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September 15, 2009

Carbon traders evict indigenous people

by David Masters
Employment

Carbon trading is forcing indigenous people in Uganda off their land to make way for tree planting projects. Indigenous people living in Mount Elgon national park are being displaced to make way for trees that offset the emissions of a 600MW coal-fired power station in the Netherlands. Park rangers evicted the indigenous people off their land at gunpoint, forcing them to leave their belongings and land behind to become squatters. Indigenous rights groups ...





September 9, 2009

Recession impedes energy efficient IT

by David Masters
Employment Energy

Businesses are wasting money buying energy-inefficient computing equipment, new research discovered. A study by CDW Corporation for its 2009 Energy Efficiency IT Report found that although firms are doing more to improve IT energy efficiency compared to last year, a new focus on short-term financial gain threatens to undo their efforts. “Under extreme budget pressure in a recessionary economy, the number one IT purchasing concern is the current cost of equipment and ...





August 14, 2009

Vestas occupation over, but protests continue

by David Masters
Employment Energy

Workers at Vestas' Isle of Wight wind-turbine blade factory have vowed to continue putting pressure on the company and the UK government to save their jobs. Their occupation of the factory ended peacefully last week as they were driven out by bailiffs armed with an eviction order. The workers, who occupied the factory for over two weeks, were greeted by huge cheers from the waiting crowd. None were arrested as they left the ...





August 1, 2009

Vestas protest enters second week

by David Masters
Employment Energy

Ongoing protests against the closure of a wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight have entered their second week. Around 25 workers are continuing their occupation of the Vestas Wind Systems factory in a bid to stop the factory closing with the loss of 625 jobs. Danish firm Vestas plans to close the factory at the end of this month despite rising profits. The company blamed the small size of the UK's ...





July 10, 2009

Carbon focused eco-businesses risk wasted opportunities

by David Masters
Employment Money

The government's narrow focus on reducing carbon emissions could cause Britain to miss out on becoming a world leader in environmental commerce, an industry body has warned. A report published this week by the Environmental Industries Commission outlines how UK industry can best take advantage of the £3 trillion global market for low-carbon goods and services. EIC policy director Danny Stevens said the government's narrow vision for eco-friendly business "risks putting the ...





April 22, 2009

UK’s first carbon budget ‘inadequate’ and ‘disappointing’

by David Masters
Sustainability Employment

Christian Aid said today that it is 'disappointed' with the lack of ambition shown by the government in its first ever carbon budget. The social justice charity said the government has thrown away its chance to demonstrate international leadership in the fight against climate change. "Producing the first national carbon budget in the world was a huge opportunity for the UK to prove its determination to tackle climate change and provide leadership ...





March 25, 2009

EPA stops mining of mountain tops

by Alan Harten
Employment

Lisa Jackson, the administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), said on Tuesday that a large number of permits for coal mining from mountain tops are now suspended pending a review of how marshlands and streams are affected by the mining. The suspension is aimed at a contentious procedure carried out by mining companies who remove entire mountain peaks with explosives and deposit waste into wetlands and rivulets. It ...





March 3, 2009

Eco your workplace for Green Office Week

by David Masters
Employment

Green Office Week started yesterday to highlight the importance of being eco-friendly at work as well as at home. Campaigns like this are sorely needed. Forty percent of carbon emissions come from businesses, compared to 27% from homes, yet many businesses are unwilling to change and institutionally encourage environmental apathy. In a recent YouGov survey, nine in ten (92%) office workers said that it is important for UK companies to be ...





February 26, 2009

Going green could save retailers millions

by David Masters
Sustainability Employment

The UK retail sector could save over £350 million every year by being environmentally friendly. Sustainable business experts Envirowise said the money could be saved by putting in place simple procedures so that businesses use resources more efficiently. Businesses should start by monitoring their environmental impact, and working out how much they could save if environmental procedures were introduced, Envirowise said. Envirowise spokesperson Elaine Sharp said: "For a business to be truly competitive, ...





February 6, 2009

Packed lunches popular with credit crunched workers

by David Masters
Employment

Pesto Pasta Salad Bento (recipe included) (by I Love Egg) Eating 'al desko' is growing in popularity as credit crunched office employees bring their own packed lunches to work. Financial worries mean that office workers in the US and the UK are cutting back on spending. According to research by Abbey, 17% more Brits are taking a ...





