Day: February 22, 2018

Sci-Hub Loses Domains and Access to Some Web Services

Read the full story in The Scientist.

A few months after the American Chemical Society won its lawsuit against the pirate site, the game of virtual whack-a-mole continues.

In Demand: Clean Energy, Sustainability and the New American Workforce

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This report details the status and growth of clean energy and sustainability jobs in the U.S. using the most recent available data; highlighting quality jobs in the renewable energy, energy efficiency, alternative vehicles, and energy storage and advanced grid sectors. Additionally, the report discusses the role of businesses and government entities as catalysts for the clean energy economy. Individuals working in these sectors are featured throughout to highlight examples of the backgrounds, career paths and the skills needed to succeed in clean energy and sustainability fields.

Closing the Gap: Scaling up sustainable supply chain practices

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The number of companies forging ahead with an industry-leading approach to tackling emissions in the supply chain has doubled in a year, according to CDP’s Global Supply Chain Report 2018. But despite a high awareness of climate-related risks, this leadership is not yet spurring widescale action down the supply chain, leading to missed opportunities for cutting emissions and costs.

Global Opportunity Report 2018

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It has been said many times and in many ways that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) create business opportunities. However, few commentators take the extra step of documenting, as we have done, how all 17 Global Goals can be turned into new market opportunities met by concrete business solutions.

In this, the fourth edition of the annual Global Opportunity Report, we show that for all Sustainable Development Goals there are real opportunities which can make a world of difference.

We hone in on the four SDGs that, according to DNV GL’s “Future of Spaceship Earth” study, are most likely to miss their 2030 targets: Goal 10 “Reduced Inequalities”, Goal 12 “Responsible Consumption and Production”, Goal 13 “Climate Action”, and Goal 14 “Life Below Water”. In the pages that follow, you will find many new business opportunities that directly address these challenging, cross-cutting goals.

The Global Risks Report 2018

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Last year’s Global Risks Report was published at a time of heightened global uncertainty and strengthening popular discontent with the existing political and economic order. The report called for “fundamental reforms to market capitalism” and a rebuilding of solidarity within and between countries. One year on, a global economic recovery is under way, offering new opportunities for progress that should not be squandered: the urgency of facing up to systemic challenges has, if anything, intensified amid proliferating indications of uncertainty, instability and fragility.

Future of Sustainability 2018: Living in nonlinear times

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While linear change is smooth and relatively predictable, non-linear change confounds our expectations with shifts that can be very fast, even abrupt. And in 2017, we were surrounded by it.

Extreme climate events are commonplace – witness three hurricanes over category 4 strength in just one season. Catastrophes like the forest fires in Borneo barely make the news – they have become the ‘new normal’. And plastic pollution has been revealed to be far more pervasive than previously suspected, contaminating the water we drink, the food we eat, and even the air we breathe, everywhere on Earth.

Fortunately non-linear change can lead to positive outcomes, too. We have selected seven areas we believe are particularly dynamic now, and which present rich opportunities to develop radically more sustainable behaviour and practice, through 2018 and towards the 2020s.

The Circularity Gap Report

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Our world economy is only 9.1% circular, leaving a massive ‘Circularity Gap’.

This alarming statistic is the main output of this first Circularity Gap Report, in which we launch a metric for the circular state of the planet. Taking the United Nations’ Emissions Gap Report [1] as inspiration, the Circularity Gap Report provides a framework and fact-base to measure and monitor progress in bridging the gap, year on year. Being able to track and target performance via the Global Circularity Metric will help us engage in uniform goal-setting and guide future action in the most impactful way.

Closing the circularity gap serves the higher objective of preventing further and accelerated environmental degradation and social inequality. The transition to circularity is therefore a means to an end. As a multi-stakeholder model, a circular economy has the ability to unite a global community behind an action agenda, engaged and empowered both collectively and individually. Its systemic approach boosts capacity and capability to serve societal needs, by embracing and endorsing the best humankind has to offer: the power of entrepreneurship, innovation and collaboration.

The circular transition thereby provides actionable ways forward to contribute to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement. Our linear model is effectively no longer fit for purpose, failing both people and the planet. Circular economy strategies have the potential to be instrumental in the push to mitigate the associated climate impacts, given that majority (67%) of global greenhouse gas emissions are related to material management.

The report shows how key societal needs are met and the resource reality behind the delivery. For key needs like housing, mobility and nutrition, the Report reveals the global material footprint. It shows which needs consume what resources. Our global metabolism visual illustrates what happens with products and materials after their functional use in society. In particular, it uncovers the modest flow of resources cycled back into the economy and helps us estimate how much material goes wasted beyond recovery. This exposes how deeply our linear system is still ingrained in our daily lives.

​Bridging the circularity gap requires intervention across the full breadth of society and action in nations, sectors, supply chains and cities. Major trend corrections are needed to get the global economy on a pathway towards circularity. This Report identifies key levers at a global level and points to ‘inconvenient truths’ that provide systemic challenges for moving to circularity by mid-21st century

ESRC Sustainable Business Training Series – Webinar 4: Developing an Action Plan & Success Stories

Tue, May 1, 2018 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CDT
Register at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/9687086209962754

This webinar will focus on utilizing an action lan to stay on target and achieve success.

Carbon Pricing: Discover Your Blind Spots on Risk and Opportunity

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Carbon pricing risk from a growing array of new policies and taxes
spurred by the Paris Agreement could lead to significant losses on a
company’s financial statement. Carbon pricing risk could vary substantially among companies operating in the same business sectors. The financial risk from carbon pricing schemes depends on a company’s carbon efficiency, location of operations, business model, and the market conditions of the sector.

Company business models and broader market conditions will also
dictate whether companies are able to absorb the increased costs
or pass them on to their customers. At present, many companies measure their carbon footprint, which is an essential first step in understanding carbon efficiency of past operations, but it has a blind spot in regard to future carbon pricing risk exposure. Because a significant share of carbon pricing risk could come from supply chain activities and energy-intensive products, it is essential for companies to account for carbon risk beyond their direct
operations.

Meaningful data disclosure by companies on future carbon risk, as
recommended by the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial
Disclosures, will help inform the decision making of investors and
accelerate mainstream green finance.

The Business of Planting Trees: A Growing Investment Opportunity

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Across the world, companies with a wide range of business
models are making money from planting trees. These restoration
enterprises are proving that restoring degraded forests and
agricultural lands is not only good for the planet, but a good
business opportunity as well.

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