INTRODUCTION FROM THE EDITOR Here we are at the end of 2010; this year seems to have slipped away like quicksilver. It is almost incomprehensible that we are bringing you Issue 11 of Environment Industry Magazine! The final issue of the year, and what a year.... we spent the first few months eagerly anticipating the election, expecting a new Government to fix everything and when it finally dawned on us that all three parties lost, we settled for a coalition and immediately began complaining about them. We, the people are such fickle creatures that despite the evidence of history, we still believe that miracles can happen, we still believe manifesto promises and we are still incredulous when it turns out that our politicians are not superhuman, they are actually just people. You cannot bestow such expectation and responsibility on to anyone, the last person we did that to ended up being crucified. It is quite sweet that following an election we actually wake up expecting something tangible to have changed, that we will open the curtains to find the sky has changed colour or the air smells like cinnamon. Unfortunately, as with all politicians, (even Obama,) the most exciting thing that happens is that the winner moves house. After a few days we realise that life goes on and we start to grumble about everything again. It seems that of a direct consequence of the election the UK student population has managed to prize itself from its collective beds to protest about changes to funding which won’t even affect them. Interestingly, prior to the election a student poll suggested that 30% of students would vote for the Conservatives and 21% for Labour and only 19% would for the Lib Dems. My point being that the Liberal Democrats had no chance of election; when you are the underdog you can make any claims you want, you never expect to have your bluff called. No-one is more surprised that the Lib Dems are in power than the Lib Dems themselves.
Paice MP, Minister for Food and Agriculture, discussing the UK food industry and its impact on the environment, also Gregory Barker MP, Mister of State for Energy gives us his first of 2 installments on the Renewable Heat Incentive. This issue we have an overview of the Government’s stand on RHI, which will be followed in the February/March issue with an in-depth breakdown of how the RHI will be administered and managed, as well who and what will qualify. Also in our food focus, we have Dan Welch, Director of Ethical Consumer Research Association and Co-Editor of Ethical Consumer Magazine, discussing the Ethical Buyers Guide to Supermarkets; and we have Dr Joan Kelley, Global Operations Director at CABI, on the need to include plant health when considering food security; finally, we have Liz Barling from the Food Ethics Council talking about the environmental impact of Christmas. And what Christmas issue of an environmental magazine would be complete without a feature on food waste? Peter (Ecolateral) Jones OBE, ex Director of Biffa Waste draws our attention to this mountainous problem. We also have Neil Strong, Vegetation Specialist at Network Rail, Dr Peter Bonfield CEO of BRE, and Vincent de Rivaz, CEO of EDF Energy, to name but a few.... If only EnviroMedia did stocking fillers*...... What better way to kick off the festive season? We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year as well as a big thank you to our contributors and advertisers. If that doesn’t help to green up your Christmas nothing will.
Alex Stacey Managing Editor
*...you would end up with a big sock full of paper on Christmas morning!
In my view, you should not expect from others more than you expect from yourself. Not being allowed to change your opinion based on new evidence sounds a bit like fascism. I think that a Liberal influence on a Conservative Government is actually a good thing and in the light of there being no serious opposition to this situation, we should make the most of what we have. It will be a long time before the Labour party are considered to be a serious contender to lead the country again. Anyway, whilst we are on the subject of politics, I am pleased to announce we have not one but two Government ministers writing in this issue. Firstly as part of our big Bah Humbug, conscience-kicking editorial focus on food ethics and food security, we have Jim ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |1|
CONTENTS NEWS: PAGE 4 - 30
FOCUS: PAGE 32 - 41
NEWS Page 27 - Ideas In Transit - Transport Innovation Awards Paul Beauchamp - Ordnance Survey Page 22-23 - UKSDA - Climate Week 2011 Page 30 -
Steve Grant Column
Page 32 - 33 - Green Grocer - Dan Welch, Co-Editor, Ethical Consumer Page 34-36 - Food Security - Jim Paice, MP Food and Agriculture Page 38 - 39 - Plant Health in the Fight for Food Security - Dr Joan Kelley, CABI Page 40 - 41 - Food for Thought This Christmas Liz Barling, Food Ethics Council
ORGANIC WASTE: PAGE 42 - 51 Page 43 - 48 - Food Glorious Food - Peter Jones, Ecolateral
GREEN BUILDING: PAGE 64 - 81 Page 66 - 69 - Rising to the Refurbishment Challenge - Dr Peter Bonfield, CEO BRE
Page 50 - 51 - Paper Sludge Recycling Andrew Urquhart, Envar
ENERGY: PAGE 52 - 63 Page 54 - Renewable Heat Incentive Greg Barker, Energy and Climate Change Minister
Page 70 - 73 - Page 74 - 75 -
Definition of Zero Carbon Homes - Neil Jefferson, CEO Zero Carbon Hub Why Wood You Build With Anything Else? - Ron Easton MD Stewart Milne Timber Systems
Page 76 - 80 - ECOBUILD 2011 Preview
Page 56 - 58 - Alternative Energy Sources Phil Hurley, MD NIBE Page 60 - 62 - Low Carbon Solutions Eric Salomon, EDF Energy
EnviroMedia Limited, 254a Bury New Road, Whitefield, Manchester, M45 8QN
Alex Stacey Tel: 0161 3410158 Fax: 0161 7668997 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Environment Industry Magazine is proud to be the official media partner for the UK Sustainable Development Association. 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 EnviroMedia Ltd. Environment Industry Magazine welcomes contributions for publication. Submissions are accepted on the basis of full assignment of copyright to EnviroMedia Ltd unless otherwise agreed in advance and in writing. We reserve the right to edit items for reasons of space, clarity or legality. |2| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
TIMBER: PAGE 82 - 91
Page 84 - 87 - Timber in Future Construction Richard Harris, Professor of Timber Engineering, Bath University Page 88 - 90 - Why Wood is Good - Stuart Goodall, CEO, CONFOR
LAND MANAGEMENT: PAGE 100 - 109 Page 102 - 106 - Sustainable Remediation Nicola Harris, Project Director, CL: AIRE Page 108 - 109 Definition of Waste - Brian Graham Director, Soil and Water Remediation
WATER: PAGE 92 - 99 Page 94 - 97 - The Price and Value of Scarce Water Resources - Dr Colin Fenn, Chair CIWEM Water Resources Panel Page 98 - Adequate for Now? - David Nickols, Chair, ICE Water Sector Section
WASTE MANAGEMENT: PAGE 110-117 Page 112 - 115 - Why WE all have a part to play in WEEE collections - Gerrard Fisher, WRAP Page 116 - 117 - Share the Christmas Cheer and Recycle Electronics Justin Greenaway, SWEEEP
MISCELLANY: PAGE 118 - 148 Page 119
- Environment Agency Prosecutions
Page 120 - 123 - Invasive Species - ... and the Railways - Neil Strong, Vegetation Specialist, Network Rail Page 124 - 127 - Conservation - Biodiversity Urgent Change Needed - Dr Mark Johnston, Ecology and Biodiversity Services, Mott MaCdonald Page 128 - 131 - Mapping - Key to Our Environmental Future - Marc Hobell - Public Sector and Utilities, Ordnance Survey Page 132 - 134 - Training- Accidents in Environmental Industry, Are They Avoidable? - Steve Shirley, QSP Page 135 - Summit Skills Column Page 136 - 147 - Case Studies Page 168 - Famous Last Words - Naomi Cleaver
ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |3|
The Stephenson Group
has signed a groundbreaking deal with New Britain Oils Limited to become the first personal care product manufacturer in the UK to use RSPO certified sustainable palm oil to manufacture a soap base that meets the RSPO Supply Chain Certification requirements. The West Yorkshire-based company and New Britain Oils, which operates the world’s first dedicated sustainable palm oil refinery in Liverpool, confirmed the agreement on the eve of the 8th Annual Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (‘RSPO’) Meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia. To coincide with the new agreement, Stephenson Group showcased its segregated RSPO certified sustainable palm oil personal care products, including its soap bases, at the international event, which took place between 8 and 11 November. The company produces 15,000 tonnes of soap bases a year and is also the main UK supplier of bases to the US soap market generating sales of $2 million a year. New Britain Oils is dedicated to changing the way in which palm oil is supplied to Europe’s food and personal care sectors. Its palm oil comes entirely from known certified sustainable plantation sources in Papua New Guinea, including production from over 7,000 smallholders. Jamie Bentley, Chief Executive of Stephenson Group, said: “As an ethical manufacturer committed to sustainability in the personal care market, this is a very proud moment for this company.
Sterecycle voted as ‘one to watch’ UK Eco Fashion Brand up for Best New Brand at ISPO 2011 at cleantech industry awards An eco fashion brand from the Isle of Wight has been Sterecycle, the UK waste treatment and renewable power company, has been voted as one of Europe’s up and coming cleantech companies by Cleantech Connect, an annual awards event for the hottest and fastest growing cleantech companies in Europe.
nominated for a major brand award in 2011. Rapanui, an eco fashion brand set up by two surfing brothers has been nominated for the BrandNew awards at ISPO 2011. The BrandNew awards have been considered a barometer of future trends and will celebrate its 20th anniversary at ISPO 2011.
The list of ‘Ones to watch – up and coming cleantech companies’ consisted of 15 companies identified by Cleantech Connect’s panel of 15 industry experts as the most promising companies of 2010 and which are expected to enter the Awards’ ‘Fastest Growing Company’ list in the coming years.
The competition aims to give young companies with products in the field of sport and eco-design a platform on which they can present to the market. ISPO has since developed into the single most important event in the action sports calendar for brands, retailers and athletes alike, showcasing the latest innovations within the industry.
Companies in the ‘Fastest Growing’ list are ranked by their annual revenue growth rate between financial year end 2007-2009. Sterecycle, which began generating revenue in 2008, will be eligible for this category at next year’s awards.
Rapanui is nominated for its innovation in product and communication design. Rapanui uses organic natural fabrics, ethical manufacture and wind power in manufacture. The brand has developed traceability maps for every part of the supply chain for individual products so visitors to the Rapanui website can find out exactly where and how their clothing is made. The brand has also developed eco labels for their clothing so customers can shop quickly, with a conscience.
The Cleantech Connect Awards, now in its second year, brings together Europe’s leaders in the clean and green technology space, recognising exceptional growth and innovation in the sector. The event is organised by investment bank GP Bullhound with premium sponsor, Schroders Private Banking. |4| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
You can vote for Rapanui at: ISPO - http://www.ispo-brandnew.com/Hottest_Brands.aspx
Just click "like" next to Rapanui.
OB10 wins its fourth consecutive Green Apple Award OB10, the world’s leading global e-Invoicing network, has been awarded an internationally recognised Green Apple Award for its environmental best practice. This is the fourth consecutive year that OB10 has won a Green Apple Award, which this year was a Silver Award. OB10’s e-Invoicing network assists companies of all sizes in avoiding the use of vast amounts of paper each year by eliminating the need for paper invoices. The network helps to simplify and streamline the invoice-to-pay process by taking invoice data from a supplier’s billing system and sending it to their customer’s accounting system – removing the need to print, post, process, manually key-in, store and then finally dispose of paper invoices. The Green Apple Award is run by the Green Organisation, an independent non-profit, non-political group supported by the Environment Agency and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health. The awards are presented to companies that understand the business advantages of creating a green working environment as well as those that have reaped the benefits that can be had from environmental best practice.
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Rewards for recycling for non-wheelie bin households The ‘rewards for recycling’ programme, RecycleBank, has partnered with Coca-Cola Great Britain to deliver the UK’s first incentives programme to reward residents in households without access to a wheelie bin for recycling their mixed materials. The new solution, which is ideal for high density housing areas, was launched to 13,000 residents in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead in November. Several London boroughs and other inner city areas are also looking at the programme closely. Coca-Cola is helping to deliver the loyalty reward scheme with RecycleBank by sponsoring the 300 point activation bonus. Residents will also be able to redeem the CocaCola reward voucher upon activation for £1 off any CocaCola, diet Coke or Coke Zero product. Jon Woods, Country Manager for Coca-Cola Great Britain, said; “We want to find ways to inspire consumers
to recycle using the appeal of our brands as well as looking for innovative means to make recycling easier for everyone. Supporting this new scheme from RecycleBank is another step on our journey to make our packaging truly sustainable.” RecycleBank has worked with partners the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead and Veolia Environmental Services to find a practical way of ensuring all homes have the opportunity to take part. The solution enables RecycleBank Rewards to be made available to residents who don’t have their own individual wheelie bin - including those who live in flats with communal recycling facilities, narrow streets which are inaccessible to refuse collection vehicles or older properties where there is not enough bin storage space. Sue Igoe, UK Managing Director of RecycleBank added; “This is a great step forward for RecycleBank which will directly address a crucial issue of how we reward residents in areas where there isn’t access to an individual household wheelie bin. Early indications of the full borough roll out show that there has been an increase in the region of 40% in the average weight of dry recycling material collected from households that have activated a rewards account, compared to the average recycling weight collected per household using the previous two-box system. So far, 61% of households which have received a blue bin are taking part in the RecycleBank scheme.
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WECF and Georgian partner RCDA celebrate World Toilet Day 2010 with opening of 30th school toilet, in a Georgian kindergarten Georgian toddlers in the village of Khamiskuri can finally go to proper toilets instead of defecating out in the open On November 19th, 2010, international World Toilet Day, the first public Urine Diverting Dry Toilet in Western Georgia was opened in the kindergarten of Khamiskuri, Khobi district by RCDA and the local authorities. Not only are the new toilets indoors, as opposed to the previously used pit latrines, they are specifically adapted to children’s use, have hand washing facilities and most importantly, they do not smell. In many rural areas of Georgia, children do not have access to adequate sanitation at home and at schools and kindergartens. They rely on dirty and old pit latrines that are unhygienic but especially very unhealthy. The pit latrines can usually be found far from school buildings, cold in the harsh Caucasian winters and posing considerable health risks especially for small children. Visiting the pit latrines is often so unhealthy that teachers and nurses rather prefer the children to defecate out in the open.
Sascha Gabizon, Executive Director of WECF states: “The human right to sanitation has been little or not implemented so far, sanitation often does not have sufficient policy priority, and as a women’s network we are particularly worried about the lack of access to safe sanitation for school children in many, if not most, countries of this world. Girls need access to school toilets, separate from boys, with the possibility to close the doors, where menstrual hygiene is taken care of, and where girls are not harassed”. WECF calls on all governments to commit to providing the right for each child to safe school sanitation taking girls special needs into account. At the same time, the right to sanitation should not infringe the right to safe water. Building a toilet without safe treatment of human faeces, often leads to pollution of drinking water sources. Therefore WECF has built sustainable toilets for more than 5000 poor people and 10.000 school children in Central Asia , Caucusus and Eastern Europe in the past 2 years, making sure faeces are composted for safe use as soil fertilizer, and clean and hygienic indoor toilets for households and schools.
REDFERN INQUIRY PUBLISHED
The Government has published the Redfern Inquiry into the analysis of human tissue taken from individuals who had worked in the nuclear industry. The kindergarten toilet in Khamiskuri is the 30th UDDT toilet for schools or kindergarten within the WECF network . The necessity of appropriate sanitary facilities is still not enough underlined by policy makers, health and school inspectors. World Toilet Day, the importance of adequate sanitation is celebrated and awareness is being raised. Worldwide, there are 2.5 billion people who do not have access to proper sanitation facilities. WECF and its partners promote sustainable sanitation systems, accessible and affordable for the poor rural population, protecting their health, the environment and re-using the excreta as safe fertilizers in agriculture. UDDT systems for schools and public buildings have been built and are in use in many regions in the EECCA region and in Georgia and are seen as the most appropriate solution for rural areas with no centralised waste water management. This summer the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly for the resolution on the human right to “safe and clean drinking water and sanitation”. For the women and environmental network WECF this agreement was a main step towards moving forward on implementing this newly aquired human right, for the poor and vulnerable, in particular women and children. |8| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
The inquiry was set up in 2007 by the then Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, the Rt Hon Alistair Darling MP and undertaken by Michael Redfern QC. It looked at the processes and practices surrounding the analysis of human tissue that was carried out in UK nuclear facilities from 1955 to 1992. In an Oral Statement to Parliament, Chris Huhne, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change said: “I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt regret and to apologise to the families and relatives of those involved. I hope that the publication of today’s Report goes some way toward providing the closure they deserve. “The events described in the Inquiry should never have happened in the first place. We have learned the lessons of the past. The law on human tissue has been reviewed, and there is now a rigorous regulatory system in place, in which both the public and professionals have confidence. “I would like to thank the chairman of the Inquiry, Mr Michael Redfern QC, for conducting the investigation. The Inquiry has also benefited from the support of the nuclear industry and other key stakeholders, who have cooperated fully”. The full documents are available from http://www. theredferninquiry.co.uk
Scotland’s tenements to go green Scientists are set to help make Scotland’s traditional tenement buildings more energy efficient and reduce their CO² emissions. Edinburgh Napier University will work with Historic Scotland to analyse the energy efficiency of five sites located across Scotland – tenement buildings in Glasgow, Rothesay, Edinburgh as well as buildings in Culross and Milton of Buchanan. The data on the thermal performance of these traditional buildings will be used to develop new guidance and measures to make these buildings more energy efficient. About 50% of C02 emissions come from the existing building stock. Traditional buildings built before 1919, such as tenements and large solid wall constructions, are classified as hard to treat. In order for Scotland to address C02 reduction targets and deliver more energy efficient homes it is important that pre-1919 buildings are fully assessed. The £20,000 research project aims to establish the baseline thermal performance of elements which make up a traditionally constructed building. This will involve measuring the u-value (measurement of the rate of heat loss through a material) of building elements including floors, walls, doors, windows and roofs both before and after improvement measures have been made. Each building will be monitored for two weeks. It is hoped to show that traditionally constructed buildings can be brought up to a high standard of thermal performance without compromising the building fabric. The project is being led by staff from the University’s Institute for Sustainable Construction. Celine Garnier of the Institute said: “This project is a great opportunity to provide good robust data on the true performance of the country’s existing building stock. By working with Historic Scotland, who are charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment, we can develop the energy saving measures that these buildings greatly need.” Roger Curtis, Head of Technical Research at Historic Scotland said: “We welcome the opportunity to work with Edinburgh Napier University on such an important project. Approximately twenty per cent of Scotland’s housing stock is traditionally built. This research is invaluable in order to develop new ways to help home owners improve the energy efficiency of their homes.”
AEA and Hara join forces for new carbon and energy management offering Partnership to target cities and local authorities, industrial & manufacturing / CPG and utility sectors London, England and San Mateo, CA - AEA, a leading sustainability consultancy, has announced a strategic partnership with Hara, one of the fastest-growing providers to the carbon, energy and environmental management software market. The partnership will allow AEA and Hara to provide organisations with
a complete service, from initial reporting stages through to implementing actual carbon and energy reductions as well as ongoing monitoring and management. The partnership will add significant value to AEA’s existing consultancy service offering, by providing organisations with a flexible service that allows them to measure their existing energy use, their carbon footprint and to develop strategies and models that allow them to manage their organisation’s carbon usage. The service will also allow organisations to meet the challenges of increasing environmental regulatory compliance across waste and water as well as energy consumption. The state of the art software offering is supported by a team of expert sustainability consultants. ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |9|
NEW FUNDING FOR LOCAL FLOOD RESCUE TEAMS Rescue services in England and Wales are to receive funding to help equip and train local flood rescue teams. The Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra) has announced a total of £2million to improve flood rescue capability. Grants totalling approximately £650,000 have been awarded from the fund today. The money will help local flood resilience teams’ efforts to raise money to buy everything from boats and flood barriers to training sessions for flood rescue volunteers. Announcing the new funding, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said: “We have learnt from the floods we have experienced in recent years that the emergency response is most effective when public, private and voluntary groups work well together – and we saw this week in Cornwall how important it is for these groups to have well rehearsed plans in place. “The money we’re announcing today will help local flood rescue teams – such as fire and rescue services, police and the RNLI – to buy extra equipment or training which will be used in a rescue situation when the need arises.” All the equipment bought with the new money will be added to the National Asset Register of emergency resources that others can call upon in the event of a major flood. The successful applicants were announced at a flood emergency response exercise at Hawley Lake in Hampshire, which involved fire and rescue crews, police, Army personnel and the Environment Agency. The event marks the launch of preparations for Exercise Watermark, a week-long national flood emergency exercise which takes place in March next year involving all Government departments. Caroline Spelman added: “Exercise Watermark stems from Sir Michael Pitt’s recommendations following the 2007 floods which caused so much devastation and heartache. The government is committed to implementing those recommendations and working with communities to minimise the risks to
people’s lives and their livelihoods. Applications for the remaining funding should be made to Defra by 31 January 2011. For further information on how to apply please go to http://www.defra.gov.uk/ environment/flooding/planning/frne.htm The successful applicants for flood rescue funding are: • Humberside Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) will receive £125,000 to provide 4 Powered Boat Teams for national use. • Hampshire FRS will receive £117,000 to provide 2 Powered Boat Teams for national use. • Devon and Somerset FRS will receive £75,000 to upgrade their assets to 4 Powered Boats. • West Yorkshire FRS will receive £30,000 to upgrade their assets to Powered Boats. • Northamptonshire FRS will receive £100,000 to provide 2 Powered Boat teams for national use. • The RNLI will receive £126,000 to support 16 Powered Boat Teams for national deployment in a flooding emergency. • Nottinghamshire Police will receive £26,000 for training and equipment for their Dive/Search/Flood Rescue Team, which will be deployed across the Midlands. • British Red Cross to receive £25,000 to support the maintenance costs of Bedford trucks, and training and equipment for individuals within the organisation. • A further £21,000 has been allocated to 11 flood emergency groups to make small adjustments to their emergency capabilities. They are Cheshire FRS (£2,817); Lancashire FRS (£546); Merseyside FRS (£1,164); Nottinghamshire FRS (£188); Ogden Valley Mountain Rescue (£331); RNLI (£912); SARA (£7,780); Shropshire FRS (£688); Staffordshire FRS (£1,990); Tyne and Wear FRS (£2,617); West Yorkshire FRS (£2,000)
Image supplied by www.bluesky-world.com © GeoPerspectivesTM |10| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
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New study identifies UAE, Australia and USA as worst CO² polluters With the 2010 UN climate talks due to start in Cancun on November 29th, a new study rating 183 countries on their CO² emissions from energy use has identified United Arab Emirates, Australia, USA, Canada, Netherlands and Saudi Arabia as the six nations with the worst performance in relation to CO² pollution. The CO² Emissions from Energy Use Index (CEEI) is produced by global risk advisory firm Maplecroft to raise awareness and help companies identify their risk exposures. It also helps to identify those countries which may be subject to future regulation of CO² emissions or pressure from public interest groups to address emissions. The index is calculated by evaluating countries’ annual CO² emissions from energy use, CO² emissions per capita, and cumulative CO² emissions from 1900 to 2006 to provide a complete picture of a country’s CO² polluting record. UAE (1), Australia (2), USA (3), Canada (4), Netherlands (5) and Saudi Arabia (6) are bottom of the ranking and the only countries rated as ‘extreme risk’ by Maplecroft on the basis of their high CO² emissions from energy use. The poor performance of UAE and Saudi Arabia is reflective of a near 100% reliance on fossil fuels and their use of energy intensive desalination plants to produce drinking water. Saudi Arabia was the 11th highest global emitter in 2008 with 466 MtCO². However, the desalination process that produces 70% of the country’s drinking water accounts for 50% of CO² emissions. UAE dropped 15 places from last year to take the bottom spot due to a huge 25% jump in its overall carbon output between 2006 and 2008 and a 20% rise in per capita emissions. Maplecroft recognises that desalination is a positive way to address water security but high emissions underline the need to find more energy efficient innovations. Australia, last year’s worst performing nation, remains ahead of USA on per capita emissions with 20.82 tCO² per person against 19.18 tCO² per person for the USA. A vast majority of Australia’s electricity is sourced from coal (44.5%), which is a key factor in Australia’s per capita emissions and the carbon intensity of energy in the country, which is 20% higher than the global average. USA (3) and Canada (4) both achieved decreases in emissions per capita of 3.13% and 8.92% respectively, as well as reductions of 1.2% and 7.12% in their annual emissions from energy use. However, both countries remain extreme risk in the index. The Netherlands is the only European country to be rated ‘extreme risk.’ Natural gas discoveries in the 1980’s saw consumer prices in the country drop, which pushed it towards a high carbon economy. Emissions have since increased due to sustained economic growth; with annual per capita rates of 15.86 tCO² and total emissions of 264.01 MtCO². Germany (13), UK (15) and France (24) all saw decreases in emissions between 2006 and 2008, but this could be attributable to the economic downturn and they are rated as ‘high risk’ due to both high emissions per capita and high historical emissions. The world’s largest overall emitter of CO², China (26), is rated as high risk in the index. Despite the country registering the highest globally recorded CO² emissions in 2008 at 6533 MtCO², its per capita emissions are less than 20% of that in Australia, and its cumulative emissions of 99,204 MtCO² pale against the 323,916 MtCO² emitted by the USA since 1900. China’s recent high emissions reflect its huge economic growth, a reliance on coal as a fuel source, and large increases in the use of cars and household appliances throughout its population. China’s president, Hu Juntao, has responded with an ambitious call to cut emissions per unit of economic output by 40-45% of 2005 levels by 2020. |12| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
Conservationists meet to help save UK crayfish from extinction Scientists and conservationists from across Europe gathered at Bristol Zoo Gardens to discuss how to save the UK native white-clawed crayfish from extinction. White-clawed crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes) are the UK’s only native freshwater crayfish, but their numbers have suffered extensive decline in recent years, mainly due to competition from, and plague carried by, North American signal crayfish. Experts warn the species could become extinct in Great Britain within the next 30 years. Last month the species was officially upgraded from ‘vulnerable’ to ‘endangered’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species following a Sampled Red List Index (SRLI) assessment by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). The ranking gives an indication of how likely a species is to become globally extinct.
Image: The National Trust www.news.bbc.co.uk
Neil Maddison, Head of Conservation Programmes for Bristol Zoo, added: “The whiteclawed crayfish is one of our most globally important freshwater species, yet it is clear that unless we continue to investigate solutions to the problems of non-native species such as the signal crayfish, and the plague that they carry, we are in very real danger of losing the species. “This would send a catastrophic message to the rest of the world that the UK is unable to protect its own biodiversity. As a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity, and as one of the world’s G20 countries, we have a stated commitment, and must be prepared to back this up with appropriate resources for protecting our wildlife.” Up to 70 per cent of white-clawed crayfish have between lost from the south west and some parts of the UK have lost their entire populations. This is predominantly due to the crayfish plague - a fungus-like disease which is harmless to people and most animals, but lethal to white-clawed crayfish. The crayfish plague is spread in waterways by the invasive North American signal crayfish – a non-native species which is taking over UK waterways and wiping out our smaller native species. The South West Crayfish Project is currently running the largest strategic translocation in the UK to date, re-homing at-risk populations of white-clawed crayfish to new, safer sites. In addition, a breeding programme for the crayfish is being developed at Bristol Zoo Gardens.
For more information about the South West Crayfish Project, please visit www.bcsf.org. uk/about/conservation/project How can you help? As well as being spread by the North American signal crayfish, the crayfish plague is also spread by people on things such as damp footwear and fishing equipment. While we encourage people to get out and about and enjoy our beautiful countryside, there are a few simple measures people can take to help prevent the spread of this disease: • Anglers should disinfect their equipment. • Anglers should not trap any crayfish species without a trapping licence from the Environment Agency. • Anyone using our waterways should thoroughly dry any equipment or footwear they get wet in our rivers and lakes. The drying is particularly important as any remaining moisture may enable the disease to survive. Image: www.dbsm.uninsubria.co.uk |14| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
£1.9 BILLION TENDER ROUND FOR TRANSMISSION LINKS TO OFFSHORE WINDFARMS LAUNCHED BY OFGEM • • •
Transmission links to 2.8 GW of offshore wind farms to be put out to competitive tender Winning tenders for the first links will be announced in summer 2011 First tender round for £1.1 billion of links attracted almost £4 billion of investment appetite and delivered savings of around £350 million
Ofgem has launched the second tender round for high-voltage transmission links worth around £1.9 billion for six offshore wind projects at an Ofgem conference for investors and wind farm developers, attended by the Energy Minister Charles Hendry MP from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). This is the second tender round in the offshore transmission regime, which is a joint policy initiative between DECC and Ofgem, to encourage cost-effective investment in the vital network links between the offshore wind farms and the mainland grid. Companies will be competing for the right to own and operate the links to 2.8 GW of offshore wind farms for the next 20 years. So far competition has been fierce, with almost £4 billion of investment appetite chasing the £1.1 billion of transmission links in the first tender round announced in August this year. Charles Hendry, Minister of State for Energy said: “We have 40% of Europe’s wind and we have 11,000 km of coastline. We ought to be using those resources for our future energy security, but to do this we need to get the investment in the infrastructure that will make this happen. “I hope the second round of tendering for owning and operating the links to offshore wind farms will be as successful as the first, where investment interest was four times the necessary level. This competition also means savings for generators and consumers, which I very much welcome”. Competition ensures that the cost of the links is kept as low as possible for the generators and ultimately consumers. It is expected that some £350m of savings will be made from the first round of tenders and Ofgem sees no reason why this trend will not continue going forward with future rounds. Ofgem’s Chief Executive Alistair Buchanan, said: “Britain needs to attract £200 billion of investment in its energy industry over the next 10 years - £20 billion will be for offshore transmission links. Therefore it is very encouraging that we have seen such strong competition for the first round of transmission links. “This looks set to continue for the second round and healthy competition will keep the costs of the links as low as possible and give generators confidence that the offshore regime is proving very attractive to investors and is bringing new players into the UK transmission market.” Factsheet “Networks for offshore wind power – regulating for sound investment”, available from the Ofgem website at www. ofgem.gov.uk.
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Syngenta announces Photo Prize 2010 winners Syngenta has announced the winners of its 2010 Photo Prize competition. Nigel Hallett from Australia, Zoltán Balogh from Hungary and Mario Pereda from Spain were awarded first, second and third prize vouchers of $8000, $5000 and $3000, respectively. The winning photos were selected from 3800 entries, from 87 countries, based upon their quality, creativity and interpretation of Syngenta’s purpose: Bringing plant potential to life. The winners were announced at a special exhibition at the Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland, as part of Syngenta’s 10th Anniversary celebrations.
First prize winner, Nigel Hallett, is a professional photographer working for a local Australian newspaper. His entry was named “Summer Scorcher”.
“The breadth and quality of the work submitted to the 2010 Syngenta Photo Prize reflects the standing the competition has within the global photographic community,” said award-winning professional photographer Marcus Lyon, Chairman of the Judging Panel and Exhibition Curator. “Moreover, the commitment Syngenta has shown to this initiative through the Basel exhibition is a significant step towards this becoming a recognized award for photographic excellence.” “As we celebrate our 10th Anniversary, I have enjoyed seeing so many creative and original interpretations of our company’s purpose,” said Mike Mack, Syngenta CEO. “Agriculture comes in all shapes and sizes. The power of photography brings the richness and diversity of our industry to life. The photos are a great reflection of our daily job, where we work with farmers in the field and the environment they live in.” Syngenta employees also submitted over 900 photographs, with winning entries from the Netherlands, the UK and Germany. All external and internal winning entries were judged upon their creative interpretation, color and composition, and quality and technique. The diverse judging panel included Syngenta representatives, a Syngenta customer and professional and amateur photographers.
Zoltán Balogh, a semi-professional photographer, described his winning picture, “Countryside in Finland”, as “a fortunate moment.”
Mario Pereda, a professional photographer, described his winning entry “Ifugao Rice Terraces” as “one of the most interesting places he had ever visited.”
On 3 November 2010, RICS launched Dirk Brounen and Nils Kok's report on the link between energy performance certificates and economic value. The study was presented at The Centre, in Brussels, over a lunch debate entitled ‘The economics of EU energy labels in the housing market’. The new RICS study carried out by Dirk Brounen, Professor of Finance and Real Estate Finance at the RDM Erasmus University, and Nils Kok, assistant professor of Finance and Real Estate at Maastricht University, looks at the drivers for the adoption of energy performance certificates and the consequent economic implications in the residential housing market. The findings contain some important lessons to be learned by both homeowners and policy makers. The study provides some of the first empirical evidence as to the market adoption and financial impact of energy performance certificates, as well as to claim that there is a higher transaction price for properties labeled as more energy efficient. An expert panel including Michaela Holl from DG ENER of the European Commission, Dr. Tudor Constantinescu, Director of the Buildings Performance Institute of Europe and Jacek Kostrzewa, co-Principal at GreenMax Capital Advisors, debated the implications of the report in the context of a growing urgency for the buildings sector to deliver maximum energy efficiency. The discussion was chaired by Bertrand Deprez from The Centre. For RICS EU Policy and Public Affairs energy efficiency in buildings is a top priority. If you have any comments or questions regarding the practicalities of the recast EPBD or if you would like further information, we would like to hear from you. |16| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
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LAFARGE GOES EXTRA MILE IN ROAD SAFETY MIRROR MEASURE
Below: Driver Dave Hull and Lafarge’s fleet operations manager, Tony Plant, with a truck that has been retrofitted with a front blind spot mirror.
