Sustainable farming futures: Fields of hope

A version of this article first appeared in a Special Report on ‘Sustainable Agriculture & Food Security’, published in The Times, 25 March, 2013.

2011-10-15 15.56.24“The key statistic is that we are producing 260% more food with 2% less inputs versus 20 years ago”, declares Rich Kottmeyer, Global Agriculture and Food Production Leader at Accenture. “No other industry, I can think of, can almost triple production and decrease inputs at the same time!”

The first question such a bullish statement prompts is obvious: How is this level of growth being achieved and is it sustainable? Not surprisingly, there is no simple answer: Farming comes in many forms, as do best-practice guidelines and advocates. Intensive, or extensive, agricultural system options range from crop improvement, use of biotechnology (including GM), GPS, GIS, planting, picking and spacing technology, water management and irrigation; through agroecology, agroforestry, soil conservation, enhanced grazing, plus a System of Root Intensification (SRI), integrated pest management, compost and organics; on to fertilisers and pesticides, aquaponics and hydroponics.

Bundled as a package, precision agriculture describes a suite of IT-based tools which allows farmers to monitor soil and crop conditions electronically and analyse treatment options, targeting delivery and minimising waste.

In effect, integration of ICT has seen the ‘agribiz’ image evolving to the extent that the idea of a farmer in a field with an Apple, probably means something entirely different nowadays. ICT in 21st-century farming is all about decision-making impacts, as described by Rich Kottmeyer:

“Think of a seed as having a maximum potential yield. As a farmer, decisions you make, if incorrect, reduce that potential. Data allows you to create better decisions. Its importance can be seen as a 5-10 bu/acre advantage (minimally) on a large commercial corn operation, or a pork producer getting $6-$11/head more by ‘hitting the grid’.”

The case for data with smallholders is arguably even more dramatic. Recent World Bank studies found simple agronomy support increased yields by up to 50% in some cases, with innovations such as livestock traceability systems rolled out across African countries, utilising RFID on plastic ear tags for automated data input, coupled with provision of tablet and mobile hardware.

It is almost impossible to discuss changing trends in farming and relative merits of best practice approaches without talking about scale: To put it crudely, size matters. Andrew Wraith, Head of Agribusiness, Savills UK, assesses implications for existing, developed business models:

“It is probably safe to say that the ability to invest in technology advances is a function of size of business. The cost of equipment is significant and to spread it over a larger area is generally important, to justify investment.

“Typically, the scope for a business to take on additional land through contracting or alternative joint venture can create the opportunity to reinvest, to the benefit of both parties in an agreement. There continues to be a reduction in the number of farms and farmers, as smaller units find it uneconomic to own or reinvest in equipment.”

Whilst this redrawing of the agricultural map is largely driven by economics at large, rather than particulars of technology demands, there is a knock-on effect in evidence.

Promoting ‘appropriate-scale’ farming on rather different best-practice principles is the agroecology approach, centred on simple techniques that increase yield through the interrelationship between soil, nutrients, crops, pollinators, trees and livestock.

In the UK, agroecology remained a relatively unknown and unused approach until only a few years ago, but is now rapidly rising up the mainstream farming agenda. It is currently more widespread in less industrialised regions of the world, where comparative costs of chemicals and labour create a strong business case, as Dr Julia Wright, Deputy Director at the Centre for Agroecology and Food Security, Coventry University, England, explains:

“Agroecological approaches have shown to triple yields over traditional farming methods. As well as yield increases, production costs are reduced because of the high costs of chemicals compared to lower costs of human labour (which is the converse in industrialised countries).

“One of the key barriers to wider uptake of best practice in agroecology is the disconnect from nature of industrial societies, and the reductionist mindset: We focus only on yield maximisation without realising this comes at a very high cost – this is like working a donkey to death.”

Harnessing the power of biology, rather than chemistry, is also a driver for dairy farmer and Nuffield Scholar Rob Richmond, from Gloucestershire, England, who explains why his research into soil carbon supports creation of diverse pastures for enhanced grazing:

“Crops, microbes, animals and humans need about 60 nutrients in balance. As a consequence of the last half century of NPK thinking, soil organic matter has been lost, resulting in a lack of many minor minerals, which gives rise to hidden hungers, leading to disease. Humus, the stable form of soil carbon, acts as the soil’s flywheel, absorbing water and nutrients when present in excess, and giving them up to the plant as required.

