Arctic’s strongest sea ice breaks up for first time on record

The oldest and thickest sea ice in the Arctic has started to break up, opening waters north of Greenland that are normally frozen, even in summer.

This phenomenon – which has never been recorded before – has occurred twice this year due to warm winds and a climate-change driven heatwave in the northern hemisphere.

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Source: Guardian

Mandatory carbon reporting announced for all large UK companies

All large companies will be required to report their carbon emissions and energy use from next April under a new framework announced by the UK government yesterday.

The proposals will apply to all unquoted organisations with at least 250 employees, or those that have an annual turnover greater than £36m and balance sheet total above £18m.

These firms will join all listed companies that have been mandated to report their carbon performance since 2013, with the new rules intended to help deliver an energy efficiency boost of 20% by 2030.

IEMA described the move as a “significant step forward” after working on the issue for almost a decade, and contributing extensive research to the initial carbon reporting consultation in 2012.

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Source: Transform

Researchers race to make bioplastics from straw and food waste

Scientists looking to replace oil as the source of the world’s plastic are harnessing everything from wood-eating bugs to chicory.

New bioplastics are being made in laboratories from straw, wood chips and food waste, with researchers aiming to replace oil as the source of the world’s plastic.

The new approaches include genetically modifying bacteria to eat wood and produce useful chemicals. But the bioplastics are currently significantly more expensive to make than fossil fuel-based plastics.

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Source: The Guardian

UK supermarkets launch voluntary pledge to cut plastic packaging

UK supermarkets and food companies launched a new voluntary pledge to cut plastic packaging on Thursday as ministers consider forcing them to pay more towards collecting and recycling the waste they produce.

In a first response to a growing public backlash against the huge volumes of plastic rubbish, most of the UK’s largest supermarkets signed up to support the UK Plastics Pact – an industry-wide initiative which says it aims to transform packaging and reduce avoidable plastic waste.

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Source: The Guardian

Etihad Airways slashes carbon emission in ’17

Etihad Airways successfully eliminated around 195,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions in 2017, thanks to a wide range of fuel-saving initiatives across its network.

Following a number of improvements aimed at enhancing operational efficiencies, Etihad was able to reduce the amount of fuel consumed by its aircraft by over 62,000 tons of fuel. The result represents a 3.3 per cent improvement from the year before, and is the equivalent of 850 flights between Abu Dhabi and London.

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Source: Saudi Gazette

Thomas Cook launches new sustainability strategy

Thomas Cook has unveiled a new sustainability strategy which seeks to lower fuel emissions, reduce food waste in resort and increase charitable activity.

The three-year strategy follows a year-long review of the operator’s sustainability activity and aims to “limit environmental impacts and maximise the social and economic benefits” of travel.

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Source: Travel Weekly

UEFA and the European Commission join forces for sustainability

A new agreement has been signed to further sustainable development at Europe’s football grounds, sports facilities and stadiums.

UEFA, football’s governing body in Europe, and the European Commission have signed an agreement in Brussels this week that will see the two cooperate on issues around sustainability, fair competition, good governance and integrity within the game.

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Source: Climate Action

CDP data reveals shortfall in carbon disclosure by North American companies

Many North American companies are not fully disclosing their carbon emissions — especially from their supply chain and use of products. For many sectors, this is where most risks lie. Nevertheless, there are encouraging signs that companies are investigating these blind spots and taking action to prepare for the low-carbon transition.

The findings come in Trucost’s analysis of the latest data on carbon disclosure gathered by CDP from companies in 2017. Some 1,900 companies worldwide responded to CDP’s data request, of which about a quarter are headquartered in the U.S or Canada.

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Source: Green Biz

Experts have worked out the carbon footprint of your sarnie

It could be time to give up your daily BLT…

The British public eat over 11.5bn sandwiches every year, spending around £8bn in the process, according to the British Sandwich Association (yes, there really is such a thing).

But whether your choice is the classic cheese and tomato or the heartier chicken and bacon, your sarnie option could have more riding on it than you think.

Researchers from the University of Manchester carried out the first ever study into the carbon footprint of sandwiches, for both ready-made and home-made products.

More than 40 different sandwich recipes were studied, with researchers taking into consideration the whole life-cycle of the sandwich from farming the raw ingredients to packaging and transportation as well as refrigeration and food waste.

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Source: BBC

Government returns to court over air quality plans

UK government once again forced to defend its plans to tackle air pollution in face of ClientEarth legal challenge

The UK government is back in court once again today to defend its plan to cut air pollution across England against a challenge from environmental law firm ClientEarth.

It is the third time the UK government has faced a legal challenge over the same issue, with previous cases resulting in rulings forcing the government to rewrite the plan to make it stronger and more ambitious.

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Source: Business Green