Category Archives: Climate

National Trust hires Kids’ Council

The National Trust has announced that, following a recruitment drive over the summer holidays, a group of ten youngsters, aged between seven and 11 from across the country, have been recruited by the charity for its Kid’s Council. The children will help the charity to evolve its ’50 Things To Do Before You‘re 11¾’ campaign and provide advice on how National Trust places can spark more children’s interest in nature and the outdoors.

The new Kids’ Council held its inaugural meeting at Dyrham Park near Bath and jumped into their roles with gusto. Having all tackled the ’50 Things’ list, the children are passionate about wildlife and outside activities and brimming with ideas to make the National Trust more engaging for youngsters.

Their first proposal to create a mud slide was put into practise with the help of a large hillside and Rob Holden, Head Ranger at Dyrham Park. Installing rope swings at National Trust places and creating a country-wide nature trail were other ideas discussed by the young councillors

The nationwide search for the youngsters opened in August and attracted hundreds of applications from across the UK. The National Trust judges were looking for imaginative and enthusiastic candidates who showed a real passion for the outdoors. The response from the nation’s children both inspired and delighted the judging panel with the applicants sending in photos, drawing pictures and even creating treasure maps.

Some of the more weird and wonderful suggestions that came up in some of the applications included meerkats at National Trust properties, barefoot nature walks and going inside a large rabbit hole to “see what it’s like being a rabbit”.

The successful applicants forming the new Kids’ Council are:

– Jessica Swales, aged 8 from North Yorkshire
– Max Hodgson, aged 8 from West Midlands
– Francesca Carrannante, aged 8 from London
– Kai Bickley, aged 7 from West Midlands
– Kit Le Froy, aged 8 from Cornwall
– Leif Wilson-Palmer, aged 8 from Gloucestershire
– Harry Wilson, aged 10 from Bristol
– Mia McDade, aged 8 from Stockport
– Sophia Tarling, aged 8 from Norwich
– Iona Howells, aged 11 from Kent

The members of the Kids’ Council and their families will be able to visit all National Trust places throughout the year to gain a true and deep understanding of what the National Trust has to offer. The children will report to the Getting Outdoors and Closer to Nature Programme board at the National Trust, and will share their recommendations at four meetings across the year.

Tony Berry, Visitor Experience Director of the National Trust, commented: “The applicants were imaginative, adventurous and exciting and we cannot wait to hear their views and start bringing their recommendations to life. The sheer number of applications shows that the children of Britain do want to get outdoors, have fun and connect with nature and our mission is to make this as accessible to all children as possible.”

Iona Howells, aged 11 from the Kids’ Council, said: “I am really proud to be part of the Kids’ Council. I want to make other children see that being outdoors can be fun and the National Trust has some great places where you can have heaps of fun – I hate sitting still inside so it is great to be part of getting other kids to play outside.”

Via EPR Network
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Banana sourcing policy holds key to feeding the world’s growing population says The Co-operative

Banana sourcing policy holds key to feeding the world’s growing population says The Co-operative.

In a move to mark this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight, The Co-operative today (Monday 27 February) announced a new banana sourcing policy, which could be the blueprint for feeding the world’s growing population.

The Co-operative, which was the first to launch Fairtrade bananas into the UK, has now switched all its bananas to 100% Fairtrade, with a unique sourcing model demonstrating unrivalled commitment to fellow co-operatives and small-scale growers, who between them will supply the bananas on a 50/50 basis.

All of The Co-operative’s bananas are now supplied by fellow co-operatives, 23 of which are made up of thousands of smallholder growers from countries including Peru, Colombia and Ecuador.

Bananas are the most popular fruit in the UK, and The Co-operative sells a staggering 230 million bananas a year – enough to circle the globe.

As part of its groundbreaking Ethical Plan, The Co-operative has pledged that if products can be labelled as Fairtrade, they will be, and by the end of 2013, the retailer hopes to be 90% towards this target.

Oxfam, which has teamed up with The Co-operative, believes that smallholder producers, many of which are co-operatives, are the key to feeding the extra two billion people that it is estimated will be on the planet by 2050, despite the gathering pace of climate change and dwindling natural resources. Together The Co-operative and Oxfam will campaign for increased international investment to help smallholder growers and co-operatives to feed the world sustainably.

At a time when the United Nations has designated 2012 as the International Year of Co-operatives, they will also help to ensure that the role co-operatives play worldwide is recognised.

Group Chief Executive Peter Marks said: “Despite the economic downturn, Fairtrade sales in the UK continue to grow, and support for Fairtrade from our own customers and members is as strong as ever.

The switch to 100% Fairtrade bananas in more than 4,000 Co-operative stores in the UK is a demonstration of this commitment to Fairtrade, co-operatives and small-scale farmers.

“However, having been instrumental in bringing Fairtrade into the mainstream, we recognise the unique role we can play as a co-operative in going beyond Fairtrade and increasing support for our producers to tackle global poverty.

“Our new partnership with Oxfam is an example of this and is particularly timely given it’s the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives.”

Via EPR Network
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Green Schools App From The Co-operative Gains Five Star Feedback

The Co-operative Group’s revolutionary Green Schools app has made a strong start in Apple’s iTunes store since it was launched one week ago (Friday 9).

The game, which is compatible with the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, encourages kids, teens and adults to learn about green issues while battling to complete a number of different challenges and levels. The Green Schools app, which is available to download for free from iTunes, has already gained 27 ratings and has a current ranking of five stars out of five (correct at time of writing).

Feedback left by one gamer read: “Great game. Loads of fun. The kids are beating me!!!”

‘McrGiant’ wrote: “Love this app – nice game play and I can see it will be a great game for parents to get their kids to play AND learn stuff too. Well done.”

Others described the app as “fast & fun”, “fab green fun!” and “great educational app”.

