Monthly Archives: March 2013

Closing the loop: risk or reward?

Download’s exclusive White Paper highlighting the opportunities and challenges of a circular economy

edie white-paperThe evolutionary state of play within business and the waste management supply chain is charted in’s exclusive White Paper, sponsored by FCC Environment.

A key output of the Resource Revolution – and Local Authority Waste & Recycling (LAWR) magazine’s wider campaign exploring the emerging circular economy – this report gauges the attitudes to closing the loop amongst both waste producers and those contracted to deal with it.

Key questions explored in this exclusive research include:

  • How attitudes among waste producers are changing
  • How fast closed loop thinking is rising up the business agenda
  • What strategies are being adopted, and by whom
  • Whether closed loop recovery is superseding traditional waste management
  • Where competition for feedstock is fiercest
  • The evolving nature of business and waste supplier relationship
  • How best to leverage competitive advantage

Download the White Paper to find out how to navigate this rapidly changing landscape and capitalise on the opportunities it presents.

Download the White Paper 

You can also Watch the second in Edie’s Resource Revolution leader interview series.  ‘Retail Leader’ Mike Walters, of John Lewis Partnership talks about reshaping the waste supply chain. In the second in our FCC Environment-sponsored Resource Revolution leader video interview series, John Lewis Partnership’s recycling and waste operations manager, Mike Walters, offers a compelling retail perspective on how corporate resource efficiency is reshaping the waste supply chain.

Product Environmental Footprinting (PEF) Policy Conference


Product Environmental Footprinting (PEF) Policy Conference

Status quo, stakeholder perspectives, next steps
29-30 April 2013, Berlin, Germany
More information and registration options online

Goods and services are increasingly understood for their important role in overall environmental impacts. These stem from energy and resources consumed and emissions accruing over their full life cycle, from original resource extraction/ agricultural production trough to final disposal or recovery. Many initiatives have formed over recent years to specify the existing life cycle assessment framework (particularly ISO 14040/44) and make it more specific and usable for managementreporting and eventually consumer information. Carbon footprinting is a particular case in point and the standard and initiatives development has been followed closely through the PCF World Forum over the years.

Through a number of consultation and policy steps, such as the EU Council conclusions on the Sustainable Consumption and Production Action Plan, a scoping study on Product Carbon Footprint methods, the Communication on the Single Market Act, Council conclusions on the “Sustainable materials management and sustainable production and consumption” and the Resource Efficiency Roadmap the European Commission has decided to broaden the scope to include other environmental impacts and has embarked on (as specified in the Resource Efficiency Roadmap)

· establishing a common methodological approach to enable Member States and the private sector to assess, display and benchmark the environmental performance of products, services and companies based on a comprehensive assessment of environmental impacts over the life-cycle (‘environmental footprint’);

· ensuring better understanding of consumer behaviour and provide better information on the environmental footprints of products, including preventing the use of misleading claims, and refining eco-labelling schemes.

The European Commission is expected to announce the final Environmental Footprinting methodology and possible policy options and/or next steps soon.

To develop an early understanding of open questionsnext steps and perspectives from different stakeholders on the future use of the detailed product environmental footprinting methodology and respective policy options the PCF World Forum will host the Product Environmental Footprinting (PEF) Policy Conference on 29-30 April 2013 in Berlin. The decisions made by the European Commission on Product and Organisational Environmental Footprinting will be elaborated on by Michele Galatola, who is leading the work on behalf of the European Commission at DG Environment. You can find an earlier explanation of the European Commission’s environmental footprinting activities by Michele Galatola (recorded at the 8th PCF World Summit) here. Representatives from other initiatives, businesses and stakeholders will provide their perspectives on the EU environmental footprinting roadmap.


