the point of use. As British Gas home services engineers operate within a defined zone, the Nissan e-NV200 can easily operate within a British Gas daily usage pattern. Colin Marriott, general manager fleet at British Gas said: “We’re committed to leading the industry in reducing the amount of carbon and other harmful tail pipe emissions emitted by our 13,000 strong vehicle fleet. This trial, the largest of its kind in the UK, is a great opportunity for us to understand how the Nissan e-NV200 vans perform during the winter as we move towards our goal of having at least 10% of our fleet running on electricity by 2015.
MORE DRYING, LESS TIME! Our new Gorenje tumble dryer D9664E has a remarkable capacity of 9KG and one of the best energy ratings on the market! Our D9664E comes with a heat pump meaning we offer a A-40% energy rating and Senor IQ technology so your laundry is dried just right every time!
Gone with the Dust #02 by Michele Palazzi, Rome Winner of the Environmental Photographer of the Year Award 2013 This striking and emotive prizewinning image shows a young boy and his sister during a sand storm in the Gobi Desert, Mongolia.
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Michele Palazzi CALLING ALL PHOTOGRAPHERS... The Atkins 2014 CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year competition is now open for entries. PRIZES INCLUDE: • Environmental Photographer of the Year of £5000 • Young Environmental Photographer of the Year (Under 18) of £1000 • Environmental Film of the Year of £1000
HOW TO ENTER: Open to all photographers, professional and amateur alike, the competition encourages entries that are contemporary, creative, resonant, original and beautiful. Entry is now free. Photographers may submit up to 10 works. Deadline for entries: 31 March 2014, by 5pm GMT For further information and to apply visit www.epoty.org
environmentmagazine.co.uk | 17 |
Awards for Excellence celebrate top talent Exceptional skills and talent across the building services engineering sector were celebrated recently at the SummitSkills Awards for Excellence. A total of six awards were presented at craft, technician and management level to winners who had made a positive impact in their workplace through their commitment and achievements so far in their career. The event was held at the Skills Show at the Birmingham NEC, the biggest skills and careers event in the UK attended by over 80,000 visitors. The Skills Show also hosted 70 skills competitions, including the four competitions organised by SummitSkills – SkillELECTRIC, SkillFRIDGE, SkillPIPE and SkillPLUMB. Chair of SummitSkills, Ian Livsey, who hosted the awards ceremony, said: “It has been extremely encouraging to hear how dedicated these individuals are, both to their work and professional development. They are truly an inspiring example for their peers and younger colleagues to follow. These candidates are the sector’s future and they certainly have a promising career ahead of them.”
Winners and their employers are: Experienced Existing Worker of the Year (Mechanical) – joint winners: Lee Campbell (employed by The James Mercer Group Ltd and trainer Salford City College/BEST) & James Varnes (employed by N G Bailey and trainer Bailey Engineering Academy) Experienced Existing Worker of the Year (Electrical): Graham Stevenson (employed by Lightways Contractors Ltd and trainer SECTT) Technician Engineer of the Year: Stephen James (employer NG Bailey) The Alfred Manly Management Award – joint winners: Darren Heels (employed by Shepherd Engineering Services and trainer Leeds Metropolitan University) & Tom Killey (employed by ISS Facility Services) Professional Engineer of the Year Award: Lee Tabis (employed by N G Bailey) Environmental Excellence Award: Kayley Lockhead (employed by N G Bailey)
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Balfour Beatty develops UK’s first zero waste piling system
Balfour Beatty Ground Engineering (BBGE) has launched the UK’s first driven precast pile cutting system which has the potential to reduce piling waste to zero. The new system, which has patent-pending, works by cutting precast concrete piles above the ground with diamond tipped blades and then using the trimmed section of the pile as the lead part of the next pile. The system meets all requirements for compressive strength and can also cut piles to within 100mm of ground level, so providing fewer obstructions to other trades and enhancing access to a site. Even before the introduction of the new system, BBGE had been able to reduce its precast piling waste from 1.6 metres per pile down to 0.8 metres per pile. However, this new system will allow BBGE to reduce this even further, with significant cost and sustainability benefits for its customers. A recent project to build a supermarket in Scotland requiring the use of 4,500 piles saw the cutting system save up to 3,600 metres of pile waste that would otherwise have been produced. The process also has significant benefits for the environment as each metre of precast pile manufactured and delivered to site in the UK produces around 40-60kg of harmful carbon dioxide gasses. The reduction in pile utilisation has the potential to save up to 2000 tonnes of these harmful emissions per year. This innovation was developed, piloted and extensively tested by Balfour Beatty Ground Engineering, which is one of the largest manufacturers of precast concrete piles in the UK, at its main factory at Bottesford in the Midlands. The team worked with Finnish suppliers Junttan who supplied the mechanical cutter which has been fitted to two piling rigs to date.
Germany doubles inter-city bus services in one year achieving Smart Move goal
The German long distance inter-city coach market has seen a massive 125% growth in services since its deregulation at the end of 2012, surpassing the Smart Move campaign’s target of doubling bus and coach use. The number of services soared from 86, mainly serving airports, to 194, with scheduled services connecting most German cities. The German Federal Ministry of Transport pointed out that “Consumers can now travel affordably and in an environmentally-friendly way over longer distances. The bus is a real alternative to the car. Even with average loads, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions per passenger drop significantly.” With another 40 routes awaiting Federal Government approval, the already strong market seems set to become even stronger. Moreover, the Berlin Research Institute, IGES, has calculated that 10% of total traffic in the future could be comprised of long distance coach services.
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DSM continues to drive sustainable (engineering) plastics production in India
Royal DSM, the global Life Sciences and Materials Sciences company, continues to deliver on its commitment to reduce the carbon footprint of its operations. Following a dramatic reduction in water consumption at its engineering plastics site in Pune, India, announced earlier this year, the site will now meet 25% of its energy needs with renewable energy. In order to achieve this significant improvement, DSM has entered into an agreement with a local wind energy producer. Over the coming years, this share is expected to increase to 50%. The DSM site in Pune produces compounds of thermoplastic polyesters and polyamides, and has already established a strong track-record of highly efficient water management. Thanks to increased process water recycling and rigorous monitoring of potential water leakages, the operation’s water footprint was dramatically reduced by two-thirds in 2012. More information can be found at www.dsm.com
IES Sign Statement of Cooperation with Masdar Institute of Science and Technology IES today announced it has signed an agreement with Masdar Institute of Science and Technology to form a working partnership that will promote the creation of a more sustainable built environment. The agreement includes the provision of free academic licenses of the IES Virtual Environment (IESVE) to students studying at the institute. IES will also provide six-week internships to the students.
IES has a vast range of building analysis software tools and will be extending its capability in a number of areas including Masterplanning, Smart Cities and Smart Building Control. Masdar Institute has educational and research and development interests in all these areas and particularly as related to Abu Dhabi and Masdar City in the United Arab Emirates. This agreement will allow students to use IES software on research and development for the Masdar Institute. IES will benefit from the feedback from this work, incorporating it into its own R&D programme.
£3m joint industry programme to accelerate the deployment of the UK offshore wind programme Research to cover UK’s biggest offshore wind bird study plus interactions with marine mammal at the construction stages. Offshore wind has tremendous potential to deliver considerable clean, renewable electricity for the UK. The Carbon Trust’s offshore wind accelerator (OWA) has been commissioned by the leading offshore wind developers in the UK, The Crown Estate, Marine Scotland and Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to form the Offshore Renewables Joint Industry Programme (ORJIP). The programme has been created to reduce the consenting risks for large-scale offshore wind farms during the Round 3 and Scottish Territorial Waters processes and beyond. The programme will see £3m of public and private sector funding invested in research over the next three years. The work will generate scientific evidence to provide greater certainty on the potential environmental impacts of offshore wind developments, in order to reduce consenting risks for developers. This work is important for future offshore wind developments from 2017 onwards.
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ORJIP will initially focus on two work streams, namely: • Bird collision risk and avoidance rate monitoring • Investigating the use of deterrent devices and injury avoidance mitigation for marine mammals during piling works • The programme also aims to identify and run further research projects to de-risk offshore renewables project applications, which may include topics such as: • Evidence gathering for a population consequences of acoustic disturbance model for marine mammals • Underwater noise mitigation technologies Tendering for the bird collision and avoidance rate monitoring project is now underway. This innovative research project is on a scale unseen before in the UK. The project is likely to begin in the next few months with data collection beginning early in 2014 and will be conducted over a two year period. The
results will help refine and inform the assumptions used to estimate bird collisions and avoidance behaviour. A desk-top study into technologies to prevent potential injuries to marine mammals during offshore wind piling has also been completed and has been published on the ORJIP website. This study may be extended to include the field testing of acoustic devices that can deter mammals from construction and piling activity zones. Photo: Defra
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environmentmagazine.co.uk | 23 |
MIRA announces hydrogen fuel cell testing capability MIRA – the advanced engineering, research and test consultancy – has become the first facility in the UK to offer independent hydrogen fuel cell testing. The news comes as many of the world’s leading car manufacturers, including Daimler, Honda, Toyota and General Motors, commit to putting hydrogen-fuelled fuel-cell cars on sale in Europe by 20151 and as sources, including Nobel-prize winning physicist Steven Chu, cite the technology’s adaptation as nearing reality. Having been regarded as the ‘fuel of the future’ for more than a decade, 2012 saw, amongst other key milestones, London’s hydrogen fuel cell powered taxis complete more than 2,500 miles, including the transportation of VIP guests, during the Olympic and Paralympic period. In addition, Hyundai announced series production of its hydrogen-powered ix35 Fuel Cell vehicles. The 4m x 3m x 3m dedicated test facility at MIRA has been completed, following 6 months of development, and has already successfully completed a set of testing for one of the company’s clients. Future developments are in place to include a combined climatic and vibration facility and this will be available in early 2014.
Chancellor George Osborne has today answered autogas industry calls to set out a clear 10-year roadmap for LPG as a road fuel. Mr Osborne’s introduction of a robust, decade-long trajectory for environmentally-friendly LPG will give UK’s businesses and private motorists the confidence to embrace LPG in the knowledge that government will continue to support the fuel. However, in his Commons address Mr Osborne also announced a far greater level of financial support for less commonly used fuels liquefied natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG). While LPG will remain a cheaper fuel than petrol and diesel, major supplier Autogas Limited warns that a lack of consistency in government support for gaseous road fuels risks further isolating car manufacturers who overlook the UK as a market for factory LPG models currently on sale in mainland Europe. Commenting on the chancellor’s statement, Linda Gomersall, general manager at Autogas Limited, says: “It’s not clear why LNG and CNG are being treated differently from LPG. All three have similar positive environmental credentials but LPG is the only one to offer a reliable nationwide supply infrastructure, used daily by thousands of drivers. By offering less substantial support to LPG, the government is jeopardising ongoing industry investment and greatly reducing the likelihood of any manufacturer reintroducing eco-friendly LPG models to the UK market. We would urge the government to increase its support for LPG to match that of other green road fuel gases such as LNG and CNG, which will do a great deal more to help the conscientious private motorist. Positive government backing is vital to encouraging more drivers to discover the benefits of adopting LPG, and we call on ministers to develop a package of measures to support its widespread uptake.”
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npower leads by example with ISO 50001 accreditation for Energy Management Excellence
npower believes it has become the first major UK energy supplier to receive ISO 50001 accreditation for energy management excellence across their offices. This international standard recognises businesses that are demonstrating best practice energy management and have a programme for continuous improvement in place. To achieve accredited certification from GUTcert, Germany, npower began by undertaking energy audits at each of its sites. The company installed automated meter reading (AMR) across all sites, enabling them to measure their gas and electricity consumption and receive usage data every half hour. npower's encompass software enabled them to monitor consumption across multiple sites, identify potential areas of waste and set targets for reduction at a site-bysite level. The energy supplier then worked closely with npower's Energy Services team to seek innovative ways to reduce energy usage from the grid. This resulted in an investment in solar PV panels at some sites which are already delivering reductions in carbon emissions. Savings have also been made through on-going upgrades to lighting, heating and ventilation systems, as well as through the standardisation of its Building Management Systems to enhance their effectiveness. In addition, when undertaking office refurbishments, npower has maximised sustainability by adopting the industry-leading 'Ska Rating' - an environmental assessment tool for sustainable fit-outs from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. This has already resulted in some impressive savings for npower. For example the refurbishment of an office in West Midlands has seen electricity consumption fall by 44% compared to the same period last year. The refurbishment incorporated new solar panels, energy efficient lighting (supported with intelligent lighting control), a new Building Energy Management System and a new highly energy efficient heating and cooling system. As well as investment in products and services, npower recognises that people play a vital role in achieving excellence in energy management. The company encourages employees to become more energy conscious through a site based Environmental Champions programme. For example, at one of the company's customer service centres Environmental Champions have been active in measuring consumption, raising awareness and implementing improvement projects. As a result, electricity consumption fell by 11% from January to October 2013 compared to the same period last year.
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Renewable energy: Delivering growth and clean energy Energy Secretary Edward Davey has reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to the renewable energy sector, as further investment in offshore wind innovation projects was announced. Speaking at the Renewable UK conference in Birmingham, Edward Davey said “The renewable energy sector supports 35,000 green jobs and the sector is crucial to green growth and energy security. “A mix of technologies is vital to secure Britain’s energy supplies and reduce the environmental impact of powering our homes and businesses. “The private sector has announced investment of £31bn in renewable electricity generation over the last three years, and the UK remains one of the most attractive electricity investment markets anywhere in the world.” The UK is the world leader in offshore wind power generation, with more capacity than any other country. Renewable energy capacity has increased by almost 40% since 2012, with renewables now supplying a record of over 15% share of electricity generation – around half way to the Government’s 2020 renewable electricity goals. Four offshore wind projects will receive a share of £2.5m Government investment under the Offshore Wind Component Technologies Scheme to develop technologies which cut the cost of offshore wind energy: • Ricardo UK Ltd - awarded £634,980 to develop and demonstrate its Offshore Wind Drivetrain Innovation technologies which are expected to increase the reliability and lifetime of drivetrains for large offshore wind systems. • Nottingham-based TetraFloat Ltd - awarded £134,000 to validate and improve a novel floating platform design. • Blade Dynamics Ltd - awarded £842,630 to design, evaluate, build and test an innovative composite wind turbine hub. This will reduce the loads on the entire turbine, tower and foundation. • SSE Renewables UK Ltd - awarded a grant of £1m for their National Offshore Wind Turbine Test Facility project. Among other things this will test foundations, logistics, and grid integration on Siemens 6MW pre-production turbine. This scheme is part of a package of support being provided by members of the Low Carbon Innovation Coordination Group (LCICG), who together are providing over £100m of targeted financial support to develop innovative offshore wind technologies between 2011 and 2015. Photo: Anke Hueper
Wind Farms: New Report Provides Latest Know-How On Reducing Environmental Impact A report endorsed at the Standing Committee of the Bern Convention presents the most up-to-date scientific information to reduce wind farms' impact on the environment. "This new report provides to countries and developers who want to optimize their wind farms' construction the best practices that will allow them to avoid biodiversity loss and save time and money," said Willem Van den Bossche, BirdLife Europe European Nature Conservation Officer.The report entitled "Wind farms and Birds: an updated analysis of the effects of wind farms on birds, and best practice guidance on integrated planning and impact assessment" was commissioned by the Bern Convention to BirdLife. It updates a 2003 report which contains scientific evidence that is currently being used in wind farm projects. Since 2003, there have been advancements in wind energy technology that allow for greater energy production and less environmental disturbance. These new
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advancements provide more possibilities in efficiency, sophistication, and the distance from towns and populations, even offshore locations! Research has also permitted developers to better design plans that avoid unwanted negative impacts on the environment and wildlife that are both costly and inefficient. This new report, based on literature and experience from projects on the ground from the past 10 years, demonstrates that advanced technology development and nature conservation can indeed share common interests. It also shows the best existing practices on strategic planning - what to consider when setting up a new wind farm - and environment impact assessments.Whitelee, near Glasgow in Scotland, is a good example of a wind farm contribution to habitat enhancement. The development of this 5,000ha Scottish Power Renewables site includes large-scale habitat restoration and enhancement, delivered through a Habitat Management Plan (HMP). Part of the HMP involves the re-
establishment of 900ha of heathland and blanket bog through the clearance of conifer plantations, drain blocking, and the continued management of mosaic habitats benefiting black grouse and other wildlife. A steering group of environmental experts, including nature conservation NGO RSPB Scotland (BirdLife in Scotland), provides advice and helps scrutinise the delivery of the HMP. In favour of the development of renewable energy and encouraged by this experience, RSPB Scotland supported ScottishPower Renewable's plan to add 75 turbines to the farm, extending its capacity to power about 300,000 homes. The Whitelee visitor centre, which opened in 2009, now attracts over 9,000 visitors a month and includes an exhibition on the construction of the wind farm and the ongoing habitat management work conducted on site."We are definitely supporting the development of wind energy if plans are designed following these recommendations", concluded Willem Van den Bossche.
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Burges Salmon assists Seagreen on first consent for round 3 offshore wind Burges Salmon, a leading UK law firm, has advised Seagreen Wind Energy Ltd (Seagreen, owned jointly by SSE Renewables and Fluor) in receiving consent from Angus Council for the onshore infrastructure required for Phase 1 of its 3,500MW Firth of Forth Offshore Wind Zone. Planning permission in principle was granted by Angus Council’s Development Standards Committee for the application on 26 November, which includes 19km of underground cables to transmit power from a landfall location at South Carnoustie on the Angus Coast to the existing electricity substation at Tealing, North of Dundee. The plans also include a new substation at Tealing to allow over 1 Gigawatt of power to connect to the National Grid system. This is the first consent for major works granted for any project under the Round 3 seabed leasing process, under which 9 Zones were awarded by The Crown Estate in December 2009 around UK waters to offshore wind farm developers. Julian Boswall, Planning partner at Burges Salmon, which specialises in advising on large scale energy projects, said: “We are delighted to have been able to assist Seagreen on this important milestone towards delivering Scotland’s largest renewable energy project, the Firth of Forth Zone.” Photo credit: Kai Chan Vong
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Renewable Energy Consumer Code reviewed by Trading Standards Institute Report highlights positive customer satisfaction in small-scale renewables The Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC) has “good, well managed and effective processes” to protect domestic customers of renewable energy equipment, according to an audit report recently published by the Trading Standards Institute (TSI). The audit report, one of the first under TSI’s new Consumer Codes Approval Scheme (CCAS), comes as RECC is preparing for a busy 2014 with the forthcoming launch of the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive.TSI Chief Executive Leon Livermore said: “More than 4,700 businesses are RECC approved, which means consumers have a variety of reputable businesses to choose from when making renewable energy purchasing decisions. Part of TSI’s Consumer Codes Approval Scheme, RECC is held to high industry standards through continuous audits and checks. These audits not only raise industry standards, they create a degree of trust among businesses and consumers.” TSI examined all of RECC’s activities designed to support both member companies and consumers, and concluded that RECC “devotes substantial resources to the efficient operation of its scheme”.Promoting the sector TSI found RECC’s procedures for considering membership applications, for monitoring members’ compliance with the Code and for dealing with non-compliance with the Code to be fit for purpose. TSI also praised “the openness and transparency” RECC demonstrates with the information on its website and noted the fact that “92% of customers rate [their installer’s customer service] at 9/10 or higher”. RECC Chief Executive Virginia Graham said: “We welcome TSI’s vote of confidence in RECC and the microgeneration sector. TSI is satisfied that RECC’s checks on compliance are robust and that consumers can trust in our logo on an installer’s literature and website. The overwhelming majority of installers abide by the Code and deliver excellent service to consumers. But we recognise that there is always more work to be done. With energy bills continuing to rise, the Government’s support schemes for self-supply of electricity and heat present great opportunities for cutting costs as well as carbon. The Renewable Heat Incentive is a world-first, so it is especially important that consumers ensure they take control of the transaction from the start, so they can get a good deal on a renewable heating system that is suitable for their home. This means thoroughly researching the technologies and support schemes, comparing at least three quotes and ensuring their installers are registered with RECC and MCS.” Moving forward in 2014TSI recognises that 2014 is going to be a busy year for RECC, with the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive set to kick-start the market for household renewable heat technologies such as solar hot water systems, wood fuel boilers and heat pumps. RECC will be applying lessons from its work with the Feed-in Tariff, as well as REAL’s role in the Green Deal Oversight and Registration Body, to the new challenges in renewable heating.RECC is operated by Renewable Energy Assurance Ltd (REAL), a subsidiary company of the Renewable Energy Association (REA). Set up in 2006, REAL is now involved in the operation of two consumer codes and five certification schemes, ranging from renewable energy and energy efficiency to compost and biofertiliser.
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TSI: ‘Renewable Energy Consumer Code – Audit September 2013’, available at: www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/templates/assetrelay.cfm?frmAssetFileID=75014
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Town centre tax breaks and parking reform at centre of high street package. As part of the government’s long-term economic plan, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has set out a billion pound package of support for the UK’s high streets. A central part of that plan is to create more jobs by backing British business. The measures outlined today will make it easier for all the shops on Britain’s high streets to grow, expand and take people on. They include a new consultation to tackle aggressive parking policies, which harm high streets; and a review of double yellow lines, legislating to allow “grace periods” and stopping CCTV being used for enforcement. The government will also cap increases in parking penalty charges for the rest of this Parliament, with immediate effect. These steps will make it cheaper and easier to park, encourage people to shop locally and help with the cost of living. There is also help for business following the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement with the biggest package of business rates support in over 20 years announced to help the high street. Changes include: • A £1,000 discount in 2014 to 2015 and 2015 to 2016 for retail premises with a rateable value of up to £50,000 - including shops, pubs, cafes, and restaurants • Capping the Retail Price Index (RPI) increase in bills to 2% in 2014 to 2015 businesses were expecting a 3.2 % rise • Extending the doubling of the Small Business Rates Relief to April 2015 • A reoccupation relief for 18 months with a 50% discount for new occupants of retail premises empty for a year or more • Allowing businesses to pay their bills over 12 months (rather than 10), which will help every firm with their cashflow The importance of online technology is also recognised with a new multi-million pound competition, run by the Technology Strategy Board, being announced to support business-led digital town centres. Additionally the government in partnership with business will fund £4.7m million of research on e-commerce and digital high streets innovations. In planning, changes to permitted development rights will offer town centres the flexibility they need to adapt existing buildings. The government will consult on permitting change of use from retail to restaurants and retail to cinemas, gyms, skating rinks and swimming pools. They will also consult on allowing installation of mezzanine floors in retail premises where this would support the town centre. Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, said: “The way we use our high streets is changing and the measures unveiled today give councils more power to reflect that in the way their high streets look and operate.”. New tax breaks for shops and sensible changes to overzealous parking rules will help make high streets more attractive to shoppers. And by providing excellent local services and offering communities a vibrant place to spend their leisure time and money, local authorities can secure the future of their high streets for many years to come. Photo: Dave Bleasdale
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BRowNFIELD LAND IN ScoTLAND 2014
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New techniques and practical Solutions for improved Risk Assessment and Remediation of Brownfield Land in Scotland
5 FEBRUARY, gLASgow TEAchER BUILDINg, ST ENoch SqUARE, g1 Hear the latest review on policy, regulatory perspectives, waste management and sustainability in Scotland’s remediation industry.
SPEAKERS & ToPIcS INcLUDE: Achieving improved risk assessment and waste management when developing contaminated land Francis Brewis, Scottish government
Accurately assessing the risks to human health from B(a)P Alison Searl, Iom consulting Ltd
Identifying the threats caused by rising mine waters in abandoned mines Dr Ian watson, The coal Authority
Exploring the feasibility of landfill mining Simon Ford, Ricardo-AEA
Laboratory perspective: Update on recent changes affecting monitoring and laboratory analysis hazel Davidson, DETS Update on the development of Category 4 Screening Levels by DEFRA mike quint, Environmental health Sciences Asbestos in soil Alan Jones, Institute of occupational medicine
Outlining the costs, benefits and practicalities of developing and using a Soil Treatment Centre John curran, Soilutions Examining the potential of biomass from energy crops grown on brownfield Dr Richard Lord, University of Strathclyde
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News / The Watercooler Renowned Sustainability Opinion Leader Anders Wijkman Joins Board of TCO Development
Anders Wijkman, internationally recognized author and thought leader in the field of sustainable development, has been appointed to the board of TCO Development. Wijkman brings over 30 years of leadership in humanitarian and sustainability issues from previous roles as a member of the EU- and Swedish parliaments as well as Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations. Wijkman is together with Professor Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker Co-President of Club of Rome and a Councillor of the World Future Council. He is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry as well as the World Academy of Art and sciences.
Atmos Consulting expands expertise with new appointment to planning and EIA team
Atmos Consulting has appointed Sarah McMonagle as a Senior Consultant in the Planning and Environmental Impact Assessment team. Sarah, brings eight years’ experience and strong project management and research capabilities to the consultancy. She has worked on a wide range of developments including on-shore wind farms, gas/oil-fired power stations, hydrogen power plants, master plan mixed-use developments and both Section 36 and Town and Country Planning Act applications.
Wolseley UK Welcomes New Finance Director
Marc Ronchetti has been appointed Finance Director of Wolseley UK. Marc joins the business from Inchcape plc, and will be responsible for developing and implementing the financial strategy of Wolseley UK. Steve Ashmore, Managing Director, said: “Marc is an experienced, operationally focussed FTSE Finance Director, with a track record of driving excellent financial results and delivering successful acquisitions and change programmes. I am pleased to welcome him into our business.” Marc succeeds Derek Harding, who left Wolseley UK to take up a Group Finance Director position with Senior plc.
Trent & Dove Housing Have Won an Award for an EcoUpgrade of Some of the Areas ‘Hardest to Heat’ Homes
Burton’s largest social housing provider Trent & Dove picked up the award for Retrofit Installation / Service & Delivery during the 2013 Business Celebration Awards held by the Midlands Environmental Business Company (MEBC) in Birmingham. Trent & Dove Housing beat off stiff competition from 9 other entrants including Seven Trent Water, Kings Heath Transition and South Staffordshire Community Energy company. However it was Trent & Doves ‘external insulation project’ that claimed the victory win - with judges citing the housing associations ‘consistent focus, drive and dedication to tenants’ as central to the win. Working in partnership with energy firm E.ON, Trent & Dove have fitted 500 solid-walled properties throughout Burton upon Trent with a silicon render coat that could potentially save families up to £350 on their annual energy bill, helping prevent many from making the difficult choice between heating and eating this winter.
A Glass Act by Dryden Aqua
Dryden Aqua in Bonnyrigg, Midlothian, has been recognised for its commitment to environmental excellence at Scotland’s leading sustainable business awards; winning the Hydro Nation Award as well as the Circular Economy Award at this years’ VIBES Awards ceremony, which was held at The Hub in Edinburgh. The VIBES Hydro Nation Award, sponsored by the Scottish Government, recognises businesses who protect the aquatic environment, improve water quality and protect public health. The awards were for Dryden Aqua AFM, which is manufactured from glass as a raw material to replace sand in all types of sand filter for the treatment of drinking water, swimming pool, process water and wastewater.
Aerial mapping company Bluesky has appointed Robert Loughran, an experienced geospatial business development executive, to the position of International Sales Manager. Loughran has previously held senior positions with geotechnical survey company Fugro, geospatial product and service company Infoterra and aerial mapping company BKS Surveys. Loughran joins Bluesky at an exciting time as the Leicestershire company looks to expand its global operation maximising on its investment in state of the art aerial survey equipment. Loughran joins Bluesky from Fugro Geospatial Services where he held the position of European Sales Manager. Heading a team of Business Development Managers Loughran was responsible for developing and implementing the company’s sales and marketing strategy across the region, managing existing accounts and developing new business. Loughran also worked for Infoterra (now Astrium Geoservices).
Honorary Membership for National Occupational Standards guru
The Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists is delighted to announce that Honorary Membership has been awarded to David Cracknell MCIAT, Chartered Architectural Technologist, for ‘his immeasurable work and influence for, and on behalf of, the education of those within Architectural Technology and his immense and significant contribution to the Institute’s membership qualifying process'. David was Director of Skills and Lifelong Learning at the Construction Industry Council (CIC) until June of this year when he retired. During this time, he completed immense work in the development, identification and classification of National Occupational Standards for the built environment sector. He also co-authored the fundamental book Architectural Technology – The Constructive Link. Honorary Membership is the highest honour that the Institute can bestow on an individual for their work of distinction or outstanding service to the Institute. In the Institute’s lifetime, Honorary Membership has only been awarded to 24 recipients.
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Bluesky Appoints Robert Loughran as International Sales Manager
Green Award for Potato Company
Albert Bartlett, the UK’s leading producer and packer of potatoes, has been recognised for its commitment to environmental excellence at this year’s VIBES Awards, Scotland’s leading sustainable business awards held in Edinburgh. For 14 years, the Vision in Business for the Environment of Scotland Awards has recognised the commitment, actions and achievements of Scottish companies in reducing their impact on the environment. Albert Bartlett won the Management Award (Large Company Category). recognising their management systems that deliver continuous improvement in environmental performance.
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Prestigious Accolade for EMEC Leader
The managing director of the world’s leading marine energy test facility has been recognised for his outstanding contribution to the renewable energy industry at the Scottish Green Energy Awards. Neil Kermode, managing director of the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, was presented with the ‘Outstanding Contribution’ award at the prestigious ceremony run by Scottish Renewables held at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. Reflecting on the accolade Neil remarked: “I was truly amazed and stunned to receive this award. It is all very well to believe you are doing the right things, but to receive such a public affirmation and unexpected endorsement is deeply moving. However, I can only accept this if it is understood that this is on behalf of everybody who is working in the marine renewable energy industry, most of whom work harder than I do and have more on the line than me. I gratefully accepted the award as a mark that everybody's hard graft is recognised. In the history of technology, the 10 short years we have been at this is the blink of an eye. Many industries never get this far this fast, so it is also important to pay tribute to those who had the timely vision to set up EMEC and to thank everybody for the unrelenting support we have had so far, and to thank you for the support I know we will enjoy in the future.” The coveted award, sponsored by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, honours an individual or organisation that has made an exceptional contribution to the success of the renewables industry.
Sandra Sassow of SEaB Energy Scoops Eco-Entrepreneur of the Year Award
SEaB Energy is celebrating yet another award this year after its CEO, Sandra Sassow, was pronounced ‘Eco Entrepreneur of the Year’ at the 2013 Great British Entrepreneur Awards, held last week at the Grand Connaught Rooms in Central London. With attendance from a who’s who in UK business, politics and entrepreneurship, that also included Sir Steve Redgrave CBE as guest of honour, the Awards are set to become the recognised standard of excellence amongst British entrepreneurs. Sandra Sassow wasn’t able to collect the award in person, due to business commitments in South America, but speaking from Argentina Sandra commented, “The kudos that these awards bring will further help us export the best of British renewable technologies to a host of emerging markets in order to help combat the threat of fuel poverty and provide isolated communities with the capability of generating their own localised power using waste as the fuel."
Wolseley UK Appoints New Multichannel Director
Jeremy Maxwell has been appointed Multichannel Director at Wolseley UK. In this newly-created role, Jeremy joins the Wolseley UK Leadership Team and will ensure that the company offers customers an outstanding multichannel service. Jeremy has extensive marketing, eCommerce and multichannel experience at senior board level. His career has included roles at Kingfisher where he was Group Strategy Director, Screwfix where he was Marketing & eCommerce Director and ran their award winning website screwfix.com, and Mothercare where he was Group Multichannel Director on the Executive Board. Jeremy joins Wolseley UK on 6th January 2014.
Natural England Preferred Candidate for Chair Announced
Following an open competition, the Environment Secretary of State, Owen Paterson is pleased to announce Andrew Sells has been selected as the Government’s preferred candidate to the post of Chairman of Natural England. Mr Sells was identified following a rigorous selection process which was Chaired by an independent assessor from the Commissioner for Public Appointments. The Secretary of State has invited the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee to hold a pre-appointment hearing and to report on Mr Sells’ suitability for the post. This is in line with the Government’s commitment to strengthen the role of Parliament in scrutinising major public appointments. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity (if any declared) to be made public. Mr Sells has declared he has made donations to the Conservative Party.
Daikin Europe’s VRV IV Heat Pump Wins Plus X Award
Daikin Europe’s VRV IV heat pump has won the 2013 Plus X Award in recognition of its innovative technology, market leading efficiencies, functionality and environmental credentials. The Award is given to innovative products in the fields of technology, sports and lifestyle from around the world. Judging takes several weeks with a panel of experts, independent trade journalists and leading figures from 25 industry sectors. The VRV IV air-to-air heat pump is designed for commercial applications. It takes thermal energy from the outside air to provide room heating and cooling, ventilation and hot water production from one integrated unit.
Barry Gardiner MP Named as Environmental Parliamentarian of the Year
Barry Gardiner, Labour MP for Brent North and Shadow Minister for the Natural Environment & Fisheries, has been named as CIWEM’s Environmental Parliamentarian of the Year at the Institution’s annual parliamentary reception, held at Portcullis House. The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management’s (CIWEM) prestigious annual award recognises and celebrates an outstanding contribution made by a parliamentarian to the environmental cause and to public understanding of the environment.
Award-Winning Manual Leading the Way in Stormwater Design
The Sydney Catchment Authority (SCA) has been recognised as a leader in stormwater management, having recently received the prestigious Excellence in Policy and Education Award at the 2013 New South Wales Stormwater Industry Awards for its ‘Using MUSIC in Sydney’s Drinking Water Catchment’ manual. Acting Chief Executive of the Sydney Catchment Authority, Fiona Smith said the manual was developed by the SCA and environmental engineering firm BMT WBM to help consultants use ‘MUSIC’ – the Model for Urban Stormwater Improvement Conceptualisation – for larger, more complex urban and rural land use developments. The Sydney Catchment Authority will now be put forward as a finalist in the National Stormwater Awards, which will be presented in Adelaide in 2014.
