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Green route to developing Africa

Many assume that multinationals investing in developing countries abandon their environmental principals in the quest for a fast buck. But, on a recent trip to East Africa, Tom Idle was surprised to find cement giant Lafarge is going to extraordinary lengths to apply green principals in this dynamic emerging market

Climate change: What are we waiting for?

The debate is over and the threat is real. Without firm international comittement to stem the climate change, the cost will not be measured financially, but in lives
Hilary Benn MP

Electrokinetic revolution looms for sludge dewatering

Electrokinetic sludge dewatering is close to becoming a commercial reality. And, according to David Evington, writing on behalf of EKG, it will dramatically change performance

Investment in a growing market

Deforestation accounts for a huge 25% of global CO2 emissions. But this is set to change, as forestry in the developing world is becoming a lucrative investment

" It's not enough just to be compliant"

In a new feature, Hewlett Packard's environmental manager Bruno Zago and WEEE programme manager Kirsty McIntyre act as a mouthpiece for the manufacturing industry, and reveal how their firm is leading the way. Interviews by Tom Idle

Wallonia leads Europe in water management

Drinking water and wastewater provision in the Belgian region of Wallonia is managed with model efficiency by the public sector. Jean-Marie Wauthier, head of environmental desk in Walloon, explains how social responsibility has been combined with effective private partnerships to deliver integrated management of the water cycle.

The rise and rise of UV disinfection

Ultraviolet disinfection is no longer an emerging technology. This is supported by the fact that it is used to treat more than three billion litres of water every day around the world. Craig Howarth reports.

Clay: A tough choice

Edward Naylor reports on how his Yorkshire-based company has developed high-performance clay jacking pipes that are resistant to chemical and thermal shock

Self-help improves supplies in rural Uganda

A recently completed study into rural water self-help initiatives in Uganda has identified considerable household- and community-level improvements to rural water supplies, and significant potential for encouraging further implementation of self-supply initiatives. Professor Richard Carter of the UK's Cranfield University, team leader for the project, and Aaron Kabirizi, the Ugandan government's assistant commissioner for rural water, outline the study team's findings.

Coca-Cola opts for oxygen-based WWT

The soft drinks manufacturer Coca-Cola needed to review the wastewater treatment (WWT) system at its development and quality control laboratory in Anderlecht, Belgium. An increase in wastewater produced at the site meant that the existing plant was struggling to meet demand. European water business manager at Air Products, Peter Barratt, explains how an innovative oxygen system was developed to meet the plant's requirements.

Flowmetering key to conservation in Middle East

The Middle East is facing massive pressure to manage and conserve its water supplies to meet rapidly escalating demand. Tim Door, flow product manager with Swiss technology company ABB, explains the role that flowmetering technology can play in meeting these challenges and highlights how it is already helping some parts of the Middle East to transform water network efficiency.

A new dawn for nuclear

Nuclear power is becoming increasingly safe and attractive, writes Eric Russell. Here he outlines the advances in the technology and its likely future

Engineer Anders Dahslberg and a trainee drill crew in Ghana. Image: Dando.

Rig training goes well in Ghana

Like much of sub-Saharan Africa, many parts of rural Ghana do not have a safe, reliable water supply. Anders Dahlsberg, an engineer with UK drilling specialist Dando, reports on a trip to the north-east of the country where he commissioned and set to work a waterwell drill rig and, just as importantly, trained the crew.

A new monitoring well design in Urumqi, China

China gets to grips with groundwater

The knowledge and technology that China requires to manage its groundwater more effectively is being provided by experts from the Dutch environmental consultancy and research organisation, TNO Environment and Geosciences. Jos de Sonneville, manager of business development - subsurface and water, at TNO, explains how experience gained in South Africa and elsewhere is being applied in China.

A wake-up call for MDG challenges

The importance of water as a driver of economic growth and elimination of poverty will be the central topic when some 130 government ministers and more than 25,000 delegates gather in Mexico for the 4th World Water Forum in March. Toni Sittoni, communications specialist of the World Bank's Water and Sanitation Programme (WSP) in Africa, calls on governments to act with investment and reform, especially in sanitation.

