Saturday, 29 October 2011

I want to see the evidence

National health and safety reforms will deliver up to $2 billion a year in productivity gains, the Federal Government of Australia says. Workplace Relations Minister Chris Evans said the regulatory impact statement for the harmonisation of health and safety regulations found the economic benefit of a national system would result in productivity gains of $2 billion. The national system is set to be implemented by January 1, 2012 Well, I want to see the evidence on January 1st, 2013 that those savings have been realised.
Its not that I don't agree with health & safety legislation ... but I seriously doubt that $2billion can be saved by implementing such legislation.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

It can be done!

DuPont’s recent 2011 Sustainability Progress Report shows the company’s environmental footprint continues to shrink DuPont delivered a 75 percent decrease in greenhouse gas emissions and a 6 percent reduction in absolute energy use since 1990, while increasing production 40 percent during that same period.

Increasingly, DuPont is focused on helping businesses integrate sustainability as a growth strategy, which is highlighted by an annual customer survey that shows an increased demand for products with environmental benefits. “While reducing our footprint continues to be important, our growing focus is on how to use DuPont science and innovation to bring new products to the marketplace that improve efficiencies and sustainability throughout the entire value chain,” said Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer Linda J. Fisher. “We see DuPont having an expanded role to provide sustainable solutions to our customers around the world as population dramatically increases.”

A DuPont annual survey of more than 3,500 customers, conducted in August 2011, showed they want safer materials, a reduction in water and energy use in manufacturing and improved environmental profiles throughout the lifetime of their products.

Customers indicated a 7 percent increase in green job creation from the design and manufacturing of products with environmental benefits. Overall 28 percent said their business saw an increase in new green jobs over last year. And two-thirds believe that environmental benefits in products will continue to have a positive impact on job creation over the next five years Last year, DuPont generated revenues of $1.6 billion from products that help its customers and their consumers reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Much of the increase came from revenue growth in key areas like photovoltaics and from engineering polymers used in light-weighting of vehicles. DuPont estimates that these products have reduced greenhouse gas emissions throughout the supply chain by more than 6.5 million metric tons between 2007 and 2010.

Since 1990, DuPont’s own energy reduction has declined 6 percent resulting in a $6 billion savings in energy purchases and enabled the company to exceed its 2010 goal to hold total energy use flat. The new goal for 2020 is to reduce non-renewable energy use by 10 percent per dollar of price adjusted revenue by 2020. DuPont is to be applauded. This shows what can be done when the mission changes to meet the demands of 'the new world' in which we all live.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Necessity really is the mother of invention

We all know the phrase ... suggesting that we often only think (really think) about things when we are forced to do so. I was reminded of that the other day when reading about recent developments in energy efficiency by a number of firms. The reports were quite impressive - suggesting that many firms are now looking seriously at their energy usage and costs ... and are finding ways of reducing them. Well, of course, they have had the opportunity to look at such costs at any time in the past - but only rising fuel costs and rising restrictions on emissions have turned a 'should do' into a 'must do'. So, thumbs up for the recent advancements; but thumbs down for the time it has taken for these firms to realise they should do something. Now what other savings should you be thinking about before you are forced into them?

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Be Careful What You measure

Patricia F. White, a doctor for about 10 years, is seeking damages for objecting to having her pay based on the number of patients seen per hour. She is also alleging that her employers retaliated by keeping her from work. White's attorney, Gary Baker, called the practice "stopwatch medicine. Should we measure a doctor's performance on the quantity of work completed?

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Enjoy Your Stay

Hotels will be able to contribute to mitigating climate change while rermaining finnacially strong under a new United Nations-backed ‘green’ scheme offering an online toolkit to evaluate energy consumption, find renewable sources and cut costs with improved energy efficiency.

The toolkit is from the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and its partners and was finalized recently after testing in more than 100 European properties in four different pilot destinations.

Although hotels and other types of accommodation account for only 2 per cent of the world’s global-warming carbon dioxide emissions, UNWTO says addressing this comparatively small yet important footprint is a priority for the tourism sector. Of the world’s 5.9 million hotel rooms, over half are located in Europe, where the project has been launched initially.

The Hotel Energy Solutions (HES) e-toolkit is the main 'product' of the Hotel Energy Solutions project and provides hoteliers with a report which shows their current energy use and recommends appropriate renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies and actions. It further sets out what kind of savings on operational expenses hotels can expect from their green investments through a calculator measuring returns on investment.

While Hotel Energy Solutions is a UNWTO-initiated project supported by the European Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation under the Intelligent Energy Europe programme, it is expected to be rolled out globally over the coming years. Once adapted for non-EU Member States, the project will benefit hotels worldwide.

The project has been implemented in partnership with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the International Hotel & Restaurant Association (IH&RA), the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC), and the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME).