GALLERY: Top 10 sustainability stories in June 2015

June has been a month of major investments, policy change and landmark decisions. Take a look back at the month's major stories with edie's gallery round up.

June saw major policy decisions, big green investmenta and significant green pledges from retailers

June saw major policy decisions, big green investmenta and significant green pledges from retailers

In our latest top-10 round up, edie has highlighted some of the news stories our readers were keen to read and share during June.

Tesla has hit back at criticism of the capacity of its upcoming Powerwall battery packs by doubling their output. Edie also put together a feature on five ways Tesla is leading the sustainability charge

Meanwhile, Microsoft has seen the One Drop of Life app, launched in partnership with the One Drop Foundation, downloaded more than 100,000 times as the firm turns to 'gamification' to raise awareness of the water crisis.

Britain's retailers have agreed to end microbead use in products and a number of major supermarkets have vowed to take responsiblity for cracking down on food waste.

In Government news, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has approved plans for the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon. Energy Secretary Amber Rudd has also defended cuts to onshore wind subsidies to protect future renewables.

And, in a landmark decision at the very end of the month, Lancashire County Council has rejected two planning applications by Cuadrilla for fracking. The decisions were met with celebration by green activists, but Cuadrilla may yet appeal the decision.

So take a look through edie's top stories this month and click the links below to get the full story.

1) Tesla doubles powerwall output after criticism

Elon Musk has announced plans to double the capacity of Tesla's forthcoming Powerwall battery pack - at no extra cost.

Musk said the Powerwall would undergo the upgrade because he "took some negative feedback to heart” after the May 1 launch.

2) Microsoft turns to gamification after water crisis

Tech giant Microsoft has taken its corporate social responsibility to the world of smartphones, with the launch of a new mobile app designed to raise awareness of global water issues.

The One Drop of Life app, launched in partnership with the not-for-profit One Drop Foundation, gamifies water-saving activities and educates users on the positive impacts that reduced water consumption can have across the world. Just a few months after launching, the app has already had more than 100,000 downloads.

3) Swansea Bay tidal lagoon approved by DECC

Britain will be home to the world's first ever tidal lagoon energy project as Energy Secretary Amber Rudd has granted planning permission for a giant tidal power plant off the coast of Wales.

When fully operational in the year 2023, the tidal lagoon will have an installed capacity of 320MW - enough to generate renewable electricity to power 155,000 homes, which represents more than 90% of homes in the Swansea Bay area. 

4) Britain's major retailers vow to end microbead use

Almost all of Britain's major retailers have pledged to phase out harmful microbeads from their own-brand cosmetic and beauty products, marking a major victory for environmentalists.

Companies involved in the announcement include: Asda, Boots, the Co-operative, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Superdrug, Tesco and Waitrose. The compliance date for microbead-free products varied between companies, but most had targeted 2017 or sooner.

5) Lancashire council rejects Cuadrilla fracking application

Lancashire County Council rejected Cuadrilla's second fracking planning application in a move welcomed by enviromental campaigners. 

Plans to drill at the Preston New Road site were refused by the Council after it voted last week to turn down Cuadrilla’s bid to drill at another site at Roseacre Wood. The rejection came in spite of planning officers offering a positive recommendation on fracking plans for the site.

6) Lego ploughs £100m into search for greener materials

The world's largest toymaker is to build a new Sustainable Materials Centre in its search for more environmentally-friendly materials to be used in its products and packaging.

Lego will invest a billion Danish Krone (around £100m) into the research and development of new raw materials for its trademark Lego blocks.

7) Amber Rudd says onshore wind cuts will help protect consumers and boost other renewables

Energy Secretary Amber Rudd has claimed the early end to onshore wind subsidies will protect consumer bills and help cut the costs of other renewable technologies. 

She confirmed that she expected the subsidy change to stop the construction of around 250 planned wind farms and 2,500 turbines.

8) Supermarkets take shared responsibility for food waste crackdown

The UK's three largest supermarket chains and the trade body which represents them have unanimously agreed that more collaboration is needed to redistribute more surplus food to charities.

Representatives from Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda and the British Retail Consortium (BRC) gathered around the same table at a food surplus event in London this month; concluding that they should “leave our corporate colours at the door” in a bid to tackle the issue.

9) Apollo plan aims to save planet with renewables space race

A plan to halt climate change by making renewable energy cheaper than coal by 2025 has been launched by a group of UK scientists and economists.

The Global Apollo Programme seeks to emulate the space race frenzy of the 1960's to encourage more spending on clean energy.

10) Banks face circular economy funding challenge

The financial sector will need to undergo a seismic shift in culture, away from the collateral value of assets and towards a cash-flow based approach to lending, if it is to support circular economy business models.

Matt Field


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