The BBC report today that Sir Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group and Kering Director Jochen Zeitz have launched a non-profit group, to encourage global businesses to look more seriously at sustainability issues.
The B Team will champion “a new way of doing business that prioritises people and planet alongside profit”. Sir Richard told the BBC. “Business has previously been concerned with the bottom line and has not got involved in society or with the wider issues of the world.”
The B team consists of 14 global business leaders, including Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever and Shari Arison, Owner, Arison Group.
In a statement, they said that they will face three initial challenges: “The Future of Leadership”, “The Future Bottom Line” and “The Future of Incentives”, and in a live online broadcast today they issued a joint Declaration acknowledging key global problems such as growing inequality, unemployment and the unsustainable use of natural resources.
Within the Declaration the group state; they have come to the “overwhelming conclusion that businesses have been a major contributor to the [environmental] problems, and we as business leaders have the responsibility of creating sustainable solutions.”
“Therefore, if we leverage the many positives of business – the spirit of enterprise, innovation and entrepreneurship that has helped realize improvements in quality of life and enabled technological and scientific progress – we can create an unprecedented era of sustainable, inclusive prosperity for all.”
“Today we want to start a global conversation on a “Plan B” for business,” said co-founder Sir Richard Branson. “We are working with government agencies, the social sector, and business leaders to help get on top of some of the world’s seemingly intractable challenges. We are keen to listen, learn and share with others to build businesses that do what’s right for people and the planet.”
Allen & York are recruitment specialists within Sustainability and CSR, current opportunities include:
As the debate surrounding the controversial Australian carbon tax rages on, Allen & York specialist sustainability recruitment consultancy, look at whether attitudes to sustainability are changing within Australian business and if carbon pricing is the best way to drive the sustainability agenda forward.
“Australia is one of the most vulnerable developed countries to climate change and is already experiencing the impacts of more frequent and severe extreme weather. For instance, during the most recent Australian summer more than 123 heat, flood and rainfall records were broken. Australia is the 15th largest [carbon] emitter, larger than 180 other countries. This means that Australia has a responsibility to play its part and that Australian actions have a global influence.” The Climate Commission report published in April 2013.
The Australian Carbon Tax was introduced by Julia Gillard’s government on 1st July 2012. It stated that companies emitting over 25,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually were required to buy carbon permits. These permits are currently priced at $23AUD per 1 tonne for 2012-13, and will rise by 2.5% per year until 2015/16, when they will move to an emissions trading scheme set by the global market.
The carbon tax affects approximately 300 ‘liable entities’ and is part of a broad energy reform package called the Clean Energy Plan. This aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Australia by 5% below 2000 levels by 2020 and 80% below 2000 levels by 2050.
The Australian Government have pledged to cut at least 159 million tonnes per year of carbon pollution by 2020, the equivalent of taking 45 million cars off the road. With a target of 20% of Australia’s electricity coming from renewable sources by 2020; these are ambitious targets and the additional taxes are designed to push high polluting companies towards cleaning up their operations and embracing renewable energy sources, but at what price?
As Waste Management climbs up the political and environmental agenda, the Waste industry is moving away from its traditional blue collar image into an industry that can offer a variety of professional career opportunities. In this article, Allen & York Recruitment will take a look at the growth of the waste jobs market, with a particular focus on; the evolution of the industry, the types of waste jobs that are emerging and the variety of companies who are currently experiencing growth.
Waste as a Commodity
In recent years the industry has transformed itself. Ten years ago, over 75% of the UK’s waste went to landfill compared to less than 50% today. Waste management was chiefly focused on the logistics of collection and transport, while these are still important, the industry has developed a range of technologies to treat waste and extract value from it. Waste has moved from being something we simply dispose of to a commercial commodity.
UK & International governments have set targets to reduce waste to landfill, increase waste recovery and reuse household & business waste. The landfill tax, originally introduced in 1996 at a standard rate of £7 per tonne has risen to £72 per tonne in 2013, encouraging businesses to reuse/recycle their waste. The landfill tax is often heralded as a great success and has made a significant impact on the perception and handling of waste. Between 2000 and 2010 the amount of material being recycled in the UK more than doubled and now, for the first time more waste is being recycled than going to landfill in England.
