Erlenbacher targets CO2 reduction

first_imgCake and dessert manufacturer Erlenbacher is on the way to hitting its C02 reduction targets, having significantly decreased its usage of heating oil and fresh water.The firm, which supplies to the foodservice industry, said it had embarked on a mission to become increasingly sustainable, and reduce its carbon footprint.With the help of the German Centre for Sustainable Corporate Management (ZNU) of Witten-Herdecke University, Erlenbacher is working to handle its natural resources in an ecological manner. So far, it has reduced its heating oil by 25%, and its fresh water consumption by 38%. Erlenbacher has also installed new and more energy-efficient washing machines.last_img

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I&M to suspend disconnections during coronavirus crisis

first_img Google+ Facebook Pinterest Facebook WhatsApp By 95.3 MNC – March 15, 2020 0 312 Twitter (“electric meters” by jasonwoodhead23, CC BY 2.0) Indiana Michigan Power is temporarily suspending all disconnections for non-payment as the coronavirus continues to spread.Indiana Michigan Power released the following statement:We know our customers are concerned about their families and ensuring they have reliableelectric service allows them to focus on staying healthy and well. Indiana Michigan Power is committed to doing what we can to help our customers, our employees, and the communities we serve as we navigate this uncertain time. If customers have any questions or concerns, please call our Customer Operations Center at:Indiana customers: 1-800-311-4634Michigan customers: 1-800-311-6424 Pinterest Google+ I&M to suspend disconnections during coronavirus crisis Twitter CoronavirusIndianaLocalMichiganNews WhatsApp Previous articleMichigan Secretary of State offices make changes due to coronavirusNext articleIndiana’s RV industry hopes for minimal impact from virus 95.3 MNCNews/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel is your breaking news and weather station for northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan.last_img read more

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DOJ asks for victims of sexual harassment by landlord, property manager to report it

first_img Pinterest (Photo supplied/U.S. Department of Justice) If you have witnessed or experienced sexual harassment by a landlord, property manager, maintenance worker or anyone in control over housing, you’re being asked to report that conduct to the Department of Justice (DOJ).The pandemic has affected many things, including the ability of many people to pay rent on time. In response, the DOJ has received reports of housing providers attempting to exploit the crisis by sexually harassing tenants.The DOJ, through the Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Offices, enforces the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits sexual harassment, among many other things, in housing situations.The Department encourages anyone who has experienced sexual harassment in housing, or knows someone who has, to contact the Civil Rights Divison by calling (844) 380-6178 or by emailing [email protected] can also file a complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development through their website, or by calling (800) 669-9777.Those who believe they may have been victims of discrimination should contact the U.S. Attorney General’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana by reaching out to Assistant United States Attorney Deborah Leonard at (260) 310-8987. WhatsApp TAGSCivil Rights Divisiondepartment of justiceDOJhousinglandlordmaintenance workerproperty managersexual harassmentU.S. Attorney’s Officevictim Twitter Facebook CoronavirusIndianaLocalNews Google+ By Brooklyne Beatty – May 4, 2020 0 470 center_img Twitter Facebook WhatsApp DOJ asks for victims of sexual harassment by landlord, property manager to report it Google+ Pinterest Previous articleTeen injured Sunday while volunteering at West Noble food driveNext articleGov. Holcomb questioned after failing to social distance in public Brooklyne Beattylast_img read more

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Press release: 5G project announced on first anniversary of Midlands Engine Strategy

