New writing… My latest piece for Eniday is now live, looking at the reasons why solar is hot in India right now and exploring some of the more unusual areas and applications of innovation – from trains and farms, to juicy fruit. With this fast-growth country already having reaffirmed its Paris commitments, the World Economic Forum has confidently been reporting that India might be set for a solar boom and recent events certainly seem to support that view. Follow the link for a fuller examination of the issues, drivers and trends that currently lie behind ‘India’s Solar Revolution’.
New writing... Pleased to say I have another piece published in The Times newspaper today, as part of a special report on Future-Proofing Procurement, by Raconteur. It looks at how the business supply chain is increasingly viewed as a value chain, with shared value being as much environmental and social, as it is economic:
The full 16-page report is available to view/download here.
So… Despite the fact my grapefruit already comes in a biodegradable protective skin all of its own, the supermarket has individually wrapped it in straight-to-landfill plastic for home delivery, complete with unwelcome news that the food has been treated with imzalil/thiabendazole/2-
My healthy breakfast suddenly seems a lot less sustainable (never mind the fact it has come all the way from South Africa) – not perhaps my best work as an eco consumer?!
New writing… Another of my recent pieces for Guardian Sustainable Business is now live, running in their paid-content section in the Circular Economy Zone, sponsored by SUEZ. The article explores England’s litter blight – from cigarette packets in the gutter, to pop bottles in the woods – and asks whether companies and brands can pick up the slack where government has fallen short:
The full Guardian series on Circular Economy with SUEZ can be viewed here.
New writing… Pleased to say I have had a further trio of pieces published in The Sunday Times newspaper this week, as part of a special Raconteur report on Project Management.
The first is a story of simple truths applied at scale and looks at how collaboration is critical to the success of a multi-stakeholder regeneration scheme such as Nine Elms. This mega-project on London’s South Bank is transforming a wasteland of vacant industrial sheds, derelict warehouses and a long-defunct power station, into the home of Apple in the UK, the new US embassy and a ‘mini-Manhattan’ of des-res skyscrapers:
My second piece explores the innovative feat of social entrepreneurship that is The Plastic Bank, tackling environmental pollution caused by ocean plastic and simultaneously helping alleviate poverty in some of the most disadvantaged parts of the world. As the name suggests the ‘bank’ is leveraging the benefits of blockchain digital currency to turn plastic waste into profit for people in need, not through charity, but opportunity:
The third article also investigates issues at sea, but this time looking at the illegal trawler operations exacerbating the problem of overfishing. Launched by none other than Hollywood star and committed eco-activist Leo DiCaprio, Global Fishing Watch uses the Google digital platform to map incidences of criminal activity. It also enlists the power of the people to help crowdsource data – we are now eco-crime-fighting citizen gamekeepers:
The full 16-page Project Management report is available to view/download here.
Withdrawal of the Trump administration from the Paris Agreement means America is one of only three nations (along with Nicaragua and Syria) and by far the largest not signed up to the international climate commitment to tackle human-made global warming.
Climate change, though, does not respect national or state borders – it is a universal, Planet Earth phenomenon and truly global in its scope and scale.
In many ways, incentivising climate action would be made much simpler if the degree of global warming did actually vary regionally and locally in strict proportion to respective direct (and indirect) impacts. Imagine how different the response might be, if particular countries and parts of the world with a larger carbon footprint experienced greater adverse effects in relative terms than those living more within their planetary means?
Sadly, it is almost the case that the opposite scenario holds true – those nations least at fault still bear much of the burden created by unsustainable industrialisation and consumerism running rampant for decades elsewhere.
In reality, climate change is indiscriminate and fundamentally unfair.
So, whilst I shall not be demanding anyone ‘Pledge Allegiance’ or ‘Salute’, I do ask you please to Fly the Flag, not least in support of all those states, cities, organisations, businesses, communities, families and individuals in the US who are working hard and living well in accordance with the principles of sustainability (and perhaps still hoping to bring about a change in Government policy).
Fly the Flag: We are all America now; and America is all of us.
History of the Ecology Flag:
According to Wikipedia, Look magazine incorporated the Ecology Symbol into an image of a flag in their April 21, 1970 issue. It widely popularised the theta symbol, associated with the Greek word thanatos (death) in light of human threats to the environment. The flag design was based on that of the United States and has 13 stripes alternating green and white, plus the Ecology Symbol in the upper left quadrant (canton) in the place of stars.
The Ecology Symbol (Theta):
The Ecology Symbol was originally created by cartoonist and artist Ron Cobb – who had worked on everything from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, to an album cover for rock band Jefferson Airplane. First published in 1969, it takes the letters ‘e‘ and ‘o‘ from the words ‘environment’ and ‘organism, then superimposes them on one another to form a shape reminiscent of the Greek letter θ (Theta).
New writing… Two more of my recent pieces for Guardian Sustainable Business are now live. Running in their paid-content section on Sustainable Electricals, sponsored by WRAP, the articles explore the business case for adoption and promotion of circular economy models in the sector, with particular reference to Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE):
- How and why businesses are persuading consumers to covet pre-loved product – ‘Re-use, repair, repeat: electronics retailers test out gadget trade-in schemes’; plus
- How the Internet of Things could help society conserve resources but only if we deal with smart tech at end-of-life – ‘How sensors could propel us closer to a resource-efficient world’.
The full Guardian series on Sustainable Electricals with WRAP can be viewed here.
New writing... Pleased to say I have another piece published in The Times newspaper today, as part of a special report on the Future of Construction, by Raconteur. It looks at how the construction sector stands accused as a polluter, but has an opportunity to clean up its act – not just on urban air quality, but environmental impacts and emissions in general, including carbon:
The full 16-page report is available to view/download here.
“This decision shows a stunning disregard for the well-being of people and the planet. President Trump will now have to answer for walking away from one of the most hard-fought and popular global achievements in recent memory. Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement will leave the U.S. diplomatically adrift, at odds with nearly 200 countries. There are now 194 countries united in their determination on climate, while a group of three – Syria, Nicaragua, and the United States – stand apart.
“New coalitions of states, cities and businesses will help fill the void, but people will not forget that the Trump administration let them down at this critical moment. For a self-proclaimed dealmaker, this decision is a clear loser. President Trump has flushed away years of hard work and skillful diplomacy, leaving Americans and future generations less secure and more isolated in the face of this existential challenge.” @worldresources
“The decision of the US Government to unilaterally withdraw from the UN Paris Climate Change Agreement is deplorable and flies in the face of scientific and economic evidence.
“The effects of climate change impact everyone, everywhere. The reckless actions of a single government must not be allowed to undermine the consensus reached in Paris in 2015.
“The transition to a low-carbon economy provides significant opportunities and those countries that face up to the challenge will be the ones that gain most economic benefit. The US risks missing out following the backwards step from the Trump Government.
“We urge US business and State leaders to make decisions based on scientific and economic evidence and continue to invest in renewable energy and low-carbon technology.” @iemanet
New writing... Pleased to say I had another piece published in The Times newspaper this month, as part of a special report on Asset Management, by Raconteur. It looks at how the rise of non-physical assets in the form of intangibles, plus ongoing digital transformation leading to emergence of an ‘internet of assets’ can both help an embattled asset manager get their voice heard by the C-Suite:
The full 16-page Asset Management report is available to view/download here.