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Plastic: Standing the test of time

Since HDPE was developed, winning its discoverers a Nobel prize, it has proven to be a reliable, durable and cost-effective material for a broad range of applications, writes Dr Vasilios Samaras of Asset International.

Ion exchange comes of age

After many years of development, PuriTech's continuous ion exchange system is garnering the accolades it deserves. The company's general manager, Peter Brewer, explains its genesis, and highlights the benefits the enhanced system can bring.

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

Yorkshire overhauls its largest works

The upgrade of Yorkshire Water's largest WwTW, Knostrop, posed many design challenges, including the existence of an old mineshaft on site. Burak Sencer, Gavin Stonard, Peter White and Mark O'Brien of Halcrow explain

Lessons on drought from down under

Singapore and Australia are each battling their own water resource problems. A British Water global mission visited both countries to see how they are dealing with the issue. Dr Ian Pallett reports.

A beacon project

A pipeline is being built, which will carry 20% of the UK's natural gas supply, to help cope with growing demand for gas. Remote locations have posed problems, writes Paul Stearnes

Australia ramps up desalination deployment

The Water Corporation of Western Australia (WCWA) is on schedule to commission the southern hemisphere's largest desalination plant, in Perth, early next year. Gary Crisp of WCWA reports on how the plant has addressed the challenges of environmental sustainability and technological feasibility and heralds increased uptake of reverse osmosis technology in Australia.

Effluent: Waste or resource?

Changes in rainfall and increasing demand mean that water has now become too valuable a resource to be used only once. Here Martin Hind of Biwater Treatment looks at some alternatives

A polished solution

Virotec provides tailored technology for the treatment of water and waste across a broad range of industries. General manager Simon Tillotson reports

ITT Flygt pumps up the durability

The new force in de-watering pumps is expected to exceed current market standards in terms of durability. ITT Flygt's new hydraulic design, the 2600 Series, is launched this month and the company says it will provide longer periods of maintenance-free operation, even in the most demanding conditions.

Edie Environmental Legislation Summary, June 06

Recent changes to legislation which will impact on the environmental sector in the UK, Europe and internationally come under the spotlight in this Semple Fraser and Edie News monthly round-up of new law and policy. Among the developments this month we see the EC consulting on waste incineration and amending its position on the import and export of hazardous chemicals. In the UK contaminated land law gets an overhaul and a raft of new regulations covering pollution from shipping are introduced. Regulations to protect watercourses from agricultural pollution are amended and local authorities in Scotland are given greater powers to ensure water supplies are up to standard.

Edie Environmental Legislation Summary (May 06)

Recent changes to legislation which will impact on the environmental sector in the UK, Europe and internationally come under the spotlight in this Semple Fraser and Edie News monthly round-up of new law and policy. Among the developments this month we see updates to EU's position on waste from mining, oil drilling and other extractive industries, improved public access to environmental information and new rules on the disposal of batteries.

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.

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.

Edie Environmental Legislation Summary (March 06)

Recent changes to legislation whichth will impact on the environmental sector in the UK, Europe and internationally come under the spotlight in this Semple Fraser and Edie News monthly round-up of new law and policy. Among the developments this month we see EU legislation on public access to pollution information and on the marketing and use of dangerous substances, while in the UK orders on offshore installations and the renewables obligation come into force.

The hazardous Waste Disposal site - 170m below the ground

With UK landfill sites at saturation, and the Landfill Directive creating more problems, hazardous waste disposal is increasingly challenging. Tom Idle found a solution 170m below ground

Lack of direction

The Institute of Directors has done a survey of its members' environmental policies and their awareness of new legislation. The results are of some concern, according to Geraint Day

Edie Environmental Legislation Summary

Recent changes to legislation which will impact on the environmental sector in the UK, Europe and internationally come under the spotlight in this Semple Fraser and Edie News monthly round-up of new law and policy. Among the developments this month we see the EU's proposals on the Mining Waste Directive, the latest on REACH, progress on the UK's packaging waste regulations, updated safety standards for the nuclear industry and changes to the Scottish stance on Nitrate Vulnerable Zones

Edie environmental case law summary (September 2005)

This month Edie News and Semple Fraser team up to bring readers the latest on legal cases which impact on environmental industries in the UK, Europe and further afield. Updates covered include a pollution case brought against the world's biggest gold miner, Newmont Mining Company, in Indonesia and a hefty fined for a landowner who trashed protected moorland in the UK's South Pennines.

Indonesian government takes on mining giant

The world waits with baited breath as Indonesian authorities challenge a megacorp's mining practices in a legal first

The Global 500 accounts for more than tenth of international emissions and more than a quarter of GDP

Emissions of world's largest firms continue to rise

The greenhouse gas emissions of the world's 500 largest companies increased by 3.1% from 2010 to 2013, threatening the UN-set target to keep global warming within 2C.

The research calls attention to a 3% rise in carbon intensity during the country's economic boom over the period of 2002-2009

China's climate pledge impeded by recent economic surge

China's extensive financial growth is thwarting the country's efforts to reduce CO2 emissions according to new research from the University of East Anglia (UEA).

100% of diamonds purchased by Tiffany & Co. in 2013 were tracable to mine or source. pic: Oliver Hoffman/

Tiffany committed to new sustainable mining standard

Tiffany & Co. has reaffirmed its sustainability commitments through its work as a founding member of the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA), according to the jewellery company's latest CSR report.

President Obama told West Point graduates this week that the US must lead by example on climate change

Obama to unveil historic climate change plan to cut US carbon pollution

President Barack Obama will unveil a plan on Monday that will cut carbon pollution from power plants and promote cap-and-trade, undertaking the most significant action on climate change in American history.

Apple says its carbon footprint was 33.8m metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions

Apple: climate change is real and it's a real problem

Technology company claims 94% of its corporate facilities are now powered by renewable energy

Valentine's Day sweethearts urged to buy ethical jewellery

More than 100 jewellery retailers, from high street to high end, are endorsing ethical purchasing of jewellery on Valentine's Day by committing to more responsible sourcing of precious metals.

Electronic waste could provide a richer source of gold than mining if recovery efforts were stepped up says Philips CEO Frans van Houten

Philips CEO Frans van Houten: 'More gold in e-waste than mining'

Philips global president and CEO Frans van Houten has emphasised the increasing value of electronic waste, arguing that it could provide a richer source of gold than mining if recovery efforts were stepped up.

Businesses in the financial sector are prominent amongst the leading eight companies in the CDP's report

CDP report: Diageo, GSK and Anglo American top reporting firms

Diageo, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Anglo American are amongst the top companies reporting on indirect emissions and supply chain impacts, according to the CDP's FTSE 350 Climate Change Report.

BHP Billiton's continued development of its onshore US unconventional oil and gas operations, such as its Fayetteville Shale site in Arkansas, USA, has contributed to increased emissions

BHP Billiton's GHG emissions rise due to Mozal hydropower interruptions

Mining giant BHP Billiton's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have risen by 6.5 million tonnes (Mt) in 2013, largely due to increases across the company's aluminium and onshore US operations.

Urban mining aims to redefine waste as an asset

We need to recognise urban wastes as assets and resources to be reused, recycled and recovered - and this requires some mental digging, argues Chris Coggins

Tin is used as solder in all phones and electronic gadgets and around a third of the world's mined tin comes from Bangka Island in Indonesia and neighbouring island Belitung

Major smartphone companies tackle illegal tin mining concerns

Nokia, Sony, Blackberry, Motorola and LG Electronics have released statements reiterating their commitment to tackling the environmental impact of Indonesian tin production associated with the firms supply chains.

Diamond sorting in DTC Botswana. De Beers' water and energy use increased in 2012

De Beers water use increases by almost 6% due to 'technical issues' at mines

Diamond company De Beers has announced that it used 42.9 million cubic metres (m3) of water in 2012, a 5.8% increase on 2011.

Big data, the key to navigating the resource risk maze?

A lack of robust data is hampering efforts to guard against some of the biggest environmental risks associated with the successful supply of goods and services, as Maxine Perella finds out

Escondida mining project in Chile: a new $3bn desalination plant will minimise Escondida's reliance on the region's aquifers

Mining giants invest $3bn to secure water supply in Chile

Major mining companies BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto have agreed to invest $3bn (£1.95bn) in a desalination plant at their joint venture project, Escondida, in Chile.