first_img Social media – MHCLG Worcestershire, with its strong manufacturing and industrial base, has rightfully won its place as home to one of the UK’s first, innovative 5G testbeds. I look forward to seeing how 5G connectivity will fuel the Midlands Engine – unlocking growth, increasing productivity and bringing wider benefits for our citizens and communities. 5G RuralFirst: Rural Coverage and Dynamic Spectrum Access Testbed and TrialLead organisation: Cisco – Grant: £4.3 million5G RuralFirst, led by Cisco and lead partner University of Strathclyde, will deliver testbeds and trials to exploit 5G benefits for rural communities and industries like agriculture, broadcasting, and utilities, to address the challenges of and build the business case for 5G rural deployment.Based primarily on the Orkney Islands, and in the farmlands of Shropshire and Somerset, the project will integrate spectrum sharing strategies for 5G; bringing connectivity to rural communities, enabling smart farming in partnership with Agri-Epi Centre (including drones, autonomous farm vehicles and remote veterinary inspections); innovative methods of delivering broadcast radio over 5G working with the BBC, alongside the delivery of 5G connectivity for IoT in utility and other industries in rural areas.Ofcom’s 2017 Connected Nations Report found that: We are delighted to have been successful in our bid which will help businesses deliver greater productivity using 5G technologies. This highlights the huge ambition of Worcestershire’s innovative public and private sector, with key Worcestershire employers leading the way in Industry 4.0. At a time of increasing global competition for trade and investment, we are confident that we can act as a catalyst for technological innovation in the wider Midlands Engine and nationally. We welcome opportunities for collaboration with the UK’s most innovative minds. According to the Nominet Digital Futures Index 42% of adults are classed as digitally savvy and there are 58,945 tech businesses with employees in the UK in 2017. Placing the Midlands at the forefront of digital innovation is just one of the ways the Midlands Engine is aiming to create economic growth across the region. Through raising productivity and creating a stronger economy, we aim to achieve a fairer society through improving skills, improved access to housing and greater quality of life for all Midlanders. Strengthening the Midlands Engine as a place to invest and supporting the efforts of Midlands businesses to trade and export also complements government’s work to strengthen our country internationally. 2 Marsham StreetLondonSW1P 4DF The 2017 ONS internet users survey found that: View the Midlands Engine Strategy. Please use this number if you are a journalist wishing to speak to Press Office 0303 444 1209 We feel that 5G can unlock the potential of rural areas through better connections for residents, businesses, farmers and visitors. Our consortium brings together innovative businesses and leading Universities to make the 5G dream a rural reality. in 2017, 91% of UK premises can get superfast speeds, up from 89% last year 840,000 UK premises can now get full fibre services compared to 498,000 in 2016 4G coverage continues to increase with 58% of indoor premises obtaining 4G coverage (compared to 40% in 2016) and 43% of outdoor geographic areas obtaining 4G coverage (compared to 21% in 2016) telephone calls coverage on motorways has increased by 4% since 2016 and data coverage on motorways has increased by 8% The winning projects which involve partners in the Midlands Engine are:Worcestershire 5G Consortium – Testbed and TrialsLead organisation: Worcestershire county council – Grant: £4.8 millionA team of 5G and Industry 4.0 experts lead this project – working with Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, the consortium comprises: Worcestershire county council, 5GIC at University of Surrey, AWTG, Huawei, O2, BT, and Malvern Hills Science Park. With local businesses Worcester, Bosch, and Yamazaki Mazak. It will focus on ways to increase industrial productivity through preventative and assisted maintenance using robotics, big data analytics and Augmented Reality over 5G.It will also have a cyber security aspect, with QinetiQ providing assurances on the ‘security by design’ of 5G and IoT technology. Entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to test 5G capabilities in a new commercial tech accelerator located at the Malvern Hills Science Park.5G Rural Integrated Testbed (5GRIT)Lead organisation: Quickline Communications – Grant: £2.1 million5GRIT will be trialling innovative use of 5G technology across a range of rural applications, such as smart agriculture, tourism and connecting poorly-served communities, using shared spectrum in the TV bands and a mix of local ISPs and self-provision.The aim is to ultimately make high quality connectivity available across Cumbria, Northumberland, North Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Inverness-shire, Perthshire and Monmouthshire where the consortium will develop 5G-ready AR apps for tourists and investigate how high-bandwidth wireless connectivity can increase food production in farming, including through use of AR and an unmanned aerial system.Steve Jagger, Managing Director of Quickline Communications said: Securing these testbed areas is another success for the Midlands, continuing to make the region a powerful engine for economic growth.Sajid Javid, Housing Secretary and Ministerial Champion for the Midlands Engine, said: One year on from the launch of the Midlands Engine Strategy, it’s clear that the region is at the forefront of innovation and growth. We have achieved a lot – from trade missions across the globe to millions of pounds of government investment in the region. The announcement today of this ground-breaking project will build on this, helping to unlock the Midlands’ 5G future and ensure the benefits of this new technology are felt across the region. Contact form https://forms.communit… Sir John Peace, Chairman of Midlands Engine, said: in 2017, just 9% of adults in the UK had never used the internet, down from 10% in 2016 virtually all adults aged 16 to 34 years were recent internet users (99%), in contrast with 41% of adults aged 75 years and over 90% of men and 88% of women were recent internet users, up from 89% and 86% respectively in 2016 recent internet use among women aged 75 and over had almost trebled from 2011 the Lloyds Bank Consumer Digital Index 2017 indicates that over the past year, 1.1 million more UK adults have gained Basic Digital Skills a £250 million boost for small and medium businesses across the Midlands through the Midlands Engine Investment Fund a second devolution deal for the West Midlands Combined Authority, including £250 million from the Transforming Cities Fund to improve transport links 9 international Midlands Engine trade missions, to build links with markets such as the USA, China, and the UAE expansion of the successful work coaches programme across the West Midlands Combined Authority; the Midlands Engine Team has already delivered over 4,700 job outcomes to support people furthest from the labour market to overcome barriers to employment opening of the National College for High Speed Rail in Birmingham to generate the workforce of the future £80 million awarded to build the UK’s first ever state-of-the art automotive battery development facility in Coventry and Warwickshire Coventry named the UK City of Culture for 2021 and Birmingham the host city for the 2022 Commonwealth Games – a chance to show visitors everything the region can offer government funding announced to boost autonomous vehicle development across the Midlands, including projects from Horiba MIRA in Leicestershire and Jaguar Land Rover – shaping the future of transport an injection of £105.4 million infrastructure investment to help unlock around 22,000 potential new homes a successful Midlands pavilion at the MIPIM property fair in Cannes, which we will be repeating next week; here we’ll launch a refreshed investment portfolio of over 20 projects worth over £10 billion The government has today (10 March 2018) announced the Midlands winners of a £25 million competition to pave the way for a future rollout of 5G technology in the UK.The new project, the Worcestershire 5G Consortium, is receiving £4.8 million of government funding. In addition a further 2 of the project consortiums, receiving a total of over £6 million, also include partners based in the Midlands Engine.The testbeds will keep the Midlands Engine at the forefront of connectivity by accelerating the deployment of next generation digital infrastructure, driving forward new 5G business opportunities, and developing a home-grown 5G skills base.5G will enable internet speeds to keep up with the explosion of smart devices in the home and the ‘internet of things’. With potential speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second, it will also make it easier for people to rapidly download and upload ultra HD and 3D video.This would revolutionise the way companies in the Midlands Engine do business and help them expand globally.The news comes on the first anniversary of the Midlands Engine Strategy which sets out how the Midlands will deliver the government’s Industrial Strategy, enabling businesses to create more jobs, increase skills levels, export more goods and services, and grow productivity.Over the last 12 months the Midlands Engine has seen many successes, including: Further information If your enquiry is related to COVID-19 please check our guidance page first before you contact us – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-local-government.If you still need to contact us please use the contact form above to get in touch, because of coronavirus (COVID-19). If you send it by post it will not receive a reply within normal timescale. Mark Stansfeld, Chair of Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership and 5G lead for Midlands Engine, said: General enquiries: please use this number if you are a member of the public 030 3444 0000 Media enquiries Email [email protected] Twitter – https://twitter.com/mhclgFlickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/mhclgLinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/company/mhclg Office address and general enquiries Margot James, Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries said:last_img read more

