July - business round up

1st July 2016

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Neil Standen

A round-up of the latest business news, including Nike, Marks & Spencer and Heineken.

Heineken has unveiled what it claims is the world’s first zero-carbon brewery. The Göss brewery in Austria is powered entirely by renewable and reusable energy sources, including solar, hydropower, biogas and waste heat from a neighbouring saw mill. This combination of technologies reduces the site’s carbon emissions from approximately 3,000 tonnes a year to zero, and is helping the Dutch multinational brewer to achieve a 40% reduction in CO2 emissions from production by 2020.

An update on progress towards its Plan A targets has been published by Marks & Spencer. Highlights include: removing plastic microbeads from products to help protect marine life; using only certified sustainable palm oil in M&S products; and reducing energy and water use in stores and warehouses by 39% and 31% respectively. It also reveals that a further 22 Plan A commitments were achieved in 2015/16 and that almost three-quarters of M&S products have an eco or ethical quality. The retailer has also published its first human rights.

Sports good firm Nike has announced plans to expand its European logistics facility in Belgium. Key features are: using 100% renewable energy, including from six onsite wind turbines and enough solar panels to cover three football pitches; employing a daylight capture system and smart, automated LED lighting help to reduce electricity use; and delivering 99% of inbound containers by water, saving 14,000 lorry journeys a year.

Bacardi has reported that, in 2015, it improved water use efficiency by 3.2% and reduced greenhouse-gas (GHG) emission intensity by 3.7%. The spirits producer said it has now increased its water use efficiency by 45.4% and reduced GHG intensity by 32.3% globally compared with 2006.

NASA is to test an electric aeroplane. The one-seater plane, dubbed Maxwell, will boast 14 electric motors and the US space agency said it hoped the aircraft would help demonstrate technologies capable of cutting fuel use, emissions and noise pollution. In April, Airbus and Siemens announced plans for 200 engineers to work on electric aircraft technology.


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