The rising water risk behind mining for metals

Water management is fast emerging as a critical issue within the metals and mining sector, whose high dependence on it is now throwing up a number of operational, financial and reputational challenges. Maxine Perella investigates

EXCLUSIVE: Precious metals industry more aware of environmental responsibilities

Stakeholders are asking more questions and continue to raise issues around corporate responsibility in the precious metals supply chain, says SGS's sustainability manager Effie Marinos.

Opening the box on sustainable jewellery

The versatility of gold and other precious metals, combined with their rise in value, has attracted a wide range of investors. However, this surge in interest brings with it an augmented level of scrutiny.

In conversation with Anglo American's Samantha Hoe-Richardson

edie talks to mining giant Anglo-American's head of sustainable development & energy Samantha Hoe-Richardson on the importance of demonstrating that "green equals efficient and resilient" and that sustainability professionals must get connected with the commercial challenges facing a business and the people dealing with them.

A 15-year old child tin miner searching for tin ore at a mine in Bangka

Samsung admits tin mining operations causing environmental destruction

Samsung Electronics has admitted it is using tin mined in Indonesia for the manufacture of its smart phones, causing devastating effects on the local environment.

Anglo American invests more in water reduction but records 17% rise in 2012

Global mining firm Anglo American increased its water usage by 17% in 2012 to 139.2 million cubic metres (m3), up from 115.3 million m3 in 2011.

Credit: David Fowler /

Thatcher remembered for paving way on climate politics

Sustainability professionals have largely paid tribute to the environmental legacy left by Baroness Margaret Thatcher in British politics following her death today at the age of 87.

EU slammed over waste prevention commitment

The European Commission has been criticised for failing to implement higher targets and new policy measures to encourage the reuse of materials and reduction of wasteful consumption.

Glasgow investigates geothermal potential of sub-city mines

Water in a network of abandoned mines underneath Glasgow could be used to generate up to 40% of the city's heat.

EXCLUSIVE: CCS to remain costly despite potential rise in investment

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) could help cut 20% of global emissions required by 2050 but will need vast investment and the support of regulatory and energy efficiency measures, says Tore Amundsen.

Mine your business sustainably

Extracting natural resources from the earth is not a sustainable activity but some mining companies are now seeing the business case for ensuring their operations are efficient, finds Leigh Stringer

Breakthrough at mercury pollution talks

Governments around the world have agreed a global, legally-binding treaty to prevent the release of mercury emissions.

'Eureka' moment for solution to water contamination

A scientific breakthrough might have provided a solution to the issue of water contamination, say researchers at Houston Rice University and Lomonosov Moscow State University.

Miners working at a tin ore mine in Bangka, Indonesia.

Samsung and Apple must 'come clean' on devastating mining

Samsung and Apple must face obligatory reporting rules for their supply chains and material use, says Friends of the Earth (FoE).

Supermarket sector tops carbon reporting for second straight year

Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury's have ranked amongst the top FTSE 100 companies for reporting and measuring carbon emissions, according to research released today.

Brian Cox: Earth's resources are rare and must be protected

Professor Brian Cox puts price on launching waste into outer space

Particle physicist Professor Brian Cox has calculated the cost of sending waste into space based on current space technology capabilities.

The office block in Madrid to showcase the technology

British university helps Europe's buildings become energy efficient

The University of Salford will take part in a European project to reduce an estimated 35% of the continent's carbon emissions that come from buildings.

World's waters 'poisoned' by dumping of toxic mining waste

Global water supplies are being threatened by the illegal dumping of millions of tonnes of hazardous mine waste each year, according to a new report.

Industry looks East

The White Water Paper sets out plans to stimulate further investment in the UK water industry. British contractors should not be surprised to find themselves competing against Asian companies, says Dean Stiles

Rio Tinto is exploring new ways to tap into sustainable mineral extraction

Rio Tinto poised to ramp up mineral recovery from waste rock

Global mining giant Rio Tinto is embarking on a pioneering minerals recovery programme that will separate valuable ore from waste rock during underground tunnelling operations.

Among conventional power plants, gas-fired plants consume the least amount of water per unit of energy produced

The water-energy connection

The close links between water and energy mean that efficiencies made in one sector have a beneficial effect in the other. Businesses and investors must be alert to the fact, says Mike Scott.

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.

Photo credit: Clay/Greenpeace

Arrests as anti-tar sands protesters blockade DfT

Police swooped on a group of protesters who attempted to blockade the offices of Government building.

Soaring energy costs and legislation close UK smelting site

More than 600 jobs are at risk after a mining company announced plans to close its aluminium smelting factory and power station over rising energy costs and legislation.

Opportunity knocks north of the border

We may well see a new relationship emerge between waste producer and waste collector as Scotland prepares to gets to grips with new regulations, says Iain Gulland

Amplio Filtration Group secures equity investment to fund growth plans

Water filtration company Amplio Filtration Group (AFG), has secured Euro16m in equity investment.

Rare metals recycling market 'volatile' despite rising demand

Investors are being warned to take a cautious approach when it comes to banking on the profit potential of rare earth metals recovery, according to a recent report.

£9M stormwater tank protects River Tame

A major project carried out by North Midland Construction at Severn Trent's Willenhall sewage treatment works provides extra capacity for excess waste

UU trials pipe liner on long-pull

The time has arrived for a pipe rehabilitation system that has been around for over two decades. Steven Barnes, MD of Swagelining, reveals how trials in North-west England have proved its value today

Summer Rayne Oakes understands the language of fashion and sustainability

'I'm working to the fullest capability of my human being'

Erik Jaques meets Summer Rayne Oakes, model and co-founder of Source4Style

New ship promises greener and safer offshore wind installation

Offshore wind construction could become greener and easier after a deal to build a new turbine installation ship was announced.

A powerful push for phosphorus capture and recovery

With global phosphorous stocks dwindling, recovery of this agricultural necessity from sewage is becoming increasingly viable, says Frank Rogalla of Aqualia

Innovative wetland system gains ground

A technology designed for wetland treatment of landfill leachate can help optimise other wetland sites, say Craig Fannin, associate director, and Paul Danes, senior consultant, with AMEC's UK Earth & Environmental business

World's biggest companies failing on water risk management

A new report has concluded that only a tiny fraction of large global companies are taking action on managing water scarcity.

Draining Carbon From Wastewater Networks

At WWT's recent Round Table in central London, influential figures in the UK's wastewater sector gathered to debate carbon footprint reduction initiatives. Steed Webzell listened in...

Belgium landfill to be mined in pioneering venture

The world's first hi-tech landfill mining project has been given the go-ahead in Belgium where gasification and plasma technology will be combined to extract materials and energy from buried waste.

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.


LWARB backs Bexley plant with £4M loan

The London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) has awarded a £4M loan to Orchid Environmental to develop a waste to renewable energy facility in the London Borough of Bexley.

Former open cast mine site to be restored

A plan to remediate a former open cast mine which is now a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) has been announced by waste and renewable energy giant Viridor.

Prototype sustainable coin set to be unveiled

A coin which uses fewer raw materials and is more environmentally friendly to produce will be unveiled at the World Money Fair in Berlin later this week.

World's largest copperworks site to be remediated

A local authority and a university have signed a deal to work on the remediation and regeneration of what was once the World's largest copperworks site.

'Unique' scheme to tackle mine water pollution

Wales' environment watchdog is claiming to have started a 'unique' pilot scheme to stop toxic metals getting into water courses.

WFD, Mcerts... it’s time for a total solution and regulation

Permits - creating challenges for businesses in a range of industrial sectors. Rob Stevens explains how RS Hydro delivered on a huge project for CEMEX.

Tasmanian town's lead mining woes exposed

An Australian mining town plagued by ill health has called in experts to investigate links between ailments and lead poisoning.

Pressure group urges bank to pull plug on cyanide gold mining

Gold mines that use cyanide in the extraction process should not receive funding from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), say NGOs.

Tar sand mining in Alberta

BP puts off tar sands decision

Energy giant BP has postponed making a decision about investing in Canada's tar sands until early next year.