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Speech: Green Brexit: a new era for farming, fishing and the environment

first_imgI want to thank Prosperity UK for organising this conference and in particular, Lord Hill of Oareford, Sir Paul Marshall and Alex Hickman who have been the dynamos who have ensured that today can occur.And they, like the team that run Prosperity UK, are determined to bring together individuals from across the political spectrum to develop policies for Britain’s future outside the European Union (EU). Their committee is composed of both those who argued that we should Leave the EU and also those who believed that we should Remain But they are united by the belief that, whatever positions individuals may have been adopted in the past it’s important that all of us now focus on the opportunities of the future.And in choosing today to focus on agriculture, fisheries, food and the environmental more broadly, I believe, that Prosperity UK and the people in this room have identified a critical range of areas where Britain has the potential to be an innovator, generating increased prosperity and setting new global gold standards in sustainability.I want to set out, in a second, where I believe some of those opportunities specifically lie.But first I wanted to say a little about how important it is to me in this Government that when we explore the opportunities of life outside the EU we ensure the hopes and fears of those who voted to Remain are woven into our thinking. And into our actions.No decision in our nation’s history has enjoyed such a strong popular mandate as the decision to leave the European Union. 17.4 million people voted to take back control of this country’s trade, taxes and laws.But more than sixteen million of our fellow citizens voted to Remain. And there is a special responsibility on those of us who argued for a Leave vote and who are charged with implementing it, to ensure that the underlying reasons why so many people voted to Remain are respected.Many people voted to Remain because they understandably feared the economic consequences of leaving. There were warnings that a vote to Leave would trigger an immediate recession and precipitate job losses.Others chose Remain because they feared a Leave vote was somehow a vote to turn inwards and backwards. It was a vote for narrower horizons rather than a truly global Britain.Others were concerned that a vote to Leave would strengthen the hands of separatists particularly in Scotland or others who wished to pursue an even more populist political platform.And, critically, there were many that felt that during the time we have been in the European Union there have been undoubted advances in how we treat each other, and the planet, which have been enshrined in law and underpinned by regulation, and all that would be put potentially at risk by a vote to Leave.All of those concerns – for economic justice, cultural open-ness, social harmony and environmental enhancement – are critically important.And that is why I am glad that, since the referendum result, this Government has ensured that progress has been made in all of those areas.Since the referendum, Britain has recorded the best employment figures in its history, with more than 32.1 million people in work. Employment is just 66.5% in the Eurozone, compared to 74.1% in the UK.And for those in work, particularly at the bottom end of the income spectrum, wages have been rising. As the OBR pointed out this week, there has been a 7% real terms increase in pay for the poorest.More jobs for working people and better-paid jobs for working people I believe contributes to greater economic justice.All this has been underpinned by a shift in our economy towards export-led growth, away from what I believe to be an over-reliance on domestic consumer demand in the past.In the last 12 months exports have risen by £64.5 billion – that’s a rise of 11.5%.Our service sector continues to thrive with exports up by 10.1% and exports of goods have risen even faster by 12.6% to £344.5 billion, and the manufacturing sector in particular has been making a significant contribution to this growth.So far then, the decision to leave the EU, far from precipitating recession, harming food security or hitting working people in the pocket, has promoted economic progress.And it has also, I believe, had a beneficial political effect.Since the British people voted to leave the EU, support for separatist parties and separation itself has declined. Most notably of course in Scotland.The decline in support for separation in Scotland stands in contrast to the increased support for secession in Catalonia and the growing regional tensions that we’ve seen in Italy in their election campaign.And indeed it is not just support for separatist movements which has declined in Britain since the referendum.Support for populist parties has also collapsed. The United Kingdom Independence Party is now a ghost political movement, like the Luddites or the Whigs, and no populist party of the right, or of the radical fringe, is taking its place.Again, by way of contrast, the recent electoral success of the Five Star Movement in Italy, the Alternative for Deutschland in Germany, the Front National in France shows that almost alone in Europe, Britain does not have either a burgeoning populist party in parliament or making progress in the polls.The ebbing in support for populist parties in the UK has also been accompanied by a warmer and more welcoming approach by the British people to issues such as immigration.The most recent polling on migration showed that the UK was the country in the EU with the most welcoming attitudes towards migrants from outside the EU. We are the most open, global, nation in Europe.And that is reflected in university admissions with the number of foreign students applying to study in the UK increasing.In 2018 there were 7,300 more applicants from overseas, with 43,500 applications from EU students alone – an increase from the year before.Applications from some EU nations such as Croatia, Finland, Germany, Spain, Poland and Portugal have continued to rise in the last few years by as much as 30%.The continuing popularity of our world-leading universities with foreign students is a win-win all round. It’s a wonderful example of British soft power, it makes universities themselves more diverse, it generates earnings for the UK economy, and the fees from foreign students can help keep our own costs down.So, as well as serving economic justice, Brexit, if we make the right decisions, can serve social justice too.The great progressive prize of a green BrexitBut more than that, Brexit, with the right decisions, can enhance our natural environment.Which is why I am so delighted by the range of speakers, and indeed the breadth of issues, at today’s conference. The potential for progressive change is huge.But that change can only be made real if we utilise the talents of everyone who cares about the natural world.I am very well aware that for many who care deeply about the environment, our membership of the EU coincided with both increased awareness of environmental concerns and improved mechanisms to safeguard the natural world.And as I mentioned earlier, leaving the EU, for many, appeared to put those gains at risk, or at the very least raise a question over the prospect of continued progress.And it’s because I appreciate the strength of those concerns that we in Defra have moved as quickly as we can to affirm that not only will there be no abandonment of the environmental principles that we’ve adopted in our time in the EU but indeed we aim to strengthen environmental protection measures and to create new mechanisms to incentivise environmental improvement.That is why we’re consulting on how to introduce a new environmental protection body and it’s why we’ve outlined policies for the natural world in our 25-Year Environment Plan that, in some cases, are more ambitious than any required by EU membership.I recognise that some of the ambitions outlined in the Plan will need legislative under-pinning. And while I can’t say now what will be in future Queens’ Speeches I can state clearly that if we are to honour our pledge to leave the environment in a better state than we inherited it we must also leave the statute book in a better state than we inherited it.And in advance of any major legislation, we’re also determined to show at Defra that we’re making progress as rapidly as possible towards meeting the goals that we’ve set for ourselves in our Environment Plan.That’s why we’re planning to go further in dealing with the pollution caused by single use plastics, and building on our plastic bag and plastic microbeads bans.I am also determined, as I reminded today by the House of Commons, that the UK must do more to clean up our air. I want to create stronger incentives for us to do so, and I will set out our proposals in a clean air strategy later this Spring.Because to be frank, as again the House of Commons has reminded us today, we’ve been too slow to act on what is a major public health scandal.Again, we’ll being saying more in coming weeks, but we all know that we have to do more to restrict diesel use, to protect urban centres from pollution, to change how some of us heat our homes and we also need to reform aspects of agriculture and industry to ensure our air is properly breathable.A strong economy needs a healthy environmentIn acting in this way, I believe that this Government is being true, actually, to the best Conservative traditions. It was Disraeli’s Government that recognised improving public health depended on passing enlightened environmental legislation. His administration introduced laws to safeguard our rivers. The great third Marquis of Salisbury’s Government introduced laws on housing, Macmillan’s introduced laws on Air Quality and Margaret Thatcher’s on a range of environmental issues, all of which reflected a profound appreciation of the inter-dependence of a healthy environment, a healthy population and a flourishing economy.I recognise that it’s a stock in trade of some political commentary that you can only really pursue environmental goods at the expense of consumers or business. There are some who say that you can pursue greenery or prosperity but you can’t put a premium on both.Indeed that was the line doggedly asserted by the BBC’s Nick Robinson when he interviewed me on the Today Programme for the launch of our 25 Year Environment Plan.But, even when that case is prosecuted with all the vigour and talent of a Nick Robinson, I believe, and I believe that history shows, that it’s a false dichotomy.The truth, as governments have long understood, is that you cannot sustain economic growth if you erode the natural capital on which all human flourishing depends.And, in parallel, sustainable economic growth will generate the income we all then can invest in future, further environmental enhancement.It has been economic growth – free market-inspired, capitalist-generated and business-driven – that has helped us to secure cleaner rivers, cleaner and less carbon-intensive energy and to protect natural habitats in the world’s wealthiest nations.And unfortunately history tells us that centralised state control, socialist management, and the absence of effective price signals and functioning markets, and indeed the expropriation of private property and collectivisation have led, not just to economic misery but also to environmental degradation. The example of Mao’s China, Soviet Russia and Maduro’s Venezuela, shows that that path leads to poisoned soils and contaminated rivers, toxic air and wrecked habitats.Indeed the economic policies pursued by the leaders of the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela – Hugo Chavez and Nicholas Maduro – who have such enthusiastic fans here in the UK, naming no names – those policies have involved the grotesquely profligate exploitation of fossil fuel reserves in a manner that has been both economically foolish and environmentally reckless. And that has been accompanied by the immiseration of the nation’s population, provoking not just the migration of millions of refugees but also the devastation of that country’s rural economy.So poor, and hungry, have Venezuela’s citizens become under Chavez and Maduro that they were driven to eat the animals in Caracas zoo to keep alive. As a metaphor for how economic failure drives the destruction of the natural world, it is both all too fitting and heart-breaking.A post-Brexit long-term economic planBut while open and enlightened market economies have done a demonstrably better job in delivering environmental goods than closed command economies, we’ve also got to be honest about where our economic thinking has been deficient in recent years.Just as growth in the first decade of this century was over-reliant on debt, on borrowing that we expected the next generation to pay for, so growth over many decades has been over-reliant on exploiting finite natural resources whose depletion inevitably leaves future generations poorer.As a Conservative, someone who believes in the careful husbanding of resources, both financial and environmental, and as someone who also believes in the principle of stewardship, the idea that we must hand on our inheritance to the next generation in an enhanced state, I believe we have a responsibility to ensure that our economic model prices in those valuable principles. In other words we have to have truly sustainable economic growth.That is why I am such an enthusiast for the idea of natural capital, pioneered by the brilliant economist Dieter Helm, from whom you will be hearing later this morning.Dieter developed the idea, the concept of Natural capital accounting, which aims to measure every natural asset – from freshwater to the oceans, oil and gas stocks to fish stocks, woodland to peat – and record how those assets are changing over time, both in physical and financial terms.The UK was the first country in the world to establish an independent Natural Capital Committee to advise the Government on how to manage and enhance our natural wealth and that committee has been playing a critical role in the formulation and implementation of our 25 Year Environment Plan. The insights of the Natural Capital Committee have ensured that this government recognised that natural capital is as fundamental to our health and prosperity in our future as our human capital or physical capital.Of course it’s important to note that natural capital is just one tool we can use to deliver on our environmental gains. Not everything that we cherish in the natural world can be given a monetary value. We don’t want to protect and restore the environment simply because of its economic value, but because of our moral duty and our emotional attachment. But still, natural capital remains a powerful tool for all of us who care about the natural environment and prosperity in the future to ensure that we take our responsibilities towards the environment seriously, and we can be held accountable for our actions.So as we design the economic and environmental policies that will guide Britain after Brexit our aim will be to ensure we incentivise investment in physical, human and, above all, natural capital.CAP reformThe prosperity of our economy, and in particular our food economy, depends on us developing a truly sustainable approach for the future, and in particular towards our