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Courts rule on insurers' fight against Scottish asbestos law

Insurance companies that called for a judicial review challenging the legality of new Scottish rules which allow sufferers of asbestos-related ailments to sue their employers have been informed of the outcome.

Carbon accounting: The new bottom line

Legislation combined with pressure from investors and consumers means companies not yet addressing their carbon emissions are risking their long-term futures
Justin Strutt

Driving change in fleet management

Environmental concerns are changing in the role of the fleet manager. But tighter emissions laws, tax schemes and safety regulation could provide an opportunity rather than a threat, says Paul Harrop

The hidden cost of Weee

Poor auditing could cause confusion when it comes time to work out exactly who should dispose of Weee - which in turn could lead to fines for those not taking responsibility, warns Keith Dolby

Transferring private sewers: The long and the short

The quantity of private sewerage being transferred to sewerage companies is largely unknown. Claire Brown, a consultant scientist at WRc, reports on a new model to gauge the scale of works

Our fleet managers need the continental touch

Noel Lock urges the government to take notice of the environmental credentials of liquid petroleum gas as a serious alternative fuel for our business fleets

Getting domesticated

There are myriad choices when specifying a package treatment plant. Steve Gibb and Tim Mackley of Balmoral Tanks outline some of the latest developments in the technologies and legislation

Electrification plan for Cuban irrigation

Much of the antiquated irrigation equipment in use in Cuba is rusty, very inefficient and environmentally damaging. Linda Cechura of the OPEC Fund for International Development describes how the Government's 10-year plan to electrify the nation's irrigation systems has already benefited farmers in Ciego de Avila province.

Suds: Breaking down barriers

New planning guidance will mean better landscaping as developers will have to consider sustainable drainage systems. Richard Whale, chair of EIC's Water Pollution Control Working Group, reports

Construction crackdown

For constructors who evade paying tax, the time has come to wise up. HM Revenue & Customs is clamping down with a new scheme, which comes into force next year. Sally Nash reports

Going by the book

The latest edition of The Drain Repair Book is a best-practice guide devised by insurers for contractors working in the public and private sectors. Iain Naismith of the WRc group outlines the updates

Ahead of the game

According to David Jackson, chairman of Business in the Environment - a sub-division of Business in the Community (BiTC), "the Environment Index has proved vital to the development of corporate environmental practice over the years". And he certainly has a point.

SUDS - where there's a will...

The use of sustainable urban drainage has been limited to flood risk management. However, the EIC's Water Pollution Control Working Group believes further benefits can be provided and is publishing a paper - the SUDS Position Paper - outlining what those are. Richard Whale explains.

Are counterfeit replacement parts cost-savers?

With companies under pressure to cut costs, one place to seek savings is in replacement parts. Phil Bolton reports.

More help for flood victims

Ofwat has laid out plans to strengthen compensation protection for customers who suffer sewer flooding.

Risky business: why do companies take more risks when faced with losses?

When making a risky decision, companies assume they are weighing up their best alternatives. But psychology suggests our choices are biased towards taking risks when dealing with losses, writes Dr Ed Mitchell

Making cents

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Louis Perroy argues that financial institutions are ignoring at their peril the risks posed by climate change

Sudden decline

Robert Martin and Marcel Steward reflect on the uncertain future of Sudden & Accidental pollution insurance and the possible alternative insurance of the future

China in hand

China's WEEE regulation is designed to resolve the country's rapidly growing domestic e-waste problem. However, neither this directive nor the EU law on which it is modelled are adequately prepared, as Elius Levin reports

In conversation with Aviva's Zelda Bentham

Aviva's Zelda Bentham talks to edie about what areas of sustainability the insurance company is focusing on and why climate change sceptics are "brave".

Government investment not sufficient to deal with rising flood risks

Ministers have accused the Government of not providing adequate flood defence funding in last month's spending review.

Climate change opportunities could outweigh risks for UK businesses

Defra has set out the risks and opportunities businesses face as climate change and extreme weather becomes increasingly prominent.

