SDRN Mailing, 15 June 2016

By Editor on 15th June 2016
Research and resources


1. The transition towards a circular economy: the case of the Metropole Region Amsterdam
29 June 2016, 6.00 pm – 8.30 pm, University of Surrey, Guildford
Resource efficiency is one of the major challenges facing our society in the 21st century. In order to increase the resource efficiency of our industrial system, we need to move from a linear to a circular economy. A circular economy is an economic and industrial system based on the reuse of products and raw materials and the restorative capacity of natural resources.  In the 2016 Roland Clift lecture, Professor Jacqueline Cramer of Utrecht University addresses the challenges and directions of making the transition towards a circular economy, using the Amsterdam region as a specific case study.  The main message will be that the circular economy provides significant opportunities to generate economic, environmental and social benefits.  However, in order to grasp these opportunities a transition should be made at system level, in which all relevant actors are involved and take their responsibility.  More...

2. Outdoor natural environments: An active space for the older adult?
1 July 2016, 9.30 am – 4.00 pm, London
This seminar will examine the role of outdoor environments in supporting physical activity and associated health and wellbeing amongst older people. Outdoor environments have significant potential to promote, support and motivate physical activity, whether recreational or functional.  The seminar will include sessions on: Older adults and physical activity outdoors: national policy and context; Movement, meaning and mingling in natural environments; Older people and water-based outdoor activities: Ageing well; Mobility, Mood & Place: everyday aspects of urban environments and older adults’ outdoor mobility; and, Conservation volunteering and the Green Gym for older adults.  More... 

3. Learning from the UK’s Biosphere Reserves
14 July 2016, 1.00 pm – 2.00 pm (webinar)
UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme was initiated in 1972 and some would say it was the grandfather of landscape scale approaches and was ahead of its time. The UK now has five fully functioning Biosphere Reserves. Andy Bell, who established the UK's first modern style Biosphere Reserve, will present examples from the Man and the Biosphere Programme in the UK and how the reserves are connecting people and nature at the landscape scale in a wholly integrated way.  More…

4. People, Politics and the Planet: Any Questions?
21 July 2016, 6.30 pm – 9.30 pm, London
The EU referendum presents a crossroads in the course of environmental policy in the UK. Vote leave, and we enter a period of profound uncertainty outside the reach of well-established European policies. Vote remain, and the challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss lose none of their urgency.  Even beyond the EU question, one year on from the general election environmental policy in the UK is being shaped by many forces of change. The Government has promised a new 25-year plan for the environment in England, a potentially historic climate agreement was achieved in Paris, and the country has again been battered by extreme weather. This panel debate will be chaired by leading broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby and speakers will include Kerry McCarthy MP, Labour, Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Baroness Kate Parminter, Liberal Democrats, Spokesperson for Environment and Rural Affairs, and Natalie Bennett, Leader of the Green Party.  More... 

5. Green Perspectives on Migration, From Global to Local  
31 July 2016, 11.00 am – 5.00 pm, Oxford
Migration has been portrayed as a contemporary European Crisis and a Crisis of the EU but migration has been a key feature of Europe for thousands of years. Climate scientists & economists  warned that this  would accelerate as global warming starts to erode crops &  habitats,  with sea level rise diminishing available land &  desertification drives change, e.g. Syria. It is therefore no surprise that these stresses have led to geo political instability.  Greens foster integration and work hard to create new and vibrate new communities and societies whilst these changes are occurring. This conference will examine important pathways to integration and innovations in the Refugee Journey.  The event, organised by the Green European Foundation, with support from the Green Economics Institute, is free but places are limited and registration is essential.  For further information or to register, contact

6. Energy in Northern Ireland – the energy market, renewables and security of supply
6 December 2016, 9.00 am – 1.00 pm, Belfast
This seminar will provide an opportunity to discuss key challenges for the non-renewable and renewable energy sectors in Northern Ireland, following the recent Assembly election, and formation of the new Executive.  It is timed to follow the conclusion of the mid-term review of the 2010 Strategic Energy Framework, expected to be published later this year, and comes at a time when significant change is occurring within Northern Ireland’s energy market.  Delegates will look at how Northern Ireland can secure long-term security of supply, whilst also ensuring that energy prices are at a level satisfactory to consumers, investors and potential investors. Current initiatives to integrate with neighbouring energy markets and supplies will be examined – including the introduction of the Integrated Single Electricity Market (I-SEM), which must be in place by the end of 2017 and developments in the building of the North-South Interconnector will also be discussed.  The keynote speaker will be Jenny Pyper, Chief Executive, Utility Regulator.  More...

