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The True Cost of Tourism

Visitors to The Netherlands explore Amsterdam by bicycle, April 7, 2017 (Photo by Huub Zeeman) Creative Commons license via Flickr

Visitors to The Netherlands explore Amsterdam by bicycle, April 7, 2017 (Photo by Huub Zeeman) Creative Commons license via Flickr

By Sunny Lewis

SYDNEY, Australia, July 3, 2018 (Maximpact.com News) – The carbon footprint of tourism is about four times larger than previously thought, finds a world-first study. This year the world’s tourism footprint has been quantified across the entire supply chain – from flights to food to souvenirs – and revealed as a gigantic contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions.

Driven by an “insatiable appetite for luxury travel” that increases in tandem with income, Australian researchers found that tourism is a trillion-dollar industry growing faster than international trade. It’s already responsible for almost a 10th of global greenhouse gas emissions.

International tourist arrivals grew six percent in the first four months of 2018, compared to the same period last year, according to the World Tourism Organization, continuing the strong 2017 trend and exceeding UNWTO’s forecast for 2018.

From January to April 2018, international arrivals increased in all regions, led by Asia and the Pacific (+8 percent), with South-East Asia (+10 percent) and South Asia (+9 percent) driving results.

While the United States is responsible for the majority of tourism-generated emissions overall, U.S. tourists are increasingly joined by members of the growing middle-classes in China and India, the study found.

Through international arrivals, small islands attract an excessive share of carbon emissions considering their small populations, and they are experiencing the consequences.

Key island destinations like the Maldives, Australia and New Zealand are vulnerable to climate stresses, such as sea-level rise, coral bleaching and melting ski slopes.

The research, led by the Integrated Sustainability Analysis supply-chain research group at the University of Sydney, drew data from 189 individual countries and all upstream supply chains.

The findings were published in May in the peer-reviewed journal “Nature Climate Change” under the title “The carbon footprint of global tourism.

Author Dr. Arunima Malik, from the University of Sydney School of Physics, said the complex research took 18 months to complete and incorporated more than one billion supply chains and their impacts on the atmosphere.

“Our analysis is a world-first look at the true cost of tourism, including consumables such as food from eating out and souvenirs. It’s a complete life-cycle assessment of global tourism, ensuring we don’t miss any impacts,” Dr. Malik said.

“This research fills a crucial gap identified by the World Tourism Organization and World Meteorological Organization to quantify, in a comprehensive manner, the world’s tourism footprint,” she explained.

Co-author Dr. Ya-Yen Sun, from the University of Queensland’s Business School and the National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan, said a re-evaluation of tourism as low-impact is crucial.

“Given that tourism is set to grow faster than many other economic sectors, the international community may consider its inclusion in the future in climate commitments, such as the Paris Accord, by tying international flights to specific nations,” she said.

“Carbon taxes or carbon trading schemes, in particular for aviation, may be required to curtail unchecked future growth in tourism-related emissions,” said Dr. Sun.

Lead researcher from the University of Sydney, Professor Manfred Lenzen, said the study found air travel is the key contributor to tourism’s footprint. He warned that the carbon-intensive aviation industry would contribute an increasing proportion of global emissions as growing affluence and technological developments make luxury travel more affordable.

“We found the per-capita carbon footprint increases strongly with increased affluence and does not appear to satiate as incomes grow,” Professor Lenzen said.

All aboard the electric bullet train from Shanghai to Hangzhou, China. China's high speed rail network extends to 29 of the country's 33 provincial-level administrative divisions, the world's longest bullet train network. May 2017 (Photo by Shankar S.)

All aboard the electric bullet train from Shanghai to Hangzhou, China. China’s high speed rail network extends to 29 of the country’s 33 provincial-level administrative divisions, the world’s longest bullet train network. May 2017 (Photo by Shankar S.)

Tourism Industry Asked to Act

Last week, the Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Zurab Pololikashvili, called upon the tourism sector to take more action to combat climate change and biodiversity loss.

Speaking during a joint meeting of the UNWTO Commissions for South Asia and Asia-Pacific in the Fijian city of Nadi, Pololikashvili advocated for stronger partnerships and incentives for governments, businesses and tourists themselves, to make a difference in climate action efforts.

He emphasized that sound policies must be built upon accurate evidence, requiring the tourism sector to better measure its impact on sustainability. He acknowledged progress has been made on this front, including UNWTO’s development of a statistical framework to measure sustainable tourism.

The meeting highlighted the need for developing island countries to collaborate on actionable policies, with measurable results, to address climate change and biodiversity protection within the tourism sector.

UNWTO also pledged to raise further awareness of climate change’s impacts and effects on tourism through capacity building and educational opportunities.