So far the free app, which was launched as part of The Co-operative’s Green Schools Revolution has been downloaded 300 times and The Co-operative Group is really pleased with how well it is being received.

Melanie Phillips, who heads up Green Schools Revolution for The Co-operative Group, said: “We are really proud of the Green Schools app and it’s really nice to see that people love the game and are recommending it to their friends.

“When creating the design brief for this app we wanted to make sure that the games were primarily fun but that they also had a green twist, and we think this balance has been achieved really successfully.”

For those who want to download the free Green Schools Revolution game, it can be found on the App Store by searching ‘Green Schools’.

[ENDS]
Notes to editors:

1. The app is available to download free from the iTunes store by searching ‘Green Schools’.
2. Green Schools Revolution is a comprehensive learning resource prepared by education specialists and available to all UK primary and secondary schools for free.
3. Over 3,500 primary and secondary schools across the country are registered for Green Schools Revolution.
4. Registered schools have access to a range of free cross-curricular classroom resources and activities through www.greenschools.coop, giving young people and teachers the tools to inspire change in their schools, homes and local communities.
5. The Co-operative is offering schools free fun and educational visits to its own wind farm to see renewable energy in action and to seven Co-operative Farms to see first hand how food grows and how to cook it. Schools will be able to take advantage of free high visibility jackets to help set up “walking buses”, helping them take practical action to cut their carbon emissions.
6. The Co-operative’s Ethical Plan has 47 distinct targets, among them a cultural shift in youth perception and opportunities for young people through Green Schools Revolution, an Apprenticeship Academy and the creation of 200 Co-operative Schools by 2013.
7. As Britain’s largest farmer over 50,000 children have visited one of our 15 Co-operative Farms, gaining hands-on experience about where their food comes from.
8. The Co-operative Group is the UK’s largest mutual business, owned not by private shareholders but by over six million consumers. It is the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer, the leading convenience store operator and a major financial services provider, operating The Co-operative Bank, Britannia and The Co-operative Insurance.

Among its other businesses are the number one funeral services provider and Britain’s largest farming operation. As well as having clear financial and operational objectives, the Group has also set out its social and sustainability goals in its groundbreaking Ethical Plan, which specifies almost 50 commitments in these areas. The Group operates 4,800 retail trading outlets, employs more than 106,000 people and has an annual turnover of more than £13bn. Further information is available at www.co-operative.coop.

Via EPR Network
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New Green App For Eco-Gamers

The Co-operative Group releases innovative new children’s gaming app on Apple’s iTunes store!

From today (9 December), kids, teenagers and adults with an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch can download the Green Schools app from iTunes and get tackling the addictive eco-tasks straightaway. By downloading the new Green Schools Revolution game, kids up and down the UK can battle it out to become the ultimate eco warrior.

According to a recent study by The Co-operative Group, over 90 per cent of children want to learn more about green issues* and this fun new app, being launched today, sets kids on a mission to become green revolutionaries.

By downloading the free app to their iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, kids can race against time to harvest the carrots before the rabbit gets them, turn off the taps to save the duck in the bath tub and save energy by switching off lights whilst putting their green knowledge to the test to unlock the secret bonus level and become an eco warrior.

With fun quizzes about energy, water and healthy living, the app is a great way to learn important lessons while having loads of family fun this Christmas!

Melanie Phillips, who heads up Green Schools Revolution for The Co-operative, said: “We are lucky that our youngsters have such a tremendous appetite to learn more about green issues.

“Our new Green Schools Revolution app is a fun and engaging way to help children and young people learn about building a more sustainable world whilst competing with their friends and family to become eco warriors!”

The Co-operative’s Green Schools Revolution education programme, part of its Inspiring Young People campaign, was launched in 3,000 primary and secondary schools in September by farmer and TV presenter Jimmy Doherty. It has been designed to inspire the next generation of green pioneers, with free lessons, trips and green activities available to all UK primary and secondary schools.

You can download this exciting app, available on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, from the iTunes store from today (9 December). Simply search the app store on iTunes for ‘green schools’ to download the game for free or visit the Green Schools Revolution site to find out more about the app and the initiative.

*Opinion Matters interviewed 1,027 children aged between 7 and 14 and 1,002 parents of children aged 7 to 14 in August 2011.

Via EPR Network
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Rebuilding the Amazon Rainforest One Tree at a Time

What is Amazing Forest?

Yes, the Amazon rainforest is being cut down as you read this. 17% is already gone. The world’s lungs – as it’s referred to – is decreasing in size. Yes, everyone knows this. But what can we really do about it? The Amazing Forest is a chance to do something right from where you are, sitting in your chair, a few clicks and USD 60 away.

Amazing Forest is the venue where people from all over the world are combining their efforts into one single strain to restore the Amazon rainforest to its original state.

We sell trees. Not trees to be delivered to your door, but to be planted on your behalf, in your name, in a designated specific area of the Amazon rainforest. The trees being planted are new trees. So, instead of preserving already existing areas of the rainforest, the Amazing Forest is actually reversing deforestation. We take so much from Earth everyday; this is a way to give something back to it.

It’s a common saying that, to eternalise your passage in this life, one must have children, write a book and plant a tree. Well, the four tree species that are currently being planted in the Amazing Forest (they are native species typical of the region: jatoba, copaiba, ipe rosa and louro freijo) live in average 200 years.

And what’s cool about it, people get their own tree, which will never be cut down and remain throughout its life individualised by a name tag, with the name they choose for it.

“We want to give people the opportunity to make a difference for the environment while leaving their own positive footprint in the planet”, says Rodrigo Nascimbeni, the founding partner of the company, “a footprint so tangible and concrete that people can come and see it, show to their children, to their great-grand-children, to their friends…” he goes on referring to the fact that customers can visit their tagged trees in situ while walking inside the real Amazon rainforest.

