Top Stories

July 19, 2019

Circular economy

Jaguar Land Rover eyes recycled plastic process for car manufacturing

Carmaker Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is teaming up with chemicals specialist BASF to pilot a process that aims to convert plastic waste into new premium-grade material which could be used for car parts and interiors. The process, called ChemCycling, upcycles domestic plastic waste otherwise destined for landfill or incineration. This plastic is then transformed to “pyrolysis oil” using a thermochemical process, which creates a secondary raw material that is then fed into BASF’s production chain as a replacement for fossil resources. The resulting material is designed to replicate the performance of virgin plastic and can be tempered and coloured, making it ideal for designing dashboards and exterior surfaces in cars. If the trials are successful, JLR said it hoped to use the new recycled material throughout its car manufacturing in the future “without any compromise to quality or safety performance”. The move forms part of JLR’s circular economy commitments, through which it has achieved zero waste to landfill across its UK operations and removed 1.3 million square metres of plastic from its manufacturing processes. (BusinessGreen)


Hundreds of CEOs urge EU to deliver “inclusive” climate and sustainability plan

Around 200 company CEOs have joined calls on newly-elected EU leaders to collaborate with business and society in driving climate action and pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Green business group CSR Europe has revealed 200 CEOs have now joined its call to action for a ‘New Deal for Europe’, which it envisages as an overarching strategy for politicians, businesses, and civil society to create a shared sustainable vision for the EU’s future. CEOs from a raft of major corporates have backed the call from across a range of different sectors. They include bosses from Total, Triodos Bank, E.ON, Toyota Motor Europe, Titan Cement Company, Bank of Ireland, and UBS Asset Management, among others. Stefan Crets, CSR Europe’s executive director, added that it was “imperative” for CEOs to take a stance in responding to public concerns about the future of Europe and the environment. (BusinessGreen)

Climate Change

Great Barrier Reef authority urges “fastest possible action” on emissions

The federal agency that manages the Great Barrier Reef has made an unprecedented call for urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, warning only the “strongest and fastest possible action” will reduce the risks to the natural wonder. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has published a climate position statement that says the reef is already damaged from warming oceans and it is “critical” global temperature rises remain within 1.5 degrees. The reef is critical for Australia’s tourism industry and fishing. In 2017, Australia avoided an “in danger” listing for the reef from Unesco’s world heritage committee, but its status will be reassessed next year with Australia needing to submit a state of conservation report in December. Australia’s Coalition government has been criticised for overseeing four straight years on increases in national emissions and experts say it will not meet the country’s Paris target under current climate policy. (The Guardian)


AstraZeneca commits to electrifying its global vehicle fleet

Environmental non-profit The Climate Group has announced that global pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca will join its business leadership initiative on electric vehicles, EV100. AstraZeneca has announced a switch of its 16,000 strong vehicle fleet to electric to limit the health impacts of air pollution across the globe. The company is the first pharmaceutical company to join the EV100 initiative run by The Climate Group. To support the shift to electric vehicles, AstraZeneca will also expand the changing infrastructure at its office sites. The company expects the switch to EVs to save it over 80,000 metric tonnes CO2 every year from 2030. AstraZeneca is the 50th business to join the EV100 initiative overall, signalling the rapid global growth of corporate demand for EVs. Companies representing US$900 billion in annual turnover and 2.8 million employees in total are now committed to electrifying transport through the initiative.  (The Climate Group)


Plant-based milk the choice for almost 25% of Britons now

Almost a quarter of Britons are consuming plant-based milk alternatives as the popularity of vegan and vegetarian diets continues to grow. While demand for traditional cow’s milk is falling, sales of alt-milk, made from oats, almonds and coconuts, have surged 10% over the past two years, according to market research firm Mintel. Mintel has said 23% of those polled had used plant milk in the three months leading to February 2019, up from just 19% in 2018. Although cow’s milk is still a far bigger market, worth more than £3bn, Britons buy fewer pints than their parents. One of the big winners from this shift in consumption is oat milk, with shoppers buying £36m worth last year as sales surged more than 70%. Emma Clifford, associate director of UK food and drink at Mintel, said plant-based milk was “part of a much wider plant-based movement, driven by concerns around health, ethics and the environment.” (The Guardian)


Image Source: Land Rover emblem by Zakaria Zayane on Unsplash. Licensed under CC BY 2.0.