“This is the perfect place to have this conversation on climate change, as Fiji continues to lead the efforts on climate resilience and sustainability not only within the country but in the entire region,” said Pololikashvili.

The Pacific island nation demonstrated this attitude as host of the 2017 UN Global Climate Summit, COP 23, when the Government of Fiji committed to the development of sustainable tourism as a tool to tackle climate change.

Each Tourist’s Actions Do Matter

The website Sustaining Tourism <sustainabletourism.net>offers tips for carbon-conscious travelers to reduce their carbon footprints.

Reducing the amount of energy consumed will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emitted, so:

When traveling:

  • Fly less and neutralize carbon emissions by offsetting your flight.
  • Use public transportation wherever possible. Take the train, bus, bicycle, or just walk.
  • Do several errands in one trip, carpool, and use uncongested routes.
  • Buy a fuel efficient car, and check the air filter monthly to increase fuel economy.
  • Hybrids save an enormous amount of CO2 and money. Plug‐in hybrids can save even more.
  • Check tires monthly and keep them at the maximum recommended pressure.
  • Except when in traffic, turn your engine off if you must wait for more than 30 seconds.
  • Remove car racks and other objects that add unnecessary weight.
  • Try to reduce the usage of air conditioning because it increases fuel consumption, use the air vents instead.

Use cruise control when possible, especially on long journeys. Sharp braking and accelerating wastes fuel.

At your destination:

  • Turn off the lights when you leave the hotel room.
  • Wear more clothes instead of turning up the thermostat.
  • Shut off your computer and unplug electronics when not in use.
  • Take quick showers.
  • Instead of using the dryer, line‐dry your clothes.
  • Recycle paper, plastic and glass.
  • Buy organic food as chemicals used in modern agriculture pollute the water supply and require energy to produce.
  • Use cloth or reusable bags when shopping instead of plastic or paper bags.
  • Buy produce in season, and buy local to cut the amount of energy needed to drive your products to market.
  • Buy products with less packaging or buy in bulk.

The Australian researchers advise that financial and technical assistance could help share burdens such as the impact of global warming on winter sports, sea-level rise on low-lying islands and pollution on exotic and vulnerable destinations.

Featured Image: A visitor floats in the warm Indian Ocean waters of the Maldives, a small island developing state, June 26, 2018 (Photo by John Jones / toolstotal.com)


 MaxNews

U.S. Corporations at a Turning Point

Brian Krzanich, CEO, Intel, on Centre Stage during the opening day of Web Summit 2017 at Altice Arena in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Web Summit via Sportsfile) Creative Commons License via flickr

Brian Krzanich, CEO, Intel, on Centre Stage during the opening day of Web Summit 2017 at Altice Arena in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Web Summit via Sportsfile) Creative Commons License via flickr

By Sunny Lewis

BOSTON, Massachusetts, March 30, 2018 (Maximpact.com  News) – The largest and most influential publicly traded companies in the United States are stepping forward in greater numbers than ever before with ambitious sustainability commitments. These companies are responding to urgent calls to act on threats such as climate change, water pollution and scarcity, and abuses of human rights.

Nearly two-thirds of the more than 600 companies examined in a new analysis by Ceres, a sustainability nonprofit working with influential investors and companies, have committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

More than half of the companies assessed now have formal policies to manage water resources, and nearly half have policies to protect the rights of their workers.

The multinational investment banking and financial services corporation Citi, The Coca-Cola Company, CVS Health, Gap, Inc., General Mills, Intel, Kellogg Company, NIKE, Inc., and PepsiCo are among the companies meeting many of Ceres’ expectations and taking the path beyond business as usual.

“We have reached a turning point,” said Amy Augustine, senior director of the Ceres Company Network, and co-author of the analysis, which she titled, ‘TURNING POINT: Corporate Progress on the Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability.'”

“It is no longer just about raising the ceiling. It is about lifting the floor,” said Augustine. “The time has come for bold and scalable solutions, not just from a few leading companies, but from companies in all sectors and of all sizes who need to transition from making commitments to taking concrete actions.”

Using the most available data from research provider Vigeo Eiris, TURNING POINT takes a close look at the progress these companies have made against 20 key expectations of sustainability leadership within the areas of governance, disclosure, stakeholder engagement and environmental and social performance as outlined in The Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability.

The analysis highlights those companies who are meeting many of the Ceres Roadmap expectations to improve resilience in their operations and global supply chains, and calls on all companies to scale up action on sustainability commitments.

Ceres offers company scorecards that highlight the most successful efforts and also those that need more work and commitment.

“At Citi, we have used the Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability expectations as guidance to organize our thoughts around sustainability best practices from the very beginning,” said Val Smith, Citi’s managing director and global head of corporate sustainability.

