Selling the eco ethos

first_imgEnvironmentally friendly packaging is not only a good way for your business to ’do its bit’, but can also act as a selling point for goods, as consumers become increasingly aware of their benefits. But are eco-only packaging companies better than generic companies that offer sustainable options as part of their range?One of the main ’green’ packaging companies, London Bio Packaging (LBP), aims to reduce negative environmental impacts of packaging and other products. It claims a major advantage of eco- specialists is their willingness to supply small runs.The firm supplies a range of biodegradable, compostable, recycled and bespoke green packaging – for example, biodegradable coffee cups and cake boxes made from recycled paper. Supply manager Jerome Cogan explains there can sometimes be a slight cost issue when it comes to using eco-only suppliers.”For example, when you buy a case of 1,000, which is the company’s standard case size, it may be the difference between £36 or £30 for 1,000 cups. However, many people are quite happy to go with a bio- degradable one, even if it is more expensive.”LBP also offers a next-day delivery service, as well a closed-loop composting service, whereby the products sold – made from plants – are collected after use, and returned to the fields.Eco-packaging company Vegware, also offers a bespoke packaging service. Products in its range include sandwich wedges made from recycled card, with a corn starch window and compostable cellophane bags. “We try and make our offering very flexible,” says managing director Joe Frankel. “Many products – for example, coffee cup lids – come in cases of 1,000 but, within that case, there are 20 bags of 50 and we sell those bags of 50 separately. Obviously you get a better price if you buy 10,000 cups, but that’s not always what people want.”Biopac director Mark Brigden says one of the most important things eco-only companies are about is taking waste away from the landfill stream. “The problem with plastic packaging is that it’s very difficult to recycle, because you’ve often got numerous different polymer types within the generic term ’plastic packaging’, which have to be segregated in order to be recycled efficiently.”For products that would conventionally be lined with a plastic liner, such as food boxes, Biopac uses a biopolymer alternative, rendering the whole product biodegradable. It also uses a lot of fibre-based materials, produced from renewable crops, including sugar cane, bulrush and palm fibres.In terms of how these smaller eco-only companies compete on price, Brigden concedes that it can be more expensive than buying plastic products, but says the market for these products – reflecting the eco industry in general – is growing rapidly. “As volumes increase, we anticipate that the prices are going to become more aligned,” he adds. “The most important thing is that the final consumer is made aware that the packaging is environmentally responsible. It’s no good using a drinks tumbler made from a corn starch and not actually telling the consumer about it.”At the other end of the packaging scale are big packaging companies, such as multi-material supplier Linpac Packaging, which has a product range in excess of 10,000 items, but says “a commitment to sustainability lies at the heart of its ethos”.Linpac offers a range of products specifically for the bakery sector, including confectionery trays, sandwich containers, films for baguette bags and high-barrier films for MAP packaging. It also has a substantial plastics recycling division. While it doesn’t offer small runs, it does operate through a distributor that can offer them. Linpac’s minimum run can vary depending on the product, says group commmunications manager Barbara Laing, but for a product such as sandwich wedges, it would be a minimum of approximately 10,000 units.Linpac argues that the “right choice of packaging depends on the product and also the market you are trying to sell to”. If you need certain products that you cannot find in an eco-range or are not suitable for your business, then having a comprehensive range of packaging options will make life easier.It’s easy to see why, in today’s cost-cutting climate, bakery and food-to-go retailers don’t want to spend extra on packaging. But there is no denying that the eco-packaging market is gathering pace, and the more popular it gets, the cheaper it will become.last_img read more

