Space: the final economic, environmental and sustainable frontier

20 November 2023

As the world struggles with increasingly intractable mega-problems, the UK’s space sector, in contrast, is emerging quickly as an optimistic and expanding employer, as well as a source of down-to-earth groundbreaking technical innovations and futuristic services, reports Jon Herbert.

Aviation emissions must fall to net zero as green flights take off

13 November 2023

The UK is steadily decarbonising its economy and decoupling emissions from economic growth. Official data shows that, from 1990 to 2021, emissions fell by 48% while the economy grew by 65%. However, against this upbeat background, Britain faces a long journey to meet its net zero emission commitments in a year and in the month of November, when 198 nations will meet at the UN COP28 climate summit in the UAE to close the gap between carbon-cutting promises and delivery. While there is mounting pressure on millions of companies, organisations, private citizens and particularly drivers to reduce their carbon footprints, aviation decarbonisation is a rising priority for a sustainable future in which the benefits of air travel remain available, Jon Herbert reports.

Green steel: dirty steel poacher turned net zero gamekeeper?

3 November 2023

Steelmaking is not only a major global greenhouse gas emitter, but also vital for a successful net zero emissions transition and a cleaner, cooler planet. The future for thousands of SMEs, jobs and a reliable new supply chain could pivot on the UK steel sector going “green”, Jon Herbert reports.

Biodiversity net gain: are you ready for the deadline?

2 November 2023

From January 2024, there is a new statutory duty for biodiversity net gain (BNG) to be a condition of planning permission. Developers and local authorities share the responsibility for this, and landowners such as farmers also have a role to play. The duty is set out in s.98 and Schedule 14 of the Environment Act 2021, which amends the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. For a general overview of the regime, see Biodiversity net gain: an introduction. This article looks at some specific details that have been announced in recent government guidance.

Biodiversity net gain: an introduction

2 November 2023

From January 2024, biodiversity net gain will be mandatory for most new developments in England. Caroline Hand explains how the system will work.

New food recycling laws across the UK

24 October 2023

On 21 October 2023, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) announced its new “Simpler Recycling” rules for England, which introduce six key materials and universal separate food waste collections, to be brought in by March 2026 — currently only about half of English councils collect food waste separately. It means all households and businesses will see separate, weekly food waste collections in England, and a standardised list of items that all councils must recycle.

Landfill ban: will we be ready on time?

23 October 2023

On 21 October, Defra finally set a date for mandatory food waste collections in England: March 2026. This new statutory duty should divert a lot of food waste from landfill and make it feasible to ban biodegradable waste from landfill by 2028. However, will England really be able to divert all this waste from landfill in such a short time, and even if we do, will it be managed in the most sustainable way?

Don’t let the dust settle

17 October 2023

We ask why dust is still a problem in the construction industry and what needs to be done to prevent it.

How can Scope 3 help companies meet current UK legislation?

12 October 2023

Using Scopes to measure greenhouse gas emissions is now standard practice for large companies in the UK. The reporting of Scope 1 and 2 emissions is legally required, but, as many companies are realising, the assessment of Scope 3 emissions offers real potential for making progress on cutting emissions. This article looks at how Scopes, especially Scope 3, could help highlight ethical and environmental problems in supply chains, and explores the benefits of using Scope 3 assessments to meet current and future legislations.