JUNE / JULY 2012
HOTELS VOLTAGE OPTIMISATION WILDLIFE TRUSTS BEES ABDA 2012 PREVIEW PEPE DELUXE
INTRODUCTION FROM THE EDITOR HAPPY 3RD BIRTHDAY ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE Welcome to the latest Environment Industry Magazine. This issue marks three years since Environment Industry Magazine first rolled off the printing press. We have taken this celebration as an opportunity to give the magazine a birthday makeover and, thanks to our graphic design team, who have really pulled out all the stops; I think this is one of best we have ever published. It is hard to believe that Environment Industry Magazine is three years old already and itâ€™s exciting to think how far we have come in such a short period of time and that our passion and drive for the magazine is still as strong as it was on day one. We have been very lucky with the commitment from our readers and advertisers, and we wouldnâ€™t have got off the starting blocks without the efforts of the people who have given their time to write for the magazine. We have had some of the most influential people in the environment sector contributing to the magazine, committing their thoughts and ideas to paper for us, making Environment Industry Magazine the voice of the industry and long may it continue. Just a quick reminder, we are always looking for editorial contributors so if you have something to say please email alex@environmentmagazine. co.uk. On a separate and less encouraging note we have just witnessed the damp squib that was Rio +20 We have been looking forward to the 20th anniversary of the Earth Summit in Rio and this should have been the call to arms that put the environment back on the map and brought the global leaders together to update and improve their commitments made at the original earth summit. In this time of global financial difficulty, a firm commitment to seriously reduce our impact on the environment would have gone a long way to kick starting the green economy. However, the general consensus is that, although an agreement was made, it has done little to affect the slow predicted trajectory for change. It seems that from all quarters there is disappointment regarding the outcome of the summit. Trying to get 180 heads of state to come to an understanding on anything is
going to be tough (we find it difficult to find common ground between two political parties) but we all have a vested interest in the ability of the environment to support the us and without significant global commitment to sustainable development and investment in green economies our time is running out. Global politics are preventing sustainable future. We cannot rely on politicians to solve the problems for us. It is we, the people, who will determine the future by our actions. One of the biggest obstacles facing us is education, there are too many mixed messages and too much rhetoric. The concept of climate change and carbon has muddied the environmental waters; these problems are so vast and have so many conflicting viewpoints that it is difficult for many people to understand them and it is easy to disagree with or ignore the issues because we have become accustomed to discussing climate change as an opinion rather that a certainty. We need a cohesive plan to ensure that everyone has access to straightforward simple information on their impact on the environment. Only then can we seriously make any inroads into solving the problems we face. The last list of 10 simple rules that we live our lives by have lasted for thousands of years; maybe a set of environmental commandments, which everyone adheres to could give the simple message we are looking for? Why reinvent the wheel? Send in your suggestions for environmental commandments and we will put the choices to a vote and publish the top 10. Tweet to @envindmagazine or email commandments@ environmentmagazine.co.uk I look forward to seeing your suggestions
Alex Stacey Managing Editor
Environment Magazine Limited, 254a Bury New Road, Whitefield, Manchester, M45 8QN
Alex Stacey Tel: 0161 3410158 Fax: 0161 7668997 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Every effort is made to verify all information published, but Environment Industry Magazine cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions or for any losses that may arise as a result. Opinions expressed in articles do not necessarily reflect those of Environment Magazine Limited. Environment Industry Magazine welcomes contributions for publication. Submissions are accepted on the basis of full assignment of copyright to Environment Magazine Limited unless otherwise agreed in advance and in writing. We reserve the right to edit items for reasons of space, clarity or legality.
ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |1|
4 News 4 - 28
30 - 31
Tales from the Watercooler
Steve Grant Column
Jason Drew Column
34 - 35
Chris Hines Column
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38 - 39
The truth about Japanese Knotweed – Ian Graham
40 - 42
The Wildlife Trust Centenary – Anna Guthrie
44 - 45
It’s a Bee of a Problem – Tim Lovett
46 Energy 48 - 51
Creating a Hospitable Climate in Hotels to Save Money and Cut Carbon – Geoff Smyth
52 - 53
Stand by your Beds – Angus Robertson
54 Food, Agriculture & Packaging 56 - 59
Fairtrade and the Future of our Food – Barbara Crowther
60 - 61
Chemicals in Agriculture – Charlie Clutterbuck PhD
62 Green Building
64 - 65
Using Science to Assess ‘Green’ Hotels – David Leonard
66 - 67
A Rapid Result – Adam Matthews
68 Labs & Testing 70 - 71
The Toxic Risk That The Banking Industry Isn’t Aware Of! Brian M Back
72 - 73
Latest analytical technology ensures biogas efficiency - Dr Geoff King
110 Water 74 Land & Management
112 - 114
When is a Drought not a Drought? – Alastair Moseley & Sam Ibbott
116 - 117
Sustainable Drainage Systems Richard Kellagher
118 - 120
Sustainable Water Supplies & Surface Water Management - Lisa Farnsworth
76 - 79
HDPE - a hydrocarbon resistant membrane? - Richard Menage
Aquarius Marine - Advertising Feature
80 - 84
Exploring Sustainability in Mining – Vicky Kenrick
122 - 123
The Challenges of flood control Jake McQueen
86 Timber 88 - 90 92 - 93
124 Miscellany 125
Carbon Capture Technology That’s as Old as the Hills – David Hopkins
126 - 127
A Clear Understanding of the EU Timber Regulation – Malcolm Ellis
128 - 129
Stewart Milne Timber Systems Bradford Student Village
130 - 131
Lymington Salt Marsh Recharge/ Habitat Creation 2012
132 - 133
National Trust, UK
134 - 135
Parity Projects Ltd, UK
96 - 97
How Green is your Car? – Stuart Jones
136 - 137
University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust,
98 - 99
Autogas – Jason Drew
138 - 139
Student Switch Off (SSO) campaign, UK-wide
140 - 141
Abbey wedded to greener future
143 - 144
Famous Last Words: Escape from Venus - James Spectrum
100 Waste Management 102 - 107
Anaerobic Digestion - Ray Williams and Jonathan Whiteley
108 - 109
UK AD & Biogas Show Preview 2012 ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |3|
All four industry associations representing UK solar power join together to clarify good returns for householders Fears that solar PV is no longer viable are wholly misplaced All four major trade associations representing domestic solar PV – the British Photovoltaic Association (BPVA), the Micropower Council (MPC), the Renewable Energy Association (REA), and the Solar Trade Association (STA) – have joined together to set the record straight about the current status of solar power and the Feed-in Tariff. The industry is concerned that the public may be confused about solar power and the Feedin Tariff and would like to take this opportunity to clarify the situation. The Feed-in Tariff was launched in spring 2010, designed to offer returns of up to 8% to homeowners looking to generate their own renewable electricity – tax free, index linked, and guaranteed for 25 years. No surprise then that we’ve seen over a quarter of a million domestic solar installations go in under the scheme, totalling over 1.3GW installed capacity. Two years later, the tariff is offering the same return as it did when it was first launched – yet the market is stagnant. Why? Whilst actual rates of return are no longer exceeding Government’s target range to the same extent as last year, a high level of consumer confusion around solar PV and the Feed-in Tariff may be playing a significant role in the drop off in the number of installations. The last six months have seen a stream of headlines about “drastic cuts”, an “illegal consultation”, “legal wrangling”, “huge job losses” and “strict energy efficiency requirements”. However, while the industry undoubtedly went through a difficult time, these headlines obscure a more important truth. Thanks to drastically falling costs, solar PV remains one of the best investments around, which shields customers from rising energy bills and generates an income to boot, while helping fight climate change and strengthen energy security. There is also concern that the slip back into ‘double-dip’ recession is suppressing demand from worried consumers.
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First Mile launches new food recycling service for businesses in central London with support from the Waste Action Recycling Program (WRAP). This month, Islington-based recycling company First Mile launched a food recycling service for central London businesses. The service which is supported by WRAP has been designed to provide all types of business with a daily, low-cost food recycling collection service. The service will reduce CO2 emissions by an estimated 579 tonnes in the first two years of service. The WRAP funding will enable First Mile to divert 1,000 tonnes of food waste from landfill by 2014. The collections will service a range of businesses in the hospitality and food service sectors such as restaurants, cafes, pubs and take-away restaurants as well as offices and retailers. The service allows businesses to call First Mile to order pre-paid food sacks and arrange a collection time. First Mile delivers sacks and caddies the next day and starts collecting the food immediately from the kerbside or store rooms.
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AFC Energy extends fuel cell electrode life beyond three months Low cost electrode incorporated into industrial trial with AkzoNobel
AFC Energy, the energy company providing alkaline fuel cell systems to industry, is pleased to announce that it has extended the longevity of its electrodes to more than three months of continuous operation at its laboratory in Dunsfold. The milestone was achieved by the Company’s latest electrode. AFC Energy believes that these results are of significance since it has identified that the first economic applications require a minimum of three months electrode life. In particular, this breakthrough validates AFC Energy’s initiatives to advance commercial opportunities with potential industrial partners in the Far East. Electrodes are the critical components of a fuel cell which enable the electrochemical reactions to occur between hydrogen and oxygen to generate electricity, heat and water. The laboratory tests are continuing and are expected to yield further positive results in due course.
RESURGENCE AND THE ECOLOGIST MERGE Two of the country’s leading environmental publications have merged. Zac Goldsmith MP and former editor of the Ecologist says: “the Ecologist has been at the heart of the environmental movement for over 40 years and Resurgence has been in publication for the past 45 years and, as sister publications, they have always shared the same values. “The Ecologist has spearheaded social, scientific and political ecology while Resurgence has spearheaded cultural and artistic ecology. Now the time has come to bring these two aspects of the environmental movement together by merging Resurgence and the Ecologist. “I am delighted that Satish Kumar, who has been editing Resurgence for almost 40 years, will be taking the leading role in the future. I stepped away from all editorial involvement after becoming an MP, and that won’t change.” Satish Kumar, editor-in-chief of Resurgence says: “We are delighted to announce this merger which represents two strong environmental organisations joining forces. For a long time our publications have been closely associated. Teddy Goldsmith and I worked together in 1972 and were the two environmentalists chosen to represent Britain at the first UN Environmental Conference. We worked together for many more years after that.
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Strong interest for CCS competition The Government has today published a list of companies that have signalled their intention to apply to the new UK CCS competition. Publication of the list is aimed at encouraging further discussion within the CCS industry to support collaboration between companies and any interested suppliers. This forms part of the new concerted approach the competition is taking to help stimulate the early development of the supply chain for CCS. A Department of Energy and Climate Change spokesman said: “This high level of interest proves that the UK is back on track with CCS. From the outset, we are working through collaboration with industry to ensure we make CCS a reality and importantly create the maximum return for what is one of the best offers anywhere in the world.” The list covers companies that have indicated that they will lead a bid and not all companies that may be involved in that bid. It is not a list of applicants – the closing date for bids remains 3 July and we don’t expect all parties who have expressed an interest to apply. Over the coming weeks DECC will continue to hold meetings with potential bidders to ensure that Government and Industry continue to work together and bidders can submit their best bids possible. DECC will also be making bidder documentation available in the coming weeks. Consortium lead bidder / registered bidder •
Portland Gas Storage
Doosan Power Projects
SEQ Costain Energy & Process
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World’s Largest Carbon Capture Facility Opens - Offering Critical Test-bed for UK CCS Success The Technology Centre Mongstad (TCM) has officially opened, providing a major opportunity for UK Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS) technologists working to deliver on Government’s ambition for a CCS industry worth £6.5billion by the 2020s. The newly unveiled, fully functioning carbon capture test facility, the largest of its kind in the world, is a joint venture set up by the Norwegian state, Statoil, Shell and Sasol, at a cost of over £647million to address the global threat of climate change. After six years of development, the owners formally invited UK organisations competing in the Government’s £1bn CCS competition to use the facilities to test and demonstrate their CCS technologies. The UK Government has recognised CCS as a critical technology for the decarbonisation of its energy supply. It has set out a CCS Roadmap to deliver against the industry’s ambition for the deployment of a 20–30 GW CCS industry, creating more than 100,000 jobs, by 2030. International engagement is a key dynamic of the Roadmap, particularly learning from other projects around the world to accelerate cost reduction. TCM’s invitation to the UK has been extended to increase knowledge on carbon capture technologies, in order to reduce technical and financial risk, and accelerate the development of qualified technologies capable of wide-scale international deployment. Up to eighty per cent of the costs of CCS are related to CO2 capture, so TCM is encouraging the use of their facilities to refine the capture process and bring costs down.
Bluesky to Fund Night Sky Mapping Project Aerial survey specialist Bluesky is funding research into the development and use of a new system to map Britain’s cities and towns at night. Earlier night sky mapping developments have generated interest from local authorities, and Bluesky has now teamed up with the University of Leicester to look at solutions using new high sensitivity camera sensor technology. It is expected that the new system, mounted on survey aircraft, will accurately record the location of street lights, illuminated road signs and other night-time sources of light providing an accurate resource for asset inventories, light pollution assessment and energy optimisation measurements. The map accurate Nightsky images produced by the new system will be suitable for use in a desktop mapping tool or geographical information system (GIS). Providing intelligence for Local Authorities and other organisations with responsibility for lighting infrastructure Nightsky maps will be used as an aid for street lighting inventories and condition assessments and to assist with the identification of units for routine maintenance or fault repair. Additional applications of the night-time survey images are expected to include measurement of illumination for energy consumption evaluations and additional intelligence to support innovative projects to ‘dim’ or even switch off selected streetlights in an effort to save money and reduce carbon emissions. Using advanced spatial queries and mapping techniques Bluesky Nightsky maps can also be used to provide an assessment of light pollution, helping to reduce unnecessary illumination and focus lighting infrastructure where it is needed most. Nightsky map may also be used to help address issues of crime and antisocial behaviour and to support habitat studies.
CIWM Scotland welcomes the new waste regulations The Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) welcomes and congratulates the Scottish Government on the passing of the new and progressive regulations for waste and resource management. It marks a first decisive step towards the Government’s aspirations of taking Scotland closer towards a zero waste economy, and the Scottish CIWM Centre (SCC) has been involved throughout the process and is supportive of their ambitious scope. “Landfill bans, compulsory separation, caps on some forms of treatment: these may seem tough steps to take but they certainly send strong signals to the marketplace and provide a robust framework to deliver the Scottish Government’s aims,” says SCC chair Duncan Simpson. “The ratification of the regulations is a proud moment for Scotland and our sector and now we have to deliver. The business community will need support to enable it to respond to this vision and CIWM members will play a key role. Regulators must be clear on what can and can’t be classed as separation, and the waste industry will need to be innovative in bringing forward new and reliable services. Some new ventures will require help to take their ideas to market and to compete with existing routes for disposal and treatment, and we are pleased to see that the Government recognises this and is providing some funding; Zero Waste Scotland will invest £8million in councils and commercial waste management firms this year, as well as £5million to support new food waste collections, and a further £750,000 to increase the accessibility of collection services for SMEs. CIWM is very keen to see any effort which helps improve the quality of materials collected, stimulates jobs, and recognises the achievements made in Scotland to date by the householders, businesses, the waste and recycling sector and others. We also want to see real progress towards establishing truly closed loop solutions for recovered materials and the development of strong and stable end markets that are key to the success of these regulations.” ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |9|
Innovative monitoring boat developed by HR Wallingford HR Wallingford has developed a remote controlled boat that can be used to accurately measure river and estuarine data including flow, depth and suspended sediment concentrations. It uses a technology called Acoustic Doppler Current Profiling which sends acoustic pulses into the water to generate data about the speed and depth of the water it is travelling through. The ARC-Boat has been designed by naval architects and developed in collaboration with end users to perfectly match their needs. This boat provides river and flood managers with an efficient and reliable way of accurately measuring flow and depth.
+ For More Information www.arc-boat.com
Met Office’s 250-kW roof-mounted solar PV contract awarded to SunGift Solar The Met Office has awarded the contract to design and install a 250kW solar PV array at its HQ in Exeter to SunGift Solar. The huge array, which is one of the largest roof-top solar PV installations in the UK, will stretch across the roof of the Met Office’s 150m long Energy Centre. It includes 1,000 solar PV panels and will generate enough green electricity to meet the demand from one of the Met Office’s powerful new supercomputers. Work has already started on the system, which is due to be completed next month. “The Met Office is a world leader in weather and climate services, so it’s great news we were chosen from the tender process to carry out this prestigious job,” said Gareth Walton, business development manager of Exeter-based SunGift, the current South West Renewable Energy Installer of the Year. “Our emphasis has always been on providing bespoke solutions that are at the cutting edge of technology, so we’re proud of the fact that our high level of technical knowledge and experience has been recognised.” The 250kW array will generate 221,000 kWh of electricity per year – enough to power the equivalent of 67 houses – and will save about 116 tonnes of C02 per year. The system will be linked to the Met Office’s sophisticated Electricity Management System, enabling up-to-the-minute monitoring of the panels’ performance. |10| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
The unique design enables the boat to carry a variety of technical instruments and generate high quality data. The ARC-Boat has many user friendly specifications, such as the detachable hull that allows the boat to be transported in the boot of a small car, and the independently controlled propellers and twin rudders offer excellent manoeuvrability even in the roughest conditions. The ARC-Boat was developed in response to a plea from the Environment Agency to develop a boat that would improve on the performance, reliability and ease of use of previous craft used. After rigorous testing, which included running the ARC-Boat at the national centre for white water rafting in Bala, north Wales, the Environment Agency placed an order of 17 ARC-Boats. The ARCBoat has recently been awarded the Environment Agency Project Excellence Award. Dr Keith Powell, director of HR Wallingford explained: “The ARC-Boat is a unique design that offers excellent accessibility to water courses to gain accurate data. HR Wallingford also provides outstanding customer support throughout the ownership of an ARC-Boat, from delivery to ongoing support and training.”
STEWART MILNE TIMBER SYSTEMS COMPLETES CUTTING EDGE SERPENTINE PROJECT Stewart Milne Timber Systems, the UK’s leading provider of timber frame building solutions, has completed work on The Serpentine, Thames Valley Housing Association’s flagship affordable housing development in Aylesbury. Designed by Make Architects, The Serpentine is a modern interpretation of the traditional Victorian terrace. The major new community development comprises 94 homes and is designed to aid sustainable living. Stewart Milne Timber Systems (SMTS) supplied and erected the high specification closed panel timber frame for the S-shaped development of houses and flats. The unique flexibility and cost effective offsite construction of the SMTS Sigma II Build System enabled Thames Valley Housing Association to create affordable housing without compromising on aesthetics, quality or delivery times. The use of timber frame and cladding also reduces the environmental impact of the development, which will meet Level 3 of the Code for Sustainable Homes. Joe Richardson, Head of Project Delivery at Thames Valley Housing Association, said: “We are pleased to have worked with Stewart Milne and our Contracting partners on this innovative scheme that will deliver high quality affordable housing with a range of eco-friendly features. The scheme’s unconventional shape proved no problem for Stewart Milne’s Timber Systems, delivering a hassle-free design and development process, on time and on budget.”
Hanson trials ‘rock power’ at Somerset quarry A stone-powered electricity generator is contributing to the power supply at Hanson’s Whatley quarry in Somerset. Using the same principle as a water wheel, the generator uses the weight of the rock coming off a conveyor belt to produce electricity. The project is the first to be introduced by Hanson’s Renewable Energy Group and is part of the company’s long term commitment to reducing carbon emissions and energy use. Martin Crow, head of environment and sustainability, said: “Recouping energy in this way is a great example of thinking outside of the box. By adapting the conveyor system we are now able to recover some of the energy needed to run it. It is early days, but if it’s successful it’s something that could be introduced at other sites. We are committed to investing in projects that will cut energy use or generate power from renewable sources.”
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Electricity generated from water! BlackLight Power, Inc. (BLP) have announced a major breakthrough in clean energy technology, which experts agree holds tremendous promise for a wide range of commercial applications. The announcement comes on the heels of BlackLight’s recent completion of a $5million round of financing to support commercial development of its new process for producing affordable, reliable energy from water vapor. In six separate, independent studies, leading scientists from academia and industry with PhDs from prestigious universities including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the California Institute of Technology, confirm that BlackLight has achieved a technological breakthrough with its CIHT (CatalystInduced-Hydrino-Transition) clean energy generating process and cell. The Process is fueled by water vapor that is a gaseous component of air and present wherever there is any source of water. The CIHT cell harnesses this energy as electrical power output and is suitable for essentially all power applications including transportation applications and electrical power production completely autonomous of fuels and grid infrastructure at a small fraction of the current capital costs. “BlackLight’s continuously operating, power-producing system converts ubiquitous H2O (water) vapor directly into electricity, oxygen, and a new, more stable form of Hydrogen called Hydrino, which releases 200 times more energy than directly burning hydrogen,” said Dr. Randell Mills, Chairman, CEO and President of BlackLight Power, Inc., and inventor of the process. Hydrogen is not naturally available and has to be produced using energy. But, H2O vapor is ubiquitous and free, obtainable even from ambient air. Dr. Mills says that BlackLight has achieved critical milestones in scaling its new technology with typical electrical gain of more than ten times that which initiates the process, operating over long duration at the 10Watt (W) scale. A 100W unit is planned for completion by the end of 2012, and a 1.5kiloWatt (kW) pilot unit that can serve the residential power market, as an initial target commercial application, is expected to be operational by 2013. (1kW is equal to 1000W, and 1.5kW is the typical, average power consumption of a US home.) BlackLight has raised a total of $75M for the development and commercialization of its breakthrough energy technology, and has license agreements with companies to use its patented commercial processes and systems in heating and electric power generation. The new BlackLight Process validation reports, including full documentation and results of theory evaluation, replication and testing of the CIHT systems, and Hydrino characterization, are publicly available at http://www.blacklightpower.com/. The website also includes links to validator resumes and to technical and business support materials, including recent presentations that further explain the BlackLight Process and a technical paper providing the detailed chemistry and identification of Hydrinos by analytical methods, which laboratories can follow and replicate.
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Must-have ‘green’ report to help employers identify growth opportunities An easy-to-follow guide to help businesses take advantage of opportunities in the move to low and zero carbon buildings and homes is on offer from SummitSkills, the sector skills council for the building services engineering (BSE) sector. SummitSkills commissioned the report – Low Carbon Buildings and Homes: Skills and Opportunities – from the Zero Carbon Hub as a way to help businesses get to grips with the current and emerging legislation and regulations affecting the growing ‘green’ agenda. The document also summarises the policies and initiatives that the UKwide Government and the devolved administrations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have put in place to encourage the move to low-carbon buildings. Although its primary target is building services engineering operatives, the report will be a useful guide for any businesses operating in the wider built environment sector that are planning ahead and looking for development opportunities. The guide covers the key points of changes to the Zero Carbon Homes definition, Parts L, F and J of the Building Regulations, the Feed-In-Tariff, the Renewable Heat Incentive, the forthcoming Green Deal, the Code for Sustainable Homes, the new National Planning Policy Framework and where this leaves existing local plans. It concludes with a summary of the new skills required to engage in the ever-moving arena and ensure businesses are best placed to profit from the new and exciting opportunities. The report usually costs £10 but for a limited period until the end of July an electronic copy is available free of charge at www.summitskills.org.uk/538 or by emailing SummitSkills.news@SummitSkills.org.uk.
BBA Certificate for Dynamic Insulation Jablite Dynamic Frame, distributed by The A. Proctor Group is a dynamiwc insulation system for timber framed housing. By channelling incoming ventilation air through the fabric insulation, the system converts the building fabric into a heat exchanger, tempering incoming air, and thereby reducing space heating requirements and lowering energy consumption. The newly BBA-certified system can be supplied in a variety of configurations to suit each projects specific requirement, and is fully approved under SAP Appendix-Q. Depending on the system selected, u-values as low as 0.1W/m2K can be achieved with standard timber frame kits, and by removing the need for complex and expensive heat recovery ventilation, further cost savings can be realised.
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Risk of widespread summer water restrictions reduced Public water supplies, agricultural water stores and wildlife habitats replenished by April downpours The wettest April on record and continuing rain in May have significantly reduced the risks of serious drought and widespread water restrictions this summer, the Environment Agency has confirmed. But the agency also warned that underground water levels are still low or exceptionally low in some areas, and some rivers are still at risk of drying up as ground water levels reduce over the summer with use. It stressed that it is still important that everyone continues to use water wisely, to protect water supplies for agriculture and the environment. In its latest ‘Water Resources and Drought Prospects’ report, the Environment Agency found that river levels and reservoir stocks have significantly improved, easing the pressure on the environment and water supplies. Further water restrictions for the public, farmers and businesses are now increasingly unlikely, it said. But with groundwater levels still low in some areas and unlikely to improve before winter, the Environment Agency and water companies are putting plans in place to protect water supplies next year if another dry winter further reduces these underground stocks.
Beam Me Up
Massive Structures Leave Westway in Renfrew Steel Engineering, the largest steel fabricator in the West of Scotland, has transported two massive climber beam structures from the company base at Westway in Renfrew through the road network of west and southern Scotland to The Port of Tyne, in the north-east of England. Each beam weighs more than 120 tonnes and extends to 43 metres in length, making them the longest fabricated structures ever to be transported from Westway in the long history of the park. The beams were fabricated by Steel Engineering for Northumberland-based IHC Engineering Business Ltd as part of a £1.2million contract for the deck equipment system for a new ship being built for global company Technip.
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The Environment Agency report found that: • The wet weather in April and May has reduced the risk of further water restrictions and associated environmental impacts this summer; • Most river flows have returned to normal levels for the time of year, and almost all reservoirs are now at least 75 per cent full; • April and May’s rainfall has benefited many wildlife habitats, including vital wetland sites, that had been suffering the effects of the early dry weather; • Farm water reservoirs are now generally full and the likelihood of restrictions on spray irrigation has reduced. However: • Low groundwater levels remain a concern across many parts of England; • There is still a risk that some streams and wetlands will dry up as groundwater levels reduce further over the summer with use; • Groundwaters in some areas need 140 per cent of long term rainfall this winter to recover fully. If there is a hot dry summer, there is a risk of excessive weed growth and algal blooms occurring in rivers and ponds. This can lead to a lack of oxygen and problems for fish and other wildlife. The Environment Agency will continue to monitor the impacts of dry weather on wildlife and habitats, and will take action to mitigate these impacts wherever possible. The report can be viewed online at: http://www.environmentagency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/drought/31749.aspx
Fry’s Vegetarian Switch Palm Oil for Sunflower Oil Fry’s Vegetarian have a strong commitment to the planet and when the sustainability of the palm oil they source came into question they decided to switch to a healthier and planet friendly sunflower oil despite the higher cost to the company. However with none of the flavour lost Fry’s Vegetarian feel that this is the best move for the company and the planet. Tammy Fry, Fry’s South Africa based Founder explained: “We were buying sustainable palm oil and the sustainability has come under question. Being an extremely ethical company where we place environment ahead of profits, we decided to move to sunflower oil. We would rather not take the chance. Sunflower oil is also healthier as it contains less saturated fat than palm oil.” Lisa Drummy fell in love with Fry’s Vegetarian products and is now the UK distributor. She said “This is a great move for us and the planet. The taste has not been compromised and the feedback we are receiving has been very encouraging. We urge others to look into their use of palm oil and we found the information from Greenpeace very useful.” Fry’s Vegetarian has a range of 18 exciting meat, dairy and egg free products - many of which have no competition as there are no other vegetarian versions - including Polony, Louisiana Tenders and Veggie Pops.
KIDS INVITED TO DRAW A ‘SUPER INSECT’ FOR NATIONAL INSECT WEEK CREATIVE children across the country are being tasked with creating a ‘super-bug’ as part of celebrations for this year’s National Insect Week, June 25 to July 1. Organisers of the week, The Royal Entomological Society (RES), have launched a competition asking youngsters to use their imagination and come up with their very own insect ace. And event sponsor, building materials company Lafarge Aggregates & Concrete UK, which operates around 200 sites, many featuring carefully managed areas of significant biodiversity interest, are backing the competition with a unique paperweight first prize featuring the winning creepy crawlie. Entomologists have discovered, described and named nearly one million different insects but at least twice this number is thought to exist. So children all over the UK are being invited to become an ‘inventomologist’ by entering the competition to design an insect of the future, and imagine what insect discoveries of the future might look like. Competition entry details can be downloaded from www.nationalinsectweek.co.uk
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£6M SCHEME EXTENDED TO CUT ENERGY BILLS FOR MORE STOCKTON HOMES Hundreds more homes in Stockton could soon see their energy bills cut by up to £750 a year and also benefit from a whole host of energy efficiency measures, thanks to the extension of a £6m scheme in the town. The GoWarm Parkfield initiative, which is running in partnership between Boldonbased fuel poverty specialist GoWarm and Stockton Borough Council, has already carried out improvements worth £3.9m at more than 400 homes in Stockton’s Parkfield and Town Centre wards. Now an additional 500 houses are set to become part of the initiative, with plans to extend the scheme into the Mill Lane and Newtown areas of the town. The GoWarm Parkfield project, which is expected to cut the borough’s carbon emissions by around 180,000 tonnes overall, is being funded by North Yorkshirebased Eggborough Power Ltd via the Government-backed Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP), which targets households in areas of low income to improve energy efficiency standards and reduce fuel bills. Households in Mill Lane and Newtown that don’t automatically qualify for the GoWarm Parkfield scheme can still apply for heavily subsidised energy efficiency measures, including cavity wall and loft insulation, as well as free energy efficiency and benefits advice from GoWarm’s team of experienced assessors.
commercially viable fuel, as well as preventing harmful methane being released into the environment. Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc (AEV) have signed an agreement in London with Gazasia worth $150million to fund the development of plants to create liquid biomethane from organic waste.
Clean fuel made from organic landfill waste for Asian market Gazasia, a UK company that develops waste-derived biofuels, is to begin operations in the Philippines to develop a vehicle fuel made from organic waste products in landfill. Gazasia creates liquid biomethane - a carbon-neutral, sustainable and highquality vehicle fuel – by cleaning and refining the natural gas produced by organic waste found in landfill sites. In the Philippines, as throughout much of the world, landfill remains the most common means of waste disposal. But left alone, it creates potentially damaging gases, including methane and carbon dioxide. Gazasia processes this methane and converts it to liquid biomethane, creating a clean and |18| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
Vehicle fuel prices in Asia have risen sharply over the last year and are expected to continue rising. Many governments throughout the region are subsidising fuel costs but have insufficient resources to maintain their subsidies indefinitely. The use of biomethane as a vehicle fuel is growing across the world, and particularly in South East Asia. It is an economical alternative to oil-based fuels, and has a positive impact on air quality. Waste organic material is abundant and inexhaustible, making the fuel sustainable and unaffected by the sort of geopolitical events that impact on oil-based fuels and lead to price volatility.
