June 16th, 2017

Sustainable apparel will come only from industry-wide change

by Mary Hable

 

In 2010, fresh out of college with a degree in economics, I began a new job as a corporate sustainability professional at a major apparel retailer. I was hopeful. The apparel industry was full of environmental problems and opportunities for major progress.

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June 9th, 2017

A triumph of optimisation: re-routing Islington’s waste collections

by Matthew Homer

 

As the dust settles on the introduction of new recycling and waste collection days for 54,000 houses in the London Borough of Islington, I’d like to share with you some key lessons learnt, especially for anyone doing the same thing elsewhere and for those helping us to run our services better in the future.

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June 2nd, 2017

Myth takes: it’s greener to incinerate paper than recycle it

by Peter Jones

 

When people want to argue that this whole recycling lark has gone a bit too far, they often regurgitate a peculiar factoid: that, on a careful analysis of the pros and cons, incinerating waste paper and card to generate energy has greater environmental benefits than recycling it.

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May 26th, 2017

Will ‘natural capital’ ever yield returns?

by David Baxter

 

Natural capital is pushed as a new way of looking at environmental impacts and the value of nature to society. Promoters of the concept, and the associated approaches of valuing natural assets in financial terms, promise that it will put the protection of nature on to boardroom agendas. It is even at the heart of the UK government’s proposal for a 25-year plan for the environment.

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May 19th, 2017

Improving consumer engagement with the energy market

by Molly Hickman

 

The Conservative manifesto for the 2017 general election includes an energy price cap for the single variable tariff. While the aim is to “protect energy customers from unacceptable rises” there are worries that such a policy would lead to reduced competition and pricing issues in the long run. The rationale for the proposed price cap may be questionable, but it has at least brought the topic of energy back into the news; a lack of consumer engagement is a significant and ongoing issue within the sector, affecting the bills people pay and the amount of energy they use.

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May 10th, 2017

Air cover: politics and the air quality plan

by Dominic Hogg

 

The Government finally published its long awaited revised air quality plan, albeit in draft form, last Friday. Many have expressed disappointment with its lack of ambition, but less has been written about the signs of some key last minute ‘tweaks’. The apparent aim of the late changes was to minimise the risk of a potential political backlash against the plan from angry diesel drivers – but their effect could well be to delay the effective action on air quality that is so urgently needed.

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May 5th, 2017

Grounds for concern: the problem of coffee capsules

by Mark Hilton and Daniel Card

 

With an estimated two billion cups consumed every day, coffee is one of the world’s most popular drinks and has been the fuel for countless projects, essays – and Isonomia blogs. In the UK, the average person consumes 1.7kg of coffee per year. This is less than residents of many of our European neighbours, but still equates daily nationwide consumption of some 70 million cups, with spending in coffee shops now exceeding £3bn per year.

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