Top Stories

March 02, 2017


ABB delivers first urban battery storage solution in Denmark to support renewables

ABB, a Swiss technology firm, today announced the successful commissioning of Denmark’s first urban energy storage system. The Lithion-ion based battery energy storage system (BESS) will be integrated with the local electricity grid in the new harbour district of Nordhavn, Copenhagen. The system has been commissioned for Radius, DONG Energy’s electrical grid division. “We are delighted to implement this innovative solution which will help improve the security of power supplies and further support Denmark’s integration of renewable energy”, said Giandomenico Rivetti, Managing Director of ABB’s High Voltage Products business unit, a part of the company’s Power Grids division. The project partners include The Technical University of Denmark, City of Copenhagen, By & Havn, HOFOR, Radius, ABB, Balslev, Danfoss, Clean Charge, METROTHERM, Glen Dimplex and the PowerLab facilities. Funding for the project is supported by the Danish Energy Agency. (Reneweconomy)

Technology & Innovation

Online tool explores countries’ climate action plans

A new interactive online tool that helps countries to access and compare their priorities and ambitions related to climate action plans, which formed the basis of the Paris Agreement, has been developed. The tool – NDC Explorer – resulted from the seven-month work of 16 experts and analysts from the German Development Institute (DIE), the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) in Kenya, the Stockholm Environment Institute in Sweden, in cooperation with the UNFCCC secretariat, and supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development,. Kennedy Mbeva, a research fellow at the ACTS, says their aim was to make the action plans accessible to a wide range of stakeholders through an objective analysis. The tool has particular significance for the African continent, which previously lacked a database enabling comparison between countries at a national level. “The tool offers opportunity for policymakers, scientists and other actors to gain insights into the status of African countries…with regards to climate actions,” says Nicholas Ozor, executive director of the Kenya-based African Technology Policy Studies Network. (Eco-Business)

Corporate Governance

Britain needs radical corporate governance overhaul

Britain needs a radical, new roadmap to overhaul its corporate governance, reporting and investment management industry, if it is to rise to the challenge of lifting investment, innovation and living standards. Alex Edmans is Professor of Finance at London Business School, and one of the authors of a new report published today by The Purposeful Company Task Force. The report, which builds on extensive evidence that companies driven by a vision of their role in the world outperform those that do not, makes the following recommendations:  articles of association should state clearly and precisely the company’s purpose, directors should report what they are doing to fulfil their legal obligation to ‘have regard’ for all stakeholders and companies to be also regularly certified on the delivery of that purpose, that company reporting should go further than financial assets. The report also calls for executive pay to be simplified and tied to long-term value creation. The policy report of the Purposeful Company Steering Group, made up of Barclays, EY, Guardian Media Group and more, synthesised the most recent evidence to set out 22 robust recommendations within 6 key policy areas. (London Business School)


The North Face and Timberland owner commits to sustainable forestry

VF Corporation, the parent company of global footwear and apparel brands The North Face, Timberland and Vans, has moved to minimise its impacts on deforestation with a new set of policies for the company’s purchasing preferences and use of sustainable forest materials. VF’s new forestry policy, announced on Monday, aims to tackle issues such as loss of endangered forests, biodiversity and habitat, and the use of forced labour in manufacturing forestry products. The strategy promotes the use of products made with recycled fibre “whenever possible”. It also strives to elevate all third-party forestry management certification systems such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The firm also now works with Canopy, a not-for-profit environmental organisation dedicated to protecting forests, species and climate. VF reduced its global carbon emissions by 12% from 2011 to 2015 and has previously successfully partnered with number of NGOs and external stakeholders to drive its CSR programme. (Edie)

Sustainable Fisheries

Sainsbury’s named world’s best sustainable seafood supermarket

This year Sainsbury’s reached not only the top spot in Britain but also the number one position worldwide with the most Marine Stewardship Council-labelled products of any national supermarket – a total of 225 MSC-certified sustainable choices. Rivals Asda and Morrisons lurk at the bottom of the league with only a handful of products. Tesco has added nearly 80 MSC-certified products to its range in the past year, ensuring a jump of seven places up the league to reach third place. Second-place Waitrose has a long-standing commitment to sustainable sourcing and is joined by discounters Lidl and Aldi in a group who now have two-thirds of their ranges MSC-labelled. “This growth in labelling is great news for the majority of British shoppers. Two-thirds of British supermarkets are making a real investment in the future of their seafood,” said MSC programme director Toby Middleton. (Guardian)

Image source: Decorated houses, Drakensberg Mountains at WikipediaCC BY-SA 3.0