“The use of compost to restore microbes to the soil, biodiverse pastures to allow these populations to get established and rebuild soil carbon, under a mob-grazed system are the most important criteria. Ruminants should be outside grazing grass – not in a shed eating grain!”

Few would argue against the urgent need for systemic change, from farm to fork, if countries are to find ways together to feed nine billion people a day by 2050. However, best practice in sustainable agriculture is out there in many shapes and sizes, as illustrated by the recent ‘rice revolution’ in Darveshpura, India, where a young village farmer shattered the world crop record.

Using only manure, no herbicide and a System of Root Intensification (which involves fewer seeds, less water, more spacing and better husbandry), he produced a bumper one-hectare rice crop of 22.4 tonnes. By comparison, average yields for India as a whole are relatively low at just 2.3t/ha, against a global mean of 4.374t/ha.

For world farming, this achievement serves as a spectacular reminder that there is still success to be unearthed, with simple lessons learned.

To view the Special Report in full online, please click here.

Author: Jim McClelland

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Energy: How low can we go?

A version of this article first appeared on the Sustainability Talk & News website, published 28 February, 2013.

2013-01-22 20.23.45 copy

Smart-city strategies are rethinking the rôle of buildings in terms of their ability to generate, share and store energy, rather than just consume. In addition, energy efficiency and carbon offsetting are shrinking footprints ever further. As a result, the ultimate built-environment question of the carbon era seems to be:

‘How low can we go?’

In February this year, construction voices followed the lead shown by the UK Green Building Council in calling on government to provide clarity on plans for changes to building regulations and to confirm its support for zero carbon. In commercial markets, delay is the enemy of investment and without a strong policy steer, there is a fear innovation could stall, as business confidence falters.

Ever since government ambitions were announced back in 2006, the zero-carbon target has proved the subject of much debate. Many supporters argue that as the pin-up for the overall campaign to decarbonise the built environment, a ‘zero hero’ project exemplar inspires achievement across the board, fuelling demand for excellence and boosting belief in delivery. Energy efficiency meanwhile seemed the Cinderella of the low-carbon story, until, with austerity biting and pragmatism on the rise, a nascent retrofit revolution began to weave its magic wand, bringing belated transformation of existing stock.

Helping construction to cross the low-carbon finishing line has been the impact-minimising rôle of carbon offsetting. Once every effort feasible has been made to reduce consumption and emissions, then it appears perfectly reasonable to offset the unavoidable remainder. The key word in that sentence, though, is ‘feasible’: Who or what decides what is feasible?

Typically, cost is the determining factor and so the extent of what is ‘feasible’ is not a technical matter, rather a business decision. Profit margins are dependent on where the line is drawn between the feasible and the commercially uneconomical, or undesirable. Lack of transparency in this grey area is arguably the cause of much of the concern about abuses of offsetting as a means of managing impacts responsibly.

The carbon scale does not however start, or even end with zero. Never mind impact-neutral solutions, a number of structural building materials billed as carbon-negative have been available on the UK market now for some time: These range from hemp-based blocks, to prefab straw-bale panels.

At project level, the built-environment sector has also witnessed a flurry of below-zero ‘firsts’ in recent months alone: Australia has seen completion of its first carbon-negative commercial building, in Melbourne, for example; whilst in South Shields, England, the tenants have moved into Britain’s first carbon-negative street. It is fair to say, that the rôle of (successful) high-profile projects in driving forward the agenda for a low-carbon built environment has almost as much to do with media coverage, as it does design excellence, or build quality – aspiration is, in part, a function of awareness.

Taken out of context, however, carbon targets can lead to cases of unintended consequences, or even be used to justify false accounting for building impacts. In effect, marketable ‘zero-carbon’ status has sometimes been pursued at the expense of broader sustainability goals and metrics, as Ant Wilson, Director, Building Engineering, Aecom, explains: “You could almost say it is dishonest of designers to pass the buck back in time to earlier materials and construction phases of development, loading buildings with embodied energy in order to minimise performance-in-use figures and get carbon ‘off the books’, so to speak, in the operational phases.

“The new, true focus should be on energy reduction, not just zero carbon. In reality, lower-carbon buildings sometimes use more energy, not less. Overall resource efficiency is the key to sustainability in the built environment.”

