Top Stories

August 20, 2012


First wind-powered electric vehicle charging station installed

The world's first integrated wind-powered electric vehicle (EV) charging station has been installed in Barcelona. The charging station combines vertical wind turbines with EV charging technology and provides clean energy to power EVs. Urban Green Energy supplied the wind turbines for the project, while General Electric incorporated its EV charging technology to create the station. Charging facilities for EVs have been the subject of debate recently with many in the automotive industry claiming that without the ability to charge the vehicle in public places and at people’s homes, EVs will not become mainstream. (Edie)

Businesses urge action over looming resource crisis

Non-Governmental Organisations and manufacturers have today united to call on the UK government to boost resource efficiency plans for materials such as steel and rubber. Friends of the Earth and EEF, the manufacturers association, will today send a joint letter to the government warning that if the UK does not develop an urgent and ambitious strategy to keep valuable raw materials circulating within the economy, the consequences for UK industry will be "severe". A recent EEF survey found 80% of senior manufacturing executives considered limited access to raw materials was already a business risk and a threat to growth. Specifically, the organisations are calling for the creation of an Office of Resource Management and an action plan, with a ban on recyclable materials being sent to landfill. (Business Green)

Corporate Reputation

Shell spending millions of dollars on security in Nigeria, leaked data shows

Shell is paying Nigerian security forces tens of millions of dollars a year to guard their installations and staff in the Niger delta, according to leaked internal financial data. According to the data, the company spent nearly $1 billion on worldwide security between 2007-09, with 40% of that spent on protecting Shell’s staff and installations in Nigeria's volatile Niger delta region. Activists have expressed concern that the escalating cost of Shell's security operation in the delta was further destabilising the oil rich region and helping to fuel rampant corruption and criminality, transferring “funds and resources into the hands of soldiers and police known for routine human rights abuses." Shell International denies having any direct control over state "joint task force" forces, comprised of army, navy and police. The company said that any allegations of corruption should be addressed to the Nigerian authorities, and that its spending is necessary to protect its staff and operations. (The Guardian)


ClubCard founder hails the end of paper receipts

Next month, a new trial will begin in West London to find out if retail companies can solve paper waste and cost issues by sending receipts to customers via the internet and storing them in dedicated accounts in "the cloud". The trial is being launched by a new company called eReceipts, headed by Lord MacLaurin, the former Tesco chairman who was responsible for the introduction of the supermarket's popular ‘ClubCard’ loyalty scheme. MacLaurin reckons eReceipts have the potential for the biggest impact on retail since the introduction of loyalty cards, helping to eradicate the 11.2 billion receipts created in the UK annually, each one of which costs half a penny to produce. The trial is launching in the London Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, with more than 20 local organisations signed up so far. (Business Green)