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News / Opinion
Giving for Christmas There has been considerable discussion on International Aid programmes and whether they should be cut back in the face of tough economic times and budget constraints. As a staunch capitalist and environmental entrepreneur one would expect me to be against this generosity. After all for centuries we have used capitalism to allocate hunger starvation and death – why let charity interrupt that otherwise efficient process? It is perhaps because charity begins at home that we should massively expand our foreign aid. Let me explain. I firmly believe that our international aid budget should be increased by 15% compound per annum and that this money should come from our military budget. Bread not bullets? Have I gone soft? No, it’s just about value for money. However, we should not be wasting as much of our international aid as we do at the moment but let capitalism and the markets work for us in creating sustainable solutions for those afflicted parts of the world. Lets start with short-term food aid. In the past our food agencies have bought trucks and food in the west and shipped these to rural food scarce areas. Much of the aid, however, is stolen en-route. The aid agencies should be buying grain and food stuffs wherever it is needed from local intermediaries and businesses. Doing this would help strengthen local supply systems and create employment and wealth in drought and famine stricken areas. Agencies should then be paying a premium for locally grown food. They could facilitate this by providing advances of inputs to farmers such as seed and fertilizer. This should be in the form of vouchers to be redeemed at local agricultural stores. This would promote local farming and self sufficiency, creating employment not the poverty, hopelessness and migration that the current systems promote.
coastline are not only taking ships for ransom but also kidnapping tourists from nearby Kenya. Nearly 10,000 people a month are crossing its borders into Kenya. Tented camps built for 90,000 refugees now house over 500,000 people. Kenya can hardly support its own population and faces its own challenges. With the burden of migration and collapse of Somalia, Kenya itself might in time fail. In our interconnected global world, state failure may become contagious as environmental refugees migrate to survive. Why does this affect us? Many of our green vegetables are grown in Kenya. How long before the hungry masses from the camps strip the fields of the green beans due for our supermarket shelves in London? Once fields are stripped farmers will not replant quickly if at all. Food supply reduces, food insecurity increases and therefore prices increase yet again – exacerbating the cycle. Food insecurity, driven by environmental degradation, is changing our present and will determine our future. The economic migrations we have seen over the last fifty years will be small compared to the environmental migration of the next decades. Unless we increase our international aid and focus it on fixing the eco-systems on which people depend, we will see further food and oil price shocks and environmental migration on an unprecedented scale. In order to help the poorest in the UK and preserve the comfortable lives of the rest of us, we need to mend and increase our international aid programmes. It is charity that will give us security at home – not guns. Let’s get busy repairing the future.
Few of us understand or think about how massively interconnected the world is. International aid helps preserve our comfortable way of life, protects our cities from riots and our economies from further energy price shocks. Many parts of our world are facing enormous environmental devastation and this is now beginning to directly and materially affect us all, here and now. We are also running some monumental risks as humanity continues its battle against nature – a fight we are sure to loose in the end. International aid is the best way to mitigate these effects on us. The three key ecosystems that produce food – our water, land and seas – are rapidly degrading. This, combined with our exploding population, is leading to food price rises across the world as I write. The last food price surge occurred in 2008 and led to riots in over thirty countries. As our environment degrades further and food supply tightens yet further, rising food prices have sparked revolts across the Middle East and North Africa driving oil and therefore fuel prices higher across the world. As the drought in the Horn of Africa worsens and Somalia disintegrates, its population is beginning to migrate. The pirates that now rule parts of its
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Photo: Feed My Starving Children (FMSC)
News / Opinion
Steve G rant / Fo o d Wa ste
Ugly Grub Regular readers of this 'ere eruditery will be aware that the Grant is no fan of the big supermarket chains, and so it was with pleasant surprise that I read of one Matt Simister of Tesco telling the Inquiry into Food Waste that a great deal of waste is simply because consumers are unwilling to buy misshapen vegetables. Bent carrots, spuds with bits on or apples that couldn't pass for a part in a Disney film simply get left on the shelves. Surely not! said I. Well we certainly wouldn't be a party to such nonsense! After all – a carrot is a carrot is, well, a carrot. So it was with peaked interest that I accompanied my long suffering spouse on various shopping trips, from the weekly 'big shop' through to picking up bits and pieces whilst out & about, notably from a superb farm shop we frequent near Bexley village. Suffice to say Mr Matt Simister is right. Not only did said partner select only the fruit and veg that would pass for muster in an advertising shoot, but just about everybody else did too. Perfectly good, nutritious potatoes that would bake up like a dream were passed over because of an odd lump or two. Loverly, long and beautifully succulent-looking carrots were shunned because of a slight left turn twixt top and pointy end. And this was in the farm shop. In the supermarket this behaviour was even more pronounced, as though there was at least some acceptance on the farm that this stuff grows from the ground and isn't always perfectly shaped. In the supermarket, it's all tube lighting, bright colours and consumer perfection. Only the vegetable equivalents of Angelina and Brad would make it into the shopping baskets. Sid James? Not a chance. And we – the ecologically aware and supposedly environmentally cautious couple - were no different. It wasn't even a conscious thing – rather something that's simply become a habit. It's a moot point whether choosing not to buy something is the same as wasting it, and it struck me that a counter named 'Ugly Grub' emblazoned with a sign along the lines of 'just as good for you – just not quite as pretty' or something along those lines may well address the issue to some degree. Especially if it was sold at a discount, which has to be preferable to throwing it away. However the waste continues at home. A recent report from WRAP estimates that the average family is wasting about £60 a month. Approximately one fifth of what we buy is simply thrown away.
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Surely not! said I. Well we certainly wouldn't be a party to such nonsense! I mean – once we've paid good money for it, we're hardly going to chuck it in the bin or on the compost, now are we? Suffice to say WRAP are right. It's not something I've ever really thought about, much less pay any attention to. But following the report and my new found interest in food waste, I monitored what we were getting through and disposing of. It was bloody ridiculous. Most of it was due to 'best before' or 'use by' dates that were woefully early. When I opened various jars and packets a little – and sometimes a lot - past their date, most were absolutely fine. Usually – we simply don't even check. If it's past its date – it's gone. A little research revealed that most canned goods are actually OK for years as long as the can isn't damaged or the seal broken. The rest was down to over-buying. A packet of four courgettes for example, where we used only two and the others stayed in the vegetable drawer. Buying fruit and veg in packets really doesn't seem to be a good idea. Salad, especially. We're going to try to make some obvious changes, not least because I reckon we'll save about £100 a month, never mind the 'average' of £60. We'll also be 'doing our bit' and there's nothing wrong with that. My wife says it's because I have more than a little sympathy with something that's too big, somewhat misshapen, not particularly good looking - yet eminently useful. She may have a point.
+ More Information www.wrap.org.uk www.stilltasty.com
R i c hard Joh n / BS R I A
Indoor Air Quality: The Elephant in the Low Carbon Room
R i c hard Joh n
Director of Sustainable Contruction, BSRIA The science of climate change is now well accepted, and as such the UK’s international leadership, albeit faltering, in moving towards a low carbon economy must be welcomed. As always there are unintended consequences. So when we decarbonise and clean up our power stations, Ofgem predicts an increased likelihood of power failures (Ofgem, 2013) because of the associated reduction in generating capacity available at peak times. It is also an oddity of government policy that, just as we are experiencing a decrease in generating capacity, there is a marked enthusiasm for supporting the increased use of electrically-driven heat pumps. Certainly if they displace direct resistance heating this should be a benefit but as an alternative to gas fired heating they will exacerbate the issue.
getting better when it comes to making buildings tighter. In BSRIA’s experience of monitoring such buildings, airtightness is improving in part through progressive airtightness testing requirements but there are often significant failures to operate mechanical and even passive ventilation systems to ensure that occupants have sufficient fresh air.
Of course one solution to the surplus problem is to simply reduce demand and there are many government actions in place to make this happen. Policies to improve insulation and reduce ventilation leakage through Building Regulations, ECO, and Green Deal all aim to reduce demand.
• Design. Impractical designs and / or designers “gaming” with calculations so as to demonstrate that standards are met. • Construction / Installation. Ductwork can be prone to damage (particularly, flexible systems), and the practical installation of ductwork, fans, and terminal units does not always equate to what was designed. BSRIA has come across instances of mechanical ventilation systems simply not being connected up to a power supply. Some buildings have a lower air leakage rate than the design. • Commissioning. Poor commissioning, such as ventilation dampers, sensors and controls, can signiﬁcantly affect performance. The current approved method of measuring air flow from low pressure ventilation systems is also fundamentally flawed, so in practice we don’t really know what the true situation is in many buildings even when these systems are ‘properly’ commissioned. • Maintenance. Poor maintenance of ﬁlters and sensors can have a signiﬁcant impact on flow rates and the effectiveness of ﬁltration. Design issues sometimes make the cleaning of ﬁlters or their replacement, or the cleaning of ductwork, somewhat problematic. • Operation. Occupant effects such as not using the ventilation system as per the design intent; manual tampering of controls, sensors, dampers etc. Where mechanical ventilation works with trickle ventilators, they may be taped shut.
However when it comes to a tightening of standards associated with new and existing buildings there are some signs that the unintended consequence is the impact that such standards have in practice on indoor air quality and hence the functionality of buildings. There is an old adage “build tight, ventilate right”. We are certainly learning to do the former but BSRIA’s experience is that we haven’t got the latter bit sorted. Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a complex issue. In housing, a reflection of poor IAQ can be an increase in mould and damp problems associated with poor ventilation, and associated health effects. In schools it can be sleepy pupils. At another level, IAQ is more subjective. Certainly we recognise the bracing nature of seaside air with its tang of salt and ozone but some also recall the comforting fug of a pub complete with its smells of beer, tobacco and wood smoke. So IAQ is subjective, has time-based attributes, and a very large number of possible measured variables to consider. Many practitioners use a measure of carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration in a building as a proxy for IAQ. Various national bodies such as the Department for Education have set standards for CO2 levels in buildings in its own right – in this case stipulating a maximum average value of CO2 of 1500ppm (DfE 2012). In the UK the current Part F of the Building Regulations implies that indoor air concentrations of CO2 should not exceed ~1200ppm. Others argue about the need to look at concentrations of a wide range of indoor pollutants, rather than a single proxy value. Finally, quantification of the disbenefits of poor IAQ in terms of, for example, health effects, remains an inexact science, albeit an improving one. So what’s the link between IAQ and the quest for lower carbon buildings, in part driven through ever tighter regulations? Surely ventilation needs are fully addressed by Part F of the Building Regulations? Well let’s start with the difference between design intent, actual use, and the law of unintended consequences. In the housing sector there is increasing evidence that we are
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There are multiple practical issues which conspire to affect the effectiveness of ventilation. Actual occupancy rates don’t always equate to design conditions. Flow rates associated with mechanical and passive ventilation systems in practice don’t always equate to design. There are many reasons for this including:
Wider experiences in housing can be found in a report from the Zero Carbon Hub (ZCH 2013), and BSRIA looks forward to the forthcoming publication of an assessment of mechanical ventilation systems supported by the Technology Strategy Board through its Building Performance Evaluation programme, in which BSRIA has been closely involved. In social housing with mechanical ventilation systems, BSRIA has noted CO2 levels of greater than 2000ppm during occupancy in more than 20% of buildings studied for Housing Association clients. This is a strong indication that many mechanical ventilation systems are not functioning, or not being allowed to function, in line with expectations. BSRIA’s experience suggests that one of the key factors as to whether mechanical ventilation systems work is how well mechanical services and their
implementation are understood by the client and their supply chain. At one end of the spectrum are clients who have expertise in-house to ensure appropriate design, installation, commissioning and operation of mechanical ventilation systems, the selection and management of their supply chain. At the same time these clients recognise that systems need to be selected to reflect occupants’ needs and the abilities of their facilities teams. They also recognise the importance of handover to the occupants and go to some lengths to ensure that this is done – and that expertise is not just available at handover, but is ongoing. Such clients have also learnt that the maintenance of mechanical ventilation systems requires an appropriate level of competence and resource for these systems to perform well in the long run.
Of course one solution to the surplus problem is to simply reduce demand and there are many government actions in place to make this happen. Policies to improve insulation and reduce ventilation leakage through Building Regulations, ECO, and Green Deal all aim to reduce demand.
Recognising that good practice examples exist, perhaps one of the key requirements for this particular sector is the establishment of a “best practice” supporting infrastructure which provides industry recognised guidance, advice, and training. BSRIA has an important role here. More broadly, low carbon standards are driving innovation across the UK, but one of the unintended consequences of a supply chain not fully trained and proficient in accommodating such innovations is that we can end up designing sometimes complex systems which don’t come close to meeting design intentions in terms of either energy or IAQ. It was one of the conclusions of the recent Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) report into low carbon construction (BIS, 2010) that to meet carbon emissions reduction targets means a steep learning curve for the construction and property supply chains. If requirements associated with IAQ are added there is yet more to learn. IAQ is not an exact science, but some recent work from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL, 2012) in the States provides an indication that CO2 emissions in their own right have a significant impact on cognitive ability. The results imply that levels of CO2 found in a significant proportion of well-sealed mechanically-ventilated homes and other building types can have an impact on certain cognitive functions. The zero carbon goal for 2019 will be very difficult to achieve on its own. As a knowledgeable sector we must not become rabbits in the zero carbon headlights - there are other issues that need attention too! ■ Photo Credit: Fulvio Spada
+ More Information Richard John is the Director for Sustainable Construction at BSRIA and has over 30 years’ experience in construction research. For further information contact Richard at email@example.com environmentmagazine.co.uk | 41 |
Dr Petr i Jaak kola / FTI R / Ga smet
The Gasmet Story:
From an Academic Idea to a Global Business In th i s ar t icl e, Dr Petr i Jaak kola , f ounder and Chair man of Gasmet Technolog ies O y e x pla in s how an idea shared by a g rou p of researchers at the Universit y o f Ou lu in Fin land , dur ing the ear ly 1970s, developed into one of the world’s l ead ing ga s mo nitor ing instr umentation manu facturers. In this article, Dr Petri Jaakkola, founder and Chairman of Gasmet Technologies Oy explains how an idea shared by a group of researchers at the University of Oulu in Finland, during the early 1970s, developed into one of the world’s leading gas monitoring instrumentation manufacturers.
Early history – technology development
At first, the Finnish researchers understood that the prospect of being able to measure multiple gases simultaneously was very exciting, but at the time it was difficult to identify the best market for the technology to address. Initially the high resolution FTIR technology developed in the University was only used for laboratory research applications. Environmental legislation was only in its formative stages, but conscious of a growing desire to protect air quality, the researchers felt that the long-term prospects for the technology were sound.
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Using FTIR (Fourier Transform InfraRed) analysis, the workers had shown that it was possible to collect a complete infrared spectrum (a measurement of the infrared light absorbed by molecules inside the sample gas cell) for gases, and from this it was possible to generate both qualitative and quantitative data for the measured gas.
The first commercial partner was the company Scanoptics Oy, which worked on a high resolution FTIR spectrometer for the laboratory market and succeeded in selling two units to Finnish Universities in the early 1980's. Since this business approach did not prove to be successful, the company changed its focus to develop a low resolution FTIR spectrometer for industrial applications and developed the initial prototype in the late 1980's. ►
It is important to note that FTIR was also being developed elsewhere for use in the laboratory for qualitative analysis of liquids and solids. Crucially, if Scanoptics had chosen this market in the early years, the technology would have been unlikely to be suitable for emissions monitoring (which became the main market for Gasmet’s FTIR) because sufficient emphasis would not have been given to the ruggedness of the technology to withstand demanding industrial conditions. However, since 1959 in Finland, it has been compulsory to include a shelter in any building over a certain size. Naturally, the quality of air inside these shelters is a primary concern, so Finntemet Oy, a Finnish manufacturer of shelters and blast resistant and gastight doors, was interested in gas analysis, and in 1990 they acquired Scanoptics’ FTIR business. This soon led to the creation of Temet Instruments Oy, which at that stage consisted of just four scientists: one working on electronics, one on the optical components, one on the mechanical design and one on software. At that time, there were no commercial or business development staff, so the focus was solely on the development of the technology. The first Gasmet FTIR gas analyser was sold in 1993 – its serial number was #9301, and it was used successfully until around 2005. Long-term reliable service was a key objective for the Temet FTIR instruments and for this reason most of the company’s early years were spent improving the technology. This naturally created financial pressure, but the investment proved worthwhile as new environmental legislation created a heavy demand for emissions monitoring equipment.
Dr Petr i Jaak kola / FTI R / Ga smet
The growth of FTIR
In the United States, the 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act addressed toxic air pollution and established a national permits program for stationary sources, and increased enforcement authority. As a result, the USA was initially the largest market for emissions monitoring equipment. However, in the early days, the reputation of FTIR was tarnished by companies that tried to adapt highresolution laboratory FTIR for emissions monitoring applications. As a result, for early adopters, it was necessary for the Temet FTIR to be installed in customers’ processes so that they could see the flexibility and reliability for themselves. International performance certification schemes have been extremely influential in building confidence in FTIR and in the growth of the Gasmet business. However, certification by organisations such as TÜV in Germany and MCERTS in the UK, is a costly and time-consuming process. Nevertheless, environmental regulations around the world have increasingly required monitoring equipment to be certified and this has been a great benefit to Gasmet. In addition to a reliance on the development of environmental legislation, it was also necessary to overcome market resistance to multicomponent analysers. In the 1990s process managers with a regulatory requirement to monitor a small number of specific gases preferred to buy individual analysers for each gas and if the number of gases was relatively low, this was generally less costly than a multi-component FTIR analyser. However, the operators of FTIR analysers were able to demonstrate a number of important advantages.
Firstly, they were able to measure an almost limitless number of other chemical compounds that helped them to better manage their processes. Secondly, as legislation developed, it became necessary to measure new compounds for compliance purposes, and this was simple and cost-free for the users of FTIR, whereas those with single-gas analysers needed to purchase new hardware. Many factors affect the choice of analyser, but the regulatory requirement is of course the most significant. A coal fired power station for example, may only be required to monitor SO2, NOx and CO emissions, whereas a municipal waste incineration plant will have to monitor other parameters such as organic compounds, HCl, HF and dioxins and heavy metals etc. FTIR is ideal for process operators that need to: 1) Analyse multiple components, or 2) Analyse hot/wet gas 3) Analyse any gas in complicated gas mixtures
In the early 2000s, demand for the company’s products grew very quickly requiring high levels of investment. This led to a management buyout in 2005 which resulted in the formation of Gasmet Technologies Oy. By that time, all of the company’s research, development, manufacturing and head office operations had been brought into one facility in Helsinki. Sales and service activities were undertaken by a global network of distributors and subsidiary offices in Hong Kong (2005), Canada (2009), and in Germany (2013). The strategy of keeping all major functions in one facility was given a high level of priority because it enabled Gasmet to control the quality of key components such as the FTIR’s interferometer and also because it ensured that a high level of expertise was available before and after sales.
FTIR remains the most important analytical technology employed by Gasmet. However, until 2004 all of the analysers functioned by extracting a representative sample from a process or emission stream. At this time, the world’s first in-situ FTIR gas analyser was launched. ►
The first Gasmet FTIR gas analyser was sold in 1993 – its serial number was #9301, and it was used successfully until around 2005.
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Dr Petr i Jaak kola / FTI R / Ga smet
Above, a Gasmet CEMS and an Old Gasmet FTIR in Operation. Later, in 2008, Gasmet launched the world’s first portable ambient FTIR analyser, the DX-4030, capable of analysing large numbers of compounds simultaneously. This instrument brought Gasmet into many new monitoring applications, helping users to identify and measure almost any gas. At the time of writing (July 2013) the latest version, the DX-4040 remains unique and has been employed in occupational safety, incident response, Hazmat, chemical spill and fire investigations, shipping container testing, anaesthetic gas detection, greenhouse gas research and many others. In 2013, Gasmet launched a new continuous mercury monitor (CMM). Coinciding with a new global treaty to reduce Mercury emissions, the new CMM could not have been better timed. Mercury is recognised as a chemical of global concern due to its long-range transport in the atmosphere, its persistence in the environment, its toxicity, its ability to bio-accumulate in ecosystems and its significant negative effect on human health. The CMM employs cold vapour atomic fluorescence (CVAF) to deliver very low detection limits at a significantly lower cost than other comparable mercury monitoring instruments.
Why has Gasmet been successful in the global market?
Gasmet has diversified significantly since its inception, which has helped to reduce business risk. However, emissions monitoring remains the largest application, and this is important because this presents challenging conditions for high-tech instruments, particularly since they are expected to run all day, every day, so it is extremely important that the technology is robust and very reliable. Typically, Gasmet’s analysers last from ten to fifteen years, significantly out-performing the computers that are employed to run them.
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Every Gasmet customer is different, which means that almost every analyser is unique. Therefore, Gasmet and its distributors have invested heavily in technical support so that customers receive bespoke monitoring systems, tailored to meet their specific needs. The company’s philosophy is to sell solutions, not just instruments. By manufacturing in-house Gasmet maintains a firm control not just over the quality of the products, but also the costs because there are no extra margins for outsourced sub-contract manufacturers. The quality of the products is further reinforced by the investment that has been made in performance verification/certification. Finally, given that environmental legislation was only in its very formative stages, it is astonishing that from the results of the fundamental research work performed at the University of Oulu, two decades later Temet was able to build a business around it, and that the researchers’ foresight would lead to the creation of one of the world’s leading manufacturers of environmental monitoring instrumentation. It is fortunate that the workers in Scanoptics chose to develop an analyser that would be ideal for continuous emissions monitoring. However, the definition of luck is: ‘preparation meeting opportunity’, which applies neatly to the development of Gasmet’s FTIR technology and the creation of global environmental legislation ■
+ More Information www.gasmet.fi
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Mi ke Clough / Japanese K no t weed
by Mi ke Cl ough
Director Japanese Knotweed Solutions and Chairman of INNSA
A little bit like the young child in the back of the car on a long journey repeating the phrase ... ‘are we there yet, are we there yet?’... many people dealing with the long term management of Japanese Knotweed will hear their clients saying ...’is it dead yet?’
be obvious to any decent quality environmentally based company dealing with these plants, some of the more recent additions to the companies offering services in this sector are less well qualified and completely ignorant as to the vagaries of plant growth.
How do you answer this question? There have been efforts in the past few years to produce ‘viability tests’ for Japanese Knotweed rhizome – but these are only ever going to prove the viability of the visible piece of knotweed removed from the ground.
So how do you tell if a plant has actually been eradicated over winter? If it’s not actively growing then this is going to be tricky! During Spring or Summer, any fragments of Japanese Knotweed untreated will rapidly grow back and produce new growth. Even areas successfully treated will often produce a final flurry of ‘bonsai’ growth with small fine cut leaves and low ground hugging growth.
Unfortunately the ‘visible’ bits are not the pieces we are worried about! The pieces of rhizome invisible to the eye, buried deep beneath moved material are the pieces that we worry about, these are the sections of the plant that could cause problems in the future. So really, viability testing of small sections of plant is a bit of a waste of time. I’m not saying there isn’t a place for viability testing, but I am saying the results need to be looked at with a critical view as to what they are actually proving? It is the fragmented nature of the Japanese Knotweed plant that make it such a difficult plant to fully eradicate. Many of the mechanical regimes used to remove the growth can actually increase the number of sections of viable plant and introduce whole new areas of growth into new areas when the contaminated material is spread. One of the less obvious problems with dealing with eradication of plants in general is the seasonality of their growth. Most of the invasive non native group of problem plants are either deciduous or perennial and die back anyway over winter. Whilst this may
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Sites treated towards senescence (cellular die back during late Autumn) will look successfully eradicated even if sprayed with nothing but water! The leaves will colour and fall and the stems will soon be clear of leaves and looking to the inexperienced eye, 'dead', the plant was going to do this anyway, in preparation for the winter months ahead. I have even heard less experienced contractors call over wintering plants ‘dead’.
Q. So what can you do when late in the season your client buys a piece of land, full of Japanese Knotweed that he wants to develop immediately? Well the first thing I would do is book them in for a training seminar! Anybody involved in land purchase should as a minimum be able to spot problem plants, even if they can’t actually identify individual species they should be able to spot the warning signs and know when to call in an expert.
Web: www. jksl.com
Japanese Knotweed on a newly purchased site can add not just thousands on to your remediation costs but tens of thousands. Removal to landfill can often make a site a non-viable prospect. The majority of the ‘problem’ plants are highly visible even to the untrained eye. Your client needs to be told that a serious infestation of Japanese Knotweed on a newly purchased site can add not just thousands on to your remediation costs but tens of thousands. Removal to landfill can often make a site a non-viable prospect. Once the sale has gone through, providing the vendor wasn’t hiding information to increase the value of the land – it’s too late to argue for the costs of remediation: it’s a case of ‘buyer beware’.
Q. ...back to the original question, your client has bought this piece of land, he needs to develop quickly to show a return on the money he has invested, what should he do? Chemical treatment as a ‘one stop answer’ is out of the question, the plant will not fully absorb the poison. Your thoughts must turn to landfill? Its quick, it’s clean. but its bloody expensive. One square metre of surface growth of Japanese Knotweed requires an excavation two to three metres deep and seven metres in all direction from surface growth. This will result in a pile of muck approximately 450m3. 450m3 of soil is the equivalent of 810 tons (1.8t per m3). 810 tons taken off site to landfill classed as contaminated with JK will be charged at a landfill tax rate of £72 per ton giving you a tax bill alone of £58,320. There are ways to reduce this figure by classing the material in different ways, reducing the percentage
of knotweed and classing as less than 5% will massively reduce the tax liability – however HMRC are rumoured to be changing the legislation to remove this loophole. There are some new strategies available in the market with companies offering to screen or sift the site arisings and remove the rhizome material – separating it from the clean soil. In the past the screening systems were huge cumbersome pieces of kit designed for large scale site remediation and were unsuitable for the smaller site operations. There are now mini-screeners available for small sites and domestic projects – when used by experienced operatives this can prove hugely beneficial, being cheaper than removal to landfill and obviously quicker than any chemical control strategy currently available. Burial on site may be an option but depends very much on the current development plan with one eye on potential future uses of the site. Ideal opportunities exist on sites where there is land allocated for car parking or perhaps public open space. This technique is based upon digging a large pit in which to bury the contaminated material, the pit is lined with a ‘landfill grade’ carpet of material which is then overlapped around the material to be encapsulated and heat sealed or glued to give a sealed pocket within the pit. The pit must be first approved by the local Environment Agency office then covered with a minimum of two metres of cover – the position of the pit must be recorded on drawings which should then be submitted to the EA. The downside to any mechanical treatment of Japanese Knotweed is that you will always run the risk of fragmenting the plant and leaving small sections of rhizome within the ground. It is
impossible to categorically state – ‘we have removed every trace of Japanese Knotweed from your site’ – anybody that says this is lying. You can say – ‘we have removed every visible piece of Japanese Knotweed from your site’ – this is what we would say at Japanese Knotweed Solutions (JKSL). We would also state that our recommendation would be to have an ‘aftercare policy’ in place. We always offer a belt and braces approach at JKSL – for a small fee we will visit your site on a regular basis and ensure that nothing untoward is happening and that any fragments of plant left on site are rapidly dealt with before they can become a problem. All of the invasive non native plants that trouble us within the UK are going to be problematic, it’s what they do. If they weren’t awkward and difficult to eradicate there wouldn’t be the legislation in place to control them. It should be noted that many newly set up companies are offering instant strategies to manage these plants – this just isn’t possible. The control of these species is always based on a long term approach and putting strategies in place to visit and return to site to check and monitor any changes within your site. There is no quick fix solution. So in conclusion the answer to your client’s question ... ‘is it dead yet?’... probably should be ... ‘it’s a long journey and we’ve only just set off...’ ■
+ More Information Japanese Knotweed Solutions: www.jksl.com Invasive Non-Native Specialists Association: www.innsa.org environmentmagazine.co.uk | 49 |
Dave L acey / Dai k i n / R enewable Heat Incent i ve
Making the most of the RHI
The New Year, 2014, marks an important milestone for growing renewable heating technologies, with the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) due to start in Spring 2014. Dave Lacey, Commercial Director, Heating and Renewables at Daikin UK, examines how the scheme is expected to develop and how UK specifiers, installers and assessors can make the most of this and other schemes.
With the inclusion of air-to-water heat pumps in the non-domestic RHI scheme, and the launch of the domestic RHI scheme just around the corner, the outlook for the renewables industry is very exciting. However, this is now the time to understand the scheme and prepare for the opportunities ahead. Under the non-domestic RHI, installations of airto-water heat pumps (AWHP) are now eligible for a tariff of 2.5p/kWh. The new tariff, effective from December 2013, will apply to AWHPs, regardless of size, which now means building owners have a greater choice of renewable heating technologies supported by the RHI. The domestic RHI will offer tariff payments of 7.3p/ kWh for air-to-water heat pumps and 19.2p/kWh for solar thermal panels. Meanwhile, the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) voucher scheme is available until March 2014, providing a one-off payment of £1,300 for installing air-to-water heat pumps and £600 for solar thermal systems. Registered social landlords have been instrumental in the growth of the renewables market so far, as they have made use of the technologies to reduce fuel bills for their tenants, particularly in
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off-gas areas. In October 2013, the Government’s Reach-Out Competition awarded £5m to 57 social landlords across Great Britain to install renewable heating in tenants’ homes. The RHI is designed to assist homeowners in offgas areas by reducing the additional investment cost for renewable technologies. Demand is likely to increase as awareness of the scheme grows. The domestic RHI is a demand-led scheme and depending on uptake, tariffs may be reduced in accordance with the Government’s available budget. In practice, this means early applicants may well get a better deal than those who decide to participate later – and this should be communicated clearly to those considering the adoption of renewables. Air and ground source heat pumps, biomass and solar thermal technology systems are all eligible for RHI funding. This means that there is a wide range of solutions for customers who will need professional advice to choose the most appropriate systems for their homes. This should present considerable opportunities for Green Deal Assessors and professional MCS Accredited renewable energy installers.
The RHI scheme requires that Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accredited installers carry out the installation of renewable systems. Energy Assessments by Green Deal Assessors are a pre-requisite, and together with information from the MCS installer, will form the basis for the calculation of RHI income. It is crucial that when recommending renewable heat pump systems, both Green Deal assessors and MCS installers understand what systems are available and how a correctly designed application can maximise energy efficiency and carbon reduction and deliver the highest running cost savings to homeowners. Air-to-water heat pumps, such as Daikin Altherma Low Temperature systems for example, are most suitable where a house is being refurbished with improved insulation and heat emitters are being replaced. Operating most efficiently when generating low flow temperatures, these systems work best when installed with correctly dimensioned heat emitters that will deliver the required heat load with the
Dave L acey / Dai k i n / R enewable Heat Incent i ve
lowest possible flow temperatures. Underfloor heating systems can operate with flow temperatures as low as 35°C; heat pump convectors can also be selected to operate at similar low flow temperatures; and low temperature radiators typically require flow temperatures of 45°C.
The RHI is assists homeowners in off-gas areas by reducing investment costs for renewable technologies. Demand will likely increase as awareness grows. Early applicants may get a better deal than those who decide to participate later – which should be communicated clearly to those considering the adoption of renewables.
As the market develops, partnerships between Green Deal Assessors, and MCS accredited heating installers will simplify the customer journey, and ensure that the specialist skills and knowledge of each are maximised to provide consistent consumer advice. A joint approach will also ensure that systems will be installed to the highest standards and that households achieve the maximum benefits – reduced energy bills, increased comfort and lower carbon emissions. While the initial investment costs might be higher than a traditional heating system, the domestic RHI is designed to greatly reduce payback periods for homeowners, removing a key barrier for uptake. With their higher operating efficiencies, many renewable applications, particularly in off-gas areas, offer significant running cost savings and acceptable payback times even without financial incentives from government schemes. However, it is important to make an accurate estimate of the potential RHI income upfront, to ensure customers are fully informed of the potential cost, savings and income from the system. For individual heat pump systems, tariff payments will be determined by a “deeming” calculation. For an air-to-water heat pump, this will be the estimated heat use from the Energy Performance Certificate which is calculated as part of the Green Deal Assessment. Heat use is combined with the heat pump’s design Seasonal Performance Factor (SPF) to estimate how much renewable heat will be
generated. The SPF is estimated by the MCS installer using the Heat Emitter Guide. Using the current HEG edition, the minimum SPF that would qualify for RHI is 2.7, which is equivalent to a maximum design flow temperature of 50˚C. From this calculation the renewable heat output is estimated and tariff payments can be ascertained precisely. When selecting a correctly sized renewable heat pump system, MCS accredited installers assess the heat load of a home on a room-by-room basis, including the capacity of the heat emitters, to select the appropriate heat pump. For an air-to-water heat pump, the domestic RHI scheme is set to pay a 7.3p per kWh tariff payment for each unit of renewable heat generated over seven years. Therefore, for a heating system with a total heat demand of 15,000 kWh and a flow temperature of 50˚C, this payment is likely to equate to about £4,800 over that period (less any prior funding received from the RHPP scheme). As with the RHPP voucher scheme, some homes will be selected by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to be metered using the department’s own equipment. The monitoring will help DECC to verify fuel bill savings and the amount of renewable energy being generated. MCS installers will be required to ensure that all new installations are “meter-ready”. For an installation to be ‘meter-ready’ will mean leaving sufficient space for heat meters in defined locations; installing isolation valves to avoid the need to drain systems; leaving the pipework accessible and not boxed in to enable meters to be easily retrofitted and providing information about the installation to help DECC select appropriate sites. Under the scheme, there will be two situations where installers are required to fit their own meters for RHI payment purposes. Firstly, it will be mandatory for bivalent or hybrid heat pump systems to have heat and electric meters fitted to calculate the actual renewable heat generated. It will also be necessary for anyone claiming RHI payments on a second home to have meters fitted. Ultimately, it is down to manufacturers, installers, and registered housing providers to work together to ensure that the RHI delivers the renewable energy targets and to ultimately make sure the scheme is a success. New opportunities are on the horizon for the renewables industry, with government funding schemes bringing down the overall cost of renewable heating installations ■
+ More Information www.daikin.co.uk
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Dr Ni na Sko r u psk a / Co mmuni t y Energ y / R E A
Why Engaging Communities in Renewable Energy is Critical for Low-Carbon Energy Policy R E A Ch ief E xecu tive Dr Nina Skor u psk a ex plains w hy co mmu nit y renewables i s a major pr ior it y for t he R enewable Energ y A ssoc iation in 2014 Renewable energy is coming of age in the United Kingdom. In a relatively short period of time, it has transformed from something policymakers have simply talked about into an actually occurring real world phenomenon. People are beginning to form views on the reality of renewable energy, and not just the idea of renewable energy. And while some of those views are extraordinarily positive, others feel that their views are being ruined by it. We oughtn’t panic. No industry has 100% adoration in the public eye, although renewable energy actually does fare much better in opinion polls than one might expect given some of the newspaper headlines. But we can certainly do more to convince the sceptics that renewable energy is good for them than simply telling them it’s good for them. We need to deliver benefits that are tangible and immediate, as well as the long-term, less tangible benefits of increased energy independence and climate change mitigation. The immediate go-to benefit is jobs and investment – the promise of economic growth and industrial renaissance. These are vital and valuable arguments, but they too often feel more like political than actual benefits. 110,000 jobs in renewable energy is terrific news for the economy, but will that really make you feel better about living next to a renewable energy generator? Increasingly, industry and Government alike are beginning to realise that the answer is no. The Government has therefore taken steps to ameliorate the situation with a prescriptive community benefit approach, with wind farm developers asked to commit £5,000 per MW installed per year into a fund for the benefit of the local community.
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Those who oppose developments often describe this as a bribe. In our view, there is no doubting that it is good practice for developers to share the benefits of development with the communities involved. But we think it can go further. At the REA, we believe that renewable energy, and the renewable energy industry, is better than this. We don’t think of community benefit as compensation for renewable energy development, but as sharing the value of renewable energy. Immediately reducing that value to pounds and pence is a somewhat narrow and reductive approach which disregards the unique real world value that renewable energy in its various forms can add to the culture and economy of hosting communities. Granted, this form of support might be the best option in some situations and it is a good first step – we’re not advocating a one-sizefits-all approach – in fact, that’s exactly what we’re advocating against. The next level of engagement is direct community investment, and make no mistake, this is a big step up. A community has no stake in a project under the compensation approach (especially if the formula is capacity rather than generation based), but it does have a stake in a project if, well, it has a stake in it! Community share offers are increasingly being used by developers to gain greater acceptance for their projects – and of course, competitive advantage. New finance models, using web-based crowd-sourcing platforms, are a phenomenal growth area in the renewables industry. The early movers are reaping rewards, and the more conventional companies are just beginning to wake up to the opportunities.
Just look at the difference in public attitudes towards the Severn Barrage and Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon proposals. Granted, there are some major physical differences between the two schemes, but they are not actually as different as one might think from the divergent public opinion. More significant in my view is the difference in the approach of the developers. Hafren Power speak mainly of energy security, carbon and jobs in their publicity around the Severn Barrage proposal. Tidal Lagoon Power speak much more about the leisure benefits of a lagoon, for water sports, tourism and so on, and perhaps more importantly, they enthusiastically invite the community to buy into their vision from the outset, rather than having a vision foisted upon them. Community ownership can be ‘pure’ or ‘joint’. ‘Pure’ community ownership is when a community group effectively is the project developer, and only interacts with industry to buy services and equipment. ‘Joint’ ownership could be a communityinitiated project which brings in a developer as a partner, or a developer-initiated project which brings in the community as a partner. Community groups have achieved tremendous results with limited resources already in the UK. Although a relatively small contributor to renewables overall, the sector has grown almost three times faster than overall renewables since 2003, standing today at 140MW, according to ResPublica. ResPublica forecasted in September a potential community energy capacity in 2020 of 5,270MW, nearly ten times the business-as-usual projection of 550MW. We agree with ResPublica that forging stronger relationships between communities and developers is one of the key steps to realising the full potential of community renewables. Fostering these kinds of community-developer partnerships is something the REA is incredibly enthusiastic about promoting, and is also a central theme of the Government’s forthcoming Community Energy Strategy. This is top of the agenda for Gaynor
Hartnell, my predecessor as REA Chief Executive, who is leading our work on community energy. Gaynor is very busy discussing the issues with key stakeholders in this space, from Government officials to community energy practitioners to local authorities, all of whom have a key role to play in increasing community acceptance of renewables, and expanding community ownership, development and benefits of renewables. Again, though, we want to avoid a prescriptive onesize-fits-all approach, and instead attempt to allow for the particularities of different circumstances, and of course, encourage competition to drive prices down and quality up. However, the story doesn’t end with community ownership. Much of the debate on community renewables to date has been constrained in two distinct, yet related aspects, and we want to help communities and developers realise the wider opportunities in community renewables. Firstly, like the wider renewable energy debate, it has been blind to the majority of renewable technologies available, tending to focus on onshore wind, solar PV (and, to a lesser extent, hydropower). There are some good reasons for this, such as the low (and declining) capital costs of wind and solar. But there is also a psychological element, which is both the greatest strength and greatest weakness of solar and wind power, and that is to do with their visual impact.
Biomass, and biofuels provide communities with the opportunity to generate value from food and garden waste. Photo Credit: Wilderness Wood
Wind turbines and solar panels are unmistakably wind turbines and solar panels. They are distinct, and I bet when I say renewables, you think of these two technologies. This iconic visual distinctiveness is part of the reason they are deploying faster than other technologies – but it is also partly what holds them back, because some people don’t like the look of these distinctive technologies. Of course there are a whole range of other technologies available too, such as anaerobic ►
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Dr Ni na Sko r u psk a / Co mmuni t y Energ y / R E A
Sugar Beet harvesting
There are a whole range of technologies available, such as anaerobic digestion. Communities could conceivably invest in or develop projects around any available technologies.
digestion (AD), biomass heat and power, conventional and advanced energy from waste technologies, geothermal heat and power, heat pumps, solar hot water systems, wave and tidal power and transport biofuels. And communities could conceivably invest in or develop projects around any of these technologies. Some have higher barriers to entry than others for the ‘pure’ community approach, but there’s nothing to preclude the developer-initiated ‘joint’ ownership approach for any of these technologies. This leads to the second constraint. Wind, solar PV and hydropower (and wave and tidal too) do not require fuel inputs, and deliver a simple electricity output. This means there is no economic activity involved in keeping these renewable power devices
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generating (besides operations and maintenance), while the power output tends to be fed straight into the grid (although not always). However, all the other technologies listed above, which have to date barely registered in the community energy debate, can generate direct value for local communities in terms of both inputs and outputs. Let’s start with the heat technologies. Except for biomethane injection, all these technologies generate heat which absolutely must be used locally. Domestic or office scale solar hot water systems, biomass boilers and air and ground source heat pumps are ideal candidates for collective purchase schemes, alongside solar panels and possibly micro-wind turbines, where communities club together Groupon-style to get a good deal
Photo: British Sugar
which allows the provider to reap economies of scale and the benefit of a guaranteed large order. Solar thermal, biomass, heat pumps of all kinds, deep geothermal and the various energy from waste technologies – from AD to gasification to combustion – could all conceivably feed in to a district heating scheme which leads to lower fuel bills for all connected homes, businesses and public buildings. This realises the energy benefit directly in the local community. This process could be managed by a community-owned ESCO. Then there are the fuel-based technologies: biomass, biofuels and the various energy from waste technologies. These provide communities with the opportunity to club together to generate value from their wastes, such as food and garden waste for AD, general waste for gasification & pyrolysis, conventional EfW and bioethanol, and specialist wastes such as used cooking oil or tallow for biodiesel. Biomass and biofuels meanwhile offer communities the opportunity to come together to cultivate renewable energy feedstocks in community farms and gardens, for instance, willow coppices for biomass heat and power or sugar beet farming for bioethanol. Local scale community farming is really taking off in the UK, and there’s no reason this movement shouldn’t embrace climate-friendly clean fuel production as well as food production. Communities can either sell on these fuels, or use them in their own renewable energy generators! Finally, there are the technologies where the outputs aren’t just intangible heat and power, but tangible energy and non-energy products. Tangible energy products include biomethane, biodiesel
and bioethanol, which could all be used for vehicle fuel within the local community. These could cut fuel costs for vehicles which serve the constituent community, such as buses or street sweepers. Likewise, appropriate support measures could lead to more renewable electricity plants, such as wind and solar farms, being designed with the charging of local electric vehicles in mind.
renewable energy developments. Because it can unlock the power of communities to make a major contribution to our climate change, energy security and renewable energy objectives. And because it generates tangible, enduring value for local communities ■
Non-energy renewable products include digestate from AD, which can be used as an organic substitute for mineral and chemical fertilisers, and animal feed by-products from the production of biodiesel and bioethanol. The biofertiliser could be used in local parks, farms and gardens (or indeed in community renewable fuel production) while the animal feed would have value for local farmers (including those who send their farm slurries and agricultural residues to AD, who heat their livestock shelters from renewable sources, or who host wind and solar farms on their land).
+ More Information The REA is developing a platform for public, private and community groups to make business connections with the renewables industry, free of charge. Although still in development, the Renewables Marketplace is already functional and can be accessed at: www.r-e-a.net/marketplace
When we look at the full range of renewable technologies, we see both the breadth of opportunities which the current community renewables movement has just begun to scratch the surface of, and we see the exciting ways in which many of these technologies can be complementary to each other. This broader vision of community renewables, which considers a wide range of both technologies and operational models, is what the REA is working hard to develop and promote with other partners and stakeholders in this space. And why are we doing this? Because it generates business for a larger proportion of our members. Because it will help increase acceptance of
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Mark d e Vere W h i te / Smar t Meters / It ro n
Realising the Potential for ‘Smart’ in the European Energy Industry European energy grids are getting smarter, and as utilities begin to leverage smart energy management technologies, they are moving toward resource efficiency, cost-cutting and consumer empowerment. With EU legislation mandating business case assessment that could require 80% of consumers have smart meters by 2020, European utilities and consumers will begin to experience the benefits of smart metering technology. The most exciting prospect of this transformation is the potential of more intelligent, secure and reliable energy management solutions and technology’s role in addressing not only demand and supplyside variability, but also assuring the successful integration of more clean energy resources.
Mar k d e Vere W hite
President, Electricity at Itron
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In some cases, we’re finding that only a small portion of the functionality of installed smart meters is currently being used. The initial phase of smart meter installations has been focused on advanced billing capabilities, yet there is so much more that can be done with this technology. The untapped potential will be key to helping address the challenges of global energy demand rising by over one third by 2035 , as well as the decommissioning of nuclear power generation or
the electric grid management challenges brought by increased generation from renewable power. In fact, smart systems will be absolutely critical for European utilities to manage a diversifying portfolio of energy resources when consumer expectations for reliability and value are higher than ever.
Transparency of demand
As energy systems around the world experience increased demand as a result of rising populations and higher usage by individuals, governments and utilities need to consider the role of smart energy management. While energy generation usually receives the attention of policymakers, utilities in Europe need a clearer picture into how increasing energy demand and integration of renewable generation sources are impacting their investment decisions. Given the increasing cost of energy production and the need to achieve energy security without compromising 2020 goals, the industry should focus on moving energy users “off peak” and flattening the demand curve by gaining a better understanding of how energy is being produced and used. This means utilising technology to engage consumers and more closely align energy demand with capacity and availability. This becomes a bigger ►
Smart energy management technologies help utilities and distributors forecast and manage loads, reducing the need for costly infrastructure expansion and improving service quality and customer satisfaction.
challenge as more “intermittent” renewable energy resources (solar and wind) are introduced to the grid. In addition, European utilities, in particular, are facing increasing maintenance and upgrade costs to keep up with demand and the need to modernize infrastructure. Smart energy management technologies help utilities and distributors forecast and manage loads, reducing the need for costly infrastructure expansion and improving service quality and customer satisfaction. For example, engineers can remotely monitor grid utilisation to identify potential reliability problems before they result in outages. Furthermore, by recognizing and pinpointing patterns of domestic energy loss, utilities can engage in productive dialogue with consumers about where they can save money. For example, in California, utilities are already offering consumers the option to take lower cost energy rates in exchange for reducing their energy consumption during hours of peak demand. Moving energy usage away from peak times is a step in the right direction to reduce the need for capacity expansion and decrease greenhouse gas emissions, which is crucial for meeting Europe’s target to reduce greenhouse gases by 20% by 2020.
Enabling smart devices on the grid, openly and safely
With the support of EU policy and increasing investment, smart energy management technologies also play a major role in safely enabling an influx of smart technologies to operate on the power grid.
According to Gartner, within seven years, 25 billion smart devices will be in communication with each other without human involvement. There is a vital role for smart grid technologies to play in measuring and managing the impact of these devices on the grid and providing analysis of use patterns so that utilities across the EU can proactively scale energy supply to meet demand, or vice versa. As the internet of things takes shape, the industry needs to ensure that adequate authentication is in place to bring these new devices and solutions onto the grid safely and securely. In addition to providing flexibility to integrate devices now, an open and interoperable system architecture allows for the next generation of smart technologies that are yet to be developed and commercialized. This need to future-proof the smart grid is a key reason why Itron has collaborated with Cisco to jointly develop an advanced IPv6 network that supports multiple smart grid devices and applications. The interoperable, secure network infrastructure addresses various challenges from grid reliability to support for consumer engagement and energy efficiency. A key way to address the issue of rising demand and to realize the promise of the smart grid is to engage consumers. Managing the gap between supply and demand is a vital way of strategically managing power surges, as well as encouraging consumers to power, restock and recharge their electrical devices when supply is high and prices are low. At a technical level, a real-time and accurate picture of
consumer demand will also improve both supply and load management, enable accurate forecasting, and maximise the opportunity to reinforce the grid with energy storage. Certainly, there is an entirely new generation of smart devices and applications available to make this symbiotic relationship with consumers and their power supply a reality. The full benefits of that will not accrue unless the energy system is made smart – from end to end – and can scale to meet the needs of the 21st century. Ultimately, this will enable the EU to achieve its sustainability goals without compromising energy security ■
+ More Information www.itron.com
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Food & Packaging
Jane Bi ckerstaf f e / Pac k ag i ng / I NCP E N
Stockholm Syndrome in a World of Packaging Jane Bicker staf f e Director INCPEN
It seems to me that the subject of packaging often provokes a peculiar type of "Stockholm Syndrome" in industry. Like hostages expressing empathy with their kidnappers, rather than quickly and simply refuting criticism of packaging, industry expresses grudging acknowledgement of the arguments of those who attack it, often with the mealy-mouthed response that when it comes to packaging “perception is reality”. It isn’t. This type of thinking leads to weak assertions and a failure to get across the facts. It has led to: • Apologising for the amount of packaging used – rather than explaining what the packaging does. • Focusing on making all packaging recyclable – rather than stressing the overall resourceefﬁciency of a pack in terms of its functions and promoting recycling where it yields a net environmental beneﬁt and energy recovery where that is more efﬁcient. • Telling the public that a move from one material to another is being done for environmental reasons – rather than making the changes and explaining the functions of the packaging without mentioning the material.
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This is not being facetious. Serious issues are involved. Packaging is as critical to modern life as the water supply system. Towns and cities could not exist without it. It performs a major role in protecting far more resources than it uses and preventing far more waste than it generates. Of course there is always room for improvement but manufacturers and retailers have both economic and environmental reasons to get packaging right, simply because their costs are lower if they use fewer materials and less energy and water. Despite this, far from being acknowledged as an essential and beneficial part of getting food and other products to us in a safe, clean and undamaged state, packaging is widely derided and criticised. This is unfair. Ten times more resources go into manufacturing products than making their packaging so the packaging has to ensure that those resources do not go to waste. Manufacturers know the stresses and strains that the product has to endure - how high it has to be stacked in storage, how it fits in the distribution lorry, how the filling machinery works and what temperature ranges it will meet.
For this reason, they need to be able to choose from the widest possible range of packaging to match it to the requirements of the product, the supply system and the end-user.
but there needs to be a realistic approach to what is achievable. Unrealistically high targets will push recycling into areas where it is not environmentally and economically viable.
As consumers we only see packaging when the product has reached the shop. By then it has almost finished its useful life. Politicians tend to relate to packaging in the same way but, as politicians, are tempted to “do something about it”. This has led to restrictions and taxes in many countries - the biggest barrier to making packaging even more resource-efficient.
All systems have leakage; 100% recycling is never achievable. Not all households are provided with collection facilities; those that are may not use them; those that do may not contribute all their recyclables; and some of the weight of collected material will not be recyclable because of contamination and moisture.
Some politicians favour making supply chain companies responsible not only for the environmental impact of their products and packaging but also for the cost of recycling used packaging. Perhaps they don’t realise that in the UK alone manufacturers and retailers already contribute over £50m a year to support recovery and recycling. In any case, imposing such “responsibility” does not make sense. No one can take responsibility for things that are not under their control. At many times during its life packaging is under the control of consumers and local authorities. In practice, companies do take responsibility for sourcing raw materials responsibly and by designing packaging so that, after use, it is capable of being recovered – either as energy or as a material. Recovery and recycling is well-established across Europe. Incremental improvements will happen
Consider this. If 95% of households have collection facilities and 90% of those households use them and contribute 90% of their recyclables and there is only 10% contamination, then the maximum amount of material that can be recycled is 69% (90% of 90% of 90% of 95%). This is a best-case scenario and such high participation is unlikely to be achieved. Technically, everything can be recycled if enough resources and money are spent on collecting/ sorting/cleaning. The question is, should we? We must not lose sight of the fact that the whole purpose of recycling is to conserve resources, so using more resources than are recovered makes absolutely no sense. Used packaging can, and increasingly is, being well managed. The big problem is food waste. Food waste is a huge environmental problem in developed countries and an environmental disaster in developing ones. Globally we currently grow
enough food to feed everyone. The problem is that globally up to 50% of it is wasted. In developing countries that is usually because the infrastructure has not been developed: poor roads, inadequate vehicles and a lack of packaging make it difficult to get food from producer to consumer in good condition. In developed countries, with efficient food supply chains, good roads and technologically advanced distribution and packaging systems, comparatively little food is wasted en route to the retailer. But once food leaves the shop, it’s down to the consumer to handle it carefully, store it appropriately and use it in time. That doesn’t always happen. Research shows that consumers throw away surprisingly high amounts of the food they buy: UK households waste 4.2million tonnes of food a year, according to WRAP. INCPEN is working with Kent Resource Partnership, the Food & Drink Federation, the Packaging Federation and the Love Food Hate Waste campaign to help consumers reduce food waste at home in a project called Fresher for Longer. Recent INCPEN research Checking Out Food Waste highlighted which foods are wasted between retail depot and check-out (bananas, bread and eggs top the list). The three major supermarkets who participated are already working on ways to reduce this loss. ►
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Food & Packaging
There are a variety of reasons for food being wasted and therefore a number of solutions – but there’s one solution common to many situations: packaging. Reduce Waste, Buy Packaged. Unfortunately, far from being acknowledged as an essential and beneficial part of getting food (and other goods) to us in a safe, clean and undamaged state, packaging is widely derided and criticised. And yet without packaging, many times more food would be wasted. Packaging is inherently a waste avoidance and waste prevention measure. A few grams of plastic or card ensures that tomatoes, chicken breasts, peaches and meringues are not crushed, bruised, dirty or dangerous to eat. It protects food on its journey from farm or factory through mechanical handling and bumpy transport and being stacked ten high in a warehouse. It keeps flies from laying eggs on food and rats from gnawing it. And it doesn’t just avoid food being wasted, it also enables consumers to choose from an ever-widening range of foods, in sizes suitable for their needs. It allows them to live a life style where most people go out to work, shopping is done in a single weekly trip to the supermarket rather than on a daily basis, and convenience foods are relied upon to feed families. “When I was young there wasn’t all this packaging!” is a frequent accusation. Agreed. But unless you are 12 years old, the way we eat in the Western world has changed dramatically in your lifetime. We consume millions of items such as ready-made bread and pizzas. In previous generations, everyone made their own pies and cakes at home. Our ordinary diet now includes fruit and vegetables not grown in the UK, like mangoes, as well as the less exotic staple foods like tea, coffee and rice. How could we have all those without packaging? The science behind the apparently simple pack that protects your food (and incidentally also provides storage and cooking instructions, information on ingredients, fat and salt levels) is extensive. Experience of under-packaged goods shows that using too little protection results in much more waste. But using too much packaging wastes resources and costs businesses money, so fine judgement is needed and a great deal of research goes into each packaging type. The only “bad” packaging from an environmental viewpoint is at the extremes: over-packaging is deplorable, deceptive packaging is illegal and under-packaging is disastrous. Another small way in which packaging reduces waste is that waste from centrally prepared foods (such as the outer leaves of cauliflower and cheese rind in the case of cauliflower cheese) arises at a factory in sufficient quantities to allow it to be sold on for animal feed. Trimmings from home-prepared foods are taken out of the food chain. Home composting may be better than sending food waste to landfill but the energy, water and other resources that went into making that food are still wasted. I refuse to apologise for packaging. There are a few examples of unnecessary packaging and INCPEN is the first to criticise them but the overwhelming majority is appropriate, and the minimum to perform the many jobs required of it. Much of our day-to-day life relies on packaging. It would be good if that were recognised ■
+ More Information www.incpen.org
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Jane Bi ckerstaf f e / Pac k ag i ng / I NCP E N
NEC Birmingham 26 & 27 February 2014 The future of sustainable packaging
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Visit Ecopack, the UKâ€™s only show dedicated to sustainable packaging. Source the latest eco-friendly packaging innovations in the market, benefit from a packed programme of educational seminars and visit over 350 exhibitors! NEW FOR 2014! Recoup - THE PLASTICS AND PACKAGING RECYCLING CLINIC Whatever your recycling or recyclability needs, a visit to the Recoup Clinic will help you understand the practical opportunities.
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Food & Packaging
K ate L ew i s / Co f f ee / Fa i r t rad e
Fairtrade in 2013 Ahead of the Fairtrade Foundation celebrating its 20th year in the UK, Fairtrade coffee manager Kate Lewis talks about ways forward and working to adapt to, and mitigate, climate change.
2013 has seen questions over supply chains and the provenance of our products come to light clearer, and more aggressively, than ever before. A year which saw food scandals like ‘horse-gate’ also witnesses tragedies like the Dhaka factory collapse, putting the spotlight on the UK as consumers, and the developing south as the producers of things we love. Running alongside these issues for the latter part of the year was an ongoing disagreement between Sainsbury’s and Tesco, over advertising yes, but ultimately over whether consumers care about how ‘ethical’ their food is – how fair, how environmental, how valued. That is what is facing consumers in the UK. For farmers in developing countries, the issues are at the sharp end of the supply chain: access to market, environmental changes and pressures, and ensuring they earn enough to feed and educate their families, and grow their businesses. It is with all of these issues in our mind that the Fairtrade Foundation steps into 2014 – the 20th anniversary of the first Fairtrade product in the UK. Walking through any supermarket today, with the huge ranges of products available – including more than 4,500 Fairtrade certified ones – it’s hard to believe the Fairtrade movement started with just one chocolate bar, closely followed by a box of tea and jar of coffee. In 1994, when, after years of hard work, these products were finally launched into the UK market, there were more than a few sceptical eyebrows raised. Fairtrade wouldn’t work, nobody would want to do it and nobody would want to buy it. But if they were looking for a story of failure, as it turned out Fairtrade would not be one. In fact, in the past 20 years it has gone on to change the UK market for the better, change consumer attitudes and create one of the biggest grass-roots movements the UK has. Slowly but surely, more retailers and brands came on board since that first bar of Green & Black’s Maya
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Gold chocolate, and successes saw full product switches from the likes of Sainsbury’s and Waitrose on bananas, as well as fully fair trade organisations cracking the wider market. In the past five years, the Fairtrade Foundation has managed to convert some of Britain’s biggest brands and high street outlets to Fairtrade, with the likes of Cadbury Dairy Milk, Nestle Kit Kat and Maltesers products all carrying the Fairtrade Mark, and high street outlets such as Greggs, Starbucks and Eat serving Fairtrade coffee. In 2012 sales of Fairtrade products reached £1.57bn in the UK alone. Growing sales prevailed for Fairtrade during a time where purse strings are tight and food budgets tighter. From the figures, it looks like Fairtrade had become mainstream – almost 80% of UK consumers recognise the mark now. But the reality is we are still only at the start of the Fairtrade journey. £1.57bnsales in the UK – an incredible achievement from an organisation that started in an attic, yet it only represents a very small percentage of the whole food market. Fairtrade coffee sales have been growing year on year but there is also still room for growth with only 27% of the Roast and Ground market and 3% of instant currently Fairtrade. And so we are working to begin new projects, developing fledgling ones, and strengthening the projects that are already working, and have been working, for the past two decades.
Spreading value to the producer
This year was an incredible year for the Fairtrade movement. Not just here in the UK, where we have seen a change in attitude towards buying ethically, but across the developing south too, where Fairtrade is beginning to penetrate internal markets. November this year saw the launch of Fairtrade into the Indian market, with an aim to encourage the
sale of Fairtrade products produced in India within its own market. This, alongside the launch of the Kenyan market in early 2013, marks a definite shift from the traditional south-north trade model, and a huge step forward for market access for smallholder farmers in those countries. In India, smallholder farmers and workers have been key contributors to the thriving international Fairtrade movement, and by building on the success of the export model it is hoped the growing Indian market will further benefit the most vulnerable and marginalised producers in the country. Moreover, the aim is to empower producers to sell to their own markets, to diversify and to invest further in environmental and business developments. With the emergence of new markets and a middle class in the South, Fairtrade Kenya took off earlier in 2013, marking a huge step for the movement. Africa’s growing middle class offers an opportunity for African consumers to contribute to sustainable development through their everyday shopping, while Fairtrade is helping to enhance intra-African trade, creating further market access for producers. Fairtrade producers are encouraged to add value to their products to prepare them for local and regional markets, and already some Fairtrade organisations are selling added-value products like packaged tea or dried fruit. Other projects and developments have seen more power handed to the producer, with the Fairtrade Premium supporting value-added initiatives across various Fairtrade cooperatives. Across the South, there are emerging markets which are potentially transformative, allowing for retention of profits and potential for up-skilling.
The Environmental Pillar
Over the past two decades, Fairtrade’s aim has been to make trade fairer for the millions of smallholder farmers who produce the food we love. And while this continues to be our main aim over the next 20 years, environmental standards have always been
a pillar of this system. Times are tough for farmers in developing countries, and climate change is only making things harder, posing a significant threat to their livelihoods. Climate change is already having an impact on our farmers, whether it’s through disruptive weather patterns or the emergence of new diseases and pests. Just weeks ago farmers in the Philippines had their harvests ripped from the ground in the devastating Typhoon Haiyan, reaping destruction and leaving farming families with no alternative incomes, pushing them further into poverty. In South America, ‘La Roya’, or leaf rust, is destroying hundreds of coffee farming plots, a result of increased rainfall, and higher humidity and temperatures, while farmers in India are having to deal with a longer, wetter monsoon, with rains coming at unexpected times throughout the year. In 2011, we increased the Fairtrade coffee premium paid to farmers to include an additional % which is earmarked for productivity and quality investment. This has led to more coffee producers being able to spend the premium on mitigation and adaption to climate change within their farms. As part of the commitment to environmental standards, Fairtrade gives farmers much-needed liquidity, as well as increased skills and knowledge to invest in prevention and mitigation strategies. Adapting to climate change is something most farmers are being forced to do, but with the help of the premium they are doing it while also preserving the land they are working on. In Malawi’s Shire Valley, Kasinthula Sugar Cane Growers (KCG) know all too well the affects of climate change, and have had to adapt over the years to overcome the region’s lack of rainfall, which has been causing severe drought regularly, and, when they are not concerned about drought, the farmers are preparing for heavy flooding and abnormal weather patterns. In order to deal with the changes, the cooperative encourages farmers to grow more trees around ►
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Food & Packaging
K ate L ew i s / Co f f ee / Fa i r t rad e
As the Fairtrade Foundation steps into 2014 – the 20th anniversary of the first Fairtrade product in the UK, the progress of the Fairtrade movement is staggering, after starting with just one chocolate bar, closely followed by a box of tea and jar of coffee. their fields in order to protect soil erosion, and to dig trenches to capture rain water. The reality is irrigation is key to sustaining the farmers’ livelihoods, and the cooperative has helped farmers establish a pivot irrigation system, meaning they have control over the amount of water and energy they use, helping to save both. June this year saw the Adaptea project begin in Africa, with an aim to boost the adaptive capacity and climate resilience of smallholder tea producer organisations in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Encouraging early adaption practices in order to reduce climate-change associated risks, the project supports producers in contingency planning, disaster preparedness and risk management. It’s goals include implementing sustainable landuse management, including agroforestry and soil and water conservation; supporting producers in developing adaptation risk and opportunity assessments; and creating a climate change aware supply chain, where commercial actors along the entire tea supply chain will take an active role in making investments. In addition to mitigating for the worst from nature, Fairtrade standards are also helping farmers care for their environment and ensure environmental protection is an integral part of their farm management. In northern Nicaragua, coffee farmer Roger Antonio Garcia Hernandez has been planting cedar trees in an area that was ravaged by deforestation. Soppexcca, his Fairtrade cooperative, is supporting him in an overall effort to contribute to the environmental surrounds in the area. The cooperative has built their knowledge on reforestation, knowing that planting trees on cleared, degraded land will help improve the micro-climate, and therefore provide a healthier environment for farmers and their families. This use of the Fairtrade Premium has been replicated across different cooperatives in Nicaragua, with one cooperative, COOMPROCOM, with 60% of its members planting new coffee and shade trees. | 66 | environmentmagazine.co.uk
And so, seeds of change have, and are, being sown for environmental adaptation. Not only do the standards include environmental mitigation and adaptation, but the premium is increasingly being used by farmers to put the most back into their environment, and take the least out. Through use of the Premium to deepen good business practice and farm management, farmers are also diversifying, growing cash crops alongside their main exports, and selling them to their local market in order to ensure a more stable income. Diversification is a risky strategy, and it is vital that, through the standards and Premium, they are provided with market information, support and training. This is where the expansion of the Fairtrade model comes in, now greatly benefitting farmers in India, Kenya and South Africa to sell to their own markets.
Fairtrade in 2014 and beyond
We have seen FT go from strength to strength because consumers are showing more interest than ever before in the provenance, and more companies are responding to sustainability and accountability in their supply chain. We now work with over 800 companies in the UK, but rather than being about quantity, these businesses are also showing a depth of commitment. Food provenance is enormously important, and there is now an incentive to be the leader amongst retailers and businesses: that can be incredibly powerful. Our aim now is to reach more producers, and the only way to do that is to get more commitment from more commercial partners. Producers are the starting point for us – they are the ones who produce the food we all love in the UK – and they need market access and support with environmental adaptation. Fairtrade is currently 50% owned by farmers in developing countries. In the future, that sense of ownership will be incredibly important ■
+ More Information www.fairtrade.org.uk
Photo: British Province of Carmelites
Food & Packaging
Mark Var ney / Fo o d Waste / Fare Share
Reducing Food Waste Mar k Var ney
Director of Food, FareShare
There is mounting evidence to suggest reducing food waste will be critical to meeting the world's growing food needs. Currently, between 30% and 50% or 1.2-2 billion tonnes of food produced around the world end up as waste each year. The recent Resources Report: Creating a Sustainable Food Future, revealed that although there are challenges, it is possible to close the food gap in a sustainable way, including reducing excessive consumption by minimising food waste. It’s important to acknowledge this is a shared problem, and one that both the food industry and consumers need to solve together. A recent WRAP report, Estimates of waste in the food and drink supply chain, shows 3.9 million tonnes of food is wasted every year by the food industry in the UK, before it even reaches people’s shopping baskets. At FareShare, we estimate approximately 10% of this is surplus and fit for human consumption. This is enough food for an incredible 800 million meals. Additional data from WRAP shows the average UK family is wasting nearly £60 a month by throwing away almost an entire meal a day, adding up to 4.2 million tonnes of food and drink every year that could have been consumed. Last year FareShare received 4,200 tonnes of food, enough for 10 million meals. We redistributed this food, that would have otherwise gone to waste, to more than 1,000 charities helping to feed 51,000 vulnerable people every day. At the same time we saved businesses 1,850 tonnes of CO2 emissions
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but we are still only scratching the surface in terms of what we can do. We estimate that we currently handle 1% of the surplus food available in the UK. There are developments. WRAP recently chaired an Industry Working Group on food redistribution, exploring how the food industry can increase the amount of surpluses redistributed. Initiatives such as these have put food redistribution on the agenda but we need them to deliver. At FareShare we have the ability to look right across the supply chain. Recently the front end of the supply chain, the retailers, have recognised the role they play in influencing the whole supply chain. We are now seeing considerable benefit and are accessing increasing amounts of surplus food, particularly through our partnerships with Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco. Within their own operations, all of the big three retailers have taken substantial steps to ensure surpluses are redistributed rather than thrown away. Tesco have recently committed to divert all their surplus fresh food from their distribution centres and online grocery centres to FareShare, more than 2,300 tonnes, enough for 7 million meals each year. Likewise, Asda announced earlier this year that they will redistribute their surplus food to FareShare, more than 1,500 tonnes, enough food for 3.6 million meals a year. We continue to collaborate with long term partner Sainsbury’s who have had similar initiatives in place for many years and have diverted enough food to FareShare for more than 10 million meals in that period.
