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    The topic of sustainable transportation has attracted more and more attention in Europe over the past ten years, as cities work to lower their carbon footprints and encourage a more environmentally friendly way of life.

    Greenhouse gas emissions by transport account for 28% of total emissions in the European Union and 37% globally. EU governments have been working hard to find innovative solutions to reach European Green Deal’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. Public transportation, electric vehicles, and bicycles have all emerged as important solutions to the problems associated with urban mobility. So how are these sustainable transportation options changing urban mobility in Europe?

     

    Electric Cars: The Future of Mobility

    One of the most promising ways to lessen transportation’s carbon footprint is through the use of electric vehicles. Over the past few years, the sales of electric vehicles have been steadily rising, with Norway, Netherlands, and Sweden setting the European pace. The advantages of electric vehicles are obvious: they have no tailpipe emissions, cost less to operate and need less maintenance than conventional vehicles. Governments in Europe have also been providing incentives, such as tax breaks, subsidies, and free parking in cities, to promote the use of electric vehicles.

    Bicycles: A Sustainable and Healthy Option

    In Europe, bicycles have long been a common form of transportation, and as more cities build out their cycling infrastructure, the popularity of bicycles only grows. Cities like Amsterdam and Copenhagen are setting the bar high when it comes to promoting cycling as a healthy and sustainable mode of transportation in cities. Cities all over Europe have started to adopt bike-sharing programs, which offer locals and visitors a practical and affordable means of transportation.

     

    Public Transit: A Key Component of Sustainable Transportation

    Sustainable transportation in Europe heavily relies on public transit systems like trains, buses, and trams. Public transportation makes it easy and affordable to get around cities, which decreases the need for personal vehicles and eases traffic congestion. Many European cities have made investments to update their public transportation infrastructure, including the creation of electric buses and trams. Additionally, some cities have free or inexpensive public transportation, enticing people to take it instead of their cars.

    The Future of Sustainable Transportation in Europe

    Urban mobility in Europe is changing as a result of sustainable transportation options like electric cars, bicycles, and public transit systems. These alternatives provide a way to lessen the carbon footprint of transportation, enhance air quality, ease traffic, and support active and healthy lifestyles. Although it appears that sustainable transportation in Europe has a promising future, this potential will only be fully realized with continued investment and promotion.

     

    Want to be a driver of change towards a more sustainable future? Sustainability Academy’s certified courses are designed by leading professionals and trainers with expertise in the field of sustainability.

    Contact us at [email protected] for more information on our courses and exclusive discounts.

    It’s the most wonderful time of the year, before Christmas!

    Sustainability Academy is once again excited to step in a little sooner than Black Friday and offer its bundle courses in a premium cost.

    Seize the opportunity of diving into understanding the most important topics of ESG, reporting standards, circular economy and carbon reduction.

    Stay ahead of the trends while you offer yourself the chance to learn, own the information and become certified.

    Whether you are working for a small/large business or are an independent professional, choose the right bundle and benefit from faster decision making, flexibility and close contact with stakeholders to better understand their needs.

    Are you looking to find out more on International Standards relating to ESG Impact and SRI and get useful insights on new legislation and how to report to Investors?

    How familiar are you with circular economy concepts and principles, guidelines, and tools?

    Climate change Impact and financial implications are not theoretical anymore. How aware and prepared are you with developing a carbon footprint strategy and the net zero goal?

    Whatever the learning hiatus or lack of specialization you find yourself with, start today your ESG journey and get bundled up with the affordable certified online courses by Sustainability Academy.

    The bundle offers will be available for two weeks until Black Friday at midnight.

    Add one of the suggested bundle courses to your cart and get the 30% discount directly!

    Do bundles not work for you?

    You can also get one of our best-selling courses with 20% discount! Choose one of the following and add the discount code BF20 when you add the course to the cart.

     

     

    For more information: [email protected]

     

    4 Strategic steps to accelerate the path to net zero

    Just before 2021 ended, more that 680 of the world’s largest corporations claimed net-zero emissions goals. The number of net zero targets that have been set by companies is still rising, covering almost 80% of the global economy, according to Net Zero Tracker. This private sector leadership is giving policymakers the confidence to raise national targets, facing now an unprecedented pressure from investors.

    Major emitters like United Airlines, BP, Nestlé, and Dell have pledged to reduce their impact on climate change and reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Moreover, NatWest, a major retail and commercial bank in the United Kingdom, plans to invest £100bn in climate and sustainable funding by the end of 2025, which could contribute 50% of the UK’s net zero target.