LAFARGE is leading the way in road safety by fitting front blind spot mirrors to its haulage fleet. UK legislation requires all new vehicles to have these mirrors, designed to allow drivers to see below them right at the front of the truck. While there is no legal requirement to have older models retrofitted, transport bosses at Lafarge Aggregates & Concrete UK decided the move made sense from a safety perspective. Around 250 aggregate and asphalt trucks were retrofitted, with Lafarge liaising closely with hauliers to ensure a speedy and efficient turnaround. The company is proud of its commitment to health and safety and is the only building materials supplier to have called for a retrofit. It is also the only firm to carry out regular, in-depth face-to-face induction meetings with its sub-contract hauliers to review performance, raise health and safety awareness, consider training and competencies and measure standards. Each haulier receives a score, from one to five, with a minimum of three required to operate for Lafarge. They also receive an improvement plan highlighting areas which need work. Dave Hull, owner-driver at DMH Transport, who was one of the hauliers that took part in the retrofit said: “The new mirror is good because now you can see down directly in front of the truck. Previously you wouldn’t have been able to see that area unless you stood up in the cab and leaned over. “It’s a major benefit for us drivers because there are instances where pedestrians cross in front of you. “It’s made a big difference to our overall visibility range and I think the retrofit was a very good idea. I was happy to take part.”
Below: View from the cab
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We Are Water Roca, the leading global bathroom brand, recently launched the We Are Water Foundation, a global initiative to help raise awareness of and mitigate the negative effects associated with the lack of adequate water resources. Roca has always been committed to the environment in terms of both its products and its production processes. Roca is keenly aware that water is a unique, limited resource and has therefore spent more than 50 years developing water and energy saving devices for its products, thereby contributing to a more balanced and sustainable co-existence with our surroundings. Its commitment to the responsible use of water has now taken a new dimension with the creation of the We Are Water Foundation. The Foundation has two main objectives. One is to raise awareness among institutions and the general public about the need for a new culture of water, which allows for economic development and a sustainable management of the world’s water resources. The second objective is related to its involvement in activities to minimise the negative effects of the lack of adequate water resources. The foundation will be supporting a wide range of water related projects across the globe which may be linked to infrastructure, education, health or research. The We Are Water Foundation is already working with NGOs such as Oxfam and Unicef. “Aral. The Lost Sea”, by prestigious film director Isabel Coixet, is a short film/documentary and is the first activity sponsored by the We Are Water Foundation. It documents the dramatic shrinkage process of the Aral Sea, an inland sea in the heart of Central Asia, one of the world’s greatest environmental catastrophes. Sir Ben Kingsley participates in the film as narrator and Tim Robbins has volunteered a song composed by him to be used in the documentary soundtrack.
water is crucial for economic development, but it is not accessible to all”. “Aral. The Lost Sea” was officially presented at the San Sebastian International Film Festival on the 21st of September. Alan Dodds, Managing Director of Roca UK comments, “Now is the time to link our leadership to environmental issues, an area in which we have already been involved for more than 50 years. We Are Water is part of our commitment to sustainability and to the communities most affected by the lack of water and its consequences. We aim to become a key source of information in the management of environmental issues and sustainable development, especially in everything related to water.” Additional information about We Are Water projects, goals, and activities undertaken by “Ambassadors” and “Friends” of the Foundation is available at www. wearewater.org
According to Isabel Coixet, “The Aral Sea is just one of the many examples of ecological disasters in this planet. The support of We Are Water will contribute to the international distribution of the documentary and it will make us reflect about the effects of the wrong management of this limited resource. We Are Water provides an opportunity to raise our consciousness that ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |19|
SEARCH FOR 'LOST' FROGS, FINDS THREE ENTIRELY NEW AMPHIBIAN TREASURES Scientists discover three new colorful, distinctive frogs in Colombia A team of scientists on a quest to rediscover several “lost” amphibians in western Colombia from Conservation International (CI), the IUCN Amphibian Specialist Group (ASG), Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC) and Fundación ProAves has returned with a surprising result: three species of frogs believed to be entirely new to science, Among the discoveries are a mysterious toad with ruby-colored eyes, a diminutive long-nosed beaked toad which hides in dead leaves, and a gorgeous new rocket frog with flashes of red on its legs. All three species were found during the day when they were most active, a behavior which scientists say is unusual among most amphibians. The scientific expedition, led by CI’s Amphibian Conservation Specialist Dr. Robin Moore, Dr. Don Church of GWC, and Colombian scientist Alonso Quevedo of Fundación ProAves, took place this past September in Colombia to search for the long lost Mesopotamia beaked toad, which hasn’t been seen since the outbreak of World War I, and is described as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Despite a week of intensive field study scouring habitats from chilly cloud forests to steamy lowland rainforests in Colombia’s Chocó and Antioquia departments, the lost species eluded the team. “After spending several days searching for the Mesopotamia beaked toad with no success, the team’s spirits were pretty low” said Moore, who has organized the Search for Lost Frogs for CI and the ASG, “but finding these new species, including a new beaked toad, was like a shot of adrenaline. We definitely left on a high.” Dr. Moore added, “Finding three new species in such a short space of time speaks to the incredibly rich biodiversity of these relatively unexplored forests and highlights their importance for conservation. Protecting these habitats into the future will be essential to ensure the survival of both the amphibians and the benefits that they bring to ecosystems and people.” Photo 1 The newly discovered amphibians are 1. New species of beaked toad -- genus Rhinella, found in the rainforests of Chocó department of Colombia, during the "Search for Lost Frogs". In addition to its strange appearance, the beaked toad is rather unusual in that it probably skips the tadpole stage, laying eggs on the forest floor that hatch directly into toadlets. The coloration and shape of the head make the toad resemble the dead leaves on which it lives, and the only two individuals found were no larger than 2cm in length. Photo 2 2. New toad species – genus undetermined; found on the forest floor, this toad is about 3-4cm in length, with striking bright red eyes. This highly unusual species has scientists baffled – they know nothing about this species other than where it lives, which is around 2,000m elevation in the Chocó montane rainforest. Scientists trekked up very steep slopes to reach the habitat where they found the new toad. 3. New species of rocket frog -- genus Silverstoneia; a type of poison dart frog - a group that has given rise to many chemicals found to be useful to humans - this species is less poisonous than its brightly colored relatives. Living in and around streams, the rocket frogs carefully carry newly hatched tadpoles on their backs to deposit them in water to complete their development. This is a small species, which probably does not grow larger than 3cm in total length. |20| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
NEW SUSTAINABLE INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT NEARS COMPLETION AS SECOND HEAVY-TRAFFIC TIMBER BRIDGE IS MOVED INTO PLACE Accoya® wood, the world’s leading high technology wood by Accsys Technologies, has been chosen for a major new industrial development in the Netherlands, where sustainable building products are a key requirement. Following the installment of a heavy-load timber bridge during late evening on Saturday 20 November, the €10million A7 upgrade project in Sneek, Friesland, is nearing completion, thirteen years after the project’s conception. The bridge, constructed of Accoya® wood, peaks 21m above the highway and measures 32m long by 8.5m wide and 16m in height. This is now the second Accoya® Bridge at Sneek after the 2008 completion of the first wooden bridge in the world able to support the heaviest load class of 60 tonnes.
advantages over slow-growing hardwoods or softwoods modified with toxic chemicals, supported by the fact that it is certified as Gold Standard by Cradle to Cradle. The high-technology process that creates Accoya® increases the durability of the wood to Class 1 and also extends the effective duration of coatings. Accoya® wood is warranted for 50 years above ground and 25 years inground and freshwater, a factor which also appealed to the architects and town planners involved in the project.
Traffic demands necessitated that the A7 road required an upgrade to highway status as well as the extension of a southern town bypass, which would involve the addition of two new bridges. The route, however, runs alongside a complex canal network between lakes in an area of outstanding natural beauty, often referred to as the “Venice of Holland”, meaning that the upgrade had to be sympathetic to the natural surroundings as well as comply with the stringent environmental stipulations of the Netherlands. The project commissioned by Mr. Sieds Hoitinga on behalf of the Province of Friesland. Despite traditional perceptions of its dimensional stability, the project architect deemed timber to be the optimal choice for the Sneek upgrade because it is the only natural construction material and has endless aesthetically pleasing qualities. Concerns surrounding the longevity of timber do not apply to Accoya® wood following stringent testing and the publication of a new report from Scion, formerly known as the New Zealand Forest Research Institute, which confirms that Accoya® outperforms the naturally durable cedar, cypress, kwila and teak timber species. In addition to the two bridges constructed of Accoya® wood, the development also features a roundabout with Accoya timber balusters. Accoya® wood was specified by OAK Architects, the project designers, because it is a non-toxic, high performance timber product that is sourced from sustainable, fast-growing FSC and PEFC approved forests. Accoya® wood has significant environmental ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |21|
Aurora launches world’s first Part L1 (2010) compliant direct GU10 replacement CFL Low energy specialist, Aurora has launched the world’s The 11W LUNA lamp features a unique Nano-brite coating first direct GU10 replacement CFL lamp to meet Part L1 of on the reflector to boost the total lumen output up to the building regulations introduced in October 2010. almost 50 lm/W. This offers a huge energy saving of over 80% over halogen. Part of a range of 40 new L1 and L2 compliant products, LUNA lamps are unique and designed for use in realistic ambient temperatures of 65 degrees C as found in fire rated downlighters. Competitor products are often only designed for use in an ambient temperature of 40 degrees C. Dimmable LUNA CFL lamps are also available and Aurora has developed a dedicated dimmer to provide smooth dimming with an adjustable minimum setting. With an average lamp life of 10,000 hours and three colour temperature options, this range of LUNA lamps provides a lighting solution for almost any project.
Nissan Leaf named ‘Green Car of the Year’ 2010 It may not yet be on the roads, but the Nissan Leaf has already received a sought-after industry award. The UK’s first affordable full-electric car is already available to order but will not hit the roads until March 2011. In recognition of its ground-breaking status, leading guide to environmentally-friendly cars, TheGreenCarWebsite.co.uk has named the Leaf this year’s winner of ‘Green Car of the Year’ 2010. What makes the Leaf special? Well, firstly the Leaf is designed to be a proper family hatchback, capable of carrying five people and their luggage, while offering a respectable range and performance criteria. At £23,990 with a £5,000 government grant, the car is affordable too and is fully compliant with EU safety regulations. In fact, for most purposes, it’s exactly like a conventional car, except its running costs will be a lot less and it will emit zero tailpipe emissions. The Leaf offers a top speed of 90mph and a full charge range of up to 100 miles. Its AC motor, powered by a lithium ion battery pack, delivers 80kW of power and 280 Nm of torque. Response from the electric motor is almost instant, meaning that the Leaf offers startling performance from a standstill. Using a DC 50kW quick charger, the battery can be charged to up to 80 per cent of its capacity in under 30 minutes. Using a domestic 220/240V system, a full charge takes eight hours, perfect for overnight recharging. |22| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
Aurora also offers a unique range of compatible fire rated downlighters which can be fitted from below the ceiling and covered with the mandatory 300mm of rockwool insulation.
Nissan opened its order books to UK customers back in September while the model will be delivered to customers in Japan and the US by the end of the year. UK customers will have to wait until early 2011. “The Leaf has been a highly anticipated car, simply because, at the moment there is nothing else like it on the market. Unlike other electric cars coming to the market in 2011, the Leaf has been designed from the start to be a purely electric-powered model and in this sense it is truly revolutionary, marking a turning point for the car industry”, explains the website’s editor, Faye Sunderland. “Set to be built in Sunderland by 2013, the Leaf represents an exciting chance for the UK to play an important role in this new all-electric era by becoming a leading example of how electric cars can benefit both the environment and the economy through green growth,” she adds.
BA Baracus “ain’t getting on no plane, fool!” and neither should UK travellers. In honour of his aerophobic co-star, A-Team star Sharlto Copley (Murdock) unveiled a new-look East Coast Train at King’s Cross Station, whose rear carriage now holds a striking resemblance to the iconic A-Team van and will appear to push the train as it sets off to Edinburgh. The A-Team train is the first ever train to be wrapped in this way, as East Coast Trains joined forces with The A-Team Blu-ray & DVD to launch ‘Only Fools Fly Day’, taking over the ever-popular Kings Cross to Edinburgh route and urging Britons to ditch planes and ride the rails on the back of jaw-dropping environmental research.
emissions are a whopping 84kg. Train travel has proven to be far more environmentally friendly, with passengers emitting 3 times less CO2 per passenger at 27kg. If no-one flew between London and Edinburgh for one day we would save 468,493kg in carbon emissions. That’s the equivalent amount of energy used by leaving a computer switched on for 1,735 years, producing 2.3 million plastic bags or driving a car around the world 106 times! In honour of BA, the aerophobic character, the A-Team theme song was even be played upon arrival at each destination and some East Coast Trains staff were sporting BA Mohawks and t-shirts.
3 million people (67% of travellers) fly between London and Edinburgh and the average passenger’s carbon
Helveta Wins 'Vision & Future Growth Potential' Award at Cleantech Connect 2010 Helveta Ltd, the provider of supply chain intelligence software, CI World™, has been named the winner of the 'Vision & Future Growth Potential' award and ranked sixth fastest growing Cleantech company in Europe over the last three years, at Cleantech Connect 2010, organised by investment bank GP Bullhound with premium sponsor, Schroder's Private Banking. The judges' comments highlighted why Helveta was chosen for the award: "Helveta has successfully secured contracts in Ghana, Indonesia and Liberia implementing hardware and software solutions. The local administrations and rainforests of those countries are some of the most challenging and the judges felt this deserved extra merit. Helveta has managed to provide, for the first time anywhere, a chain of custody for the global hardwood industry. As regulation of hardwoods and other natural assets increases, the business is perfectly positioned to capture a large share of this market." Helveta's CEO, Patrick Newton, commented, "This award substantiates the tremendous advancement and momentum experienced by Helveta, helping tropical timber producing nations manage their end-to-end supply chains and comply with emerging international legislation. As we grow our presence in other commodity markets, such as cocoa, we are perfectly placed to continue to grow at a significant rate, through a combination of our specialist technology and in-depth understanding of working in emerging markets worldwide." ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |23|
Lucy Danger, Chief Executive of Manchester-based charity EMERGE, which runs FareShare North West, talks to Environment
Industry Magazine about her passion for bringing people together to tackle two major issues – minimising waste whilst addressing poverty, “Surely we can find a solution to that when there’s so much food being wasted in the UK?” says Lucy. We meet her to find out how…. EMERGE Food is a subsidiary of the EMERGE group and runs the franchise of FareShare in partnership with the national organisation who wanted to see a Manchester – and indeed wider North West presence. FareShare national – now 10 years old – was recently voted Most Admired Charity of the Year by Third Sector magazine. It’s a partnership EMERGE is delighted to be in. “FareShare originally grew out of Crisis – the homeless charity – who were redistributing food, while EMERGE, which has also been going for 15 years, has a strong waste management pedigree – so it’s an ideal alliance! “EMERGE works with schools and the wider community to promote the 3Rs of sustainable resource management – reduce, reuse, recycle. By working with FareShare we can better meet both agendas, diverting edible food away from landfill and supporting people in food poverty.”
From its depot on New Smithfield Market in the heart of East Manchester, EMERGE’s FareShare operation accepts donations of food and mobilises the redistribution of that food to beneficiaries. Heinz, for example, are one of FareShare’s national partners. “The FareShare operation is run on a highly professional basis,” says Lucy. “The beneficiary organisations have to meet an agreed set of procedures, including meeting high food hygiene standards, since most of them provide meals.” Typical recipients include church organisations, charity groups, local hostels or schools, breakfast clubs in deprived communities. Lucy comments: “It is often about a lack of skills and motivation as well as cost. Some people just don’t feel confident or capable of cooking a healthy meal for themselves.” Since setting up, FareShare North West has diverted over 500 tonnes from landfill, contributing to over 1.19 million meals for people in food poverty! FareShare’s goals nationally include developing a national network of distribution centres. “Liverpool has recently opened,” said Lucy. A staggering 350,000 tonnes of edible in date food is going to waste every year across the UK and even 350 tonnes could help at least 80 organisations in the North West. Lucy emphasises: “We need to convince food companies to redirect any surplus food they may have so we can direct it to those helping feed the needy; we’re effectively the ‘front door’ to a whole range of bone fide organisations.”
or use by date, even if that means a couple of days. It can be pretty much anything. The types of food currently received include staples like bread, cereal and pasta, although, ideally, more fresh fruit, vegetables, chilled produce, dairy, fish and meat is needed. Frozen or chilled foods can be received if supplied according to food industry standards, as FareShare North West has industrial fridge and freezer units. As a charity EMERGE also provides meaningful work and volunteering opportunities. Lucy again: “the charity adds value at every turn.” Working full-time at the FareShare scheme is one paid project manager and 12 regular volunteers. “We have a number of individuals from varied backgrounds including asylum seekers, who’ve come to us via beneficiary organisations; the work provides valuable experiences, which in many cases helps people regain some order into their lives. So they have to be here at a certain time and do a day’s shift. It helps them re-establish a work/life discipline, build self-esteem and gain skills. We’ve often been a stepping stone to food hygiene training, manual handling or even fork lift truck certificates.” And what about supporters from the food and drink industry? “Food distribution company, Brakes, is a huge supporter on a national basis,” says Lucy “and we are working with a local contact in the North West region. We are developing relationships with the Co-operative and Kellogg’s amongst others, and have a number of other working agreements with food companies big and small, which we really appreciate. New Smithfield Market itself is a wholesale market for fruit and vegetables, fish and meat. We are very handily placed for traders to pass on any surplus supplies to a good cause! But the goal is to get many more organisations involved, especially where they are prepared to drop pallet-loads of food – that’s where we will make a bigger difference.” The support of organisations like Food NW has been invaluable in building awareness and persuading people to get more involved. “There is obviously a climate impact to poor management of surplus food, whilst there are people locally who really benefit from these supplies. As pressure is brought to bear on amounts going to landfill we are ideally placed to offer a safe, secure solution.” Lucy says: “I am a pretty practical sort of person. And the vulnerability you see in our recipient organisations could happen to anyone.” Cornerstones in Moss Side in Manchester is one of EMERGE’s busiest beneficiaries, who Lucy describes as ‘brilliant’. They make and serve about 250 hot meals every day. As well as running a wide range of successful and innovative waste management services through their recycling subsidiary, the EMERGE team has recently begun some educational work supported by Manchester City Council’s Carbon Innovation Fund. They have set up a kitchen garden at Smithfield Market to demonstrate how to grow your own food. “It shows what you can do in a small space – very simple, resourceful and satisfying!” Food manufacturers wanting to know more should contact Peter on 07969 841777 or Seb at FareShare North West on 0161 223 8200 or 07917 237 537, email@example.com
As well as food donations there are numerous opportunities to get So how would you define ‘edible food’? Food redistributed involved in fund-raising, volunteering or project development, contact by FareShare has to be “in date” i.e. within the best before Nicola via www.emergemanchester.co.uk or 0161 223 8200. |24| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
Scottish Parliament proves green credentials with CEMARS certification from Achilles’ carbonReduction programme The Scottish Parliament, working with Achilles’ carbonReduction programme, has become the first public sector body to be awarded the CEMARS (Certified Emissions Measurement And Reduction Scheme) standard and hence achieve certification to ISO14064, Part 1. This is the most rigorous international endorsement the Scottish Parliament could have achieved and is a testament to their commitment to measure, manage and reduce their carbon emissions. CEMARS recognises organisations for credible carbon measurement, management and reduction. An organisation must measure their carbon emissions across Scope 1, 2 and 3 as well as develop a detailed reduction plan with targets and key initiatives outlined. An organisation has five years from the base year to demonstrate either an absolute or a relative reduction in carbon emissions. Organisations affected by the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme may also use CEMARS to demonstrate carbon reductions achieved over the last three years. The Scottish Parliament has demonstrated an accurate measurement of a comprehensive carbon footprint covering its Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions and a commitment to a detailed reduction plan with a view to achieving a 12.5% reduction by March 2015 and 42% reduction by 2020. The Scottish Parliament has already achieved an impressive five per cent reduction in absolute carbon emissions over the last three years. David Fairhurst, Environment Manager at the Scottish Parliament said: “This award demonstrates our on-going commitment to reach the ambitious targets which we have set to cut carbon emissions at Holyrood. We are always looking at new ways to improve our carbon management. To date this has included a range of initiatives such as installing more efficient LED lighting, reducing the energy used to keep IT server rooms cool and more efficient and recycling food waste.”
Book Review By Alex Stacey
The Joy Of Home - Naomi Cleaver I have never really taken that much interest in interior design; don’t get me wrong I am not a philistine, I love my life filled with beautiful things but actually designing the interior has always felt like the domain of those high street boutiques with only a handful of items for sale. That is until I got hold of a copy of The Joy Of Home. What Naomi Cleaver has done successfully in this book is to give interior design back to the people; this book is simple and beautiful. No more is the world of design in the hands of camp, flamboyant, over dressed popinjays trying to exceed the ordinary bounds of fashion. It is about you, how you live and how you want to live. The book leads you gently through the basics, drawing on experience and a multitude of experts and commentators. It combines a clever combination of informing the reader and making them think for themselves. For example. “The Brief” page helps to stimulate your thinking with questions on the positives and negatives of how you live your life and encourages you to ask searching questions such as: “If your house was on fire what 3 possessions would you grab before escaping? “, and, “What is your favourite place in the world and why?” This metaphysical challenge is followed by a physical one on surveying, planning and drawing the space you wish to design. Everything is supported by stunning illustrations and photos which really inspire and, as you would expect from a designer, every aspect is considered. Naomi’s understanding of styles and materials is expressed in fine detail giving the reader access to an incredible knowledge base and enough inspiration and freedom from which to create their own perfect home. The Joy Of Home is the perfect guide through the interior design process or alternatively a beautiful coffee table adornment for the design conscious. Available at www. octopusbooks. co.uk for £30
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Funding boost for transport innovation awards I hope you’ve been putting some thought into your idea for the current GeoVation Challenge, ‘How can we improve transport in Britain’. You’ve got until the end of November to make your submission but in case the prospect of sharing a £25,000 prize fund wasn’t enough incentive for you, perhaps the news that the cash has been dramatically increased will be. Entrants to the Ordnance Survey’s run awards will now have the chance to win a share of a whopping £150,000. The cash injection comes from the Ideas in Transit project, which in itself is funded by the Technology Strategy Board, the Department for Transport and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. For those that missed last month’s column, GeoVation is an innovation awards programme which supports geography based ideas that have a social, economic or environmental benefit. Now in its second year, the programme is focused on three key areas, the most current being all around transportation. All the available funding will be go towards supporting geography based ventures that have the greatest potential to transform how we all travel, so get your thinking caps on! The Ideas in Transit project is a collaboration between the University of the West of England, Loughborough University, ITO World Ltd and Ordnance Survey. It seeks to apply “bottom-up” innovations to the transport challenges faced by individuals and society, such as congestion and the rising cost of fuel. So its support for the GeoVation Challenge is a perfect fit. Professor Glenn Lyons of the University of the West of England comments, “The project aims to promote the understanding, awareness and development of user innovations relevant to transport. This is firmly aligned with the focus of this GeoVation Challenge, so we’re delighted to be able to put forward these additional funds. I’m excited about the ideas we might uncover.” Both universities have an interest in the user perspective to transport, from assessing the social context for travel through to user-centred design. Through Ideas in Transit and the GeoVation Challenge these capabilities will be available to the winners to help them develop their ideas.
ideas in transport are coming from users solving their own problems. We are delighted that, through our funding of Ideas in Transit, some of these ideas are going to be developed to address transport challenges and potentially achieve commercial success.” Possible applications include simple, local solutions such as the use of geography to bring together potential lift-share partners based on their location, interests and availability of public transport, thereby helping to reduce congestion and carbon emissions. Or ideas could be more technologically advanced, such as the Sentience Project, which Ordnance Survey took part in during 2008. Sentience used GPS satellite data and digital map technology to enable a car to automatically accelerate and brake in the most economical way possible using foreknowledge of the road layout. Dr Chris Parker, one of the GeoVation organisers at Ordnance Survey, adds, “Transport is something that has an obvious geographic foundation and I believe that we’re going to see ideas emerge that could improve our public services and could change how we travel. As such, we’re hugely grateful for the financial support that Ideas in Transit are offering because it means we have the opportunity to support even more ideas, with even greater investment.” So if you fancy getting your hands on a slice of £150,000, the place to start is on the GeoVation website. From there, all shortlisted entries will be invited to develop their ideas at a GeoVation Camp before going on to pitch head-to-head for funding at a “Dragons’ Den” style showcase next year. To enter the GeoVation Challenge, visit www.geovation. org.uk, and the latest news is also available through Twitter at GeoVation. This GeoVation Challenge runs from 28 September–26 November.
It’s an exciting prospect. Dr Richard Kemp-Harper of the Technology Strategy Board says, “Some of the most interesting and effective ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |27|
Climate Week One week to show how we can combat climate change - 21 to 27 March 2011
Thousands of events and activities, highlighting the positive steps being taken to help combat climate change, are being planned by organisations from every part of society for the UK’s first Climate Week.
Climate Week will be a supercharged national occasion that offers an annual renewal of Britain’s ambition and confidence to combat climate change. It is for everyone wanting to do their bit to protect our planet and create a secure future. Climate Week will shine a spotlight on the many steps already being taken in workplaces and communities across Britain. The power of these real, practical examples - the small improvements and the big innovations - will then inspire millions more people. Thousands of businesses, charities, schools, councils and others will run events during Climate Week on 21-27 March 2011. They will show what can be achieved, share ideas and encourage thousands more to act during the rest of the year. Climate Week is backed by every part of society - from the Prime Minister to Paul McCartney, the NHS to the National Trust, Girlguiding UK to the CBI, the Big Lottery Fund to the National Association of Head Teachers. Climate Week is sponsored by a Headline Partner - Tesco - and four Supporting Partners - Aviva, EDF Energy, Kellogg’s and RBS - which all have a deep commitment to action on climate change. Tesco believes that retail businesses can play a powerful role in tackling climate change and is determined to play its part. Tesco has saved over 2.5 million tonnes of carbon since 2006 and has already opened the world’s first zero-carbon supermarket. It aims to become a zero-carbon business by 2050 - without purchasing offsets. In addition it has committed to work with its suppliers to reduce emissions from products in its supply chain by 30% by 2020 and to have found ways to help its customers halve their own carbon footprints by 2020. Aviva was the first insurer to be carbon neutral worldwide, EDF Energy is Britain’s largest producer of low carbon electricity, Kellogg’s is reducing greenhouse emissions 15-20% per tonne of food and RBS has the best rating from the Carbon Disclosure Project of any UK bank. The Prime Minister, David Cameron said: “We all have a shared responsibility to act on climate change, and our generation will rightly be judged by our response to it. Climate Week will help to give real momentum to this work, highlighting practical ways in which we can all make a difference, and I am delighted to welcome it.” Other eminent people backing Climate Week include
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the former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the former US Vice President Al Gore, Lord Nicholas Stern (author of the Government’s Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change) the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and the Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband. Other celebrities supporting it include presenter Michael Palin, fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, model Lily Cole, actress Sienna Miller and musicians Mark Ronson and Jarvis Cocker. The huge range of organisations backing Climate Week includes the Federation of Small Businesses, Institute of Directors, Chief Fire Officers Association, Environment Agency, National Federation of Women’s Institutes, National Housing Federation, University and College Union, British Medical Association, National Farmers’ Union, Churches Together in Britain & Ireland, Board of Deputies of British Jews, Muslim Council of Britain and the Met Office. In total, Climate Week is supported by over 180 organisations that represent a further 850,000 organisations and have 6 million individual members. During Climate Week, organisations will have a unique opportunity to run events that profile their own initiatives and innovations to stakeholders and staff, customers and the community, members and the media. Winners of the prestigious Climate Week Awards will be announced during Climate Week. Entries can be submitted right now in a range of categories which include initiatives by businesses, community groups and public services, new technological breakthoughs, artistic responses to climate change, and low-carbon products and services. The Climate Week Challenge, also taking place during the week, will involve teams in schools and workplaces across the UK all doing the same task at the same time, in Britain’s biggest ever live environmental competition. Organisations can help right now by starting to plan an event for the week, entering the Climate Week Awards or registering for the Climate Week Challenge. They can also help by spreading the word in advance, so that others find out about Climate Week in time to plan their own activities. Individuals can help right now by asking the organisations they know – such as their workplace or local school – to run an event or activity for Climate Week. The event could be a talk, workshop, training session, open day, exhibition, party or any other kind of activity. All of them will help to build a massive movement for change that will inspire millions of people to act. To find out more about Climate Week please go to www.climateweek.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone on 020 3397 2601. ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |29|
Let's all have a conference about how we might re-arrange the deckchairs. I was speaking earlier this week with some people who are endeavouring to get a 'project' off the ground. The project appears at first glance to have some very laudable commercial aims, but after a short while it became apparent that the people involved were focussing on which Government and EU grants they could get and what the likely sums would be. It would obviously be inappropriate to name the people or provide any details of the centre they wish to establish, but essentially it's all about exchanging information. This, I soon came to understand, was a euphemism for holding meetings, presentations and conferences. The good people involved reeled off a list of grants and schemes to which they might apply, referring to some with a degree of certainty. The ministry of this, the department of that – the list was surprisingly long, and not just in the sense that it stretched from London to Brussels. Lunch followed and I learned that all the people involved had some degree of expertise in this area – and by 'this area' I mean getting hold of Government and EU funding and then holding meetings and staging conferences. It's what they do. They talked fondly about how Prof. so and so from Scotland had secured funding for his project and how Dr. Wotsit had lunch with the Minister last week and had put a word in. This application was merely a formality but that one was quite a lengthy process and might take some time. Indeed they thought it might not be worth pursuing until someone sagely pointed out that they would have to be seen to be applying for it, lest they be accused of going for the 'low-hanging fruit'. The people involved, all well-educated individuals uniformly urbane to the point of concern, had built wellpaid careers from obtaining and living off funding whilst they 'exchanged information', 'provided a meaningful forum', 'published reports' and so on. It would need premises, and of course a secretariat, not to mention a website and some published information. An initial grant to explore how the project might be put together was almost certainly forthcoming, and so the costs of time, travel, meetings and sustenance for the exploratory talks was probably secure. With the media seemingly obsessed with benefit scroungers at the moment, it struck me that I could find very little difference between said scroungers and these people, save perhaps a clutch of PhDs. They live in a |30| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
kind of half-world in which the word 'funding' represents some kind of goal at which they can aim. Secure the funding and we can take it easy for a few years – but make sure it's all spent otherwise it'll be reduced in the future. It's junket time. Which brings me to the point. (At last, you might well say..) In doing my research for the Cancun Conference – something I'm finding difficult to develop any enthusiasm for – I read the following: 'The United Nations Climate Change Conference to be held in Cancun, Mexico, from 29 November to 10 December 2010, encompasses the sixteenth Conference of the Parties (COP) and the sixth Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP), as well as the thirty-third sessions of both the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), and the fifteenth session of the AWG-KP and thirteenth session of the AWG-LCA.' 'To discuss future commitments for industrialized countries under the Kyoto Protocol, the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP) established a working group in December 2005 called the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP). In Copenhagen, at its fifth session, the CMP requested the AWG-KP to deliver the results of its work for adoption by CMP 6 in Cancun.' Those are the opening paragraphs on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. I promise that this is real. See for yourself at http://unfccc.int/2860.php Now am I the only one worried by the fact that they talk about which conference arising from which conference encompassing which meeting and so on? Am I naïve in thinking that the opening paragraphs of the site might – just might - be about the challenges facing the world – especially in the light of the dismal performance at Copenhagen? As I learned from my earlier meeting earlier – the process itself has grown to the point where it has replaced the issue it is supposed to serve. Prepare for despair, say I.
