New writing… My latest piece for The Hub – the award-winning content platform curated by Mitsubishi Electric – looks at climate risk and extreme weather events, particularly as they affect business. In addition to the tragic loss of over 10,000 lives last year alone, the cost of natural disasters in terms of consumption ran to more than half a trillion Dollars. Furthermore, major ports worldwide are having to factor into their forward planning the threat of disruption from the effects of ongoing sea-level rise. To discover the scary and compelling statistics that tell the climate breakdown story, please read ‘Risk: wildfires, hurricanes & Brexit‘. (If you are interested in learning what business can do to help mitigate this risk, the second instalment in this two-parter – ‘Resilience’ – will follow on The Hub shortly… )
Perhaps the worst aspect of microplastic pollution is that no effective and efficient way of removing the full range of debris has yet been found.
The EU has, however, recently proposed a wide-ranging ban on the use of ‘intentionally added’ microplastics, which if approved into law could see a phase-out starting 2020.
Meantime, recovering plastics from oceans and recycling them before they start to break down into small fragments is one way to fight this kind of pollution. When recycled, these plastics are used to create sustainable products.
This excellent infographic below, from Roman Chaloupka and GreenMatch, tells us more about how Microplastics Threaten Our Environment.
New writing… My latest piece for The Hub – the award-winning content platform curated by Mitsubishi Electric – looks at the mood going into Davos and the messages coming out. Located high in the Swiss Alps, Davos is the exclusive venue for the influential annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF). It is where thought-leaders and heavy-hitters from the worlds of politics, economics, business, celebrity and media gather together every January to debate the state of the planet and the big issues, most notably clmate change. Heading into this year’s get-together, the pressure was rising on the international community, particularly in light of the latest IPCC report and sluggish response by national governments to turn talk into action on global warming targets set out in the Paris Agreement. The good news was that the circular economy proved a big story at the summit, with the launch of the Circularity Gap Report 2019 (see video above) truly establishing and evidencing the link with climate change. (Full disclosure: I personally am listed as one of the Contributing Authors on the report.) To learn why a 1.5°C world has to be more than 9% circular, please visit The Hub via the link here and read about ‘Circularity: the word snowballing down from Davos‘
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 Engineering.
Demand for engineering skills in the UK could mean onboarding as many as 265,000 new recruits a year through to 2024, equivalent to the population of Plymouth, every 12 months. That is a lot of engineers. However, locked in the grip of a choking skills shortage right now, the engineering sector faces tough questions about how best to attract those new recruits and equip them for lifelong employment. What combination of soft skills and hard technical proficiency will prove a good fit in the modern working environment? Are UK universities and colleges providing graduates and leavers with the necessary mix? Are employers helping an ageing workforce adapt to the demands of an increasingly digital job spec? Could more be done to assist experienced engineers with transferable skillsets transition from declining industries into new markets? Is the Apprenticeship Levy a stealth tax, or a boon? For expert insights into what skills engineers of the future might need, you can read the full article here:
The full 16-page Future of Engineering report is available to view/download here.
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 Construction.
BAMB is on a mission: its goal is a systemic shift in sustainable building; its focus, construction waste and material consumption. As the name implies, Buildings as Material Banks (BAMB) reimagines a building as a dynamic repository of value, where tradable material assets can be deposited, data tracked, transferred and withdrawn. Three major changes support the BAMB vision for circular transition: change in design culture, value definition and collaboration. The question is, can a relatively traditional industry such as construction truly embrace the systemic change called for by a circular economy? What would such a shift mean in terms of technology, but more imporantly culture? Furthermore, how might it play out worldwide – across global development markets maturing at different speeds, with different histories of urbanisation? Getting down to project particulars, the article also includes a case study of an inner-city school in Swansea, Wales, which has just set new industry standards, achieving 99.87 per cent diversion from landfill. You can read more about both the scale of the material challenge and the exciting opportunities to close the circularity gap, here:
The full 16-page Future of Construction & Development report is available to view/download here.