Love Parks Week
21-29 July 2012
As a nation it is clear that we love our parks and green spaces; the latest survey from parks charity GreenSpace tells us that on average parks in the UK are in ‘excellent health’ plus an entire collection of organisations and academics are showcasing the benefits of easily accessible, quality, green space. So why do we need to support them? Paul Bramhill, CEO of parks charity GreenSpace responds: “If we turn the clock back to the early nineties, parks and green spaces were suffering from serious neglect. Sad, unusable playgrounds and litter-strewn parks were certainly not hubs of the community or safe and relaxing places for people to exercise or explore. Years of investment have seen these spaces and the surrounding community’s blossom again and now the reality is that public parks and green spaces are facing significant reductions in funding, which could see this investment thrown away.” Love Parks Week (run by GreenSpace) is an awareness raising campaign which aims to make a paradigm shift by getting people outside and enjoying their local park or green space, bringing life to the area and security for its future, creating a powerful movement of green space devotees. How to get involved With just one month to go until this year’s Love Parks Week the campaign is urging supporters to join in with the biggest celebration of parks and green spaces. Organisers are calling for as many people as possible to organise a Love Parks Week event – big or small – and to simply register it on the campaign’s website. Campaign manager, Tess said: “Adding your event is like signing a pledge to get you and others outside, bring your family and friends, have fun and appreciate all of the wonderful things green spaces have to offer.” Tess continued: “Your event doesn’t have to be complicated – picnic gatherings or nature walks have just as much impact as community fairs and music concerts, or you may already have something planned during that week, which can of course be listed on the website too!” If you do not have time to organise an event but wish to support the campaign, you can simply spread the message by purchasing fun posters and stickers from the website and displaying in your workplace, local shop or car window. Or you, your friends and family can attend an event near you. www.loveparksweek.org.uk/what-s-on
The request is a simple one: show your park a little love to help make it a lasting space.
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London 2012: an Olympicsized air quality challenge The major concern in the lead up to London 2012 is that the poor air quality in the UK’s capital will severely impact Olympic athletes’ performance and their health. Experts fear that Olympic athletes could suffer impaired performance times and become ill as a result of London’s unacceptably high levels of air pollution. Athletes, who take in much more air than a sedentary person, will breathe in high levels of pollutants at this year’s Games, such as particulates, nitrogen dioxide and ozone, and could suffer pulmonary irritation, chest pain and decreased lung capacity. National Physical Laboratory (NPL) research has found that the air in London can contain up to 190,000 pollutant particles per cubic centimetre (cm3). With the average breath comprising 500 cm3 of air, this equates to about 95m particles per breath. London has the highest levels of the toxic gas nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the EU and has received a series of stark warnings for failing to comply with European laws governing PM10, the miniscule specks of particulate matter 10microns across. Air quality in the capital is also affected by ozone gas, created by pollutants from vehicle exhausts reacting with sunlight. With no visible signs that London is taking any action to improve the quality of the air in and around the area where this year’s Games will take place, the unacceptably high air pollution levels may affect many athletes’ attempts to win medals and break records, and have an adverse impact on their health. It could also result in tens of thousands of spectators at the Games suffering the ill-effects such as pulmonary irritation. According to Professor Frank Kelly, professor of environmental health at King’s College in London: “Athletes, such as marathon runners and cyclists, need to breathe hard. If it’s
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a high pollution day, they will be taking in large amounts of pollution. Their chests may tighten up, they may feel pain and shortness of breath, and for certain conditions such as asthma they may need medication. “A few athletes may not attain the performances they hoped to and they might spend a few days feeling unwell. From an athletic point of view, they will not be at the best of their ability.” Beijing 2008 - air pollution lessons learned Medical experts have just published their research in the Journal of the American Medical Association on the effects of air pollution at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The study involved medical tests on 125 healthy volunteers living in Beijing. The team took blood samples from the volunteers both before and after the Games – when pollution levels were high – as well as during the Games, when the levels were much lower. This was due to the fact that China managed to clean up its air during the Olympics by closing factories and allowing cars on the roads only every other day. When pollution dipped during the Games, the researchers saw significant signs of better health among the volunteers. Specifically, they measured blood pressure and looked for blood markers linked to clotting and inflammation - known risk factors for heart disease. They saw marked improvements in these measures when the pollution levels went down. The study’s lead author, Prof Junfeng Zhang, said: “We believe this is the first major study to clearly demonstrate that changes in air pollution exposure affect cardiovascular disease mechanisms in healthy young people.” Caroline Dilworth, from the National Institute of Environmental Health Science (NIEHS), which provided funding for the study, said: “When air pollution levels are lowered, health benefits can be immediate.”
Recycled classroom offers children a lesson in saving the environment An outdoor classroom made in the UK from recycled plastics provides a cost-effective, environmentally friendly alternative to wooden buildings. The Welwyn Outdoor Classroom, new from Marmax Products, accommodates 30 to 35 children on built-in benches around the internal walls, with plenty of floorspace for additional seating or tables. The hexagonal classroom with its large windows gives a ‘close to nature’ feel and is ideal for environmental studies. Each classroom saves 61,490 one-litre milk containers from going to landfill. As the material does not rot, corrode or splinter, and requires no painting or preservatives, it is completely maintenance free. The Welwyn Outdoor Classroom is made from 100% HDPE recycled plastics, with a galvanized steel frame to ensure maximum strength and support. The material is resistant to weather damage and to vandalism and graffiti, which can be wiped off with white spirit. It is less flammable than wood and falls under rating class 3 in accordance with BS 576. As plastic retains latent heat, it is also warmer to the touch and more comfortable during cold spells. Tracey Scott, Marmax Products’ Sales and Marketing Manager, said: “Initial sales show that the new classroom is proving popular with schools as a location to teach children about nature and the environment. The outdoor feel helps to set the scene and the fact that it is made from recycled milk bottles illustrates the theme perfectly. Schools tell us they are choosing it in place of a wooden building because they prefer to use recycled products where possible, and also because of the significant on-going savings. HDPE is extremely durable. Not only is there no maintenance cost but the material has a lifespan of five times that of timber with little sign of visible wear.”
Purac supports Biobased KidsHouse with PLA roof insulation
A Biobased Kidshouse, sponsored by Purac, has been officially opened by the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation. The Biobased Kidshouse is an initiative of BE-Basic, an international public-private partnership, funded by the Dutch government in the field of sustainable chemistry and ecology. The Biobased Kidshouse intends to educate children with respect to biobased materials, in order to promote a biobased economy towards future generations. The Biobased Kidshouse is located in the area of Education & Innovation, next to the ‘My Green World’ pavillion at the Floriade in Venlo, The Netherlands, and has been created entirely from innovative, biobased building materials. Every part of the house has been produced from materials based on natural resources and the materials can easily be reused or recycled. Some examples include wall switches and cable ducts made from bioplastics and roof insulation panels made from expanded PLA foam. The project demonstrates how biobased construction can reduce our dependency on fossil fuels.
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Interface and ZSL announce partnership to tackle environmental problem blighting developing world shores Global carpet tile manufacturer Interface is partnering with conservation charity the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) to tackle the growing problem of discarded fishing nets in some of the worldâ€™s poorest coastal communities. The Net-Works partnership, which launches with a pilot on Danajon Bank, the Philippines, is novel in its intention to address a major environmental issue in a way that will deliver social and commercial benefits. Its aim: to establish a community based supply chain for discarded nets that will improve the livelihood of local fishers, while providing Interface with an innovative source of recycled materials for its carpet tiles. Fishing nets made from different types of nylon - often the same nylon used to make carpet yarn - are frequently discarded due to wear and tear and then replaced. In developing countries, artisanal fishers frequently leave their nets on beaches or in the sea where they can last for centuries, continuing to catch or injure marine life and pollute beaches. In Danajon Bank the problem is particularly acute, and it is estimated that the nets discarded in a year could cover the length of the Bank 400 times over. The fishers, however, are often living in extreme hardship and locked into declining fisheries with few opportunities to break the cycle of poverty and environmental degradation.
STUNNING BEACH HOUSE BUILT FROM ACCOYA Luxury Restaurant and Bar on famous Dutch beach retains beauty despite its harsh setting Accoya wood has been used in the construction of an up-market beach bar and restaurant, in Noordwijk, Netherlands. The Breakers Beach House, part of the Grand Hotel Huis Ter Duin, is set amongst the dunes on this famous and beautiful stretch of beach, facing the sometimes harsh North Sea. The building was designed to blend seamlessly into the environment but required the use of materials that could withstand the extreme elements without requiring frequent maintenance. Accoya wood, for this very reason, was used for windows, doors, cladding, railings, mullions and planters. The beach house looks stunning and would be at home on any exclusive beach around the world. The decked veranda is perfect to wander along, to watch the sun go down over mile upon mile of the North Sea coastline. The outdoor seating area is the perfect setting for al fresco dining in the company of the exclusive and famous clientele of the renowned hotel. The design brief was for an aesthetically pleasing beach bar and restaurant that stands out as being exclusive, yet blends into the environment, offering an informal but high quality dining experience. The Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin in Noordwijk has a long and illustrious history; originally opened in 1885 this imposing hotel has stood the test of time and is one of the last privately owned 5 star hotels in the Netherlands. It is renowned across the world and attracts visits by the rich, the famous and discerning travellers. ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |23|
Report warns of looming housing crisis for over a million young people by 2020
it hardest to compete for tenancies with around 310,000 more young families looking for private rented housing in 2020.
A report published today by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation warns of an escalating housing crisis which is set to lock over one million young people out of home ownership by 2020.
The report warns of a ‘three-tier’ system developing in a race to find PRS housing, with those at the top who can afford to pay, a ‘squeezed middle’ group who might struggle to pay and a bottom rung of 400,000 who risk being excluded completely.
The report, Housing options and solutions for young people in 2020, finds that:
The authors make a number of recommendations to remedy these problems, including:
An extra 1.5million 18 to 30-year-olds will be forced into private renting.
Many young people’s dreams of owning a home will never come true and many more will have a much longer wait before they own their own properties.
The provision of more affordable rents and longer, more stable private rented tenancies, with tax breaks for landlords who offer such options.
The expansion of local letting agencies who find suitable private rented housing and protect vulnerable young people by acting as brokers between young people and landlords.
Addressing the long term undersupply of housing to improve affordability.
An extra half a million young people will be forced to stay with their parents well into their 30s, taking the total number of young people living with mum and dad to 3.7 million.The number of home owners under 30 will nearly halve.
Just 1.3million expected to own their own homes.
The number of homeless young people under 25 is predicted to rise to 81,000, with further increases expected.
The influx of young people chasing accommodation in the private rented sector (PRS) means that young families, poorer and vulnerable people will find
Kathleen Kelly, Programme Manager for Place at the JRF, said: “Our badly functioning housing system will see those on the lowest incomes really struggling to compete in the competitive rental market of 2020. With 400,000 vulnerable young people, including families, on the bottom rung of a three-tier private renting system we need to avoid turning a housing crisis into a homelessness disaster.” The full report is available to download for free from www.jrf.org.uk.
Wageningen UR initiates Arctic research at Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard Wageningen UR (University & Research centre) has launched a new initiative called IPOP TripleP@Sea. This initiative aims at developing an ecosystem services and marine communities approach in three marine environments that strongly differ in climatological conditions and social context. One of the three showcases focuses on sustainable Arctic developments. Due to retreating sea ice, new economic activities are developed in the Arctic region, such as offshore oil and gas, shipping and harbour development. Knowledge and methodologies are needed to gain insight into the environmental and socioeconomic impacts of Arctic developments, and to be able to mitigate the effects of these impacts. This project will result in a framework for an environmental and socio-economic impact assessment, contributing to the development of standards and guidelines. Ny-Ålesund is situated at 78º 55’ N, and is one of the world’s northernmost year-round communities. Coal mining was the original incentive for settlement here, but mining was discontinued in 1962. Since 1964 Ny-Ålesund has been a centre for international Arctic research and environmental monitoring. A number of countries run their own national research stations here, and research activity is high in the summer. |24| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
Tower blocks heating plans approved Three Aberdeen tower blocks are to be linked into a new heating scheme. Members of the Development Management Sub-committee unanimously approved Aberdeen Heat and Power’s plans to build a boiler house on the south side of Balnagask Circle and install a district heating mains to link it to Morven Court, Brimmond Court, and Grampian Court. Gas powered boilers will produce heat for the residents of the flats, and the boiler house could later be adapted to link into the city’s award-winning Combined Heat and Power (CHP) network. Housing and Environment convener Councillor Neil Cooney said: “This marks a positive step forward for council tenants who will soon be enjoying warmer homes and the benefits of a district heating system. Many tenants are already enjoying the benefits of the CHP scheme, namely lower fuel bills and warmer homes. In addition, CHP considerably reduces CO2 emissions, which in turn dramatically cuts the city’s carbon footprint. This scheme is one of the council’s real success stories and one that will keep on giving as it grows, ensuring many residents enjoy affordable heating while safeguarding the environment.” Aberdeen Heat and Power general manager Ian Booth said: “Aberdeen Heat and Power are delighted to be able to extend the district heating system to a further three multi-storey blocks in the city, which will bring the total number of dwellings connected on this basis to around 1,900 over 28 multis.”
SAVORTEX becomes the first-ever hand dryer to achieve a Guinness World Records title Guinness World Records has formally announced that the SAVORTEX Vortex 550 EcoSmart hand dryer has achieved a Guinness World Records title for energy efficiency. The world record, Most hands dried using 30kJ of energy, was devised by Guinness World Records officials as a challenge to measure the energy efficiency in hand drying. The Vortex 550 EcoSmart successfully dried four pairs of hands using less than 30kJ of energy. Typically, hand dryers use between 72kJ and 96kJ of power to dry just one pair of hands. SAVORTEX successfully achieved four pairs of dry hands using just 24kJ of energy – smashing the minimums set by Guinness World Records officials and claiming the world record. The record was achieved thanks to the Vortex 550 EcoSmart’s unique compression technology, which incorporates three registered patents and makes it the lowest carbon emission hand dryer in the world. To achieve the energy efficiency title, Guinness World Records required that each participant started drying their hands completely wet and were only judged to be dry once moisture levels were under 40% on their whole hand. The successful world record attempt took place at SAVORTEX’s laboratory and manufacturing centre in Wiltshire.
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Study shows pollution levels in some kitchens are higher than city-centre hotspots A study by the University of Sheffield has found that the air we breathe inside our own homes can have pollutant levels three times higher than the outdoor environment, in citycentres and along busy roads. Researchers from the University’s Faculty of Engineering measured air quality inside and outside three residential buildings with different types of energy use (gas v electric cookers). They found that nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels in the kitchen of the city-centre flat with a gas cooker were three times higher than the concentrations measured outside the property and well above those recommended in UK Indoor Air Quality Guidance. These findings are published online in Journal of Indoor and Built Environment. “We spend 90 per cent of our time indoors and work hard to make our homes warm, secure and comfortable, but we rarely think about the pollution we might be breathing in,” says Professor Vida Sharifi, who led the research. “Energy is just one source of indoor pollution, but it is a significant one. And as we make our homes more airtight to reduce heating costs, we are likely to be exposed to higher levels of indoor pollution, with potential impacts on our health.” The study, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC INTRAWISE Consortium), compared a rural house with two flats, one in Sheffield city
centre and the other in an urban location next to a busy road. The rural house had an electric cooker while both flats used gas appliances. Samples were taken outside and inside the properties, from each kitchen, over a four-week period. The researchers, Professor Sharifi, Professor Jim Swithenbank and Dr Karen Finney, focused on pollutants known to have a detrimental health impact, particularly on the elderly and people with respiratory or cardiovascular problems: carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and solid particles small enough to penetrate into the lungs (2.5 microns in size or smaller, known as PM2.5). The average particle concentrations measured by the research team in the kitchens of both flats with gas cookers were higher than the levels set by the government as its objective for outdoor air quality in both London and England (3). There are currently no set guidelines for safe levels of particles in the home. Professor Sharifi said: “Concerns about air quality tend to focus on what we breathe in outdoors, but as we spend most of our time indoors, we need to understand more about air pollution in our homes. There is very little data on emission rates from different appliances or acceptable standards on indoor pollutants. Although ours was just a small study, it highlights the need for more research to determine the impact of changing housing and lifestyles on our indoor air quality.”
Parsons Brinckerhoff secures place on major government procurement framework Parsons Brinckerhoff, the international engineering consultant, has secured a place providing environmental consultancy services on a major pan-governmental procurement framework used by central and local government agencies and departments to contract essential technical services . Government Procurement Service is an executive agency of the Cabinet Office whose priority is to provide procurement savings for the UK Public Sector as a whole and specifically deliver centralised procurement for Central Government Departments. Parsons Brinckerhoff has been awarded places on 11 out of 18 specialist lots on the new framework, covering areas as diverse as climate change, air, noise, biodiversity, landscape and seascape, economics and sustainability as well as a general multi-disciplinary area called the built environment.
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+ For More Information www.pbworld.com
FOOD INDUSTRY MAKES GOOD PROGRESS IN HELPING CONSUMERS WASTE LESS FOOD An increase in the availability of smaller pack sizes, clearer date labelling and improved storage and freezing guidance are all helping consumers to reduce the £12billion worth of food they waste, says new research from WRAP. The WRAP Retailer Survey 2012 demonstrates that the food industry is making good progress towards making it easier for customers to get the best from the food they buy – but it shows there’s still more to be done. The 2012 survey looked at 12,000 products across 20 different categories where food waste has traditionally been high, including bread, bacon, chicken, apples, carrots, potatoes, bagged salad, rice, pasta, yoghurt, eggs, cheese and milk. The survey’s findings included: •
Increased availability of smaller packs of potatoes, milk, cooking sauces, bread and bread rolls (eg the number of fourpacks of rolls rose from 18% to 32%, and packs of two, from 5% to 13%)
Nearly half of all packs (47%) are now re-closable (eg the number of re-sealable cheese packs has increased to 35% (from 26%) and 73% of rice packs are now reclosable compared to 44%)
96% of all products surveyed carried storage guidance, helping consumers keep food fresher for longer
New labelling being rolled out by retailers including Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s,
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and now Waitrose, makes it clear consumers don’t have to freeze goods on the day of purchase, but can do so any time up to the ‘use by’ date •
The use of ‘display until’ dates has fallen dramatically with less than a third of surveyed products carrying this. No ‘sell by’ dates were found on any of the products. Retailers are also finding new ways to make the important ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ dates easier to read – eg Sainsbury’s prints dates on milk and fresh fruit and vegetables in a larger typesize. These steps reduce confusion and help consumers know when to eat foods by
More than 95% of all cheddar cheese packs surveyed now carry a ‘best before’ date (in 2009, 25% had a ‘use by’ date)
94% of chilled orange juice packs surveyed in 2011 carried a ‘use by’ date, but following discussions with WRAP, innocent has adopted a ‘best before’ date on all its smoothies and juices. British Soft Drinks Association and British Retail Consortium members have now agreed that all heat treated (pasteurised) fruit juices should carry a ‘best before’ date. This tells consumers they can use the product quite safely after the date on the label - important when around £220million of cheese and £80million of juices are thrown away each year because they are ‘not used in time’
While the results suggest good progress, WRAP has cautioned there’s still more that needs to be done to help consumers waste less.
Tales from the Watercooler
TRAVIS PERKINS GROUP EMPHASISES ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITMENT BY JOINING THE UK GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL The Travis Perkins Group is delighted to announce that they have joined the UK Green Building Council, further emphasising the Group’s strong commitment to help its customers’ new-build and retrofit sustainable building projects. Paul Joyner, Director of Sustainable Building Solutions (SBS), said: “Joining the Green Building Council was an obvious step for the Travis Perkins Group, as we look to develop our position as a market-leader within sustainable building and our commitment to making it easier for the industry to deliver sustainable build projects.” For more details about the UK Green Building Council please visit www.ukgbc.org.
Kebony wins Best Business Award for Best Innovation Kebony has won Best Innovation at the Best Business Awards against a strong field of highly competitive entries. The Best Business Awards are one of the UK’s highest profile awards and attracts a wide range of entries from international PLCs to small but dynamic enterprises. The Best Innovation award seeks to highlight an organisation which has identified the requirement for a new product and successfully brought it to the market. In winning the award Kebony demonstrated that there is a new market for an environmentally-friendly, durable and aesthetic wood product. Depletion of tropical hardwood resources has become increasingly unacceptable, and the need for environmentally-friendly alternatives to biocides and toxic chemicals for wood impregnation has grown as awareness increases about the damage non-sustainable products do to the environment.
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Commercial Ecodan triumphs in national awards Mitsubishi Electric’s commercial Ecodan® CAHV monobloc air source heat pump has received national recognition with the Heat Pump Product Innovation of the Year accolade at the National Heat Pumps Awards in Birmingham. In what turned out to be an exceptional night for Mitsubishi Electric, the company won three categories outright and received a Highly Commended Award in two others. Mitsubishi Electric also received acclaim for its Ecodan FTC-3 Controller in the Ancillary Product of the Year category. Two live projects using Ecodan air source heat pumps also received Awards with the Public Sector Project of the Year category going to the installation in the Toryglen Estate project in Glasgow. Also in the Public Sector Project of the Year Award, the installation of Ecodan in the Lonnen Heat Pump Scheme received praise with the judges commenting that it was “A master class in project organisation and customer integration.” Mitsubishi Electric’s pioneering Learning Curve educational programme secured the prestigious Training Excellence of the Year Award.
New Technical Director for Rotork Controls Division Andrew Withers has been appointed Technical Director for Rotork Controls, the electric valve actuation division of the global Rotork flow control engineering group. In his new position he will be responsible for new product developments and research functions involving all of Rotork’s electric actuator product lines. Andrew will be taking over from Graham Ogden who, as Rotork Group Research and Development Director, will now focus on developments encompassing all of the Rotork Group divisions – Controls, Fluid Systems, Gears and Instruments – as well as directing specific strategic group programmes.
Lancaster London scoops top accolades at Considerate Hoteliers Association Awards
Taunton schoolgirl wins top prize in Diamond Jubilee truck design competition
Lancaster London swept the floor at the Considerate Hoteliers Association Awards on 31 May 2012. Not only did the hotel win the top accolade “Hotel of the Year 2012”, but the hotel’s Director of Procurement, Clare Wright, was hailed as the “Considerate Green Champion of the Year 2012”, giving the hotel a brilliant double victory to celebrate.
Taunton primary school pupil Talia Bird has won the top prize in our Diamond Jubilee design competition, run in partnership with the Somerset County Gazette.
The awards reflect Lancaster London’s outstanding commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) across every aspect of the hotel. Highlights include: a continued campaign to stop the decline of honey bees by growing its own colony of bees to one million, a £11.5million “green” refurbishment of its banqueting spaces and commercial kitchens, achieving zero per cent landfill waste, dramatically reducing food waste and introducing “nose-to-tail dining” in the restaurants and banqueting areas.
Talia won £100 for herself and £250 for her school, and will later be presented with a large scale model of the truck.
At the heart of all CSR operations at Lancaster London is Director of Procurement, Clare Wright, a truly deserving winner of the “Considerate Green Champion of the Year 2012”. In addition to these two accolades, Lancaster London was recently named AA Eco Hotel of the Year 2012 and was awarded a Gold Star in the Green Tourism for Business Scheme.
CIWEM YOUNG MEMBER COASTS HER WAY TO VICTORY Dr. Rosalind Turner, a Senior Coastal Engineer at Mott MacDonald has won the Jacobs Engineering sponsored CIWEM Young Members Award 2012 for her deep commitment to environmental improvement and sustainability, demonstrated in her development of an innovative coastal management strategy. Rosalind’s presentation on her involvement in designing an innovative beach management scheme in the form of timber and rock groynes that delivered cost effective, long term coastal management exceedingly impressed the judges during the interview session of the Jacobs Engineering sponsored CIWEM Young Members Award 2012.
Talia, ten, of Wellsprings Primary School, got to see her design, pictured, blown up in size and driven to her school in front of classmates last week.
Her winning design was a colourful entry featuring the Union Flag, diamonds, the Queen’s head and a twist of green. Pupils at Wellsprings cheered when the Viridor business waste collection lorry, bearing the number plate V60 HRH, turned into the school. Talia, watched by proud family members, said: “I was really excited when I heard I had won – I love drawing.” The competition attracted more than 200 entries. A gallery of artwork will appear on www.somersetcountygazette.co.uk soon. Re:locate Awards Gold: HCR Win Green! In a glittering ceremony for this year’s Re:locate awards, Global Mobility specialists HCR were presented with the highly prestigious Green Achievement award. The Green Achievement award recognises excellence in environmental initiatives and practices, and by demonstrating its commitment to managing environmental impacts and its innovative ways of engaging customers on environmental issues, HCR was declared the winner. HCR were commended by the judges for their constant progression and innovation, both within their famous Sustainable Relocation Promise and as the first relocation management company to become certified carbon neutral in the world. This is the second year in a row that HCR has won gold at the Re:locate Awards, after being named Relocation Service Provider of the Year in 2011. Superglass Appoints Director of Sales and Marketing Superglass is pleased to announce the appointment of Allan Durning as Director of Sales and Marketing. Allan has over 25 years of experience in the building materials industry. He was previously Executive Chairman of leading building materials buying group, NBG and Director of Sales and Marketing for British Gypsum Isover which is owned by glasswool insulation manufacturer, Saint Gobain. Prior to this he was the Director of Builder Center Bulk, the major contractor and house builder division of Wolseley. ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |31|
STEVE GRANT COLUMN
It seems that there has been a fundamental shift in approach in the EU. Forget everything you know about methane and its power to trap warmth in the atmosphere over 20 times as efficiently as CO2 because natural gas is about to be reclassified as green energy. The gas industry had been lobbying intensively promoting ‘unconventional gas sources’ as the method by which the EU could meet its 2050 targets and save nearly a trillion euros in the process. Or so they say. The unconventional sources are based around shale gas, which is extracted by pumping a mixture of water, sand and chemicals into boreholes at high pressure, thereby fracturing the rock and releasing the gas it contains, hence the term ‘fracking’. Coal beds – something the UK has in abundance – are a favoured source. The argument is that using natural gas is significantly less damaging than coal – something that’s not in contention. However the fracking process itself is energy intensive, it releases a great deal of ‘fugitive’ gas (comprising 96%+ methane) and the environmental impact in terms of geological stability, contamination of the water table and the injection of chemical cocktails, which include mercury, ethylene glycol, hydrochloric acid, formaldehyde and methanol (to name but 5 of up to 600 used), is far from clear. The experience in the USA, who have been fracking seriously for some time, does not bode well. It takes an average of 27 million litres of water per fracking (or is that ‘per frack’) and around 150,000 litres of chemicals. Industry experience to date is that a well can be frack as many as 18 times before it’s exhausted. All this happens well below ground, so the thinking was that the gas is simply being replaced, and the sand will fill the fissures. Evidently, some of the chemical cocktail is there to aid that process, which indicates to me at least that the frackers must have at least some concerns over changes to the geological structure. Arkansas has had more quakes in the last 2 years than it did during the entire 20th century. Guess when the fracking started. However it transpires that methane levels in wells supplying drinking water using tables in areas near fracking wells |32| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
are much higher – as much as 17 times higher – than previously. Over 1,000 documented cases of sensory, respiratory and neurological damage have been put down to the ingestion of fracking-contaminated water. There are numerous videos of people in the States lighting tap water on Youtube. Search for ‘methane drinking water’, and you’ll get the picture. New York has ‘30 mile stretches of streams completely devoid of living organisms’ according to the State’s Water and Natural Resources programme. In the US, they also leave a great deal of the fracking fluid in open pits simply to evaporate its VOC’s into the atmosphere. From what I have gleaned, I understand that wouldn’t be allowed in the EU, so that’s alright then. The lobbying campaign rested on a report called ‘Making the Green Journey Work’ commissioned by Shell, e-on, Gazprom, Centrica and others which, perhaps unsurprisingly, supported their position. However the emissions and environmental impact of the extraction process itself isn’t included in the report, despite its claim that the EU could meet emissions targets by adopting a strategy based on natural gas. When these wider emissions are taken into account, fracking is dirtier than coal. This is according to a report from Cornell University – somewhat more credible that the one on which Brussels is basing European policy; a report disowned by its authors who stated it was biased. Indeed, its disclaimer says that the report is of no practical use whatsoever. The Cornell conclusion is that “Compared to coal, the footprint of shale gas is at least 20% greater and perhaps more than twice as great on the 20-year horizon and is comparable when compared over 100 years”. The European Climate Foundation and Prof. David Mackay, chief scientific advisor to the DECC, have come out against the report. So let me summarise: Unconventional natural gas, with unknown environmental impacts and with an emissions footprint that Cornell University says is greater than coal, is now considered a green fuel based on a report discredited by its authors. Further, the report was commissioned by those seeking to profit from the exploitation of unconventional natural gas, and a large share of the €80bn set aside for the development of renewables will now be directed to them.
+ For More Information http://www.centrica.com/files/pdf/making_the_green_journey_ work.pdf (do read the disclaimer!) http://www.eeb.cornell.edu/howarth/Howarth et al 202011.pdf http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/apr/20/fossilfuel-lobbying-shale-gas?INTCMP=SRCH http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZe1AeH0Qz8
LET THEM EAT FISHERIES REPORTS
You should believe little that is written on our fisheries – particularly where that is from NGO’s or Governments. Instead you trust your instincts and open your eyes and understand what the markets are telling you. Then think again and the solutions seem obvious. If we don’t quickly move to save our seas the only thing left to eat will be fisheries reports. Let me explain.
JASON DREW COLUMN
Fish don’t have votes but fishermen do, so politicians will always put their concerns first. It is the job of politicians and the big business interests running our fishing industries to tell us its all ok and business as usual. It’s not. Go to your local supermarket where you will find baby hake fillets and sole petite and a host of other smaller fish. Not because they are easier to catch or tastier but simply because we have eaten their parents. You don’t need to be a farmer to understand that eating your breeding stock is not a good thing. In fact the only full-sized fish you are likely to see are farmed ones. A trout or salmon farm can use as much as three kilograms of sea caught fish – ground up into fish meal - to produce just one kilogram of fish – of which we only eat the fillets! The same is true of our shrimp and prawn farms. Whilst it is true that huge strides have been made in the feed conversion ratios and that farmed salmon are more efficient at converting feed into protein than say poultry or cattle, they still require more fish in than you get fish out. You are still better off eating the last fish in the sea than these farmed species. Fish like Tilapia and Barramundi require far less animal ( fish) protein and therefore have a lower impact on our seas. The FAO 2010 world fisheries repost suggests that over a quarter of all the fish we take from our seas are for non – food use. Some twenty million tons of fish from our seas each year are used to provide protein for our industrial farming operations. When a single mature Tuna sold for $730,000 in Tokyo earlier this year – almost double last year’s record of $370,000. It is the market telling us that mature tuna are rarer each year. In fact the markets are suggesting that they are rarer than rhino horns which sell (illegally) for around $400,000 each. Rhino horn sandwich anyone?
Recently a fishing trawler was grounded on Clifton fourth beach in Cape Town. The local inhabitants and press were concerned about the potential of an oil spill that could devastate the lovely pristine beach. In this mad world no one thinks to question
what a Japanese trawler full of Tuna from South African territorial waters is doing on a city beach in the first place. The Canadian government in pandering to fishermen has already destroyed one of the greatest natural wonders of the marine world – the grand banks. Israel has banned fishing on the sea of Galilee because there are no fish left – a bit late really. When will we stop this madness and do the only thing we can do which is develop our marine protected areas. Where areas of our seas have been declared off-limits to all fishing, stocks recover, mature fish breed and the young when overcrowded swim out to open seas where they fill the fishermen’s nets sustainably. We celebrate our national parks and the foresight of the people who created them. Without them there would be little game in Africa or wilderness in America. Because we can see and understand these ecosystems we protect and support them. There are many transnational parks in Africa but not a single transnational marine reserve in the developed world. We should learn from what has been achieved on land in Africa and work together to save our seas so that they provide enough, for all and forever. In a world where natural resources not taken by one person will be taken by another, there is no other solution to the issue of our seas. It is time that our politicians did what we pay them to do – to lead us and protect our future. Our governments should be busy working together implementing a comprehensive marine reserve system. Instead they continue to dither over the monstrous by-catch laws that are by the day ruining the chance of recovery for our marine fisheries. Lets get busy repairing our future.