Amazing Forest goes much beyond simply selling trees online, it is each person’s way to contribute to a better world and to guarantee that future generations will share the same bliss to live here on our planet.

And, better yet, this noble act of planting a tree and committing to a better world can be renewed as often as wanted. Each tree is sold for USD 60.

Besides doing your share of good for a better planet, people can buy trees either as a present for a loved one, a memorial, a way to mark an important occasion or as a simple and convenient method of offsetting their carbon emissions.

Amazing Forest launched on Monday the 23rd of May 2011. The first piece of land to be replanted is situated approximately 34 miles outside the city of Boa Vista, Roraima State in North Brazil (if you go to Google Maps, we’re right where the green arrow points to at these coordinates 2 29 44.40 N 60 56 40.85 W).

The Amazon rainforest is the world’s largest rainforest. It is the home of the world’s richest area of plant and animal diversity and an enormous source of potential lifesaving medicines. Not only that, it is a massive carbon sink that acts as the lungs of the world. Sadly, it is believed that “at current [deforestation] rates, 55% of [the Amazon’s] rain forests could be gone by 2030 – a looming disaster not only for the region’s plants and animals, but for the world”. (Quote Source: http://www.worldwildlife.org/what/wherewework/amazon/)

Who is behind Amazing Forest
Amazing Forest is the realisation of four guys. It all started when the Brazilian Rodrigo Nascimbeni and the New Zealander Ben Cook, two lifelong friends, decided to take on this journey.

“We don’t believe that the size of a task should limit your ambition,” says Ben Cook. “The sad fact is that over 17% of this forest which is so integral to the health of our planet has been devastated by deforestation. If we all wait for someone else to take on this problem then we might just be too late. Rodrigo and I believe we have the passion and the skills to make this project work as a viable business where we can have fun whilst using our respective abilities to actually do something positive for the world we live in.”

Before launching Amazing Forest, Rodrigo created something called a receivables investment fund, the first one in Brazil. He also started and managed a few companies in the financial sector – which means he probably just gave up a successful international career in Investment Banking to plant trees in the Amazon rainforest.

Ben, although he achieved an honours degree in Plant Science, is the co-founder of Shake Interactive, a digital marketing agency operating from South Africa and the UK.

The two met in 1993 when Ben took part in a Rotary youth exchange programme in the tiny town of Votuporanga in Brazil. What started as a mutual need to learn the others native tongue ended in a lifelong friendship. Both have always wanted to work together but their respective careers had taken them in opposite directions and to different hemispheres.

As Amazing Forest was boiling inside their minds, they met Manuel Haas and Florian Herzog, two German Forest Engineers – also lifelong friends – living in Brazil and widely experienced in rainforest management and regeneration. Manuel and Florian came on board at the founding stages and are now an integral part of the team.

Via EPR Network
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The Co-operative Launches Most Radical Corporate Ethical Plan and Encourages Customers to Join the Revolution

Group encourages customers to Join the Revolution as it announces the most radical sustainability programme in UK corporate history that will spearhead its membership drive and help build a more sustainable economy.

The Co-operative Group today (18 February) set a new benchmark for corporate sustainability in the UK, which will support its aim to have 20 million members during this decade and boost the move to a more environmentally sound and just UK economy.

Among the groundbreaking pledges in The Co-operative’s new Ethical Operating Plan are:
+ the toughest operational carbon reduction targets of any major business, and the deployment of £1billion of green energy finance by 2013
+ the most radical Fairtrade conversion programme ever undertaken
+ the world’s first ethically screened general insurance products
+ a three-fold increase in membership from 6 million to 20 million by 2020
+ significantly enhanced funding for co-operative enterprises and schools

After enjoying a strong economic renaissance, which has seen it double revenues, double profits and double membership over the past three years, The Co-operative is launching a new three year rolling programme, which encompasses all its businesses and sets out a joined up set of goals and targets to drive its ethical and co-operative aspirations.

In raising the bar across key areas including the environment, ethical finance, global poverty, animal welfare, social fairness, health and community enterprise, The Co-operative will demonstrate that the quiet revolution that began in Rochdale in 1844 is still as relevant as ever.

Furthermore, in early March, The Co-operative will launch a radical new advertising campaign that will showcase the sheer breadth and impact of its community and co-operative initiatives and will urge customers to the join The Co-operative revolution.

Group Chief Executive Peter Marks said: “Our ambition is to build a better society and this Plan will stimulate and reinforce the unique benefit of the consumer co-operative model.

“At a time when UK society is picking up the pieces from a recession exacerbated by corporate greed and speculation, we are seeking to show that there is another way. The plc model is not the only game in town. It is possible for business to embrace the efficiencies of the market economy and also the need for robust legislation to ensure that progress is sustainable and just.

“Taken together, we believe the measures and pledges set out in our Ethical Plan raise the bar on corporate sustainability. Over the next 10 years working with our customers, members, suppliers, staff and communities we believe we really can make Britain even better.

Leading environmentalist Jonathon Porritt said: “By launching this Ethical Plan, the Co-operative is taking corporate sustainability into a new era. Other businesses will now be seeking to benchmark themselves against this Plan”.

Harriet Lamb, Executive Director of the Fairtrade Foundation said: “Always a pioneer of Fairtrade, The Co-operative’s commitment to ensuring that virtually all primary commodities that can be Fairtrade will be Fairtrade sets the bar anew for the corporate world.

Via EPR Network
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Sky Pro Tour Cycling Team Help Save A Billion Trees

Team Sky, the UK’s only Pro Tour Cycling Team, has changed its colours from blue to green for this year’s Tour of Britain to help raise awareness of Sky Rainforest Rescue, which aims to help save one billion trees in the Amazon rainforest.

The Sky Rainforest Rescue kit as worn by Team Sky is currently being auctioned off on Going Going Bike. The Team Sky and Sky Rainforest Rescue auction star lot is the bike actually ridden by Tour de France and Olympic Star Bradley Wiggins during the Tour of Britain – a £14,000 Pinarello Dogma.

100% of all winning bids will go directly to Sky Rainforest Rescue and all money raised through Sky Rainforest Rescue will be donated to WWF-UK. Sky will donate a further £1 to WWF-UK to match each £1 raised through Sky Rainforest Rescue, and has guaranteed to contribute a total of £2million to help reach the campaign target of £4millon.

Sky Rainforest Rescue is a three year Sky and WWF campaign to help save one billion trees in the state of Acre, northwest Brazil. With deforestation now responsible for roughly 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions and an area the size of three football pitches is destroyed every minute in the Amazon Rainforest, Sky Rainforest Rescue is highlighting the crucial need for people to act now to help tackle this potentially devastating global issue.

Via EPR Network
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The Co-operative Group Presents ‘The Tarnished Earth Street Gallery’

Tarnished Earth, a dramatic street gallery of photographs telling the story of one of the world’s biggest ecological disasters is open FREE to anyone walking along the morelondon site on London’s Southbank (between London Bridge and Tower Bridge) for four weeks from 14th September.

The FREE outdoor photo exhibition will then tour the country, making an impact in busy public areas in cities across the UK by Spring 2011.

The striking images will show how Canada’s magnificent Boreal Forest is being destroyed and polluted by the rush to extract oil from the tar sands just below the surface.

Tarnished Earth, which is being staged by The Co-operative, in conjunction with WWF-UK and Greenpeace, will contrast the destruction caused by the oil extraction with the area’s pristine wilderness and the traditional way of life of the indigenous First Nation Cree.

The street gallery is the latest chapter in The Co-operative’s Toxic Fuels campaign, which aims to stop tar sands expansion. The greenhouse gas emissions from tar sands oil is far greater than those of conventional oil, and its exploitation alone would be sufficient to take us to the brink of runaway climate change.

The story of the Albertan tar sands developments and the devastating impact they are having on the environment and local First Nation communities is told in the film Dirty Oil, which was also supported by The Co-operative. The film is available to buy on DVD from 13th September.

Via EPR Network
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Team Sky To Help Save One Billion Trees In The Amazon

For the first time ever, riders competing in The Tour of Britain for Team Sky will be raising awareness of deforestation in the Amazon by wearing a Sky Rainforest Rescue inspired kit. The tour kicks off in Rochdale on Saturday 11th September and ends in London the following weekend.

Sky Rainforest Rescue is a three year campaign between Sky and WWF to help save a billion trees in the state of Acre, northwest Brazil. Deforestation is now responsible for roughly 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions and an area the size of three football pitches is destroyed every minute in the Amazon rainforest.

Richard Harris, WWF’s Fundraising Project Manager said: “The more people that know about the work we are carrying out in the Amazon rainforest to improve people’s lives and protect the amazing species and habitat, the more likely they are to support the cause. We are delighted that Team Sky have decided to support Sky Rainforest Rescue.”

Team Sky riders will be sporting Sky Rainforest Rescue branded jerseys, glasses, helmets, water bottles, saddles and bikes as they travel across the country competing in this exciting road race.

Riders competing for Team Sky include Steve Cummings, Russell Downing, Mathew Hayman, Greg Henderson, Geraint Thomas and Bradley Wiggins.

Team Sky’s Bradley Wiggins commented: “Wearing this unique Sky Rainforest Rescue kit during the Tour of Britain is a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness for a really important issue and help reach the target of raising £4 million* to save 1
billion trees in the Amazon.”

Sky Rainforest Rescue offers a number of ways for people to help Sky and WWF tackle deforestation; for just £3 a month you can sponsor an acre of rainforest or adopt a jaguar, and a donation of £20 will help save 1000 tress.

Via EPR Network
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Caribou Extinction Is The Latest Environmental Threat To Oil Industry

The possible extinction of the woodland caribou in Alberta, Canada is the latest environmental disaster threatening to disrupt the oil industry, according to a new report issued today (15/7/10) by The Co-operative.

Woodland caribou, once common in the boreal forest of Alberta, are now threatened with extinction in the region by rapidly expanding developments extracting oil from the tar sands. Under Canadian law the government has a duty to protect the habitat of woodland caribou; however, to date, next to no action has been taken. In response Cree indigenous communities living in the area are now calling for an immediate moratorium with immediate effect, on all new industrial developments in those areas within caribou habitat.

This would have major consequences for oil industry expansion plans for the tar sands, including BP’s recently announced Kirby tar sands project which would lie within critical habitat.

As part of its Toxic Fuels Campaign as well as other environmental campaigns such as Climate Change Facts, The Co-operative is working with the Beaver Lake Cree Nation, a small indigenous community in northeast Alberta whose traditional territories cover 30 per cent of all existing Albertan tar sands operations.

An expert study by Dr Stan Boutin of the University of Alberta and funded by The Co-operative, looked at the two caribou herds within the Beaver Lake Cree’s traditional territories, an area the size of Switzerland. It found that only 175 – 275 caribou remain, down 10 fold on historic numbers, and that these herds are facing extinction by 2025 without immediate habitat protection.

Via EPR Network
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Reducing Diesel Soot is Faster And Cheaper Than Reducing CO2 in Effort to Slow Global Warming

In his new book, Addicted to Energy, Silicon Valley venture capitalist Elton Sherwin claims that reducing diesel soot is key to affordably protecting the planet from rapid warming.

Drawing on research from UC Berkeley, Stanford and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography , Sherwin says that reducing diesel soot is faster and cheaper than reducing CO 2 . “We still need to dramatically reduce CO 2 , but eliminating diesel soot is a quick, affordable way to lessen the likelihood of crossing a major climate threshold or tipping point.”

