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ANOTHER PLANET?

london2012-logoEdie.net reports that the London 2012 Olympic Games has achieved carbon emissions savings of around 400,000 tons, despite larger than expected spectator-related emissions, according to the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic games (LOCOG). Publishing its post-games sustainability report today, LOCOG said the popular success of the London games, which included 1.5m people lining the route of the Olympic Torch relay and full venues throughout the games, led to an increased ‘actual’ overall carbon footprint.  Spectator numbers substantially exceeded expectations leading to an increased footprint for spectators from 670,000 tons of CO2 emissions to an ‘actual’ footprint of 913,000 tons of CO2 emissions.  The increase was mainly due to the impact of travel, but also included revised estimates for accommodation, catering, merchandise and waste. On the construction side, the games was able to avoid 15% less carbon emissions than originally projected, while the operational side recorded a 28% drop from the original estimate. Other achievements included 100% waste diverted from landfill, with 99% of total waste being re-used or recycled. Final revised total emissions were 3.4m tons of CO2. http://www.edie.net/news/news_story.asp?src=nl&id=23711

The UK’s first solar-powered business park has generated 730,000kWh in its first 12 months, preventing 400 tonnes of CO2 from being released in to the atmosphere. Since the installation of 3,000 ground solar panels last year, Oxfordshire-based Howbery Business Park, which counts the Environment Agency among its tenants, powered 34% of its park with solar energy from April to September 2012, beating its initial forecast of 25%.  It has also fed more than 116,000 kWh to the National Grid to date.

call-for-entriesThe Resource Revolution Awards will recognise and champion those reinventing the concept of waste and revolutionising the way industry thinks and deals with it. This high-profile gala event in Central London will incorporate a panel discussion, bringing together the entire revolution in one event. The Closing date for entries is 15th February 2013. Visit www.resourcerevolution.net/awards to enter.

The unspeakably unpleasant Donald Trump is facing investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after Scottish Greens have lodged a complaint over adverts place db Trump in two newspapers linking windfarms with the release of the Lockerbie bomber.  The tycoon who is fightingthe proposed construction of a windfarm near his golf course on the Aberdeenshire coast, placed full page adverts in two leading Scottish newspapers last week – the Courier and the Press and Journal. The adverts feature a photograph of First Minister Alex Salmond and a Californian wind farm, and state that “tourism will suffer” as well as linking this claim to the decision to release the Lockerbie bomber.

And Scottish Water is planning to construct a 54MW wind farm on its land at the Backwater Reservoir in Angus, Scotland as it attempts to become self-sufficient in its energy use.

Jeffrey Kaffee, the retired airline pilot who, two years ago, became the first Chevrolet Volt owner in the world, has put 12,000 miles on his Volt, nut he has only burned 26.1 gallons of gasoline! That’s an average of about 1.08 gallon per month. Or put another way, that’s 459 miles per gallon of gasoline (though of course that’s not counting the electricity that he used). Pretty impressive!

The European Commission has awarded a consortium of stakeholders €13.3m to integrate renewable energy generation into the electrical grid. eStorage, a consortium of major European stakeholders from the electric power value chain, will aim to develop solutions for the widespread deployment of GWh-scale energy storage across the EU and to enhance grid management systems to allow the integration of a large share of renewable energies.

One of the largest developers in China, the China Pacific Construction Group, is planning to spend around 22 billion yuans (3.5 billion dollars) to flatten 700 mountains in the Lanzhou area, to allow the construction of a new giant city over an area of 130,000 hectares about 50 miles from the current city.

Heineken is set to recycle all of its remaining brown bottles as it looks to become the ‘greenest’ brewer in the world (probably).

The scientific community must take a more decisive lead in the debate on energy policy, according to the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC). Research funded by the UKERC indicates that news coverage of renewables and related energy issues is creating uncertainty and confusion.  The research was put together by social scientists and experts from the Glasgow University Media Group and Chatham House. However in better news, The UK Government nnounced a revised support package for the solar photovoltaic (PV) industry today following discussions with industry associations.

The water industry has expressed its concerns over the Government’s announcement that fracking for shale gas will resume in the UK. Potential pollution of groundwater and the heavy water intensity of hydraulic fracturing are the main concerns being aired by water organisations.

Large firms are increasingly adopting and scaling up sustainability innovations and reaping substantial rewards in the process, new research has found. A study from WWF-UK shows that such innovations are often driven by smaller, disruptive business models creating new markets and altering existing ones. http://www.wwf.org.uk/what_we_do/working_with_business/green_game_changers/green_game_changers_insights_for_mainstreaming_business_innovation/

The progress of carbon capture and storage (CCS) has been disappointing but is a crucial technology and still has potential in the UK, according to Carbon Trust chair James Smith. Smith pointed to a report that CCS could cut the annual costs of meeting British carbon targets by up to 1% of GDP, or around £42bn per year, by 2050.

EU Environment Ministers have set out key actions to improve governance of those involved in managing water resources. Underlining the need for better implementation of the current water legislation, the minister’s conclusions will aim to improve land use, address water pollution, and increase water efficiency and resilience. As a first response to the Commission’s report, A blueprint to safeguard Europe’s water resources, the conclusions will also look at the integration of water policy objectives into other policy areas, such as the Common Agriculture Policy, the Cohesion Policy, renewable energy, and transport. And the EC has said that research funding worth €40m (£32.5m) will be made available in 2013 to support the development and uptake of innovative solutions to water challenges in Europe.