• Environmental

    Life Cycle Thinking 101

    Every product has a life cycle and understanding the components of the lifecycle is important for getting to grips with its true environmental impact. Traditionally, environmental impact assessments have considered just the manufacturing phase of a product – this would include direct impacts. Direct impacts are those that are physically released by the organisation itself. For example emissions from a boiler on site that causes air pollution or the discharge of oil into a nearby river causing damage to the river. They generally include pollution issues. These can be significant for some organisations and obviously need to be carefully assessed and controlled. Upstream Impacts However, considering direct impacts does not…

  • Recycling Featured Image
    Environmental

    Five Ways That We Can Recycle More Effectively

    Most of us are guilty of not recycling enough, and unfortunately this is a global issue. An issue that is progressively getting worse, and the damage caused is becoming almost irreparable.  Society has become accustomed to living a consumer driven lifestyle. Meaning that we buy products with the view of throwing them away once they are no longer of functional use. Although the UK recycling rate is (currently) gradually increasing, since a majority of our environmental laws derive from EU law; there is much scepticism as to whether the UK Government will prioritise recycling once we exit the EU. The UK recycling rate for Waste from Households (WfH; including IBA…

  • Two hands, one holding a world and one holding a tree
    Environmental

    Environmental Responsibilities

    Digital vs Paper – The jury’s out One of the photographs we looked at during a recent NEBOSH Environmental Awareness at Work pilot course featured a pile of waste electronic circuit boards that had been dumped in the corner of a farmer’s field somewhere in south-east Asia. I’m pretty certain that the origin of this waste was discarded computers that had been collected for recycling in the USA. This prompted a discussion in the class not only about the probity of many recycling schemes but also about the significant quantity of resources that we use in making electronic devices.

  • Wind turbines on fields
    Environmental

    Natural Cycles and Their Delicate Environmental Balance

    Being quite a keen cyclist I want to talk to you about natural cycles – no, not about biking around the countryside but how substances and elements are moved around in nature. If you research how long the planet has been in existence you will come up with a figure of 4 billon years, give or take a few million. Yet, even after all this time, substances on which nature relies to exist have not been consumed. This seems a little odd, when you think about it – 4 billon years is a very long time. But it’s because Earth is essentially a closed-loop system: very little gets in and…

  • Environmental ground
    Environmental

    Buying a ‘Stairway to Heaven’ – Or Another ‘Tragedy’?

    Buying a ‘Stairway to Heaven’ – or another ‘Tragedy’? I’ve never been a fan of the idea of environmental “offsetting”. The concept is most frequently applied to greenhouse gas emissions – with which NEBOSH Environmental Certificate students who have studied Element 1 will be familiar – where an organisation (or individual) seeks to compensate for the carbon emissions they cause (usually through using energy) by paying for improvements elsewhere. Carbon offsetting has become institutionalised through regulated schemes such as the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, and there is also a host of commercial ‘carbon offsets’ that are available for purchase from specialist companies. Carbon offsets are usually sold as tonnes of…