Entradas Etiquetadas con ‘sustainability’



Escrito el 29 septiembre 2010 por Jesus Guerro en General

CHEP pallets, commonly known as «blue pallets» supposed some years ago one of the most innovative ideas of doing business and It was a brilliant initiative to process materials recovery and reverse logistics optimization.
Traditionally, pallets were purchased from manufacturers and shipped to customers as transport bases of goods sold. Any customer accepted increase in the price of the goods purchased due to receiving pallets in the pool. Thus providers always tried to keep track of the pallets delivered to each of their customers to organize collections of lots of palettes regularly. These collections permitted the recovering the pallets periodically but losing the opportunity to use the back trip space for the return of finished products from customers or raw materials from suppliers.
In other cases, companies reached agreement with their customers so that they had to deliver the same number of empty pallets to the supplier in exchange of those supplied along with the goods. This fact extremely complicated direct logistics as required to be continually moving the pallets up and down along the distribution route.
There were not infrequent disputes between client and supplier about the quality of pallets delivered in exchange or by the pallet state of balance due.
Any strategies discussed above, even with the shortcomings identified, were relatively viable when the transport was directly managed by the supplier. Logically, these strategies became strongly complex when the transportation services were provided by an external carrier or a 3PL, a trend that has grown over the years to make those practices with pallets nearly impossible nowadays.
Chep revolutionized the management of pallets between suppliers and customers providing an innovative solution to put an end to these always uncomfortable and contentious face to face management.
The solution basically consisted in offering to the market high and homogeneous quality pallets and, easily identifiable which were not necessary to purchase. Thus introducing the concept of «rent a pallet.»

The system was simplified to the administration of a single accounting of blue pallets based on the units received from suppliers and shipped to customers who also belonged to the “Chep Cycle”. This balance was only maintained with Chep and not with each supplier or customer accounts, eliminating disputes at this regard.
The Chep billing system was brightly studied as it encouraged the blue pallets consumption as the price that the company should pay to the matrix depended on the number of pallets that it interchanged between customers and suppliers during the period. So, by an accurate scale of rebates, the greater the movement of blue pallets pushed by the company, the lower the final unit cost to pay.
With this system, Chep has a «salesperson” inside each customer, since each account will induce its suppliers and customers to also work with blue pallets, to encourage their rotation and thus reducing the pallet´s unit cost.
A brilliant idea that over time, has been proved profitable for their creators and very efficient for their users.



Escrito el 31 agosto 2010 por Jesus Guerro en General

Road transport in developed countries, both people and goods, causes a huge amount of used tires each year, representing serious environmental problems.
Initially companies opted for the burning of these tires but the very high CO2 emissions to the atmosphere resulting from tires ´combustion, forced the authorities to restrict this practice dramatically.
During these years have been looking for alternatives to the use of this material to prevent combustion. For instance, the use of these tires in the construction of protective barriers in the circuits of motor sports, but logically, it is not possible to absorb this waste supply through such measures.
Retreading a percentage of these used tires for reuse is presented as a partial solution, but used tires, still represent a subject of debate as to the mechanical characteristics offered compared to those of a new tire. As a consequence, many consumers do not trust in these products nowadays.
Prestigious Firms as the Mercedes Benz Supplier, Continental, says on its website that «The Continental retread CONTIRE ™ Premium, provides the durability and performance of a new tire.»
Retreading basically consists in replacing the worn tread with new ones.
The production of retreaded tires is subject to international regulations for the definitive approval. These regulations require compliance with a range of benefits to retreaded tires produced in certified facilities.
The retreading process begins with a thorough inspection of carcasses for the absence of damage (pores, poor materials, small scratches …) to avoid compromised performance or tire safety.
The proper condition of the shell or cover is therefore a major factor in the quality of the retreaded tire.
The next step is scraping the old band before applying a new one for subsequent vulcanization.
Companies that act as Integrated Management Systems create a network of certified collection centers spread throughout the managing territory, allowing a service to fit its needs.
The tires from the collection centers are then transported to treatment facilities where they are crushed or granulated. The resulting products are used as raw material in a wide variety of industrial applications as well as alternative fuel in cement.
Through the process of retreading, as well as delay the onset of the housing worn, it helps save a significant amount of raw materials, adding only 25% of new materials.
Its price is on average 50% of a new tire.
In 2009, were retreaded in Spain about 50,000 tons of tires but this figure should be higher.
Perhaps a it is urgently required a serious and efficient communication program supported by government institutions in each country to inform about the true performance of retreaded tires and the benefit that their use offers to the Environment.



