Sustainable cement: the simple switch that could massively cut global carbon emissions

August 22 is Earth Overshoot Day, which marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year. This results from massive consumption of ecological resources and accumulation of waste. A large portion of this comes from heavy industry and the way we build our cities. Interestingly, Earth Overshoot Day in 2020 is almost exactly two years since Greta Thunberg initiated the first school strike for the climate. Over the past two years, she has inspired millions of people to fight for…

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We found a way to turn urine into solid fertiliser – it could make farming more sustainable

It’s likely that most of the food you’ll eat today was not farmed sustainably. The global system of food production is the largest human influence on the planet’s natural cycles of nitrogen and phosphorus. How much crops can grow is limited by the amount of these two elements in the soil, so they’re applied as fertilisers. But the majority of fertilisers are either made by converting nitrogen in the air to ammonia, which alone consumes 2% of the world’s energy and relies heavily on fossil fuels, or by mining finite resources, like phosphate rock. A…

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A year later, Poultry Industry Master Plan appears to be nothing but old chicken in new packaging

When the Poultry Industry Master Plan was signed a year ago this month, no one could have predicted the devastating effects that a pandemic would have on the world during 2020. And while the South African government is working out how to deliver on the promises of increased local production and job creation in terms of the president’s economic recovery plan, the SA Poultry Association has announced that positive gains have been made towards increasing exports of poultry. That said, despite hefty import tariffs being introduced earlier in 2020, poultry…

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SA canegrowers welcome signing of landmark sugar masterplan

JOHANNESBURG – Agricultural group South African Canegrowers on Tuesday welcomed the signing of a landmark sugar industry masterplan which aims to ensure the long-term sustainability and profitability of the sector over the next three years. The agreement signed by the government, sugar industry stakeholders, retailers and other social partners on Monday will also protect the one million livelihoods the industry supports, SA Canegrowers said in a statement. The industry has been under threat in recent years due to cheap imports, unprecedented droughts, falling world prices and a major drop in…

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‘World platinum demand will outstrip supply’

JOHANNESBURG – THE WORLD Platinum Investment Council (WPIC) yesterday projected an annual deficit of the metal this year and next year, with demand expected to outstrip supply on the back of ongoing processing disruptions in South Africa and mine closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The WPIC said it expected the market to shift to a record annual deficit of 1.2 million ounces this year, compared with a prior estimate of 336 000 ounces only two months ago. The council said the deficit would be -224 000 ounces for 2021.…

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