March 25th, 2009 by Vanessa
G-CAN is encouraging the Guernsey community to take part in a global phenomenon this weekend to raise awareness of climate change. Earth Hour which takes place from 8.30pm to 9.30pm on Saturday 28th March has grown into a worldwide initiative spearheaded by the World Wide Fund for Nature and the UN.
March 18th, 2009 by Jamie Sebire
Schoders (CI) Ltd. conducted a sustainability project in 2008 to understand and reduce its enviromental impact. Carbon dioxide emissions were calculated for energy consumption, business travel, and commuting. The carbon footprint of supplies such as stationary and food and drink was also taken into account.
Electricity consumption was the leading source of C02 emissions followed by business travel. Staff commutes to work accounted for only 3.6 percent of the company’s C02 emissions. The company formed a Green Team and produced a Green Guide. New recycling initiatives and energy conservation measures were instigated. The company also increased its support of environmental community projects.
The company vowed to maintain a high level of staff education and encouragement in this endeavour.
Last year Schroders (CI) Ltd. conducted a sustainability project to assess and try and reduce its environmental impact.
Prior to the start of the project Schroders (CI) Ltd. considered that pursuing a green agenda would entail a high capital cost as well as ongoing costs. They thought that any carbon emission savings they could make would not be a significant contribution to overall carbon emissions. They also expected that the daily commute to work would contribute significantly to the company’s carbon footprint.
The project commenced in July 2008 when six university interns investigated Schroder (CI) Ltd. carbon emissions and identified ways to reduce them.
Carbon dioxide emissions or the carbon footprint was divided into two categories.
Direct consumption of energy from electricity usage, heating, business travel and commuting contributed to the company’s primary footprint.
The consumption of stationary, food and drink contributed to the company’s secondary footprint.
Electricity consumption accounted for over 51 percent of the primary carbon footprint (140 metric tons of C02). Business travel at 81.5 metric tons of C02 accounted for 29.8 percent of the company’s emissions followed by heating at 14.9 percent and commuting at 3.6 percent. C02 emissions totaled 273.7 metric tons.
Although commuting to work accounted for only 3.6 percent of the primary carbon footprint it was analysed for method of travel. Sixty-five percent of commutes were with fossil fuel powered vehicles.
Schroders (CI) Ltd. calculated for the secondary carbon footprint that it consumes 463,800 A4 paper sheets per year. The paper is approved by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). Paper that is not sent to clients is shredded and recycled. The company recycled what was possible to recycle in Guernsey. This included cardboard, newspaper and magazines; bottles, cans and tins; and PET (1) and HDPE (2) plastic. General waste went to landfill.
The company found that 42.5 percent of its primary carbon footprint was outside its direct control. This included the activities of the Zurich office.
The study discovered that some of the staff were unaware of all the recycling facilities but that staff generally had a high level of interest in the environment.
It was critical to monitor and measure the success of the program and have individuals in the organisation who motivated staff to change their behaviour.
To improve the company’s sustainability Schoders (CI) Ltd. formed a green team and produced a Green Guide for staff. The company added new recycling bins in the kitchen area, recycled all paper waste, purchased re-usable shopping bags for staff use, and extended office recycling to allow staff to bring in used batteries and toner cartridges. It was also decided to remove the kitchen coffee machine which uses disposable sachets.
The company installed video conferencing equipment to minimise business travel, and to reduce electricity consumption the company decreased the work load of the server room air conditioners. The company also reduced passive infrared (PIR) sensor timings on office lighting.
It was decided that environmental issues would be evaluated for all new purchases of office furniture. In support of the local community Schoders (CI) Ltd. sponsored a presentation on anaerobic digestion (AD) of food waste by Biogen. Schroders (CI) Ltd. has also committed to cleaning two Guernsey beaches for the Marine Conservation Society Beachwatch campaign.
In the future Schroders (CI) Ltd. will review employee car parking and incentives for green travel. The company will work to improve building energy efficiency and reduce and recycle communal waste. Julian Winser said that the previous generation installed a carbon intense infrastructure. The new generation of buildings would have to be greener. The company was considering staff incentives for green investment and may pay up to half the cost of providing insulation for an employee’s home.
What was critical to the success of improving sustainability and reducing environmental impact and unnecessary cost was continuing to maintain a high level of staff education and encouragement.
March 16th, 2009 by Pat Wisher
“Putting People First” is the Living Streets slogan – which means redressing the balance between people and traffic. Potential walkers are deterred by heavy traffic, pollution, narrow footpaths and the lack of crossings. Yet improvements to the walking environment are generally cheaper than other traffic related improvements.
Given more priority, it should be easy to increase walking in a small island like Guernsey.
Living Streets would like:
1. At least 10% of the annual traffic budget to be invested in walking initiatives, and targets to be set for the growth of walking.
2. Policies that give pedestrians a fairer share of the road space – for example more one way systems (with cycle contra flows) in roads with high footfall and where vehicles constantly drive on the pavement.
3. Walking to be marketed as a social, healthy, green and cheap option for short journeys to and from work or school.
4. Every opportunity to be taken to develop integrated walking networks, linking residential areas with shops, public transport and schools.