Indiana, Michigan squarely in the middle of the pack when it comes to COVID…

first_img Facebook Indiana, Michigan squarely in the middle of the pack when it comes to COVID restrictions By Tommie Lee – June 9, 2020 0 435 WhatsApp Google+ Google+ WhatsApp Pinterest Previous articleDowagiac home catches fire after child plays with lighter, sets pile of clothing ablazeNext articleIndiana BMV to resume walk-in service in mid-June Tommie Lee CoronavirusIndianaLocalMichiganNationalNewsSouth Bend Market Indiana National Guardsmen, local law enforcement and civilian personnel, partner together to conduct COVID-19 testing throughout north east Indiana on April 27, 2020. (Photo by Cpl. Hannah Clifton) It turns out Indiana and Michigan are right in the middle of the road among states when it comes to coronavirus restrictions.A number of different considerations went into the report, posted at WalletHub and using data reported through Monday.Both of the Dakotas and Wisconsin had the fewest public restrictions, with California and New Hampshire having the most.Indiana and Michigan were ranked 24th and 25th, respectively.The data included considerations like whether child-care programs and restaurants were reopened in the state, and the details of any shelter-in-place orders.You can view the full report here. Pinterest Twitter Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

UB boss steps down

first_imgUnited Biscuits’ chief executive, Jeff van der Eems, has stepped down with immediate effect.Van der Eems took over the role last April, when Martin Glenn left to become chief executive of the Football Association. Van der Eems had formerly been in charge of UB’s international business, and has spent a total of 11 years at the company.Jim Zaza, executive chairman at UB, will assume the responsibilities of chief executive for the foreseeable future.Van der Eems said: “It has been a distinct pleasure to lead United Biscuits during a period where we re-established our presence on the world stage.“Having secured the sale and transition to Yildiz Holding, it is an opportune time for me to step down and pursue other opportunities.”Murat Ülker, chairman of Yildiz Holding, said: “I thank Jeff personally for his tireless commitment to revitalising United Biscuits and ensuring a smooth integration with Yildiz Holding during his tenure. I wish him all the best with his future endeavours.”Trio barMeanwhile, United Biscuits-owned McVitie’s has launched a campaign to find the new voice of its relaunched Trio bar.The company announced the relaunch of the toffee- and biscuit-filled chocolate bar in February, heralding its return to shelves for the first time in 13 years.Entrants are being asked to post films of themselves singing Trio’s classic jingle on the McVitie’s Facebook page, or on Twitter with the hashtag #iwantatrio. The winner will receive £3,000 and a day in a recording studio to record the song, as well as the chance to hear their entry played on Capital FM.Sarah Heynen, marketing director of Sweet Biscuits at UB, said: “As soon as people hear the name Trio they start singing the jingle – and it’s this sonic nostalgia that we want to celebrate. The fact that Trio is coming back was exciting enough in itself, but launching our competition makes it even more so, and we’re all looking forward to seeing what the country comes up with.”last_img read more