+ For More Information www.theproteincrunch.com ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |33|
CHRIS HINES COLUMN
Our oil and plastic addiction Imagine a substance that could do anything: provide warmth and light and the energy to drive our appliances, power all of our transport, and be used to make all kinds of materials to manufacture everything from clothing to mobile phone bodies. In fact it’s a miracle substance and one to which we owe a huge amount of the progress of the 20th century. No wonder we’re addicted to oil! However there are inevitably problems with an addiction. Our desire and need for oil drives conflict, has massive global political ramifications and is not only one of the main causes of climate change but is also polluting our oceans to an alarming degree. The climate change issue has a lot of coverage and is on everyone’s agenda, but for plastic waste and its effects there is room for more pressure and more responsibility. Twenty years ago there were only rumours and hearsay of floating islands of plastic waste somewhere in the Pacific, but now we know there are at least five major “gyres” of plastic waste in the oceans of our blue planet. Ocean currents meet in certain locations in our oceans and bring all that plastic together. These whirling areas of plastic waste are huge; the North Pacific Gyre is estimated to be twice the size of Texas (10 million square nautical miles) and that’s just the area! The gyres also have a third dimension, below the surface! The tonnage is a scary 3.5 million tons of waste and that is just one gyre! What the total is of all of them plus all the other dispersed plastic in our oceans is mind boggling.
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Then think that the plastic doesn’t ever actually go away. It doesn’t biodegrade, it photo-degrades, broken down by sunshine and light into ever smaller pieces. 61% of the plastic in our oceans is less than a millimetre in size and then even down to a microscopic level. Work at the University of Plymouth is showing that plastic is in every single sample taken from beaches around the world. Then think that about the plastic waste and litter on land and then talk to people who have been travelling in developing nations. Friends of mine have just returned from Sierra Leone and one of the biggest shocks to them was the level of plastic usage and waste. People and organisations are doing some amazing work to raise the profile of these issues . Surfers Against Sewage www.sas.org.uk , the organisation that I helped found and run twenty-two years ago, runs some great campaigns and beach cleans, including “Return to sender” which encourages people to post waste found on beaches back to the manufacturer. The Marine Conservation Society www. mcsuk.org does its annual Beachwatch survey, and countless other NGOs and small groups in the UK and around the world do beach cleans and protests. Last summer I was privileged to share a speaking platform, at Selfridges Project Ocean campaign, with David De Rothschild who, having become aware of this problem, decided to do something to bring global attention to the problem. With his team he constructed a catamaran out of recycled plastic bottles and sailed from San Francisco to Sydney. The boat was named Plastiki in homage to Thor Heyerdahl’s Kontiki expedition. An awesome speaker and a brilliant book and website that I would urge everyone to seek out: www.theplastiki.com a brilliant source of information. One of the most important things to realise is that we are all involved from an individual basis through to industry, inventors, designers and legislators. The oil and plastics industry must help drive more responsible use of plastic, and I would argue strongly that a truly responsible industry must help take the lead and go further and more rapidly than simple compliance. There is a global responsibility here. But there is also individual and corporate action that we can all take in our private lives, and also at our places of work: think about what you buy, avoid single use plastic, buy products that last and can then be recycled, and buy products made from recycled materials. If you look around your world you will see plastic everywhere, and when you realise you are part of the problem then you can start to become part of the solution! Oh and lastly, when you go on holiday take a small kitchen sieve and work through some sand – it will frighten you!
+ For More Information www.agos.co ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |35|
Conservation 38 - 39
The truth about Japanese Knotweed – Ian Graham
40 - 42
The Wildlife Trust Centenary – Anna Guthrie
44 - 45
It’s a Bee of a Problem – Tim Lovett
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CENTENARY Anna Guthrie,
Media & PR Manager
No-one could have foreseen all of the dramatic changes over the last 100 years; farming intensified, developments and transport infrastructure cross the nation and natural ‘green space’ has become a luxury as access to nature has diminished. Whilst progress should be applauded, the world also needs those who identify what is important to society and take up what some may see as fanciful or almost impossible challenges. Meeting these challenges will ensure the irreplaceable are conserved for future generations.
Picture the scene, early in the 20th century rapid modernisation had started, the country was changing, agriculture and industry were flourishing and the Titanic had set off on its maiden voyage. On 16 May 1912 a man with a vision – the banker, landowner, naturalist and scientist Charles Rothschild - got together with like-minded enthusiasts to gather support for a radical idea: to identify and protect the very best of the UK’s wild places. Thus began the Society for the Promotion of Nature Reserves (SPNR) - which would later become The Wildlife Trusts movement. This was the first time anyone had come up with a strategic vision for nature conservation as we know it today. Before 1912, the emphasis was on trying to protect individual species from cruelty and exploitation, but Rothschild’s plan was different: he wanted to safeguard the places where the wildlife lived – the moors, meadows, woods and fens that were under increasing threats from rapid modernisation. Using his own money Rothschild bought 339 acres of wild fenland in Cambridgeshire at |40| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
Woodwalton Fen, which later became the SPNR’s first nature reserve. From that spark of an idea Rothschild succeeded in enlisting the support of 50 Fellows of the Royal Society, the Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey and future Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. The Speaker of the House of Commons, James Lowther MP, became the first president. The Society for the Promotion of Nature Reserves formed a base at the Natural History Museum in London and started to put Rothschild’s vision into practice.
By 1915 Rothschild and his colleagues had prepared a list of 284 special wildlife sites around the British Isles they considered ‘worthy of permanent preservation’, and presented the list to the Government’s Board of Agriculture. However the list was sadly ignored. The Society continued its efforts to acquire land as nature reserves and to campaign for the protection of wildlife but the advent of WW1 and the death of Charles Rothschild in 1923 meant that, for the time being at least, progress was hard-going. In the 1940s the Society took the initiative. Through running a series of important conferences on ‘Nature conservation in post-war reconstruction’ and co-ordinating Nature Reserve Investigation Committees it led the government towards legislating for nature for the first time. In 1949 the first nature conservation agency of its kind in the world was set up and the landmark National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act (1949) saw the British government involved in nature conservation for the first time. By the 1960s, in response to the widespread devastation of our natural habitats, Wildlife Trusts had been formed across
the length and breadth of the UK. Run by local people taking action for their environment, Trusts rescued ancient woodlands, lakes, meadows, moors, islands, estuaries and beaches in an urgent drive to save our natural heritage for future generations. Meanwhile the role of the nature reserve was broadening, ceasing to be just academic field laboratories, important though this was, and also becoming treasured local refuges for people to enjoy, learn about nature and, sometimes, to get involved with their management. From the 1970s The Wildlife Trusts, known then as the Royal Society for Nature Conservation (reflecting its broader role) collectively campaigned to halt damage to, and destruction of, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, culminating in the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act. This was Britain’s first comprehensive legislation for wildlife. Wildlife Trusts were also beginning to get involved with marine conservation, proposing the first marine reserves – the start of vital work that continues today to secure protection at sea for the rarely-seen treasures – around our shores. The first major landmark in this campaign was the passing of the Marine and Coastal Access Act in 2009, which brought with it the promise of a network of marine protected areas to safeguard species and habitats at sea. Throughout the 1980s the movement began to protect wildlife in towns and cities as well as the countryside. People realised that living in a city is no bar to enjoying nature and Wildlife Trusts set about transforming derelict inner-city sites into oases for wildlife. In 1980 Avon Wildlife Trust created the UK’s first urban nature reserve, a small meadow on the slopes of Brandon Hill in the centre of Bristol. Encouraged by the development of urban Wildlife Trusts, people discovered they could help nature in their own back yard, and wildlife gardening began to move towards becoming a more mainstream pursuit. In 1994 the government introduced the UK Biodiversity Action Plan, giving conservationists new tools for protecting wildlife. The Wildlife Trusts became involved in helping to save species as iconic and varied as the red squirrel and bottlenose dolphin. At the same time, a new kind of nature conservation began to appear – as people’s understanding of climate change and habitat fragmentation grew, more and more Wildlife Trusts concluded they needed to restore, recreate and reconnect habitats on a landscape scale. In a 2006 report, The Wildlife Trusts outlined its vision for ‘A Living Landscape’, and all 47 Wildlife Trusts are now working to create and restore new habitats by working with landowners, local communities and partners outside nature reserves and across the wider landscape. Today there are 47 Wildlife Trusts with more than 800,000 members. Collectively, they now own and manage 2,300 nature reserves across the UK which encompass every imaginable type of natural habitat, including beaches, islands, mountains, moorland, rivers, meadows, bogs, grasslands, ancient woods, heathland, and coastland ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |41|
marine habitats too. The list is still growing and whenever the chance arises, these precious sites are often extended. Some reserves have seen large-scale habitat restoration – such as at Rutland Water in Leicestershire, with its huge lagoons for waders, or Abbott’s Hall Farm in Essex, the site of the UK’s largest managed coastal realignment at the time (2002). In the Cambridgeshire Fens, the Great Fen is reconnecting Charles Rothschild’s Woodwalton Fen nature reserve to nearby Holme Fen National Nature Reserve, and creating a huge 3,700 hectare wetland. Wildlife Trust nature reserves have also been used as sites for the re-introduction of species such as the otter, beaver, sand lizard and large blue butterfly. While the reserves that Rothschild pioneered are now part of a bigger plan to restore people’s connection with nature, many are still places where you can feel the timelessness and wildness he knew – and tried to save – 100 years ago. So the moral to this tale, is that individuals within an organisation can make a huge difference and whilst a clear vision is vital, it is equally important to sell it to those who can help and support. If you are inspired by the vision of The Wildlife Trusts of pioneering and sustained nature conservation you can find out more at www.wildlifetrusts.org. Find out what your Wildlife Trust is doing at http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/yourlocal-trust. A century ago it was a businessman, Charles Rothschild, who had the vision for the first one hundred years of nature conservation. The challenge for business today is to play its part in the next 100 years. |42| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
So what can you do? The Wildlife Trusts are proud to work with over 2,000 businesses across the UK. From entry level corporate membership to assessing and certifying management of landholdings to major joint projects we recognise and facilitate the vital role that business has in creating A Living Landscape and securing Living Seas. As a business, consider exploring: • Employee volunteering and team building opportunities • Partnerships to manage a company’s landholdings • Corporate Membership at a level to suit your business • Land management advice and consultancy services The Wildlife Trusts’ vision is driven by the economic and social needs of local communities. Business, as a part of the community in which it operates contributes to, and benefits from the achievement of our vision. For more information on your business working with The Wildlife Trusts http://www. wildlifetrusts.org/workingwithbusiness As an individual: • Become a member • Volunteer with us • Leave a gift in your will • Adopt a species
+ For More Information www.wildlifetrusts.org
www.wildlifetrusts.org/ your-local-trust www.wildlifetrusts.org/ how-you-can-help
It’s a of a
Problem Tim Lovett Director of Public Affairs – BBKA
There can be few with an interest in country or agricultural matters who will not have picked-up on reports in the media of gloom and doom about the decline in our bee population. Insect pollinators are said to be responsible for one third of what we eat and what’s more that third tends to be the more tasty interesting foods such as fruits, nuts, seeds and vegetables. Just imagine your ‘life-style’ breakfast without bees to pollinate: no almonds on that croissant, no jam or honey, and coffee and orange juice at prohibitive prices due to shortages. Hard to imagine, but why are bees and other insect pollinator numbers heading south? One cannot point the finger at any one thing causing decline in bee populations; research suggests that several factors are in play. There is little doubt that bee diseases play a major role. The arrival on our shores in the early 1990s of the parasitic mite, Varroa destructor signalled a major decline in honey bee colony numbers. This little critter sucks at the bee’s blood (haemolymph) weakening it and injecting viruses into the bee at the |44| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
same time, which the bee’s immune system is ill-equipped to handle. A further blow in recent years has been the increased incidence of infection brought about by Nosema ceranae, a fungus like organism. This unholy trinity of Varroa, viruses and Nosema probably provides the major threat to honey bee health.
Due to honey bees being classed as ‘food producing animals’, just the same as cattle, sheep, pigs, poultry and fish, the full weight of the EU veterinary
medicines law applies to them too! This somewhat disproportionate approach means that provision of new bee medicines proceeds at a glacial pace. No sane MD of a multi-national pharmaceutical company wakes up one morning and sets his R&D team on the road to discover an effective treatment for the Varroa mite. It’s not that we don’t need it – we do – but it’s simply because the small size of the market and the massive R&D and regulatory costs make it uneconomic. To make matters worse we’re about to lose a medicine called Fumadil B, which treats Nosema. But because it doesn’t tick all the EU boxes in having a maximum residue level established, and notwithstanding the fact that there have been no problems in the 30+ years it has been in use, it must come off the market! We have seen considerable losses of habitats rich in wild flowers on which bees depend for a mixed diet of forage; they not only gather nectar for honey but pollen as their source of protein. There is a debate as to the effect of agro-chemicals. For some, pesticides are the devil’s spawn, but long gone
are the days when careless over-use of sprays brought about substantial colony losses. The newer systemic pesticides together with improved stewardship have been a step forward, although concerns remain as to the potential long-term sub-lethal effects of these compounds, and more research is needed. Farmers are doing more to help bees and so too are gardeners and developers as awareness of the importance of bees grows in the town as well as the countryside. One might expect the news from around the world of collapsing bee populations might be accompanied by similar reports of declining beekeeper numbers. In the United Kingdom at least, far from leaving the sinking ship, the rats (if I may abuse my fellow beekeepers) have been piling onto the vessel. Indeed so many people have decided to get involved that the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) and other similar organisations have been inundated with new members each of whom needs training. In 2007, when the colony collapse horror stories first emeged from the USA, the BBKA’s
membership was 11,000. It has since grown to more than 23,000. One of the reasons for this increase in interest in bees and beekeeping may have been the fact that the BBKA became pro-active within the scientific community back in 2007 when the dramatic colony losses of up to 80% experienced by US bee farmers were reported. Our own losses and those amongst our European neighbours have remained unacceptably high in the 20-30% range for the last several years. Clearly research is needed to understand why we are losing bees before we can do anything about it. But research costs money and back in 2008 Defra was pleading poverty to help offset the costs of the foot and mouth fiasco. Just £200K pa was being put into honey bee health research, yet data showed that honey bees were contributing £200M to agricultural output through pollination. So the BBKA mounted a public campaign to change the Government’s position. Huge support was to be found in Westminster, the media and the public at large. The public embraced
the campaign for research funding, and following the presentation of the 146,000 signature petition, together with a well mannered demonstration by beekeepers with their smokers alight in Whitehall, Hilary Benn then found more money for the National Bee Unit and the £10m Insect Pollinators Initiative was set up.
“Just £200K pa was being put into honey bee health research, yet, data showed that honey bees were contributing £200M to agricultural output through pollination.” This ground-swell of interest in beekeeping has presented a major challenge and has caused the BBKA to look at its training activities. It is accepted that well-trained beekeepers are better beekeepers and that good beekeeping husbandry engendered through sound training can help fight the decline in bee colonies. So the number of beekeepers and the colonies they manage has risen strongly in the UK recently, but the challenge to bee health remains and we still don’t have the answers to those key questions. Some of the research needed has begun but it will take time. Indisputably varroosis is the coronary artery disease of bees and we have totally inadequate medications to combat this. Likewise, virus and Nosema infections are wreaking havoc. Habitat loss, poor forage and common-or-garden bad weather are affecting not just honey bees but other pollinators. However, from all this uncertainty of the biological and environmental causes of bee decline has emerged a most positive upward trend in the form of keen new beekeepers, committed to do their utmost to preserve the honey bee and its benefits to mankind. ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |45|
Energy 48 - 51
Creating a Hospitable Climate in Hotels to Save Money and Cut Carbon – Geoff Smyth
52 - 53
Stand by your Beds – Angus Robertson
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With energy costs continuing to rise, and the economy struggling to get out of recession, investing in energy efficiency makes a lot of sense. The case for hotels to provide a boost to their bottom line by taking control of their energy spend has never been more compelling. The Carbon Trust has over ten years of experience of helping the hospitality industry to cut carbon and bills. For example our work with Whitbread, who have over 600 hotels, saved more than £1.8m in energy and carbon across their group in 2011 alone. Our work with the hospitality sector indicates that around 20% of the energy used and paid for by a typical hotel is essentially avoidable waste, which can be eliminated by the application of highly cost-effective energy management technologies and techniques. For the sector as a whole, this equates to an annual cost saving opportunity of £200m. Getting the temperature right in hotels is a critical aspect of creating a hospitable climate and can make a big difference not just in terms of energy consumption, but also with the increasingly eco-conscious consumer. Here are some top tips on how the hotel industry can improve their performance: |48| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
r a C C ut d of
, Hea Geoff Smyth
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i l spitable C
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Rally the Troops At essentially no cost you can engage staff and guests to identify opportunities for energy savings. Create an energy team with a combination of management, cleaners and maintenance staff, who should be asked to report any areas that are too hot, cold or draughty. Similarly, encourage feedback from guests on the same issues. By investigating problem areas quickly, staff can identify maintenance issues and prevent energy from being wasted. As well as saving energy and money this improves customer experience. Divide and Conquer Dividing a building into separate zones, with individual time and temperature controls, is a big step towards optimising efficiency and increasing comfort for staff and guests. Different areas have different requirements for heating and cooling: Room Type
Restaurants and dining rooms
Hotels with zoned areas can turn the heating or cooling down, or even off, in unoccupied areas. By making sure controls are in place and maintaining appropriate temperatures for the time of year and use of the room, a 30% saving could be made on those costs. Often the simplest of adjustments can reduce costs without impacting on comfort. Make sure that timers are in place so that the system only operates when required. Remember that requirements will change throughout the day, and vary depending on the external weather, so make sure to regularly review settings. Thermostat location is also critical, so ensure their location is not impacted by draughts, sunlight or internal heat sources such as TVs or refrigerators. They should be regularly checked to ensure they are operating correctly and should only switch the heating on when temperatures drop below the minimum recommended. A very common problem in hotels is that at certain temperatures both the heating and the cooling are operating. It is important to keep a wide band between where the heating shuts off and the cooling starts. Our suggestion for this would be keeping both heating and cooling off when the temperature is between 19Â°C and 24Â°C. More advanced control systems that can be used include thermostatic radiator valves which can reduce the amount of heat output from radiators when, for example, a restaurant fills up with people. Weather compensators can automatically regulate output depending on external temperature. An optimiser will learn how quickly a building heats up and cools down and will switch on or off at the optimum time. Night set back control can prevent excessive heating or cooling during quiet periods, for example in areas such as corridors, lounges and stairwells between midnight and 5am. The use of controls is highly effective and will often pay back the investment in a couple of years. Installing a full Building Energy Management System (BMS or BEMS) is highly recommended. It provides a network of controllers linking the various components which make up a buildingâ€™s HVAC system, allowing close monitoring and easy adjustment. This can reduce total energy costs by 10% or more. Keep Cool The airflow between the openings on opposite sides of a room or building provides natural ventilation and cooling. It is possible to use windows and doors to provide good levels of natural ventilation, allowing mechanical ventilation to be switched off or turned down to save money. This method can save on ventilation costs and be employed in hotel hallways, corridors, meeting rooms and common areas.
As well as creating a comfortable atmosphere, supplying regular volumes of fresh, outdoor air is a legal requirement under some building and health and safety regulations. In specific areas of a building, such as kitchens, adequate ventilation is essential to deal with the unpleasant side effects of odours and smoke inhalation. When it comes to mechanical cooling, full air conditioning is not usually necessary in the majority of UK buildings and should only be considered where the careful control of humidity is required such as with swimming pools (make sure pool covers are used!). Cheaper cooling options based on comfort cooling and adequate ventilation are available and should be considered. A common myth with air conditioning thermostats is that turning them as low as they can go cools the building more quickly. In fact the temperature drops at the same rate but then overshoots, using more energy than necessary and creating discomfort for guests. If controls are not coordinated then temperature could even go low enough for the heating system to be switched on. In many ventilation systems found in hospitality buildings supply and extract fans do not need to operate at full speed all of the time. Since the introduction of anti-smoking laws, many areas have unnecessarily high ventilation rates which could be drastically reduced without detriment to comfort. Check that the number of air changes per hour is appropriate to the space function. The use of variable speed drives can reduce costs by enabling the fans to closely match requirements. This speed reduction saves energy and there are corresponding savings in heating and cooling too. More Heat than Light Recent developments in lighting, particularly in LED technology, now mean that hotels can confidently and cost-effectively replace the vast majority of tungsten and tungsten halogen lamps with ultra-low energy alternatives. Mains-voltage and low-voltage dichroic lamps are found in abundance in many hotels and are one of the most inefficient forms of lighting. In fact, they generate more heat than light and this heat often needs to be removed from the hotel through the use of air conditioning. So not only are hotels paying for inefficient lighting, they are also paying higher air conditioning costs to remove the unwanted heat. We have supported many hotels in changing from 20-50 watt tungsten halogen lamps to 4-7 watt LED alternatives, without any detriment to light levels or aesthetics. Furthermore, with many LED solutions offering a lamplife in excess of 50,000 hours, against just 2,000 hours for a tungsten halogen dichroic ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |49|
lamp, significant maintenance savings can also be achieved in addition to over 70% energy cost savings. Minimise Loss When you do engage in refurbishment, or when you are considering replacing or upgrading any existing heating system, make sure the insulation of walls, floors and ceilings are considered. Around two-thirds of heat from a typical building in the hospitality sector is lost through the building fabric, so any investment made in these areas will provide a significant return. Some hospitality businesses have seen energy costs reduce by as much as 40% when energy efficiency opportunities are maximised during refurbishment. Insulating roof spaces and unfilled external cavity walls is an effective and inexpensive way of reducing heat losses as up to a quarter of a buildingâ€™s heat can escape via an un-insulated roof. Specifying high performance glazing on north facing or exposed sides of a building can also offer further comfort and energy savings. Keep on Running The final point to make is that successfully implementing energy efficiency into a business requires not only making changes, but monitoring those changes. Ensure that all energy meters are read regularly, and that energy consumption is examined in relation to key activity metrics such as occupancy levels, delegate numbers, and number of meals prepared. It is useful to install energy sub-meters in areas such as kitchens and spas or leisure centre, and where possible, integrate them into the existing building energy management system. Regularly analysing the data will highlight potential issues, allowing you to swiftly investigate and reduce periods of unexplained high usage. Energy consumption can increase significantly if regular maintenance is not undertaken. Dirty filters, blocked air ducts or grilles will directly affect system efficiency, increasing running costs and breakdown risk. A regularly serviced boiler can also save up to 10% on annual heating costs.
+ For More Information www.carbontrust.com
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HOTEL SLASHES COSTS AND BECOMES GREENER WITH NEW LIGHTING AND HEATING EQUIPMENT
Nailcote Hall Hotel, Golf & Country Club, Solihull, Warwickshire
Nailcote Hall Hotel, Golf & Country Club is an idyllic Jacobean retreat situated in Solihull Warwickshire. Rick Cressman, proprietor of the hotel, wanted to reduce the hotel’s carbon footprint, while at the same time lessen the impact of escalating electricity costs. In order to finance the required upgrade to more energy efficient technology, Rick turned to the Energy Efficiency Financing (EEF) scheme, a joint venture between the Carbon Trust and Siemens. Rick wanted to try and find a way to better manage and contain energy costs in the current challenging economic climate. The benefits of using an EEF arrangement was first introduced to Nailcote Hall via their energy efficient lighting supplier City Electrical Factors (CEF). The availability of specialist financing for the project enabled the hotel to start work on a re-lamping project, converting 670 regular halogen light fittings which can use anything between 35-100 watts into LED light fittings which only use 7 watts of power. A Carbon Trust assessment of the application confirmed that investing £30,000 in re-lamping all the light fittings should bring a saving of approximately £12,000 £14,000 a year. This investment was expected not only to help reduce power usage but also reduce the amount of staff time changing light bulbs, the cost of buying replacement light bulbs and a reduction in maintenance time. The expected payback on the project is around 2.5 years and as the monthly payments are less
“The expected payback on the project is around 2.5 years and as the monthly payments are less than the monthly energy savings achieved from the new lighting, the hotel will be cash positive from the very start of the project.”
than the monthly energy savings achieved from the new lighting, the hotel will be cash positive from the very start of the project. Nailcote Hall has now launched a second energy saving project, the installation of a 100kW biomass boiler, with the aim of reducing the hotel’s heating costs. The biomass boiler will run on a combination of woodpellet and the bi-product of the biodigestor, a biomass fuel which is a sustainable, carbon neutral source energy alternative. In addition, the hotel has already undertaken a further project to install a food digestor to reduce food wastage costs, as well as delivering a supplementary supply of burnable fertiliser. This will be combined with the woodpellet supply for the biomass boiler. The biomass boiler was supplied through BioNova Recycling and the biodigestor through ACM plc on an EEF lease. ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |51|
What makes VPO unique is the indirect benefits of the technology. Installing VPO allows you to reduce the stress on the electrical equipment within the buildings. This has a knock on effect on the amount of maintenance you need to carry out. While it is difficult to quantify how much this saves on maintenance and replacement costs, some of our clients have reported savings as significant as 10% . Perhaps most pertinent to hotels is the protection from transients that our technology affords. We know from client experience that the frequency of transients (or spikes) on the distribution network is on the increase. These can have a devastating effect on a business’ ability to carry on trading short-term. For a hotel it could be the difference between having 200 guests in dressing gowns in the car park or not. Your supply needs this protection from spikes as we move towards the energy gap. Problem procurement With so many energy efficiency options available it can make the procurement process long and complicated. So it’s important to arm yourself with the knowledge to ensure any energy efficiency technology you procure meets your needs. Make sure that the company’s technology has an unblemished reliability track record over a number of years, otherwise you are risking business continuity for your guests. Our 100% reliability record over 19 years is testament to the build quality of our technology and the care and attention of those installing it within your premises. Make sure that any guarantee is longer than the product’s market time. If it has been around a long time then what is different about it compared to other offerings? As a rule of thumb, the fewer points of failure the better. Beware of overcomplicated solutions with multiple different components. Make sure that the technology has been tried and
tested. Ask for case studies and testimonials, and make sure you choose a technology that does what its maker is telling you it will. Ask to speak to clients of the company you review. Equally important is that you can trust that the technology is doing what its maker says it will. An energy savings analysis should come in two parts. Firstly a detailed savings plan, in which the site is analysed and a methodology for determining the savings is agreed upon, and secondly a savings report, which quantifies the avoided energy use. Any measurement and verification strategy that does not have these two ingredients could be open to ambiguity, or worse, abuse, as the savings analysis will simply be thrown together after the energy conservation measure has been implemented. International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP) is now the most widely used and recognised M&V protocol in the World. You can be sure savings calculated using IPMVP will be auditable and accurate if conducted by qualified practitioners. Above all, cost is something buyers need to be aware of. The vagaries of open tendering put ‘best value procurement’ at risk and raise the spectre of ‘lowest cost wins’ - do not be drawn into a cheaper deal. Moral Responsibility Corporate Social Responsibility is now a major boardroom topic. Targets have been set, strategies signed off and budget set aside. We recognise the importance of the carbon challenge you face and can help drive your CSR agenda. Integration of energy efficiency technology demonstrates your commitment as a leader in sustainability. Many hotel chains have targets to hit, but we all have a moral responsibility to reduce carbon emissions. Being ‘green’ helps your bottom line. But it also increases the long term value of the property, whilst helping to retain staff and most importantly guests. ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |53|
Food, Agriculture & Packaging 56 - 59
Fairtrade and the Future of our Food – Barbara Crowther
60 - 61
Chemicals in Agriculture – Charlie Clutterbuck PhD
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Eighteen years ago, in a tiny, cramped attic in Central London we launched the first Fairtrade certified product, Green & Black’s Maya Gold chocolate. Justino Peck, Chairman of the Toledo Cacao Growers’ Association in Belize, who supplied the cocoa, spoke about why they needed Fairtrade. Whilst the assembled supporting NGOs clapped enthusiastically, retailers and cynics raised their eyebrows and smirked, and economists lined up to shout louder about why Fairtrade was doomed to failure. Yet by 2011, some 1.5 million farmers and workers were participating in Fairtrade, and UK sales had topped an impressive £1.3 billion (which is more than Coca Cola, Britain’s biggest brand). Even last year, in the midst of recession, Fairtrade sales grew by another 12 per cent, no mean feat in these tough economic times....
and the future of our food Barbara Crowther,
Director of Communications and Policy, Fairtrade Foundation
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Eighteen years ago, in a tiny, cramped attic in Central London we launched the first Fairtrade certified product, Green & Black’s Maya Gold chocolate. Justino Peck, Chairman of the Toledo Cacao Growers’ Association in Belize, who supplied the cocoa, spoke about why they needed Fairtrade. Whilst the assembled supporting NGOs clapped enthusiastically, retailers and cynics raised their eyebrows and smirked, and economists lined up to shout louder about why Fairtrade was doomed to failure. Yet by 2011, some 1.5 million farmers and workers were participating in Fairtrade, and UK sales had topped an impressive £1.3 billion (which is more than Coca Cola, Britain’s biggest brand). Even last year, in the midst of recession, Fairtrade sales grew by another 12 per cent, no mean feat in these tough economic times. Today Fairtrade farmers, and indeed most farming communities in the developing world, are challenged by the recession, by the rising cost of food and fertilizer. On top of that they have to contend with the newer unpredictable challenge of climate change. Times might be tough for us in the UK, but they are tougher still for producers in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Whilst Fairtrade has made its name for the better terms of trade it offers to marginalised small farmers and workers in developing countries, environmental standards have always been a central pillar of the system. Climate change clearly poses significant challenges for small farmers, including those in the Fairtrade movement – a group who bear little responsibility for its causes but are the most vulnerable and least equipped to deal with it. For example, higher temperatures and erratic rains or periods of drought are likely to make some growing areas less or completely unsuitable for growing coffee, meaning production will have to shift and some farmers will have to exit coffee production and identify alternative crops. In Tanzania, changing weather patterns are disrupting coffee growing, leaving the 18,000 members of Fairtrade certified Karagwe District Co-operative Union (KDCU) with a vastly reduced output of coffee beans, as a crippling drought since the start of 2011 has wiped out members’ latest coffee crop. Anna Michael Mlay, a coffee grower and personnel and administration manager at KDCU, said: ”In January we expected a lot of rainfall, which is normal and is needed to make the coffee shrub flower, but we did not get it. As a result, a large amount of our coffee did not flower properly, so we do not get the fruit. Many of the primary societies are reporting that small farmers are going hungry and cannot afford to send their children to school anymore. People depend on coffee here as there is little opportunity to grow other crops, because the climate is not very suitable.”