The sheer scale and size of the food industry that provides food to millions of people 365 days a year means there will inevitably be surpluses. This is not the issue. The issue is what you do with them. If you acknowledge that there will inevitably be some waste and follow the principals of the food waste hierarchy, then the food must be used to feed people in need. The 2013 Monitoring and Social Exclusion Report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation shows 13 million people are living in poverty in the UK. Our own statistics reinforce this. For the first time we are supporting more than 1,000 charities across the country. 59% of these organisations have seen more people turning to them for food and 70% fear demand will only increase in future. With so many people struggling to feed themselves and their family, there is a moral imperative and responsibility to make sure the food that we produce ends up being eaten. The effects of diverting surpluses to FareShare are threefold: environmental, economic and social. When receiving food from FareShare, each of our member charities saves on average £13,000 a year on their food bill. 80% invest these savings into providing more support services for the beneficiaries, such as housing advice and counselling to help get people back on their feet. By ensuring our member charities prepare and serve the food onsite, meaning beneficiaries sit down to a hot nutritious meal, it provides the opportunity for them to access the other support services the charity offers. It’s vital we do not just address hunger but the causes of why that individual is struggling to feed themselves and their family. The environmental benefits of using food for its intended purpose are clearly significant. Food accepted into our network to redistribute to our member charities includes short but still in date food, production tests, production errors including under weight, products rejected for quality control
reasons and more. Very little of it has any added “road miles” and in many instances the supply chain will be shorter than in a conventional system. DEFRA launched the Waste Prevention Programme for England last week, and contained within it was a welcome focus on resource efficient business models and supply chain innovations and the need to encourage a culture of valuing resources by making it easier for people and businesses to find out how to reduce their waste. There is increasing focus on the concept of a Circular Economy, and rightly so given the resource challenges we face. Technological and engineering solutions will be critical to develop resource efficient goods and services and will be relevant in many instances. However, there are also dramatic environmental opportunities presented by a focus on some relatively simple behavioural and operational changes.
Every 1 tonne of food diverted away from landfill equals to 0.5 tonnes of C02 equivalent emissions saved. Diverting the 400 000 tonnes we believe is available within the supply chain to people in need, would save more than 1 million tonnes of CO2 per annum. It is important that food businesses do all they can to apply the food waste hierarchy within their approach to how food is used. Data from WRAP shows that 450,000 tonnes of food is used as an ingredient in animal feed. Some of this could have been eaten by people. There are a range of government funded financial incentives in place to use good-quality, fit for human consumption food and turn it into green energy via Anaerobic Digestion. In isolation, this
seems like a sensible and practical undertaking but these same incentives do not exist for redistributing it to people who may otherwise go without. Currently, we have a waste hierarchy that is completely out of kilter with the economic hierarchy that sits alongside it. For businesses within the food supply chain it is financially preferable to use their products to feed animals or send into anaerobic digestion plants than it is to make some minor interventions within their business operation to anticipate and identify surpluses before they become waste, and to make them available for redistribution. Every 1 tonne of food diverted away from landfill equals to 0.5 tonnes of C02 equivalent emissions saved. Diverting the 400 000 tonnes we believe is available within the supply chain to people in need, would save more than 1 million tonnes of CO2 per annum. This is more than 6% of the 16 million target set by the DEFRA Waste Prevention Programme. Additionally, redistributing food is on average 8 times more environmentally efficient in terms of CO2 emissions than sending it to anaerobic digestion. The broader environmental impacts of food waste globally are also significant. For example, a significant amount of surface and ground water is used to grow our food. The blue water footprint of food wastage is 250km3, 3 times the volume of Lake Geneva. Globally produced but uneaten food occupies almost 1.4 billion hectares of land, close to 30% of the world’s agricultural land, and food waste also unnecessarily magnifies the impact agriculture has on biodiversity loss globally. The challenges of reducing food waste in supply chains in the Global South are linked to the wrong storage, logistics and transport solution - not enough chilled storage, poor roads or the right containers to store harvested food. In the sophisticated supply chains of the UK, the obstacles are largely managerial, behavioural and financial. It is critical that we reduce waste overall and ensure that, where it cannot be eliminated this food is made available for redistribution ■
+ More Information www.fareshare.org.uk
Tesco and ASDA have recently committed to divert all their surplus fresh food from their distribution centres and online grocery centres to FareShare, more than 3, 800 tonnes each year.
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BB Award s 2 0 1 3
By Ian Grant
Managing Director, Brownfield Briefing, Newzeye
A record number of people attended the ninth annual Brownfield Briefing Awards held at the Radisson Blu Portman hotel in London. There were 12 awards handed out by the host for the evening, BBC presenter and STEM ambassador Kate Bellingham. Chair of the judging panel and Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management President, Mike Summersgill said: “The number and quality of entries continues to rise year on year, even in supposed recessionary times, and it was especially gratifying to see the standard (and variety) of entries for the 'Best Re-use of Materials' category - all entries displayed a range of innovative technologies, cost savings and lateral thinking, and for the first time ever the Judges couldn't agree on an outright winner. "Especially gratifying for the Judges were the number of entries to the 'Best conceptual design' award, which were in double figures this year and covered a wide range of topics/projects, big and small, from gasholder demolition through to 'non-intervention' remediation and including the potential for climate change effects.” Each year, one or two new awards are introduced to reflect both trends and innovation in the industry. One addition this year was Best Campaign for Brownfield in light of policy changes in the industry. The winner, The Implementation of Land Remediation Relief Legislation Affecting Brownfield - AECOM and the Environmental Industries Commission, shows the effort and commitment needed to get a result. The winning campaign for Land Remediation Relief started in the nineties, nearly went by the wayside in 2011 but for the lobbying efforts. It involved awareness training and specific target marketing. In 2013 the £1bn tax relief milestone was reached. The second new award was for Best Building on a Brownfield Site won by Millennium Town Park - Parsons Brinckerhoff and States of Jersey. It reflects the fact that barriers between disciplines are breaking down and the interrelationships are seen much more clearly. This award also shows that theoretical concepts several years ago are now being incorporated into projects
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in practice, like the concept of zero waste in this year’s winning submission. This project too demonstrates the long term nature of some of the projects – in this case four years. It also shows how sustainability principles are ingrained more and more into projects, like the 100% sustainable drainage system. In terms of other industry trends, the Best Public Participation category, Sanofi, being an integral part of the Dagenham community, sought to create a business/tech park and jobs, before withdrawing abroad. Here, the growing trend of stakeholder participation and influence was paramount. The example is being held up as a template for other corporations. The Best Use of a Combination of Remediation Techniques category won by Portside Remediation - Environmental Resources Management, Celtic and McLaren involved two UK firsts. The High Resolution Site Characterisation involved a combination of CPT/Membrane Interface Probe and a BATTM sampler which allowed discreet groundwater samples to be taken, and a sequence stratigraphy assessment reduced the targeted treatment area. In the Best Re-Use of Materials category – won jointly by Ammanford Gasworks: 100% Reuse of Materials - Wales & West Utilities and AND Coed Darcy Embankment Construction from Treated Sludge Materials - Hydrock, St Modwen and Atkins – there were novel approaches to stabilisation/solidification to enable a large amount of contaminated material to be used as geotechnical fill with bench tests, enabling a hazardous waste to be harmlessly used in the process. And increasing re-use of materials on site and a live options appraisal, which encourages adaptive thinking during a project. The 2014 Brownfield Briefing Awards will take place in October 2014 and will be the tenth anniversary ■
The Winners • Best Use of a Combination of Remediation Techniques Portside Remediation - Environmental Resources Management, Celtic and McLaren
Beautiful Brownfields photo competition winner 2013
• Best In-Situ Remedial Treatment - Little Hulton Project Hyder Consulting and Regenesis • Best Conceptual Design Stabilisation of Naphthalene Contaminated Soils - Vertase FLI, Costain and ARUP • Best Scoping or Operation of a Site Investigation National Grid Electricity Transmission Portfolio Site Investigation Programme - WorleyParsons and National Grid Commercial Property • Best Project Closure/Verification Process Little Hulton Project - Hyder Consulting and Regenesis • Best Public Participation Dagenham, East London: Turning a Story of Job Losses into one of Job Creation - Sanoﬁ • Best Reuse of Materials Ammanford Gasworks: 100% Reuse of Materials - Wales & West Utilities • AND Coed Darcy Embankment Construction from Treated Sludge Materials Hydrock, St Modwen and Atkins • Best Scientific (or Verification) Advancement Assessment of the Bioaccessibility of Carcinogenic Polcyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Soil - Parsons Brinckerhoff, British Geological Survey, National Grid Property, University of Nottingham and University of Ghent • Best Building or Redevelopment on a Brownfield Site Millennium Town Park Parsons Brinckerhoff and States of Jersey • Best Campaign for Brownfield The Implementation of Land Remediation Relief Legislation Affecting Brownﬁeld - AECOM and the Environmental Industries Commission • Best Young Brownfield Professional Leon Warrington, Hydrock Consultants
Earth’s Martian Landscape
by Oliver Lancaster, Wales & West Utilities “A view into the Great Opencast at the abandoned Parys Mountain mine workings near Amlwch on Anglesey. Note the windmill in the background which was built in the late 18thC to pump water out of the mine shafts and adits. Parys Mountain is a mass sulphide deposit which was mined for many years and was once the world’s centre of copper production. Latterly, the windmill was used to recover copper through precipitation from the acidic waters pumped from the mine network. The site is still plagued today by acid mine drainage into Dulas Bay, the receiving water of Afon Goch (Welsh for ‘Red River’), however has benefitted from remedial measures to neutralise the drainage and precipitate-out the dissolve metals at source. Ships used to call in to Dulas Bay overnight – the contaminated waters used to kill off the barnacles and save maintenance down-time in dry-docks.”
+ More Information www.brownfieldbriefing.com
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A nd rew G o d dard / Co ntami nated L and / EN V I RO N
Dealing with Contaminated Land outside of the Planning and Part 2A regime
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A ndrew Goddard
Senior Manager, ENVIRON
On the face of it contaminated land is a planning issue. The UK approach to dealing with land contamination is embedded in the planning system and is driven, and largely regulated, by local authorities. A change of land use is often the one opportunity to address historical contamination from the industrial past to ensure that the land is suitable for its future use; a use that is increasingly more sensitive, given the pressures to build new housing on former industrial land. Over the last 5 to 10 years there has been a great deal of debate on the National Planning Policy Framework with detailed revisions to the Part 2A statutory guidance and for example, development of the draft Category 4 Screening Levels. These issues are important as they lay down the foundations of the UK’s approach to dealing with land contamination. It is only when you work outside of the UK in other developing and even established environmental regimes, that you can appreciate the benefits of our risk-based approach. Also, our willingness to accept that there is a cost benefit element to decision making when it comes to impact on the environment, humans, and ecology. However, planning and change of use are not the only triggers to addressing potential or known land contamination issues. In some cases it is other regulatory regimes or business considerations that prove to be more of a problem to the site stakeholder. An environmental consultant will typically assess over 1,000 commercial properties each year but it is perhaps only one or two sites that are actively being regulated under Part 2A – the trigger to assess the remainder of the sites comes from different directions. These often include: • Mergers and acquisitions • Industrial permitting • Property investment Assessing land contamination outside of the planning or Part 2A regimes requires an understanding of the commercial context of the work, the client’s business objectives and the inherent limitations that these can impose on an environmental assessment; for example, the time limitations of a property or company transaction or the uncertainties over future use of a site when developing a client’s exit strategy from a site.
Mergers and Acquisitions
When companies are sold, acquired or merged there often follows a rapid phase of due diligence. Assessments of potential environmental liabilities need to take place but market forces create time restraints and there is often a lack of detailed information or in some cases none at all. It is essential to make a reasoned and professional evaluation of potential soil and groundwater liabilities in a timely manner. Experts need to achieve early identification of uncertainties in site characterisation and the remedial requirements as there is rarely an opportunity to carry out further site investigation or monitoring. ►
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A nd rew G o d dard / Co ntami nated L and / EN V I RO N
Clear and technical robust statutory and planning guidance is fundamental to the way in which we assess and manage risk from land contamination, but it is important to remember that these are not the only regulatory regimes in force, and neither do they provide all of the answers in the complex business environment that we operate in.
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A nd rew G o d dard / Co ntami nated L and / EN V I RO N
But why does land contamination need to be assessed in this context? The true value of a company’s assets can be defined taking into account the financial liability associated with land, and because companies are obliged to comply with UK and international accounting rules. A recent report by the Institute of Chartered Accountants, in partnership with the Environment Agency1, provided a useful summary of how environmental issues are relevant to annual financial statements. Financial Reporting Standard 122 requires financial provisions to be made where an entity has a present obligation as a result of a past event where it is probable that a transfer of economic benefit with be required to settle the obligation. It is important to note that this is the case where a reliable estimate can be made of the obligation, and it is here that the reasoned and professional evaluation of the environmental professional is needed. A company’s other potential environmental liabilities can also be assessed, for example, REACH, carbon, or environmental permitting obligations, but it is land contamination that continues to draw the greatest attention in environmental due diligence. Larger organisations have an increasingly global footprint and may have a diverse landholding including land under freehold, leasehold, or as joint ventures. This requires assessment of land contamination in different countries with different regulatory regimes. In some countries there will be differences in legislation or attitudes to regulation across the regions of the same country – something we may see more of in the UK as the nuances of contaminated land regulations and guidance in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland increase. On a more practical note, multi-country portfolios remind us that the commercial, environmental databases which sprang up in the UK market in the 1990s make searches for environmental information in the UK rapid and cost effective compared with many of our European neighbours.
A company’s other potential environmental liabilities can also assessed, for example, REACH, carbon, or environmental permitting obligations, but it is land contamination that continues to draw the greatest attention in environmental due diligence.
For these larger portfolios, or where the land uses have a high potential for contamination to have occurred, probabilistic or decision tree approaches can be used to derive ‘reasonable case’ and ‘high case’ estimates of environmental liabilities. These approaches can smooth out some of the cost outliers, which often result from having to apply a cost estimate to an uncertain outcome. For example, an aquifer may be impacted with chlorinated solvents, but could there also be a dense non-aqueous phase (DNAPL)? The cost associated with remedial action could range from £50,000 for natural attenuation of dissolved phase contamination to £1m to recover deep DANPL and address off-site issues. So which estimate is the “reasonable case”? Examples of where these tools have proven useful include the assessment of a portfolio of former gasworks sites, acquisition due diligence of a petroleum company with a refinery and over 100 petrol filling stations, and a multi-jurisdiction industrial portfolio.
For sites operating under the Environmental Permitting Regulations3, equivalent regulations in Scotland4, and Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) regulated sites5 land contamination is a material issue that may need to be considered during the operation of the facility. This is particularly true in the case of installations operating under
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Property transaction is probably the most common activity that triggers an assessment of potential land contamination issues.
a Part A1 permit, where addressing soil and groundwater contamination may be an integral and often onerous part of the permit surrender process. It is here that the approach to dealing with land contamination diverges from the planning regime and Part 2A. The roots of the risk based approach used in Part 2A can be traced back to the ‘Greenleaves’ publications, starting with ‘Greenleaves I ’, the 1995 publication from the then Department of Environment (DoE) on risk assessment and risk management for environmental protection. Subsequent editions, the most recent version being ‘Greenleaves III’ published in 2011 by Defra6, continue to build on the concept of risk assessment rather than a zero tolerance to environmental risk. However, under the environmental permitting regime there are differences in approach. For example, soil itself is considered a receptor in its own right unlike within other regimes where contamination in soil is primarily considered to be a source that can impact other receptors such as controlled waters or human health. When a new environmental permit is applied for an assessment will be made on whether the activities being performed could have an impact on soil or water and the baseline condition at commencement of the permit may need to be defined. The recently transposed Industrial Emissions Directive (IED)7 further strengthens the requirement for baseline data on the status of soil and
groundwater at commencement of the permitrelated activities. Prior to operation the Environment Agency already requires an installation to be “described in a manner that provides a benchmark for remediation of any contamination prior to permit surrender”8. Under the IED, this is further clarified when there is a risk of contamination of surface or groundwater with hazardous substances, in which case the site report will need to be supplemented with a baseline report typically involving “intrusive quantified monitoring data”. While this seems like a sensible approach - and it is right that operators should not contaminate soil or groundwater - the issues often arise when the permit is surrendered and insufficient baseline data are available. Under this regime, deriving site specific risk-based remedial targets is not acceptable as any contamination caused during the lifetime of the permit needs to be remediated back to the baseline conditions, not a risk based target. For sites where there is pre-permit contamination and insufficient baseline characterisation this means consultants must define how much contamination was caused during the lifetime of the permit, and how much is historical. In addition to the need to remediate back to baseline it is important not to forget that at surrender of a permit there is a general statement in the guidance that a site must also be in a satisfactory state; a phrase that is not well defined.
A company’s other potential environmental liabilities can also be assessed, for example, REACH, carbon, or environmental permitting obligations, but it is land contamination that continues to draw the greatest attention in environmental due diligence.
Property Financing and Investment
Property transaction is probably the most common ►
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A nd rew G o d dard / Co ntami nated L and / EN V I RO N
activity that triggers an assessment of potential land contamination issues â€“ there may be an intention to re-develop the site following the transaction, but it is equally common for a property to be sold or acquired as a revenue producing investment. Investors are interested in the return on their investment and the liquidity of the asset so a different approach is sometimes needed when assessing land contamination issues. The property is often an existing building that may have been remediated and developed when contaminated land regulations and guidance were different; for example, using ICRCL trigger and action values9. The first priority is to assess whether the property remains safe for its ongoing use â€“ was gas or vapour protection installed? Was the system approved by Building Control and were quality assurance/quality checks performed? The most common issue encountered with old gas or vapour protection systems is the lack of maintenance, breaches in the integrity of membranes during subsequent alterations to the building and in some cases settlement of the floor slab creating pathways for gas and vapours to bypass the membrane. In this instance there is little benefit in re-investigating the ground conditions beneath the building; instead, attention should be focussed on ensuring that the gas protection, which is essentially breaking the pathway between the contamination source and the receptor, is working as it was designed to do. Groundwater is an area where some additional investigation and assessment can pay dividends in reducing uncertainties and the potential liabilities that go with it. The exposure pathway between impacted soil and site occupants can be relatively straightforward to address through the presence of hard surfacing and protection of underground services. However, the potential impact on groundwater from on-site contamination can be more complex and costly to remediate, as groundwater can act as both a receptor to contamination and a potential pathway for migration off-site to neighbouring property. Liquidity of the asset can be strengthened through obtaining robust documented evidence showing that the site was investigated and remediated appropriately, and that it was done with the knowledge of the regulatory authorities. It is the uncertainty in both the ground contamination and the paper trail confirming how identified contamination was dealt with, that often impacts the ease in which the property can be sold. Increasingly in the UK, environmental insurance can play a part in ring-fencing or off-setting an issue of uncertainty to provide the level of comfort needed to progress the transaction or investment. Where sites are being actively developed it is often the investor that requests involvement by a third party environmental consultant not directly involved in the remediation to provide the extra level of assurance that the risk to the investor is being appropriately managed. Clear and technical robust statutory and planning guidance is fundamental to the way in which we assess and manage risk from land contamination, but it is important to remember that these are not the only regulatory regimes in force, and neither do they provide all of the answers in the complex business environment that we operate in â–
+ More Information www.environcorp.com Andy Goddard is a Senior Manager and Practice Area Leader at ENVIRON and specialises in assessing and remediating contaminated sites and commercial and industrial facilities. His role includes supporting clients during environmental due diligence, site closure and permit surrender, COMAH licensing, property transactions and development. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
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Turning Questions Into Answers. Environmental Issues and Annual Financial Reporting. ICAEW, 2009 Financial Reporting Standard 12. Provisions, Contingent Liabilities and Contingent Assets, 1998 The Environmental Permitting Regulations (England and Wales) 2010 (as amended) Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations 2012 The Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 1999 (as amended) Guidelines for Environmental Risk Assessment and Management. Green Leaves III. Defra, 2011 The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/business/145770.aspx Inter-Departmental Committee on the Redevelopment of Contaminated Land (ICRCL) Guidance Note 59/83
Sustainable Build & Civil Engineering
Dav i d Blei c her / Par tL / BS R I A
Revised Building Regulations for Energy Efficiency by Dav id Ble icher
Publications & Training Manager, BSRIA
Building Regulations are legal requirements that apply whenever building work is carried out – for example new buildings, extensions and certain refurbishment works. In October 2013, revisions were announced to Part L of the Building Regulations, which is concerned with Conservation of Fuel and Power. These revisions apply to England only – other parts of the UK have separate Building Regulations, and it is expected that their equivalents to Part L will be revised shortly. In the case of Wales the separation was only made in 2011 and much of the England & Wales guidance made before 2011 still applies. Guidance on meeting the revised regulations can be found in the 2013 editions of Approved Document L1A – Conservation of Fuel and Power in New Dwellings and Approved Document L2A – Conservation of Fuel and Power in New Buildings Other Than Dwellings. These take effect on 6th April 2014. However, as with previous changes, the 2010 documents continue to apply to projects where work started or an application was made before that date. The most noticeable change for new dwellings is a requirement to calculate the fabric energy efficiency. This is in addition to calculating CO2 emissions, which has been a requirement since 2006. Fabric energy efficiency is measured in kWh per square metre of floor area, and takes into account the space heating and cooling demand – even in dwellings where mechanical cooling is not provided. The CO2 emissions, on the other hand, are measured in kg of CO2 per square metre of floor area, and take into account space heating, water heating, lighting, energy used for fans and pumps, energy saved by low or zero carbon technologies, and the emissions
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factors of the fuels used in the dwelling. The CO2 emissions calculation only takes cooling into account for dwellings that use mechanical cooling.
assured that consolidated versions of these Approved Documents will be issued before they come into effect on 6th April.
Both calculations are carried out using the 2012 version of the Standard Assessment Procedure – better known as SAP. To achieve compliance, both the fabric energy efficiency and CO2 emissions must be below those of a notional dwelling. This notional dwelling is the same size and shape as the actual dwelling but has fixed U-values, boiler efficiency and other specifications which are defined in the SAP document. These specifications have been redefined such that an emissions reduction of 6% is achieved across the new build homes mix, compared with the 2010 Part L.
Overall, the changes will have a modest impact on the way buildings are designed and built – smaller than in 2006 and 2010 when emissions were reduced by around 25% on each occasion. The big shocks are going to come in 2016 and 2019 when new dwellings and non-dwellings respectively will need to achieve “net zero carbon”. This assumes, of course, that the government in place at that time will follow through on the policy set in 2007 by the previous government and confirmed recently by the current coalition government.
The methods of compliance for new non-dwellings have not changed significantly, however the CO2 emissions reduction is greater than for dwellings: 9% across the anticipated mix of new buildings, compared with the 2010 Part L. For some designs, the reduction may need to be greater. This means more energy efficiency measures will need to be incorporated, and even though renewables are not a requirement, more designs may incorporate them as a means of achieving the CO2 target. Also, some of the minimum plant efficiencies, set out in the Non-domestic Building Services Compliance Guide have been upgraded – for example the minimum efficacy of lighting in office, industrial and storage areas has been upgraded from 55 to 60 luminaire lumens per circuit-watt. Changes to the Approved Documents for existing buildings – L1B and L2B – are minimal. So much so that they have been issued as an amendment slip. This is in addition to the amendment slip that was issued at the end of 2012. We are, however,
BSRIA runs Building Regulations training courses – Introduction to the Building Regulations next runs on 12th March, and Understanding Parts L & F next runs on 25th February. Any of our courses can be run in-company and customised to meet the needs of your staff ■
+ More Information www.bsria.co.uk/information-membership/events/
This is concrete The reuse of the concrete frame from this post-war development was a key part of both the structural and aesthetic vision. Refurbishing (rather than demolishing and rebuilding) has prevented four football stadia of material entering the waste stream. Building in concrete means a long design life. This is worth talking about.
Park Hill, Sheffield is nominated for the 2013 RIBA Stirling Prize.
This is Concrete is supported by The Concrete Centre
Sustainable Build & Civil Engineering
Neal Si lverstei n / Co mpu tacenter
Building Smart for the Future
In recent years, the industry buzz around Big Data has reached an all-time high. There is little doubt that organisations are having to cope with unprecedented volumes, velocities and varieties of data. However, with exponential growth set to continue for the foreseeable future, organisations need to ensure they have the IT solutions and strategies to manage - and exploit - big data – but they also need to do this in a focused and manageable fashion and recognise the opportunities. According to McKinsey Global Institute, the effective analysis of big data will underpin new waves of productivity, growth and innovation. McKinsey’s researchers even go as far to say that the phenomenon will play a significant economic role, estimating that companies could achieve a potential 60% increase in operating margins by leveraging big data.
Neal Si l ver ste in Director of Physical Infrastructure at Computacenter
However, there is one area where the principles of Big Data analysis have yet to be applied – the buildings that we work in. Often seen as a cost centre, rather than an enabler, cost reducer or productivity improver, the ‘smart buildings’ revolution has started quietly and earnestly, in stark contrast to the hype and buzz of Big Data.
Applying Big Buildings
This revolution has been driven by a large number of issues in the buildings sector. For example, it is no secret that energy prices in the UK are soaring – recent analysis by Citizen Advice showed that the big six suppliers of gas and electricity have increased their prices by 37%1 during the last three years. And they are expected to keep growing: the UK will have to cope with another 17 years of aboveinflation rises in energy bills, with the average cost due to rise by more than £700 a year by 20302. Unfortunately, rental prices are not remaining stagnant either. In London, rents have risen 9.4%
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over 20133, according to official figures. Recent research by LSL also indicates that rents have never been higher in Wales, the West Midlands, the East Midlands, the north-west, Yorkshire and the Humber, and in a few other regions4. This is exactly the kind of problem that big data analytics can help with - how can companies balance and cope with escalating prices of both rental and energy? How can they plan for growth and ensure they have the space and capabilities to accommodate their staff? Smart buildings are key. There needs to be a move towards more intelligent buildings, driven by the next generation of businesses run by technologysavvy individuals who want to gain and maintain control over their buildings, while being able to offer their employees greater benefits. Whilst there are a large number of areas where this science can be applied, the areas of efficient IT and space usage are particularly important because of the hard quantifiable benefits that they can show by making the most of analytic principles.
Keeping IT Green
Minimising the environmental impact of any business activity is a major concern for companies in the UK. This is not only driven by compliance requirements, but also due to the potential repercussions on any organisation’s reputation and the necessity to demonstrate due diligence. Moreover, sustainable methods of operating offer many business benefits, such as cost-savings and improved efficiencies. Smart buildings make use of energy analytics and intelligent IP-based systems, which allow organisations to understand where energy is being consumed, how, and whether this can be cut in any areas. For example, by monitoring the office temperature and responding dynamically, organisations avoid over- or under-heating,
optimising spend on heating and air conditioning. Similarly, by detecting the inhabitants of an office and adjusting lighting, offices can avoid paying for lighting when offices are empty.
infrastructure: cabling. Unless you have the good fortune to be building a new facility from scratch, laying new cabling to connect new systems and sensors – as we all know – can be a headache.
We were recently part of one organisation’s project to move to a new purpose-built facility with lower CO2 emissions, lower fixed occupancy, a flexible workplace using virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) – all designed to BREEAM standards to be one of the most environmentally friendly buildings in Europe, producing a mere 30kg of CO2 per m2. It is this kind of project that must spearhead the next generation of intelligent, considered buildings in future.
Cabling is the system which carries the vital lifeblood of companies, and it should not be neglected. After all, it is highly unlikely that companies will be sending less data across the network in the future, so this is an investment worth making. But it is not just about speed, it is about standardisation. The network of the future will run on IP – there is little question about that. Why? Partially because it is already the accepted data transmission protocol of the internet, but it also has a number of features which make it compelling. IP networks can:
Making the Most of Your Space
Another area where smarter approaches to buildings can support organisations is making the most of space. Whilst some companies have gone as far as relocating to purpose-built offices, based on less than 100% occupancy because of their mobile workforce, others have found a good middle ground and started to track scientifically how they are using their space. This can have a significant impact; one organisation was considering an office move to a larger premises because its meetings rooms were frequently oversubscribed. As a last resort, they implemented a meeting room tracking and analytics system which informed them that they had a meeting room occupancy rate of less than 60%, and simply needed better organisation. As a result, the company avoided an entire office move and saved hundreds of thousands of pounds. It is simple, straightforward steps like this which can make a difference to an organisation today, but it is important to take a scientific approach.
Solid Cabling Foundation
Both energy efficiency and smart meeting room measures are supported by one fundamental
• Scale in line with anticipated growth, minimising the cost and complexity of future changes • Integrate real-time monitoring • Support intelligent infrastructures through the use of IP-based building management systems • Enable mobile working with greater wireless connectivity By deploying high quality, smart, fast cabling, organisations can not only future proof themselves for larger, more bandwidth-heavy applications such as video conferencing, but also ensure that emerging technologies can be ‘absorbed’ into the organisation as appropriate – rather than having to make a case for substantial new cabling in response to technology. This reinforces the importance of planning smart buildings need good communications to route information about the building control and management systems. It is very important to map out future network loads within and on the fringes of the property estate and estimating how network loads will increase, and more importantly, whether
current network technologies will be able to cope. For example, with most new smarter building applications being built for fast, all-IP networks, is there a need to re-cable the building to 10 Gigabit Cat6a cabling, or is an organisation able to simply get rid of RJ45 ports on walls with most workers connecting wirelessly?
Industry Change Is On Its Way
As smartphones, tablets and big data continue to be over-hyped in the industry, there is a quiet revolution brewing in the smart building space. Whilst many organisations view the ‘four walls’ of their HQ and branch offices as simply a place to be and work, other, more visionary companies will realise the need to enable their buildings to be smarter and more responsive. These changes are underpinned by smart, reliable cabling infrastructure which must be carefully planned and considered. Once organisations have understood the options available to them and start to create intelligent buildings, they can not only enhance the lives of the occupants, but also become greener, more efficient, trim costs and future proof the organisation ■
+ More Information www.theguardian.com/money/2013/nov/16/energyprices-rise
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Sustainable Build & Civil Engineering
Nei l Marshal l / Insulati o n / NI A
Why Homes and Businesses Should Insulate Now by Ne i l Mar shal l
Chief Executive, National Insulation Association
With many energy saving insulation solutions readily available for homes and businesses large and small, there really is no excuse not to insulate. The National Insulation Association (NIA) is advising that now is the perfect time for homes and businesses to invest in insulation and combat rising energy costs and climate change sooner rather than later. There are fast-rising costs in many other areas too, Householders and businesses should not wait a moment longer to put these money-saving measures into place. The way a building is constructed, insulated, ventilated and the type of fuel used, all contribute to its carbon emissions. A worrying fact is that a significant proportion of the money spent on energy is literally being thrown out of the window as a result of inadequate levels of insulation, with around 58% of the heat being lost through the roof and walls alone. The savings can be significant: the Energy Saving Trust reports that by simply installing Cavity Wall Insulation savings of up to £140 and 560kg of carbon per year can be made and £180 and 730kg of carbon per year from Loft Insulation. Draughtproofing windows and doors can save £30 and 120kg of carbon per year and when installed with other measures will greatly increase the comfort in a home. The savings are even greater for insulating solid walls, up to £490 and 1,900kg of carbon per year. The NIA represents the UK’s manufacturers and installers of cavity wall, solid wall and loft insulation
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as well as draught proofing. As a membership organisation, it actively supports Government policies for insulation to reduce energy bills, tackle fuel poverty and climate change and aims to raise awareness of the benefits of insulation. The NIA is working with the Department of Energy and Climate Change and is highlighting that more needs to be done to encourage consumers and businesses to install insulation measures. Of course, insulation is one of the most costeffective ways of reducing energy consumption, with Cavity Wall Insulation (CWI) providing the perfect solution for local businesses. Around 33% of a building’s heat is lost through uninsulated cavity walls and around 25% through the roof, collectively amounting to considerable heat loss and the need for further energy consumption. CWI usually takes less than a day to install and, with all the work done from outside the building, the disruption to business is minimal. For those buildings that do not have cavity walls - solid stone, pre-1944 timber frame and nontraditional, i.e. concrete construction - which lose more heat and energy than any other type of construction, other solutions are readily available.
Solid walls can be insulated with either External Wall Insulation (EWI) or Internal Wall Insulation (IWI), or a combination of the two known as Hybrid Wall Insulation (HWI). Any option will greatly increase comfort, while also reducing energy bills and the associated environmental impact.
