The Climate crisis is hereHelp us save our planet
Climate Pay helps fund world leading global research on improving Sustainability and reducing Climate Change
Steve Evans – fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge
“Global industry generates more than 30% of climate change impacts”
Professor Steve Evans is Director of Research in Industrial Sustainability at the Institute for Manufacturing, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge. He leads what is probably the largest global research team trying to improve the environmental impact of the world’s industrial system.
Steve studies how to create a sustainable world at scale. He works with governments and large and small organisations who are trying to radically reduce their currently unsustainable impacts.
His work tries to find ways to help industry become sustainable, and is particularly interested in inexpensive solutions – expensive solutions are too easy! His team come from across the globe, solving problems in Africa and Asia as well as the advanced economies. Steve has led the first UK research into multi-disciplinary engineering teams, the first into eco-design, the first into Circular Economy and many other projects, totalling over £30million. Steve loves to bring people together to solve tough problems…..
What Does it Mean?
Sustainability is the idea that goods and services should be produced in ways that do not use resources that cannot be replaced and that do not damage the environment.
The Earth is over 4.5 billion years old, and yet in only approximately 200 years man has managed to negatively influence the Earth’s natural systems. A wide range of human activity has had a detrimental effect on the planet, at an ever increasing rate. Many believe that there is a tipping point beyond which repair becomes impossible. Activities such as agriculture and farming are contributing to mass deforestation; increased use of fossil fuels is leading to catastrophic amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, and our industrial processes are producing waste that is throwing the earth’s natural processes and ecosystems off balance.
Everyone recognises that agriculture, industry and product consumption are all necessary and will not stop. Sustainability is about doing these things in ways that do not cause irreversible damage to our world.
What is it?
Climate change is always seen as a far-off event that can be left to another time to deal with. But this perception needs to change… we already are in the climate crisis and pandemics, flooding and forest fires are all symptoms of rising temperatures.
The climate crisis is the process by which human activity has increased greenhouse gas emissions to dangerously high levels and altered the planet’s natural ability to regulate itself, causing an increase in global temperature. This has profound effects on humans and the planet because life is sensitive to temperature and climate. There has been a dramatic rise in temperature by 1°C in the last 100 years which has been driven by greenhouse gas emissions and in particular carbon dioxide.
Most people don’t think a 1°C rise in temperature is a lot but humans (and life on Earth) are sensitive to changes in temperature. A normal human body temperature is between 36 °C to 37 °C. If our temperature rises by 1°C above the normal threshold to 38°C – this would cause a fever and we would be considered to be ill. We would produce symptoms: sweating, shivering, headache, muscle aches, dehydration and general weakness and the NHS recommends taking medicine at this point. The Planet too is producing symptoms from an increase in temperature and the pandemic is one of them. If left untreated in humans and our temperature continues to rise there is a serious risk that the fever will affect the brain and result in a coma. Now imagine this effect on a global scale with climate change.
How bad is it?
Nasa reports that the levels of CO2 have increased by 47% since the industrial revolution and this is a direct result of burning fossil fuels. Fossil fuels were formed over millions of years ago. They were formed when plants and other organisms were laid down in decomposing layers under sediment and rock.
And when we burn that fossil carbon it emits much greater amounts of carbon dioxide than any natural processes such as volcanoes. In fact, we are currently producing in excess of 100 times more carbon dioxide than all the volcanoes combined.
It is now indisputable and unversally accepted that mankind has caused Climate Change.
Why the world waited
The narrative around climate change has been fundamentally shaped by fossil fuel companies. They have spent millions of dollars on PR and marketing to deny climate change science to protect their profit, releasing regular statements over the last 40 years negating and denying climate change.
From our experience in consumer psychology and behaviour we know that people are much more likely to believe targeted marketing campaigns than science, as the language and terminology used by scientists is much more difficult to digest. And to this day we are still living with the consequences of a mistrust of climate science that fossil fuel companies spent millions of dollars creating.
Climate Change and Health
The pandemic does not stand in isolation, it was not a one-off freak event. Such outbreaks are becoming more common and are a direct consequence of climate change. Health and the climate are inextricably linked and our failure to take preventative measures against climate change has seen increases in flooding, drought extreme weather and pandemics. Climate change breeds the perfect conditions for increased pandemics and infectious diseases. In our lifetime, we have witnessed Sars, Mers, Ebola, Bird flu and Zika virus – these outbreaks are four times more frequent than in the last half century.
Increase in mortality associated with air pollution during the Pandemic
of all deaths worldwide are directly linked to air pollution
increase in deaths of vulnerable and the elderly in the UK due to heat related deaths
people in UK facing serious health problems or death from extreme weather caused by climate change
Climate Pay has a remit to fund research in these areas of Interest.
Plastic and Packaging
Case Study: Sustainable Fashion
A 97% Reduction in Water Waste
71% of the earth’s surface is covered in water, so most people think that there’s enough to waste. However 97.5% of the earth’s water is made up of seas and oceans that are too salty for us to use, and most of the remaining 2.5% is locked in ice caps. That leaves only a tiny amount for us to survive on and use.
And yet it takes roughly 10,000 litres of water to make 1 pair of jeans and every year 70 million pairs of jeans are sold in the UK alone! Professor Steve Evans from Wolfson College worked with factories to reduce this to 300 litres, with the future aim of reducing this further to 60 litres.
But this is not happening in every factory so it is our aim to shift mindsets and demonstrate that energy reduction and efficiency creates better business models by costing less!
Case study: Toyota
A 77% Reduction in Energy through the 8% Model
It’s all about perception and efficiency. Professor Steve Evans helped Toyota reduce their energy reduction by 8% every year for 14 years. The energy that was used to make 1 car now makes 4 and this was all done without additional cost or investment in technology.
It is a myth that sustainability is expensive… in fact if every industry moved halfway between where they are now to where the best in their own industry is, we would have
12% more profit
15% more jobs
About 5% less green house gases
From Our Founder
“To inform, educate and research sustainable solutions to critical environmental issues. We support the provision of common sense solutions for companies and individuals that engender behavioural change in efficiently using the limited resources of the one planet that we share; we seek to work with the growing movement of people who wish to use business for good. We aim to be a social movement that challenges the conventional logic of value exchange with education and solutions for sustainable systems that produce greater economic and social impact.”
“On average we make 35,000 decisions every day. If we focus on a fraction of that and take 250 choices and times that by 8 billion. That’s 2 trillion human choices a day. Let’s make them good and informed choices – choices that are going to change the world.”- Serena Grace
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