Archive for December, 2012

Great tit, Parus major, vulnerable to newly arrived strain of bird virus

December 21st, 2012 by Zoological Society of London

A great tit, Parus major, with avian pox (click image to expand - image courtesy of ZSL ©Vince Garvey)

A new strain of avian pox is taking its toll on garden birds in Britain.

Three papers (1,2,3) on this avian pox have been published recently in PLOS ONE.

Scientists from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), University of Oxford, the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and RSPB report on the impact avian pox is having on great tit populations.

Avian pox has been recorded in British bird species such as house sparrows and woodpigeons for a number of years.

However, the emergence of a new strain of this viral disease in great tits is causing concern amongst vets and ornithologists.

Wildlife vet Dr Becki Lawson from ZSL said “infection leads to warty, tumour-like growths on different parts of a bird’s body, particularly on the head around the eyes and beak. Continue reading

GE electric bus couples two battery types to reduce fuel cell cost & size

December 21st, 2012 by GE Global Research

GE's Durathon battery helps power the electric bus (click image to expand - image courtesy of GE Global Research)

Researchers at GE Global Research, the General Electric Company’s technology development arm, have achieved a first step in reducing the cost of clean fuel, zero emission buses, with a vehicle powered by GE’s new Durathon™ battery in tandem with a lithium battery and a hydrogen fuel cell.

This promising development of a new energy management system could help accelerate both fuel cell acceptance and electrification of bus fleets, delivery trucks and other larger, heavy-duty vehicle fleets enabling clean vehicle technologies. Continue reading

The five stages of CSR

December 21st, 2012 by Dr Wayne Visser

In this interview Dr. Wayne Visser identifies five stages of CSR:

  • Defensive CSR about compliance and risk management
  • Philanthropic or charitable CSR about giving back to the community
  • Promotional CSR about brand and reputation
  • Strategic CSR that aligns the issues with core business by adopting codes or standards
  • Transformative CSR that works to solve the environmental and social problems of the world

Corporate Social Responsibility, which goes back at least to the big philanthropic movement in the USA in the mid 19th Century, needs to move to Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility, which Dr. Visser dubs ‘CSR 2.0‘. Continue reading

Recycling Guernsey airport asphalt & concrete provides many benefits

December 21st, 2012 by States of Guernsey Public Services Department

Piles of concrete rubble in Lagan Construction's main construction compound opposite the Guernsey Airport terminal (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Thousands of tonnes of old concrete and asphalt are being recycled as part for the essential maintenance and improvements at Guernsey Airport.

The extensive works at Guernsey airport include the complete excavation and reconstruction of all the concrete aprons outside the terminal where aircraft normally park.

Once removed, the old concrete will be crushed and reused as a base material in the new aprons.

Material excavated during the recent closures, when a 50 metre section of runway at the western end was removed, has also been recycled.

Much of it was crushed on site while this operation was being carried out, and used in the base layers of the newly reconstructed section. Continue reading

A new Floral Guernsey Schools’ co-ordinator to be appointed in 2013

December 21st, 2012 by Bedell Group

Ann Wragg is stepping down from the role as Bedell Little Green Fingers Schools’ Project co-ordinator after five years.

Ann Wragg, Floral Guernsey schools’ co-ordinator, has been instrumental in the management of Bedell Little Green Fingers Schools’ Project – in association with Floral Guernsey – which launched in January 2008 to introduce all primary school-aged children to gardening, educate them about their environment, and encourage healthy eating.

Bedell Little Green Fingers Schools’ Project offers assistance with funding a variety of workshops and seminars, providing gardening equipment, the purchase of seeds and plants throughout the year, as well as being on hand to answer any gardening questions. Continue reading

Autism Guernsey and Amalgamated Boxing Club receive funds raised by the 2012 Itex Rotary Walk

December 20th, 2012 by ITEX

Two additional charities will benefit from the funds raised by the 2012 Itex Rotary Walk.

Six hundred and fifteen people registered for the walk along the entire Guernsey coastline. Three hundred and fifty people completed the round the island course on 9 June 2012.

Having raised over £51,000 from the 2012 walk, the Itex Rotary Trust was left with a surplus of £10,000, after distributing funds to its seven selected charities earlier in 2012 at a special presentation hosted by The Lieutenant Governor, Air Marshal Peter Walker at Government House in St Peter Port.

The seven charities were Guernsey Cheshire Home, Guernsey Sailing Trust, Guernsey Botanical Trust, ADHD Support Group, Guernsey MS Society, CI Air Search, and Guernsey Health Information Exchange. Continue reading

Lloyds TSB Foundation makes donation towards running costs of GVS’s Jubilee Day Centre

December 19th, 2012 by LLoyds TSB Foundation for the Channel Islands

Guernsey Voluntary Service's Jubilee Day Centre, St Sampson (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

The Lloyds TSB Foundation for the Channel Islands has made a donation to the Guernsey Voluntary Services (GVS), which has been serving the Bailiwick for more than 60 years.

The Guernsey Voluntary Services (GVS) – formerly the WRVS or Women’s Royal Voluntary Service – relies on over 500 volunteers to deliver such essential services as Meals on Wheels, the Island Emergency Team, and assisting with the Blood Donor Service.

Although it receives an annual grant from the States of Guernsey, the GVS has to meet its own running expenses from modest charges for services and fundraising initiatives. Continue reading

Sure sponsors Headway Guernsey’s cognitive brain training course

December 19th, 2012 by Sure

Committee members from the Sure Community Foundation learn about Headway's cognitive brain training course (click image to expand - image courtesy of Sure)

Cognitive brain training, which has benefited Headway Guernsey users, will continue after a donation from the Sure Community Foundation.

The course, which supports people with a brain injury, has already proved successful.

“It’s been extremely effective and those users who have been through the course have reported back to us on the positive impact it has had on their lives,’ said Orla-Marie Manning from Headway Guernsey.

The course enables participants to understand more about brain injury and then focuses on memory groups and confidence.

“We deal with a wide range of brain injuries including aneurysms, meningitis, stroke and accidents. Each person will be affected differently, depending on who they are and the Continue reading

Onshore wind farms have a role to play in funding community projects

December 19th, 2012 by HM Government Department of Energy and Climate Change

An Suidhe Wind Farm in Argyll provides community funds (click image to expand - image courtesy of RWE Innogy GmbH)

Energy Secretary Edward Davey said that UK communities that host onshore wind farms could benefit from reduced electricity bills and investment in local infrastructure.

The comments in September 2012 came alongside the launch of a call for evidence aimed at ensuring that communities secured financial, social and environmental benefit from hosting onshore wind farms.

The community benefits consultation sought new information on:

  • Barriers to community engagement and how to address these
  • How wind farms could deliver wider environmental and social benefits to communities e.g. by providing grants for playgrounds
  • Best practice in local consultation by developers
  • Ways to maximise participation by local businesses in the economic supply chain for wind projects
  • Innovative ways to reward host communities, such as offsetting electricity bills Continue reading

New rules for cleaner ship fuels will improve English Channel air quality

December 19th, 2012 by European Commission

Commodore starts up her diesel engines in St Peter Port harbour on 6 June 2012 (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

New European environmental rules on marine fuels, entered into force on 17 December 2012.

These rules will substantially reduce air pollution and its impacts on human health. Air pollutants from maritime shipping are transported long distances and contribute increasingly to the air quality problems in many European cities.

Without any action, sulphur emissions from shipping in EU sea areas would exceed those from all land-based sources by 2020.

The revised legislation will put an end to this trend reducing not only sulphur emissions but more importantly particulate matter, marking a clear step forward in protection of people’s health and the environment. Continue reading