SunCon posts flat profit in Q2, LRT3 review affects its revenue
KUALA LUMPUR: Sunway Construction Group Bhd expects its performance this year to be “slightly affected” by the Light Rail Transit line 3 (LRT3) project review after posting flat earnings in the second quarter.
If you buy a six-pack of Carlsberg beer in a U.K. supermarket this week, it will no longer come with standard plastic six-pack rings. Instead, the cans will be held together with a new kind of glue.
The company estimates that the switch will reduce plastic waste by more than 1,200 metric tons a year, or the equivalent of 60 million plastic bags. It can also help address the problems that the packaging causes when plastic rings end up in the ocean, potentially choking wildlife or breaking down into pieces of microplastic that can enter the food chain.
[Photo: Carlsberg]While other beer companies have experimented with different types of six-pack rings–including an edible version, made from food and agricultural waste, that can safely fall apart in water–Denmark-based Carlsberg decided to eliminate the rings completely. A small plastic handle, however, still exists to help carry the beer.
The process took three years of research and development. “We tested around 4,000 different types of glue before we settled on the final formulation,” says Håkon Langen, packaging innovation director for Carlsberg Group. The final glue, which has a consistency similar to a tiny piece of chewing gum, holds cans together as securely as the plastic rings, and can easily separate when someone is ready to drink. “To get a good snap, [you] split the cans in two rows of three, and then roll off one can from the others, or simply snap it off, quickly,” Langen says.
The company developed the glue along with a partner, NMP Systems, which owns the innovation. Carlsberg hopes that other brewers will also make the shift. “We have no problem sharing the innovation with others, and one day it will be available to everyone, but for now I think [NMP Systems] are busy producing for Carlsberg,” Langen says.
The change is one of several that the company is rolling out in its packaging. Ink on the cans is now certified by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute and makes cans easier to recycle. The company’s refillable glass beer bottles have a new coating to make the bottles last longer. New caps are designed to remove oxygen to keep the beer fresh longer, reducing waste. The plastic packaging that’s still in use now uses a greater percentage of recycled material. On a bigger scale, Carlsberg is shifting to 100% renewable electricity in its breweries by 2022, and will eliminate carbon emissions from breweries by 2030. The company has a goal, set through the Science Based Targets Initiative, to cut its carbon footprint in line with the Paris agreement.
For now, the new glue is only in use in Carlsberg six-packs and other multipacks, and not yet in the company’s other beer brands. After rolling out in U.K. this week, it will reach Norway later this month, and Denmark in 2019.
On September 14, Hurricane Florence made landfall in the Carolinas. Days after, flood waters continue to rise. Thousands of homes–over 4,300 in Bern, North Carolina alone–have sustained damage, and the full effects of the hurricane are not yet known.
But the pattern of response to Florence will be more predictable. Already, corporate donors are pledging commitments to aid affected areas, and fundraisers for organizations like Habitat for Humanity, the American Red Cross, and GlobalGiving are underway.
[Photo: Resilience Response]
These rapid response efforts are crucial, but according to the nonprofit Center for Disaster Philanthropy, they too often signal the end of the line. Around 70% of the money and resources donated after a disaster goes to immediate response efforts, but in reality, recovery requires a long-term investment. Just 5% of money raised after a disaster goes toward extended recovery and rebuilding efforts, which is often where residents find themselves at a loss for aid.
Over the past several years, the CDP has worked to educate corporate donors, philanthropies, and the broader public about effective disaster response strategies (its Disaster Philanthropy Playbook, released in 2016, is a good primer). Now, a coalition of nonprofits–the disaster relief and recovery organization All Hands and Hearts-Smart Response, Good360, and Global Citizen–have teamed up to get individual and corporate donors alike to pledge to follow a more thoughtful pattern of post-disaster action.
[Photo: Resilience Response]
The pledge, says All Hands and Hearts co-founder Petra Nemcova, “is very simple, but could create significant ripple effects.” The Resilient Response pledge outlines a framework for the most effective ways of delivering immediate and long-term aid. It centers around six pillars:
Proactive: Philanthropists and nonprofits should begin planning before a disaster strikes to maximize efficacy.
