Monday, August 3, 2020

To Prune or not to Prune

Just for a moment, think about the last time you chomped on a mouthful of juicy peaches, savored freshly-made apricot jam or tasted a slice of warm apple pie. We take great delight from these and a variety of other fruits that grow in great abundance throughout the Croatia. It’s hard to imagine life without them.

One key to preserving these delicious traditions is maintaining the health and productivity of the fruit trees in your own backyard through proper pruning methods. Pruning will improve the overall health and growth of your fruit tree. Pay attention to the structure of your tree annually, and you’ll add years of better production.

The ideal time to prune your fruit trees is in the late winter and early spring before bud-break, bloom and leaf emergence. This is when the trees are dormant, which reduces stress and allow cuts to heal or harden off. No foliage makes pruning easier. There may be rare occasions when it’s necessary to prune in the summer, for instance if you need to open a canopy for greater light penetration.

Thinning overgrown trees to remove dead or unhealthy limbs/branches to allow for better light infiltration is one of several reasons to prune your fruit trees. The more leaves exposed to good light, the more energy that is produced. Thinning the limbs also helps produce fruit with less bruising and scarring.

Pruning controls the height of a tree and the size of the branches. Three or four main branches with smaller limbs will carry fruit better than long, thin branches and improves weight distribution on your fruit tree.

Pruning makes it possible for you to shape the tree. You can decide the height of the branches for picking fruit and/or how low to the ground they are for mowing around them.

Although fruit trees are generally pruned to a height comfortable for picking, it’s important to understand that each species or type of fruit tree should be pruned differently.

Fruit trees that produce “pome fruits,” including apples and pears, have a core of several small seeds surrounded by a tough membrane.

For these types of fruit trees, we recommend the “central leader” style of pruning, which creates a sort of pyramid shape with a strong center. To do this, preserve a single main, vertical trunk by removing competing upright shoots. Select and prune around three or four scaffold branches about 20-30 inches up from the ground with three or four upper scaffold branches about 18-20 inches above the first set. All the scaffold branches should be angled about 45-60 degrees from the trunk.

Apples and pears both develop better fruit on horizontal branches. Keep in mind that fruiting buds on apple and pear trees produce more fruit on terminal buds or buds at the end of a branch or spur, so take care to preserve as many of these buds as possible when pruning. Apples and pears produce fruit on 2-year-old branches/spurs.

For these types of fruit trees, we recommend the “central leader” style of pruning, which creates a sort of pyramid shape with a strong center. To do this, preserve a single main, vertical trunk by removing competing upright shoots. Select and prune around three or four scaffold branches about 20-30 inches up from the ground with three or four upper scaffold branches about 18-20 inches above the first set. All the scaffold branches should be angled about 45-60 degrees from the trunk.

Apples and pears both develop better fruit on horizontal branches. Keep in mind that fruiting buds on apple and pear trees produce more fruit on terminal buds or buds at the end of a branch or spur, so take care to preserve as many of these buds as possible when pruning. Apples and pears produce fruit on 2-year-old branches/spurs.

Peaches and apricot trees should be pruned on an open vase system. Fruiting buds on peach and apricot trees only occur on the second year of growth on branches. Prune out about 50 percent of the branches that produced last year and leave enough new growth for the fruit to bloom. Pay attention to the weight distribution. Cutting that much of the tree out will stimulate new growth for next year’s production and pruning. Remove all suckers, shoots coming from the roots or stem below the graft, on a regular basis. Once harvested, enjoy your peaches and apricots dried, frozen, canned/bottled, made into jam or eaten fresh.

Sweet cherry trees grow tall at a fast rate and tart cherry trees naturally stay smaller. With sweet cherries, skip a single year of pruning in the open vase style. Fruiting buds occur on older wood in spurs, small but noticeable clusters of buds that produce flowers. Both sweet and tart varieties of cherries are grown in our region, and are enjoyed fresh off the tree, in mouthwatering pies, and much more.

Whether new or established, plum trees need annual pruning in an open vase style. As the tree fills out with new growth, continue to prune to form a canopy.

When you finish pruning, be sure to dispose of all removed branches. It’s important to burn or take away any wood that appears diseased or had past problems.

The better you get at pruning your fruit tree’s branches, the more likely you will enjoy bigger, sweeter fruit, even on lighter production years. When all the work is done, may you relish the fruits of your labor and let us know how we can offer greater service whether you’re planting, pruning or preserving.

Sunday, July 26, 2020


Life may not come with a map, but everyone will experience twists and turns, from everyday challenges to traumatic events with more lasting impact, like the death of a loved one, a life-altering accident or a serious illness. Each change affects people differently, bringing a unique flood of thoughts, strong emotions and uncertainty. Yet people generally adapt well over time to life-changing situations and stressful situations — in part thanks to resilience.

“We have known for a long time that agroforestry can enhance resilience,” says Zeljko Serdar, from the CCRES team. “For example, trees in livestock-keeping and cropping systems provide people with diversified incomes, with food and fodder when crops fail, and they can help improve soil health.”

“This type of resilience is absolutely critical in areas such as the drylands of East Croatia where communities are struggling to cope with more frequent droughts and flash floods.”

