PLANIT EARTH – 4 EASY TO IMPLEMENT SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS

This article is based upon an event that I attended in London on Thursday 05/04/18. This was the second Cheeky Panda event that I have attended and this one was equally as inspiring as the first.

Event

The event was hosted in Sustainable Bankside which is a coworking space for sustainable startups located in Southbank. The location is really impressive as is what they have done with the place. The evening began with a few words from James Byrne who is a co-founder and director at Sustainable Workspaces who run the space.

This was followed by a few words from Adam Woodhall who was the MC for the evening. He had one of the best lines of the evening when he described the venue as a “story factory.”

The first speaker of the event was Syed Ahmed the founder and director of Savortex ltd, a multi-award winning, British Green Tech and IoT (Internet of things) company. I was really impressed with the figure that UK businesses could save £23 billion per year by improving the way they use resources and interact with their business premises, specifically how they manage their washrooms. Savortex make the EcoCurve™ range of low energy IoT hand dryers that come with statistics that blow their competition away. The brushless motor technology makes these especially efficient machines. But the most impressive feature for me was the IoT technology which feeds data back to the cloud so that the cleaner only needs to turn up when the washroom is dirty. The screens were also a really cool feature that can be used to promote internal messaging as well as being sold as advertising space. Overall, Syed was clearly an accomplished public speaker and his products have impressive features and benefits.

The next speaker was Nigel Bamford the founder of Waterblade. Nigel is clearly a very charismatic character in the mould of great British inventors. Waterblade takes a trickle of water and transforms it, making it many times more useful for washing your hands. This enables reductions in both water and energy consumption. As the video below shows, this is a quite a simple solution, but it’s impact is transformational.

Waterblade

Waterblade was another company presenting that evening with impressive statistics. If a normal everyday tap would use 20L/min, a typical water saving tap would allow 6L/min, Waterblade only releases an impressive 2.4L/min. It is also easy to retrofit and the savings are very impressive. For a unit that costs £10, a user would save £26/pa. I thought it was really instructive that out of that saving £10 is for the water and £16 is for the energy you save having to heat less water. Overall, Nigel came across as a really nice guy and his product is impressive.

The next speaker was Robert from Symphony Environmental. They offer a really impressive range of solutions for plastic packaging. I found the designed to trace solution that they offer really interesting as I had no idea you could do something like that with plastic packaging. The oxo biodegradable packaging that they offer is also very impressive and comes with the benefit that it could go a long way to solving the litter problem if more packaging like this was used.

The last speaker of the night was Chris Forbes of The Cheeky Panda who was also the organiser of the event. They were debuting a number of new products including pocket tissues, kitchen tissues and napkins. These all come with the usual high standards of environmental performance that you would expect from The Cheeky Panda. For attendees, there was also the benefit of armfuls of freebies that you can see in the picture below. I certainly helped myself to a great deal of these before I left.

Freebies

The Cheeky Panda were also displaying the video that you can see via the link below. This was the first time that I had seen the video and it is certainly very inspirational.

The future is what we choose it to be

Bamboo has incredible properties for use in tissue products and these extend well beyond its fast rate of growth. Bamboo is naturally hypoallergenic and its long fibres mean that it is naturally very soft.

Chris also demonstrated the flushable handtowels feature that the Cheeky Panda products come with. This is a really important benefit that saves lot of resources. Chris also talked about the 5,000 tonnes of CO2 that has been saved from clients switching from wood-based tissue products to The Cheeky Panda sustainable bamboo tissue products and this is certainly a great figure to have saved. Chris also talked about their partnership with the World Land Trust on projects that they run in Vietnam to carbon balance their organisation. All that can be said is that this is an organisation that operates to the highest standards on sustainability.

What you need to know

In concluding, then, it must be said that this was an event of very high quality. The breadth and depth of the speakers on offer was really impressive.

All four of the companies offer solutions that are easy to implement, offer great savings and are good for the planet. That is what sustainability is all about.

If you haven’t already attended a Cheeky Panda event, make sure you do the next time they host one.

Thank you for reading,

By Barnaby Nash

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below or reach out to me on social media. Did you attend the event, if so what was your highlight?

Let’s stay connected

I can be reached on LinkedIn and on Twitter @FollowBarnaby

CLIMATE WEEK 2017

This article looks into Climate Week 2017. What are the key takeaways from this year’s event and what can we learn for the future.

Climate Week pic

Climate Week took place from 18-24 September 2017. It has been one of the key dates in the international calendar for driving the climate agenda forward since it was launched in 2009. We have come a long way since then.

I would say that it has a good mix of government activity, business representation and NGO representation. Sometimes these events can get pulled too much in one direction but Climate Week manages to find a sweet spot between these three competing agendas.

This year it was centered on the slogan of innovation, jobs & prosperity. I can’t fault this whatsoever, it is very positive and optimistic, whilst also hammering home the idea that this is a business issue as much as it is any other type of issue.

climate slogan

For me, the key takeaways from this year’s event would be the incredible robustness of businesses commitment to tackling climate change. That was really good to see. I have linked some of the best words I came across on this year’s event below.

At Climate Week NYC, business leaders charge forward

The incredible excitement and passion shown by many state, municipal and city leaders was also heart-warming. Climate change is a global issue, but its solutions are profoundly local. These leaders in local areas have the power to change the world.

The third big takeaway for me was the incredible excitement that continues to surround electric vehicles. For more information on this, please visit the link below.

The Climate Group Launches Pioneering Global EV Campaign at Climate Week NYC

Lastly, on the political front, Nicaragua’s decision to join the Paris Climate Agreement was unexpected and momentous. For more on this, please see below.

Nicaragua to join Paris climate deal

In terms of what we can learn for the future, I definitely think there is scope for Climate Week to become more global in scope. Climate Week NYC is meant to be the collaborative space for climate-related events in support of the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

But my experience of being denied affiliate status for my events as they were not held in New York was disappointing. Climate change is a global phenomenon that will shape every corner of the earth. I think that a more coordinated, global approach with people encouraged to host their own events under the Climate Week banner would go a long way to raising the profile of climate change at the UN General Assembly. The UN assembly was hijacked by geopolitical manoeuvring; this cannot continue to happen as climate change was conspicuous in its absence from the UN this year. A more global orientation for Climate Week 2018 would address this.

What you need to know

Climate Week 2017 was a success. There were lots of positive takeaways from this year’s event. But a more global focus would allow it to exact leverage from the UN General Assembly that it is designed to coincide with.

Thank you for reading,

By Barnaby Nash

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below. What was your experience of Climate Week 2017?

Let’s stay connected

I can be reached on LinkedIn and on Twitter @FollowBarnaby