Condominial sanitation could achieve MDG

The Millennium Development Goal (MDG) for sanitation means bringing an extra 1.9 billion people on-stream by 2015, globally. Duncan Mara, Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Leeds in the UK, argues that this can only be achieved by abandoning conventional approaches to sewerage and adopting a condominial approach to provision, across social classes.

As new technology makes nuclear power plants much safer, could atomic energy have a bright future?

Nuclear power is becoming increasingly safe and attractive, writes Eric Russell. Here he outlines the advances in the technology and its likely future

Water wars

Never mind oil, says CIWEM Executive Director, Nick Reeves, water could be the cause of the next global conflict

TIGER space hunt for Africa's water

The ambitious TIGER project was initiated to utilise European Space Agency (ESA) satellite data to improve the availability and management of African water resources, as reported in World Water Jan/Feb. Natasha Wiseman reports on a workshop and training event, that took place in Italy in October, assessing progress and revealing how the new knowledge can be applied to sustainable planning.

Good wood

As global deforestation continues at a staggering rate, Chayley Collis reveals why sustainable timber procurement is becoming more and more important

Do US a favour

In the wake of the fudged Gleneagles communiqué and the Bush side-deal with Australia, CIWEM's Nick Reeves ponders the chances of America facing up to its responsibilities in the battle against global warming

In the wake of the Ukraine crisis, energy experts are worried that this over-dependence on Russia could expose European business and citizens to threats from the Kremlin and higher prices

Shale and non-Russian gas imports at heart of new EU energy strategy

Ukraine crisis forces bloc to seek diverse sources of gas, but green groups complain ignoring renewables is a mistake.

Peers urge supermarkets to to prioritise redistribution  over energy recovery

Supermarkets should pick food banks over AD, say peers

Supermarkets should redistribute unsold food to food banks rather than sending it to be recycled via anaerobic digestion (AD), a House of Lords committee has said.

Halfords launches recycling initiative to help charity

Unwanted bicycles will be donated to several countries in Africa under a new initiative launched by Halfords.

HSBC: 2014 marks start of new economic focus on climate

HSBC has said climate change will rise up the corporate finance agenda this year, highlighting three issues - impacts, carbon risk and green bonds - that will lend impetus to this.

Kimberly-Clark takes a 'hand in glove' approach to recycling

Kimberly-Clark Professional is embarking on worldwide programme to recycle single-use cleanroom and laboratory gloves.

Scientists warn 500 million people at risk of future water scarcity

Over 7% of the world's population could be affected by water scarcity in the future as a result of climate change if global warming isn't abated.

Lockheed Martin recognised for responsible action on e-waste

Defence and aerospace firm Lockheed Martin has been recognised for its producer responsibility efforts on electronic waste management.

Unilever to crowdsource for 'sustainable shower of the future'

Unilever is turning to crowdsourcing in its bid to help develop the world's first commercially viable shower of the future that can operate with a sustainable level of water use.

Diageo targets greater waste gains by reducing material use

Diageo is concentrating efforts on optimising material use in its manufacturing operations to reduce waste and meet its landfill diversion targets.

Credit: shalunts /

Climate change strongly linked to rising violence, scientists say

The world is set to become more violent as global temperatures rise, with scientists warning this could lead to a "collapse in civilisation".

Ellen MacArthur with some of the summer school students including Chidi Ofoegbu (far right)

EXCLUSIVE: Ellen MacArthur student enthused by business ambition

One of the first students to enrol in the Ellen MacArthur Foundation summer school has spoken of his optimism that the circular economy will "become the model of choice for all businesses" going forward.

Chidi Ofoegbu examines how circular economy theory can work in action

Lessons learnt from the school of Ellen MacArthur

Circular economy student Chidi Ofoegbu recently participated in the first Schmidt-MacArthur summer school and has since returned to South Africa to continue his studies in this field. He talks to Maxine Perella about the experience

European EfW market soon to 'peak' as UK reaches saturation point

The waste-to-energy market is slowing down according to new research, which suggests that the commissioning of new capacity will decrease in the UK and across Europe from 2015 onwards.

G8 leaders urged to take action for Global Wind Day

Renewable energy activists have called on world leaders to commit to phasing out fossil fuels and switch to renewable energy, ahead of the G8 summit on June 17-18.

