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Wed, May

Today, Burberry have announced they will no longer destroy products that are unsalable in a bid to become more sustainable.

Last year, it was reported that the company destroyed over £28.6 million worth of unsold products to protect its brand. This followed a massive backlash from environmentalists prompting Burberry to respond.

Marco Gobbetti, Chief Executive Officer at Burberry, said: “Modern luxury means being socially and environmentally responsible. This belief is core to us at Burberry and key to our long-term success. We are committed to applying the same creativity to all parts of Burberry as we do to our products.”

The sustainability of the textile industry has been long debated, and the idea of renting clothing has been introduced to reduce the large amount of waste produced.

Burberry said: “We already re-use, repair, donate or recycle unsaleable products and we will continue to expand these efforts.”

The brand has teamed with sustainable luxury company Elvis & Kresse which means that over the next five years 120 tonnes of leather off-cuts will be transformed into new products.

The high-end fashion company have also committed to stop using real fur. There will be no real fur in Riccardo Tisci’s debut collection for Burberry next month, and they will begin to phase out real fur products.

Fur in the fashion industry is beginning to diminish after continuous campaigns from animal-rights activists. Burberry join other global designers such as Gucci and Giorgio Armani who have also gone fur-free.

Burberry have set three targets to become sustainable by 2022; become carbon neutral and revalue waste, drive positive change through 100 percent of Burberry’s products and positively impact one million people.

Read more: Burberry to stop destroying unsold products

A new, technology first, ‘spinning’ wind turbine has won the UK James Dyson award.

The O-Wind turbine was created by Nicolas Orellana, 36, and Yaseen Noorani, 24, both MSc students at Lancashire University.

The new design takes advantage of horizontal and vertical winds without requiring steering. This differs to traditional wind turbines which only capture wind travelling in one direction.

The turbine is of a spherical shape with a single axis of rotation going through it. Its dimensions and shape mean that it is very suitable for small-scale energy production by individual apartment dwellers.

The unique size and shape of the turbine mean that it can be placed in different types of environment compared to conventional turbines which require more space.

Mr Orellana said: “I’ve always been enthusiastic about helping people solving their problems in humanitarian and professional contexts. Sustainability is and will continue to be one of the biggest challenges for people around the globe, and it will require the commitment of us all to be solved. We expect the O-Wind to be a valuable contribution to help improving our chances of reaching sustainability one day.”

Wind power currently generates just 4 per cent of the world’s electricity but it has much more potential according to Mr Noorani.

The pair will receive £2,000 towards developing the project, production may take up to five years but the duo hope that the device can be scaled up to work on large structures such as the side of a building or balcony as this is where wind speeds are the highest.

Photo: Dyson. Cardboard prototype being tested in a real scenario at the Morecambe Bay, UK

Photo Credit: Dyson

Read more: New O-Wind turbine wins UK Dyson award

Henkel have committed to making their packaging 100 per cent recyclable, compostable or biodegradable by 2025.

The German-based consumer brand, who manufacturer for brands such as Persil and Schwarzkopf, have introduced the idea to reduce the amount of plastic waste, a big problem that weighs heavy on the consumer industry.

Henkel said in a statement: “Progress towards sustainable packaging will only be possible if organisations from across industries and along the value chain work together. That’s why Henkel is collaborating with a variety of partners to drive innovation in packaging development and promote improved recycling infrastructure.”

Kathrin Menges, Executive Vice President of Human Resources and Sustainability, said: “Only by reusing and recycling as much material as possible will we be able to live well within the resource limits of our planet. This concept is at the heart of our approach to sustainable packaging.”

Henkel are making a pledge of sustainability to promote the circular economy. To ensure they achieve this they have set a number of targets including running on 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030 and reducing their carbon footprint by 75 per cent by 2030.

As environmental frontrunners they have already made progress towards these targets reducing waste per tonne of product by 32 per cent. They also partnered with Waste Free Oceans to manufacture bottles made from ocean plastic.

The company joins a number of manufacturers including Coca-Cola who are also making promises to provide sustainable packaging.

Read more: Henkel commit to 100% recyclable packaging by 2025

A recent report by Green Energy Markets has shown that Queensland could see a dramatic rise in renewable energy.

The report showed that, over the last three years, Queensland has already experienced a large increase in renewable energy. However, the report notes that due to prevalent coal power plants in the region some proposed projects, such as the Wivenhoe facility, have not been operated.