The waste and recycling sector currently generates over £12bn per year in the UK and employs over 100,000 people and is expected to grow by 3% per year. The potential growth is even higher, as currently £5bn worth of recycled material is sent abroad for processing, if this could be handled within the UK this would give a further boost to the industry; Owen Paterson, Environment Secretary comments; “Dealing with waste and recycling properly is good for business as well as the environment and has the potential to boost economic growth and create jobs.” (UK Government press release 22nd May 2013)
Fastest Growing Waste Companies
A recent study has been published by Grant Thornton UK LLP revealing a 60% increase in corporate financing deals within the waste and recycling sectors between the first and second half of 2012. Chris Murphy, CIWM deputy chief executive, said: “These figures confirm what we have suspected for a long time; the waste sector is of growing importance and influence, and has managed to maintain growth and contribute to the national economy at a time when other sectors have struggled.”
In their report published in November 2012, in conjunction with Catalyst Corporate Finance, CIWM have indentified the Top 30 fastest growing UK waste companies. Top of the list are Redeem Limited a mobile phone and electronics recycling company who have seen an 83% 2 year CAGR (compound annual growth rate). They are closely followed by New Earth Solutions, a waste treatment and renewable energy specialist at 80% CAGR and in third place, Specialist Waste Recycling Ltd, a waste management consultancy at 70%.
The list illustrates the scope of the Waste industry, ranging from recycling animal by-products (Leo Group) to wholesale paper recycling (Recycling UK Limited). It also reveals the potential within the industry, the combined annual revenue of these 30 companies alone, being £903.5milion.
When we asked about the range of job opportunities within the industry, Robert Asquith, Planning Director – New Earth Solutions commented; “We employ a wide range of specialists in areas such as environmental management and compliance, engineering, project management, financial control, commercial management, and planning. As a growing company looking constantly at commercial opportunities, you would also find in our head office some of the disciplines normally associated with commercial advisory companies such as commercial modelling and project finance. On the sites themselves there are specialist roles in environmental management as well as technical disciplines associated with keeping all the machines running. Site managers cover a huge range of issues. And every operative needs the tickets necessary for the mobile and fixed plant we use.”
One area that is currently missing out on this growth is UK Manufacturing. It is a widely held view that the export of waste overseas is inhibiting investment in domestic waste developments, in figures published by WRAP this month an estimated 684,000 tonnes of recovered plastic were exported to China, in the equivalent of approximately 100 containers leaving the UK every day. The British Plastics Federation (BPF) argue that current systems favour exporting plastic over UK reprocessing and recycling and comments, that now China itself has set targets to recycle 75% of plastic by 2017, they “have so much of their own waste to recycle they will hardly want ours”. In a BPF Report published this month, they call for incentives for manufacturers to make fuller use of recycled plastics. Giving a much needed boost to the UK Manufacturing industry.
Between now and 2025 (according to UN figures) the world population will increase by 20% to reach 8 billion inhabitants; the more people, the more waste and it has been estimated (by the OECD) that a 1% increase in national income creates a 0.69% increase in municipal solid waste. Consequently, it is almost guaranteed that the Waste industry will continue to grow and demands for professional technical specialists working within this sector are set to increase.
The main growth areas for Waste Careers which we are experiencing currently at Allen & York Recruitment include; Energy from Waste, Recycling and Manufacturing and Waste Management. Within these industries are a mixture of engineering, project and operational management, business development and marketing; as well as health, safety, quality and environmental job opportunities.
A key growth area currently is Energy from Waste and our specialist EfW consultants at Allen & York are seeing a sharp rise in job opportunities within this sector. Recent announcements have come from leading waste companies; Viridor, Peel Environmental, Emerald Biogas and Tamar Energy with plans to build/open waste processing facilities in the coming months. These plants range from an incineration plant which will supply electricity and heat for an adjacent horticultural greenhouse which will grow tomatoes, to anaerobic digestion plants which turn food waste into electricity. An £8million plant due to be opened in County Durham by Emerald Biogas, when running at full capacity can process 50,000 tonnes of food waste per year and generate 1.56MW of electricity, enough to power 2,000 homes and create 40 new jobs.