February 4, 2009

Scotland Will Create 16,000 Green Jobs

by Alan Harten
Employment

The Finance Secretary Mr. John Swinney announced that the Scottish Government is planning a substantial development in green energy employment, leaving environmental groups sceptical. This move should help curb the recession and guarantee improved economy for the future. During a conference in Glasgow Mr. Swinney announced that these renewable technology projects should create 16,000 jobs over the next 10 years as well as boost production and considerably improve consumer charges. Scotland will ...





December 5, 2008

CBI: Government must retain climate change focus

by David Masters
Employment

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has told the government that the global recession should not be used as an excuse to ignore climate change. Instead, the CBI said the government must up the pace of its climate change action if it plans to meet its 80% greenhouse gas reduction target by 2050. Speaking at the CBI's climate change summit in London this week, CBI director-general Richard Lambert told delegates that the ...





November 7, 2008

£5bn lunchbox food goes to landfill

by David Masters
Employment

A new study has found that the UK's workforce spends £5.5 billion every year on shop bought lunches, whilst leaving food of almost as much value at home to rot. Lunchbox foods such as ham, cheese, bread, fruit, crisps and yoghurts to the value of £5.06 billion are binned every year, according to results from the survey by Love Food Hate Waste. Almost £1 billion worth of bread, £300 million worth of ...





October 13, 2008

Carbon Trust doubles SME loans

by David Masters
Employment

The Carbon Trust has doubled the maximum interest free loan available to small businesses investing in energy efficient equipment. The government funded independent company said the decision was made to help SMEs install even more ambitious energy saving measures. Previously businesses could apply for a maximum interest free loan of £100,000 towards projects to reduce their carbon footprint. The credit crunch, however, has got the Carbon Trust thinking, and to help businesses through ...





October 10, 2008

Recycling company wants eco-courts

by David Masters
Employment

A recycling firm in Ireland is urging the government to set up new courts to punish environmental criminals. Repak wants a dedicated court with special powers to prosecute anyone caught breaking environmental law in the country. Judges and lawyers in the courts would have specialist qualifications in environmental law, and fines for breaking eco-laws would be much higher than they are at the moment. Repak believes that establishing the courts would send a ...





October 9, 2008

Purple robot is recycling superhero

by David Masters
Sustainability Employment

Councillors in Tower Hamlets have thought up an innovative new idea to get residents of the London Borough to recycle more: a giant, talking, purple robot. Mr Recycle More was built using 33 recycling bins and spends his time visiting local communities and council estates. From his massive mouth the robot booms his catchphrase, "How nice to see you." At six metres tall, Mr Recycle More is as high as the average two ...





September 23, 2008

Companies must act now to avoid CRC fines

by David Masters
Employment

A new report has warned that the government’s Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) initiative is unlikely to cause carbon emissions to fall within the next five years. Research by Verdantix found that 4,000 of the 5,000 businesses and organisations taking part in the scheme will fail to reduce carbon emissions during the first phase of CRC, which will run from 2010 to 2013. Verdanix discovered that most companies are unaware of their energy ...





September 17, 2008

Nokia tops eco-friendly chart

by David Masters
Sustainability Employment

Mobile phone maker Nokia has been awarded the accolade of the most eco-friendly electronics manufacturer in the world. Ranked first out of 18 companies by Greenpeace, Nokia scored a total of seven out of ten, with scoring based on the company’s policy regarding use of chemicals, waste disposal, and energy use. Japan-based games console company Nintendo came last in the rankings, with a score of 0.8, whilst world renowned software-maker Microsoft was ...





September 8, 2008

Green SMEs save £60m per year

by David Masters
Employment

Small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) in the UK are saving almost £60 million per year by keeping up with environmental regulations. Government backed eco-advice website, NetRegs, offers free advice to small businesses on environmental law and eco-friendly business practice. An independent survey commissioned by NetRegs found that the website saves small businesses £58 million per year in consultancy fees and fines that would have to be paid for breaking environmental legislation. Last ...





September 1, 2008

UK manufacturing greener than ever

by David Masters
Employment

Manufacturing companies in the UK are increasingly concerned about green issues and the impact of their operations on the environment, although more needs to be done to bring all businesses up to scratch. A survey of British manufacturers found a high level of environmental consciousness, with over 90% of companies addressing some or all of their environmental issues. Conducted by Envirowise and manufacturers’ organisation EEF, the survey also found that the majority ...





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