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Interface

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Posts by Ramon Arratia

Climate Change – A Risk Assessment

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The Centre for Science and Policy has recently released this report assessing the risks around climate change. The CSaP helps the sciences and technology to serve society by promoting engagement between researchers and policy professionals.

“The most important decision any government has to make about climate change is one of priority: how much effort to expend on countering it, relative to the effort that must be spent on other issues. This risk assessment aims to inform that decision.”

As you would expect, the report is direct in its findings, with some press outlets comparing the threat to that of nuclear in the cold war era. It clearly lays out the risks and the who, where, how and when for the most affected – Global temperatures are rising, as are sea levels with widespread drought and famine. Across the globe it’s not looking great for us, with the developing nations faring worst.

Surface Temp Change Over Time

The risk assessment was informed by a series of meetings, held at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts in November 2014; Tsinghua University in Beijing in January 2015; the Council on Energy, Environment and Water in Delhi in March 2015; and Lancaster House in London in April 2015. These were attended by experts in energy policy, climate science, technology, finance, international security, politics and economics.

The report was commissioned by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office as an independent contribution to the climate change debate. Its contents represent the views of the authors, and should not be taken to represent the views of the UK Government. Sponsorship for the project was also generously provided by the China National Expert Committee on Climate Change, the Skoll Global Threats Fund, the Global Challenges Foundation, the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, and the Willis Research Network.

The report was edited and produced by the Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP) at the University of Cambridge.

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RobecoSAM’s Country Sustainability Ranking

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Sweden and several neighbours did well in this year’s RobecoSAM sustainability ranking report. The UK came 4th.

The report which came out earlier this month covers 60 countries and grades them against 17 criteria – a broad range of environmental, social and governance factors that they consider to be key risk and return drivers relevant for investors. For each of the indicators and their corresponding weights, a country sustainability score ranges from 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest. The resulting scores offer insights into the investment risks and opportunities associated with each country, allowing investors to better compare countries to each other.

The top and bottom 10 countries appear as follows:

Sustainability top 10

Sustainability bottom 10

 

You can download the full report here.

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Combat Climate Change And Grow The Economy – Possible?

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This report from Global Commission on the Economy and the Climate outlines how to grow the economy and stave off climate change. Watch this video for more detail.

New Climate Economy

The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, and its flagship project The New Climate Economy, were set up to help governments, businesses and society make better-informed decisions on how to achieve economic prosperity and development while also addressing climate change.

The New Climate Economy was commissioned in 2013 by the governments of seven countries: Colombia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Norway, South Korea, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The Commission has operated as an independent body and, while benefiting from the support of the seven governments, has been given full freedom to reach its own conclusions.

“2015 is a year of unprecedented opportunity. This year’s landmark intergovernmental conferences – the International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa in July, the United Nations Summit to adopt the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals in New York in September, the G20 Summit in Antalya in November, and the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris in December – have the potential to advance a new era of international cooperation which can help countries at all income levels build lasting development and economic growth while reducing climate risk.”

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The Ellen MacArthur Foundation Policymakers Toolkit

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The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has recently released this report – ‘Delivering the Circular Economy’, an actionable toolkit for policymakers wishing to make a transition to the circular economy.

Business leaders and governments alike are acknowledging that continued long-term value creation requires a new economic model that is less dependent on cheap, easily accessible materials and energy, and that is able to restore and regenerate natural capital. In its research to date, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation has demonstrated that the circular economy is a clear value creation opportunity. As many policymakers become interested in this promising model, they envisage the important role they can play in creating the right enabling conditions and, as appropriate, setting direction to unlock it. This report looks at the circular economy opportunity from a country and policymaker perspective, and aims to provide policymakers with an actionable toolkit to help accelerate the transition towards the circular economy.

Delivering the circular economy

It’s the result of a collaboration led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, with the Danish Business Authority and the Danish Environmental Protection Agency as key contributors, especially in the Denmark pilot phase. The toolkit was developed in cooperation with Danish and international stakeholders, including leading policymakers, businesses and academics. The McKinsey Centre for Business and Environment (“MCBE”) provided analytical support. NERA Economic Consulting provided support for the macroeconomic and policy analysis for Parts 2 and 3 of this report. The MAVA Foundation funded the project.

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Live Chat – ‘How do we overcome the biggest barriers to being a sustainable business?’

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big barriers to sustainable business

Tomorrow (1st July) between 1 – 2.30pm BST, join me and other 2015 Guardian Sustainable Business Award winners plus the host of the event, The Crystal.

Title of the #livechat – ‘How do we overcome the biggest barriers to being a sustainable business?’

To get involved simply tweet #AskGSB or go to this page and ask your question via the simple form

Questions we’ll tackle include:

* What are the biggest barriers businesses face on the road to becoming sustainable?

* What are some transferable strategies for overcoming these?

* How can sustainable businesses support each other when the road gets rocky?

* What will a sustainable business of the future need to be prepared for?

* What parts of your journey have proven particularly challenging and what have you learnt from them?