    If world leaders want to have a chance of achieving the Paris goal, net-zero is the only way. However, according to the New Climate Institute and the non-profit Carbon Market Watch, real action is still lagging and some of the world’s biggest companies may not even get close to achieving their claimed goals.

     

    How can companies advance toward net-zero?

     

    Zero-carbon skills are required: A net-zero economy will require different skills. To achieve the target of being zero carbon by 2050, higher levels of formal education, work experience and training are needed.

    Understanding where your company currently stands: Assess Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions and quantify all other indirect emissions from the value chain (Scope 3). Since they are not under your company’s direct control, the quantification and reduction process are not an easy task.

    Set your roadmap: Setting a roadmap secures a better financial future. However, defining a vision and assessing your company’s emissions is not enough. Everything should be translated into measurable improvements. Unfortunately, too many net-zero pledges fail to account properly for all GHG emissions.

    Tracking the progress: Recognize the gaps to improve data availability and accuracy. Companies should keep in mind that transparency is a key element of good practice in net zero target setting. A great number of companies lack the integrity needed for decarbonization, hiding critical information.

    Lead your organization along the Net Zero journey. Sustainability Academy provides a leading Qualification as well as the opportunity to expand your knowledge in the most crucial fields of Sustainability.

    Check out our certified online courses here.

    Reach us at [email protected]

    With the circular economy so closely linked with sustainable development, it seems logical that circularity is integrated into the core of production and consumption models. As such, the circular economy has never been a more important concept for the world to put into practice than it is today.

    Circular economy practices such as reduce, redesign, recycle, and remanufacturing are directly aligned with achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 12 by employing new technologies and business models and reducing the number of unsustainable products.

    How does circular economy contribute to sustainability? The future of Your Business

    Recycling waste and creating materials that can be reused again is a key sustainability benefit. The advantages of a circular economy are the protection of the environment, reducing waste and the emissions of greenhouse gases.

    Circular economy is a holistic approach which goes beyond a range of sectors including agriculture, energy, climate change, water, and sanitation. Indeed, utilizing circular economy practices across these areas, combined with social justice considerations, provides a unique framework for achieving the SDGs.

    For businesses, the goal of wasting as little as possible brings exceptional opportunities for innovative technology and system planning. The circular economy opens opportunities for both profit increase and cost decrease. For example, remanufacturing hardware would be less expensive due to cheaper recycled materials.

    Concerns when implementing the circular economy:

    • Lack of recycling technology: Improvements in collection schemes and sorting technologies are essential to achieve higher recycling rates. Plastic waste recycling rates are ten times higher when collected separately, compared to mixed collection schemes.
    • Poor business model plan: The circular economy concept (e.g., choosing the right online accounting software, creating products that can be upcycled, repurposed, and re-sold) fails to be integrated in a business model plan making it incomplete.

    What are the economic benefits?

    • Savings on material costs: The circular economy redirects waste to form new materials. This lowers raw material and production resource requirements. According to the World Economic Forum, a circular economy could save the EU up to $630 billion USD every year.
    • Innovation and job opportunities: Jobs may be lost in more linear businesses; however new jobs will be created in fields such as recycling, services like repair and rental, or in new enterprises that spring up to make innovative use of secondary materials. These new jobs cannot be considered direct replacements, as they may be in different locations and require different skills.

    Is your business ready enough to make a significant step forward in realizing a circular economy approach? Training has a critical role to play in enabling circular economy strategies.

    Check out our course of Online Certificate on Circular Economy and benefit from an exclusive discount of 20% discount!

    ESG is rising globally, and companies need a better understanding not only of their investors’ needs for ESG information, but also of how critical it is to improve the company’s ESG investor communications. According to 2021 Gartner CEO and Senior Business Executive Survey, the percentage of CEO’s selecting ESG as one of their top five priorities doubled from 2020 to 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated engagement on ESG among companies and investors, making ESG communication increasingly essential.

    Here are some aspects of ESG communication that should not be overlooked:

    Employee demand for ESG is rising

    58 percent of employees consider a company’s social and environmental commitments when choosing where to work. Moreover, over 70 percent of Millennials are more likely to choose to work at a company with a strong environmental agenda. All this implies to a purposeful communication.

    Effective ESG communication begins with clear connections to brand, purpose and organizational goals

    To succeed in an authentic communication about ESG it means to truly integrated it with the corporate narrative and strategic objectives. ESG issues are sometimes complex, therefore they should be presented in such a way to be easy to comprehend without technical language.

    Better ESG communication results in multiple benefits for companies

    Companies with well-based ESG strategy are in a better position in the post-pandemic landscape as they are more resilient. Engagement is a key part of resilience and highly engaged employees help companies to significantly outperform their peers. A well-structured communication within the company is an important driver for more engaged employees.

