About Alison Kitchingman

Posts by Alison Kitchingman:

Getting back to environmental basics in the Anthropocene era

Getting back to environmental basics in the Anthropocene era 0

anthropoceneA new word has recently entered the public discourse on the environment. It describes the current epoch of geological time as the period in which humans have had an impact on the world’s climate, geology and ecosystems. Although yet to be formally recognised by the mainstream scientific community, it has been in existence for a short time and last year the Working Group on the Anthropocene (WGA) voted to formally designate the current epoch the Anthropocene. The principle was presented for recommendation to the International Geological Congress on 29 August 2016. Its general usage has grown but it seems only a matter of time before it becomes the norm to describe an era in which the Earth’s most important environmental characteristic is the activity of people. More →

Our personal choices can tell us a lot about the state of the economy

Pantone_Color_of_the_Year_Marsala_ChipDriveThe announcement by Pantone that its Colour of the Year for 2014 was a muted reddish brown called Marsala was met with the annual carping about the subjectivity of the whole thing. Yet there are two things we know for sure. One is that Pantone puts a lot of time and effort into making its decision and looks at a range of social and economic factors, fashions and tastes before making its decision. The other is that this idea that you can gauge trends by tracking changes in taste has some high profile adherents. One of them is Alan Greenspan, perhaps the world’s most famous living economist, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve and a great believer in the idea that you can get a good idea of the health of the economy by looking at the length of women’s hemlines and heels and the amount of money men invest in underwear and ties.

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The business case for green building widens to cover wellness and productivity

office designThe debate about the economic, commercial and social benefits of green building design continues to evolve rapidly. Where once it was primarily focussed on environmental issues and related cost savings, the world’s major champions of eco-building are now making the case for sophisticated building design that has a broader range of benefits for organisations and individuals. The most significant report in this regard for some years has just been published by the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC). Its study Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in Offices: The Next Chapter for Green Building offers “overwhelming evidence” for the ways in which office design significantly impacts the health, happiness, wellbeing and productivity of people.The report covers a wide range of that influence the wellness, job satisfaction and performance of office workers. It identifies the ways in which these undoubted benefits add a new layer of sophistication to the case for organisations to invest in better, healthier and greener buildings.

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