“We look forward to using TURNING POINT to help us identify areas where we can prioritize action and strive further toward sustainability leadership,” said Smith.

Yet, as the new analysis also shows, many companies are neither acting as quickly nor as boldly as they could to transform into sustainable enterprises and prepare for a future beset with environmental and social challenges.

While 69 percent of the companies assessed call on their suppliers to address environmental and social impacts, only 34 percent actually provide the tools and resources to incentivize action, Ceres’ analysis shows.

Compared with the 64 percent of companies with commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, only 36 percent set time-bound, quantitative targets. Only a quarter of those targets commit to reducing emissions by at least 25 percent by 2020.

The analysis reveals some encouraging trends. For instance, more companies are assigning oversight for sustainability to top-most decision makers. Sixty-five percent of companies hold senior-level executives accountable for sustainability performance, up from 42 percent in 2014, the last time Ceres’ conducted a similar analysis.

More companies are responding to investor calls to prioritize action on material issues. Today, 32 percent of companies conduct materiality assessments, while just seven percent did so in 2014.

More companies commit to water stewardship, but few prioritize areas most at risk. 55 percent of companies assessed commit to manage water use, but just 15 percent set quantitative targets prioritizing action in the parts of value chain that pose the highest risk to water resources.

Jerry Lynch, chief sustainability officer at the food giant General Mills, said, “At General Mills, we know that feeding a growing population depends on a healthy planet, so we’ve taken bold actions to advance sustainability.”

“Transforming our global food system and our business model requires collaboration and transparency across our supply chain, along with strong commitment from our executives and board of directors,” said Lynch.

TURNING POINT includes interactive data tables and company scorecards that help investors and companies identify leading industry practices and key sustainability trends in nearly every sector of the economy including transportation, food and beverage, financial services, oil and gas.

“As the tides turn with more mainstream focus on sustainability, we need concrete and comprehensive information from companies about how they are tackling environmental and social issues,” said Betty Yee, California State Controller and a Ceres board member.

“TURNING POINT is a critical tool for smart business decisions,” said Yee, “providing investors and shareholders with helpful insights to better understand key sustainability trends and leading industry practices.”

This is the third assessment of these companies, which represent more than 80 percent of the U.S. market share. The last Ceres assessment, Gaining Ground: Corporate Progress on the Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability, was released in 2014.

Featured image: Citi Bike is New York City’s bike share system, and, with 12,000 bikes, the largest in the nation. Citibank is the title sponsor and MasterCard as the Preferred Payment Partner. (Photo by Phil Roeder) Creative Commons License via flickr


BUSINESS_SERVICES

COP23 Fertilizes Climate-Smart Agriculture

COP23LeadersHighLevel

COP23 leaders, from left: UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa of Brazil; President Emmanuel Macron, France; Frank Bainimarama, prime minister of Fiji and COP 23 president; Chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany; and UN Secretary-General António Guterres at the opening of the High-Level Segment of the conference, November 15, 2017 (Photo courtesy Earth Negotiations Bulletin) Posted for media use

By Sunny Lewis

BONN, Germany, November 21, 2017 (Maximpact.com News) – New commitments and initiatives in the agriculture and water sectors were announced as nearly 200 countries gathered at the United Nations Climate Conference (COP23) hosted by the government of Fiji in Bonn, November 6-17.

Delegates made concrete progress on turning the historic 2015 Paris Agreement into action on the ground across the world, ahead of next year’s UN climate conference in Katowice, Poland.

COP23 delegates aimed at motivating greater climate action by public and private stakeholders as the Paris Agreement, adopted in 2015, enables countries to combat climate change by limiting the rise of global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius and strive not to exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius higher than pre-industrial levels.

About one degree of that rise has already happened, increasing the pressure on governments and the private sector to progress further and faster to cut the greenhouse gases responsible for global warming.

For the first time in the history of UN climate negotiations, governments reached an agreement on agriculture that will help countries develop and implement new strategies to both reduce emissions from agriculture and build resilience to the effects of climate change.

“Agriculture is a key factor for the sustainability of rural areas, the responsibility for food security and its potential to offer climate change solutions is enormous,” said Christian Schmidt, Germany’s federal minister of food and agriculture.

Investing more quickly and broadly in agricultural climate action and to support the sustainable livelihoods of small-scale farmers will unlock much greater potential to curb emissions and protect people against climate change, sector leaders and experts said.

New COP23 initiatives include a US$400 million fund established by the Government of Norway and the corporation Unilever for public and private investment in business models that combine investments in high productivity agriculture, smallholder inclusion and forest protection.