“A particular focus for us at present is our technical team in our New Earth Advanced Thermal Technology Group Ltd company. This team has successfully delivered a First of a Kind pyrolysis and gasification plant in Avonmouth, Bristol and is now working on a pipeline of follow on projects in the UK and overseas. The broader supply chain for this will, we envisage, create a specialist knowledge base in the UK to the advantage of UK manufacturing and balance of trade. In a small way it will help the UK with the move it needs to make towards a more balanced economy after the disaster of the banking crisis.” Robert Asquith, Planning Director – New Earth Solutions.
The challenge now for the Waste industry is to attract new professional talent. In the past the industry has had a bit of an image problem with the associations of dirty, smelly waste. Waste companies recognise this and know that to appeal to a more white collar market and, importantly, to attract more women into waste they will need to re-brand and reflect this new industry.
The Waste industry is now best described as Resource Management; a growing market in which raw materials are produced, exported and manufactured. This new Waste industry is at the forefront of clean energy and sustainability; it is championing new innovation and creativity and offers an exciting workplace for anyone looking to forge a career within the green economy.
Allen & York are leading Waste Recruiters and have the following current opportunities:
At 2:14 AM on Thursday, the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) passed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014 (NDAA), a massive $638 billion bill designed to fund all military spending and chart military policy for the for the coming fiscal year. An avalanche of amendments greatly changed the original make-up Chairman Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA) presented earlier this week, eventually passing the committee with a vote of 59-2. Here are some of the provisions in the bill that you should know about before it reaches the House floor:
1. Addresses The Military’s Sexual Assault Crisis
In the light of the multitude of scandals and damning reports of sexual assault within the ranks of the military, the HASC added several provisions to the NDAA that reforms the current military justice system. Under the new language, military commanders will be stripped of their ability to dismiss the findings of courts-martial’s juries, something that the military’s leadership has opposed. Commanders will also be unable to reduce sentences imposed on those found guilty of sexual crimes, as one general did in the case that first launched the renewed interest in the issue in February.
In addition, new minimum sentencing guidelines for sexual assault in the military were included, while also adding rape, sexual assault, or other sexual misconduct to the protected communications of service members with a Member of Congress or an Inspector General, essentially bringing protections for those who report military sexual assault in line with those for government whistleblowers.
2. Adds Oversight To The Administration’s Targeted Killing Program
Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) tabled a bill in May that would add a new layer of oversight to the administration’s ongoing targeted killing program. While certain members of Congress are currently briefed on all aspects of the administration’s targeted killing program, as President Obama made clear in his speech at the National Defense University last month, Thornberry’s bill would require that a briefing be provided to the House and Senate’s Armed Services Committees after any kill or capture operation undertaken outside of the declared war-zone in Afghanistan. That language was folded into the NDAA, requiring that the Secretary of Defense provide “notice in writing” promptly after any such operation is taken.
3. Provides Funding To Train Allies To Respond To Syria’s WMD
The bill also authorizes the Secretary of Defense to provide training for allies in the Middle East — including Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, and Turkey — to respond to any widespread use of Syria’s stock of chemical weapons. Up to $4 million of funding currently available to the Pentagon for “operations and maintanence” can be used to carry out this training under the NDAA’s provisions, provided that the Secretary give notice to the Congress about the authority’s use. CAP experts in December called for greater planning and cooperation between the U.S. and its allies in the region in the event Syrian President Bashar al-Assad unleashed the weapons against his own people, a prospect that appears to be growing more likely to have already occurred.
