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SnippETS for 6 June 2019

June 5, 2019

 

 

 

Welcome to our latest SnippETS newsletter.

 

In this edition we start with a great article about how an iconic toy company set a sustainability goal and beat that goal by three years.

 

We follow that with an article that describes how humanity is doing well with some Sustainable Development Goals and not so well with others. We then contrast that with the massive efforts being made in China.

 

Next we bring it back home to NZ with an informative article on the hydrogen economy.

 

We also have several articles that discuss the  natural world, with a focus on climate change and sustainability and we finish with everyone’s favourite - sustainable natural rubber!

 

 

 

As public pressure mounts on businesses to up their sustainability measures, one organisation is set on making a lasting difference. LEGO, the toy manufacturer, recently reached their goal of powering production facilities entirely on renewable energy three years earlier than planned. Additionally, they are inspiring children around the world by engaging them in environmental and social issues.  Read more.....

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although it can be exciting to hear about positive change from a single organisation, in order to limit warming to 1.5C, or meet any of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations, it is important to look at the global context to see whether we are making progress. A recent report found that sustainability experts continue to view progress on sustainable development as largely inadequate, and rate poorly businesses’ contribution to advancing the goals. We all need to do more! Read more.....

 

 

 

 

 

When it comes to achieving the SDG’s, you can argue that no country has made more progress than China. Although there is no shortage of critics of China - be it ethics and corruption, human rights, environmental management, or labour standards - there are actually many reasons why China’s role in sustainable development should be taken seriously. Read more.....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the Zero Carbon Bill on the table there is now a lot of discussion on how we will achieve these targets. Currently, 60% of our overall energy use comes from fossil fuels and we will need to transition to low emissions fuels as soon as feasibly possible. Could wind and hydrogen be the future of New Zealand’s energy mix?. Read more.....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As global CO2 levels continue to rise, plants in turn are responding proportionally by soaking up more and more emissions through photosynthesis to make organic matter.  Research has shown that since the start of the industrial revolution, photosynthesis has increased by 31%.  But there is only so much plants can achieve and as they reach their limits, coupled with continuing deforestation, human behaviour needs to change and fast. Read more.....

 

 

 

 

What sort of forest is better for the climate?  With scientists claiming reforestation can provide 18% of climate change mitigation through 2030, it’s probably a good idea to optimise our forestry assets.  Forests absorb CO2 through photosynthesis and store carbon in their roots, trunks, branches, needles and leaves.  Half a tree’s weight is carbon.  So, are young growth trees better for absorbing CO2 than long growth trees?  As it turns out, it depends on where on the planet these forests are located. Read more.....

 

 

 

The potential for seaweed to contribute to solving the management of emissions is huge.  Seaweeds are the world’s fastest growing plants – growing 30-60 times faster than land-based plants and absorbing up to 5 times more CO2.  Seaweed also does not require soil, fertilizer, fresh water or pesticides to grow and actually improves the environment in which they flourish.  If just 9% of the world’s oceans were converted to seaweed farms, it would sequester the equivalent of all our present emissions at more than 40 Gigatons per year. Read more.....

 

 

 

A great deal of climate action initiatives could potentially hinge on having healthy oceans.  Our next article examines six separate developments and how there is hope for our oceans yet.  These include tacking the tide of plastic pollution flooding into our waterways, using electricity to power ferries instead of heavy bunker oil, addressing illegal fishing and preserving stock numbers, the creation of more marine reserves and growing movements to integrate ocean and climate action. Read more.....

 

 

 

Rubber, a vital product with many applications. With increasing demand in the last 30 years, Asia has doubled the area of land dedicated to rubber plantations as growing conditions are ideal. This has brought with it, environmental issues in what is a complex supply chain. Smallholders make up 85% of Indonesia’s rubber production alone. It is hoped that with the launch of Global Platform on Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR) that sustainability and environmental issues are managed with long term goals in mind. Read more.....

 

 

 

 

This week in Innovation, a US business group says a concerted effort by the world’s farmers to restore and protect soil health could reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide by as much as 65 ppm from its current level of more than 415 ppm.

Read more....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright of all featured articles lies with the original authors

                     

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