In built-environment parlance, the terms energy and carbon are often erroneously used as if interchangeable. They are not: Energy is a resource or an asset; carbon is an impact or a liability.

In the race to zero and below, low-carbon ends do not justify high-energy means.

Mindful of this maxim, the true sustainability question seems not to be ‘How low can we go?’, but rather, ‘How can we best go low?’.

To view the original article in full on STN, a Carillion PLC initiative, please click here.

Author: Jim McClelland

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Community Resilience: From Sandy to Sustainability

A version of this article first appeared on the Sustainability Talk & News website, published 18 December, 2012.

Another PlaceAt every level, Hurricane Sandy represents a wake-up call for the sleeping giant of community resilience that is the built-environment sector. It is time for Construction to engage both with the (inter)national debate on climate-change risk and global-warming impacts, plus local discussions about resource mobilisation, security provision and preparedness.

In order for Construction to be cast a lead rôle in climate-change adaptation, it must be able to see both the Big Picture and the Local View: The Big Picture provides the backdrop to the global stage on which nation states perform, populated by protagonists in politics and pressure groups; the Local View is characterised by community scenes, where dialogue is more about resilience and resource.

At the macro level, the business community is becoming increasingly concerned about climate risk and the urgent need to be proactive. Ahead of the UN COP18 talks in Doha, over 200 of the largest investment fund managers and institutions – with more than £13tn in assets and including the likes of Scottish Widows, Aviva and HSBC – issued an open letter to the UK government and other administrations, advocating an escalation in action on climate change. Take heed: These signatories petitioning are establishment and mainstream money men and women, not greens, or alternative-energy geeks.

With The City worried and vocal, the onus is on leading market sectors such as Construction to listen and respond, not least because much of the investment involved carries core-business implications for the built environment: Infrastructure, property and climate defences are the physical building blocks of the (re)insurance industry assets and liabilities, portfolio and policies. In short, Construction is in the climate business, whether it likes it or not.

Zooming in to focus on the Local View, the Strategic National Framework on Community Resilience for the UK outlines how public, private and third sector organisations, plus individuals, might work together with responders and service providers in the event of an emergency, such as Sandy. Part of the Big Society commitment, the programme seeks to promote confidence and preparedness at community level, creating a degree of embedded self-sufficiency, security and, ultimately, sustainability. The framework provides direct assistance in the form of Emergency Plans and Toolkits, plus a library of illustrative case studies tackling scenarios ranging from flu pandemics to snow clearing. Of paramount importance is the pooling of knowledge and resources to enable swift effective response.

Here again, there can be seen a clear opportunity for Construction to engage and, arguably, an obligation to do so. The industry boasts a unique and highly valuable bank of relevant knowledge and resource ideally suited to localised emergency response: Plant and equipment, from caterpillar-track off-roaders to high-vis safetywear; raw or manufactured materials, from walling and piping, to boards and sand; plus human resource with appropriate skills and trades. Whilst perhaps no flashing blue light is expected atop every white van, the sector fit is perfect for the part of the fourth emergency service.

Maybe the moment has finally come, therefore, for the industry to get up on its hind legs and demand the attention it craves by engaging actively in the debates around climate change in general and resilience planning in particular. Historically, Construction has been proud to quote the statistics for its significant contribution to GDP (even when markets are tough), but often bemoans the perceived lack of recognition and appreciation for its efforts. Today, with influence to be won, if the sector has a mind to move the agenda forward, it certainly has the muscle.

Now is the time for Construction to play its true part in the communities it serves: Stand up; speak up. An audience awaits…

To view the original article in full on STN, a Carillion PLC initiative, please click here.

Author: Jim McClelland

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Construction and communities: At a crossroads

A version of this article first appeared on the Sustainability Talk & News website, published 1 November, 2012.

HaightThe crossroads where local communities and construction meet is the domain of CSR and multi-stakeholder engagement. Historically, companies in the building sector have mostly been seen as waiting at the lights on site, then moving on at project completion. Given the current economic drivers, this approach must change. What can Construction do to make a real difference to communities and leave a positive legacy? In return, what is in it for the industry?