Escrito el 8 agosto 2010 por Jesus Guerro en General

Spain was committed to the European Union (EU) in 2011 to get 7% of the energy content of petrol and diesel for transport to come from renewable fuels, with several intermediate goals, 3.4% in 2009 and 5.83% in 2010.
The 2009 target was met, but with the current legislation on fuel specifications may not cover the 2010 target.
The paradox emerges from the current legislation, which only allows the incorporation of diesel by 5 percent biodiesel by volume, representing just over 4 percent in energy, while achieving the objective requires 5.83 percent in energy.
This failure will cost in fines, more than 130 million on oil, according to business sources estimate. This production drop also costs money on Spanish Producers. The loss of turnover of the industry between January and July 2010 (for the backlog of Royal Decree) amounts to 270 million euro. 75% of Spanish biodiesel plants are virtually stopped, with an operating ratio 10%.
To meet the objective of renewable fuels would require changing the rules of specifications, but even so, consumers would be protected against possible failures in their vehicles, according to alerts from car manufacturers who add that these bugs will not have warranty coverage in any case.
Industry officials claim, that bio-fuels are designed only for certain «specific» engines.
However, the Action Plan for Renewable Energy 2010-2020, the Spanish Government sent to the EU, provided that 6 percent of the energy for transport was renewable (ie electricity, hydrogen or biofuel), a percentage that would reach 13.6 percent in 2020. This would mean doubling the production of bioethanol in Spain.
Various institutions such as the AOP, APPA and the CNE have recommended to revising biofuel targets to the actual market situation and the amount of biodiesel and bioethanol which can be incorporated safely on fossil fuels.
On the other hand, we must not forget that nowadays Brazilian ethanol is the only biofuel in the world which proves to be cost competitive with gasoline.
The most significant cost to produce ethanol is the raw material, which varies by country, for example, in Brazil is sugar cane while it is corn in the United States. So, Brazil’s energy costs for processing biofuels are practically nil, since the very sugar cane waste is used as fuel in the process..
However, in the United States as in the case of other countries is spent on external energy sources and by-products (carbon dioxide and dried distilled grains) are sold to generate income.
Regarding income, the differences are also very important. While in the United States obtained 3,000 liters of ethanol per hectare, in Brazil can approach the 7,000 l. This makes the U.S. administration has provided subsidies for bio-ethanol production to promote their competitiveness.
This calls for a paradox here, in terms of regulation, performance, competitiveness, productivity and technical suitability of incorporating bioethanol fuel.

This is an important issue that requires collaboration and mutual agreement regarding the objectives to fulfill from the various parties involved, namely producers, energy companies, automakers and governments, not only at nationally but globally scope.  Certainly few markets are so global such as automotive.



Escrito el 28 julio 2010 por Jesus Guerro en General

Arthur Cecil Pigou, University British Professor settled, at beginning of last century, with his book «The Economics of Welfare», the pillars of what is nowadays called, “Environmental economy”. The main principle enunciated is «economic activities whose toxic waste prejudice others must not be prohibited but discouraged» –
The same principle that aims the environmental directives suited by the European Commission: «The polluter Pays” principle, expanded later on to «extended producer responsibility «by which polluters comprises all those who obtain profits thanks to that economic activity. So that, manufacturers do not become the unique responsible for polluting but distributors do it,as well. The consumer does it for a long since he pays municipal taxes.
Pigeu proposed to impose a tax on companies, directly proportional to the amount of waste disposed by them and suffered by third parties. Even today this type of taxes are called “Pigeuians Taxes”. The experience has shown that this measure does not always reap the desired results. Tax increases for products such as diesel oil or electricity have barely provoked consumption drops.
Today the impact of CO2 on global warming is obvious, average temperatures rise and melting at the poles is more than evident, not only showed by photographs of the great ice caps, but in raising the sea level in some areas such as southwest France where water has reached some villages once away, far from the reef.
In the words of Nicholas Stern, a British expert, author of an environmental report requested by the Government «The emission of toxic gases and CO2 is the biggest mistake of the Humanity the world has ever known.»
James Hansen, a leading climatologist argues that much of the climate change problem is caused by burning coal, adding that the climatic equilibrium of the earth will not be maintained at present coal combustion rate, beyond the year 2030.
There is no factor that affects more forcefully on the conduct of the natural elements than the Sun. Small deviations in the solar impact parameters cause major climate disruptions. The gradual removal of layers of the atmosphere to filter its rays is an extremely pernicious phenomenon.
It was internationally accepted the system of CO2 Credits, by which governments set up redeemable for pollution credits. So who pollutes more must buy more credits and if you decrease your pollution you can sell them to other companies receiving cash on return.
This allows payments for pollution are not captured in government hands but is re inserted in the industry.
 Critics of this system argue, not without reason, that the beneficial effect is limited because the sum of all credits is always the same, so no overall profit remains.

On the other hand refer the moral problem of «purchasing with money the destruction of the earth. » Some governments have shown to feel very comfortable in the system, so some of the largest U.S. and Chinese multinationals are the major investors in CO2 credits.
It is not an easy task, to find the formula for reducing pollution through punitive measures. Rather, the only solution and hope lies in Public Opinion, a change of human behavior of consumers requiring a correction in business practices. Possibly, only loosing sales, will force polluters to change their practices.
So education and social awareness will be again, the secret of a really successful Environmental Economy.



Escrito el 17 julio 2010 por Jesus Guerro en General

The Lawson report explains about the evolution and environmental and social effect of illegal logging.
Here I wanted to stress the highlights of he report as well as the terrible impact of this practice on Earth and Humanity.
The report starts showing some feeling of congratulation on the fact that global production of illegal timber has fallen 22 percent in the last 8 years, thanks basically to coordinated international efforts to curb the beneficiaries of this practice and thus mitigate the effect of deforestation on climate change and the sustainability of a natural resource essential for life.
The study focuses the analysis in five countries, Brazil, Indonesia, Cameroon, Ghana and Malaysia, which represent about 40 percent of global illegal logging.
The lives of over one billion people, among the poorest in the world depend on forests, thus reducing illegal logging is essential to protect their minimums on quality of life. Similarly, this practice seriously endangers the survival of animal species unique and highly appreciated, as the African gorilla, which could disappear in less than 15 years
Therefore, illegal logging is not just an environmental problem but also a serious social and political issue because it often leads to violence, corruption and social conflict.
Only the reduction of logging in Cameroon, Brazil and Indonesia, has allowed the three countries avoid degradation of more than 17 million hectares of forest, an area greater than the combined area of England and Wales.
It has also helped curb the release of 14,600 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, equivalent to half of the annual emissions caused by human action in the world!
The report notes that if there were no illegal logging, the governments of these three countries had entered this year up to 6,500 billion dollars (5.072 million euros), more than double what the world spends annually on primary education.
Despite the overall reduction of logging in 2008, companies of the major wood-consuming countries (USA, Japan, Britain, France and the Netherlands) acquired up to 17 million cubic meters of illegal timber worth of some 8,400 billion dollars (6.555 million euros) in the form of processed products, mainly furniture manufactured in China.
Although the problem of illegal logging has been reduced significantly, it remains a serious disease. Thus, Lawson calls for control measures in producer countries and the implementation of laws in consuming countries expressly prohibiting the purchase of illegal timber.
In this regard, he praised the progress driven by the European Union (the main importer of illegal timber in the world) with Control Procedures such as the New Directive Timber Certification through the adoption of the Voluntary Partnership Agreements and the fact that U.S. also approved in 2008 a law expressly prohibiting purchase illegally logged timber.
In the case of the European Union, is still estimated that 20% of wooden products sold in their territory come from illegal origin. So Commission has introduced stricter rules of traceability for operators to respond at any time of origin and destination of the timber and thereby give consumers more assurance on the provenance of the products they buy.
Therefore, it is essential to not only reduce illegal logging, but to encourage continuous re-use of recycled wood, because it is a material very easy for degradation and with high yields from secondary processes.
As we have seen, Its impact is overwhelming on the welfare of Humanity and rest of living beings. It is crucial to learn best practices, moreover considering that global population will grow 30% reaching 10,000 million people in 2050!.