    Do not forget that a good communication plan is structured by well-trained employees. Well-educated employees can create more sustainable companies and it is also a tried recipe for long-term success.

    In light of the constant personal development as a professional, be sure to learn more about our recently updated Online Certificate on ESG Impact and Sustainable Investing and benefit from our summer 20% discount!

    For more information on the discount code, please contact [email protected]

    To maintain a long term value of the products, materials and resources in the economy, a company needs to acknowledge the importance of keeping its environmental impact as low as possible. This is the starting point to join a circular economy plan. What needs, however, to be done in order to fully implement it?

    Here are five key steps that could help your organization adopt a circular economy model:

    1.Efficiency Improvement

    Get more value from your investments by improving your operational efficiency. Moreover, an efficient use of resources could also contribute to a material security while also improve environmental and economic outcomes.

     2. Make good use of resources

    Incorporating recycled and reused materials into end-of-life products is a big challenge, but that could have a positive impact to a company as it can better recognize the existing resources. Challenge your engineers to identify new ways to process the materials or design new models.

    3.Utilization of new tools and techniques

    There is a constant improvement on tools and techniques that a company can identify and implement. These tools can measure your success and move your operations towards a circular model.

    4.Communicate the business value

    Consumers are in favor of products that use sustainable materials. Trust needs to be built with both the consumers and the stakeholders. Show them your efforts.

    5. Integrated business vision

    Incorporate an integrated business vision not only to the product’s lifecycle, but also to the supply chain. Take into account the product’s end-of-life and collect data from the entire supply chain so as to reduce energy and materials.

    Circular economy is not a choice any more. Companies should mainstream the new policies and bring them to scale.

    To meet this need, Sustainability Academy is beyond environmentally focused as it offers affordable specialized certified online education and coaching in the field of Sustainability (ESG) and Corporate Responsibility.

    CSE, as the sponsor and developer of the Sustainability Academy is organizational Stakeholder of GRI (Global Reporting Initiative), certified Business by Green America, certified Consultant by Accountability (For coaching Services on Sustainability), CMI Recognized Training Program Provider and certified Member of CPD.

    Don’t miss the opportunity to check out our newest course of Online Certificate on Circular Economy and get our welcome discount of 20%. Contact us at [email protected] to get your promo code.

    By Rosalinda Sanquiche, ISSP-SA, CSE Certified Trainer

    What will the “new normal” look like? The challenges we’re facing in the wake of COVID-19 are the very challenges to which sustainability professionals have long been offering solutions.

    The Resilient versus Efficient debate tends to fall toward efficiency. However, we should ask which areas can we best managed with redundancy. Sustainability based on biodiversity teaches us to find multiple pathways to the same outcome. Do we always want the cheapest, least labor intense option? Resiliency affects workers, supply chain, health care, education and so much more.

    Supply chain – knowing exactly where our products come from, how they get to us, and which commodities are fragile are a few of the issues addressed by McKinsey, Harvard Business Review and thousands of articles and reports from the sustainability community, with extensive guidelines and management tools.

    Clean Air – a current meme is the clear skies around our most populated cities. There have been 11,000 avoided deaths because of better quality air in Europe. Compare this to the estimated 100,000 deaths annually in the US attributed to air pollution. Now is the time to consider corporations going beyond compliance.

    Debt relief – various ideas are circulating to relieve the financial burden of student loans, mortgage and rent payments, credit card payments and even utility bills. Should companies consider debt-forgiveness jubilees for community stakeholders? And, let’s be deeply concerned that a few weeks of unemployment have sent many to the food banks.

    Health care – Many communities suffer poor access to medical care and nutrition during the best of times. In turn, these bottom of the chain workers are the very ones who prepare our food, deliver our goods, care for our children. A system where the best paying get the best care is irrelevant to the spread of illness. Even the fully employed can fall toward the negative end of the spectrum.

    If there are liver diseases, the active substance of Ambien (Zolpidem) can accumulate in the body and lead to undesirable consequences. The drug should be prescribed to elderly patients with caution, since they have an increased risk of developing muscle relaxant and sedative effects on the body, which leads to falls and injuries.

    Guaranteed minimum income – many economists, as did Milton Friedman, suggest variations of a guaranteed minimum income. As we scramble to disburse aid to displaced minimum wage earners and gig workers and the more fragile than we’d like to admit middle class, sustainability practitioners again must grapple with providing the benefits of corporations offering living wages.

    Sustainability is so much more than reduce, reuse, recycle. Companies task sustainability practitioners with crafting solutions best suited for their sector. CSE training and consulting are resources you can access for sound, long-term solutions to ameliorate the fallout from COVID-19 and other crises to come.

    There is an increasing and urgent need for greater transparency, reliability and comparability of ESG (environmental, social and governance) performance data reported by companies. ESG data has become an important factor in determining a company’s valuation and a vital medium to access financing and capital. As a result we are seeing a significant increase in Sustainability reporting, which has grown significantly with 86% of S&P companies having published a report in 2018, compared to 20% in 2010.

     

    The challenge is that current corporate ESG disclosures lack consistency and standardization. To add to the confusion, there are more than 600 ESG ratings agencies globally, according to the Global Initiative for Sustainability Ratings.

    There is a lot of ESG data available for investors but which cannot necessarily be relied upon by investors to make informed decisions.

     

    The frustration for many companies is the general lack of transparency as to how they are being scored in their sustainability performance. Currently firms which provide ESG benchmarking services are gathering data from multiple sources, ranging from “best of” lists to ratings agencies, but the scores don’t contain enough information and context for most investors. Investors need to complement these ESG data with additional feeds from news reports, social media posts, and employment sites.

     

    Going forward, it is widely expected that automation and artificial intelligence (AI) will be leveraged to both generate and evaluate ESG data. However for these machine systems to work effectively a larger volume of data will need to be produced. AI functions best on billions of data points rather than millions.

     

    In response, investor relations and sustainability teams are looking for new innovative ways to increase dependable data collection to detect and highlight strategic ESG information. Technology innovations are creating new opportunities, for example, companies are now testing new sustainability applications on their customers focusing primarily on measuring and tracking energy consumption, climate emissions, waste generation and environmental data.

     

    We expect the increase in automation and AI data collection to significantly change how sustainability reporting is both undertaken and strategically perceived.

     

    The Sustainability Academy offers the Online Diploma on Corporate Sustainability and a series of specialized programs on Sustainability Reporting, Carbon Reduction Strategy and ESG Performance for Investors. There are also special In-house Programs for organizations, who recognize that investing in their human capital through education is the most important determinant for growth and excellence in Sustainability. To confirm this claim, recent research has demonstrated that organizations with a strong learning culture can outperform their peers. The Academy aspires to reach 100,000 professionals by 2025!

    Nikos Avlonas

    Center for Sustainability and Excellence (CSE)

     

    March 19, 2020

     

    The international emergency arising in the last few weeks following the extensive spread of the  Covid-19, also known as coronavirus, has reached a critical point, encompassing both global health as well as the economic impact the will ensue. It is widely expected that the global economic system will suffer greatly, with the United Nations reporting losses of up to $2 trillion while Bloomberg, being even more pessimistic, forecasts losses of up to $2.7 trillion, a figure which compares to the entire GDP of the United Kingdom !

     

    With rapid developments occurring at a daily pace and following the announcement that we are experiencing a global pandemic, it already is clear that certain industry sectors will be harder hit than others, the biggest losers appearing to be tourism, air travel but also retail as well as food and beverage service industries. All these sectors are co-dependent and the growing uncertainty is firing off chain reactions that are greatly impacting the business community as a whole as well as the entire Banking system. According to IATA, the loss for the commercial airline industry could range between $63 billion to $113 billion for this year alone, depending on the length of impact brought on by the virus.

     

    Businesses are being called upon to combat the economic crisis but in parallel to prove their sustainability by acting with significant responsibility towards their employees, their customers, their business partners as well as for the safety of their products and services. It can be said that the pandemic is a true test of Sustainability and Responsibility of all existing businesses while most are already in crisis mode.

     

    In the attempt to maintain and support supply chains, particularly around the distribution of emergency products and services, such as food and pharmaceuticals, the adoption of strict protective measures, both for employees as well as the products delivered to end customers, is a basic requirement of Corporate Responsibility. In addition, special emphasis can be made on the population groups at higher risk and are in immediate need for protection through collaborations and synergies that can be created through sector initiatives or independently.  Examples could be supermarkets offering free home delivery to high risk customers while medical centers can take advantage of the technology available and offer virtual diagnostic and tele-medical services.

     

    In parallel, many organizations are already offering solutions creating customized working conditions, such as tele-working,  in line with the general guidance to “stay at home” but also providing psychological support and other initiatives for the well being of their employees. Technology is indeed an important ally given that the many alternatives it can offer are proving to be highly beneficial.

     

    It is widely accepted by all that in this difficult and unprecedented time it’s a basic requirement that we all display personal responsibility. Similarly for businesses, the time has come to put in practice their corporate social responsibility and solidarity for the communities they serve.