The report says: “However, the vast majority of these projects will only proceed to construction if there is new government policy to encourage further carbon pollution reductions in the electricity sector or the closure of existing power plants.”

The former Australian Prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, had recently rejected a key climate policy after he faced a crisis of confidence. However, last week he resigned and the new PM, Scott Morrison, has pledged to stand by the Paris Agreement as he believes that it will not affect electricity prices, his main priority.

Australian Green Leader, Richard Di Natale, has promised to work with the new labour government to get climate change regulation back on track.  

The report also demonstrates the increase productivity of rooftop solar, in 2018 it hit a capacity of 2,000 megawatts, the highest in the country.

Combined increase in multiple renewable projects means that Queensland are set to hit around 25 per cent renewable energy by 2020.

To read the full report click here.

Read more: Renewable energy on the rise in Queensland

Mercedes-Benz have revealed their new electric car which is set to launch in 2019.

The company is investing more than £9 billion in the expansion of its electric range. By 2022, they will offer 10 pure battery electric vehicles, this starts in 2019 with the launch of the EQC.

Mercedes said: “To support the shift away from fossil fuel powered vehicles to more sustainable alternatives, our eMobility range is growing year on year with a range of choice in hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles.”

The EQC, the first series production vehicle to emerge from their EQ electric mobility programme, will have a power input of up to 300 kilowatt, a range of 450 kilometres and will be a serious competitor in the luxury SUV market. It can accelerate from 0-62 mph in under five seconds and can travel over 300 miles on one charge. Locally emission-free driving is achievable at all times, with an extensive range from a single charge.

The new electric car has undergone years of development, facing rigorous testing in the coldest parts of the world to the hottest.

Dieter Zetsche, Mercedes-Benz chairman, revealed that by 2025 he expects electric car sales to occupy 15 – 20 percent of the company’s sales.

Mercedes-Benz join other car companies such as Nissan and Tesla who have created electric cars for a competitive market.

To find out more about the Mercedes-Benz electric car production series click here.

Photo Credit: Mercedes-Benz

Read more: Mercedes unveil new electric car, EQC

Adidas and Parley for the Oceans have collaborated on the football team’s third kit.

The kits, made from recycled ocean plastic, are being sold for £64.95 at the official Real Madrid Store and will be worn during the 2018/19 season.

The coral colour of the strip is designed to reflect the various shades of coral to highlight the importance of protecting our oceans.

A spokesman for Adidas said: “As a founding member, Adidas supports Parley for the Oceans in its education and communication programs, as well as its comprehensive Ocean Plastic Program that intends to end plastic pollution of the oceans through the three pillars of the Parley A.I.R. strategy: Avoid, Intercept and Design.”

Cyrill Gutsch, Parley for the Oceans Founder, said: “Real Madrid has the power to amplify our message, to share it with their massive global following and to bring it to life with their own decisions and actions.”

Parley for the Oceans is an organisation that addresses major threats to our oceans which they regard as the most important ecosystem of our planet. Recent studies showed that at least 5 trillion pieces of plastic waste, weighing over 250,000 tonnes, are now floating in our oceans.

Adidas and Parley for the Oceans have previously collaborated on sustainable clothing, including high-performance footwear. Through this partnership they have sold over one million shoes made from recycled ocean plastic.

Manchester United and Bayern Munich have also announced kits made from plastic in a pledge of sustainability.

Photo Credit: Adidas

Read more: Real Madrid’s third kit made by Adidas from...

Aldi stores across Plymouth are phasing out black plastic trays used for fresh food produce.

A couple of stores in Bradford are also receiving the treatment. This follows Aldi’s promise to ensure all of its packaging is recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025.

The replacement trays will save up to 265 tonnes of plastic a year. Frequently, black plastic packaging ends up in landfill because it cannot be identified by machinery that sorts through usual household waste items.

Fritz Walleczek, Managing Director of Corporate Responsibility at Aldi UK, said: “Cutting waste is part of Aldi’s DNA and we have a longstanding commitment to minimise our impact on the environment. One part of that is to prevent plastic going to landfill by using materials that are easier to recycle – like these clear trays – but also to ensure that there is a demand for recycled plastic by using it in products like our pasta pots.”

Aldi are also scraping the packaging of its plastic pasta pots instead using 95 per cent recycled materials, this wall save a further 139 tonnes of plastic a year.