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Green Grocers Dan Welch, Co-editor of Ethical Consumer magazine, asks who’s top of the food chain in the UK supermarket sector. For many environmentalists supermarkets are a bête noire, palaces of unsustainable consumerism where the carbon-heavy, out-of-season fruits of our globalised economy are disgorged into the waiting car boots of wasteful consumers. At the same time, the UK’s biggest retailers are battling it out for the title of ‘greenest’ supermarket, with it seems new eco-initiatives launched every week. This paradox is nowhere better illustrated than by Wal-Mart (owner of the UK’s ASDA and Netto), long the target of campaigners of every stripe. Wal-Mart’s CEO announced in 2005 to general incredulity that the big-box monster of American retail was going green and pledged to be a “good steward for the environment”. Whilst many expected greenwash, Wal-Mart’s sustainability programme started attracting support from green luminaries like Amory Lovins, founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute, and Adam Werbach, former head of the Sierra Club, the US’ biggest environmental group. The Wal-Mart conversion showed that huge change was afoot in the sector. Supermarket share of the UK grocery market has been steadily rising. At the beginning of the 1990s, the UK’s then ‘big four’ took just under half of the British shopper’s spending on food.Today, Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons control around three quarters of our grocery market. Tesco in particular has shown extraordinary growth, now taking a staggering one in every three pounds spent on groceries in the UK. For Helen Rimmer, Friends of the Earth Food Campaigner and spokesperson for anti-supermarket group Tescopoly, with a handful of companies dominating food retail, the real question is “What has supermarket domination meant for the true champions of our food system, the small farmers and the independent shop owners who provide us with sustainable, healthy and affordable food?” For Rimmer the answer is clear: “The costs of supermarkets’ aggressive expansion are being felt by small businesses, farmers and the environment. In recent times 2,000 independent grocers have closed down every year.” But isn’t the flip side of that dominance that sustainability initiatives from the big players could have a huge impact? In the US Wal-Mart introduced a sustainability scorecard for its buyers, bringing sustainability metrics into the |32| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
heart of its sourcing practices. And with Wal-Mart representing 3% of the US’ GDP that’s a lot of supply chain. Charles Craypo, Emeritus Professor of Economics at Notre Dame University, who has followed Wal-Mart’s ‘greening’ in detail thinks there are clear limits – on the bottom line. Beyond the win-win of ‘low hanging fruit’ Craypo notes that “long-time bad habits” remain, such as allowing toxic run-off at its construction sites. It’s cheaper to pay the fines than change the practice. “A typical supermarket contains no fewer than 30,000 items. About half of those items are produced by 10 multinational food and beverage companies,” notes Paul Squires of the New Economics Foundation. And this model, according to Squires, is fundamentally unsustainable: “Redesigning our high streets to support a low carbon-future means ultimately displacing retail chains (as large users of carbon) and replacing them with locally-embedded alternatives.” The protestors blockade of fuel refineries and distribution depots which brought the country to a near standstill in 2000 revealed just how vulnerable reliance on a few very large chain retailers has left our local economies and communities, according to Squires: “The fragile foundation of our over-reliance on oil and highly centralised distribution systems, lay starkly exposed. Another three days of protests, supermarket bosses claimed, would have left their shelves empty. We were, in effect, only nine meals from anarchy.” Environmental Reporting But the reality for most of us is that the bulk of our weekly shop will be done in supermarkets. Can consumers trust the big supermarkets’ claims to be going green? Ethical Consumer is currently completing a study of the sector’s sustainability performance, the results of which will be out before Christmas. This research builds on a report on the supermarket sector we conducted last year – where the ‘Best Buys’ across all ethical and environmental criteria were The Co-operative, M&S and Waitrose, plus Budgens and Londis for the smaller convenience stores. Key to credible environmental performance is robust, transparent – and publicly available – environmental reporting. Ethical Consumer reviewed the environmental reporting of 18 retail brands in the UK grocery retail sector, including convenience stores like Londis,
Best Reporters It’ll probably come as little surprise that the Co-operative Group and M&S, both well respected for their record of sustainability reporting, received the Best Rating.
(although Tesco did have audited carbon footprinting). But there were some impressive targets. Wal-Mart aims to reduce GHGs at exisiting store and distribution centres based around the world by 20% by 2012 and eliminate 20 million metric tons of GHG from supply chains by end of 2015. Sainsbury’s has a CO² reduction target of 25% by 2012. John Lewis’s 2009 report committed it to improving the energy efficiency of shops and offices by 20% by the end of this year. Morrisons and Tesco’s longer term carbon commitments – for Morrisons, a 30% absolute reduction in CO² by 2020 and for Tesco ‘zero carbon’ (without the use of offsets) by 2050 – show ambition but are open to the usual criticism of distant targets. While both offered near-term targets for other impacts, with Tesco in Ireland aiming for 100% of waste diverted from landfill in 2011 and John Lewis commtiting to zero waste direct to landfill by 2013.
M&S published its impressive Plan A commitments in January 2007. The result was a comprehensive five year plan covering 100 social, environmental and ethical issues. That kind of detailed, quantified commitment goes a long way to providing credibility. And according to a recent IPSOS Mori poll commisioned by the company, sustainability specialists do regard M&S as leaders in the field.
The Laggards There was a clear divide between these companies with clear and credible environmental commitments and the laggards who neither publish anything but the vaguest of green platitudes, nor were able to supply us with any internal policies or reports. So a resounding Worst Rating for Environmental Reporting for ALDI, Costcutter, Farmfoods, Iceland, LIDL, McColl and SPAR.
regionals like Booths and Budgens, as well as the frozen food and discount retailers. We looked for a number of basic indicators: a published report within the last two years; dated, quantified future targets; demonstrable understanding of major environmental impacts; meaningful carbon disclosure; and independent verification of the report. There was a clear divide in the sector. Only five of the 18 brands get our Best Rating for environmental reporting, while a further six earned Middle Rating, mainly because of lack of independent verification.
According to Rowland Hill, Sustainability Manager at M&S “Three years into the Plan, 62% of the commitments had been achieved and we were making good progress”. But Hill notes: “We’re very clear that the challenge we face in taking M&S from being ‘better’ to being truly sustainable is still a long and hard journey.” More of a surprise for Best Rating was Irish-based Musgrave Group, owners of the Budgens and Londis brands. Musgrave’s commitments include a 5% annual reduction in oil, gas and electricity use over the period 2008-12. And the northwest’s sustainability champions Booths also came in the Best category with its 2010 report providing a comprehensive breakdown of the company’s carbon footprint, not just of its own operations but also looking at food supply chain impacts, such as meat and dairy and flown or hot housed vegetables. Middle Rating Middle rating for environmental reporting went to ASDA and Netto (Wal-Mart), Morrisons, Sainsbury, Tesco, and Waitrose (John Lewis). The two criteria that cost WalMart’s report a best rating were lack of independent verification and demonstrable understanding of impacts. While the report did contain information on Amazon deforestation relating to livestock, stocking local products, chemicals, product impacts, water, buildings impacts, in-store fridge impacts, transport and green house gases there were some notable silences on impacts relating to agriculture - including pesticides. The latter four narrowly missed the best rating due to lack of independent verification of their reporting ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |33|
Food Security By James Paice, MP Food
The UK’s food and drink industry is its largest manufacturing sector. It directly employs almost 440,000 people to provide us with an enviable degree of food security, quality and safety. Through our trade links we enjoy a wide variety of food from around the world. Despite recent price rises, commodity prices are historically low and the vast majority of the UK’s households have access to affordable and nutritious food. But despite this rosy picture, this is not a time for complacency. Waste is an issue: UK households create over eight million tonnes of food waste each year. That’s £12 billion of food thrown away. Environmental damage is an issue: our food and drink industry emits around 22 percent of UK’s greenhouse gases. And then there’s the issue of our growing needs. The UN estimates that, by 2030, the world will need 30 percent more fresh water and 50 percent more energy; and that by 2050 demand for food will increase by 70 percent. We’ll be trying to ensure these increased needs are met while managing and adapting to climate change. As our business plan states, Defra is encouraging sustainable food production to enhance the competitiveness and resilience of the whole food chain. This is part of our wider aim of building a new green economy. We need to help food producers to find ways of using less energy, carbon and water intensive processes. We also need to encourage competitiveness, trade and, very |34| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
importantly, resilience – the ability to cope with, say, disrupted trade or the increasing population. We need to consider the impact of the way food is grown in the environment. We need to encourage precision agriculture, ensuring that just the right amount of fertiliser is delivered as close to the crop as possible to minimise the surplus leaching into the water system. We also need to find ways to minimise the use of resources such as water and energy, which are likely to become increasingly scarce. Farmers and the fishing industry need help to acquire the skills and technology to make the most efficient use of the resources available. Later this year, our Natural Environment White Paper will set out our strategy to value, protect and enhance the natural resources on which our economy relies. We will also be working in Europe to ensure that the Common Agricultural Policy is aligned to the demands of the coming decades. While some Member States argue that the CAP helps bolster food security, I believe it does little to increase the underlying competitiveness of the industry - despite costing more than 40 percent of the EU budget. We need a CAP framework within which a productive, competitive and sustainable agriculture sector can thrive. Farmers must be free to farm in ways that respond to the market and changing consumer demands, and rewarded for delivering benefits the market cannot provide, such as environmental ones – which is where the CAP can add value.
Similarly we need a Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) that allows fishermen and their communities to prosper, while protecting fish stocks and the marine environment. Europe will soon have the chance to reform the CAP and the CFP and Defra will be pushing for genuine change. The food chain has a large impact on climate change, and on biodiversity. Climate change and biodiversity decline impact upon food production. Failure to deal with these issues will put food security at risk. To boost food security, CAP should therefore re-balance environmental and economic objectives. This isn’t just about our own food security. The moral question aside, it is in our own interests to respond both to our own needs and those of the wider world. Food security problems in other regions will lead to instability and conflict. Our food security and variety of diet are dependent upon global supply. Which is why we’ve committed £100 million to international forest biodiversity, as announced by Caroline Spelman at Nagoya in November. In Europe, we’re looking to build alliances with other joint agriculture and environment ministers who take a similar view of international food security. We will also be looking to work with the Department for International Development, to explore how we can achieve shared outcomes. Trade and competitiveness are vital. We are a trading nation in a global market, which is and will continue to experience seismic changes. This planet currently supports 6.5 billion people and that’s projected to grow to around 9.2 billion by 2050. The growing middle class in the emerging economies have the money to buy a wider range of foods, including more animal protein and more imported food. Planning for our future food security requires sophisticated thinking from both governments and the food industry. There are a number of causes of food insecurity and they require a range of solutions, based on sound evidence. The food price spike of 2008 was originally blamed on bio-fuel production and market speculation. As price levels have fallen back it’s now clear that it was caused by low stocks, poor harvest, high oil prices and export restrictions. Where food prices were held down there was no incentive to invest in greater production – which did nothing for either food supply or, in reality, food prices. Farmers in OECD countries, on the other hand, could invest in higher yields and responded to the events of 2008 by producing the biggest cereals harvest the world had ever seen. With the right approach from markets and governments, we can reduce volatility and help secure a more ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |35|
sustainable global food system. This will take investment in the infrastructure needed to get food from producers to markets, sustainable management of natural resources like water, development of the right skills, new science and technology to help adapt to climate change, and improvement in land rights that open access to credit. It will also take a level playing field. We need to strengthen our international trading system to help people trade more freely and better compete in world markets. That’s why we need a more ambitious and balanced Doha Development Deal. Food security does not just involve increasing the production capacity and responsiveness of farmers: it’s also about wasting less. The UN estimates global harvests and food chain waste – before even reaching the shop shelves – at around 1400 calories per person, per day. If we stopped wasting those 1400 calories, we’d have the food it’s estimated we’ll need by 2050. In response to the events of 2008, Defra’s first ever UK Food Security Assessment was published in 2009 - and was widely welcomed for its holistic approach. It argues that, given the right tools, the world’s food producers can respond to rising demand, as they have in the past, and concludes that UK food security is best served through well-functioning markets and strong, diverse trade links. It is our policy to seek to boost production. But the report did highlight global environmental sustainability as a particular concern. This is why sustainable agriculture and food chains must be a key driving force of the green economy we need to build in the years ahead, both domestically and internationally. There is already a growing movement to reduce carbon emissions, water, waste and transport use, through initiatives such as the Food and Drink Federation’s ‘5-fold Ambition’ and the British Retail Consortium’s ‘ A Better Retailing Climate’. Example- Cadbury’s Cocoa Partnership, where £45 million over 10 years is being invested to secure the sustainability of cocoa farmers and their communities in
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Ghana, India, Indonesia and the Caribbean. Unilever, Sainsbury’s and others are founding members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, committing to 100 percent sustainable sourcing by 2015 or earlier. My department is mapping UK consumption of palm oil to identify steps towards more sustainable sourcing nationwide. These kinds of initiatives are being replicated across Europe, where an industry-led Sustainable Consumption and Production Roundtable is working to reduce the environmental impact of food through environmental footprinting and the creation of a voluntary eco-label. The direction of travel is clear – a demonstrable commitment to ethical sourcing and sustainability will be increasingly expected of the industry as a whole by both consumers and investors. UK businesses and government now have the opportunity, working with our international partners, to show global leadership. This month Professor Sir John Beddington will publish a major two-year study from the ‘Foresight’ Programme, ‘Global Food and Farming Futures’. This project, which has brought together an impressive range of international experts, from the UN, EU, World Bank and industry, and draws on previous international studies including the IAASTD and UN World Development Report, has analysed the global food system from production to plate and fast-forwarded to what the global picture will look like out to 2050. This report will equip us to understand the emerging challenges to food security and identify how new science, new policies and new ways of working together can best meet these challenges, in the UK, in Europe and internationally.
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Why we need to tackle plant health in the fight for food security Dr Joan Kelley Executive Director, Global Operations, CABI
Rapid food price rises have highlighted serious concerns about food security globally and have had a huge impact on achieving Millennium Development Goal 1 (Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger). In addition, we believe that a lack of food security will put at risk the achievement of the other MDGs. For example, good governance will be undermined by food shortages: price rises have already triggered riots and civil disturbance in several countries. Improvements in maternal and child health will be much more difficult to achieve in populations who do not have access to sufficient quantities of food with adequate nutritional quality. Effectiveness of vaccines and anti-AIDS drugs is much reduced in such groups and they are at greater risk of chronic health problems as well as opportunistic infections. Low incomes for poor rural farmers will mean that they are unable to afford the treatment or medicines needed for themselves and their families. Children are unable to concentrate and benefit from education if they do not have a nutritionally balanced diet. Feeding a predicted world population of 9.5 billion in 2050 when there are an estimated 1 billion still going hungry today will be a challenge requiring the application of the best scientific techniques as well as the development of new approaches. Improved productivity is vital to reducing rural poverty and increasing food security. Scientists throughout the world are working on developing new crop varieties, improving land use, and enhancing soil fertility and water management. This work is important, but there is also a way that we can feed millions more people right now, without the need for extra land, water, fertilisers, or chemicals – and that’s by making sure that we lose less of what we already grow. Currently, it is estimated that one third to one half of all food produced is lost from ‘field to fork’. This is due to pre- and post-harvest losses as well as waste in the retail sector and at the consumer’s table. Quantitative data on crop losses is very limited, but estimates of 30 to 40 per cent are common in scientific literature. A large proportion of this is due to pests and diseases. And with |38| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
climate change, trade flows, and population movement all increasing, the rate at which these plant health problems arise and spread is also multiplying. For example, the wheat rust Ug 99, which was discovered in Uganda in 1998 and reported in 1999, is now established in the Eastern Africa highlands and spreading. In Kenya, wheat losses due to Ug99 are over 70 per cent of total production in some areas. Production losses have led to higher prices in local markets with a resulting impact on low income families and an increase in food insecurity. Imagine what will happen as it spreads into the high-yielding production systems of South Asia and beyond. Another example of a disease that has had a significant impact is Coffee Wilt disease, which attacks coffee species in Central and Eastern Africa. Whilst coffee is not a staple food crop, its production has indirect implications for food security through decreasing income security. Coffee Wilt disease kills coffee bushes so that, very soon after its detection, farmers experience a complete loss of income from coffee. A 77 per cent loss in yield of robusta coffee at the national level in Uganda was reported in 2009.
Image courtesy of tellgraf SXC
Trans-boundary pests and diseases such as these are serious threats to food security. They jeopardize the livelihoods of millions, and therefore national economies and political security too. Management of pests and diseases is heavily dependent on early detection so that eradication can be attempted and, if this is not possible, management practices can be established. Where a pest or disease is causing trouble now is only half the story. We need to understand the factors that have created the situation today, so that we can predict what might happen tomorrow – where pests and diseases might spread to, and which minor pests of today might become major problems in the future. Awareness of Ug99, for example, is now high, but who knows what other pests may be quietly multiplying in its shadow elsewhere in the world? But just as there are few systems in place to gather data on pest losses, so systems for effective detection, identification and monitoring are not in place, and in some cases information about new threats are ignored by the authorities. With the right knowledge we could identify pests and diseases earlier, slow down their spread and provide the correct treatments before yields are significantly affected. For every 1 per cent reduction in crop losses, we could potentially feed up to 25 million more people. At the beginning of 2010 CABI announced the launch of its Plantwise initiative, a major programme to create a global plant health vigilance and information resource, aimed at benefiting scientists, policymakers, and farmers. Plantwise is based on the creation of a ‘knowledge bank’ delivering a single point of access for all plant pest and disease information. The plan is to bring together all the best information about plant pests and diseases, aggregate it, structure it, update it, and make it searchable so that scientists can recognize complex patterns of information across multiple sites. CABI itself has a number of pieces of the jigsaw already in place, in the form of its existing data and publishing capability, including the world-leading CAB Abstracts and authoritative Crop Protection Compendium (CPC), together with a unique network of plant health clinics. The plant health clinics advise farmers in developing countries on pests and diseases in the way a health centre does for humans. They are run by local technical people, trained by CABI, who visit rural markets every week. Farmers drop by with samples of diseased plants, to get the problem identified and to learn what to do about it. CABI is actively expanding the number of clinics to 400 in 40 countries. As well as providing immediate benefits to local farmers, the clinics provide an early warning system, helping to monitor plant pests and diseases
and indicate where more systematic surveillance programmes are required. We receive regular new disease reports from the clinics – there was one identified in Oregano only last month. With the global increase in clinic sampling points we expect much greater reporting of emerging problems which can then be digitized and laid on a map. Over time, we will be able to track the distribution and incidence of each pest or disease whilst plant scientists, armed with current and reliable reports, can get a grip on what really is going on and recommend timely mitigation strategies. Through Plantwise, CABI will also be able to present linked references to articles about specific pests, the crops they affect, the damage they cause, and suggested treatment. We want users to be able to search by crop, by pest, or by country. The knowledge bank will also contain images for identification of pests, description of their relationship with the plant host, and contact details of local services. We’re actively examining how we can distribute the information via multiple platforms, including via mobiles. So what does CABI need to make its vision a reality? First, we need shared content. We have a lot of data already, including outputs from CABI research projects around the world. But for this to save scientists time we need more reliable content, integrated and accessible from one point. We have already had a positive response and offers of content from partners including EPPO, IRRI and FERA in the UK. We hope that many more institutions will join them. Inevitably, also, we need funds - both to establish the Knowledge Bank and to extend the plant clinics network. The Plantwise initiative could help feed more people, give us early warning of plant pests and disease, improve food security, and lift people out of poverty. We are actively looking for partners and donors in this exciting project. If you would like to join us, please contact us. About CABI CABI (Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International) is a not-for-profit science-based development and information organisation with nine centres worldwide. Our mission and direction are influenced by more than 40 member countries that help guide the activities undertaken. These include scientific publishing, development projects and research, and microbial services. Our staff research and find solutions to agricultural and environmental problems. We use science, information and communication tools to help solve issues of global concern. We particularly focus on improving food security and safeguarding the environment. We do this by helping farmers grow more and lose less, combating invasive species, finding natural alternatives to pesticides and improving access to agricultural and environmental scientific knowledge. For more information go to www.cabi.org ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |39|
Food for Thought This Christmas By Liz Barling, Food Ethics Council
At Christmas our thoughts turn towards friends and family, giving gifts and offering hospitality. A key part of the festivities is sharing food, celebrating the year that’s past, and anticipating what’s to come. We’re encouraged to break this festive bread (and turkey, salmon and exotic fruit and vegetables) by sustained advertising campaigns in newspapers and on TV, whipping us into a frenzy of seasonal indulgence. As environmental industry insiders, we know that the food we eat can have serious implications for the environment. Here at the Food Ethics Council we are working with government, food companies and third sector organisations to navigate through the difficult issues that arise from how our food is produced The out-of-season vegetables stacked on the supermarket shelves at Christmas are often imported by air. They are responsible for greenhouse gas emissions, and can sequester crucial local resources such as land, water and food. The turkey, ham and other meat on our Christmas day menus add to the UK’s collective output of GHGs - meat reared and eaten here accounts for 8% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions. And eating meat is a thirsty business too. It takes 5,000 litres of water to produce the average amount of meat consumed by a person in the UK every day (compared to 2,000 litres for a vegetarian). Air freighting fresh produce raises concerns about its contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), and, consequently, to climate change. Consequently there have been calls to reduce the practice of flying food to fill supermarket shelves. Yet others argue that this reaction could cause harm to communities in poor countries who depend on horticultural exports. It’s a seemingly loselose situation. What about the traditional smoked salmon? We all know that fish stocks are perilously low, and farmed fish can destroy the sea bed. There’s another dilemma staring |40| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
balefully at us from our plates. And finally, the amount of food we throw away is a crime. In Britain and America alone we throw away enough cereal-based food to lift 224 million people out of hunger. On average a British household throws away £xxx worth of food every year. You can bet some of that will be leftover Christmas dinner. As consumers we are caught between a rock and a hard place, faced with some seemingly impossible choices. We juggle our budgets with our responsibility to the environment and the developing world. What is the right thing to do? A report by the Food Ethics Council finds the total GHG emissions from air freight are fairly low. So although air freighted produce is very GHG intensive, there are other aspects of food production and processing that generate far more GHGs, and pulling out of developing world countries could harm poor people’s livelihoods. Food businesses should instead be focusing on their own particular GHG ‘hot spots’, looking to improve the efficiency and planning of their import arrangements, and planning more effectively – and transparently - for lasting development partnerships in the countries they work with. The deeper questions raised by the airfreight controversy about the value and vulnerability of exportled approaches to international development also warrant serious attention. The issue of water is another (Christmas) chestnut. Growing food is a thirsty business, but whether that matters depends on how and where it’s grown. Intensively reared animals are fed on soya and other commodity crops that require significant irrigation. And many salad vegetables are grown in water-scarce areas of the Mediterranean. This means we are in effect importing ‘embedded’ water in our turkeys and tomatoes.
Our report on this dialogue shows a cautious acceptance among producer organisations that diets which lower greenhouse gas emissions are not automatically a threat to profitability - including diets containing less meat. But the dialogues also identified a variety of barriers standing in the way of progress, including supermarket pricing policies, a lack of direction from government and competition with high-carbon imported products. If the UK is going to meet our 80% greenhouse gas cuts by 2050 under the Climate Change Act, emissions from food consumption will have to be cut by 70% in the same period. Achieving this will require advances in technology – including decarbonisation of the energy supply, production efficiencies and methane abatement – and behavioural changes, including eating less meat and wasting less food. Everyone, from consumer to government, producer to retailer, has a role to play in helping the UK achieve this target. It’s difficult for consumers to find a way out of this difficulty. We don’t know how much embedded water there is in our Spanish tomato. This is where industry can again step up to its responsibilities. As well as increasing production efficiencies, they can take responsibility for water use along the whole of their supply chain, embracing a “stewardship” approach. The Food Ethics Council has worked with Marks and Spencer, who is adopting this way of working, and other companies are following suit. In a nutshell, water stewardship means recognising that some of the biggest challenges to arise are not simply in measuring and managing water risks within your own supply chains, but in the practicalities of working with competing water users to manage shared resources. Labelling can help too, but only if it goes hand in hand with stewardship and efficiencies. A label that assures good water stewardship, rather than simply telling consumers a product’s water footprint, can be a great way to tell a positive story as well as giving the consumer the opportunity to encourage the supplier to keep up the good job.
It’s easy to rely on production efficiencies in combating climate change, but far more challenging to accept that some problems stem from deeper structural problems with the functioning of our economy. Take wasted food. It’s costly (the average UK family throws away between £250 and £400 worth of food every year), damages the environment, and in a world where a billion people are hungry, deeply unfair. Government backed anti-waste campaigns and kerbside collection services for food scraps can only go so far. They’ll only have lasting benefits for the environment and food security if they’re backed up by economic policies that tackle the causes of our throwaway society. The bottom line is that whatever we choose to put on our plates this Christmas we have to face up to difficult decisions. As consumers we can try to do the right thing, and as experts we can make sure that government and industry take responsibility for helping shape a better food system. That’s a gift worth giving.
We’ve all heard horror stories about nut roast and lentil loaf at Christmas, and seen the hysteria in the press when Paul McCartney and other celebrities support initiatives to eat less meat. Yet it’s an issue that the West is beginning to wake up to, both in terms of meat’s carbon footprint, and the damage it can do to our health. The Food Ethics Council and WWF-UK have initiated dialogues with meat and dairy producers over the thorny issue of meat consumption. The latest dialogues show that there is willingness to break the stalemate between producers and environmental groups over the role that changing livestock consumption has in tackling climate change. ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |41|
ORGANIC WASTE Page 43 - 48 - Food Glorious Food - Peter Jones, Ecolateral Page 50 - 51 - Paper Sludge Recycling - Andrew Urquhart, Envar
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FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD - A CASE OF ENVIRONMENTAL INDIGESTION ?
By Peter Jones, Ecolateral
In terms of mass, global warming potential (GWP) and ethical issues, the food supply chain impacts on our species’ lives as much as it did 4000 years ago but, in today’s world, the economic impact, in terms of financial and time cost, have been subjugated to the benefits of scale economies and scientific approaches to yield improvement. With a global population three times the level it was at the time when today’s retirees were born, mass of demand is once more becoming an issue -not due to Malthusian fears on the supply side but, rather, due to demands for improved supply and output side resource efficiency, not least in terms of global warming potential. In the UK, the demand for variety, freshness, quality and nutritional value unconstrained by the vagaries of the seasons creates the need to pioneer innovative approaches in terms of material flow mapping, carbon equivalence policy development, technologically led process change upstream as well as downstream coupled to a reappraisal of attitudinal issues of consumer behavior. This discussion document explores some of those possibilities. What are the non-financial impacts of food? UK consumers purchase 60 to 65 million tonnes of “stuff” from retail outlets every year. This mass includes 1 million tonnes of floor coverings, 0.8 million tonnes of nappies, 0.9 million tonnes of electrical and electronic equipment, 2.2 million tonnes of cars, and one million tonnes of clothes and footwear. Against this somewhat arcane list. FOOD is definitely king at around 30 million tonnes. Of course it would be, you chortle ……it is so generic. The subset tonnages are equally intriguing: 4.4 million tonnes of meat, 1 million tonnes of fats and oils, 4.3 million tonnes of fruit and veg , 0.6 million tonnes of fish, 9.6 million tonnes of dairy products, all conveyed in around 2.7 million tonnes of packaging. These are, however, output values. Looking at chickens
(an unblinking activity if you have tried it !) around 0.7 million tonnes of meat needed 1 million tonnes of corn to emerge. Adding in water, embedded energy in heat, fertiliser, refrigeration, logistics etc, the ratio of inputs to outputs goes to 1 to 10 in the case of beef products. (ii, iii). In fairness the history of resource efficiency improvements, in terms of stock birthrate, survival levels, food conversion rates, disease control and prices, have all been moving in the right directions. Overall, as we sit on the brink of an integrated Carbon Reduction Commitment (which bites this year and is likely to see a significant reduction in market liquidity in 2013), one can but marvel that we still do not possess an agreed overview of the total carbon footprint of the whole landscape. Blue Chip companies in the supply chain for meat, confectionery, bread, alcohol and fish struggle toward consensus on single measures of GWP assessment at a time when individual product labelling is out of the bag. This is a reflection of “bottom up” thinking somewhat like educating consumers by showing them an exhaust pipe to provide an insight into the intricacies of public transportation needs.David Mackay provides an insight into overall efficiency when he points out that the average UK person needs/ gets 73 Mega joules (Mj) weekly from food against 372 Mj consumed to produce, process, move and sell the food– of which packaging is around 9%. Food represents an estimated 16% of total global energy loading (e3) , so rising population and the shift to carbon intensive meat bodes ill as we stretch our biosphere to its limits. …….and the Financial Dimension? Food processing is equally a financial giant and lies at the heart of much British manufacturing innovation – accounting for £75 billion in sales, £20 billion of Gross Value Added, 12% of manufacturing employment and 8,000 vibrant businesses. In terms of sales value per tonne at the supermarket that converts to around £115 Billion (8% of GDP) or £3,500 per tonne - £4500 per ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |43|
household per year. Direct UK energy use in the food chain is in the region of 63 million tonnes of CO² -2 tonnes per tonne sold. At these levels any leap in the rate of the cost of carbon is containable and is in accord with the estimates by Nick Stern, that inflationary pressures of carbon accounting are of the order of 1% = 2% if action is taken early. More important to the economics are questions of GWP supply side impacts (witness Russian wheat) or scarcity of growing capacity (witness takeover bids in the fertiliser sector). Clearly the Food and Drink Federation is already on the case. One can but hope for a convergence of effort by all the interested parties – notably the Food Knowledge Transfer Network, the Resources KTN, Incpen, the Courtauld Commitment participants, FDF, BRC, NCC, WRAP et al. ……..but there are other issues Most notably the sector is taking on board the ethical dimension pioneered by the Food Ethics Council , both intra-UK, with regard to nutrition, obesity and access, as well as internationally, in terms of market pricing, transparency and reward mechanisms. These issues are but a preamble to the sizeable “low hanging fruit “ available from the abatement of wastage in commercial and domestic streams. An integrated suite of strategies can deliver a “triple whammy” in terms of lowered GWP, improved food security and costs. The numbers are well rehearsed thanks to WRAP and others. 12 million tonnes are discarded by households plus a further 6.5 million tonnes post the farmgate. The data represent the culmination of a path from the original Biffaward food Massbalance by C-Tech in 2004 , via the East Midlands study from the Food Faraday in 2008 funded by EMDA and the FDF. Given the veracity of these data there is now an opportunity to institutionalise the process into a real-time data capture system administered by the Environment Agency or others. I shall never forget asking two Directors of a major processing company in East Anglia whether they reconciled the gross weight of raw materials delivered, the waste removed over the weigh bridge (or sewer) and the gross weight of invoiced outputs. I was met by blank stares. Unlike many product areas, the concept of Producer Responsibility for end consumer waste will not work for food. As a consequence, end-of-life treatment options will be underpinned by a three pronged approach . First landfill taxes and bans will drive this “scrap” carbon toward non-specific technology options. Second, end markets in the form of recyclates, fertiliser substitutes and energy (as electricity, gas ,hydrogen, CHP, transport fuels etc) will themselves become more valuable as fossil carbon (on which they depend) becomes scarce. Third, Traded Pollution Permits will acquire greater value to initiate shifts to lower CO² profile reuse. Let’s examine the riders and runners. |44| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
TAXES AND BANS At 2013 levels for Landfill Tax of £80, the gate fee ceiling for competing technologies is well and truly in place. Bans are the icing on the cake but any undergraduate economist will tell you that percentage diversion rates are simply irrelevant - high cost operators using the high cost route go out of business, and at, those levels, landfill is, effectively, totally marginalised. EXIT MARKETS Whether we are at Peak Oil or not, as the price rises with increased energy demand the switch to coal, nuclear and gas will be triggered. The former could be saddled by expensive Traded Permit costs, the second by serious investment and aftercare costs, whilst the third will need an uplift in the electricity price to cover logistics, political and opportunity market costs .All these factors create an opening for scrap food. Of recycling , composting and renewable energy options, it is energy which will offer the biggest “ Bang for the Buck” in terms of revenue per Gigajoule – albeit at the highest financial cost of sunk capital, operating costs and maintenance costs. Assessment of these choices by investors remains clouded by the continuing absence of any uniform and academically peer-reviewed approach to carbon footprinting, and that is a task only Government and Regulator can address. The importance of such evaluations is simply that investors don’t wish to pursue attractive, low internality priced technologies with CO² burdens when common sense says that, in 5 years or less, externality burdens will form a significant element of risk to bottom line performance in the form of Traded Carbon Certificates et al. We are in the midst of that process now in the waste sector. Whilst revenue per gigajoule is the driver, the route is defined by the whole life waste footprint from collection to point of sale, Only around 15% of the latter is associated with trucks and “fuel” preparation, with the balance in the energy conversion technology. It is for this reason that high energy conversion efficiency CHP systems will maximise margins and impart three important benefits - highest income per tonne of feedstock ,lowest exposure to carbon allowances purchases and, thereby, the greatest ability to charge a lower gate fee (or positive fee ) for the waste food inputs. There are some additional operational
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prerequisites. First the locational strategy needs to be immediately accessible, co-located with existing users of significant fossil sourced energy in order to reduce distributional losses and provide attractive supply security to those on interruptable tariffs. It was with this in mind that the West Midlands RDA / Advantage West Midlands sponsored the creation of a locational interrogation tool (now in the hands of WRAP). Second, the emissions profile of the newer “advanced” technologies needs to be understood and agreed with the Regulator. Thus large scale CHP incinerators are at risk because islands of 12 Mw of heat from 400,000 behemoths just don’t exist in sufficient abundance. Anaerobic digesters are CO² intensive - better than landfill but not as good as gasifiers - unless they are built on a very large scale, at points of large agricultural waste production, sited conveniently for gas to mains injection. Using AD to produce 16% by mass of input matter as gas and then fritter it to 10% via an internal combustion generator, and then to 8% by mass once it arrives at the plug on the wall, is not as efficient as gasifiers doing the same at levels of 60% as available energy at the point of demand next door to a 3 MwE user. Of course there are gasifiers and gasifiers - some at 350 degrees, others up to 2,000 degrees. At the top of the range they will produce hydrogen and storable CO², with as little as 7,000 tonnes of food released as 1 Mw /8500 MwH of energy, over 5 times that in an AD system. The mechanics of these numbers have yet to be underpinned by installations in the UK and scientific examination but there is sufficient international experience to be wary of backing single technology solutions. As the recent study by Muhle, Balsam and Cheeseman demonstrates, the UK emits 5 times the level of CO² per tonne of MSW handled than Germany (175 kg vs 34 kg CO² equivalent) so the opportunity to fit horses to courses could put the UK ahead, even of Germany. THE BROADER CANVAS Thus the solutions are in part in the canny hands of the investors but Government has a real role to play in terms of …… i) ii) iii)
accelerating the UK toward a single regime of carbon accounting standards (qv) ensuring that the unscientific system of half ROCs, double ROCs, FITs, CRCs and EUTs is rationalised around a peer-reviewed consistent, framework and integrated into the carbon credit certification system. The current bureaucratic dreamworld, designed to favour particular technology outcomes, is unsound, irrational and needs to find its way to the nearest dustbin in the interests of real progress. developing new energy capacity in locations where distributional infrastructure is strained already in terms of wires and pipes. OFGEM is committing to extension or expansion of centralised
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grids when judiciously placed 3-8Mw decentralised renewable energy plants could release line capacity far more cheaply.
iv) ensuring the planning profession is armed for public consultation and transparency by the National adoption of the AWM Planning Tool v) utilising round tables with the water sector and regulator to footprint the operational risks- opportunities for insink masceration of biomass vi)
looking at the opportunities for altering price signals around carbon intensive foods in the form of differential CRC strategies (thereby encouraging the location of renewable food energy plants around meat and food processing plants perhaps?)
vii) encouraging community low food miles production of vegetables and fruit or community AD plants via the Local Economic Partnership strategies viii) junking sell-by dates and adopting all the other WRAP suggestions ix)
realising that distinctions between renewable CO² and fossil CO² are an irrelevance and that what counts are conversion efficiencies over the whole system
Not a big ask is it? Or am I perhaps being a trifle optimistic - better eat that banana (build absolutely nothing anywhere near anyone ) before I trip over it.
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1. Great Britain plc, Biffa 2. Carbon Foot printing and Labelling Consumer Products www.pepsico.co.uk/environment 3. www.withouthotair.com 4. David McKay 2009 Progress Report on CO² Reduction 5. UK Government – The Stern Report 6. www.foodethicscouncil.org Food Justice ISBN 978-0- 9549218-6-6 7. Comparison of Carbon Emissions Associated with MSW waste management in Germany and the UK – 2010 Muhle/Balsam/Cheeseman in Resources, Conservation and Recycling 793-801 8. www.fdf.org.uk – Recipe for Change www.e3sustainability.co.uk – Climate Change Agriculture and Food, Dave Stanley www.incpen.org Table for One 9. www.massbalance.org – UK Food and Drink Processing Mass Balance 10.Cutting out Waste in Food and Drink 2008 Food Processing Faraday & EMDA 11.www.advantagewestmidlands.com 12.Comparison of Carbon Emissions Associated with MSW waste management in Germany and the UK, 2010 Muhle/Balsam/Cheesman – Resources Conservation and Recycling 793-801 13.www.advantagewestmidlands.com
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References (i)“Comparison of Carbon Emissions Associated with MSW waste management in Germany and the UK” 2010 Muhle/Balsam/Cheeseman Resources.Conservation and Recycling 793-801 (ii) www.massbalance.org UK Food and Drink Processing Mass Balance Poultry UK www. racenvironment.co.uk Pigs UK www.racenvironment. co.uk (iii)Agricultural Waste Survey Environment Agency and Biffaward (iv) Great Britain Plc Biffa (v) www.wrap.org.uk (vi) Carbon Footprinting and Labelling Consumer Products www.pepsico.co.uk/environment (vii) Cutting Out Waste in Food and Drink Food Processing Faraday 2008 (viii) Recipe for Change www.fdf.org.uk (ix) Climate Change Agriculture and Food Dave Stanley www.e3sustainability.co.uk (x) 2009 Progress Report on CO² Reduction 2009 www. fdf.org.uk (xi)Table for One Incpen www.incpen.org (xii) Food Justice www.foodethicscouncil.org ISBN 9780-9549218-6-6 (xiii) www.withouthotair.com David McKay (xiv) UK Government – The Stern Report (xv) www.advantagewestmidlands.com
Applies Expertise to Sludge Recycling Andrew Urquhart, Director of Development at ENVAR, the organic waste and recycling specialists, believes that, by applying science and innovation, most wastes can be converted into a useful resource. In this article he describes how waste paper sludge can be utilised beneficially in the agricultural sector to improve both financial and environmental performance. Waste sludge and crumb from the paper industry can be recycled in an effective, sustainable manner if a number of key issues are addressed: 1. 2. 3. 4.
The chemical, biological and physical properties of the waste are fit for end use purpose The financial, environmental and ecological merit of the proposed recycling activity Sustainability (energy use, water use, pollution etc) The potential local market for the sludge/crumb
The Environmental Permitting Regulations (EPR) of England and Wales 2010 were introduced on 6 April 2010, replacing the 2007 Regulations, which combined the Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) and Waste Management Licensing (WML) regulations. Broadly speaking, the Environmental Permitting Regulations apply to pulp and paper manufacturing activities where the plant has a production capacity of more than 20 tonnes per day. This covers any activity associated with making paper pulp or paper, including recycling. The paper industry is highly proficient in the recycling of its products, however, the number of times that cellulose fibres can be re-used is finite because the fibre length decreases with each use and the fibre strength decreases. At this point, the fibres become a waste and so the challenge is to avoid sending de-inked sludge to landfill. The EPR state that operators should ‘consider all avenues for recovery of fibre and filler from de-inking and wastewater treatment.’ A number of options exist; for |50| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
example, incineration can be employed to generate energy. However, the EPR also allows: ‘landspreading, where it represents a genuine agricultural benefit or ecological improvement and the ultimate fate of pollutants present pose no environmental harm.’ ENVAR’s role As a waste management and recycling company specialising in organic waste and market/product development, ENVAR is uniquely placed to find effective sustainable markets for waste products – such as paper sludge and crumb. Scientists from ADAS, ENVAR’s parent company, were part of the team that originally developed the ‘Safe Sludge Matrix,’ which stipulates the suitability of biosolids being spread to land in relation to different crops. The Matrix ensures the highest possible food safety and gives retailers and the food industry confidence that the use of biosolids in agriculture are not only completely safe but also fully sustainable. On the back of this concept, the recycling of other waste materials was pioneered. Further activity involving the application of waste materials to land includes the spreading of flocculent sludge from water treatment to agriculture and the utilisation of digestate from anaerobic digestion for the improvement of agricultural soils. The company is part of the ADAS Group, which has over 60 years experience in agricultural development and consultancy. This is vitally important for two main reasons. Firstly, in-house soil scientists supported by accredited laboratories are able to assess agricultural land and accurately determine whether specific waste
materials will be of agricultural and/or ecological benefit. Secondly, with a long history of involvement with farmers and landowners, ENVAR staff are able to broker reliable markets for such waste materials. ENVAR works for a large number of paper mills. This helps to reduce waste to landfill and ensures that these materials are utilised in a responsible and sustainable manner. Case Study – partnership with Severnside Recycling Severnside Recycling is the largest UK fibre recycler and one of the UK’s leading recycling and waste management companies, recovering around 1.9 million tonnes of material annually. A subsidiary of DS Smith plc, Severnside is working with ENVAR to tackle the 26,000 tonnes of waste material that is generated by St Regis’ Hollins Mill in Darwen, Lancashire. St Regis is also a subsidiary of DS Smith. Operating four paper mills, the company produces around one million tonnes of 100% recycled paper per year. ENVAR has been working with Severnside Recycling, handling the waste from its mills for two years. Work at the Hollins Mill began in August 2010. ENVAR’s role in the partnership with Severnside has been to evaluate recycling options for the mill’s paper sludge and crumb, and to ensure that the most sustainable option is adopted. A number of alternatives were considered, including incineration, land restoration, soil improvement and animal bedding. Of these, the latter three were considered to offer the greatest benefits.
sustainable alternative to intensively farmed straw. Furthermore, paper sludge contains useful plant nutrients and a high proportion of organic matter. It is also alkaline, which is beneficial to many agricultural soils. Paper sludge can be used in restoration projects as an ingredient in manufactured soil. If trees are then grown on the site, these can be harvested at a later date for paper manufacture, offering a longer term closed loop recycling option. ENVAR enjoys a high level of engagement with the farming community and this is particularly important in helping to secure local markets for the products of recycling, thereby helping to reduce road miles/CO2 emissions in line with the sustainability objectives of all stakeholders. Soil science also plays an important role when paper sludge is utilised on agricultural land. This is because the physical and chemical attributes of land has to be matched with the properties of the recycled material. This is important because the Environment Agency has to be satisfied that the requirements of the EPR are being met. In a post-recession climate, businesses need to be sustainable in every sense of the word. Sludge recycling is therefore a very attractive proposition as long as it is managed in a responsible manner.
The paper crumb from the mill is ideal as a bedding product because it has a low moisture content and no odour, offering livestock farmers a cost-effective and
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ENERGY Page 54 - Renewable Heat Incentive - Greg Barker, Energy and Climate Change Minister Page 56 - 58 - Alternative Energy Sources - Phil Hurley, MD NIBE Page 60 - 62 - Low Carbon Solutions - Eric Salomon, EDF Energy
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Renewable Heat Incentive Over the past few months, not many days have gone by without business and industry telling me that Government support for the low carbon heat industry was not a luxury or a ‘nice to have’. It was absolutely critical, they said, to our energy security, for tackling climate change, but also for jobs and economic growth. It’s a message I heard loud and clear, understood, and one that we have now clearly acted upon. Britain’s burgeoning clean heat industry has finally received the news that it’s long been waiting for. The new coalition Government’s recent spending review announced that a scheme designed to transform the production of renewable heat in the UK – the renewable heat incentive (RHI)- will go ahead from June 2011. This is a world first and real fillip to an industry that will boost green growth in Britain. It’s likely to provide support for a wide range of renewable heat technologies – large and small - from household solar-thermal panels to industrial wood pellet boilers. We have said since day one that this government will be the greenest government ever. Confronting the challenges posed by heat will be vital in achieving that pledge. That’s because the heat used in our homes, businesses and factories is responsible for around half of all the energy consumed in the UK, and accounts for roughly half of all the UK’s carbon emissions. This huge drain on energy resources is not an issue we can ignore. Especially in the face of dwindling North Sea gas reserves and the need to protect ourselves from energy insecurity. Our decision to give the green light to the RHI is therefore significant. £860 million of finance from the Government over the next four years will help provide transparency, longevity and certainty to the renewable heat industry. The coalitions’ decision to replace the previously proposed levy with straightforward Government funding will mean a less complex and costly approach for both business and consumers. It will drive a more-than-tenfold increase of renewable heat in Great Britain over the coming decade, shifting |54| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
By Greg Barker, Energy and Climate Change Minister renewable heat from a fringe industry firmly into the mainstream. Over the coming weeks we will be working hard to finalise the details of the scheme – including to determine the levels of support for various technologies. I know the industry will be eager to get this detail as soon as possible so that they can get on with their investment plans. These details will be published by the end of the year, and I look forward to hearing the views of the sector. Our decision on the RHI, as well as confirmation that the Feed-in Tariff for small scale low carbon electricity will continue as planned until 2013, unless there is higher than expected deployment, sends a clear message to industry. A message that this coalition Government is serious about providing certainty to Britain’s low carbon industries. Green business can now invest in confidence and look to this government as a partner in helping them to deliver growth. These decisions will help bring an end to investor uncertainty and underline the commitment the coalition Government has to creating viable markets for renewable energy in the UK. It is a real display of the fact that when the coalition talks about being the ‘greenest government ever’ we mean it.
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ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOURCES? NIBE SAYS WE CAN LEARN FROM SWEDEN
Phil Hurley, Managing Director of NIBE Energy Systems Ltd., suggests that the UK has much to learn from the Swedish experience.
The energy revolution that is only just beginning in UK as escalating fuel costs allied to the need for environmental awareness become matters of genuine public concern, was by and large experienced in Sweden in the 1970s. Despite Swedenâ€™s enormous HEP potential, the country was at that time heavily dependent on oil for the heating that is so essential in a Scandinavian winter. So when oil supplies were threatened, prices rocketed and the search for energy alternatives was on. One consequence was a massive switch to underfloor heating since it requires lower operating temperatures than radiator systems. This in turn logically led on to the introduction of heat pumps working at vastly greater efficiency than the old oil fired boiler. Our parent company is based in Markaryd and installed the first exhaust air heat pumps in Sweden in 1980. Today oil boilers are virtually extinct, NIBE Heating is the largest heat pump manufacturer in Europe and in Sweden today 90% of new homes have heat pumps installed. When alternative energy sources are discussed in the UK [it could be in the press, the pub or parliament], wind power is the most likely source to be proposed regardless of whether it is on a domestic or national scale. It is then that I point to the Swedish example as the way forward, for experience there has shown that heat recovered from the ground, from exhaust ventilation or from the air can be both practical and affordable in domestic, commercial and industrial situations. If these methods can work in the extremes of the Swedish climate, they will certainly do so in the milder weather in this country. |56| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
Geothermal heat has been used very successfully in volcanic areas for many years and also [mainly experimentally] using very deep probes to harness the Earthâ€™s core heat. However it is only recently that it has been exploited on a domestic scale. The heat pump works by utilising the heat from sunlight that remains stored in the ground, either by use of a collector buried around one metre deep or by deeper vertically sunk probes. Compared with the conventional use of fossil fuels, the energy required to keep a house warm and the water hot can be reduced by up to 75% since a heat pump can convert one kilowatt of received energy into five kilowatts of heat. NIBE supplies pumps with capacities from five to forty kilowatts and higher wattage can be achieved by in-line linkage. For some years a major force in energy conservation, especially in offices, was the creation of what was virtually a sealed unit through insulation and draught prevention. Though energy efficient, the results varied from mildly unpleasant to downright unhealthy, with condensation in many cases an unwanted by-product. We have since come to realise that air replacement through ventilation is essential for comfortable living and, fortunately, the vast majority of the heat that would otherwise be lost to the outside atmosphere can now be recovered by use of an Exhaust Air Heat Pump. Our NIBE pump units are roughly the size of a fridge/ freezer and recycle so much energy from the exhaust gas that the emissions into the outside atmosphere are at a temperature close to zero degrees. They have
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Photo: Daniel Nilsson - Solar collectors on the house "Tegelborgen" in the Western harbour in Malmö, Sweden.
proved ideally suited to apartments [housing which has traditionally been inefficiently heated by individual electric appliances], and to small homes. A spin-off benefit of heat recovery pumps is reduction of CO² emissions. The theory of using the sun’s heat to supply energy is anything but new. Nevertheless the system under which Air/water Pumps such as our NIBE range operate enables a unique two stage control to recover sufficient energy even at low outside temperatures to offer significant savings on heating costs. Since the units are [obviously] sited outdoors, installation is cheap and simple, and no groundwork or excavation is required. These pumps are designed to work in combination with other heating systems rather than acting as a sole energy source. There is no doubt that incentives, both carrots and sticks, will be used over the coming years to encourage sensible energy saving and a major reduction in CO² emissions. Local and Central Government are already on that track, a track that will almost certainly become a major highway in time. Many householders and owners of commercial property are so far largely unaware of the enormous savings that can be made by using Heat Pumps of one sort or another but I have no doubt that this ignorance is only short term. If you look at the Swedish blueprint you will see the likely development of domestic energy efficient systems here.
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Eric Salomon, EDF Energy’s Energy Field Services Director Discusses Low Carbon Solutions At EDF Energy, we are committed to helping the UK reach its carbon emissions reduction target of 80% by 2050. As the UK’s largest supplier of electricity, we believe we have a key role in helping people lower their carbon footprint from energy use. That means helping people use less energy in the first place, and then ensuring that what they do use is lowcarbon. The main challenge is a customer one; to win the battle for hearts and minds and help every individual and business make lots of small changes which make a big difference. That is why we are working with our customers on a variety of initiatives that will reduce emissions, stop us wasting energy and create a mass movement of change. It means investing in the technology we need while educating our customers and everyone else in the UK on the energy challenge. EDF Energy has completed the first project under the Government’s Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP). CESP is expected to benefit around 90,000 houses and deliver £350m of energy savings from now until 2012. EDF Energy will be contributing around £65m to CESP over the lifetime of the initiative. CESP targets low-income areas and is designed to improve the energy efficiency of homes to alleviate fuel poverty and save carbon emissions.
For example, we are working with Liverpool Mutual Homes on a CESP programme to improve and regenerate homes in the city. The scheme involves installing replacement boilers, solid wall insulation and new windows. And in Bristol, we have worked with Sustain Ltd on a project which has included installing solid wall insulation on a tower block. We are also heavily involved in The Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT). We work with Local Authorities, housing associations and managing agents to deliver energy saving measures, primarily loft and cavity wall insulation to homes in the UK. Through CESP and CERT we are helping people to use their energy more efficiently and reduce their bills. Another important change is the introduction of smart meters at scale. Over the last five years, EDF Energy has been trialling over 3,000 smart meters with technology such as energy display units in homes across the UK. The current mandated completion date for the roll out to all homes and small business in Great Britain is 2020, however there is ongoing discussion with the Government as to whether the roll out might be accelerated. EDF Energy is working with the Government and Ofgem to agree both the technical standards and the deployment approach in order to ensure the success of the UK smart metering implementation. Smart metering is more than just a meter which is simply a measuring device. It is the enabler for innovative products and services that can help save energy. For example, with an energy display unit it can help identify information such as how energy is used so behavioural changes can be made. With a time-of-use tariff,
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customers can take advantage of cheaper rates and with micro generation, a smart meter can record both import and export energy, allowing customers to sell back unused green energy. All of this helps towards the national CO2 reduction target of 80% by 2050. The Energy Saving Trust says leaving gadgets and appliances on standby wastes over ÂŁ900 million worth of energy in the UK. From your TV to your laptop to your games console, it all adds up. That is why we have launched EcoManager, a fantastic wireless device that enables customers to switch off their appliances remotely from anywhere in the house. It shows how much energy and money each household connected appliance uses so that customers can change their behaviour. Reducing emissions from transport is also vitally important. Personal transport currently generates 23% of all UK carbon emissions. EDF Energy is working to increase the uptake of electric vehicles, which generates up to 30% less CO2 per mile than a conventional vehicle. All major car manufacturers: Mitsubishi, Toyota, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot, Citroen and Renault, have plans to bring plug in vehicles to mass market within the next five years. As the largest supplier of low-carbon electricity, EDF Energy is already playing a leading role decarbonising transport by supporting the development of the electric vehicle market. We are currently involved in Technology Strategy Board Trials with both Toyota and Mercedes Benz for domestic and commercial customers. These |62| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
trials will help the understanding of electric vehicles and customers charging behaviour. As part of our commitment to bring Low Carbon Solutions home to everyone, weâ€™re working with a number of major car manufacturers to develop home charging solutions for electric vehicles. Electric vehicles are a low-carbon alternative to conventional petrol/diesel cars and this exciting new market will see up to 600,000 plug in electric vehicles on our roads by 2020. Not only are customers being more eco-friendly but they can also save money by using electric vehicles, as they are up to 90% cheaper per mile to run than regular cars and exempt from road tax. It is not just about the technology, but also about inspiring people to use it. Our sponsorship of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the creation of Team Green Britain will be a catalyst for this change. We are working with athletes, schools, our employees and customers to help them reduce their carbon footprint, use less energy, get healthier lives and save a bit of money. By working closely with our customers on measures like these, we believe we will be able to change behaviour and help the UK meet its carbon emissions target by 2050.
Green Building Page 66 - 69 - Rising to the Refurbishment Challenge - Dr Peter Bonfield, CEO BRE Page 70 - 73 - Definition of Zero Carbon Homes - Niel Jefferson, CEO Zero Carbon Hub Page 74 - 75 - Why Wood You Build With Anything Else? - Ron Easton MD Stewart Milne Timber Systems Page 76 - 80 - ECOBUILD 2011 Preview
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Rising to the Refurbishment Challenge By Dr Peter Bonfield, Chief Executive, BRE Sustainable refurbishment is essential if we are to meet national targets for reducing carbon emissions – the UK is committed to an 80% reduction by 2050. Our homes account for 27% of the total carbon output. About 150 million tonnes of carbon dioxide are released each year from the housing stock, with older buildings contributing disproportionately. The energy performance of current housing must be dramatically improved if the UK is to meet its reduction target. Achieving this is crucial, not only to mitigating the effects of global warming, but also to avoiding spiralling household fuel bills that could put significantly more households in fuel poverty. This is a huge and difficult challenge but significant progress is already being made with demonstration projects such the BRE Victorian Terrace and schemes like Retrofit the Future, from which we are generating new knowledge. The Government’s Green Deal also looks set to transform the market by giving householders the financing they need to make the required changes to their homes. And we’ve learnt a lot from the new homes built to the demanding Code for Sustainable Homes… Significant progress made on new homes In 2006 the Government introduced the Code for Sustainable Homes, which set out very challenging targets for new homes and a timeline in which these must be delivered. The first Code Level 6 homes (the 2016 target under the Code), which includes ‘zero net carbon’ amongst other environmental impact targets, was delivered on the BRE Innovation Park in 2007. This was by no means easy and there is still a lot to learn about the best and most cost effective ways of achieving sustainable housing, but a number of developers and supply chains have been rising to the challenges and have learned a great deal about the underpinning principles of sustainable house building. These include careful product selection, good design, building (air) tight, ventilating effectively and incorporating renewable technologies into the mix. Also, a significant number of innovative materials products and technologies have been developed. |66| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
But delivering sustainable housing is a much easier proposition when you have a blank canvas to start with, as is the case of a new home. Existing homes, with their enormous variety of build methods and conditions, represent a much greater challenge. Good policy making The Code is arguably exemplary policy making as it: • sets clear performance targets, • is underpinned by methodologies and measures that enable objective quantification of impacts and performance, • embraces a range of environmental impacts, in addition to climate change, in a balanced way, • sets a challenging, medium-term timeframe of progressively increasing targets up to 2016. Importantly, the Code is not prescriptive of the solutions needed, but is clear on performance level requirements and how they are quantified. This enables innovative thinking and application – both prerequisites for delivering lower carbon construction. Learning and innovation Progress compliant with the Code has been significant. The trial homes built on the BRE Innovation Park, and now out in the field, have experimented with a number of innovative solutions and provided invaluable learning. This has shown that there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution, but that delivering against the Code can be tailored to local requirements and business solutions. The Government, BRE and other private sector stakeholders have also learned a great deal on how well the Code functions. This is important in refining and improving it as the state of the art improves.
Although there remain a number of sceptics and companies who would prefer the Code to disappear, because it has the potential to adversely affect their businesses, there are others who are proactively and positively embracing it. For example the Technology Strategy Board has recently provided financial support to an innovation/research project called AIMC4. This project aims to deliver Code level 4 housing at lower or equivalent cost, with fewer defects (snags), less waste, and shorter and more predictable build times (giving improved return on capital) than current housing
or are high-rise flats. Remedies for these homes involve implementing unfamiliar, innovative solutions, using new skills, techniques, technologies and products. Energy efficiency measures There is a wide and growing range of measures that property owners can implement to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. Some measures, like loft insulation, draft excluders and cavity wall insulation (for housing with wall cavities!), are simple and effective. Changing to an improved boiler system is also likely to be effective, but requires more expert advice to make the right choice.
Materials, design and construction AIMC4 focuses on materials/product selection, effective design and better construction practices, rather than more expensive renewable energy technology solutions. The project partners include BRE, Barratt, Crest Nicholson, Stewart Milne, H & H and Oxford Brooks – and others will join.
Further measures, such as the most appropriate internal wall insulation, the most cost and carbon effective renewable energy system or the correct mechanical ventilation and heat recovery system, are more difficult to specify and procure. This is because the solutions need to be properly tailored to the house construction type and its condition.
Basic principles of environmental sustainability apply – minimise resource use (materials and time), minimise waste arisings, reuse/recycle waste that does arise, and optimise efficiency. These all reduce environmental impacts and, if thought through carefully, reduce cost. The outcome will be cost equivalent/cheaper and lower environmental impact buildings. We are not quite there yet, but there is certainly positive movement in that direction.
To add to this mix, there are a number of new, exciting and innovative products that are being assessed for use. These include highly efficient aerogel insulation, phase change (temperature moderating) products and smart metering. Global, science based companies, such as St Gobain, DuPont, 3M and BASF, are investing heavily in developing these products for use in existing buildings.
We have an opportunity to take relevant elements of recent experiences in delivering low environmental impact new build, and apply them to the existing housing stock. The Government, across relevant departments and agencies, is actively seeking solutions, as is the private sector involved in existing stock. And it is a key priority area for BRE – discussed further below.
The scale of the challenge
Existing housing The UK domestic stock is the oldest in Europe and consists of some 25 million dwellings. Existing housing stock currently achieves an average Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D/E and more than 5 million homes achieve an F/G. To achieve an 80% reduction, the average EPC rating will have to be brought up to a band B or better, a level only currently achieved by 1-2% of the housing stock. ‘Hard-to-Treat’ (HTT) homes constitute a substantial proportion (43%, i.e. about 10 million dwellings) of the stock and are responsible for half of domestic CO² emissions. They are also expensive to treat and have therefore not been subject to major refurbishment. These dwellings have single skin solid walls (there are more than 6 million of these in the UK, mostly Victorian or earlier), or no lofts, or are off the gas network and/ |68| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
So, on the positive side there is now a whole host of solutions that have the potential to cost effectively reduce CO² emissions from existing housing. However, on the negative side the wide and growing number of solutions, and the requirement to ensure that the right measures are implemented for a myriad of house types and conditions, makes the selection of the right solution challenging at best and downright confusing at worst! Good news with the Green Deal Earlier this year the Government announced the arrival of the Green Deal, an initiative that aims to transform the energy efficiency of current housing stock. Under the scheme homeowners will be entitled to spend up to £6,500 improving the energy efficiency of their home. Repayment will be from savings in future energy bills – but with the homeowner still seeing an overall saving. Crucially, if the property is sold, the repayment will continue to be made through the energy bills by the new owner. The Green Deal will be open to homes and businesses and will involve a 3-step process: Step 1 – an independent energy survey of the property, giving clear advice on the best energy efficiency options, such as loft or cavity wall insulation. Step 2 – Green Deal finance to be provided by a range of accredited providers, which will be repaid through savings on energy bills, making properties cheaper to run from day one.
Step 3 – Homes and businesses will then receive their energy efficiency package. Only accredited measures will be installed by appropriately-qualified installers, overseen by Government, giving consumers confidence that the deal they are getting is high quality and will save them money.
these on a ‘before and after’ basis using a consistent and comprehensive series of tests to demonstrate the impact of the improvements, and the refurbishment case. The tests will provide empirical data that can be used to develop standards, specifications and guidance for refurbishment in line with Government requirements.
The Green Deal is expected to be available from Autumn 2012 and looks set to transform the market.
By testing and monitoring these projects, a series of refurbishment specifications will be developed along with the most carbon and cost effective improvement options to take a property from a low EPC rating to a level B or A – and deliver other benefits, such as water efficiency and waste reduction. The specifications will reflect economic and heritage constraints, and be designed to minimise technical risks such as condensation, rain penetration etc. They will consist of a series of sequential improvements, each being considered in terms of its CO² saving, cost, best value and best value carbon impact, so that actual improvements can be tailored to individual budgets.
What we need to do now
A common approach A key priority is the development of an evidence base that assesses the effectiveness of these different methods as they apply to the vagaries of the UK housing stock. This then needs to be incorporated into specifications and guidance that enable the most carbon and cost effective solutions to be identified and implemented. At present, construction companies, major housing stock holders, supply chains, the general public and the Government have no single, consistent, evidence-based source of guidance, advice and information on sustainable refurbishment. The BRE Victorian Terrace project is making progress on this front – it was developed to generate an evidence base of knowledge on the most effective ways of upgrading the UK’s 6.4 million solid wall homes, so that they are highly energy efficient, cost less to run and emit significantly less carbon. The demonstration project represents an important collaboration between BRE, Government and over fifty industry partners, including energy suppliers, major retailers, products manufacturers and contractors who have worked together for their collective benefit. The technical and commercial information derived from the Victorian Terrace will complement currently evolving Government policy, in particular the Green Deal, by helping to focus our refurbishment efforts on the best possible carbon and financial returns.
These specifications and other guidance derived from these projects will be widely disseminated through a joint BRE and EST initiative, the National Refurbishment Centre, in 2011. The National Refurbishment Centre also aims to increase awareness of the benefits of low carbon retrofit solutions, help develop the skills base needed for undertaking the work, and foster the development of a more coherent market for this work. Cross-sector cooperation Collectively, this perhaps unprecedented cooperation between Government, the housing stock owners, the construction sector and its supply chain, is likely to make significant measurable progress towards addressing arguably the largest and most difficult challenge the UK faces in reducing its CO² emissions.
The project has involved the transformation of a Victorian stable block building with an Energy Performance Certificate rating of F, into a row of Victorian terraced houses that are B rated. In CO² terms this represents an 80% reduction in emissions. The Victorian Terrace, on the BRE Innovation Park in Watford, is open to the construction industry and the householder to come and see and learn from it and apply the learning to their own projects and homes. This project also links to more than five hundred exemplar refurbishment homes around the country of varying types and ages. Many of these are part of the Technology Strategy Board £10 million scheme for refurbishing social housing, called Retrofit the Future. A number of the homes involved are of solid wall construction. BRE and its partners are measuring ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |69|
Working towards the definition of zero carbon for new homes By Niel Jefferson, Chief Executive of the Zero Carbon Hub “Agreement on a Carbon Compliance Standard will firm up the majority of the definition of zero carbon, enabling house builders to anticipate how they might meet the considerable challenge that 2016 brings. It is therefore vitally important that views are expressed and captured to ensure that the Standard is fit for purpose, that it makes an effective contribution to the zero carbon homes policy and to meeting wider national carbon targets.” Imtiaz Farookhi, Chief Executive, NHBC The Housing Minister made an announcement in July regarding zero carbon homes. Since then, a Zero Carbon Hub led Task Group has been working to assess the factors and issues that could impact on the Carbon Compliance element of the definition. Here Neil Jefferson, Chief Executive of the Zero Carbon Hub, discusses how the work of the Task Group is developing. Since July, the Zero Carbon Hub led Task Group has been identifying, modelling and assessing the factors and issues that could impact on Carbon Compliance. Many people from across the sector now understand Carbon Compliance is a key component of the definition for zero carbon homes and we ran a series of ‘Have Your |70| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
Expressing Carbon Compliance Currently, Carbon Compliance is expressed as a percentage reduction of carbon emissions compared with 2006 Building Regulations standards. The current proposal is to avoid the complexity of constantly referring back to the 2006 Building Regulations standards and to define Carbon Compliance in terms of the amount of CO2 emissions permitted for houses on a development. So, for example, the 70% Carbon Compliance figure, which has been at the centre of the debate, translates to about a maximum limit of 6 kgCO2eq/m2/year. It is hoped that this will greatly simplify the language around the Carbon Compliance debate.
Say’ events to encourage wide consultation on the Task Group’s findings. The Carbon Compliance component of the definition of zero carbon homes represents the overall contribution to achieving zero carbon which can be attained on-site, with the remainder of the required emission reductions achieved via ‘Allowable Solutions’. Carbon Compliance combines good building fabric performance and use of on-site low and zero carbon energy solutions such as PV and connected heat (community heating networks) to reduce emissions. At the Hub, we were asked to examine the level of Carbon Compliance amid concerns that the 70% reduction of regulated energy use figure, which was arrived at following the ‘definition of zero carbon homes and non-domestic buildings’ consultation, was not practical on some types of development across the country. Some of the key questions being asked in order to assess an appropriate Carbon Compliance level include the impacts of dwelling type and density of development, geographical location, performance of low carbon technologies, other housing policies and capital and whole life costs. We structured the ‘Have Your Say’ events to present evidence secured from the Technical, Commercial and Policy work groups that fed into the Task Group on the things that will influence a decision on the level of Carbon Compliance. Audiences were engaged to examine and feedback on what they considered to be critical in setting a level of Carbon Compliance and, crucially, to provide their input on the target Carbon Compliance levels identified by the Task Group.
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Fabric Energy Efficiency Standard The minimum Fabric Energy Efficiency Standard (FEES), recommended by the Zero Carbon Hub in 2009, will be included initially in the Code for Sustainable Homes and subsequently is expected to be a requirement in Building Regulations Part L. FEES, which makes up part of Carbon Compliance. It essentially covers the thermal performance of walls, floors, roofs, windows and doors and is expressed in terms of Energy demand (measured in kWh/m2/year) with two levels of performance: 39 Wh/m2/year for apartments and mid terrace homes 46 kWh/m2/year for end terrace, semi-detached and detached homes. To provide a reference, this level of energy demand equates to an approximate 20-25% reduction in CO2 emissions compared with 2006 regulations for a gas heated home.
From the examination and following the ‘Have Your Say’ events, the Task Group will be making recommendations to the Housing Minister on a realistic but challenging target for Carbon Compliance. These recommendations will be presented to Government at the end of the year, and on 1st February 2011, the Zero Carbon Hub will host its inaugural annual conference to discuss progress towards zero carbon homes from 2016. This conference will be held at Kings Place, London and will focus on definition and delivery of the zero carbon homes policy, specifically the work areas of the Hub: definition, skills, marketing and consumer engagement. About the Zero Carbon Hub The Zero Carbon Hub was established in the summer of 2008 to support the delivery of zero carbon homes from 2016. It is a public private partnership drawing support from both Government and the industry and reports directly to the 2016 Taskforce. Zero carbon Hub has developed 5 workstreams to provide a focus for industry engagement with key issues and challenges: Energy Efficiency, Energy Supply, Examples and Scale Up, Skills and Training, Consumer Engagement. To find out more about the Zero Carbon Hub please visit www.zerocarbonhub.org or call 0845 888 7620.
The conference will be chaired by Paul King and confirmed speakers include: • • • • • • • • • •
Mark Clare, Chief Executive, Barratt Developments Stephen Stone, Chief Executive, Crest Nicholson Don Leiper, Managing Director, E.ON Energy Services Ray Morgan, Chief Executive, Woking Borough Council Imtiaz Farookhi, Chief Executive, NHBC Chris Lacey, Chief Executive, William Lacey group Chris Wilford, Associate Director, PRP Adrian Corser, Production Director, Miller Homes John Slaughter, Director External Affairs, HBF Neil Jefferson, Chief Executive, Zero Carbon Hub
We would be pleased if you saved the 1st February in your diary for this event. The Hub will be releasing further content and booking information shortly.
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Why wood you build with anything else? By Ron Easton, Managing Director of Stewart Milne Timber Systems Housebuilding today faces twin challenges from two very different directions. on the one hand, the Government’s imperative to achieve zero carbon homes across all sectors before the end of the decade; and on the other, the ability to respond to the economic recovery, when it arrives and to dedicate capacity to deliver new homes to consumers who want them within the same timescales. The truth is the recession has forced the industry to downsize significantly and to cut its cloth, its banking facilities and its aspirations for a rapid return to profitable growth accordingly. The dilemma will be how best to invest impoverished resources and the budgetary case for R&D to meet the new regulations will have to be argued against a myriad of other good causes for access to scarce funds. Given the timescales involved until the new regulations begin to impact, it is clear that the winners will be those who are currently ahead of the game in innovation and developing new, sustainable products that can not only be delivered to the mass market quickly, but which are both financially and aesthetically attractive to developers, housebuilders and consumers as well. It is true that many of the early-stage development R&D programmes in progress covering both materials and build systems are aimed directly at meeting the forthcoming Government targets. But with growing and significant demand for sustainable products already here, and only three years before the first immovable deadline is upon us, the challenges facing the industry in terms of infrastructure and product development are substantial and there will inevitably be winners and losers. Consequently anyone not working diligently towards meeting at least Level Four of the Code for Sustainable Homes commercially is in danger of having missed the boat. At its peak, the housebuilding sector was producing around 240,000 homes per annum, of which around |74| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
60,000 were built as social or affordable housing. The social and affordable sectors have fared better than others throughout the downturn, providing relatively consistent volume and a source of much-needed work for the industry. That is until recently and the introduction of the Government’s austerity measures and subsequent cuts to public spending. The private sector, of course, has been reduced to a shadow of its former self and these factors now conspire to provide a backdrop of pent-up demand; the true dimensions of which are yet to be realised. Estimates vary but there is a view that the UK housing stock is short to the tune of between 200,000 to 250,000 homes per annum; around 10% of this in Scotland alone. Therefore, it is clear that not only is there demand, but when it arrives it needs to be met fast, to higher building standards, with improved control of costs and from a reduced pool of resources. Clearly the industry needs an absolute ‘can do’ attitude. The key areas that these homes of the future will address include minimising the energy requirement (and thus carbon footprint) of the home by utilising a range of sustainable technologies that all have one thing in common - no need for user intervention. Put simply, the majority of the environmental performance of these homes will be incorporated into the fabric of the buildings, an approach where timber frame is well placed to deliver. As yet from a consumer perspective, there is not a huge understanding of what sustainability means for housing but importantly, these homes will also be judged on the value-for-money they provide. Price premiums justified by the cost of embodied technology must deliver an
enhanced user experience and a fast return on investment for the consumer (within their tenure in the building) or risk being eroded by market competition. This is hugely significant, as it will be the margin that the market is willing to support that will dictate the pace of growth or recovery for most operators in the sector. My own view is that assuming a “level playing field”, as the next code supersedes its predecessor, it will be difficult to justify a premium over the previous generation in terms of market acceptance and we will have to engineer new products to ensure that the first version of the next code level costs no more on a like-for-like basis than the last version of the old code level. Timber itself is the only truly sustainable building material we have, being one of the lowest embodied carbon raw materials around, providing the structural kits for high quality homes. Timber frame will meet the Government regulations with ease and, indeed, is already doing so with Code Level Four being met by Stewart Milne Timber Systems’ Sigma II product, which is already in production and being delivered commercially to the market. As well as the feel-good factor of using a natural and sustainable material, timber as a building material is proven – it works, has been around for hundreds of years, is in common use and it is low maintenance. In addition to its environmental credentials, it is commercially economical, supports improved health & safety, offers design flexibility, provides high quality buildings as a result of being manufactured in a controlled factory environment and benefits from rapid speed of build. The argument for choosing timber is becoming increasingly apparent but despite the growing popularity of timber frame as a build solution, there remains a need to move it up the agenda and establish it on the psyche of
the industry. With the growing need to shorten the cashto-cash cycle - and speed of build being a key enabler of this - the industry must be receptive to change. And let us not forget the consumer. With recovery forecast in the medium term, house buyers and tenants will have more influence than ever before, and choice, shorter lead times and fast delivery are all key motivators. Again, timber frame comes into its own in providing all of these at the same time as meeting the challenges of private sector sales models based on concluding off-plan, leaving around only 12 weeks to deliver a new-build product. Closed panel, “fabric first” build systems are already well on the way to meeting the much-vaunted need for energy efficiencies and the ability to tailor production to market demand provides cost-effective flexibility. So for any architects sharpening their pencils to design a modern housing development, any developers looking for assured solutions for contented customers, and any consumers looking for energy-efficient homes that are easy to change and can be extended painlessly, timber frame really does what it says on the tin.
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Ecobuild 2011 – The Future of Design, Construction and the Built Environment Plans are taking shape for next year’s Ecobuild which, having outgrown its former venue, will be taking place at London’s ExCeL on Tuesday 1st – Thursday 3rd March 2011. Against the background of economic uncertainty over the last few years, and the current spending cuts, Ecobuild represents the construction sector’s most important challenge and its greatest opportunity, that of creating a sustainable built environment. And the sector meets that challenge - and that opportunity - with ever-growing enthusiasm. Over 1,300 exhibitors, 600 speakers and 50,000 visitors are expected to attend Ecobuild 2011, exceeding the record attendance at this year’s event. Many exhibitors have taken advantage of the extra space at ExCeL to expand the range of sustainable construction products and materials they’ll be displaying at the exhibition. Regular exhibitors Daikin, Saint-Gobain, Schueco, Ideal Standard, Tremco Illbruck, Interface, Velux, Lafarge, Fronius, Forbo Flooring Systems, ACO Technologies, E.ON, and ICI Paints are just some of the internationally recognised names you’ll see at Ecobuild next year, along with hundreds of suppliers exhibiting for the first time, including Dorma, ArcelorMittal, IBC Solar, Edgetech, CR Lawrence, Roto Frank, UPM, LG Electronics, Hyundai, Stora Enso and Pilkington Building Products. Leading the line up in Ecobuild’s free conference are headliners Chief Construction Advisor, Paul Morrell, Construction Minister, Mark Prisk, Sir Terry Farrell, Baroness Susan Greenfield, Tim Smit of the Eden Project, Bianca Jagger and Professor AC Grayling, taking on subjects as diverse as the radicalism of localism, The age of unreason: the psychology of climate change and Ending our love affair with more.
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The 2011 seminar programme, also free to attend, is Ecobuild’s biggest ever, with over a dozen streams and more than 130 seminars covering the most pressing concerns for built environment professionals: • future energy • energy in buildings • regulations revealed • simplifying standards guides and tools • refurbishing Britain • sustainability and the city • sustainable by design • sustainable small projects • from grey to green • sustainable architecture & design • beyond construction • installer business • installer skills Seminars are brought to life through a series of interactive attractions and live demonstrations taking place on the exhibition floor, from how to install a solar panel or a green roof, to timber frame construction and applying exterior wall insulation. Highly topical is Ecobuild’s Solar hub which will explain the fundamentals of photovoltaic systems – how they work, what components they include, and how and where to install them, with daily demonstrations and talks on building integrated photovoltaic tiles (BIPV), photovoltaic systems (PV) and benefitting from the feed in tariff. Renew provides practical advice on achieving one of the most important aspects of an energy efficient building – a highly insulated, air tight building envelope – with daily live demonstrations of internal and external insulation for solid walls, loft insulation, insulated floor bases and glazing solutions. The enormously popular Cityscape returns in 2011 to focus on the greening of the built environment and the encouragement of biodiversity. Comprising live demonstration areas and a variety of case studies and installations explaining the practicalities of greening and enhancing biodiversity, it will take the learning from Ecobuild’s From grey to green and Sustainability and the city seminars and help visitors gain experience of the practical skills required. New for 2011, Ecobuild’s Water wise will bring visitors up-to-date on the changes to Part G of building regulations, understanding the water efficient systems and appliances that can now be installed into buildings. It will also explain the measures that can be put in place to significantly reduce our water footprints by fixing leaks, using water efficient white goods and other watersaving technologies, as well as implementing simple but effective behavioural changes, and demonstrate that not only does a reduction in water consumption save energy and carbon, but that it brings financial savings for businesses, the public sector and consumers too. |78| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
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Elsewhere, the aesthetic qualities of glulam are demonstrated in Extreme timber. A hyperbolic paraboloid, with two large curved and twisting glulam structures - one inverted to form a roof – demonstrate the extreme design possibilities of engineered timber for spectacular and sustainable structures. Another favourite with regular visitors to Ecobuild is the Natural, traditional….sustainable attraction, where daily interactive demonstrations will cover a wealth of natural materials and traditional techniques including dry stone walling, straw bale construction, rammed earth, cob brick making, traditional carpentry and lime rendering. Certain to provoke interest is the Cool workspace attraction which features leading-edge technologies and design solutions - including phase change surface materials - and demonstrates how they can help provide low-cost, low-disruption, but high impact solutions to adapt and re-use space, time and materials to address current and future challenges in the workplace. And of course it wouldn’t be Ecobuild without a whole host of new and surprising events and the 2011 event certainly won’t disappoint. On Tuesday, 2nd March, ‘Rock star physicist’ Professor Brian Cox will be presenting an award to the winner of the CIOB’s Inner Space 2050 a competition for students aged 11 – 12 years to design sustainable work and living spaces in orbit. Back in the exhibition, visitors will be invited to sink their teeth into some BRE Bites, a series of 10 minute ‘tasters’ on a
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range of topics including BREEAM In Use, Passivhaus, and Feed in Tariffs taking place daily on the BRE stand, and the Ecobuild Fringe is gearing up to deliver an eclectic programme again in 2011. An innovation that’s bound to be popular for Ecobuild 2011 is the introduction of an online itinerary planner which allows visitors to plan their visit in advance, including the times and locations of conference and seminar sessions, and live demonstrations, as well as listing exhibitors and products of interest. The exhibition will be organised in technology zones, with similar products, relevant seminars and attractions, all located in the same area. Getting around Ecobuild 2011 will be easier still at the new venue of course. ExCeL’s straightforward layout, with seminars taking place in rooms along the perimeter of the exhibition halls, and the conference located off the central boulevard, is simple to navigate. And getting there is easy too. ExCeL is easily accessible by public transport, offers free cycle parking and has ample car parking on site. The nearest rail station is Custom House for ExCeL, approximately 10 minutes from Canary Wharf. Key interchanges for the DLR are Bank, Tower Hill, Canning Town and Shadwell. During Ecobuild shuttle buses will run from the Thames Clipper river taxi stop at Canary Wharf (10 minutes) and from London City Airport (5 minutes). Get your free ticket now at www.ecobuild.co.uk
TIMBER Page 84 - 87 - Timber in Future Construction - Richard Harris, Professor of Timber Engineering, Bath University Page 88 - 90 - Why Wood is Good - Stuart Goodall, CEO, CONFOR
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Timber in Future Construction By Richard Harris- Professor of Timber Engineering - Bath University The use of timber reaches back into our past. The word, timber, has its origins in Old English, where it is used to mean building structure. The word has evolved, coming to mean the building material, trees suitable for building and wood in general. This link between trees and buildings is very important – it is because timber is derived from living forests that it can be sustainably sourced. Environment Industry Magazine (Alasdair McGregor “Playing by the Book” Oct/Nov 2010) has recently covered the sustainable sourcing of timber. Use of material from the same woodlands over many centuries demonstrates that timber, if managed appropriately, is a sustainable material. Thus it is a material we can move forward with, in the confidence that it will be available in the future. There will, however, be competing demands on the resource. • • • •
Construction. Structure both as sawn timber and in engineered products. Also joinery timber (doors, windows, floor finishes). Paper. Although much paper derives from recycled content, there are still large volumes of new wood used to make paper. Fuel. Historically the largest use of timber has been as fuel. With the need to return to renewable energy sources, there is strong demand for fuel wood for both large-scale energy generation as well as use at a domestic scale. Bio-products. With the eventual inevitable reduction in oil production, wood, with other crops, will become a primary source for the chemicals to make those products that are currently produced from oil. Oil is derived from plants and is a concentrate of hydrocarbons. Thus wood can be used to make composites, bio fuels (biodiesel, ethanol, bio-oils and gas) as well as aromatics, waxes, solvents, polymers and other products essential to modern manufacturing.
There is a need, especially in a densely populated area such as the UK, for forests to deliver environmental and social benefits. Clearly there will be an increasing demand for an adequate supply of timber, and this means that more woodland should be planted for longterm commercial benefit. Forestry is a long-term occupation but current short-term policies are not leading to the healthy forest we will need in fifty years from now. Grant aid to woodland planted for environmental and social benefits alone tends to encourage non-productive woodland. A mis-match between agri-environmental schemes and woodland grants disadvantages woodland. Well directed grants would lead to support for activities |84| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
that make woodland self-sustaining. For example, grants to encourage thinning would stimulate production for wood-fuel and enhance biodiversity, whilst improving public access, wildlife habitat and the longterm potential for good quality trees. Grants to encourage the planting of high quality seed of appropriate species for the woodland location would yield longterm benefits – too often foresters look at a stand of trees at fifty years and say “if only they had planted seed with a better provenance”! The UK has forest cover of 12% of its area; this is one of the lowest in Europe. Stourhead Estate (Figure 1) is an exemplar of a forest that creates biodiversity, public access as well as a supply of quality timber – there is room for much more of this type of woodland in the UK. Figure 1 Stourhead Estate, Wiltshire (Photo Richard Harris – The University of Bath) Figure 4
Currently UK construction is moving towards a much greater use of timber in construction. It is this move to using timber in construction, which should be a pointer towards the need to plant more productive forests. Forestry needs longterm planning and investments. The changes in the construction industry should be taken as a pointer towards the need for the UK to develop its forests at a time of rising demand. The UK falls behind other areas of the world in the use of timber for domestic construction. There is a revival in the use of traditional carpentry, which includes the use of un-seasoned oak-framing, with traditional joints, to make sophisticated modern homes. The use of simple loadbearing stud walls for general housing is on the increase, as builders, developers and occupiers recognise the advantages.
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Advantages include the use of renewable, low-carbon materials, with Chain of Custody certification. The potential for offsite manufacturing means that the timber frame is made in a controlled environment and is less weather dependent than on-site construction and the quality of the finished building, including the reliability of insulation and airtightness, is a part of the guaranteed product quality. Robert Hairstans recent publication “Off-site and Modern Methods of Construction” (TRADA 2010) details the methods for panelised, volumetric and hybrid forms of manufacturing for timber construction. The speed of construction with pre-fabricated elements makes the use of timber competitive and with the other benefits the trend is towards timber being used for buildings that would formerly be constructed in steel or concrete. In Scotland, a country with more woodland than other areas of the UK (but still only 17% cover), there has been a strong move towards use of timber in architecture for buildings of all types. Peter Wilson’s book “New Architecture in Scotland” (published by Arcamedia 2007) shows ninety exemplar projects constructed in timber. Engineered timber products are components made, using wood, which reduce the impact of, or eliminate the effect of natural defects (particularly knots) on the strength and stiffness of wood. They include gluedlaminated timber (Glulam), board materials (plywood and others), and recently cross-laminated timber. The introduction of engineered timber products has opened new opportunities for timber.
By using sustainably sourced timber, not only is carbon stored in construction, it continues to be absorbed in the trees planted to replace those harvested. Thus measure of carbon (dioxide) emissions for use of timber is generally negative – i.e. more carbon is saved than emitted. Carbon emission can be measured at various stages of a building’s life-cycle. Timber shows increasing negative carbon from delivery to site (due to carbon stored in the timber) through use in the building (due to displacement of positive-carbon products) to end-of-life, (when it can be used as a replacement for fossil fuels). The more timber used, the more negative the carbon measure. With the price of timber currently making it possible, there have been a number of buildings constructed, which can demonstrate large negative emissions. In particular, there has been a substantial increase in the use of solid timber in construction. For some clients, the use of solid timber panels for their buildings has been driven by the argument for carbon storage. However, the quality of pre-fabrication and speed of construction has made the use of crosslaminated timber panels very attractive to contractors. Rapid construction of the basic structure (see Figure 3), is followed by rapid fit-out; there is no need to wait for wet materials to dry and fixings of finishes and services are quick. Figure 3 - Woodland Trust Headquarters (Photo B&K Structures)
Glulam has been used widely for the past fifty years. The development of reliable adhesives has made it an obvious choice for use in swimming pools and the example shown, of Malvern Leisure Centre. Figure 2 Malvern Leisure Centre (Photo B&K Structures)
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By combining wood with timber, new opportunities are opened. The Pods at Scunthorpe, which is currently under construction, uses advance computer form-finding developed by the SMART Group at Buro Happold. The timber is prefabricated and joined by steel nodes. For efficiency of construction, designers used to aim for a high degree of replication in structural elements. Whilst there is extra time in the design, the use of automated machinery to make the elements of the structure means that modern construction can create more advanced timber structures without the cost penalty experienced in the past. Timber combined with steel makes for an efficient low-carbon solution. Figure 4 The Pods, Scunthorpe (B&K Structures) â€“ a hybrid timber and steel structure
Figure 4 Construction in the UK points the way to the future demand for timber. The tallest modern timber building, the Stadthaus, was constructed in London in 2008 (Figure 5). In the future it is likely that much of the conventional steel and concrete currently used in construction will be replaced by timber. Taller and taller buildings will be constructed using wood. Figure 5 The Stadthaus, London (Photo Wen-Shao Chang â€“ The University of Bath) The timber for all the projects referenced is imported from sustainably managed forests in continental Europe. Environmentally, even accounting for the carbon miles associated with importing timber, the carbon balance in favour of the use of timber makes its use compelling. Using more local timber would reduce the carbon emissions but the strongest argument for better strategic planning for UK forests is economic. In a world where renewable resources are increasing in demand, it makes sense to make the best use for our own forests as a source for good construction timber. The climate is good for growing trees and the space is available if we have the political will to make it available. Figure 5
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Wood (from sustainable sources) is the only major commodity that removes more carbon from the atmosphere the more it is produced. Wood is warm, versatile, infinitely renewable, visually attractive, strong, functional and durable. It can be used for construction and furniture (substituting for plastics, concrete and steel), paper, composite materials, animal bedding, renewable fuel (substituting for finite fossil fuels) and much more.
Why wood is good by Stuart Goodall, Chief Executive of the Confederation of Forest Industries (UK) Ltd. Wood offers a wide range of benefits as we move towards a low-carbon economy, helping us to adapt to a changing climate (trees provide shelter, cooling and flood mitigation), while simultaneously removing carbon from the atmosphere. In carbon terms, it achieves most when used as solid wood (for example, in construction and furniture), where it can act as a carbon store for centuries. Of the wood we use in the UK, over 90% is grown domestically, or imported from elsewhere in Europe, where the area of forest is expanding at the rate of three football pitches every hour – 661,000 hectares a year. Concerns do remain about illegally logged timber from further afield but systems are in place to ensure you can specify wood confidently and safely. For home-grown timber it is straightforward, where FSC and PEFC certification labels on wood products offer assurance and forestry is subject to the UK Forestry Standard – supported by environmental NGOs, business and Government. For imports, the Timber Trade Federation works with businesses through its responsible purchasing policy and credible certification labels are available. By growing more trees and using more wood, we can help tackle climate change, create green jobs and support the sustainable management of forests, both in the UK and abroad. Growing trees sequester carbon, with fast-growing softwoods most efficient. They also provide the wood that has seen the growth of a wide range of UK businesses. With the need to re-engineer our economy to reduce carbon, these modern businesses are providing green jobs and aiding in the transition to a low-carbon economy. Demand for wood is increasing in recognition of its carbon properties and fitness for a wide range of uses |88| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
but the domestic wood resource has almost peaked. New forest creation has declined dramatically in the last 20 years and most of that has been amenity and environmental planting, without productive management. UK woodland cover is 12%, compared with an EU-27 average of 37%. We are in danger of missing an important opportunity. Last year, Professor Sir David Read’s synthesis report, Combating climate change - a role for UK forests, helped ConFor to persuade governments in each nation of the UK of the overwhelming need to increase productive afforestation. This is a very low-cost way of reducing carbon in the atmosphere. Targets are now in place but delivering trees in the ground is more challenging. As well as benefiting carbon and green jobs, these new forests can be good for biodiversity, health and tourism. The forestry sector has learnt from the pioneering planting activity of the 20th Century and is adapting those forests, as well as creating new ones, that are fit for the 21st Century. In place of rectangular blocks and monocultures, modern forests are visually pleasing, designed into the landscape, environmentally valuable, as well as productive. It will take some years yet for all of last century’s forests to be ‘restructured’ but key to that process, and to the sustainability of most of the UK’s forest resource, is continued, benign management. This management relies on income from the sales of wood, which in turn requires markets for wood. ConFor has produced a short film that seeks to explain the benefits of 21st Century commercial forests and the low-carbon businesses that rely on them. The key message of the film is that sustainably managed forests and secure supplies of wood will help mitigate climate
change and contribute to the drive towards a low-carbon economy. The popularity of wood in construction is set to grow further as, when sustainably sourced, it has the lowest carbon footprint of any mainstream building material. Wood can make a building carbon neutral or better. Every cubic metre of wood used in place of other building materials saves between 0.7 and 1.1 tonnes of CO². By using timber wherever possible in a building, for example in timber frames, external cladding, windows, doors and floors, it is possible to reduce the average 20 tonne CO² footprint of a new home by 17.6 tonnes. Indeed a project by White Design and Willmott Dixon at the Building Research Establishment’s Innovation Park featured a wood-rich house that achieved a negative materials footprint of -40.9 tonnes of carbon. There is also increasing demand to use sustainably sourced wood to produce renewable energy. This is both a threat and an opportunity for forestry. In the UK, the resource is infinitely renewable but finite at any one point in time. Potential demand for wood for energy is four times the size of the forest resource. Wood has its greatest carbon and green jobs benefit when used in its solid form and then burnt at end of life. There is wood that currently has no market and whose use would benefit forest management. However, using this to produce local heat and electricity is far more efficient (up to 90%) than burning it in large electricity plants (typically 30%), as well as creating more jobs. ConFor is working hard to explain to Government and to civil servants that incentive mechanisms like the current
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Renewables Obligation could potentially destroy green jobs and release more carbon into the atmosphere – the opposite of what we all need. Forestry was a key issue in recent international discussions on biodiversity at Nagoya in Japan. As attention on forestry has increased, so has understanding that,“ the forest that pays is the forest that stays”, and that a forest that is sustainably managed for wood production can also help to deliver all the other economically essential “ecosystem services” that forests provide, such as fresh water for agriculture, drinking water and hydro generation, fresh air, soil conservation etc, etc, etc. Such recognition is vital if we are to manage this valuable resource, both in the UK and abroad, for a sustainable, low-carbon future. In conclusion, while there are many challenges, forests and the people and businesses that rely on them stand on the cusp of a new age of wood and forestry. As we look ahead to a daunting vision of carbon reduction targets and the low-carbon economy, wood can and will play a substantial role in achieving them. With all the associated benefits derived from growing trees, woods and forests, as well as from timber itself, you can rest assured that wood really is good. ConFor (Confederation of Forest industries) represents forestry and wood-using businesses from nurseries and growers to wood-processing end-users in the UK.
WATER Page 94 - 97 - The Price and Value of Scarce Water Resources - Dr Colin Fenn, Chair CIWEM Water Resources Panel Page 98 - Adequate for Now? - David Nickols, Chair, ICE Water Sector Section
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The Price and Value of Scarce Water Resources Dr Colin Fenn Chair of CIWEM’s Water Resources Panel and Director, CFonstream “Our children will enjoy in their homes electrical energy too cheap to meter ...” Lewis L. Strauss, 16 September 1954. The “too cheap to meter” phrase thus coined carries high meaning. That it didn’t turn out as predicted for electrical energy (or nuclear) is not the point. The point is that is we undervalue that which we don’t pay for on an incremental basis. If it’s not charged on an incremental basis, it can’t be worth much. That the said generation of children here in the UK have enjoyed unmetered supplies of water in their homes, and that their children in turn still do, in the main, speaks volumes as to the value we place on water, and its removal from the environment. Put plainly, without metering and charging by volume taken, water has zero marginal cost to consumers, irrespective of its high value to the environment, especially where and when it starts to become scarce. What message does that send out? That water is a commodity, or a social right, even, something that falls from the sky and whilst not entirely free, is plainly cheap and plentiful enough for us to expect to be able to turn on the tap and have fresh, pure supplies wherever, whenever and whatever the circumstances (rationing of water supplies is, after all, an unacceptable prospect in government policy 1 and nearly all water company plans2 ). ... with consequences for the environment we take our water from, particularly where and when it is scarce. Little wonder that a third of the catchments across England and Wales are now judged by the Environment Agency to be either over-abstracted (15%) or overlicensed (18%)3 – meaning that unacceptable damage to the environment occurs during low flows under existing levels of abstraction, or would do if licensed amounts were fully used, respectively. The Agency’s (2009) estimate of the cost of restoring abstraction |94| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
to sustainable levels at sites England and Wales then identified as being in need of attention was £448 million. Defra has separately estimated that to achieve environmental flow indicators (EFIs) across England & Wales by 2015 might cost anything from £3.7 billion to £27 billion.4 Under a phased approach with the timescale extending to 2027, the cost could be reduced to £0.93 billion. Uncertain as they are, the numbers are big. <Photo 1 here> .... and things look set to get worse Climate change, population growth and lifestyle preferences are making and will continue to make matters more challenging. Valuing the environment more, as rich societies are meant to do, is not assisted by the current economic climate. The adoption of higher environmental protection standards (to meet the requirements of the Habitats Directive, and the Water Framework Directive, particularly) will lead to beneficial (but costly) reductions in abstraction at sites with European designations, for which a statutory basis for compensation of lost water rights exists. Over-abstraction from sites with national and local designations, however, are often trapped by the absence of a statutory driver for revocation and compensation, on the one hand, and, on the other, by the inability to make good the loss from reductions in abstraction in the ‘cost effective to customers’ way required by Ofwat for funding through price increases (whether through demand-side or supply-side measures; maybe special case relaxations could be provided for demand-side measures, here?). The Environment Agency’s Environmental Improvement Unit Charge (EIUC) scheme was set up to support sustainability reductions of abstraction falling into this category, but it is under-funded and uncertain in operation. So demand seems set to keep on rising (driven up by population growth, even if per capita consumption can be managed down), resources seem set to fall and the environment seems set to remain trapped between the two. Water is becoming scarcer, and the unit cost of providing new savings (from demand-side schemes) or supplies (from supply-side schemes) is becoming costlier. Cue the price signal. So is water too cheap? No, according to customers who are used to paying what they have been paying for water, and have other rising demands on their disposable income. And no, according to CC Water, the water customer ‘watchdog’; to Ofwat, the economic regulator; and to water companies, who face the flak from rising prices. But yes, according to many water and environmental practitioners and their professional Institutions. The majority opinion of the many straw polls I’ve enjoyed over the years (at meetings of such practitioners) is invariably that the price of water (to users) needs to increase significantly, to include the full (and variable) value of environmental externalities5
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, to encourage recognition of water’s true value and to provide incentives to consumers to waste it less and use it more sparingly. Provided, of course, that appropriate provisions are made for vulnerable and disadvantaged sections of society who would by such a general increase suffer an increased proportional burden on their (lower) disposable income. The high level of water customer debt that now exists points to ability (or willingness) to pay problems that would only get worse under a large price increase, especially in times of austerity; though the cost of water services versus the cost of satellite television and mobile telephone service contracts more gleefully accepted is commonly cited as evidence of the existence of skewed prices and priorities, here. More for less? Or better for the same? Cue the incremental price signal. As every card-carrying economist will by now be crying out, it’s not the overall price of water that matters, it’s the marginal price where and when it’s scarce that counts. If the unit price of water could be varied to reflect its scarcity value, customers would be informed and incentivised to use it less in times when it is in natural short supply. The net outcome might then be that a better balance could be struck between the needs of people and the environment in times and places of water shortage. Moreover, whilst the overall price of water may vary more than now, the price paid need not increase overall. Ofwat’s economists, charged by government with the task of ensuring ‘value for money’ for customers, and the Environment Agency’s economists and water managers, charged by government with ensuring the efficient and effective allocation and use of water resources and protection of the environment, would sign up to such a system, it seems. And in times of austerity, particularly, we need to find ways to improve matters by doing things smarter. Conditions precedent. For such a system to be able to work in practice, some fundamental changes would be needed. First, water abstractors would need to pay for water taken from the environment by volume, on an availability-varying sliding scale of permissions and charges, instead of on a fixed licensed quantity basis. That means licensing reform. A rising block abstraction model, with abstractors being allowed to abstract at higher and higher daily rates ( X, Y, Z Ml/d) as flow levels rise above a hands-off flow level (A) and a stack of higher flow thresholds (e.g. B, C ) is one option (see Figure 1). This approach might encourage abstractors to take more from vulnerable sources at times of plenty, and less at times of scarcity, so as to provide protection to the environment when and where it needs it most, without |96| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
Figure 1: The rising block abstraction model source: Fenn & Wilby, WWF-UK, Discussion Paper Nr 4, The Itchen Initiative
necessarily reducing overall abstractable volumes in the round, or even deployable outputs in low flow spells. The unit charge rate as well as the permitted abstraction rate could also be varied by availability of water in the environment, with the unit cost of abstraction rising as water availability falls. WWF-UK is currently investigating the viability of such an approach with Southern Water and South West Water.6 Second, water users, including all households, would need to pay for water services according to the amount used, on a measured basis and under a variable tariff regime; users might pay on a rising block tariff, with higher unit rates applying as consumption increases, so as to discourage high use. Higher unit charges might be levied at all times in areas that are now classified as over-abstracted, and in particular times when drought creates natural scarcity and environmental stress. That means more metering, which is on the way (with ‘full’ (aka 90~95%) metering of households being planned for most of England and Wales by 2020). But, it should be noted, most of the meters being installed are still of the ‘dumb’ rather than the ‘smart’ type, with limited capability for communicating real-time consumption data to customers, and limited capability for facilitating flexible tariffing regimes. For metering, volume-based charging and scarcity charging to be able to deliver good results for both people and the environment, we need ‘smart tariffing’ to convey resource and price signals at an appropriate resolution; and that means being able to vary the charging rate not just from month to month, but from week to week, and day to day, and even hour to hour, in line with the variation in demand (e.g. between the average and peak week, between week-days and weekends, and between morning and evening peak hour periods). A forward-
thinking perspective is needed here. That which we can foresee the need for, we should provide for, with the cost-benefit analysis factoring all benefits into account. A rethink is needed on the continued use of ‘dumb’ meters. Reform is in the air..... The Coalition Government has committed to publishing a Natural Environment White Paper by early 2011, and a Water White Paper later in 2011. Ofwat is consulting on options for introducing competition into the water industry of England and Wales, and retail competition has been up and running for over two years in Scotland. An external review of Ofwat is also underway. CIWEM, Waterwise, The Blueprint for Water coalition and others have already published their views as to what needs to be done to create a future-proofed platform for the delivery of water, wastewater and environmental services.