#AskGSB

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‘Brand of the year’ at MUUUZ International Awards 2015

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Approximately 22.000 professionals (architects, interior designers etc.) were consulted for the MUUUZ International Awards 2015.

Microsfera

We are very proud to announce that Interface has been elected “Brand of the year” thanks to Microsfera, our collection with the smallest carbon footprint ever. Click this link to find out more about the MUUUZ – News Architecture, Design, Tendances, Inspiration awards.

The carbon footprint is the single most significant impact of a carpet tile. That’s why we call it ‘the magic metric’. Over time various developments in the carpet industry have led to a shrinking carbon footprint. Microsfera is a big step forward. Even compared to a typical carpet tile using 100% recycled nylon, the carbon footprint of Microsfera is less than half the size. More about Microsfera: http://bit.ly/MicrosferaENG

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STEP UP CLIMATE CHANGE FIGHT AND BUILD GREEN ECOMONY

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TOP BRITISH FIRMS TO PM: STEP UP CLIMATE CHANGE FIGHT AND BUILD GREEN ECOMONY

80 UK businesses including Willmott Dixon, Cisco, E.on, John Lewis, SSE, and BT have called on the new government to take decisive action to combat climate change and build a low-carbon economy.

An open letter from the firms to Prime Minister David Cameron and published in today’s Financial Times calls on the new administration to:

* Seek a strong global climate deal in Paris in December which limits temperature rises to below 2°C.

* Set an ambitious 5th carbon budget to drive forward UK emissions reductions (covering period 2028-32).

* Establish a long-term framework for investment in the low-carbon economy, giving industry much-needed clarity over what is expected in terms of low-carbon development, and boost the confidence of green investors.

Other signatories include Dong Energy, Johnson & Starley, Trillion Fund, Infinergy, ARUP and Instagroup.

WWF-UK is leading calls for a new approach to governance that places low-carbon growth and the responsible management of natural capital at the heart of economic policy. WWF-UK Chief Executive David Nussbaum said:

“British business shows it is ready to step up.  From construction and energy to retail, the best British enterprises know that green growth is the future.  They take on board that it’s no longer credible to base a sustainable economy on fossil fuels, so the Government should put us on track for a low-carbon world.”

“As we approach international climate talks, Britain should be a global champion for change, but a lack of consistent long-term policies sends a confusing message to business and undermines our attractiveness to investors. The Prime Minister should send a clear message that the only way forward is a green economy, and provide greater support to forward-looking firms that want to build a clean economy.”

Failure to reduce emissions could burden businesses with shortages of water and raw materials  as the planet heats up.  And the costs of dealing with extreme weather and global instability could run into the hundreds of billions.  But clearer long-term incentives for investment in renewable and efficient technologies and practices would pay dividends in terms of new jobs and international trade, while reducing the impact of climate change.

Alistair Phillips Davies, Chief Executive of SSE said:

“As one of the UK’s largest investors in low carbon energy, SSE has long argued for a strong international carbon framework that can provide the right signals for efficient investment.”

Julia Groves, chief executive of Trillion Fund, a renewable energy crowdfunding platform, said:

“Protecting the pound in people’s pockets is not at odds with supporting low carbon energy generation. Peer-to-peer lending and the maturity of energy generation technologies have come together to create an exciting opportunity for ordinary people looking for a decent return and potentially, to offer cheaper bills for locals too. Regular lenders and investors can sit alongside the Green Investment Bank, pension funds, private equity and banks as direct stakeholders in a clean future, and with the right support, this model can drive competition in energy and in finance, for people, planet and profit.”

Low Carbon Britain

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The 2015 Sustainability Leaders Survey – Interface makes top 3!

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The GlobeScan / SustainAbility Surveys offer a unique, collaborative platform that uses research-driven insights, including targeted surveys of the most influential thought leaders in the sustainability arena from over eighty countries, to explore the biggest sustainability challenges. You can download the latest report here.

The thousands of stakeholders surveyed include leading sustainable development experts and practitioners from five sectors: • Corporate • Government (including multi-lateral institutions) • NGOs • Institutional (e.g., academics) • Service (e.g., consultants, media) The GlobeScan / SustainAbility Surveys are in field around four times each year, and provide a regularly updated expert perspective on a range of timely topics.

This slide from the report shows us at third place. Click to enlarge. I’m incredibly proud that Interface has made the top 3 for 11 consecutive years.

Interface top 3 sustainability survey

 

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Subsidies we give to the fossil fuel industry [report]

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fossil-fuel-emissionsGreat report (paid) from the IMF with estimates on the huge amounts of subsidies that governments give towards the fossil fuel industry.

Energy subsidies (including environmental costs) are dramatically higher than previously estimated and represent 6.5 percent of global GDP. Hello!

Eliminating these subsidies could:

* Raise government revenue by around 3.6% of global GDP

* Cut global CO2 emissions by more than 20%

* Cut premature air pollution deaths by more than half

* Raise global economic welfare by $1.8 trillion (2.2% of global GDP)

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