The European Investment Bank will provide US$75 million for a new US$405 million investment program by the Water Authority of Fiji. The plan will strengthen resilience of water distribution and wastewater treatment following Cyclone Winston, the world’s second strongest storm ever recorded, which hit Fiji in February 2016.

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development signed up to free US$37.6 million of GCF grant financing in the US$243.1 million Saïss Water Conservation Project to make Moroccan agriculture more resilient.

The nonprofit World Resources Institute announced a landmark US$2.1 billion of private investment to restore degraded lands in Latin America and the Caribbean through Initiative 20×20.

“Climate change is a fundamental threat to the Sustainable Development Goal 2 that aims to end hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition,” said José Graziano da Silva, director-general of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)  at a high-level event on hunger at the conference.

“To achieve SDG2 and effectively respond to climate change, we require a transformation of our agriculture sectors and food systems,” he said.

According to FAO’s “State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2017” report, hunger has grown for the first time in over a decade, mainly due to conflicts and climate change. An estimated 815 million people are now hungry.

Extreme climate impacts come down hard on small-scale farmers and pastoralists as well as fishing and forest communities, who still provide the bulk of the planet’s food.

Supporting these communities with innovative solutions to reduce their emissions and protect their communities meets many of the objectives of every one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Over 70 percent of the world’s extreme poor live in rural areas. They are also the most vulnerable to hunger and malnutrition, natural resource scarcity, conflict, and climate impacts.

“The rural poor are part of a comprehensive response to climate change,” said da Silva. “They are key agents of change who need to be strengthened in their roles as stewards of biodiversity, natural resources and vital ecosystem services.”

Requests to direct more resources to the agriculture sector as a key strategy to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development were made during Agriculture Action Day November 10.

“Countries now have the opportunity to transform their agricultural sectors to achieve food security for all through sustainable agriculture and strategies that boost resource-use efficiency, conserve and restore biodiversity and natural resources, and combat the impacts of climate change,” said René Castro, FAO assistant-director general.

In the livestock sector, for example, FAO estimates that emissions could be readily reduced by about 30 percent with the adoption of best practices.

At COP23, the FAO released a new “Sourcebook on Climate-Smart Agriculture,” which recommends scaling up public and private climate finance flows to agriculture, spurring public-private partnerships, strengthening a multi-sector and multi-stakeholder dialogue, investing in knowledge and information, and building capacity to address barriers to climate action.

The book features knowledge and stories about on-the-ground projects to guide policymakers and program managers to make the agricultural sectors more sustainable and productive, while contributing to food security and lower carbon intensity.

The COP23 meeting agreed that land needs to be managed in ways to increase soil carbon, particularly in grasslands, and that robust protocols for assessing and monitoring carbon stocks need to be developed with stakeholders.

Rehabilitating agricultural and degraded soils can remove up to 51 billion tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere, according to some estimates.

For the livestock sector, FAO estimates that emissions could be readily reduced by about 30 percent with the adoption of best practices.

Tom Driscoll, director of conservation policy with the U.S. National Farmers Union, says, “Farming is one of the few professions with the ability to not only reduce ongoing greenhouse gas emissions, but to also remove existing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. National Farmers Union supports policies and programs that maximize agriculture’s GHG elimination potential by offering value to farmers for either climate-smart or emissions-reducing and carbon-sinking production and conservation practices.”

Cap-and-trade programs, which limit ongoing emissions from major sources of greenhouse gas emissions, are one means of offering farmers value for climate-smart practices.

Cap-and-trade programs can drive emissions reductions where they can happen in the most cost-effective manner, and farmers can often achieve emissions reductions and sequester atmospheric greenhouse gases for less money than the emitters these programs primarily regulate, says Driscoll on the NFU website.

The state of California has implemented a cap-and-trade program that allows for the creation and transfer-for-value of offset credits that meet regulatory criteria. Regulated entities may meet up to eight percent of their triennial compliance requirements by purchasing these credits.

In California, each credit must be quantified using a compliance offset protocol approved by the California Air Resources Board. Currently, ARB will approve credits some U.S. farmers create by capturing and destroying methane from manure management systems.

The Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), an organizer of COP23’s Agriculture Action day, announced that the Coalition will work in the next few years to create the conditions for greater agricultural climate action.

The voluntary partnership of more than 100 governments, intergovernmental organizations, businesses, scientific institutions and civil society organizations aims to help give countries the confidence to set realistic yet ambitious targets through the next revision of their national climate plans – the Nationally Determined Contributions.

“Agriculture is a large source of powerful greenhouse gases like methane and other short-lived climate pollutants but has great potential to store carbon and reduce greenhouse gases in our lifetime, that’s why we support and advocate for countries to improve their livestock emissions inventories,” said Helena Molin Valdes, head of the CCAC Secretariat.

