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This category is for selected guest blogs written by students on the City, University of London Writing for Business shortcourse.

Why sustainable travel matters

[Myriam Schweiger is a communication specialist and globe trotter. She was a student on the City, University of London Writing for Business short course in October-December 2019. Myriam wrote this blog as part of a homework/in-class exercise on that course.]

The travel industry has increasingly come under scrutiny with regard to its environmental impact – and more people will fly in the future, with passenger numbers expected to reach 8.2 billion in 2037. It’s without doubt that big efforts from all players in the tourism industry are needed. I love to travel but I’m also convinced that we need to protect the planet. Find out below why it is important to be aware of our impact while travelling and learn how to make better responsible travel choices.

The impact of the tourism and travel industry in the world is massive. With travelling becoming more accessible and with growing consumer demand for flights, the intensity of travel will further increase… as will our impact.

The consequences are many and varied, whether from pollution, exploitation of natural resources, or overuse of plastic.

Veganism: an ally to preserve the environment

[Milena Ferrari is a marketing specialist in the food and beverage industry. She was a student on the City, University of London Writing for Business short course in October-December 2019. Milena wrote this blog as part of a homework/in-class exercise on that course.]

The consumer’s growing concern with the environment is leading to widespread changes in food and lifestyle. Vegan diets are becoming more relevant. This is not only due to animal welfare issues but also for health or environmental reasons. Some consumers are choosing to become flexitarians – occasionally consuming meat – or vegetarians or vegans.

On the face of it veganism is a more extreme approach, given that vegans do not eat any food originating from animals, including eggs and milk. But it is becoming more popular. There is now an annual Veganuary Campaign, to which both omnivores (who eat both plant and animal origin food) and vegetarians subscribe, in an attempt to try veganism for a month. In the last year the campaign gathered 168,000 attendees.

Growing trees in Africa? Local solutions are best

[About the author: Tony Mulvahil is a project manager who enjoys writing. He was a student on the City, University of London Writing for Business short course in April-July 2019. Tony wrote this blog as part of a homework/in-class exercise on that course.]

Feeling lost amongst the noise of climate disaster stories? These charities focus on making an extraordinary difference to local people.

Your social media feed pops up another horror story of a forest fire consuming a vast tract of pristine forest. Or a monstrous cyclone drowning an entire city. You feel a rising sense of fear and panic combined with despair that nothing you do will solve this man-made climate disaster.

Yet, hidden away from view are many organisations working with local people who are on the battlefront of the climate crisis. The UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), not to be confused with the UN Environment organisation, focuses on addressing drought and soil degradation. The UNCCD supplies resources and action plans aiming to halt the loss of productive land.

On their website, the UNCCD provides extracts titled Actions Around the World. These tell the stories of the many small groups of people making a tremendous contribution to their local area. The UNCCD highlights how women are taking an increasingly significant role in setting up groups that tackle climate change by giving them the authority to decide their priorities. Tree Aid establishes enterprise groups in countries such as Burkina Faso and Mali, and this activity helps women improve their lives. Over in Kenya’s Mau Forest, Green Grants supports the Indigenous Information Network enabling local women to reclaim degraded land.

Separately, the Forest Peoples charity supports indigenous forest people to continue living in their traditional homes by working with them to tackle the political challenges these people face.

People Change: Wondering how to save the planet? Avoid these 7 deadly emissions

[About the author: Darren Wimhurst is an operations manager and writer. He was a student on the City, University of London Writing for Business short course in January-March 2019. Darren wrote this blog as part of a homework/in-class exercise on that course.]

Lord knows; I’m a sinner. But I can’t say I’ve been involved in anything deadly before.

Is it that bad? The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported in October 2018 that human activities have caused 1.0°C of global warming above pre-industrial levels. If this figure rises above 1.5C we face a number of apocalyptic scenarios.

How do we avoid said apocalypse? “We need to cut CO2 emissions almost in half (45%) by the end of the next decade,” says Kimberly Nicholas, associate professor at the Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS) in Sweden. Emissions need to be net zero by 2050.

Are world leaders directing the response? The UN sponsored the IPCC report but their remit extends to strongly worded recommendations. Responsibility lies with individual countries and after decades of negotiation on climate change there has been no slowing of the rising global carbon curve. To confirm: no change whatsoever.

So it’s down to us. Below, are the seven emissions we need to eliminate or significantly reduce.