Top Stories

July 26, 2021


Construction industry plots path to 'zero avoidable waste'

The construction industry, England's biggest producer of waste, will promote refurbishment over demolition, cutting the amount of soil that ends up in landfill, and designing buildings with 'end of life' in mind. These are some of the recommendations set out in a new 'Routemap to Zero Avoidable Waste in Construction' strategy published by the Construction Leadership Council, a joint initiative between industry and the government aimed at boosting the sector's sustainability credentials. The Routemap sets a pathway to zero waste to landfill by preventing waste in the first place and promoting reuse and recycling wherever possible. It estimates 3.3 million tonnes of CO2 could be saved each year from reusing construction materials that are currently wasted. The construction sector currently produces approximately two-thirds of the UK's total waste volumes. (Business Green)


Mercedes-Benz to invest €40bn through 2030 to go electric

Automaker Mercedes-Benz has announced plans to electrify its automotive fleet, including a goal to be ready to go all electric by 2030, where market conditions allow. The company’s strategy includes investment plans of more than €40 billion through 2030, with spending in key areas across R&D, battery capacity, charging networks, production and manufacturing, and workforce. Key to the company’s new strategy are plans for all newmodels launched from 2025 onward to be electric only, and for customers to be able to choose electric versions for every model the company makes. The company will offer a fully electric model in every segment by 2022, and plans to introduce three new electric models in 2025, encompassing medium and large passenger cars, performance vehicles, and vans and light commercial vehicles. (ESGToday)


EU's green hydrogen plans hailed as 'true game-changer'

The European Commission has boosted regulatory support for green hydrogen in its proposed overhaul of climate legislation. As part of its ‘Fit for 55’ package of climate legislation, named after the 55% greenhouse gas emissions reduction by 2030 target, the European Commission recommended ways of boosting the use of renewable hydrogen. The Commission proposed a 50% target for “renewable fuels of non-biological origins” in the share of hydrogen fuels used in European industry by 2030, whether as a feedstock or in final energy consumption. The Renewable Hydrogen Coalition – an industry group made up of electricity companies such as Enel, Iberdrola and Orsted as well as wind industry giants like Vestas and Siemens Gamesa – described the move as “a true game-changer” to boost renewable hydrogen shares in the European hydrogen market. (Edie)


Maine passes law to make companies pay for recycling

US State Maine has implemented a new law that could transform the way packaging is recycled by requiring manufacturers, rather than taxpayers, to cover the cost. Nearly a dozen states have been considering similar regulations, with Oregon due to sign up in coming weeks. The law  intends to provide sufficient funding to enable more waste to be recycled. It is also hoped that the fees will incentivise companies to redesign packaging, making it easier to recycle The law charges producers a fee based on a number of factors, including the tonnage of packaging they put on the market. Those fees are typically paid into a producer responsibility organization, a non-profit group contracted by the state. It reimburses municipal governments for their recycling operations with the fees collected from producers. (The New York Times*)


Facebook to limit misinformation spread via WhatsApp

In Australia, New South Wales Health has issued a warning about misinformation circulating on WhatsApp, with owner Facebook saying it is working to limit the spread of misinformation on its private messaging app. A screenshot purporting to be from NSW Health falsely saying that supermarkets would close for four days as part of the Covid-19 response was circulating on WhatsApp. Last year WhatsApp introduced new rules to limit the spread of misinformation, including icons to note when a message is frequently forwarded and did not originate from a close contact. There is also a limit so these messages can only be sent one chat at a time. WhatsApp is partnering with fact-checking services and embarking on public education campaigns about whether people should question rumours before they are shared. (The Guardian)

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Senior Climate Change Consultant, London

Executive Assistant and Office Manager, New York

Sustainability Senior Consultant, North America

Sustainability Senior Researcher, North America