Some models show California ‘s Central Valley getting 10 degrees hotter this century. “We in California should be very motivated to get this right, to lead the world in developing strategies to reduce diesel soot. This is primarily a financing issue, not a technology issue. The technology exists to do this.”

Stacy Jackson in her work at UC Berkeley has shown that primary active ingredient in diesel soot, black carbon, will have a significantly greater impact on the world’s climate than CO 2 in the short term.

Veerabhadran Ramanathan, one of the world’s leading climate scientists at Scripps Institute for Oceanography in a recent article in Foreign Affairs , says that existing emissions-control technologies could “be enough to offset the warming effects of one to two decades’ worth of carbon dioxide emissions.”**

In his book Sherwin suggests including diesel soot in California ‘s cap and trade system. “ California ‘s oil companies paid to retrofit dry cleaners in southern California to offset their emissions. If diesel soot were included in a cap and trade system, California ‘s largest polluters would immediately buy soot filters for the trucking industry, because this is such an inexpensive way to reduce emissions.”

About Elton Sherwin:
Elton Sherwin is a venture capitalist and the Senior Managing Director at Ridgewood Capital, where he invests in private energy-tech and clean-tech companies. He holds eight patents and sits on the boards of several clean-tech companies. His widely acclaimed first book, The Silicon Valley Way, was translated into Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, and Korean. Published in 1998, it continues to be used by entrepreneurs and universities around the world.

About Addicted to Energy:
Addicted to Energy is written as a guidebook to a fictional governor, with advice on how to manage both the climate and energy crises. The book devotees thirty pages to California’s AB 32 legislation. The book contains many charts and graphs, as well as practical tips for homeowners, businesses, and local governments.

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The University Of Manchester Announced That Its Eco Cities Initiative For Sustainable Cities Will Use Bruntwood’s Office Buildings As ‘Living Laboratories’ To Test Climate Change Adaptation Methods

Climate modelling undertaken by the Forestry Commission suggests that by 2080, the temperature in Manchester will mirror that of the current climate in Naples. This will mean that during the height of summer, the temperature in a typical office building will reach up to 28°C.

The University Of Manchester Announced That Its Eco Cities Initiative For Sustainable Cities Will Use Bruntwood’s Office Buildings As 'Living Laboratories' To Test Climate Change Adaptation Methods

Michael Oglesby, Chairman of Bruntwood said: “Although the battle to gain acceptance of global warming is now almost won, the task of gaining a clear understanding of what practically and realistically can be done to adapt to its impacts is to a large extent still the topic of much debate and uncertainty.”

Climate modelling predicts changes to the rainfall in the UK, which will become heavy and more infrequent compared with the fine and persistent rainfall the UK is used to. Such changes in the climate will have a significant impact on the way people live and work.

The Eco Cities project will explore methods of adapting existing office space to the effects of climate change to ensure comfortable working conditions can be maintained, without relying on energy hungry technology.

Working with a global network of individuals and organisations, the project will provide Greater Manchester with a blueprint for a climate change adaptation strategy that will become a resource for planners and other relevant stakeholders with a responsibility for action in this field.

In addition to the adaptation of commercial property, it will also equip Greater Manchester with knowledge and understanding on how its public spaces and homes need to adapt.

Michael commented, “Reducing our output of CO2 is a task requiring government action but of equal importance is a clear understanding at city and individual level as to the vital role that they have to play in adapting our urban areas to a changing climate.

“Eco Cities aims to make a major contribution to the adaptation debate and to give clear and scientifically verified guidance to local government, companies and individuals.

About Eco Cities:
The project seeks to provide Greater Manchester, by the end of 2011, with a climate change adaptation blueprint. This will be based on leading scientific research, extensive stakeholder engagement and best practice examples of new programmes successfully piloted during the project. Eco Cities is funded through charitable donations from Bruntwood and The Oglesby Charitable Trust.

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Louise Galvin Launches UK’s First Carbon Neutral Beauty Company

The first carbon neutral beauty company has launched a hair and body care range in the UK. Founded by celebrity colourist Louise Galvin, the range has been hailed as the “future of hair care” by the Saturday Times.

Louise Galvin has over 20 years’ experience in the hair colouring industry. Based at her father’s famous Daniel Galvin salon in London, she has coloured the hair of countless fashion and beauty icons including Sophie Dahl and Patsy Kensit. Her in depth knowledge of coloured hair has led her to create the revolutionary Louise Galvin Sacred Locks natural hair care line, the first Carbon Neutral beauty company in the UK.

Louise is also passionate about the environment and is committed to creating products that mean you can achieve luscious locks guilt-free. No animals are harmed in the testing of her products and any greenhouse gasses that are produced in their manufacture are off-set by investment in The Carbon Neutral Company. The products use only natural or naturally-derived ingredients such as essential oils, natural extracts and vegetable-derived moisturising and conditioning agents in place of harmful, artificial preservatives. They are also free of sulphates, parabens, slicone, petrochemicals, synthetic fragrances and polymers.

As a busy working mother herself, Louise knows that time can be a luxury. Her luxury range of shampoos, conditioners and hair masques means that you too can have nourished, glossy hair on the go. “Less is more,” says Louise. “Maximum impact with minimum effort.”

The products have been well received internationally, with everyone from Vogue to celebrities talking about the exciting range. Model Sophie Dahl stated, “The wonderfully natural Sacred Locks Products are like heaven for my hair” after using the range.

Meanwhile, Vogue’s Anna-Marie Solowij has said, “There are very few haircare ranges that deliver a luxury experience. With their rich, creamy textures, non-synthetic scents and beautifully decorated bottles, Louise Galvin’s Sacred Locks is one of them. That the products make your hair look and feel great too, almost seems like a bonus.”