Honoring great teaching

first_imgIt was sunny and summery on Saturday (Nov. 13), which broke the drear spell of autumn. So what were the odds of enticing 100 people to stay inside — and listen to lectures on statistics?The odds were excellent. That many people attended the inaugural David K. Pickard Memorial Lecture at Maxwell Dworkin. The program was named for a junior faculty member in statistics who died young, but not before winning every major Harvard undergraduate-teaching award for his passion, accessibility, patience, and clarity.“I literally gasped when I saw David’s record,” said Statistics Department Chair Xiao-Li Meng. He called the afternoon symposium a way of expressing “belated but deep gratitude” to Pickard for inspiring a generation of young scholars to become passionate teachers themselves.“Henceforth, the name ‘Pickard’ is going to be synonymous with great teaching,” said Carl N. Morris, a 20-year veteran of Harvard’s statistics faculty.The Canada-born Pickard — dashing, athletic, and an authority in something called the Ising model — did his doctoral work in Australia and taught at Harvard from 1977 to 1985. He died of brain cancer in 1986, shortly after moving to Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.Pickard exemplified a “sea change” in the way Harvard teaches its undergraduates, said statistician Judith Singer, the James Bryant Conant Professor of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and senior vice provost for faculty development and diversity.Honoring Pickard, she added, came at a critical time in a complicated world, when students more than ever have to be “statistically accurate and statistically literate.”For the young scholar, dead too soon, teaching began at home. For one thing, he came from a long line of Canadian mathematicians and scientists. For another, his children felt the heat and light of Pickard’s pedagogical skills. His daughter Darcy, who was in the audience Saturday, is a senior statistician with a British Columbia ecological consulting firm. His son, Damon, is a Kingston paramedic who was 15 when his father died.Damon remembered a vital man who turned card games into lessons on probability, backyard basketball into calculations of optimal throwing arcs, and a neighborhood tree into a lesson on determining height through trigonometry.“Teaching was in his blood,” said Damon. “His life was short. But by all standards, and by all accounts, it was full.”The Pickard lecture, endowed by alumni contributions, will be a biennial affair. The conference was co-organized by Victor Solo, who taught statistics with Pickard at Harvard from 1980 to 1985, and who is now back in his native Australia at the University of New South Wales.He invited the audience to study a picture of the smiling and handsome Pickard. “The first thing is: This guy is a happy man,” he said, one who brought that joy to the classroom, along with confidence, peace, humility, and verve.Add in a sense of adventure. Pickard and his wife, Dale, spent two years teaching in a village high school in Sierra Leone. He continued to ponder statistics there, she said, and came away with “some big ideas.”Pickard’s academic interests included spatial statistics, graphical modeling, and the Ising model. The last, a fixture of statistical mechanics, uses variables called “spins” to emulate ferromagnetism in real substances, like metals that are subjected to magnetic impulses.“He made the difficult understandable,” said Harvard Ph.D. alumnus Colin Goodall, now on the technical staff at AT&T.The perpetual fund in Pickard’s name will pay for the biennial lecture, for a biennial junior faculty award for teaching and mentoring, and for awards related to a new graduate student honor, the Pickard Teaching Fellows. (Winning this year were doctoral students Kevin Rader, Cassandra Wolos Pattanayak, and Xianchao Xie — who is known around the department as “Double X.”)The winner of the first Pickard mentoring award was Assistant Professor Joseph K. Blitzstein, co-director of undergraduate studies in the Statistics Department, who himself is starting to rack up Pickard-esque awards for teaching.Blitzstein, whose mother traveled from Los Angeles to be in the audience, got to show off his teaching chops with a historical lecture on British logician and mathematician Alan Turing (1912-1954), who is widely regarded as the father of modern theoretical computer science. “He was one of the first computer scientists — before there were computers,” said Blitzstein.During World War II, Turing was part of a cryptography team that cracked the Enigma ciphers used by the German military. But by 1952 he was on trial for being openly gay, under the same “gross indecency” statute used against writer Oscar Wilde more than five decades earlier. Convicted, Turing was offered two choices: prison, or chemical castration by massive injections of estrogen. He chose the latter, and two years later committed suicide.Professionally, Turing is now best known for the conceptual and computational work that made computers possible, and for the “Turing test” — still the standard for determining the “intelligence” of a computing machine. But statistics drew his attention as well. Starting with his wartime work, Turing anticipated empirical Bayesian methods. The Bayes factor is now a standard tool in statistical inference, but it was rarely used then.Turing, said Blitzstein, “anticipated many important statistical methods decades before others.”Delivering the first Pickard Memorial Lecture was University of Toronto statistics Professor Jeffrey Rosenthal, whose popular 2005 book “Struck By Lightning: The Curious World of Probabilities” has made him a favorite expert with Canadian print, radio, and television reporters.He talked about his experiences with the media, including “statistical ideas that work on TV.” It was an improbable topic at an academic conference, but one that lit a fire under an audience of authorities on data mining, inference, and regression — concepts that fail to light a fire under most reporters.Solo, the Australian scholar, had an immediate idea: Establish a professorship at Harvard like the one at the University of Cambridge, the Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk. Perhaps it’s time, he said, “to step into the ring.”Rosenthal, who earned a Harvard mathematics Ph.D. at age 24, rolled through a sequence of topics that would be likely to prompt interest from the media.High on the list, of course, was winning the lottery. The secret, Rosenthal said, is not just giving reporters the odds — a 14 million to 1 chance of winning, for instance. Give them an analogy too — the idea, for instance, that winning that same lottery is likely to occur only once every 270,000 years.Then there are the odd media requests: Write something on the board — anything. Get man-on-the-street reactions to your odds. Or in the case of a weather story, report your statistics while out in the wind and the rain. “That’s the way the media works,” said Rosenthal, a veteran of doing all this (and more) on camera.Then there are those times when public feelings contradict the scientific facts. The homicide rate in Toronto one year was so bad that the streets were “bathed in blood,” went one report. In fact, that year Toronto was statistically safer than many other cities in Canada. “You say: Let’s look at the facts,” said Rosenthal. “Of course, there are no headlines in that.”Then there are coincidences, another favorite with headline writers. Rosenthal told the story of one that on face value represented a “1 in 36 billion billion” probability of happening. But when subjected to more rigorous testing, the coincidence in fact had a 38 percent chance of happening. He said reporters hated that, because there was no headline.In the end, as crude as the results may be, reaching out to the media “is one way to teach,” said Rosenthal. “It’s the only media we have. To reach those … millions, there are no other options.” In the end, he said, “our society will be better if people think more logically.”After the symposium, nearly everyone stayed for a catered Chinese dinner, while authorities on probability and the Bayes’ theorem jitterbugged, belted out the blues on hot guitars, blazing keyboards, and — well, OK — one trombone. What are the odds of great music (and dancing) from people who always did their math homework? They were excellent.Rosenthal started the music program on the keyboards by singing a statistician’s version of “Yesterday.” All of their advances in teaching, for one, gave the lie to the spoof’s first line: “Yesterday, students came to class but didn’t stay.”Among the conference guests was 7-year-old David C. Pickard, who survived his grandfather’s academic memorial by reading workbooks and skipping one of the lectures to get ice cream with his mother.After dinner, armed with chopsticks and equipped with Harry Potter glasses, he dodged professors and practiced karate kicks, but he paused to say, “I love math.”last_img read more

