Ethical bank Triodos lists as a UK bank in preparation for Brexit, green gas hits the major milestone of supplying 1 million British homes, and a new ‘biosolar’ leaf project claims to do the work of 100 trees with just one. Meanwhile, Brits bin £500 million worth of food each week as one person dies a second from starvation across the globe, and investment app tickr launches a £500,000 crowdfunding round. Lori Campbell rounds up the top sustainable stories of the week.
Triodos lists as UK bank
Ethical bank Triodos has listed as a UK bank to continue championing sustainable banking across Europe following Brexit.
From May 1, 2019, it will operate as subsidiary company Triodos Bank UK Ltd, wholly owned by Triodos Bank N.V. This means deposits will now be covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which reimburses savers up to £85,000 in the event their bank goes bust.
Triodos was granted a full banking licence for Triodos Bank UK Ltd earlier this year, with the legal transfer of the business approved by the High Court of Justice. The move will allow Triodos to continue driving the growth of sustainable banking across Europe following Britain’s expected withdrawal from the European Union.
It will be authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Previously it was regulated by the Dutch Central Bank.
Green gas hits milestone of 1 million UK homes
One million homes in Britain are now using ‘green gas’ for heating and cooking after a surge in energy produced from farm and food waste.
There are now 60 UK biomethane plants in the UK, which use food leftovers, cattle and chicken manure as well as grass silage and hybrid rye to create gas.
The number of homes supplied with green gas has leapt 13-fold since 2017, according to the Green Gas Certification Scheme. Campaigners say biomethane could supply as many as 10 million UK homes by 2050.
However, while most big suppliers now have green tariffs, few are 100 per cent renewable, and only one, Green Energy UK, guarantees that all its gas is green.
Brits bin £500 million of food each week as one person a SECOND dies of starvation
Brits throw away a staggering £494 million worth of food every week, according to a new report.
Research by recipe box company Gousto reveals UK shoppers throw out an average of 40 per cent of items they put in their weekly shopping basket.
Almost half (45 per cent) thought that wasting food was “insane” given that the United Nation’s World Food Programme says around 821 million people globally go hungry every day. It is estimated that every one second, a person dies from starvation.
Two in five of those polled were concerned about the environmental impact of food waste, while half of those concerned about their food waste regretted the unnecessary expense.
The poll reveals that struggles with portion control leads to waste across the nation, both in the supermarket aisle (29 per cent) and on the plate (33 per cent).
‘Biosolar leaf’ project targets air pollution
Scientists are working on the world’s first “biosolar leaf” to tackle climate change.
The technology is able to mop up carbon dioxide and discharge oxygen into the atmosphere far more efficiently than a typical tree. Developers say it can do the work of 100 trees with the surface area of just one tree.
The invention cultivates minute plant life – microalgae and phytoplankton – on solar panel structures that can be installed on land, buildings and roofs. Scientists say they can clean the air of carbon dioxide, release more oxygen into the atmosphere and grow nutritious plant protein at the same time.
The initiative, which launches on Monday, is a partnership between Imperial College, London and startup Arborea. It will be piloted at the university’s White City campus. In cities such as London it is hoped the solar panel structures can be installed on the roofs of large buildings, including warehouses, cinemas and public offices.
tickr launches £500,000 crowdfunding campaign
The money raised on investment platform Seedrs will be used to gain more app users, and build new features such as a visual newsfeed. This will provide an interactive overview of the companies in a user’s portfolio and the work they are doing to make an impact on the world.
tickr’s statistics reveal that 40 per cent of its users are women, 90 per cent are aged between 25 and 39, and 65 per cent are first-time investors.
tickr was launched on iOS in December 2018 on iOS, with Android following in February 2019. Initial funding of almost £1 million came from a range of investors including Dutch VC firm SLJ Investment Partners B.V in summer 2018.
tickr was recently named as one of Tech Nation’s 2019 10 rising stars and one of the world’s most innovative companies by WEALTHTECH 100.