Author Archives: Jonny Hazell

Scotland could use the oil price crash to kick-start CCS

Offshore oil platform, North ScotlandThis post first appeared on Guardian Sustainable Business.

Such was the shock of the oil price’s precipitous decline in recent months that tongues were set swiftly wagging about what the explanation could be. Killing off electric vehicles, US shale producers, or Iran’s and Russia’s economies, were all put forward as the real reason behind OPEC’s public explanation that keeping the taps open and so depressing prices is about protecting market share. Read more

City devolution is exciting for the circular economy

19- three buildings and bridge salford quaysA version of this post first appeared on BusinessGreen.

The 21st century has been widely heralded as the century of the city. 2008 was the tipping point when half of all people lived in urban areas for the first time. This gives cities power, and city governments are asserting their role as international leaders: just compare the ambition and commitments to combating climate change of global city networks like the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group with the lacklustre efforts of their host nations (fingers crossed for Paris 2015 though). Read more

A review of new EU and UK ambitions for a circular economy

12_CETFA version of this post was first published on BusinessGreen.

It’s only years after its 1970s inception that the circular economy concept is really beginning to gain traction. The publication this summer of a clutch of policy proposals and recommendations from governments, business organisations and NGOs alike show that the idea is really gaining momentum.

But the catch-all title ‘circular economy’ belies a diverse set of complementary but distinct processes and activities. Some of these, such as improved recycling, could be achieved through tweaks to current regulatory and financial systems. Others, such as the more ambitious and valuable ‘inner loops’ of a circular economy – reuse, remanufacturing and servitisation – require more fundamental changes in the frameworks that shape business strategies and investments. Read more

What Wales and Scotland can teach us about the circular economy

recyclingA version of this post was first published on BusinessGreen.

With memories of the world cup fading fast, something that has stayed with me are the many scenes of jubilant fans, perhaps because these reminded me of happy times spent in Brazil during its famous carnival celebrations. But it also brought back less happy memories of street children weaving their way through the partying crowds scooping up the beer cans that fuelled the revelry. Read more

What horsemeat can teach us about minimising risk

Beautiful brown thoroughbred horse head at farmThis post first appeared on BusinessGreen.

Have you ever eaten horse? Not consciously perhaps but last year’s meat adulteration scandal suggests it’s more than possible. The scandal revealed just how clueless some of the biggest and most trusted UK brands were about what went in to the products they put their label on. The scandal also highlighted the difficulty of knowing exactly where materials, components and ingredients come from, something that is of growing concern to manufacturers, regulators and investors alike.    Read more

How retailers can help the UK get more circular – and profit from it

This post first appeared on BusinessGreen.

What comes to mind when you think of the British economy? A land of supermarkets and call centres? If so, you wouldn’t be far wrong, as retail business accounts for one fifth of our economy, part of a service sector contributing 78 per cent of GDP. Yet discussions about increasing the circularity of the UK economy often leapfrog retail. They tend to skip straight from the changes manufacturers can make to product design to how to get householders to recycle more. Read more

Why targets alone won’t build a green economy

müllThis post first appeared on Business Green.

With all the debate over whether non-binding EU 2030 energy and carbon targets are a statement of ambitious intent or resigned defeat, you could be forgiven for thinking that setting a target is all policy makers need to do to deliver a shiny green economy. But experience from the waste and resources sector has shown that targets are only half the story, regardless of how binding or not they are. Behind every successful target is a suite of more focused interventions, which is exactly what’s needed to make the shift to a more resource resilient economy. Read more

Why collaboration is the key to a circular economy

Tug of warA version of this post first appeared on BusinessGreen.

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” These wise words, borrowed from Johannesburg airport via Richard Branson’s blog, reflect a frequently heard idea about business in the 21st century: that you can do more for people, planet and profit by collaborating than competing. Read more

How better appliance reuse systems could net a £260 million prize

recycled household appliancesThis post is by Jonny Hazell, policy assistant on the Resource Stewardship theme at Green Alliance.

Wouldn’t it be nice if every time you ordered a new product, the person who delivered it offered to take away one of your old appliances or gadgets, which was then refurbished and resold, or disassembled and properly recycled. That would ‘close the loop’ on many products that currently disappear into landfill, incineration, or shredders. Read more

The circular economy: big in Japan

12481442_sThis post is by Jonny Hazell, policy assistant on our Resource Stewardship theme.

When it comes to the ways in which stuff is made, consumed, and disposed of, there’s a lot the UK could learn from Japan.

Japanese recycling rates are extraordinary:  98 per cent for metals for example and, in 2007, just five per cent of Japan’s waste ended up in a hole in the ground, compared with 48 per cent for the UK in 2008. Japan’s appliance recycling laws ensure the great majority of electrical and electronic products are recycled, compared with 30-40 per cent here.  Of these appliances, 74-89 per cent of the materials they contain are recovered. Perhaps more significantly, many of these materials go back into the manufacture of the same type of products from which they were reclaimed . This is the ‘closed-loop’ holy grail of recycling essential for a truly circular economy.

So how has Japan managed it and can we do it too? Read more

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