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Research and Resources
1. Quantification of food surplus, waste and related materials in the grocery supply chain
A new report by WRAP has revealed that over half of the food waste generated by the UK manufacturing and retail sectors is avoidable. The study found that there was often a poor understanding across the sector about the sorts of surplus that were within the scope for redistribution and how businesses with food surpluses can partner with redistribution organisations.  The report highlights that a combination of preventing food waste being generated, redistribution  of food surplus and diverting surplus to animal feed could lead to a 42% reduction in avoidable food waste, saving businesses millions of pounds a year.  Providing business relevant insights, the report quantifies for the first time avoidable food waste by manufacturing sub-sector and examines the reasons why food surplus and waste arise, and how this can be addressed. It will be instrumental in the delivery of Courtauld 2025 which aims to make UK food and drink production and consumption more sustainable.  More…

2. Community and Local Energy: Challenges and opportunities

A paper by Laurie Laybourn-Langton for IPPR, looks at two developments in the UK energy system – firstly the rise of local, community and cooperatively owned energy projects that produce renewable electricity, in some cases also supporting attempts to tack fuel poverty and provide other social and economic functions.  The second is the recent rise of municipal and community-owned retail supply companies.  The government’s recent reductions in subsidies for solar and wind power, and changes to other financial support mechanisms have left the future of community energy highly uncertain.  The paper sets out the issues raised by these changes, based on discussions at a conference held on the subject by IPPR in April 2016. More…

3. The end of the upgrade? How O2 is adapting to a more circular mobile market
Green Alliance’s new report examines the state of the mobile market, which is stagnating, due in part to the slowing pace of innovation in mobile phones over the past few years, with new devices taking much longer to become functionally obsolete.  This is resulting in the emergence of a new mobile market, based on capturing the value that exists in older devices.  This circular market is poised to grow, with resale estimated to grow four to five times faster than the growth in the overall smartphone market in 2016.  This study looks at O2’s experience. It is based on comprehensive analysis of the lifetimes of the mobile phones used by eight million of their customers, and provides new evidence that customers want to use phones for longer, which would be beneficial for the environment.  The report provides recommendations for what companies can do to scale up schemes similar to O2’s, and what governments can do to help these circular models thrive.  More…
4. Pro-poor, inclusive green growth: experience and a new agenda

A new report, published by the Global Green Growth Institute, in association with the International Institute for Environment and Development and the Green Economy Coalition, suggests that most green growth efforts to date have focused on the economy and the environment but that for it to fulfil its promise, it needs to focus on people – to tackle the poverty, inequality and exclusion that constrain both growth and environmental sustainability, to realize women’s and men’s aspirations and to gain broad societal support.  It stresses that green growth strategies will need to strengthen institutional and governance structures and respond to people’s needs.  The report draws on case studies to provide practical steps for policymakers, business and civil society to work together to deliver inclusive green growth. More…

5. Sustainability Citizenship in Cities
This new book, published by Earthscan/Routledge, seeks to explain how sustainability citizenship can manifest in urban built environments as both responsibilities and rights. Contributors elaborate on the concept of urban sustainability citizenship as a participatory work-in-progress with the aim of setting its practice firmly on the agenda. This collection aims to prompt practitioners and researchers to rethink contemporary mobilisations of urban citizens challenged by various environmental crises, such as climate change, in various socio-economic settings.  Chapters are divided into four parts – Framing sustainability citizenship; Housing and social innovation; Place, access and equity; and, Citizen participation.  More...

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