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Wise Minds: The energy transition and large utilities

The UK energy system is in flux. It is changing more quickly – and more fundamentally – than at any point since the Industrial Revolution.

Gove used his speech at WWF’s Living Planet Centre to claim that the UK can “develop global gold standard policies” on environmental management. Image Defra UK twitter

Michael Gove vows to implement 'gold standard' policies as part of a green Brexit

Environment Secretary Michael Gove believes that Brexit has given the UK a "once in a lifetime opportunity" to become global leaders on agricultural management, as part of a vow to deliver a "green" Brexit.

Defra Secretary of State Michael Gove gave the opening address at a summer reception held in London by environmental think tank Green Alliance

Michael Gove heralds Brexit opportunity to reshape environment policy

Environment Secretary Michael Gove has pledged to use Britain's exit from the EU as an opportunity to redevelop the green policies surrounding the nation's farming and fishing industries in a way that "puts the environment first".

Soybean – the world’s largest source of animal protein feed – accounts for nearly two-thirds of global protein supply

Why business should prepare for a chokehold on food security

A report detailing how vulnerable "chokepoints" could threaten global food supply has heightened the need for food retailers to map and promote sustainable food production, with companies like McDonalds applying a "total supply chain approach" to food security.

The new report from WWF acts as an update to the organisation's Livewell Plates report from 2011

Eating for 2 degrees: Dietary changes can help UK hit Paris Agreement, says WWF

A new report from WWF has suggested that farmers, retailers and the UK Government should promote the consumption of fruit and vegetables to deliver a 30% emissions reduction and place the UK on the pathway to limit global warming to well below 2°C.

182,000 cocoa, coffee and tea farmers are certified under both standards, and a single standard will allow farmers and businesses to invest in sustainable practices more easily

Rainforest Alliance and UTZ to 'redefine sustainability standards' with merger

EXCLUSIVE: Businesses look set to benefit from a streamlined certification process within agriculture supply chains, after the Rainforest Alliance announced an intention "redefine the certification landscape" by merging with fellow sustainability certifiers UTZ.

The farm to fork aspect of the manifesto will be rolled-out as part of a series of blogs, videos and infographics that highlight the need for large-scale changes

Unilever's Sustainable Nutrition Manifesto aims to prove that food shouldn't 'cost the earth'

In a change of pace from the numerous electoral manifestos, Unilever has launched a new agenda that commits to creating "food that tastes good, does good and doesn't cost the earth".

edie Live Exhibitor Spotlight: A-Consult

With only ONE WEEK to go before edie Live at the NEC on 23-24 May we get up close and personal with some of our exhibitors to find out what visitors can expect to see at the show, what's new and how they can help in the drive towards sustainability targets.

Maximising the value of your sustainability report - webinar presentations

View the presentations that were given by a leading cross-sector panel of sustainability experts who discussed their views on how to maximise the value of sustainability reports in a recent edie webinar, sponsored by classification organisanion DNV GL.

Olam’s 29% carbon reduction was driven by “upstream productivity” and a carbon positive agenda at plantations in Gabon

Olam International pairs sustainability and financial reporting for the first time

Agri-business supplier Olam International has announced cuts to carbon intensity and water usage in its own operations in a sustainability report that has been merged with its annual financial report for the first time.

The document said that leaving the loophole open risked 133 million tonnes of unearned carbon credits falling into governments hands

Leaked paper exposes EU countries' abuse of climate loophole

European Union countries exploited loopholes in United Nations forestry rules to pocket carbon credits worth €600 million and the equivalent of global-warming emissions from 114 million cars.

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the livestock sector are estimated to account for 14.5% of the global total

Carbon Trust forms partnership to reduce climate impact of livestock

The Carbon Trust has struck a deal with World Bank Group member International Finance Corporation (IFC) to enhance productivity and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the livestock supply chain.

The NCC's chair Dieter Helm claimed that Brexit offered opportunities to reverse environmental deterioration

Post-Brexit environmental legislation could boost natural capital into the mainstream

The 25-year environmental plan can act as a catapult to launch the concept of natural capital into the mainstream, the Chair of the Natural Capital Committee (NCC) has claimed.

In developing areas such as Africa, demand for fish is starting to outweigh supply due to increased household incomes and poor fishing standards

Food production 'in jeopardy' unless new agri-practices are introduced, says FAO

The global population's ability to feed itself could be "in jeopardy" unless new technologies and sustainable agriculture policies and practices are introduced, a new report from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has warned.

The Brexit White Paper states that leaving the EU offers the UK an opportunity to deliver a “cleaner, healthier environment, benefiting people and the economy”

Brexit White Paper: Government underlines vision for 'cleaner, healthier environment'

The UK Government has today (2 February) released its much-anticipated Brexit White Paper document, providing assurances that the nation will remain a "leading actor" on climate change and environmental policy following its imminent departure from the European Union (EU).

Sustainability Leaders Awards 2017: meet the winners!

Welcome to the winners report for the 2017 Sustainability Leaders Awards. Organised by edie, these awards recognise excellence across the spectrum of sustainable business; from the best efficiency programmes through to product innovation, from stakeholder engagement and CSR initiatives to the people making it happen.

Commissioners Timmermans and Vella were tasked with overseeing the 'fitness check' of the nature directives. Photo: European Commission

EU decides against tinkering with flagship nature directives

After undergoing a much-criticised European Commission-helmed 'fitness check', the EU's main nature directives have been ruled fit for purpose and will not be rewritten or weakened, in a huge win for environmentalists.

Beyond creating a 'nice story' as part of a company’s CSR commitments, what is the business case for not just investigating water security, but actually improving it?

Liquid assets: Strengthening the business case for water management

With global water supplies running dry at an alarming rate, edie's Matt Mace hears from some of the private sector's leading lights on tackling water scarcity to uncover the business case that lies beneath the surface.

A progress reported detailing updates to the goals will be issued in one year’s time

The Magnificent Seven: Food and beverage giants commit to water stewardship challenge

Sustainability advocacy group Ceres has tasked seven global food and beverage companies, including Diageo, General Mills, Kellogg and PepsiCo, to participate in a collaborative challenge aimed at strengthening sourcing and water stewardship action plans.

APS Salads with its Wight Salads site in the Arreton Valley on the Isle of Wight has moved from hybrid lighting to 100% LEDs, which has improved the consistency of its tomato crops

Tomato growers reap benefits of horticultural LEDs

Two of Britain's biggest tomato growers are now benefiting from a transition to horticultural LED lighting, which is increasing yields and significantly reducing energy usage for both businesses.

The GAA brings together growers and producers, traders, agri-service providers, agri-tech suppliers, and a variety of other specialists to create a diverse and informed forum

New agri-business alliance formed to help deliver SDGs

A coalition of 36 leading agri-businesses have joined forces to launch the Global Agri-business Alliance (GAA), aiming to tackle environmental and social challenges affecting agricultural supply chains and rural communities worldwide.

With the Scottish Government set to release an updated Climate Change Plan later this year, the CCC is calling for greater focus on under-developed areas such as transport

Why Scotland's leading emissions drive needs renovating

A new report from the Climate Change Committee (CCC) has revealed that Scotland is the exemplar Home Nation in regards to emission reductions, but with a major shift to the energy mix now integrated, the country may need to turn to other areas to keep pace with reduction targets.

An effective response to the significant and growing risk of drought in England and Wales is possible if concerted action is taken now, Water UK says

UK businesses face increasing risk of drought, warns water sector

Companies are being called upon to ramp up water efficiency measures, share best practices and water consumption and open up new communication streams surrounding water conservation after a new report commissioned by water companies revealed the growing risk of drought facing the UK.