Whilst a building project is on site, short-term benefits to the neighbouring community, in terms of spikes in local employment and trade, are visible and measurable. However, for these to be considered sustainable and described as investment, rather than just a temporary cash injection, there needs to be a positive ongoing legacy that contributes to a transformative and regenerative process. It seems a big ask, but how can Construction make a difference that lasts?

The answer is remarkably simple: Jobs. Jobs and skills are the ticket to a better life for many marginalised by mainstream society, such as the long-term unemployed, homeless and vulnerable, ex-offenders, plus school-leavers and young persons without experience.

Construction companies and their supply chains, as vocational training providers and employers of apprentices in trades such as carpentry, bricklaying, painting and decorating, are in an almost unique position to support and promote sustainable employment amongst exactly those groups in greatest need. Delivery is also often targeted precisely where demand is most acute, as much construction activity takes place on sites in urban areas, within inner-city wards, amongst disadvantaged communities.

Given this context, potential benefits to the local economy are multiple: Employment and upskilling opportunities for individuals; subcontractor and supplier work for SMEs; plus, a boost in trade and spend, both directly around the site and indirectly as a knock-on effect of associated income growth.

An essential feature of community engagement and investment is that, by definition, it cannot be undertaken alone. Companies typically pursue partnerships with non-profit organisations and government agencies, third-sector, community, charitable and voluntary groups to provide opportunities for people and places. Partners range from those directly in employment and training fields, such as JobcentrePlus and ConstructionSkills, through national initiatives including Business in the Community, The Prince’s Trust and Big Lottery Fund, to local authorities, schools and colleges.

A local, diverse supply chain supports equality of opportunity and protection of human rights, making construction companies potential candidates for sign-up to the Social Mobility Business Compact launched by the government last December. A ripple effect of success for local job and training candidates also helps raise aspirations in communities and schools, enhancing public perception of the building industry as a whole.

Often under the umbrella of a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy, individual companies are already doing many good things in neighbourhoods up and down the country. Return on Investment (RoI) is not always easy to calculate, however, as metrics for social sustainability are typically less well understood and used than those for measurement of environmental impacts, either positive or negative.

Whilst donation of goods and provision of in-kind services, employee time, volunteering, fundraising, charitable giving and support are all welcome benefits to communities, the win-win opportunity for construction and communities in connection with jobs and skills appears of a different order and significance at present. The potential RoI is clear.

Whilst the national economy continues to struggle, the latest government surveys and statistics for the construction sector make for particularly grim reading. Even with the Green Deal arriving on the scene, the total number of UK workforce jobs in the industry has fallen below two million.

Construction needs growth, communities need growth – the two need each other now perhaps more than ever. For social sustainability, it is time for Construction to move beyond a mindset that targets mere compliance and to get creative with opportunities for community engagement and self-promotion.

No industry is better placed than Construction to fire up engines for growth at local level and to create micro-economies within communities. The job is vital, for all concerned.

To view the original article in full on STN, a Carillion PLC initiative, please click here.

Author: Jim McClelland

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Greening the footprint of Big Data

A version of this article first appeared in a Special Report on ‘Low-Carbon Business’, published in The Times, 3 September, 2012.

What do New York, Oregon, Colorado and North Carolina have in common with Norway, Finland, Iceland and New Zealand? The answer is that all are home to ‘green’ data centres. The physical carbon footprint of virtual lives lived online and in the cloud is real and growing. In response, albeit belatedly, energy use and emissions reduction have now become the focus of significant commercial investment and intense public scrutiny.

The list of brands involved reads like a roll-call of major corporates, including: Amazon, Apple, Facebook, FedEx, Google, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Microsoft and Yahoo. Performance is mixed, to say the least: For ‘Renewables & Advocacy’ in the report ‘How Clean is Your Cloud’, Greenpeace recently scored Google an ‘A’, Apple a ‘D’ (subsequently raised to a ‘C’) and Amazon an ‘F’.

Neither technology nor design are insurmountable obstacles to deeper-green solutions, as completed facilities prove: First Verne Global, then Green Mountain, have developed zero-carbon new-build data centres, in Iceland and Norway respectively, taking advantage of cheap renewable energy, plus low ambient temperatures for ‘free’ cooling.

However, ‘Let not the perfect be the enemy of the good’ as they say – ‘better’ is still better than nothing. Just as population growth relies on retrofit of current housing stock to meet demand, so growth in the digital universe also calls for investment in existing operational facilities, services and software for better measurement and management of data to optimise performance. Upgrading old centres, as well as old ways, is vital to scaling and speeding progress.

The future for sustainable low-carbon business is plain to see: Data can only get bigger; so, energy must get smarter.

To view the Special report in full online, please click here.

Author: Jim McClelland

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Are we ready to shop for a low-carbon future?

A version of this article first appeared in a Special Report on ‘Low-Carbon Business’, published in The Times, 3 September, 2012.

When political leadership on sustainability matters appears absent, uncertain, inconsistent, or insufficient, who sets the low-carbon agenda? Is it climate-conscious consumers, or planet-smart business, or both? Are we entering a new branded age of push-pull dynamic, where supply and demand drive the market, together?

Servicing brand requirements, thought-leaders in marketing and advertising sectors already see this combined low-carbon driver-mix starting to trend. BBH London is an agency that has recently committed to developing a new sustainability-related client offering, headed up by Strategic Director Kirsty Saddler, who outlines the reasons and timing for the launch:

“Rapid increase of available information and so transparency this century, in large part thanks to digital, has lead people to question the role of business much more heavily and the impact of their decisions as consumers. It has also prompted businesses to be more accountable. Simultaneously there is increasing understanding and awareness of limits to world resources.

“Now is a time when both people and business have a motivation, opportunity and need to create change. Government can create the conditions for that change through regulation, but positive lasting change will happen when people and business play a willing part too.”

In the wider global marketplace, there is already strong evidence of demand for lower-carbon goods and services, putting pressure on company performance. Recent research for the Carbon Trust has shown carbon-reduction and associated transparency concerns scored significantly higher amongst consumers in emerging economies such as China and Brazil, than the US and UK. The message to companies with (export) aspirations in these areas is clear: Low-carbon is the number one business model for future growth.

The temptation is to assume that engagement patterns are pretty much the same everywhere, for consumers and companies alike and that, effectively, all is relative. However, this is not the case.

In Australia, whilst the waters of public perception have very much been muddied by party politics, interestingly, the business community does not share the same view – as Co-Founder and Partner at Sydney-based sustainability strategists and communicators Republic of Everyone, Ben Peacock observes:

“Much of the conversation has been defined by introduction of the carbon tax. What started as a quality attempt at leadership has become a political hot potato, with the opposition blaming its introduction for raising prices on everything from beer to school lunches. This has led to confusion and suspicion from consumers. In short, carbon has become politicised.

“But it’s not all bad news. While the conversation that has become messy for politicians and consumers, it is much clearer in the business community. We’re seeing quality leadership from banking and the built environment in particular, measuring, reducing, managing and offsetting their impact as part of sustainability and CSR programmes.”

In the UK, whilst purchasing has come under pressure and suppliers under scrutiny from an increasingly aware and active consumer community, as well as from commercial buyers, the two customer groups have different demands, as Group Marketing Director at leading hard-landscaping supplier Marshalls, Chris Harrop, explains:

“Whereas our trade customers might more typically be concerned with managing risk – as associated with such high-profile supply-chain issues as child labour – the consumer really is looking for benefit: This benefit comes with knowing and feeling that through their decision-making they have done ‘good’ as a purchaser.

“Consumers have become far more discerning, exercising their right to choose the ‘best’ deal, balancing cost and benefit. They are looking at ethical, environmental, sustainability credentials much more closely than ever before. We have seen more and more using our online Carbon Calculator to estimate footprints of products and projects, with this proving a trend across the board, all geo-demographic groups. Put simply, carbon is not an elitist issue – everyone has a footprint, everyone has spending power; given the right information, everyone can make a choice.”

This ‘feelgood’ benefit, as consumer-pull-through force for reducing emissions, does not easily find correlation in cost and efficiency models on the business-push side of the counter. A successful, established market movement offers a useful analogy to help understand how the two might one day become one: Fairtrade.

With Fairtrade, reputational risk provides the company flip-side of the coin to consumer-wellbeing benefit. Historically, however, Fairtrade has worn a human face – seen as directly connected to livelihoods of people – whereas the story of carbon has been wrapped up in impersonal complexities of climate-change science and macroeconomics. The picture, though, is changing.