Cavity Wall Insulation usually takes less than a day to install and, with all the work done from outside the building, disruption is minimal. IWI typically consists of either dry lining in the form of flexible thermal linings (commonly known as thermal wallpaper), laminated insulating plasterboard (known as thermal board) or a builtup system using fibrous insulation such as mineral wool held in place using a studwork frame. Flexible thermal linings come on a roll and are applied like wallpaper and, with some at only 10mm thick, will not cause significant disruption during installation. These products can be applied to ceilings as well as walls and provide a solution for properties without a loft space as well as those with solid walls. It can also be applied to the underside of floorboards in a cellar/basement. It is applied using a special adhesive using a roller or a brush and can be easily cut to size using wallpaper shears or scissors. Once the product has been applied it can be painted, papered or even tiled. These products are only applied to the exterior facing interior walls of the property. Another solution is laminated insulated plasterboard which normally replaces existing lath and plaster and is fixed directly to the existing brick. Depending on the system, thermal boards can either be screwed or glued using a dry wall adhesive directly onto the brick work just like standard plaster board. It has the advantage that it can be installed room by room with the tenants in situ. It increases internal surface temperature within a room and also improves response to heating input when heated intermittently. It has the lowest thermal conductivity
External Wall Insulation offers several advantages, including the fact that no living space is lost. There is minimum disruption for the residents as the work can be carried out while they are in their homes, and will require minimal maintenance once finished.
available and allows installation on damp surfaces without drying periods because it’s hydrophobic.
+ More Information
EWI comprises of an insulation layer fixed to the existing wall, with a protective render or decorative finish. Dry cladding offers a wide range of finishes such as timber panels, stone or clay tiles, brick slips (brick effect finish) or aluminium panels. EWI increases the thermal quality of the building – particularly relevant when refurbishing nontraditional housing. It also overcomes moisture and condensation issues, protects the existing building envelope can reduce heating bills by up to 25% as well as greatly improve the appearance of the building.
Organisations looking for insulation installers to work on their Green Deal and ECO projects should contact the NIA (www.nia-uk.org) as our members, many of whom are Green Deal accredited, have considerable experience of working with energy suppliers, other funders and organisations in delivering high quality installations on energy efficiency schemes and sign up to the NIA’s Code of Professional Practice. They have a key role to play in the delivery of insulation measures under the Green Deal and ECO.
EWI is a tried and tested method of upgrading the thermal performance and external appearance of existing properties which are literally transformed into warm, energy efficient and attractive homes and buildings. Improving appearance is of particular significance to many local authorities targeting housing projects in poorer areas. Adding EWI on a whole street basis will raise residents’ morale and give a sense a pride in their community.
Organisations interested in these services and membership opportunities should contact: Bev Coombe, Membership and Communications Manager, e-mail: email@example.com
There are many benefits of EWI including the fact that no living space is lost. There is minimum disruption for the residents as the work can be carried out while they are in their homes and there is no risk of condensation within the property as it is moved to the outside of the system that is being put in place. Also there is minimal maintenance once installed ■
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Sustainable Build & Civil Engineering
A nwar Harland -K han / Sustai n Wo r l d w i d e
King's College London, Somerset House East Wing
Sustainable construction A nwar Harland-K han Co-founder Sustain Worldwide
International resort development led Anwar Harland-Khan to co-found Sustain Worldwide. He sees sustainability as essential to success and believes that only companies with embedded green principles can rise to the top and stay there. Sustain Worldwide is an elite leadership organisation that provides a platform for developers and others working in the built environment with shared sustainability objectives, to collaborate and innovate on commercially focused opportunities.
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Regents Place reception
Regents Place exterior
Photo: Portland Village
What does sustainable business mean to you?
The simple answer is that it is about creating a legacy. Sustainability means different things to different organisations. Every organisation has its own strengths and it is about using those to become more sustainable. It is about developing a successful business through a profitable relationship between commerce, people and the environment in order to leave a positive legacy.
What’s your response to companies that say sustainability is a luxury in times of austerity?
The reason there is austerity is because developers have been too blinkered and short-sited for too long. Our view is that you can no longer afford to think short term… you can't afford not to be sustainable. The business landscape has changed and sustainability is integral to that. The biggest shift that we have seen in business thinking is that sustainability is no longer regarded as something separate; it is now integral to business. When we started the organisation three years ago our members would have been called pioneers, now they are mainstream and successful businesses. That is not because Sustain Worldwide has changed, but because business has changed. The best businesses are prepared for environmental impacts and are being driven by the opportunities of the future. If you do business for good, it’ll be good business: that’s the single common thread across all our members.
What are the key challenges for Sustain Worldwide members? Communication is one of the challenges – every organisation has a good sustainability story, but it can be difficult to articulate. Another is inertia and the fear of change. That applies both to organisations and to their supply chains. We have been working with a number of organisations on how to green the supply chain.
Then there is also a host of challenges around innovation and technologies, which I have direct experience with. I am currently at the final stages of developing a boutique retreat in Morocco's Atlas Mountains and my biggest problem was finding the best technology in terms of investment and quality. Innovation is constantly evolving and every development has a unique blueprint, so there is a need to be adaptable.
What has been the main lesson from the events your network has hosted? That has to be around collaboration. Organisations that collaborate are coming out on top. The companies that are doing the best are thinking beyond the normal way of doing things, identifying profitable opportunities in this new economy and working together to establish themselves as leaders.
Give us some examples.
We recently organised site visits to London sustainability exemplars Central St Giles: www.sustainworldwide.com/vip-visit-to-central-st-giles.html and Regent's Place: www.sustainworldwide.com/vip-visit-to-regents-place.html Firstly, we brought together several stakeholders for each visit, including the developers LGP and British Land respectively, the architects, the HVAC suppliers, tenants and facilities managers – which is quite rare in an industry where stakeholders are notoriously territorial. At Central St Giles, Simon Wilkes of LGP, Lee Oxley for tenant NBC Universal (google and King Media are other clients), John Baker for the HVAC supplier Climaveneta, and Jeff Lengthorne for the building’s FM Broadgate Estates delivered presentations. ►
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Sustainable Build & Civil Engineering
A nwar Harland -K han / Sustai n Wo r l d w i d e
The East Wing of London’s historic Somerset House is now home to King’s College London’s Dickson Poon School of Law, the client having secured a 78-year lease for the building in 2009. The law’s school’s tenure was accompanied by a £16.7m makeover for the august East Wing.
They not only collaborated they shared their learnings and challenges openly with the 40 guests (which included journalists from The Guardian Sustainable Business, The Independent and Architects’ Journal) too – that is even more rare and therefore a really refreshing change. That's what sustainability does. It encourages and facilitates people and companies to look at the bigger picture and to not be too introspective. One, Chris Greaves, Head of Offering & Markets, Uponor, said: “The event was an interesting ‘warts and all’ look at a BREEAM Excellent building from various perspectives.” It seems so obvious that to learn and progress as a society, personally or in the built environment one needs to be open to the shortcomings and failings as much as what has succeeded, but it's still rare. So, we want to work with developers, architects, engineers and manufacturers who share our values of honesty, integrity and transparency. We want to organise visits to and events at their buildings, and we want to collaborate with them to produce filmed and written content about their sustainable buildings, products and practices. I invite them to contact us directly to see how we can collaborate to tell the sustainability stories that deserve to be told.
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What are your members doing sustainably?
They are all highly engaged with it. For some, the manufacturers, it's all about their products. For example, Climaveneta, who are the leading European manufacturer in central climate control, supply high performance HVAC units that have the potential to reduce energy use by up to 40%. When you take into account HVAC typically accounts for 40% of a building's energy use, that is a huge saving in CO2 emissions and financially in operation. The ROI is accelerated too which is an increasingly critical factor for companies to make the business case to invest in sustainability. Tuffin Ferraby Taylor (TFT), another Sustain Worldwide premium member, provide property services consultancy to commercial and residential clients. Sustainability advice has increasingly become central to its service lines which include dilapidations, appraisals and QS. To meet their clients' requirements they have recently appointed a sustainability specialist as an associate. Mat Lown, Sustainability Partner at TFT, regards sustainability services as a core consultancy offering and has driven its adoption into every aspect of the firm's activities.
In about 60 rooms of Somerset House's East Wing, the low-velocity displacement ventilation is delivered via the chimney flues and fireplaces.
What’s the future for the network, and for your personal property development?
Structured growth is essential; new members are the lifeblood of the organisation because their experiences, skills and desire to share knowledge are critical. From 2014, we are collaborating with a TV production company on a series of televised interviews with industry world leaders. We are particularly excited about a piece of research we are undertaking and the subsequent utilities that will result from it. Named Vision in the World of Sustainability & CSR, the project will synthesise the views of business leaders on where the future lies for sustainability in order to accelerate the wide-spread shift towards SMEs' adaptation to sustainable principles and practices. We are inviting expressions of interest to participate from academia and business. There's more information here: www.sustainworldwide.com/research.html
+ More Information www.sustainworldwide.com
Personally, I’m still doing development – sustainable, of course. The resort, L'Amandier, in Morocco finishes this year and has sold well against the tide. That has good credentials, including local materials and labour, a sustainable and sensitive design, and waste is minimised ■
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Timber & Forestry
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K arl Mo r r i s / Bi o mass / No r b o rd Eu ro p e
A burning question
Why we have to use wood wisely by K arl Mor r i s MD, Norbord Europe
Wood is one of mankind’s oldest building materials – probably the oldest as the first man-made shelters were simply constructed from twigs and branches. And now, tens of millennia later, wood is still one of our most valuable raw materials, used not just for building but for innumerable products from furniture to paper. Today we are surrounded by products made from wood or wood fibre and because it seems to be everywhere we tend to take it for granted. It is ironic that in our crowded planet, much of which we humans have cleared of trees over the centuries in order to build towns and cities, our natural forests are dwindling while demand for timber continues to grow. Wood is a precious resource and one we need to use wisely. For most of human history, wood has been simply felled from natural forests as and when it was required, with no attempt to replenish the stock for future generations. Although the earliest records of managed forestry date from as early as the 5th Century Byzantium it was not until diarist John Evelyn published a treatise on the subject in 1664 that forest management began to be practised in Britain. Today, forestry is a huge and highly complex industry and while there continues to be a problem with illegal logging (mainly confined to high-value tropical hardwoods extracted from countries disrupted by political upheaval, economic chaos or war) it is otherwise a highly regulated one. In the developed world, most of the wood consumed by industry is fast-growing softwood. More expensive slow-growing hardwoods, such as oak, beech and
maple are generally used for applications where their natural strength and appearance is highly valued – in furniture for example, or flooring. They are consumed in relatively small quantities. Softwood timbers are also used in their natural state – for example in the building industry for roof trusses and timber frames and in the furniture industry for carcassing. But softwoods are also broken down so that their fibres can be reconstituted into a huge variety of other products. We see them every day in products like those which Norbord manufactures: medium density fibreboard (MDF), particleboard – commonly known as chipboard – and oriented strand board, or OSB. The forests that provide the softwoods for these products are among the largest areas of managed forest anywhere in the world and play a vital role not only in the world economy but in maintaining an ecological balance in the environment. Forests are often described as “the lungs of the world”, and for good reason. All trees and plants absorb carbon dioxide gas and give off oxygen as they grow. The carbon they absorb from the atmosphere is used to build fibrous material – wood, in the case of trees. Oxygen, of course, is essential to animal life-forms, including humankind. Today we are all keenly aware of the effects which greenhouse gasses (CO2 in particular) are having on the environment. They are driving an increase in global temperatures which has far-reaching consequences, few of them beneficial. Extreme weather events are already being noticed – witness the recent devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines – and the melting of polar ice-caps and glaciers will lead to a rise in sea levels with unthinkable consequence for low-lying areas such as the Maldives and Bangladesh. ►
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This of course is why we are exhorted – indeed, required by law – to reduce man-made carbon emissions by reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, making more use of renewable energy sources and minimising our energy requirement wherever possible. It is natural to assume that if we must reduce carbon emissions and safeguard the forests that absorb so much atmospheric carbon, then we should do everything possible to reduce the number of trees we cut down every year, just as we insulate our lofts to reduce the amount of fossil fuel we burn to heat our homes.
K arl Mo r r i s / Bi o mass / No r b o rd Eu ro p e
In a well-managed forest, mature trees are not left standing too long but are harvested and young saplings replanted in their place. These saplings grow rapidly, absorbing carbon at a high rate in the process.
Small-scale wood-fired heating systems have enjoyed a surge in popularity in recent years and have proved especially popular for local mini-district heating systems in schools, businesses and other commercial users.
Being able to grow and re-grow is something a forest can do that no oil-well, quarry or mine can match. Wood is a renewable resource; it will never run out so long as we humans put back what we take out. This is what the forestry industry does – in fact, replanting currently exceeds timber harvesting and the gross area of temperate softwood forest, far from dwindling, is actually increasing.
But the most significant development in the use of biomass is in the generation of electricity, often on a huge scale. Electricity generation based on renewable energy is seen by the government as an essential factor in helping the UK meet its legally binding EU target of obtaining 15% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. At least 30% of UK electricity generation will need to be produced by renewable sources if this target is to be met.
This is where we encounter a situation which, on the face of it, seems paradoxical. Most people would assume that the tropical hardwood forests, which are indeed under threat, are the ‘lungs of the world’ but in reality the vast softwood forests, from which companies like Norbord get their raw materials, are more productive per hectare when it comes to converting carbon into wood. And this is simply because softwood trees like pine and spruce grow far more quickly than hardwood trees.
Of course, wood is not just our oldest building material, it is also our oldest fuel and has always been an important source of energy. It is no surprise, therefore, that wood is now in increasing demand as a renewable alternative to fossil fuels. Biomass, along with other alternative renewable energy technologies including wind, solar and tidal power, is being promoted energetically by governments and environmentalists the world over.
But like any business, without a real commercial incentive to justify the investment, no electricity company is going to pump hundreds of millions of pounds into new technology – however good it might be for the planet.
The paradox is that the forestry process – cutting down trees, to put it bluntly, and replanting – actually increases the rate at which carbon is removed from the atmosphere. A young tree absorbs more carbon than a mature tree because it’s building timber very quickly.
The term “biomass” is used to describe any biological fuel source and can include domestic waste as well as special fast-growing crops such as miscanthus (also known as elephant grass) and maize. Wood, however, is the most popular and readily available of these biomass fuels.
The government therefore cajoles the energy companies into making this investment through a mixture of legislation and grant subsidies. The Renewables Obligation, introduced 11 years ago, requires each electricity supplier to source a steadily increasing percentage of their power from
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In order to switch from traditional coal or gas-fired generation to renewables, the energy companies need to invest, and heavily too.
The Drax power station in North Yorkshire, has recently spent millions converting itself into a coal/biomass co-generation facility and now burns wood as well as fossil fuels.
renewable sources. In the first year, this percentage was 3%. It has risen steadily ever since and now (April 2013 – March 2014) it stands at 20.6%. These electricity suppliers meet their obligations by presenting Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs) to the regulator Ofgem. These prove the amount of renewable electricity the supplier has sourced. Where insufficient ROCs are presented to cover their obligation, suppliers make a payment into a ‘buy-out’ fund. The proceeds of this fund are paid back to suppliers in proportion to how many ROCs they have presented. Hence the system creates a market and ROCs can be traded at prices that differ from the buy-out price. More recently, the government has further incentivised the use of biomass with the introduction of the Renewable Heat Incentive. This is a straightforward grant scheme and effectively subsidises biomass energy plants in much the same way as the Feed-In tariff which was introduced with the same legislation, the 2008 Energy Act. The purpose of these schemes is to make it worthwhile for the energy industry to start using renewables, be they wind, tidal, solar or biomass. Without these incentives, electricity generators would baulk at the heavy investments and risk involved in developing new technologies and would continue to favour the Earth’s dwindling fossil-fuel reserves, gas in particular.
And so it is that the UK’s biggest power generators are now heavily involved in burning biomass alongside more traditional fuels. The perfect example of this is Drax in Yorkshire – for many years known as the UK’s biggest coal power station and, more controversially, our single largest emitter of CO2. Drax has recently spent millions converting itself into a coal/biomass co-generation facility and now burns wood as well as fossil fuels. Burning wood is seen as a green alternative to coal; after all, wood is renewable and as we have seen, trees absorb carbon from the atmosphere as they grow. Hence proponents of large-scale biomass generation argue that burning wood is carbonneutral. But these plants burn wood fibre at a phenomenal rate; Drax currently burns around 6,500 tonnes every day and has plans to increase its consumption threefold. The trees that provide that feedstock will have taken years to absorb the carbon that, in a matter of hours, is released back into the atmosphere. Replanting will eventually recover that carbon, but over generations not over hours; and global warming is an issue we face today. Felling trees simply to burn them for fuel on an industrial scale is therefore a disaster for the environment, not a benefit. Felling and replanting only contributes to a net reduction in carbon emissions if the trees that are cut down are then
preserved in the form of durable products such as furniture, buildings and all the other day-to-day products that are made of wood or wood fibre. That’s because these products store the carbon that the trees have absorbed as they have grown, rather than releasing it immediately as a power station does. The wood panel industry is part of a cycle of grow, use, re-use and recycle and in which the harvesting and regeneration of forests is balanced and the carbon in the wood is prevented from escaping back into the environment until it can no longer be reused or recycled. Then, and only then, is it burned to recover the energy. This is known as the “hierarchy of use” and is recognised by European and UK governments as the best use of biomass. Ironically, for more than a decade Norbord has been the UK’s largest single producer and consumer of renewable heat energy. But it does so by following the Hierarchy of use: generating that heat by burning unusable residues, bark and twigs to heat the thermal oil used in its presses and the heat used to dry the wood being processed. Wood fibre is primarily our industry’s raw material and we rely entirely on UK wood, virgin and recovered. The industry is now under huge pressure from the large-scale biomass energy ►
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sector because the government subsidies allow the energy generators to pay more than twice the price currently paid by the UK wood panel industry for its primary raw material. As a result, this has driven up average wood prices by 60% in the past five years. So the government’s misguided attempt to wean the power industry off fossil fuels and onto so-called ‘green’ renewables is not only failing to help the environment but also failing to protect the economy. Burning trees to generate electricity is costing consumers and tax-payers billions and it is not helping the environment one bit. However it is penalising an industry which not only employs thousands of people in the UK but also has one of the smallest carbon footprints of any in the manufacturing sector. Earlier this year, following vigorous lobbying by the furniture and wood panel products industries (not to mention harsh criticism by environmental groups including Greenpeace) the government announced that it would cap subsidies to new electricity-only biomass plants and end them altogether by 2027. This is a welcome return to common sense but it is a belated and costly U-turn. Before we notice any improvement, the problem will worsen; Drax still plans to bring two additional 600MW biomass plants on-stream between now and 2017 ■
+ More Information www.norbord.co.uk
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K arl Mo r r i s / Bi o mass / No r b o rd Eu ro p e
Timber & Forestry
Sheam Satkur u- G ranzel la / M Y TL A S / M TC
An MTC Perspective on the EUTR Malaysia’s Timber Legality Assurance System (MYTLAS) is bedding in well and helping challenge perceptions that tropical timber is inevitably high risk of illegality, says Malaysian Timber Council London Director Sheam Satkuru-Granzella
The Malaysian Timber Legality Assurance System, or MYTLAS, has now been operational for 10 months and our timber industry has made the transition to its demands well. The initiative has grown out of Malaysia’s work towards achieving an EU Forest Law Enforcement Governance & Trade Voluntary Partnership Agreement (FLEGT VPA), which involves establishing a legality assurance system (LAS) for timber and wood products from Malaysia as a whole: Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak and Sabah. This, of course, will give the country preferential access to the EU, with its proven legal FLEGT-licensed products by-passing the due diligence risk assessment requirements of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR). The country-wide Legality Assurance System work is still in progress, in a project the Malaysian authorities is taking extremely seriously, but it was decided that the timber sector in Peninsular Malaysia was ready to adopt a system ahead of the FLEGT VPA schedule. The result is MYTLAS, which effectively launched in February, complete with a Coordination Committee (IACC), which oversees the enforcement activities of the eight implementing agencies in communication with the Licensing Authority, and independently developed guidelines and checklists for auditing the whole system.
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It was undoubtedly the implementation of the EUTR in March this year that provided the impetus to get the system up and running as effectively and quickly as possible. MYTLAS does not have FLEGT VPA status, but is designed to help European customers put Malaysian timber and wood products through the EUTR due diligence process.
EUTR requirements, particularly those which are ‘operators’, first placing timber on the EU market.
Malaysia already has 4.65 million hectares of natural forests certified sustainable under the PEFC/MTCS scheme. These areas, all gazetted Permanent Forest Reserves, were of course already experienced in operating chain of custody systems, so were relatively fertile soil for implementing the MYTLAS. However, the scheme also had to encompass non-gazetted forests, such as alienated and stateland forests, which are not subjected to the same rules of sustainable forest management. Here putting in place the System’s required legality chain of custody mechanisms and making certain they were in line with the requirements of EUTR due diligence procedures demanded significantly more resources and personnel. It put tremendous pressure on both the forestry authorities and the other implementing agencies. It is very encouraging that some European timber federations in certain EU member states – key markets for Malaysian timber products – have already acknowledged the value of MYTLAS in assisting member companies satisfy
This is not to say that Peninsular Malaysian companies now face no issues or challenges regarding the EUTR. All Malaysian exporters of secondary, tertiary and processed products, like most EU manufacturers of such goods, certainly find it very burdensome accounting for all the different timber species used, particularly if the processing chain utilises off-cuts from sawmills or manufacturers of other products. Furniture is another sector voicing difficulties in satisfying EUTR due diligence requirements, again echoing feelings in the European furniture industry.
The use of the MYTLAS licence, they say, has been instrumental in providing the necessary details on forest source and other key EUTR due diligence elements for most Malaysian products.
Some compromise is needed in these areas, so that the entry of products from more responsible countries, such as Malaysia, are not impeded, which would only result in the loss of market share for both Malaysian and EU businesses. It is also currently disheartening for the Malaysian industry that most EU FLEGT VPA partner countries, ►
MYTLAS does not have FLEGT VPA status, but is designed to help European customers put Malaysian timber and wood products through the EUTR due diligence process.
and others still in negotiations under the initiative, are tropical producing countries. This has inadvertently created the perception that the EUTR is implicitly targeted principally towards tropical countries, some of whom are not yet ready to supply FLEGT-licensed timber. That also helps create the impression that these countries run a higher risk of illegality, even though illegality subsists in several regions of the timber producing world. This has resulted in some purchasers in the EU to demand almost the impossible from tropical timber supplying countries, in terms of depth and detail of chain of custody and other information. The volume of documentation accompanying shipments to Europe is unprecedented. It is hoped that eventually, the need to submit copious volumes of documentation will recede as greater understanding on the objectives of the EUTR is achieved and production processes streamlined accordingly. At the same time, as tropical countries are redoubling their efforts to shake off this mistaken market perception and meet the highest standards of legality assurance, some large competing suppliers to the EU, which have not joined the VPA process, go virtually unregulated. The BRIC countries immediately spring to mind, two of which deal in tropical timber products, despite having no tropical forest resources of their own.
It is clear that the EU also definitely needs to bolster its own efforts to ensure uniform implementation and enforcement of the EUTR across the EU. There is currently huge disparity from state to state, which risks undermining the work done in supplier countries to achieve the required legality assurance standards. Only 4 out of the EU-28 Competent Authorities are reported to be actively implementing the EUTR and the majority of EU member states have not transcribed the EUTR into national legislation, which then impedes implementation. All stakeholders need further information and guidance on their rights and obligations under the EUTR and tropical timber supplying countries, which have invested millions in meeting market requirements, deserve better than to continue to be seen as high risk operators outside the law and need their commitment to meeting the demands of the EU market to be recognised and rewarded. For our part in this whole process, we will continue to raise awareness of the MYTLAS and our efforts towards achieving Malaysiaâ€™s FLEGT VPA â–
+ More Information www.mtc.com.my For a leaflet on the MYTLAS in hard copy or PDF contact the MTC on + 44 (0) 207 222 8188.
Timber & Forestry
Nad i ne Blo ck / Sustai nable Ti mb er / S F I
Writing the Next Chapter in Forest Certification and Sustainable Forestry Nad i ne Bl o ck
VP, Government AďŹ€airs and COO, Sustainable Forestry Initiative
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Nad i ne Blo ck / Sustai nable Ti mb er / S F I
All of us, everywhere, rely on healthy, thriving forests. Trees sequester and store carbon while producing oxygen, reducing greenhouse gases and improving air quality. Forests also provide clean water, habitat for an enormous variety of wildlife, cultural value, essential products and jobs. We literally can’t live without them. Just as everyone on Earth relies on forests, the Earth’s forests rely on the actions all of us take today. One of the best ways to ensure healthy, thriving forests both today and in the future is to promote responsible management of working forests through a proven tool called forest certification: providing landowners with a rigorous, sciencebased standard of responsible forest management and verifying compliance through independent, third-party audits. Third-party forest certification offers a proof point that the forest is being managed for a range of values important to society, and that the forest will be renewed. In North America, the key certification programs are the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®), the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), American Tree Farm System (ATFS), and the Canadian Standards Association for Sustainable Forest Management (CSA). The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certifications (PEFC) is an umbrella organization which endorses national and regional forest certification standards around the world – including SFI since 2005. Let’s take a look at how forest certification works, its recent growth and future challenges, what businesses and consumers can do to support it, and how all of us around the globe share a stake in the future of forests.
How Certification Works
It all starts in the forest. SFI is probably best known for our forest certification standard, which is based on 14 principles including provisions for forest productivity and health, protection of water resources and biological diversity, managing aesthetics and recreation, protection of ecologically or culturally special sites, compliance with applicable laws and regulations, public involvement in sustainable forestry, and more. We work with all parties with a stake in the future of our forests – including economic, environmental and social stakeholders – to develop and continually improve our standards (in fact, we’re now in the middle of the open review process for the 2015-2019 Standard). SFI is a comprehensive program that promotes responsible forestry in many ways other than through the forest management standard: through our Chain of Custody and certified sourcing labels; by investing in conservation research; and by working directly with communities to promote responsible forestry – for example, our work on the
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ground has resulted in the training of more than 140,000 resource and logging professionals in responsible best practices. The SFI certification program requires independent third-party audits for forest management, fiber sourcing, chain-of-custody and certified sourcing. SFI does not certify organizations as conforming to these standards – that is done independently by certification bodies accredited by the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB), the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) and/or the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Customers and consumers of forest products can do their part by asking for wood, paper and pulp
from certified sources. SFI approves on average 25 requests each business day for on-product labels that let consumers know that the wood and paper in the products they buy come from responsible sources.
Growth in Certification
Recent trends point to promising growth in forest certification worldwide. For example, from 2007 to 2013, the number of hectares of forest certified to the SFI Standard in North America increased 75% from 55.8 million hectares to more than 100 million hectares. We’re also seeing strong growth in certification in many other parts of the world, driven by demand from consumers and companies for sustainable products.
But much work remains. Despite the momentum for sustainable forestry around the world, 90% of the world’s forests still are not certified. So a primary goal for everyone who cares about the future of our forests must be to raise awareness of the importance of certification – and demonstrating the benefits of certification, to encourage more forest owners to seek certification. In an encouraging sign, some major purchasers of forest products have stepped up to support sustainable forestry throughout the supply chain. In 2012 we launched the SFI Forest Partners Program with founding partners Time Inc., National Geographic Society, Macmillan Publishers and Pearson. The program’s goal is to certify 4 million ►
Customers and consumers of forest products can do their part by asking for wood, paper and pulp from certified sources. SFI approves on average 25 requests each business day for on-product labels that let consumers know that the wood and paper in the products they buy come from responsible sources.
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Nad i ne Blo ck / Sustai nable Ti mb er / S F I
hectares of forests to the SFI standard by 2017 by urging and supporting more landowners, manufacturers, distributors, customers, conservation groups and government agencies across the supply-chain to become certified.
What About Uncertified Forests?
Inevitably, some working forests will remain uncertified. In North America, 60% of private forest lands are owned by family forest owners, and for many such owners, timber is not the primary business activity. Yet it’s essential to encourage them to keep their land forested and to practice responsible forestry. Here, businesses that purchase wood, paper and packaging can seek out certification standards that include fiber-sourcing requirements, which guide the procurement of raw material from uncertified lands. At SFI, for example, we require program participants who buy raw materials to show that the fiber in their supply-chain comes from legal and responsible sources, utilizing loggers who are trained in best management practices for water quality; and that they conduct landowner outreach to promote prompt reforestation and measures to address invasive species and other basics associated with responsible forestry.
Global challenges solutions.
While SFI’s focus is on North American forests, we understand that forest management is a global issue and we are heavily engaged in that conversation.
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Earlier this year, we applauded the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) for supporting the expansion of forest certification across the supply chain, including SFI. We also support the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR), which prohibits illegally harvested timber or products derived from such timber to be brought into the European Union. The European Commission recognizes that forest certification can be an important tool to help suppliers meet EUTR requirements. In recognition that it takes a variety of interests, mechanisms, policies and tools to address illegal logging, and more importantly to promote sustainable development, SFI supports the development of tools to assist purchasers of forest products in securing products from legal sources, and provided a grant to the World Resources Institute to develop the Forest Legality Risk Information Tool. Another emerging issue is bioenergy. The United Kingdom and European Union are embracing bioenergy as a way to meet their climate change commitments and renewable energy goals. Wood energy – specifically the use of wood pellets – presents an excellent renewable energy choice to meet demand on a sustainable and consistent basis. However, it is imperative that appropriate measures are in place to maintain healthy, thriving forests. U.S. pellet producers are utilizing certification to the SFI Standard to demonstrate how they are addressing sustainable land management concerns to gain broader support for biomass-fired renewable energy. Similar to the other products that forests provide, like clean water and
wildlife habitat, forests have tremendous potential to contribute towards the world’s energy needs. SFI is excited to engage in this important conversation with energy producers, regulators, and conservation organizations to ensure we pursue a path that has economic and environmental value. Those of us working day in and day out for the future of sustainable forestry are optimistic that the next chapter will be good for forests, communities and the people who rely upon forests every day – if we roll up our sleeves and work collaboratively to promote our shared goal of healthy, thriving forests for generations to come ■
+ More Information www.sfiprogram.org www.us.fsc.org www.treefarmsystem.org http://risk.forestlegality.org Title photo: Jeremiah Armstrong
the f uture
Ask for SFI
you c are a bout of our forest s.
Wood from responsibly managed forests is an excellent choice for any new construction or renovation. Builders and architects are turning to products certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative速 (SFI速) Standard, endorsed by PEFC, to meet green building requirements. By asking for SFI, you are promoting sustainable forestry, helping to improve forestry practices and encouraging responsible purchasing of forest products. Look and ask for wood certified to the SFI Standard for all your projects. Visit sfidatabase.org for a list of SFI and PEFC products. Learn more at sfiprogram.org/green-building. Internationally endorsed by
Timber & Forestry
Mark van B enthem / Mar i jke Po p ma / Euro pean STTC
accelerates sustainable tropical timber sector by Mark van B enthem & Mar ij ke Po pma IDH/European STTC
In November 2013 some 40 companies, (large) cities and national governments across Europe jointly launched the European Sustainable Tropical Timber Coalition (European STTC). This coalition aims to increase the European demand for timber from sustainably managed tropical forests. Alarming ﬁgures show the need for this: in the last 50 years, 50% of all tropical rainforests has been deforested. And at this moment, areas the size of 36 football ﬁelds are cleared every minute. Paradoxically, logging can be a strong means to preserve forest. However, the demand for timber from sustainably managed forests is still too limited to be a strong incentive for producer countries to sustainably manage their forests and thus to preserve all the functions that forests fulﬁll.
Committing the deforestation
Evaluations of the World Bank and the United Nations show that sustainable forest management is an effective way to combat deforestation. After all, by assigning value to forests, the incentive to transform them for other land use diminishes. Cooperation of the international timber industry is crucial. Hans Stout, IDH program director: "Sustainable forest management can be achieved by increasing the demand for certified tropical timber from Europe and by making it mainstream. The European STTC will boost demand at European level, by which we build the business case. This way, we contribute to the survival of forests and to providing in our future need for beautiful tropical hardwoods."
Time is right for action
Now the time is right to increase the demand for timber from sustainably managed forests and to bring producing countries to sustainably managing their forests. This is because, for example in Europe, the USA and Australia, new legislation was adopted that states that legality is a requirement to enter these markets. In many countries, the step from 'full legal compliance' to sustainable forest management is not a very big one, as PWC analyses show. Although the share of tropical timber exported to Western markets declines, it is currently still a significant amount. Therefore it is now time to act. By demanding timber to originate from sustainably managed forests, Western markets can influence forest management in producer countries. Impact can increase, if the same is demanded for processed and finished products. Emerging economies, for example, increasingly import primary (tropical) timber products such as roundwood, sawnwood, etc, and export the finished products made from it. For tropical timber producer countries, export to Western markets remains interesting, for example to spread risks. European companies interested in sustainably sourced timber, such as Kingfisher, are interested in building and investing in long-term relationships with timber producers. In many cases, producers can also bring so-called Lesser Known Timber Species to the market which improves the
business case for sustainable forest management. Sustainable forest management can, in the nearby future, also increase the cash flow towards forests, for example through Payment for Environmental Services (PES) mechanisms.
Precursors in the timber industry
Participants in the European STTC are especially frontrunners when it comes to commitment to sustainability. The goal is to achieve a European market share of 30% sustainably produced tropical timber by 2015. "30% is the tipping point. With a market share of 30% or more, a product goes from niche to mainstream. That’s what we are aiming for", says Hans Stout. Besides leading timber merchants such as Lathams Finewood Ltd, Rougier, Somex, Jongeneel and PontMeyer, some big end users of timber are part of the coalition. From the municipalities of Madrid, Barcelona, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Malmö and Leicester, to retailers like Praxis, Kingfisher and Leroy Merlin and contractors BAM and Heijmans. The coalition also aims at participation of a number of national governments. They can both influence the market through their own procurement policy and actively formulate supporting policies that contribute to making sustainably produced timber the norm. In November, the countries of Germany and the Netherlands also signed for participation in the European STTC. Dutch Secretary of State for Economic Affairs Dijksma: "I am delighted that we have managed to bring together so many parties from the private and public sectors in striving towards the same goal: sustainable production of tropical timber. This coalition supports the EU action plan to combat illegal trade in tropical timber and contributes to the goals of the International Tropical Timber Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity." In addition, five other countries have also shown interest in joining the European STTC. Another major participant of the European STTC is Kingfisher, the largest retailer in Europe. Senior Advisor Sustainability Jamie Lawrence spoke at the launch: "At Kingfisher, wood and wood fibre are core
sources. Each year we withdraw a large amount of wood, for which forest areas as large as Switzerland are required. Wood is processed in more than one third of our product lines. It makes up a significant share of our costs, it generates revenue and it attracts customers to our stores. Therefore, we strive to create more forest than we use by 2050. Moreover, our aim is to use 100% sustainably produced wood and paper in all our products. And because we are one of the global leaders in the market, we thereby make a significant step towards making the timber industry more sustainable."
