Sustainability stats: This week in numbers

This week edie reported plenty of tech news from Silicon Valley, UK food waste figures and developments from our very own foreign correspondent in Indonesia.

Millions of shade balls are released into an LA reservoir to combat water loss

Millions of shade balls are released into an LA reservoir to combat water loss

Food waste made national headlines this week as it was revealed the UK is one of the messiest nations when it comes to food waste, with the average Brit throwing out 6kg of food per household every week.

The study in the journal Environmental Research Letters found Europe as a whole leaves 22m tonnes of food on its plate each year, but Britain comes out as the worst waster.

More positively, global alcohol manufacturer Diageo, which produces brands such as Smirnoff, Guinness and Johnny Walker, significantly improved its water efficiency year-on-year in its latest sustainability report.

Diageo increased water efficiency by 10.4%, reducing absolute water consumption by 2.87 billion litres.

The company’s report said: “Water stewardship is our highest environmental priority, and we have set ourselves the target of reducing water use in our operations by improving water use efficiency by 50% worldwide.”

We’ll drink to that.

Shade balls

This week also saw the announcement of a new 299MW biomass combined heat and power plant in Teesside, set to be the largest of its kind.

News from California featured heavily in the sustainability headlines this week. The Kickstarter campaign for water-saving shower company Nebia flew past $1m in just under two days, gaining support from senior figures at Apple and Google.

In Los Angeles, city Mayor Eric Garcetti oversaw the release of millions of ‘shade balls’ into the a reservoir to save an estimated 300 million gallons of water each year.


Tesla CEO Elon Musk also announced to his company the estimated orders for Tesla’s upcoming energy storage facilities, which are thought to top $1bn, even, as Musk said, “with no marketing, no advertising, no sales force to speak of, really, we're not trying to sell it".

Finally our foreign correspondent, editor Luke Nicholls, reported from Jakarta on Asia Pulp and Paper's (APP) new initiatives to stop sourcing wood from five active plantation areas in Indonesia - totalling around 7,000 hectares - to protect the nation's carbon-rich peatlands.

See the headline stats below, and click on the pictures to get the full story.

Matt Field


apple | biomass | food | Food waste | Google | reservoir | water | Water Efficiency


Water | Waste & resource management | Renewables
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