Davos 2014

The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business “

Davos is an non-profit foundation committed to improving the state of the world. Around 2.200 participants gather for the five day event. These include; business leaders, international political leaders, selected intellectuals and journalists. These individuals gather to discuss the most pressing issues facing the world, including health and the environment.

Why use Circular Economy as appose to linear?
This was the question for many of the participants at Davos. Ida Auken, Danish Environment Minister, shared with us her beliefs that Circular Economy is going to be huge and transform the way we think, produce, consume and live. When we move from Linear to Circular, everything would need to be designed so we don’t lose or destroy our natural resources, something Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, believes we are already doing- stealing from our future generations.
The World Economic Forum has recognised the risks of the business sector if the Circular Economy isn’t embraced. Dominic Waughray, Senior Director of WEF tells Davos that we need to rethink how we use materials in our linear economy as elements such as gold, silver and many others could be depleted within 5-50 years. This has caused for the collaboration “Project MainStream”. The aim of this is to bring companies together to help mainstream Circular Economy. WEF believe this will cause yearly savings of around $1 trillion by 2025 and would create an eye opening amount of 100,000 new jobs within 5 years.

How does Climate change & Sustainability come into this?
It is believed that solutions for tackling Climate change are at our fingertips. What is needed from businesses is for them to engage the young people on this topic. Many businesses have admitted they aren’t sure on the best techniques on to do this.

Here are a couple of pointers on how to do just that taken from a conference at Davos:

When talking about climate change, a subtopic that always gets brought up is water. Now, it has been mentioned that a numerous amount of us take water for granted– which I believe to be true. You wouldn’t think water would be a precious resource, but in reality it is. 16 years from now, half of the world’s population will be living in areas with water stress. This jaw dropping statement has made people re-think about how valuable our water supply actually is, therefore it has been said at Davos that we need a global sustainable development goal (SDG). These goals are broken down into three: Social (access to water & sanitation, Environmental (water quality) and Economic (water efficiency). The purpose for these goals is to steer development and investments.

Unilever have made a 20 million investment into ensuring that children worldwide get the water and nutrition they need. In 2013 alone they have helped over 4.5 million children worldwide! Another tongue—tingling subject is deforestation.  This has been an ongoing subject at WEF Davos and now businesses are making ambitious commitments to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains. That’s right they are now taking matters into their own hands and they can’t expect government to make quick decisions by themselves– this is just a way for prompting them. Someone who agrees with this is Paul Polman, Unilever, who says “I always say when they built the statue of liberty on the east coast of the United States; they forgot to build the Statue of Responsibility on the west coast”. He also believes that there is a bigger urge from responsible businesses to drive into action.

Next month will be the launch of Global Forest Watch, a service where you can monitor how the forests are changing from the use of satellite + Technology, open data and human networks. Now it’s time for the last topic in this category which is Green Bonds (let’s keep it brief). Jim Yong Kim, Work Bank President, called for a scaling up of green investment funds. World Bank hoped to create green bonds worth 50 Billion Dollars by the time the global climate talks in Paris. Kim asked the question of  why not aim to double the size of the green bond market to 20 Billion by September and 50 Billion by December 2015 at the Paris Climate Summit– Response was that it is doable. There have been few businesses/companies who have taken to this idea, for example, EDF have indicated that it would buy $1 Billion in green bonds. They also encouraged others to do the same.

The low– down on Unilever
Unilever has created a total of 7 targets in relation to the WEF held in Davos 2014- These are:

1) Health + Hygiene– Improving hygiene & promoting well-being
2) Nutrition– Helping people to make healthy choices
3) Greenhouse Gases– Helping to tackle climate change
4) Water– Reducing our water use where it matters the most
5) Waste– Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
6) Sustainable Sourcing– Growing for the future
7) Better livelihoods– Supporting economic development.

Paul Polman, Unilever CEO on sustainable living,
For us, equitable growth is the only acceptable business model. Business needs to regenerate force in the system that gives it a life. E.g. reducing waste, we create efficiencies + reduce costs meanwhile looking at more sustainable ways of developing products.”

How does this relate to HPS?
Systems provided by HPS, including to Unilever, help companies reduce product and water waste and reduce their carbon footprint.

Product Waste – Waste and its cost for removal from plants has become a major expense to most liquid process companies. An effective way of reducing these costs is to pig the product transfer pipelines.

Reduced Carbon Footprint – Power resources saved by reducing cleaning times, reductions in tankers/trucks for waste removal and therefore exhaust emissions and traffic congestion, are other benefits of having a pigging system.

Less Water Usage – There is no need for a lengthy flush out as the product has been evacuated by a pig unlike a normal CIP cycle where you would flush out any product residue with water for long periods of time.

HPS CEO, Gilbert Murphy, said this about his views on the World Economic Forum:
Having read many of the articles posted  for the Davos World Economic Forum 2014 and listened to Paul Polman’s passionate interview on climate change and sustainability, it is clear industry must step up to the challenge of reducing waste and increasing efficiency, thus reducing direct and indirect carbon emissions. In liquid processing environments such as food & beverages, personal care, home care & chemicals, product recovery (Pigging) systems can deliver a significant positive impact on these challenges. Companies investing in Pigging technology can see their waste output, water, chemical and energy usage fall dramatically whilst at the same time increasing product yield, so it can pay to meet the challenges. However the driving force should not always be profit. There is an ethical argument that all companies that could adopt this kind of technology should, even if there is no commercial return of investment. Perhaps legislation should be more of a driving force behind this.