Combatting Johnsongrass

first_imgApart from its resistance to herbicides, the naturalization of Johnsongrass across much of the U.S. has also allowed the plant to develop attributes — such as cold and drought tolerance, resistance to pathogens and the ability to flourish in low-fertility soils — that make it particularly difficult to control. “The close relationship between sorghum and Johnsongrass poses both a challenge and an opportunity,” said Paterson, who is housed in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. “The two species are so closely related that no herbicides distinguish between them, making control of Johnsongrass in or near sorghum fields especially difficult. “Regardless, the lessons we learn from Johnsongrass may lead to strategies to improve sorghum and other major crops.” A team of researchers led by faculty at the University of Georgia have received a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to find new ways of combating Johnsongrass, one of the most widespread and troublesome agricultural weeds in the world. But the researchers also hope that learning more about the fundamental structures that give Johnsongrass its unusual resilience will pave the way for new genetic tools to improve useful plants, such as sorghum, a close relative of Johnsongrass that is grown widely for food, animal fodder and as a source of biofuel. Native to the Mediterranean region, Johnsongrass has spread across every continent except Antarctica. It was introduced to the U.S. in the 1800s as a forage crop, but it quickly spread into surrounding farmland and natural environments, where it continues to cause millions of dollars in lost agricultural revenue each year, according to the USDA.center_img This information may lead to new management strategies that target and curb its growth, providing farmers with a more robust toolkit to combat the invasive plant. Over the course of their five-year project, the researchers will work to develop a better understanding of the weed’s capabilities and the underlying genes that make Johnsongrass so resilient. “Weeds like Johnsongrass are a major challenge for agricultural producers around the world,” said Andrew Paterson, Regents Professor, director of UGA’s Plant Genome Mapping Laboratory and principal investigator for the project. “To make matters worse, widespread adoption of herbicide-resistant crops has been associated with a dramatic increase in herbicide-resistant weeds. With 21 genetically similar but different types of Johnsongrass known to be resistant to herbicides, it will only become more problematic in the future.” Other researchers working on this project include Jacob Barney, Virginia Tech; Jeff Dahlberg, University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources; C. Michael Smith, Kansas State University; Wesley Everman, North Carolina State University; Marnie Rout, University of Texas, Temple; and Clint Magill and Gary Odvody, Texas A&M University.last_img read more

