What’s the role of the environment in business success?

BuchenwaldThis post first appeared on the CBI’s The Great Business Debate.

The environment has been the bank that keeps on giving for business:  it is the source of materials, and the sink for waste products. The sheer size of our oceans and continents and the absorption capacity of the atmosphere has meant that this free business support service has been central to many companies’ success. Continue reading

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The cost of a food waste landfill ban? What the Treasury’s sums missed

Busy landfillEarlier this month, the Treasury released its analysis of the costs of opposition policy, including the effect of a landfill ban for food waste on government expenditure. It’s important to understand the costs of green policy, but these Treasury calculations have missed the big picture. Continue reading

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Does tackling climate change matter more than protecting nature?

rampisham-photoThis post by Miles King first appeared on the Guardian website.

Human-induced climate change is with us, and is one the nine reasons why scientists are now concerned that the rate of environmental degradation is a threat to the future of human life on earth. Continue reading

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How resource efficiency can also reduce unemployment

Businessman and worker talking next to conveyor belt in recycling plantPretty much everyone who is in favour of a new industry or development will claim that it creates jobs. Yesterday I typed “create thousands of jobs” into Google and got over 227,000 results back for this exact phrase. Everyone from broadband suppliers to airport operators, public authorities to large internet retailers are playing the jobs card. And, if you want to prevent something happening, saying it “threatens jobs” is also a popular tactic, according to another Google search. Continue reading

Posted in Circular Economy, Green economy, Recycling, Resource Stewardship, Sustainable Economy, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Why London should be a National Park

View from North London_cropThis post is by guerrilla geographer Daniel Raven-Ellison, National Geographic Emerging Explorer and the driving force behind a campaign to make London the world’s first National Park City.

London is a remarkable city. In addition to the capital’s 8.3 million people, it is home to over 13,000 species of wildlife. While buildings occupy just 14 per cent of its urban footprint, green space covers 47 per cent. Continue reading

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Natural capital: if we look after the stocks, will the flows look after themselves?

dieterThe notion of ‘natural capital’ is gaining traction among economists and policy makers. To discuss this I was joined by Dieter Helm at the third in our series of economic seminars. Dieter is both an academic and a practitioner, with a substantial record of applied economic policy analysis in fields such as energy and the environment. He also chairs the Natural Capital Committee (although he spoke in a personal capacity and not on behalf of the committee).

Below is a brief overview of our stimulating discussion, with short audio clips . You can also listen to the full discussion (1 hour 4 mins).  Continue reading

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Unpicking the modernisation of the UK economy one step at a time

Infrastructure_info_homeIt generally pays to remain sanguine in the face of the ups and downs of the public policy debate, because it’s usually driven by short term concerns that don’t have a lasting effect in the real world.

Last week, however, I found myself looking at data from one of the dustiest corners of Whitehall and feeling shocked that the reverse had happened: a series of short term decisions is unpicking long term plans to modernise our economy. Continue reading

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Think we have cleaner seas? Why the UK still has a pollution problem

polluted sea CornwallThis post is by Andy Cummins, campaigns director at Surfers Against Sewage.

Britain is and always will be heavily influenced by its coast.  The furthest we can get from it on our beautiful island is a little over 70 miles.  And the coast has always been more than a bucket and spade destination.  It feeds us and powers our homes.  It supports healthy tourist economies, fisheries and various other maritime and offshore industries. The coast is ingrained in the very fabric of our society. Continue reading

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How to make high rise homes fit for the future

Wilmcote house new balconyThis post is by James Traynor, director of architecture at ECD Architects.

Is it right that people live in homes they can’t afford to heat without taking out a loan, and which cause them health problems from excessive humidity and mould? Why is the UK’s housing stock in such poor condition and how can it be improved to meet the needs of both current and future generations? Above all, what are the implications of a failure to act? Continue reading

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Why old tower blocks should be included in new city visions

Block towers in Kennogton Park, London.UK cities have been growing in influence for some years now. This looks set to continue as the devolution debate rumbles on in the wake of the Scottish referendum.

At Green Alliance we’re interested in the potential of cities to add dynamism to the low carbon economy. They are well placed to realise the tangible benefits: through public transport improvements, growing low carbon industries and green jobs, and developing sustainable, liveable communities. Continue reading

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