Another impact of climate change identified by Fairtrade farmers is the likely increase in the incidence and spread of pests and disease, affecting crop yields and quality. Proliferation of the coffee berry borer, the world’s most important coffee pest, in East Africa and parts of South America is predicted to push arabica production to higher areas where the pest doesn’t flourish. In Uganda the spread of coffee wilt disease (CWD) has resulted in the destruction of 50 per cent of robusta coffee trees, threatening the very survival of its coffee industry. With a potentially reduced area of production, the global market could be at risk of increased volatility should, for example, coffee production be regularly disrupted by more extreme weather patterns or the output of a major producer be hit by unexpected severe weather. Of course, coffee producers are not alone. Almost every food commodity faces its own challenges. In the Windward Islands, small-scale banana growers have been experiencing an increased number of hurricanes in recent years. ”The entire banana industry is destroyed and will require at least six months to begin to return to normalcy. Our farmers have lost everything and we need all the assistance available as we work towards recovery,” explained Cornelius Lynch, a Fairtrade banana farmer in St Lucia, after Hurricane Tomas devastated the island in 2010. So how can the producers of our food respond? Farmers will have to implement appropriate adaptation and mitigation strategies to maintain their yields and incomes, such as supplementary irrigation, more efficient on-farm processing, and better farming practices such as terracing and planting shade trees to conserve water and soil moisture. In practice, many farmers will need financial and technical support to implement these measures which, in themselves, are also likely to increase their costs of production. Farmers will need even more support from scientists to develop drought and disease resistant plant varieties. In extreme cases, farmers’ organisations will need support and capacity building for diversification out of their existing crop altogether. For small-scale farmers, many of whom have farmed the same crops for generations, diversification is a risky strategy, constrained by a lack of land, finance and training. It is vital that they are provided with detailed market information, business support and training to devise a viable business plan. This is where Fairtrade comes in. Fairtrade aims to provide farmers from developing countries with improved trade conditions to improve livelihoods, strengthen their ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |57|
London Futures Parliament Square C Robert Graves and Didier Madoc-Jones@ Museum of London
position in the market and take control of their future. Fairtrade has continuously promoted sustainable agricultural practices. Our environmental standards include a range of measures – including reducing the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides where possible and replacing with organic alternatives, complying with a list of banned chemicals, sustainable water use, responsible waste management, integrated pest management, improving soil fertility, reducing energy use – that help farmers adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change. And the stable Fairtrade Price and additional Fairtrade Premium provide vital resources for farmers to put in place appropriate strategies: producers have invested the premium in planting trees to prevent soil erosion, planting shade trees to protect coffee trees from higher temperatures, constructing dams to conserve water, and implementing measures to reduce water use. Beyond the standards, Fairtrade has more recently also developed a climate change strategy that includes a Producer Support Programme specifically to support farmers’ organisations in developing their own adaptation and mitigation projects. Fairtrade producers are starting to respond to the challenges that changing weather and harvesting patterns are creating. For example, in Malawi, members of the Mzuzu Coffee Planters Cooperative Union have planted 10 million coffee trees since 2003 in an extensive planting programme. Operations director Bernard Kaunda said: “When we came into existence, the growing conditions for the variety of coffee plant we grow here were very favourable, so we were very optimistic we would succeed.” The organisation has won a number of awards around the world for the unique flavour of its coffee. However, Kaunda says the adverse weather conditions their members are currently experiencing has now wiped out nearly half of those 10 million trees, making it difficult for them to cash in on their much sought after crop, as it is reducing their output and increasing their input costs. |58| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
“Climate change is affecting our members very badly in a number of different ways. At night the temperatures are much colder than they used to be, and during the day they are much warmer, which is a combination the coffee plant does not like. “The rains are also very unpredictable. When you combine this with the other problems we are getting because of climate change, like more pests and disease, our trees are taking much longer than normal to produce their fruit ...instead of making a good income, the farmers are struggling to cope,” he said. In a bid to mitigate the effects of climate change, co-op members have now begun to terrace their fields to retain water and plant vetiver grass to combat soil erosion. They are planting shade trees to protect the coffee bushes from the sun and have planted cover crops on bare ground so that when the plants die they turn into biomass and improve the soil quality. Kaunda believes Fairtrade is a powerful tool that helps them access the extra support they need to tackle climate change, as “everything they do is in line with mitigating its effects”. In Kenya, the Iriaini Tea Factory, which is owned by 6,000 small-scale tea growers, used to rely on wood as a fuel source. In order to keep the tea processing going, the factory needed 20,000 to 25,000 trees (or 20 to 25 acres of woodland) per year. As it takes eight to ten years for newly planted trees to be ready for fuel production, the situation was increasingly unsustainable. With support from Fairtrade Premiums the factory has now invested in a machine to compress leaves, sawdust, coffee bean husks, maize combs, twigs and branches into biomass, creating their own recycled fuel briquettes. This has enabled them to dramatically reduce reliance on wood fuel , and the programme has now been implemented not just in the factory but on a domestic level too, in farmers’ own homes. The vision is that by 2013 all 6,000 farmers will have converted from wood-burning to biomass-fuelled stoves in their own homes.
The Fairtrade experience demonstrates the potential for solutions and alternatives that can be found when consumers, businesses, policy makers and producers come together under a united vision. By creating demand for more ethical and environmentally sustainable products, shoppers and campaigners have created a public environment which gives businesses permission to care – a business mandate to trade more fairly, knowing there is a market for sustainable products. This in turn opens up new market access opportunities for producers in some of the most challenging and difficult parts of the world – creating both the incentive and the resources to implement environmentally responsible production methods and invest profits back into social and environmental improvements in their own communities. Businesses can achieve a winwin by shoring up more sustainable supply chains and building long-term trading relationships with their producer base – building more trust and loyalty between trading partners at a time when some commodities may become increasingly scarce. This type of coherent approach needs to be replicated more widely within the food and agriculture system. However, we in Fairtrade are painfully aware that the 1.5 million farmers and workers we currently reach is still only a tiny proportion of current world trade in foodstuffs. For this reason, Fairtrade has always seen its role not just as a standard setter or certifier and labeller of products, but also as a social movement and campaigning organisation. Beyond our own work, policy makers need urgently to reconsider what needs to be done to feed a world predicted to reach 9 billion by 2050. Whilst clearly there are some important gains that could still be made in improving food productivity in a sustainable way, redistribution of food and wealth must also underpin long-term solutions. Government financing for agriculture – both in developed and developing countries – went into serious and worrying decline in real terms over the past few decades. Whilst there is now a renewed focus on agricultural investment, many countries are still not meeting their
stated targets. It is critical they do so (and ensure smallholder food producers access an equitable proportion of this investment). The role of small-scale agriculture is going to be key to the future of our food. Smallholder farmers produce the majority of the world’s food and their potential is massively underutilised. Smallholder farmers struggle to attract investment and the lack of finance and credit is regularly identified as the highest priority issue for smallholder farmers in the Fairtrade system. With rapidly rising food prices, large-scale investors are now starting to show a great deal of interest in the agriculture sector. They need to look beyond large-scale agribusiness solutions, and see the advantages of investing in small-scale farmers. Fairtrade’s experience suggests that some of the best investors in improving small scale agriculture are small farmers themselves. In 2009-2010 smallholder organizations in the Fairtrade system invested 54% of their premiums in either farmer level improvements in production and processing (30% total premiums) or in business development (24%). In Belize the smallholder organization of Fairtrade sugar producers reported a productivity increase of 30% between 2009 and 2011 as a direct result of investment of Fairtrade Premiums. Helping small farmers to develop their own well-run, resilient, entrepreneurial and innovative producer businesses is key to the stability of global food supply chains. Supporting farmers themselves to invest in improved agricultural techniques and adapt to climate change may be one of the most important keys to a sustainable, fair, food system. Building informed consumer markets, willing to pay the real value of food is critical. The future of our food is uncertain, but we believe that across more than 900 producer organisations and 1.5 million farmers and workers in more than 60 developing countries, Fairtrade is progressively planting millions of seeds of hope and resilience.
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Chemicals in Agriculture Charlie Clutterbuck PhD
There are two main groups of chemicals applied to soils: fertilisers to make crops grow more, and pesticides to keep the pests down. 20 years ago, fertilisers were generally seen as ‘good’ and pesticides ‘bad’. Nowadays, the environmental risk assessment has changed, with greater emphasis put on the global warming potential (GWP) of chemicals now compared to greater concern for public health in the past. Fertilisers contribute much more to global warming than pesticides – about 25 times more. Fertilisers consist of three main groups of chemicals – nitrogen, phosphate and potassium. The use of Nitrogen fertilisers could be said to feed an extra billion people in the world over the last 40- 50 years. And it clearly traps a lot of energy and growth in the increased plant production which in turn benefits the soil. However, they are also responsible for a lot of greenhouse gases (GHGs), both during their production and when applied to the land. Nitrogen fertilisers are produced by the Haber process of capturing nitrogen from the air, turning it into ammonia, and using vast amounts of energy to do so. This process contributes about 3-4% of the total GHGs produced in Britain. When applied to the earth these fertilisers release a further 3-4% of the UK GHGs, in the form of nitrous oxides (300X more potent GHGs than carbon dioxide). This total has declined a bit as less N-fertiliser is used now than 10 years ago - much the same on tillage, but half on grass; it still accounts for over 5% of all the UK’s GHGs – well over twice that for ALL aircraft. But we hear virtually nothing about it. According to the Stern |60| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
report, these fertilisers worldwide are as damaging as the change from trees to arable, and more than all the animal emissions, which we hear a lot about. There is a Nitrate Directive which is addressing the pollution of nitrogen to soil and water, which has gone some way to reducing N use. This EU Directive requires areas of land that drain into waters polluted by nitrates to be designated as Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs). Farmers with land in NVZs have to follow mandatory rules to tackle nitrate loss from agriculture. But we need to go a lot further, as they are also responsible for loss of biodiversity. Of the other two fertilisers, it is the use of phosphates that cause most concern. There is talk that phosphates, crucial to good yields, may be running out in the next 30 years or so – a theory called ‘peak phosphorus’. However, others say phosphate resources are large, that the peak phosphorus assumptions were based on older reserve estimates and don’t take into account improvements in processing, higher prices, and other factors. Pesticides include a much wider and more complex groups of chemicals. The main groups of insecticides – those killing insects, are organochlorines, organophosphates, and carbamates. A new group – neonicotinoids, based on naturally occurring nicotine, are causing concern as recent studies have shown they may affect bees’ foraging behaviour and thus may be part of the decline of bees. Then there are the herbicides - chemicals that kill weeds, either ‘selectively’, like you use on the lawn, or ‘totally’ like you do on the drive. It is this last group – that include
glyphosate (trade name ‘Roundup’) that gets most attention as it is used on 100 million hectares of land in the world. In most parts of the world there are approval processes to control what pesticides can be used, and most are based on the UK’s Advisory Committee on Pesticides. This makes country-wide controls, but increasingly has to look to the EU too. The Approval process looks at the direct toxic effects to see if their impacts cause unwanted side effects. As a result of these controls, there are now much fewer complaints about possible health impacts. However, the ACP does not make a judgement on the intended effects of the pesticides. So, for example, there are no complaints that Glyphosate kills lots of weeds, despite the fact that this may be a major contribution to global warming, as each weed is a little carbon capture and storage (CCS) unit. This reminds us that the most important chemical in the soil is carbon. Some people talk about locking more carbon into the soil as a way to sequestrate carbon from the atmosphere, and certainly more should be done. There has been a loss of soil carbon in the UK in the last 20 years of 10-15%. This figure is being challenged at the moment, but it is likely to stand. The challenge has allowed the government to ignore the issues, which if true need to be addressed now. There is some talk arising from McDonald’s recent Review that there should be a ‘Duty of Car’ for the soil, that could translate into subsidy rewards. The UK should adopt the EU Soils Directive, which it is blocking. Carbon is the basis of life in the soil and we need to find ways to measure and monitor that better. For too long we have taken the soil for granted, treating it like dirt and just adding a few chemicals to it.
Many see that the use of lots of chemicals symptomatic of an ‘industrial’ agriculture, which is not surprising as the rest of manufacturing has gone the same way. The challenge to use less chemical inputs – an approach called agro-ecology, is gaining support from farmers as the costs of the chemical inputs goes up. At one time, increased yields did the trick, but now the emphasis is on cutting inputs. However, this is still all about ‘production’, rather than a wider vision of ‘sustainability’, ‘security’, and ‘sense’. Unfortunately, our public land research base has all but been wiped out – both my colleges have gone, as have 18 out of 20 research stations. So we have few independent avenues to explore. Too much is dependent on the ‘organic’ movement, whereas there are lots of tools we could develop within the ‘industrial’ context. Recent food prices are benefitting some UK farmers – lamb and wheat. The farming economy grew by 25% last year . But much of the 4-5% increase in food prices is due to imports from the world market, which in part is due to speculation on the food markets. Hopefully we will begin to realise that our farming is a vital part of our future security. We need to invest in a more resilient way of food production, that relies less on chemicals, and can deal with a variety of climate changes – like the threatened recent drought. We will need to rediscover our skills and knowledge for all sorts of UK places and climates. We want to learn how to grow gherkins (a cucumber), rather than squander more on that Guerkin in the City.
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Green Building 64 - 65
Using Science to Assess ‘Green’ Hotels – David Leonard
66 - 67
A Rapid Result – Adam Matthews
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USING SCIENCE TO ASSESS
‘GREEN’ HOTELS DAVID LEONARD, BREEAM BESPOKE MANGER BRE
With an increasing number of eco-conscious holiday and business travellers to cater for, more than 200 hotels in the UK and other countries have registered for a BREEAM assessment. Running a hotel often demands high levels of energy and water consumption, along with the extensive use of chemicals for cleaning, the disposal of large quantities of waste, and many other activities that impact on the environment. While this presents a considerable challenge for hoteliers, it also represents a valuable opportunity for making savings, and for adopting environmentally friendly practices that distinguish ‘green’ hotels from others. As a result, many in the industry are now taking a much greater interest in the environmental credentials of their hotel buildings. This is reflected in the fact that more than 200 hotels – the majority in the UK but an increasing number elsewhere in Europe and beyond – have been registered for assessment under the BREEAM rating and certification scheme. |64| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
BREEAM BREEAM is widely recognised as the leading assessment system in the UK and across the world, known for driving up standards for sustainability and best practice in sustainable design, construction and operation of the built environment. Using independent, licensed assessors, BREEAM assessments examine scientifically based criteria, covering a broad range of issues, in categories that evaluate energy and water use, health and wellbeing (the internal environment), pollution, transport, materials, waste, ecology and management processes. BREEAM certified assessments are rated on a scale ranging from ‘Pass’ to ‘Outstanding’. Hotels are now being assessed under the latest version of the BREEAM standard, ‘BREEAM 2011’. Prior to this they were rated under the BREEAM Bespoke scheme and many of these hotels are now enjoying the bottom-line benefits of reduced resource use and waste disposal costs. They are also able to market themselves as being environmentally friendly – based on a widely recognised, scientifically authoritative and independent assessment. Radisson Blu Hotel achieves highest BREEAM score Among the UK hotels that have been certified under the BREEAM scheme, the £22m Radisson Blu at East Midlands Airport has been awarded the highest BREEAM score for a hotel to date, and achieved an impressive BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’ at the Design Stage. The hotel uses a range of low energy technologies to reduce the energy demand, such as interior and exterior motion sensitive lighting. These are supplemented by an on-site combined heat and power (CHP) engine with a pure plant oil (PPO) tri-generation energy centre – which exports electricity to the national grid outside of normal occupancy hours. Radisson Blu report that this system delivers an 87% reduction in CO2 and supplies up to 90% of the consumed energy from a renewable source. The building’s many other sustainability features include a surface water drainage system that uses porous paving in the car park, attenuation tanks and a rainwater harvesting system. Royal Christiana Hotel in Norway The growing number of BREEAM registered hotels outside the UK includes the 532-room Royal Christiana in the centre of Oslo, which has been BREEAM assessed at the Design Stage and achieved a ‘Very Good’ rating. The project involved the interior redevelopment of the
14-storey, 9100 m2 building, between 2009 and 2011. It included improvements to the building’s energy and water efficiency, and the installation of a buildings management system (BMS) that allows resource consumption to be accurately monitored and further savings encouraged. These savings have included an almost 10% reduction in energy use according to the hotel. The redevelopment also included measures to enhance the building’s indoor environment. For example, all of the fluorescent lights were fitted with high frequency ballasts to provide high quality lighting without the flicker that can cause eyestrain and headaches. Thermal modelling was carried out to optimise comfort, and each hotel room is provided with individual heating controls. BREEAM acoustics standards have been met to ensure appropriate indoor ambient noise levels. In addition, a large terrace offers staff, guests and visitors access to an outdoor space with seating. The strategy of incorporating the building’s existing elements into the redevelopment project wherever possible, rather than replacing them, reduced resource consumption and demolition waste. An effective waste management plan was implemented during construction. The selection of environmentally responsible materials has been an important feature of the redevelopment. The stone wool insulation used on the project, for example, is made from naturally occurring volcanic diabase rock, which is a renewable raw material. The insulation also contains around 20% of coke and slag materials – a valuable use of these common waste products from industrial processes. In addition, stone wool insulation is also almost entirely recyclable when no longer required. The project also considered the wider issues of sustainable urban development, for example by demonstrating the environmental management of storm water – the hotel basement is equipped with an oil separator to avoid contaminating the city’s storm water systems. The Royal Christiana refurbishment project was carried out by Skanska Norway. It was the company’s first BREEAM certification and will be used by Skanska as a benchmark for sustainable buildings in the future.
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Starting on home ground “What we are doing through rapid energy modelling brings BIM into play at an early stage,” continues Riley. “We wanted to take a new approach and try it on a project involving one of our own existing office buildings, which is why we started developing the rapid energy modelling workflows.” A digital model of URS’ Basingstoke office building was created for the project. In order to model the building, Riley and his team first had to capture information about the building. Whereas in the past, this would have involved gathering measurements on site, the intelligent use of existing data helped to avoid this time-consuming exercise.
glazing treatment on the south and west facades of the building to reduce solar heat gain and, in turn, reduce the required air conditioning cooling load. “This could save around 2% of the overall carbon footprint of the building,” says Riley. “This may not seem very much, but over the building’s lifespan it is quite considerable. Our calculations show that this option would pay back in three years.”
The model is built up from around 50 photographs and stitched together to create a 3D model. Data, such as the number of floors, locations of partitions, percentage of glazing or whether there is air conditioning, is then added. “Using laser scanning and photogrammetry helped us to establish the data far quicker,” adds Riley. “We developed the model and analysed it using Autodesk software Green Building Studio and Ecotect.” Clear outcomes “After creating the model, we discovered that the building was using more electricity than expected. One of the reasons for this was the high space-cooling demand. To counter this, we focused on trying to reduce heat gain in the building. “We were also able to demonstrate that some options for improvements would have greater impact than others. We quantified these in financial terms - i.e. potential for energy savings versus cost of implementation - and put these calculations into a whole-life model, prioritising options that would pay back in the shortest time. “This was a predictive exercise so we have been cautious in our projections, and consequently the results could be better than anticipated. Our findings showed that if all recommendations were implemented it could as much as halve the total CO2 of the building, but as you get to the more complicated improvements the cost inevitably escalates and can be quite significant.” One strong recommendation was that the facilities management team at URS applies
Daylighting Levels Value Range: 320 - 2420 lux (c) ECOTECT v5
A model for the future By using rapid energy workflows, URS has effectively developed a living model for its Basingstoke office. The technique also has strong potential for application on commercial projects too, as Riley explains: “While there are obvious advantages for retrofit projects, we are working closely with our master planning team to bring in rapid energy modelling on early stage master planning, which is where it can be manipulated most cost effectively, and it will give a more accurate evaluation of the impact on carbon emissions.” Robert Spencer, Chairman of URS’ Sustainability Board (UK), also notes the new services the technology is opening up for URS clients. “We are seeing growing interest from property owners and contractors requesting advice on how to reduce energy consumption and tackle carbon emissions across their estates,” he says. ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |67|
Labs & Testing 70 - 71
The Toxic Risk That The Banking Industry Isnâ€™t Aware Of! - Brian M Back
72 - 73
Latest analytical technology ensures biogas efficiency - Dr Geoff King
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Latest analytical technology ensures biogas efficiency Dr Geoff King, Lab Product Manager, HACH LANGE
Introduction In 2009, renewable energy accounted for just 3% of the UKâ€™s energy supply. However, the UK Government has a target to raise this contribution to 15% by 2020 as part of its strategy to fight climate change. Along with wind, solar and various other sources of renewable energy, AD has an important role to perform in helping to achieve the renewable energy target whilst also helping with the management of organic waste. Biogas is generated in large anaerobic digesters, airtight tanks in which bacterial digestion takes place in the absence of oxygen. Biogas is a combination of Methane, Carbon Dioxide and many other gases in trace amounts, which can be burnt to produce electricity, and then transported to the National Grid. Alternatively it can be further processed and refined to around 100% methane and injected into the national gas grid. The remnant digestate can be used for a variety of purposes such as a nutritional additive to crops on arable land, much in the way manure is used, or as a landfill restoration material. There are two types of biogas plants, determined by the substrate they use: co-fermentation plants and renewable raw material fermentation plants. In co-fermentation plants, substrates of non-renewable raw materials are used, such as residues from fat separators, food residues, flotation oil, industrial waste products (glycerol or oil sludge) and domestic organic waste. Renewable raw material fermentation plants utilise materials such as maize, grass, complete cereal plants and grains, sometimes together with manure slurry. The need for testing and monitoring Efficiency is vital to the success of a biogas production plant; bacteria require optimum conditions to effectively |72| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
Anaerobic Digestion (AD) relies on the ability of specific micro-organisms to convert organic material into a gas that can be used to generate electricity. However, these bacteria require specific conditions if they are to function effectively and instrumentation specialist company HACH LANGE has developed a range of online, portable and laboratory instruments that have enabled a large number of AD plants to maximise efficiency and prevent the risk of failure
produce biogas from the digestion of organic matter. Plant operators therefore have a strong interest in the efficiency of their biogas plant and the activity of the bacteria. Consequently these production plants require reliable, on-site analysis in combination with continuously operating process instruments. Loading excessive levels of biomass into a digester may have severe economic consequences and could potentially lead to biomass inactivation and necessitate a cost-intensive restart. Conversely, underloading a biomass digester could also have financial implications, because less electricity is produced and potential revenue is lost. Substrate amounts must be tailored to achieve the optimum rate of bacterial digestion. The degradation process which occurs within the biogas plant digesters does so in a highly sensitive microbial environment. The digesting, methane-producing bacteria, for example, are highly temperature sensitive and most active within the temperature ranges of around 35 to 40 DegC and between 54 to approximately 57 DegC. The specific nature of the microbial environment inside the digesters must be maintained throughout fermentation to increase production and avoid inactivation of the highly responsive bacteria. Monitoring equipment HACH LANGE provides portable, laboratory and online monitoring systems that facilitate examination at key points within the fermentation process, including eluate analysis, where the substrate is fed into the digester, but also within the digester itself. Online process analysis instrumentation can be employed to continuously maintain optimum conditions within the biogas plant and/or samples can be collected regularly for analysis. Different analytical instruments are required for different stages of the fermentation process: at the substrate entry point; within the main digester; in post-fermentation tanks; and to continuously monitor biogas production.
Process monitoring instruments used across the fermentation cycle allow operators to constantly supervise the anaerobic digestion rate and biogas production. One of the most important measurements for assessing fermentation progress is known as the FOS/ TAC ratio. This is determined by the HACH LANGE TIM 840 Titrator, and the values generated enable the system supervisor to identify potential process problems such as the imminent inversion of digester biology, so that countermeasures can be initiated. The FOS stands for Flüchtige Organische Säuren, i.e. volatile organic acids, while TAC stands for Totales Anorganisches Carbonat, i.e. total inorganic carbonate (alkaline buffer capacity). To measure the FOS/TAC ratio with the TIM 840 titrator, 5ml of sample is added to a titration beaker containing a follower bar. 50ml of distilled water is then added and the measurement is started. The addition of reagents is then conducted automatically by the titrator which saves operator time and reduces the potential for human error. After about 5 minutes the TAC and FOS values are calculated automatically using a pre-programmed formula. All measured values can be stored in the autotitrator and/or sent to a printer or PC. The FOS/TAC ratio provides an indication of the acidification of the fermenter, which is an important measurement because a low acid content demonstrates that the rate of bacterial digestion is not high enough. Conversely, too high an acid content means bacterial digestion is exceeding required levels, due to an overloading of substrate. Case Study: Viridor’s Resource Recovery Facilities in Reliance Street, Newton Heath, Manchester and Bredbury, Stockport. At the Resource Recovery facilities which incorporate AD plants the feedstock is derived from domestic waste collections – the ‘black bag’ portion that would otherwise be destined for landfill. Pre-sorting removes plastics, metals and glass, after which the waste is pulverised to produce a slurry that is passed to the AD plant. This slurry contains
the organic fraction that is processed to produce biogas. Steve Ivanec is responsible for ensuring that the plant operates to optimal efficiency. He says “Monitoring is extremely important at this plant because of the variability of the feedstock - the organic content can fluctuate from one day to another, so we have to be able to respond very quickly.” Steve’s team uses HACH LANGE instruments to closely monitor the entire process and to ensure that the plant’s bacteria are provided with optimal conditions. These tests include chloride, pH, alkalinity and volatile fatty acids, the ratio of the latter two being the same as the FOS/TAC ratio, which is determined by a HACH LANGE TIM Biogas titrator. In addition, samples are taken from the feed, the digesters and the effluent to monitor ammonia and COD with a HACH LANGE spectrophotometer. This data is essential to ensure compliance with the plant’s discharge consent. The Reliance Street plant utilises biogas to generate electricity and the residue from the AD process can be defined as a product rather than a waste because it complies with the BSI PAS110 Quality Protocol for Anaerobic Digestate (partly as a result of the monitoring that is undertaken). This product is termed ‘compost-like output’ (CLO) and can be landfilled, used as a landfill cover, or spread on previously developed land to improve that land. However, CLO cannot currently be applied to agricultural land used for growing food or fodder crops. Summary The HACH LANGE test and monitoring equipment enables the operators of AD plants to ensure that the bacteria are provided with optimum conditions so that biogas production is as efficient as possible. As a result, less waste is sent for landfill and renewable energy is generated efficiently. This ensures the best possible return on investment, and by reducing the use of fossil fuels for power generation helps in the fight against climate change.
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Land Management 76 - 79
HDPE - a hydrocarbon resistant membrane? - Richard Menage
80 - 84
Exploring Sustainability in Mining â€“ Vicky Kenrick
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HDPE - a hydrocarbon resistant membrane? Most brownfield development and environmental protection specifications require hydrocarbon resistant membranes; however, the majority of products claiming to be ‘hydrocarbon resistant’ may not be... Many ‘hydrocarbon resistant’ membrane products are merely HDPE and Richard Menage, Technical Director of ITP Ltd, the York based manufacturer of barrier fabrics for chemical protective garments and chemical resistant membranes, believes that the use of this material may not be adequate because, whilst HDPE passes the current tests for chemical resistance, permeability tests show that it is readily permeable to hydrocarbons and other environmental contaminants. ITP has therefore developed a new type of membrane, ’Puraflex’, which overcomes the risks associated with HDPE, polypropylene and other homogenous monopolymer membranes.
Background Polyethylene was synthesised by ICI in Northwich in the 1930s but the process was transferred to the United States during World War II as a security measure so that it could be utilised in the cables of radar sets. Large-scale commercial development took place in the United States after the war and since then polythene has become a part of our everyday life with many uses across a wide range of industries. Its high-density variant, HDPE, is impermeable to water and passes ‘chemical resistance’ tests because it maintains its physical strength and tensile capabilities when exposed to many chemicals. As a result, for the last 30 years, HDPE has been widely employed in both landfill and construction applications. Geosynthetic membranes are used for environmental protection applications as containment or separation layers to prevent contaminants spreading to a receptor. For example, to prevent pollution from spreading into watercourses and aquifers and to act as a barrier so that harmful chemicals cannot pass to a receptor. They are also used as gas barriers under buildings to prevent the ingress of harmful vapours and gases. However new technologies and new permeation test methods have highlighted the limitations of HDPE and other polymer membranes in some installations, particularly those for which soil analysis confirms the presence of hydrocarbon contaminants. |76| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
The problem with HDPE To be an effective barrier, it is necessary for that barrier to not just maintain its physical integrity when exposed to chemicals, but to also perform as a barrier. Whilst chemical resistance tests provide a measure of resilience, the measure of barrier performance is the permeation rate. This is where HDPE fails as a hydrocarbon resistant barrier because polyethylene and other common homogeneous geosynthetic membrane materials are readily permeable to hydrocarbons, because they are hydrocarbons themselves. To illustrate this, permeation tests in Fig 1 show that a common hydrocarbon contaminant, ethyl benzene, permeates through 500 µm HDPE at 136 ml per square metre per day. Putting this in context, for every square metre of membrane, 16,000ml of ethyl benzene permeates through a thicker 1.5mm HDPE membrane every year. By comparison, as the graph also shows, this compares to 0.52 ml per square metre per day with Puraflex®, with only 200ml permeating through Puraflex® per year. This highlights the shortcomings of current industry standard chemical resistant tests. Whilst HDPE may pass a chemical resistant test, it is not a good barrier since ethyl benzene readily permeates through HDPE. Therefore for environmental protection applications HDPE carries inherent risks. Chemical Resistance Test Methods Current industry standards for chemical resistance measure
Figure 1: Ethyl Benzene Permeation
the physical changes to a membrane after exposure to a challenge chemical. The American ASTM D5322 is a widely recognised test method for chemical resistance and is incorporated within the EPA Method 9090 and ASTM D5747. The European test method procedures for EN BS 14414 & EN BS 14415 are virtually identical to ASTM D5322, the main difference being that the EN Standards define a fixed test period of 56 days, whilst the ASTM Standard allows the manufacturer to determine the duration of the test period. The test procedure involves the immersion of a sample of membrane in the challenge chemical at an elevated temperature of 50 °C for the test period after which it is inspected. Thickness, weight, tensile strength and elongation are then compared with a control sample and providing variations are within 25% of the control sample test results, the membrane is considered ‘chemical resistant’. EN BS 14414 Method C is the relevant immersion test for hydrocarbons. This single immersion test comprises a challenge solution cocktail of 35% diesel fuel, 35% paraffin and 30% lubricating oil. The value of such a test to a design engineer is limited since the test does not report on individual constituent hydrocarbons, and the cocktail is comprised of many chemical species, in different and variable ratios. In comparison with BTEX this cocktail is relatively non-challenging towards HDPE for two reasons. First, BTEX in measures of ‘likeness’ is more like HDPE than this cocktail so BTEX is a more aggressive solvent. Second, smaller molecules such as BTEX are much more aggressive in attacking polymers and permeating through them than the larger oil molecules of the cocktail used in the test. Environmental risk It is clear that material chemical resistance data does not provide sufficient information in the selection of appropriate barrier material. Permeation data needs to be considered to determine whether the material is fit for purpose,
particularly if hydrocarbons have been identified in the soil analysis. In the UK, land is only considered to be ‘contaminated land’ in a legal sense if it poses an unacceptable risk. Since the Environmental Protection Act 1990 was introduced, tens of thousands of hectares of affected land have been dealt with, the majority being addressed when brownfield land is redeveloped within the planning regulations. This risk based approach has therefore proved very successful and will be retained in the revision of contaminated land statutory guidance which commences in April 2012. Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 sets the minimum standard for contamination when land is redeveloped (as a minimum, sites must not qualify as contaminated land once they have been developed). The Act also requires local authorities to find contaminated land and to ensure ‘reasonable’ remediation is undertaken, and to decide who will pay. The idea is that the polluter should pay, followed by the current owner, and in cases where no one else can be found to pay, the authority may take action itself. Clearly, environmental risk assessments have a vital role to perform, but the accuracy of such assessments and modelling predictions must take account of chemical permeability where a barrier is specified to provide protection from current or possible future contamination. To assist the assessment of risk, the Environment Agency’s Contaminated Land Exposure Assessment (CLEA) model provides assumptions about the movement of chemicals and contaminants in the environment and thus human exposure to soil contaminants. Soil Guideline Values (SGVs) are derived using the CLEA model by comparing estimated exposure with Health Criteria Values (HCVs) that represent a tolerable or minimal risk to health from exposure to contaminants. SGVs represent trigger values above which soil concentrations may pose a risk. ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |77|
New membrane technology – hydrocarbon and chemical resistant Puraflex® is a new chemical resistant barrier membrane material specifically developed for its resistance to hydrocarbons and toxic industrial chemicals. Typically, the installed cost of Puraflex® is up to 20% more than HDPE, but this is heavily outweighed by substantially lower levels of risk. Installed using conventional thermal welding equipment, Puraflex® is classed as a GBR-P polymeric geosynthetic barrier for covered installations and specified for contaminated land and environmental applications.
radioactive gases. Comprehensive Chemical Resistance data is available for over 200 hydrocarbons and toxic chemicals. In Fig. 2 below it can be seen that HDPE is a homogenous non-polar membrane, which is permeable to non-polar hydrocarbons. In contrast, Puraflex®, as shown in Fig. 3, is a multilayer membrane with a polar core, the region providing the effective barrier to hydrocarbons.