inspiration_awardThis year we made four GREEN INSPIRATION Awards from a final shortlist of ten nominees who had been selected by our team of environmental assessors who visit festivals all around the world.  The nominations included Ecoaction Partnership for their marvellous ‘Love Your Tent‘ campaign that is at the forefront of the fight against campsite waste,  Africa Express for their novel tour of Great Britain by train – cutting out road travel all together, and We Love Green in Paris for their outstanding compost toilets and   But our final four winners were

The Shambala Festival’s “The Surplus Supper Club” which works with Fareshare to use waste food to produce meals here in the United Kingdom

The Open Air Festival in the Czech Republic for its home-made on-site biodigestor

Boom Festival’s on site STAR water recycling system in Portugal

Good food and farming alliance Sustain’s marvellous Good Food Guide for Festivals

Inspiration_Award_2012These are four very worthy winners – but we will hopefully make more awards in 2013, and our team  here and our environmental assessors are continuously on the lookout for new inspirational ideas: if you are at a festival and see something that chimes a green chord – you can always let us know – you can email – we would live to hear from you!

Stones headline Glastonbury 2013

gfl13lup959The Rolling Stones have been finally confirmed as headliners for the 2103 Glastonbury Festival along with Mumford & Sons and the Arctic Monkeys. The iconic Pyramid Stage will also feature shows from Primal Scream, Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, Elvis Costello, Professor Green, Jake Bugg, Dizzee Rascal, country star Kenny Rogers, Rita Ora, Rufus Wainwright and festival veteran Billy Bragg.

Big names on the Other Stage include Portishead, Foals, The xx, Example, Smashing Pumpkins, Mercury Prize-winners Alt-J, John Lydon’s band PiL, The Lumineers and Alabama Shakes

The West Holts Stage has 1970s’ disco pioneers Chic, Tom Tom Club, rap stalwarts Public Enemy and Maverick Sabre, whilst the John Peel Stage boasts Hurts, Crystal castles, Everything Everything, and Johnny Marr. Over in the Park Stage Dinosaur Jr will be giving a show alongside The Horrors, and the Acoustic Tent boasts Stevie Winwood along with Sinead O’Connor and a show from ex Rolling Stone bassist Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings – amongst many others.

Rolling Stones frontman Sir Mick Jagger tweeted “Can’t wait to play Glastonbury. I have my wellies and my yurt.”   More at


The UK’s first recyclable corporate clothing range, created entirely from biodegradable and sustainable sources, has been launched by the Midcounties Co-operative Funeral Group. The ceremonial clothing, for staff, Created by Lyn Oakes corporate tailors, is made using 100% wool sourced from natural, sustainable and renewable sources and the interlining of the garments are either derived from viscose or made using 100% recycled PET plastic bottles. The buttons are made from the Corozo nut. The company already runs an electric fleet of vehicle and offers banana leaf and cardboard coffins.

peral bordredThe deluge of rain in the United Kingdom in 2012 has been apocalyptic for the butterfly population, pushing some of Britain’s rarest species such as the high brown fritillary to the edge of extinction – and with populations of some common species such as the cabbage white and tortoise shell dropping by more than half. The black hairstreet lost 98% of its population.

Peru has declared an environmental emergency  in the Amazon saying that Pluspetrol, which took over Occidental Petroleum’s oil fields in the rain forest, has 90 days to clean up polluted areas and reduce the risk of contamination to the local population, with many having unacceptably high levels of lead and cadmium in their bodies.  Meanwhile and seemingly oblivious to Peru’s problems, Equador plans to auction off more than three million hectares of pristine Amazon rainforest to Chinese oil companies angering local people –  who say they have not consented to oil projects. More here  and here .

Oil giant British Petroleum is well-known for the Deepwater Oil Horizon disaster and its much-criticized handling of the clean up’s aftermath. Now the company’s interference with its environmental record, on Wikipedia has caused a stir: Angry Wikipedia editors estimate that BP has rewritten 44 percent of the page about itself, especially about its environmental performance.