Unique coalition for sustainability
It is unique that more than 150 organizations from throughout Europe convened during the launch of the European STTC in Amsterdam, to talk, discuss and network, to make the timber industry more sustainable. This culminated into some 40 organizations taking the stage to sign to actively contribute, to increase the demand for sustainably produced tropical timber ■
+ More Information www.idhsustainabletrade.com/timber IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) increases and accelerates development in sustainable trade by building impact-oriented coalitions of front-running companies, civil society organizations, governments and other stakeholders that can impact the Millennium Development Goals 1, 7 and 8 (poverty reduction, safeguarding the environment and fair, transparent trade). The 'IDH Tropical Timber program’ facilitates and accelerates sustainable forest management on the one hand by supporting concession holders in the process towards certification in the tropics, and by increasing the demand for sustainable tropical timber in Europe. Photo: Mikko Koponen
Derek Br yan / G PS Trac k i ng / Fleet mat i c s
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Derek Br yan
European Sales Director, Fleetmatics Since its inception almost 20 years ago, fleet tracking has evolved significantly; ‘always on’ internet access has enabled the technology to shift from a simple track and trace offering to a full business intelligence solution. The Fleetmatics GPS vehicle tracking system has many features that would appeal to firms operating in the freight industry. By providing historical, current and predictive data of vehicle operations, the vehicle tracking system can be used to support better business decision-making, thus helping transportation companies to gain a competitive advantage within their marketplace and helping facilitate business improvements in the long run. Fleetmatics is a total package solution, where all the elements required to access the core system via the internet – hardware, software and GPS airtime – are consolidated within one contract, with monthly payments typically spread over a three year period. In the current climate, this total package solution sets Fleetmatics apart from other fleet tracking businesses as there is no hardware cost to the customer and no third-party lenders involved. The Fleetmatics system runs on an online software platform; fleet owners are not required to install software on their own server and instead can access the platform through a web browser. There are obvious advantages to using a web based system – its ease of use, reliability and the fact that the software can be upgraded automatically without user intervention. A less obvious advantage of online platforms is that they can be accessed via a laptop or PC from anywhere that has an internet connection and, through the innovative use of modern-day Apps, from smart phones and tablets too. The best systems allow functions such as driver, vehicle and trip profiling, dispatching, monitoring of idling times for fuel efficiency, and so on. The Fleetmatics GPS vehicle tracking system also provides current and relevant information to empower drivers and dispatchers to improve fleet performance and help make their life easier. By using a good fleet management system, business owners can increase productivity, reduce fuel costs and provide additional security to its fleet.
Photo Credit: Highways Agency
By knowing the precise location of every vehicle in the fleet, fleet operators can manage routing and dispatching more effectively and, whenever needed, direct the closest, available vehicle to an unplanned pick-up location. In addition, firms can ensure drivers take the most direct route to any job site and quickly re-route them should they get lost. Some GPS tracking solutions also provide real-time traffic reporting, enabling businesses to warn drivers of traffic delays and provide rerouting whenever needed. This improved routing can also help lower fuel consumption. “The most obvious ways to reduce fuel consumption for any vehicle is to reduce speeding and eliminate any unnecessary driving habits”, says Derek Bryan, European Sales Director for Fleetmatics. While most standard GPS vehicle tracking solutions can provide accurate speed information about each vehicle tracked, the best fleet management systems also include alerts that will, for example, notify the fleet operator when a vehicle exceeds a set speed threshold. Derek Bryan says: “We also have a ‘Driving Style’ tool that monitors acceleration, cornering and braking – key indicators of aggressive or unsafe driving.” Another major area which the system addresses is excessive vehicle idling, a bad driving habit that is a tremendous cause of fuel usage. Any time a vehicle spends time idling, it is realising zero miles per gallon, reducing its average fuel economy. Some GPS vehicle tracking systems include features that monitor vehicle idle times and engine-on status. Fleet operators can use these tools to ensure that drivers are not wasting extensive time idling in one location or spending an excessive amount of time at a particular job. Combine this with an alert function and fleet operators can be notified if a vehicle has idled or remained inoperative after a certain amount of time and quickly determine the cause. It’s worth bearing in mind that according to the Ford Motor Company, every hour that a vehicle is idling is the equivalent of approximately 25 miles of driving. Transport for London (TfL) tests show that, contrary to popular belief, vehicle engines can be switched on and off more than 100 times an hour with no discernible ►
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Derek Br yan / G PS Trac k i ng / Fleet mat i c s
Photo Credit: Highways Agency businesses with their ‘Duty of Care’ responsibilities. Some GPS tracking systems feature a dashboard, which gives full visibility of the fleet on the road; this makes it possible to highlight, manage and reduce inappropriate activity, such as vehicles being used for side jobs. GPS tracking systems also allow fleet operators to view and replay journeys made by their vehicles, instantly flag-up vehicle movement during non-working hours, and create ‘No Go Zones’, receiving an automated alert whenever they are breached. Furthermore, GPS tracking can also help expedite recovery of stolen vehicles and any equipment on board. This is simply due to the fact that vehicles fitted with a GPS tracking system are more likely to be recovered sooner, thus resulting in little to no loss or damages. Another important aspect is that, should there ever be an incident, the data from the GPS tracking system can often be retrieved on details such as location, time and speed for use as evidence to the authorities, like the insurance agency and police. Also, a company’s insurance premiums may be reduced as a reward for the extra safety measures businesses have taken for their fleet.
loss of performance, and restarting an engine after a minute or longer uses less fuel and causes less pollution than if it is left idling. But it’s not just smarter driving behaviour that can help fleet operators save fuel; it is a known fact that those vehicles that receive regular maintenance run more efficiently and use less fuel than other vehicles. Regular maintenance will also increase the life expectancy of a vehicle and will reduce the chances of it breaking down, causing additional expenses to the firm from missed or uncompleted jobs, as well as expensive repair bills. According to research Michelin conducted in connection with its 2011 ‘Fill Up With Air’ campaign, UK motorists are wasting £337m on fuel every year by driving with under-inflated tyres. Michelin’s | 108 | environmentmagazine.co.uk
findings clearly highlight the importance of keeping tyres inflated to the correct pressure and are hard facts to ignore when trying to run a cost-effective fleet of vehicles. To help with this, automated alerts can be set up for each vehicle on some fleet management systems to notify the fleet operator when a service is due; these alerts can be based upon calendar time, engineon time, or mileage. Fleet management systems can also allow fleet managers to remotely monitor such things as motor oil life, engine fault codes and emissions control system status and be notified should there be a problem. In addition, the use of a GPS vehicle tracking system can also help increase the safety and security of fleet vehicles and its drivers – this can help
The potential features and benefits of the GPS fleet tracking system are too numerous to cover extensively in this article but three which are proven for the freight industry are increased productivity, fuel savings and added security. Fleet management systems are not just the basic ‘Big Brother’ style track and trace system as they were once thought to be, but now are a must-have device for any business. Even by using the very basic information that fleet management software offers, freight operators can gain greater insight into how their business is actually running and this can offer peace of mind. By using the latest features there is enormous scope for increasing revenue and reducing costs, which is good news for any business ■
+ More Information www.fleetmatics.co.uk
R ac hael D i l lo n / Car b o n Emi ssi o n s / F TA
Taking a Voluntary Approach to Reducing Logistics Carbon Emissions by R ac hael D i l l o n
Climate Change Policy Manager, FTA
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The logistics industry provides a vital service for the whole economy. Whether it’s delivering milk to supermarkets or supplies to hospitals, freight is imperative for keeping the country running. Because of this, the industry will always produce emissions, but it is vital we are aware of this and that industry works together to reduce its carbon footprint as much as possible. The Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme (LCRS) managed by the Freight Transport Association (FTA) is an easy and simple way for industry to track and reduce carbon emissions. The UK is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 34% by the end of this decade, based on 1990 levels. This was announced as part of the Climate Change Act 2008. Meanwhile, from 1 October 2013 quoted companies are now expected to report their greenhouse gas emissions in annual company reports. The UK is also due to introduce Energy Audits for non-SMEs which will include transport, buildings and industrial operations in accordance with the EU Energy Efficiency Directive. The transport sector is responsible for around 21% of UK domestic greenhouse gas emissions and freight transport accounts for around a third of these. In late 2009, rather than waiting for Government to influence the footprint of operators using fuel tax or regulation, FTA wanted to offer industry a way of declaring and reducing their emissions voluntarily. With fuel representing nearly 40% of operation costs and every pound that the Government
takes on tax is a pound that can’t be spent on new vehicles or innovative technology to reduce emissions, FTA decided to take action. So, along with a group of operators, it launched the LCRS, an industry-wide initiative to record, report and reduce freight transport emissions. The LCRS is the first of its kind for the freight industry. It is free to join and enables operators to contribute to a voluntary carbon reduction target for industry. Over 90 companies accounting for over 63,500 companies have joined to date. Members range from retailers and third party logistics to local authorities and small hauliers. The only requirement is that companies have at least one commercial vehicle. As well as attracting operators, FTA was also proud to announce Bridgestone Tyres as its first LCRS partner in May 2012. LCRS members submit fuel data and other business related activity data to FTA on a confidential basis either annually or quarterly. FTA then aggregates the data to produce a carbon footprint for the scheme using Government approved emission factors. As some companies will just be starting on their carbon journey while others may be more advanced, FTA visits each scheme member at least once to talk through the reporting, to ensure that all data submitted is robust, credible and correct. Operators are asked to supply simple data like the number of litres of diesel used by the company, number of vehicle kilometres, turnover and full time equivalent staff. The main requirement is that reporting is consistent. By participating, members can easily calculate their freight transport emissions.
The LCRS was endorsed by the Department for Transport (DfT) in 2011 and has set a collective target for members to reduce the carbon intensity of freight transport operations by 8% by 2015 based on 2010 levels. In late 2012, the scheme provided significant evidence to DfT's Freight Carbon Review which assessed the contribution the freight sector is playing towards national greenhouse gas reduction targets. This directly resulted in the Department pledging to continue to support a voluntary approach to carbon reduction from freight transport. The latest third annual report shows how scheme members collectively made progress in reducing carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions between 2005 and 2011, when average tonnes of CO2e per LCRS member reduced by 2.8%. Projecting forwards the reduction in emissions from 2010 to 2011 also reveals that the scheme is on track to meet its 8% carbon reduction target in 2013, two years earlier than anticipated. The results of FTA’s second annual Carbon Intervention Survey are also presented in the report. LCRS members were invited to complete the survey to advise the different decarbonisation measures they are undertaking within their transport operations. Headline results show that operators are focused on achieving fuel efficiency through operational measures. For instance, to minimise empty running, companies are maximising their use of existing vehicle capacity with some investment in longer and higher cube trailers. Telematics is also being used to optimise vehicle utilisation and driver eco-training is an essential practice. Finally, case studies on how LCRS members are reducing their carbon through ► Photo Credit: Highways Agency
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Transport measures such as utilising alternative fuels or switching to rail and reducing empty running are also featured in the report. The LCRS also highlights the current barriers to take up of alternative fuels such as biomethane to reduce freight carbon emissions due to lack of refuelling infrastructure and a longer rolling duty differential period for gas. A current call for evidence from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles on how to allocate a new £500m funding package between 2015 and 2020 is a key opportunity for the freight sector to receive some much needed support to invest in alternatives such as gas. In the past funding has been very much limited to cars and vans and to date just £6.5m has been allocated to hgvs to help fleet operators utilise alternative fuels and low carbon technologies. FTA has recently joined the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight as a consortium member to support further work on decarbonisation actions for the logistics sector. The Centre for Sustainable Road Freight was launched in April 2013 as a collaboration between Heriot-Watt University Logistics Research Centre and the University of Cambridge Engineering Department. This collaboration brings together road freight vehicle engineering expertise and logistics expertise in order to explore ways of making road freight economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. The Centre is conducting a range of research projects including optimising long haul transport which will look at developing ultralightweight and higher capacity vehicles; optimising the rolling resistance of tyres; and a study of air flow around and under vehicles to perfect aerodynamics. Studies will also focus on sustainable urban freight to include finding the most fuel efficient ways to organise logistics in cities; the influence of driver behaviour; and utilising alternative fuels such as natural gas. In particular, FTA will be working with the Centre to develop an LCRS roadmap to indicate where the greatest carbon savings can be made within logistics operations. There is also the European agenda to consider. A long awaited Strategy to reduce carbon emissions from heavy duty vehicles is expected in early 2014. This prompted a recent workshop attended by a range of LCRS fleet operators and leading vehicle
R ac hael D i l lo n / Car b o n Emi ssi o n s / F TA
manufacturers to discuss the most promising developments in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other atmospheric emissions that are likely over the next 10 to 15 years. Discussion focused on operators' challenge of meeting carbon reduction and CSR objectives within their own companies whilst staying fuel efficient and managing operational costs. Despite the acknowledged additional costs of Euro 6 hgvs from 2014, it is seen as a real 'game changer' to meeting air quality targets over the next 10 years. The European Commission's development of a carbon methodology for hgvs within the next few years was noted as an important next step for industry and will provide more transparency for vehicle purchasers when considering carbon emissions. There was also debate on the role of natural gas and ultimately biomethane to reduce carbon emissions. The role of the LCRS is helping to shape FTA’s carbon reduction policy going forward. Additionally, the LCRS is an ideal way to promote the actions of operators to improve efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. The inaugural Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme (LCRS) Awards were presented to winners at FTA’s CuttingCarbon,CuttingCostsConferenceinMay2013. • Turners (Soham) Ltd were awarded the Carbon reduction through fuel efﬁciency Award (sponsored by Bridgestone Tyres) for the implementation of a unique telematics system, to enable the analysis of driver performance data and development of routebased analysis to improve efﬁciency. • An award for Carbon reduction through use of alternative low carbon fuels and technologies (sponsored by Iveco Trucks) went to Howard Tenens Associates Ltd for its investment in and expansion of compressed natural gas dual fuel trucks. • Arla Foods UK took the award for Carbon reduction through innovative fleet management (sponsored by FTA) with the development of the dairy industry’s only combination trailer. The vehicle is half milk tanker and half refrigerated container, used
for transporting raw milk and ﬁnished dairy products simultaneously • UPS were awarded for Carbon reduction through use of low carbon transport modes (sponsored by the Mode Shift Centre) following its successful trial of barges on the River Thames for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The LCRS Awards for 2014 were launched in November 2013 due to the success of this year’s Awards. The Awards provide an excellent opportunity for LCRS members to earn recognition for decarbonisation measures that they are undertaking to improve fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. The categories are: • Best fuel efﬁcient operation (sponsored by Bridgestone Tyres) • Best use of alternative low carbon fuels and technologies (sponsored by Iveco) • Most innovative fleet management • Breakthrough in modal shift • Leadership in logistics carbon reduction The overall objective of the LCRS is to prove to Government that taking regulatory action to make cuts in freight emissions is unnecessary because industry is doing it itself. It proves the logistics sector is taking the issue of carbon seriously and actively and voluntarily seeking ways to reduce emissions. However, it is critical that the scheme grows in order to supply additional evidence to Government. The more operators that sign up the more influential the LCRS will be ■
+ More Information FTA welcomes additional members to the scheme to increase the case for preventing regulation for the freight industry by signing up for the scheme. The benefits include the fact that it is free, it helps companies to demonstrate green credentials, it provides a methodology and target for carbon emissions recording and reporting. It also carries weight with the Government and buyers of logistics services. www.fta.co.uk/lcrs Photo Credit: Highways Agency
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THE UK'S BIGGEST COMMERCIAL VEHICLE SHOW
The number one road transport and logistics event in Britain, catering for every operatorâ€™s business needs, the CV Show has become the leading meeting place for suppliers and operators alike - a true one stop shop for the industry. Located at the NEC, at the heart of the motorway network, the Show is open from 8.30 to 5.30 April 29 - May 1.
For exhibitor details please call +44 (0) 1634 261 262 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Ph i li p Si mpso n / Fo o d Waste / R e Fo o d
Focus Phi l i p Sim pson
Commercial Director, ReFood
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The challenges of dealing with food waste are complex, but it is important that they should not hold back change. In November 2013, we launched a report entitled: “Vision 2020: UK roadmap to zero food waste to landfill”, in collaboration with BioRegional, an entrepreneurial charity that promotes sustainable businesses through its One Planet Living philosophy and in consultation with key food supply stakeholders. The report highlights where and why food waste is happening at each stage of the UK supply chain, what actions are currently being taken to tackle food waste and, most importantly, what more can be done in the future.
combined with population growth and climatic changes are putting massive pressure on food, water and energy resources.
By separating and dealing with food waste effectively, we can unlock all of its value while also removing it as a contaminant to other waste streams. This will ensure high-quality, commerciallyviable, recyclable materials are available across the board, helping to return billions of pounds to the UK economy.
Closer to home, in the UK, we produce approximately 14.8m tonnes of food waste every year, which accounts for over 20m tonnes of GHG emissions and 6.2bn litres of water. Around 40% of this food waste ends up in landfill where it produces harmful methane that is 21 times stronger than carbon dioxide.
Food waste is now a global concern. The United Nations, the EU and, closer to home, WRAP are among many organisations across the public, charitable and private sectors that have prioritised food waste reduction over the coming years. At a global level, it is widely acknowledged that we are entering a period of resource scarcity – where the cost of available resources is increasing and demand from an expanding global middle class,
The UK is now at a crossroads and it is more important than ever before that we address the issue of food waste correctly. As the population continues to increase and more pressure is placed on global food production, we have not just a moral obligation but also an absolute need, to address the issue. This extends both in terms of reducing food waste, as well as better utilising it where it is produced unavoidably.
However, despite these rising global pressures on food production, it is estimated that 50% of all food produced on the planet never reaches its intended goal; the human stomach. As a result, some 550bn cubic metres of water are wasted globally in growing crops that never reach the consumer. These statistics highlight that when we waste food, we also waste all of the land, nutrient, water and energy resources that went into producing it.
As the biggest contaminant in the waste stream, food waste consigns millions of tonnes and billions of pounds of valuable resources to landfill or incineration each year. It therefore makes sound commercial and environmental sense that government and industry take a more consistent and holistic approach to waste in the UK that maximises its potential as a resource. The time is right to make a real difference to how we approach food waste. Exciting initiatives up and down the supply chain have started to build a real momentum to deliver a more positive outcome. Industry thinking is changing and campaigns that encourage adoption of the food waste hierarchy and the circular economy have begun to shift behaviour away from waste and towards resource. By achieving the goal of zero food waste to landfill, we will not only help to deliver demanding landfill and carbon reduction targets, but we can also save millions of pounds at every stage of the food chain. It will provide inexpensive renewable energy, deliver employment opportunities, create chemical-free fertilisers for use by UK farmers and help to restore valuable nutrients back into the land. By separating food waste, we can also unlock billions of pounds of value from recyclable materials currently consigned to incineration or landfill. This synopsis recently prompted the Green Alliance to describe a ban on food waste to landfill as a ‘political no brainer’.
The recommendations presented in the Vision 2020 report are underpinned by a strong environmental and economic case for reducing food waste with potential to deliver the following annual benefits: 1. Save over £17bn by reducing food wasted by households, businesses and the public sector. 2. Prevent 27m tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) from entering the atmosphere. 3. Return over 1.3m tonnes of valuable nutrients to the soil. 4. Generate over 1TWh electricity, enough to power over 600,000 homes.
The AD sector has grown significantly during 2013 and this trend looks set to continue as we move into 2014. According to the latest AD annual report issued by Defra in August 2013, 110 AD plants have been constructed in the UK with a further 200 sites receiving planning consent. This is good news for diverting food waste from landfill. We believe that this rapid growth in AD will continue during 2014, despite the challenges facing the industry, not least the lack of leadership by the Government to tackle waste effectively. We firmly believe common sense will prevail, despite this lack of leadership. There are many local authorities that are pioneering in their approach to tackling waste and developing best practice models that will help build confidence about what can be achieved,
by demonstrating the benefits and setting high standards of recycling. As the AD infrastructure continues to grow, it will become easier and more cost effective for food waste to be diverted to AD and used as an important source of energy and nutrients, rather than sent to landfill. We are optimistic that we will see more of this happening, especially as food banks increase in number and global food resources come under greater stress through climate change and increasing populations. We fully expect people to take the issue of food waste more seriously and start to really understand its value as a resource. As a company, we are very optimistic about 2014 and there are a number of reasons for this optimism. Firstly, when we researched and launched our Vision 2020 roadmap, it was clear to see that a lot of progress was being made towards treating waste as a resource. The issue of waste is frequently in the headlines and this kind of debate is to be welcomed. Increasingly, the evidence is building that the commercial cost of a ‘throw-away’ society is mounting as resources become scarcer. Best practice is being established and shared and the cost savings that can be achieved are making more and more businesses sit up and take notice of the impact waste has on the bottom line. Indeed, there is a real sense of optimism about the positive impact that turning food waste into a resource can make.
We believe food waste recycling is the lynch-pin of a better waste strategy in the future. We also understand that it will be difficult to achieve our ambitions without collaboration. Many of the recommendations call for cross-sector research, sharing of information and ideas in order to achieve an important long-term objective. The report has also outlined practical steps that individual businesses can adopt to begin to reduce their food waste, maximise its use where it is generated and make significant savings. With clear direction, we can create opportunities that will drive the positive environmental, economic and social outcomes, for the greater good. Our message is clear: food waste is a valuable resource that should never end up in landfill sites. Everyone from the food producer, through to the retailer, the restaurant and the householder can play their part in ensuring that we take full advantage of its considerable potential, by ensuring we re-use, recycle and recover every nutrient and kilowatt of energy it has to offer ■
Title Photo: Steven Depolo
+ More Information PDM Group has a long tradition of providing quality services to each sector of the food supply chain. For more than 80 years, the family-run company has been the UK's largest processor of meat and poultry by-products and has diversified its offering into food processing; pet food ingredient manufacturing; renewable energy generation and recycling of food waste and used cooking oil. www.refood.co.uk
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Paul Co r b ett / Countr y w i d e Wa ste
On-Site Utilisation of Food Waste as a Biomass Fuel by Paul Cor b ett
Managing Director, Countrywide Waste Management Ltd
As has recently been highlighted, food waste in the UK is a big problem. Itâ€™s a big and very expensive problem, both in terms of financial and environmental costs. The hospitality and food services sector alone produces around 900,000 tonnes of food waste every year. Unfortunately, the general rule is the fresher and the better the quality of food served in pubs, restaurants, hospitals and hotels, the more waste that food generates. A highend a la carte restaurant can produce nearly 1 litre or 0.4-0.5kg of food waste per cover. Even your local gastro pub could be producing around 0.25kg of food waste per cover. To put this into context, the equivalent of 1.3 billion meals or over 16% of the meals served in the UK each year go to waste. The Waste and Resource Action Programme (WRAP) estimates the true cost to the industry of handling and processing food waste is around ÂŁ2.5bn per year. There are undoubtedly some process efficiencies that could be made in some establishments to reduce the amount of food waste produced. However, having spent a number of years talking with caterers, executive chefs and restaurant owners, it is clear that these efficiencies would risk compromising the quality and reputation of the food served. In the highly demanding and competitive world of hospitality and food service, this is a risk many are not prepared to take.
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So we are still left with the problem of delicious food on the plate and lots of food waste in the bins. It is clear that the current situation of food waste disposal is unsustainable (there are very strong arguments for the fact that food waste production is unsustainable) and there are alternative and better ways of using this resource. Over and above the direct financial costs to the industry are the potentially much greater environmental costs that are a burden for the local and global community; this food waste is estimated to contribute 3.6 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions per year. In addition to being incredibly wasteful, disposing of food waste is currently generally quite inefficient, expensive and polluting due to the logistics involved and the historical lack of affordable technology to process it into anything useful. The standard current process is for an establishment to deposit food waste into a wheelie bin or a large compactor. It is then transported by a heavy goods vehicle burning diesel at a rate of around 7-11mpg to a landfill site or sometimes a processing facility, at a cost of around ÂŁ100.00+ per tonne. To make matters worse there is the persistent problem that food waste is often disposed of together with other potentially recyclable materials. The net result is that materials like cardboard, paper and plastics, that would be easily recycled in most cases, is contaminated and therefore usually ends
Above, (left to right) Suk Aulak from Chantry Vellacott, Bernard Zechner- Director of Whittlebury Hall Hotel and Spa and Paul Corbett test a containerised biomass boiler unit.
up in landfill. This further compounds the negative impact poor food waste management has; it is estimated by WRAP that a further 0.4 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions per year could be cut by the recycling of readily available food packaging and other wastes disposed of by the industry sector. Alarmingly, it is estimated that only 12% of food waste is currently recycled or recovered. New and on-going initiatives and legislation, such as Zero Waste Scotland (Waste (Scotland) Regulations) and WRAP’s Hospitality and Food Service Agreement are only the first steps in a huge strive towards limiting the environmental damage caused by food waste and recovering the vast and valuable resource that is currently being thrown away. At Countrywide Waste Management (CWM) we are not experts in the field of operating restaurants or hotels; our food is certainly unlikely to win any awards soon. However, we are experts in resource efficiency and sustainable waste management and are determined to contribute to a positive change in the attitude and behaviour of managing food waste. We have a true understanding of the real value of diverting food waste from landfill and recovering the energy that it contains. Food waste produced by our customers can generate an average of 4,600 kilowatt hours of energy per tonne at a cost as low as £25.00 per tonne; the same quantity of energy from gas costs around £160.00 - £275.00 and using electricity increases this to £322.00 £460.00. This is a clear sign that food waste has a value as a resource. As the momentum gathers around responsible management of resources many businesses are starting to understand the contribution they can make to the process. There is certainly at least an increasing willingness to listen to the concept of food waste recovery. There is a wide variety of options for managing food waste and utilising it as a
resource that will suit many businesses that can see the benefits of sustainable management: • Transporting food waste to an anaerobic digestion (AD) facility • On-site macerators – discharges food waste directly into the sewer system (not an option in Scotland from January 2014) • On-site food digesters – discharges small quantity of “grey” water directly into the sewer system (not an option in Scotland from January 2014) • Dewatering equipment – a centrifuge system which reduces the weight and volume of food while retaining the majority of the solid material, which can then be used for composting or AD • Combined heat and power systems – generating energy from food waste and vegetable oils • In-vessel composting – can be carried out onsite or at an external facility • On-site wormery to produce vermicompost – usually only suitable for very small-scale use • On-site food drier – reduce the weight and volume of food waste by around 90% • On-site biomass boiler – use the food waste produced as a fuel to generate heat on the site
Heating food waste to between 100-115oC for several hours reduces its moisture content to around 1% and its weight and volume by around 90%. The remaining material is a sterile, dry “crumb” that usually smells like Christmas cake. The crumb retains 100% of the calorific value of the original food – making it an ideal fuel.
The take-up of these systems is now gathering pace. As technology develops and equipment costs reduce significantly, leasing options are available and the awareness of the huge benefits, both economically and environmentally, has become very apparent. Of all the solutions available, perhaps the most innovative, efficient and gathering pace the quickest, is the combined use of food driers with biomass boiler technology on the site of waste production. The UK government has a target of 12% of the UK’s heat being generated by renewable energy by 2020. To encourage the use of renewable energy in this ►
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way, the UK government introduced the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme in 2011, the first of its kind in the world. The scheme pays the user of biomass boilers up to 8.6p per kilowatt/hour (kWh) of heat produced for up to 20 years. When the RHI payment is compared to the cost of gas (circa 3-6p per kWh) and electricity (circa 7-10p per kWh), it is a very substantial incentive that more than offsets any food waste equipment costs. Quite simply, food waste is dried on the site at which it is produced using a very simple piece of equipment (it has a start and stop button), before being transferred into a hopper that feeds a biomass boiler. The boiler pre-heats water before it enters the existing heating system of a building. The drier heats the food waste to between 100115oC for several hours, reducing its moisture content to around 1% and its weight and volume by around 90%. The remaining material is a sterile, dry “crumb” that usually smells like Christmas cake. The crumb retains 100% of the calorific value of the original food – making it an ideal fuel. The crumb material is very stable, does not readily decompose or attract pests and it can be stored safely, if necessary, for many months without deterioration. There are several factors that make the food drying and biomass boiler combination very effective and sustainable to businesses that produce food waste: • Elimination of immediate environmental hazards and unpleasantness of food waste bacteria, smells, mess, unsightliness and risk of rodents (potential disease carriers) and pests • Equipment costs are at very affordable levels – lease options also eliminate the requirement for capital outlay • Reduction of carbon and methane emissions – through the reduction or total elimination of the need to transport the waste off-site, along with the subsequent emissions created during the decomposition process, if landﬁlled
Paul Co r b ett / Countr y w i d e Wa ste
• The boiler equipment is highly portable and easily bolts on to the existing plumbing system; the drier can be positioned anywhere within a site • Resource efﬁciency - waste quickly becomes a valuable resource as a source of fuel for the site - reducing the reliance on fossil fuels • Elimination of food waste disposal costs food waste is expensive to dispose of - at up to 600% of the cost of non-food waste, even if it is being diverted from landﬁll • Contaminated packaging is “cleaned” by the drying process and can be easily segregated from food waste, allowing previously unrecyclable material to be recovered • The biomass boiler system qualiﬁes for the Renewable Heat Incentive - a government scheme which pays up to 8.6p per kWh of renewable energy produced by the boiler The success of utilising food waste as a resource is highlighted by Whittlebury Hall Hotel and Spa, situated close to the Silverstone race track in Northamptonshire. The hotel has made many changes to its operations over the last few years in order to minimise the environmental impact of the facility. The hotel has operated a zero waste to landfill policy for the majority of its wastes for some time and when CWM were asked to review their waste management strategy, it became apparent there were great opportunities to further enhance the food waste system. Hotel director Bernard Zechner has been driving the sustainable model through the business and says: “We strive to make all areas of our business model sustainable; utilising food waste as a resource significantly reduces our use of fossil fuels and reliance on heavy goods vehicles to move our waste. The process also delivers large cost savings, which is a bonus.” Through installing a food drier and a containerised biomass boiler system, the hotel generates almost 1 million kWh of energy per year (enough to heat around 60 average houses for a year) from a mixture of its food waste and waste wood. In addition to
saving 100% of their annual food waste disposal costs (circa £18,000) and £25,000 per year in gas costs, the system generates RHI at a rate of around £40,000 per year. As a result of the utilisation of food waste at Whittlebury Hall, around 96 HGV journeys transporting food waste have been saved every year - totalling around 1000 miles and 1000kg of annual CO2 equivalent emissions along with up to a further 85,000kg of CO2 equivalent emissions and contributing in a small way to the overall target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the UK by 80% by 2050. In the more immediate environment of the hotel service areas, the staff no longer have to push heavy food waste bins across a car park to load a Smelly and potentially dangerous compacter and there is less opportunity for food waste spillages and the associated mess. It is clear that the most effective method of reducing the environmental impact of food waste is to reduce the amount produced. Whilst this is happening gradually, there is still the matter of dealing with the existing food waste production in a sustainable manner. Regarding food waste as a resource is a huge step in realising its true value and on-site utilisation may represent one of the most efficient and sustainable methods of reducing its impact ■
+ More Information www.countrywidewaste.co.uk Title Photo: Shehal Joseph
The equivalent of 1.3 billion meals served in the UK each year go to waste. The Waste and Resource Action Programme (WRAP) estimates the true cost to the industry of handling and processing food waste to be around £2.5bn per year.
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R t Ho n Caroli ne Spelman M P / Waste L eg i slat i o n
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R t Ho n Carol i ne Spelman MP
The UK has a lot to be proud of when it comes to dealing with waste more sustainably. The industry has transformed over the last fifteen years, moving away from landfill to exploring new options for treating waste, including extracting energy from waste, and increased reprocessing of recycled materials. The industry has also proved itself to be resilient, continuing to provide jobs and showing sustained growth in a difficult financial climate. The global waste and sustainable resources market has a current annual estimated worth of $1trillion. Complementing this change is the increased importance of viewing waste as a resource, extracting as much value as possible from vital waste streams, and making sure that this is reflected in the way we handle our waste. Over the past six months, I have been chairing an Associate Parliamentary Sustainable Resource Group inquiry into the export of waste. The resulting report, Exporting Opportunity? Putting UK waste to work at home and abroad, examines how to make the most of opportunities associated with waste exports, including the export of recyclable materials such as paper, glass, plastics and metals, as well as waste derived fuels such as solid recovered fuel (SRF) and refuse derived fuel (RDF).
still remain within the domestic market to make the most of the waste we produce. We want to make sure we grasp the opportunities to make the most from this waste. The key question we wanted to look into was why we are exporting our waste in the first place. The UK is part of a global economy, and exports are a feature of this, but if these exports are a problem then what are the resulting issues? And if they are problematic, then how can this best be exploited? Following on from this, where does the UK see itself in the future in terms of resource management, energy production and economic circularity, and what does it need to achieve these aims? Are there domestic barriers to development evident behind some export practices? Finally, what is the relative impact of policy and regulatory drivers on waste exports, compared to other external factors such as fluctuating energy and materials prices?