The pledge from the Government to future proof funding streams will ensure the UK can still innovate, even if it loses access to the €80bn Horizon 2020 pot

Treasury to underwrite Horizon 2020 projects beyond EU membership

The UK's innovation agency has vowed to ensure that science and research plays a "central role in a progressive industrial strategy", after Chancellor Philip Hammond revealed that the Treasury will underwrite business and academic funding for approved Horizon 2020 projects.

edie Responsible Retail Conference programme

Can sustainability and profitability go hand-in-hand? Are current retail business models fit for purpose if we are to deliver the transformational change needed to create a low-carbon, zero-waste economy? Download now.

National Trust already manages its land for the benefit of nature rather than for food production. Renewables, flood protection services and eco-tourism could pay more than subsidies

National Trust calls for complete reform of British farm subsidies

The National Trust has called for complete reform of the British farm subsidy system after Brexit, by ending payments for owning land and only rewarding farmers who improve the environment and help wildlife.

Governments have grown increasingly concerned about the threat to water supply because of a combination of climate change and increasing demand

Global water shortages to deliver 'severe hit' to economies, World Bank warns

Water shortages will deliver a "severe hit" to the economies of the Middle East, central Asia, and Africa by the middle of the century, taking double digits off their GDP, the World Bank warned on Tuesday.

The new mapping system could provide researchers with an effective platform to differentiate between forest destruction caused by climate change and deforestation

UN and Google forge 'eye-in-the-sky' forest mapping partnership

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has turned to tech giant Google to implement a high-resolution satellite-based data mapping system which could usher in an "unprecedented level of environmental literacy" for the forestry sector.

The Scottish Government invests almost £50m a year in research into crop science, animal health and welfare, human health and wellbeing

Scotland ploughs £50m into food security and climate research

The Scottish Government has announced it will be investing £48m for innovative scientific research in the agriculture and environmental sectors in an effort to strengthen global challenges such as food security and climate change.

The new partnership will focus on two commodity supply chains - Soy in Paraguay and palm oil in Indonesia

Cargill partners with WRI to tackle supply chain deforestation and water risk

International agri-foods business Cargill has forged a new partnership with global research organisation World Resources Institute (WRI) to improve the sustainability of its supply chain, with a particular focus on deforestation and water risk.

Sedex and the SAI will collaborate to develop the platform and enhance the data collection services that they can provide to members

Data collection for agricultural supply chains set for streamlined upgrade

A host of big brand food producers including Mondelez, PepsiCo and Marks & Spencer will have their agricultural supply chain data collection and management streamlined through a new platform partnership between Sedex and the Sustainable Agricultural Initiative (SAI).

Brimming with 39 commitments the Nestlé in Society CSR report is as much a behemoth of sustainability pledges as it is a beacon of business best practice

No breaks for Nestlé in its relentless pursuit of global supply chain sustainability

If you're one of the thousands of people across the globe heeding Nestlé's advice to 'have a break, have a KitKat' this lunchtime, it might be worth taking an additional moment to consider exactly how the world's largest food company is working to ensure its snacks are sustainably and ethically produced.

While consumers could reduce their intake of beef and dairy products, the researchers also advise farmers to make the agricultural production more effective

Study: Reducing meat and dairy consumption required to meet climate goals

Europeans need to eat less beef and consume less dairy products in order to reach the EU's climate goals, according to a new study by Swedish researchers.

The USS Stockdale departing Naval Base San Diego

US Navy launches first biofuel-powered ship

The first ever US Navy ship to run on an alternative fuel blend as part of its regular operations, has been deployed from California.

The hydroponics system uses 70% less water than traditional open-field farming

Can underground herb gardens boost Britain's food security?

A hydroponic herb garden beneath the streets of Clapham could provide an agricultural model for Britain to save valuable resources and boost food security, London catering firm Vacherin has claimed.