CCAC partners signed onto the Coalition’s Bonn Communiqué which prioritizes initiatives to reduce methane and black carbon emissions from agriculture and municipal solid waste.

These initiatives support broader efforts to reduce air pollution, end hunger, and build sustainable cities and communities, while helping to limit global warming.

James Shaw, New Zealand Minister for Climate Change, said he was pleased with the Communiqué’s focus on agriculture as it was a large source of his country’s greenhouse gases.

“We hope this encourages partners to develop policies to reduce emissions from agriculture, while at the same time improving the productivity, resilience and profitability of farmers,” said Shaw.

Other agriculture-based solutions for addressing climate change were also presented at COP23. Discussions involved people from governments, civil society, the private sector, small scale and young farmers centered on livestock, traditional agriculture systems, water, soil, food loss and waste, and integrated landscape management.

Among the recommended actions and initiatives were to:

  • Scale up public and private climate finance flows to agriculture, and use them in a catalytic manner. Climate finance flows continue to favor mitigation over adaptation, and focus overwhelmingly on energy systems and infrastructure. These imbalances should be addressed.
  • Incentivize public-private partnerships. Strong dialogue and collaboration between the public and private sectors is key to ensure alignment between public policy and private sector investment decisions in agriculture and throughout the entire food system.
  • Strengthen a multi-sector and multi-stakeholder dialogue towards more integrated approaches to landscape management. This will require enhanced coordination of policy and climate action across multiple public and private entities.
  • Invest in knowledge and information. Additional analyses are needed to better identify the institutional barriers and market failures that are inhibiting broader adoption of climate-resilient and low-emissions agricultural practices in individual countries, regions and communities.
  • Build capacity to address barriers to implement climate action. Agricultural producers require additional capacities to understand the climate risks and vulnerabilities they face, and respond accordingly.

In the water sector, most national climate plans with an adaptation component prioritize action on water, yet financing would need to triple to US$295 billion per year to meet such targets, said experts at COP23.

“Sustainable use of water for multiple purposes must remain a way of life and needs to be at the center of building resilient cities and human settlements and ensuring food security in a climate change context,” said Mariet Verhoef-Cohen, president of the Women for Water Partnership.

The international water community co-signed what it called a “nature based solution declaration” to encourage the use of natural systems in managing healthy water supplies.

Around 40 percent of the world’s population will face water shortages by 2050, accelerating migration and triggering onflict, while some regions could lose up to six percent of their economic output, unless water is better managed, warned Verhoef-Cohen.

She said, “Involving both women and men in decision making and integrated water resources initiatives leads to better sustainability, governance and efficiency.”


2-DAY GRANT

Featured Image: G.H. MUMM champagne 2017 harvest in champagne vineyard near Verzenay, France, September 7, 2017 (Photo by Intercontinental Hong Kong) Creative Commons license via Flickr

Entrepreneurs’ dreams of saving the planet being crushed by economic reality

Entrepreneurs _dreams of saving the planet being crushed by economic realityBy Guest Contributor Martin Boonham, Warwick Business School

(Opinion on Maximpact.com News) Environmental entrepreneurs are being forced to forgo some of their green ideals despite the historic Paris COP21 summit agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions, new research has found.

The 1,000 largest companies alone are responsible for one-fifth of total global greenhouse gas emissions according to the United Nations Environment Programme, while a study by Duke University says the US needs to reduce emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 to reach the goal it agreed at Paris in December.

But attempts by start-ups to set up environmentally-friendly businesses are being stymied by money-backers, suppliers and customers.

The study found some environmental entrepreneurs become disillusioned after having to compromise so much to attract investors and clients.

Deniz Ucbasaran, of Warwick Business School, said: “Entrepreneurs passionate about green issues might need to be prepared for some soul searching as ‘enacting a brave new world’ through launching a new venture is unlikely to be without concession to others’ values.

“Attempts to ‘stand out’ by the entrepreneurs portraying their values and beliefs on the environmental benefits of the business are, in most part, counterproductive for gaining legitimacy from investors, suppliers and even customers or clients.

“Their ambitions to ‘break free’ and enact their ‘hopes and dreams to make a difference’ often need to be tempered by the realities of attracting investors and other stakeholders whose primary goal is making money and not environmental issues.

“This led to some entrepreneurs to question if it was all worth it as they had to compromise the scope of their ‘green’ ambitions.”

Professor Ucbasaran and Dr Isobel O’Neil, of Nottingham University Business School, examined six new ventures over four years to understand how they gain support and investment for their paper Balancing “What Matters To Me” With “What Matters To Them”: Exploring The Legitimation Process Of Environmental Entrepreneurs published in the Journal of Business Venturing.

