Are businesses facing fuel poverty, too?

New writing… My latest piece for The Hub – the award-winning content platform curated by Mitsubishi Electric – tackles the burning issue of fuel poverty. As the nights start drawing in and many of us decide it is time to fire up the central heating once more, the prospect facing one in nine households is altogether bleaker. The dreaded ‘heat or eat’ dilemma is going to be back on the table for a depressingly large number of UK citizens again this winter, as energy prices continue to rise further and faster than domestic budgets can stretch. In a different way, the challenge of affordability is also arguably moving up the energy agenda for companies. So, as the economic picture darkens and the temperature drops, I ask: ‘Are businesses facing fuel poverty, too?’

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Learning to love carbon: ‘Responsible Business’ in The Times

New writing… Pleased to say I have had another article published in The Times newspaper, as part of a special Raconteur report on Responsible Business.

Restorative is radical. To do more good, rather than just less harm, sounds simple enough, but it is actually revolutionary for responsible business. For a start, you need to love carbon. From a perspective of the grand energy transition, carbon is obviously in play, commercially speaking. When it comes to the language of financial instruments and commodities, there is already a market for carbon, which can be counted, priced, traded and offset. Reimagining carbon as an asset, though, means considering it afresh in all its forms, from efficiency savings to ecological sequestration. My piece explores the benefits of restorative approaches to business and obstacles to delivering on those aspirations: from the principles of Net Positive, to the challenges of supply-chain engagement; and from carpet, to construction:

‘Restorative business revolutionising carbon use’.

The full 20-page Responsibe Business report is available to view/download here.

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Resource as a human right: ‘Future of Water’ in The Times

New writing… Pleased to say I have had another article published in The Times newspaper, as part of a special Raconteur report on the Future of Water.

For many, water scarcity is a problem in the post. By 2025, one in every two people on the planet will live with water stress. For one in nine, the problem is already here. The World Health Organization estimates 844 million people lack basic drinking water; some two billion use a source contaminated with faeces. In response, the United Nations made water and sanitation a matter of human rights, declared and defined, in 2010. My piece assesses progress against the aspirations of the SDGs and discusses the risks impacting the sustainability of our most precious resource, from climate to conflict, from Ethiopia to Ukraine:

‘Supporting the human right to water’.

The full 16-page Future of Water report is available to view/download here.

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Building for climate resilience – from cold snap, to heatwave

New writing… My second piece for The Hub – the award-winning content platform curated by Mitsubishi Electric – tackles climate resilience in the built environment. It looks at how we can design, build and operate properties and places capable of coping with extreme weather – regardless of whether the forecast is for a Beast from the East, or a hosepipe-banning heatwave. Is it all just a question of adaptability? Should providing sustainable comfort in weather such as this sweltering summer actually be relatively straightforward? Is keeping cool only a matter of being adequately prepared? Well, not exactly… As cooling becomes the new heating, there is more to climate resilience than simply specifying extra kit, if we want ‘Buildings that won’t blow hot and cold’.

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Plastics & Circularity: ‘Future of Packaging’ in The Times

New writing…. Pleased to say I have had another couple of articles published in The Times newspaper, as part of a special Raconteur report on the Future of Packaging.

Ocean plastic is not a new problem, however it took David Attenborough and Blue Planet II to turn the tide of public opinion. My opening article investigates how prime-time endorsement of the core sustainability message proved a public gamechanger, but there is still a long way to go before we reach peak plastic in our waste streams. From high-street retail and global brands, to entrepreneurial start-ups and consumer activism, I am sharing smart insights of key influencers and seeking out sustainable solutions to the problems of a packaging sector under intense pressure. Issues are complex and commercial realities a challenge, but the question remains:

‘What next after Blue Planet?’

The first step towards fixing something is often to admit it is actually broken. Well, the plastics system is broken. So, since the problem is big, the fix must be even bigger, right? My second piece for the report explores how society must move away from the ‘take, make, dispose’ mindset that has long-informed linear consumption patterns and business models, towards a win-win scenario that simultaneously keeps plastics in the economy, but out of the environment. This discussion of proposals and prospects for the New Plastics Economy and UK Plastics Pact includes interviews with project leads at both the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and WRAP UK:

‘UK Plastics Pact is central to forming a circular economy’

The full 24-page Future of Packaging report is available to view/download here.

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