SA firms lead BRICS carbon disclosures

first_img30 April 2013 South Africa has the highest percentage of companies that publicly disclose their greenhouse gas emissions in the BRICS group of countries, according to a carbon ranking index released by the Environmental Investment Organisation (EIO) on Monday. The EIO is a London-based independent research organisation that promotes ecological investment systems. South African mobile telecommunications firm Vodacom came second overall in the EIO’s rankings, while diversified industrial firm Barloworld and miner Kumba Iron Ore placed 11th and 20th respectively. The index examines the emissions and transparency of the 300 largest firms in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) grouping. It is one of six ranking reports on emissions disclosure around the world. The Environmental Tracking Carbon Ranking series is the only public database of its kind. Over half of the 45 South African companies in the BRICS 300 ranking were found to be reporting complete data, which includes direct emissions as well as emissions resulting from the purchase of electricity, investments, transportation of goods, waste and employees.‘Reliable emissions database’ “As the world shifts towards a low carbon model, it’s extremely important that we have access to a reliable, consistent and cross-comparable greenhouse gas emissions database on the world’s largest companies,” chief executive of the London-based EIO, Sam Gill, said in a statement. A key finding of the index, however, was that none of the 300 BRICS companies surveyed reported emissions across their entire value chains. These are referred to as “scope 3 emissions”, and include emissions from sources not owned or directly controlled by the firm but which it has some influence over, such as business travel, transportation and distribution. “Since the majority of total corporate emissions often come from scope 3 sources, large quantities of emissions are not being accounted for,” Gill said. “This is precisely why the carbon rankings are designed to encourage scope 3 disclosure.” The EIO will also announce the 2013 Environmental Tracking Scope 3 leaders award on Wednesday to recognise the companies leading the field in emissions disclosure. “The rankings make up the first phase of the Environmental Tracking mechanism, with phase two seeing them developed into a series of investable indexes within which companies are weighted according to their position in the public carbon ranking,” the EIO said in a report. “The EIO hopes to make its Environmental Tracking Index Series available to investors later in the year.” SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Hanli Prinsloo: ‘Fall in love with the ocean, to save it’

first_imgSouth African Hanli Prinsloo travels the world to capture images of life in the sea. She gives public talks about falling in love with the ocean, a necessary step to protect it. She also heads I Am Water, an organisation that teaches children about ocean conservation. Besides running projects to teach children about ocean conservation in South Africa, Hanli Prinsloo also works in Bermuda and Ecuador. As part of her desire to educate people about marine life, she makes films about protecting sharks (Image: Screengrab via YouTube) • How much do you know about the ocean? •Gallery: Celebrate Marine Month in South Africa • Top 50 Brands in South Africa named • Teen campaigns organ donation through social media • Sandton goes car-free for a month Compiled by Melissa JavanThe success of each of the 17 United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) would be the success of all, Hanli Prinsloo recently said at the World Economic Forum (WEF).The 17 SDGs include no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, and affordable and clean energy. They were agreed for the world by the United Nations in August to continue from the Millennium Development Goals.Prinsloo, the chief executive officer of I Am Water Ocean Conservation Trust, said Goal 14 – on “life below water” – resonated with why she devoted her life and work to ocean conservation. “But as a woman and an African, every single one of the 17 SDGs will affect some part of my life,” she wrote on the WEF’s site.We are waterPrinsloo is an 11 times South African freediving record holder, filmmaker and avid ocean adventurer. In a TED Talk, she said: “I am nothing without the water inside me and the water around me.”TED began in 1984 as a conference where technology, entertainment and design converged. Today TED Talks cover almost all topics, from science to business to global issues. It is owned by a non-profit, non-partisan foundation that believes in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world.Prinsloo reminded her TED audience that one’s body consisted of more than 70% water. “This is even though we focus on air moving in and out of us, we are water. We move around in a world of air so we believe we are air.