Europe

On-site energy storage systems can be used in both domestic and commercial buildings to address the increasing demand on electricity. This would require energy to be purchased at off-peak times and stored for use during peak times. Despite a number of benefits to on-site energy storage systems, they are not yet an economically viable solution, although by 2021 costs are expected to fall significantly. Future-proofing buildings in the form of battery technology supports SDG 7 - affordable and clean energy.
The state of nature report has revealed that more than half of UK wildlife species studied have declined since 1970. This decline has been linked to intensive farming practices although farm leaders have disputed the findings. Understanding these issues and the role of agriculture will contribute to the advancement of SDG 15.5 to take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species.
The role of agriculture in flood risk mitigation has been largely overlooked in the UK government’s national flood resilience review. Farm leaders are concerned that the review contains little mention of agriculture, rural communities or food security. This highlights the need to address flood risk mitigation holistically to support SDG 13.1 to strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters, and SDG 2.4 to implement resilient agricultural practices that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, including flooding.
The UK Government and the Local Government Association have launched the ‘Come Back to Social Work’ campaign to address the shortage of experienced social workers in adults and children’s services. The pilot will see 30 social workers offered 13 weeks’ training to help prepare them to re-enter practice in early 2017. This government campaign contributes to the advancement of SDG 4 to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
Children attending the health curriculum at the Amsterdam IMC WeekendSchool
The Elsevier Foundation partners with the IMC WeekendSchool in Amsterdam to supporting tech outreach through science, health and tech enrichment programs for under-served 10-14 years old. Aligning with SDG target 10, Quality Education, the partnership aims to help children get greater exposure to science education.
An autonomous harvester starts to cut robot-grown barley
The groundbreaking Hands Free Hectare project has just seen its first harvest. This £200,000 Innovation UK-funded project by Harper Adams University with Precision Decisions has modified existing machinery to drill, sow, spray and harvest the crop without any human control. The project aims to show how automation can facilitate a sustainable farming system where multiple smaller, lighter machines will enter the field, minimising the level of compaction (SDG 15, life on land and SDG 9, industry, innovation and infrastructure).
The number of victims of modern slavery in England and Wales has increased fivefold since 2012, according to a new report issued by the Salvation Army. This increase magnifies the risk to companies of doing business with third-parties involved in modern slavery and human trafficking if proper precautions are not taken. Raising awarenress of modern slavery is vital to the advancement of SDG 8.7 to eradicate forced labour, ending modern slavery and human trafficking by 2025.
According to a Joseph Rowntree Foundation report, responding to poverty-related problems accounts for almost 60% of council spending on children's services in England. This article highlights the financial impact of poverty on public spending in England. Issues related to poverty and inequality are prevalent globally: all countries must tackle SDG 1 and SDG 10.
Employers should address rising stress and mental health risk through collaboration between internal departments and insurance providers. A dedicated employee risk manager is part of the solution, argues Andrew Woolnough, value propositions director at Willis Employee Benefits. Companies have an important role to play in advancing SDG 3.4 to promote mental health and well-being.

In 2010, 10 percent of the global primary energy demand was met by bioenergy production. The demand for bioenergy, excluding traditional uses, could more than double by 2035. Bioenergy business operators are essential for the sustainable development of bioenergy systems. This study examines their sustainability criteria and offers insights into how their approach could mature. This is important for advancing SDG target 7 to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

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