Until recently, the exact contribution of trees to resilience in this region had been poorly explored, but in 2017 the assessment report, was published. (
It compiles what experts in research, academia, government, farmers and development practitioners already know about the links between trees and resilience in East Croatia drylands.

Studies at CCRES have shown that a 100 hectare agroforestry farm produces as much as a traditional farm of 130 to 160 hectares where trees and crops are grown separately. This finding has also led to modification of the European Common Agriculture Policy towards agroforestry.

Research on carbon sequestration, water quality protection and biodiversity at CCRES will be discussed during the session in addition to what policies and governance mechanisms are required to support agroforestry and other measures that maintain and improve environmental services.

Psychologists define resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or workplace and financial stressors. As much as resilience involves "bouncing back" from these difficult experiences, it can also involve profound personal growth.

While these adverse events, much like rough river waters, are certainly painful and difficult, they don’t have to determine the outcome of your life. There are many aspects of your life you can control, modify and grow with. That’s the role of resilience. Becoming more resilient not only helps you get through difficult circumstances, it also empowers you to grow and even improve your life along the way.

What resilience isn’t
Being resilient doesn’t mean that a person won’t experience difficulty or distress. People who have suffered major adversity or trauma in their lives commonly experience emotional pain and stress. In fact, the road to resilience is likely to involve considerable emotional distress.

While certain factors might make some individuals more resilient than others, resilience isn’t necessarily a personality trait that only some people possess. On the contrary, resilience involves behaviors, thoughts and actions that anyone can learn and develop. The ability to learn resilience is one reason research has shown that resilience is ordinary, not extraordinary. One example is the response of many Americans to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and individuals' efforts to rebuild their lives after tragedy.

Like building a muscle, increasing your resilience takes time and intentionality. Focusing on four core components — connection, wellness, healthy thinking and meaning — can empower you to withstand and learn from difficult and traumatic experiences. To increase your capacity for resilience to weather — and grow from — the difficulties, use these strategies.

Build your connections
Prioritize relationships. Connecting with empathetic and understanding people can remind you that you’re not alone in the midst of difficulties. Focus on finding trustworthy and compassionate individuals who validate your feelings, which will support the skill of resilience.

The pain of traumatic events can lead some people to isolate themselves, but it’s important to accept help and support from those who care about you. Whether you go on a weekly date night with your spouse or plan a lunch out with a friend, try to prioritize genuinely connecting with people who care about you.

Join a group like CCRES. Along with one-on-one relationships, some people find that being active in civic groups, faith-based communities, or other local organizations provides social support and can help you reclaim hope. Research groups in your area that could offer you support and a sense of purpose or joy when you need it.

Foster wellness
Take care of your body. Self-care may be a popular buzzword, but it’s also a legitimate practice for mental health and building resilience. That’s because stress is just as much physical as it is emotional. Promoting positive lifestyle factors like proper nutrition, ample sleep, hydration and regular exercise can strengthen your body to adapt to stress and reduce the toll of emotions like anxiety or depression.

Practice mindfulness. Mindful journaling, yoga, and other spiritual practices like prayer or meditation can also help people build connections and restore hope, which can prime them to deal with situations that require resilience. When you journal, meditate, or pray, ruminate on positive aspects of your life and recall the things you’re grateful for, even during personal trials.

Avoid negative outlets. It may be tempting to mask your pain with alcohol, drugs or other substances, but that’s like putting a bandage on a deep wound. Focus instead on giving your body resources to manage stress, rather than seeking to eliminate the feeling of stress altogether.

Find purpose
Help others. Whether you volunteer with a local homeless shelter or simply support a friend in their own time of need, you can garner a sense of purpose, foster self-worth, connect with other people and tangibly help others, all of which can empower you to grow in resilience.

Be proactive. It’s helpful to acknowledge and accept your emotions during hard times, but it’s also important to help you foster self-discovery by asking yourself, “What can I do about a problem in my life?” If the problems seem too big to tackle, break them down into manageable pieces.

For example, if you got laid off at work, you may not be able to convince your boss it was a mistake to let you go. But you can spend an hour each day developing your top strengths or working on your resume. Taking initiative will remind you that you can muster motivation and purpose even during stressful periods of your life, increasing the likelihood that you’ll rise up during painful times again.

Move toward your goals. Develop some realistic goals and do something regularly — even if it seems like a small accomplishment — that enables you to move toward the things you want to accomplish. Instead of focusing on tasks that seem unachievable, ask yourself, "What's one thing I know I can accomplish today that helps me move in the direction I want to go?" For example, if you’re struggling with the loss of a loved one and you want to move forward, you could join a grief support group in your area.

Look for opportunities for self-discovery. People often find that they have grown in some respect as a result of a struggle. For example, after a tragedy or hardship, people have reported better relationships and a greater sense of strength, even while feeling vulnerable. That can increase their sense of self-worth and heighten their appreciation for life.

Embrace healthy thoughts
Keep things in perspective. How you think can play a significant part in how you feel — and how resilient you are when faced with obstacles. Try to identify areas of irrational thinking, such as a tendency to catastrophize difficulties or assume the world is out to get you, and adopt a more balanced and realistic thinking pattern. For instance, if you feel overwhelmed by a challenge, remind yourself that what happened to you isn’t an indicator of how your future will go, and that you’re not helpless. You may not be able to change a highly stressful event, but you can change how you interpret and respond to it.