“Now we have become so used to breathing that we think it’s all we’ve done. But our first nine months of our lives we were in a watery world and we were born into this fantastically exciting world of smells and sights and sounds and air. All this air around us and then we forget about that watery world we come from,” she added.Using just one breathe, Prinsloo said, she could swim to a depth of 56m in the ocean, just using her arms and legs. “On one breathe I’ve held my breath in water for over six minutes and I am not the best in the world. Using weights to assist us and floatation devices to come back up, free divers have been down to up to 200m.“The most difficult thing I have learned is to trust myself and to trust what my body can do in water… The world record for men is over 11 minutes and that is not breathing pure oxygen. We know water; your body remembers water there’s a memory of water in us that we have just forgotten.”She challenged the audience to “spend some time in the water inside of you, in the water we have at our disposal and yes come on in the water is good”.“We are representatives of the ocean. I even see that with people who can’t swim who stand there and say to me: ‘I can’t swim but I love staring at the ocean.’ If you are an ocean gazer or explorer you’ve got that in you.”Watch Prinsloo pledge to protect the ocean, and explain why she was moved to do so:Why protect the ocean?In her report to the WEF, Prinsloo spoke about a study by the WWF and the Zoological Society of London, which said 40% of marine populations had halved since 1970. Many of the fish humans ate had posted a staggering 74% drop in population.“Oceans are the lifeblood,” she stressed. “Not only do 2.6 billion people depend on them for their primary source of protein, but more than half of the oxygen in the atmosphere is produced by the salty masses, while they absorb over 30% of CO2.”Chapter 5 of South Africa’s National Development Plan talks about protecting and enhancing the country’s environmental assets and natural resources. Prinsloo’s activism promotes this outcome of the plan. But it is not only a national issue; Goal 14 of the SDGs, she pointed out, had seven main targets, including a reduction of all kinds of marine pollution. It particularly mentioned land activities that resulted in marine pollution. Another target focused on community fishing practices and poverty.“As an ocean advocate, I have to believe that we can achieve SDG14.”More needed to be done to improve collaboration on this issue, especially between non-governmental organisations and governments, stakeholders and activists. “We know the challenges. The hard work now is to ensure that we work together to achieve the SDG14 targets – for the sake of the ocean and the planet.”I Am WaterI Am Water Ocean Conservation Trust was founded in South Africa in 2010. Its mandate is that humans and nature cannot survive without each other. “We believe ocean degradation is fundamentally due to human disconnect,” reads its website, “and the way to change the course for our oceans is engaging and educating individuals on their role for a healthy planet.”The aim for Prinsloo and her team is to make people fall in love with the ocean so that they will want to protect it. The trust’s projects include taking children from previously disadvantaged communities such as Masiphumelele township in Cape Town to the beach, teaching them to swim, and educating them about marine life and how to protect the ocean.Another project is raising awareness of the plight of shark populations around the world.Watch Prinsloo explain the importance of protecting sharks:Watch Prinsloo and others swim alongside sharks:last_img read more