Water Bill strikes insurance compromise to protect flood-prone properties

The Government has agreed a deal with the insurance industry that will cap flood insurance premiums, linking them to council tax bands and ensuring people know the maximum they will have to pay.

Tupungato /

EXCLUSIVE: RBS in move to save reputation through sustainability reporting

Royal Bank of Scotland's (RBS) deputy head of sustainability Duncan Young has highlighted the importance of sustainability reporting in shrugging off the negative reputation of his company.

Is the Green Deal a fair deal for SMEs?

The Green Deal is widely accepted as a progressive idea in principle. But, says Conor McGlone, criticism that the way the scheme has been designed could exclude small and medium sized businesses is damaging its credibility

A biotech lab at Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies

The emergence of Industrial Biotechnology

Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts, announced in January £35M of funding for research into Industrial Biotechnology (IB) and Bioenergy. This was a firm recognition that IB has huge potential for British businesses and will play an important part in creating a more sustainable economy.

Buckingham Palace has been identified as 'at risk' of flooding

Britain's top tourist destinations at high risk of flooding

Ten of the UK's major tourist destinations have been identified as high risk from surface water flooding, according to new research.

Business must future-proof against extreme weather

Companies must consider the risks and opportunities provided by more 'freak' weather patterns, according to business leaders.

Worrying gaps in insurance take-up by wind farmers

Small-scale wind farmers may be taking too much risk by failing to insure against such things as damage to equipment during transit and resultant cashflow issues.

Flood-hit homeowners should seek insurance advice

Home owners hit by flood damage across the UK could needlessly spend thousands of pounds rectifying ruined homes because they do not understand what is covered under their buildings insurance policies, according to Drain Claim.

A geothermal plant in New Zealand

Deep geothermal can provide 20% of UK electricity needs

The UK's deep geothermal resources could provide 9.5GW of baseload renewable electricity, equivalent to nearly nine nuclear power stations, according to a new report.

Online sewer connections

Confusion and upheaval may still surround the transfer of private drains and sewers, but a new Facebook-style website is helping drainage professionals connect on key issues. On behalf of UKDP, Marie-Claire Kidd explains

Pets over possessions: 23% of survey respondents would save their animal in a flood

Brits would put furry friends first in floods says EA

The Environment Agency's (EA) most recent survey regarding flood risk found, when it comes to flooding, UK homeowners would put their pets before possessions.

Meeting the private sewer challenge

Water and sewerage companies need to prepare for the imminent Private Sewers Transfer, Martyn Hopkinson, WaSC development & operational director at UK Drainage Network, explains how

Composite manholes ‘safer than iron’

New materials are making access covers safer and less expensive, says Andrew Burton, general manager of Structural Science Composites, a manufacturer that has joined the Motorcycle Action Group for a new campaign

Managing director of B & V Simon Ward

B & V Water named as one of Britain's top 1,000 'Brightest Businesses'

B & V Water Treatment has received high praise from the Daily Telegraph, which named it one of the UK's top 1,000 brightest businesses in its latest report - the only water company to make the grade.

Energy secretary to end 'predatory pricing' of power companies

Energy secretary, Chris Huhne, is due to announce new measures to tackle what he calls 'predatory pricing' from big energy firms.

Rise of more efficient combustion engine 'biggest threat' to electric vehicle market

Costs associated with running an electric car are currently much higher than conventional vehicles but that could be set to change, according to new research.

Greg Barker

Government aims for locally generated energy boost

Communities and business are to be encouraged to generate their own electricity, in plans announced by the Government.

The Nissan Leaf

Insurance costs will rule out low carbon vehicle benefits until 2020

The high cost of insuring hybrid and electric vehicles means there will not be a cost benefit to the consumer until 2020, according to an energy consultant.

Europe's top 300 emitters ranked for the first time

UK financial giant Aviva is the best performer in a European list of the top 300 carbon emitters, according to a new ranking system.

Tracy Kuhns speaking before going into BP's AGM

Gulf residents still ill from oil spill

The wife of fisherman told BP investors her community was being 'killed' in the aftermath of the BP Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.

Cllr Lee: partnership gives an opportunity to improve range and quality of services provided

Peterborough names new front-line services partner

Peterborough City Council has agreed a 23-year strategic partnership deal with Enterprise Managed Services to deliver front-line services including household waste and recycling collection.

Bowles: authorities need to plan in advance

Keeping an eye on employment law

In the light of recent and planned changes to employment law, local authorities need to make sure they don't get caught out, warns Nathan Bowles

Gateshead deal is part of the UK's biggest wheelie bin contract this year

Gateshead welcomes new wheelie bins

Gateshead Council has agreed a contract with MGB Plastics for the supply of 84,000 wheeled recycling bins, which are being delivered direct to homes over a six-month period.

Play safe with less haste: Timothy Bryne

The trouble with task and finish

It's about time task and finish was abolished on collection rounds - it not only puts speed before safety, but results in illegal working practices, argues Timothy Byrne

Set up global fund to insure against eco-disasters - Russia

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has used his blog to call for an international fund to insure against major environmental disasters like the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Friends of the Earth claims green bank campaign victory

Friends of the Earth has welcomed Government plans, unveiled in the Budget, to set up a Green Investment Bank.

A Difficult Balance

Relations between countries have never been so important. Jeremy Richardson reviews the Copenhagen Accord - and discusses the future of the Clean Development Mechanism market

The Big Heat

The Copenhagen Accord recognises that climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our times. Jane Wardle considers how businesses should best prepare themselves for dealing with extreme weather disruption

Aviva's new rooftop solar systems all qualify for feed-in tariff subsidies, having been registered before the 15 January reduction in tariff rates

Aviva on the road to 100% renewables with rooftop solar investment

Aviva has invested in rooftop solar PV systems across three of its UK sites as part of the investment providor's commitment to use 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025.

First eco home insurance launched

High street chain Marks and Spencer is claiming a UK first by offering insurance aimed at encouraging environmentally friendly products.

Contractors need clarity on drains transfer

With private drains due to transfer to water company ownership in 2011, Dean Stiles asks whether those involved are up to speed and discusses the issues and concerns.

Ireland must adapt to unavoidable climate change

While Ireland must continue to be involved in global efforts to curb climate change, it must also prepared and adapt to minimise the unavoidable impacts that have already begun.

Leading from the front

With a fleet of vehicles travelling millions of miles a year, the safety of drivers and other road users is a high priority to Morrison Utility Services. Which is why it hopes its new full-time driver trainers will raise standards - and cut accidents, too.

Banking on waste

Banks are still keen to invest in waste firms large and small, according to a leading financier from Lloyds TSB.

Cut price insurance to boost brownfield clean up

Private insurance companies are to offer cut price insurance deals as an incentive for people to clean up contaminated land in Ohio.

Leaking oil tank warning from Environment Agency

More than 400 oil leaks were reported in the Thames region alone last year, prompting the Environment Agency to publish new guidance.

Costs must rise to £1B mark to protect against flood risk

Investment in flood defences needs to double by 2035 to cope with global warming. As a result, contractors will see plenty of opportunities to maintain and build flood defences. Dean Stiles reports.

Neglect is not worth the risk

A range of legislation affects health and safety in the water industry. Geoff Hooke, secretary general to the British Safety Industry Federation reminds employers where to direct their attention

Glimpse into future of flooding

Ofwat has demanded flood risk assessment be included in April's five-year exercise. Justin Butler, managing director of Ambiental Technical Solutions, explains the assessment and protection measures utilities need to take

A lighter shade of green - what does ethical investment entail?

Ethical investment has increased six-fold in the UK over the past decade. But what exactly do these ethics entail? Erik Jaques reports on the varying shades of green on offer

"Business is ready"

As co-director of the Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change, Craig Bennett is a man who is confident that businesses are capable of stepping up to challenges of sustainability. Now he just needs government to understand that, he tells Tom Idle

A question of credibility

Carbon offsetting has ruffled the feathers of big businesses around the world. Different schemes have been mooted - some more dubious than others, says Mark Lupton

Environmental Case Law Summary, March 2008

Once again Edie News and Semple Fraser team up to bring readers the latest on legal cases which impact on environmental industries in the UK and Europe. This month the courts look into an EIA for a Belgian freight airport, gave the thumbs up to French laws restricting the import of pesticides and the Court of Appeal settles a squabble between insurers over who must pay for land remediation.

Environmental insurance enforced by English Courts

Increasing enforcement of the polluter pays principle has done much to focus the minds of industrial operators, their insurers and re-insurers alike.

A million new homes could be uninsurable

Thousands of those hit by last summer's floods in the UK are still living in temporary accommodation and insurers have warned that a million homeowners could suffer the same fate in the future.

Clean energy investment enjoyed its best year ever in 2015 but is still $200bn short of necessary levels

Paris goals will cost $12 trillion, says Bloomberg

More than $12trn will need to be invested in new renewable power generation over the next 25 years to achieve the climate goals laid out in the Paris agreement, according to a new report from research group Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) and sustainability non-profit Ceres.

The report found the middle class is becomingly increasingly aware of the risks posed to them by climate change

Global middle class can drive climate action, says UBS

The global middle class could hold the key to mobilising climate action, a new report from financial services firm UBS has claimed.

The 180 million tonne saving is approximately five times greater than emissions from the operation of the mobile networks

Smartphones and mobile technology cuts 180 million tonnes of carbon emissions

The use of mobile technology is helping avoid 180 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year in the US and Europe, according to a new report from the Carbon Trust.

Skilling up staff for better service delivery

Training in fields traditionally seen as unskilled may seem unnecessary, but Philip Wilson and Barbara Beasley believe a qualified workforce brings much added value

Allianz plans to double its exposure to wind energy to about €4bn

€865bn assets in France and Germany pledge coal divestment

Major European financial institutions including the world's largest insurer have this week pledged to reduce their exposure to coal investments and transition towards clean energy.

Summer floods to cost £3bn

The insurance industry needs to improve its risk assessment after taking a £3bn hit following the summer floods while business must take responsibility for its contribution to climate change, according to industry experts.

Counting the cost of England's floods

Tax concessions and insurance payouts will go some way towards easing the heartbreak of those whose homes and businesses have been flooded in the worst weather for more than half a century, but how much will the crisis cost UK plc?

The dangers of overloading

An overloaded commercial vehicle is a dangerous beast - so stay safe by using axle load indication, says Andrew Freeman

Grants to help flood-proof homes

Development in areas at risk of flooding is unavoidable as housing demand soars, the Government has said as it launched a series of measures to flood-proof high risk buildings.

The Covenant of Mayors 2013 ceremony. Photo: Griet Dekoninck

Cities reluctant to publish climate risk reports

Thousands of cities signing up to the new Covenant of Mayors today (15 October) will submit reports on their vulnerability to climate change to the European Commission every two years - but are under no obligation to make the information public.

Land and water polluters will have to pay for the clean-up

EU states late with polluter pays law

Most European countries failed to meet the April 30th deadline to transpose the EU Liability Directive - the first European law based on the 'polluter pays' principle - into national law.

Insurers are warning against climate-related flood risk increases

Insurers warn of rising flood risk

British insurers are driving home the flood risk message as insurance in areas threatened by flooding becomes prohibitively expensive or even impossible to obtain.

US oil giant backs mandatory GHG emissions cuts

A major oil company and insurance house have become the latest businesses to sign up to a corporate coalition calling for cuts to greenhouse gases to be made mandatory in the US.

SMEs adopt EMS in USA

American experts were asked to look at the problems facing a wider adoption of EMS by small and medium-sized companies in the USA. Pennsylvanian academics Christopher J Lynch and Thomas Gibson told edie their findings.

Aviva chief executive Mark Wilson committed the company to £2.5bn investment in clean energy

Aviva commits £2.5bn to green investments following climate risk report

Insurance giant Aviva has announced a target to invest £500m every year for five years in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

London businesses are woefully unprepared for the impact of climate change

London's economy facing 'great unknown' on climate risks, warns Assembly

Businesses in London are unprepared for the impacts of global warming and more than half of FTSE 100 companies have no strategy to deal with climate change.

The report's lead author Dr Ana Gonzalez Pelaez argues that as many people as possible need to have access to insurance

Insurance industry 'essential policy instrument' to help those at climate risk

The insurance industry must be utilized to protect citizens at risk from climate change, a new report from the University of Cambridge's Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) has claimed.

Image via

Fracking could hurt house prices, health and environment, official report says

Fracking operations to extract shale gas in Britain could cause nearby house prices to fall by up to 7% and create a risk of environmental damage, according to a government report that has been published in full for the first time.

The biggest risk identified by ADOP is that companies like BP and Shell will find their value wiped out and their assets worthless when the world transitions to a low carbon economy

UK pensions funds 'doing nothing' to protect investors from climate risk

UK pension funds could face legal action if they continue to expose their investors to the potentially 'brutal' risks posed by climate change.

Don't be an accident waiting to happen

With an accident incident rate 63% less than the industry average, Neales Waste Management has built up an enviable reputation for health and safety. Debbie Salmon outlines how the company achieved this

Hurricane damage is expected to increase in the USA - and insurers are reluctant to pick up the tab

Premiums will rise as climate change bites, warn insurers

Insurance giants Allianz have warned customers in the US that premiums will rise as destructive weather increases due to climate change.

Replacing traditional cooking methods with fuel-efficient stoves in Madagascar is one of the schemes funded with carbon offset cash.

Flight carbon offsets hit the high street

A high street travel agent is giving its customers the option to offset the carbon emissions of their flights, in the first over-the-counter scheme of its type in the UK.

Insure against risk for a better brownfield price

Surplus brownfield sites are often sold at less than their market value, but if local authorities insured against liability issues, they could increase their revenue. David Brierley explains

Economic losses from natural disasters in the last decade amounted to around $1.9trn while insured losses were about $600bn.

Insurers: Governments must help us prepare for natural disasters

Insurers managing more than $9trn in assets have called on governments around the world to tackle climate change and build resilience to increasingly-common natural disasters.

 From 1980 to 2014, there were 178 'weather events' that cost $1bn or more

Hottest year on record 'bad news for business'

As Nasa figures reveal 2014 was the hottest year on record, the World Resources Institute (WRI) says the soaring temperatures will soon have a heavy cost for businesses.

Insured losses from the UK floods alone totalled more than £1bn.

Report: Insurance firms vulnerable to escalating climate risk

A vast majority of the world's major insurance companies are ill-prepared to deal with the increasing risks of climate change, despite facing massive pay-outs if floods, droughts and other extreme weather conditions continue.

Planes queue at Heathrow

Most UK airports miss EU pollution targets

The majority of British airports are way of target when it comes to keeping levels of nitrogen dioxide within safe limits, according to a new study.

Farmers in the Ethiopian highlands could be among those to benefit from an insurance payout

UN takes out world's first drought insurance

The United Nation's World Food Programme has taken out an insurance policy which will pay out if Ethiopia suffers a sever drought during this year's agricultural season.

The new initiative will explore the legal implications for businesses looking to work towards a circular economy

Moves made to investigate legal barriers to circular economy

The legal implications for businesses looking to work towards a circular economy are set to be explored in greater detail under a new initiative.

The new reform will require companies to disclose information about the policies and due diligence processes in place to assess risks and to prevent adverse impacts of their operations

New EU reform to strengthen corporate accountability

A reform to strengthen corporate accountability and transparency regarding the impact of businesses' activities on human rights, the environment and society has been adopted by the European Parliament (EP) today.

Hybrids like the Toyota Prius are now cheaper to insure in the USA

Hybrid drivers cash in on premium insurance rates

A major motor insurer has promised hybrid drivers a 10% discount on their premiums in the USA.

© 2004 National Marine Aquarium

Scuppered ship creates marine habitat and divers' paradise

Kelvin Boot from the National Marine Aquarium looks at an alternative to traditional end-of-life ship breaking.

Flood risk homes retain insurance

Properties in flood risk areas can continue to receive insurance cover, providing adequate flood defences are in place, the Association of British Insurers has said.

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