Tesco, along with several other companies, have joined forces to implement a clean van scheme.

16 of the UK’s largest fleet companies are set to launch the Clean Van Commitment, led by Global Action Plan, to signal their promise to the environment.

They have pledged to invest £40 million in rolling out zero emission models over the next two years as part of plans to replace 18,000 diesel vans over the next decade. The Commitment also involves switching a proportion of their fleet, 2,400 vehicles, to electric by 2020.

Research from the University of Oxford and the University of Bath has shown that the total health cost to the UK from vans is £2.2 billion each year. This has created a demand for tougher regulations on transport pollution.  

Jesse Norman, Roads Minister and MP, said: “The government's Road to Zero strategy outlines its intention to lead the world in the design and manufacturing of zero emission vehicles - delivering significant environmental, health and economic benefits.”

Electric vehicles in the UK are on the rise, with 7,500 being sold in August. Just this week, Mercedes-Benz unveiled their new production car, EQC.

Bex Bolland, Head of Air Quality at Global Action Plan said:  “Today marks a significant moment for the UK’s van sector. For the first time, we know just how quickly van fleet leaders aim to adopt electric vehicles. Their collective purchasing commitments show manufacturers that demand is thriving, and will help energy sector, local authority and central government planning. These 16 fleets will pave the way for the national fleet of 4 million vans to become zero emission, significantly improving the air we all breathe.”

Read more: UK’s largest van companies’ agree to go electric

Carlsberg are set to replace their multi-pack packaging in a bid to reduce plastic waste.

The plastic pack rings, known in the industry as hi-cones or yokes, are used to hold together multi-packs of canned drinks. However, they have become a real problem in contributing to ocean plastic pollution.

The Danish brewer are proposing to, instead, use recyclable glue that will hold the cans together but are designed to audibly snap when pulled apart.

This new ‘Snap Packs’ are proposed to reduce plastic waste globally by more than 1200 tonnes a year which is the equivalent to 60 million plastic bags. They will be available across Tesco’s in the UK from September.

Cees ‘t Hart, CEO of the Carlsberg Group, said: “It’s an important day for Carlsberg. We are working hard to deliver on our ambitious sustainability agenda and help tackle climate change. We always strive to improve and today’s launch clearly shows our ambition to follow in our founders footsteps towards a better tomorrow.”

Bo Øksnebjerg, Secretary General in WWF Denmark, said: “Our wildlife is drowning in plastic – and the problem is unfortunately growing considerably. That is why we consider it huge progress that Carlsberg is now launching solutions that significantly reduce the amount of plastic in its packaging.”

Carlsberg have previously pledged to become more sustainable with their ‘ZERO’ goal which involves an ambitious target to achieve zero carbon emissions at their breweries by 2030.

They have also committed to reducing their water usage by 50 per cent by 2030. This is significant as water is the main ingredient in beer.

The company join other global businesses, including Lego and Walkers, in a bid to reduce plastic pollution.  

Read more: Carlsberg to reduce multi-pack packaging by over...

Today, Burberry have announced they will no longer destroy products that are unsalable in a bid to become more sustainable.

Last year, it was reported that the company destroyed over £28.6 million worth of unsold products to protect its brand. This followed a massive backlash from environmentalists prompting Burberry to respond.

Marco Gobbetti, Chief Executive Officer at Burberry, said: “Modern luxury means being socially and environmentally responsible. This belief is core to us at Burberry and key to our long-term success. We are committed to applying the same creativity to all parts of Burberry as we do to our products.”

The sustainability of the textile industry has been long debated, and the idea of renting clothing has been introduced to reduce the large amount of waste produced.

Burberry said: “We already re-use, repair, donate or recycle unsaleable products and we will continue to expand these efforts.”

The brand has teamed with sustainable luxury company Elvis & Kresse which means that over the next five years 120 tonnes of leather off-cuts will be transformed into new products.

The high-end fashion company have also committed to stop using real fur. There will be no real fur in Riccardo Tisci’s debut collection for Burberry next month, and they will begin to phase out real fur products.

Fur in the fashion industry is beginning to diminish after continuous campaigns from animal-rights activists. Burberry join other global designers such as Gucci and Giorgio Armani who have also gone fur-free.

Burberry have set three targets to become sustainable by 2022; become carbon neutral and revalue waste, drive positive change through 100 percent of Burberry’s products and positively impact one million people.

Read more: Burberry to stop destroying unsold products

A new, technology first, ‘spinning’ wind turbine has won the UK James Dyson award.

The O-Wind turbine was created by Nicolas Orellana, 36, and Yaseen Noorani, 24, both MSc students at Lancashire University.

The new design takes advantage of horizontal and vertical winds without requiring steering. This differs to traditional wind turbines which only capture wind travelling in one direction.

The turbine is of a spherical shape with a single axis of rotation going through it. Its dimensions and shape mean that it is very suitable for small-scale energy production by individual apartment dwellers.

The unique size and shape of the turbine mean that it can be placed in different types of environment compared to conventional turbines which require more space.

Mr Orellana said: “I’ve always been enthusiastic about helping people solving their problems in humanitarian and professional contexts. Sustainability is and will continue to be one of the biggest challenges for people around the globe, and it will require the commitment of us all to be solved. We expect the O-Wind to be a valuable contribution to help improving our chances of reaching sustainability one day.”

Wind power currently generates just 4 per cent of the world’s electricity but it has much more potential according to Mr Noorani.

The pair will receive £2,000 towards developing the project, production may take up to five years but the duo hope that the device can be scaled up to work on large structures such as the side of a building or balcony as this is where wind speeds are the highest.

Photo: Dyson. Cardboard prototype being tested in a real scenario at the Morecambe Bay, UK

Photo Credit: Dyson

Read more: New O-Wind turbine wins UK Dyson award

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