Figure 2: HDPE membrane
Permeation is influenced by a chemical’s polarity - ‘like is soluble in like’ and since both are non-polar, hydrocarbons permeate readily through HDPE. Employing patented technology, Puraflex® incorporates a multilayer structure of both polar and non-polar polymers. The outer layers of the Puraflex® barrier comprise nonpolar polymers with a polar core sandwiched in the middle. It is this polar core that provides the effective barrier to hydrocarbons and other non-polar chemicals. The Puraflex® design ensures that it has exceptional barrier performance to a wider spectrum of environmental contaminants and pollutants including hydrocarbons, industrial chemicals, toxic waste, and natural and
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Figure 3: Puraflex® membrane
Figure 4: Permeation rates for Puraflex® in comparison with other barrier materials
The chart and table in Fig. 4 (above) give test results for the permeability of a number of common geosynthetic membrane materials against a 100 mg/kg soil contamination of Benzene, Fluorene, Hexane, Methyl Isopropyl Ketone and Vinyl Chloride. It can be seen from the chart that Puraflex® is an effective barrier against all of these chemicals, whereas the other membranes have significantly higher permeation rates.
containment in petrochemical and industrial plants. With low permeability to both gases and vapours, Puraflex® is also used to protect buildings from the ingress of hydrocarbon vapours, methane, radon, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. Some gas barrier membranes incorporate an Aluminium foil for this purpose, but these materials are susceptible to delamination when exposed to hydrocarbons and oxidation when exposed to acidic soil moisture.
Permeation software Permeation rates for each contaminant are also affected by site-specific conditions, particularly soil temperature and soil moisture conditions. Therefore ITP has developed a software programme specifically to meet the needs of environmental consultants and design engineers. Calibrated by extensive absorption and permeation tests, Puraflex® Permeation Modeller is a powerful and effective program that calculates site-specific permeation rates for soil contaminants.
Used on many civil engineering and groundwork projects, Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) is a cost-effective fill material in structural load bearing installations. Since EPS is vulnerable to attack from hydrocarbon vapours and liquids, it is often protected by encapsulation with Puraflex®.
Following soil analysis, contaminant concentrations are uploaded into the program, key variables directly influencing contaminant permeation rates (soil temperature, soil moisture content, soil density etc.) are entered and the software then calculates project-specific permeation rates. Using the appropriate soil densities, the standard (free) software also calculates the permeated data in mg/kg/year for importing directly into environmental risk assessment modelling software programs such as the Environment Agency’s CLEA Model. In addition, a software upgrade (‘Professional’ version) is available which calculates vapour migration in g/cc and µm/ m3.
A self-adhesive version is available for tanking, foundations, tunnels and other structures.
Other applications for Puraflex® In addition to its obvious advantages in the management of contaminated land, Puraflex® is also used for secondary
Puraflex® is also used for groundwater protection applications. It is normally installed as a trench liner to protect rivers and water courses and as a liner for water channels.
Summary It is important to make the distinction between a membrane being resilient to hydrocarbons and a membrane being effective as a barrier to permeation. The specification: ‘a hydrocarbon resistant barrier shall be installed’, installed’ needs to be more specific because without measurable permeation data, the membrane may not be fit for purpose, failing to adequately contain contamination and posing an unacceptable risk, with the potential to incur substantial environmental and financial costs.
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ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |79|
Exploring Sustainability in Mining
There is no getting away from the fact that mining and the extraction of mineral resources from the earth and underneath the world’s oceans is in no way sustainable. However, there are areas in which the industry can be improved and work to a more sustainable model, and it is these areas which Vicky Kenrick at Allen & York International Sustainability Recruitment Consultancy will explore in the following article. Improvements can be made across energy usage, water management, compliance with social and environmental impact assessment legislation, and increased investment in the research and development of new and innovative ways to ‘clean’ the raw materials and reduce harmful emissions. EIA and Social Assessment The mining industry has a crucial role to play in the responsible development of the world’s natural resources; however at the same time mining can have a substantial and direct social, environmental and economic impact on the surrounding communities. As demand for the world’s mineral resources continues to grow, exploration and mining activities are expanding into areas of critical habitat. Degradation of these areas can result in the loss of threatened or endangered species, as well as ecosystems vital to the provision of services such as food production and freshwater availability. There is clearly an urgent requirement for the mining industry to become more sustainable. “If companies do not pay attention to external signals, and do not practice sustainable mining, there can be a number of negative consequences”. Tom Delfgauuw, retired Vice President for Sustainable Development at the Royal Dutch/ Shell Group |80| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
SIA professionals may have to manage the resettlement of communities during a period in which they feel particularly vulnerable. Maintaining good relationships with local authorities and enabling local communities to play a role in the decision making process can ensure that the views of the local community are taken onboard and not infringed. Managing the communities demands on land, water as well as waste infrastructures, are also important aspects involved in SIA management and again steer mining projects towards a more socially responsible agenda. The social impact of mining is complex, although mining can create jobs, roads and infrastructure in undeveloped communities, it can cause considerable disruption. Assessing the treatment of communities is therefore an important part of making the mining industry more sustainable.
Each phase of mining has an environmental and social impact on the local community, from clearing of vegetation at the exploratory stage to the construction of access roads surrounding ecologically sensitive areas and the creation of the mining pit. Allen & York specialise in sourcing EIA and SIA professionals specifically to manage the project delivery. A good ESIA professional will ensure that the potential health risks of mining, such as the hazardous chemicals in waste and water, do not affect the local environment or community and consequently move the mining company in the direction of a less polluting and more environmentally friendly strategy.
However, failure by mining companies to manage local environmental and community relations effectively can cause serious disruption, ranging from temporary shutdowns to project delays and loss of licenses, ultimately resulting in an unsustainable mining industry. This, along with the growing awareness of sustainability in mining, has led to an increased demand for EIA and SIA professionals working within the mining industry. Not only do EIA licences need to be granted for the mining project to proceed, demonstrating the move to more sustainable mining, but also the EIA processes provide a valuable opportunity for the local community to participate in decisions about mines, and their involvement at the planning stages are also beneficial in the prevention of issues further down the line. By evaluating each stage of the mining process in terms of its environmental and social impact mining companies are more informed to be able to move towards more sustainable and socially responsible mining practice.
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The sustainability of the mining industry, particularly the local environmental impact of mines, has been a hot topic for many years and mining companies have worked hard to address these issues.
Energy Efficiency Among the most pressing environmental concerns for stakeholders associated with the mining industry are energy efficiency and water usage. ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |81|
An exciting sustainable development that will improve energy efficiency in the mining industry is being implemented by Rio Tinto, who are developing the Mine of the Future™, a robotic mine at the iron ore mine in Pilbara, Australia which will rely more on remote controlled equipment and energy efficient solutions. A continual transition to more efficient mining is also taking place in South Africa, where as recently as March 2012 mining companies are looking at solar or wind power to substitute grid power for parts of powering operations and floodlights. Some companies have also become directly involved in electricity generation. Rio Tinto, for example, has its own hydropower generating facilities with combined generating capacity of over 3,500MW for energy usage at their mines. Furthermore, a new joint mining venture in South Africa aims to provide the foundation for a shallow and low-cost platinum mining complex. The mine hopes to make use of the “Kell Process”, which uses only one-fifth of the energy used in conventional platinum smelting. It is clear that a number of mining companies are working on the development of low emission technologies for the industry, either directly or through funding for research. Given growing public concern about water resources, the minerals industry has an urgent need to demonstrate, and be recognised for, responsible and sustainable water management. Furthermore, by being seen as effectively managing water usage, this will help the industry maintain its social licence to operate and continue to grow. Reliable access to water, its management and disposal is critical for mining and processing sites. The sustainability reports of the major mining companies frequently address the issue of water; in the majority of reports there is an exploration into excess water produced in mines and how it could be used for agriculture or for generating electricity, instead of being wasted. In addition, changes in laws, technologies and attitudes have begun to address some of the most immediate threats posed by mineral development to the water system.
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Water-pollution problems, which can often be caused by mining, include acid mine drainage, metal contamination and increased sediment levels in streams. There is a call for mining companies to manage their water usage more sustainably, so water pollution does not occur as often. A number of preventable accidents that have occurred recently include massive sediment loading into fish-bearing streams, the building of roads with acid generating waste rock, non-compliance with waste handling plans, and repeated violations of water quality standards. To avoid these accidents, mining corporations need to ensure the best pollution prevention strategies are employed in cases where the risks can be managed. Another question that should be raised is to whether there is a need to recognise that in some places mining should not be allowed to proceed because the identified risks to other resources, such as water, are too great. In the right place – and with conscientious companies, new technologies and good planning – many of the potential impacts are avoidable. In fact it has also been argued that most water pollution that is caused by mining arises from negligence not necessity. Therefore, having the right water professionals working within mining companies can ensure mining pollution does not occur. At Allen & York we’re recruiting for water professionals within the mining industry, all with the responsibilities to make the water processes in mining more sustainable; such roles include Senior Hydrogeologist, which is both a technical and senior level role that will provide client and project management assistance to the business. Mining is involved in a diverse range of energy intensive processes such as excavation, mine operation, material transfer, mineral preparation and separation. The good news is that mining companies are taking steps towards carrying out these activities more sustainably, with energy efficiency being a key focus for them - they continue to seek to reduce the emissions of toxic substances such as carbon, nitrogen and sulphur dioxides, generated in smelting and combustion processes, and to reduce air pollution.
Clean Coal and New Innovations The coal-mining industry in particular has come under scrutiny recently, as society and politicians show a continued concern about CO2 emissions and global warming. It is clear that the biggest problem in coal mining is the large amounts of CO2 emitted. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) coal contributes 31% of CO2 emissions - the largest of any source. Happily, coal mining is also an industry that is investing significantly in environmental processes and research into ‘clean coal technologies’: “I firmly believe that this new approach is a global imperative, not only for sustainable mining but also for sustainable development, in general” - Susan Shabangu, Minister of Mineral Resources, South Africa. Clean coal has a number of variations, but each one of them involve stripping the CO2 out of the coal, either before or after it is burned, and then capturing it. It is then either utilized for industrial purposes or for enhanced oil recovery, or else it is pressurised into a liquid form where it can be injected underground, and where it supposedly will stay indefinitely in a process called carbon sequestration. The overall process is called carbon capture and storage (CCS). The least destructive form of clean coal is underground coal gasification (UCG). This is where the coal is left in the ground and converted to gas by chemical means and then sucked up to the surface where it is burned. China has positively embraced the concept of moving towards cleaner coal technologies to lessen problems with greenhouse gases and reduce the release of sulphur and nitrogen oxide, which are the main contributors to acid rain. China is developing promising new coal processing innovations that make best use of resources, not just environmentally but commercially, capturing the heat and the chemicals that are emitted. As a dominant coal
supplier and coal producer it is good to see that China is recognising the need for change and it’s likely the continent could begin to lead the world in clean coal technologies. Bio Diversity Minimizing the impacts of mining practices on biodiversity is also a major challenge facing mining companies today in their quest to become more sustainable. Frequently, when mining companies create new mines, they strip the land of all plant life, destroying animal habitats and threatening the region’s biodiversity. Companies are therefore challenged to avoid harmful impacts on all lands they own, including the unnecessary disturbance and removal of habitats. In 2010, the UN declared a ‘Decade of Biodiversity’, highlighting the requirement for the conservation of biodiversity in mining and its relationship with a more sustainable mining industry through 2010-2020 and beyond. Post 2010, a case study of the De Beers Marine mine in South Africa demonstrated their move towards a more sustainable extraction process, having realised their environmental and social responsibilities. Mining activities at the De Beers Marine mine in South Africa altered the nature of the seabed landscape, where the communities that live in the affected soft sediment areas were destroyed during the mining processes. To counteract this and preserve the seabeds De Beers invested in independent scientific assessments of mining operations on this particular West coast of South Africa, of which the results demonstrated that natural recovery of the unconsolidated sediment habitats occurs over time. The understanding of the seabed environment and its biological communities around Southern Africa was improved by involvement in research of marine science. Combined with the company’s collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund and the South African National Biodiversity Institute in the planning phase and the recruitment of Conservation Planners, De Beers altered their mining processes to ensure the natural recovery of sediment habitats occurred.
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Collaboration is Key The mining and minerals industry has always been on the receiving end of environmental campaigns but it appears the industry itself is embarking on a campaign for a more sustainable mining industry. Not only through all of the technical innovations and developments in mine processing outlined above but also with the recruitment of environmental and sustainable professionals to move the industry towards a more permanently sustainable model. The two-year Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development (MMSD) project, completed earlier this year, is certain to go a long way towards developments in more environmentally friendly mining. The project was assessing the global mining and minerals sector in terms of transition to sustainable development, identifying how the services provided throughout the minerals supply chain can be delivered in ways that support sustainable development, proposing key elements for improving the minerals system and building platforms for ongoing communication and networking among all in the industry. The conclusion of the project was that sustainable development in the minerals sector can be achieved through increased understanding of the principles of sustainable development, creating the right organisational-level policies and management systems, collaborating with others with common interests and increasing the ability to work towards sustainable development at the local, national and global levels. It suggests factors for improvement, including incorporating sustainable development into the curriculum for minerals professionals, and educating employees, government officials, civil society and labour organisations, and increasing the number of sustainability and environmental professionals within the mining industry. In Summary Mining is a challenging environment for the sustainability professional, but one in which there are opportunities to make a huge difference in terms of impact to the planet. Sustainability in mining seems to be on the rise in terms of awareness and actions by mining companies and supporting governments and associations. It is clear that companies are incorporating sustainable development into mine operations as well as corporate policy, with a growing number of sustainability job opportunities across the mining industry, primarily across energy, environmental management and water management. Allen & York specialise in recruiting sustainability professionals within the mining and minerals industry, supporting the growth towards a more sustainable mining industry. |84| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
+ For More Information www.allen-york.com
Timber 88 - 90
Carbon Capture Technology That’s as Old as the Hills – David Hopkins
92 - 93
A Clear Understanding of the EU Timber Regulation – Malcolm Ellis
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CARBON CAPTURE TECHNOLOGY THAT’S AS OLD AS THE HILLS David Hopkins, head of external affairs at sustainability awareness campaign Wood for Good, argues that nature has already endowed us with the tools we need for carbon capture
The search is on to find economically viable technology that will capture man made CO2 before it is released into the atmosphere. Investors, major energy companies and even the UK Government are among those pouring hundreds of millions of pounds into its development. Many, including the Government, see wider benefits to this great race than simply locking away carbon. If Britain can develop this technology better and cheaper than anywhere else then it can obviously export it globally helping to establish UK firms as international market leaders. Deploying market forces, albeit with a little state backing and cheap equity to get things underway, is a proven method of motivating people and businesses to achieve seemingly altruistic ‘green’ objectives. But sustainable commercial forestry, which is essentially old fashioned agriculture, provides us with a pre-existing solution to the carbon capture problem.
Please don’t confuse me with a Luddite; I’m in no way saying that we abandon the quest for new and undoubtedly incredibly worthwhile technology in favour of planting more trees. What I wish to highlight is that timber already provides us with many of the answers we seek and that in the hunt for an environmental silver bullet these are too easily forgotten. In building new power stations that rely on fossil fuels or biomass, as may well happen with the boom in shale gas for example, then carbon capture technology can play a vital role at the source of emissions. But why not invest in more forest cover to abate the UK’s wider emissions simultaneously? Back to school For an explanation as to why timber performs so well as a natural carbon capture device you need to cast your mind back to school science lessons and the role of photosynthesis. As trees grow they absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, storing it within them - a process known as carbon sequestration - and then emit oxygen in its place. This is why our forests are often referred to as the planet’s lungs and why the deforestation of the Amazon is as much of a threat to global warming as the harmful practices that emit carbon in the first place. At first glance this point raises a rather obvious contradiction. Forestry is the practice of growing trees only to cut them down again. Surely it would be better to simply plant them and leave them in their place to perform their invaluable carbon storage function?
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It’s all in the name The nature of sustainable commercial forestry is such that it allows us to make the cognitive leap from seeing cutting trees down as a bad thing to a highly positive outcome.
is expended in the manufacture of energy intensive materials such as concrete and steel.
This is because of several important factors about properly managed forestry that makes it such an effective form of carbon capture.
You do the maths The reason why the current levels of investment into developing carbon capture technology are such a potent reminder of the power of timber’s carbon sequestration is because of what could be achieved if the equivalent sums of money were put into planting trees.
Firstly, to be deemed sustainable practice demands that for every tree cut down three new ones are planted in its place, meaning that the net effect is more forest cover.
The Department for Energy and Climate Change has itself launched a number of competitions and funds this year designed to stimulate innovation.
Furthermore, carbon sequestration is not a constant. Younger, hungry trees absorb carbon as they grow but this exponential growth gradually levels out before dropping off as the tree matures.
This includes an award of up to £20million to help fund the development of new carbon capture technology as part of a wider £125million cross-government research and development programme.
Sustainable forestry harvests trees as they reach the peak of this cycle allowing the three more efficient trees to be planted in their place. So not only is the net benefit a greater number of trees overall, but also more effective carbon capturing devices further fuelling a virtuous circle.
In addition, DECC’s Carbon Capture and Storage Commercialisation Programme launched in February this year will award £1billion in direct funding to industry to support the construction and design of CCS facilities.
A forest that pays, stays If we return once again to the logic that market forces can help drive positive environmental change then we can begin to see why fuelling demand for timber products from sustainable sources can help boost our forest cover, and as a result, our natural carbon capturing capabilities. In crude terms, a forest that proves its economic value to man will be less likely to face the chop than one that is not. This isn’t to say that greater safeguards are needed to prevent general deforestation, because they absolutely are, but it is an acknowledgement of the need for a compelling economic argument to promote the growth of forest cover, in the same way that carbon capture technology will only truly take off once the numbers stack up commercially. Organisations such as Wood for Good are dedicated to promoting the products of commercial forestry from the UK and overseas within areas like the built environment, which is a major source of demand for sustainable timber. The more wood that is harvested for our buildings, the more carbon is locked within them and less carbon |90| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
The net effect of a £1billion investment into planting new trees in the UK would be to increase forest cover by 500,000ha, seeing over 1.1billion new trees planted and capturing 10million tonnes of carbon a year. To my mind no single piece of CCS technology is likely to achieve such a significant level of carbon sequestration for the same sums of money. While the economic benefits of developing world leading green technology on UK shores are undoubtedly significant we shouldn’t forget the positive impact the timber industry already has in Britain, even though as a sector it is dwarfed by its peers in areas like Scandinavia or North America. Commercial forestry plays a key role in the UK’s rural economy, directly employing 150,000 people and contributing more than £5billion in economic output. From small acorns So while the hunt for the ultimate in carbon capture technology goes on, as it should, let us spare a thought for the answers which nature has already provided us with. Combine trees with a few commercial principles, and maybe even some investment, and we can stand back and watch our environmental performance grow.
A CLEAR UNDERSTANDING OF THE EU TIMBER REGULATION
Ensuring the timber you use or sell is from a legal and verified source is vitally important, especially with the new EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) making it illegal to place illegally harvested timber and timber products on the EU market from 3 March 2013. But how do you know the timber you are using or selling is from a legal source? Procurement director of International Timber Malcolm Ellis explains how construction professionals and timber traders can ensure they stay within the regulations. Illegal timber poses a real threat to the UK timber industry. In 2010 a report stated that 25 per cent of the total imported volume of timber was illegal. This is a huge problem, especially if you consider that every two seconds a football pitch size piece of forest is lost and half of that is due to illegal logging. The largest proportion of illegal timber comes from tropical sources so the new regulation will have the biggest impact on tropical timber species and the organisations that import hardwood, tropical hardwood plywood and manufactured products containing these products. However, it’s not exclusive to tropical timber so even if a supplier doesn’t import these species it’s still important they understand how to ensure the timber they sell is legal. A ‘timber operator’ (a person or organisation who places timber and timber product on the EU market first hand) must comply with the EUTR by introducing a ‘Due Diligence’ system. If they don’t then they could be penalised. The first part of the system involves providing information on their supply of timber or timber products including a description of species, volume, country of harvest and, where applicable, concession of harvest. They must also
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document the name and address of their supplier and, most importantly, evidence of compliance with applicable local legislation. Along with clear records, a timber operator also needs to introduce relevant risk assessment criteria which takes into account issues such as sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council or the Council of the European Union on timber imports or exports, prevalence of illegal harvesting of specific tree species and the compliance with applicable local legislation. The final part of a ‘Due Diligence’ system is the ‘Mitigation of the Risk Identified’. What this means is a set of measures and procedures needs to be introduced that minimise the potential impact any identified risks may have.
“Illegal timber poses a real threat to the UK timber industry” The benefit for the end user is that under the new regulation the ‘Due Diligence’ system will clearly demonstrate that the timber they are purchasing comes from a legal source. However, with less than a year left until the regulation comes into effect, it’s important that both timber supplier and purchaser have a good understanding of what is expected of them as a result of these changes. The EUTR requirements discussed are in relation to ‘operators’ who first hand bring timber products into the EU Market. For ‘timber traders’, who are defined in the
regulation as buying or selling timber products already in the EU Market, the requirement is to document supplier and customer. Many construction professionals will fall under this heading so it’s important they also understand what they need to do to ensure they are operating within the EUTR when it comes into force next year. From a purchaser’s perspective, one of the most common misconceptions is the belief that if a product is certified then it conforms with the regulation. At present this is not the case, although key certification bodies such as the FSC and PEFC are reviewing their schemes to try and make sure this is the case. Currently we are waiting for further clarification around the EUTR requirements and these are expected imminently, so it remains to be seen whether new certification requirements will emerge. However, one thing which is already clear is that the EUTR is more demanding than any current certification requirements. Timber operators, such as International Timber, who bring timber products into the EU market first hand are working hard to ensure they have the correct mechanisms in place to accommodate the requirements of the EUTR by March next year. One way we have done this is by adopting the Responsible Purchasing Policy framework used by the Timber Trade Federation to ensure conformance. Another new initiative being introduced is a sustainability questionnaire which will capture information from shippers using timber. These questionnaires will provide vital information required to adhere to the EUTR but also clarify the sustainability credentials of all shippers. If you are a timber purchaser then you can be confident that the timber you purchase is conforming with the EUTR if your supplier is working closely with a reputable distributor. The best way to clarify this is to ask for copies of all relevant information and this should be easily obtainable. It’s worth noting that if the information is not available when requested by one of the specific monitoring organisations being created, it could lead to a fine, seizure of the timber or even immediate suspension of a company’s trading licence.
+ For More Information www.internationatimber.co.uk
Timber has a number of strong qualities in terms of durability, aesthetics and performance which will help ensure continued demand in the marketplace, but it’s vitally important that the supply chain is educated – from buyers and merchants to specifiers and end users – so that the industry can not only protect itself but also help stamp out the use of illegal timber in the UK and Europe.
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Transport 96 - 97
How Green is your Car? – Stuart Jones
98 - 99
Autogas – Jason Drew
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Green is your Car?
Over the past decade, automotive manufacturers have invested heavily in boosting their green credentials, from environmental research and development that has radically increased the fuel efficiency of vehicles to transforming inbound supply chain efficiency and manufacturing. However, the same efficiency is not applied to the movement of goods from manufacturing site to retail dealerships. How long can the industry continue to ignore the need for optimisation and visualisation across the finished vehicle supply chain? With the current highly fragmented approach and lack of complete visibility it is not possible to optimise the logistics process. Inevitably the outcome is operational inefficiency, higher cost and bigger carbon footprints. As Stuart Jones, Logistics & Supply Chain Business Development Manager of Sovereign, insists, it is time for the automotive industry to extend its commitment to improving its environmental record and leverage better information and technologies to create a far more effective and environmentally sound finished vehicle supply chain that delivers the truly green end to end journey.
Sound Principles With an increasingly eco-aware customer base – and one also keen to maximise fuel consumption wherever possible – carbon footprint and fuel economy are now just as important as safety features and performance for the automotive industry. Car manufacturers have also led the way in developing incredibly efficient and environmentally aware manufacturing processes, with highly integrated inbound supply chains and co-ordinated plants that can now build a car in just four days. Inventory costs are huge and part of this current overspend reflects the unwillingness by manufacturers to invest in technology that could revolutionise their finished vehicle |96| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
supply chain and so bring substantial and sustainable cost savings. Maybe with the LSP’s now generating little or no margin and therefore having little or no further headroom to meet the regular manufacturer demands for lower prices, attention will have to switch to the technology opportunity. The process is currently fragmented, with a myriad of supply partners undertaking small, distinct components of the logistics process. These companies all operate separately, often not sharing information and generally using their own systems and processes. At best it might rely upon batch input by the LSP into the manufacturer’s system or maybe end to end handover inspection data residing somewhere different again. As a result, there is no way of assessing the efficiency of the logistics process, monitoring carbon footprint or knowing what wasted outlay flows from avoidable dwell time. Funding build cost is real and therefore so must be the daily interest charge and cash flow impact from billing delayed by a delivery time that could be easily shortened if technology were to be harnessed.
Endemic Inefficiency With each logistics supplier working in isolation the process is essentially inefficient. Vehicles will be unloaded from a ship and placed in a huge storage compound. Once in place, a proportion of these cars will then be immediately removed – by a different logistics supplier – and sent to another location. Dealers will receive a transporter with two cars one day, only to be followed by another three – from the same location – the next. There is massive duplication of effort; too many journeys are undertaken by each vehicle and too many miles travelled. With a highly fragmented supply chain there is no optimisation or strategic understanding
Greener Model So how can automotive manufacturers transform this model and create efficiencies and a greener journey? How can the industry ensure the movement of cars from manufacturing site to retail dealership takes into consideration the distance, the transport options and timing to minimise the miles travelled and exploit the least carbon producing transport options? The main problem today is the complete lack of supply chain visibility. Without an end to end view of the supply chain and real time insight into the location of goods, it is impossible to optimise processes. Yet the simple adoption of proven technology can deliver real time information to both the manufacturers and logistics providers. Placing tags on each vehicle as it is manufactured, combined with a centralised system, can transform the
of transport usage that could and should influence carbon reduction policies. And this is all due to a lack of information outside of what is being moved at that moment. Compare this approach with that employed across the retail sector for over a decade. Despite the fact that the value of each individual unit being moved across the retail supply chain is almost negligible when compared to a new car, retailers know exactly where goods are at any one time. They know how to control and optimise the flow of goods and are constantly exploiting real time visibility of the entire supply chain to tweak supply in order to meet demand, drive down costs or reduce the environmental impact. Compare too the parcel logistics companies who offer customers the option to track goods every step of the way. A customer waiting for a new vehicle is not offered a “where’s my car” equivalent from the point of initialisation through to dealer arrival along with an updated delivery time. Surely in this era of apps and i-pads this is not an unreasonable expectation?
supply chain by ensuring every organisation – including the dealership – has complete visibility of a car’s position at any time. With this level of insight, manufacturers and logistics suppliers can begin to apply standard supply chain optimisation technologies and e-tendering to transform the transport process, driving down costs and energy consumption. It is estimated that the time cars spend in the supply chain could be reduced by at least ten days, with a clear cost and environmental impact. Delivery dates would also be reliable enabling dealerships to improve customer service, while adding electronic point of delivery technology to drive automated invoicing as soon as the car reaches the dealership would reduce the delivery to invoice time by up to 30 days on the current process. In addition, with a central data warehouse holding supply chain information, car manufacturers have the ability to analyse and compare transport options, assessing opportunities to use trains which can transport up to 220 cars or more at a time, for example, as opposed to transporters which only move ten, to further reduce carbon footprint.
process and yet not even consider the green impact of a poor, inefficient finished vehicle supply chain?
Conclusion The automotive industry has spent the last decade attempting to boost its eco credentials and meet environmental pledges. But why spend a fortune on R&D to improve the efficiency of vehicles and achieve a four day manufacturing
With the right approach, a highly integrated and efficient supply chain will drive down costs, improve customer service and create a greener business model. Critically, an effective finished vehicle supply chain would enable the automotive industry to maximise its end to end environmental credentials and create a green end to end journey despite the likelihood of a “where’s my car” app remaining a more distant capability. ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |97|
As the challenging economic times continue and households across the country review their outgoings, the rising cost of fuel is a heavy burden which many people simply cannot afford to ignore, resulting in a reduction in the number of journeys made. What if there was a fuel that costs less than petrol and diesel and that had lower carbon emissions than other fossil fuels? â€“ well there is, LPG Autogas.
What is LPG? Liquefied petroleum gas, LPG, is the generic name for
propane and butane gas. They are both a mixture of hydrocarbon gases used as a fuel in heating appliances and vehicles, and are increasingly replacing chlorofluorocarbons as an aerosol propellant and a refrigerant to reduce damage to the ozone layer.
Where does LPG come from? LPG is manufactured during the refining of crude oil, or extracted from oil or gas streams as they emerge from the ground. There are several terminals situated around the coast of the UK with LPG either being delivered by sea tanker or piped in from offshore gas fields.
Autogas - is the name given to LPG when it is used by the automotive sector and is currently the most accepted alternative fuel in the automotive sector, with more than 17 million vehicles operating worldwide, with over 160,000 vehicles in the UK. The benefits of driving with LPG is that it is around 50 pence per litre cheaper than petrol and diesel and has the added value of generating fewer emissions than other fossil fuels, contributing to the protection of the environment and human health while also mitigating the threat of climate change. Global consumption of Autogas has been rising rapidly in recent years, reaching 22.9 million tonnes in 2010, and in the UK is offered at over 1400 refuelling sites, a figure that holds steady against a back drop of decline in petrol forecourts.