Can cradle-to-cradle go global?: Interview with Walter Stahel

He invented the phrase 'cradle-to-cradle' and is widely regarded as one of the world's most eminent thinkers on the circular economy. Walter Stahel gives an insightful appraisal of this highly aspirational concept to Daan Elffers

Raymond Blanc launches global rankings system for sustainable restaurants

The first international restaurant rating system which enables diners to choose a restaurant by its sustainability standards, was launched today by the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA).

Old Mutual cuts carbon emissions by almost 13% in two years

Global investment services firm Old Mutual has reduced its overall CO2 emissions by almost 13% since 2010 but due to a fall in employees the company increased its emissions per employee.

EXCLUSIVE: Balfour Beatty says cutting supply chain emissions 'cannot be top priority'

Multinational construction and engineering group Balfour Beatty, which operates in over 80 countries, has said that its global nature is hindering it from reducing its CO2 emissions.

Unilever ahead of target on sustainable sourcing

Unilever is now sourcing more than a third of its agricultural raw materials sustainably, exceeding the interim milestone of 30% it set itself in 2010 under its Sustainable Living Plan.

Distilling water efficiency into Diageo's operations

World Water Day not only highlights the global water challenge but for Guinness and Smirnoff producer Diageo, it raises awareness throughout the company's supply chain and operations, says Michael Alexander

UN rallies to combat global drought

Four UN institutions have launched a project aimed at increasing water capacities and developing risk based water management policies to tackle drought around the world.

Green construction presents global profit opportunity

Business strategy around the world is shifting its focus to sustainable building as firms seek to profit from innovation in the built environment.

Growth in non-European solar market is pushing global capacity to new heights

Europe's deployment of solar PV in 2012 fell 27% but countries such as India, Australia and Korea are lifting the global industry into the next stage of capacity.

Ladbrokes slash waste odds with uniform reuse programme

Betting shop operator Ladbrokes is to donate thousands of old uniforms to developing areas of the world.

China leading the race as drainage basin investment doubles

Global investment in protecting natural water drainage basins has almost doubled in the last four years and China is leading the pack, according to a study.

ANALYSIS: Accountability for food waste becomes easier to digest

News that half the world's food supply may be going to waste has raised serious questions around our ability to manage this most essential subsistence at every point in the value chain.

Disturbing food waste trend ignites global call to action

Emerging economies must build waste minimisation thinking into supporting infrastructure and logistics around food production to cope with rising global demand for food supply.

Sustainable procurement and future-proofing supply chains

Sustainability continues to be a hot topic in the news today, but the concept is not new to procurement and supply management professionals, says Paula Gildert.

Putting its stamp on sustainability

FedEx's drive for a more environmentally aware workforce is proving that high level communication and a competitive edge internally can significantly improve the efficiency of a business' operations.

Global wind market to triple by 2020 despite short-term dip

Wind power could supply up to 12% of global electricity by 2020 and reduce CO2 emissions by more than 1.5 billion tons per year, more than 5 times today's level, according to a report.

Europe records rise in waste flow activity across borders

Waste is increasingly moving across EU borders for recovery or disposal according to the latest assessment from the European Environment Agency (EEA).

A taste for sustainability

Facing the prospect of a global shortfall in cocoa production of one million tonnes by 2020, Mars Chocolate has implemented a worldwide sustainability initiative, working with the five million smallholders who grow the majority of the world's cocoa - "putting farmers first" to increase yield.

Inclusivity: the next frontier for sustainable business

It's time for big corporations to push their CSR agenda forward and adopt a more challenging approach - one that's all about inclusive business, argues Nigel Stansfield

SABMiller to create food from agricultural waste

Brewery firm SABMiller is embarking on a pioneering partnership to improve food security through waste reduction and optimisation.

The €60m deal will enable Mainstream to fund its renewable energy projects, which include the construction of several wind and solar plants

Mainstream secures €60m deal for major renewables expansion

Mainstream Renewable Power has signed a deal that will see the company receive €60m (£48m) from banking services provider Macquarie Group to develop and expand its ambitious wind and solar capacity plans.