Accept change. Accept that change is a part of life. Certain goals or ideals may no longer be attainable as a result of adverse situations in your life. Accepting circumstances that cannot be changed can help you focus on circumstances that you can alter.

Maintain a hopeful outlook. It’s hard to be positive when life isn’t going your way. An optimistic outlook empowers you to expect that good things will happen to you. Try visualizing what you want, rather than worrying about what you fear. Along the way, note any subtle ways in which you start to feel better as you deal with difficult situations.

Learn from your past. By looking back at who or what was helpful in previous times of distress, you may discover how you can respond effectively to new difficult situations. Remind yourself of where you’ve been able to find strength and ask yourself what you’ve learned from those experiences.

Seeking help
Getting help when you need it is crucial in building your resilience.

Why invest in resilience?
There’s no denying it: social, economic, climatic and environmental indicators warn of uncertain times ahead. But while some advisors may recommend investments far afield, here at CCRES we offer practical solutions close to home.

We believe that high-performance properties that merge shelter, water, renewable energy, and food with revenue generation, community development, and ecosystem and wildlife habitat restoration, provide a secure and lasting source of land-based wealth. Tangible wealth that employs and restores nature’s healthy local abundance rather than relying upon fluctuating markets and currencies.

Properly managed, this natural capital can become the living heart of your investment portfolio. A dynamic, self-sustaining and diversified asset firmly ensures your personal autonomy and resilience, enabling you to thrive no matter what.
For many people, using their own resources and the kinds of strategies listed above may be enough for building their resilience. But at times, an individual might get stuck or have difficulty making progress on the road to resilience.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Turkmenistan renewable energy 2020

The renewable energy sector has shown an exceptional growth over the past two decades. Today, renewable energy is seen as a cheap and clean source of power as opposed to being costly and unreliable earlier. 

The world today is faced with an ever growing need for power. Rapid increase in population, along with growing industrialization and urbanization, has kept the world’s energy need on a growth trajectory. The growing energy need cannot be fully satisfied by conventional power generation methods, and this will therefore serve as a major factor enabling the growth of the renewables industry. Another factor that is aiding the renewable industry is the efficient collaboration between the governments, and the private sector. This collaboration, characterised by public policies and industrial investments, has seen innovations in renewable energy technology, ranging from wind to solar. This has resulted in a steep fall in the cost of renewable energy technologies, thereby making it affordable for applications, including small rooftop installations. The growing concerns regarding greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants that lead to consequences like environmental damage and global warming, are prompting governments to look for cleaner power generation options. This is again proving to be beneficial to the renewables industry.

There are various factors restraining the renewables industry today. One of the major factors is the dependence of renewable energy generation on factors like the weather, which makes it unreliable. Solar and wind energy plants are most affected by these factors. In spite of this, wind and solar are the most popular sources of renewable energy today. The large space requirement of renewable energy plants also makes them an unviable option in some cases. Growing investments and technological advancements are however helping in overcoming some, if not all, of these restraints. There has been a growth in small-scale renewable energy generation in the form of rooftop solar installations, advancement in power storage technologies, and development of smart grids that enable selling additional power back to the grid. These will help overcome the major restraints that the renewable energy industry faces today, thereby boost the growth of the market.

Turkmenistan renewable energy market report provides a comprehensive analysis of the market for wind, solar, hydro and other renewable energy sources. This report also includes key project information of both pipeline and upcoming projects. Key drivers and restraints that are effecting the growth of this market are discussed in detail. The study also elucidates on competitive landscape and key market players (both domestic and international) across various types of renewable energy sources.

On July 9, 2020, the first meeting of the Interdepartmental Working Group on the working out the National Strategy of Turkmenistan on the Development of Renewable Energy with the participation of international organizations was held in a video conference format.

The meeting was attended by the heads and representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Energy, Finance and Economics, Agriculture and Environmental Protection, Construction and Architecture of Turkmenistan, state concerns "Türkmengaz", "Türkmennebit". The meeting was also attended by the Director of the Country Support and Partnership Department of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Gurbuz Gonul, the Head of the OSCE Center in Ashgabat, Ambassador Natalya Drozd and UNDP representatives.

During the meeting, the participants spoke on the topics: “Global trends and prospects for the use of renewable energy sources in Turkmenistan”, “Ways of developing renewable energy in Turkmenistan”, “Implementation of scientific projects based on renewable energy sources”, “Using international experience to develop the National Strategy of Turkmenistan on the development of renewable energy".

There was also a presentation on the activities of the OSCE Center in Ashgabat in providing support in the field of renewable energy development, and a presentation on the prospects of cooperation between the Ministry of Energy of Turkmenistan and UNDP on the development of renewable energy. During the discussion of the draft content of the National Strategy, the participants exchanged views on global trends and on the current state of renewable energy development.


The modern history of Turkmenistan. 
"We will perform deep processing of hydrocarbon resources based on modern technologies and make high quality production which is on high demand in the world, for example gasoline, polypropylene, polyethylene and liquefied gas". - President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov

For the past period, the industrial infrastructure of the country has been supplemented by such petrochemical giants as polymeric plant in seaside Kiyanly and carbamide plant in Garaboz, Balkan Velayat, first in the world plant for production of gasoline from natural gas in Ahal Velayat. Deep processing of natural gas and making of production, which meets the world quality standards, are carried out at these innovative facilities based on modern technologies.