Truss announced that Defra is reshaping itself to help Britain be a global leader in farming

Re-shaped Defra vows to make Britain a global leader in farming

Environment Secretary Liz Truss has today (6 January) vowed to make Britain a global leader in sustainable farming by announcing improved flood defences, increased agricultural investment and greater risk-response capabilities as part of a shake-up for the Department for Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Coca-Cola and Pepsi will both be in Paris next week to host and participate in numerous forums

Coca-Cola and Pepsi unite on the road to Paris

With less than a week to go until COP21, global beverage giants Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have thrown their weight behind a business-led push for global leaders to secure a robust international climate agreement in Paris.

One goal calls for a 7% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 2020

DuPont to invest $10bn in sustainable food R&D

American chemical giant DuPont has unveiled a new set of sustainability targets for 2020 including a $10bn investment in international food security, commitments to sustainable innovation and a reduction of its own environmental footprint.

Data-enabled technology presents one of the greatest opportunities for the food system since the Green Revolution, said the report

Data-powered farming needed to feed booming population, says WRAP

Data-enabled technology, new consumer eating habits and reducing waste will all prove vital in ensuring the UK has a sustainable supply of protein over the next 10 years, according to new research from WRAP.

Water is a forgotten factor of production...the primary challenge is therefore to make the forgotten unforgettable

Collaboration and innovation vital to solve 'forgotten problems' of water scarcity

Both the public and private sectors need to realise there is no 'silver bullet' to deal with the rising yet largely ignored water scarcity crisis, a panel of industry experts has concluded.

Michael Dickstein says the planet's climate and resource challenges are now so vast that no one company or organisation can solve them alone

Heineken: Green partnerships only way to tackle planet's problems

EXCLUSIVE: Partnerships are the 'new age of sustainability', according to the director of global sustainable development at Heineken.

The IWFC highlights that food waste occurs throughout every phase of the industry's supply chain from harvesting to consumption

Food waste coalition begins push for value chain collaboration

Pepsi, Unilever and WWF are among a collection of businesses and NGOs that have joined a new coalition organisation tasked with inspiring companies to adopt comprehensive food waste programmes.

The majority of GHG emissions from food occur before produce leaves the gate, in the growing portion of a producers supply chain

Food firms must collaborate to unearth climate risks, says CDP

Some of the world's largest food, beverage and tobacco brands are missing out on significant financial and production quality gains by failing to mitigate climate risks and reduce carbon emissions, a new report has warned.

General Mills made a commitment to sustainability, in 2013, to source its 10 priority ingredients from sustainable sources

Food giant General Mills announces 10-year plan to slash emissions by 28%

US food producer General Mills has announced that it aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 28% across the entirety of its value chain in the next 10 years.

Diageo said its water efficiency increased by 10.4%

Diageo saves almost 3 billion litres of water

Diageo has improved its water efficiency by more than 10% in the past year, according to the drinks giant's latest sustainability report.

Mayor Garcetti releases the final balls onto Los Angeles reservoir

'Shade balls' to save drought-stricken Los Angeles 300 million gallons of water

Los Angeles is using millions of 'shade balls' to prevent water loss during California's worst drought in recorded history.

Innocent has carried out several projects in partnership with farmers and local universities to find new efficient agricultural processes, which it then shares across the supply chain

Innocent drinks: Sustainability is now a business imperative

EXCLUSIVE: We are moving from a point in time where companies do sustainability because it's the 'right thing to do', to a point it is essential to the bottom line.

The Soil Association claims maize produced for AD is destroying arable land

Runaway maize? AD sector fends off criticism over damage to land

The anaerobic digestion (AD) industry has hit back at criticism from the Soil Association which claims that soil destruction caused by biofuel production is threatening the UK's food security.

The researchers hope to cut greenhouse gas emissions and find better farming practices

Research farm could slash environmental impact of livestock

Researchers are trying to reverse beef's reputation as the least environmentally friendly meat with a 'model farm' established in Devon.

Milk processors will commit to ensuring biodiversity around their sites

UK dairy industry commits to enhancing biodiversity

British dairy processors have pledged to enhance biodiversity on processing sites, the trade association has announced.

