Category Archives: ΠΕΡΙΒΑΛΛΟΝ

Director General of DG Employment addresses EU-OSHA staff and its network of focal points

On the day of EU-OSHA's 25th anniversary ceremony, 5 June 2019 in Bilbao, Joost Korte, Director General of DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission, gave an inspiring speech to EU-OSHA’s network of focal points. He stated that EU-OSHA was unique with its official network of partners at Member State level, making it a very efficient and high performing Agency. Joost Korte congratulated the focal points on their work and said that a lot had been achieved in the field of occupational safety and health in the EU. This work would continue and there was widespread recognition of its value. He also stated that from the Commission's side there has been an unprecedented activity level to promote Social Europe. His colleague Charlotte Grevfors Ernoult, Head of Unit, also expressed her appreciation on the good cooperation with EU-OSHA. In another session with EU-OSHA staff he informed about the ongoing formation of the new European Parliament and Commission as well as of the newly created European Labour Authority. His speech was followed by an animated questions and answer session. See the latest news by DG Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion More information about EU-OSHA's focal point network Let's block ads! (Why?)

Το 1/3 των εδαφών της Ελλάδας κινδυνεύουν να γίνουν έρημος

Εκατό χώρες στον κόσμο, μεταξύ των οποίων και η Ελλάδα, το ένα τρίτο των εδαφών της οποίας υπόκειται σε υψηλό δυνητικό κίνδυνο, απειλούνται με ερημοποίηση, σύμφωνα με στοιχεία του ΟΗΕ, ο οποίος καθιέρωσε την 17η Ιουνίου ως παγκόσμια ημέρα ευαισθητοποίησης για την αντιμετώπιση του φαινομένου.  «Η ερημοποίηση συνιστά τεράστια απειλή ειδικά για τη λεκάνη της Μεσογείου» επισημαίνει μιλώντας στο Αθηναϊκό-Μακεδονικό Πρακτορείο Ειδήσεων ο ακαδημαϊκός Χρήστος Ζερεφός. «Η γνώση αυτή προέρχεται τόσο από τα μοντέλα προβλέψεων για τα επόμενα 70 με 80 χρόνια όσο και από το παρελθόν» επισημαίνει ο ίδιος. Όπως υπενθυμίζει, ο πρώτος που περιέγραψε αυτό το φαινόμενο ήταν ο Αριστοτέλης στα «Μετεωρολογικά» του. «Εκεί αναρωτιέται πώς έγινε έρημος η Σαχάρα. Και αναφέρεται σε μια μεγάλη κλιματική αλλαγή για τους μηχανισμούς της οποίας θέτει ερωτήματα» λέει. Ο ΟΗΕ υπολογίζει ότι έως το 2025 περισσότεροι από 1,8 δισεκατομμύρια άνθρωποι θα έρθουν αντιμέτωποι με το πρόβλημα της παντελούς έλλειψης νερού, ενώ τα δυο τρίτα του πλανήτη θα ζουν με την αγωνία της εξάντλησης των αποθεμάτων. Προειδοποιεί ακόμη πως η ερημοποίηση θα προκαλέσει περισσότερους θανάτους από κάθε άλλη φυσική καταστροφή και πως εξαιτίας του φαινομένου περισσότεροι από 135 εκατομμύρια άνθρωποι θα υποχρεωθούν να εγκαταλείψουν τις εστίες τους.  Αν υπάρχει μια σημαντική διαφορά με το παρελθόν αυτή είναι η ταχύτητα με την οποία εκδηλώνεται το φαινόμενο. Και σε αυτή την ιλιγγιώδη ταχύτητα πρωτεύοντα ρόλο έχει ο άνθρωπος. «Το χαρακτηριστικό της αποσταθεροποίησης του κλίματος που οφείλεται στον άνθρωπο είναι ότι η αποσταθεροποίηση αυτή εκδηλώνεται σε πολύ μικρή χρονική περίοδο. Στο παρελθόν η αλλαγή αυτή ξεκινούσε και ολοκληρωνόταν σε ένα διάστημα χιλιάδων ετών» εξηγεί στο ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ ο κ. Ζερεφός. «Σήμερα ξέρουμε ότι υπήρξε μια παρατεταμένη περίοδος ξηρασίας στην εποχή του χαλκού, η οποία σύμφωνα με κάποιους μελετητές διήρκησε τριάντα χρόνια και σύμφωνα με άλλους ακόμη και τριακόσια. Είναι η περίοδος που κατέβηκαν οι Δωριείς από τον Βορρά και κατέλαβαν το Άργος και τις Μυκήνες για να αλλάξει η ροή της Ιστορίας» τονίζει.   Η ανατολική Πελοπόννησος, που κατέλαβαν τότε οι Δωριείς, θεωρείται σήμερα υψηλού κινδύνου. Στο κόκκινο βρίσκονται ακόμη όλα τα νησιά του Αιγαίου, καθώς και τμήματα της Στερεάς Ελλάδας και της Εύβοιας, καθώς και της Θεσσαλίας, της Μακεδονίας, της Θράκης, όπως και η Κεντρική και η Νοτιοανατολική Κρήτη. Επιστρέφοντας στο παρελθόν, άλλες γνωστές περίοδοι ξηρασίας ήταν αυτή που ξεκίνησε περίπου το 100 μΧ, ενώ άλλη μία σημειώθηκε κατά τους μεσαιωνικούς χρόνους. «Πιο πρόσφατα, τη δεκαετία του 1970, ξεκίνησε μια νέα περίοδος ξηρασίας στη Βορειοδυτική Αφρική, η οποία διαρκεί δυστυχώς μέχρι σήμερα. Από εκείνη την περιοχή είχαμε τους πρώτους οικολογικούς πρόσφυγες καθώς εξαιτίας της ξηρασίας επεκτάθηκε η έρημος προς τη Σαβάνα» αναφέρει ο κ. Ζερεφός. Let's block ads! (Why?)

4 key takeaways on ESG reporting and investing

The shares of PG&E, California's utility, lost nearly half their value in January after the company filed for bankruptcy protection because of its role in California wildfires. While this may have resulted in huge losses for some investors, those who carefully scrutinized environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factor — and took note of wildfire-related risk — would have seen the warning signs flashing long before then, and avoided exposure to such a high risk investment.Taking ESG factors into account in investment decisions has become synonymous with sustainable investing — an area experiencing rapid growth in the investment industry. Morningstar found that the number of sustainable investment funds in the United States alone grew 50 percent between 2017 and 2018, to 351 funds with $161 billion under management at the end of 2018.  While sustainable investing is growing in popularity, not all investors are integrating ESG considerations into their decision-making — yet. A recent ESG policy statement by the CFA Institute underscores how this needs to change.The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) credential is considered the gold standard in the field of investment analysis and management. CFAs often are portfolio managers and research analysts at investment management firms.The CFA Institute manages this credential, held by over 150,000 investment professionals worldwide. While it stopped short of formally requiring CFA charterholders to factor in ESG, its guidance carries a lot of weight in the investment community. We wanted to highlight four takeaways:1. Including ESG factors into investment analysis is consistent with fiduciary dutyFiduciary duties exist to ensure that anyone who manages other people's money act in the best interests of beneficiaries. When you invest in a fund such as a mutual fund, the fund manager has the fiduciary duty to invest in your best interests.  Until recently, incorporating ESG factors into the investment process was widely assumed to violate fiduciary duty. The argument was built on the assumption that incorporating ESG factors requires a trade-off in investment performance or financial returns. This is often used as an excuse for not considering ESG factors. But it turns out, this isn't true (PDF).CFA Institute helps to put this debate to rest in its policy statement.2. Better ESG factoring leads to better investment decisionsThe CFA Institute's new statement emphasizes the need for charterholders to factor in all material information, including material ESG factors, in their financial analysis — because doing so will improve their investment decisions. Material factors are those that a reasonable person would consider important in making investment decisions. Until recently, incorporating ESG factors into the investment process was widely assumed to violate fiduciary duty. Knowing which ESG factors are material is critical but not straightforward, as materiality is not universal. For example, water management is a material factor for a food and beverage company, but not a financial services company; data security is material for a health care company, but not a mining company. The Sustainable Accounting Standards Board (SASB) has helped to address this challenge by mapping out which sustainability issues are likely to be material to companies within a given industry.In their push for "better factoring" CFA Institute seems to acknowledge the dangers of taking a framework or rating at face value and stopping there. Going back to PG&E — on first blush, it did well on ESG criteria. PG&E ranks among U.S. utilities with the most renewable energy, and it had received higher-than-average ratings for environmental factors by many major ESG rating agencies, including Bloomberg, RobecoSAM and Sustainalytics.These firms missed something. The key material factor that went unnoticed for many was wildfire-related risk. SASB's materiality map, for instance, doesn't highlight physical impacts of climate change — such as wildfires — as material issues for electric utilities. But the risk was embedded in PG&E long before the bankruptcy filing, as PG&E repeatedly delayed a safety overhaul of a transmission line believed to cause the deadliest wildfire in California. Only MSCI cut PG&E's ESG rating in September in anticipation of wildfire-related liabilities.(Although it is true that investors and ratings do not and cannot accurately forecast every crisis, the inconsistent ESG ratings of PG&E highlight weaknesses in current ESG disclosure and rating systems meant to support informed, efficient investment decisions — more on these issues in No. 3 and No. 4.)It's not just active investors who can use ESG factoring. In its statement, CFA Institute also alludes to the importance of ESG factoring for passive products (for example, index funds and exchange-traded funds) that are growing in popularity. CFA institute encourages all investment professionals to consider material ESG factors regardless of investment style, asset class or investment approach.3. Companies' ESG disclosures require further improvements in quality, consistency and comparabilityThe investment decision-making process relies on proper company disclosures. CFA Institute notes that ESG disclosures and data provided by corporations, such as sustainability reporting, are oftentimes inadequate and require further standardization and refinement to improve quality, consistency and comparability. For instance, companies may not provide robust quantitative performance indicators and instead resort to check-boxes or boilerplate language about ESG issues. We had similar insights in our own commentary on sustainability data that we published earlier this year. Knowing which ESG factors are material is critical but not straightforward, as materiality is not universal. In response to the data gap and investors' growing demands for ESG disclosures, frameworks and standards developed by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), SASB and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) have been promoting standardized disclosure.4. ESG investment products need to provide detailed disclosures about their ESG processESG- and sustainable-labeled investment products and services, such as funds and ratings, have integrated ESG factors. However, they are not always transparent about how they do it. Many ESG/sustainable investment products and services rely on ESG scores, ratings or rankings in one form or another. For example, the S&P 500 ESG Index relies on scores provided by RobecoSAM (automatic PDF download), while the MSCI World ESG Universal Index uses the ESG ratings developed by MSCI itself. These ESG scores or ratings have different assumptions about what is material — and as a result, they have very low correlation among each other. In other words, ESG can mean different things, depending who you ask.CFA Institute believes that ESG investment products must include adequate and detailed disclosures with periodic verification. Meaning, asset managers and index creators need to do more to pull back the curtain on their ESG/sustainable investing products and reassure investors about the substance behind their ESG claims.What CFA Institute is doing nextCFA Institute still gives full discretion to its charterholders to determine which ESG issues are material and exactly how to integrate ESG factors into their processes. However, it seems to have a strong focus on providing more educational materials on ESG to its members and candidates, which should help bring more rigor and clarity to ESG integration processes. CFA Institute is also working with other stakeholders such as SASB and the Principles for Responsible Investment to improve the quality, consistency and availability of ESG information.We are encouraged that CFA Institute's seems to be strengthening its focus on ESG. Their support and efforts are essential to help ensure that investment capital is deployed to support a more sustainable future while delivering better returns to investors. We urge charterholders to take heed of CFA Institute's call to action on ESG, and hope that CFA Institute will do more to focus attention on its ESG policy statement.Let's block ads! (Why?)

Human rights, access to remedy and stakeholder engagement

This article is the fourth in a four-part series of essays about stakeholder engagement. The first three essays focused on stakeholder trust, engaging investors and employee activism.The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), released in 2011, provide the first coherent framework for how business should manage their human rights risks and impacts. The framework clearly specifies the responsibilities of government and business and outlines clear steps for business with regards to due diligence, oversight and remedy. The Guiding Principles necessitate detailed engagement by companies with impacted stakeholders — part of a wider shift in the business community from considering risk to understanding societal impact.In particular, stakeholder engagement is needed for: conducting any credible Human Rights Impact Assessment; seeking Free Prior Informed Consent from communities and other affected stakeholders before establishing mining, infrastructure and energy operations; and providing remedy for any harmful human rights impacts.  Indeed, effective remedy requires directly seeking the perspective of stakeholders who have been harmed. This entails, among others, identifying which stakeholders suffered what harm, from which business activities and what the underlying root causes of the harm were. This also requires ensuring affected stakeholders’ perspectives are central in the remedy discussions.All of these developments have been incorporated into BSR’s "Five-Step Approach to Stakeholder Engagement," which aims to show how companies can initiate and sustain constructive relationships with stakeholders over time, throughout the organization, by engaging early and often — and acting based upon what they hear. In 2011, when the original report was published, our approach was driven by considerations of risk to the company. Now, we have revised our framework to incorporate central human rights concepts of vulnerability and impact. There is still a significant gap between companies responding to allegations of harming human rights and actually engaging with affected rights holders to ensure appropriate remedy is provided. Evidence suggests that businesses are still struggling to respond to this new environment. In 2018, the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark assessed 101 of the largest publicly traded companies in the world across agricultural products, apparel and extractives industries. The findings of the assessment depict a "deeply concerning" picture, with four in 10 companies "failing" on human rights.It is clear that there is still a significant gap between companies responding to allegations of harming human rights and actually engaging with the affected rights holders to ensure that appropriate remedy is provided. The benchmark found that less than half of the serious allegations of negative human rights impacts reviewed by the benchmark resulted in meaningful engagement with the alleged affected rights holders, and only 3 percent of the reviewed allegations were resolved through by providing remedy that was satisfactory to the victims.Effective remedy itself is comprised of the following five elements:Restitution, which is intended to restore, to the extent possible, whatever has been lost to the victim preceding the harm.Compensation, which is appropriate in cases where damage/ harm to the victim can be economically assessed.Rehabilitation, which covers medical or psychological care, and social or legal services needed to restore the victim.Satisfaction, which includes measures as a cessation of the violations.Guarantee of non-repetition, which includes actions and measures to prevent further abuses or similar future violations.Although stakeholder engagement is an underlying theme throughout the UNGPs, 60 percent of companies assessed in the benchmark were unable to disclose their stakeholder engagement approach, with 38 percent of the companies unable to demonstrate a commitment to, or evidence of, engaging with potentially or actually affected rights holders.In addition, there have been a growing number of cases globally where banks are considered to have contributed to human rights abuses through their financing decisions. These include projects involving farmers being forced off their land (PDF), the destruction of sacred indigenous sites and violence against community members (PDF).In June 2018, BankTrack and Oxfam Australia called on banks to ensure access to remedy (PDF) for victims of human rights abuses. The paper "shows that banks have barely begun to implement their responsibilities to develop grievance mechanisms under the UNGPs" and indicates that banks are not doing enough to ensure that stakeholders affected by bank-financed activities are obtaining proper remedy.For companies working across geographies, including financing projects that affect local communities, it may be beneficial for companies to establish, through engagement with local stakeholders, a standard response for certain common grievances. Engaging with local stakeholders is key to ensuring that the response is acceptable within the local context and also to satisfy the criteria for effective remedy.  Effective remedy requires directly seeking the perspective of stakeholders who have been harmed. In line with this, it is important for companies to consult with local stakeholders to ensure all affected communities, including vulnerable groups, have access to remedy if a human rights violation occurs. Companies should first map the different vulnerable groups that may exist to understand the specific, distinct barriers that these groups may have in accessing remedy. Vulnerable groups can include people who are marginalized due to life circumstances (poor, uneducated); people who are discriminated against by formal laws; people who are marginalized and in hiding such as LGBTI people or people living with HIV/AIDS; or people who are marginalized due to societal discrimination or bias.Stakeholder engagement is especially important to ensure the most vulnerable groups are aware of the various remedy options available. In order to ensure that all vulnerable groups have access to and understand the remedy pathways available to them, companies should:Provide information on the company’s grievance mechanism in written, illustrated and oral formats. Create open, safe and confidential stakeholder engagement forums for the ongoing collection and follow up of community grievances.Consult local communities to ensure that these accessibility measures suit the needs of vulnerable groups, including those who are illiterate or semi-literate.The UNGPs have defined for business how they can manage human rights impacts and risks. Now, the responsibility is on companies to follow the Guiding Principles in order to do business in a way that respects the human rights of workers, customers and communities where they operate. Stakeholder engagement is key in all these aspects, but especially in cases of grievance, engaging stakeholders is necessary to ensure the people affected are granted access to remedy. Let's block ads! (Why?)

Safely Navigating Digital Transformation

Everyone's heard the trope of the manufacturing worker who resists change and—sometimes with good reason—sees technology as a threat. But Dale Mark has a different story to tell about workers and technology from the front lines of a plant floor in Marengo, Illinois. Mark is vice president of operations for UniCarriers, a forklift manufacturer that has been incrementally introducing automation and digital technology into its operations over the past 15 years. "When we were first installing robots or building automation, there were some people that really embraced it," Mark says. "Other people were skeptical. And today I think there's more of a sense that people crave the technology." He mentions one of many tiny affirmations: Plant leadership recently introduced a pilot project to manage employees' continuous improvement suggestions on an app. There was no hand-wringing, no harping that the old way was better. Instead, he says, "the response was almost like, 'What have you been waiting for!?'" Marks says it makes sense, as smartphones have become increasingly a part of people's daily lives. Likewise, when Irene Petrick and Faith McCreary, a pair of Intel researchers, embarked on a study of manufacturers' challenges around digital transformation, to their surprise they heard little about technological hurdles. Instead, organizational problems prevailed. Through a multimedia diary app where they could share stories of their work and the technologies they encountered, the overwhelming under-age-40 batch of respondents told of IT and OT clashes, departments like purchasing and operations running in their own lanes rather than collaborating, and a hesitancy from leaders to share data that could help workers do their jobs better. "Workers want to be involved early, they think they should be involved early, and believe they have a lot to contribute from a knowledge perspective about the processes," says Petrick. It's the leaders who are more hesitant around technology, Petrick says, as digital transformation has evolved into something much bigger than investing in a piece of automation equipment to rachet up a particularly plodding task. Work is changing, artificial intelligence is opening up possibilities and hierarchies are flattening as information-sharing across roles becomes the difference between understanding your customer or process and being snuffed out by a competitor. "Workers interacting with the manufacturing processes themselves are hungry for change and know they have to do things differently in the future to remain competitive," Petrick says. "Senior leaders seem to be a little more risk-averse, and middle managers are all over the board." That apprehension stems not from the technology itself, but from the broad cultural and organizational changes it brings. Digital-savvy manufacturers and people who study them say that involving your people early in digital strategy, investing in training, rethinking and reassigning jobs as tasks, finding your technology champions, and looking for new opportunities are important parts of the equation. Involve Your People Early People must be integral to a digital strategy from the beginning, big or small, say Ravin Jesuthasan and John W. Boudreau, authors of Reinventing Jobs: A 4-Step Approach for Applying Automation to Work. And the authors don't mean people in the sense of "How many people can we substitute robots for?" "It's very easy to get locked into saying, 'Give me back 20% of the labor cost because the robots are doing 20% of the work," says Boudreau. "It doesn't work that way." Petrick advocates involving engineers, supervisors, tradespeople and line workers with expertise in their areas in "meaningful engagement forums" in the early stages of digital strategizing. Not an annual townhall meeting, but open dialogues "where people come prepared to talk about the environment they work in, the machines they work with, the insights they have and how they've worked with those machines for a long time." Mike Mikula, chief engineer for Ford's Advanced Manufacturing Center, says that when designing applied technology for the factory, his team will bring in both hourly and salaried people "very early in the process" so they can talk about their challenges, share their expertise of the process and contribute ideas for improvement. This not only improves the end result; it empowers team members who will be using the technology, giving them a voice and a stake in its success. For instance, when Mikula was a Ford area manager, he oversaw the automation of a particularly cumbersome-to-human-operators gear machine at the Van Dyke transmission plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan, that was slowing up the line. "The cycle time of the line was very short, with people working very diligently at a very high speed," he recalls. "Many people would have a hard time executing the task in the time that was allowed." His engineering team consulted with skilled tradespeople and team leaders on the floor "to ideate around what we could do to help people execute the meshing of the gears in the time we had allotted." Mikula's team took those ideas and worked with different suppliers to come up with solutions, then did a design review with the same hourly workers "to agree on concepts to pursue to production and keep them engaged through the development of the production process. It required a significant amount of creative thinking, and we really did get valued input from everybody." Rethink Work Jesuthasan and Boudreau advise that leaders stop using the term jobs and instead break down work into tasks—often, tasks that are unsafe or physically difficult for humans to perform—and then determine which tasks are practical for robots to take over and which ones people can shift to and grow into, developing new proficiencies and ways of looking at the operation that increase productivity and open new opportunities for growth. After that, it's just a matter of looking at which traditional skills translate best into which new roles. Maybe it's middle managers spending more time on coaching their team and becoming more savvy in interpreting data instead of devoting their days to allocating work and monitoring and tracking people, which automation can take over at the granular level. Maybe it's automating welding processes, then training welders to run a new CNC machining center. Invest in Training Fifteen years ago, UniCarriers began adding automation and digital technology to its operations, bringing in CNC machining and robotic welding. That was the beginning of a digital strategy that has brought automation to painting processes, lights-out laser cutting and a new ERP system to connect with data collection. "We didn't have it all figured out," Mark said. It was the company's first step on the road to the "fairly well-defined factory 4.0 roadmap" it has today, "where we're constantly looking at technologies and where we think they apply and where we can implement them in the future." Retraining workers for data-driven jobs is a big part of that strategy, and Mark says it's a key reason the company's workforce has not contracted with automation—instead, it's actually grown considerably. Training is a combination of in-house (including apprenticeships) through suppliers and a partnership with a local community college. A retrained welder now rotates between operating robotic welding cells and the CNC machining center. What the new job lacks in hands-on work, it makes up for in higher thinking and less wear and tear and repetition, Mark believes. The former welder "is more well-versed and can have more flexibility, which I think you know many individuals like," says Mark. "Also, doing manual welding full-time is strenuous work," so the job becomes more ergonomic. "The individuals like that and they recognize that." UniCarriers' digital strategy also had provisions for retraining for "a new level of support that was more technically skilled maybe than the typical operator, but didn't require a degreed engineer"—a maintenance technician who could program robots and laser cutting machines. "That was an area that we really had to develop internally," says Mark. Think Big The redeployment of its talent has opened up opportunity for UniCarriers to bring more manufacturing in-house. When the company started its automation journey, it was building forklift frames but outsourced the components for the masts—the vertical lifting mechanism on the front of the forklift. "There were very large pieces of rail that have to be processed prior to welding, and we had previously had that work done on the outside by a supplier," says Mark. The engineering team studied that process, and determined the company could cut costs and reduce inventory by doing the work in-house. They were right, and the company soon began looking for other ways to insource. The Marengo plant now assembles its internal-combustion forklift engines and transmissions in-house as well. (UniCarriers already owned the engine technology and purchased the transmission supplier a few years ago.) Intel's Faith McCreary, left, and Irene Petrick. "We made that investment and then we trained our employees to run those machines, and now we're making tight tolerance machine castings that go into transmissions for forklifts day in and day out," Mark says. The forklift business is very competitive, he adds. Becoming more vertically integrated allows UniCarriers to control the cost, quality and delivery, and gain an edge on the competition. The workforce is organically a part of that strategy and change, says Mark. "When we're looking to develop a new application or a new process, we always involve the shop-floor employees and supervisors early on because they're the experts," he says. "And we draw from their knowledge to understand how we can make the process better and learn where we might have problems today and how we can eliminate those troubles in the future." Let's block ads! (Why?)

Sip, sparkle and drink: Kellogg’s turns cereal waste into beer

Could "snap, crackle and pop" take on a new meaning? Cereal giant Kellogg's has this week unveiled two new products that turn its waste cereals into beer.The company teamed up with Salford-based Brewery Seven Bro7hers to turn surplus Coco Pops into "Sling it Stout" and excess Rice Krispies into "Cast Off Pale Ale."The new beers are made from discarded grains created during the production process at the firm's Manchester factory. The grains were rejected for being overcooked, uncoated or discolored, creating an opportunity to upcycle them into new products."Kellogg's is always looking for innovative ways to use surplus food, the collaboration with Seven Bro7hers is a fun way to repurpose non-packaged, less-than-perfect cereal," said Kate Prince, corporate social responsibility manager for Kellogg's UK and Ireland."This activity is part of our new 'Better Days' commitments which aim to reduce our impact on the planet."The innovations build on the Kellogg's Corn Flakes IPA, which is created using a similar process and was launched in November.The two new beers aim to emulate the success of the IPA, which is said to have sparked strong customer interest since its launch. The Sling it Out Stout brew uses 80kg of Kellogg's Coco Pops to replace malted barley, with the cereal contributing a distinctive chocolatey taste, the firm said.Meanwhile, the "Cast off Pale Ale" uses 80kg of Kellogg's Rice Krispies to replace malted barley, infusing sweet notes into the beer.All three beers will be available to purchase from Seven Bro7hers website and Booths Country Stores, with ambitions to roll out to Ocado and Selfridges in the near future. The beers also will be sold on tap across Manchester.The move comes just days after Kellogg's announced an update to its global sustainability targets, reiterating its commitment to its science-based emissions targets and setting new 2030 targets to support a million farmers and smallholders to deliver climate-smart farming, feed 375 million people through donations, and continue its work to reduce food waste, responsibly source ingredients and switch to sustainable packaging.Let's block ads! (Why?)

1,8 δισεκατομμύρια άνθρωποι θα βιώσουν απόλυτη λειψυδρία έως το 2025

Έως το 2025 υπολογίζεται ότι 1,8 δισεκατομμύρια άνθρωποι θα βιώσουν απόλυτη λειψυδρία και τα 2/3 του κόσμου θα ζουν κάτω από συνθήκες πίεσης ως προς τις ανάγκες τους για νερό. Έως το 2045, περίπου 135 εκατομμύρια άνθρωποι ενδέχεται να εκτοπιστούν από τις εστίες τους.  Όλα αυτά εξαιτίας της απερήμωσης, ενός παγκόσμιου φαινομένου, που επηρεάζει τα μέσα διαβίωσης 900 εκατομμυρίων ανθρώπων στις πέντε ηπείρους και αντιπροσωπεύει το ένα τρίτο των παγκόσμιων απειλών για τη βιοποικιλότητα. Πρόκειται για έναν πολύπλοκο και αργό φυσικό κίνδυνο με σημαντικές κοινωνικοοικονομικές και περιβαλλοντικές επιπτώσεις που προκαλούν περισσότερους θανάτους και εκτοπίζουν περισσότερους ανθρώπους από οποιαδήποτε άλλη φυσική καταστροφή, όπως επισημαίνουν οι επιστήμονες με αφορμή την σημερινή Παγκόσμια Ημέρα για την Καταπολέμηση της Ερημοποίησης και της Ξηρασίας.  Η απερήμωση είναι αποτέλεσμα ενός κύκλου υποβάθμισης της γης, που μετατρέπει τα γόνιμα εδάφη σε στείρα, ως συνέπεια της υπερβολικής εκμετάλλευσης από την εντατική γεωργία, της εκμετάλλευσης των δασών για καύσιμα και ξυλεία και της υπερβόσκησης. Από τα τρόφιμα που τρώμε, μέχρι τα ρούχα που φοράμε και τα σπίτια που ζούμε - όλα προέρχονται από τους πόρους της γης.  Το ζήτημα της ερημοποίησης δεν είναι καινούργιο- διαδραμάτισε σημαντικό ρόλο στην ανθρώπινη ιστορία, συμβάλλοντας στην κατάρρευση αρκετών μεγάλων αυτοκρατοριών και την εκτόπιση των τοπικών πληθυσμών. Είναι ένα παγκόσμιο και διαχρονικό ζήτημα, με σοβαρές συνέπειες για τη βιοποικιλότητα, την οικολογική ασφάλεια, την εξάλειψη της φτώχειας, την κοινωνικοοικονομική σταθερότητα και τη βιώσιμη ανάπτυξη.  Η ερημοποίηση σε αριθμούς - Περίπου 2,6 δισεκατομμύρια άνθρωποι εξαρτώνται άμεσα από τη γεωργία, αλλά 52% της γης που χρησιμοποιείται για τη γεωργία επηρεάζεται μετρίως ή σοβαρά από την υποβάθμιση του εδάφους. - Λόγω της ξηρασίας και της ερημοποίησης, 120 εκατ. στρέμματα χάνονται κάθε χρόνο (230 στρέμματα ανά λεπτό). Μέσα σε έναν χρόνο, θα μπορούσαν να έχουν αναπτυχθεί 20 εκατομμύρια τόνοι σιτηρών. - Το 74% των φτωχών επηρεάζονται άμεσα από την υποβάθμιση της γης παγκοσμίως. naftemporiki.gr με πληροφορίες από ΑΜΠΕ           Let's block ads! (Why?)

Ο κίνδυνος ερημοποίησης της Μεσογείου και οι περιοχές που είναι στο «κόκκινο»

«Η ερημοποίηση συνιστά τεράστια απειλή ειδικά για τη λεκάνη της Μεσογείου» επισημαίνει μιλώντας στο Αθηναϊκό-Μακεδονικό Πρακτορείο Ειδήσεων ο ακαδημαϊκός Χρήστος Ζερεφός. «Η γνώση αυτή προέρχεται τόσο από τα μοντέλα προβλέψεων για τα επόμενα 70 με 80 χρόνια όσο και από το παρελθόν» επισημαίνει ο ίδιος. Όπως υπενθυμίζει, ο πρώτος που περιέγραψε αυτό το φαινόμενο ήταν ο Αριστοτέλης στα «Μετεωρολογικά» του. «Εκεί αναρωτιέται πώς έγινε έρημος η Σαχάρα. Και αναφέρεται σε μια μεγάλη κλιματική αλλαγή για τους μηχανισμούς της οποίας θέτει ερωτήματα» λέει. Εκατό χώρες στον κόσμο, μεταξύ των οποίων και η Ελλάδα, το ένα τρίτο των εδαφών της οποίας υπόκειται σε υψηλό δυνητικό κίνδυνο είναι οι αριθμοί της ερημοποίησης, σύμφωνα με στοιχεία του ΟΗΕ, ο οποίος καθιέρωσε την 17η Ιουνίου ως παγκόσμια ημέρα ευαισθητοποίησης για την αντιμετώπιση του φαινομένου. Οι αριθμοί λένε ακόμη πως έως το 2025 περισσότεροι από 1,8 δισεκατομμύρια άνθρωποι θα έρθουν αντιμέτωποι με το πρόβλημα της παντελούς έλλειψης νερού, ενώ τα δυο τρίτα του πλανήτη θα ζουν με την αγωνία της εξάντλησης των αποθεμάτων. Λένε ακόμη πως η ερημοποίηση θα προκαλέσει περισσότερους θανάτους από κάθε άλλη φυσική καταστροφή και πως εξαιτίας του φαινομένου περισσότεροι από 135 εκατομμύρια άνθρωποι θα υποχρεωθούν να εγκαταλείψουν τις εστίες τους. Αν υπάρχει μια σημαντική διαφορά με το παρελθόν αυτή είναι η ταχύτητα με την οποία εκδηλώνεται το φαινόμενο. Και σε αυτή την ιλιγγιώδη ταχύτητα πρωτεύοντα ρόλο έχει ο άνθρωπος. «Το χαρακτηριστικό της αποσταθεροποίησης του κλίματος που οφείλεται στον άνθρωπο είναι ότι η αποσταθεροποίηση αυτή εκδηλώνεται σε πολύ μικρή χρονική περίοδο. Στο παρελθόν η αλλαγή αυτή ξεκινούσε και ολοκληρωνόταν σε ένα διάστημα χιλιάδων ετών» εξηγεί στο ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ ο κ. Ζερεφός. «Σήμερα ξέρουμε ότι υπήρξε μια παρατεταμένη περίοδος ξηρασίας στην εποχή του χαλκού, η οποία σύμφωνα με κάποιους μελετητές διήρκησε τριάντα χρόνια και σύμφωνα με άλλους ακόμη και τριακόσια. Είναι η περίοδος που κατέβηκαν οι Δωριείς από τον Βορρά και κατέλαβαν το Άργος και τις Μυκήνες για να αλλάξει η ροή της Ιστορίας» λέει ο διακεκριμένος ακαδημαϊκός. Η ανατολική Πελοπόννησος, που κατέλαβαν τότε οι Δωριείς, θεωρείται σήμερα υψηλού κινδύνου. Στο κόκκινο βρίσκονται ακόμη όλα τα νησιά του Αιγαίου, καθώς και τμήματα της Στερεάς Ελλάδας και της Εύβοιας, καθώς και της Θεσσαλίας, της Μακεδονίας, της Θράκης, όπως και η Κεντρική και η Νοτιοανατολική Κρήτη. Επιστρέφοντας στο παρελθόν, άλλες γνωστές περίοδοι ξηρασίας ήταν αυτή που ξεκίνησε περίπου το 100 μΧ, ενώ άλλη μία σημειώθηκε κατά τους μεσαιωνικούς χρόνους. «Πιο πρόσφατα, τη δεκαετία του 1970, ξεκίνησε μια νέα περίοδος ξηρασίας στη Βορειοδυτική Αφρική, η οποία διαρκεί δυστυχώς μέχρι σήμερα. Από εκείνη την περιοχή είχαμε τους πρώτους οικολογικούς πρόσφυγες καθώς εξαιτίας της ξηρασίας επεκτάθηκε η έρημος προς τη Σαβάνα» αναφέρει στο ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ ο Χρήστος Ζερεφός. «Ξέρουμε ότι ο υδροφόρος ορίζοντας στη Βόρεια Αφρική κατεβαίνει και ότι σε οάσεις όπως είναι η Φαράν, στη χερσόνησο του Σινά, που άλλοτε ανέβλυζε το νερό επίγεια -κι εγώ θυμάμαι ως παιδί- τώρα είναι σε βάθος πάνω από 20 και 30 μέτρα. Το γεγονός ότι αυτή η αλλαγή επισυμβαίνει στη διάρκεια της ζωής ενός ανθρώπου σημαίνει πολλά. Το κλίμα πάντα άλλαζε. Αλλά η ανθρώπινη παρέμβαση επέτεινε αυτές τις αλλαγές και γι' αυτό βλέπουμε αυτά τα φαινόμενα» προσθέτει. Σύμφωνα με τον ίδιο, ο άνθρωπος ευθύνεται κατά 30% με 35% για την αλλαγή του κλίματος. «Εάν δεν κάνουμε κάτι σε λίγο θα ευθύνεται κατά 70% και 80%» επισημαίνει μιλώντας στο ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ ο κ. Ζερεφός. Let's block ads! (Why?)

Η εκτελεστική διευθύντρια του EU-OSHA μιλά για τον επαγγελματικό καρκίνο στο πλαίσιο συνέντευξης στο Euronews

Στο πιο πρόσφατο επεισόδιο της εκπομπής Real Economy, το Euronews διερευνά τους κινδύνους στα περιβάλλοντα εργασίας της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, με έμφαση στον επαγγελματικό καρκίνο. Στο επεισόδιο παρουσιάζεται η συνέντευξη με την εκτελεστική διευθύντρια του EU-OSHA, δρα Christa Sedlatschek, καθώς και ένα παράδειγμα ορθής πρακτικής από τη βιομηχανία επεξεργασίας ξύλου.Ο επαγγελματικός καρκίνος αποτελεί μία από τις μεγαλύτερες απειλές για την υγεία στους χώρους εργασίας σε ολόκληρη την Ευρώπη και προκαλεί το υψηλότερο ποσοστό ασθενειών και θανάτων που σχετίζονται με την εργασία. Μέσω της τρέχουσας εκστρατείας του «Ασφαλείς και Υγιείς Χώροι Εργασίας 2018-2019», ο EU-OSHA συμβάλλει σημαντικά στην αντιμετώπιση του καρκίνου που σχετίζεται με την εργασία, σύμφωνα με τις αρχές του ευρωπαϊκού πυλώνα κοινωνικών δικαιωμάτων. Παρακολουθήστε τη συνέντευξη στο βίντεο (διαθέσιμη σε 12 γλώσσες) Μάθετε περισσότερα για την ευρωπαϊκή πρωτοβουλία που παρέχει πληροφορίες σχετικά με τους καρκινογόνους παράγοντες - Χάρτης πορείας για τους καρκινογόνους παράγοντες Χρησιμοποιήστε τα εργαλεία OiRA, τα οποία αποτελούν λύσεις ανά τομέα για τις πολύ μικρές και μικρές επιχειρήσεις για τη διενέργεια εκτίμησης κινδύνων Let's block ads! (Why?)

Ένα «Κύμα» στην έρημο της Αριζόνα

Ένα μοναδικό τοπίο απαράμιλλης ομορφιάς συναντά κανείς στην Αριζόνα. Το «Κύμα» είναι ένα από τα πλέον διάσημα σημεία στον πλανήτη, καθώς ο εκπληκτικός σχηματισμός βράχων στο οροπέδιο του Κολοράντο εντυπωσιάζει. Πρόκειται για έναν αμμολιθικό σχηματισμό στα σύνορα των πολιτειών της Αριζόνα και Γιούτα των ΗΠΑ. Το πέτρωμα που χρονολογείται περίπου στα 190 εκατομμύρια έτη, δημιουργεί απίστευτους κυματισμούς και είναι αποτέλεσμα της διάβρωσης από τον αέρα και τη βροχή. Σχηματίστηκε και συνεχίζει να διαμορφώνεται εδώ και εκατομμύρια χρόνια από συσσωρευμένη άμμο που σιγά σιγά μετατρέπεται σε συμπαγή βράχο. Οι δύο κύριες κοιλότητες από τις οποίες αποτελείται το πέτρωμα έχουν 19 μέτρα πλάτος με 36 μέτρα μήκος και 2 μέτρα πλάτος με 16 μέτρα μήκος. Η υφή των βράχων δεν είναι τόσο σκληρή και γι’ αυτό το λόγο οι επισκέπτες και οι πεζοπόροι καλούνται να περπατούν με προσοχή στις εύθραυστες κορυφογραμμές. ΚΑΝΤΕ LIKE ΣΤΟ NEWSBEAST.GR Let's block ads! (Why?)