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Carbon offsetting in the hotel industry

With so much exposure in the media surrounding meeting targets for climate change, the need for businesses to focus on the measures they are taking to meet their targets is greater than ever.

One way that a number of businesses are approaching this is by introducing carbon offsetting procedures. The process of carbon offsetting involves a targeted reduction in carbon dioxide to mitigate for emissions made in other areas.

This hotel and hospitality industry is one of the major business areas who are committed to offsetting the effects of greenhouse emissions, usually via their corporate social responsibility programmes.

The QHotels group is a great example of a major chain that is committed to making a difference through any conferences, meetings and events that are held throughout their 21 UK wide hotels.

Conferences held in hotels can have a significant impact on the environment just through practices which we might usually take for granted, such as using the air conditioning or the use of electronic equipment such as projectors and computers.

QHotels are trying to address this by offering any businesses that hold events at their locations the opportunity to make a small contribution per delegate which will then be put towards carbon offsetting. The contributions per delegate for business events are currently:

  • 14p per Day Delegate
  • 40p per 24 hour Delegate

QHotels have collaborated with carbon management company Carbon Clear to ensure that the money which comes from the carbon offsetting scheme is being utilised within the projects which impact the environment positively.

The project that QHotels contributes to is the Kibale National Park Reforestation project in Uganda. This project is aiming to grow over 6,000 hectares of trees to compensate for the heavy deforestation and degradation of the land in the area.

The project in Kibale National Park will aim to hold greenhouse gases within naturally existing forest carbon sinks and increase tree cover, which will also mean less greenhouse gases escape into the atmosphere.

QHotels have made the process of participating in their carbon offsetting scheme really simple. If you make an enquiry about holding business events with QHotels, you tick the box on the online form stating that you’d link to take part. Q will then issue you with a proposal for your event which will highlight the total contribution you will make.

The scheme highlights the positive impact that businesses can make toward the future of the environment and allows your company to minimise the impact that your practices may be having at the moment.

Energy consumption over a lifetime

At New Energy Watcher we like to keep you informed of all the energy news, so we thought we’d share this fun infographic with you about human energy consumption over a lifetime.

Even though the medium is really fun, some of the key messages it contains are still quite shocking. 215 elephants?! Who knew? That’s inspiration enough to make sure we all keep our energy consumption in check.

215 Elephants??

 

Fracking Movie Set to Highlight Issues

For those of you in the dark the UK Government have started to approve a method of shale gas extraction commonly known as “fracking”. Ministers believe that this method of energy will create a newer energy industry and will have the ability to drive down gas prices for energy users in the UK. The ecological effects that fracking causes can be huge and there is pressure from groups around the UK pleading with government to halt the plans that are in progress.

Coincidentally there is now a movie been produced starring actor Matt Damon which highlights the issues associated with fracking and the impact it has on communities. I have attached the trailer to give you an overview of the film and tells you more about what it is about.

Don’t forget to leave a comment and tell us what you think!

Energy Efficient Homes

Here at New Energy Watcher we love information when its broken down and presented in such a way that is really easy to digest. This infographic shows how to run an eco-friendly home and where energy savings can be made throughout the home.

Energy Saving Tips For The Home

Browse more infographics.

 

Renewable Scottish Electric Target for 2020

Whilst the rest of the UK are setting up their future energy policies in Scotland there are ambitions to have the country meeting a renewables target of 100 per cent.  MSP’s have since warned that if immediate action isn’t adhered to such as the infrastructure, financing and the planning regime then the ambitious project could fail.

The committee which deals with the economics, energy and tourism within Holyrood said that the country has a long road ahead in order to achieve the target of having a wholly renewable Scottish electric system.  They also stated that they felt it was achievable but obstacles were to be overcome.  One challenge being the costs involved when exporting stored energy from renewable energy sources to the national grid.

The reason for the significant costs is due the largest number of energy users being in the South of England and the charging process penalises those areas with the greatest renewables potential.   The chairman of the committee Murdo Fraser, a Tory MSP, stated that any recommendations that are made from the committee are paramount in how the renewables target progresses and the overall success of the plan.

The Scottish recommendations were prepared before the UK government released the details of their energy bill last week with their own 2020 targets.  Their bills key proposal being to add £7.6 billion onto consumers bills for an accelerated renewables investment.  UK ministers believe that this will start a domino effect with industries such as banking, utilities and engineering companies adding a further £110 billion to the pot.

Scotland leader Alex Salmond, whose SNP party are still pushing for Scottish independence, will be pleased that the UK government cannot agree on a firm target for reducing Co2 emissions.  All the while the Scottish parliament have committed to reducing emissions by 42 per cent by 2020.

