U.S. cities have long depended on China to take their recycled waste. Now China's clamping down on the trade.
Jaime Sakakibara's insight:
Com a escassez de terras para destinação de resíduos, e o aumento da regulamentação e das taxas sobre estes espaços, para alguns países é mais barato pagar para despachar estes resíduos para nações que aceitam receber e destinar este lixo.
At a recent conference in Los Angeles, Peter Madden chose five themes to contrast European and US experience
Jaime Sakakibara's insight:
The first is a root and branch questioning of capitalism. I'm talking to have fundamental worries about the future of the economic system.
Second, there is lots of focus at the moment on changing consumers through brands. Pioneering companies such as Unilever are realising that they have to change behaviour if they want to reduce their overall footprint.
The third theme is that ecosystems are the new climate change. As the population grows and the science gets scarier, there is increasing attention on the basic services the planet provides to us, from clean water to raw materials in the supply chain.
Fourth, we see a trend of smart everything: from intelligent building and smart cities to smart grids, even a smarter planet. With money short, especially in the public sector, people are focusing on invest-to-save, efficient management, and making more out of what we've got. And given that we have already built most of what we are going to build in Europe, the emphasis is on retrofit, overlaying digital intelligence on existing infrastructure.
Finally, we may be facing a two-speed Europe. Such a restructuring would bring a much sharper recession, which would certainly be bad for sustainability. It would undermine Europe's global leadership in environmental negotiations.
Singapore's first tidal turbine test-bed was launched in Sentosa on Wednesday.
Designed, built and installed by a group of engineers from NTU, and in collaboration with the Sentosa Development Corporation, the system tests the feasibility of tapping tidal energy to generate electricity.
Though tidal energy is a new field in Singapore, its key advantage as a renewable energy source is that tidal cycles are predictable, unlike conventional wind and solar energy, which are highly susceptible to weather fluctuations.
The system already produces energy to power the lights at Sentosa Boardwalk Turbine Exhibit.
In the coming year, it will further analyse how low-flow tidal energy can be used efficiently and made cheaper and more reliable.
The informative exhibition, which is part of the Sentosa Sustainability Plan, will have information about tidal energy and showcases a miniature tidal turbine prototype. The exhibition is open to public.
Dr Michael Lochinvar Sim Abundo, research fellow at NTU’s Energy Research Institute, said: "This location (Sentosa Boardwalk) is a very good spot for tidal occurrence because it is channelled between two islands - Singapore and Sentosa, which causes an acceleration of the flow much like a funnel."
Mike Barclay, chief executive officer at Sentosa Development Corporation, said: “We do have some pretty good tides around Sentosa, quite strong tidal flows so we can extract energy from them, generate electricity and prove something that could be scaleable for Singapore as a whole, something that really works for us."
MIT researchers have engineered a new rechargeable flow battery that doesn't rely on expensive membranes to generate and store electricity. The device, they say, may one day enable cheaper, large-scale energy storage.
The sense that our planet is running out of the minerals, metals and organic matter required to sustain its rising human population has helped to fashion a new concept for our times: the circular economy. At its core is the argument that the old, linear model of conducting business – extraction, consumption and waste – is past its sell-by date.
To its standard bearers, the circular economy promises a radical break with the past. Materials should not be cast away and expended, rather they should be re-used and replenished, so the argument goes. But how transformative is this new philosophy and to what extent does it present an opportunity for business? Is it a revolutionary reimagining of economic theory or merely a recycling of, well, recycling?
Today, a company called Climate Earth is unveiling software that lets companies assess their natural capital impacts at a pretty granular level. It represents a major step forward in enabling companies to measure and manage the impacts of their operations and supply chains.
The Natural Capital Management System is a cloud-based software system that allows a company to map its organizational structure and accounting systems to a database of natural capital costs -- that is, the financial value of a company’s depletion of nonrenewable resources, and its emissions into the air, water and soil.
As the company explains: “Natural capital accounting is the process of placing a dollar cost on a company’s natural capital in a way that is consistent and scientifically valid. A natural capital management system aligns those costs with financial costs and places them online in organizational and operational context.”
“Land Transport Master Plan 2013 gives you a glimpse into our land transport developments from now to 2030 and how you will benefit from them. Check out this video to find out what is in store for you!
Here’s a quick summary of what you can expect from the developments by 2030: 1. 8 in 10 homes will be within a 10-minute walk from a train station 2. 85% of your public transport journeys will take no more than an hour 3. 75% of all peak hour journeys will be made on public transport
All these developments will bring us closer to our vision of having a People-Centred Land Transport System. Together, we’ll get there.”
Architecture and infrastructure in cities is designed without much flexibility. But 21st Century living is changing, people are creating buildings and systems that react and respond to our shifting needs.
This presentation will walk you through the key data points and critical implications for business, including: expectations, priority issues, business approaches and preferred types of engagement. The session will also explore desired communications channels as well as insights into how consumers are using social media to engage with companies in a variety of ways.
Earlier this month Ernst & Young and GreenBiz Group released a new study, entitled ‘2013 Six Growing Trends in Corporate Sustainability.’ Based primarily on a survey of the GreenBiz Intelligence Panel of executives and thought leaders engaged in sustainability, this study reveals that “companies are increasingly connecting the dots between risk management and sustainability by making sustainability issues more prominent on corporate agendas.”
Jaime Sakakibara's insight:
Six growing trends in corporate sustainability:
1. The “tone from the top” is key to heightened awareness and preparedness for sustainability risks.
2. Governments and multilateral institutions aren’t playing a key role in corporate sustainability agendas.
3. Sustainability concerns now include increased risk and proximity of natural resource shortages.
4. Corporate risk response is not well paired to the scale of sustainability challenges.
5. Integrated reporting is slow to take hold.
6. Inquiries from investors and shareholders are on the rise.
Sembcorp Industries (Sembcorp) is pleased to announce that it will be increasing its green energy generation capacity with its largest energy-from-waste plant in Singapore to date. The company will invest over S$250 million to build, own and operate a facility capable of producing 140 tonnes per hour of steam using industrial and commercial waste collected by Sembcorp’s solid waste management operations, the leading operator in Singapore. The development of this plant is in line with the company’s drive to offer the best and most competitive solutions to its customers, while helping them reduce their carbon footprint.
We’ve written before about how big corporations have become increasingly important to financing green technology startups—on Oct. 10 for example, Google announced it was investing $103 million in a big solar power plant in California.
Managing for sustainability is an Economist Intelligence Unit report that discusses why firms are embracing sustainable practices, how companies are embedding corporate social responsibility into their businesses, and how they are gauging and reporting their success.
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