The supermarket chain join several other companies in a bid to reduce plastic pollution, a key issue in the UK currently. Theresa May has recently been reported to be introducing a proposal to increase the plastic bag levy to further crackdown on what she termed Britain’s ‘throwaway culture’.

Aldi is the UK’s fifth largest and fastest-growing supermarket and is a continuous frontrunner in leading the way for environmental protection.

In August, the supermarket also pledged to become carbon neutral by 2019.

Read more: Aldi to phase out plastic packaging in a number...

More than a third of London hospitals are located in areas where air pollution is on the rise.

Key research by Commercial Air Filtration has revealed that out of the 58 hospitals sampled, 22 of them were located in postcodes where nitrogen dioxide levels were “likely to rise above legal levels”.

This means that just by travelling to the hospital patients with respiratory issues could be worsening their health.

Christian Lickfett, Managing Director of Commercial Air Filtration, said: “For people with respiratory issues or a weakened immune system, hospitals are meant to be an oasis, or, at least, somewhere untainted by the hazards of air pollution. With airborne contamination levels in certain London Boroughs at such elevated levels, that’s no longer than case.”

Western Eye Hospital in Marylebone and University College Hospital in Fitzrovia are the two hospitals that are most likely to suffer from illegally high levels of air pollution. According to data from EarthSense, both of their postcodes rate a five out of six which indicates “a very strong chance of nitrogen dioxide exceeding the annual limit.”

In England, the total NHS and social care cost due to PM, an urban background pollutant, was estimated to be over £41 million in 2017. This number could rise if air pollution is not regulated.

Lickfett added: “Awareness of the negative impact air pollution has on our health is growing every day, and particularly the harm that ultra-fine particulates have on our well-being. But as things stand right now, some of the best hospitals the UK has to offer are literally shrouded in very low quality air.”

London, in particular, has significantly high pollution levels and the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has implemented several strategies in attempt to reduce these levels. However, this data shows that not enough is being done to decrease pollution and ensure health is not compromised.

This news follows a nationwide demand from city leaders to reduce air pollution levels.

Read more: A third of NHS hospitals in London are in air...

The European Union has lifted the five-year ban on solar panel imports from China.

The ban was first put in place in December 2013 after European solar panel manufacturers complained about the loss of business from under-priced Chinese imports.

In a statement, the European Commission said: “After having been in place for almost five years, the EU anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures on solar panels from China will expire at midnight on Monday 3rd September.”

The Ministry of Commerce in China believe that the move will be successful in improving China-EU trade of solar panels to normal market conditions according to their statement.

The European Commission added: “The Commission observed that the market situation has not changed to the extent that would justify a further extension of the measures now beyond the scheduled 18 months. It therefore rejected the EU’s industry request for an expiry review investigation.

China has more solar energy than any other country in the world totalling a massive 130 gigawatts. According to the International Environmental Agency (IEA) China produce 60 per cent of the world’s solar panels.

China are environmental frontrunners where renewable energy is concerned and they remain the largest investor in this type of energy generation.

Other regions have also pledged to increase their renewable energy usage. Recently a report by Green Energy Markets found renewable energy in Queensland, Australia is on the rise and California has committed to being run on 100% clean energy by 2045.

Read more: China’s solar import ban lifted by EU

Lego has announced plans to stop the production of plastic blocks by 2030.

The Lego shapes will alternatively be made from plant-based materials in an attempt to reduce plastic waste.

The Danish company are set to release their new eco-friendly line consisting of 25 various brick shapes that will resemble nature-inspired products.

They will be made out of polyethylene, which is made from sugar cane, and are set to be rolled out in Lego box sets later this year. However, the toy manufacturer admits that this material is not strong enough to make regular Lego pieces.

Lego are investing 1 billion kroner and hiring around 100 people to ensure that its promise is fulfilled.

Lego said: “Resources should be sourced and used responsibly, so they will still benefit future generations. We are constantly in pursuit of more sustainable solutions to our raw materials consumption and our packaging.”

Tim Brooks, Vice President of environmental responsibility at Lego, said: “At Lego, we want to make a positive impact on the world around us, and we are working hard to make great play products for children using sustainable materials. This is a great first step in our ambitious commitment of making all Lego bricks using sustainable material.”

Lego have also committed to reducing carbon emissions by promising 100 per cent renewable energy by 2020 and they are aiming for a carbon neutral supply chain. They are also promoting recycling by encouraging families to recycle or donate unwanted Lego bricks.

Read more: Lego to ban plastic blocks by 2030
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