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September 27, 2013

Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis Summary for Policymakers published

The report says warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen, and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased.

The report is available from the IPCC web site.

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category : Topics

September 26, 2013

Government to promote green building policy

The state government is all set to implement the Green Building Policy, mooted by the Public Works Department (PWD), with the intention of promoting eco-friendly techniques aimed at energy conservation. There are also plans to install energy-saving equipment at the existing government offices, which will help save energy. The proposal for extending relaxation in construction of building and tax deductions for private buildings are also under government consideration.

According to the Green Policy, the state can announce annual awards for local bodies, including Corporations, municipalities and other urban bodies which are involved in undertaking green building activities. It was also proposed that the government take necessary steps to signing a MoU with Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) Secretariat in the presence of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) for large-scale promotion of green buildings in the state and to get all new important buildings rated.

When compared to the amount spent for power generation, the green building concept will reduce the expenditure of the government. In the future, the consumption of power will be through alternative energy, says green building expert B R Ajith, chairman of Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) ? Cochin Chapter.

Read more at Eco-Business.

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category : Topics

September 24, 2013

Plastic bag reprocessing plant turns waste into useful products

PlasRecycle has built the UK’s first facility for reprocessing post-consumer polythene bags and packaging films to produce a plastic granulate that can be used for making new bags.

The Woolwich, South East London plant has the capacity to recycle 1 metric ton of plastic packaging and will save around 1.5 metric tons of carbon dioxide. The plant can process 20,000 metric tons per year of used plastic films sourced from waste companies and retailers. The clean plastic granulate that’s produced at the plant can be used in the manufacture of new black sacks and carrier bags, the company says.

PlasRecycle worked for three years developing the high-tech proprietary process to convert what has historically been regarded as waste into a useful product.

Read more at Environmental Leader.

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category : Topics

September 14, 2013

Spurring green consumerism through governance and design

Governance can help to actively encourage green behavior from both consumers and industry, but good design is also the key to enabling green consumerism, say speakers at the International Green Building Conference.

Speaking to delegates at the three-day summit held at Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre, Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority (BCA) group director Tan Tian Chong noted that the success of green buildings depends on users. “Ultimately, the consumers must drive the green building movement, if it is to be sustainable,” he said. They must be persuaded and educated to make more responsible use of technology.

Efforts to educate users will be the guiding philosophy for BCA’s third green building master plan, which will focus on developing green behavior among building users. Green building in Singapore is heavily driven by government efforts, which aim to bring on board the entire construction industry value chain from developers and designers to engineers and building managers.

Currently, the government’s initiatives are taking on a more occupant-centric approach, Mr. Tan shared. The reasons are two-fold: on the one hand, BCA’s statistics indicate that tenants account for 50 per4cent of a commercial building’s energy consumption, making them a natural target for green education. On the other hand, the health and productivity value of green buildings will be vital for creating asset demand for such buildings. Hence, the Green Mark rating scheme is slowly being adjusted to place greater weight on occupant well-being.

Read more at Eco-Business.

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category : Topics

September 5, 2013

Consumer electronics companies green up industry

Sony’s development of SoRPlas ? it’s proprietary recycled plastic ? is just one example of how consumer electronics companies are becoming more environmentally friendly, according to the Consumer Electronics Association’s latest sustainability report.

The report tracks the industry’s green efforts and includes more than two dozen case studies from various electronics companies such as Best Buy, Sharp and FulTech Solutions illustrating challenges and accomplishments in their environmental efforts. The report also documents and illustrates green practices across the industry.

The Second Annual Report of the eCycling Leadership Initiative said that consumer electronics companies working in the eCycling Leadership Initiative recycled 585 million pounds of electronics in 2012, up from 460 million pounds in 2011. This represents a total increase of 95 percent since 2010. The report singles out Apple, Best Buy, Dell, HP and Samsung as the top recyclers of 2012.

Read more at Environmental Leader.

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category : Topics

September 4, 2013

WRAP aims to boost resource re-use with new standard

Businesses could soon find it easier to buy and sell products and materials for re-use following the unveiling of a proposed standard designed to ensure that re-use schemes adhere to agreed quality control measures.

The government-backed Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) launched a consultation on the draft Re-use Standard 2013 that sets out generic quality assurance processes that organizations would have to follow when offering products for re-use. The proposed standard also includes a number of specific requirements for products that are commonly made available for re-use, such as electrical equipment, textiles, and furniture.

Dr. David Moon, head of resource efficiency in products and services at WRAP, said the standard could provide a major boost to a re-use sector that promises to deliver significant environmental and cost benefits for businesses and the wider economy.

“An important constraint on the growth of this sector is weak consumer confidence in the quality of products offered for re-sale,” he said in a statement. “This is partly due to the shortage of publicly available standards for preparing such items. The Re-use Standard will address this gap, and we now welcome comments that will help shape the standard.”

The new regulations will come into force from the start of next year and will require all organizations to recycle plastic, metal, glass, paper and card, while most food businesses will also have to recycle food waste. Failure to comply with the new rules could result in a fine.

Read more at Business Green.

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category : Topics

September 3, 2013

Beijing unveils new package of measures to curb pollution

Beijing’s municipal government released new measures to cut down on vehicle emissions in a bid to reduce the city’s spiraling smog and pollution levels. The measures include restricting the number of new cars, promoting new energy vehicles, enforcing traffic controls, and adding more than 480 kilometers of bus lanes and introducing a public bike rental scheme.

The package of measures is part of an action plan from the government which aims to cut the density of PM2.5 25% by 2017, to around 60 micrograms per cubic meter. PM2.5 is an air pollutant that is linked to sever health risks, and which reached an extremely toxic level of 382 earlier in the summer. In the first six months of 2013, the average density of PM2.5 was 115 micrograms; more than three times the regulated daily standard of 35 for most countries.

Changhua Wu, Greater China Director, The Climate Group, said: “Control of vehicular pollution is one of the biggest priorities for Beijing to address its notorious air pollution. I applaud the recent intensive actions taken by the municipal government to adopt a more integrated approach to tackle the PM2.5 challenge. In the last decades, we have witnessed literally the pathway Beijing has taken; from bicycle-friendly city to a traffic-jammed city, with a rapidly rising air pollution concern. The specific targets set today, if taken seriously, are expected to turn the situation around.”

Read more at The Clean Revolution.

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category : Topics

September 3, 2013

UK’s first carton recycling plant opens

The UK’s recycling industry has received a major boost with the opening of the first facility capable of turning beverage cartons into usable materials. The new facility in Stainland near Halifax boasts enough capacity to recycle up to 40 percent of the cartons use in the UK each year, meaning it could recycle up to 1.25 billion cartons a year.

The plant has been developed as a joint venture between paper and packaging firm Sonoco Alcore and the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE) UK, an industry group representing leading packaging manufacturers Tetra Pak, Elopak, and SIG Combibloc.

To date, beverage cartons collected by councils for recycling have been shipped overseas for processing, leading to higher recycling costs and greenhouse gas emissions. The development of domestic recycling capacity aims to reduce costs and greenhouse gas emissions ? the companies estimate it will be able to cut carbon emissions by 122 tons a year compared to the current practice of shipping cartons for recycling in Sweden.

Read more at Business Green.

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