Planning has been approved by the UK Government for construction of the first nuclear power station in the UK since 1995. The multi-billion pound project at Hinkley Point, Somerset will generate enough low carbon electricity to power the equivalent of five million households, making it one of the largest power stations in the UK. The Government has outlined a £1bn support package for the aerospace industry that will focus on increasing the energy and fuel efficiency of aircrafts.

The shutting down of Cockenzie power station in Scotland has been welcomed by environmental lobbyists. Dubbed one of Europe’s “most “power stations, ScottishPower’s coal-fired plant, in East Lothian, has shut down its four turbines for the last time today as the company plans to replace it with a gas-fired facility.

A shift to low carbon vehicles will reduce the total cost of running Europe’s auto fleet and lead to “mildly” positive economic impacts including indirect employment gains, according to a new report. reports that the report, from consultancies Cambridge Econometrics and Ricardo-AEA, compares two scenarios against a reference case where vehicle efficiency is frozen at the current level.  In the first scenario, named Current Policy Initiatives, cars and vans achieve the EU’s proposed 2020 CO2 target of 95g/km and 147g/km respectively but efficiency improvements moderate to a rate of less than 1% annually thereafter.

Invicta Plastics, A British company has created the world’s first rigid, food-safe products from 100% recycled plastic bottles, lids and milk cartons.  Coca-Cola is among the first brands to test the new products, whilst Coca-Cola Enterprises, sustainable packaging firm Greenpac and retail giant Asda are also working with Invicta to explore the potential of the processes for point-of-sale products and merchandise

Growth in the biofuels industry is being ‘stifled’ by continued lobbying from the oil and gas sectors, according to the founder and director of Forum for the Future. Speaking at the 2013 World Biofuels Markets Exhibition and Congress, which incited debates on the role of biofuels in achieving global energy security, Forum for the Future’s Jonathon Porritt, said “the oil and gas industry is a problem for the biofuels industry”.  Porritt was backed by General Wesley Clark, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander and Co-chair of Growth Energy: “You’re up against massive lobbying from the oil industry. Both industries need to band together and stop fighting each other.”

The UK Government has revealed that just 1,800 assessments have been carried out in homes and businesses since the Green Deal scheme launched in January.   According to the first statistics on the Green Deal, £26.9m worth of contracts has been traded through the Green Deal’s Energy Company Obligation (ECO) brokerage system since the launch of the scheme. The UK Government has said the figures are encouraging, while Energy and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey said they showed clear signs of a promising new market gathering momentum.  Davey has also told reporters that climate change policies will keep DOWN energy prices. Energy security and sustainable energy would reduce the UK’s reliance on oil and gas brought on international markets – recently wholesale gas prices almost doubled as demand soared. Energy saving policies, better boilers, righter building regulations, the green deal scheme and smart meters could save the average household £166 each year – an 11% saving.  Current;y investment in wind power costs households £18 each.

Fly-tippers and other serious waste offenders could be slapped with larger fines underr new environmental sentencing proposals. The new draft sentencing guidelines from the Sentencing Council cover offences like fly-tipping and waste disposal that cause pollution or harm to health. With waste crimes causing significant environmental damage and impacting on communities and legitimate businesses, the proposals aim to ensure that the level of fines handed out to offenders matches the seriousness of the offences they have committed.  A wide variety of offences are covered that mostly come under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010.

Wales has the potential to be a world leader in marine energy technology and production, says Business Minister Edwina Hart. Addressing the Marine Energy Pembrokeshire Industry Seminar in Pembroke Dock, Wales, Hart said: “Wales has a promising marine energy sector which is already beginning to thrive.