Autogas powered vehicles - whilst there are some factory modified vehicles available, like the Proton Gen 2 Ecologic, most vehicles on UK roads have been converted to run on Autogas. Most four stroke spark ignition engines can be converted to Bi-fuel - Autogas and Petrol, including fuel injected, turbo charged engines. |98| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
What is involved in the conversion? Once converted the vehicle will run on either Petrol or Autogas, with a second independent fuel system being added which requires a dedicated tank, usually fitted in the spare wheel well, but sometimes installed underneath the vehicle. Tanks are fitted to suit the vehicle and the owner with different sizes available to minimise the loss of boot space. Autogas liquid is purchased by the litre, usually from forecourt premises, and is pumped directly into the vehicle tank via a hose - it becomes a gas just before entering the combustion system. The cost of converting a vehicle is approximately £1,200 depending on the vehicle being converted and the system being used, and will take approximately 3 working days to complete.
The Users – Autogas vehicles are used by commercial operators like Taxi firms together with private individuals; each choose to convert for different reasons. United Taxi’s Ashford operate 19 Ford Mondeos all of which operate on Autogas and they are the only ‘Green’ Taxi firm operating in the area. They made the switch to Autogas not only to give them a competitive advantage over other local Taxi firms but because of the commercial advantages on offer. The owner summed these up : •
Engine performance is almost exactly the same as with petrol.
Autogas produces an improved air/ fuel mix with consequential refined combustion.
The combustion of Autogas is smoother as a result of the higher octane content.
Engine noise is lowered.
The engine oil does not become contaminated, giving a reduction in servicing costs.
The life of the engine is extended as a result of the absence of acids and carbon deposits.
There is no spilling and little possibility of theft or pilfering.
There are lower excise duties on Autogas than for other fuels.
Existing fuel system is retained which considerably increases vehicle range.
UKLPG Approved Autogas Installers - are organisations that have obtained approval for the work undertaken by named technicians in converting vehicles to run on Autogas. The Technicians work has been inspected to ensure competency in all current industry safety standards with random vehicles and premises inspections taking place. The company must also sign up to a Consumer Code of Conduct offering customers a robust process should further support be required. Approved Installers are also the only organisations that can place a converted vehicle onto the Vehicle Register.
The Vehicle Register – is a database of UK vehicles that have been converted to run on Autogas or inspected following a conversion by a UKLPG Approved Autogas Installer. It provides free access for insurance companies, brokers, taxi licensing officers and consumers to confirm that a vehicle has been converted or checked and meets industry safety standards. As the Autogas market has grown many insurance companies will not insure a vehicle that does not appear on the register. The Register also enables individuals wishing to purchase a converted vehicle with the peace of mind of knowing that the conversion was done both safely and to current industry standards.
The Autogas system - As with vehicle manufacturers, there are many different makes of LPG conversion equipment and most installers will specialise in installing one or a small number of them. UKLPG operates an Accredited Distributor programme, so that consumers can be confident in the make of system chosen. Distributors accredited by UKLPG means that they are authorised by the LPG system manufacturer as the official UK agent, offer a two year warranty on all parts and operate from UK premises. They provide full technical support to the installer of the system and have a national network of dealers to service and repair converted vehicles, and will support the vehicle owner in the event that the installer has problems or ceases trading. As with Approved Installers UKLPG regularly review the Distributors to ensure that they continue to meet the necessary standards required.
LPG Autogas – as we all attempt to make our money go further, fuel cost is an area where we could make substantial savings by converting from petrol or diesel to Autogas, after all 17 million people can’t be wrong.
+ For More Information www.drivelpg.org
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Waste Management 102 - 107
Anaerobic Digestion - Ray Williams and Jonathan Whiteley
108 - 109
UK AD & Biogas Show Preview 2012
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Ray Williams and Jonathan Whiteley from the ADAS Waste Solutions team discuss the first three stages faced by landowners interested in anaerobic digestion (AD) plants; feasibility, environmental compliance and planning permission.
In order to have a robust project and avoid expensive mistakes, feasibility studies are the first port of call when considering an anaerobic digestion plant. A large amount of published data is needed and there are various areas where a feasibility study may be misleading or even incorrect. Many feasibility studies show that the viability of a plant is marginal and the risk associated with such an investment is great. However, there are a variety of existing AD plants that are making good revenues and profit without having to resort to gate fees from waste brought in from outside. How do these people do it? It is important to consider the following |102| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
when completing a feasibility study: Cost of plant – Standard figures will vary greatly; we have seen simple 250kW electrical plants, without animal by-product treatment, built for £800k while others have cost over £1.2 million. Saving £400k of an initial investment goes a long way to helping profitability. We need to understand that plants vary, for example some may have tank digestate storage and others may not, some may have separation and vice versa and this can make a great difference to the price. It is important to assess what you need to build a viable, cost effective plant but keep it as basic as possible. Cost of feedstock storage – It is common for maize silage to be used as a feedstock and this can be expensive if you need to build new clamps. On smaller plants it will save on capital cost by not building a clamp, but instead using Ag bags or similar products. Another alternative is field storage clamps and heaps, where permitted. ADAS is currently working on plants that use poultry litter as a feedstock and this material can be
stored in the open in field heaps, thus saving costs. Cost of growing forage feedstock – The costs that are estimated for the individual farm situation are the most reliable. Costs and yields will vary geographically and will depend, for example, on climate, the proximity of contractors, the availability of land and how much of this is your own land. Rented land costs can escalate when driven up by higher value crops such as potatoes. Other feedstocks - As an alternative feedstock, sugar/fodder beet can be grown, it has a decent gas yield, and it can be harvested over winter as required, thus obviating the need for storage, to save cost. It is important to note that it is impractical to remove all of the soil from beet before digestion so an AD plant that can cope with soil is a must. Recycling and sale of digestate – Digestate has a fertiliser replacement value which will be dependent on the feedstock. Most farm-based plants can use the digestate, but others in
industrial situations may not. It is important to note that although the plant nutrients in the digestate have a value, transport and spreading costs will erode this. In industrial situations discharge to sewer is seen as an option, but will be limited by discharge criteria. Making digestate into a product – In general this may mean dewatering then drying and possibly pelletising digestate to produce a saleable fertiliser or fuel. Although heat is freely available for drying, you will have to give up some of that income generating electricity to run the drier fans. Cost of connecting to the grid – In many cases this cost can be significant, but the cost will depend on the existing infrastructure you have i.e. size of transformer, proximity to substation etc are all relevant. In some cases using a third party to deal with the electric company on your behalf can help make significant savings. Value of the electricity - At the present time you can receive the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) or ROCs for all electric generated. If you accept the minimum payment for putting it into the grid you will get around 3.1p per kWh for the electricity, but could potentially sell it for up to say 6.5p per kWh. Many operators tell me that they get ‘free’ electricity off their AD plants when they use it themselves, but this is not strictly true. Here’s how it works – In some cases, putting it into
the grid will earn you 6.5p/kWh. If you use it yourself then you are losing this payment. However, this is still a major saving over a normal tariff which may be around 10p/kWh. Using an ‘energy broker’ can help you get the best price for the electricity you put into the grid. Use for the heat – Payments from the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) can be made where you use the heat. For example, poultry producers can pipe the hot water into sheds and use the heat to warm them. This is resourceful and will attract the renewable heat incentive (due December 2011), but the RHI payment will be limited. In the case of poultry however, heat use is cyclical and there may be no use for the available heat for part of the time. Many industrial situations have uses for the heat and may contemplate burning the gas for heat, however to date incentives have been stacked towards electrical generation.
Gate fees for waste brought in – This has been seen as a panacea for AD plants, but it may not be as it seems. Many food processing factories have waste products that are often suitable as a feedstock for AD plants. At present, these waste products may be sold for animal feed or contractors may be paid to recycle them via composting. In the latter case a fee is payable to those taking the material. In theory however, an AD plant operator could offer to take these materials at a lower price and therefore get paid to gain a useful feedstock. While this sounds great, there are many pitfalls to this; some are listed below:
• Until you have an AD plant, companies are unlikely to commit their waste to you. You don’t want to invest unless you know what your costs or revenue are. • The support of revenues from FiT payments means that increasingly companies see their waste as a potential income source. There has been at least one case where an AD developer’s market research led him to a food company that had a waste product that cost them £10/tonne to have taken away for recycling. Their discussions indicated that if he built an AD plant they would be interested in his offer to take this material for say £8/t, and the company encouraged him to build. When the plant was built, the company decided that its waste had a value and wanted to be paid £5/t for it. If the original business plan showed a revenue income of £100,000 which turned into a cost of £50,000, profit could be affected by up to £150,000/year. On the European mainland where enhanced revenue support for AD has been developed for longer, gate fees have all but disappeared. • When signing deals with others who may supply feedstock it is imperative that you negotiate a long term agreement even if it means that the initial price is lower. Bear in mind that others in your area may be developing AD in the future and will be chasing your deals.
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Issues around permitting, operator competence, site reports and management systems can be complex. The following provides guidance on what is required for the various types of plant. Types of permissions Manure and slurry produced on your farm may be a resource to you, but by law it is considered a ‘controlled waste’ and should you want to treat it then it needs to be regulated by the EA. There are three different levels of control over this process based on risk, size, waste inputs and location. These are: • Exemption Low risk activities are exempt from needing a permit. For on-farm AD’s there is one exemption (T24) for very low risk, small scale operations with a limit of 1,250 cubic metres of waste. The appliance must also have a net rated thermal input of less than 0.4 MW. Exempt activities must still be registered with the EA and there is no cost incurred. If your proposed plant doesn’t meet the criteria included above you will need a ‘Standard Rules’ permit or a ‘Bespoke’ permit. • Standard Rules permit A Standard Rules permit is for plants that remain low risk but are operated on a larger scale. These permits are based on standard rules that must be met, but leave to the operator the choice of how to meet the requirements, although guidance on best practice is provided. For on-farm AD, there is Standard Rules permit SR2010 No.16. It has set criteria which must be met for you to be able to apply for it. These are: |104| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
- Up to 75,000 tonnes per year waste throughput is allowed; - Permitted waste types are listed in the permit; - CHP units (gas engines and boilers) are restricted to 3 megawatts net rated thermal input; - The plant must not be operated within 500 metres of a conservation site; - The plant must not be operated within a specified Air Quality Management Area (AQMA)3; - Must be outside groundwater Source Protection Zone 1; - Gas engine stacks must be three metres or more in height or if not gas engine stacks have to be located 200 metres from any building used by the public, including farm-houses; - All storage and treatment of waste solids, liquids and sludges cannot be within 10m of a watercourse, 50 metres from any spring or well or borehole used to supply water for domestic or food production purposes, and 250 metres from any water abstraction point or borehole used to supply water for domestic or food production purposes; - There is also requirement for a management system including an accident plan.
• Bespoke permit If you can’t meet the requirements for an exemption or Standard Rules permit then you will need to apply for a Bespoke permit. A Bespoke permit is written specifically for your operation and is considered to be for higher risk activities. For example, this would be necessary if your farm is on the edge of a conservation site as the risk is higher. For a Bespoke permit application you will need to submit more information, for instance an Environmental Risk Assessment (called an H1 Assessment) will also be required, providing information on emissions to air, land and water from the facility and the proposed management and monitoring measures in place. Bespoke permit applications are more expensive and take longer to obtain. It is advisable to start the process early to avoid having a plant ready to operate but no permit. The application for Standard Rule and Bespoke permits is not just a case of completing an application form and paying the fee. There are a number of other steps both as part of the application and before you start operating that need completing which many farmers have not had to deal with previously. As much as the EA have attempted to simplify the process, it can still be daunting to get the application right. Some of these additional steps are outlined below.
Operator competence For a waste operation, there are four aspects of operator competence which must be met. These are: • Management systems – this is a written document that sets out how the site will be operated and controlled. It can include additional plans for specific issues, for example noise and odour management plans or accident plans. These systems can be externally certified but for lower risk facilities like on-farm AD, an inhouse system is usually satisfactory. The management system is not required to be submitted with the permit application but needs to be available for inspection by the EA when the permit is issued. Sometimes the EA Local Compliance Team will ask to see it before a permit is issued so it is best to start putting the management system in place early. • Relevant convictions – the EA will want to make an assessment of any relevant convictions against any relevant persons. Relevant convictions are convictions relating to a set list of environmental regulations which can be found on the EA website. Relevant persons include the operator, comprising of directors, managers, secretaries or partners. If there are any relevant convictions, then these need to be declared in the application and a post conviction plan submitted.
• Financial competence – this is an assessment made by the EA as part of the application. They are looking for any insolvency or bankruptcy proceedings and assessing the risk of them. • Technical competence – for technical competence you need to demonstrate your ability in operating the AD plant and have a clear understanding of the law that applies to it. There are currently two approved schemes – the CIWM/ WAMITAB scheme and the ESA/ EU scheme. Registration with one of these is necessary but it is worth noting that only the CIWM/WAMITAB scheme provides a grace period within which to demonstrate technical competence. This is particularly important when applying for a permit to operate a new facility as it is necessary to demonstrate knowledge of the plant. However, without a permit it cannot be operated. The application requests proof of the plant having been registered with the scheme followed by a grace period which allows the operator four weeks from the time permitted to obtain an Environmental Permit Operator Certificate (EPOC). Further modules can be obtained within a 12 month period.
in case a decision is ever made to surrender the permit at a later date. For a Standard Rules permit for waste operations, an SCR is not required in support of an application; however it is recommended that one is produced once the permit is issued. It is advisable that this is written using the guidance provided in the EA H5 Guidance Document. Fees There are a number of fees attached to the permitting of a waste facility and these will need to be considered in the business plan. Applications for both Standard Rules permits and Bespoke permits will include an application fee. There are then additional fees including an annual charge as operator of the facility and a fee for completing the technical competence scheme. The permitting process and level of compliance can seem overwhelming initially. ADAS consultants have extensive experience in environmental permitting, risk assessment and emissions monitoring and management, and can help with the process, including an assessment of the proposal at inception to determine whether all of the criteria can be met on site for the application to be considered.
Site Condition Report A Site Condition Report (SCR) will be needed for the facility and sets a baseline for the condition of the site at permit issue, which is useful ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |105|
Traditionally, gaining planning permission was a fairly simple process whereby the planning officer visited the proposed site to discuss the options available. An application would then be submitted, which in many cases required some simple drawings, a letter and a short wait before permission was granted. The process is much more complex today and the following points illustrate the key changes and how to cope with the evolving process. The new way Planning officers are very reluctant to visit sites nowadays until a formal request has been made for consultation, and it is important to note that the visit may incur a charge. Prior consultation is widely encouraged and in most cases it is advisable to also have a scoping and screening assessment. A screening report will determine whether an environmental impact assessment (EIA) is required for the proposed site and a response is usually received within seven weeks. The scoping report will detail what environmental information the council will need to consider when deciding upon the AD application. Some planners will choose to look at the site, the proximity of houses, suitability of roads etc and give an informed response detailing the relevant information to supply. Often, completing the necessary assessments can incur high costs so it is therefore imperative to decide |106| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
what level of detail to include from assessment and what can be covered with a basic statement. It is reasonable for planning officers to require specific information to demonstrate that an AD plant will not affect the quality of life of surrounding residents and that its development is a worthwhile project. Below is a list of the common assessment areas in a planning application, along with advice on how to approach each in the most costeffective way. Visual impact In the majority of cases, a landscape assessment is obligatory to show what the development will look like when complete and what will be done to mitigate any impact. The only time a landscape assessment is not required is if the site is naturally screened by the council. The main issues to review include the height and colour of the tanks. If possible, try to get an opinion on a preferred colour from the planners at the outset and consider using low level or partially underground tanks. However when considering the latter option, bear in mind the potential objections due to leaking and pollution issues. Traffic The average AD plant takes in around 10,000 tonnes of material per annum, which equates to around 750 vehicles. Initially this sounds excessive, however the key is to break this down into expected daily trips for the planning proposal, which once reduced is a
much more manageable and less invasive six trips per day. It is also worth highlighting that depending on the type of AD plant, the farm may already be using vehicles to remove slurry which, if planning was approved, would no longer need to be transported anywhere. Odour All AD plants consist of a sealed tank so there should therefore be no issues with odour. It must be accepted, however, that if methane is exhausted during engine servicing then it is possible it may be detectable to neighbours nearby. Most odour problems are caused by open stores of feedstock or uncovered digestate stores. Bringing material to site immediately before use can solve this problem but is sometimes impractical. An alternate option is to store material in an enclosed building, which through the use of extractor fans and bio filters will reduce odour emissions; however this can create additional costs. Other odour and air quality issues may arise, especially for applications where residential housing is close by. Ecology In many cases surveys will need to be carried out by a qualified ecologist to determine the possible impacts on the environment of bats, badgers and newts. The survey itself is not too difficult or costly, but the mitigation measures can be. In extreme cases additional surveys will be required and then detailed mitigation strategies
Flood risk It is a statutory requirement that all sites with a development area of greater than 1ha need a flood risk assessment. This seems a good idea in principle, but many sites are simply unlikely to flood. The Environment Agency flood risk maps will give an indication, but may not be completely accurate.
drawn up. If possible it is preferable to move the site slightly if it means avoiding things like badger setts. It is also a fair assumption that any development will protect flora and fauna. Noise Many AD plants are in the countryside where background noise is at a very low level, especially at night. Herein lies the problem in that noise impact is judged based on how many decibels it is above background noise. If background noise is low then even low level noise may be deemed unacceptable. It is difficult when applying for planning when engines are expected to run 24 hours a day, but acoustic enclosures and noise barriers can be particularly effective.
Waste This concern mainly refers to what you put in the AD (feedstock), what comes out (digestate) and how it is handled,
and treated. The main concerns in this area are associated with potential leaks and pollution, as alluded to earlier. To reduce the risk of this there are a variety of measures, including bunding, effluent tanks for drainage or roofs to prevent rainwater falling on silage clamps or feedstock stores, plus safeguards for storing and spreading digestate. Bear in mind that some materials may be stored elsewhere, such as in the field, and moved to the site immediately before use. Trees Trees are an asset to many sites as they provide screening. Beware however, that councils are very keen to protect existing trees from damage during site works. In essence an application must prove that during site development nothing will enter the root protection zone of the trees causing them to die at a future date.
Sustainable Urban Drainage It is now compulsory to provide accurate details of where all the water from the proposed site will go from roofs and hard standing areas. If it is a potential problem it will also be necessary to submit any mitigation strategies to deal with any issues. In general this assessment is combined with flood risk but the Environment Agency will no longer accept a simple statement on this matter as they have done in the past. Finallyâ€Ś For an AD site, ideally the proposed site should be 1km away from any houses, close to a dual carriageway, situated on arable land and screened by trees. In reality, land with this criteria is rarely found and the best strategy is often to work with what you have and submit a solid planning application following the above advice.
+ For More Information www.adas.co.uk
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UK AD & Biogas
Show Preview 2012
the Waste Review, there is little actual policy guidance on how waste should be treated. Typically business has been driven by the escalation of landfill tax in making decisions about waste treatment, at least as far as diverting waste from landfill. This lack of Government strategy is frustrating at present but could ultimately jeopardise the UK’s ability to meet its legally binding climate change targets and even keep the lights on. One of the difficulties the industry faces in getting Government to commit to a strategy either for renewables in general and for feedstock, particularly food waste, is that responsibility for anaerobic digestion falls between Government departments. With Defra, DECC and CLG all involved in defining strategy this often leaves AD between the cracks and highlights the challenges of trying to ‘join up’ government policy. Further challenges include the Government’s desire to support a “huge increase” in the sector in part using financial incentives, balanced against their need to control costs – as reflected in recent consultations on the Feed in Tariff and Renewable Heat Incentive. Challenges remain across all of the AD industry’s buyers, with food manufacturers, processors and retailers |108| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
Treating organic waste using anaerobic digestion (AD) converts household as well as commercial and industrial waste into a renewable gas (biogas) and renewable biofertiliser (digestate). This dual role was recognised by the Government in last year’s Waste Review, which recognised that AD realises the greatest environmental benefit of any treatment option for food waste. AD can play a significant role in meeting the UK’s long-term energy goals – capable of delivering nearly 10% of the UK’s domestic gas demand. Constantly generated, it can be stored and offers considerable flexibility: biogas can be used to generate electricity and heat, or, upgraded to biomethane, injected into the national grid or used as a transport fuel, helping to decarbonise many sectors of the economy. Businesses interested in anaerobic digestion (AD) will be well aware of inconsistency in central Government policy drivers on food waste. Despite the recognition accorded in
and local authorities needing to design and implement waste collections that work for them, and AD operators needing confidence in the financial incentives and the quality of the feedstock they need. Moving resources up the waste hierarchy is a huge challenge, given the constraints that businesses face, made even more difficult by the lack of a clear strategy and hence consistency in Government policy. The golden thread of sustainability running through the recently launched National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), with its presumption in favour of sustainable development built-in, has offered hope to those looking to develop AD, which ticks all the boxes of ‘sustainable development’ specified in the NPPF. In recognition of the applications and challenges to business and local authorities interested in AD, the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ADBA) has dedicated an entire day’s conference programme at UK AD & Biogas 2012, the UK’s only anaerobic digestion and biogas trade show, to the issues faced by those needing to deal with food waste.
The ‘Getting Value from Your Food Waste’ conference day on 4 July 2012, is a must-attend event for any business with responsibility for collecting or treating food waste. Lord Deben, Chair of the “Visionary Panel” for food waste, has been invited to discuss the role that AD can play in diverting food waste from landfill and the wider environmental benefits AD can deliver through the sustainable intensification of farming. Sessions follow on collection and offsite treatment - covering food waste collections for businesses and case studies from businesses already doing this successfully - and Integrating AD for Food Producers, which will review technology options, what to do with digestate and again case studies giving you first-hand examples. This year’s conference has been designed to showcase the business case for incorporating this technology into your business, to offset energy costs, reduce waste treatment and transport costs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. AD’s flexibility allows it to treat different organic feedstocks: household and commercial and industrial food waste, slurries, and other farm waste. Different collection and treatment mechanisms are needed for different wastes, and to maximise the outputs of the process these need to be tailored to the needs of your business to realise the true value of your waste. AD can support business growth and the UK economy whilst remaining within the financial and other constraints which councils and businesses face. Alongside the conference, the UK AD & Biogas 2012 show is the perfect place to meet over 200 potential suppliers and other businesses associated with the growing anaerobic digestion and biogas sector.
High street names already using AD: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Branston McCain Bernard Matthews TGI Fridays Mars Adnams Brewery Sharps Brewery M&S Waitrose John Lewis Sainsbury’s ASDA Coop Morrisons Lidl Nestle Whitbread Diageo Jury’s Inn Glasgow Airport Coca Cola Stagecoach
UK AD & Biogas 2012 (4-5 July, NEC) ‘AD: Your Missing Link’ features: • • • • • • •
A two day exhibition showcasing over 200 exhibitors A two day conference including one day dedicated to Getting Value from your Food Waste covering issues faced by business and local authorities that deal with food waste 22 free seminars and workshops NEW: Free professional clinics feature area Over 70% off conference rates for food and drink manufactures/processors/retailers NEW: The first UK AD & Biogas Industry Awards, 4 July – including ‘Best integration of AD into a food & drink business’ and ‘Innovation in waste collection’ awards Site visits on 3rd July
Free exhibition entry for food and drink manufactures/processors/retails, local Authorities and Farmers and great reductions on conference tickets (from £80 ex VAT): • •
Environment Industry Magazine readers receive free entry* to the exhibition when pre-registering on www.adbiogas.co.uk entering the discount code GEN3269 Are you a food or drink manufacturer/processor/retailer, local authority or farmer? Then please contact matthew. email@example.com for your unique discount code for heavily discounted rates to the conference (from £80 ex VAT) and free entry to the exhibition before registering. Please visit www.adbiogas.co.uk to pre-register with your code once you have it.
*Please note that this does not include free entry to the conference. ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |109|
112 - 114
When is a Drought not a Drought? â€“ Alastair Moseley & Sam Ibbott
116 - 117
Sustainable Drainage Systems - Richard Kellagher
118 - 120
Sustainable Water Supplies & Surface Water Management - Lisa Farnsworth
Aquarius Marine - Advertising Feature
122 - 123
The Challenges of flood control - Jake McQueen
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But whilst the drought is frustrating for Water Companies trying to maintain a steady supply of clean water, its announcement will be of little comfort to those in the likes of Cockermouth for whom the memories of flooding are very real – with incoming rains over-riding any pronouncements from Westminster or Whitehall. And this is a reality that the Government has to deal with. The Cumbrian floods of 2009, for example, garnered much press attention, in part because of the strong ‘human interest’ element to the narrative. These were the lives of real people, and as news broadcasts ran interviews from inside flooded living rooms with stricken families who had lost all their possessions, the public could sympathise. If the Government were to allow this to happen again – and it is the Government who will be held accountable, rightly or wrongly – the public are unlikely to be forgiving. To the Government’s credit, they have addressed both the flooding and water resource challenges in recent legislation and white papers. The Flood & Water Management Act was published in 2010 following Sir Michael Pitt’s comprehensive and well respected review of flood management in the UK. The Act was introduced to provide “better, more comprehensive management of flood risk for people, homes and businesses, help safeguard community groups from unaffordable rises in surface water drainage charges and protect water supplies to the consumer.” The Water White Paper ‘Water for Life’ and the recently announced Water Bill addresses the issue of valuing and saving water and tackling the over abstraction of our precious water resources. Together these pieces of legislation are doing a great deal to help our society reconcile this challenge of mitigating against floods and droughts in the UK at the same time. However, the missing link is bringing these two challenges together under one banner of “Integrated Water Management”, and recognising that the infrastructure we put in place in future for water
supply and flood management must be integrated to achieve maximum benefit for our communities, the economy and the environment alike. A key strand in the Government’s approach to mitigating flooding is through Schedule 3 of the Floods and Water Management Act which covers sustainable drainage systems (SuDS). SuDS are, according to Defra’s definition, “designed to control surface runoff close to where it falls and mimic natural drainage as closely as possible. Examples of SuDS include: basins and ponds; infiltration spaces (such as soakaways); and the use of permeable surfaces (such as gravel or permeable paving).” The Government’s concern is that surface run-off, particularly in concentrated or urban areas can flow rapidly into the sewer system, placing a heavy burden on the sewerage network at times of heavy rainfall and increasing flood risk. Clearly SuDS can play a major role in stemming this flow of surface water into what are often under-sized and finite-capacity systems. But it is essential that the Government in time goes one step further in recognising that the deployment of SuDS techniques in urban communities to mitigate against flooding is also a water resource opportunity. To make this happen though, they will have to drive a meeting of minds between government departments and bring together planning policy with flood and water management policy. Without this we will not be able to introduce integrated water management into urban communities, and we will risk ever greater threats of floods and drought coinciding in future to the detriment of society, our economy and the environment. The Environmental Industries Commission (EIC) has been in favour of the concept of SuDS ever since they were first introduced into the UK and is pleased to see that they are now being pro-actively promoted. Their full implementation and uptake is however not yet complete, and Defra ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |113|
recently held a consultation on the requirements for SuDS in new and redeveloped sites in England. Of key concern to EIC, is the need for common standards promoted by the UK Water and Environment Industries to enable Local Authorities and Water Companies alike to promote the inclusion of these systems in drainage infrastructure. Common standards are also essential to give confidence to developers and planners alike and enable them to specify SuDS systems as a standard approach anywhere in the Country. The further introduction of SuDS Approving Bodies will eventually ensure that SuDS are properly designed for a long operating life, as well as being practical and affordable to maintain, giving the confidence that is needed to developers and water managers alike to specify these systems as a standard approach. Whilst SuDS are an important part of a major shift in the way we need to manage and source water in the future they are only part of the solution to managing water more effectively in our urban environment. To gain maximum advantage from this drainage philosophy we must now look to using SuDS as a water resource, and introduce rainwater harvesting and water recycling to our communities drawing on the water stored in SuDS systems. For example, SuDS have the potential to be used to capture surface water as a local source of clean (if not drinkable) water for non-consumptive use – cleaning clothes, flushing toilets, watering plants and gardens. Indeed, at present over 60% per cent of the UK’s water usage is for these types of activity. With new technologies at our disposal, and the political and policy drivers of the Floods and Water Management Act and the “Water for Life” Water White Paper, now is an eminently sensible point at which we should look at innovative ways to capture, partially treat, and use water at source. The positive sustainability outcomes of this approach should not be underestimated: it |114| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
would reduce water flows through pipelines, reducing leakage as a result; reduce the need to dig up roads to replace or mend pipes; see sizeable reductions in the amount of energy needed to treat water; and keep more water in the catchment area of its source, which will help biodiversity levels. This could be taken further, with Water Companies being allowed to install nonpotable water recycling systems on behalf of local communities, and charge for it in the normal way, again, keeping water facilities as close to the end user as possible, lessening stress on an ageing pipe network, and the related energy and financial costs of transporting water huge distances unnecessarily. This kind of Integrated Water Management must surely be a core element of any future water resource planning. However, the key to any successful integrated water infrastructure planning will be the interaction with the recently published National Planning Policy Framework. Until urban planning and water supply and drainage infrastructure are properly aligned – from roof top down – the UK will be unable to meet the sustainable water management objectives so desperately needed to meet the dual, and sometimes over-lapping challenges, of flooding and drought. To achieve this, the UK needs innovative businesses capable of providing the necessary skills and technology. Many of these companies currently exist within EIC’s membership, and we remain ideally placed to bring these issues and aspirations to both Government and the Regulators, and drive the policy changes required to enable these aspirations to be realised. If you are interested in being part of the debate, and part of the solution, please contact info@ eic-uk.co.uk. We would be very interested to hear your thoughts on where we are and where we need to be.
Drainage Systems Richard Kellagher, Technical Director, HR Wallingford
Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) are used to manage rainfall runoff; they collect, store, treat, and then release water slowly to the environment in as natural a manner as possible. SuDS have the following benefits: •
They attenuate and reduce stormwater runoff to prevent flooding and environmental damage downstream from the site;
they manage pollution by trapping silts and treating runoff;
they provide amenity benefits to the local and wider community. The central attenuation pond feature of a development
HR Wallingford has developed a website www.ukSuDS.com to provide UK planners and developers with site-specific guidance about the outline design of SuDS and detailed design aspects of drainage, including the evaluation of the hydraulic and water quality performance of alternative schemes.
Storage provision for drainage schemes is needed in virtually every new development. The cost of drainage is largely a function of the storage requirements, and the storage volume requirement tool enables the user to estimate this quickly and freely, without the need to resort to experts and the use of drainage software.
They have also developed a number of useful tools to:
In the past there has been great variability in the design criteria for drainage schemes. These tools allow all parties to use an objective and consistent output to initiate discussions and submit planning applications.
evaluate a site for the suitable use of SuDS;
estimate the storage volume requirements for your site to meet current standards;
assessing the hydraulic performance of your site with appropriate consideration of downstream boundary conditions (joint probability analysis);
design an infiltration system;
size rainwater harvesting tanks for stormwater control;
a simple costing tool is in preparation.
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Storage requirements comprise both the need for attenuating the runoff to control the rate of runoff discharged from the site, and volumetric control where the volumes of runoff have to be reduced as well. Volumetric control is normally the more difficult to deal with, and because of this rainwater harvesting is likely to be a significant SuDS feature in meeting these requirements. HR Wallingford’s research demonstrates that rainwater harvesting not only can provide specific stormwater management benefits, but also provides a unique methodology for sizing the tanks to meet specific stormwater control objectives.
