Sustainability Momentum Sdn Bhd

A Very Sad Day for Conservation in Malaysia

The death toll of the Borneo Pygmy elephants found dead in the Gunung Rara Forest Reserve tragedy has climbed to 14 bodies and this number may be even higher as more bodies are found. Post-mortems showed that the dead elephants suffered haemorrhages and ulcers in their gastrointestinal tracts, indicating to wildlife officials they had been poisoned. Efforts are underway to find the culprits and severe penalties will be imposed to those guilty of the crime. The number of elephant deaths is considered large because the population is already at a concerning low. It is reported that there are only 1,000 elephants left at the incident site.


Date and Source: February 1, 2013, The Borneo Post

For Sale in China: Cans of Fresh Air

With the air pollution in Beijing hitting an all-time high, Chinese billionaire Chen Guangbiao is trying to make a point by selling cans of fresh air. The air is said to be ‘flavoured’ with aromas such as “pristine Tibet, post-industrial Taiwan and revolutionary Yan’an” and is selling for five yuan (about 80 US cents) each. It seems however that Mr Chen is not doing this for the money. He is simply trying to draw attention to China’s air quality which is so bad that even bottled fresh air does not seem like a far-fetched idea.


Date and Source: January 29, 2013, Smart Planet

UK’s Home Energy Efficiency Scheme offers a Green Deal

Under a new government scheme, householders in the United Kingdom are offered long-term loans to help make their homes more energy efficient and cut electricity bills. Householders can use the money to purchase insulation, new efficient boilers or double glazing, with no upfront cost. Such loans will then be paid back through their electricity bills for periods of up to 25 years.


Date and Source: January 28, 2013, BBC Business News

Malaysia’s Contribution to Global Diversity

During the first plenary meeting of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), members chose Zakri Abdul Hamid as chairman. The Malaysian biologist who is also the current science advisor to Prime Minister Najib Razak and chairman of the National Professors Council has made Malaysia proud by being named first chief of a U.N. scientific panel which aims to turn the world’s spotlight on species loss.

Affordable Hydrogen Cars – Here Sooner than We Thought

We could be seeing affordable hydrogen cars in the market as early as 2017. Daimler, Ford and Nissan have announced a partnership to develop a ‘common fuel cell system’ that will be shared by the companies to develop their own brand of hydrogen cars. Hydrogen fuel cells are more environmentally friendly as they do not emit CO2, only water vapour and heat.


Date and Source: January 28, 2013, Smart Planet

“I got it wrong on Climate Change – It's Far, Far Worse”: Nicholas Stern

In an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Lord Nicholas Stern, the author of The Stern Review on climate change published in 2006, which became the reference work for politicians and green campaigners, now says he underestimated the risks of climate change. He states that “the planet and the atmosphere seem to be absorbing less carbon than we expected, … and some of the effects are coming through more quickly than we thought then." Lord Stern now believes he should have been more ‘blunt’ about threat to economies from temperature rises.


Date and Source: January 26, 2013, The Guardian – The Observer

Showering with Air

Water restrictions and/ or permanent water efficiency measures in Australia has driven Felton (a New Zealand-based company) to develop an innovative, new shower head that uses 50% less water. Normally, using less water in the shower means low water pressure or shorter shower time. The Oxijet adds air to the water flow ensuring that and its effects is the same as one with full water pressure.


Date & source: January 24, 2013, Smart Planet

Wind Power at Fukushima

A total of 143 wind turbines are projected to be erected 16 kilometres from Fukushima by 2020. The move is part of plans to reconstruct the area stricken by nuclear disaster in 2011. The wind turbines have a capacity of 1 GW of power, which will ensure that Fukushima is energy self-sufficient by 2040. This new Japanese wind farm is expected to generate more power than the world’s current largest wind farm at the Greater Gabbard farm near Suffolk, UK.

Luxury can be Green

Boston Luxury Hotel, Lenox Hotel, is proving that luxury hotels can be green and need not compromise on comfort and pleasures. The hotel has implemented many environmental efforts including hybrid vehicles, filtered water stations, LED roof signs, waterless urinals and an entire hypoallergenic floor. Even employee uniforms are made from recycled plastic bottles and the employee cafeteria utilises washable plates and cups. They are also currently looking to install amenity dispensers rather than single-use shampoos and conditioners, in a bid to reduce their waste.

Date and Source: January 20, 2013, The Boston Globe

NASA study – ‘Megadrought’ in Amazon Rainforest due to Climate Change

A NASA study states that an area in the Amazon rainforest, twice the size of California, is experiencing a “megadrought” caused by climate change. The persistent drought, which began in 2005, has already caused widespread damage to the area, in particular to the rainforest canopy. NASA’s data also show that the Amazonia is receiving less rainfall each year and there is a decline in water availability in the rainforest. These signs may be the first signs of large-scale degradation due to climate change.

Date and Source: January 19, 2013, The Inquisitr