The number of anaerobic digestion (AD) plants in the UK outside of the water industry has nearly doubled since September 2011, exceeding the 100 mark for the first time.

spacescrapersCities are where almost all of us will live in the future. But did you know that currently 27% of city dwellers don’t have piped water? The availability of drinking water always limits a city’s ability to grow. There are 1.34 million deaths each year in cities from air pollution. Urban greening  will be a key area – the largest green roof in the world is the 47,192 M2 roof at the Dearborn Tuck Assembly Plant in Michigan, USA. Urban biodiversity and green infrastructure are essential elements of any city vision and tree cover, green roofs and green spaces all reduce water runoff – important when you l;earn that 33% of the world’s largest cities rely on neighbouring areas for water. The Rolls Royce plant in Chichester has a 33,000 M2 green roof. 80% of all greenhouse gas emissions come from cities – and in New York 45% of all energy use is in ‘big’ buildings. Improved energy efficiency in buildings is a real must. Key challenges for future cities will be reducing CO2 and the cost and security of energy supplies – and more sustainable energy – like Thames Water’s £250 million thermal hydrolysis Process (THP) which will allow Thames to improve its anaerobic digestion process which already provides 15% of its annual energy needs – and self generation of energy in cities using existing technologies such as solar and wind power – new technologies. And 20% of greenhouse gas emissions come from traffic and transport – but in the UK just 20% of commuters use public transport – even though the average speed of commuter’s cars is 23MPH and many have just a single occupant. Electric cars, safe cycling, car pooling, car clubs and better public transport – buses, trains, trams, the underground – are all important tools.  Climate change is a real challenge for cities – flooding, water shortages, pollution, food shortages, social unrest, infrastructure damage, energy security, disease and over crowding are real issues. Smart sustainable cities are the future -and need to be future proofed – but whether or not they will develop a sustainable future is neither simple or risk free – or even likely!

GO Group – Paris agenda finalised

goThe 3rd international GO Group workshop is taking place in Paris  at the Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall of the City of Paris) on April 8 and 9 2013.  And the program is finalized now!

Greener, smarter, more sustainable – the GO Group credo is becoming more and more important to the European events industry. Festivals from all over the continent take part in the process and we really want to see all the others follow. That’s why GO Group set up this interactive, open and communicative workshop format to stimulate exchange, cooperation and inspiration – between event organizers, suppliers and science.

parisNow it’s time for the 3rd international GO Group workshop in Paris. We kindly invite you to this 2-day seminar at the Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall of the City of Paris), on April 8 and 9 2013. The workshop is kindly hosted by We Love Green Festival and supported by Azimuth ProductionsRegister now at the Bucks New University online store. The workshop fee is EUR 200 (+VAT). Fee includes lunch on both days. There are special offers for members of Yourope and AIF.

The third GO Group workshop for Sustainable Festivals and Events will focus on energy & power (day 1) and waste at events (day 2). Presentations, discussion and case studies from leading European festivals will deal with the problems, solutions and good practice.

Sun 07 April 2013, 19h
GO Group gettogether @ La Maroquinerie

Day 1,
Mon 08 April 2013

Main topic: Energy & Power
10.00 A welcome to Paris first round-up
10.30 We Love Green – Festival case study by Marie Sabot
11.15 Rock En Seine – case study by François Missonier
12.00 lunch
13.30 Energy Transition Panel with Jacob Bilabel & Bruno Rebelle
14.15 The Power Behind Festivals by Chris Johnson et al.
15.00 Green Music Energy by Jacob Bilabel
15:45 Coffee Break 
16:00 Group work sessions
17:30 Results presentation, Q&A

GO Group dinner @ Comptoir Général  (hosted by Yourope – the European festival association)
Day 2
Tue 09 April 2013

Main topic: Waste at events
09.00 The Good, The Bad & The Ugly by Holger Jan Schmidt 
09.45 Les Connexions approach on waste management by Nicolas Dahan
10.30 Coffee Break
10.45 Camp site waste & Love Your Tent update by Holger Jan Schmidt 
11.15 Do People Behave Better In A Clean Environment? by Teresa Moore
12.00 lunch 
13.30 Siestes Électroniques, Toulouse – case study by Samuel Aubert
14.00 Group work sessions
15:30 Results presentation and Good-bye

