UK offshore wind sector grows as brands celebrate World Charging Day: The week’s sustainability success stories
Published weekly, this series shows how companies and sustainability professionals are striving to achieve their “Mission Possible” through the campaign’s five key pillars: energy, resources, infrastructure, mobility and business management.
Across the UK and around the world, leading businesses, cities, states and regions are turning their environmental ambitions into action. Here we round up five positive sustainability stories from this week.
ENERGY: UK offshore wind sector shows 16% year-on-year increase in jobs
Image: Orsted, Pictured: Grimsby-based wind turbine technicians
In late 2020, the government announced the UK’s ambition to host 40GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030. This target has since been raised to 50GW as part of the energy security strategy, the Conservative Party again favoring offshore wind over onshore wind and solar. .
A report published on Monday 13 June by RenewableUK’s Offshore Wind Industry Council found that the number of full-time equivalent positions in the UK offshore wind sector has increased by 16% in 12 months. It now hosts 19,6000 direct jobs and 11,500 indirect jobs. Direct roles relate only to offshore wind – for example, specific roles in functions such as planning and maintenance. Indirect jobs are those in the supply chain.
The report projects that, by 2030, the industry will host 61,000 direct jobs and 36,000 indirect jobs, if government targets are to be met. In the same timeframe, the sector is expected to attract £155bn of private investment. In addition to general targets, the forecast takes into account offshore wind project pipeline growth trends and other enabling policies, such as the Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction system.
For these benefits to materialize, RenewableUK’s deputy chief executive, Melanie Onn, said the government must work with industry “to address skills shortages in areas such as electrical engineering and data analytics. , so that we can increase the number of high-quality green jobs in offshore wind”. throughout this decade.
RESOURCES: Brands such as The Body Shop and Sainsbury’s celebrate World Refill Day
Thursday (June 16) was World Refill Day – a campaign led by UK-based environmental campaign group City To Sea, perhaps best known for its “Refill” work. This workflow has seen over 30,000 sites around the world sign up to offer visitors free tap water.
While City to Sea marked the occasion with a new Bristol-wide coffee cup reuse and return scheme, other organizations have taken different approaches. The Body Shop has released an update on its in-store refill programs for products such as shower gels, confirming that refill stations have been installed in 556 of its stores globally. In each of these stores, 20% of shoppers use this service, with the proportion increasing for customers under the age of 35.
Also in retail, Sainsbury’s has launched a refillable version of its own brand of hand soap, saying shoppers using the one-litre refill sachets will use 85% less plastic than buying four bottles of 250ml. The bags are made from soft plastic which is not collected by many curbside councils but can be returned to Sainsbury’s stores for recycling. Sainsbury’s aims to halve the amount of plastic used for packaging by 2025, compared to 2017.
MOBILITY: The Scottish Government unveils its National Transport Strategy plan, promising a 20% reduction in car travel this decade
Transport has been the UK’s highest emitting sector since 2016. In Scotland in particular, inland transport generated 12 million metric tonnes of greenhouse gases in 2019, more than agriculture and aviation and international shipping combined.
The Scottish Government published a new delivery plan for its national transport strategy this month. First published in 2020, the Strategy makes climate action a key priority, alongside reducing social inequalities and improving human health and well-being. One of the main ambitions is to reduce the number of collective kilometers traveled by car in Scotland by 20% by 2030. The new delivery plan details more than 70 actions that will be taken by the end of this financial year to contribute reduce car use.
Actions include finalizing plans for free bicycles for all schoolchildren who cannot afford to buy them; introducing Low Emission Zones in Scotland’s four largest cities and completing a bus decarbonisation pathway to 2030. A new HGV Task Force will also be launched, modeled on of the existing Bus Task Force, through which industry, Scottish Government and local councils will work together. Crucially, the government has promised a skills plan in the transport sector to ensure that the economic and social opportunities of the low-carbon transport transition are seized.
Scottish Transport Minister Jenny Gilruth said: “We know the challenges ahead are significant and that reducing private car use and moving towards more walking, wheels or cycling for commuting daily routines will pose greater challenges for some. However, our actions are aimed at seizing the opportunities presented as we move towards net zero and supporting the changes needed to deliver safer, healthier and more enjoyable streets, businesses, neighborhoods and journeys.
THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT: Certified green buildings in Kenya collectively save $5 million in annual energy bill savings
This part of the Sustainability Success Stories roundup often highlights a particularly innovative building, like this Danish micro-brewery designed for disassembly and reassembly, or Passivhaus-certified leisure centers and student residences in the south of England.
This week, however, we’re highlighting a progress report released by the Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiency (EDGE) certification program, which requires developers to use low-impact building materials and reduce energy consumption. building energy and water. at least 20%. It is managed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
IFC revealed that since the launch of EDGE in Kenya, 22 buildings have achieved certification. Collectively, the developers and operators of these developments save $5 million annually on their energy and water bills.
With the Kenyan government mandating all affordable housing projects to certify with EDGE from 2020, the number of certified developments is expected to rise sharply in the coming years. The MFI seeks to show other developers the economic and social benefits of adopting green building approaches, as well as the environmental benefits.
“Kenya’s green building market is nascent and market development has been gradual,” said IFC Kenya Green Building Manager Dennis Papa Odenyu Quansah.
“The certified green building market accounted for 3% of new builds in 2020, but we are very pleased to see how much momentum is building in a relatively short period of time with more and more new builds seeking EDGE certification.”
CORPORATE MANAGEMENT: BSI launches certification to attest to the accessibility of businesses
As we have seen in the UK government’s electric vehicle strategy, it is vitally important to ensure that low carbon technologies and systems are accessible to all. This strategy includes several measures aimed at obliging designers, installers and operators of charging networks to offer services adapted to customers with disabilities.
In a bid to push energy, water and finance companies – all of which will be crucial to the transition to net zero – to deliver inclusive services, BSI launched a new Kitemark this month. To qualify for the Inclusive Service Kitemark, companies will need to undergo a two-part assessment and monitoring also after certification.
During the assessment, companies will need to demonstrate how they identify vulnerable customers and how they take steps to ensure that their products and services are “equally available, usable and accessible to all”, taking into account the different vulnerable demographic groups. They must also provide accessible communications and advice to those who may need help making “intelligent and informed choices”.
“Achieving the Kitemark inclusive service mark will demonstrate an organization’s continued commitment to providing inclusive service for all at a critical time when the cost of living is currently skyrocketing and hitting vulnerable consumers particularly hard,” said Natasha Bambridge, global director of consumer promise practices at BSI.
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