According to President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, the opening of similar facilities is one of the main factors of further development of the economy of the country, improvement of its technological safety, expansion and diversification of sales markets of production with high added value, stimulation of development of all branches of national economy.
In this context, the great importance of the project of construction of Turkmenistan - Afghanistan - Pakistan - India gas line, which in addition to the attraction of big dividends to the country would bring the light and warmth to homes of neighboring nations, has been noted.
Today, the works for the implementation of the project of this transnational corridor are actively carried out according to the schedule. Together with the beginning of construction of Afghan part of TAPI in February 2018, laying of power and fiber optic lines along Turkmenistan - Afghanistan - Pakistan (TAP) route has been held. At the same time, Serhetabat - Turgundy railroad, which was built at the request of the Head of the State, has been put into operation.

Implementation of the TAPI gas line project, which starts from the Galkynysh Deposit, which is the first in world inland gas reserves, will support strengthening of peace and sustainable development in addition to solving current social issues in the region. Opportunity to open 5,000 new working places will appear.

Turkmenistan has not only rich reserves of hydrocarbon resources. The subsoils of the country have ore deposits of almost all metals of the periodic table. Their development, production and processing are the main directions of economic policy of the President.

"We will continue to work on the successful realization of huge economic and natural potential for the sake of current and future generations of our people", - the Head of the state said at the inauguration ceremony.

Large-scale construction expanded all over the country under realization of integrated social and economic programs provided growing demands in quality construction materials, having given impetus to rapid development of their production from local resources. Glass production facility Türkmen aýna önümleri, which was put into operation with the participation of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov in the middle of February 2018, has become an example of a wise approach to the solution of objective of expansion of export.

There were earlier projects and some progress in the sense that Turkmenistan, rich in oil and gas resources, is heading for the development of renewable energy. But now, this has been immediately supported by three Decrees issued by President Berdimuhamedov at a Cabinet meeting via a video link.
The first document provides for the establishment of an Interdepartmental Working Group for Developing a National Renewable Energy Development Strategy to ensure power stability in the country.
The second document authorizes the Foreign Ministry to engage international organizations and other international establishments in the preparation of a Draft National Renewable Energy Development Strategy in Turkmenistan.
And finally, by the third Decree of the head of state, Turkmen Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi) Serdarmammet Garajaev was appointed Permanent Representative of Turkmenistan to the International Renewable Energy Agency.

Friday, July 17, 2020

$53.4 Million in Small Business Research and Development

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) will fund 49 new Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) research and development projects across 23 states, totaling nearly $53.4 million in funding.
Small businesses receive Phase II Release 2 grants for principal research and development efforts based on the technical feasibility demonstrated in Phase I projects. Phase II awards range up to $1,500,000 for two years.
Nine EERE Technology Offices (Advanced Manufacturing, Bioenergy, Buildings, Fuel Cells, Geothermal, Solar, Vehicles, Water, and Wind) will fund these awards. The following are examples of EERE-funded Phase II projects:
  • Quantum Ventura, Inc. of San Jose, CA, is building a 7kg/day E-RECOV prototype plant to extract precious metals and rare earths from waste electronics, such as cell phones and hard disks. E-RECOV technology reduces chemical reagent use and lessens the toxicity of remaining materials. E-RECOV is 30% cheaper than conventional recovery technologies and extracts valuable precious metals. Salvaging these critical rare-earth metals, which have a limited supply within the U.S., reduces the chance of supply-chain disruptions.
  • Algenesis Materials of Cardiff, CA, is developing biodegradable polymers made from algae. They will produce products that meet commercial specifications and are able to degrade at a controlled rate in a variety of environments, reducing the bioaccumulation of waste.
  • Vacuum glass, a flat thermos bottle for windows, can reduce total U.S. energy use by 1% by 2030, but is far too expensive for the market. V-Glass, LLC of Pewaukee, WI, is working on a project that will eliminate this cost premium, securing the U.S. a leading position in a global market totaling more than $40 billion per year.
  • Geothermal heat pump systems represent a significant energy savings opportunity for the United States, but their high installation cost is preventing widespread implementation. Melink Corporation of Milford, OH, is researching how materials with high thermal storage capacities, known as “phase-change materials,” can be used to reduce their installation cost.
  • TDA Research, Inc. of Wheat Ridge, CO, is developing advanced tools for monitoring high-tech hydrogen fuel cell components, such as carbon-fiber-reinforced pressure vessels that store the hydrogen fuel, to support widespread commercial adoption of these technologies.
  • Tectonicus Constructs, LLC of Bisbee, AZ, is developing a solar racking system to cover and power irrigation canals, giving landowners secondary revenue, reducing evaporation and irrigation costs, and providing new energy jobs to agricultural communities.
  • TexPower of Austin, TX, aims to commercialize the first cobalt-free, high-energy lithium-ion battery cathodes that replace current cathodes without changes to other components. TexPower’s battery cathodes use only abundant metals, manufactured by standard industrial processes.
  • Current floating offshore wind anchoring and mooring solutions are expensive and not economical at quantity for a wind farm. Triton Systems, Inc. of Chelmsford, MA, is developing a new anchoring technology that will reduce the fabrication and installation costs of offshore wind farms and provide permitting benefits over current market solutions.
  • Pliant Energy Systems, LLC of Brooklyn, NY, is developing a pump that draws both water and energy from a flowing water source for irrigation. This technology would be used for both desalination and the generation of electricity.
Small businesses play a major role in spurring innovation and creating jobs in the U.S. economy. Congress created the SBIR and STTR programs to leverage small businesses to advance innovation at federal agencies. Information on the DOE SBIR and STTR programs is available on the Office of Science SBIR website. Additional information can be found on the EERE SBIR/STTR website.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