Samuel Aubert, Siestes Électroniques Festival, FRA
Jacob Bilabel, 
Green Music Initiative, DE
Nicolas Dahan, Les Connexions, FRA
Stephane Harrouch, We Love Green Festival, FRA
Chris Johnson, Green Festival Alliance  / Shambala Festival, UK
François Missonier, Rock En Seine Festival
Teresa Moore, Bucks New University, UK
Bruno Rebelle, Transitions, FRA
Marie Sabot, We Love Green Festival, FRA
Holger Jan Schmidt, GreenEvents Europe Conference, DE & Yourope


earthquake labrinthQuadrilla Resources have been prevented from beginning fracking for shale gas in the areas around Blackpool until next year because the area is home to tens of thousands of migratory birds who nest in the Fylde peninsula. So good news for local residents too who will be spared any more earth tremors – dozens were triggered in Lancashire two years ago when fracking first started – and the possible contamination of drinking water supplies.

red-kite-430Bird news! there is a big debate raging amongst conservationists over the success of raptors – birds of prey – in the UK. Our own Greener Festival Awards logo is based on the Red Kite which was successfully reintroduced back into England – and has thrived since – and buzzards and kestrels have seen numbers soar. But many bird lovers point out that other bird populations such as the grey partridge and  lapwings have been decimated by the very success of the raptors. A recent study in Scotland showed the negative effect of predation on the populations of golden plover, red grouse, hen harrier, curlew and skylarks  and although habitat degradation no doubt plays a part, and there are vested interests around grouse shooting businesses, a solution is now being sought to reduce the impact of raptors on bird populations.

There is growing concern that plans to merge Natural England with the UK’s Environment Agency will be a disaster for wildlife and the coutryside as the two organisations have such widely differing priorities. The heads of more than 20 environment groups including the RSPB, The Campaign to Protect Rural England and Friends of the Earth have written an open letter to the Times expressing their concern over the planned merger of two bodies that have “different remits and areas of expertise”. Defra said ministers were still open minded about the review.

However, our increasingly woeful Environment Secretary Owen Paterson MP seems likely to delay a ban on neonicotinoid pesticides being used on crops like rape and cotton that is  being proposed by the EU to save the bee population. More on 38 degrees here

More on bees (the ones we have left) – ever heard of ‘honey laundreing‘ – well this seems to be the process of filtering out the pollen so the honey is crystal clear – BUT – coould come from almost anywhere. Now one of the USA’s top honey packaging companies, Groeb farms,  has admitted it has been importing Chinese honey and relabelling it as domestic product. More on Treehugger here

Treehugger also has a rather cool info-graphic explaining the ‘terrifying math’ of global warming – you can get that here –

Oil rich Abu Dhabi has opened the world’s largest solar power plant – yes – really! The writing is on the wall! The 100MW plant will provide electricity for 20,000 homes and covers an area equivalent to 285 football pitches – and cost $600 million.

“Burnable ice” is the latest idea for fuel – albeit fossil fuel: The Japanese ship Chikyu has been drilling 330M under the seabead, itself 1000M under water –  and has found solid deposits of methane  known as ‘fire ice’.  Methane hydrate is found all around the world in seabeds near continental margins, and under in the Arctic under land and is seen as a future source of cheaper – and cleaner (not clean!!) energy.

Local councils in the UK are claiming that landfill taxes are ‘too high’. The taxes, which have risen from £24 per tonne in 2008 to £80 in 2012, raised £0.75 billion this uear – and were a major deterrent to waste to landfill and promote recycling and reuse. They rise by 11% next year.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England says that the country’s new planning laws are resulting in the opinions of  local communities being largely ignored as house builders get permission to build over green fields and countryside. The CPRE say that 20 big housing developments have been imposed on open countryside since the changes took effect. All were initially refused by local authorities.

ALLOTMENTS4US website has just published a really good article titled 21 Blogs for Novice Gardeners on How to Create the Best Spring Garden” and you can find it in their blog at