Environmental Blog http://www.environmentalpolicy.org.uk/blog Environment news Wed, 07 Oct 2009 14:23:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6.12 Green Business Office Directory for Sustainable Businesses http://www.environmentalpolicy.org.uk/blog/green-business/ http://www.environmentalpolicy.org.uk/blog/green-business/#respond Wed, 07 Oct 2009 14:23:00 +0000 http://www.environmentalpolicy.org.uk/blog/?p=12 When it comes to being green in business you may think it’s going to cost even more but we have some methods to save your money whilst continuing to help the environment.

Here’s our quick directory of some everyday products and services businesses use to have a green office but not to sacrifice the level of product you are receiving just because it’s packaged as environmentally friendly – some of these tips will simply save you and your business money whilst others are here to enable you to buy products to help the environment whilst also keeping costs down for any sustainable businesses.

Green Car Insurance

If you have low emission vans or cars that you are running or simply want to offset the carbon footprint of the emissions you are pumping out into the air they why not choose green car insurance from the Green Car Insurance Company ? These guys are planting tens of thousands of trees each year to offset carbon and also giving great rates online. This is one of the first we have come across that actually build a business around green factors but still have competitive prices for their insurance policies.

Free Business Banking

Whilst all the banks are making money off many businesses some are offering completely free business banking for life – these are Abbey and Alliance and Leicester. Click here to find out more to get fee free banking for your business. All banks seem to offer new businesses at least 18 months free banking but these two offer the zero fee rates for the life of the business. This can save you thousands of pounds each year and yes, they will help you switch your account if you already bank somewhere else.

Better Business Savings Rates

Whilst the recession is continuing and interest rates are the lowest they have ever been then the rates received on savings accounts both for consumers and businesses are virtually zero but there are some accounts that pay a fairly decent rate. Click here to find those rates. Believe it or not most businesses are receiving just 0.10% per year in their deposit accounts so it’s worth having a look around to get your money working harder – much harder in these tough economic times we have currently.

Home Insurance

Although some people are now deciding that it’s not worth taking out home insurance because they want to cut back on their monthly expenses of course burglaries are also on the increase because of the recession so it’s wise to get contents and buildings insurance. There are many deals to be had online. Click here to find some of the lowest rates.

This shows that there are ways to reduce costs in the business and still enjoy great service and not cut the level of product you are receiving. Additionally the new breed of insurance companies are now interweaving environmental factors into their business practices so that even with simply measures such as carbon offset initiatives you can play a small part in helping care for the planet you live on and not have to pay higher prices for the privilege.

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Traffic Reduces On UK Roads Due to High Fuel Prices http://www.environmentalpolicy.org.uk/blog/traffic-reduces/ http://www.environmentalpolicy.org.uk/blog/traffic-reduces/#respond Fri, 29 Aug 2008 15:27:26 +0000 http://www.environmentalpolicy.org.uk/blog/?p=11 The high cost of fuel has reduced the number of cars on Britain’s roads by 12% a survey suggests.

It would appear that standard pricing theories have been proven again with the high prices of fuel meaning people are driving less on the roads. Not only that but road congestion has eased also.

The study by Trafficmaster, which has 7,500 cameras monitoring the UK’s roads, showed the number of alerts generated (indicating slower speeds and perhaps a road blockage) had fallen by 12%.

As the oil price increases so does the cost of petrol and diesel – this has doubled in the past couple of years to a record £1.20 (or more at some garages).

The credit crunch is also to blame. New car sales have plumeted as has the used car market. Many families are ditching their second car because they simply can’t afford it any longer.

So this is a positive step for the environment even in these tough times.

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London Mayor Volunteers Staff for Environmental Projects http://www.environmentalpolicy.org.uk/blog/london-mayor-environment/ http://www.environmentalpolicy.org.uk/blog/london-mayor-environment/#respond Mon, 11 Aug 2008 13:06:23 +0000 http://www.environmentalpolicy.org.uk/blog/?p=10 London Mayor Boris Johnson unveiled his commitment to the environment by encouraging his staff and advisors to volunteer themselves with approved environmental groups.

The mayor of London Boris Johnson doesn’t just want the people of London to go green and help their environment but wants to “walk the talk” by encouraging his staff and advisors to get out and about and volunteer to get involved with an approved list of organisations and lead by example.

The Mayor of London, said: ‘Today I am announcing my intention to roll up my sleeves, and commit to spend some of my time volunteering to help ‘clean and green’ London in the same way I am strongly encouraging City Hall staff to do so.

This is more than just “lip service” towards environmental concerns and will also help his team fully understand what charities and volunteer groups are up against. The list of organisations that Mr Johnston recommends his staff and advisors get involve with include:

  •  the Environment Trust
  • the London Wildlife Trust
  • the National Trust
  • Dogs Trust
  • Trees for Cities
  • Blue Cross – pet charity
  • British Trust Conservation Volunteers
  • Sutton Nature Conservation Volunteers
  • Enfield Conservation Volunteers
  • Lea Valley Park Volunteers
  • Epping Forest Conservation
  • Spitalfields City Farm
  • the Trust for Urban Ecology

And this is just for starters if it all works well. Jon Aldenton, Chief Executive of the Environment Trust, said: ‘We welcome all types of active citizenship so today’s announcement by the Mayor is great news. It’s good to hear the Trust’s efforts will be aided by this push for even more volunteers. We have a wide range of exciting, hands-on activities for Londoners to get involved with such as planting native wild flowers through projects such as ‘East End Flowers’, which is helping to brighten and enhance this area of London.’