SkyCell temperature-controlled container solutions

CCRES proudly present to you SkyCell 

SkyCell is a Swiss-based, award-winning provider of temperature-controlled container solutions with an overriding goal – eliminating temperature excursions. Their containers are used to transport some of the most temperature-sensitive and high-value healthcare products in the world.

SkyCell poured more than 50 man-years of research and development in its container development and uses a portfolio of more than 100 intellectual property rights.

Twelve of the top 20 pharma companies improved their supply chain significantly with SkyCell’s outstanding performance with less than 0.1% temperature deviations. This is achieved through SkyCell’s unique combination of hardware, software and service.

All containers are made of highly innovative and recyclable material and equipped with IoT sensors. The efficient insulation and cutting-edge cooling technology means SkyCell containers can maintain their temperature for up to 160h. The efficient design makes SkyCell containers up to 20% lighter at maximum loading capacity.

With a strong focus on sustainability, SkyCells containers are 100% recyclable and help reduce a shipment’s carbon footprint by up to 50%.

In the future SkyCell plans to launch more container sizes and is also working to meet the increasing demand for direct-to-patient deliveries.

With aircraft, shipping, and road haulage responsible for much of the air pollution, and with plastic contaminating our marine habitats, we must scrutinise more closely how the supply chain affects the environment.

Waste in transit
Packaging is a huge expense for businesses that ship products in large volume. Making sure that the packaging is appropriate for protecting the item but also for protecting the environment is very important to consumers. Notable examples of companies that have come under fire for over packaging include Amazon, as well as many supermarkets who regularly over-package products.

In the UK alone, it is estimated that five million tonnes of plastic is used every year, nearly half of which is packaging. Calls from consumers, as well as the industry, to reduce the amount of packaging are growing and businesses are taking action. But the transportation of these products that are consistently over packaged increases the environmental impact of the supply chain.

That isn’t to say that products do not require packaging. Certain products do require packaging to ensure they don’t spoil in transit. Whether they are pharmaceuticals or food, products need to be stored to ensure they reach their destination intact.

Preventing goods spoiling is another way in which the supply chain can address waste. The main cause of any perishable goods spoiling is exposure to varying temperatures. Researchers have shown that in certain conditions, one single bacterium multiplies every 20 minutes. They have in fact identified the range between 5⁰C and 57⁰C as the danger zone for spoilage; temperatures regularly seen in transit.

Preventing empty air miles through the correct storage of perishable goods is key to improving the sustainability of supply chains of a variety of products. Ensuring that products are transported on time and under the correct conditions is a vital responsibility of logistics companies and something manufacturers need to be aware of when designing transport solutions to improve the sustainability of supply chains.

Optimising sustainability from the start
Optimising sustainability from the outset, even at the product design stage helps to manage emissions and improve the sustainability of the supply chain. This is the very beginning of the supply chain and has a huge impact on the total emissions of products. Additionally, where products are produced and what they are produced from often impacts consumer buying habits.

A great example of this are the recent revelations from the electric vehicle manufacturers that much of the lithium and copper in the batteries is affecting Chile’s Atacama desert and the surrounding ecosystem. Mining the lithium and copper to supply the battery boom and fight climate change might destroy precious Chilean ecosystems. It doesn’t add up.

Putting more electric cars on the road is one of the most effective ways to mitigate the effects of climate change, reducing the 15.6% of global carbon emissions that come from transportation. But extracting Chile’s lithium means pumping large amounts of water and churning up salty mud known as brine – and that’s having an irreversible impact on the local environment. So is it worth the trade? For many the answer is yes, but for the people and animals that live in the region it may not be. However, the trade doesn’t have to be so stark and companies are building themselves to be both profitable but also sustainable.

Designing products to be entirely sustainable is the key for modern companies. The California-based vegetarian “meat” producer, Impossible Foods Inc. has raised $387.5m in funding to date and has designed their supply chain to be more sustainable. As it requires less land and water than cattle, the production of the “meat” produces fewer emissions than traditional meat production. The company was based on the premise of being good for the environment by also satisfying the growing trend of vegetarianism and veganism.

Having started in 2011, the company was able to see the commercial move towards sustainability and built it in from the start. New companies looking to introduce a new product to market should look to build in sustainability from the product design through to the way the product will be distributed to customers. By modelling the full supply chain and optimising the product’s life cycle to minimise disruption, companies can ensure their supply chain is sustainable.

Reducing emissions
Emissions are a hot-button issue and have been for a number of years now. The emphasis of toxic air and smog in cities and large towns across Europe and the world have been well documented. Turin and London have both recently reported poor air quality and are aiming to reduce access of vehicles to city centres. Air travel has also come under the microscope. When transporting goods it is important that manufacturers consider how these items are transported. Reducing the weight of packaging and the goods themselves all contributes to reducing emissions in the supply chain.