Renewables investors are confident due to Mr Salmond’s enthusiasm and championing of renewable energy sources, creating a more positive business environment this side of the border.  This is in stark contrast to the divisions and delays at UK level over the increasing amount of subsidies.

UK vs Europe – The Energy Showdown

Given all the discussion in the media with regards to energy prices in the UK.  SO where do our European neighbours come in terms of expense?  Well, someone has kindly put together an infographic detailing just that; it shows where the UK ranks in terms of cost for energy usage against the rest of Europe.
The UK actually ranks lower than the average in Europe and in terms of extracting GDP from energy consumption the UK is extremely effective at doing this.
Energy Showdown: UK vs Europe

Learn about infographic design.

UK coalition on green energy collision course

At their annual conference in Brighton this week the UK Lib Dems voted through a motion in agreement to ‘decarbonise’ the UK energy sector by 2030 – putting them on a collision course with their coalition counterparts in the Conservative party (particularly Chancellor George Osbourne) who is keen to exploit UK gas reserves and is thought to be reluctant to agree to the 2030 green measures.

The Lib Dems agreed to pursue an emissions target of 50-100 grams of carbon dioxide per kilowatt hour (KWh) for any fossil fuel plant built after 2030, this was not included in the draft Energy Bill from earlier this year – however, there is now pressure for it to be incorporated into the bill. The Lib Dem Energy Secretary Ed Davey also outlined a “community energy” strategy, a part of which includes a proposal for a discount in council tax for highly energy efficient households.

As to which of these policies is eventually moulded into solid legally-binding legislation – who knows. There are some interesting debates ahead in the halls of Westminster.

More on this story:

BBC

The Carbon Brief

The Guardian

 

UK Green targets in the balance….

Commercial properties likely to benefit from new Green Bank

Public buildings and green offices are expected to be the main beneficiaries as Government announces the allocation of £100m fund to the UK’s first Green Investment Bank. Thoughts are still positive that the bank will be opened for business by the end of the year this is even more likely now that UK Green Investments (UKGI) has finally assigned the investment budget.

However this budget is specifically for non domestic projects and the two specified fund managers Equitix and Sustainable Development Capital (SDC) have been charged with finding opportunities for investment of the cash out with the domestic energy efficiency sector.

The UK’s Business Secretary Vince Cable has declared the announcement as a show of “good progress” from the Government. He continued” Projects the fund managers invest in will help to save energy and meet the government’s carbon reduction targets”

Regardless of all the positives at the moment the Green Investment Bank cannot officially be launched without the state aid approval from the EU. However the majority of people are confident this will have happened by the end of the year.

Confidence of the state aid being approved is high as the GIB has been somewhat modelled on the existing infrastructure already in place for banks throughout other European nations like Germany.

In an effort to increase the pace of investment in the Green Economy the Department for Business, Innovations and Skills have already allocated £80m of the £100m fund towards tackling waste projects and are now appointing more fund managers to tackle the non domestic energy efficiency sector.

With all these plans in place just waiting for an EU go ahead it must surely be casting some uncertainty over the energy efficiency sector and investment.

Renewable energy technologies

This is a great video from National Geographic about the renewable energy technology and where it is going. One of the most refreshing things about this video is that is more objective than most and is trying to highlight the benefits of pursuing renewable energy as a sustainable means of generating power.

It’s well worth a watch (it is under 3 minutes long) as not only is it informative but extremely relevant given the current disagreements in the UK at the moment regarding using renewable energy as a major power source.

 

Renewable energy island…

Perhaps one day, when we hear the phrase ‘renewable energy island’ it will refer to the UK mainland. For the time being, though, it refers instead to the Danish island of Samsø, which has a small population of 4300 people but a big reputation for renewables.

Once relying entirely on fossil fuels shipped across from the mainland, Samsø’s energy profile would have been fairly typical for a place of its population and geographical location -  but over time the islanders have adapted according to the renewables model and can now boast an impressive percentage of its energy coming from wind farms, solar panels and so on, cutting the island’s carbon footprint massively. In fact, according to the island’s official site (follow the above link) not only are the island’s electricity needs provided for by the wind turbines – there’s enough left over for the islanders to export clean energy to other parts of the country.

So, how did one small island near the Jutland peninsula become so self-reliant in energy terms – could it be coincidence, or simply sheer hard work?

Well, it all started back in the 90s when the island won a government competition to take part in becoming a model renewable energy community. An engineer from Aarhus had studied the island’s wind speed and sunshine hours and put forward the island for the programme. And the rest is history – there’s a good detailed post on Samsø’s history here.

More info is available at this link - http://samsoe.wordpress.com/

And this video is also well worth checking out