An anaerobic digestion plant

Saint-Gobain renewables drive signals AD statement of intent

Construction materials supplier Saint-Gobain (UK and Ireland) has increased its renewable power usage by 8% to 34% after signing contracts with three anaerobic digestion (AD) plant operators.

The $4.1m fund from REEEP will support around 30 clean energy solution projects

REEEP calls for clean energy solutions with €4m fund

The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP) is calling for proposed clean energy solutions that target key emerging markets with a €4.1m (£3.2m) fund.

More companies will develop smarter supply chains in the future because consumers will demand it, says senior buyer Christina Archer

The Body Shop: beauty products with a positive impact

The Body Shop built its reputation on its fair trading programme and commitment to animal welfare. Sustainable Business hears how the company's responsible sourcing makes a difference to communities around the globe and helps protect the planet too.

Coca-Cola $3.5m drive to advance clean water access

Coca-Cola has pledged to commit $3.5m to help accelerate the development of sustainable water access in drought-hit parts of Africa.

Focusing purely on supplier compliance is too limiting if you want to drive sustainability

Sustainable supply chains: breaking out of the tick box

If manufacturers want to drive resource efficiency innovation across their supply chains, they need jump beyond compliance, take risks and be creative, argues Ramon Arratia

Being happy with less requires a fundamental rethink in society

How do we learn to consume less?

What role can manufacturers play within the supply chain in influencing and changing consumer behaviour? Ramon Arratia attempts to find out

Closing the loop is crucial if manufacturers are to maximise their recovery operations

Manufacturing a world beyond zero waste

Eliminating waste streams is just the starting point for manufacturers when it comes to sustainable growth - it's time to change the rules, argues Ramon Arratia

Technicians working on asset recovery inside HP's new factory in Erskine

HP breathes new life into IT asset recovery

HP is embarking on a ground-breaking producer responsibility drive as it looks to exploit global opportunities in the reuse and asset recovery market for its commercial IT equipment.

Welsh Water's head of communications Sally Gronow (right), helps check the levels on a newly installed latrine

VIDEO: Harsh reality of water poverty first hand

Twelve volunteers from the water sector in the UK have just returned from a fact-finding mission to Zambia in southern Africa.

Global alliance set to fight for waste pickers' rights

Waste pickers across the world are due to come together this week for the first time ever in a bid to improve working standards in their trade.

UK pledges to double water and sanitation aid efforts by 2015

The UK Government has pledged to double the number of people it intends to reach worldwide with safe water, sanitation and hygiene education by 2015.

Credit: homeros /

Coca-Cola delivers water security to drought-hit Somalia

The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation has launched an initiative to increase the water security of thousands of people in Somalia.

Rock singer Lenny Kravitz has thrown his support behind UNICEF's global push on water

Global drinking water targets met three years early

The Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving the proportion of people globally without access to safe drinking water has been met, according to a UNICEF report published this morning.

Richard Branson credit: Helga Esteb /

Virgin boss says 'screw business as usual'

Business superstar Richard Branson is calling on entrepreneurs to put environmental and social issues at the core of their business models and take part in a global competition to become a "force for good".

Solarcentury's Derry Newman: "Why I'm leaving my dream job."

Solarcentury chief executive, Derry Newman, explains why he made one of the hardest decisions of his career by announcing plans to step down last week.

TRUST project gears up to unveil results of water services study

European research project Transitions to the Urban Water Services of Tomorrow (TRUST) is gearing up to publish the first results of a major water study to explore the sustainability of the water services in Europe and Africa.

Efficiency is in the pipeline

Despite the economic climate, new hurdles such as regulation, carbon accounting are driving innovation, especially in pipelines, says Sandra Rolfe-Dickinson, MWH technical director of pipeline engineering (Europe & Africa)

Steve Woodward/ SolarAid

Solar power developer launches 'revolving' sustainable energy fund

A new 'revolving' sustainable energy fund which aims to bring solar lighting to rural off-grid communities in East Africa has been launched by pay-as-you-go solar power developer Eight19 and social enterprise SunnyMoney.

Environment Agency flood defence expert receives MBE

The Queen's New Year's Honours List has rewarded an Environment Agency (EA) planning manager and flood defence expert with an MBE.

Protest as nuclear waste costs decision 'snuck out'

The Government has been accused of releasing crucial information around the nuclear power industry and its waste in an 'underhand' way.

