News Archive 2012
Older news stories about Red Kite Enterprise and Environment and important stories about business and the environment. If you would like to discuss how any of these items might affect your business, or create an opportunity, please contact us.
Red Kite at European Space Solutions Conference
5 December 2012
Red Kite attended the European Space Solutions conference to hear the latest on how businesses are using space-based technologies to create value for enterprise and environment.
Businesses are gaining an impressive range of benefits from space technologies, and these benefits are becoming ever more accessible due to availability of devices (e.g. smartphones) and the growing space industry. We saw businesses using satellite services to:
Create a vision product for people with badly impaired sight
Optimise sat-navs for electric vehicles to maximise range
Improve agricultural efficiency by linking observations of crop health and soil condition to precision application of fertilizers
Reduce costs and business impact of environmental monitoring for dredging, with relevance to other extracting or polluting industries
Synchronise global financial transactions using clocks with one-billionth of a second accuracy
Space is now a £9bn and growing industry for the UK and was boosted by announcements of additional grants and support for satellite application development and the ‘Catapult’ innovation centre. Our conversation with the Minister, David Willetts, confirmed that space had cross-party support, which should increase business confidence in accessing funds and services.
Red Kite is plugged-in to the space business ‘eco-system’. There is a great deal of technical knowledge to be accessed, often for free. But, our approach is to start with the business issues and opportunities, and bridge out to potential technologies and suppliers, rather than the other way round. If you would like to explore how space-based technologies could help your business, please contact us for a no-obligations discussion.
Business leaders call for carbon certainty
8 October 2012
In an open letter to George Osborne, 50 business leaders call for the Government to lay down tight restrictions on CO2 outputs from the energy industry in 2030. They argue that uncertainty over targets and recent statements about unabated gas are undermining investments in greener solutions for energy and the broader economy. It calls for targets for the energy industry to be pat of the Energy Bill later this later.
The letter notes a CBI estimated that a third of the UK’s economic growth in 2011/12 came from green businesses, but continued policy uncertainty lose the UK almost £400m a year in net exports by 2014/15.
In addition environmental organisations like Friends of the Earth, the letter is signed by leaders of Alliance Boots, Asda, Aviva, Marks and Spencer, PepsiCo, Microsoft, Philips and Sky. EDF was the only one of the UK’s ‘Big 6’ energy companies to support the letter. It was co-ordinated by the Aldersgate Group, an alliance of business and political leaders driving for a more sustainable economy.
Mandatory GHG reporting for listed UK companies
25 July 2012
Defra unveiled its proposed regulation on Greenhouse Gas reporting for consultation today. The plan was announced by Nick Clegg at Rio+20 in June. Under the plans, UK companies listed on the London Stock Exchange and other main markets will have to report on their emissions of 6 greenhouse gases for financial years ending 6 April 2013 or later.
Analysis: This was one of the few real announcements at Rio+20 and signals the UK Government’s intention to be seen as a leader in the defence against climate change – even if that isn’t consistent across their policies. The regulations cover reporting of actual emissions and those from energy purchased, also know as Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. For quoted companies this should be practical, but getting the first year right will be very important because future reports must refer back to it as a base. The smart companies will be the ones who use the data gathering process to identify energy and cost-saving efficiencies on which to act.
Click here for more about environmental reporting can be a catalyst for value creation
In search of the ethical consumer
8 June 2012
In an excellent Financial Times article Michael Skapinker looks at whether consumer behaviour is actually swinging towards more ethical products and services. Unilever’s CEO says that “They are now increasingly willing to vote with their wallet”, but recognizes that the evidence is mixed.
An Australian study points at three reasons businesses find it valuable to invest in ethical and environmental issues:
1)To address issues with the sustainability of resources
2)To placate campaigning organisations, such as Greenpeace
3)To target specific customer segments, who do care about these issues – and who are often more affluent that average
Analysis: Does this mean businesses should ease off on consumer-facing ethical or environmental activities? We say no – but it does demonstrates the need to base actions on a strong understanding of your customers, just as you would for any well-managed marketing programme. Based on our unique combination of marketing experience and environmental knowledge, we know that a small investment in well designed and executed market research can pay back 10+ fold in steering your actions to get the best impact with consumers.
Mexico becomes second country to fix climate change targets in legislation
20 April 2012
Mexico's senate voted unanimously (78-0) to commit the country to reducing the growth of greenhouse gas emissions 30% by 2020 and 50% by 2050. That makes it the second country after the UK to enshrine such targets in law.
This is important to business as a trend that is gathering pace in many countries, even while other nations such as Canada seem to be moving in the opposite direction. It is particularly significant because Mexico is a big oil and gas producer – the sixth biggest oil exporter in the world.