Maximising distribution through weight reduction and general day-to-day activities is a great way for businesses to start optimising the supply chain for sustainability goals. There have been many examples of companies reducing weight to reduce emissions of their freight. One of the most notable is Microsoft who are aiming to reduce package weight by an average of 20% year-on-year. This is being done by a combination of correct sizing and lighter weight materials. Reducing the excess weight of packaging means vehicles use less fuel to transport the goods and therefore lowers carbon emissions across the supply chain.

Working with suppliers to ensure the whole supply chain of a product is more sustainable, from the way packaging is produced to how a company purchases power and where that comes from. In managing suppliers, companies must ensure that inputs from suppliers are of high quality, and the use of water and energy is minimised leading to less pollution, defects and over production. They also should also look at auditing their supplier base and make sure that they are improving the supply chain metrics.

What is SkyCell doing?
SkyCell is a company born with sustainability at its core. A pharmaceutical logistics company, it has been optimised for sustainability whilst maintaining the very highest quality of pharmaceutical containers.

This has been done by producing transport containers that not only control the temperature of the goods, but are also made entirely from recyclable materials. By having sustainability at the heart of the business, the product development, procurement and manufacturing plans are all aligned and the entire supply chain is optimised towards being sustainable.

SkyCell has also considered how its containers can reduce emissions whilst in use. The hybrid containers when tested against industry standards not only reduce the total cost by up to 20% but also reduce CO2 emissions by up to 50%. These reductions have a huge impact on the supply chain’s environmental impact. One of our clients – a leading vaccine manufacturer – has saved over 45 million kilograms of CO2 alone in 2019. This is equivalent to electricity use of 7,225 UK homes for one year.

All of the sustainability measures that SkyCell has introduced do not take away from the effectiveness of the service. In supply chain management it is important that the solutions also solve the problem, and in pharmaceutical logistics this is even more important. Being environmentally sustainable whilst offering efficient solutions is at the crux of what SkyCell is doing and built in to how the business works.

Sustainability plays a part in how businesses operate and the supply chain is a huge part of how a business can tackle emissions and other sustainability issues. By integrating solutions as early as possible in the life cycle of a product, businesses can better design the supply chain to reflect a more sustainable way of working. SkyCell is already doing a lot to align the business and the products with its environmental targets. 2020 represents a watershed moment in the climate emergency and by managing supply chains more sustainably business can do their bit to help reduce humanities effect on the environment.

Further information:

