Proposed global roadmap shows how universal access to sustainable energy can be achieved by 2030, transforming the lives of millions | United Nations Development Programme

Annual investments of around $35 billion could bring electricity access for 759 million people who currently lack it, and $25 billion a year can help 2.6 billion people gain access to clean cooking between now and 2030. Everyone in the world could have access to clean, affordable energy within the next nine years if countries modestly increase investments, according to new reports released today, in advance of a major ministerial meeting on 21-25 June where countries and businesses will begin to announce energy plans for the decade. Annual investments of around $35 billion could bring electricity access for 759 million people who currently lack it, and $25 billion a year can help 2.6 billion people gain access to clean cooking between now and 2030.

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Green Cleaning, Sustainability Survey Highlights Industry Trends

As the benefits of green and sustainable initiatives become more apparent each year, reasons to avoid such practices in facility cleaning programs are few and far between. Cost-efficient equipment, reduced worker absenteeism and improved public opinion are just a few of the reasons why 77 percent of respondents in the Facility Cleaning Decisions 2019 Green and Sustainability Survey do whatever they can to incorporate green certified products into their cleaning program — a 5 percent increase over last year’s results. Responses from nearly 400 facility cleaning executives provided several key takeaways on program implementation, product adoption, adequate training and getting upper management on-board with initiatives. While plenty of room for improvement remains, the foundation for green and sustainable efforts appears stronger than ever.

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Statewide ban on single-use plastic bags goes into effect July 1

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection is reminding retail stores, restaurants, and shoppers that the statewide ban on single-use plastic carry-out bags will go into effect July 1. A ban on single-use plastic carry-out bags, which was passed by the Maine Legislature in 2019, was scheduled to go into effect on April 22, 2020. However, the ban’s enforcement was delayed twice, originally due to concerns regarding potential transmission of the COVID-19 virus, and again in December of 2020 due to concerns regarding a disruption in packing supplies and logistical effects caused by COVID-19 pandemic. The DEP encouraged businesses that provide single-use plastic carry-out bags to take advantage of the additional time provided by enforcement delays to procure alternatives and deplete current stocks of these products.

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Food insecurity reveals baked-in institutional racism | Sustain

To find policy decisions and mechanisms that create structural and institutional racism in the UK, we need look no further than the disproportionate impact of household food insecurity on people from ethnic minority communities. A blog by our Right to Food project coordinator Imogen Richmond Bishop and independent human rights researcher Sara Bailey. In March 2021, as the Sewell report declared institutional racism to be a fiction, the UK Government released statistics revealing that on the eve of the COVID-19 pandemic, households where the head was Black were more than twice as likely to be food insecure than White households. And while hypotheses regarding the disproportionate COVID-19 deaths among ethnic minority groups  have coalesced around their increased exposure to infection, food insecurity – and its bedfellow, malnutrition – cannot yet be erased from the picture. As health and medical experts have underscored, research ‘points to a role for nutritional status in resilience to infection and as a mediator of its effects’ with adequate ‘intakes of energy, macronutrients, and micronutrients…critical for immune functioning’. Food insecurity is never inevitable.

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As Recycling Declines, Brand Commitments to Increase Recycled Content Are Tough to Meet

The recycling of bottles, non-bottle rigid plastic and film declined by 27 million pounds in 2019 or 0.5% — and though North American recyclers continue to recycle the majority of the post-consumer plastic recovered, declines in mature recycling streams make brand company commitments to increase recycled content more challenging, according to a new report. In order for brands to be able to procure quality feedstock at lower environmental and economic costs, collection of quality material is essential for recyclers, says Steve Alexander, president and CEO of the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR). The report, based on the results of a 2019 survey sponsored by the APR, the Foundation for Plastic Recycling, and the American Chemistry Council (ACC), found that recycling of plastics in North America has risen approximately 8% since 2017, though recycling of bottles, non-bottle rigid plastic and film declined.

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