References 1. Defra, Future Water, 2008, p36, p91. 2. As inspection of the Level of Service for the use of restrictions on supply in water companies’ recent Water Resources Management Plans (2010) will confirm. 3. Environment Agency, Natural England & WWF-UK, 2009, Joint submission on the environmental issues of unsustainable abstraction, http://www.assets.wwf.org.uk 4. Defra, XXX 5. That is, the non-use value of water left in the environment 6. Fenn and Wilby, 2010, Discussion Paper Number 4 of the Itchen Initiative, WWF-UK, at http://www.wwf-uk.org.uk
and for once, the route to take seems to be broadly agreed .... For all, the value of water lies at the heart of the matter. For Ofwat, revealing the value of water will open the door to effective competition, (water and licence) trading and innovation and thence to more sustainable investment and business decisions. For CIWEM, whose Value of Water campaign trail-blazed the route some years ago, greater awareness of the value of water is critical to changing attitudes to demand management and water re-use. For WWF, whose ‘Rivers on the Edge’ and ‘Itchen Initiative’ projects seek to find practicable ways to end damaging over-abstraction, it is about finding smarter ways to deal with scarcity. For me, it’s about recognising that to value every litre of water we use, we need to face the all-in marginal cost of each litre we take. As long as we can turn on the tap and pay nothing more for what we take, we can’t hope to manage resource scarcity effectively, or resources efficiently. And for those who may be prepared to pay rather than reduce demand under scarcity .... Making customers face the full marginal cost of water they take is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for achieving reductions in demand and thence in abstraction reduction and environmental improvement. Some water users may be prepared to pay the high price of high usage under a marginal pricing regime. That may hold true even if the unit price for very high usage is set above the all-in marginal cost of its supply. But if the marginal price for very high water consumption was set above the marginal cost of its delivery, especially when and where water is scarce, those who might insist on using water regardless would at least be subsidising those who use water more wisely and sparingly. The implementation of an ‘unsocial’ tariff for profligate use of water under scarcity would seem appropriate, in the circumstances.
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Adequate for now? David Nickols, Chair of the ICE’s water sector section discusses state of the nation; infrastructure 2010
While a 20-year history of regulatory-driven investment means our water infrastructure is currently meeting expectations, the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) is concerned that without a fundamental shift in the regulatory model and efforts to reduce demand it will not be able to continue to meet consumer demands as well as meet environmental obligations in the future.
growth and they do not meaningfully reduce demand. Demand reduction, based on ICE’s assessment, will be a major factor in addressing the impact of climate change. Additionally, anything that requires investment beyond the five year regulatory cycle is out of scope, further hampering the industry’s ability to invest for the long term.
The past 20 years of regulatory investment since privatisation has seen over £85 billion pumped into the UK’s water infrastructure, with the positive result that it is largely serving its customer needs well and is mostly in good condition. The regulatory framework has worked well for these two decades. Water is one of the better functioning infrastructure sectors, whereas other key infrastructure systems including energy, local transport, waste and resource management, and flood risk management are all graded as ‘requires attention’ or ‘at risk’ in ICE’s recent State of the Nation: Infrastructure 2010 report.
The trend of rising carbon emissions is set to continue. It has been estimated that the industry must cut emissions by at least 60% by 2050, from 1990 levels, to meet Government targets. To achieve this level of reduction will require reducing demand, making carbon lifecycles of new infrastructure integral to decision making, and companies making genuine effort to minimise their footprint. Metering and low-use fixtures must be implemented widely and consumers must be educated about the value of water and how to use less. The new infrastructure we build must facilitate this change in attitudes and become integral to long-term plans. And we must look at ways of treating less wastewater, an energy intensive process, for example by keeping surface water drainage out of our foul sewers.
Only two sectors, water and wastewater and strategic transport networks, achieved a B grade, described as ‘adequate for now’. No sectors achieved an A grade. However, adequate for now is not the same as good enough for the future. We are facing a changing climate, changing societal demands and increased financial pressures in the future and our infrastructure networks – and their regulatory systems – must adapt urgently to meet this challenge. Not acknowledging and addressing this within the water sector will threaten the progress we have made in this crucial industry and, most importantly, our long-term water security. One of the key concerns that arose from ICE’s independent assessment of the sector is that the water industry has hugely increased its carbon emissions since 1990, because of energy-intensive investments to comply with environmental quality standards, and there has been no regulatory requirement to reduce emissions. The current regulatory framework places far too much emphasis on capital investments and short-term gains, at the cost of long-term sustainability. While the 2009 OfWat price review was accepted by all but one regulated water company – which indicates that the companies believe the prices set for 2010–2015 are adequate to cover the investment needed – the investment plans do not adequately take into account long-term population |98| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
Of course, all of this must happen within the boundaries of public funding cuts and an increasingly risk averse private sector. While the regulation of the industry on the one hand ensures a steady stream of funding to the water companies, on the other hand there is very little leeway if there is any variation of the financial assumptions made in determining the plans. ICE strongly believes that financial regulation must change so that it incentivises companies to act in support of Government environmental policy and reduce demand and carbon, in particular by shifting from rewarding capital expenditure to rewarding innovation and sustainable operational solutions for the problems of the future. It will also be important to address the public’s perception of the value of water. Currently it appears to be cheap and plentiful - as its price reflects only the cost of its abstraction, treatment and transport – whereas in the future it will be a constrained resource if major changes in consumer attitude and in the design of our infrastructure cannot be achieved. The onus is on Government to provide the policies and framework to allow the water companies to make appropriate financial returns while driving demand and carbon down.
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LAND MANAGEMENT Page 102 - 106 - Sustainable Remediation - Nicola Harris, Project Director, CL: AIRE Page 108 - 109 Definiton of Waste - Brian Graham Director, Soil and Water Remediation
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Sustainable Remediation – The Application of the SuRF-UK Framework By Ms Nicola Harries – Project Director, CL:AIRE Sustainable Remediation Forum-UK (SuRF-UK) is a cross sectoral initiative between Contaminated Land: Applications in Real Environments (CL:AIRE), industry, regulators and academia. It was launched to enable the brownfield and contaminated land industry to share their understanding and demonstrate how the industry was considering sustainability within their work. It was set up in 2007 with funding from the Homes and Communities Agency facilitated by CL:AIRE and actively collaborates with similar initiatives elsewhere in the world including Europe, USA and Australia. Around 50 public and private sector organisations have taken part in SuRF-UK meetings since it started in 2007. SuRF-UK is a focused group of remediation practitioners and regulators from the UK interested in providing sustainable approaches to the management of land contamination. Its primary goal has been to develop a framework to embed balanced decision-making in the selection of a remediation strategy to address land contamination, as an integral part of sustainable development and then demonstrate its application through case studies. The framework document titled “A framework for assessing the sustainability of soil and groundwater remediation” was completed and published in March 2010 with a foreword signed by Department of Communities and Local Government, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Homes and Communities Agency, Welsh Assembly, Environment Agency, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and Environment Agency (Northern Ireland). The framework document can be downloaded from www.claire.co.uk/surfuk . The framework With the increasing importance of corporate and government policies requiring the demonstration that sustainability is being thought about, the wider impacts of remediation projects related to climate change, resource management, water use and soil functionality are all being increasingly considered, along with wider social and economic benefits. SURF-UK has defined sustainable remediation as “the |102| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
practice of demonstrating, in terms of environmental, economic and social indicators, that the benefit of undertaking remediation is greater than its impact, and that the optimum remediation solution is selected through the use of a balanced decision-making process”. It encompasses sustainable approaches to the investigation, assessment, and management (including institutional controls) of potentially contaminated land. This balance is based on a set of underpinning principles (Table 1) within which the balancing of criteria such as environmental, social, and economic costs and benefits occurs.
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Table 1 : Underpinning Principles The balancing of environmental, social and economic costs and benefits in identifying the optimum remediation solution needs to be carried out while complying with this set of key principles, which should be considered by practitioners in the design, implementation and reporting of sustainable remediation schemes. 1
Protection of human health and the wider environment. Remediation [sitespecific risk management] should remove unacceptable risks to human health and protect the wider environment now and in the future for the agreed landuse, and give due consideration to the costs, benefits, effectiveness, durability and technical feasibility of available options.
Safe working practices. Remediation works should be safe for all workers and for local communities, and should minimise impacts on the environment.
Consistent, clear and reproducible evidence-based decision-making. Sustainable risk-based remediation decisions are made having regard to environmental, social and economic factors, and consider both current and likely future implications. Such sustainable and risk-based remediation solutions maximise the potential benefits achieved. Where benefits and impacts are aggregated or traded in some way this process should be explained and a clear rationale provided.
Record keeping and transparent reporting. Remediation decisions, including the assumptions and supporting data used to reach them, should be documented in a clear and easily understood format in order to demonstrate to interested parties that a sustainable (or otherwise) solution has been adopted.
Good governance and stakeholder involvement. Remediation decisions should be made having regard to the views of stakeholders and following a clear process within which they can participate.
Sound science. Decisions should be made on the basis of sound science, relevant and accurate data, and clearly explained assumptions, uncertainties and professional judgment. This will ensure that decisions are based upon the best available information and are justifiable and reproducible.
The framework highlights the importance of incorporating sustainability issues right at the forefront of the remediation and redevelopment process and it aims to set the benchmark for improved remediation and developing better places on brownfield land. The framework identifies opportunities for considering sustainability at a number of key points in a site’s (re) development or risk management process. It encourages the inclusion of sustainability issues in local planning strategies, project planning, design of remediation strategies, options appraisal, implementation and verification. In doing so, the report highlights how an essential link between the principles of sustainable development and the key criteria (environmental, social and economic) in selecting land use design with sustainable remediation strategies and treatments is identified. The framework allows the following to be done: • Place remediation at the heart of sustainable development; • Use sustainability indicators to optimise remediation decisions; • Measure the costs and wider benefits of remediation projects; and |104| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
• Speed up decision-making by using a framework developed jointly by industry, regulators and other experts. While legislation and good practice guidance have encouraged remediation to contribute to sustainable development goals, no formal and authoritative framework has previously been published to guide such an assessment. To ensure a robust and reproducible approach to sustainable remediation decision making is possible, SuRF-UK has identified three fundamental ideas: 1. 2. 3.
Decisions and assessments should be considered in a structured way; Consistent boundaries must be used in decision making and sustainability assessment; Assessing sustainability is essentially a subjective process; it needs to be accepted as such.
These concepts have ensured that the framework developed is directly linked to existing UK good practice for contaminated land management, as set out in the Model Procedures for the Management of Land Contamination (Environment Agency and Defra, 2004).
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Figure 1 provides a simplified overview of the SuRF-UK framework. This framework identifies two fundamental stages at which sustainability can be considered: first, at the planning /project design stage (which SuRF-UK calls “Stage A”) and, second, during the selection and implementation of remediation techniques (“Stage B”). Figure 1: Simplified overview of the SuRF-UK framework
Framework Application The SuRF-UK framework is sufficiently flexible that it can be applied to various remediation decision-making scenarios within a property lifecycle and for different sizes of project or site. The framework provides several illustrative scenarios considering: remediation for redevelopment projects, managing operational sites, and land restoration to “soft” end-uses. The SuRF-UK framework for managing sustainability in remediation describes when sustainable remediation decisions should be made, how they should be taken, and what they should be based upon. Practitioners working in land management will use and apply the SuRF-UK framework in many different ways. Contaminated land contractors and consultants will focus on “Stage B”, using the framework to help them deliver more sustainable solutions for fixed remediation goals. However, practitioners involved at earlier stages of a site redevelopment will have wider opportunities to influence management decisions on sustainability. The earliest stage considered in this framework is at local spatial planning. At this stage remediation related considerations are only one small component of a spatial strategy for a region, as, for example, demographics, flood-risk, and transport are other key factors that may need to be considered. Therefore, in this situation sustainable remediation decisions may have a relatively minor impact on the overall sustainability of a scheme. When the SuRF-UK framework is used at the project design stage (“Stage A”) there could be a range of |106| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
possibilities to maximise the sustainability gained by considering remediation and ongoing site use in an integrated manner, for example, looking at synergies between remediation and development processes, ensuring risk management objectives have been optimised in a site-specific manner for an operational site, or looking for synergies between different types of activities for a soft-end use. In addition, many organisations manage a portfolio of sites, some or all of which may need risk assessment and, possibly, remediation. In this case, sustainable remediation considerations may be an important component of strategic planning, along with other issues of corporate governance. Operators of industrial processes could use “Stage A” to ensure that risk management goal setting is carried out in a sustainable manner taking into account the specific context of individual sites. Remediation takes place for different reasons. It may be part of a wider brownfield re-use project, in which case it will be a component of sustainability overall. However, the remediation process becomes more significant in overall sustainability during the remediation of operational land (i.e. where there is no change of land use proposed) the sustainability of the remediation approach selected defines the project sustainability, because remediation is the entirety of the project. Decisions made at “Stage A” have a controlling influence on decisions made at “Stage B”. The completion of a remediation plan or design is typically a point of limited return. This occurs perhaps when contracts or regulatory agreements, conditions of a permit, or a planning consent are finalised. In contractual terms, the break-point is often the point of signing a contract, irrespective of the form of agreement under consideration. If remediation has not been considered in Stage A, there is a strong probability that any of the remediation options available will have limited appeal from a sustainable development point of view. This emphasises the importance of early assessment of remediation on sustainability to deliver a project that is “better by design” and ultimately cost effective. Reference: Environment Agency & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, 2004. ‘Model procedures for the management of land contamination.’ Environment Agency R & D Report CLR11. Environment Agency, Bristol, UK.
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The Definition of Waste: Development Industry Code of Practice in Action By Brian Graham, Director of Soil and Water Remediation
In a previous edition of Environment Industry magazine, Clive Bolye described the CL:AIRE project, The Definition of Waste: Development Industry Code of Practice to us, at the time when the project was coming on stream. Now, some 6 months later, I wanted to supplement that article with some examples of the Code of Practice in action. The basic idea of the Code of Practice was to make things simpler and less regulated. But it is important that some regulation remains to ensure that soils being placed at site are suitable and that one waste is not simply substituted for another waste. To achieve this regulation the Qualified Person (QP) was ‘invented’. Here a suitably qualified and time served person may attend a CL:AIRE workshop and be trained in how to provide a Declaration. This Declaration is then supplied to the Environment Agency – noting the fact that the Declaration is supplied before the works commence. Also it should be noted that the QP should be independent from the project. At Soil and Water Remediation we have been able to use this new Code of Practice to our own advantage and to benefit the environment on a number of recent projects. Specifically, SAWR were asked to provide a competitive tender to remediate a former filling station site in the south of England. Site Investigations had noted hydrocarbon contamination in the soils from its previous use. The site was quite small but had areas of hard standing still available to us and thus the decision was made to bio-remediate the material on site. From the previous SI, it was known that there were areas of the site that were contaminated to a greater or lesser extent. The site was then excavated, the steel from the underground tanks sent for recycling, the concrete apron broken up and sent for recycling and the soil material segregated according to the data from the SI. The various grades of material were sorted as they were dug using a dig plan and then placed in pre-determined locations based on a Materials Management Plan (MMP) and the site programme.
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As the bio-remediation process continued and the materials being remediated were cleaned to the specification, it was then time to replace the material. This is where the Code of Practice comes into play. It is now possible to take the material that you previously dug out (because it was contaminated and effectively a waste) and place the clean (processed) material back in the void created. As the Code of Practice is in place on this site, this clean and suitable material is no longer classified as waste and becomes a useable resource. Previously, this would not have been possible without a permit, an exemption or similar. Now under the Code of Practice there is no issue. Thus, the cleaned material is backfilled into the void where it came from and not one lorry load of the soil has been moved off site or land filled. This Code of Practice has huge implications for the construction and environmental industries, as well as to the environment. In the case above Soil and Water Remediation reduced the need for 100 lorry movements from an area where the roads are already at bursting point. There was no need to bring in clean, quarried material from an unsustainable source to replace the void created, as might have been the case in the past, given the treated material was re-used. The only material needed to be imported was some top soil to replace the volume lost to the underground storage tanks. While this project was relatively small and self contained, it is possible to run multiple sites and create one treatment site at a separate location where space is available. These schemes are known as Clusters. Thus, it could be that one contractor has multiple sites in an area but there is not enough space on any one site to carry out waste processing, but a separate, remote site can be found where waste from all sites can be treated. This model may be advantageous in areas where there are numerous sites close together, reducing overall lorry mileages as a consequence. Overall, it can be seen that the Code of Practice is a positive step forward in terms of the regulatory process being simplified. It is also a positive step forward for the environment with a re-use of materials that would have been previously land filled ,a reduction in the use of unsustainable sources of soil, stone, sand etc and the consequent reduction in lorry movements and related mileages moving these materials round our roads. For further details on the scheme including the criteria for the Qualified Person please see the CL:AIRE web site. Brian Graham is Director of Soil and Water Remediation and is a Qualified Person under the Code of Practice scheme.
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WASTE MANAGEMENT Page 112 - 115 - Why WE all have a part to play in WEEE collections - Gerrard Fisher, WRAP Page 116 - 117 - Share the Christmas Cheer and Recycle Electronics - Justin Greenaway, SWEEEP
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Why WE all have a part to play in WEEE collections Gerrard Fisher, WRAP Why WE all have a part to play in WEEE collections. With waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) being one of the fastest growing waste streams in the UK and the EU, it is essential that there is a comprehensive framework of support to guide collectors, reprocessors and manufacturers. I personally believe that the support network is becoming well embedded and through this article we will have a look at that in more detail. WRAP, the Waste and Resources Action Programme, is committed to using the skills and knowledge we have access to, to ensure WEEE is dealt with appropriately in the UK.
Firstly, the EU WEEE Directive provides the overarching regulation. It was introduced into UK regulations in January 2007. It makes producers responsible for financing the collection, treatment, and recovery of waste electrical equipment, and obliges distributors to allow consumers to return their waste equipment free of charge.
You may have seen recently a number of successful prosecutions for failure to comply with obligations as a producer under the UK WEEE Regulations and failure to register as a producer of electrical and electronic waste were brought by the Environment Agency.
To date we have helped Local Authorities by developing resources to increase awareness amongst consumers. In addition, a particular highlight for me was the WRAP partnership with The British Heart Foundation during Recycle Week this year. Consumers traditionally don’t think much further than clothes and books when having a clear out but this campaign encouraged people to donate old hairdryers, mobiles and other small electricals.
One of the organisations prosecuted recently would have had to spend about £12,000 to be compliant. At the end of the prosecution they were out of pocket to the tune of £30,000. The rules exist for very valid reasons; the UK must lead the way in the correct and responsible treatment of unwanted WEEE.
The regulations, however, focus on protecting the environment and human health. WRAP works to support local authorities and businesses meet the requirements and gain the most value by improving resource efficiency.
If disposed of and stripped correctly we can recover valuable metals and resources, some of which are becoming increasingly scarce. As you may expect, there is the carrot - a framework and support but ultimately if people don’t comply then they will face the real risk of being prosecuted - the stick. So let’s look at the carrots and sticks available to ensure that the value from WEEE is realised.
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It is vital that everyone in the chain, from consumer to retailer and reprocessor, understands their obligations and opportunities under the WEEE regulations. We need to ensure that a piece of unwanted, but working, kitchen equipment is reused where possible, taken to a council-run recycling centre, specialist charity shop, such as some run by BHF or the Salvation Army, or put on Freecycle. I have seen some innovative marketing campaigns, offering people a money off voucher, inserted into the packaging of their new purchase, if they post off their unwanted electricals. When at a meeting with DHL recently, getting an update on their Love your electricals campaign work, I chatted to Andy Currie from DHL and he said; “The WRAP toolkit provided invaluable support and guidance for DHL to run successful ‘Give and take’ events during Recycle Week 2010, as a result 422 donated electrical items were diverted from landfill.” WRAP’s WEEE toolkit supports retailers by helping them meet and go beyond the information requirements of the Regulations. Resources that can be easily adapted to fit with the retailers own brand but are recognised as being legally compliant provide maximum flexibility. We launched the toolkit on the Summer of 2010, it has already been taken up by major retailer Argos and we anticipate some other key retailers to be on board before the end of the year. At the same time we released good practice guidance to improve quality and quantity of WEEE collected and |114| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
treated, I believe this is essential because we really want to support collection facilities to be leading edge. The UK leads the way in design developments and innovations so I believe we should strive for the same at end of life. It does concern me that a phone or hairdryer may be ‘old and unusable’ to a business or consumer and, may end up in landfill when it still may have several reuse options. Reuse of unwanted electricals offers a real opportunity to increase the lifetime of a product. Consumers, however, need to know they are purchasing products of a specific quality. As a result, a new reuse standard PAS141 [specification for the processing for reuse of waste and used electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE and UEEE)] is being developed. The aim is to ensure effective and proper reuse, it will be operational in 2011 and help highlight compliant and effective reuse operations. So I hope you will agree there is a great deal of help for businesses, local authorities and consumers to do the right thing. That help comes from a variety of sources including: WRAP, the Environment Agency, NetRegs, retailers (e.g. through take-back schemes and advice to consumers) and others, such as the compliance schemes. Going forward I am confident that this will only continue. The recast of the WEEE directive will look at the collection target for WEEE, currently set at 4kg per head per year. The recast may increase collection targets for WEEE but what the target will be is unknown at the moment. With this in mind we are working on a mass balance model that maps out the flow of EEE and WEEE through the UK system so that we can identify where the opportunities lie to increase the capture of WEEE for
treatment and to better understand to flow of materials and onward treatment capacity We are also working on gaining a better understanding of products that will be entering the waste stream in the next 5-10 years to understand what treatment issues may arise. Flat panel LCD screens are an ideal example of a product on the market that is increasingly appearing in the waste stream but requires specialist treatment due to the mercury contained within the backlights. Whilst it is clear to me that we have to work together to tackle WEEE throughout its life, from smarter design to ease of dismantling at end of life, it is also fair to say that the parameters are clear for businesses and local Authorities. I am looking forward to seeing how charities and community groups approach WEEE under a big society umbrella. There are plenty of examples out there to use as reference points, like Bulky Bob’s in Liverpool and the British Heart Foundation electrical stores. I am confident that the benefits and value of WEEE can be kept local, we will hopefully see less news coverage of the UK dumping things in developing countries and as a result we can create an infrastructure that has ‘green jobs’ at the heart. So, for me the stick approach is vital but I really hope the whole supply chain see that there are far more carrots – even the gold kind – out there.
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Share the Christmas Cheer and Recycle Electronics By Justin Greenaway, Commercial Director, SWEEEP/Kuusakoski
With electrical gadgets making up the majority of the must-haves this Christmas, Justin Greenaway from SWEEEP/Kuusakoski, one of the UK’s leading WEEE recyclers, is calling on Local Authorities and retailers to push the recycling message. Our reliance on electronics over the last 50 years has rocketed. Even over the last five years, the emergence of iPods, MP3 players, e-book devices and iPads have revolutionised how we spend our leisure time. However, as new products hit the market with increasing regularity, we have become a throw-away society. We don’t wait until our phone or computer has given up the ghost, instead we want to have the latest model – be it for look, function or speed. The result this is having in terms of waste is significant. We currently produce around 1.8 million tonnes of WEEE - waste electronic and electrical equipment - each year, although small compared to many other household wastes, it is the fastest growing waste stream at a time when reducing the amount we throw away is a key Government target. However, our spending on electronics keeps going up. According to a survey by Sky and Stuff Magazine, British consumers spend a significant £52 million on gadgets each year and this shows little sign of slowing. Therefore, it’s paramount that we begin to get the WEEE recycling message to the consumer. Few know that they can recycle most electronic equipment at their local household recycling centre, believing that the only place to put dud or obsolete items is in the bin. Over three years ago, the WEEE Directive came into force in the UK as a driver for improving the level of waste electrical recycling. The Directive has been an important catalyst for the sector, helping to drive investment and the development of more efficient and effective recovery technologies. However, there is a mountain for the country to climb when we consider the challenge we face in meeting the high 2016 targets being supported by MEPs. Just last month, EU legislators debated an 85% recovery rate for 2016. To put this challenge into context, we can look at packaging, which in 1998 had a 27% recycling rate. By 2008, the recycling rate for packaging materials had risen to 65% – a 38% increase in a decade. For the waste electronics sector, we have to achieve almost double the increase in half the time as we currently only recycle around 19% of small WEEE – such as hairdryers, kettles, razors etc. Furthermore, there is no co-ordinated campaign to take the recycling message to the most important audience, the consumer, which is why we are appealing to Local Authorities, retailers and businesses to help increase awareness. Christmas is the most pertinent time to remind people
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This is why the WEEE sector has come together this year, to help educate consumers about the need to recycle their waste electronic items. In a collaborative partnership between Centillions, DHL, ERP, Overton Recycling, Repic, SWEEEP, Valpak, Wastepack and W&S, the sector is helping to fund a TV advertising campaign that will raise awareness of electronic recycling. The project will be using the Waste & Resources Action Programme’s (WRAP) ‘Recycle Now’ branding and will also receive advice from WRAP to make sure its message is appropriate for consumers.
that they should recycle, not bin, their old electronics. Indeed it is also the most wasteful period in the year – with around three million tonnes, the equivalent to a tenth of the waste produced in a year, accumulated over just a few days. The result a good awareness campaign can achieve is demonstrated by the smoking ban, which was actually introduced on the same day as the WEEE Directive. Three and a half years on, very few people would consider lighting up in a restaurant or shopping centre, however most wouldn’t think they were doing anything wrong by putting their old radio or electric razor into their household rubbish. Government and industry need to correct this lack of awareness and communicate a strong recycling message to consumers that they need to recycle these items. However, hand in hand with this communication requirement is the need to provide easy access to recycling points. Very few people would consider making a special trip to the local recycling centre with their old hairdryer but if they could recycle it somewhere where they go regularly, e.g. the supermarket, or even through kerbside collections, then recycling rates would increase dramatically.
But for us to be able to ensure the feedstock of small WEEE and achieve the potentially high targets of the WEEE directive for 2016, it is paramount people know that there is an obligation to recycle used electronics. We have an extremely gadget-driven society. Our houses are abundant with electronics and we often upgrade our electronics to benefit from the latest model’s offering. Therefore, electronics is one waste stream that is only going to increase and it is imperative that householders are aware of their obligations and that we have in place convenient ways to recycle this waste. Kerbside collections are the easiest and most convenient way to ensure participation, with bring-banks at local shopping centres the next most preferable method. We can’t rely on people making particular trips to their local household recycling centres. We believe there are three key elements to ensure a high level of participation – awareness, education and convenience. All three have to work together in order for us to stand a chance at meeting the possible 85% recycling target, from almost a standing start. Kerbside collections of WEEE need to be nationwide, with a strong awareness campaign to ensure that recycling of WEEE becomes part of our culture and is talked about in schools, by retailers and by councils. A comprehensive and multifaceted campaign is crucial to achieve the objectives at the heart of the Directive.
Public perception is critical for greater participation. We have seen too many instances where householders are turned off recycling as they have little faith that the materials they spend time rinsing and separating actually end up being put to good use. Negative media coverage of Local Authorities landfilling recyclate is often a primary reason why some don’t bother to recycle. Furthermore, poor exporting practices and the resulting exposé TV programmes showing young Indian or African children stripping cables and mercury from TVs and computers means that the public is left feeling betrayed and complacent. ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |117|
MISCELLANY Page 119
- Environment Agency Prosecutions
Page 120 - 123 - Invasive Species - ... and the Railways - Neil Strong, Vegetation Specialist, Network Rail Page 124 - 127 - Conservation - Biodiversity Urgent Change Needed - Dr Mark Johnston, Ecology and Biodiversity Services, Mott MacDonald Page 128 - 131 - Mapping - Key to Our Environmental Future - Marc Hobell - Public Sector and Utilities, Ordnance Survey Page 132 - 134 - Training- Accidents in Envoronmetal Industry, Are They Avoidable? - Steve Shirley, QSP Page 135 - Summit Skills Column Page 136 - 147 - Case Studies Page 168 - Famous Last Words - Naomi Cleaver
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ENVIRONMENT AGENCY PROSECUTIONS £1,000 reward for information on Conwy poachers A reward of up to £1,000 is being offered for information about poachers on one of North Wales’ most important rivers. Launching the campaign, Environment Agency Wales appealed for people to contact Crimestoppers anonymously if they have any information about people who are engaged in poaching on the Conwy or its tributaries.
London restaurant company served with fine for packaging offences A London-based restaurant company was ordered to pay more than £24,000 for failing to comply with the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 1997, 2005 and 2007. City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court fined Gioma UK Ltd £13,500 and ordered it to pay compensation of £8,408, representing the registration fees.
Oil spill costs firm over £17,500 On Thursday 17 November 2010 Mark Group Limited of Leicester pleaded guilty at Worcester Magistrates Court to polluting the Barbourne Brook at Gheluvelt Park, Worcester. The charges were brought by the Environment Agency for water pollution under the Water Resources Act. The company was fined a total of £12,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,563.53 plus a £15 victim surcharge. Mark Group Limited are a home insulation company who in November 2008 were closing down their depot at Northbrook Close in Barbourne.
Farmer’s crops ruined by sewage Anglian Water has been fined a total of 22,000GBP and ordered to pay full costs of 4,489GBP after a rising main burst twice in seven months. Sewage from the main, running through Hall Farm in Shipdham ruined crops both times in August 2009 and March 2010 and polluted the River Blackwater, a tributary of the River Yare, Swaffham Magistrates’ Court heard. Miss Claire Bentley, prosecuting for the Environment Agency, told the court that there had been three previous incidents of the main bursting at the site leading to surrounding land being saturated with sewage.
Birmingham man ordered to pay over £40,000 for waste crimes Local businessman runs illegal waste sites in Handsworth, Winson Green and Smethwick Ali Raza Baig, of Handsworth Wood, Birmingham, was sentenced on the 19th November at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court after having previously pleaded guilty to three offences. The charges concerned the operation of un-permitted waste sites around the city, where significant amounts of waste had been dumped and stored.
Fishermen caught on camera using illegal net on River Parrett Two Bridgwater men have been banned from fishing for elvers for three years for using an illegal flow net to boost their catch. Darren Britton and Martin Parr were also ordered to pay £1,860 each in fines and costs and had their equipment confiscated. The case was brought by the Environment Agency. Agency bailiffs were on a routine patrol near the Westonzoyland Pumping Station on the River Parrett on May 14, 2010 when they discovered a large flow net, two aluminium poles and blue rope hidden in undergrowth on a flood defence bank.
