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Total sells off $900m of its UK gas assets

Collapsing oil price worldwide leads French firm operating in North Sea to relinquish two pipelines and St Fergus terminal in Scotland

Total, one of the biggest energy firms operating in the North Sea, has sold off $900m (£585m) of UK gas interests to cut costs, amid the continuing collapse of oil prices.

The French group is disposing of its interests in two pipelines – one which delivers gas from 20 North Sea fields – and its ownership of the St Fergus gas terminal in Scotland.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Louisiana fishermen battle back from a decade of hurricanes and oil slicks

After a rough decade, the fishing industry around New Orleans is struggling to recover from the lingering damage from Katrina and the BP oil spill

Like Louisiana’s largest city, New Orleans, the state’s verdant, marshy coastline is wild and diverse: a fat, largemouth bass might snatch the same topwater lure in the same fishing spot where you just landed a 30lb bull redfish. Just beyond the beady iridescent eyes of a freshwater gator emerges the fin of a benevolent porpoise. The coastal fishery’s singular bounty has traditionally provided for many.

It’s tempting to ask how Louisiana fishing culture is faring 10 years after Katrina. But given the abuse doled out to the state’s fisherman since that famous storm – including three more hurricanes and the effects of the 2010 BP oil spill – it’s a wonder Louisiana’s commercial fishing industry hasn’t gone extinct even sooner than most local fishermen now predict.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Jack Wills cancels plans to float on London Stock Exchange

Peter Williams, founder and major shareholder of preppy fashion brand, to return as chief executive two years after stepping aside

Jack Wills, the preppy fashion brand worn by Prince Harry, has cancelled plans to float on the London Stock Exchange and announced that its founder is returning to the helm.

The clothing chain, known for emblazoning its brand name on underpants and sweaters, said Peter Williams, founder and majority shareholder, was returning to the role of chief executive two years after stepping aside. The current chief executive, Wendy Becker, who joined as chief operating officer in 2012, is leaving the company.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Five things vanilla lovers should know about their fave flavor and fragrance

We like it in our perfumes and candles, and atop sugar cones in the summer. But do you know where vanilla comes from and how it ends up on store shelves?

Mmm, vanilla: what’s not to like about this comforting, sweet-smelling spice? Most of us associate vanilla with pleasant childhood memories, sweet treats and ice cream on vacation – hence vanilla’s ongoing popularity, according to The Smell Report, published in 2009 by the Social Issues Research Centre, a UK-based research firm focused on social and cultural trends.

A 2013 survey by the International Ice Cream Association, a trade group, found vanilla was America’s most-favored flavor, followed by chocolate and butter pecan. The nonprofit Fair Trade Vanilla Cooperative reports that the US consumes the most vanilla globally, using it as flavoring in sodas, baked goods, ice cream, syrups and perfumes.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Deutsche Bank staff questioned as part of Libor investigation

Current and former traders interviewed by SFO about manipulation of London interbank offered rate and euro counterpart

Current and former Deutsche Bank staff have been questioned by the Serious Fraud Office in recent weeks in relation to the investigation into Libor rate-rigging.

Traders have been interviewed about the manipulation of the London interbank offered rate and its euro counterpart, Bloomberg has reported.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Targeting airports during the summer holiday season? That’s plane stupid

Environmental campaigns targeting fun things like holidays and Christmas lights are doomed to fail. For now, enjoyment should be exempt from the carbon audit

I remember the worst idea for a climate change campaign I’ve ever heard.

It was November 2008, and a well-meaning friend – having just discovered how much household energy bills can rise at Christmas with all the extra lighting in use – suggested that the wastefulness of the festive season could be a great “hook” for getting people thinking about energy consumption.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

FTSE 100 rebounds after rally in China and US ends days of turmoil

London index climbs more than 2% as Shanghai and Wall Street finally snap losing streak

The FTSE 100 has climbed by about 150 points after a surge in stocks in China and the US.

The London index was up about 2% to 6,099 points on Thursday morning, after a rally in New York led the Dow Jones Industrial Average 619 points (3.95%) higher, ending a six-day sell-off sparked by global concerns about the health of the Chinese economy. Around midday, the FTSE 100 was 2.36% higher at 6,120 points, while Germany’s Dax was over 3% higher at 10,300.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Winner of the Green Apple Built Environment Award

We are delighted to announce Circular Ecology’s role in winning a Green Apple award for the Built Environment. Circular Ecology’s client New Sustainable Building Model Ltd (NSBM) entered the Green Apple Awards and competed against more than 200 other nominations in the Built Environment & Architectural Heritage category for 2015.

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NSBM are based in Cambridgeshire and Hampshire. The project entered was an Eco Rating Tool for the built environment. It focused on the company’s eco-efficiency approach and the importance of the circular economy. The aim of the NSBM Eco approach was to provide the built environment with an improved capability for assessment & specification of building elements for sustainable design & build decisions. This is in essence to close three important gaps in the built environment:

1.       Performance
2.       Environment
3.       Affordability

Danny Lee, Sustainability Director at NSBM Ltd, said “We would like to thank Circular Ecology for their support and for the development of the NSBM Eco Rating tool used in the awards entry”.

As a result of this Green Apple Award, NSBM Ltd has been invited to apply for the top global honour of a Green World Award and have our winning paper published in The Green Book (the leading international work of reference on environmental best practice) so that others around the world can follow their example and learn from their achievement.

Alex Rius, Construction Director at NSBM Ltd, said “The development of the NSBM Eco rating tool will speed-up and improve the quality of our sustainability assessments for our clients’ projects. Thank you Circular Ecology.”

Circular Ecology and NSBM are planning to do a joint webinar about the project. More details to be announced here soon…

More about the Green Apple Awards

The Green Apple Awards began in 1994 and have become established as the major recognition for environmental endeavour among companies, councils, communities and countries. 

The Green Apple awards are organised by The Green Organisation – an international, independent, non-political, non-activist, non-profit environment group dedicated to recognising, rewarding and promoting environmental best practice around the world. 

The awards are supported by the Environment Agency, the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, the Chartered Institution for Wastes Management and other independent bodies.

Source: Circular Ecology News RSS

World's biggest car manufacturers sued over 'deadly' keyless ignitions

Claims that the new system in five million cars is linked to carbon monoxide poisoning which has led to 13 deaths

Ten of the world’s biggest carmakers were sued on Wednesday by American consumers who claim they concealed the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning in more than five million vehicles equipped with keyless ignitions, leading to 13 deaths.

According to the complaint filed in Los Angeles federal court, carbon monoxide is emitted when drivers leave their vehicles running after taking their electronic key fobs with them, under the mistaken belief that the engines will shut off.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Asia Pacific stock markets continue recovery after Fed hints at delay – live

Follow the day’s events with Martin Farrer.

2.00pm AEST

Interesting piece on Reuters about how some of the problems could be down to the loss of key regulatory personnel.

After the GFC, it says, Beijing poached top Chinese talent from overseas banks to come home and overhaul the country’s financial system. But by June this year, they’d become disillusioned and headed back to the private sector:

The best and brightest returnees, known in China as “sea turtles”, had already left for the private sector, disillusioned and disappointed.

A former official at the China Securities Regulatory Commission, one of a group of 20 high-profile returnees, recalled the CSRC’s appeal to make “sacrifices for the motherland”.

1.55pm AEST

Fairly steady on the markets still. Tokyo is well-placed at lunch having put on 1.89% without loss, while in Australia the ASX is batting through the break at +1.28%.

In China, the Shanghai Comp has played a riskier knock but is up 1.55% for the day so far despite nearly falling into the trap earlier in the session.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS