Sustainable Business – review of the year 2009

The tricky thing about Sustainable Business in 2009 was the old problem of convincing young people into the sector and making sure they had opportunities to progress.

The problem is the children of today dream about becoming footballers, pop stars and actors – but few seem keen to seek out a career in the energy sector.

Speaking at London’s Energy Solutions Expo last year Kate Dunk of the Energy Institute spoke about the importance of recruiting bright young minds to the sector, and how efforts to do just that were panning out.

She conceded that the sector was top of few teenage wish lists, but argued that this could change and that energy can provide a fulfilling, and worthwhile, career.

However, The United States did reveal plans to invest billions of dollars into the green economy in an effort to boost middle class employment opportunities.

At a Middle Class Task Force meeting on May 26, Joe Biden the vice president called on the Council of Environmental Quality to report back in 90 days on ways to expand green opportunities and energy savings.

Such proposals could include, according to Mr Biden, expanding retrofitting of commercial buildings, making American homes more energy efficient and developing better tools to help people find green jobs.

There was also a warning following findings from an Arctic expedition that the area will be almost ‘ice-free’ during the summer within the next decade.

The report, released on October 15 by the Catlin Arctic Survey and World Wildlife Fund, claims further evidence of the Arctic Ocean sea ice thinning.

The Catlin Arctic Survey, completed earlier this year, provides the latest ice thickness record, drawn from the only survey capturing surface measurements conducted during winter and spring 2009.

On a more positive note the downward trend of air pollutants continued, according to the latest figures from the European Environment Agency.

The largest member states are still responsible for the most air pollution,
with France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom
contributing the highest amounts of emissions.

The most recent figures released this week by the agency found emissions of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), a seriously health-damaging pollutant, have decreased by 2% compared to the previous year and by about 12% since the year 2000.

Luke Walsh

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