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Invasive Species and the Railway By Neil Strong, Vegetation Specialist, Network Rail Definition What is an invasive species? Toggling Shift f7 within a well known word processing package provides a handy pop-up thesaurus and for ‘invasive’, a few of the suggested alternatives are ‘persistent’ and ‘omnipresent’. As far as some existing Network Rail documents are concerned, the terms ‘injurious’ and ‘pernicious’ also feature, conjuring up visions of John Wyndham’s triffids stalking their way across the British countryside. Whatever definition is used, there is no doubt that there are species resident in Britain that can affect normal working practices and have far reaching environmental and economic impacts. Many people will be well aware of the ultimate of triffids, giant hogweed and Japanese knotweed, both listed in the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) for almost thirty years, but recent amendments may not be as familiar to many and the inclusion of well known garden plants like Cotoneaster and Crocosmia may be a surprise to some. It is not just the plants that are listed in the legislation that provide management issues on the railway infrastructure; many introduced (naturalised?) species also require intensive control to reduce the impact on safe and reliable operations. Furthermore, when does invasive have to relate to non-native plant species – the native species can be as much of an issue, and ones with legs… The rail industry has, for many years, suffered the ridicule of the national press during the autumn months when deciduous trees shed their leaves. This article is not going to be providing a list of excuses of the ‘wrong sort of weed’ and besides, can a few hundred tonnes of locomotive really be affected by a plant? It is not so much the species affecting the railway, but the role the railway has to play in the management of its land and the impact that management can have on the environment and biodiversity of the land through which it passes. Network Rail owns and manages in the region of 40,000 hectares of land within 20,000 miles of boundary. There are over 200 Sites of Special Scientific Interest on Network Rail property and our land holding passes through every National Park, most Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and through or near to countless SACs, Ramsars, SINCs, CAs, NNRs and SPAs… basically if it has an acronym, then we have the potential to affect it. Not only can the management practices affect the neighbouring biodiversity, but the railway can often be |120| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
implicated in the actual spread of the organism itself, for example Oxford ragwort. Railway vegetation management Trains on the domestic main lines travel up to 125mph on two steel rails held to sleepers supported in a layer of ballast. Either side of this ballasted area is a lineside, on average 12 metres wide, supporting a wide range of habitats and biodiversity all requiring timely and effective management to reduce the impact of any encroachment. Everybody’s time is important and trains are expected to, and rightly should, run to schedule and vegetation is one of many factors that can influence the running of the railway, for instance through signalling issues during the autumn leaf fall period or whole trees blown over in winter storms. In order to reduce the impact of the vegetation, internal standards draw upon land management good practice to create a structure of vegetation on railway property that not only delivers our timetable promise, but also creates the potential for habitats that can exist alongside a 21st Century transport infrastructure. In addition, with 25,000 trains per day and well over a billion passenger journeys per year that lineside is the ‘shop window’ by which we are judged by all those looking out at it, and for that matter those 5 million or so neighbours looking in. Starting at the middle, the ballasted area is a free draining substrate (defined as a ‘hard surface’ when using herbicides) and is essential in the track system as a whole. It has a propensity to collect organic material, wind or gravity-borne, and the natural processes of degradation can create ideal habitat for seed germination of pioneer species. Natural succession then takes over and it is possible to see, especially on some redundant track beds and disused lines the full gamete from pioneering weeds through to oak climax woodland! Not only does the ballast support the track, but this area
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is also where much of the supporting systems, both mechanical and electrical are situated and it is also the area where the men and women who patrol and inspect the network are working. In order for them to see, and be seen by, trains and for them to be able to inspect the track components, this ballasted area has to be maintained largely clear of all vegetation. Moving out a few metres from the rails, it is possible to move to the maintenance of a grassy sward such that the vegetation is kept relatively low growing and is easily maintained and, perhaps fundamentally, provides a safe area for personnel to stand out of the way of moving trains. It is this area of the railway where many of the signals are found alongside the stanchions supporting the 125kV overhead electric power lines â€“ the safety implications surrounding this equipment are obvious. Beyond five metres from the tracks themselves, the management requirements are generic and based upon the risk posed by the vegetation to the railway or our neighbours. Removal of this vegetation, or control of pest animals, will be managed on a site specific basis and be dependent on risk assessment. Invasive or injurious, persistent or pernicious, animal or vegetable, native or non-native? Any organism that attempts to take up residence on the railway infrastructure and, in so doing, causes damage or directly affects safety could easily be classified as one of the invasive species. How much of an impact that species is able to have on the safe running of the operational railway depends on the tools available (manual, mechanical, chemical and biological) and the management decisions taken will determine the level of control, containment or eradication that takes place.
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The fact that horsetail (Equisetum spp.) may have been about since the dinosaurs roamed the earth certainly gives it persistence. Its protective waxy cuticle exacerbates this by rendering it near immune to many of the herbicides used on the infrastructure and whilst it doesnâ€™t cause the same issues that its prehistoric tree-sized relatives would have done, nevertheless dense stands are unsightly and impact on the ability to see track components. Himalayan balsam, as its name suggests, is not native and its explosive seed deployment allow it to invade areas inaccessible to other species, rapid growth and tempting nectaries then quickly create vast monocultures to the detriment of other species, especially those relying on insect pollination. Seen across the rail network and growing in conditions it is used to in its native Himalayas, buddleia is a common invader and one that causes much damage to structures and budgets alike. Historical invaders When the railway is not travelling on level ground, it is either passing through cuttings or over the top of embankments. Both the latter expose ground which is often prime habitat for a particular invasive species. Whilst there are often debates about when exactly rabbits were introduced on to these isles, there is no doubt that they are established and thriving in the countryside. Not strictly injurious, although they can inflict a nasty bite, but definitely damaging with burrowing in those embankments causing serious stabilisation issues which can result in multi-million engineering projects to reinstate the slopes. The rodents can also cause crop damage to neighbouring farms, and the cost of implementing control measures needs to be managed.
Recent introductions Oak processionary moth, a native of central and southern Europe, was first identified in London in 2006 and whilst the moth itself is benign, the caterpillars can not only cause serious defoliation of oak trees but also the hairs are a serious health hazard to humans. Currently only in the London area this is an invasive species that, whilst unlikely to pose any hazard to the railway, we work closely with experts at Forest Research to assist in the containment of this pest and at the same time meet our obligations under UK plant health legislation. Future problems The genus of Phytophthora fungus-like pathogens are infamous, potato blight being one of the most notorious. This notoriety is, however, likely to increase over the coming years as P. ramorum continues to cause extensive damage to trees and plants in parts of the UK. This species is already well known in the United States where it has caused significant mortality to many trees; a phenomenon known as sudden oak death syndrome. The large outbreaks reported in South West England have occurred in the vicinity of Network Rail property and off track personnel in the area have worked closely with the Forestry Commission to assist in the treatment of the plants in an effort to contain the spread. This pathogen has massive implications for the forestry industry and the safety implications for Network Rail include a potential increase in the numbers of large, dead trees next to the railway.
Innovative control of invasives Recognising the environmental implications of certain control methods of invasive species, Network Rail has embarked upon a long term project to investigate the sustainable management of the lineside. The project is investigating numerous techniques to deal with issues on the railway that can be easily maintained and provide some biodiversity benefit. The issues being studied include possible vegetation management and planting to reduce the impact of rabbit burrowing and establishment of ‘desirable’ plant species to combat the invasive monocultures described earlier. Network Rail has also been involved for almost 10 years in the project investigating the potential for natural biological control of Japanese knotweed. This project has been successfully granted a licence to release a knotweed specialist insect at a number of locations following six years of intensive quarantine laboratory work to make sure the insect will only attack the knotweed. This approach of natural control will not eradicate the Japanese knotweed – it is obviously not in the interest of the insect to kill off its only food source – but together with targeted, integrated management the current deleterious impact of knotweed can be reduced, an example of how our management strategies can be of benefit not only to the railway, but to society as a whole.
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Biodiversity: A Fundamental Change in Our Approach if Urgently Needed Dr Mark Johnston, Ecology & Biodiversity Services Manager at Mott MacDonald, Cambridge Each year £millions in the UK alone is spent by developers undertaking protected species surveys and mitigations to meet legislative and planning requirements. In many instances this may be justifiable. Yet the Wildlife & Countryside Act which has been in place for over 30 years has failed to deliver: we continue to see significant declines in biodiversity. The UK government has failed to meet its targets to halt the loss of biodiversity (except for perhaps the few key species), and the EU is now setting targets “to halt the loss of biodiversity and the degradation of ecosystem services in the EU by 2020 and to support efforts to avert global biodiversity loss”. Is there not a need for a fundamental change in wildlife legislation? A fundamental change in our approach to conserving biodiversity? If we continue as we are, can we realistically achieve a balance between development, growth and biodiversity conservation? Similarly, is there not a real danger that ecologists are seen to be “crying wolf”? Perhaps that the misconception that wildlife needs are put before the needs of people (Rob Yorke article “Putting the needs of wildlife before people is just bats” The Times August 10 2010) is not surprising given the large costs and significant restriction placed on local developments just to accommodate the needs of selective species protected under UK and EU legislation. There is a real risk of a backlash on nature conservation unless this balance is addressed. The recent Defra consultation on a Natural Environment White Paper at last provides us with an opportunity to address these issues. We can conserve wildlife and halt the decline in biodiversity, without significant restriction to development projects. But it will take a lot more than just joined-up thinking. How can we make a difference? Embedding the true value of natural resource management and conservation at all levels is absolutely |124| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
fundamental in achieving a real difference and making sure that the UK (and the EU) meets its priority to enhance the environment and biodiversity to improve quality of life. For this to happen there needs to be a fundamental change in • Legislation, • Policies, • Attitudes and • Awareness about how sensitive our natural resources are to change imposed by man. Embedding different values and attitudes required to achieve such wide sweeping changes takes time, and there is no quick fix. Education and enhanced awareness is the first step but we will need to challenge conventional thinking to get substantive changes to current polices. All this needs to be done in the context of the coalition Government’s “Big Society” agenda and the significant financial constraints that the UK is currently operating within. We’re all aware of the problems! Many developments, large or small, need to implement appropriate mitigations to reduce or minimise ecological impacts. Ecological consultancy reports are often littered with lists of seasonal constraints or pre and post-construction mitigation, compensation, monitoring and enhancement requirements, and then regulators request seemingly unjustifiable mitigations based on the ‘precautionary principle’. What’s going wrong? Species translocation is the typical culprit. Yes translocation does save species populations, but does it actually benefit biodiversity, does it benefit development? Translocation has become a very expensive part of many development schemes yielding poor value for money compared to habitat creation. Great crested newts in particular are high maintenance in terms of professional manpower moving them around and in plastic fencing to contain them. When translocation is attempted they are frequently found in very small numbers or not at all and re-establishment can be uncertain, and the long-term
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success of species translocations is poorly understood. The translocation process can often delay a contract for at least a year with huge consequences to budgets and delivery. On a typical development scheme if there was an option to put the estimated equivalent money into habitat creation rather than species translocation this would benefit a wider number of species and probably even the newts. Similarly, removal of alien species (notably Japanese knotweed) whereby plants on the immediate development site have to be removed to a licensed tip is often ineffective and very expensive. Is there any evidence to suggest that this approach is effective? Commonly the infamous knotweed occurs along roads and railways adjacent to the development site and so swiftly re-invade. Again habitat creation and other proactive policies as an alternative may prove better value for money. What needs to be done? Changes in existing legislation and policies Under current nature conservation legislation and polices, with the exception of the protection of statutory designated land or sites the UK (and the EU) will not meet its targets to protect and enhance the environment and biodiversity. Current legislation and policies need to be revised or replaced with legislation and policies which protect habitats and focus on wider natural resource and landscape-wide enhancements. The Wildlife & Countryside Act (1981) is thirty years old and, similar to that of the Habitats Regulations (2010), the focus is on protecting species, and not habitats and ecosystems. Legislation and polices which protect habitats and landscapes will be more effective, more sustainable and more cost efficient in conserving biodiversity.
wetlands such as Somerset Levels and North Kent Marshes through environmental/agricultural subsidy.
Sustainability and getting the right balance Getting the balance between economic development and nature conservation is fundamentally important in achieving sustainable development. In the context of biodiversity, developers spend ÂŁmillions each year in ecological surveys and mitigations. Such costs would arguably be more effectively spent if used to create habitats and enhancing the wider landscape, and this would still conserve species and assist in enhancing the environment and biodiversity to improve quality of life. But it will take a lot more than just material changes. There needs to be a fundamental change in our thinking. Lack of big picture thinking and planning This is especially important when considering impacts on the natural environment of developments. Piecemeal development can have a significant impact on our wider natural environment. It is very difficult for an environment impact assessment (EIA) to identify and be able to assess in-combination and cumulative impacts, simply because information about other developments is not available to the developer. Yet local authorities and regulators are often aware of other developments but will not provide advice or information to the developers. Lack of vision and lateral thinking This is partly embedded in the way our natural environment is addressed in legislation and policy. In the UK and EU we take a very reductionist approach, focusing on legislation on species, rather than ecosystems and natural resource management. This is lack of vision and lateral thinking is similarly reflected in the way we
Habitat and large scale landscape creation This has proved possible in the private/NGO sector with the Great Fen and the Wicken Vision, and in the public sector with the National Forests and restoration of major
Photo: Queen Adelaide Habitat Creation. Habitat protection and creation work provides significant biodiversity benefits, rather than focusing on one species lone: Ely Beet Pits, Cambridgeshire. |126| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
train and educate environmental decision makers of the future. Few recent graduates have an appreciation and understanding of the wider natural environment and landscape perspective. A box-ticking mentality which only addresses issues which can be simply measured is at best a gross over-simplification of our natural environment, and at worse potentially damaging to longterm biodiversity conservation in the UK. The true value of biodiversity? Earlier this year The Economics of Ecosystems & Biodiversity (TEEB) report was released which very clearly sets out the economic importance of biodiversity and the natural environment. To reflect the true value of nature’s services it is necessary to quantify the economic value, and then have a green reporting system, whereby the value of nature’s services is integrated into cost-benefit analysis and subsequent decision making. However, to achieve this involves significant research that is local specific in many instances. The TEEB report lists seven key action points for businesses: • Identify the impacts and dependencies of your business on biodiversity and ecosystem services (BES). • Assess the business risks and opportunities associated with these impacts and dependencies. • Develop BES information systems, set SMART targets, measure and value performance, and report your results. • Take action to avoid, minimize and mitigate BES risks, including in-kind compensation (‘offsets’) where appropriate. • Grasp emerging BES business opportunities, such as cost-efficiencies, new products and new markets. • Integrate business strategy and actions on BES with wider corporate social responsibility initiatives. • Engage with business peers and stakeholders in government, NGOs and civil society to improve BES guidance and policy. Should businesses be encouraged to introduce annual
Photo: Newly created habitats can be very easy to produce – here ditches enhance the local biodiversity as part of a local road development in Medway.
environmental accounting, with annual independent account on the costs of their business operations on the natural environment, reporting which should include both green assets and liabilities? Many businesses already make significant contributions in Corporate Responsibility, and some businesses (especially in the abstractive industry) are adopting corporate biodiversity policies, which can actually make a real difference in conserving biodiversity. So in summary, we need to have a fundamental shift in our approach, our policies and legislation, from species protection to ecosystem management, from newt fencing to habitat creation on a major strategic scale. This article is the view of the author and does not necessarily represent the views or policies of Mott MacDonald
Photo: Great crested newt mitigations, huge expense and often delays to development programme, does this really benefit biodiversity? ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |127|
Geographic information – underpinning decision making in Great Britain and key to our environmental future Marc Hobell, Head of Sales, Public Sector and Utilities The environment is increasingly in the news and on the minds of the Government and people across the country. The focus is often on natural disasters or a need to increase recycling, reduce carbon emissions or find renewable energy sources. At the same time there are huge and exciting opportunities for GI to be harnessed and we frequently see it being used to improve services and generate innovation in the environment industry. Ordnance Survey works to maximise the use of GI now and in the future – our customers see GI underpinning decision making in Great Britain and we believe it is key to our environmental future. Ordnance Survey is Great Britain’s national mapping agency. For over 200 years it has been our job to collect, maintain and provide information on the ever-changing landscape. Many people know us for our paper maps, which are an invaluable passport to navigating the nation, but our intelligent data is relied on for a range of other things too. We have around 500 partners that rely on our data to create value-added products and services. Market sectors like insurance and banking are in the early stages of harnessing the full power of GI but over the last decade for large areas of both public and private sectors – such as utility companies – location is now seen to be a critical part of the decision making process. Today, GI is in use across the spectrum benefiting a wide variety of people in their daily lives. Whether it is through their satnav, the latest app on their mobile phone telling them ‘where is my |128| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
nearest…?’, or guiding the emergency services about their business. GI also has a vital role to play in tackling our environmental challenges. Many organisations, particularly in local government, are already using GI to reduce their environmental impact and encourage the community to support them. For example, Cardiff Council delivers more than £1,300,000 savings through an enhanced special educational needs (SEN) route and vehicle management and efficient contract renegotiation. By using OS MasterMap® Integrated Transport NetworkTM Layer with Capita’s One Route Optimisation application, Cardiff Council reduced the number of vehicles by 40 and reduced routes by 1,200 miles a day, significantly reducing congestion along school routes and their carbon emissions too.
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Savings in waste management are one of the most commonly achieved efficiencies through GI. Newcastle City Council redesigned waste management collections using a combination of Ordnance Survey data, GIS software and vehicle tracking. The OS MasterMap Integrated Transport Network Layer helped the Council reduce the number of required vehicles for weekly collections and introduce weekly recycling collections. Total savings of around £250,000 were achieved through fleet management and fuel reduction amongst other areas. A similar exercise at Daventry District Council generated efficiency savings worth over £100,000 per annum, diesel costs dropped by 12% and their carbon footprint was reduced. East Riding of Yorkshire Council saved £160,000 a year and tonnes of carbon emissions by analysing their waste management strategy – and many other councils are achieving similar cost and environmental benefits. Daventry County Council has also won an environmental award for their “Walking Bus” scheme, providing an alternative to parents who would usually drive their children to school, again underpinned by our data. Many councils also use GI to help make local planning decisions and share them with local residents. Similarly, GI is used to show residents their nearest recycling facilities, local wildlife reserves and much, much more. GI and the environment are already becoming inextricably linked. Aside from benefits being demonstrated in local government, people are being encouraged to think about the environment and GI through the GeoVation® programme. The GeoVation Challenge, run by Ordnance Survey, is asking entrepreneurs, developers and community groups to address three challenges this year, with a potential prize fund of £175,000 for winners. The first two challenges have had strong environmental themes. In July, people were asked “How can Britain feed itself?”, allowing them to decide how geography could play a vital role in helping to connect people to farming and locally produced and sustainable sources of food. Submitted ideas included urban rooftop allotments and creating a “real” Farmville, where people could share and buy real produce. The second GeoVation Challenge asked how geographic data could make travel more environmentally sustainable and improve public transport services. Helping people to travel smarter has never been more achievable following Government data releases and this is a great opportunity to improve public services. |130| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
© David Newham- Alamy
We have already seen websites like Transport Direct demonstrating the power of location. People can plan their journey and see options for car, public transport and cycle routes and even compare the carbon emissions for each option. Further work into environmental travel could drive reductions in both congestion and carbon emissions. Ordnance Survey’s launches of OS OpenData™ and OS OpenSpace® have made it increasingly simple for people to get involved in GI and even build their own apps. The OS OpenData online mapping portal allows users to view, download or develop from a range of datasets at the click of a button. The develop option takes users to OS OpenSpace application programming interface (API), which is free to access and lets developers create amazing web applications and online projects with Ordnance Survey maps. A range of Ordnance Survey raster and vector mapping datasets are available including, 1:10 000 Scale Raster, OS Street View®, Boundary-Line™, OS VectorMap™ District and Meridian™ 2. The uses of OS OpenData have been wide and varied, from plotting the locations of fraud to mapping the place of pharmacies and train stations across Great Britain. Businesses have also used OS OpenData to show environmental benefits. Spatial Geographic Services and Applications Ltd (SGSA Ltd) used OS Street View as a base before adding road routing information, which could be vitally important to our emergency services, and could also save businesses and people time and money and reduce their carbon footprint as a result. By incorporating traffic calming data, one-way streets, gates and fords, it could help countless people in planning the best routes to travel. More unusually, Lovell Johns created a user-friendly
map for the Elephant Family charity. Their annual Elephant Parade highlights the crisis faced by the endangered Asian elephant, and the map showed elephant locations across the city of London on OS Street View. This guide helped visitors locate the 250 large and colourful elephant statues around the capital. Through increasing the number of people with access to GI, the potential for it to be used to benefit individuals, businesses and Great Britain increase. The announcement was made in August 2010 that public sector organisations in England and Wales will have access to Ordnance Survey mapping data under a single agreement for the first time from April 2011. Local and central Government organisations, as well as NHS® organisations, will now benefit from this new agreement, known as the Public Sector Mapping Agreement (PSMA) for England and Wales. It includes over 750 organisations, with provision for thousands more, and will result in significant cost savings for the public sector and greater data sharing. The PSMA provides a set of core datasets from Ordnance Survey, including OS MasterMap Topography and Integrated Transport Network Layers as well as almost the complete range of digital mid- to small-scale maps, including OS VectorMap Local. The new PSMA is expected to deliver significant efficiency savings and improvements in public service delivery for the benefit of individuals and businesses in England and Wales. By introducing a new licensing framework, the agreement will enable more collaborative working with delivery partners and allow public-sector organisations to reuse the data for core, non-commercial publicsector activities. It will also enable sharing of the data – and derived data – with other third parties for specific purposes to support delivery of the member’s publicsector activity: for example, contractors, schools, ‘thirdsector’ charities and the public. This will open the way for more organisations to produce mapping to benefit the environment.
seamless database that incorporates a detailed terrain model of our most accurate mapping data. The pilot 3D map could prove to be a valuable and intelligent resource that can be used by business and Government. The resulting map featured Bournemouth and was created using a combination of aerial and terrestrial LiDar, aerial photography and more traditional surveying techniques. It has the potential to be used for architecture and planning but also identifying roof spaces for solar panels or visualising shadows between buildings and so on. The power of geography and its relationship with the environment has never been more easily seen. GI is increasingly underpinning environmental policy and we often say, “everything happens somewhere”, to demonstrate the all-encompassing nature of GI. The focus on renewable energy is beginning to further illustrate the benefits of combining GI with the environment, in identifying suitable sites for wind farms for example. Through the PSMA, OS OpenData, OS OpenSpace and GeoVation, GI is being brought to a wider audience and more people are using it to help tackle the environmental challenges we all face. GI can help us deal with a changing world or could help our leaders to make better decisions for our future based on the best available GI. © Alamy
One key example of GI and the environment is flooding, and Government organisations have already embraced the power of GI in assisting in emergency situations, such as the Cumbria floods. The future aim is to ensure that critical datasets, from geological and tide data to topographic information, can work together allowing a huge range of organisations to benefit. From local Government to insurance companies, being able to access information quickly makes it easier for a rapid response when it is needed the most. This in turn can help with flood modelling and forecasting as well as planning and reconstruction after a flood. Of course, there are many other environmental challenges we all face where GI can be of use. Over the last three years, Ordnance Survey’s research department has been doing some pioneering work on mapping in 3D. While 3D maps aren’t new, our goal is to create a ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |131|
Accidents in the Environmental Industry, Are They Avoidable? By Steve Shirley, QSP Imagine you are at your desk and the telephone rings: thereâ€™s been a tragic accident, one of the staff has been rushed to hospital in a critical condition. What do you do? Have you experienced this yet? How many environmental managers have? The answer is, far too many. According to the latest statistics issued by the Health and Safety Executive, there are more accidents and fatalities per thousand people working in the Environmental Waste Management Industry than in any other sector. In the past, attention to the numbers of accidents in the waste industry has been masked by other sectors, coupled with the fact that statistical reporting of accidents and near misses has improved. This has the effect of bringing the waste management industry to the forefront of concern. Health and Safety is a statutory duty for everyone: it is also there for a purpose, which is to prevent or avoid accidents and to save lives. At the start of the millennium, within the waste management industry sector, the number of fatal incidents were over ten times the national average and the accident rates were four times the national average. The figures have improved over the last ten years but they are still significantly high. There are currently around 162,500 people employed in the waste management industry and there are approximately 4,000 reported accidents from the sector each year. The amount of municipal waste collected is on the increase at about 2.5% per year and approximately 25% of this is recycled or composted. The Government has committed the country to increasing the amount of recycling over the coming years, which means that the numbers of people employed in the industry will rise. Consequently, if there are no changes to the present regime, the amount of accidents will remain high. In 2006 there were nine fatalities recorded in the waste industry in a nine week period, Although this example is unusually high, it has to be a sure sign that we have a serious problem. As well as the accidents in this industry, there is the associated human suffering and financial implications. Of course some accidents are inevitable but most are completely avoidable. So how do we start to avoid these all too frequent accidents? A change or increase in a positive health and safety |132| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
culture within an organisation is often the first logical step to take. This can go a very long way in reducing the overall numbers of accidents at work. The management can lead the workforce in a positive health and safety culture by setting a good example. This could be achieved by improving their own knowledge of safe procedures and practices relevant to their own jobs. There are many training courses available, which could help the managers in the right direction. Making the work force more aware of health and safety issues and safe practices may also be achieved through training. Giving the workforce the knowledge of where to obtain further information could help reduce accidents The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) monitor health and safety in the workplace in terms of the numbers of accidents and fatalities using the Reporting of Injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR). Under these regulations it is the duty of most employers to report any deaths, over three day injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences. It does not stop there, the fines and custodial sentences for employers being prosecuted under health and safety legislation have increased in recent years. With the ever increasing interest by the HSE in the waste management industry it should come as no surprise to any of us that there has to be a major change in the waste management health and safety culture soon. One of the best and most cost effective methods of instilling a positive health and safety culture into individuals is through training. Employers must ensure that all employees have health and safety training. The ultimate in health and safety recognition is to be accepted into the Institute of Safety and Health (IOSH). The usual starting route to IOSH membership is to obtain a level 4 qualification accredited by IOSH, these are all listed on the IOSH web site. There are many universities offering full time courses to achieve level 6 qualifications in occupational health and safety. The British Safety Council also offer an accredited course. The NEBOSH diploma, is typically one day a week for twenty six weeks at a college. There are of course examinations at the end of each of the NEBOSH courses which have to be passed. One method of entry to IOSH membership which may be attractive is the National Vocational Qualification
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(NVQ) level 4 in Occupational Health and Safety via City and Guilds. All managers have numerous demands on their time, with training having to be absorbed within this time. The NVQ system offers a way of obtaining a health and safety qualification by being assessed during the working day. Once an accepted level 4 qualification is obtained, the successful candidate is normally accepted as a graduate member of IOSH and will have to undertake continuous professional development before becoming a full member. The National Vocational Qualification system, through City & Guilds, and the foundation courses provided through the British Safety Council also give the opportunity for operators, drivers, technicians and supervisors to gain qualifications within their own specific work roles. These qualifications are an excellent method of bringing knowledge and understanding to the workplace with minimum disruption to the working day. Another important point is that all health and safety training must be repeated periodically or when any changes are made to the workplace or working procedures. Undertaking Continuous Professional Development (CPD) in the workplace is the most efficient way of satisfying this requirement. CPD may by achieved in many ways but the preferred method would be to follow the guidance given by a professional body such as CIWM or IOSH. For the more ambitious individuals, whose work role covers both health, safety and environmental management, City & Guilds have a level 5 NVQ qualification in occupational Health and Safety Practice. When choosing a training provider for your health and safety requirements, it is important to ensure that they work with professional institutions and certificate awarding bodies to provide relevant up-to-date training and assessment in health and safety matters. Another consideration may be to choose a company which specialises in health and safety training specific to the waste management industry. It was the wise man Confucius who once said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. The first step to start reducing or avoiding accidents is easy; it is up to you to take it. |134| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
What does the future hold for environmental training? The Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) announced last month highlighted the governmentsâ€™ commitment to reducing the UKs carbon footprint. Major new reforms and investments in low carbon technologies will help position the UK at the forefront of the transition to a low carbon economy, but it is likely that the building services engineering sector will hold most responsibility for the installation and maintenance of such technology. If the sector is to meet the expectations set by government, employers and employees need to ensure they have the relevant skills to work with renewable technologies such as solar photovoltaic, solar thermal and heat pumps. At SummitSkills we have been working to ensure the sector is ready to cope with the increase in environmental technology demand and with the commitments made by the Government. It is now vital that the sector grasps this opportunity. With households able to improve the energy efficiency of their homes at no upfront cost and repaying expenditure simply through the savings they make on their energy bills, there will be more demand for qualified operatives to advise on, install and maintain household technology. Added to this, a total of ÂŁ5.6 billion of support and increased expenditure through existing support mechanisms to households and businesses investing in renewable heat measures will further increase the demand for fully trained staff. SummitSkills has provided the infrastructure for the sector to succeed through the provision of qualifications, identifying standards and lobbying the Government to ensure any funding goes to qualified training providers. However this alone is not enough. Without the support and take up of employers the environmental advantages could be lost. We are pleased with the announcement of a Green Skills Bank, which supports the Governments determination to move to a low carbon future. Likewise, the plan to increase funding for adult apprentices is something that SummitSkills fully supports and has in the past been fighting to introduce. It will, however, be a while before we see the full impact of these changes and there is yet more information to come. SummitSkills this year gained approval for the development of a ÂŁ3m National Skills Academy for Environmental Technologies that will transform the ability of businesses in the sector to meet the future increased demand for the installation of renewable and environmental technologies in the UK. It is our understanding that the CSR will not have an effect on the Skills Academy at this time and we still aim to launch this in early 2011.
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CASE STUDY SSE Renewables LIDAR Data for Wind Farm Site Selection & Planning
Over the last seven years wind energy has been the world’s fastest growing renewable energy source. In the UK it is now the leading renewable, contributing over 2.2% of the electricity supply. This trend is only set to continue, with the increasingly urgent need to tackle CO2 emissions and climate change, backed up by an ambitious commitment to generate 15% of all the UK’s energy needs from renewables by 2020. SSE Renewables Formerly Airtricity’s renewable development business, SSE Renewables is responsible for the development and construction of SSE (Scottish and Southern Energy) Group’s renewable energy projects across Ireland, Great Britain and Europe. SSE is the leading generator of renewable energy in Ireland and the UK, with over 2,200MW of renewable electricity generation capacity (wind, hydro, and biomass) and a portfolio of over 15,000MW of renewable energy projects in construction, with consent or in development. The Challenge Selecting the most suitable locations for onshore wind farms is critical to the long-term profitability of a renewable energy business. There are many factors to consider including wind resource, urban areas, ecology
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and archaeology. This “location intelligence” plays an important part in the planning, design and siting of wind farms. SSE Renewables operate 21 onshore wind farms in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. In 2008 they started the preconstruction phase for two new farms: Drumnahough and Lenalea in Donegal, and Clydaghroe wind farm in Kerry. Aware of the important role that terrain data can play, not only in providing a greater understanding of factors affecting wind speed, but also in the accurate placement of turbines, SSE Renewables commissioned Geomatics Group to carry out a detailed topographical survey of the sites and surrounding areas, using aerial LIDAR and digital aerial photography. The two sites under investigation were in remote locations with rough terrain, creating difficulties not only for the design and construction of the wind farm, but also for surveying. In such an inaccessible setting, traditional survey techniques are inappropriate and could take months to complete. Accurate aerial mapping using LIDAR, digital aerial photography and other techniques, reduces the extent of field survey required and streamlines the civil design process, saving time, effort, and money. The Survey and Data Geomatics Group surveyed an area of 38km2 using a fixed wing aircraft flying at a height of 800m. Within a matter of hours, LIDAR data at a spatial resolution of 50cm was captured using an Optech ALTM 3100. Simultaneously, 12.5cm resolution digital photography was acquired. The Optech LIDAR system is capable of recording 167,000 heighted co-ordinates per second, giving an extremely dense network of accurate ground points that Geomatics Group is a leading provider of high quality survey solutions. As a specialist business unit within the Environment Agency, we deliver integrated spatial data products to Government and commercial clients. Combining cutting edge technology with expert personnel, we work to the highest scientific and ethical
standards to provide accurate and high quality spatial data. SSE Renewables can be triangulated to give highly detailed elevation grids. To accurately geo-reference the data, ground truth surveys were also carried out by an experienced survey team from a number of control sites within the survey area, using Leica GPS stations. Post-processing of the data is key to delivering an accurate product and Geomatics Group has been refining bespoke filtering and classification techniques for producing “bare-earth” Digital Terrain Models (DTM) for the past decade. This wealth of experience and a commitment to using the highest scientific standards has meant that Geomatics Group consistently deliver data of the highest quality, with a height accuracy typically in the region of +/-7cm. The data delivered to SSE Renewables included: • LIDAR point cloud data with an average density of 4 points per square metre in ASCII xyz and LAS format • LIDAR DTM and DSM at 1m grid in ASCII Grid format, plus xyz format for importing to AutoCAD • Contour maps at 50cm intervals in AutoCAD format (.DWG or .DXF) • Metadata as standard • Ortho-rectified aerial photography - georeferenced 24 bit TIFF images suitable for direct use in AutoCAD (.DXF or .DWG) at 25cm true pixel resolution The Solution The data delivered has been used by SSE Renewables in a variety of ways to help in site selection, pre-planning and design. The contour maps were analysed in a CAD environment, providing detailed information on the effect of geological features, as well as surface features such as trees and buildings on wind speed. Wind drag and its potential to reduce energy yields were identified, enabling SSE Renewables to site and orientate the turbines, to support maximum electricity generation. High resolution DEMs derived from the LIDAR data were integrated with digital aerial photographs to improve access planning and to aid the planning application. Using GIS techniques, the integrated data was used to generate authentic 3D visualisations of the proposed site, which were particularly useful in the public consultation process. Archaeological consultants also used the aerial shots and the bare earth rasters to scan for archaeological finds such as hidden cairns or ring forts, especially under forestry.
of accurate topographic mapping was critical to civil and electrical design along the ridgelines and transmission line corridor. The acquisition of new aerial LIDAR and other remotely sensed data can reduce the overall project survey costs and provide civil designers with accurate data in a short timeframe, for a multitude of wind farm design applications. The benefits to a project developer can include considerable time savings in survey acquisition and lower overall mapping, survey and engineering costs. This technique is most effective for large sites and those covered in forest. Uses of LIDAR data in wind farm site selection and planning include: • Site identification • Wind modelling and assessment • Transmission line routing • Road design • Cut and fill calculations • Line of sight analysis • 3D visualisation • Slope and aspect calculations • Risk management • Landscape Character Assessment • Visual Impact Assessment • Assessment of water environment impacts • Hydrological, Hydrogeological & Geological Assessments • Detailed peat assessment and stabilisation studies • Drainage, run-off and sediment management
Vegetation within the survey area were automatically isolated within the datasets, providing valuable information on tree height for line of sight applications and to determine the volume of tree stocks that would be affected by the development. Also, the development
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There’s No Plan B. By Severnside
Marks & Spencer is leading the way on retail sustainability. It was one of the first retailers to recognise that the sector needed to make a significant step change in its approach in order to minimise the environmental impact of its operations. For its own part, in 2007 the retailer launched Plan A, a list of ethical and environmental commitments involving all areas of its business. Now three years on, M&S is well on its way to achieving its 2012 goals and has recently extended its commitments, aiming to become the world’s most sustainable retailer by 2015. Reducing waste is a key part of Plan A. With 711 stores across the UK and Republic of Ireland and over 65,000 employees, M&S wanted to significantly reduce the amount of waste it sends to landfill. From packaging and plastics, through to cardboard and food, the retailer wanted to find more sustainable solutions for its waste. In April 2009, M&S’ operations in the UK and Republic of Ireland recycled 41% of its waste. It has since set annual targets which increase incrementally - 75% by 2010, 90% by 2011 and 100% by 2012. To reach the 100% target, M&S needed to transform its waste management processes; its first step was to appoint a waste management partner that focused on sustainable solutions rather than landfill. Cardiff-based Severnside Recycling was chosen; a company with a long tradition of working in the retail sector, which most importantly does not operate any landfill sites. Indeed, it uses landfill only as a last resort where there is no viable sustainable option. To kick off their relationship, Severnside undertook a waste and recycling audit of M&S’ operations to understand what, where and how waste was being generated and disposed of. “This activity was critical for us to devise a strategy that would provide sustainable solutions and one that would be practical to implement at a day-to-day store level,” said Tim Price, National Commercial Manager for Severnside. “In fact, it was imperative to provide solutions that would not mean additional processes and time. With the detail from the waste audit we could understand which key materials to look at initially that would have the greatest impact.” One of the most important areas for primary focus was organic waste. After cardboard, organic waste was the largest contributor to M&S’ total waste. As out of date food is required to be disposed of, traditionally through landfill or by expensive treatment processes, an effective solution was required. Price added: “It was important to find a process that would allow organic waste to be separated from all other types of materials – enabling us to better capture cleaner dry material for recycling. |138| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
Severnside, with its packaging parent company DS Smith and supported by Helistrat Management Services, rolled out a corrugated receptacle that could be used and would enable organic waste to be disposed of straight from the shelf.” Mandy Keepax, Head of Facilities and Waste at M&S, explained more: “This box has enabled us to not only separate organic waste but also significantly reduce our in-store processes. Our operations team were soon converts as it made the process much simpler, cleaner and more efficient, reducing the time and effort to dispose of waste. From a management perspective, this is paramount - reducing rather than increasing time spent and enabling staff to concentrate on other important store activities such as customer service.” Bin capacity on M&S sites has been significantly reduced when compared to the pre-audit service to help reduce the overall waste budget. The new waste management process makes use of M&S’ existing logistics operation and takes the waste to the regional distribution centres. “Using our existing logistics network embodies the essence of our Plan A commitments and is helping to reduce our carbon emissions by eliminating the need for store level waste collections, as well as reducing empty running of vehicles,” said Keepax.
The back-hauled waste from each store goes to M&S distribution centres where it is then collected, sorted and reprocessed by Severnside or its strategic partner, Shanks Waste Management. Strong emphasis has been placed on helping to maximise the sustainable performance of all M&S operations. Working with Severnside and Shanks, M&S is committed to developing relationships with suppliers to enable the retailer to reuse its own waste through its procurement processes. For example, waste plastics are recycled into new plastic bags for M&S, while packaging is recycled into new packaging or tissue products, which are used or sold by the retailer. Organic waste is now converted into renewable energy via biomass-to-energy plants. By 2012, this material will be processed via anaerobic digestion through Shanks Waste Management. This approach will generate around six million KWh of renewable energy by 2012 to be sold back to the National Grid. A year on This new waste management process has had a significant impact on the M&S operation over the last 12 months and the retailer is on track to meet its targets. At a store level, recycling rates have exceeded expectations due to the simplification of processes that enable waste to be separated just once. This has been supported by a thorough and continuous communication programme, as Price explained: “It doesn’t matter how innovative a system is if it’s not used correctly. We’ve set up a programme to explain how the system works, the benefits it will deliver and regularly undertake meetings on the ground to iron out potential issues that arise during implementation. This is helped by M&S employees who support the Plan A ethos and embrace the processes that will deliver significant environmental change.”
conducted by Severnside provide greater visibility of the amount and types of waste still being generated. Now that many of the bigger wins have been achieved, finding sustainable solutions for the smaller ones – such as ceramics, glass and non-fibre office waste – is key. “There is still much to be done, and we’re not just focusing on how to recycle waste,” said Price. “We’re going to be helping M&S reduce levels of waste arising in the first place. This could include identifying more difficult to recycle materials and working with procurement teams to find alternative options. This full circle view will not only help M&S in achieving Plan A but is something all organisations need to embrace. Taking a joined up approach to procurement and waste management decisions is critical moving forward, as the former can have significant impact on the latter. Achieving that magic zero waste to landfill figure is only going to happen if these two functions work hand in hand.” Marks & Spencer Plan A commitments include: No operational waste to landfill - aiming to ensure that M&S operations in the UK and Republic of Ireland (stores, offices and warehouses) will send no waste to landfill. Food waste (reduction) - having reduced food waste we plan to work with suppliers to improve stock planning by developing the accuracy of our systems for forecasting demand. Food waste (alternative disposal) - sending all remaining food waste to some form of recycling including composting and anaerobic digestion.
This approach has also delivered significant financial savings for the retailer: “We’ve not only managed to reduce waste management costs by handling all waste through our distribution centres rather than 711 stores, we’re also protecting ourselves from the annual landfill tax rises,” said Keepax. Working towards zero waste M&S is well on target to meet its 2012 objectives when it comes to waste. From June 2010, Severnside will also commence handling the post consumer food waste generated through M&S’ hospitality operations including M&S Cafés, in-store bakeries and restaurants – meaning that all the organic waste will be put to helping to generate renewable energy for the National Grid. M&S and Helistrat Management Services, along with Severnside, will now turn to focus on finding ways to minimise waste arising at the outset. The waste audits ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |139|
CASE STUDY St Michael and All Angels Church, Withington – The First Zero Carbon Church in the UK Matt Fulford, Zero Carbon Worship Project Lead & Head of Sustainability, EC Harris St Michael and All Angels Church, Withington, Gloucestershire has completed a project to become the first zero carbon church in the UK. It has been achieved in this Grade 1 listed, late Norman, Cotswold church through a combination of energy reduction and renewable energy generation from a biomass boiler and 24 solar PV panels on its south facing nave roof.
Understanding the Demand and Reducing it. The key starting point for the scheme was to gain a full understanding of the energy demand of the church and reducing this. The church is used for a Sunday service and one mid-week school service, as such the heating is required to be on for 7 hours per week. The main electrical energy use is for the lighting, which is a mix of internal lighting (from 31nr spotlights) and external floodlighting. The demand was reduced by altering the timing on the flood lights to go off at 10.30pm each night (reduced from midnight) and to be off completely from May to Sept. These times and dates were set following public consultation with the local village community and reduced the overall electrical demand by 13%.
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The internal lights were then replaced from 120W PAR38 to 20W Compact Fluorescent Megaman PAR38 using a direct lamp replacement. This reduced the overall consumption by a further 24%. Further plans are looking at the use of LED floodlights, which will be installed when further funding is obtained. These will achieve a further 42% reduction in electricity. The existing oil boiler was being fired every day in order to maintain reliability, a 45% energy reduction was possible by installing a more reliable boiler which did not require this ‘maintenance firing’.
Renewable Technologies A combination of Solar PV for the electricity and a biomass boiler for the heat was selected as the most appropriate, renewable combination to meet the buildings need. Biomass was selected as there was an existing serviceable wet radiator system already within the church which suited a high temperature system. A ground source heat pump or the connection to an existing biomass plant at a farm estate complex on the other side of the road had to be discounted due to the archaeological issues of any excavation within the churchyard. Due to the low weekly use of the boiler (7 hours per week) it was feasible to propose a manual loaded system for the wood pellets, which would be supplied in 10kg bags. This removed the need for a large hopper in which to store the pellets. The manual load hoppers store 250 kgs and, at the use of 60kgs per week, this requires filling every 4 weeks. The removal of the oil tank from the churchyard was seen as an additional benefit by providing more space and removing both pollution and a security risk from theft of oil. As with most churches, this building has an east/ west orientation of the aisle which, as the nave has a pitched roof, one side of the pitch faces due south. The roof is at 30 degrees and entirely hidden by a parapet around all sides. The installation of PV would therefore be ‘invisible’, which was then acceptable for this listed building. The size of the array was selected as a balance between more than meeting the estimated annual electrical demand of the building and filling the optimal roof space available. A 3.24kWp system of 24 panels covering 24.05m2 was choosen.
Costs and Figures The biomass installation is a 38kW Froling P4 biomass pellet boiler which replaces an old oil boiler. Previous oil usage was 4,000l/year at a cost of around £1,500; carbon emissions were 12,116kgCO²e/year. The use of biomass pellets is estimated to be around 2 tonnes at a cost of £400/year. Carbon emissions from these are estimated to be 0.052kgCO²e/year. The biomass installation will therefore save £1,100 per year in fuel costs and over 12 tonnes in carbon emissions. The cost of the installation was £23,110. The PV installation is a 3.24kWp array of 24 Kyocera modules, which will have an estimated annual generation of 2,592kW. The total cost (including specialist structure design) was £18,057. The system will gain Feed in (Generation) Tariff of £1,070 per year and an estimated export of 80% providing a further £62/year, a further £60 will be saved by avoided purchase. The unimproved electrical consumption was 2,930kWh/ year, costing £338 and emitting 1,594 kgCO²e/year. Following efficiency measures this has been reduced to 1,838 kWh/year. The efficiency measures cost £510 to complete providing an annual saving of £125/year and 595kgCO²e/year. The church will have an overall net export of electricity of 754kW/year providing a positive carbon abatement of 410kgCO²e/year and more than meeting its zero carbon status. Image far left: Outside of the church. Image middle: Solar panelling on the roof. Image below: The new Solar powered/ biomass boiler.
Challenges and Innovation The key issue with the solar panels was one of fixing them to the existing roof. No penetrations were permissible through the copper clad roof and therefore a self-weighted system on a pitched roof had to be adopted. While self-weighted systems for flat roofs are available, a more innovative approach based on a ‘roof ladder’ principle had to be adopted. This involved extensive investigation into the structural capacity of the existing roof. Additionally careful consideration had to be given to the cable route from the panels to the meter. The cables now use the route of the rainwater goods. With the biomass installation, the significant challenge was getting the sizable and heavy boiler down the narrow stairs into the existing plant room. A Froling P4 pellet boiler was selected, as this could be largely dismantled to allow for improved access.
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RECYCLING TRANSFORMS FLY ASH INTO ECO-MINERALS Philip Michael, co-founder and Technical Director of RockTron Ltd Philip Michael explains an innovative recycling technology, which is transforming coal-fired power station waste (fly ash) into valuable ‘eco-minerals’ on an industrial scale. RockTron’s new plant at Fiddler’s Ferry in Widnes, Cheshire, UK, has the capacity to recycle up to 800,000 tonnes of fly ash a year. It is designed to process both fresh and stockpiled fly ash, effectively solving the current problems of large-scale waste storage and removal, making long-term fly ash site remediation possible and, through the recovery of useful ecominerals, enables the conservation of virgin natural resources. For example, in the concrete sector the partial substitution of traditional CEM I (Ordinary Portland Cement) with RockTron Alpha allows concrete companies to cut their costs, increase their competitiveness and maintain their bottom line. Although RockTron’s award-winning technology was first successfully tested over 20 years ago, it took two decades to gain the financial support that they have today. In 1986, RockTron built a working prototype of their flotation cell to separate carbon from fly ash in Belgium. A fully operational plant was then built in Germany in 1989 and the first UK pilot plant followed in 1992. Vital studies and patents ensued throughout the 90’s but the real catalyst for the RockTron launch came when I and Dr John Watt joined forces in 1999. The determination and drive of our team was unrelenting. In 1999 successful pilot trials for fly ash beneficiation were completed at Fiddler’s Ferry Power Station in Cheshire, using run-of-station fly ash and stockpiled material from adjacent ash lagoons. 2000 saw the formation of RockTron Limited, the foundation for today’s international group of companies. Subsequently, RockTron’s Research arm was established in 2001. The science was proven; the corporate infrastructure was now in place. Yet despite the obvious commercial opportunities and presentations given at the highest level throughout Europe, there were no financial takers. Frustrations reached their peak in 2002 when the dot com bubble burst, preventing RockTron from launching on the AIM market. Then, in 2006, one company saw the full potential of RockTron’s innovative process and seized the initiative. In March 2007, Scottish and Southern Energy plc |142| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
formally announced their funding of RockTron to build a demonstration plant at Gale Common in Yorkshire and a full-scale commercial plant at Fiddler’s Ferry. By 2008, the first processed samples were being produced. RockTron’s fly ash beneficiation process uses a traditional mining technology, called ‘froth flotation’. This separates and washes the components that make up fly ash to produce new eco-minerals which have many applications. The overall business objective is to process power station PFA (Pulverised Fuel Ash or fly ash) waste from tip, lagoon and fresh arisings in order to produce economically viable products with no waste or effluent. Historically, BS 3892 and BS EN 450 - the British and European Standards stipulating the use of fly ash as a cement substitute - emphasise the key measures of particle size and carbon content. While dry classification and/or selective removal has been successfully employed for the past 20 years, power stations producing fly ash with a high carbon content had no alternative but to stockpile their waste. So RockTron set out to remove the carbon content in order to produce an economically viable cementitious alternative with typically <5% Loss on Ignition (LOI). Stage One - Feed. RockTron’s plant can accept feed from either stockpiled, lagoon or fresh ash from a power station’s precipitators. Fresh ash from electrostatic precipitators is sluiced with recycled process water into a pump suction tank, where the pulp density is automatically controlled for optimum pumping to the plant. The slurry is then pumped into a specially designed receiving vessel - the cenospheres removal tank. The vessel’s design allows gentle agitation and
physical separation of the cenospheres under gravity. The resulting CenTron™ product has particular applications in the automotive and aerospace industries. Stage Two - Flotation circuit. The remaining slurry is then pumped into the flotation circuit, the central hub of the plant where pulp density is established and mixed with reagents to ensure product quality. The whole circuit is fully automated and insensitive to widely fluctuating changes in head grade. The culmination of these processes causes the carbon to float off. A cleaner circuit cleans it to increase the overall grade with a target of >90%. The carbon is then dewatered on a horizontal belt filter and, if required, flash dried. In filter cake form the carbon is ideal for reuse by the power station. Stage Three - Magnetite removal. Following carbon removal, the remaining feed comprises alumino-silicate particles and spherical magnetic particles in the form of Fe3O4-Al2O3-SiO2. This spherical magnetic component may be recovered, de-watered and dispatched. Removal of the magnetite is discretionary. The remaining slurry is eventually separated into the RockTron Alpha and Delta products for the cementitious market. Stage Four - Classification. The remaining aluminosilicates are then pumped into high efficiency hydrocyclones (used in the clay industry) and classified into two particle size groups resulting in the fine 6-10µm (d50) Alpha particles and the coarser 60-80µm (d50) Delta particles. Delta is then dewatered and stored in bulk. Alpha is dewatered to <0.5% moisture and stored in silos. Un-beneficiated fly ashes have chemical and physical characteristics that limit their substitution levels due to their relatively low cementitious properties when compared with Ordinary Portland Cement (CEM I). RockTron’s beneficiated Alpha has significantly lower LOI (typically <5%) and a finer particle size. These
properties enable improved water reduction while increasing the cementitious contribution when used with CEM I, resulting from a beneficiating process that produces cementitious material, which is ‘manufactured’ to provide consistent quality, deliver greater fineness, a lighter colour, and is available to the market throughout the year. These improved characteristics allow higher levels of cement substitution when compared with normal fly ash. Alpha is currently being used and certified in BS 8500 CEM IIB-V cements, which permits 21-35% Alpha content. Kirton Concrete and other independents are testing BS8500 CEM IVB-V cement combinations which may permit substitution at levels 35% - 55% of Alpha. This will allow structural engineers to design mass concretes based on project specifications. Cement companies can manufacture to the exact requirements of the customer, ensuring a later age strength and durability greater than that produced from OPC/CEM I alone. This is reinforced by the characteristics of RockTron’s Alpha and Delta: BS EN 450 category A: Max LOI 5%: Alpha typically <5%; BS EN450 category S: Max particle size +45 micron of <12%; Alpha typically 5-6%. RockTron Delta offers a coarser grade of particle size, making it ideal for applications where water reduction is less critical but the technical benefits of a pozzolanic material are needed, such as lean, precast and mass concrete. This new technology has applications far beyond the first commercial plant in the UK and RockTron is currently negotiating new opportunities in the US, Asia, Europe and Russia.
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Concrete solids are captured in the bags, crushed and then reincorporated into the project as fill material for beneath hard standings, car parks and pathways
Siltbuster – Airbus RCW case study
The past ten years have seen unprecedented changes in the way that construction activities are undertaken. This is reflected not only in new technology but also in the way that construction projects are procured and managed. Environmental best practice has gradually come out of the shadows and is now seen by many as a key deliverable in construction projects of all sizes. By combining process improvement and environmental best practice, companies can increase profitability, improve customer and employee satisfaction, enhance safety and productivity, and reduce their environmental impact. The following case study demonstrates the benefits that can be achieved when environmental best practice is adopted from the outset of a construction project. Background Construction work is currently underway on a multimillion pound project to build a new wing manufacturing unit at Airbus Operation Ltd UK’s factory site in Flintshire, North Wales. The facility is seen as pivotal in the development of the UK aviation industry. Morgan Sindall, the principal contractor on the project, has responsibility to ensure that all activities on-site use best practice, minimise the environmental impact of the build during construction and comply with environmental legislation. In 2008, Airbus UK started construction works on its new manufacturing unit for wings of the new A350 family of planes. The company appointed Morgan Sindall as principal contractor to undertake the construction of a 52,000m2 manufacturing unit. Structurally, the facility will comprise a steel frame structure in a three bay configuration. To support this vast structure, highlycomplex machine bases and concrete floors supported by 8,000 piles have been designed and installed. The North Factory construction site has high-level groundwater issues and is within a permitted site regulated by the Environment Agency, therefore allowing high pH water to seep into the ground would pollute the groundwater system. With an average of 60 deliveries of concrete per day and over 53,000m3 of concrete |144| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
required, there was a considerable volume of concrete wash-water that had to be dealt with on-site. From the outset of conceptual design, environmental characteristics of the building and the use of best practice were included within the client’s brief. As an example, it was apparent that the usual construction site practice of using plastic-lined skips for crude concrete washout facilities was inadequate and that an alternative solution was required. For a project of this size, the number of skips required would also have implications in terms of available space on-site. Solution Following research into the different solutions to treat concrete wash-water currently available on the market, the project team approached Siltbuster Limited, specialists in total water management solutions, for advice. UK based Siltbuster Limited had developed the RCW - Roadside Concrete Wash-water Treatment system - an innovative system designed specifically to treat high pH concrete and wash-water from concrete truck chutes, making it ideal for this sort of task. The first Siltbuster RCW unit was introduced to the North Factory site in March 2009. Two more were soon in place to control and treat wash-water generated on-site and a further two more made available for use when required during larger concrete pours. An average of 60 concrete trucks deliver material to the site each day but during the pouring of the machine bases this peaked at 283 concrete trucks over the course of just one weekend, which necessitated the use of four RCW units. Treatment of the wash-water is a straightforward operation. When the concrete has been offloaded, each truck reverses up to the RCW and washes off the rear end of the truck directly into the front end of the RCW unit which contains two de-watering bags. The concrete solids are captured in the bags, which are porous, so the water filters through into the main treatment unit. Once the water has reached a preset level, it is then treated using an innovative, automated process whereby carbon dioxide (CO²) is pumped into the water, adjusting its pH level from highly alkaline (circa. pH 13) to neutral (circa. pH 6 - 8) and any precipitated solids are then removed.
This means that the water is then fit for discharge or re-use.
Trucks reverse up to the RCW and wash off the concrete delivery chute directly into the front end of the RCW unit
Once full, the de-watering bags are removed and the solid contents are transferred to an on-site crusher. The material is then reincorporated into the project across a number of applications such as fill material for beneath hard standings, car parks and pathways. Achievements By using the RCW, the project has been able to: • • • •
Treat all concrete wash-water produced on-site, some 177,000 litres in total. Capture and reincorporate 192m3 of concrete into permanent works on-site via the RCW and on-site crushing, thus avoiding expensive off-site processing costs. Avoid costly off-site treatment of large volumes of water by treating it on-site. Avoid the discharge of high alkaline cementitious waste water polluting the ground.
In July 2010, the project also won the Constructing Excellence Wales Award for Innovation for its use of the RCW as a best practice solution for cementitious waste water control and treatment. Iona Hughes, Waste Manager for ASH Waste Services, one of the supply chain companies on the project, has worked full time on the North Factory project site since December 2008. Iona comments: “99% of all waste materials used are recycled or reused on-site and best practice is always sought to resolve potential environmental issues. The RCW provides suitable containment for the concrete wash-water within a confined area and then treats it to the appropriate pH level to discharge. This system has enabled us to treat large quantities of concrete wash-water, using minimal labour and manual handling. During the larger pours on-site, it has enabled us to carry out this activity without having to bring in the estimated 15 skips that we would have required had we used the skip storage method.”
management best practice. “This project demonstrates what can be achieved when companies and their contractors put environmental best practice high up on their agenda. With the construction sector becoming increasingly competitive, companies have to adapt and respond by taking steps to distinguish themselves from their competitors. The project team has achieved this through its commitment to delivering exceptional best practice on the Airbus North Factory construction project.”
The concreting works on the North Factory project are scheduled for completion by December 2010, with the building being handed over to Airbus UK for final completion of the manufacturing installation. Key benefits of the RCW – Concrete Wash-water Treatment System • It provides a simple solution for the handling of wash-water from concreting operations, minimising pollution risk and its potential adverse environmental impact. • It combines solids removal and pH adjustment in a single integrated unit. • The automated process reduces manpower on-site and takes the guesswork out of pH adjustment. • It is compact and easily transportable. • It enables controlled neutralisation of the water before discharge or reuse. • Its small footprint and battery powered operation means it is also ideal for small inner city or remote sites. • It enables the concrete solids to be captured for recycling on-site if necessary. • Health and safety concerns are reduced by the use of carbon dioxide, meaning plant operators are not required to work with strong acids to adjust pH levels.
Richard Coulton, Managing Director at Siltbuster, adds: “Our RCW system has once again proven to be robust and reliable on a large scale project that is using extremely high volumes of concrete in a short space of time. The project has recognised its value and the potential return on investment, as well as the many environmental benefits associated with applying waste ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |145|
EXPERIMENTAL PROPERTY CHOOSES TOTAL HOME SYSTEM Total Home Environment has been specified to provide specialist advice and an advanced mechanical ventilation heat recovery (MVHR) solution for a low energy house in Lincolnshire, designed to show maximum energy savings within a domestic property. The build has set out to evaluate the potential of next generation MVHR equipment, using the system as an experimental case study to demonstrate a number of ideas for energy efficiency for this three bedroom detached, individually designed house. Directed by Philip Hobson, ‘High Rising’ is a test bed house for the level of self-sufficiency achieved using the Total Home climate system and a small amount of supplementary heat input from a small log-burning stove, three electric towel rails and an electrical resistance duct heater to maintain target temperatures. Commenting on the project, Philip Hobson said, “The research aims to bring savings and a much smarter use of energy inputs by monitoring the system’s output and adjusting the appliance for maximum efficiency. Total Home Environment have been tremendous to work with and we have developed a great relationship which I expect to continue.” The combined Premium 2 and Vanvex appliances have been installed in the property to provide a complete air source heat pump and heat recovery ventilation system with domestic hot water. The Premium 2 unit combines heat recovery ventilation with heat pump technology to harness energy from outgoing air, which achieves 95% “passive” heat recovery, increasing to a 500% efficiency using the integrated exhaust air heat pump.
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Image above and below: Total Home Environment has been specified to provide specialist advice and provide an advanced mechanical ventilation heat recovery (MVHR) solution for a low energy house in Lincolnshire.
The Vanvex extract ventilation heat pump is a dedicated, self-contained 285 litre air-to-water appliance that draws heat from under the roof tiles to provide 70% renewablysourced domestic hot water. The combination system was installed as the alignment of the building did not allow for significant south aspect solar gain or an opportunity for solar thermal or solar photovoltaic due to planning restrictions. Total Home Environment and Independent Advisor Bob Isherwood designed and installed the system, minimising flow resistance in the ducting and ensuring the total extract and supply air flowing through the system is balanced. The performance of the overall system will now be monitored for at least two years of occupancy. The integral heat pump within the heat recovery ventilation appliances means that planning permission is not required before installing a Total Home climate system.
Enhancing Your Equipment – A Practical Guide to Increasing Your Performance!
Simon Ingleby, of Recycling Plant Designer Alfatek UK and Technology Provider Redox of The Netherlands, describes how private Waste Management Companies have to ‘up their game’ to maximise their business.
The private sector of waste management companies who have traditionally handled and processed construction, demolition (C&D) and skip waste are now having to enter new markets to grow their businesses. Commercial and trade wastes offer valuable recyclates but are difficult to separate with typical types of sorting lines. It is also possible to attract in residues from simple transfer stations and divert from landfill thus giving gate fee income, however, to be able to handle these types of wastes, existing plants require subtle modification. Investment into existing facilities has to balance with the available waste stream income but with the right concept and proven technology it is possible to attract new customers, especially corporate, with recycling rates that can boost their environmental policies and statements. Redox Recycling Technology of the Netherlands have been successful in building turnkey new facilities over the last 10 years but are now adding to their portfolio by extending their ‘know how’ to enhance existing sorting lines of all shapes and sizes. Each project is different but still requires stringent commitment to identifying and procuring the equipment, increasing throughput, project and installation management. The waste does not stop coming in and modifications must be phased and carried out efficiently to ensure that the plant is not down for long.
boosted by the installation of a stretch-deck screen and windshifter. The modifications give not only full plant availability for two shifts but can also switch between C&D and C&I waste streams. The plant has proved so successful with this improved productivity that it has enabled the company to further invest in a second line for the refinement of residues using high tech optical detection equipment, windshifters and shredders. Waste streams that were bound for landfill can now be processed through this plant. Transwaste can now concentrate on further future developments, confident that the original plant is now efficient and ‘future proof’. Companies in the private sector, have to gear-up, like Transwaste, for expanding their facilities for different waste streams and, when planned properly with a technical partner who has the necessary know-how and equipment, can look forward to the future with confidence. Redox of the Netherlands have shown that with commitment to technology and an understanding of the changing market can make for confidence in the recycling business during these difficult days that we all face.
Such a project is ongoing at the time of writing. Transwaste of East Yorkshire, run by brothers Mark and Paul Hornshaw, had a particular problem. The sorting line they had originally invested in from Ireland proved a nightmare with mechanical failures giving more down than up time, constant blockages of waste in the equipment and no back-up due to the manufacturer going bankrupt. The plant also offered no flexibility to adapt to changing waste streams. Redox have been making radical changes primarily through the incorporation of a key machine, namely the Windshifter, into the process. These machines instantly change the dynamics of the line by automatically separating the light from heavy and enables efficient separation further down the line to achieve clean recyclates such as hard plastics, cardboard, ferrous and non-ferrous metals, aggregates, paper and wood. Separation and cleaning of the fine fractions has been ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE |147|
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
“Design “Design is is our our salvation!” salvation!” By Naomi Cleaver This is how I signed off when I had the honour of presenting the Brit Insurance Design Awards at the Design Museum last year, and rather jaunty I thought I sounded too, until I read in a certain wellknown design publication that what I considered my “call to arms” they described as a “platitude”. Well, I guess they have a point, especially after the self-righteous, Communist-style “Hope” poster by Shepherd Fairey for the Obama presidential campaign predictably won top prize. But I desperately do believe that good design (instead of good packaging and marketing) is the solution to all our ills for the very simple reason that good design is problem solving: it is the process by which we identify a problem, and even the problems behind the one immediately in front of us, analyse the issues and then evaluate the resources available to us so we can develop, and ideally perfect, a solution that provides maximum benefits with minimum disruption; a process that is no stranger to the environment industry. (And a process that is at the heart of my new book, “The Joy of Home”.) But when it comes to the discourse on our environment, I am always baffled by the near total absence of any discussion on the control of human population, for this is the really BIG problem for our environment; carbon emissions, pollution and the destruction of natural habitats are mere symptoms of this much greater ill. When asked to write this piece I first thought that I’d write about making our homes more environmentally sustainable, an issue I care about, not because I’m an eco-warrior (I enjoy bathing too much) but because I have always believed that great design is about the most effective use of resources. I am also desperate to liberate the issue of sustainable housing from left-brained boys who present solutions as simply more machines for living in, all bland sheets of glass, timber frames and heat pumps - rather than gorgeous and intriguing homes that just happen to operate efficiently too. It’s beautiful buildings that are the most enduring. I blame Grand Designs. There is also the small matter of the financial un-sustainability of environmentally sustainable methods of energy generation, at least when it comes to retro-fitting, a fact I am only too aware of as I renovate my own 1968-built home. But I’ve come to suspect that any discussion on living sustainably is just a lot of hot air (which we can ill afford in all sorts of ways) without a brutally honest discussion on population control. But of course there is an enormous reluctance to grapple with this subject, given the associated whiff of eugenics. Thankfully the great Sir David Attenborough, who knows more about the planet than most, has raised his head above the parapet and is championing the Optimum Population Trust, which campaigns for reducing population growth in the UK, as well as abroad. Another inspiring organisation is the imaginative charity Blue Ventures (www.blueventures.org), who corral science and medicine to improve the lot of coastal communities around the world. This from the Blue Ventures website: “In the remote coastal regions.....access to sexual and reproductive health services is even more difficult. As a result, some girls as young as eleven have had children, and women are having up to 16 children. Infant and maternal mortality figures are high. The rapid growth of coastal populations, whose doubling time is approximately 10-15 years, poses a severe threat to the future |148| ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
sustainability of the country’s extensive coral reefs and other marine habitats, upon which the livelihoods, culture and future economic wellbeing of coastal communities depend.” But it is not just vulnerable women and children in countries thousands of miles away who present a risk to the environment. The Optimum Population Trust notably identify the UK’s shamefully high teenage pregnancy rate as one problem that is a real threat to sustainably managed resources. A few paragraphs back I wrote about the first part of the design process being identifying the problem, or perhaps the problem behind the problem. Well here we have the problem, behind the problem, behind the problem. Female disenfranchisement is arguably the greatest threat to a sustainable planet and a fissure in human society of deeply shocking proportions in the 21st Century. Studies have shown that giving women access to contraception and sexual healthcare isn’t simply a matter of education: it is a matter of female emancipation. In developing societies even educated women are sexually exploited and as a result produce children they would not have had if they had been given a choice, or at least that choice was culturally acceptable. (And I speak with experience as I have recently been living in a country where the more children a man has with as many different women he can, the more admired he is – and the women, heartbreakingly, buy into this dangerous nonsense, not least because many are, ironically, dedicated evangelical church-goers, where American “pro-life” dollars pay for nice big fat churches while the nation’s schoolchildren struggle to study with insufficient books and generally execrable teaching.) British women, like some of our teenagers, are equally sexually exploited, seduced not just by their spotty teenage boyfriends but by the glamorisation in “celebrity” magazines of gratuitous sex (I don’t think there’s anything wrong with gratuitous sex, by the way - there’s just no need to glamorise it, or even go on about it) and the cute little babies born with little provision of a stable home; where some of our girls feel so hopeless about their prospects that burdening themselves with otherwise fatherless and underresourced children is their best career move, especially when our bloated welfare state (even after the cuts), and crucially the environment, will pay. If design is our salvation then this designer says we desperately need a feminist revolution if we have any hope of saving Mother Earth. The hand that calls a halt to unsustainable population growth saves the world.