They conducted 18 interviews with the principle entrepreneur as well as 24 interviews with individuals involved in the ventures including investors, customers, employees and suppliers and analysed company documents.

Professor Ucbasaran said: “First, the environmental entrepreneur’s own values and beliefs anchor initial decisions about how to gain support from investors, suppliers and customers: the ‘what matters to me’ stage.

“But they are then toned down as their attention shifts to gain support from investors and other stakeholders: the ‘what matters to them’ stage. Eventually, the entrepreneurs arrive at an approach that tries to balance ‘what matters to them and me’.

“Lastly, the lack of harmony, caused by this balance often leads to some feelings of demotivation, stress and even led some of the entrepreneurs to question their entrepreneurial ambitions.”

The research found the entrepreneurs were initially surprised by resistance to their vision of ‘making a difference’ and building an environmentally-friendly business, but the need to ensure the continued survival of their ventures forced them to adapt.

“They realised a compromise was needed to gain legitimacy in order to engage investors and stakeholders, attract resources, and in turn, improve the prospects of survival and longer-term success,” said Professor Ucbasaran.

“This saw the entrepreneurs shape their offering into one that was likely to be more widely accepted.”

But such a shift in perspective often conflicted with the entrepreneurs’ original ideals and led to feelings of inauthenticity and mental stress.

Coping strategies were developed to help, but Professor Ucbasaran said: “If left unresolved, these emotions might interfere with the entrepreneur’s well-being and the effective running of the business.

“We found being a successful environmental entrepreneur involves balancing both the external demands of investors, suppliers and customers while also remaining true to one’s own values and beliefs.

“However, we must offer a note of caution to entrepreneurs seeking to embed their values and beliefs into their businesses; balancing ‘what matters to me’ with ‘what matters to them’ is likely to demand less discussion of environmental or social change goals than perhaps hoped for.”


 

Deniz Ucbasaran joined Warwick Business School as Professor of Entrepreneurship in November 2010. She is also a member of the Enterprise Research Centre which was established in 2013 and seeks to act as the authority on entrepreneurship to guide policy makers.
Deniz’s research explores entrepreneurial activity (i.e., the identification and exploitation of opportunities for new value creation) at the level of the individual, the team and the firm.
Deniz has co-authored numerous books and has published widely in a range of academic and practitioner journals including Harvard Business Review, Journal of Management, Journal of Business Venturing, Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, and Journal of Management Studiess.

 

Climate Polluters Collaborate on Nuclear Fusion

ITERComplete

by Sunny Lewis,

PARIS, France, December 17, 2015 (Maximpact.com News) – The breakthrough Paris Climate Agreement approved December 12 commits all countries to cut their greenhouse gas emissions to avert catastrophic climate change.

Now, the world is focused on finding clean sources of energy to replace the coal, oil and gas that, when burned to generate electricity, emit heat-trapping greenhouse gases.

All the countries that top the greenhouse gas emissions list are among those cooperating on a long-term energy project that some say is also a long shot – nuclear fusion.

The opposite of the nuclear fission that splits atoms to power all current nuclear generating stations, fusion is the process that powers the Sun and the stars.

When light atomic nuclei fuse together to form heavier ones, a large amount of energy is released. Fusion research is aimed at developing a safe, abundant and environmentally responsible energy source.

The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, or ITER, which in Latin means the way, is one of the most ambitious energy projects in the world today. Like the Paris Climate Agreement, ITER is also a first-of-a-kind global collaboration.

In Saint-Paul-lez-Durance, in the south of France, 35 nations are collaborating to build the world’s largest Tokamak. This magnetic fusion device is designed to prove the feasibility of fusion as a large-scale and carbon-free source of energy.

ITERconstruction

Thousands of engineers and scientists have contributed to the design of ITER since the idea for an international joint experiment in fusion was first launched in 1985.

The seven ITER Members – China, the European Union (plus Switzerland, as a member of EURATOM), India, Japan, Korea, Russia and the United States – are now engaged in a 35-year collaboration to build and operate the ITER experimental device, and together bring fusion to the point where a demonstration fusion reactor can be designed.

ITER is financed by the seven Members. Ninety percent of contributions will be delivered “in-kind.” That means that in the place of cash, the Members will deliver components and buildings directly to the ITER Organization.

The ITER Organization estimates the cost of ITER construction for the seven Members at roughly €13 billion, if all the manufacturing were done in Europe.

But each Member State is producing its contributions in its own country. “As production costs vary from Member to Member, it is impossible to furnish a more precise estimation,” says the ITER Organization.