Rabobank says innovation would be most effective when applied to harvesting and handling crops, packaging food and monitoring fresh produce

Wasteful supply chains cost European food industry £7bn a year

Companies in the European food and agriculture (F&A) industry could save more than £7bn by adopting new food-waste strategies.

The North Sea is one of the most industrialised seas in the world, with drilling rigs and offshore wind turbines alongside the more traditional shipping and fishing activities.

North Sea economy and ecology at risk without UK Government action

The UK Government must act now to prevent the degradation of economic opportunities and natural ecosystems in the North Sea, a House of Lords report warned on Tuesday.

With so many materials that have to be actively disposed of, electric cars are still a far cry from being 'sustainable'

Sustainable cars: Looking beyond the tailpipe...

Following a plethora of ultra-low emission vehicle announcements from governments and industry, electric cars are beginning to be adopted by the public and will one day become commonplace. But, as Lucinda Dann investigates, a car's green credentials don't just lie in its exhaust emissions.

ETI: Bioenergy insights into the future UK Bioenergy Sector

What is the most effective way of delivering a particular bioenergy outcome in the UK, taking into account the available biomass resources, the geography of the UK, time, technology options and logistics networks?

Committee chair Andrew Miller:

UK must have power to decide on GM crops, say MPs

GM crops are an indispensable tool in the fight against global hunger and the UK should retain ultimate power to decide on the technology, MP's have claimed.

Environment Agency guide: Complying with ESOS

The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) is an energy assessment and energy saving scheme, estimated to lead to £1.6bn of net benefits to the UK, with the majority of these being directly felt by businesses as a result of energy savings.

Liz Truss, Britain's secretary of state for environment food and rural affairs

Minister's claims that solar panels harm UK food security are false

British food security is not being harmed by the spread of solar panels in the countryside as claimed by the UK's environment secretary, documents from her own department reveal.

Alejandro Litovsky:

Collaborate or lose money: New report warns of global sustainability pressures on big business

Resource pressures in global commodity markets will derail the business goals of multinational corporations unless they start to collaborate with local stakeholders.

Bioenergy is the use of recently living plants for energy

Dedicating land to bioenergy won't curb climate change, says WRI

Do not grow crops for energy instead of food. That is the message of a new report from the World Resources Institute (WRI), which claims that dedicating crops to generating bioenergy is too inefficient to solve energy crises and makes it harder to sustainably feed the planet.

The new law, which comes into force this spring, will allow states to cultivate GM crops that have already been approved by the EU

GM crops to be fast-tracked in UK following EU vote

GM crops look set to be brought to the UK market speedily after MEPs approve new legislation allowing countries to choose whether to grow the crops, in a rubber-stamping vote on Tuesday (13 January).

Each person consumes between 2,000-5,000 litres of water embedded in their food

Food and drink firms 'must improve efficiency' to protect dwindling water supply

The food and drink industry must curtail the amount of water used in production to avoid two thirds of the world's population living in 'water-scarce' areas by 2050.

The 46MW Landmead solar farm, in East Hanney near Abingdon, is built on low-grade farmland used for grazing sheep

UK's biggest solar farm connects to national grid

The biggest solar farm in the UK, capable of powering 14,000 homes a year, has been connected to the national grid in Oxfordshire.

Without careful planning for uncertain climate impacts, the chances of getting adaptation wrong are high

Sustainable agriculture: Urgent action needed to adapt to climate change, report finds

Agricultural systems will need to transform significantly in order to adapt to climate change, according to a new study from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).

Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture is focused on defining, measuring and advancing the sustainability of food, fiber and fuel production

Corporate giants set sustainable agriculture goals

Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture has announced that its member companies - including Unilever, General Mills, Kellogg's, Coca-Cola and Procter & Gamble - have committed to drive sustainable agriculture in the US with six new environmental pledges.

Circular Economy Snapshot: Large Organisation

Unlock the potential of the circular economy for your business. The edie Circular Economy Snapshots offer businesses of all sizes an outline of the specific opportunities, challenges and tools needed in order to deliver the benefits of a more circular business model.