'Ballykissangel' has toxic legacy

The town where hit TV show Ballykissangel was filmed hosts abandoned mining sites whose levels of toxic contamination are among the worst in Ireland.

Two coal mines move closer to opening

The US Environmental Protection Agency has announced a path forward on two coal mining operations in West Virginia.

Toxic mine clean up enters next stage

A multi-million pound project to clean up a toxic mining waste dump which left neighbours fearing for their health has entered its second phase.

Left to right: John Cuthbert, Tony Smith, Martin Hurst, Tony Conway, Bob Baty, Ian Barker, Dan McCarthy, Dr Stephen Bird, Rob Ashley

Price signals needed to encourage behaviour change

A more co-ordinated message to the public coupled with the proper price signals would be the most effective way of engaging consumers to achieve a sustainable water strategy according to Martin Hurst, Defra's water director, at a recent high-level debate on the subject.

Waste recycling fuels Severn Trent works

Severn Trent Water has achieved a significant increase in electricity generation and reduced waste for landfill at Minworth sewage works. Peter Craven of CDE Ireland explains how

Diversity is firm's strength

Eimco Water Technologies recognised the growth in the water market and hit the trail to acquire new companies as part of worldwide expansion and diversification. The result is the company can now provide truly integrated solutions for projects.

"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

What lies beneath

Trapping CO2 underground is now a reality, and it seems a sensible proposition in the face of climate change. But putting the gas down below can allow companies to get access to even more fossil fuels. Mike Scott reports

Beyond Bali

After all the sound and fury, what did the Bali roadmap portend for the property sector, asks Richard Burge

Rio Tinto publishes CSR report

News in Brief

Typhoon Haiyan, known locally as Yolanda, struck in 2013 and was one of the most powerful storms ever recorded

World's largest carbon producers face landmark human rights case

The world's largest oil, coal, cement and mining companies have been given 45 days to respond to a complaint that their greenhouse gas emissions have violated the human rights of millions of people living in the Phillippines.

Apple's Foxconn facility had previously been criticised over poor working conditions

Apple turns to supply chains ethics as emissions tumble

Tech giant Apple has revealed that it cut carbon emissions by almost 14,000 tonnes in 2015, as the firm continued its drive to improve supply chain sustainability and ethics, its latest supplier responsibility report has revealed.

Blackrock controls assets worth around $4.6trn

World's largest investor: We want companies with long-term sustainability plan

The chief executive of the world's largest investment firm, Blackrock, has called for companies to build environmental, social and governance (ESG) management into their business models, calling it a sign of 'operational excellence'.

The Albian Sands Muskeg River Mine © Jiri Rezac/WWF-UK

Oil sands mines 'failing environment'

Environmental campaigners in Canada have accused oils sands mines in Canada of failing to manage their environmental impact.

Brave new world: The economics of recovery

Economic and environmental regulators are important drivers for emerging energy and waste recovery technologies, as Paul Lowe explains

The movement has been organised by the Aiming for A movement which filed two similar successful resolutions focusing on climate change with BP and Shell last year

Investors demand climate transparency from mining firms

Investors responsible for more than $8trn have called on mining giants Anglo American, Glencore and Rio Tinto to be more transparent over the climate risks and impacts of their businesses.

Help for America's volunteer mine cleaners

New protections are being introduced to help so-called "Good Samaritans" clean up America's abandoned mines - without fear of being sued.

Indonesian court clear mining company

A company accused of dumping toxic waste with little regard for public health or the environment has been cleared of all charges following the longest court battle in Indonesian history.

A pan-European transition to a circular economy could generate around €1.8trn of benefit for European economies every year

Will the new circular economy package be ambitious enough?

With the European Commission unveiling its long-awaited circular economy package on Wednesday (2 December), UK experts and green groups are keen to find out if it will contain the necessary ambition to drive resource efficiency.

The partnership falls under GE's Ecomagination, a strategy launched 10 years ago to solve energy and environmental challenges

General Electric and BHP Billiton team up to lower mining emissions

American conglomerate General Electric (GE) has today (2 November) teamed up with a leading mining company to identify ways to lower GHG emissions from mining operations.

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