GALLERY: Top 10 sustainability stories in September 2014

What were the biggest stories for sustainability professionals in September? Find out in our editor's round-up which takes a look-back at the month in pictures.

In the first of a new feature, edie has highlighted some of the stories and features our readers were keen to read and share during the month of September 2014. (Scroll down for gallery).

From in-depth analysis of the UN Climate Summit and Scotland’s NO vote to one of the most interesting solar installations the world has ever seen – plus a couple of advisory articles released in line with World Water Week and Zero Waste Week. September was certainly a busy month for news.

The month’s most-read news story came in the form of the Sustainability Leaders Awards shortlist, which saw a vigorous judging process whittle down the finalists that are all making genuine progress in embedding sustainability throughout their operations (stay tuned for the final in November).

Another favourite among readers was edie’s recent coverage of Heineken becoming the first major brewer in the UK to implement a large-scale solar panel installation on the roof of one of its flagship production sites in North Yorkshire.

And perhaps the most eye-catching image in this gallery comes from Kyocera’s announcement that it is beginning work on what will be the world’s largest floating solar installation. The 2.9MW project comprises two separate floating arrays in the Nishira and Higashihira reservoirs in Kato City. 

We hope you enjoy flipping through the selected pictures and catching up on the past month’s biggest stories. Don’t forget, edie also has a range of advice-led features and multimedia content to help you remain informed about the latest sustainability news and help you run a better business.

GALLERY: September’s top 10 sustainability news stories

Top 10 sustainability stories (in gallery order): –

1) Scottish independence: What the NO vote means for UK renewables

On 18 September, Scotland voted to stay in the United Kingdom after voters decisively rejected independence. Edie investigated the impact this will have, if any, on the nation’s renewable energy sector.

Ahead of the vote, edie investigated what might have happened to the nation’s renewable sector if Scotland did strike out as an independent country. And the effects could have been huge.

2) United Nations Climate Summit

The UN Climate Summit in New York took place on 23 September and saw a host of impassioned speeches, revamped national commitments and new industry-led initiatives.

More than 120 international figureheads descended upon the UN headquarters in New York to raise political momentum for a meaningful universal climate agreement in Paris 2015 and galvanise transformative action to curb runaway greenhouse gas emissions.

In light of the Summit, edie summed up what it could mean for your business with our ‘Five things you need to know’ article.

3) Labour Party Conference: Miliband prioritises green economy in 10-year plan

The Conference, which took place on 23 September, saw Labour leader Ed Miliband pledge to create one million green jobs as part of a 10-year plan to make Britain a global leader in clean technology and renewable energy.

In an impassioned speech to Labour Party activists before the 2015 General Election, Miliband also announced that his party would commit to take all of the carbon out of electricity by 2030, and develop a Green Investment Bank with more powers to borrow.

4) World Water Week: Top 10 tips to reduce your consumption

World Water Week took place the week commencing 1 September and edie felt it was the perfect opportunity for businesses to help raise the profile of today’s most pressing water challenges and take extra steps to tackle the issues of water security and quality. 

Water is now one of the highest global risks, with new research suggesting that the world’s water reserves will increasingly fail to meet demand over the coming years, leaving a third of the global populatiEdie spoke with Jacob Tompkins from Waterwise, a not-for-profit organisation that promotes water efficiency, to come up with the top 10 things businesses can do to minimise their own consumption and help to ensure a secure water future.

5) Zero Waste Week: Top 20 tips to reduce waste in the workplace

We generate about 177 million tonnes of waste every year in England and it’s estimated that UK businesses could save up to £6.4 billion per year by improving the way they use resources. To mark the launch of Zero Waste Week, which also took place the week commencing 1 September, founder Rachelle Strauss offered her top 20 tips to help businesses do just that.

6) Sustainability Leaders Awards 2014: Finalists revealed

The Awards are organised by edie and its sister brand Sustainable Business to celebrate the very best in sustainable business; recognising true leadership and innovation among companies and organisations that are making genuine progress in embedding sustainability throughout their operations.

This year the volume of entries was overwhelming, but on 2 September, edie announced who made the shortlist of this year’s Sustainability Leaders Awards.

7) Krispy Kreme follows Dunkin’ Donuts into sustainable palm oil commitment

On 18 September, edie reported that US doughnut supplier Krispy Kreme pledged to only source 100% responsible, deforestation-free palm oil. The announcement was made less than 24 hours after rival firm Dunkin’ Donuts made its own commitment.

The decision followed a June report by environmental activists Forest Heroes which revealed that the two companies, as well as Canadian chain Tim Hortons, were frying doughnuts in palm oil connected to the destruction of rainforests.

8) Kyocera introduces world’s largest floating solar farm

Japanese electronics and ceramics manufacturer Kyocera has today (3 September) announced that it is beginning work on what will be the world’s largest floating solar installation. 

The 2.9MW project comprises two separate floating arrays in the Nishira and Higashihira reservoirs in Kato City. The electricity generated will provide the equivalent power for roughly 920 typical households and will be sold to the local utility through Japan’s feed-in-tariff system.

This is just one of many recently built solar installations. Click here to see edie’s interactive map of some of the largest and most interesting installations from every continent in the world.

9) Solar-powered beer: Heineken unveils UK’s largest green brewery

On 26 September, edie reported on Heineken’s improved sustainability strategy. The brewer became the first in the UK to implement a large-scale solar panel installation on the roof of one of its flagship production sites in North Yorkshire.

John Smith’s Brewery in Tadcaster is set to power up over 4,000 solar panels that cover its huge corrugated iron roof; generating more than 876MWh of electricity each year which will be used to power the brewery’s bottling and canning departments.

10) Six renewable energy targets set for next UK Government

On 7th September, the renewable energy industry united to launch a series of ‘key tests’ for the UK political parties ahead of the next General Election.

Leading renewable energy trade bodies including the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ADBA), the British Hydropower Association (BHA), the Renewable Energy Association (REA), the British Photovoltaic Association (BPVA), RenewableUK, Scottish Renewables and the Solar Trade Association (STA), launched a renewables manifesto statement and campaign hosted on the Action for Renewables website.

Luke Nicholls & Lois Vallely

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