landscape.So as we escape from the Common Agricultural Policy and develop our own domestic farming policy we have to move away from our current system, which lacks effective incentives for long-term-thinking, to one that promotes investment in our shared future.That will mean we pay farmers to improve the quality and fertility of their soil, that means we want to reverse the trends of the past which have led to compaction and run-off, and which have polluted our rivers and choked our fish.Supporting those who practice min or no-till cultivation in agriculture is not only better for our rivers and watercourses, it will also help to control and reduced carbon emissions, it will reduce demand for chemical inputs and it will provide a richer habitat for insects and invertebrates.And we should indeed, as we revise our policy towards our land and embed natural capital thinking in our approach, move to provide better support for our farmers and land managers who maintain, restore, or create precious habitats for wildlife. Whether it’s supporting those who’re protecting curlews on moorland or who’re ensuring the health of sphagnum moss in blanket bog, the stewards of precious natural assets which Britain has a special role in conserving, need improved support in the future, and that will be at the heart of our environmental, agricultural and economic policy post-Brexit.FisheriesAnd as well as reforming the Common Agricultural Policy to reward those who provide habitats on land, leaving the EU also provides us with an opportunity to escape the Common Fisheries Policy and replace it with an approach to managing our marine environment which puts conservation and sustainability at the heart of our approach towards our own territorial waters.Effective reform in all these areas will of course depend on also enabling the right sort of technological and scientific breakthroughs. And freedom to innovate in these policy areas should I hope also provide new opportunities for the burgeoning growth and environmental entrepreneurship that we see in Britain. From the appropriate surveillance of fishing activity to the use of artificial intelligence to improve farm animal health, we can demonstrate how we can increase both natural capital on land and at sea and also boost national productivity.AgritechThere is, I am delighted to say, a continued and intense interest in British environmental technology and innovation because we excel in agritech and supporting innovation inf green finance. There were more than 58,000 tech start-ups in the UK in 2017 and more venture capital invested in technology in London than in Germany, France, Spain and Ireland combined.A new business starts every 75 seconds, and many have the potential to change how we define prosperity and how we enhance natural capital. New companies like Saturn Bioponics are leading the way with new modular growing systems that allow farmers to increase crop density while making harvesting cleaner and easier, reducing labour costs by up to 50% and producing an almost 100% saleable yield. Overall, Saturn Bioponics have shown that investment in their technology will be paid back between 1-4 years through increased profitability.And Government, critically, has a positive role to play in helping to enable this sort of innovation.Just this week an investment of £90 million from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund was directed towards the Transforming Food Production programme. Investments like this will I believe help to support a technology and data-driven transformation for UK farmers, UK land managers and those who work on or with our environment.By supporting farmers with the initial investment we can help their businesses to not only become more productive and to generate more growth, and indeed to provide more high-skilled jobs, we can also drive more high-value export opportunities, and critically we can also ensure that our environment becomes more resilient and even better guardians of our natural environment.Across the UK there is a wealth of innovative start-ups redefining what it means to be a farmer or a land manager, and how to farm effectively and sustainably. One company, Hummingbird Technologies uses crop mapping to identify problems in drainage, compaction, nutrition, weeds and pests before they become devastating, and it can pre-emptively detect the presence of particular diseases like potato blight and blackgrass.It is also the case that our universities like Harper Adams who have been collaborating with a number of tech companies, have helped to lead the charge in developments in agronomy and agritech, and in particular the world has been paying attention to the way in which Harper Adams through its Hands Free Hectare project has shown the way for a more efficient and environmentally sensitive approach towards agriculture.I believe that we can also, as well as demonstrating global leadership in all these areas, also demonstrate it in our approach towards resource efficiency and the treatment of waste. We all know that we need to reduce our reliance on plastic and in particular make sure the incentives are there to move away from the use of virgin products so we all use more recycled material. I recognise that we need to reform the existing producer responsibility scheme, we need to impose appropriate costs on those whose products leave a heavier environmental footprint and we then need to use the money generated from that to invest in dramatically improved recycling facilities in this country.In the same spirit, we also need to encourage movement away from diesel and petrol cars towards ultra-low emission vehicles such as those Sir James Dyson is developing. And we also should build on the work that’s being done to develop autonomous vehicles in the future. Their development could help us to further reduce the adverse environmental impact of our current approach towards urban transport.Global leadershipI believe that Britain has the potential now to demonstrate global leadership in all these and more areas.And there are opportunities on the months ahead for us to demonstrate, alongside, other nations, our determination to do more for our planet.At the forthcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, and with Canada’s Presidency of the G7, we can play our part to extend protection to more of the world’s oceans.At the Illegal Wildlife Trade Summit in London this autumn we can take decisive steps to safeguard biodiversity worldwide, and indeed we can, in the months ahead, develop new approaches to measuring, valuing, and enhancing biodiversity worldwide.We can also ensure in the trade agreements that we hope to sign and indeed in the economic partnership that we plan to forge with the EU, that natural capital is protected, that the natural world will be respected and that the highest ethical and environmental standards are upheld.ConclusionA commitment to the highest environmental standards in everything we do doesn’t involve any long-term economic sacrifice. Quite the opposite. We will only succeed in the world as a food exporter, a centre for tourism, a hub for technology investment and an incubator for wider innovation on the basis that we are an economy and society where quality, integrity, sustainability and a commitment to long-term relationships are guaranteed. We need to build an economy and a society which continually promotes incentives to virtue.There are great prizes for our resourceful, resilient, remarkable nation in the years ahead – and I hope, with the help of all the people gathered here for this conference, that we can succeed in the years ahead in building something special in this our green and pleasant land.Thank you.last_img read more

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Speech: How Britain and America can shape the future of global trade

first_imgWelcome.It’s a pleasure to be here at Thomson-Reuters with our close friends at British American Business – an organisation whose very existence is testament to the close and enduring ties between our 2 countries.And, as always, it’s great to be in the United States, a country with which the United Kingdom has so much in common and shares such a strong and enduring bond.If you read some sections of the international press, it might seem as though the UK is entering an economic meltdown, with uncertainty around the Brexit process driving commerce and investment away from our shores.It is an interesting hypothesis, but unfortunately for those commentators, one refuted by simple facts.In 2017, we saw the highest level of foreign direct investment projects landing in the United Kingdom in our history – hardly the hallmark of an economic slowdown.This was matched by an increase of some 14% in the value of our exports.In the year to October 2017 some £617 billion of British goods and services were sold overseas, narrowing the UK’s trade deficit by just under £11 billion.Partly as a result of this improved export performance, order books for British manufacturers are stronger than at any time since August 1988.We also saw a continued explosion of interest in British tech and innovation.The UK boasts some 58,000 technology firms. In the last year, more venture capital was invested in London than in Germany, France, Spain and Ireland combined.All of this adds up to an extremely positive picture for the British economy – an economy that already boasts record employment levels.Many of these are down to the record number of new investment projects that I mentioned earlier.These have contributed almost 108,000 new and safeguarded jobs to the UK employment market in 2016/17.My Department for International Trade regularly surveys the largest foreign direct investors in the UK economy.The fundamental reasons they give for investing in the country are always the same.We have a highly skilled workforce, produced by some of the world’s finest universities.We have a low tax, well regulated economy which fosters innovation and supports tech start-ups, and we have world-renowned legal system and protections for intellectual property.Like you, we speak English. We are in the right time zone to trade with the Asia in the morning and the United States in the afternoon.Those tech companies I mentioned earlier are reassured by our robust intellectual property laws – fundamentally, companies across the world trust the UK to protect their investments.Our success does not, of course, mean that there won’t be challenges ahead. And I appreciate that firms often crave continuity, and Brexit of course represents a break with the past.But the referendum result was not a signal of impending insularity.Rather, it was driven by the democratic principle that laws governing your life should be made in your own country, by people you have elected – a principal that you, our American cousins well understand.So I want to inject a note of reassurance and optimism. Britain is not turning away from the world. We are not turning away from Europe either – or the economic, political or personal bonds that have evolved over centuries.All we are doing is leaving the European Union.Brexit will open far more doors for Britain than it closes. For the first time in more than 4 decades, we will have an independent trade policy, that we can shape to meet the needs of our businesses, and those of our partners operating on UK soil.It is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the UK to tap into the changing realities of global trade and ensure our future prosperity.In 2006, around 60% of the UK’s exports went to other EU countries. By 2020, this is predicted to fall below 40%.Cooperation and alignment will continue where necessary, but we should also strengthen our ties to our most important global trading partners, including the United States.The UK intends to be a global champion of trading freedoms, working both unilaterally and within international bodies such as the WTO to erode and remove barriers to trade.Free trade is fundamentally beneficial to mankind. And there’s a good reason for us to believe this.Both our countries have benefited enormously from open, capitalist economies. We are standing in one of the greatest cities on earth – built on the back of business, commerce and trade.The core insight of capitalism is that competition drives improvement and if competition is so good, why would you stop it at your border?History tells us that, when we trade more and welcome competition, we find that we all benefit –individuals, companies and countries.It benefits us as consumers to get more choice.It benefits industry as a whole – competition encourages innovation.And it has wider benefits. Britain and the United States have the world’s 2 largest foreign aid programmes.But as generous as they are, free markets have lifted more people out of poverty than every aid programme and charity combined.According to the World Bank the years 1981 to 2011 witnessed the greatest reduction in poverty in human history – it is no accident that those were the years when China opened-up and the Soviet Union fell.Of course, free trade does not mean trade without rules. It is entirely legitimate for states to take measures to protect against unfair dumping from abroad – we’re currently taking a Trade Bill through Parliament that will protect our ability to do just that.But in the long run, it is better for everyone involved if we resolve disputes multilaterally – that’s why we called for the G20 meeting in November at which this issue was discussed.We look forward to continuing to work closely with the United States and our allies around the world for co-operation on issues of mutual concern.Make no mistake – trade with America is one of Britain’s top priorities. How could it not be, when America is our single largest export market? Exports to America are twice those to Germany, our next largest market.That is why we are investing so much effort here: my department, the Department for International Trade, has staff in 11 locations across the United States.We are making as a government, up to $7 available billion in export finance for companies trading here.And we are working closely with the American government.Our joint Trade and Investment Working Group has been discussing issues such as encouraging small business exports, the technical transfer of existing EU-US agreements, and cooperation on financial regulation. It will hold its third meeting later this month.And we’re partnering on technology. American firms will be crucial to the success of a future British spaceport, and we are following up this month’s successful multilateral space forum by sending teams to major industry events such as the Space Symposium in Colorado Springs.In September we signed our first ever Science and Technology agreement, which began with us putting £65 million into a project at South Dakota to explore the physics of the early universe.So Britain is not turning inwards. We will have an independent voice at the World Trade Organization, and we will use that voice to push for more trade, more openness and a deeper and stronger liberal trading system.We will continue to have areas of policy where our interests coincide with the EU but we need to be free to pursue our own national interests where they differ.And because we believe in free trade, our interests are not in opposition to other countries – trade is not a zero-sum game.Open trade with Britain is in America’s interests and we have hundreds of billions invested in each other’s economies, maintaining jobs across both our nations.British companies create more jobs in America than firms from any other nation. In fact, UK companies employ over a million people in America and US companies employ over a million people in the UK.Trade and investment flows benefit both countries, I believe that politicians and business leaders in America appreciate this fact, judging by the number of positive comments about UK trade from members of Congress from both parties that I met yesterday in Washington.As you would expect, one of the reasons I’m in the US is to talk about steel. We are, of course, disappointed by the recent decision to raise import taxes on steel and aluminium.And this is an issue the Prime Minister and I have both discussed with the administration on a number of occasions.I am confident that, together, we will find a solution that reflects the reality of the strong national security and trade relationship that exists between the UK and the United States, and indeed between the wider EU and the United States. A solution that preserves the economic, commercial and security interests of us all.My department is helping to emphasise to political leaders across the US just how valuable those mutual interests are.Last year we published an analysis of the importance of UK trade to every single congressional district.For example, in the New York Tri-State area including Pennsylvania goods exports to the UK are worth approximately $7.8 billion a year.Service exports to the UK are approximately $15.1 billion.And 1,873 UK companies employ around 224,000 American citizens.To put it simply, our economic relationship is invaluable.The commercial bonds between the US and the UK are strengthened by cultural and personal ties.800,000 of our citizens live in each other’s countries.We speak the same language, almost – remember that there’s no other country America can trade with that has as many native English speakers as the UK.We are one of the few major economies to use the same legal system as you, or vice versa depending on your view of history. That makes things easier when you choose to invest.But it’s important we maintain those links – we cannot afford to let them atrophy under any circumstances, politics or economics.That is why I am here this week. And that is why I’d like to thank British American Business for all the work you and your members do to cultivate these vital links.Britain and America are an outstanding partnership, and what we have done together has truly shaped the world.Thank you.last_img read more

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News story: Towbars merger abandoned

first_imgThe abandonment of the transaction follows a CMA phase 1 investigation finding that the merger, between two of the largest towbar companies in Europe, could damage competition in the UK.The CMA’s investigation found that the companies together control a large share of all towbar supply to car manufacturers operating throughout the UK and Europe.During its investigation, the CMA worked closely with the German competition authority, the Bundeskartellamt, which was conducting its own investigation into whether the merger could damage competition in Germany.They exchanged information and analysis on the competition issues that each were investigating, and ultimately reached a similar view about the harmful impact that the transaction could have on towbar supply to car manufacturers within Europe. The two authorities also held discussions on the feasibility of possible remedies to address the concerns that each had identified.While at this stage of the UK investigation the companies had the option to address the CMA’s concerns, or proceed to a more in-depth ‘phase 2’ investigation, they have now agreed to abandon the transaction.More information can be found on the Horizon Global Corporation / Brink International B.V. case page.last_img read more

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Press release: Foreign Secretary statement on the OPCW report into Amesbury

first_img Media enquiries For journalists Read the OPCW executive summary of technical assistance following the Amesbury incident. We are grateful to the OPCW for the independent, expert work in confirming the type of nerve agent used in Amesbury, and once again pay tribute to the high standards set by our world-leading scientists. The recklessness of the Russian state in bringing a nerve agent in to the UK, and total disregard for the safety of the public, is appalling and irresponsible. Our thoughts are with the family of Dawn Sturgess, and with Charlie Rowley. This is another reminder of the importance of the international community standing together to uphold the global ban on all use of chemical weapons, and ensure that the rules based international order is respected so we can all keep our citizens safe. Further information The independent report produced by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has today confirmed the assessment of the United Kingdom in identifying the chemical agent responsible for the death of Dawn Sturgess in Amesbury on 8 July. This was a Novichok nerve agent, of the same kind used in the attempted assassinations of Sergei and Yulia Skripal earlier this year.Analysis carried out by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) at Porton Down had previously identified the nerve agent as Novichok.Chemical weapons experts from the OPCW have twice visited the UK to collect samples for testing after this latest detection of chemical weapons use on the streets of the UK. All the samples returned equally conclusive results.The Foreign Secretary said: Follow the Foreign Secretary on Twitter @Jeremy_Hunt and Facebook Follow the Foreign Office on Twitter @foreignoffice and Facebook Follow the Foreign Office on Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn Email [email protected] In the interests of transparency, the UK has requested that the OPCW publish the executive summary and share the full report with all state parties of the Chemical Weapons Convention.The police continue their investigation into the poisonings in Amesbury and Salisbury and we await their further conclusions.last_img read more

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News story: Three Board Members Appointed to the Charity Commission

first_imgTony CohenAfter working as a newspaper journalist and television producer in the UK Tony Cohen ran a television production company in the US for several years. He was CEO of FremantleMedia, a major international television production, distribution and rights company, specialising in primetime entertainment, drama and factual programming, for over 11 years from 2001 until 2012. He has served on a number of not-for-profit boards, including the Arvon Foundation, City of Westminster College, the RSA and Barnardo’s, where he was chair of trustees for the last four and half years until May this year. Tony is a Sloan Fellow of the London Business School and a Fellow of the RTS.Nina Hingorani-CrainA Chartered Accountant and Law Graduate, Nina has had a diverse 20-year career in the private, public and charity sectors. After 8 years in financial services corporate finance and consulting, she joined the Financial Services regulator. Here she spent 10 years, including in management roles as the Chairman’s Principal Private Secretary during the global financial crisis and subsequently as Chief of Staff leading the creation of the new Financial Conduct Authority. Whilst at the FCA, Nina also undertook a 6 month strategic secondment to Age UK to inform the strategy of placing consumer needs at the heart of the regulatory mandate. She embarked on a portfolio career in 2015 and is today a Director on the Boards of the Monmouthshire Building Society (the second largest building society in Wales), Achieving For Children (an award-winning provider of children’s services) and Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust (a mental and community health trust).Nina graduated from King’s College London with an LLB Honours degree, and from the Sorbonne Paris with the French equivalent. She subsequently qualified as a Chartered Accountant, and has also completed the Financial Times Non Executive Director Diploma. She enjoyed a diverse upbringing and has lived in parts of Africa, the Middle East and Europe.Ian KaretIan Karet is a solicitor and a partner of Linklaters LLP. He specialises in Intellectual Property and Technology and handles a range of commercial matters and disputes. He is a Solicitor Advocate, a qualified arbitrator and trained mediator. He read Chemistry at Oxford. Ian is also a member of the Civil Justice Council and a Trustee of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, appointed in 2014, where he currently chairs the Finance Committee. He has served on the board of the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property and writes and speaks on intellectual property issues.This appointment has been made in accordance with the Cabinet Office’s Governance Code on Public Appointments. The appointments process is regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. Under the Code, any significant political activity undertaken by an appointee in the last five years must be declared. This is defined as including holding office, public speaking, making a recordable donation, or candidature for election. Tony, Nina and Ian have declared no such activity.last_img read more

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Press release: UK Government signs Macolin Convention to tackle match-fixing in sport

first_img I warmly welcome today the United Kingdom’s signature of the Council of Europe Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions. This treaty is the only international legally-binding instrument against match-fixing, illegal betting, bad governance, insider information, conflicts of interests and the use of clubs as shell companies. This is a clear commitment by the United Kingdom to secure integrity in sport through our convention. The Council of Europe Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions – more commonly known as the Macolin Convention – aims to prevent, detect and punish match fixing.It was signed today by Minister for Sports and Civil Society Mims Davies with Gabriella Battaini Dragoni, Council of Europe Deputy Secretary General.The Convention is the only treaty dedicated to fighting the manipulation of sports competitions.Sports Minister Mims Davies said: During the signing, the Minister welcomed the leadership shown by the Council of Europe in developing this Convention and highlighted the work of the Gambling Commission and the Sports Betting Integrity Forum in combating match-fixing in the UK.The Convention encourages sports organisations and competition organisers to put appropriate measures in place such as adopting principles of good governance and educating athletes.Richard Watson, Gambling Commission Executive Director for Enforcement and Intelligence, said: Deputy Secretary General Gabriella Battaini Dragoni said: While I’m confident that we have a robust system in place to prevent match-fixing, we cannot be complacent. It is a cross-border issue, and only through a coordinated international effort can we mitigate the risks. We are pleased that the government has signed the Convention. It demonstrates our commitment to international collaboration in the fight against the manipulation of sports competitions and to protecting the integrity of both sport and sports betting in Great Britain”. Match-fixing is a real threat to the integrity of sport. It is a crime that robs spectators of the pleasure of watching a contest that they can trust.last_img read more

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