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September 9, 2020

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SnippETS for 20 June 2019

June 19, 2019




Welcome to our latest SnippETS newsletter.


In this edition we start with a look at why our priority should be on climate change. We have caused the issues, surely we should be able to fix them? With climate change expected to cost companies $1 trillion in 5 years, it makes sense to act now.


Start-ups are starting to look at locking carbon away for good. Timber in buildings can lock away carbon too, let’s use more. Turns out ‘Big Pharma’ emits more CO2 than the automotive industry! Nuclear power still has an important part to play in the future of energy.


Next, toilet paper made from stone, developed here in NZ and finally some details on the plastic bag ban which comes into effect on 1 July 2019.



Most of you will know of Bill Gates as the founder of Microsoft. He also happens to be the writer of our first article, which, in typical Gates fashion, cuts to the core of the argument with the logic often found in computer code. If we want to deal with climate change, focus on reducing CO2 emissions. Nothing else matters. Stop talking about water, plastic, diversity, workers’ rights, and volunteering. These are housekeeping issues. All our energy, resources and focus must be on climate change. Read more.....







Fresh research has once again confirmed that human activity is the cause behind global warming and not slow-acting and so far unidentified natural cycles in the world’s oceans. The research also ruled out the impact of volcanic eruptions or solar activity being behind the warming. It means that what humans do will change the outcome, and if and when greenhouse gas concentrations go down, so will temperatures. Our fate is in our hands. Read more.....





Climate change is now having an impact on the bottom line. Extreme weather events, whether they be droughts leading to forest fires, or flooding leading to pastures underwater, cost the US $91 billion in damages in 2018. “Climate change is no longer a distant threat but something that is impacting economies now,” says Bruno Sarda, president of CDP North America. Companies now expect climate change to cost them $1 trillion in five years. Business as usual is no longer a realistic option. Read more.....






One way to drive innovation is to make a contest out of the process. While there are many uses for CO2 in industrial processes, that CO2 is soon released and so there is no long-term carbon capture. Carbon XPRIZE aims to drive innovation by offering $20 million in awards to develop commercial products, made from CO2, that will capture and store carbon for much longer periods. Read more.....










The construction industry is generally quite carbon intensive, especially when vast amounts of steel and concrete are used to build taller buildings. However, there are natural alternatives that are less carbon intensive, and actually lock carbon away. This article advocates for a “wood first” approach to construction, and for planning authorities to help facilitate the process. Read more.....







Despite the heightened urgency of curbing carbon emissions around the world, the healthcare sector in general and the pharmaceutical sector in particular have received very little attention from the sustainability community in terms of their contribution to the global carbon footprint. However, a recent study looking at the carbon footprint of the global pharmaceutical industry revealed that the pharmaceutical industry emission intensity is about 55% higher than the automotive industries’ and the gross emissions were 13% higher! Read more.....






Although nuclear energy is a taboo subject here in New Zealand, it remains the world's second largest contributor of low-carbon power after hydroelectricity, providing 10 percent of global electricity generation. A new report is warning that without policy changes, advanced economies could lose 25 percent of their nuclear capacity by 2025 and as much as two-thirds of it by 2040. The report then says we would need to deploy new wind turbines and solar panels at an unprecedented speed to fill the gap. Instead should we be thinking about saving these nuclear plants? Read more.....





A Nelson fisherman has found a way of making toilet paper from calcium carbonate and a bio-based resin. The paper dissolves readily once flushed. With the cost likely to be initially similar to, and ultimately less than, the current price, and the reduction of deforestation, this new process could be invaluable. This may be a real game changer. Read more.....







As you are probably already aware, the ban on all single use plastic bags in New Zealand comes into effect on 1 July. This article is very informative about what’s changing, who is affected and what to do to prepare. Read more.....







Michelin and General Motors this week unveiled a new generation of airless wheel technology, known as Uptis (Unique Puncture-proof Tire System).

Read more.....

















Copyright of all featured articles lies with the original authors


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