Europe is contributing almost half of the costs of ITER construction, while the other six Members are contributing equally to fund the rest.

Organizers say the ITER project is “progressing well despite delays.”

On Monday, scientists at Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics said they have reached a milestone in the quest to derive energy from nuclear fusion.

They started up one of the world’s largest nuclear fusion machines for the first time and briefly generated a super-heated helium plasma inside a vessel, a key point in the experimental process.

The 16-meter-wide machine is the Wendelstein 7-X, a type of nuclear fusion device called a stellarator. Scientists have been talking about the enormous potential of stellarators for decades, but this is the first time a team has shown that it can produce and control plasma.

The first plasma in the machine lasted one-tenth of a second and reached a temperature of around one million kelvins. “We’re very satisfied,” said Hans-Stephan Bosch, whose division is responsible for the operation of the Wendelstein 7-X. “Everything went according to plan.”

At its 17th Meeting, held on November 18-19, the ITER Council reviewed the progress made by the ITER Organization Central Team and the Members’ Domestic Agencies from the ITER design and early construction phase to the current phase of full construction.

The Council recognized the “tangible progress” made during the past eight months on construction and component manufacturing.

Onsite, in Saint-Paul-lez-Durance, the European Domestic Agency has completed the framing of the Assembly Hall and the platform for the first level of the Tokamak. There has also been progress on magnets, the neutral beam injector, remote handling, and other ITER components.

India has completed the fabrication, pre-assembly, and shipment of the initial components of the ITER cryostat, for assembly in the already completed cryostat building onsite, as well as the first cooling water piping for ITER’s chilled water and heat rejection systems.

Four 400kV transformers procured from the United States have been shipped and installed onsite, and the U.S.-procured drain tanks for the cooling water and neutral beam systems have arrived onsite.

China has completed the manufacturing and testing of the first batch of pulsed power electrical network equipment. China also has reached qualification milestones in the manufacturing of magnet feeders, correction coils, and the blanket first wall.

Japan has started the series production of the toroidal field coils. Full-tungsten prototypes of plasma-facing components for the ITER divertor have been manufactured and shipped, and required performance for ITER has been demonstrated.

Russia has fully met its obligations for delivery of superconductor cable for ITER magnets. At Russia’s Divertor Test facility, high heat flux testing is also underway for divertor plasma-facing components from Japan, Europe, and Russia. Beryllium fabrication has begun, and the gyrotron complex prototype facility has passed its acceptance tests.

In Korea, manufacturing is ongoing for the ITER vacuum vessel and thermal shield, and design milestones have been achieved for many of the purpose-built tools ITER will need for assembly.

The Council noted the completion of superconductor production, which has been a coordinated effort involving laboratories and companies of ITER Members in 12 countries.

This complex process involves the multinational harmonization of design attributes, production standards, quality assurance measures, and testing protocols.

The Council recognized “the substantial benefit this will create for all ITER Members, positively impacting the capacity for cross-border trade and innovation, not only in energy industries but also in fields such as medical imaging and transportation applications.”

If ITER is successfully completed, it will be able to claim many firsts. ITER will be the first fusion device to produce net energy. ITER will be the first fusion device to maintain fusion for long periods of time.

And ITER will be the first fusion device to test the integrated technologies, materials, and physics regimes necessary for the commercial production of fusion-based electricity.

MaxPlancktechniciann


Award-winning journalist Sunny Lewis is founding editor in chief of the Environment News Service (ENS), the original daily wire service of the environment, publishing since 1990.

Featured image: Visualization of the completed ITER Tokamak courtesy of Jamison Daniel, Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, Oak Ridge National Lab, United States
Image 01: Construction is underway at the 42-hectare ITER site in Saint-Paul-lez-Durance, in southern France, where building began in 2010.
Image 02: A technician at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics works inside the Wendelstein 7-X stellarator.

Building a Green Path Toward Sustainable Cities

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By Sunny Lewis

HONG KONG, China, November 6, 2015 (Maximpact News) – Green building is one of the best ways to combat climate change, since globally, “Buildings account for about a third of CO2 emissions, and these will continue to rise under a business-as-usual scenario,” Bruce Kerswill told delegates to the World Green Building Congress 2015 at the Crowne Plaza Hong Kong Kowloon East late last month.

In his role as chair of the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC), Kerswill said the Council is “galvanising the green building movement through a commitment to reduce 84 gigatonnes of C02 from the buildings sector by 2050.”

He explained that this effort is needed to limit global temperature rise to within 2°C above pre-industrial levels. World leaders agreed on this target as a matter of urgency at the 2009 United Nations climate talks in Copenhagen.