Escrito el 6 julio 2010 por Jesus Guerro en General

U.S. President Barak Obama this week announced the approval of a federal guarantee of $ 1,450 million for the construction of a solar plant in the desert of Arizona, a project of the Spanish company Abengoa.
This solar power plant will be the tenth to be built by the company FROM Seville and will mean the largest in the world in this technology, being able to generate 280 megawatts of electricity, namely, the equivalent to the consumption of 70,000 homes a year.
Replace this energy from this renewable source will prevent the emission of 475,000 tons of CO2 annually and is expected to be able to employ about 1,600 employees during construction.
In the words of Obama himself, regarded as an achievement to have been able to attract a company capable of generating a significant number of jobs in a sector of the future such as Renewable Energy is.
The construction of this magnificent plant, that has been named Solana, will begin this fall, once we obtain the local and national permits and it is estimated to be up and running in a period not exceeding three years.
Obama wanted to emphasize in his speech, broadcast on the Internet, that Solana will not only mean the first Plant of large-scale solar energy in the United States but also the fact that it will be able to store thermal energy up to 6 hours, which will produce energy during cloudy intervals and even after the scorching Arizona sun decays into decline. This is a great innovation in energy management, allowing to balance the usual divergent flows of supply and demand.
The Obama Administration thus confirms its strong commitment to transforming the U.S. energy model based on a growing role of renewable energy compared to fossil waste.
This also bolsters Obama in the public denunciation of the British Petrolium disaster and presents a program with real measures to prevent environmental disasters such as that currently suffers from the Gulf of Mexico.
The Renewable Spanish companies must move fast and indeed they are doing so in favor of championing its know how U.S. policy and gain position in a market of almost limitless potential.



Escrito el 6 junio 2010 por Jesus Guerro en General

Oaris is the name of the train entirely Spanish-developed, reaching a speed of 350 kilometers per hour with more than 500 passengers. This new maximum will permit the tickets downpricng by increasing average sector capacity and then productivity based on economies of scale in motion.
CAF, the Spanish Manufacturer, in line with large companies around the world, identified High Seep with the Future and its investments and strategies geared toward developing its own technology at this field. If yesterday, assembled trains in Spain incorporated solutions marketed by foreign companies, CAF dared the market presenting a prototype designed from start to finish in Spain.
This new family of trains is composed of up to 8 cars with engines having a tensile strength of approximately 10 megawatts, and integrates the business class and tourists, disabled access and space and cafe, as already required by all companies that purchase these units.

