Welcome to our two weekly review of energy and environmental events and developments from both here in New Zealand and around the world. As always, we hope you find our collection of articles to be of interest in what continues to be a rapidly evolving area.

Did you know that the t-shirt on your back used 2700 litres of water to produce? The environmental implications caused by the fashion industry are alarming. That’s why many players in the fashion industry are moving towards more sustainable apparel. This article gives you an overview of What We Know and Need to Know about Sustainable Fashion.[1]

After learning about the ecologic impacts that occur during the manufacture of a traditional t-shirt, you might find it uplifting to know that there are some viable sustainable options available. C&A the Dutch chain of fashion retail clothing stores have begun selling t-shirts that are cradle to cradle making them 100% sustainable.[2]

Ever wondered what happens to your unwanted clothes? Sadly from the 80 billion pieces of clothing produced each year, only a small fraction is recycled. But now researchers in Hong Kong have found a way to extract and reuse polyester fibres. What makes this especially interesting to us at Energy TS is that this method consumes 70% less energy than the production of virgin polyester.[3]

Is there nothing algae can’t do? Scientists have discovered it can be used to produce environmentally friendly ink. Normal ink is made from 80% petroleum products and it’s estimated that from the 4 billion kg’s of ink that is produced annually, about 13.2 billion kg of CO2 equivalent is released into the atmosphere. This ink solution doesn’t just reduce the amount of carbon directly used in ink production it also acts to sequester large amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere![4]

The Chinese government has started to crack down on air pollution offenses, temporarily closing 80,000 factories and even jailing some offending managers. This is in response to air quality being so bad that it actually disrupts day to day living and activities. The upside to the story is that by greening operations, living/working conditions improve and expansion to more markets may open, due to improved environmental credentials.[5]

China has had a bad reputation when it comes to environmental protections. But China is leading the way in a “global green shift” through its adoption of renewable energy sources. The shift has come from the top down, with President Xi Jinping adopting “ecological civilisation” as a slogan, and the government boosting its investments in the renewables sector and becoming world leaders along the way.[6]

In contrast to the Australian federal government, South Australia has chosen the renewable energy path. Faced with reliance on other states and at the end of a long network for energy needs, the state has turned to assets they have in abundance such as wind & solar energy to secure their energy future. With two large projects in the pipeline, the world’s largest solar thermal power plant and the world’s largest lithium ion battery installation, this is the start of good things![7]

Ever wondered how we could go about re-asphalting roads more sustainably? By using substantial amounts of reclaimed asphalt (RAP) as it happens. The Swedish company Skanska has demonstrated that it is possible to use up to 70% RAP without there being any discernible difference in performance or durability from construction using virgin materials.[8]

A recent report released by CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) states that disclosure continues to increase; up 33% since 2013. A major incentive for companies to disclose to CDP, is that such disclosure has been requested by more than 800 investors with over $100 trillion in assets under management. It also makes great business sense as disclosure can only come from tracking and monitoring, with efficiencies often occurring as a result.[9]

Thanks for taking the time to read this issue and we look forward to catching up with you again. If you have any items of interest you would like to submit, then please feel free to forward them.


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