Sustainability stats: This week in numbers

This week in numbers has seen some surprising electric vehicle developments and exciting new figures for renewable energy and e-waste recycling.

In a new boost for green vehicle innovation, Audi unveiled its concept designs for its first all-electric SUV, with a full reveal expected at the International Motor Show 2015 in Frankfurt next month.

The Audi e-tron Quattro could prove to be a potential rival to Tesla’s soon-to-launch Model X SUV, which is expected to start shipping next month.

But Audi’s new electric vehicle won’t be in production until at least 2018, giving the smaller electric carmaker time to try and corner the market.

Meanwhile, in developments for the renewable energy industry, Scottish Renewables revealed Scotland is now homes to a whopping 660,000 solar panels, in addition to 2,557 small wind projects, 204 hydro-electric schemes and three anaerobic digesters.

The news came ahead of the end of Government consultations into the future of the feed-in tariff, with renewable energy groups campaigning against pre-accreditation of tariffs.

Europe’s five biggest energy markets were driving forward renewable energy uptakes in the first half of this year, according to a new report from Platts Renewable Power Tracker. Germany and the UK led the way as Europe’s largest energy producers added a total of 8GW to their wind and solar capacity.

Citi Group reported the potential savings of switching to a low-carbon energy system could provide to the planet, estimating global savings of around $1.8trn by 2040. Citi’s report argued the potential cumulative ‘loss’ of GDP from climate change at $44trn by 2060 if there was no action. There was also news from the University of Sheffield that the value of recyclable electronic waste in Europe’s economy could be worth as much as €3.67bn by 2020.

In business news, brewer Molson Coors made major water savings as part of its ‘Our Beer Print’ initiative, saving 500 million litres of water. This follows Diageo’s announcement last week it had saved almost 3 billion litres of water from its own efficiency measures.

Finally, in a surprising finding, the journal Nature estimated China’s CO2 emissions may be up to 14% lower than previously thought, despite still being the leading consumer of fossil fuels. Although green campaigners have said this the figures are mainly down to the problem of uncertain emissions data in China.

As ever with this week in numbers, click on the image to get the full story.

Matt Field

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