Snippets for 6 May 2021


Thanks for reading our Snippets newsletter this week. We have once again included a mixed selection of articles we hope you find interesting.


A new generation of young people and ecopreneurs, known as Generation Restoration, are putting our planet’s health first. At the heart of their motivation and energy lies a powerful shift in mindset, along with a commitment to fix our planet as best they can.


Perhaps more should be done to make training in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) topics front and centre in different degree courses. It’s important to move with the times, and business courses in particular seem to be a bit slow embracing the importance of ESG issues.


Before Covid took hold, ESG issues had become priority concerns for governments, businesses, investors, and consumers. As things return to ‘normal’ these themes are likely to return to the top of the agenda. It’s all about ascertaining what you use and how you use it, then plan how to improve or reduce.


We next run through a series of articles looking at the oceans seabeds. Bottom trawling does a lot of damage and, it turns out, releases high volumes of carbon (more than air travel). Seabeds are actually more valuable to a nation if they are left alone, certainly in the case of the UK. And to ram the point home, some large corporations are calling for a ban on ocean floor mining. “Seaspiracy”, on Netflix, puts some troubling stats out there, but is it all as it seems? Facts are checked.


If you didn’t know it already, the world is sitting on a wind and solar resource that could go all the way to meeting our energy needs. Hydrogen is going to play a big part as well - we take a look at developments in the aircraft world, and, along with Sustainable Aviation Fuels, how they may help get emissions down.


With the expected surge in EV sales, through regulation and industry participation, battery recycling is beginning to be taken seriously.


A new generation of young people and ecopreneurs, known as Generation Restoration, are putting the planet’s health first.At the heart of their motivation and energy lies a powerful shift in mindset away from an extractive economy to one of restoration. The launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030) on June 5 will be a global catalyst for a cascade of transformative actions that will result in significant worldwide restorative actions. Actions include seeding native trees to fight desertification, and rejuvenating our oceans. Read more.....



The contrast between Generation Restoration and existing mainstream thinking couldn’t be starker than in this next article. Many business schools, where the majority of students obtain their MBA’s, are still not including ESG topics in their core courses. Only now are they being increasingly urged to do so. Business is so much more than understanding finance as we are increasingly operating in an environment where nature and biodiversity are growing in prominence. Generation Restoration didn’t need to go to Yale or Oxford to figure that out. Read more.....




Our next article examines how a business can develop strategies to ensure profitability is maintained at the same time as reducing emissions. The first step will come as no surprise as it requires establishing a baseline. The next steps entail scenario planning and the establishment of an abatement curve of actions with those that are the most inexpensive and with the greatest decarbonisation return the first to be commissioned. Many of the actions will entail long-term planning and investments, but then addressing climate change is no quick fix. Read more.....





In our next series of articles we take a look at the ocean & ocean floor. Most of us would think that bottom trawling does a lot of damage to the sea floor, well you’d be right. But it now turns out the process releases as much carbon as air travel – doubly bad! We need to protect more than the currently protected 7% of sea floor from more damage, urgently. Read more.....





The Netflix documentary ‘Seaspiracy’ is making waves (pun intended), and with good reason. In an era of fake news and sensationalist headlines, what can you believe? This article does a pretty good job of fact checking the biggest claims from the film and is certainly worth a read. No spoilers here though- you've gotta read it. Let us just say that it is eye opening to say the least! Read more.....




It also turns out that the UK’s seabed is more valuable as a carbon sink than as a source of oil and gas. Findings value the marine natural capital asset at £211 Billion (nearly US$300 billion). Using conservative estimates, sea grasses, mud and salt marshes capture at least 10.5 million tonnes of carbon at year. A valuable resource, not just for the UK but all nations that have coastlines. Let’s just leave it alone. Some heavy hitters think so too! Read more.....



Four of the largest companies in the world have made a stand against seabed mining and have called for a moratorium on the activity. Yes, the article title says they have called for a ban, but the article says it is a temporary ban. They have also stated that they will not source minerals mined from the sea floor, and that in itself is a big message to the industry. The bottom line is that the ocean is far too precious to mess up, and extreme caution is required. Read more.....




A new report shows that the technical potential of wind and solar is around 100 times greater than total global electricity demand. The country with the largest potential for renewable energy is Australia with around 400 times potential renewable energy compared to current demand. The global potential for renewables is significantly higher than the remaining fossil fuel reserves, however, the production of energy by fossil fuels still dwarfs renewables. We just need to tap into that renewable potential! Read more.....



One sector that is proving particularly difficult to decarbonize is air travel. However, governments and companies around the world are now looking at hydrogen fuel as a potential alternative fuel for aviation. Hydrogen has the unique advantage of packing a lot of energy per unit of mass with three times more than conventional jet fuel, and more than a hundred times that of lithium-ion batteries. Solar and wind will likely play an important role here also, as harnessing excess renewable energy can be used for the hydrolysis process for the creation of hydrogen fuel. Read more.....





Electric cars are seen to be a solution to some carbon emissions, but they have a few problems of their own which are starting to be addressed. One, what to do with the battery when it is at the end of its life, is being discussed, and solutions are varied. Some suppliers are finding new uses, e.g. Volkswagen and Nissan, but recycling - dismantling and collecting the materials needed to create new batteries - is seen as the best long term option, where, for various reasons, an automated system will be required for maximum recovery. Read more.....





In our innovation section this week, we have an interesting variety of recent ideas:












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