5. Investment in public rights of way – working with land owners.
6. The balance to be redressed in our town centre between car parking spaces and open leisure areas where people can walk, relax & socialise.
7. More pedestrian crossings where pedestrians want to cross.
8. Planners to ensure that major developments and community facilities are convenient for walkers.
Chair of Living Streets, Deputy John Gollop said “Living Streets was dismayed when paid parking was rejected in the States. Increasing the price of petrol will do nothing to encourage commuters to consider alternatives to the sole occupancy car drive to work. The dangers from the volume of traffic in the island is the main reason why so few people walk.”
We believe that the Environment Department should review its policies for their impacts on walking and their ability to encourage more people to walk.
Walking should be a viable alternative for short journeys to work or to school. At the moment potential walkers are deterred by heavy traffic, pollution, narrow footpaths & the lack of crossings.
“Last year during Walk to Work Week we featured a young islander whose commute from St. Jacques used to take 45 minutes by car (by the time she had negotiated the traffic, found a parking space and walked back to her workplace). She now walks to work and it takes just 20 minutes.”
We would like the Environment Department to market walking as a social, healthy, green and cheap option. With concern about rising obesity levels, health professionals have emphasized the need to incorporate exercise into our daily routine – and what better way than the journey to and from work or school?
In April 2008 STEPS changed its name to Living Streets, Guernsey. With a new name we feel it is time to align ourselves even more closely to the Living Streets UK’s Manifesto and also to re-emphasise the needs of pedestrians in Guernsey in order to encourage more islanders to walk.
The Living Streets UK Manifesto: What makes a living street?
1 Direct walking links to places people want to go
2 Clean and well maintained
3 Local shops and services within walking distance
4 Well lit and safe, day and night
5 Attractive and interesting design
6 Space to play and relax
7 Well designed, clutter free pavements
8 Places for people, not just traffic
9 Local people involved in decisions
10 Maps and signs to make it easy to walk
March 16th, 2009 by Richard Lord
Mark Parr’s The Electric Vehicles Company goes from strength to strength. The Guernsey company is now the research and development centre for converting a number of petrol powered cars to battery power. The cars will be converted to battery power in the UK by the Electric Car Corporation Plc.
The range of cars being converted from petrol to battery power has increased to four. Now it is possible to buy a battery powered Peugeot 107, a Citroën C1, a Fiat Panda, and a Smart EV. A van conversion is also being performed for the States of Guernsey’s Environment Department.
Twenty-five lithium batteries power the Peugeot, the Citroën, and the Fiat Panda. These cars have a Guernsey price of £11992. The Smart EV sells for £14950 because the base cost of a Smart is higher.
The Electric Vehicles Company continues to make energy efficiency improvements with the Smart EV having achieved 86 miles on one charge. The average range is now 60 to 80 miles per charge.
March 9th, 2009 by Richard Lord
March 8th, 2009 by Richard Lord
March 8th, 2009 by Richard Lord
The garden originally supplied Lord de Saumarez’s family and his guests and staff with food. Flowers and plants were grown to decorate his home.
The aim of the garden is to grow food and flowers the Victorian way. This involves learning lost skills and using old seed varieties. Modern disease resistant varieties will not be sown. Because the period 1875 to 1900 was before the widespread use of fossil fuels, the gardeners will not be using fossil fuel-based fertilisers or modern tools. They will be using tools and fertilisers made from sustainable natural resources. The garden will be organic but that is not the main aim of the garden.
The gardeners wish to remain faithful to Victorian gardening techniques although modern health and safety laws will be followed. The use of toxic elements like arsenic and smoked nicotine, which were used in Victorian times, will not be used to control pests.
The original garden had four separate glasshouses. The Guernsey Botanical Trust will restore the grape glasshouse, the citrus house, and the peach house. They will build a sympathetically designed administration building. Two dipping ponds supplied by a stream will feature at the centre of the garden. These ponds will provide easy access to water for watering cans to irrigate the planted crops.
The garden is very much a community project. The trust is heavily involved with Guernsey schools and school clubs. The Rainbows have visited the garden to plant sunflowers, and Guernsey school children will be visiting the garden to plant and tend to crops.
Eighty volunteers have registered with the Guernsey Botanical Trust. The Garden is open for work Monday to Friday 0900 to 1800 and Saturday from 0900 to 1700.
Currently there are two work groups. One operates on Wednesday afternoon and the other one all day Saturday. In 2008 six volunteers regularly turned up on Wednesday and twenty on Saturday. Ivan is asking for more volunteers to assist with restoring and maintaining the garden.
You are invited to join either of the two groups, or get a few friends together and start your own group. The Guernsey Botanical Trust would welcome any companies who would like to put a workforce together to help with the restoration and the operation of the garden.
If you are interested in helping please contact Ivan Le Tissier on 241157 or weaver(at)cwgsy.net
March 2nd, 2009 by Ivan Le Tissier
The Guernsey Botanical Trust which operates the Walled Victorian Garden at Saumarez Park requests donations of old tools and equipment and identified old seeds to restore the garden to its former glory.
To make a donation of old tools or old identified seeds to the Guernsey Botanical Trust charity, please contact Ivan Le Tissier on 241157 or weaver(at)cwgsy.net