Needs-based: Community needs should be at the center of every action taken and donation made, and aid organizations should listen to what the on-the-ground priorities are before acting.
Immediate & Long-term: Disaster response should address immediate and long-term needs, staying in communities until the work is done, not just until the news cycle wraps up.
Resilience-focused: Recovery work should focus on helping communities build back with stronger infrastructure and systems.
Transparent: Donors and nonprofits need to be up-front about the actions they plan to take and their commitments, and hold themselves accountable to deliver on promises.
Educational: As aid workers and deliverers learn what works in disaster response, they should educate the public and their networks about how to donate and respond most effectively.
These six pillars are meant to guide organizations toward amending some of the shortcomings of the current disaster response system. For one thing: There needs to be an overhaul in the way that the delivery of goods and resources is managed. As CEO of Good360, a nonprofit that works with over 400 large companies to encourage them to donate excess goods, rather than destroying them, Howard Sherman has a lot of experience overseeing how and when resources are allocated. And in the disaster recovery sector, it’s often not done well. Around 60% of the material goods that arrive in disaster-struck region end up in landfill. “Often, it’s the wrong goods at the wrong time,” Sherman says.
[Photo: Resilience Response]
Following a disaster, recovery usually happens along a curve. The Carolinas are still in the early stages, where many people in communities are still struggling to access basic survival necessities. “Right now, it should be about sending life-saving and life-preserving supplies and money to organizations on the ground doing that work,” Sherman says. But often, corporate philanthropy efforts will get ahead of the curve. Lowe’s, for instance, announced that its expedited more than 2,800 truckloads of supplies ranging from water to plywood to chainsaws. While water falls in line with immediate needs, resources like plywood and chainsaws will overwhelm aid workers and take up space in crucial distribution centers; delivery of those resources should be timed to when the community and residents are ready to actually undertake rebuilding efforts. Often, according to the recovery curve, that’s three or four months after the disaster hits.
Which leads to another issue: correcting lack of sustained engagement. The vast majority of resources are sent to an affected area within two months of a disaster. But through the Resilient Response framework, the founding nonprofits want to encourage corporations and philanthropies to more effectively spread their donations, or to continually recommit over the course of the whole recovery period.
[Photo: All Hands and Hearts]
To that end, Good360, All Hands and Hearts, and Global Citizen have sourced commitments to the pledge from a range of companies that could play a role along the whole recovery curve. In the immediate response range, there’s Airbnb, which activates its local networks to find hosts that could shelter people or share resources, and CVS, which can deliver first aid and necessities. Ecolab can provide immediate water and energy resources. In the clean-up and recovery phase, partners like WalMart and Restoration Hardware can provide supplies and furniture. Their partnership with United Airlines and UPS facilitates transport of both volunteers and resources.
“We’re doing a lot of work with corporate donors to get them to think about the cadence of giving, and how they can give in a way that’s really aligned with need, and doesn’t contribute to waste,” Sherman says. Part of what the Resilient Response framework also calls for is greater communication between corporate and individual donors and people working on the ground in affected areas. Sherman cites the reporting that emerged last week about the vast quantity of water that sat unused on a runway in Ceiba, Puerto Rico, where both a lack of distribution infrastructure and recipient distrust of the water quality rendered it useless. But even then, shipments of water still continued to arrive and pile up. “It’s not just enough to send goods–you have to think about how those goods are going to be distributed responsibly on the ground,” Sherman says.
As severe storms become more commonplace, so do calls for aid. But for Nemcova, what’s disturbing is the way the public cycle of processing such disasters unfolds. “You hear people talking about it for maybe four or five weeks, and then at the one-year anniversary, and that’s it,” she says. She wants to see the Resilient Response framework catalyze a new mode of public understanding of and engagement with disasters, as much as it will encourage donors to adjust their pattern of giving. In doing so, she hopes that disaster recover organizations will be able to pull in enough resources over time to assisting across the whole recovery curve, not just in the immediate weeks after a disaster strikes.