Analysis: As a big oil producer, Mexico’s political unity on this move may seem surprising compared to the controversy the issue attracts in its northern neighbours USA and Canada. Mexico does have three forces pushing in this direction: (1) Big local impacts from climate change, both heatwaves and floods. (2) It’s ‘cuts’ are actually a reduction in previously forecast growth, rather than being cuts in absolute terms. (3) As a developing country, it stands to benefit from financial support as agreed by the UN Convention on Climate Change.
Business leaders need to understand the global landscape and whether it might affect their business, either directly or through customers and suppliers.
Climate Week event for businesspeople – "10 out of 10"
16 March 2012
Our Climate Week event "The businessperson's guide to climate change" was a big success at the Harwell
Innovation Centre. Our presentation was followed by a discussion of the implications of climate change, the
threats and opportunities it created for the diverse range of organisations represented. Like our earlier
manufacturing-focused event, the attendees rated it 9 or 10 out of 10.
If you missed this event and are interested in similar future events, or a customised workshop for your organisation,
please contact us.
"Enlightening and incentivising in equal measure” – The Executive’s Guide to Climate Change
17 February 2012
Red Kite’s presentation about the threats and opportunities for businesses from climate change issues was well received bu manufacturing industry group CESTAM. Dr Tom Tew outlined the science of climate change and the political activity it has set in motion. Then, Robin Tucker explained the threats to businesses – if they ignored it, and the profit opportunities – if they took advantage of them. The audience clearly enjoyed the presentation and found it informative – most rating it 9 or 10 out of 10.
In a survey at the end of the session, the threat that concerned most business people present was the direct impact of climate change: floods, heat-waves or storms, followed by the threat of regulation and taxation. The best opportunity was thought to be ‘green marketing’: creating competitive advantage from the environmental credentials of products and services. The ‘runner-up’ was cost saving opportunities, like those achieved by 4 manufacturing companies described in the presentation.
Red Kite Enterprise and Environment Limited offers this presentation to other businesses and business groups wanting to understand the issues and opportunities presented by the changing climate and the impact it has on global and national markets.
Climate Week event for businesspeople – 16 March
6 February 2012
We've teamed up with the Climate Week and Oxford Innovation to present "The businessperson's guide to climate
change" at Harwell Innovation Centre on 16 March 2012. Climate Week is Britain's Biggest Climate Change
Campaign, and our aim is to to help businesses understand what's important to them. This will be a seminar and
interactive session on science and politics of climate change, and the apparent threats and hidden opportunities for
The event will run from 8:30-10:30 including a light breakfast. For details and booking see our Climate Week page,
or email Kerry Charlton. If you can’t make it on that day, contact us to ask about future and customised events.
Red Kite's David Viner gives seminar "I don't believe in climate change"
23 January 2012
David presented today a seminar in conjunction the Global Sustainability Institute at Anglia Ruskin University or 23rd January. The title was provocative, but David argued that "belief" can be as damaging as "denial" to humanity's response to climate change. Instead we should seek a pragmatic, realistic and less emotional approach based on understanding of the science.
Dr David Viner is Red Kite's Climate Change expert. He was part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change team that was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2007, and from 2008-2011 he led the British Council's Global Programme on Climate Change.
Red Kite joins Climate Week to offer “The Executive’s Guide to Climate Change”
13 January 2012
Climate Week is Britain's Biggest Climate Change Campaign, supported by every part of society - from the Prime
Minister to Paul McCartney, from the TUC to the CBI. During Climate Week in 2011 over 3,000 events were
attended by half a million people across the UK.
For 2012, Red Kite Enterprise and Environment have joined up with Climate Week to offer “The Executive’s Guide
to Climate Change: overt threats and hidden opportunities” – a series of workshops for business leaders exploring
climate change from a strategic business perspective. In a non-technical session, we’ll move from science, to
public policy, to the regulatory changes you need to be aware of, to the less obvious – but much more exciting – value-creation opportunities.
Our first event will be for manufacturing executives in the Midlands. We currently have availability for further events for business groups or individual organisations during or around Climate Week: 12-18 March 2012 – contact us for details.
Simon Hall joins Red Kite Enterprise and Environment as Advisory Partner
1 January 2012
Simon Hall, one of the country’s leading business consultants has become an Advisory Partner of Red Kite Enterprise and Environment.
Simon started his consulting career at Mercer Managing Consulting (now Oliver Wyman) where he became one of the youngest Vice-Presidents in the firm. He then moved to Corporate Value Associates as Managing Partner UK & USA, and one of the 4 senior partner global management team. In 2010 he founded New World, a senior-only consulting firm expert in strategic and organisational development. He has worked on around 160 exercises with 30 clients in 15 countries, across 20 private, public and charity sectors – contributing to around £10bn of value creation.
Simon shares our belief in creating value from bridging between business and the environment. He shares his experience and insights with other business leaders as a Visiting Lecturer of Warwick Business School, leading their “Delivering Strategic Transformation” course. He is also a Trustee of the healthcare charity Dipex.
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