Top Stories

August 31, 2021


U.S. health department sets up climate change office

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has established an office to address climate change and health equity at the national level. The office aims to protect vulnerable communities disproportionately affected by pollution and climate-driven disasters, including drought and wildfires. The office will identify communities disproportionately exposed to climate hazards, address health disparities resulting from climate change, and help with regulations aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the healthcare sector. Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, said: "There is no doubt that America is experiencing climate change, and there is no reason for us to doubt that we must take this on immediately, because it's not just about the climate, it's not just about our environment. It's about our health." (NASDAQ)


Nike gives head office staff a week off for mental health break

Nike has given its head office employees in the US a week off to destress and recover from the pressures of the Covid-19 pandemic. The sportswear brand said workers at its headquarters in Oregon would be “powering down” until Friday, with senior leaders encouraging staff to ignore all work responsibilities to aid their mental health. It puts Nike among a growing number of businesses offering extra time off, or concessions around working responsibilities, to combat the burnout caused by home working and constant video calls that have blurred the line between personal and professional lives. Whitney Wolfe Herd, the founder of the dating app Bumble, gave her 700 employees an extra week of paid leave to destress and switch off in June. (The Guardian)


Cambridge team creates simulator to accelerate net zero flights

Cambridge University has launched the Aviation Impact Accelerator (AIA), gathering an international group of experts in aerospace, economics, policy, and climate science to build an interactive evidence-based simulator exploring scenarios for achieving net zero flight. The simulator will take a whole system approach, from the source of the electricity, to the methods of fuel production and transport, to the passenger journey. The hope is that the simulator will guide innovation, investment, and policy action, as well as providing wider educational benefits to the public. The AIA is in partnership with HRH The Prince of Wales’s Sustainable Markets Initiative, The World Economic Forum, Cambridge Zero, MathWorks, and SATAVIA, and is supported by industry advisors Rolls-Royce, Boeing, BP, Heathrow, and Siemens Energy. (Business Weekly)


Mars targets 'water balance' at five major manufacturing sites

Global food and confectionary giant, Mars, has pledged to match every litre of water it uses at five of its most water-stressed manufacturing sites worldwide with the same amount of treated and reused wastewater, as it announced a target to achieve so-called 'water balance' at these facilities by 2025. The company said it had selected five high priority areas for action in Mexico, where urgent measures were needed to address water shortages. At these sites the firm said it planned to introduce advanced water-stewardship programmes to improve water efficiency. The company also aims ensure treated wastewater is discharged in a way that reduces stress in watersheds, and to work collaboratively with local groups to balance remaining residual water use through projects that address water stress in each of the site's catchment areas. (Business Green)


Ofgem launches £450m fund to help UK homes and businesses go green

Ofgem, the UK’s energy regulator, has launched a £450m fund aimed at innovative projects that will help the country meet its net zero climate targets. The money will be available over the next five years to energy network companies that are trying to ensure homes and business are going green. Ofgem said the ideas would need to be “bold and ambitious”, have the potential to be rolled out at scale across the UK, and could range from heat pump installations to developing battery storage technology. Funding will be considered for projects that cover heating and transport, data and digitalisation, and “whole system integration”, which refers to the entire journey of electricity from plant to plug. (The Guardian)


Senior Climate Change Consultant, London

Executive Assistant and Office Manager, New York

Sustainability Senior Consultant, North America

Sustainability Senior Researcher, North America