Clothing industry finally gets to grips with cotton sustainability

Clothing industry leaders Marks and Spencer and Levi Strauss back plans for more sustainable cotton.

South Africa could lead continent's energy revolution

The South African Government has pledged to back an increase in wind power as its Department of Energy announced the winning bids from the first round of tenders for renewable energy projects.

The wastewater recovery

After 10 dedicated years, Frank Rogalla of Aqualia hangs up his hat on Technically Speaking and looks to the future potential of energy and nutrient recovery in wastewater.

Scottish Water considers hydropower projects

An international hydropower project to review the effectiveness of hydroelectric plants in Africa and Europe has been completed by a Scottish Water engineer.

There are 2.6bn people worldwide without access to adequate sanitation

Countdown to World Toilet Day

The 10th annual World Toilet Day takes place tomorrow (November 19th) and will be marked with events in more than 19 countries according to the organiser, the World Toilet Organisation (WTO) including an online flush tracker.

VIDEO: WaterAid supporters celebrate 30 years of clean water

WaterAid has marked 30 years of bringing clean water, sanitation and hygiene education to the world's poorest countries at its Annual Supporters' Meeting in London.

powerPerfector buys its own global technology rights

Energy efficiency company powerPerfector has bought the worldwide rights to its voltage optimisation system.

Osborne puts business ahead of climate change

Chancellor George Osborne gave a clear indication he was putting the needs of business ahead of environmental policy when he addressed his party's conference.

Water runs deep

The victory of the Scottish National Party in the May elections has deep implications for water north of the border, as Claire Smith discovered when she met policy adviser Alex Bell

Photo by Mainichi Corporation

Eco Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai dies from cancer

Sustainability guru and Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Wangari Maathai has died from cancer aged 71.

Inefficient water use is 'sleeping giant' of global water challenge

Inefficiency, rather than water scarcity, is the greatest global water challenge according to new research published today, which says fears of water shortages are unfounded as major river basins contain enough resources to double food production if used properly.

Water scarcity overtakes global warming as top environmental concern

Water pollution and water supply issues have overtaken global warming as a top environmental concern, according to a new report.

Charity brings solar power to 50 African schools

A charity will bring solar powered electricity and other benefits to 50 African schools after getting a donation of £125,000.

Little girl's legacy raises more than $1M for water charity

A young girl who was tragically killed in a car accident shortly after her ninth birthday has raised more than $1M in donations to bring clean drinking water to villages in Africa.

'Mahatma Ghandi affected me a lot', says Roy

Interview: Sanjit 'Bunker' Roy

Erik Jaques meets Sanjit 'Bunker' Roy, social activist and educator

Heineken has some 200 brands

Heineken aims to brew a better future

As part of its sustainability agenda, Heineken International aims to cut its emissions and water use - and empower local communities.

ArcelorMittal's latest CR report

Steel giant keen to push the boundaries

Cutting emissions and maintaining an unwavering commitment to corporate responsibility remain vital to ArcelorMittal, writes Tom Idle

Powerless Huhne's anger at British Gas price rise

Whopping price hikes have been announced by energy giants British Gas prompting anger from the Government.

WaterAid CEO awarded Cranfield honour

WaterAid's chief executive, Barbara Frost, has been given an Honorary Degree by Cranfield University for her work in the water sector.

Research aids switch from biomass to ethanol

New research is expected to help initiate a switch from cooking with biomass fuels to cleaner fuels such as ethanol in Africa.

Irish energy consultants bring free solar to Africa

Irish charity Solar Without Frontiers has installed a solar power system to supply free electricity to a school in Tanzania.

Rich countries under fire as emissions talks stall

Negotiators are already at loggerheads over plans for COP17 months before the South African climate change talks are due to start.

UK sustainable civil engineering scheme to go global

A scheme assessing the sustainability of the UK's civil engineering is planning to launch an international version later this year.

L to R: Iain Gulland and Richard Lochhead

£4M boost for Scottish food waste scheme

Scottish farmers and renewable energy leaders are backing a £4M Scottish Government initiative that aims to divert 25,000 tonnes of waste food from landfill and recycle it into fertilisers and green energy.

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