Louise Galvin Sacred Locks is perfect for the confident, feminine woman of today – a woman who cares for her looks as well as the world around her.

For more information about Louise Galvin’s hair care range, please visit the website, http://www.louisegalvin.com.

Via EPR Network
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In Order To Mark World Environment Day 2009, Barclaycard Challenged Its Colleagues To ‘Cut A Kilo’ By Changing The Way That They Work

The campaign was part of Barclaycard’s commitment towards carbon neutrality and was aimed at helping colleagues understand how they can reduce their energy and water usage, and cut travel and unnecessary waste.

On the day itself, a team from Barclaycard was out and about litter picking near Barclaycard’s Brackmills HQ to help improve the local environment. Barclaycard also hosted guests from the local enterprise group Workbridge, the Energy Saving Trust and Monkey World.

Other initiatives taking place included a scheme to promote car sharing and promote the use of teleconferencing to reduce the need for long distance travel.

In 2008 Barclaycard colleagues saved over 500 tonnes of CO2, helping to make Barclaycard carbon neutral for its UK operations. In 2009, the aim is to become carbon neutral for the entire Barclaycard Global operation which has large operations in the US, Germany and South Africa amongst others.

Ben Brakes, Barclaycard’s Environmental Manager commented, “Barclaycard’s work to help colleagues reduce their impact on the environment paid great dividends in 2008 and we want to go one step further in 2009. By marking World Environment day we’re helping remind colleagues that this is a problem that affects everyone and we’re all in this together”.

About Barclaycard
Barclaycard, part of Barclays Global and Retail Commercial Banking division, is a leading global payment business which helps consumers, retailers and businesses to make and accept credit card payments flexibly, and to access short-term credit when needed. The company is one of the pioneers of new forms of payments and is at the forefront of developing viable contactless and mobile payment schemes for today and cutting edge forms of payment for the future. It also issues credit cards and charge cards to corporate customers and the UK Government. Barclaycard partners with a wide range of organisations across the globe to offer their customers or members payment options and credit. In addition to the UK, Barclaycard operates in the United States, Europe, Africa and the Middle and Far East.

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A New Online Bird Watching Community Reaches For The Sky

ChatterBirds.com is a new online community designed and developed to provide birdwatchers with tools to help share their passion for birds. Bringing people closer together in an innovative style, chatterbirds.com enhances the hobby of bird watching in a dynamic, informative and interactive fashion unique to an online birding resource.

The community offers tools to support the challenges of bird watching, such as the ‘bird identifier’ for confirming species sightings, or the ‘locate species’ function – a search function for species sightings in your part of the world. Other features allow members to store and share images, search a database of birding hotspots, keep an online bird diary, join groups and share birding activities.

In the current global climate where many people may be feeling the pinch, the prospect of spending money on joining fees for a website fees may raise a few eyebrows, but as the chatterBirds community is free to use that makes the decision to join an easy one. With no registration fees, easy to use features and open to anyone with access to the internet, one of the world’s fastest growing hobbies now has its own vibrant, interactive community.

Bird watching is a hobby available to everyone. No matter where you are based, or what your physical ability chatterBirds.com offers every user a sense of involvement.

From the millions of people spending hours each year watching birds in their backyards, to the more experienced twitchers forever chasing that illusive tick for their bird lists, the chatterBirds community provides a meeting point for everyone to interact regardless of level of experience or what part of the world you live in.

So for anyone out there with an interest in birds and nature, or those simply looking to learn more or find a new hobby, the chatterBirds.com community provides the perfect one-stop online resource to enhance your bird watching enjoyment and experience.

 

About chatterBirds.com
ChatterBirds.com founded by entrepreneurs Paul Searle and Zak Jacobs in Cambridge, UK. The unique free online community for birdwatchers is set to be the world’s most dynamic interactive bird watching resource. The community begins the official launch from 1st June 2009 and already has over 300 registered birdwatchers that have taken part during the development and testing phase.

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Europcar, Europe’s Leading Car Rental Company, Is Once Again Pioneering In The Area Of Environmental Awareness And Protection

The company now provides information about the CO2 emitted by the vehicle on its rental invoices. The calculation is based on the vehicle type and model and the distance travelled.

A first in the car rental industry, this initiative is in keeping with Europcar’s ‘Environmental Charter’ commitment of raising awareness about the importance of taking the environment into account.

It also caters to an increasing trend among corporate customers – which have made their own commitments in the area of corporate social responsibility – to set specific environmental criteria for accrediting their suppliers.

Commenting on this latest initiative, Rafael Girona, Chief Operating Officer of Europcar Group, said: “By providing this information on rental invoices, we want to raise awareness among our customers and employees about the environmental impact of their actions and help them to be ‘ecological citizens’. After the certification of our Environmental Charter by Bureau Veritas in June 2008 and the creation of our carbon-offset program, this latest measure further demonstrates Europcar’s commitment to sustainable development.”

Europcar currently offers invoicing with the precise CO2 emissions data per rental in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom and New Zealand. It will also soon be available in Australia.

Even before booking, customers can go online to assess the average Europcar fleet CO2 emissions for each rental car.

They can also offset car rental emissions thanks to Europcar’s partnership with leading global carbon offset provider ClimateCare.

Through these various initiatives, Europcar formalizes its commitment to being a responsible corporate citizen. In reflection of its pioneering role in the environmental field, Europcar was elected ‘The World’s Leading Green Transport Solution Company’, at the World Travel Awards in December 2008.

About Europcar
Owned by the French investment company Eurazeo, Europcar is the European leader in passenger car and light utility vehicle rentals. The company serves business and leisure customers throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Asia-Pacific. Excluding franchise operations, in 2008 Europcar signed more than 10 million rental contracts, with 8,000 employees and an average fleet exceeding 225,000 vehicles. In September 2008, Europcar and U.S. market leader Enterprise Rent-A-Car joined forces in a strategic alliance to form the world’s largest car rental network, with more than 1.2 million vehicles and 13,000 locations around the world.

About ClimateCare
UK-based ClimateCare is a leading global carbon offset provider, with experts in London, Ankara, Mauritius, Nairobi, New York, Oxford, Santiago and Sydney. ClimateCare has over 50 projects across the developing world, funding low carbon technologies with social and environmental benefits.

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The Prince Of Wales ‘Frog’ Campaign Receives Support by Richard Branson

Richard Branson pledged his support for the Prince of Wales “Frog” Campaign. Richard stated “As you all know, for many years I have been concerned with climate change and its impact. The plight of rainforestsos.orgthe world’s rainforests is a massive influence on this and perhaps the single most important factor in protecting our environment – that is why I have served on the steering group for this project.

“I will use my speeches and contacts to reinforce his message. The Prince is looking for public support across the globe by seeking millions of sign ups for his web based petition.”

Simon Burridge CEO of Virgin Games (poker, casino and bingo games) commented “This is another great initiative by Richard and The Prince of Wales. They are setting the standard when it comes to campaigning on climate change. Virgin Games is thrilled to be a part of helping bring awareness of the devastation that it’s having to rainforests all over the world.”

To find out more and get involved with the The Princes Rainforest Project please go to www.rainforestsos.org and pledge your support to saving the worlds rainforests.

About Virgin Games

Virgin Games, a subsidiary of Virgin.com Ltd, launched in June 2004 and has quickly established itself as one of the leading gaming websites in the UK. Virgin Games comprises three distinct entertainment offerings, giving consumers the chance to play their favourite online games the Virgin way:

  • Virgin Casino, part of the Wagerworks network, provides a taste of Vegas online, with classic casino offerings like blackjack and roulette, as well as popular feature slots like Elvis, Cleopatra and Vegas, Baby!
  • Virgin Poker, offers a huge array of games and content for beginners through to experienced pros – as well as the most generous loyalty scheme in the industry. The successful Virgin Poker Festivals, which take place in casinos around the UK throughout the year, now allow gamers to experience the fun of Virgin Poker offline too
  • Virgin Bingo offers cash prizes worth thousands of pounds in the progressive jackpots, as well as regular promotions and an unrivalled loyalty scheme

Npower’s Climate Cops Awards Enterprising Green-Agers

npower has announced the winning schools of the Climate Cops Green SOS competition with a class of school pupils who petitioned their local shops to ban all plastic bags emerging as the winners of the national competition, scooping £20,000 for its school to invest in eco projects. 

Hellesdon High School in Norwich beat hundreds of schools to win the npower Climate Cops Green SOS at a ceremony held at the Science Museum, London. The project impressed the panel of judges, including award ceremony presenter Fearne Cotton as well as Piers Morgan and eco activist Eugenie Harvey. The panel were impressed with the way the intrepid youngsters lobbied local shopkeepers to ban bags, with 23 out of 56 local stores committing to stopping the use of plastic in their stores.

Hellesdon was selected out of 10 shortlisted schools. Other top projects included runners up Penrice Community College, Cornwall, for their fight to make house numbers clearer to help the emergency services and reduce carbon emissions of delivery vans and the pupils of Gateways School in Leeds, who worked with the Women’s Institute and the world’s fastest speed knitter to make recycled fashion items.

Piers Morgan, head judge and champion of npower’s Climate Cops campaign, said: “I’ve been impressed by the dedication to green issues demonstrated by each of the shortlisted schools. Their determination to mobilise their schoolmates, families and local communities is just the sort of green campaigning we need to make a difference to climate change.”

Fearne Cotton, who met the children, all aged 11-13years, added: “These projects are proof that if we all pull together we can make a difference to the environment around us. It’s the little things that count and I urge us all to think green! We’re hoping that Hellesdon’s success will inspire plenty more school years get involved with Green SOS 2009.”

Npower’s Climate Cops programme is part of the five year Brighter Futures initiative, designed to motivate eco-aware students to turn their passion for the environment into positive action.

Students inspired by Hellesdon’s success can put themselves forward to take part in Green SOS 2009. Shortlisted schools will be given the training and skills needed to make their green mission fly, f r o m selecting a cause, project management, team work and using the media. Interested schools can find more information at www.npower.com/GreenSOS.

 

About npower:
npower is one of the UK’s largest electricity suppliers and draws on 50 years experience in supplying electricity and gas. npower offers a range of essential home and business services to 6.6 million customers across the UK.

RWE npower has been awarded the prestigious CommunityMark f r o m Business in the Community (BITC). npower is the only utility business, amongst 21 other companies in the UK, to receive this accolade. The CommunityMark is a new BITC standard which has been created to recognise companies that are good investors in local communities and who have brought about real and positive changes.

The aim of the npower Brighter Futures programme is to inspire young people f r o m their first day at school to their first day at work. This is achieved by helping them to develop their skills and knowledge to make their own choices while empowering them to achieve their vision of a ‘brighter future’ for themselves and for the environment. npower Brighter Futures also includes our apprenticeship and graduate recruitment schemes.

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What do they do with platinum anyway? When it comes to cleaning up air pollution, the answer is plenty

The effect of escalating platinum prices on the cost of reducing air pollution. During February’s CBS broadcast of 60 Minutes, veteran commentator Andy Rooney asked what was all the fuss concerning the recent astronomical rise in platinum prices. Rooney ranted “I don’t really know what platinum is. What do they do with platinum anyway?” When it comes to cleaning up air pollution, the answer is plenty.

Surprisingly, manufacturers of air pollution control products are the top consumers of platinum – not the jewelry industry. Platinum is the catalyst used inside of most catalytic converters and diesel particulate filters to rid exhaust emissions of dangerous soot, hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide. With ever-more stringent air quality regulations being enforced in the United States and Europe, the demand for platinum has soared with the demand to control air pollution in cars, diesel trucks, construction vehicles, and emergency generators.

A recent shutdown of South African mines caused an increase of 41% in platinum prices since the beginning of the year. As South Africa supplies 78 percent of the world’s supply of this precious metal, even a stoppage of a few days has a worldwide effect on prices.

To put this dramatic rise in perspective:

– On February 21st, platinum reached an all-time high of $2,185 a troy ounce
– During the same month a year ago, platinum averaged $1,207 a troy ounce
– Five years ago, it averaged $684 a troy ounce during February of 2003

With an estimated worldwide shortage of 400,000 troy ounces predicted for 2008, prices may remain a volatile roller coaster.

What effect does escalating platinum prices have on the cost of reducing air pollution?

Manufacturers of air pollution control products are finding it increasingly more expensive to produce catalytic converters and particulate filters mandated by the EPA, the European Union and the California Air Resources Board. “We used to adjust our product prices twice per year according to the rise and fall of platinum prices,” said Technical Sales Engineer, Ralph Wintersberger of CleanAIR Systems, a manufacturer of diesel particulate filters and oxidation converters. “Now we have no choice but to keep a close eye on platinum fluctuations and make daily adjustments to our prices.”

In the end, the ever-increasing cost of cleaning up air pollution is passed on to the consumer:

– As the price of platinum rises, the price tag on cars and trucks will also increase to cover the cost of catalytic converters made with high-priced platinum.

Hospitals, schools, and data centers will feel the brunt of escalating platinum prices when they install diesel particulate filters on their emergency backup generators to decrease toxic air pollution.

Diesel school buses are being retrofitted all over the country with converters to protect children from dangerous pollutants – a direct cause of asthma, bronchitis and other lung impairments. High platinum prices translates into fewer buses being retrofitted for the safety of riders.

Mining equipment and construction vehicles are equipped with air pollution control technology to decrease on-site emissions of particulate pollution. The increased cost of catalyzed filters is passed on to the public in the form of durable goods, new homes and taxes to cover building and transportation projects.

Yes, Andy Rooney – you may not know what platinum is used for, but you will eventually feel the pinch of unprecedented soaring platinum prices in your pocketbook.

About CleanAIR Systems:
CleanAIR Systems is a technology-based corporation manufacturing emissions control systems with worldwide distribution. Our products are designed to control air-pollution such as diesel particulate matter and NOx, for on- and off-road vehicles, as well as stationary machinery and power generation. Visit CleanAIR Systems online at www.cleanairsys.com.

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A survey of British businesses has revealed strong concern that Government regulation to reduce carbon emissions will make the country uncompetitive

A survey of British businesses, conducted by npower business has revealed strong concern that Government regulation to reduce carbon emissions will make the country uncompetitive and add more costs than benefits

The fifth npower Business Energy Index (nBEI 5) canvassed 200 senior managers and energy buyers at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and large industrial firms on attitudes to energy use, costs and C02 emissions, revealing unease within the business community about the existing CO2 reduction framework of regulation.

When questioned about the new Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) – a new carbon reduction scheme aimed at large businesses, announced in the 2007 Energy White Paper* – 71% of intensive energy users said they believed that the scheme would make the UK uncompetitive. When asked about the implementation of such regulation, 63% of respondents said they thought the costs would outweigh the benefits. Only 48% believed that the CRC would achieve its target of removing 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere each year by 2020.

Demonstrating further concern, 75% of intensive energy users surveyed said they thought the combined pressures of the Climate Change Levy, the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and the new CRC will place an undue burden on business.

The Government has shown a desire to involve businesses in meeting the UK’s CO2 reduction targets and introduced a framework of regulation to incentivise and reward emission reduction, but npower business’s findings indicates companies need further convincing that this is the best method. Comments from the report suggest that British businesses feel penalised as other European and global businesses do not have to conform to the same administrative and financial requirements imposed by UK regulation.

“Businesses have faced a raft of new legislation in recent years, with more now promised in the form of the CRC, so it is understandable that they may feel the responsibility to reduce CO2 is being placed at their door. However, with the UK’s CO2 emission targets becoming legally binding this year, we cannot escape the fact that all businesses will be called on to reduce their carbon footprint,” said Paul Coffey, managing director of npower business.

“While the need to actively reduce CO2 has become a business requirement in the last few years, it will increasingly become a priority as low carbon outputs become evermore linked with strong financial performance. Those that identify the advantages of low carbon operations now, and work within the existing legislative framework, will be the ones that benefit in the future,” he added.

He also pointed to the fact that advice is available from energy providers and government organisations, which can assist businesses in reducing CO2 output. The nBEI clearly suggests businesses are in need of guidance: 56% agreed they would value help in reducing CO2 emissions and 50% said they would welcome guidance to improve energy efficiency.

While the findings suggest a lack of support for carbon reduction regulation in business, finding 88% of respondents stating they support the Government’s commitment to reduce CO2 emissions and 56% said they thought compliance with climate change agreements had resulted in energy savings or process improvements. Also, 36% said they believed there were commercial advantages to be had from a small carbon footprint.

Mr. Coffey pointed to the fact that, “Businesses will have to develop policies to manage the risks associated with corporate energy use including cost, environmental and societal risks. In this way, decisions on buying and investment in energy efficiency measures that can reduce CO2 outputs can be assessed on a more holistic basis, rather than just cost. This moves away from a quick win scenario in which energy efficiency measures are only made for financial gain to a more progressive strategy in which the approach to energy management and CO2 reduction is aligned with business goals”.

* The Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) is a mandatory cap and trade scheme, which will apply to large non-energy intensive public and private sector organisations. The CRC was first detailed in a 2007 Energy White Paper.

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