More Green From Beans – 6

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Pamela SmithDTN Progressive Farmer Crops Technology EditorThrow a crop-production question at Brad and Jacob Wade, and it can quickly escalate into a debate.When asked to rank the top things that determine soybean yield success, Jacob immediately countered: “Volume yield or economic yield?”“Are they the same thing?” his father, Brad, challenged. That comment lights the fuse. Suddenly, the two are bantering back and forth about every aspect of the soybean-production system and what equates to yield — and to Jacob’s point — profitability?The Wades, who farm near McLean, Illinois, nearly always come to a hearty consensus.“We do this a lot,” Brad said. “We’re always asking questions.”“We’re always looking for the next thing to push us to the next level,” Jacob added.Some would say yields come naturally in this part of the soybean belt. McLean County, Illinois (where the town of McLean is also located), led the state and nation in total production of corn (71.9 million bushels) and soybeans (21.5 mb) in 2018. In fairness, it is the largest county in the state, but yields tend to consistently rock here, too.During the last few years, the Wades have seen soybean yields grow consistently, with field averages hitting the 70-bushel-per-acre mark in 2016, 80-bushel beans in 2017 and several fields hitting 90 to 100 bpa in 2018.The father and son agree nature did a lot to push those yields higher, particularly in 2018. “Last year convinced some farmers that they could grow a lot of soybeans without really trying,” Brad said. “This 2019 season may set the record straight.”Soybean farmers are finding ways to boost revenues despite market and trade challenges. This story is the sixth and last in a six-part series, More Green From Beans. The series looked at ways soybean farmers are finding ways to answer trade challenges by boosting revenues through switching up agronomics and finding new markets.NO ONE RECIPEWhen the first soybean yield kings started adding to the soybean yield ledgers, other farmers clamored for their recipes. They still do, said Jerry Cox, Delta, Missouri, a perennial yield contest winner in soybeans and corn.“Foliar feeding, fungicide and timely insecticides are important ingredients, but it’s not as much the recipe as it is timeliness of application and reading the crop,” Cox said.His irrigated entry won the Missouri Soybean Association’s yield top honors in 2017 with 101.17 bpa using a planted population of 110,000 plants per acre. He has continued to reduce populations on high-fertility fields to promote branching, going as low as 75,000 plants per acre on his 2019 plot. However, it’s important to check germination rate on the seed planted before dropping that low, he pointed out.“My best yields seem to come in years when the plant had some sort of stress very early that it fought back from,” Cox added. “If I’ve learned anything over the past 35 years of trying to push the yield envelope, it is that the soybean has something of a mind of its own.”In other words, no matter what road map you chart with inputs and practices, weather can be an overriding factor. Plenty of sunshine before the summer solstice coupled with moderate nighttime temperatures and well-timed rains (or irrigation) tend to bring big bushels, these farmers agree.TRIAL AND SUCCESSStill, everyone knows of neighboring fields that failed to pump out the same number of pods and beans within, despite near-equal soil and weather. To that point, Wade Farms planted nearly 400 acres of replicated soybean trials this year to direct their own farm decisions and to share with local farmers through the seed sales side of their business.Beyond inputs, row widths and populations, they are testing to see if mechanical practices such as singulation and planter pressures matter to soybeans. “The tools we now have to measure and track incremental changes in the crop are going to really change soybean production in coming years,” Jacob said.How to interpret the wacky 2019 season is still a question though. The Wades planted some soybeans as early as March 27 into 33 degree Fahrenheit soil temperature and didn’t see a lot of plant growth until late May. A head-scratcher came when they found a few June-planted fields were averaging 21 to 22 nodes per plant, several more than the early-planted soybeans, which still had more pods.“We know in a typical year that early planting results in more nodes. More nodes equate to more pods and more production,” Jacob said. “I’d say we have 10% less nodes this year overall because we just didn’t get the heat units.”Listening and studying the practices of yield contest winners inspired the Wades to become serious about in-field testing for both efficacy and profitability. “We’ve learned that simply comparing one field to another doesn’t tell us much, especially when that field changes every hundred feet,” Brad said. “Without replicated trials, you can easily misinterpret that something is working or not working.”Digital health imagery helps them track changes in the field, and not everything turns out as expected, Jacob noted. Fuller maturity soybeans, 3.9 relative maturity (RM), have been abandoned on the farm, for example. “They just weren’t performing for us,” he said, explaining that their plots now run from 2.8 RM to 3.7 RM.“We now know that each soybean variety has a personality, and in a way, it needs to be planted and cared for. We tend to understand and make those adjustments in corn, but beans are making breakthroughs,” he said.SIX STEPS TO SOYBEAN SUCCESS:There’s no one way to pump up soybean yields. Brad and Jacob Wade like to look at the soybean decisions as a system. Beyond weather or environment, here are six steps they take to drive yields in central Illinois:1. Genetics: Disease and other defensive resistance needs are weighed along with overall yield potential.2. Early planting: Focus on planting in April to increase node number and number of pods.3. Seed treatment: Early planting increases the need to protect against early-season fungal infections, insects and sudden death syndrome (SDS).4. Crop safety: Preemergence herbicide programs are a must for good weed control, but they select herbicide active ingredients and additives to avoid injury that can come if early planting is followed by cold, wet weather.5. Late-season fungicide/insecticide: The top third of a plant absorbs most of the sunlight. R3 and/or R5 application of fungicide and insecticides are used to protect leaves through seed-fill.6. On-farm research: Prove concepts/products work on your own farm before switching to a new strategy. Replicate and record findings.Pamela Smith can be reached at pamela.smith@dtn.comFollow her on Twitter @PamSmithDTN(ES/AG)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic to clash in Wimbledon final

first_imgRoger FedererRoger Federer and Novak Djokovic will meet for the Wimbledon title after the old guard held off the new in the semifinals Friday at the All England Club.Federer, chasing his record eighth Wimbledon championship, swept past Canada’s Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to reach his 25th Grand Slam final.Federer, who owns 17 Slam titles, is back in a major final for the first time since winning Wimbledon in 2012.The top-seeded Djokovic ran off six of the final seven points in the tiebreaker to beat Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (7) to advance to his third Wimbledon final in four years.It’s also Djokovic’s 14th Grand Slam final and 10th in his last 13 majors.last_img read more

Inflamed shoulder tendons

first_imgTearing and inflammation of the tendons of the shoulder muscles can occur in sports which require the arm to be moved over the head repeatedly as in tennis, pitching, swimming, and lifting weights. Most often the shoulder will heal if a break is taken from the activities that caused the problem and pain. Intermittent ice packs applied to the shoulder and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can also help reduce inflammation and pain. Review Date:7/6/2011Reviewed By:C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.last_img read more