SnippETS for 14 March 2019


Welcome to our latest SnippETS newsletter.


This week we look at why students all across New Zealand and all over the world are talking about protesting instead of attending class tomorrow. Also, we look at the impact of 'green' finance and why banks are offering lower lending rates to certain companies. We also cover: some exciting new innovations coming out of the Geneva Motor Show, the natural resource demand of green technologies and the environmental impacts of the palm oil industry. Lastly, we have a novel innovation that is helping kids in Africa stay in school.


By the time you open this issue of SnippETS, it might already be Friday 15th March. If so, you may be noticing a number of young students on the streets carrying banners protesting at the lack of action on climate change. As Year 11 student Keira Malan says "If we don't take real action soon, then really, we're all doomed". The protests have received support and endorsements from teachers, parents and a number of MPs, including the Climate Change Minister James Shaw. Read more.....




But why the reluctance to take action? Mounting evidence shows that companies with a focus on sustainability or ESG issues financially outperform others. We are now seeing these organisations who have already made sustainability strides being rewarded by lower lending rates. Green and sustainability-linked loans reached $36.4 billion while green bond issuance topped $182 billion in 2018 according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Read more.....


The recent Geneva Motor Show, highlighted some exciting innovations. How about an autonomous vehicle with a drive section called a skateboard that can have passenger or delivery configurations on the upper section, all depending on what is required at a particular time. Better safety and navigation information provided by a live hologram, or an app that calculates a driver’s transport options to reach their destination, and compares them! Read more.....

EV’s are becoming mainstream and to back this up we look at 10 of the hottest vehicles at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. Some great looking vehicles that are practical, and some not so much. The Pininfarina Battista, may not be a daily commuter but the performance and price are eye wateringly amazing. 1,990hp and 2,300Nm of torque is something else, and with a 400km plus range shows EV’s are being developed at quite a pace. Read more.....



What do EV’s rely on? Batteries. Effectively, most of the EV's chassis is built around the batteries, and these batteries could one day end up on the scrap heap. And to press this point home, E-waste is now the fastest growing waste stream in the world, so what do we do about it? We recycle it because there is 100 times more gold in a tonne of e-waste than a tonne of gold ore! Read more.....




Climate solutions depend on rare earths, no one can dispute that, but as well as recycling, they have to be responsibly sourced to begin with. Global and even local political situations can make taking a responsible approach difficult. These minerals are required quickly and now. The answer lies in transitioning toward robust recycling, reuse and repair. Read more.....



Are you someone who often looks at the ingredients on the package and wonders what palm oil is and why it is in there? This article will give you plenty of background information to answer those questions, and to explain just how this miracle product has become an ecological nightmare. Read more.....






Given that palm oil is a miracle ingredient, it appears that it is not going anywhere anytime soon. The best way to manage the market's desire for the product and mitigate the environmental damage is to provide some sort of sustainable 'best practice' for the industry. This article lays out the current status and efforts for sustainable palm oil. Read more.....





Children in developing countries are deprived of childhood and educational opportunities due to child labor. In an effort to help reduce child labor and improve education outcomes a South Korean company has begun implementing a novel idea involving a solar cow. Read More.....




This week in Innovation, we look at a MIT technology review of one man’s two-decade quest to suck greenhouse gas out of the sky. Read more.....

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