Both of these markets have developed as export markets for a variety of reasons. For example, energy and labour costs can determine where materials are reprocessed, and the capacity available to treat these waste materials.
Framing these questions and our focus on specific waste streams and waste derived fuels is the understanding that all of these waste streams are different and have different driving forces as well as barriers to development. Therefore, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to waste exports, and as such, many of our findings were specific to certain streams. In the same way, the waste market is a global market, and cannot be scaled down to specific countries where exports are viewed differently and with different practices. Therefore, we proposed to view the report through the lens of UK economic growth and resilience.
We approached this inquiry from a neutral viewpoint: we did not look to establish whether exports are a good or a bad thing. Exports have been important in helping the waste management sector to meet the ambitious targets for landfill diversion and increasing recycling targets. However, opportunities
The question of political stability and policy certainty was a crucial aspect to the discussion of waste exports, as policy and regulatory drivers have a significant impact on creating the appropriate market for investment, and the decision to export materials. This is even more crucial given the volume
of policies and regulations governing the waste market, spread across different UK Government departments and at an EU and international level. In terms of the effect that policy has on the export of waste, a review of the packaging recovery note (PRN) and packaging export recovery note (PERN) system is a prime example of where equalisation of treatment and regulation affecting waste exports can be achieved. Under the UK’s obligation to meet its ‘obligated tonnage’ for the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive, PRNs and PERNs act as certificates of evidence to demonstrate when packaging waste has been recycled. In order to meet their recycling obligation, packaging producers can purchase evidence, through PRNs to match their ‘obligated tonnage’. This should total the Government’s mandatory recycling target for packaging materials. Throughout the inquiry process it became clear that there were perceived issues with the PRN system, specifically the difference between PRNs and PERNs. PRNs are based on the amount of usable material within a load delivered to the reprocessor, whilst PERNs are based on the weight of a load prior to delivery. With this in mind, it is possible that an unintended consequence of the system is to incentivise exports. The report recommends the creation of a level playing field in this system, to be supported by Government. This would ensure that all recyclable materials, whether destined for use in the domestic market or abroad, are considered with the same standard in terms of contamination. Such a playing field could be created through ‘deeming’ exports for recyclate to be at a specific yield of target material, reflecting that of domestic reprocessing. Given the different material streams that operate under the PRN/PERN system, such a ‘yield rate’ would have to be adjusted according to ►
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the different contamination rates in these materials. Furthermore, the workings of the current system could be enforced, through the implementation of a policy whereby no shipment destined for export receives a PERN based on an assumption of 100% of the target material, without proof that this is an accurate reflection of the shipment. Creating an environment of greater certainty is particularly important given the new and stricter regimes being put into place by some receiving nations, such as the Chinese Green Fence policy. This has had the effect of both increasing the quality of the exports China receives, but has also exposed the volatility that can be found in the export market, despite the fact that the export of materials can also offer more resilience to exporters facing changes in demand in the export market. As is emphasised throughout the research, there are both strengths and weaknesses associated with both domestic reprocessing and export. The important thing is to grasp the opportunities associated with both. The research inquiry also examined waste derived fuels, such as SRF and RDF, and how they can be harnessed to their full potential. The export of these fuels has increased substantially over the last three years, with provisional data suggesting that there has been an increase in RDF exports of over 874,000 tonnes between 2010 and 2012. The main end destinations for both RDF and SRF include Germany, Norway and Sweden, whilst for SRF this includes Latvia and Estonia. As both SRF and RDF have different applications, their end markets also differ. In many cases, the export of RDF and SRF are to EfW plants with higher thermal efficiency, representing both an economic, but also environmental opportunity. However, given the inherent energy value in this indigenous fuel, as well as its potential
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R t Ho n Caroli ne Spelman M P / Waste L eg i slat i o n
contribution to local, low-carbon electricity and heat generation, there needs to be more work focusing on developing a long-term position for Government on the development of EfW to the domestic market. This would provide certainty to both investors, and also producers of SRF and RDF.
government and industry to achieve the aims and goals set out in the report. Let’s ensure that we really do make the most of our waste ■
Long term, consistent policy is crucial to achieving joined up thinking across Government and industry on how to manage our resources sustainably. It also underpins another vital component driving the sustainable resource industry: investment. The APSRG makes recommendations to both the Green Investment Bank and the Government on investment: to assess the barriers for investment in waste management and reprocessing infrastructure; and to deploy a variety of fiscal instruments, such as the raising of the capital allowances threshold; to support businesses to develop the necessary infrastructure; to stimulate the domestic capacity to reprocess; and to treat different waste material streams.
+ More Information
Progress must also be made across several areas of common concern to realise the sustainable resource sector’s potential to contribute to UK economic growth and resilience. These, as reflected in the research, are: materials’ quality; illegal activity; and the delivery of a ‘resources strategy’ as part of an industrial policy. Driving up materials quality, cracking down on illegal activity, and increasing collaboration between the waste, design and manufacturing sectors could develop more sustainable products, allowing the UK to perform to its fullest as part of a circular economy. In order to build on this vision, a cohesive and integrated resources strategy should be created and delivered. The creation of a ‘resources strategy’, along with all of the other elements of the report, must be achieved collaboratively. A sophisticated approach to waste management will be required from both
Caroline Spelman has been the Member of Parliament for Meriden since 1997. She is a former Secretary of State for the Environment and was the Chair of the Associate Parliamentary Sustainable Resource Group’s inquiry, ‘Exporting Opportunity? Putting UK waste to work at home and abroad’.
Clai re Atk i ns Mo r r i s/ Paul Braceg i rd le / S o d e xo
Tackling Food Waste:
Building a Common Platform for Change
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Cla i re At k i n s Mo r r i s
Head of Waste Management, Sodexo
Pau l Braceg i rd le
Environmental Manager, Sodexo
Food waste should be tackled as one of today’s major sustainability challenges, not just within the food industry but as an important part of building a more sustainable economy and society. In the EU, approximately 90 million tonnes of food waste is generated each year, according to a Foodservice Europe report published in June. It is imperative we all act now. As a provider of over one million meals a day across more than 2,300 locations, Sodexo strives to be a leader on this agenda. We have a clear responsibility to drive the change we all want to see and that is why we have a global sustainability strategy – the Better Tomorrow Plan – and continue to work with a range of organisations to drive forward the waste management agenda. Sodexo is a founding signatory of the UK Hospitality and Foodservice Agreement, driven by the Waste and Resource Action Programme (WRAP) and DEFRA, which seeks to cut food and packaging waste by 5% by 2015. We liaise with the Chartered Institute of Wastes Management (CIWM) and the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ADBA) to gauge their views on food waste prevention, and how that fits into our activities in the foodservice industry. Sodexo is engaged in charitable work around food waste too. We are a corporate sponsor of the UK charity FareShare, supporting their food redistribution efforts with funding and volunteers, as well as influencing our supply chain to donate food to them. Through the Sodexo Foundation charity STOP Hunger, we aim to reduce malnutrition in the areas where we operate. The importance of educating people, particularly the younger generation, about food waste prevention is crucial to bringing about long-term cultural shifts in attitude to the issue. In the short-term however, to ensure that real and lasting progress is made at an EU level and beyond, we must recognise the power of concerted, collective and outcome-driven action can only be realised if we have a clearer definition of the challenge we face. We must define the issue in order to implement innovative solutions and assess progress. As the foodservice sector is one of the more complicated industries with a number of interrelated actors, from providers to supply chains to client needs to service users, there must be consistency
across the board to drive change needed to reduce food waste. In any complex industry, the rules of the game need to be agreed in advance so we can all operate from a level-playing field. In order to do this we feel that such focus should be on two core areas: firstly defining food waste and secondly agreeing how to measure it. From such a solid foundation, we can then all get on with the task of implementing workable, sustainable policies.
Defining food waste
The industry operates within the context of numerous, and sometimes conflicting, definitions of food waste. This situation generally creates a large amount of confusion, and the lack of commonality of language is hindering joint working globally to tackle the problem. We know some organisations use the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations definition and others use the WRAP definition, which not only brings about lack of standardisation but also can complicate the quantification of food waste. There are questions around defining food wastage, food losses at production stage and food waste at consumption stage which need to be settled in building a coherent, common definition. It is hard enough for individual countries to define what waste per se actually is, but while defining food waste is going to be hard it is not unattainable. Within the EU, this challenge is exemplified by the EU’s target of reducing food waste by 50% by 2020, a target which we at Sodexo support, as it raises profile and accelerates progress, but we believe this target should initially be on a voluntary, stretch basis. Without a clear sense of what the 50% is based on, what it includes and what the baseline is, it will be harder to collectively work towards that target. With targets there needs to be clarity about how it is developed. The parameters need to be clearly defined and the limitations need to be clearly identified. ►
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Clai re Atk i ns Mo r r i s/ Paul Braceg i rd le / S o d e xo
and to incentivise new behaviours. It is impossible to use our suite of tools to reduce food waste as a catering provider, including forecasting, purchasing decisions and consumer behaviour, without a sense of what we are dealing with. Data is paramount. Foodservice companies alone cannot change everything however, despite being very positive drivers of change. That is why we go further and argue that as part of the EU’s drive to reduce food waste, it should look at a standard way of measuring food waste which could be combined with a definition. There has been some strong work to date by organisations such as Foodservice Europe, but until the data is comparable we will continue to have an inconsistent picture.
Sodexo health and wellbeing ambassador Matt Dawson and Sodexo UK and Ireland chief executive Debbie White volunteering for FareShare. The pan-European FUSIONS (Food Use for Social Innovation by Optimising Waste Prevention Strategies) project is to be welcomed, and Sodexo is formally committed to the programme. One of its first actions should be to develop a common definition so it can more effectively drive reform. We would argue that once a definition has been reached, it should be treated like a directive with the wording being transposed into EU member state context. This could then be backed up with guidelines and protocols developed at an EU level. Once we have a common definition of food waste, it will be much easier for organisations such as the FUSIONS project to identify best practice, effectively monitor change and communicate with the industry as a whole. We will be stronger when we are building from the same platform. That is why at Sodexo we have developed a simple proposition of food waste. For us, waste food is food waste. This allows us to drive change through our organisation and through our various partners as we are all talking the same language. For example, through the adoption of such a definition at Sodexo, we have found that through segregating food waste from the domestic waste stream leads to food waste prevention and other benefits such as increased recycling. On one site which serves over 4,500 meals a day across an area the size of 33 football pitches, we implemented such a food waste segregation scheme which, through a range of operational practices, has led to a reduction in food waste of a staggering 60%. This practice is now being used as a template for other sites. In the process, it has also led us to further build positive, sustainable relationships with our supply chain. We would welcome the adoption of such a common universal language across the EU on food waste, but it must be recognised that organisations such as
ours, operate as part of a much larger food supply chain and any definition must take such a holistic approach.
Measuring food waste
Accurate data is a pre-requisite of tackling the food waste challenge. Consistent and accurate data not only allows the industry to know the scale of the problem but also allows plans to tackle it to be evaluated over a period of time. If we don’t standardise the methodology for food waste accounting it will be very difficult to monitor. It also means that if there is a political will in the future for binding food waste reduction targets, then we are going to need this accountability for food waste volumes within Europe. As a business, one of the issues we have is that a number of our partners collect data in very different ways and report on it in an inconsistent fashion. Transparency is a key driver in demonstrating an organisation’s approach to food waste to stakeholders but there is no legal obligation to provide this data and as a result, results can be misrepresentative. This is why Sodexo has made it an internal priority to capture more accurate data wherever we can, to enable us to make improvements and to report back in a more consistent way to clients, regulators and Government. Sodexo works closely with our supply chain and partners to give consistent, accurate data on food wastage which we can report against and can implement policies to further reduce this figure. An example of this is that we have asked our supply chain partners to provide us with a weight figure (as opposed to the inaccurate traditional industry average figure) on food waste which we can use as a comparison against others. This clarity is driving real change. Without such clear and comparable data, it would be impossible to achieve such change
A strong precedent has been set by the concept of carbon accounting. Although this was initially a mesh of competing measurements, real progress was only made when an internationally-recognised methodology for calculating carbon emissions, the greenhouse gas protocol, was developed. All involved were able to speak the same language and this could easily be developed for food waste, focusing on growers and manufacturers at one level, retailers and consumers at another level and consumer waste at a further level. This will take an element of political leadership but we believe it is very much within our collective grasp. The objective would be for a ‘one stop shop’ on food waste with clear definitions and methodologies to which we could all work, from farmer to manufacturer to caterer. Once we are all working from the same page we can drive best practice through our operational procedures and innovative solutions to tackling food waste. It will also have the added benefit of adding transparency, accountability and perhaps, most importantly, competition to the sector. If we compare apples with apples, rather than apples with pears as the sector has been doing, we can drive change by showing best practice and potential pitfalls at every stage of the food cycle. Food waste league tables that are open to the public would be a powerful driver of change to which the industry would have to respond. There is some excellent practice out there, but only cohesive and considered EU legislation will make it consistent ■
Photo Credit: Wendi Percival
+ More Information www.uk.sodexo.com
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Pro f Dani el Ney land / Waste Management
The Wrong Bin Bag: the Politics of Waste Management Containers Pro f Dan iel Ney land
Professor in Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London
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Recycling bags, bins and boxes, waste bins, wheelie bins, food waste containers, biodegradable bags. These are just a few of the ordinary, pervasive and everyday objects of household waste management. At first glance they seem unremarkable, they are after all mostly plastic containers of varying sizes and colours. Yet our recent research into the governance of household waste suggests there is widespread consternation among UK households about waste: anxiety within local authorities as to the best or most appropriate means to manage waste; environmental campaigners seeking a greener future for waste; and on-going discussion of the business value of waste.
In newspaper reports, radio discussions and consumer TV shows, the objects of waste management – bags, bins and boxes – and their contents have a prominent role. For example, the Sun newspaper ran a full page story with the headline screaming ‘The Wrong Bin Bag’ – about a woman fined £50 for not using an official council issued black sack; Radio 4 featured a discussion of bin rage; and local newspapers across the country ran stories on the methods, frequency and reliability of bin, box and bag collections. So what is it about the objects of waste management that raises such concern? We
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spent several months researching household waste management with one local authority. We interviewed the waste management team, attended meetings and collected published material from the council. In order to get close to the objects of waste management, we also spent a month going out with waste management collection crews, we surveyed over 10,000 household recycling boxes and we spent time with a smaller group of households discussing their waste management practices. The research produced a number of findings. First, despite an ever increasing number of rules and regulations, national and local government schemes, punishments and inducements, investments in waste and recycling boxes, and the means of collection, waste management remains an uncertain activity for local authorities. In one city, recycling rates varied hugely between differing areas and the local authority came up with a range of different conjectures as to why this might be the case. The local authority continually discussed different ways to produce an evidence base for waste management, but lacked the resources to pursue research. Despite the investment in recycling containers, the local authority frequently considered changing the waste management system, lending the entire scheme an air of uncertainty. Staffing was also a constant problem - collection crews were frequently off work and waste managers’ time was spread thinly across numerous activities. Second, householders expressed considerable on-going frustration with the waste management system. Although every household in the city had been given a recycling box and instructions on how to use it, no household that took part in our research had kept the instructions or could even remember seeing them. Most households were surprised when we pointed out the shortened version of the instructions printed on the side of the box. In place of detailed appraisal of the recyclability of different objects, households tended to stick to a routine for recycling things they knew would be acceptable. Many households had strongly embedded routines focused on, for example, who was responsible for recycling, or where the recycling box should live within or outside the home. This embedded domestication of waste management routines and responsibilities makes changes in waste practices less likely. Householders stuck to the same routines and responsibilities for waste and recycling despite continual encouragement to recycle more. A frequently expressed concern was that the household might fall foul of what were perceived to be complex rules and arrangements for managing waste; no-one wanted to receive the kind of fine they’d read about in newspaper stories. Householders were not keen to change their waste management routines. Third, what of the bins, bags and boxes of household waste management? The local authority we studied
"the bins, bags and boxes – appear straightforward, ordinary, unremarkable, even dull" – in a similar manner to many authorities across the UK – had introduced a standard set of waste, food waste and recycling containers, and shifted to fortnightly waste collections. Given the impossibility of having a member of the local authority sat in each household, monitoring waste management, container size was designed as a means to govern waste. No waste would be collected outside the waste bin, the recycling bin was larger than the waste bin, and free food waste bags were given out to encourage householders to participate in the new food collection scheme. Yet the bins, bags and boxes of waste management continued to be a matter of consternation. The local authority needed to assess changes in household waste management – were they likely to meet targets for recycling, was the new system the best means to encourage more recycling, who would know and how and how much would it cost to know what constituted the best means of waste management? Concerns were also expressed by householders. Why were the waste containers so small? What about the smell of decomposing waste left for a fortnight? Would the new bins attract rats in summer? Why were all households given the same containers – what about large families that produce more waste?
governance by stealth – introducing regulation through the everyday objects of waste management. In this view, the bins, bags and boxes and their attendant routines for collection, are a means to get householders themselves to take on the responsibility for doing governance. We could perhaps argue that this is the strongest and most effective form of governance – a kind of selfgovernance by households. However, our research suggests something rather more interesting. Although the objects of waste management – the bins, bags and boxes – appear straightforward, ordinary, unremarkable, even dull, they are involved in a complex on-going politics. Ordinary containers establish morally preferred courses of action (to throw away less, recycle more), they are the focus of the policing of waste management (with fines imposed as a result of the inspection of containers) and they are the subject of householders’ ire (their size and limits). There appears to be no immediate likelihood of these concerns disappearing. Indeed the more attempts are made to regulate and do politics through the containers of waste management, the more bags (and bins and boxes) will come to seem “wrong” ■
Photo Credits: David Merrett
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Yvo nne Org i l l / Water Ef f i c i enc y / BM A
It’s all about behaviour Contrary to popular belief, the European Water Label is not “just about water efficiency”... No, it's much more than that.
It's about informing and educating so that anyone who is in the market for water-using products can make an informed choice to suit their circumstances. It's also about giving them the opportunity to change their behaviour towards the most precious of all our resources. And it's about reducing waste.
Yvo n ne Or g i l l
Chief Executive of the Bathroom Manufacturers' Association
The award winning CEO of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association, Yvonne Orgill, reviews the labelling scheme, how it has developed, how it is transforming the industry and why our behaviour to water has to change.
What is the European Water Label?
Simply put, the European Water Label, through its easily recognisable graphics and searchable online database, quickly shows the water-using characteristics of bathroom and kitchen products so that would-be purchasers can choose those which ideally suit their circumstances. The Label carries information for12 product categories including the flush performance of toilets, the flow rate of taps and showers and the capacity of baths. It has grown rapidly into an awardwinning benchmark scheme which shows the water consumption of those products. A database, stored in the cloud at www. europeanwaterlabel.eu holds the details of almost 4000 products. The scheme is increasingly recognised by consumers and professionals
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and from the UK government's point of view it is now an important tool in their drive to meet their ‘green'commitments. The scheme expanded into Europe during 2012, and during 2013 DEFRA and WRAP put their full weight behind it announcing that an agreement had been reached with bathroom retailers, merchants and manufacturers to join together to support and promote the Label. Supporters include Saint Gobain, Wolseley, Kingfisher, the Independent Merchant Association, Home Retail Group, and Travis Perkins. Over 1000 stockists have registered their details with the scheme. The key to Label is its overall design which is similar to the familiar labels found on white goods, other electrical goods, tyres, garden machinery, housing etc. It clearly shows the volume of water that the product will consume provided it is correctly installed according to the manufacturer's instructions. So, for instance, for taps and showers, those products which use more than 13 litres per minute will be shown in the red band. (This band ties in with the current harmonised British/European standards which ask for a max 12 litres per minute with a 10% tolerance to accommodate most flow regulators.) At the other end of the scale products using no more than 6 litres per minute will be shown in the green band. Consumers can see, at a glance, the performance of each product.
A similar label for baths shows the volume they contain. Large baths with a volume greater than 200 litres to the overflow are highlighted in the red band. Lower volume baths are shown in the relevant bands below.
Transforming the Industry
One of the major effects of the European Water Label has been to act as a catalyst for invention. Bathroom manufacturers have responded vigorously to the drive to reduce waste and save water and they are playing an increasingly important role in creating products which at their peak of efficiency yet still provide the performance which the consumer demands.
For years the WC has been regarded as a poor performer in the bathroom because of its water guzzling characteristics. When the Label was first launched around 30% of the water consumption in an average UK home was attributed to the toilet flush. Today consumption is down to around 20%. A massive reduction and something to be celebrated. Real progress has been made. Flush volumes of 2.6 litre short flush and 4 litre full flush are available at realistic prices and are no longer ‘special'. One innovative product listed in the Water Label database combines the function of the washbasin with the WC. Waste from the basin is diverted, disinfected and stored in the cistern prior to being used for the flush. This type of breakthrough thinking is both surprising and effective. The move to low volume flushing has also given manufacturers the chance to re-visit the fundamental design of the WC suite. Low volume flush has allowed them to create ‘rim-free' pans. Clever design of the rim without the usual invert or box section is now possible since lower volume flushing is more easily controlled and causes less splashing. The resulting improvement in hygiene and ‘cleanability' has been jumped upon by busy and careful householders. Commercial versions are being installed in medical establishments. Another, and very recent development, has been the ‘cistern-free' WC. This award winning design has done away with the traditional cistern (or tank) since flush water is stored within the body of the toilet itself. The reduced flush volume has enabled
the manufacturer to completely rethink the theory behind the humble loo.
Taps with built-in click-stop technology and hot water temperature regulation have become freely available within the last decade. These not only save water but save energy since hot water is not wasted. They are also ultra-safe in the family bathroom. The styling and functionality of these new taps is blossoming and the choice is greater than ever before. Specialist manufactures have invested heavily in designing products which are reliable, sustainable and easy to install. Low flow units with the click-stop function give both a tactile and an audible click so that the user can easily tell when the tap is on full flow or half flow. The more advanced units control the temperature – safety and energy saving being in the minds of the designers. For gadget-lovers taps with builtin temperature sensitive LEDs glow red or blue depending on the temperature of the flow. Aerated-spray taps are particularly useful in the cloakroom or en-suite rooms for simple hand washing. These achieve a minimal flow rate, way below the taps from a decade ago, but still maintain satisfying use and an effective wash.
High-tech is evolving rapidly in shower controls and shower heads. These new devices show huge
savings in both water and energy consumption. Digital shower technology has advanced to such a degree that its precise temperature control can be accurately set to a safe maximum and play an important part in reducing utility bills by ensuring hot and cold water is not wasted. Energy and water supply costs are kept to a minimum. Some members of the BMA now produce shower units with special showerheads which cleverly blend air with water. The result is a satisfying and refreshing shower which uses less water than ever before. These showerheads can reduce water waste and reduce energy costs compared with a traditional handset, even at the same water pressure. Thermostatic mixer showers ensure that hot water is not wasted since the temperature of the water flow can be set to suit the individual. Some digital showers can even be set to switch off after a set period. Instantaneous electric showers are also great water and energy savers. They heat water as it is required and a typical 9.8 kW shower uses around 10 litres per minute maximum.
It was not so long ago when the average new bath needed more than 200 litres. Today, without much effort, a consumer can find a really comfortable bath with a capacity as low as 120 litres. It's all in the design. Clever internal shaping reduces water volume and reduces waste ►
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Yvo nne Org i l l / Water Ef f i c i enc y / BM A
The Water Calculator
The product data stored in the Water Label database has been put to good use in the accompanying Water Calculator, online at www.thewatercalculator. org.uk which is designed to make it easier to meet the new water-efficiency requirements. The tool is designed for building industry professionals. It is now used by architects, planners, specifiers, contractors, installers and others who are affected by the rules laid down in the Building Regulations Approved Document G (Building Regulations, 2010) and the Code for Sustainable Homes (DCLG, 2006); both give strict rules about water usage in a new home. The calculator makes it easier for the professional, at the planning stage, to calculate how much water is theoretically consumed in the new property based on the products which have been chosen. The Water Calculator is the first of its kind and users simply select from a drop-down menu of products to calculate the water consumption. The tool autocompletes the calculations, enabling quick and easy specification without the hassle of gathering data from product manufacturers. When printed off they can be submitted to the planning authorities and Building Control inspectors as proof of a building's water consumption.
It's all about behaviour. Our behaviour.
But outstanding design and gorgeous wastepreventing products are not the be all and end all. Manufacturers will continue to push technology and their invention will be rewarded, but the focus is now moving from the product to the purchaser and it is here that the European Water Label will make its mark. As we have seen, the Label is being supported throughout Europe at the highest levels in government. Additionally merchants and retailers are embracing the new technologies and trade associations as far afield as Russia and Israel are on board. During 2014 Labels will appear in catalogues, on packaging, and on shop shelves and Point of Sale materials. The Label will become increasingly obvious and consumers will recognise that they can reduce waste and can save money on their household bills. Developers will use the scheme to identify those products which best help them achieve the requirements of the Building Regulations and Code for Sustainable Homes. It is this voluntary European Water Label which is carrying the accurate and truthful message about a product's water consumption. It is free from marketing ‘fluff' and it is the Label which educates and informs and is allowing purchasers to make their own choice. It is giving them ‘permission' to choose, free from expensive mandatory interference. The Label and its information is here to stay but the next link in the chain is our behaviour. Water users now have to be persuaded to use less and waste less. They need to know that if we continue to consume at current rates we will steadily and surely run dry. Beer and wine will disappear from the shelves, we will become increasingly malodorous and our health will deteriorate. Life expectancy will shorten and pension companies will smile!
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Unfortunately, sceptics will remain. They will continue to pedal the message that we have plenty of water around us. They will look outside and see it falling from the skies. It is these people that will need persuading more than any. We need to win them around and if they don't heed the message then perhaps they will need a gentle nudge.
A new ASBO perhaps?
The ASBOSOW - the Anti Social Behaviour Order to Save Our Water! The European Water Label is not just about water efficiency. It's about informing and educating. It's about a fuller understanding of water use and it's about helping change our behaviour to water, the most precious of our resources, our cheapest and most wasted. The multi award winning BMA, based at Keele's Innovation Centre, is the trade association for bathroom manufacturers operating in the UK. It is the principal ‘Voice of the Bathroom Industry' and acts as a hub for the industry, government, the EU and the consumer on issues that affect the bathroom business. The BMA represents, through its technical, marketing and management committees, the interests of over 60 major bathroom manufacturing groups and service providers with over 100 well-known brands in the market place. The manufacturing base directly employs well over 10,000 people across 80+ sites around the UK ■
+ More Information www.bathroom-association.org.uk
BATHING WATER PROTECTION THROUGH REAL-TIME MONITORING & SOURCE MITIGATION SMART & SIMPLE, LOW COST SENSING TECHNOLOGY
BLOCKAGES & CSO SPILLS REPORTED IN REAL-TIME
FROM PUMP CONTROLS TO CONTAINMENT WEIRS Data is delivered over our private and secure Radio Data Networks to Gateways that interface directly to existing SCADA / outstations. There is no need for cellular coverage, mains power or to modify manhole covers. Â Small scale PC based systems are also available for private site operators such as airports.
To ny Har r i ng to n / D ŵ r Cy m r u
A Safe and Sustainable Future for Our Environment,
One We Are Proud to Hand to Future Generations As we are owned for and on behalf of our customers, we do things a little differently here at Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water. We don’t have any shareholders and so we can invest every penny of our customers’ money on what our customers want, both in the short and longer term. Our vision is to earn the trust of our customers every day and so we need to understand how they feel about the investment and service choices we have to make, such as how frequently they would accept some form of temporary restrictions on water use. In particular, we wanted to understand their views on our AMP6 (2015-20) investment proposals. We therefore recently completed our largest ever customer consultation, ‘Your Company, Your Say’ to better understand the needs and views of our customers – our owners.
Tony Har r ing to n Director of Environment, Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water
As part of this exercise, we asked whether they would support further investment in improving our environment. With over 10,000 customers taking part, this research is now complete and confirms that 94% of our customers support our investment proposals going forward and are happy for us to continue with record levels of investment on their behalf to improve our rivers, estuaries and coastal waters. In making these investments, we can achieve three things. Firstly, we can ensure that the interests of future generations are secured as our investments will not be unduly delayed. Secondly, by focusing on supporting an evidence based approach we will make better longer term decisions on behalf of those future generations. Lastly, we will be able to better protect and enhance all the important and sensitive aquatic habitats we are blessed with, here in the area that we serve which includes most of Wales, Herefordshire and parts of Deeside. As Dŵr Cymru’s Director of Environment, and for many of my colleagues too I am sure, it is great to have such strong customer support for our work, and very empowering. But I am also acutely aware of the danger that ever tightening environmental standards will drive unaffordable investments in future, both financially and from a carbon or climate change perspective. This concern is all
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the more heightened by the recent National Audit Office publication on Infrastructure investment needs of the UK, where HM Treasury has identified that £310bn is needed to replace ageing assets (of which we have many) to meet existing policy commitments. Over £100bn of this falls outside of the energy sector, and is roughly what the water sector has already invested over the last 25 years to drive the significant improvements in water quality we have all enjoyed. Add to this the fact that according to the NAO, water bills rose between 2002 and 2011 on average 21% in real terms (except in Wales where our model is helping us drive down bills by 6% on average in real terms between 2010 and 2015 with a further commitment to keep any bill increase below the rate of inflation between 2015 and 2020) the way forward for the wider water industry seems pretty challenging. It is increasingly clear to me that to achieve a sustainable environment the status quo in our industry needs to change. There are two schools of thought on how to achieve this. Firstly the Welsh model, one where a customer owned water company invests all its funds for customers and sets out a partnership working agenda with stakeholders and regulators as its modus operandi to drive value for our customers. Without shareholders, all our gains go to customers and since 2001 we have paid £150m back to customers to help lower their bills with a further £140m of value being returned between 2010 and 2015. Secondly the model being adopted in England, where competition, with shareholder dividends and the marketplace (just as in the energy sector), is used to drive value for customers. To deliver what our environment, society and economy need, I believe that we must evolve from the rather transactional and at times overly precautionary regulatory approach that has existed
in the water industry for the last 25 years. We should work with, not for our regulators towards a more evidence based, catchment focused approach. We need to change the way we work together, and move from an almost ‘contractor of state’ approach to one more of partnership, where we co-fund and co-deliver longer term outcomes and so maximize the value we can all get from our finite resources for both our customers today and future generations. But such a radical change is not going to happen overnight. It requires all parties to develop better levels of trust and mutual respect, to share their data and not treat knowledge and understanding for commercial gain. It requires a level of compromise by everyone, including an acceptance that not all solutions will offer certainty. It needs a recognition that we will occasionally fail, and that is acceptable against the background of greater successes elsewhere. It requires us to take a much longer term view, where our focus has to be on our customers’ needs and on ensuring the sustainability of the essential services that they rely on us to provide. To put it another way, the black and white regulatory framework that we have needs to work in the grey at least some of the time. These changes can be likened to getting a huge flywheel going. Everyone needs to put their shoulder to the same wheel, and in the same direction. Here in Wales, we now have one Government, a single environmental regulator and a water company that supplies most of the Welsh population - all of whom share broadly the same environmental agenda and ideas about what we must deliver for our customers. The Welsh Government is crystallizing this into legislation and various new strategic documents so as to be clear what public bodies and others need to do to achieve these outcomes. While the ‘what’ we must do, by way of environmental outcomes is becoming clearer, the ‘how’ we are going to get there, and the ‘how’ we make it affordable for our customers, farmers, landowners, and other stakeholders are less so. As part of this, and in agreement with NAO’s views, I believe it is essential that both the Welsh and UK Governments assess the impacts of their decisions, particularly from new environmental obligations from the EU, on customers. We stand ready to help in any way we can. One thing we are all agreed on fortunately is that we simply cannot go on pouring concrete and building our way out of the challenges we face. This is particularly so given the ever more challenging background of climate change and the changing needs and expectations of society and
our economy. To that end, Dŵr Cymru’s investment proposals for 2015-2020 are markedly different to those which have preceded it. We have agreed with our new environment regulator, Natural Resources Wales, that we will work in partnership with them and others, to establish through a variety of environmental and other investigative studies, much higher levels of confidence in our environmental footprint to inform the investment decisions we make in the years ahead. In so doing, we can also provide evidence to other polluters and abstractors of water in our area and so assist them to own and reduce the impact they have on the environment. We will use this approach to build new predictive water quality models of our environment which we will also give to our regulators and make available to third parties to ensure that we can work as a single community here in Wales, and those parts of England we serve, to come up with more resilient, sensitive catchment based solutions. These will often be at a local level, where the third sector, local landowners, other industries and Government can all support with their skills, and resources too. Dŵr Cymru has already begun this process by changing the way we work with our environmental stakeholders. Examples of this include setting up an independently chaired environmental panel (iEAP) to advise us. This acts as a guiding hand to environmental decision makers in Dŵr Cymru, and we like to think to other environmental stakeholders who attend, leveraging a broad range of expertise and resources we have into this debate. Our iEAP has assisted us to shape the environmental, science and research elements of our business plan for AMP6, and is on with delivering a range of partnership projects to establish the best way forward to deliver the Water Framework Directive. We have also launched in partnership with Local Authorities our ‘RainScape’ initiative – a £25m scheme based on international best practice to drive sustainable urban drainage systems forward in a number of pilot areas. This and the other investments we are delivering to further improve the environment will also secure and improve bathing and river water quality further. With tourism accounting for some 13% of GDP and employment in Wales, and around a third of all day-trips in Wales going to the coast, Wales, with just 15% of the British coastline, secured 33 Blue Flag awards for the 2013
summer season, a third of the total awarded to all of the UK, we’re also playing a direct role in supporting tourism and the economy of Wales. Strategically, this partnership approach also means that we are all pulling together in the same direction, with the same shared goal for our environment - a safe and sustainable future for our environment, one we are proud to hand to future generations. Our shoulders are all very much on the flywheel, pushing it to move ever faster to deliver the value our customers deserve. Coupled with our work to directly improve the environment, and to set the framework for future environmental improvements, we have also set aside investment for the largest science, technology development and research program in our company’s history. This focuses on the urgent need to drive innovation and efficiencies in our business, as well as the delivery of the series of outcomes we have consulted our customers on and they have supported. Such an approach also makes great business sense. The choice of just continuing to engineer our way out of the challenges we face is simply unaffordable, and frankly risks driving solutions which may well be redundant well within their lifetime. It also perpetuates the view that the challenge our environment faces is someone else’s fault and someone else’s problem to deal with, one where taxes and water rates are paid and personal involvement and ownership can be superficial. If we are to succeed in this most important of issues, we all have to own our part of the solution, and to do that we must understand both our own footprint, and from there decide how best we can work together to deliver solutions. I firmly believe it is only by working together, sharing our resources, skills and ideas, that we can have the safe and sustainable environment that we all want to achieve, one which we are all proud to hand to future generations. I want Dŵr Cymru to be a leader in this agenda, one where we set the example and in so doing will deliver our vision to be trusted by our customers every day ■
+ More Information www.dwrcymru.com Photo Credit: Richardson Foster
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Misc / Environmental Prosecutions £14,000 Fine for Company Operating Illegal Waste Facility
November / December Court Orders £121,520 Penalty for Waste Crime Activities
Defendants plead guilty to a number of charges brought by the Environment Agency for illegal waste site operations in Nottinghamshire. Concluding at Nottingham Crown Court on 22 November, BloomPlant Limited was fined a total of £21,000 and ordered to pay £25,000. Bloom Plant Limited were also ordered to pay a further £25,000 following an application made by the Environment Agency under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA), reflecting financial benefit obtained as a consequence of their criminal conduct. John Kelvin ‘Kelly’ Bloom was fined £13,500, ordered to pay £20,000 in costs and £5,000 POCA. Richard James Morris was fined £4,000, ordered to pay £1,000 in costs and £1,000 POCA. Michael Bowness was fined £2,500, ordered to pay £2,500 in costs and £1,020 POCA. Additionally the Police had seized over £44,000 as a cash seizure from the home address of Kelly Bloom on the day of a joint raid by the Environment Agency and the Police.