The more the world comes to appreciate the human cost of climate change, the more carbon becomes a people and a personal issue; the more high-carbon lifestyles and consumerism appear ‘unfair’ to others. Is it possible to conceive of low-carbon business as the Fairtrade of the future? If so, the sustainable revolution may well be brought about by putting a face, not a price, on carbon.

To view the Special report in full online, please click here.

Author: Jim McClelland

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Waste: The elephant(s) in the room

A version of this article first appeared in the Chelgate Newsletter, Summer 2012.

Early in 2012, the Love Food Hate Waste (LFHW) campaign caught the attention of the national press and media with its revelation that UK householders throw away on average around 10% of the weekly food shop, so wasting families approximately £680 a year. At a time when many are counting the pennies, the financial cost of this waste seemed to strike a chord with the public. To imagine spending that much in the supermarket in one visit and then simply wheeling out the trolley and dumping bag after bag direct into the bins clearly registered in the general consciousness as a disgraceful waste of money (and food).

In reality, the LFHW numbers released by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) only tell one relatively small part of the story. In all, a staggering £12bn-worth of food and drink, much of which could have been consumed safely, is discarded by households per annum. Of the total of 18M tonnes of edible food going to landfill every year, only a third comes direct from homes – roughly as much again is generated by the producers/supply chain themselves, with the retail sector being responsible for a final similar-sized portion.

In turn, these sobering statistics represent only part of the bigger waste picture: Domestic arisings constitute little more than 10% of all waste generated in the UK, with the construction industry contributing over one third of the total.

Landfill: All legacy; no future

Even though the number is falling progressively, there are still nearly 1,500 active landfill sites in England and Wales, covering a total area of some 28,000 hectares, equivalent to over 25,000 football pitches. Taken together, this wasteland estate is roughly twice the size of the city of Sunderland. In other words, an area sufficient to be home to half a million people is being used simply as the country’s rubbish bin.

These are the live landfill locations. In addition, we are surrounded by the ghosts of a polluting past, the living dead of waste. There are estimated to be 20,000 previously used, now closed, historic landfill sites in England and Wales.

Whilst we might have been trashing the land for a long time now, if we think we can continue to bury over 100M tonnes of waste a year, we are, in fact, simply burying our heads in the sand: Such a strategy is literally unsustainable. We have been warned that in Britain we could run out of available capacity for landfill by 2020, even with the disincentive tax currently standing at £48 a tonne and rising.

Success: Sure, but too slow

Of course, it is by no means all doom and gloom – figures are improving pretty much across the board (with the exception of totals for textile discards, impacted by the ‘Primark effect’): The latest official data show recovery up, recycling up, landfill down and total waste generation down (although recessionary pressures can temporarily suppress output and consumption, with knock-on effects). Anaerobic Digestion (AD) capacity has doubled in a year, with Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) systems now considered a mainstream alternative to incineration, plus clean and renewable Energy-to-Waste (EtW) solutions being brought to market.

Make no mistake, there are success stories. According to government figures, Wales for example, is surging ahead of the rest of the UK on recycling rates as it bids to become a ‘zero-waste’ society. During the financial year 2011-12, the average household in Wales recycled 48% of its waste – 4% up on the previous 12 months and putting the country firmly on track to reach its 2012-13 statutory target of 52%. England currently recycles on average around 40% of its household waste, but year-on-year increases have been getting smaller and, by contrast, it still faces an uphill struggle to hit EU targets.

Improvements, whilst signs of positive actions and initiatives, are happening too slowly. Without a combination of behaviour change, technological advancement and investment in procurement seeing a dramatic accelerator effect on progress, Britain is set to retain its unwanted title as the ‘dirty man of Europe’ and suffer all the associated costs and impacts. The waste problem will not solve itself and simply go away.

Elephant(s) in the room

One final statistic and analogy might serve to illustrate the sheer scale of the problem and urgent need for action, putting the weight of personal responsibility into stark perspective.

Estimates for the total (domestic and commercial) waste generated per year in the UK range between around 290M and 330M tonnes. To help us picture what such an unfathomably large figure might look like, that volume can be expressed as being equivalent in weight to having to accommodate around 100 million fully grown elephants, every year.

Therefore, commentators describing our waste crisis as being the ‘elephant in the room’ barely do the situation justice. In reality, waste is the elephant in each of up to four different rooms in every household in England – now that is a sizeable problem, especially for anyone living in a studio flat!

Author: Jim McClelland

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