At this year’s UN climate talks in Paris in December, where a universal, legally-binding deal to set emissions limits will be signed, the WorldGBC will hold the first-ever Buildings Day.

There, the WorldGBC will unveil the detailed commitments of Green Building Councils around the world to build green as a means of controlling global warming while creating social and economic benefits.

The Hong Kong Green Building Council (HKGBC), and other green building councils around the world are determining their own targets ahead of the Paris talks, formally known as the 21st Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, or COP21.

At this year’s climate negotiations, there is a special focus on cities, writes Mark Ginsberg for the U.S. Green Building Council. “Many of us have long realized that cities are a logical place to address global issues. More people are living in cities than ever before in history, and urbanization is relentlessly growing. Cities consume two-thirds of the world’s energy and create more than 70 percent of global CO2 emissions. Cities have also been leaders in innovation and problem solving.”

In Hong Kong, to an audience of green building leaders from 30 countries attending the Congress, the HKGBC proudly announced a milestone. Over the past five years, more than 200 million square feet (19 million square metres) of Gross Floor Area has been registered under the environmental accreditation system BEAM Plus New Buildings and Existing Buildings.

BEAM, the Building Environmental Assessment Method, is the Hong Kong rating tool for green buildings. This voluntary private sector initiative conceived in 1996, has developed into an internationally recognized suite of rating tools for green buildings including new buildings, existing buildings and interiors for shops, offices, retail.

BEAM Plus includes the six aspects of a project: site aspects, energy use, indoor environmental quality, materials aspects, water use, and innovations and additions.

Cheung Hau-wai, vice chairman of the HKGBC and a member of the Construction Industry Council, commented, “This is a significant achievement accomplished by the collaboration between private and public sectors in Hong Kong.”

“With the growing awareness of the public about energy efficiency and the benefits that the BEAM Plus system can bring to the users, we expect to see continued support from the private sector and other stakeholders to build more green buildings that meet the BEAM Plus standards said Cheung. “It will enable us to make further contribution in energy saving and CO2 emission reduction.”

Looking ahead, HKGBC has set its Green Building Targets for the next five years to:

  • Certify at least 150 million square feet (14 million square meters) of gross floor area under BEAM Plus
  • Accredit at least 350 new BEAM practitioners a year, and work with BEAM Society Limited to provide at least 12,000 man hours of training per year to existing BEAM practitioners
  • Support the creation of a building energy consumption database through BEAM Plus and other systems

“Asia has enormous potential to contribute to green buildings development as countries like China and India are undergoing rapid urbanization,” said Terri Wills, chief executive of WorldGBC.

China is adding nearly two billion square meters of floor space each year while in India, two-thirds of the buildings which will exist in 2030 haven’t yet been built,” she said. “In both countries, and in the region, we have the opportunity to build better and greener buildings.”

The head of the Green Building Council Indonesia (GBCI) told the Hong Kong Congress delegates that 140 registered buildings are about to receive a green building certification.

GBCI Chair Naning Adiwoso said that until July 2015, only 14 Indonesian buildings had been certified as green. The demanding certification process usually takes six to 12 months, depending on the building’s design.

Naning advised building management and property developers to pay attention to environmental issues as buildings account for 23 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.

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There are currently eight new green buildings in Indonesia and five developing buildings that have already received a green certification from GBCI. And, 15 more buildings have claimed to be eco-friendly.

One building that has earned the green label is the main building of Indonesia’s Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing. This building can save 43 percent of its former electricity usage, and also can save 61 percent of water in the dry season and 81 percent of water in the rainy season.

Kerswill said green building practices are here to stay. “WorldGBC, national Green Building Councils and member companies are deeply committed to mobilizing a global market transformation to advance the fundamental goals of achieving net zero carbon new building and deep refurbishment of existing stock by 2050.”


 

Award-winning journalist Sunny Lewis is founding editor in chief of the Environment News Service (ENS), the original daily wire service of the environment, publishing since 1990.

Featured image: New buildings are often greener buildings in Hong Kong. (Photo by Philip McMaster courtesy McMaster Institute for Sustainable Development in Commerce under creative commons license via Flickr)
Main image: The Natural Resources Defense Council office building at 111 Sutter St. San Francisco, California. LEED Gold Certified, Energy Star Certified, this building is green because it has 14 green activities that achieved outcomes of energy efficient design, water use reduction, sustainable site selection and development and five more. (Photo by U.S. Green Building Council)
Image 01: The new Indonesian Ministry of Public Works office building in Jakarta incorporates a gubernatorial regulation on green building. It received a 2014 LaFarge Holcim Award for Sustainable Buildings at the International Awards for Sustainable Construction. (Photo courtesy LaFarge Holcim Foundation)