We wish London well with this plan.

 

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Beijing Pollution Improves Ahead of Olympic Games http://www.environmentalpolicy.org.uk/blog/beijing-pollution/ http://www.environmentalpolicy.org.uk/blog/beijing-pollution/#respond Thu, 31 Jul 2008 10:00:07 +0000 http://www.environmentalpolicy.org.uk/blog/?p=9 Beijing pollution improves to the lowest levels since authorities started to tackle the problem in advance of the Olympic Games.

Although just days ago the pollution levels in Beijing were some 5 times the level recommended by the World Health Authority (WHO) the measures the authorities are using including taking at least 50% of vehicles off the road seem to have improved matters.

Currently the winds have improved thus blowing some of the pollution away from the Beijing city and some experts believe the weather has much to do with improved air quality rather than the shutting of factories or less cars on the roads.

A tropical storm that hit southeastern China earlier this week brought strong winds and some rain, helping clear skies and lower temperatures by Tuesday. It also highlighted how much weather plays a part in curbing pollution. By late Wednesday afternoon, the haze had returned.

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Fears of pollution have been raised since China was awarded the games and many commentators have been writing about the issues over the past 4 to 5 years but it is only in recent months that the Chinese authorities have introduced measures to tackle the situation. Additionally at least one athlete is staying away from the games due to health fears.

With only days until the opening ceremony China may need to introduce more drastic solutions to improve the pollution fears for the Beijing Olympics to improve the situation further.

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Woodland Trust Buys Land to Plant 600,000 Trees http://www.environmentalpolicy.org.uk/blog/woodland-trust-trees/ http://www.environmentalpolicy.org.uk/blog/woodland-trust-trees/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2008 09:08:07 +0000 http://www.environmentalpolicy.org.uk/blog/?p=8 The woodland trust has purchased a 800 acre site to plant 600,000 trees to create a natural forest in England.

The forest to be based in st Albans in Hertfordshire would create the largest continuous native forest in England. The woodland trust say planting trees like this has never been done in England and would be ready in about 12 years.

Much of the UK’s natural forests have been eroded by developers and house builders over the past 100 years so this is to rebalance the UK tree population.

The woodland trust’s website also has two other opportunities to develop UK forests and are asking for donations. The first is 250 acres of arable fields and ancient woodland near Colchester in Essex and the second is 168 acres of arable land and ancient woodland just two miles from the centre of historic Durham. It’s a shame the government doesn’t divert some of the huge spending into this important conservation project.

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Wetlands Drying Out and Releasing More Carbon into the Atmosphere http://www.environmentalpolicy.org.uk/blog/wetlands-drying-out/ http://www.environmentalpolicy.org.uk/blog/wetlands-drying-out/#respond Wed, 23 Jul 2008 08:36:43 +0000 http://www.environmentalpolicy.org.uk/blog/?p=7 The world’s wetlands are drying out due to global warming and a better understanding on how to manage these eco-systems is urgently needed according to scientists.

Reducing rainfalls as well as general rising temperatures are increasing evaporation rates and thus releasing more carbon into the air. Wetlands only cover about 6% of the earth’s surface in terms of land but store an estimated 20% of the carbon.

More than 700 scientists are gathering at a major conference organised by the UN university and Brazil’s Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso to develop an action plan to protect the world’s wetlands.

Konrad Osterwalder, rector of the UN University, said that people in the past had viewed the habitats as a problem, which led to many being drained.

“Yet wetlands are essential to the planet’s health,” he explained. “With hindsight, the problems in reality have turned out to be the draining of wetlands and other ‘solutions’ we humans devised.”

The conference will hear that global warming could be compounded if the draining of wetlands continues and release more carbon into the atmosphere. It’s estimated a drained swamp will release 40 tonnes of carbon each year per hectare drained and that in the past 100 years 60% of wetlands have been destroyed to provide fields for agriculture use.

“Wetlands act as sponges and their role as sources, reservoirs and regulators of water is largely underappreciated,” Professor Wolfgang Junk from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Germany says.

“They also cleanse water of organic pollutants, prevent downstream flood inundations, protect river banks and seashores from erosion, recycle nutrients and capture sediment.”

 

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Environment Consulting for Business Set to Grow ? http://www.environmentalpolicy.org.uk/blog/environment-consulting/ http://www.environmentalpolicy.org.uk/blog/environment-consulting/#respond Thu, 17 Jul 2008 13:08:27 +0000 http://www.environmentalpolicy.org.uk/blog/?p=6 With the environment in business at the top of every one’s agenda, could environmental consulting be the next big thing?

With the credit crunch the way it is big businesses are cutting down on costs and one of the first things to go in the budgets along with marketing and training are normally temporary staff – that that includes consultants.

So management consultants need to look at other areas in business that need a helping hand and consulting on environmental issues could be the opening they are looking for. Many companies need to at least being saying positive things in their literature to jump on the environment bandwaggon but also actually make changes that reduces their carbon footprint as well as recycling more and using less energy. This will of course impact their bottom line positively but generally there aren’t experts withing companies, especially smaller companies that can undertake these tasks.

That’s where outside help comes into play and many consultants could retrain – or just skill themselves with what’s required and develop programmes that they can roll out in businesses. Of course business need to see either cost savings or improve revenues from such programmes so this should be at the front of any environmental programme that’s developed.

It would appear that it won’t be top management who would hire in such experts but people who are already experts within a company – We say that’s nonsense as all businesses want to do their bit for the environment. If you are a consultant looking to get into this area, why not contact some companies now and see what they say. If you already have a sketched plan of what you are offering then go through this. What do you think?

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Whitehall Government Departments to be Carbon Neutral by 2012 http://www.environmentalpolicy.org.uk/blog/whitehall-government-departments-to-be-carbon-neutral-by-2012/ http://www.environmentalpolicy.org.uk/blog/whitehall-government-departments-to-be-carbon-neutral-by-2012/#respond Thu, 17 Jul 2008 11:30:13 +0000 http://www.environmentalpolicy.org.uk/blog/?p=5 News today indicates that Whitehall is to become carbon neutral by 2012 with the introduction of so called smart computers (PCs).

The government and their related departments are the largest purchaser of information and communications technology in the UK and their IT equipment is responsible for up to a fifth of the total government’s carbon emissions up to a massive 460,000 tonnes each year. Cabinet Office minister Tom Watson says computers emit the same volume of emission each year as the airline industry.

Hard to believe at first but these smart PCs will turn themselves off when inactive – let’s just hope they have spoken to Microsoft first as switching off PCs in mid flow can have all kinds of consequences for lost data and we know how inept the government can be with our data.

Nevertheless, apparently by turning off every desktop PC in central government for the 16 hours that fall outside the standard working day could save up to 117,500 tonnes of CO2 carbon emissions per year. This first step is to grab hold of the low hanging fruit and is easy to undertake and to raise awareness amongst staff of what can be easily achievable.

The Sustainable Development Commission’s report said that apart from the Ministry of Defence, which significantly reduced its emissions in 2005-06, government departments emit 22% more CO2 than they did in 1999. Joy.

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G8 Countries Urged to Cut Emissions Further http://www.environmentalpolicy.org.uk/blog/g8-cut-emissions/ http://www.environmentalpolicy.org.uk/blog/g8-cut-emissions/#respond Wed, 09 Jul 2008 14:53:58 +0000 http://www.environmentalpolicy.org.uk/blog/?p=4 The G8 countries have re-iterated their target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2050 but the so called G5 have said this should be more like an 80% reduction.

The G5 countries made up of Mexico, Brazil, China, India and South Africa challenged the Group of Eight countries to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by more than 80% by 2050. The joint statement from the G5 developing nations said: “It is essential that developed countries take the lead in achieving ambitious and absolute greenhouse gas emission reductions.”

Environmental organisations have also called the 50% target “pathetic” and said more needs to be done to tackle climate change. The five nations also urged developed countries to commit to an interim target of a 25-40% cut below 1990 levels by 2020.

South Africa said the G8 statement was a “regression”, criticising the lack of firm targets to achieve sufficient cuts in emissions.

The G8 also voiced concern about soaring oil and food prices, and Zimbabwe, and pledged to speed up aid to Africa. But climate change has been one of the stickiest issues tackled at the summit in Toyako, northern Japan.

The five-page communique by the G8 – Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the US – repeats last year’s “vision” to reach the target of cutting emissions by at least 50% by 2050.

The EU had wanted the G8 to confirm that the 50% cut would be measured from 1990 levels of CO2 – as agreed under the Kyoto climate protocol.

But when the question was raised in a press conference Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda said the cuts would be measured from “current levels”.

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Welcome to our new environment blog http://www.environmentalpolicy.org.uk/blog/welcome-to-our-new-environment-blog/ http://www.environmentalpolicy.org.uk/blog/welcome-to-our-new-environment-blog/#respond Wed, 09 Jul 2008 14:37:03 +0000 http://www.environmentalpolicy.org.uk/blog/?p=3 Welcome to our new environment news, recycling and green issues blog.

With so much going on at Environmental Policy we thought it was high time we launched a blog to keep everyone up to date with what’s going on with us as a company and general environment news. 

The aim of our blog is to keep readers and customers up to date with general business and environmental news and to serve as a place for us to publish tips, advice and articles relating to environmental issues that we as companies and consumers can help and attempt to relate with what the government plans for us in the UK and overseas with targets to reduce the amount of carbon we pump into the atmosphere.

For those of you that dont yet know us why not visit our main website for more information about our environmental policy services.

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