Friday, May 22, 2020

Chlorphyrifos (Klorpirifos) zabranjen u Europskoj Uniji

Europska komisija objavila je dvije strategija o ekološki prihvatljivom prehrambenom sustavu i o bioraznolikosti, koje predviđaju smanjenje uporabe pesticida za 50 posto te najmanje 25 posto poljoprivrednih površina za ekološku proizvodnju.
Strategija od "polja do stola" za ekološki prihvatljivu poljoprivredu i prehrambeni sustav, uključuje nekoliko ciljeva koje bi trebalo ispuniti do 2030. godine: smanjenje uporabe i rizika od pesticida za 50 posto, smanjenje uporabe gnojiva za najmanje 20 posto, smanjenje prodaje antimikrobnih sredstava za životinje iz uzgoja i akvakulturu za 50 posto te za prakticiranje ekološke poljoprivrede na 25 posto poljoprivrednih zemljišta.
Nova strategija za bioraznolikost, koja je tijesno povezana sa strategijom "od polja do stola", bavi se glavnim uzrocima gubitka bioraznolikosti, kao što su neodrživo korištenje zemljišta i mora, prekomjerno iskorištavanje prirodnih resursa, onečišćenje i invazivne strane vrste.
U toj se strategiji predlaže da se do 2030. godine najmanje 30 posto europskog mora i kopna pretvori u zaštićena područja kojima se djelotvorno upravlja i vraćanje obilježja krajobraza velike raznolikosti na najmanje 10 posto poljoprivrednih zemljišta.
"Ove će dvije strategije, kao ključni dijelovi europskog zelenog plana, podupirati i gospodarski oporavak. U kontekstu pandemije koronavirusa njihov je cilj ojačati otpornost naših društava na buduće pandemije i prijetnje kao što su posljedice klimatskih promjena, šumski požari, nesigurnost opskrbe hranom ili izbijanje bolesti, među ostalim podupiranjem održivijih praksi u poljoprivredi, ribarstvu i akvakulturi te rješavanjem pitanja zaštite divlje faune i flore i nezakonite trgovine divljim vrstama", navodi Komisija.
Klorpirifos (Chlorphyrifos), za koji je utvrđeno da uzorkuje oštećenje mozga kod djece i druge zdravstvene probleme, napokon se povlači u potpunosti s tržišta EU.
Prema uredbi o zabrani Europske komisije sve članice su 16. siječnja bile obvezne oduzeti odobrenje sredstvima za zaštitu bila koja sadrže klorpirifos s rokom zabrinjavanja zaliha do 16. travnja. Ministarstvo poljoprivrede ukinulo je njihovu registraciju na našem teritoriju i dopustilo je da se zalihe distribuiraju do 16. ožujka 2020. godine, a primjenjuju do 16. travnja 2020. godine. Pritom, 16.veljače zabranjen je uvoz voća i povrća u EU i iz trećih zemalja u kojima se nalazi kemikalija.
Radi se o pesticidu koji se u Hrvatskoj kao i u nekim drugim zemljama legalno upotrebljavao od 2006. godine i postao jedna od najiskorištenijih kemikalija za zaštitu usjeva, voća i povrća. Točnije, klorpirifos je od 2006. godine zabranjen za tretiranje voća i povrća u većini zemalja EU, osim u Švedskoj, Finskoj, Austriji, Njemačkoj, Danskoj, Irskoj, Latviji, Litvi, Sloveniji i Hrvatskoj.
Istraživanja i epidemiološki dokazi o njegovom negativnom utjecaju na ljudsko zdravlje posljednjih su se godina nizala jedno na drugo. Zaključak je tih studija bio kako postoji dokaz da izloženost klorpirifosu može utjecati na neurološki razvoj, pa i oštetiti još nerođeno dijete. Tako su ga povezivali s poremećajima u razvoju mozga, poremećajima pažnje (hiperaktivnosti) i hormonskog sustava kod djece, zaostajanjem u rastu, smanjenim kvocijentom inteligencije. Naravno, veliki farmaceutski lobiji i kompanije opovrgavali su slične studije.
Jedina organizacija koja može imati utjecaj na političke odluke, Europska agencija za sigurnost hrane (EFSA), procijenila je rizik pesticida na zdravlje ljudi u kolovozu. Nakon što je izrazila moguće ''genotoksične i neurološke učinke tijekom razvoja'', njihova procjena je prihvaćena kao odluka da se klorpirifos zabrani na razini EU.
Prema navodima Ministarstva poljoprivrede, u Hrvatskoj je registrirano ''9 sredstava za zaštitu bilja na osnovnih ovih aktivnih tvari: 7 na osnovi klorpirifosa i 2 na osnovi klorpirifos-metila.
Sredstva su se koristila kao zemljišni insekticidi ili folijarno za suzbijanje velikog broja štetnika (insekata i grinja) na raznim kulturama (pšenici, ječmu, raž, pšenoraž, zob, uljana repica, krumpir, mandarini, rajčica, vinova loza, mandarina, klementina, kivi, …) kao i za tretiranje skladišnih štetnika u praznim skladištima i silosima, naveli su.
''Neodobrenje aktivnih tvari klorpirifos i klorpirifos-metil za poljoprivredne proizvođače u RH znači gubitak, međutim poljoprivrednici će morati prihvatiti novonastalu situaciju jer je zabrana vezana uz zaštitu zdravlja ljudi i okoliša'', poručuju iz ministarstva.
Dok prođe dopušteno razdoblje za potrošnju zaliha, ti se otrovi i dalje nalaze na popisu registriranih sredstava za zaštitu bilja. Prema podacima Fitosanitarnog informacijskog sustava u RH, se od 2013. godine trošilo između 24 i 29,6 tisuća kilograma klorpirifosa. Te između 0,8 kh (2016. nije korišten) i 1,6 tisuća kg klorpirifos metila.
U Hrvatskoj klorpirifos uvoze predstavništva ili tvrtke Agro-vil, Chromos-Agro, Pinova, Herbos… Naši ga poljoprivrednici rabe najviše za zaštitu voćnjaka, šećerne repe, uljane repice, duhana, kukuruza i pšenice. Postojali su navodi da se on koristio i u pretjeranim količinama pa su se ostaci tih insekticida iznad dopuštenih granica nekoliko puta našli na nekim proizvodima na tržištu. Tako je primjerice 2016. na jabukama delišes, proizvedenim u Moslavini od proizvođača Fragrarie i prodavanim u trgovačkim lancima Bille, sanitana inspekcija otkrila količinu klorpirifosa od 0,065 mg/kg dok zakonski prisustvo pesticida na hrani može iznostiti 0,01 mg/kg.
Da se političkim i zdravstvenim zabranama može utjecati na tržište dokazuje i činjenica da je jedan od najvećih svjetskih proizvođača klorpirifosa, korporacija Croteva formirana spajanjem Dow Chemical i DuPont,  9. veljače najavila da će prestati proizvoditi kemikaliju do kraja 2020. godine zbog pada u prodaji. Dok im je u 90.-ima prodaja cvjetala, sada je ispod 20%. Trumpova administracija još nije zabranila proizvod zakonski, štoviše poništila je regulatorne planove za zabranu insekticida i odbacila znanstvene zaključke američkih vladinih stručnjaka o štetnosti.
Pesticidi su postali neizostavan alat moderne poljoprivrede, ali tako su postali i neizostavan dio onoga što stavljamo na tanjur. Pojavili su se kao jamstvo za dobar urod i veći prinos, izgovor za borbu protiv gladi u svijetu. Ali, sve je više dokaza koliko je njihova masovna uporaba uzrokovala narušavanje bioraznolikosti, izumiranje kukaca, onečišćenje tla pa i ono suprotno zbog čega su napravljeni – neplodnost zemlje. U EU trenutno traje borba za zabranu ''kralja pesticida'' glifosata, a njen ishod ćemo vidjeti uskoro. Dozvola za njegovu uporabu ističe 15. prosinca 2022., a politička je odluka hoće li se uporaba produžiti.