The research considered:
In January 2012 the UK SuDS website was revised to add more tools and update various features, such as mapping and the use of the Flood Estimation Handbook (FEH). As rainwater harvesting is likely to play a significant part in meeting the SuDS Standard’s requirements on stormwater volume control, the design of rain water harvesting was also added to the tools. Rainwater harvesting is rarely considered for either commercial or residential use in the UK, in spite of the acknowledged scarcity of available water in the southeast of the country. Issues such as cost of construction, maintenance requirements and even the embedded carbon cost, all limit the interest in collecting and using rainwater. Up until now rainwater harvesting has only been considered as a mechanism for saving water and being seen as “green”. Although it is generally believed that there may be some stormwater benefits in reducing flooding, the official position at present is that these systems cannot be designed with the presumption that rainwater harvesting helps manage stormwater run-off. HR Wallingford’s research has provided an exciting breakthrough that means rainwater is not only being used to save water, but also to provide stormwater benefits. This is particularly the case now that best practice stormwater management recognises that stormwater volume control is at least as important as stormwater flow rate. Stormwater volumetric control is required in such documents as W5 – 074 rainfall run-off management for developments, and is likely to be in the SuDS Standards which should come into effect in 2012.
The Main attenuation pond at a large development at Bishop Stortford
the uncertainties associated with the stochastic nature of rainfall;
the uncertainties associated with household occupancy numbers for various categories of residential dwellings;
use of appropriate parameters (number of bedrooms) as a surrogate of household occupancy;
testing of the tank sizing methodology using an accurate model of a modern residential development.
The test catchment used a continuous 100 year rainfall series which was generated by HR Wallingford’s TSRsim tool, which had been trained on a 13 year rainfall data set. This rainfall data was analysed for accuracy and for a range of characteristics to ensure it was a representative data set. As part of this exercise it was compared against an observed monthly data set from a nearby location which was over 100 years long. The pilot study looked at the performance of rainwater harvesting as a stormwater control, not only for individual systems at each house, but also applied as a communal system serving all the properties with a single storage unit. Although developed for the hydrology of the UK, this method can be adjusted to accommodate conditions anywhere in the world. If rainwater harvesting gains acceptance as a reliable means of controlling stormwater runoff, it will be a valuable addition to the options for designing stormwater systems, and this will maximise its use world-wide. There are many benefits to using rainwater, not only to protect our rivers, due to a reduction in water abstraction, and reduce the pressures of an increasing population and risk of drought due to climate change, but also the benefits of using this soft water for washing clothes and protecting against hard water deposits will all lead to a greater use of this sustainable resource.
A deep swale for storage as well as treatment and conveyance
An attenuation wetland basin infested with bulrush
+ For More Information www.hrwallingford.com
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Sustainable Water Supplies & Surface Water Management About the Author Lisa Farnsworth is a Director of Stormsaver Ltd, an award winning rainwater harvesting company based in the east midlands. With over 9 years experience in the rainwater reclamation industry, Lisa represents Stormsaver in both the UK Rainharvesting Association and the UK Sustainable Development Association.
Climate Change Impacts Although the carbon impact of climate change receives most public attention, its impact on water in the UK is in many ways equally important and cannot be overlooked. Famed until recently for its equally mild and wet summers and winters, in the last few years UK weather has reflected a pattern towards long dry spells throughout the year coupled with shorter spells of more intense rain. The importance of this is that, although overall annual rainfall may not change markedly, steady persistent rain is easier to capture and store for mains water use and is less likely to overwhelm the national storm-drain infrastructure and cause flooding. The converse equally applies. Water Shortages The most recent Government-sponsored study on watershortages predicts a continually deteriorating position caused by the twin pressures of climate change and population growth. The report predicts that if unaddressed, this will result in nearly all land in England becoming unable to sustain agriculture; the report also flags-up rainwater harvesting (RWH) as one of the available remedies. Effectiveness of Rainwater Harvesting Rainwater harvesting reduces demand on mains water supplies by intercepting rainfall that would otherwise be unrecoverable, and substituting it for non-wholesome applications such as toilet-flushing, clothes-washing and irrigation. The formula for calculating the amount of mains water saved in this way is quite straightforward, being a function of the |118| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
area and type of the collection surface, and local average rainfall. In domestic applications the quantity of water that can be substituted in this way is limited to around 75-litres per person per day, the remainder of domestic water use requiring wholesome water for bathing, drinking, cooking and dish-washing. As a typical example, a small modern new-build home with an 80-m2 roof will harvest around 43,000-litres annually in the relatively dry south-east of England, thus reducing household consumption by about this amount whilst meeting around 80% of the non-wholesome water requirements of two people. Other example yields are shown in the table at the end of this article.
In non-domestic applications the parameters change substantially, as usually there is a very strong bias towards the use of non-wholesome water in the workplace, often in excess of 90%, or around 25-litres per person per day whilst at work. This means that this requirement can be met entirely by harvested rainwater in the relatively dry southeast of England whenever the ratio of roof area to workforce is around 10-m2 per person. Projected forward, fitting RWH to all new homes over the timescale of the Ref-1 report would produce a harvest of around 280-million cubic metres of water annually. This could potentially be more than doubled by a combination of new-build commercial developments, the retrofitting of systems to existing commercial buildings, and retrofitting to some existing homes for garden irrigation. Taking the market in wGermany as a reasonable comparator, studies undertaken in 2009 showed that about 65,000 systems were installed that year (ten-fold the UK rate), bringing the total installed nationally to around 1.8M.
Application & Costs Unless the price of water rises very substantially to reflect growing shortages, domestic RWH systems are best installed whilst a property is being built or re-plumbed. This is because RWH systems require separate pipe-work to be installed to the services they supply. The price of a typical system for a new-build property with an 80-m2 roof will typically range between £1,500 and around £3,000 per unit delivered to site, depending upon its specification. Prices have fallen substantially since the turn of the century, and are likely to fall further as the industry gains scale. To this needs to be added the cost of installation which will depend on a number of local factors. For existing dwellings, irrigation-only systems would normally be recommended as these are much less expensive and also much simpler to install. The main motivation from the buyers’ point of view would be a combination of having a secure source of garden irrigation water during future periods of hosepipe bans, and insurance against future rises in the price of mains water. Although the constraints of separate pipe-work apply equally to non-domestic installations, retrofitting is usually made possible by the accessibility of open or ducted pipe-work in commercial buildings. Due to their scale, non-domestic systems will be more costly, but are usually more costeffective. This means that even at today’s relatively low mains water prices, commercial systems that combine a large collection area with a high demand for non-wholesome water can enjoy a capital payback of below 3-years.
Integration with SUDS Supply shortages are only one aspect of new developments that need to be considered, the other being the avoidance of local and downstream flood risks, to be achieved through SUDS (“Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems”). The fundamental principle of SUDS is that to avoid overloading storm-water infrastructure, and thus cause local or downstream flooding, no more surface water is allowed to leave a site post-development than did beforehand. The volume of rainfall usually assumed for the above purposes is based upon the heaviest downpours likely to be experienced in 100-years, plus a 25% safety margin to allow for future climate change. National legislation on SUDS has moved forward in a number of ways with the passing of “The Flood & Water Management Act 2010”; in particular, the introduction of SUDS Adoption Boards strongly implies that future systems will need to be maintainable, and thus fully accessible. At the same time, the quality and amenity value of surface water will need to be placed on an equal footing with dealing with water quantity issues.
An influential Government-sponsored report on the implications of these changes recommends that the future ideal SUDS will comprise systems operating on three different levels. Level-1 must deal with as much surface water as possible at “source” (ie individual properties), achieved by measures such as porous hard-standings, garden water features such as ponds or by local capture for re-use (ie rainwater harvesting). Surface water that cannot be controlled at source must then be dealt with at a second level (Level-2) on the basis of attenuation (ie storing until it can be safely dissipated) that can handle as much as possible of the excess water from groups of properties. Recognising that Levels 1 & 2 of the SUDS system may not under the most extreme 100-year events be able to attenuate all the rainfall falling on individual and groups of properties, Level-3 must also be in place to deal with the remainder of the surface water, typically by using it as a site-amenity such as a well-landscaped balancing pond or streetscape swales. ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |119|
Employing dedicated RWH systems on all suitable properties as the main means of “source control” (Level-1), and communal RWH systems for groups of higher-density properties (Level-2) provides a particularly elegant and cost-effective integrated approach that tackles both water shortages and surface water management. From an adoption point of view, it also means that all three levels of the system are maintainable, the RWH systems de-facto as they are the source of non-wholesome water for the properties being served, and the balancing pond/swales being open to visual inspection and periodic cleansing.
The advantage of this integrated approach to incorporating RWH into SUDS has been internationally recognised with some countries introducing mandatory inclusion of RWH in all new developments for SUDS, rather than watershortages, reasons. Carbon Footprint Implications The most authoritative Government-sponsored study into the carbon footprint of systems concluded that RWH systems use around 0.5kWh of energy more than mains water per 1,000-litres delivered. Using this assumption, and the example small new-build property illustrated earlier, this means that the additional carbon footprint of that property per year would be around 22-kWh, which is the equivalent of perhaps £2 of electricity consumption per year at today’s energy prices. It is recognised that this is an unwelcome element in the building of the zero-carbon homes of the future, which needs to be balanced against the imperatives of SUDS and water shortages. Alongside this, the industry is also doing everything it can to minimise its carbon footprint through supply-chain and technological improvements, and development of energyefficient header-tank systems. However, it should also be recognised that the above study did not take into account the impact of two exceptionally dry winters and the debate this has sparked for the need to develop more mains water infrastructure, including massive region-to-region water transfer proposals. If it is found to be necessary to implement such suggestions, then the carbon-footprint case for RWH close to the point of consumption is likely to become overwhelming.
National RWH Policy & Strategic Implementation Government RWH policy was stated most recently in May 2011. The UK Rainwater Harvesting Association believes this policy to be well-balanced and therefore needs consistent strategic implementation by: •
Continuing to control mains water consumption through Building Regulations, the Code for Sustainable Homes, and BREEAM Use of RWH systems to provide best-practice SUDS systems should be advocated through the Planning System Retrofitting of mains water economising measures should be encouraged through water-supply pricing policies, and by permanent hose-pipe bans in waterstress areas
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+ For More Information www.ukrha.org References http://publications.environment-agency.gov.uk http://uk-sda.co.uk www.environment-agency.gov.uk/research
Aquarius Marine is celebrating 40 years’ innovation in aeration, mixing, destratification and improving the ecology of reservoirs, lakes and fisheries TONY WYNES reveals why it is imperative to create innovative systems that improve water quality. If a lake or enclosed sea water has negligible through flow of water, an unmixed and heavily stratified water body is created. Numerous reports show that these water bodies have low Dissolved Oxygen (DO) in the deeper waters (8m+) and often toxic blue green algal blooms. This low DO, coupled with a high temperature drop through the water column, means that the water body will be struggling to support fish, aquatic flora and fauna. Thermal stratification in water bodies is caused by heating the surface waters. As convection is the major method of heat transfer within a water body, hot water rises and cool sinks, thus it is unable to mix. This leaves a very warm top layer (epilimnion), a cold bottom layer (hypolimnion) and the transition layer (thermocline or metalimnion). As plants require light for photosynthesis, which creates oxygen, this leaves the epilimnion with plentiful oxygen, but the hypolimnion with very little or no oxygen and no way to mix the two layers. Water bodies worldwide suffer with significant increases in concentration of manganese (Mn) and iron (Fe) in the water column in the summer. Academics attribute this to anoxic bottom water caused by the onset of thermal stratification. Together with a lowering of pH, certain bacteria are thought to contribute to the release of the above elements from bottom sediments. Algal blooms, caused by an increased concentration of algae in the surface
waters, are unsightly and possibly toxic. They require sunlight and nutrients to survive in large numbers. If they become too large, sunlight to the bottom water is cut off, depriving the plants of the ability to photosynthesise. This decreases the oxygen levels in the bottom waters, killing the aquatic life living there, which in turn increases the amount of bacteria needed to break down the food and further decreases the oxygen concentration in the bottom waters. The cycle continues until there is no marine life left in the water body except algae and bacteria. AMG has spent 40 years innovating systems that improve the quality of water in reservoirs and the sea. Our cutting edge ‘Aquaerator’ has no moving parts and is the scientifically proven answer to many water body problems, particularly stratification and oxygen deficiency causing metals in suspension. Unfortunately, few people realise that bed water is a higher density than surface water. Thus it is vital to place aeration and mixing devices on the bed, using a simple principle. It takes more energy and costs more to force air down from the surface, whereas a Bubble Plume from the bed rises naturally towards the surface. Our EU financed technology creates a highly turbulent rotating bubble plume of water/air, causing considerable additional entrainment
whilst rising. It produces a surface plume flow of 4.5 tons/sec from 10m depth or 13.4 tons/sec from 20m in reservoirs. Municipal Wastewater Treatment is vital to improve the quality of life of the whole population and for increasing the overall water available for recycling. Existing wastewater technology has a high carbon footprint due to the electricity used to recycle it. Thus we have designed an Aquaerator which will prove more efficient by using less electricity. Another asset is that it is easy to move from the bed for cleaning and replacement without the major cost of emptying the main operating tank. Each state or country must create environmental management plans for water and wastewater to determine total water requirement for personal consumption and the growing of food crops, taking climate change into account,These should identify the most energy efficient systems to ensure the lowest carbon footprint. I hope each region will build reservoirs, lakes and dams on rivers to store the most vital commodity for the continuation of human life, water, which can be surrounded by trees to reduce the effects of climate change.
Having commanded Royal Navy Minesweepers, Tony Wynes set up Aquarius Marine Group, Ltd. 40 years ago as a diving maintenance and environmental consultancy. This led him to invent and coordinate the design of the ‘Aquaerator,’ which is patented in 19 countries around the world.
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Jake McQueen European Regional Manager
The challenges of
As the Environment Agency announces that an estimated five million people in England and Wales live and work in properties that are at risk of flooding, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) issue a report that states climate change and urban development has the potential to triple the amount of people exposed to coastal flooding by 2070, HESCO, the world renowned manufacturer of protective barriers, responds to the challenges we now face. Devastating flooding is becoming an ever increasing reality for countries across the globe as the effects of climate change impact on the world’s weather patterns. Australia, Pakistan, the USA, Thailand and Brazil have all experienced extreme flooding over the last few years and now the UK is back on alert, with a report from The United Kingdom’s Public Accounts Committee published in 2012 stating the annual cost of flood damage is at least £1.1bn. The Agency estimated that expenditure on flood defences needed to increase by £20-million every year from 2010 to 2035 to sustain current levels of protection. The increasing prevalence of flooding means that there is a growing need for providing effective and accessible control measures which protect critical infrastructure, assets and people, and HESCO has responded to this challenge. While HESCO Mil units were originally designed to mitigate |122| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
coastal erosion, the Concertainer unit design has proven its expeditionary ease continuously over the last 21 years, and through research, laboratory and field testing, they now supply a cost effective, rapidly deployed, durable and versatile flood barrier. Meeting the ‘time challenge’ is often the biggest issue facing the authorities once a flood has been predicted, and the only way to get around this is to reduce the amount of time and resources it takes to transport and erect flood barriers once a requirement has been identified. For 21 years HESCO has been working in partnership with governments across the globe. HESCO barriers were recently used to ensure the Din Dang Highway, Bangkok’s principle motorway, could stay open during the flooding of 2011, which Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra called, “the most critical natural disaster in Thai history”. This operation to keep open the highway enabled Bangkok to remain a functioning city throughout the flooding; food, medical supplies, troops and civilians were all able to enter the city for the six weeks during which the city was flooded. Defending factories and other commercial properties during flooding is also a vital objective, since any disruption to their operations can have a long term economic and social impact on the country. It is imperative this form of defence is initiated promptly when a flood has been predicted. The HESCO Mil units can be constructed quickly and easily
without the need for specialist tradesmen or equipment, making them ideal for such emergency response. The traditional form of flood control has been sandbags and concrete walls, but these measures take a long time to install. For example, a 10 metre long wall can be built from a Mil 1 unit, which is 1.37 metres high, by two men with suitable material-handling equipment in less than 20 minutes. In contrast an equivalent and traditional wall of 1,500 sandbags would take 10 men seven hours to build. The speed and flexibility with which HESCO barriers can be erected is one of their chief strengths. The flat-packed design of the units allows the barriers to be rapidly deployed and quickly filled with material from the surrounding area. HESCO also has the means to hold substantial spares in stock, allowing effective management of the production line and immediate response to any urgent operational requirements. Unfortunately, whether it’s due to a lack of funding, or a fear of being perceived as ‘profligate’ with public money, flood defences are something that governments don’t always prioritise until it is too late, even though authorities such as the Environment Agency state, “Even if you live miles away from the coastline or a river, there’s still a chance flooding could affect you and floods can happen anywhere at any time.”
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Miscellany Case Studies
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Stewart Milne Timber Systems Bradford Student Village
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Lymington Salt Marsh Recharge/Habitat Creation 2012
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National Trust, UK
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Parity Projects Ltd, UK
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University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust,
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Student Switch Off (SSO) campaign, UK-wide
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Abbey wedded to greener future
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Famous Last Words: Escape from Venus - James Spectrum
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Illegal cocklers apprehended at Burry Inlet Officers from Environment Agency Wales have apprehended nine people for illegal cockling on the Burry Inlet near Llanrhidian, Swansea. Acting on information gathered, Agency officers, supported by South Wales Police, carried out an investigation into illegal cockling in the area. During the investigation, nine local people were found in possession of cockles taken from the beds illegally. They have now been reported for fisheries offences and face possible legal action.
Peterborough vehicle dismantler to pay nearly 4,000GBP Illegally dismantling vehicles and loading them for export has cost a Peterborough vehicle dismantler a fine of 2,000GBP and a contribution to prosecution costs of 1,700GBP. Peterborough Magistrates’ Court heard that vehicles were sent for dismantling to the yard in Oxney Road, run by Faisal Abdelnabi. He dismantled them and loaded them into containers which were exported to Egypt by the people who had sent the vehicles to him. Crackdown on cable theft Scrap metal site operators in North Wales have been warned that their yards could be closed and they will face prosecution if they deal in stolen cables. In a joint operation with North Wales Police and Scottish Power, Environment Agency Wales officers have visited every permitted site in the area checking if operators are complying with their permits and gathering intelligence.
Environment Agency seeks injunction for Brierley Hill waste site The Environment Agency was at the High Court on 12 April, seeking an injunction to prevent further waste from coming onto a refuse site in Brierley Hill. Refuse Derived Fuel Limited (RDF) of Moor Street, Brierley Hill, was also served further notices from the Environment Agency requiring the waste to be cleared. It was the judge’s decision for the hearing of the injunction case to take place on 3 May 2012.
‘Dusty’ company to pay 6,000GBP A Wellingborough wood recycling company has been fined 3,000GBP and ordered to pay 3,000GBP costs for allowing wood dust to escape from its yard. Larner Pallets (Recycling) Ltd admitted breaching the Environmental Protection Act 1990 for more than a year. Wellingborough Magistrates’ Court heard that the company chipped waste wood at its site in Finedon Road Industrial Estate where neighbouring businesses complained that the dust was so heavy it looked like snow coming down. Others said they could ‘taste’ the wood in the air, it caused pain and irritation to eyes, caused sneezing and covered cars, often difficult to remove as some of it contained sticky sap.
One in three of the sites visited had stolen cables on the premises with a street value of about £20,000.
West Yorkshire man sent to prison for operating illegal tyre dump at a York airfield A West Yorkshire man was given a 12 month prison sentence at Selby Magistrates Court after the Environment Agency found thousands of tyres dumped illegally at a York airfield and other locations around the city.
Waste operator breached regulations Biffa Waste Services Ltd, one of the UK’s largest waste operators, has been fined 8,000GBP for running an illegal waste site in Rayleigh, Essex.
Paul Ketteridge, aged 51, of Lyndon Avenue, Bramham, Leeds, admitted two waste offences in relation to Tockwith Airfield, and was found guilty after a trial on a charge relating to fly tipping at Goodmanham near Market Weighton.
Officers visited 33 sites across North Wales offering advice and handing out posters which identify the different types of cable targeted by thieves.
47 containers of mixed waste were stored at the company’s Basildon depot which was not permitted by the Environment Agency, Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court heard. Mrs Anne-Lise McDonald, prosecuting for the Agency, said waste had been stored at the site for approximately two months in an ongoing breach of regulations.
Jailed waste crime boss must pay back a record £917,000 An organised crime boss who was given the longest ever prison sentence for waste crime offences has been ordered to repay more than £917,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act – and warned he faces four and half years in jail if he doesn’t pay up. ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |125|
SIPOS selected for Flood defence solution SIPOS Aktorik’s electric actuators have been included in a dam enhancement scheme designed to protect the township of Captains Flat, 60km South East of Canberra in Australia. The actuators were selected by SIPOS’ Australian partner, Barron GJM who reported to the Council of Palerang. Recent revisions of probable maximum floods indicated a need to increase the protection afforded to the local population. This resulted in an upgraded dam construction incorporating a sluice gate motorised for wet weather flow by Barron using SIPOS Aktorik actuators for valve operation. As part of the actuation commission, a sluice gate valve was automated through re-use of an existing gearbox and installation of a SIPOS 5 Flash actuator. Speed selection capability of the actuator meant it could be set to 80 rpm while simultaneously extending the ramp time to one second: this was a major design benefit as it enabled the actuator to operate the valve without additional gearing or a need to physically change the motor. SIPOS 5 Flash actuation provides advanced automation at Captains Flat Dam
ARMACELL INSULATION PROTECTS WWT PLANT FROM WEATHER EXTREMES Inverness based mechanical and electrical engineers Commissioning Solutions Scotland were appointed to replace failed process pumps for the local waste water treatment facility, careful consideration was given to the insulation material used to protect the equipment and process flows from freezing. For this challenging and exposed environment Commissioning Solutions Scotland working in conjunction with thermal insulation contractors McDonald & Co, Fortrose WWT plant pumps, valves and pipework fitted with metal cladding and Armaflex insulation. specified Armacell’s Class O Armaflex nitrile rubber insulation material. The thermal conductivity of Armaflex is 0.034 W/(m • K) at 0 ºC meaning, at outdoor temperatures of –15 ºC and initial line temperatures of 7 ºC, a 25mm layer of Armaflex will provide over 40 hours of frost protection on an 89 mm diameter steel pipe when containing static fluids. Local water supply regulations specify 12 hours protection at ambient temperatures of –6ºC so the 25mm www.armacell.com/uk
SURF THE WEB IN A NEW LIGHT! Sill Lighting, leaders in high performance metal halide, LED projectors and special products has launched a brand new website, www.sill-uk.com, showcasing its stunning portfolio of projects around Britain and the world. With clean, crisp graphics that are quick to download, the new site is easy to navigate, giving lighting designers and specifiers instant access to Sill’s complete range of high performance projectors. The home page carries regular news on Sill, downloadable brochures, exceptional photography as well as keeping visitors up to date with company and industry developments. The new website also features a fast track button for quick product selection and a search facility for browsing the entire product range. As well as accessing concise product information, those using the site can also view a bank of UK project case studies across a variety of market sectors from architecture and transport to sport, leisure, heritage and swimming pools, all accompanied by high quality photography. www.sill-uk.com ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |127|
Stewart Milne Timber Systems Delivers ‘Outstanding’ Work for Bradford Student Village Stewart Milne Timber Systems contributes to groundbreaking sustainable student accommodation project in Bradford. In September 2011, a new eco-friendly student village ‘The Green’ opened to students at the University of Bradford. The £30.4million development was the first multi-residential building in the UK - and one of only 15 buildings worldwide - to attain an ‘Outstanding’ environmental performance from the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM). Designed by GWP Architecture and delivered on behalf of Mi7 Developments and Welbeck Land, The Green is the first phase of a larger £100m Listerhills Triangle development in Bradford’s Learning Quarter, which will also include academic and healthcare facilities in a bid to revitalise the campus and surrounding region. The Green provides quality living space and is equipped to educate generations of young people about the benefits of sustainable living. The 1,026-bed development comprises six blocks of fourstorey townhouses, one block of six-storey flats and two blocks of seven-storey flats. Working with main contractor, GB Building Solutions, Stewart Milne Timber Systems provided a pre-fabricated open panel build system for the project, which allowed the building to take shape quickly, cut the amount of waste produced on-site, and contributed to the BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ rating. Sustainable Construction By using a fabric first approach, the energy performance of the building was achieved primarily through the external envelope. The units were designed to be energy efficient with minimal need to switch on heating and lights. The well-insulated building envelope reduced the need for space heating; passive technologies cut energy waste in heating and cooling and included heat ventilation recovery systems; oversized windows were incorporated to give more natural light and reduce |128| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
the need to switch lights on, while brise-soleil window panels were specified to deflect the sun’s rays and cut overheating in the summer. With speed of build and performance levels being key aspects of the project, Stewart Milne Timber Systems utilised offsite construction in order to meet the necessary requirements, allowing the entire project to be completed in just 84 weeks, ready for the start of the 2011-12 academic year. As part of the contract, Stewart Milne Timber Systems was responsible for loading pre-fabricated bathroom pods and plasterboard for each unit, to maximise productivity and minimise waste. Stewart Milne Timber Systems also manufactured and fitted timber stairs for the townhouses and integrated steel steps within the timber frame erection of the apartments. Demonstrating its health and safety credentials, the company provided pre-clad roof void firebreaks and fully sheeted the party walls to assist compartmentation of the units during construction. Alex Goodfellow, Group Managing Director - Timber Systems, commented: “The student village in Bradford was a great opportunity to work on a landmark development and the project is a significant addition to our extensive student accommodation portfolio. It was fantastic to contribute to the BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ rating of this project. GB was contracted to achieve ‘Excellent’ with aspirations of ‘Outstanding’, but we were all aiming for that top rating. This had not been done before and, with that on top of a tight programme, it was a great achievement for us all. “For developers, it is imperative student accommodation projects are delivered on schedule because missing term deadlines could have major implications. Therefore, speed of build is essential and due to offsite construction, timber frame is one of the best materials for delivering large scale projects fast and effectively.” The layout links the University with the local community, promoting interaction between the campus and town, and a south-facing public space has been provided to host outdoor and social activities.
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Lymington Salt Marsh Recharge/Habitat Creation 2012 As part of the habitat improvement and erosion protection works associated with Wightlink Ltds investment into upgraded ferry facilities in Lymington (Lymington to Yarmouth IOW Service), Land and Water Services Ltd (LAWS) were contracted for the first phase of the saltmarsh restoration works. The works comprised the collection of dredged spoils from marinas within the Lymington Reach and their translocation by shallow drafted barges to the Boiler Marsh which was at the Estuary Mouth in a location that was relatively difficult to access. Here the sediments were discharged by a pontoon mounted pump-ashore unit, into a shallow basin of eroded marsh where LAWS had carefully placed sediment retention fences using natural materials. This sediment recharge project was undertaken in February and March 2012 as part of a series of precautionary measures to ensure that the integrity of the Solent Maritime European Marine Site (EMS) was not adversely affected by the proposed operation of the Lymington to Yarmouth Wightlink W-Class ferry service. The delivery of the works was sensitively timed between the periods when overwintering and breeding birds were using the site and involved considerable liaison between the Regulators, the Client, The Harbour Master, ABPmer (advisory consultant) and LAWS.
Natural erosion protection fences installed in eroded area of saltmarsh at Lymington
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Land and Water Services Ltd were employed as Principal Contractor by the client â€˜Wightlinkâ€™ to carry out these works beginning in February 2012 using their experience in working in this often hostile and remote environment. Land and Water Services were able to supply all the specialist equipment and expertise necessary to complete the contract in-house. The first challenge was the installation of the sediment retaining structures which were constructed using straw and heather bales secured with chestnut stakes. These structures were sensitively positioned across inlets and channels. These structures serve to retain the recharge materials that were pumped into the eroding marsh, and in the future will help to encourage natural settlement, and also to reduce the wave energy exposure of the eroding marsh habitat.
LAWS mobilised one of their specialist amphibious excavators to construct the retaining structures as described above. The low ground pressure machine travelled across the estuary and worked comfortably in the soft terrain with the minimum of impact. The excavator was also used to deploy and position the discharge pipeline across the saltmarsh. Land and Water’s new river class tug, Clyde, and shallow drafted mud-hoppers were used to transport silts between the recovery and discharge sites, cross-navigating busy shipping lanes, requiring maximum communication during operations. A pontoon mounted excavator and pumping system was then used to discharge excavated material, recovered from the marinas located on the opposite side of the marsh. The Pump-ashore unit was used to pump the dredged materials up to 900 meters onto the salt marshes. Innovative thinking was required by LAWS to overcome some difficult pumping conditions, with exceptionally cold weather conditions dropping as low as -12 degrees. Works took place within difficult tidal ranges offering only small operational windows, requiring extreme attention to detail and awareness of the surrounding and tidal conditions. Some delays were experienced due to weather conditions and tidal conditions meaning that the site was often completely inaccessible (dry!). Even with these conditions Land and Water met all contractual and environmental deadlines. Several regulatory, statutory and professional bodies had a keen interest in these highly sensitive saltmarsh works, including the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), the New Forest National Park Authority, the Environment Agency and Natural England.
Floating pumping station arrangement
Colin Scott, Managed Realignment and EIA Specialist, of ABP Marine Environmental Research (ABPmer) who advised throughout this project presented the initial findings from this work at the Central Dredging Association’s (CEDA’s) workshop on the use of Dredged Material on 8th May 2012. He commented that: “Land and Water’s Senior Site Manager, Graham North, and his team did a superb job on the Boiler Marsh Sediment Recharge project at Lymington. The team worked in tough conditions in mid-winter to create what already (2 months later) is looking like an effective habitat restoration. However, the work will be subject to on-going monitoring to verify the findings and will be overseen by a specialist panel of regulators and stakeholders who will advise further on its effectiveness. I am confident though that this will provide valuable lessons for the future management of marshes in the Solent and the rest of the UK.”
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Overview of Boiler Saltmarsh and pumping set up
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National Trust, UK The National Trust has been selected as a finalist in the 2012 Ashden Awards for the outstanding progress it has made in reducing energy use and CO2 emissions at its properties in Wales, with cuts of over 40% achieved in just two years. Over 400,000 buildings in England and Wales have listed status, and, being of historic importance, have traditionally been viewed as difficult or impossible to retrofit for improved energy efficiency. The National Trust has shown through its work in Wales that such properties can in fact be retrofitted, and is now expanding the work to its other regions.
Key information • Energy use due to buildings, appliances and staff behaviour has been rigorously analysed to inform decisions on what action to take to make savings. •
Efficiency measures, such as insulation, secondary glazing and draught proofing have been installed first, as the payback period is very short.
Lighting has been upgraded using low-energy LED lamps, some of them specially designed to meet the requirements for historic properties.
Behaviour change to make better use of heating, lighting and appliances has resulted in further reductions in energy use.
Heating systems have been refurbished or replaced, using biomass boilers and heat pumps to provide efficient, low-carbon heating.
Renewable electricity generation has been installed, including 313 kW of solar PV, and over 250 kW of hydro power.
Between 2009/10 and 2011/12, energy consumption at Welsh National Trust properties has been cut by 3.3 GWh, or 41%. This equates to a cut in annual CO2 emissions of about 1,700 tonnes, or 46%.
Cost savings of £280,000 per year at current energy prices have been made, allowing more money to be spent on the National Trust’s work of preserving natural and cultural heritage.
Dissemination of information through presentations and workshops, involving a range of charitable and public sector organisations.