YouTube Video Lands Poacher in Court
A clip of a man catching sea trout on a Dorset river with an illegal net appeared on YouTube and was seen by a fisheries officer who recognised the poster as Benjamin Cook. Cook, 31, was arrested and ordered to pay £475 in fines and costs by Bournemouth magistrates. It is the first time the Environment Agency has used evidence from social media to secure a conviction. In the YouTube clip entitled ‘Poachin in Poole’, Cook can clearly be seen removing a large sea trout from a fixed monofilament net on the River Sherford near Kings Bridge, Dorset. Cook, who has previous convictions for poaching and obstructing a fisheries officer, was arrested at his home on 15 February, 2013 and taken to Bournemouth police station for questioning. He admitted fishing for salmon and sea trout without a license. £25,000 had been spent in 2012 on improvements to help salmon and sea trout migrate up the River Sherford to their spawning grounds. The river flows into Poole Harbour where netting is strictly controlled to protect fish stocks. Cook’s net was placed across the river to intercept fish swimming upstream. By catching them in this way he was preventing them from spawning and harming the local salmon and sea trout populations that are vulnerable to poaching Appearing before Bournemouth magistrates, Cook, of Patchins Road, Poole, Dorset was fined £175 and ordered to pay £300 costs after pleading guilty to using an unlicensed net to catch salmon and sea trout on the River Sherford in contravention of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975.
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On 22 November 2013, Easy Skip Hire Ltd of Doncaster was sentenced at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court to one charge relating to operating a waste transfer facility without an Environmental Permit. The company pleaded guilty at an earlier court hearing. The company was fined £14,000, ordered to pay £3,131.87 in costs, along with a £120 victim surcharge. In May 2012, Environment Agency officers made a routine visit to Easy Skip Hire Ltd based at Kiveton Park Industrial Estate, Sheffield, and noticed a mixture of household, commercial and industrial waste was being stored on site. The company did not hold an Environmental Permit to store waste at the site, but did hold S2 and T12 Exemptions that allowed it to have materials on site for refurbishing or repairing items such as discarded furniture, bicycles and garden tools. Officers advised the director of the company that he would need an Environmental Permit to operate a waste transfer station. He stated that he was aware of this and that he was in the process of applying for planning permission on a different unit on the estate and thereafter would apply for a permit. During July and August 2012 officers revisited the site on numerous occasions and found various piles of waste were still being stored there. The company director was advised again about the limitations of the S2 and T12 Exemptions and the need to hold an Environmental Permit. On 25 October 2012 an Enforcement Notice was served on the company requesting all documentation and waste transfer notes between 10 July 2012 and 25 October 2012. The Environment Agency did not receive these documents so officers visited the site again on 8 November 2012 and noticed it was locked up but the waste piles had reduced. Officers contacted the company director who stated he had found a new site. Another Enforcement Notice was issued to the company and on 16 November 2012 officers received a letter and the waste transfer notes. Officers visited the site again on 20 December 2012 and found the waste had been cleared.
School And Glass Contractor Fined For Asbestos Failings
A Birmingham academy and a glass company have been fined for failing to properly manage refurbishment works and exposing workers to asbestos. Equitas Academies Trust, the owner and operator of Aston Manor Academy, and Birmingham Glass Services Ltd were jointly prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation found they put employees at unnecessary risk in the incident on 6 June 2012. Birmingham Magistrates’ Court heard that Equitas Academies Trust undertook a project in the spring and summer of 2012 to replace old windows at the academy. The school appointed Birmingham Glass Services Ltd (BGS) to do the work, having previously used the company for other projects. Four BGS workers attended the site, but did not receive an induction by any employee of Equitas Academies Trust. Nor was any information provided to the glass company’s employees on the location of any asbestos containing materials. The school’s site manager told the BGS employees that ‘to the best of his knowledge’ there was no asbestos containing materials in the window area. While removing the windows, two of the BGS employees encountered strips of asbestos insulating board (AIB) packers, which prevented them from installing the new windows. The packers were removed from the frame using a crowbar, then snapped and dumped next to an asbestos decontamination unit on the school site that was being used for unrelated work by licensed asbestos removal contractors. HSE found that along with not receiving information on where asbestos could be found in the building, these two employees had not received asbestos awareness training; and had not been provided with any form of personal protective equipment, such as face masks or protective clothing. They were therefore exposed to loose asbestos fibres while removing the asbestos packers and breaking them into pieces. Magistrates also heard there were no emergency procedures in place for the employees if asbestos was disturbed. The incident cost the school £20,000 through decontamination and replacement of floor coverings. Soft furnishings and children’s work had to be disposed of and parts of the school could not be used for the second part of the summer term. Birmingham Glass Services Ltd, of Lightning Way, West Heath, Birmingham, was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £1,969 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. Equitas Academies Trust, of Phillips Street, Aston, Birmingham, was fined £7,500 with £3,000 in costs after also pleading guilty
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Wadborough Park Farm Fined for Persistent Pollution
On 12 December 2013, A&A Rodenhurst Ltd of Wadborough was sentenced at Worcester Magistrates’ Court to four charges relating to the repeated pollution of a local watercourse bordering their premises at Wadborough Park Farm, Worcestershire. The company was also sentenced to one charge of failing to comply with an Environment Agency Notice that required them to make improvements to slurry and silage stores at the farm. The company pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing on 7 November 2013. In court, the Environment Agency also secured a Court Order requiring the company to bring slurry and silage storage up to legal standard and to undertake other specified improvement works to protect the water environment. All of these works must be completed by 30 June 2014. A&A Rodenhurst Ltd operates an intensive beef rearing business at Wadborough Park Farm (WPF). Following visits by Environment Agency officers in late 2011 and early 2012, concerns were raised and pollution of a small watercourse with farm effluent was identified. During inspections, officers noted a large slurry lagoon which was overflowing and located too near to the watercourse. This is in contravention of environmental legislation designed to ensure the protection of the environment from agricultural operations. The silage store was also found to not have the necessary effluent collection and storage infrastructure and a second slurry lagoon in use at the farm was not up to standard. Remedial work undertaken by A&A Rodenhurst Ltd was unsuccessful in preventing the pollution of the local watercourse and insufficient work was done to improve slurry and silage storage at the farm. In March 2012, the company was served with a Legal Notice requiring specific works to bring the relevant farm infrastructure up to minimum industry standards. This Notice was not complied with. A&A Rodenhurst Ltd was fined a total of £37,000 and ordered to pay £20,000 in costs, along with a £15 victim surcharge.
Water Company Fined for Sewage Spills at Devon Holiday Resort
South West Water has been ordered to pay £60,300 in fines and costs for polluting two beaches at Salcombe in South Devon. The case was brought by the Environment Agency. Sewage spills occurred in August 2012 during the Salcombe annual regatta. On 6 August the Environment Agency responded to reports of pollution at South Sands. It found sewage leaking from a corroded inspection hatch and flowing down the beach. When an Agency officer returned on 13August, sewage was still discharging onto the beach and a second leak was discovered in the same pipe. In a separate incident, first brought to South West Water’s attention on 21 July, 2012, sewage was seen escaping from a pipe at Chapel End, Salcombe and polluting a nearby beach. The problem was caused by a cracked pipe that was repaired by South West Water on August 23, but not before further sewage spills had occurred. Appearing before Torquay magistrates, South West Water Company of Peninsula House, Rydon Lane, Exeter was fined a total of £50,000 and ordered to pay £10,300 costs after pleading guilty to two offences of illegally discharging sewage to the Salcombe estuary. The case was heard on 13 November.
Kent Man Sentenced to Carry Out Community Service for Waste Crime
A Kent man has been sentenced to carry out 200 hours of community service and pay costs of £8,440 by Canterbury Magistrates’ Court for illegally dumping waste in Thanet. The owner of the Old Mushroom Farm employed David Powell as a caretaker following previous illegal waste dumping that had taken place at the site in 2009. Powell knew the farm owners and was appointed to keep the site clean and tidy after extra security measures had been put in place. However, David Powell opened up the Old Mushroom Farm for further illegal waste dumping to take place. An Environment Agency investigation in January 2013 revealed that security measures had been removed and a mixture of waste, including commercial and general household waste, had been deposited on the site. David Powell pleaded guilty to the offences along with David Springer, who was fined £500 and ordered to pay costs of £500. Waste was dumped at the Old Mushroom Farm, Manston Road, Thanet, between September 2012 and March 2013.
Catastrophic death of 15,000 fish
Thousands of fish died from pollution and thousands more were rescued by Environment Agency staff from a river at Halstead in Essex when toxic chemicals were spilled. Berwick Hall Farm was responsible for the pollution and appeared before magistrates to answer charges on 26 November. The farm was fined £34,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £32,997 and a victim surcharge of £120. Mr Matthew Clark, the company director, was driving a tractor over a badly constructed bridge trailing a sprayer of agricultural chemicals when it tipped and emptied much of its contents into Toppesfield Brook, a tributary of the River Colne. Magistrates heard that approximately 12,300 fish were killed in the River Colne and 3,000 were killed in the brook during the pollution on 13 June 2012. Environment Agency fisheries officers mounted a round the clock rescue of 7,700 fish with the help of officers from other parts of the country when the Agency initiated its major incident procedure. Mrs McDonald told the court that at the time of the pollution Anglian Water was taking water from the River Colne to fill Ardleigh Reservoir but had to stop operations for 27 days, depleting the amount of stored water. The company also pumped water from two of its boreholes into the river to try to help dilute the pollution. Biologists said that for 15km downstream from the spill macro invertebrates were either dead or dying. The pesticide pollution was the cause of the death of the fish and the invertebrates.
Eight Months in Prison for Man Who Allowed Illegal Tipping of Waste in Dudley
On 15 November, Allan Priest of Halesowen was sentenced at Wolverhampton Crown Court to eight months in prison for one charge relating to allowing the illegal deposit of waste. He pleaded guilty at an earlier court hearing. The 61-year-old will also serve a further six months in prison for breaching his ongoing Community Order for unrelated offences. In March 2012 Mr Priest entered into a rental agreement of land on Dormston Trading Estate, Dudley, and took full control and responsibility for the land. During May 2012 he knowingly permitted the land to be tipped on with over an estimated 400 tonnes of household and commercial waste. As the occupier, Mr Priest was served with a Section 59 enforcement notice in September 2012 to remove the waste. The notice was breached on 3 January 2013 as Mr Priest had made no effort to clear any of the waste. Mr Priest pleaded guilty to this offence but no separate penalty was given.
Local Company and Director Found Guilty of Illegally Burning Waste on Annesley Hall Estate
On 10 December 2013, East Midlands Developments Limited of Mansfield Road, Derbyshire and company director Stephen Rye of Mansfield, were found guilty at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court to charges relating to the burning of waste at Annesley Hall. East Midlands Developments Limited was found guilty of an additional charge relating to the importation of construction and demolition waste onto the site around the same time. East Midlands Developments Limited was fined £7,000 and ordered to pay £8,000 in costs, along with a £15 victim surcharge, totalling £15,015. Stephen Rye was fined £800 and ordered to pay £877.55 in costs, along with a £15 victim surcharge for consenting to the burning by East Midland Developments Limited, totalling £1,677.55. Following investigation by the Environment Agency on 30 September 2011, officers identified an area of scorched ground close to a small lake within the Annesley Hall Estate. Amongst the remains of the bonfire was evidence of tree cuttings, plastic items, paper and fragments of construction materials. Within the grounds, officers also discovered a large amount of construction and demolition waste deposited next to a track. East Midlands Developments Limited had previously received a warning letter in 2009 from the Environment Agency regarding unauthorised burning at Annesley Hall. At the time of the incident, Annesley Hall did not have an environmental permit or any exemptions that allowed burning of waste on site, or for the importation of construction and demolition waste.
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Misc / Employee Engagment
Trew i n R esto r i c k / G lobal Ac t i o n Plan
Trew i n R estor ick
Founder of Global Action Plan
What Makes for a Great Employee Engagement Programme? Turn off equipment, switch off lights and close doors. These energy saving messages have been heard numerous times before, are common sense and surely have no place in a sophisticated modern day sustainability strategy. Or do they? These basic behaviours are at the heart of Global Action Plan’s Operation TLC, which has picked up numerous sustainability awards this year. Why? Operation TLC is helping Barts NHS Trust to cut energy bills, reduce carbon and improve patient wellbeing by persuading employees to change everyday habits and routines. The simplicity of the campaign hides a sophisticated approach to behaviour change which Global Action Plan is successfully delivering in a range of organisations including major retailers such as Sainsbury’s. What are the components that make these campaigns succeed where many other behaviour change programmes struggle? The essential start point is leadership commitment. Sainsbury’s aims to become Britain’s Greenest Grocer, an ambition based upon their customer insight work. They have realised that customers are working harder to make their money go further. Households may have reduced their spending but they care more, meaning that quality, integrity and sustainability are increasingly the drivers that shape shopping choices as well as prudence. Sainsbury’s is aiming to match these growing concerns by embedding 20 core sustainability messages through the company.
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The drivers for the leadership at Barts Health NHS Trust are very different. They face significant financial constraints which mean operating as usual is not an option. Public scrutiny on patient wellbeing is also more intense than ever. There is a fundamental understanding that helping people live healthier lifestyles in homes that are well insulated and warm will ultimately reduce demand on their ever-stretched services. What both organisations have realised is that getting employee buy-in is crucial to delivering the changes they wish to see. It is remarkable how often this essential element is missed. Employee engagement is very often the ugly duckling left trailing behind easier fixes like new technology and policy changes. Getting employees to change routines is often an afterthought, given a meagre budget, no strategic thought, which results in a plethora of ill-thought through emails, posters and, if you are very lucky, a posting on the company intranet.
nowhere near as strong as improving patient care. Employees were highly receptive to ‘doing the right thing’ providing it could be fitted easily into their hectic daily routines. Communications were most effective when delivered by word of mouth particularly by key figures such as matrons. In Sainsbury’s, there was also a huge desire to do the right thing for the company but less certainty about what specific behaviours were required. In some instances there were also perverse behavioural drivers. For example, colleagues often over-filled fridges to anticipate the company’s ‘secret shoppers’ who were checking.
Both Barts and Sainsbury’s realised that the first step in engaging with their employees is to understand what is driving existing routines, what behaviours could be changed that would have maximum impact, and what messaging would resonate with them. The answers were very different in both organisations.
Lots of programmes overlook scoping, but it provides the essential basis for our campaigns. Operation TLC at Barts Health NHS Trust emphasised the Tender, Loving Care message by encouraging staff to Turn off equipment, Lights out and Close doors. These were simple non-contentious actions that could easily be incorporated into daily routines. The message was brought to life by intensive face-toface conversations on hospitals wards. A dubious inflatable low- energy light bulb paraded around getting the message directly to front-line staff – until he accidently got stuck in a lift. Poster competitions encouraged staff to guess which employees were carrying out the right actions. Free pens proved unexpectedly popular as a reward incentive for staff.
At Barts, we quickly realised that messages around saving the planet and cutting bills were
Global Action Plan recognised that in certain parts of the hospital more targeted approaches would
be required. Energy hotspots were identified and in these areas specialist groups of employees were brought together with facility managers to agree what measures could be taken to cut energy use. From the outset, we recognised that the impact of the initiative had to be measured to prove value to both managers and employees. This basic element is frequently missed in behaviour change projects, fundamentally undermining the evidence base required to continue investing in such schemes. In Barts, we measured four things: the up-take of the desired behaviours, the impact on patient well-being, financial savings and reductions in carbon emissions. Overall it was found that 40% more lights were switched off and 18% more doors closed. The Clinical Research Unit at Queen Mary University of London surveyed found that these simple changes resulted in one in four patients experiencing less sleep disturbance because wards were quieter, and one in three patients experienced better privacy. Financially the scheme helped Barts save £100,000 in a year and cut carbon emissions by 800 tonnes. In Sainsbury’s the focus was also on simple actions that the scoping identified could make a significant difference, were not contentious and fitted easily into existing routines. The initial results indicate that these measures will reduce energy use by around 3%, resulting in savings of several million pounds over a full year.
So what can be learned from these two very different examples of behaviour change? The first is that organisations have to be open to the fact that their carefully crafted sustainability statements often have to be stripped back to very basic actions and messages in order for them to gain traction with employees. From this base more complicated messaging can be gradually fed into the organisation in order to bring about the more transformational change required. As the old saying goes – every journey starts with a small step. The second is that both organisations realised that behaviour change is integral to their change process and needs to be thoroughly planned and carefully resourced. This planning includes ensuring that key stakeholders are involved in every stage of the process. Our corporate partners on the Barts project, GE and Skanska, helped provide the initial investment needed to kick-start the initiative and also ensured that facilities managers were on hand to help employees rather than hinder them. Similarly the Energy Management Team at Sainsbury’s was central to the process, enabling high quality data to be gathered to assess impact. Thirdly it is highly probable that it is not going to be sustainability messages that inspire employees to act. It is much more likely that the primary message will be directly related to the organisation’s fundamental purpose. The wider environmental benefits will be a secondary message.
Finally, both organisations are in for the long-haul. Changing culture and behaviours takes time. Initiatives need to be constantly refreshed, new employees trained, and positive feedback provided. Time and again Global Action Plan has been called in by organisations asking us to help them revitalise their environment champions network. It is timeconsuming work as we have to go back to the most enthusiastic staff who willingly volunteered in the first instance and ask them to re-engage in something which had clearly fizzled out. A much more cost-effective approach is to create a long-term campaign in the first instance. In Barts this has been achieved by building the employee engagement programme into their recently awarded Energy Performance Contract (a route increasingly being taken by public sector organisations). In order to justify this investment measuring impact has to be embedded into the process from the first instance and these measurements need to take into account the full impact of the programme ■
+ More Information www.globalactionplan.org.uk
environmentmagazine.co.uk | 139 |
Misc / Case Studies
North East Companies lift family out of Fuel Poverty North East businesses Energy Friend and Whit�ields Energy Solutions have transformed the run down home of Gateshead resident, Eileen Falcon, through the government registered Green Deal and Eco schemes.
Ms Falcon was advised of the Green Deal scheme when she contacted the Energy Advice Service concerned about the condition of her 1950s home. With a condemned, unusable �ire, extreme heat loss through crumbling walls, un-insulated loft and inef�icient back boiler Ms Falcon became increasingly concerned about the stability of her home and how she and her family would cope during the cold winter months. It was the Energy Advice Service that put Ms Falcon in touch with Durham based company, Energy Friend, who carried out a full energy assessment on her property.
“In Eileen’s case a lot of work was required to make her home warm and energy ef�icient and at a cost of over £11,000”, said Energy Friend’s CEO Colin Robinson. “Using the Government’s ECO scheme – which provides free energy ef�iciency measures to vulnerable households – we were able to �ind grants for Ms Falcon to cover £8500 of this cost. The remaining balance we were able to fund through a Green Deal loan, meaning there will be no upfront cost for Eileen to pay and, instead, a small charge will be added to her monthly electricity bills. The improvements made will signi�icantly reduce Eileen’s outgoing bills, meaning the savings she makes will more than cover her monthly payments.”
Eileen works as a legal secretary and quali�ied for the scheme purely on the fact that her property is classed as a hard to treat home. Ms Falcon will also receive a bonus £1000 cash back from the government having been one of the �irst early adopters of the Green Deal scheme, money she plans to use refurbishing her bathroom, which, due to the thinness of her external walls she was previously unable to do.
“The Green Deal has been an absolute saviour to me. Before the work was carried out I had a constant cloud over my head wondering how I would ever afford to get the boiler and walls �ixed. My health isn’t the greatest and living in a cold home was doing it no favours. The difference has been amazing, I don’t know what I would have done without it”, said Eileen about the improvements to her home. Energy Friend and Whit�ields are one of the �irst companies in the UK to deliver both the Green Deal and Eco scheme alongside one another.
David Goss, Commercial Manager at Whit�ield’s Energy Solutions said of the partnership: “It’s been our ambition at Whit�ields to create a one-stopshop for customers to access the Green Deal. Through our partnership with | 140 | environmentmagazine.co.uk
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Case study (cont)
North East Companies lift family out of Fuel Poverty
Energy Friend we’ve been able to put the whole Green Deal process under one roof and align it to the ECO scheme. We’re able to take customers like Ms Falcon through the assessment and advice stage, identify and obtain the appropriate funding and carry out the installation. It’s a much simpler and less time consuming model from the customer’s point of view.”
The work carried out on Ms Falcons home, which included loft and external wall insulation, a new energy ef�icient boiler, several new radiators as well a brand new electric �ire has taken the building from an Energy Performance Certi�icate rating of an F through to a C, which is a huge improvement. “What’s been really satisfying on this job is that thanks to Green Deal we’ve been able to go the extra mile, not only providing Ms Falcon with a free boiler through the ECO scheme but with a whole host of energy saving improvements to her property”, added David.
The Green Deal and Eco are government-registered schemes which aim to improve the energy ef�iciency of homes and business’ without paying out a huge lump sum. The green deal allows for paying back costs through savings in a properties energy bill whereby the Eco scheme enables energy saving improvements completely free of charge, depending on eligibility criteria. Partners involved in the delivery of energy ef�iciency improvements included Edendene Construction, In�inite NRG and SPSenvirowall.
Fore more information: www.energyfriend.co.uk www.whitﬁeldsenergysolutions.co.uk
Whit�ields and Energy Friend are based on the Meadow�ield Industrial Estate in Durham.
environmentmagazine.co.uk | 141 |
Misc / Case Studies
PwC HQ achieves highest ever BREEAM Outstanding score Ambitious refurbishment surpasses all BREEAM scores to date for both new build and existing structures. A challenging live refurbishment of PwC's 9-storey headquarters at One Embankment Place in London has achieved a milestone 96.31% BREEAM Outstanding score, including a 100% score for materials, transport and management.
Located in a unique and technically complex 450,000 sq ft commercial of�ice building above Charing Cross station, the early 1990s-built structure comprises a basement below the station and nine �loors of of�ice space above it. With the workspaces outdated and inef�icient, PwC wanted a comprehensive new �it-out whilst achieving a high BREEAM rating and EPC score as a priority.
The project involved a complete of�ice re�it and refurbishment as well as full central plant replacement in the basement areas, roof and terraces whilst some 2000 staff remained in occupation. With the project de�ined by a collaborative team approach, the design includes a central space linking the existing north and south atriums and a cantilevered staircase on the linking staff �loors connecting to refreshment and communal working spaces. Two scenic lifts take visitors to the seminar, meeting rooms and business lounge, with executive meeting and dining spaces on the top �loor providing views across London.
With sustainability embedded into the design from the outset, PwC engaged a BREEAM AP and energy-modelling specialist at RIBA stage B to develop options for achieving its target high BREEAM rating. The programme included installation of biofuel combined cooling heat and power (CCHP) with adsorption chillers using biofuel sourced from locally collected and re�ined waste vegetable oil. Through a knowledge transfer partnership between PwC and London South Bank University, the biofuel is certi�ied to EN14214 making it a clean carbon neutral resource with A rated energy performance.
Other features include: Green walls and landscaped garden planting Waterless urinals and low �lush toilets Comprehensive metering strategy and building management systems (BMS) Interactive screen in reception con�irming building energy usage Responsible sourcing of 95% of materials used within the construction, with an ISO 14001 certi�icate as a minimum Staircase installed within the atria to promote vertical movement without the use of lifts
'The impressive BREEAM score for this iconic building shows just how much can be accomplished,', said Gavin Dunn, Director of BREEAM. 'The project is a fantastic testament to PwC's determination to achieve a high rating and to the project's innovative and highly committed delivery team.'
| 142 | environmentmagazine.co.uk
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Case study Thermaskirt breaks the ice in Norway A Norwegian household is now bene�iting from Discrete Heat’s ThermaSkirt after the renovation of their home. Mr and Mrs Hoel found the ThermaSkirt skirting board heating system to be the perfect solution for heating their three-bed property in the town of Eidsvoll, north of Oslo.
Keen to decrease their fuel consumption, Trond Hoel, who has a plumbing and heating masters degree, installed an air source heat pump that could supply the heating systems. It was essential that the heating system was as energy ef�icient as possible to be compatible with the heat pump. The renovation required careful thought due to the many factors that needed consideration. Signi�icantly the harsh Norwegian winters had to be accounted for with temperatures reaching as low as –25°C at times. They required a heating system that would be robust enough to cope with this extreme weather but not disturb the design of the interior or damage the 50 year old timber �looring. A Samsung EHS Mono air to water pump was installed, with a capacity of 9kW, which extracts heat from the outside air to supply the hot water and central heating system. Switching from an oil boiler required improving the insulation of the external walls to 0.25u and the windows to 1.9u, however this extra cost is offset by the superior energy ef�iciency of the heat pump compared to the traditional system.
ThermaSkirt provided the heating solution by having the ability to operate at low temperatures and offering a cost effective installation that under�loor heating could not. Fitted as a radiant panel skirting board, it provides evenly distributed heat around the room while not interrupting the aesthetics of the interior design.
Trond �irst heard of ThermaSkirt whilst in Germany and has found it the ideal system to work with the air source heat pump. He explains: “The beauty of ThermaSkirt is that it can run at 40°C water for most of the year. And then accept the higher 55°C water from the back up immersion on those very few really cold days. Under�loor heating cannot do this.” The simpler retro�itting onto existing renewables within buildings allows the installation of ThermaSkirt to be quicker than under�loor heating. The advantage of having the response time of a radiator combined with a comfort pattern indistinguishable from UFH adds to ThermaSkirt’s appeal.
The Scandanavian love of clean, sleek lines was also maintained by avoiding the use of bulky radiators and the keeping of the Hoel’s beloved timber �loors ensured that minimal disruption to the client was caused. Trond praises the ThermaSkirt product adding: “I have recommended the ThermaSkirt to many people in Norway and I am very delighted with the performance.”
The ThermaSkirt system is now available in Norway from distributors Qviller Klimaprodukter in Skytta, near Oslo.
For more information: www.thermaskirt.com
environmentmagazine.co.uk | 143 |
Misc / Case Studies
Major investment by Grundon �ills a gap in aerosol recycling market Grundon Waste Management is set to revolutionise the UK’s aerosol recycling market this Spring after a major investment in a state-of-the-art recycling facility.
Capable of processing around 9,000 aerosols an hour – more than ten times the capacity of the current unit – the Hazpak 6000 is the world’s most advanced closed loop aerosol recycling system. The Thames Valley-based waste and recycling specialist has invested a “signi�icant” sum in the new unit, which will be installed at its Hazardous Waste Transfer Station at Ewelme in Oxfordshire.
Jonathan Harris, Grundon’s Technical General Manager, said: “The Hazpak has huge potential to transform the way the public, commerce and industry handles the disposal of aerosol cans. Focus has to be on moving materials up the waste hierarchy, away from disposal towards more recycling. This equipment has the power to make that goal one-step closer. We believe the sheer volume of aerosols the unit is capable of handling will drive more sophisticated return and recycling schemes by major manufacturers, retailers and local authorities. “At the same time, we will be able to offer manufacturers and industrial customers a much more cost effective, safer and more environmentallyfriendly approach for aerosol disposal.”
The new Hazpak 6000, one of only two plants in the UK to offer Best Available Technology (BAT) for the disposal of waste aerosols, was developed and manufactured in Canada by the Eko Environmental division of Maclean Engineering. The Grundon team, which already has a smaller Hazpak unit in place at Ewelme, was closely involved in the design project, ensuring the system meets stringent UK and European legislation and regulations.
Due to begin operations in March and expected to be fully operational by the end of April, the closed loop system operated by the Hazpak 6000 means every single component is recycled or reprocessed in a totally safe oxygen free environment, with zero emissions released into the atmosphere.
The metal from the cans will be sent for recycling, while liquids (such as hairspray, paint or deodorant) will be separated for recovery or recycling; and the propellants (such as butane or LPG) are collected and used by Grundon to fuel in-house operations and/or generate electricity. Compared to the current Hazpak, which processes around 4 cubic metres (6,000 aerosols) a day, the new operation will be able to handle 6 cubic metres an hour – approximately 72,000 aerosols a day on an average eight hour shift. | 144 | environmentmagazine.co.uk
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Case study (cont)
Major investment by Grundon �ills a gap in aerosol recycling market
The most recent Environment Agency guidelines on the storage and treatment of waste aerosols demand that companies meet much higher environmental standards by using BAT to capture the three main elements of aerosols.
When changes to existing processes are made, the Environment Agency will enforce the requirement for BAT and Harris says it makes sense now for customers to stay one-step ahead of the game and opt for already-approved facilities. “This system sets new standards within the industry”, continued Harris. “Our investment in BAT gives us signi�icant advantages over other disposal aerosol methods such as shredding, which can be a potential �ire and environmental hazard if vapours escape during the process. By ensuring all the compacting takes place within an inert atmosphere, we remove the possibility of a similar hazard and ensure that no harmful gases or vapours are released. We believe this is the way the whole industry should be moving, because it is not only safer for employees and those who live close to recycling operations, but it is also much more environmentally friendly.”
For more information: www.grundon.com
In addition to handling aerosols, the Hazpak 6000 will be capable of processing paint tins, oil �ilters, varnishes, inks and small gas cylinders.
environmentmagazine.co.uk | 145 |
Misc / Case Studies
Saint-Gobain’s Innovation Centre is Revamped Refurbishments have recently taken place at SaintGobain’s Innovation Centre, in London. The world leader in construction materials and innovative products has enhanced its forward-thinking Centre with new interactive systems and products, designed to showcase the Saint-Gobain group portfolio.
Launched to provide architects, speci�iers and those interested in a sustainable built environment with a unique insight into the breadth of SaintGobain’s businesses, the Centre presents models and systems from across its brands, which are used within retro�it and new build for residential and nonresidential buildings. In addition to product samples and interactive tours, the Centre now features a 3D Project Map that displays the most recent case studies that Saint-Gobain has been involved with across the UK and Ireland. The model map has been speci�ically designed for the Centre to offer increased interactivity utilising the latest in 3D printing technology. Also new to the Centre is the Building Distribution Pod, focusing on the brands across the UK, including Minster and Jewson, and the Innovation Pod, which highlights some of the most innovative products and solutions from Saint-Gobain. Used as a way of introducing the latest from the Saint-Gobain group, the Innovation Centre has seen over 2,300 visitors since opening in March 2013. Visitors include architects, developers and end consumers and groups such as Zero Carbon Hub, Energy Ef�iciency Partnership for Buildings, and the Passivhaus Trust, which hosted its �irst in the series Masterclass workshops at the Centre.
Richard Halderthay, Director of Communications for Saint-Gobain UK, Ireland and South Africa, said: “With innovation high on our agenda, SaintGobain is proud to have opened the Centre dedicated to just this. Visitors will see the current solutions and product libraries from the Group in the showroom, while our meeting spaces have proved so popular for events and conferences, that we are planning to introduce our own programme of events and seminars here at the Centre …so watch this space. With products and systems constantly developing, we will be updating the Centre to keep it at the forefront of product innovation, so we know that this refurbishment won’t be the last.”
| 146 | environmentmagazine.co.uk
For more information: www.saint-gobain.co.uk
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