NAFCU monitoring CHOICE Act mark-up, flood insurance hearing, more

first_img continue reading » NAFCU tomorrow will monitor the House Financial Services Committee mark-up of the Financial CHOICE Act (H.R. 10), slated for 10 a.m. Eastern, and will make credit unions aware of any legislative updates to the bill affecting the industry.The CHOICE Act contains numerous NAFCU-sought measures, including Durbin interchange amendment repeal and other Dodd-Frank Act reforms. Two separate hearings were held on the bill last week; one which often cited the Dodd-Frank’s impact on the current regulatory environment and credit unions.NAFCU encourages credit unions to reach out to their members of Congress and seek support for repealing the Dodd-Frank Act’s Durbin amendment through NAFCU’s Grassroots Action Center.In hearings this week:The Senate Banking Committee on Thursday will examine the reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program. Slated for 10 a.m. Eastern, the hearing includes witnesses from the Association for State Floodplain Managers and others. 9SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Equity performance squeezes Spanish pension fund returns in Q1

first_imgAt the end of March, total assets under management for Spain’s occupational pension funds stood at €35.3bn, a 1% reduction over the year.Figures from Mercer’s Pension Investment Performance Service (PIPS) backed up INVERCO’s findings, showing that Spanish pension funds lost 1.4% over the first three months of 2018. The PIPS survey covered a large sample of pension funds, most of them occupational schemes.According to the survey, equities as a whole incurred losses, with euro-zone equities down 2.9% and non-euro-zone holdings losing 3.3%.Non-euro-zone fixed income lost 3%, but euro-denominated debt delivered a 0.3% gain over the quarter. Non-eurozone assets as a whole were hit by the strengthening euro, Mercer said.The survey also showed that alternatives made a median loss of 0.4% while real estate was down by 0.1% over the quarter.In terms of asset allocation, domestic assets continued their gradual decline to 53.2% of portfolios at the end of March, according to INVERCO. Non-domestic assets continued to rise, from 29.6% at end-December 2017 to 31.3% three months later.Over the same period, average allocations to fixed income decreased slightly to 47%, while equities weightings rose to 34.6% on average.Spanish government bonds still made up the biggest single component of pension portfolios at 23.9%, with a further 13.8% in domestic corporate bonds.Xavier Bellavista, principal at Mercer, said: “The equity allocation is generally similar to what it was at end-2017, but it is remarkable that it has reached its highest since the period before the financial crisis in 2008.”According to Bellavista, Spanish pension funds maintain a percentage allocation in equity assets similar to those of pension funds in other European countries, but weightings are significantly different for bonds and alternatives.He said that within the fixed income allocation there had been a shift from domestic towards non-domestic assets.Bellavista added that Spanish funds were “still at the discussion stage” when it came to allocating more to alternatives. Poor first-quarter equity performance in 2018 has squeezed average returns from Spain’s occupational pension funds to 0.5% for the 12 months to end-March 2018, according to the country’s Investment and Pension Fund Association (INVERCO).This compared with a 3.2% return for the calendar year 2017, and a 5.6% return for the 12 months to end-March 2017.INVERCO said that equity markets had experienced pronounced corrections in the first three months of this year, prompting losses on pension fund portfolios with bigger equity exposures.This caused the average annualised returns for Spanish occupational funds to drop to 0.8% for the three years to 31 March 2018, and 4% over five years.last_img read more