With Oaris, CAF intends to conquer some of the most important routes in the world: Madrid-Paris in Europe, São Paulo line-Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and Boston-Washington in US. CAF has strategic manufacturing in this two great markets.
The Brazilian plant has capacity to produce two cars a day, and this year is going to deliver 400, about 25% of over 1,500 that will provide customers around the world.
CAF is also well placed in US. It has a plant in Elmira, New York, which operates as the hub of U.S. operations. In the last three years there has achieved sales worth 600 million dollars.
The Manufacturer entered the market with the latest high speed technology in 1992 to participate in the consortium led by Alstom for the manufacture of trains to Renfe AVE s/100. The immersion technology expanded the horizons of the company from Spain.
Results have not waited to come for a long. The Spanish Company, is growing as fast as its trains., Last year It achieved a turnover of 1,256 million euros and net profit of 124 million (17.5% higher than the end of 2008)

Previously Renfe, the Spanish Public Company, had developed and manufactured for a wide range of units speeds up to 250 kilometers per hour, including variable width technology. In 2005 supplied 12 points for the Turkish Railways, becoming the first Spanish company to export high-speed technology.

But the turning point came that same year. CAF led a research project CENIT, which funds the Center for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI) of the Ministry of Science and Innovation, whose activity is focused on developing the technology to address the design of railway equipment operating at speeds above 300 kilometers per hour.

The degree of internationalization of CAF has enabled the company to continue increasing profits, despite the crisis. It also has an order book in March was equal to 4335.6 million.
This is one of the evidences that Spain knows to provide and compete worldwide at the Cutting Edge of High Technology Innovation.
Moreover, We have to keep in mind that High Speed supposes one of the pillars of Sustainability policies developed by European as well as US Administrations and Spain leads the game along with future focus of investment as Renewable Energies, sector in which important Spanish multinationals are deploying operations at the other side of the Atlantic.



Escrito el 31 mayo 2010 por Jesus Guerro en General

As the Aquarius TV ad repeats ‘Human Being can be Wonderful»
but unfortunaltely he also can be «Extremely STUPID»
What is happening in the Gulf of Mexico is unforgivable. Every day are wasted barrels of oil valued at 300,000 euros, but of course that’s not the worst, nor the huge amount of money that will be required to mitigate the effects of such disproportionate tragedy up to 50 times (today estimations) the cost of Katrina Hurricane Damage.
Neither is the worst thing that millions of families who live on fish across the coast will be without business or food and is not yet known how long this shortage will be.
Neither is that hundreds of native animal species are wiped out by the black poison, or the fact that one of the world’s largest coral will be reduced to sticks of dead matter.
The worst thing is how the harmful nature of oil will cause a chain of infection from which no one will be free. Neither we, nor the living things which encounter it.
The “bright” idea consisting on dispersing the oil throughout the sea,is  added to the chain of nonsense, as it will make billions of poison particles in suspension are attached to water molecules, making them widely available in the plankton, the food of the great whales. Similarly trapped on scales large and small fish through predation will become part of the food chain up to our mouths, our stomachs and our blood eventually leading to tumors and cancer. Then we ask ourshelves why this nigthmare illness grows at such rate..
The magnitude of consequences is certainly unpredictable but we need to know that we are witness of the worst environmental disaster in our history, although we remain concerned over what two S&P students say about the debt rating qualification of one or the other country.
But the new goes almost unnoticed, silenced, among the public opinion even no trace, no evidence of that enormous black tide 800 kms diametre in Google Maps. Someone has taken the time using influence to remove it from the map, doubtless, to reduce the impact of this barbarity.
We are dying and we are killing the world in which we stay!. How can I say it?
And It is Suprising how this disaster could have been avoided with the installation of a mechanism down to $ 2,500. A simple valve that would be closed by remote control eliminating the chance of continuouly spiting death through that infernal tube. Even today, the responisble of the tragedy dare to say that this will continue like this until August. They recognise Nothing can be done till then!. My godness!
No opportunity to learn through trial and error with many more disasters like this, perhaps simply because we can not turn back.
So yes, definitely, Human Being can be Extremely Stupid. The Black Shame in th Atlantic is the most lamentable evidence.
But never forget, the Nature does not forgive.



Escrito el 15 mayo 2010 por Jesus Guerro en General

I must admit that I feel an acute irritation of the fact that from certain political groups and other interested stakeloders, refer to the concept of sustainability in terms of derision, as a illusionary peg to hang vague policies, without content and formuled for decorative purposes on consequences as may have some certain validity only in the long term.
And that, in those cases where that possibility is conceded and not directly destroy the sacred meaning of the term.
Well, gentelmen, I am sure It is not so hard to understand for brigth brains as yours. Simply, Sustainability is the ability to expedite the introduction of measures to ensure the durability and diversity of natural resources to guarantee welfare and progress of future generations. As simple as that.
And if It does not clear up your clouds, I will explain you in terms of opposites.
Sustainability IS NOT pouring 1 million litres daily in the Gulf of Mexico of organic pollutant that kills all living beings that meet in its path.
Sustainability IS NOT to create a growing mass of biological impossibility of over 300 km in diameter.

Sustainability IS NOT avoiding responsanbility for the Tragedy and the ship continues to inject poison directly to the only arteria that we all share, the sea.
Sustainability IS NOT erasing the bank fishing from the shore Maya, to which depends the economic survival of thousands of mexican families.
Sustainability IS NOT  terminating hundreds of native species such as unique cetaceans and turtles.

Sustainability IS NOT losing U.S. $ 35,000 million in share price has suffered and will suffer British Petroleum Company.
Sustainability IS NOT having to face a cost to remedy the situation, estimated at 40 times the costs incurred by amending the consequences of Katrina.
Sustainability IS NOT establishing a maximum of 75 million dollars of compensation limit in cases of environmental responsibility. When in this cases like this one will be required more than $10,000 million to contain the damage.

And all this dramatic facts and huge economic looses are occurring TODAY, not in the long term.

No, definitely Sustainability is not any of this.

So, Stop Now profaning Sustainability Name and work to guarantee survival.


The SUN and the Neighbours

Escrito el 17 abril 2010 por Jesus Guerro en General

Defining the energy mix that we will enjoy within 10 years is not an easy task. There are many and powerful stakeholders and nobody wants to lose their piece of cake and less due to mechanisms of competitiveness that could be seen as unfair in supporting the development of renewable.
In fact, subsidies to investment in this type of energy, especially in the field of Photovoltaic and Eolic come to an end. In Spain, these grants accounted for around EUR 6,000 million last year to reach 13,000 million in the last four years. These aids will be recovered in next years by the Administration through the bills of the users.
Almost certainly, wind power will be the first in being granted, based on the principle that technology in this field, has evolved enough to reduce costs significantly and by cheaper components as well as ultimately savings from greater maturity-sectoral
The privilege which appears to be maintained for renewable energy will be its priority when delivering power to the grid, thus favoring the achievement of maximum productivity and other technologies relegating concerns about wasting energy produced and not sold, because the sector’s inability to store its product.
The energy source most disadvantaged in our country in the new energy model will be Gas Natural, whose participation in the mix is reduced to less than half (17%) while it is expected Renewable to exceed 40% of the total energy supplied to the network in 2020. Other energies such as nuclear or coal fell by 25% over its current share.
Special revolution will be raised by the PV industry which has the clear advantage to provide energy along with the user sharing the investment and revenues coming from selling surplus energy to the net. Thus, while in 2008 it experienced a boom in the exploitation of photovoltaic above ground, in the coming years we will experience a genuine settlement of private buildings, which may be self supplied and even sell excess energy to the network.
And here is where the photovoltaic industry has opened a new divide calling on the authorities to regulate and encourage these private initiatives, in which building owners and neighboring communities become new small power plants.
Recall the fact that the sun delivers enough energy in 1 day to supply all of humanity in 1 year.
The challenge will be how to capture as much of it and harness it and is no doubt that if the energy is harnessed the closer are the points of generation and consumption but surely in this approach, retailers are the voices that rise up more sound of disgust.
An industry with many players in which some of the will know how to adapt themselves to what it must mean progress in the achievement of practices that ensure sustainability.

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