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The organisation The National Trust was founded in 1895, and works to preserve and protect the coastline, countryside and buildings of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It owns 29,000 buildings in total, including 39 villages, 88 castles, 300 mansions, 61 pubs and two gold mines. It also manages over 700 miles of coast and 250,000ha of land, including 42,000ha of woodland. In addition to over 5,000 employees, volunteers contribute over 3 million hours of work a year. The National Trust’s income is from membership fees, investments and donations, which totalled £268m in 2010. The programme The Wales region of the National Trust was selected to pilot the energy efficiency work for the whole organisation as it had already made progress in this area, and had developed significant expertise within its staff. The Wales region includes three castles, eight mansions, 55 holiday cottages and five farms under direct management, amongst other properties. The work is part of the National Trust’s ‘Fit for the future’ campaign, in which it aims to reduce its environmental impact while developing new business opportunities and empowering others to cut their impact too . Before any changes were made to buildings or procedures, detailed monitoring of energy and resource use was implemented, so the benefits of the work could be measured and used to inform future decisions. The programme then moved on to analysis of the existing buildings, energy use, transport and methods of work, providing the information to make decisions about what steps could be taken to reduce environmental impact. Following the analysis, a range of technologies have been used, along with changes to the culture and behaviour of staff, to reduce energy demand and improve efficiency. Technology to generate energy from renewable sources has also been used.
UK STATISTICS (DECC 2011) OVER 400,000 LISTED BUILDINGS IN ENGLAND AND WALES 5.3 MILLION PRE-1918 HOMES IN GREAT BRITAIN 6.1 MILLION HOMES WITHOUT CAVITY WALLS IN GREAT BRITAIN Analysis The National Trust carried out an environmental audit of its properties in Wales, and commissioned energy surveys of the properties which the audit identified as needing further technical investigation of energy use and sources of inefficiency. These surveys and audits formed part of the evidence the Trust used to prioritise resource allocation for cutting energy use. As expected, the main energy use in most buildings was for heating, due to their lack of insulation and poor draught-proofing. Thermal models identified where changes could be made, and thermal imaging was used to present the information in a visual way that could be easily understood and presented to nontechnical staff. The results of the recommendations were combined with energy costs to produce a business case for technical changes to be made, and compelling examples to help in driving behavioural change. The payback periods of the different options were important in justifying investing money to save energy. Technology Measures to improve efficiency were installed before those to generate renewable energy, as efficiency yields faster paybacks and saves more energy for a given investment. Heat loss has been dealt with through several methods; lofts have been insulated and secondary glazing installed, dramatically improving the airtightness of the buildings. Where secondary glazing is not appropriate for a historic building other measures have been taken, such as installing thick curtains or bringing existing shutters back into use, repairing them where necessary. Other appropriate draught proofing measures have also been taken for windows and doors. Significant efficiency improvements have also been possible for lighting, as when National Trust properties are open to the public the majority of the rooms in them are lit for the whole day. Existing lighting was almost exclusively incandescent bulbs, resulting in high energy consumption – especially in rooms with chandeliers. The requirements for lighting in historic buildings that are open to the public are stringent, as the right atmosphere needs to be created. The colour and intensity of the light and the appearance of the bulbs are important, and they must not be too heavy or generate too much heat. The National Trust has worked with several lighting manufacturers to find LED lights that meet their requirements and has made extensive use of a new ‘candle’ dimmable LED bulb, ideal for use in chandeliers, which was specially developed by Heritage Lighting. Other improvements include more efficient hand dryers in public toilets, improved tamperproof time controls for heating in holiday rental cottages and voltage optimisation.
Achievements By April 2012, the National Trust in Wales had carried out a range of efficiency and renewable energy work in the 300 Welsh properties it has direct responsibility for. It had insulated 8 mansion properties and 95 smaller properties, and installed 18 ground-source heat pumps, 18 biomass heating systems, three log heating systems and 12 solar water heating systems. It had also installed nine solar PV systems with a combined capacity of 313 kW, and over 250 kW of hydro power. More solar PV and hydro schemes are under construction at present, including a 650MW hydro site near Snowdon, which will generate 1,900 MWh/year. This work is benefitting the 5,500 National Trust employees and volunteers in Wales, and also the 2 million visitors their properties receive every year.
Insulation is vital in the retro-fitting of buildings to make them more energy-efficient. - Andrew Aitchison/Ashden
Environmental benefits Between 2009/10 and 2010/11, the National Trust cut overall energy consumption at its Welsh properties by 3.3 GWh/year, or 41%. Breaking these figures down, electricity use was cut by 1,500 MWh/year (42%), natural gas and LPG were cut by 740 MWh/year (42%) and heating oil use was cut by 1,100 MWh/year (43%). Over the same period, the use of wood-fuel increased from zero to 160 MWh. The solar PV installations generate about 270 MWh/year, and the hydro 450 MWh/year. Social benefits The main purpose of the National Trust is to preserve cultural and natural heritage, so money saved through energy efficiency and renewable energy can be diverted to furthering this work. Numerous tenants and holidaymakers in its properties have benefitted from insulation that has been installed. Economic and employment benefits Based on current prices the National Trust pays for gas, electricity, heating oil, and woodfuel, the reductions it has made in consumption are saving about £280,000 a year, or 42%, which can now be spent on its core areas of work instead. The money that has been invested in energy efficiency and renewable generation has created and supported jobs, such as two new posts within the National Trust Wales region, and maintenance contracts for the equipment installed. ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |133|
Parity Projects Ltd, UK Parity Projects Ltd has been selected as a finalist in the 2012 Ashden Awards in recognition of the tailor-made low energy advice service it has developed for homeowners and social housing providers, motivating them to improve the energy performance of their homes and cut CO2 emissions. Homes are responsible for around a quarter of the UK’s CO2 emissions, and about 80% of the homes that will be standing in 2050 are already built. But householders and social housing providers often find it difficult and confusing to work out how to achieve energy savings most efficiently and cost-effectively. Parity helps households and social housing landlords solve these problems and increase the energy efficiency of their homes. The ‘Home Energy Masterplan’ service provides a report for individual households based on a detailed survey of their home and an interview to discover their objectives and how they use the property. A range of options to save energy are recommended. The ‘Carbon Reduction Options for Housing Managers’ (CROHM) service provides a report for social housing providers, based on an assessment of their housing stock and a workshop to discover the needs of residents. Both services include detailed analysis of data specific to the client, using Parity’s in-house software.
Key information • Since 2006, Parity has undertaken nearly 700 home surveys, 17 large-scale stock assessments for housing providers (covering more than 240,000 homes), run training courses for over 500 students and installed around 190 monitoring systems for 20 clients. •
Cost of HEM is £290. CROHM costs vary according to size of housing stock and data available. Training courses cost £120 + VAT for a one day course. Project management fees vary, but are typically 10 - 15% of the total cost.
By offering a bespoke and user-friendly service, Parity motivates people who would like to take action on improving the energy efficiency of their homes to actually take it, making retrofit seem eminently ‘doable’.
Parity’s reports have catalysed savings of approximately 10 MWh/year (40%) per household through HEMs, and 31,000 MWh/year for each CROHM client, representing CO2 savings of about 3 tonnes/year per household and 9,000 tonnes/year per CROHM client.
Parity also offers a range of training courses in low energy refurbishment for tradespeople and professionals, including BTEC accredited one day courses and a new five day course offered in conjunction with training provider EAL.
Training offered by Parity focuses on opportunities for new work in the retrofit market, and as such helps people at all levels enter this field of employment.
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The organisation Parity Projects Ltd (Parity) is a for-profit business founded in 2006 by Russell Smith, the Managing Director, when he was undertaking a major retrofit of his own home. The challenges he faced at that time in accessing the information he needed to make informed decisions led him to develop the service which is now core to Parity’s business. It currently has 8 members of staff and a network of over 20 associates. Sales in 2010/11 were £424,000, and Parity is currently experiencing annual growth of 40% in demand for its main products. The programme Many of Parity’s clients are already committed in principal to improving the energy efficiency of their properties but are not sure how best to go about it. Parity’s role is to inform and drive action, and to help ensure that the work is done cost effectively and strategically. Parity has developed two software packages to produce their reports: for individual households, it has the ‘Home Energy Masterplan’ or HEM; and for social housing providers, the ‘Carbon Reduction Options for Housing Managers’ or CROHM. Parity also offers a project management service for any refurbishment work undertaken; and a building monitoring service for clients, to assess the success of their project and improve future performance. In addition to HEM and CROHM, Parity has developed a range of training courses in low-energy refurbishment for tradespeople and professionals.
UK STATISTICS (DECC 2011) 7.9 MILLION SOLID-WALL HOMES, ONLY 102,000 HAVE WALL INSULATION 7 MILLION HOMES WITHOUT COMPLETE DOUBLE GLAZING 8 MILLION HOMES WITH UNINSULATED CAVITY WALLS
The services - HEM Producing an HEM report is a multi-step process. First, a surveyor undertakes a detailed survey of the fabric of the building, and interviews the householder to understand their objectives for the project and the way they currently use their home. Surveys are carried out either by Parity staff or one of its freelance associates, who receive free training from Parity. The Parity in-house analysis team then use the HEM software to analyse the survey data and assess 30 to 50 individual retrofit measures, including the capital cost and energy, carbon and cost savings for each.
assuming Parity’s recommendations lead to the take up of all ‘Some consideration’ measures for HEMs, and 50% of recommended cost effective measures for social landlords (10% for local authorities) in CROHM reports. These figures are based on estimates, as it is difficult to keep track of exactly which measures clients implement in their homes or housing stock. This represents savings of 3 tonnes/year of CO2 per household for an HEM report and nearly 9,000 tonnes/year of CO2 per client using the CROHM service. These figures use a conversion factor or 0.2777kg CO2/kWh, assuming 75% of the saving is gas and 25% electricity.
This information is then presented to the householder in a rigorous but easy to use report. For simplicity, options are typically grouped under three different packages: ‘No Brainer’ (measures that have paybacks shorter than five years and cost less than £200); ‘Some Consideration’ (measures that have paybacks shorter than 15 years and cost less than £750 each); and ‘Green Halo’ (measures that have paybacks shorter than 25 years and cost less than £7,500 each). Tailored packages are also provided to reflect the specific objectives of the client, for example listing the most effective measures available for a given total budget. CROHM The CROHM service uses a similar analytical approach to the individual HEM reports, but is targeted at clients that manage a large housing stock, allowing them to develop a strategic approach to the retrofit of their homes. The process also involves significant consultation with the client and other stakeholders. Pre- and post-report workshops are held in order to properly understand the housing stock, residents’ needs, other programmes of work that are underway or planned, and what in-house contractors are able to deliver. These workshops are delivered in partnership with Sustainable Homes, a sustainability training and consultancy adviser that provides advice to housing associations on cutting CO2 emissions and tackling fuel poverty. Achievements Since 2006, Parity has undertaken nearly 700 surveys of individual homes and 17 large-scale stock assessments for housing providers covering more than 240,000 homes. It has run training courses for approximately 500 students and installed around 190 monitoring systems for 20 clients. Environmental benefits Parity’s activities have catalysed approximate savings of 10 MWh/year (40%) per household as a result of HEM reports, and 31,000 MWh/year per CROHM client,
A finished retrofit managed by Parity improving a home’s energy performance and appearance - Mike Pepler/Ashden
Social benefits By offering a straightforward and user-friendly advice and management service, Parity motivates people who would like to take action on improving the energy efficiency of their homes to actually take it, making retrofit seem eminently ‘do-able’. The CROHM service is often focussed on helping social landlords find cost effective measures to reduce fuel poverty amongst their tenants. HEMs are aimed at individual householders, but have also been widely used by community groups in exemplar projects and education programmes. Parity’s knowledge of retrofit has also been shared widely in the community through regular public talks and presentations. Economic and employment benefits Parity’s clients are making savings on their energy bills as a result of taking up options recommended in HEM reports. The average payback periods range from under 2 years for the ‘No Brainer’ options to just under 12 years for some of the ‘Green Halo’ options. ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |135|
University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust, The University Hospital of South Manchester (UHSM) has been selected as a finalist in the 2012 Ashden Awards for making cuts of 28% in CO2 emissions over a period of five years, through energy efficiency, behaviour change and biomass heating. Hospitals are large energy consumers, but cutting energy consumption can’t be allowed to negatively affect frontline patient services. However, rising energy prices and the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) mean that if energy consumption is not reduced, then these same patient services will start to suffer as more money is spent paying energy bills. UHSM has demonstrated that it is possible to make significant cuts in energy use and CO2 emissions whilst keeping the hospital warm and well-lit, and the money freed up by saving energy can be spent on patients instead. This has been achieved by developing and implementing a Carbon Management Implementation Plan, approved by the board, which involves investing money now to save energy in future, and also by motivating staff to do what they can to save energy while at work.
Key information • Energy consumption monitored using automatic meters. •
Improvements to insulation, glazing and the heating system have resulted in a 27% cut in overall demand for heating.
Electricity use cut by 6%, through upgrades to ventilation motors and lights, new lighting controls and behaviour change in the staff.
Gas use cut by 47%, as a result of efficiency work and the installation of over 4MW of biomass heating capacity.
Overall use of non-renewable energy cut by 36%, and CO2 emissions down by 28%.
Financial savings of about £390,000 a year at current energy prices.
Behaviour change in staff, motivated by the high profile given to the hospital’s green credentials.
NHS STATISTICS (NHS 2012) ANNUAL ENERGY BILL: £410 MILLION ANNUAL CO2 EMISSIONS FROM BUILDINGS: 3.7 MILLION TONNES OCCUPIED FLOOR SPACE: 25 MILLION M2 |136| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
The organisation UHSM is a major acute teaching hospital trust providing services for adults and children at Wythenshawe Hospital and Withington Community Hospital, and community services as well. The Trust is recognised in the region and nationally as a centre of clinical excellence, and for the quality of its teaching, research and development. The Trust’s fields of specialist expertise include cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery, heart and lung transplantation, respiratory conditions, burns and plastics, cancer services and breast care services. The programme In 2007 UHSM began implementing a structured carbon management programme, led by the Director of Estates and Facilities with the support of the Trust Energy Manager and other senior management. This programme was informed by the Carbon Trust and resulted in the production of a Carbon Management Implementation Plan (CMIP), which was endorsed by the board of directors. The programme started by monitoring energy use and then implementing a range of technical measures to improve efficiency through changes to the building fabric, the lighting and the heating systems. Renewable sources of heat were also installed, and a range of highly visible ‘green’ activities were started at the hospital. Staff have also been engaged in behaviour change to reduce their environmental impact, and schools have been engaged through the ‘Saving Planet Wythenshawe’ programme.
Energy audit and carbon reduction plan At the start of its carbon management programme, UHSM established a baseline for its energy consumption, derived from energy billing data that is normally collected for any large site like a hospital. Several detailed energy audits were also commissioned to thoroughly analyse buildings’ energy usage, to determine how much energy could be saved. The audits typically included an inspection, survey and analysis of energy usage, and identified options to reduce energy input without affecting the use of the buildings. Audits covered heating, lighting, ventilation and fabric of buildings, along with understanding how staff used the buildings, so as to identify energy-inefficient practices. Critical to the success of energy use monitoring was the installation of automatic meters across the hospital site, so usage in different buildings and departments could be accurately measured. Energy efficiency technology To reduce energy consumption, a targeted programme of investment to improve insulation commenced, starting with priority areas such as the boiler house and parts of the hospital with old single-glazed windows, which were replaced with double-glazed units using low-emissivity glass. Efficiency measures that followed covered two main areas: lighting and heating. Improvement of lighting efficiency was achieved using several techniques, starting with replacing older T12 and T8 fluorescent lights with more efficient T5 lights. Sensors were also installed to turn off lights in rooms when they are not occupied, and the lights in corridors were rewired to allow the Trust’s Building Management System (BMS) to turn groups of them off in response to changing daylight levels. Renewable heating In addition to the work on monitoring and efficiency, UHSM has also installed equipment to supply heat from sustainable sources. The conventional gas-fired central boilers have been supplemented by the installation of two 2 MW Uniconfort biomass boilers, which are fed from a walking-floor container of woodchips, with a buffer to allow continuous operation while the container is being changed. Behaviour change The success of the carbon reduction programme has led to wider behavioural change. Staff became interested in looking at other environmental issues, and several ‘softer’ environmental projects were started. These include staff and crèche allotments, an on-site farmers’ market, a cycling club, improved parking for cycles on-site and the use of hawks for pigeon control. While most of these projects do not deliver large energy savings, they are very visible and engaging, and have contributed to UHSM’s recognition as ‘Britain’s Greenest Hospital’. There is now substantial interest among staff to explore other opportunities to save energy and enhance the green credentials of the Trust. Achievements The efficiency programme implemented by UHSM has led to substantial cuts in energy use. Between 2006/7 and 2011/12, the annual electricity use fell by 6% (from 19.8
GWh to 18.5 GWh) and the annual use of heating fuel by 27%. Heating became much less reliant on fossil fuels, with gas use falling by 47% (from 47.2 GWh to 25.1 GWh) and 1.0 GWh of heating oil use being eliminated entirely. Annual biomass use is currently 10 GWh. Environmental benefits The energy savings and the shift from gas and oil to woodfuel at UHSM have resulted in a drop of 5,000 tonnes (28%) in annual CO2 emissions between 2006/7 and 2011/12. Water usage has also been reduced through behaviour change, and the greater number of people cycling to work will have reduced traffic congestion and pollution in the surrounding area.
At work on the hospital allotment - Andrew Aitchison/Ashden
Social benefits The core social benefit from UHSM’s work is that money saved on energy can be used for front line patient services. The ‘Saving Planet Wythenshawe’ programme is also reaching out to the community, involving schoolchildren and their families in the hospital’s environmental work. The behavioural change among staff has brought other benefits, such as the cycle club helping staff gain confidence to cycle on local roads and lending secondhand bikes from the pool that the club maintains. Members of the cycling club can also call for a pick-up from hospital security if their bike suffers a breakdown between home and work. The other ‘green’ projects at the hospital are also benefitting staff, for example providing them with allotment space to grow food, and access to local produce via the farmers’ market. Economic and employment benefits At current energy prices, the efficiency gains that UHSM has made are saving it about £390,000 a year. The payback period is on average just over seven years; this includes measures that pay back very quickly, such as insulation and improvements to the steam distribution system, and measures that are slower to pay back, such as doubleglazing and lighting upgrades.
+ For More Information www.ic.nhs.uk/statistics-and-data-collections www.healthestatejournal.com www.sustain.co.uk ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |137|
Student Switch Off (SSO) campaign, UK-wide Student Switch Off (SSO) has been selected as a finalist in the 2012 Ashden Awards for the success of its campaign to bring about significant reductions in energy consumption amongst undergraduate university students through behaviour change; and the innovative use of social media, peer-to-peer engagement and student-focused incentives to achieve this. Making a few changes to behaviour at home can result in worthwhile energy savings, but where no financial incentive exists to save energy it can be hard to encourage people to do this. At universities in the UK most undergraduates live in halls of residence where use of electricity and heating is included in the rent, and as a result it can be difficult to reduce the energy use and CO2 emissions from these buildings. The Student Switch Off campaign tackles this problem by making energy saving a fun activity for students to engage in. At universities participating in SSO, different halls of residence compete with each other to see which can achieve the greatest reductions in electricity use, with rewards at the end of the year for the winners. Students are engaged through photo competitions, quizzes and social media, and some of them get training to learn how they can motivate their fellow students to join in with the energy-saving effort.
Key information • Four basic energy-saving behaviours promoted in student bedrooms and kitchens: switching off lights and appliances, putting lids on pans, not overfilling the kettle and putting on extra layers of clothing rather than turning up the heating. •
SSO campaign provides incentives at individual and communal level, for example ice cream, toiletries, cinema vouchers and a party for the winning hall of residence. Impact of campaign measured using electricity consumption data for halls of residence from four months of full occupancy and compared with baseline historical data from the same time periods.
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In 2011/12 18,000 students signed up to SSO (19% of students living in halls), beating SSO’s original target of 15% of students, and 873 attended training sessions.
In 2010/11 universities saved on average £3.52 per student in halls over the four months that were monitored, giving a total net saving of £232,000.
In 2010/11 average 7% reduction in electricity consumption at participating universities over the four months monitored, resulting in CO2 savings of 1,500 tonnes. Savings are likely to be higher than this over the full academic year.
Strong evidence that campaign has brought about a change in behaviour; and improved community spirit and social cohesion in halls of residence taking part.
UK STATISTICS 115 UNIVERSITIES IN 2011 1.9 MILLION UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS IN 2011 CO2 EMISSIONS FROM HIGHER EDUCATION: 3.2 MILLION TONNES IN 2006 The organisation Student Switch Off is run by Neil Jennings Associates (NJA), a community interest company established in 2007. NJA first offered a commercial service to universities in 2007/8, when the campaign ran at seven universities followed by 11 more in 2008/09. In 2009, NJA partnered with the National Union of Students to scale SSO up to 33 Universities as part of Defra’s Greener Living Fund. NJA received accountancy and legal support from Carbon Leapfrog in 2009, which was key in enabling their expansion from 11 to 33 Universities in the space of a year. In the current 2011/12 academic year, SSO is running at 43 universities, with a pilot recycling campaign launched in 4 of these. The programme Over the course of the academic year, halls of residence compete against each other within individual universities to see which can achieve the greatest reductions in electricity use. The campaign provides incentives both at the individual and communal level to encourage students to adopt simple energy-saving behaviours. University halls of residence were targeted because for the majority of participating students it is their first time living away from home and they are establishing new energy behaviours (particularly around cooking) and are thus open to suggestion. For university authorities there is a financial incentive to cut energy use and CO2 emissions, and they are willing to pay for a costeffective service that achieves this. How does it work? The behavioural changes encouraged by the SSO campaign are simple and are promoted in a light-hearted manner using social media. SSO has been highly effective at meeting students where they are ‘at’: through a mixture of fun activities and healthy competition, it encourages behaviour change without requiring values change. Rewards are given at the individual and hall level to incentivise the adoption of energy-saving behaviours; and students are given regular feedback to let them know how they are doing in the competition. The SSO campaign typically starts with a stall at Fresher’s Fayre to encourage students to sign up and link to a Facebook page. Students who sign up are called ‘Eco Power Rangers’ and have a key role to play in promoting the campaign over the course of the year. Peer-to-peer encouragement is vital to the success of the campaign, and SSO focuses on raising awareness levels as high as possible at the start of the academic year. All students who sign up are invited to a communications and advocacy training course in the autumn term to show them how to encourage their fellow students in halls to take part. The training sessions allow students to suggest ways to raise
awareness and improve the campaign. The number signing up for training has risen in the past year, partly because it is now being marketed to students as a useful transferable skill and good CV material. SSO disseminates information on cutting energy use via competitions, merchandise (e.g. beermats with energy-saving tips), university newspaper articles, posters and e-mails. Facebook is used to spread messages about energy saving to students who would otherwise not be exposed to them. Four basic energy-saving behaviours are promoted in student bedrooms and kitchens: switching off lights and appliances, putting lids on pans, not overfilling the kettle and putting on extra layers of clothing rather than turning up the heating. Most kitchens in student halls have electric cookers, which means that the potential for the wasteful use of electricity is high.
Eco-Power Rangers at the ready!
Achievements In 2010/11, about 16,000 students from 43 universities (17.5% of those living in halls) signed up to SSO and pledged to save energy, 6,500 took part in face-to-face and online quizzes and 498 attended training. In the current academic year, 2011/12, about 18,000 signed up (19% of those in halls), and by March 2012 5,450 students were on the SSO Facebook fan pages, 8,000 had taken part in quizzes and 873 had attended the training sessions. SSO’s target of 15% of students in halls pledging to save energy has been surpassed in the last three academic years. Environmental benefits Over the last three years, SSO has achieved average reductions in electricity consumption at participating universities of 6.7% (2009/10), 7.0% (2010/11) and 7.6% (2011/12 to date). Social benefits In the past two years, SSO has carried out a significant amount of monitoring and evaluation of the programme as part of its Defra-funded work. Interviews with students involved in the campaign have provided strong evidence that it has brought about a change in behaviour. Students think the campaign is fun, and like the emphasis on reward rather than punishment. ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |139|
Abbey wedded to greener future ‘Shrinking the footprint’ is a campaign by the Church of England to reduce the emissions from its buildings and church activities. It offers centralised resources and highlights best practice, from practical tips on photo voltaic panels, to wildlife spotting in churchyards and carbon measuring schemes. The initiative is chaired by the Bishop of London, the Rt. Revd Richard Chartres, who said: “We are committed to mitigating the effects of climate change that will fall disproportionately on the poor and vulnerable in the world and those least able to adapt to rising temperatures and sea levels.” Shrinking the footprint puts environmental best practice and carbon reduction at the heart of church business; indeed the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, says it is “central to what it means to be a Christian”. The Church of England has a significant footprint. With over 16,000 churches, the Archbishops’ Council estimates that annual emissions total 45 million tonnes of CO2. Nevertheless, the Church is committed to a carbon reduction target of 80% by 2050, with an interim target of 42% by 2020. Individual parishes and churches have taken up the challenge. An estimated 300 churches and vicarages have installed solar panels. A particular focus has been in the West Country where three dioceses (Exeter, Gloucester and Bath & Wells) combined forces to beat the Feed in Tariff deadline, with around 100 churches and vicarages installing PV. In the same region, 300 churches, vicarages and church schools have switched to a green energy supplier. The UK’s most famous church Westminster Abbey is also leading the way. The Abbey is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its special cultural significance, and was the UK’s top paid for visitor attraction in 2009. The challenge there is exacerbated by the need to protect the historical and cultural significance of the Abbey. “Our World Heritage status rules out intrusive measures such as solar panels and wind turbines so we examined numerous energy savings measures, but needed something that would not materially change the building,” explains Jim Vincent, Westminster Abbey’s Clerk of Works. “The Abbey chose powerPerfector because it was non obtrusive and promised excellent savings.” In doing so, the Abbey has become the first church
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in the UK to install powerPerfector’s Voltage Power Optimisation (VPO)®. The installation of the two units ensures that the supply is more efficient and secure. It will cut bills by over 12 per cent, saving approximately £8,400 a year. “The units were installed in late 2011 and the savings we were guaranteed have been independently assessed and found to have been exceeded. The performance guarantee meant no risk on our part and I would recommend the system to anyone,” said Jim Vincent. powerPerfector units were installed on the incoming supply for the Blowing Chamber, which circulates air around the Abbey and the Floodlighting Cabinet. Not only will this mean energy savings for the Abbey, it also provides power conditioning benefits in the form of a reduction in harmonic distortion, transients and three phase imbalance. The types of electrical loads at the Abbey are well suited to VPO. The technology sees good savings from most lighting, air conditioning and chiller loads, whilst the long operational hours increase the level of savings. As part of the installation, one of the units required a customised enclosure (6cm smaller than standard) in order for the unit to fit underneath the existing trunking. The installation in the Blowing Chamber required a delivery down 14 stairs just 70cm wide. A specialist logistics company used an A-Frame and hoist to deliver the powerPerfector in individual component parts. The unit was delivered, reassembled and positioned in the chamber. Michael Robertson-Lambert, Head of Engineering, said: “It’s a great honour for us to have powerPerfected the Abbey and the installation itself threw up some logistical challenges which, I am pleased to say, we overcame. “Voltage management technology sits on the incoming supply to a building so it is important that the technology you choose is robust and 100% reliable. Their selection process required our “best in class” solution. Risk is just not an option when you have to ensure that this historically important tourist attraction is more efficient, protected and always open for business.”
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FAMOUS LAST WORDS
EE ss cc aa pp ee from Venus
James Spectrum Pepe Deluxe
The old sci-fi visions of a mysterious planet cloaked in tropical forests might not be entirely wrong: it’s possible that the planet Venus used to be a lot nicer place to visit… or leave from. Billions of years ago, when the Sun was less luminous and Earth and Mars were still frozen, Venus may have developed warm oceans and a mild climate because it is closer to the Sun. “There is some reason to believe Venus may have been the best haven for life in the early solar system,” says David Grinspoon, a Venus Express interdisciplinary scientist from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Colorado. Not only that, the second planet might be the original mother of all life on earth: “Pieces of planets were blasting off of each other all the time early in the evolution of the solar system, and microbes from Venus could easily have wound up on Earth,” Grinspoon adds. The Venus we know is not exactly Paradise, more like Hell incarnate: The planet is surrounded by thick clouds of sulfur dioxide, 96.5% of the atmosphere is carbon dioxide and the surface temperature is of over 460°C. It wasn’t until the 1990’s that some scientists came up with a plausible theory of what happened: it’s a process called “runaway greenhouse effect”. That is a slow but deadly cycle in which a positive feedback between surface temperature and decreasing atmospheric opacity keeps augmenting the greenhouse effect until the oceans boil away! Now there’s good news and bad news. Let’s start with global warming: something that pretty much no-one likes to hear about and many prefer to deny. Yip, global warming is the good news: we are lucky if our planet heats up only a little bit. The bad news is ... well I’ll let James Hansen,
the head of NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies deliver that: “If we burn all reserves of oil, gas, and coal, there’s a substantial chance that we will initiate the runaway greenhouse. If we also burn the tar sands and tar shale, I believe the Venus syndrome is a dead certainty.” Uh oh … and unfortunately Mr. Hansen is not alone with his theory. If you do find the subject slightly too big to sweep under the rug, too dark to joke about (“In the future people literally are like eggs – boiled, poached etc.”), yet you don’t want to sound like a doomsday prophet, what can you do? I and my colleague Paul Malmström make records … so we made a record and hid the message there. Not just any kind of record but an uplifting esoteric pop opera in three parts called “Queen of the Wave”. It’s based around the mystical 19th Century novel “A Dweller On Two Planets” that concerns itself with the rise and fall of Atlantis, Venus, sci-fi futurism and reincarnation. The music is mainly inspired by the late 60’s – not just the records but the whole pop culture, architecture, movies etc. The list of instruments on the album is huge: everything from a tiny musical box to the largest and grandest instrument in the known universe, The Great Stalacpipe Organ in Luray, Virginia. There are also a lot of late 19th and early 20th Century elements ranging from a half a million volt Tesla synthesizer and a studio version of Edison’s ghost hunting machine to Victorian style photos, artwork and adapted poetry. And that’s where we come back to Venus. “Daystar” is a biblical name for Venus, and the album liner notes of “Grave Prophecy” read “A warning to those who know”. Yip, the message is hidden in plain sight. Actually the album has several messages and themes, although ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |143|
The poetic lyrics of the first part of “Grave Prophecy”, a tune describing the fall of Atlantis, are the following:
Awake earth child and arise! The Daystar gleams in skies! Open up your, open up your eyes! Awake earth child and arise! It’s sunset in disguise! Open up your, open up your eyes!
naturally the rest of them are a lot less grim. Instead of preaching and trying to tell people what to do (the best way to not get anyone’s attention), we are slowly revealing these concealed details and gems, relying on the curiosity of people and their desire to learn more about things that they find interesting. To me that’s the key word: taking care of the environment should be interesting and inspiring. I personally believe “runaway greenhouse effect” on Earth is a typical worst case scenario where no-one reacts to anything, whereas we actually do have the habit of reacting when we really have to. For example Freon was banned because it had to be, and DuPont, the biggest manufacturer of Freon, simply developed other gases to replace it (and made a lot of money with that). Inspiration and need drive knowledge and knowledge drives change. |144| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
Awake true child, take a stand! The glass is out of sand! Let them under, Let them understand! Awake true child, take a stand! Proclaim it to this land! Let them under, Let them understand!