Undergraduates have a chance to get a £5,000 bursary towards their studies under ReFood's scholarship programme.

ReFood unveils industry-first food waste scholarship

Food waste recycling specialist ReFood has unveiled the industry's first dedicated scholarship programme to inspire the next generation of sustainable students.

The FIT rates vary depending on the technology, but on average a business or home can expect an annual ROI between 5-8 %

Edie explains: Feed-in Tariffs

In this week's 'edie explains' we take a look at the renewables subsidy Feed in Tariffs (FiTs). Although the small-scale focus of the scheme means it's very popular for domestic buildings, it can also benefit many SMEs.

By 2050, the Earth will be home to nine billion people and food production will have to increase by 70%

Sustainable food systems: Alternative recipes to feed the 9 billion

With food security riding high on policymakers' agenda in the wake of the global food crisis, edie has come across some of the more alternative methods of feeding an estimated nine billion people, including seaweed farms, cockroaches, drones and 3D printers...

Rapid population growth and rising quality of life, along with increasing demand for food and energy has led to far greater levels of stress on limited groundwater resources

Global free-for-all has 'water bank' running dry

An incendiary report from a NASA scientist which warns that the world's water supplies are rapidly dwindling has sparked calls for changes to UK water policy

To feed the earths burgeoning populations, more food must be produced over the next 40 years than in the last 6,000 years combined.

£5m boost for sustainable food innovations

UK businesses and universities will receive £5m funding to help them solve some of the world's greatest agricultural challenges such as food security and sustainability.

Sheep have become an essential part of many solar energy farms, and the panels even provide shelter for the animals

Are solar farms really hitting British food production?

Environment secretary Liz Truss has cut solar farm's subsidies saying they harm food production, but most UK solar farms successfully produce food as well. Karl Mathiesen investigates.

The new plans will mean that farmers using fields for solar panels will lose subsidy payments for that land

Government scraps solar subsidies for farmers

Solar farms on agricultural land could soon be a thing of the past following an announcement from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) that farmers will lose their right to claim subsidies for fields filled with solar panels.

The Responsibly Grown system labels fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers as 'good,' 'better' or 'best' to help shoppers make more informed choices

Good, better, best: Whole Foods launches rating system for environmental impact of produce

Whole Foods Market has introduced the Responsibly Grown produce rating system which assesses the impact of farming practices on the environment and human health.

The impact of the solar farm's construction has been minimised through the implementation of various green initiatives

Solarcentury to build 'UK's most environmentally-friendly solar farm'

Composting toilets, biodiesel generators and a car sharing scheme for staff will all be features of a new 48MW solar farm which developers say will set the 'highest environmental standards ever for a ground-mounted solar installation'.

The destruction of the world's rainforests is one of the largest causes of CO2 emissions

Governments and business leaders unite to end deforestation

A public-private partnership of multinationals, governments, civil society and indigenous peoples have pledged to halve the rate of deforestation by 2020 and eradicate the issue completely by 2030.

Solar farms are often used for the grazing of sheep and can be particularly suited to the fattening of young, hill-bred lambs

Solar energy offers 'lifeline' for struggling farmers

More and more British farmers are combining their sheep, chickens and other poultry with rows of solar panels and producing a double output of food and home-grown energy, according to a new report.

The £167m plant converts baled corn cobs, leaves and stalks into renewable fuel

First commercial-scale biofuel plant opens in US

The USA's first commercial-scale biofuel plant is now open and will eventually produce more than 110 million litres of fuel a year from corn waste.

Heineken wants to source 60% of its agri-raw materials from Africa by 2020

Brewing a better future: Heineken highlights benefits of local sourcing

Dutch brewing company Heineken has stepped up its commitment to source the majority of its agricultural raw materials from Africa in a bid to boost crop yield and cash income for smallholder farms across the continent.


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