Hrvatska se trenutno izjasnila da neće zabraniti kontroverzni pesticid, iako su određene države poput Austrije i Francuske krenule u njegovu zabranu na nacionalnoj razini i prije odluke na razini EU.

Congratulations to everyone who took action to ban chlorpyrifos in Europe Union, 
Zeljko Serdar, CCRES

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Law on renewable energy

Renewable energy is the collective name for energy, that is produced using the earth’s natural resources, like sunlight, wind, water resources (rivers, tides and waves), heat from the earth’s surface, or biomass. The process, by which these renewable resources are converted into energy, emits no net greenhouse gases, which is why renewable energy is also referred to as ‘clean energy’.

It can be used to directly produce electricity, or heat for our homes and industries. It can also be used for biogases in heat or electricity production, and for biofuels in the transport sector.

Renewable energy will play a fundamental role in achieving the EU’s energy and climate objectives. Not only is it abundantly available within the EU, but it is also cost-competitive with fossil fuels. As such, it can help make our energy systems more affordable and reduce the EU’s dependency on imported fossil fuels. It also has the potential to provide a range of new jobs, create new industrial opportunities and contribute to economic growth.  

As a technology, renewable energy is not new, and it has a strong foothold in Europe.

Already in 1991, Denmark installed the world’s first offshore wind farm “Vindeby” which included 11 wind turbines. Germany introduced, in the same year, Europe’s first ‘feed-in-tariff’ for renewables; a policy mechanism designed to accelerate investment in renewable energy technologies. 

By 2000, Europe accounted for more than 70% of all wind power installed in the world and 20% of  global solar photovoltaics installations. In 2000 the world’s first large-scale wind farm ‘Horns Rev’ saw the light – also this time in Denmark. It used many technologies that later became industry standards for offshore wind.

Europe also became the largest market for solar photovoltaics by covering more than 70% of the market by 2008. In the same year, the Olmedilla Photovoltaic park in Spain – a 60 megawatt power plant, making it the largest in the world – generated enough solar energy to power 40 000 homes per year.

As the rest of the world is increasingly using and producing renewables, Europe has continued to be a frontrunner. In July 2019, Portugal achieved the lowest cost of a solar photovoltaics park worldwide – a record which still holds today.

Across the EU, the share of renewable energy in gross final energy consumption has increased over recent years from 9.6% in 2004 to 18.9% in 2018. The five EU countries with the largest share of their energy coming from renewable energy sources (based on 2018 data from Eurostat) are Sweden, Finland, Latvia, Denmark and Austria.

Moreover, according to the EU’s latest energy statistical datasheets, renewables are currently the leading source of electricity generation in the EU.

The EU was an early mover on renewable energy and has made significant efforts, through EU law, to better integrate renewable sources in European energy systems. In striving for global leadership in renewables, the EU has set a clear path for others to follow.

When the Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC) established national targets for EU member countries, it was seen as a “novelty act”. Today, 173 countries in the world have such targets.

The 2009 directive was revised in December 2018, and adopted as part of the Clean energy for all Europeans package.  It includes a new binding renewable energy target for 2030 of at least 32%, with a clause for a possible upwards revision by 2023.

Driving the ambition further, the European Green Deal outlines a number of initiatives across all policy sectors, aimed at making EU climate neutral by 2050. Renewable energy, together with energy efficiency, is a fundamental energy pillar that will help us reach this ambitious goal. As part of this effort, the European Commission will present new measures aimed at embracing technological advance across all sectors of the energy system. This initiative for so-called “smart sector integration” will help build the European energy system of the future.

Later this year, the Commission will also launch a new strategy meant to boost offshore wind power. This strategy will address opportunities and challenges, impact on energy grids and markets, management of maritime space and industrial policy dimensions of offshore wind. In addition, EU renewable energy legislation will be reviewed, and where necessary revised, by June 2021.

The EU is today a frontrunner on renewable energy and has taken significant measures to boost market uptake. Ambitious policies, along with research and innovation projects and substantial investments, has contributed to a solid industrial foundation. This has in turn helped make some renewable energy technologies more easily accessible and affordable for EU citizens.

Solar panels and wind turbines are now a common sight across the EU, which in large part is due to increased market activity. The cost of solar power production has for instance decreased by 75% between 2009 and 2018, and in 2014, onshore wind became cheaper than coal, gas and nuclear.

In 2019, EU power production from wind and solar power overtook coal for the first time – meaning that they have become as competitive, or even cheaper, than fossil fuels in most places.

As the technologies have become more accessible, citizens have also become more empowered. The Clean energy for all Europeans package, and the recast Renewable Energy Directive, makes it easier for citizens to form energy communities, but also to produce, store and sell their own renewable energy.

The coming decade is expected to see continued growth in renewables. The increase in solar power, for example, will mostly be driven by increased self-consumption and more rooftop panel installation. This puts the EU at a competitive advantage, helping to drive economic growth and create jobs: in 2016, the solar PV industry accounted for 81,000 full-time jobs and it is expected to sustain nearly 175,000 full-time jobs in 2021, with estimates of between 200,000-300,000 jobs in 2030.

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