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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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Yesterday morning in Scherpenzeel, marked the starting point of the Energy European tour for @MarosSefcovic, Vice-President of the @EU_Commission in charge of #EnergyUnion.

Maros Sefcovic and Rob Boogaard

He kindly accepted to answer some of our Cut The Fluff questions :

Q.- What is your definition of sustainability in one sentence?

Sustainability is about ensuring my children will enjoy a planet in the same state as the one I was born into.

Q.- What will get us out of this mess? Miraculous technology, tough regulation or self-flagelation?

We need to spread the word across Europe that we have the technology here (in Scherpenzeel/Netherlands), we have the motivation in Europe !

We need to convince business leaders, decision makers, politicians that sustainability pays off, that you can be profitable, and at the same time you can save energy, you can do a lot of good for the environment, for your town, for your employees and export this expertise around the world

 Q.- What’s your message to the Fortune 500 CEO’s

I’d like to say : be a little bit more open if sustainability experts are telling that business could be done differently.

Companies, when they produce, should think how to recycle ? or when they spend and consume energy : how to  save it ?

And how you can do it in a way that, not only your company, but also your region, your country could benefit.

I’m already thinking about our discussions in Paris in December because that would be something that we need to transmit to the global leaders.

Maros Sefcovic Rob Boogaard factory visit

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Interface Europe direct footprint reductions

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Maroš ŠefčovičToday EU Vice President Maroš Šefčovič will see with his own eyes in the Netherlands how the following impact reductions are possible in a competitive environment.

There should be no excuse for any company not to achieve radical impact reduction goals.

Interface Europe direct footprint reductions:

* Direct GHG Emissions: -98% (Reduction since 1996)

* Renewable Energy: 95%

* Energy Efficiency: -54% (Reduction since 1996)

* Water Usage: -93% (Reduction since 1996)

* Waste to Landfill:  Zero

The 18th European Forum on Eco-innovation

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The 18th European Forum on Eco-innovationI’ll be speaking here on Wednesday at the 18th European Forum on Eco-innovation in Barcelona. Please come and say hello if you’re attending.

The event is all about boosting competitiveness and innovation. Make your voice heard as a European innovator, retailer and consumer. Gain a deeper understanding of the world of environmental information and management schemes. Join us in Barcelona for the 18th European Forum on Eco-innovation!  The Forum will explore how to strengthen competitiveness and innovation, in particular of SMEs, through environmental labelling, management and information schemes by presenting:

* the landscape of existing environmental schemes and their value in enhancing the competitiveness of SMEs;

* examples of successful environmental labelling, management and information initiatives;

* how we reconcile credibility of labels with the need to differentiate products;

* the role of public authorities in this area; and

* partnerships between retailers and suppliers that help consumers choose “green” products.

The 18th European Forum on Eco-innovation also provides an opportunity for participants from across Europe to:

* meet with the participants of the European Retail Forum Meeting;

* inform the on-going European Union Ecolabel and Eco Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) evaluations with key messages and recommendations for action;

* discover the best performing companies among those committed to monitor and enhance their environmental performance at the EMAS Awards Ceremony;

* learn about the first innovative technologies with performance claims verified by Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) and about the Best of Eco-innovation projects funded by the EU Competitiveness and Innovation Programme Eco-innovation initiative;

* participate in a business-to-business matchmaking session;

* Take part in the guided visit to stores demonstrating their conception and implementation of sustainability: Caprabo (Eroski Group), Mercadona, Consum.

The Forum is jointly organised by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Environment, the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment and the Generalitat de Catalunya with the support the Club EMAS Catalunya and the Environment Sector Group of the Enterprise Europe Network.

The event will be run in English and Spanish. Hope to see you there.

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The answer is : the plastic film used in windscreens !

Interface is launching the world’s first recycled latex substitute using laminate found in car glass.

Driven by its commitment to Mission Zero, Interface has developed a method for using recycled poly-vinyl butyral (PVB) to replace the existing latex precoat widely used in the carpet tile industry to fix the yarn to the backing.

PVB is the laminate found in glass which prevents it from shattering, and is most commonly found in car windscreens. The industry has been recycling this type of glass for some time but had found no solution for recycling the PVB.

Working alongside new and old partners, including Shark Solutions, Interface invested 10 years of research in developing the ground-breaking process and, as a result of this co-innovation, PVB has been given a second life in a new, sustainable supply chain.

PVB has a carbon footprint that is 80 per cent less than the existing latex precoat used in the industry. Interface Europe currently uses 43 per cent of recycled
or bio-based raw materials and the Mission Zero goal is 100 per cent by 2020.

The new material will bring Interface’s use of recycled or bio-based raw materials to 66 per cent when applied to all products and, as such, in the next two years, Interface believes products with up to 90 per cent recycled or biobased content will be achievable.

Follow this newsfeed with #carpetcar

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The Stretch Agenda – Dramatising transformational change in the boardroom

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Volans Stretch Agenda

John and the Volans team are taking this novel approach, and bringing to life as a play, what needs to happen in every company to drive transformational change that ultimately affects us all.

They’ve called it The Stretch Agenda which launches today – More here in the PDF in our downloads section.

“The Stretch Agenda  takes the form of a dramatisation – a play! – drawing on our years of experience in working with business, to offer insight into the types of conversations now beginning to play out across boardrooms in the Global C-Suite. 

The focus here is on a fictional “MN-Co”, a global company, where leaders are gathered to explore how to shift their business model to address the profound economic, social and environmental challenges ahead. So, in other words, transformational change, beyond the incremental. Key questions they ask themselves include: If not us, who? If not now, when? 

At the same time, we will launch a complementary briefing, The Breakthrough Forecastan intelligence briefing – as yet in a beta version – to map and assess the emerging “Sweet Spots” of the emerging Stretch Agenda, i.e. market growth opportunities that combine multiple forms of value based on a distillation of research, interviews and analysis.”

Break a leg guys!

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