Novatek expands LNG projects’ resource base

first_imgRussia’s largest independent natural gas producer Novatek has expanded its resource base for implementing its new liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects. The company said on Friday its two units, Arctic LNG-2 and Novatek-Yurkharovneftegas obtained new license areas in the Yamal and Gydan peninsulas.Arctic LNG-2 won the bid for a geological survey, exploration and hydrocarbons production license for the subsoil area including the Shtormovoye field, for a term of 30 years.The license area is located on the Gydan peninsula and is partly offshore in the Gydan and Ob bays in the Kara Sea bordering the company’s Utrennee field and contains estimated hydrocarbon resources of 7,932 mmboe according to the Russian resource classification.Novatek-Yurkharovneftegas won the bid for a geological survey, exploration and a 27-year hydrocarbons production license for the subsoil area including the Verhnetiuteyskoye and the West-Seyakhinskoye fields.The license area is located on the Yamal peninsula in close proximity to the South-Tambeyskoye field and contains estimated hydrocarbon resources of 8,747 mmboe according to the Russian resource classification.last_img read more

Twisters Sectional 60 Champs

first_imgThe Oldenburg Academy Twisters won their very first Sectional Title over the Weekend with a 53-37 victory over The Rising Sun Shiners.  This is the 13th season of boys basketball at Oldenburg Academy.  This year is their first winning season.  They ended the regular season at 10-9.The Twisters won three games at The South Decatur Sectionals including a 78-62 1st Round  win against Hauser on Tuesday night.  They followed that up defeating Jac-Cen-Del 61-55 in the Sectional Semi-Finals on Friday night.  OA captured The 1a Sectional 60 Crown on Saturday Night beating Rising Sun.The Twisters will be playing at The Martinsville Regionals this Saturday to battle The Clay City Eels in Game 2.  The Tipoff will be around Noon.  Game 1 will be The Greenwood Christian Cougars squaring off against The Indy Metropolitan Pumas starting at 10.Listen to WRBI for our Regionals Doubleheader starting with The Greensburg Pirates going up against The Silver Creek Dragons at The Washington Regionals starting at 10.  WRBI’s Countdown To Tipoff will be around 9:20.A special thanks to Jonathon Maple at Oldenburg Academy for the pics.Congrats to The Twisters and Coach Moorman from The Sports Voice-Country 103.9 WRBI!last_img read more

Messi: Break could help us in title push

first_img read also:Messi trains under Setien’s guidance after surprise claim Talking to Sport, Messi admitted that: “Maybe this pause in play will end up benefiting us, but let’s see if the competitions we’re in can get started again first. “Then we will be able to see the level we are at or how far we can go once we get started again.” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Barcelona captain, Leo Messi, is upbeat on their season prospects once it resumes. La Liga stopped in March due to the pandemic after Barça had moved back to the top of La Liga, although the sensations from the team’s previous games were not especially good. In Europe, they had drawn with Napoli and they had to beat them at Camp Nou to reach the last eight of the Champions League (the game didn’t go ahead as planned in the end).Advertisement Promoted Content8 Things You Didn’t Know About CoffeeHow They Made Little Simba Look So Lifelike in ‘The Lion King’Who Earns More Than Ronaldo?10 Places On Our Planet Where The Most People Live10 Body Features That Are Extremely Rare But Very Remarkable8 Scenes That Prove TV Has Gone Too FarTop 7 Best Car Manufacturers Of All Time7 Black Hole Facts That Will Change Your View Of The Universe7 Facts About Black Holes That Will Blow Your MindBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever MadeWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?Lil Nas X’s Hit Song Is Becoming The Longest #1 Song Ever Loading… last_img read more