• Cleaner aviation depends on supplies of not so clean materials

    From the flight deck to the wheel brakes, new generations of aircraft that produce far less pollution increasingly rely on imported raw materials which are themselves dirty to produce. EurActiv reports from the Farnborough International Airshow. China and Russia are dominant suppliers of some forms of titanium – a lightweight metal used in airframes and parts – while China holds the lock on production of rare earth metals. Dependable supplies of these resources are vital as European and American airplane manufacturers juggle backlogged orders and address forecasts of exponential growth over 20 years. "It's an area that is going to increasingly become a challenge in the industry," said Dr Andy Jefferson, programme director at the industry-financed Sustainable Aviation research organisation in the United Kingdom. >> Read the Full Article
  • Did Deepwater Horizon Accident contribute to Dolphin Deaths?

    In the first four months of 2011, 186 bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) were found dead in the Gulf of Mexico, nearly half of them dolphin calves many of whom were perinatal, or near birth. Researchers now believe a number of factors may have killed the animals. Writing in the open-access journal PLoS ONE, scientists theorize that the dolphins died a sudden influx of freshwater from snowmelt after being stressed and weakened by an abnormally cold winter and the impacts of the BP oil spill. According to researchers, oil leaking from the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon could have decimated the dolphin's prey base, leaving a larger than usual number of dolphins suffering from malnutrition. >> Read the Full Article
  • Women in Asia Need more Equality to Achieve Climate & Poverty Goals

    New research released today by the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) shows that despite more understanding, more resources, and policy recommendations, women continue to be largely marginalized and ignored or exploited in resource management processes throughout Asia – to the detriment of global climate and poverty reduction goals. This suite of analyses, released today at the International Workshop on Gender and Forest Tenure in Asia and Collective Forest Tenure Reform in China, demonstrate that exclusion and inequality on gender grounds are still rife and complicated by the intersection of cultural and social norms, economic pressures, and inadequate legal and institutional frameworks. Authors of the studies call for emerging programs and policies to combat climate change or encourage sustainable development to incorporate lessons learned. >> Read the Full Article
  • Mobius Motors creates a car specifically for Africa

    Joel Jackson arrived in Kenya in 2009 and immediately had a social innovation idea—yet it had nothing to do with the not-for-profit farming organisation that he had come with. It wasn't farming that caught Joel's attention, it was the state of the African roads: the lack of appropriate transport that has affected many parts of rural Africa, keeping areas remote. Joel Jackson rolled up his sleeves and set about building a vehicle that would serve the African market; a $6,000 (£3,850) car called the Mobius One. Africa's poorest are largely immobile and do not have appropriate transport services. Every day millions of people often walk 10+ miles to get to basic amenities such as clean drinking water, schools, hospitals and jobs. Chronic government underinvestment in roads and public transit has restricted travel. Africa's most disadvantaged cannot afford to buy a car, yet need reliable transport services to prosper. >> Read the Full Article
  • Olympic Athletes facing London pollution, city accused of not following EU rules

    With the Summer Olympics only days away, athletes are facing some of the worst air pollution in Europe. London's NOx and Ozone concentrations have the potential to adversely affect athletes, and the huge crowds that will be attending the games. Athlete performance is likely to be impacted, and attendees with health conditions should be aware to take care to not overdue their own exertion. Environmental lawyers are preparing to ask Britain’s highest civil court to force the government to comply with EU air quality standards. The ClientEarth legal organisation argues that the British government is breaching the 1 January 2010 EU deadline for complying with air quality plans for London and 16 other cities. The group contends that the government is neglecting its EU obligations to reduce emissions that contribute to urban smog and particulate pollution. "We've seen lots of headlines but very little action from the government," Alan Andrews, a ClientEarth lawyer in the case, told EurActiv in a telephone interview. Air quality, he said "just doesn’t get the attention it should deserve." >> Read the Full Article
  • Johnson & Johnson making great progress on aggressive sustainability goals

    Johnson & Johnson just released its new CSR report, which highlights the company’s many achievements. In a few areas the company exceeded its goals, including reducing carbon emissions by seven percent by the end of 2010 from 1990 levels. Johnson & Johnson exceeded that goal by achieving a 23 percent reduction. Waste reduction is another area where the company exceeded its goal to reduce hazardous waste disposed by 10 percent and non-hazardous waste disposed by 10 percent from its 2005 baseline. The company decreased hazardous waste disposed by 25 percent and decreased non-hazardous waste disposed by 12 percent. Every CSR report touts a company’s achievements, and when it comes to managing climate change risks, Johnson & Johnson is on top of things. Every year it provides $40 million for energy and green gas reduction projects. In the last seven years, 112 energy reduction projects have been approved, and 94 of them have been completed. To date, $208 million has been spent. >> Read the Full Article
  • Pet owners show greater concern for the environment

    Two-thirds of pet owners say they try to be good to the environment for the sake of their pet as much as a family member, according to new research from the Purina Together We Can campaign. The survey suggests that pet owners want to ensure that their pets can enjoy the great outdoors and they also want to preserve the planet for future generations of their beloved cats and dogs. When asked specifically about recycling, 29% of pet owners said that they do it to protect the environment for their pet. Overall, Britain's pet owners are setting a great example with 88% of them recycling their household waste either 'always' or 'often'. >> Read the Full Article
  • Bill Clinton on Managing Scarce Resources

    Oxford University held its Re|Source forum recently, and former US President Bill Clinton addressed the group on the subject of scarce resources and how to manage their development and use in a way that is fair and equitable. The most important decision of the 21st century is whether the human race can learn to share its scarce natural resources for the common good, President Bill Clinton told delegates at Re|Source 2012 during a two-day forum at the University of Oxford. Clinton said: 'The only strategy that makes sense is the one that says we are going to share the world with other human beings and we will share its natural resources.' This, he said, 'is the fundamental decision of the 21st century.' This is an important issue, and the extent to which it can be fairly managed will make an enormous difference to us all. >> Read the Full Article
  • Apple Repeats love of EPEAT

    Last week ENN Affiliate TriplePundit covered Apple's withdrawal from EPEAT. Shortly after this, the city of San Francisco banned all its employees from using Apple products for city business as by law it is necessary that all IT equipment be 100 percent EPEAT certified. It was also expected that several education and government bodies would follow suit. Now, however, Apple has done a total U-turn and has come back to EPEAT. Apple's sustainability has always been under speculation for various reasons and the company has been reluctant to disclose many of its practices. EPEAT is an initiative spearheaded by the company itself, so it came as quite a shock when they withdrew from the standard. The main reason why the company pulled out in the first place was because of its new Macbook Pro with the retina screen which could not be easily recycled. One of the conditions to be EPEAT-certified is ease of recyclability of old electronics. >> Read the Full Article
  • Coal Miners suffering as energy mix shifts

    At some point today, you will probably flip on a light switch. That simple action connects you to the oldest and most plentiful source of American electricity: coal. Since the early 1880s — when Edison and Tesla pioneered the distribution of electrical power into our homes — most of that power has come from the process of burning coal. Four years ago, something started to change. First it was slow, and then this past month that change became dramatic. Coal now generates just 34 percent of our electricity, down from about 50 percent just four years ago. Now, the loss of coal as the dominant energy source is having damaging effects on the towns that once relied on the black rock for their livelihood. >> Read the Full Article