What’s Not So Good
4. Bans Even Talking About Closing Military Bases To Save Money — Because It Costs Too Much
Despite the general wave of support among House members for cutting federal spending, closing excess military bases as a cost-saving measure was squarely dismissed as being too costly. Any attempt of the Pentagon to propose, plan, or initiate further rounds of Defense Base Closure and Realignment — or BRAC — was banned under the NDAA as passed early this morning. On Monday, a wide-ranging group of Washington think tanks — running the gamut from CAP to the American Enterprise Institute to the Cato Institute — sent a letter to Congress and the Pentagon to consider BRAC as one of the ways to reform defense spending in a time where the current military budget threatens the long-term stability of the United States.
5. Provides Funding For An East Coast Missile Shield The U.S. Does Not Need
The HASC’s NDAA fully funds an East Coast missile defense, the second attempt to push the program in as many years. While the House’s 2013 NDAA also included such a measure, the Senate Armed Services Committee nixed it, instead only opting to assess the feasibility of a potential site. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey has previously said that such a shield — ostensibly to protect against the non-existent threat from long-range Iranian and North Korean missiles — is unnecessary.
6. Blocks the Department of Defense From Investing In Alternative Energies
Similar to last year’s NDAA, an amendment offered on Tuesday banned the Pentagon’s purchase of biofuels until sequestration is lifted and such forms of energy reach cost parity with oil. At present, the Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus has been spearheading the effort to have the U.S. military — the largest single consumer of energy in the U.S. — adopt biofuels and other alternate forms of energy to help reduce cost and create a leaner, faster, more efficient military. Earlier this year, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, called climate change the greatest threat his region faces, flying in the face of Republican opposition to military spending on preventing further man-made climate change.
7. Upholds The Ban On Transferring Gitmo Detainees
As in years past, the House Armed Services Committee acted to make sure that the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay remains open despite President Obama’s renewed efforts to close it. As part of the NDAA, the ban on transferring any of Guantanamo’s current population to the United States for trial or imprisonment. That ban comes not only in spite of the fact that civilian trials yield more convictions on terrorism charges, but also that more than 200 international terrorists are currently serving out sentences in super-maximum security prisons in the U.S. Committee Democrats attempted to beat back the ban, with Ranking Member Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) offering an amendment to completely strike the provision from the bill. Smith’s motion was defeated by a vote of 23-38.
The bill also authorized spending $247 million to upgrade the prison’s facilities, which comes on top of the $150 million it costs to keep the base running each year. Democrats also attempted to par down that cost, but Republicans likewise blocked that effort.
Energy-from-waste facilities get green light across UK
Source: The Guardian
Various organisations around the UK have been given the go ahead to build new energy from waste facilities.
In south London, Viridor is to build an energy recovery facility next to its landfill site in Beddington. The incinerator will provide South London Waste Partnership and businesses with a cost-effective alternative to landfill and also bring forward the completion and restoration of the existing landfill into green spaces and wildlife habitats.
Whilst in the North of the UK, Peel Environmental has received the green light from City of York Council to build an anaerobic digestion (AD) and horticultural glasshouse facility on a former mining site in the region. The AD plant will recover heat and electricity from up to 60,000 tonnes of organic waste per year, generating renewable electricity to power around 3,500 homes.
A horticultural glasshouse, which will use some of the heat produced, will be developed alongside the facility and operated by Howden-based specialist Plant Raisers to propagate mainly tomato plants.
It is thought the £23.5m project will provide 20,000 tonnes per year of carbon savings compared to sending the waste to landfill – greater than the levels of CO2 produced by City of York Council.Meanwhile in County Durham, a £8m AD facility is only weeks away from completion as the project reaches the end of its first phase of construction and commences commissioning. The project, headed up by Emerald Biogas, will result in the north east’s first commercial food waste facility. At full capacity, the plant at Newton Aycliffe Industrial Estate will process 50,000 tonnes of food waste per year and generate 1.56MW of electricity.
Furthermore, London based renewable energy company, Tamar Energy has the aim of developing 40 anaerobic digestion biogas plants across the UK by 2018.
According to the company, facilities will be the first step its vision to create a ‘critical mass’ network of around 40 plants by 2018, generating some 100 MW of electricity.
Current job opportunities include: