Entries Tagged 'Environment' ↓

Joel de Rosnay

je vous demande de visionner le video de Joel de Rosnay sur l’incinerateur de la Chaumière.

Maurice l’île durable, que devons nous faire?

Il nous demande de nous mobiliser. Demandons que le tri soit fait afin de nous preserver de la dioxine.

Bio – Fuel

The transport industry in general is a high user of fossil fuel and is causing the depletion of the world resource. The need to resort to renewable source is capital in the future. Sweden as a country has started using bio fuel for years and is quite advanced in use of ethanol. E10 and later E15 mixture with gasoline has become common. We expect a higher proportion of bio-fuel in the mixture in the future.

As an entrepreneur much can be learned from the swedish experience and possibly convert these knowledge in wealth.

I am surprised to learn today, that the first test of using a mixture of bio-fuel with Jet A1 extracted from fossil oil has been successful.

A Japanese airline has become the first Asian carrier to fly using bio-fuel. The Jumbo Jet took off on a 90-minute demonstration flight from Tokyo using a blend of 50 per cent standard aviation fuel mixed with oil derived from several forms of vegetation including algae. But analysts say that bio-fuel production must become cost-effective if it is to be a viable alternative to kerosene.

I invite you to watch the video produce on the subject.

Worm Compost

Excessive use of chemicals and pesticide is certainly having adverse effects on nature. Of late I have been reading on vermin-composting and organic farming. I inquired with ‘AREU’ Agricultural research extension unit, to check if it was possible to compost with worms in Mauritius. I was told that AREU they are experimenting on this composting method and are having difficulties in finding enough worms to operate a composting system.

I am stunned to hear that in Mauritius the population of earth worms has gone so low. As a kid I recall that the back yard of my kindergarten school was infested with worms particularly area where the soil was moist.

Methods for Collecting Your Finished Worm Compost

After you have been feeding your worms for three to six months, you may notice the bedding has been eaten, and you can begin harvesting the brown, crumbly worm compost. Harvesting the compost and adding fresh bedding at least twice a year is necessary to keep your worms healthy.

Method 1:

Move the contents of your worm bin to one side, place fresh bedding in the empty space and bury your food wastes there for a month or so. Harvest the other side after the worms have migrated to the new food and bedding.

Method 2:

Remove one-third to one-half of the contents of your bin, worms and all, and add the worm compost to your garden soil. Add fresh bedding and food to your bin.

Method 3:

Spread a sheet of plastic out under a bright light or in the sun. Dump the contents of the worm box into a number of piles on the sheet. The worms will crawl away from the light into the center of each pile and you can brush away the worm compost on the outside by hand. Soon you will have wriggling piles of worms surrounded by donut-shaped piles of worm compost.

Using Your Worm Compost

Worm compost is more concentrated than most other composts because worms are excellent at digesting food wastes and breaking them down into simple plant nutrients. Use it sparingly for best results.

Mulching and Amending Soil

To mulch with worm compost, apply a one-inch layer to the soil around plants. Be sure the worm compost is not piled against plant stems. To amend soil, worm compost can be spread one-half to two inches thick over garden soil and mixed in before planting, or mixed into the bottom of seeding trenches or transplanting holes. You can also mulch your worm compost into:

  1. Houseplants: Sprinkle worm compost around the base of plants to fertilize. Each time you water, plant nutrients will seep into the soil.
  2. Potting Mixes: For healthy seedlings, mix one part worm compost with three parts potting mix or three parts sand and soil combined. Peat moss, pearlite and worm castings are also good ingredients to add.

Warning Signs

Some symptoms that your worm composting is not going as well as it could are:

  • If your worms are dying
  • If your bin smells rotten and/or attracts flies

Worms Dying

If your worms are dying there could be several causes:

  1. It may be that they are not getting enough food, which means you should bury more food into the bedding.
  2. They may be too dry, in which case you should moisten the box until it is slightly damp.
  3. They may be too wet, in which case you should add bedding.
  4. The worms may be too hot, in which case you should put the bin in the shade.
  5. The bedding is eaten, and it is time to add fresh bedding.

Bin Smells

If your bin smells rotten and/or attracts flies, there may be three causes:

  1. First, it may be that there is not enough air circulation. In this case, add dry bedding under and over the worms, and do not feed them for two weeks.
  2. Second, there may be non-compostables present such as meat, pet feces or greasy food. These should be removed.
  3. Third, there may be exposed food in the bin. In this case, secure the lid, cover food scraps with bedding, and cover worms and bedding with a sheet of plastic.

http://earth911.com/blog/2007/04/02/composting-with-worms/

P E T & The environment

Recycling of PET bottles

I saw on Euro news yesterday, that in Portugal, a new factory has been set up to produce quality blankets from used water bottles (PET). PET stands for polyethylene terephthalate.

The situation in Mauritius:

PET post consumer bottle recovery and recycling: The Mauritius Soft Drink Bottlers’ Association , regrouping the four big producers of soft drinks has contracted a private company (POLYPET RECYCLERS LTD) to sort and export PET bottle waste, in response to a producer responsibility regulation from the Ministry of Environment. Special dustbins in strategic spots have been placed and a collection rate of 30% of the 3000 MT of PET used on the island (or about 80 million bottles) has been reached. In addition the Association promotes community initiatives with NGOs to create an opportunity for locals to find some additional revenue obtained from the reselling of PET waste. Workers directly engaged by Polypet are more than 30 and indirect job creation is around 100 on the collection side.

For the time being the collected PET bottles are crushed for export. The quantity collected may not justify the setting up of a factory to recycle and convert the resins.

What tonnage could be collected in the region? How much can be collected in Reunion island, Comoros and Madagascar? Will the volume then justify the setting up of a plant to transform the resin? Has anyone studied the issue?

Sweden our light house

I have been reading on the example of Sweden in its will to be Independent on fossil source of energy and its progress. I was really in awe in seeing the wind power plant field which I saw last year when I passed through the Baltic seas near Malmo.

What can we learn from the Swedish example in Mauritius?

Can of our Mauritian government be inspired by the example?

Has any one of us read the Energy plan from our Minister of Energy?

Document from Wikipedia:

In 2005 the government of Sweden announced their intention to make Sweden the first country to break its dependence on petroleum, natural gas and other ‘fossil raw materials’ by 2020. In making this decision, four reasons were cited by the Government:

As of 2005, oil supplies provided about 32% of the country’s energy supply, with nuclear power and hydroelectricity providing much of the remainder. Although it was not proposed to end the use of oil entirely, the 2020 date was seen as a marker on a continuing process of the “oil phase-out in Sweden”.

To make recommendations on how dependency on oil should be broken, the government created a Commission on Oil Independence (Kommissionen för att bryta oljeberoendet i Sverige till år 2020), headed by the then Prime Minister Göran Persson, which reported in June 2006.

In their report, the Commission proposed the following targets for 2020:

  • Consumption of oil in road transport to be reduced by 40-50 per cent.
  • Consumption of oil in industry to be cut by 25-40 per cent.
  • Heating buildings with oil, a practice already cut by 70% since the 1973 oil crisis, should be phased out
  • Overall, energy should be used 20% more efficiently

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Power plant in Malmö, 2006.

Replacing oil with renewable energy sources and energy conservation measures to cut total energy use was envisioned. This is also expected to result in cuts in carbon emissions and to strengthen the country’s role in sustainable development technologies as well as increasing its international economic competitiveness.

Energy sources

Technical solutions under consideration include the further development of domestically grown biofuels, solar cells, fuel cells, wind farms, wave energy, a major increase in district heating schemes and greater use of heat pumps. It is expected that research, development and commercialization of such technologies should be supported by government.

The Commission is also recommending that the government should not sanction the creation of a national natural gas infrastructure, on the belief that this would inhibit the development of biofuels and encourage the use of gas in place of oil.

Energy use

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Gothenburg tram system, 1999.

To cut energy use, the commission anticipates that by 2020 at least 75% of all new housing would use low-energy building techniques similar to the German Passive house standard, and that it will also be necessary to modernize the existing housing stock, including replacing direct electric heating systems (with systems heated by district heating, biofuels or heat pumps).

They also expect there to be a greater use of teleworking, video conferencing and web conferencing, public transport, sea transport, hybrid vehicles, and smaller, lighter, biodiesel cars.

As part of reducing industrial consumption, it is proposed that carbon allowances issued in Sweden under the European Union Emission Trading Scheme should be cut to 75% of their initial levels by 2020.

The taxation system is also likely to be used to influence energy choices, together with education and public awareness initiative

On their release, the Commission’s proposals were supported by the national automotive industry association, BIL Sweden. It was, however, opposed by the timber industry, who fear that land producing profitable exports may become used for low-income domestic biofuel production[2]. As of 2008, 43% of the Swedish primary energy supply comes from renewable sources, which is the largest share in any European Union country.

Green Sweden

Sweden is the show case to the green revolution we ought to go for. In less than a decade Sweden has turned around their dependence on fossil fuels and has achieved their goals set for ecological living.

Political priorities for the Ministry of the Environment of Sweden.

The Ministry of the Environment works to achieve sustainable development. The riches of nature must be used in way that will enable us to hand over a world in balance to our children and grandchildren. Priority areas in the Government´s environmental policy are action to respond to climate change, support for technology with minimal environmental impact and ensuring that the Baltic and the Skagerrak and Kattegatt are living seas. Market economy institutions, economic instruments and research and new technology are important tools in the work of the Ministry.

Four strategic challenges have priority:

  • Building sustainable communities
  • Encouraging good health on equal terms
  • Meeting the demographic challenge
  • Encouraging sustainable growth.

I would love to see the developments achieved in the city of Malmo. I had the chance of having a glimpse when I last was on a cruise in the Baltic seas. I saw a field of wind powered generators.

MALMO’S GREEN SOLUTIONS

Wind, solar power and underground aquifers

Developers comply with green space factor and green points

Water features enhance biodiversity and quality of life

Car use reduced by good bus service, pedestrian areas, cycle paths

On-site recycling facilities – rubbish is separated

This week’s Newsweek is discussing the issue of : The Greening of the Corporation and 10000 delegates from the world over were also discussing the same issues in Poland this week.

Energie renouvelable

Je note avec une grande joie l’annonce d’une intention louable et un objectif qui se dirige vers un développement durable. Cela a paru sur l’express du dimanche 23 Nov.

Exploiter l’énergie en abondance qu’est le soleil pour le convertir en Electricité. La technologie existe et elle est déjà exploitée dans des nombreux pays. Il se poserait le problème de rentabilité ? Peut-on produire au jour hui une unité d’électricité au même prix que produise la CEB par ses centrales de production ? Quel sera le prix de rachat que la CEB offrira qui inciteront les individus à investir dans un tel projet ? Doit on que voir une rentabilité pour la CEB dans le présent ? Et quid de notre émission en CO2 dans les centrales thermiques ? A-t-on la volonté politique de mettre en chantier l’exploitation des sources énergétiques propres et non polluantes ?

Nous devons donc encourager ce projet. Je suis pour un retour sur investissement sur les panneaux voltaïques égal au taux bancaire de l’épargne.

L’objectif de Chavansingh Dabeedin

Pour la première fois depuis sept ans, c’est un membre issu du personnel même du Central Electricity Board (CEB) qui a été nommé directeur général de cette organisation. Installé à ce poste alors que la question de l’énergie préoccupe le monde entier, c’est à juste titre que Chavansingh Dabeedin s’est fixé comme principal objectif l’exploitation de toutes les sources d’énergie renouvelable disponibles à Maurice. En tête de lice figurent les énergies éolienne, hydraulique, solaire et celle produite à partir de la bagasse. « Pourquoi pas inclure dans nos priorités, l’exploitation du créneau de l’énergie renouvelable produite par les individus et dont le surplus pourrait être vendu au CEB et basculé sur le réseau national ? »

La Réunion vise l’autonomie énergétique

Paru sur le journal LA CROIX avril 2008

Et quid de Maurice ? Qui bénéfice du même ensoleillement  que La Réunion ?

Le bon élève de l’outre-mer veut expérimenter toutes les alternatives aux énergies fossiles pour atteindre 50 % d’autonomie électrique et la région rêve même d’une indépendance à 100 %

La Réunion ? « Un petit laboratoire des problèmes du monde », affirme son président de région, Paul Vergès. Cette île paradisiaque habitée depuis trois cent cinquante ans, cet éruptif lopin de terre de l’océan Indien d’une superficie inférieure au tiers de la Corse, est un concentré des soubresauts de la planète.

L’île est particulièrement exposée à la pression démographique : les habitants, 250 000 au sortir de la guerre, sont aujourd’hui 800 000 et atteindront le million dans moins de vingt ans. Elle est spécialement menacée par le réchauffement climatique en raison des prévisions de violence accrue des cyclones. Et sévèrement chahutée par la mondialisation : 2013 sonnera le glas du soutien à la filière sucre, base de l’économie locale, et « les bateaux lancés sur les autoroutes maritimes mondiales feront de moins en moins le crochet par l’île », pronostique Paul Vergès.

Avec sa population cosmopolite de descendants de marins et colons européens, d’anciens esclaves africains et de migrants venus d’Inde et de Chine, le métissage biologique et culturel de la Réunion est tel que « nous sommes tous des descendants d’étrangers et d’immigrés », poursuit le président de la région, faisant de l’île le reflet avant-gardiste de l’Europe multiethnique et multireligieuse de demain.

Une “écolonomie” à base de “négawatts”

Ainsi ce « laboratoire des problèmes du monde » peut être, plus qu’une terre de lamentation, un lieu d’expérimentation. Et La Réunion, qui a la réputation d’être le bon élève de l’outre-mer, entend jouer à fond son rôle de premier de la classe.

Son ambition ? Prouver sur ce territoire de 2 500 km2 que l’on peut éradiquer les émissions de CO2 et viser l’indépendance électrique grâce aux énergies renouvelables. Une obsession pour Paul Vergès qui avait présenté son projet d’indépendance énergétique de l’île dès 1999 à l’Unesco, mais avait à l’époque été accueilli avec quelque incrédulité.

Aujourd’hui, le gouvernement s’arrime à cette volonté réunionnaise pour faire de l’île la roue d’entraînement du Grenelle de l’environnement dans les DOM et de son objectif de 50 % d’énergies renouvelables outre-mer à l’horizon 2020.
« Paul Vergès est la première des énergies renouvelables à La Réunion », reconnaît André Antolini qui voue une « immense gratitude aux DOM ». « Les DOM, poursuit le président du Syndicat des énergies renouvelables, ont été de longues années un sanctuaire qui a permis le sauvetage de l’industrie française des énergies renouvelables. »

La Réunion bruit de cette nouvelle « écolonomie » ; un terme que le secrétaire d’État chargé de l’outre-mer, Yves Jégo, a repris à son compte lors de sa visite à La Réunion fin mars. Cette économie du développement durable est basée, pour l’électricité, sur la production de « négawatts » – parce que les meilleurs des watts sont ceux que l’on ne consomme pas – et sur la production de mégawatts d’origine renouvelable : éolien, solaire, biomasse et des projets tous azimuts en géothermie, énergie marine, stockage de l’électricité…

EDF vend de l’électricité à perte

« La seule centrale qui me fait gagner de l’argent, c’est la centrale à négawatts », confirme Jean-Louis Barbet, chef du pôle gestion du système électrique d’EDF à la Réunion. Car EDF vend l’électricité lourdement à perte sur l’île. « Un mégawattheure est vendu 90 €. Or, son coût de production s’élève à 145 € », explique-t-il. Chaque consommateur français finance la différence sur sa facture, au travers de la contribution au service public de l’électricité (CSPE). Donc, EDF a investi dans cette centrale à « négawatts » en aidant à la diffusion de 1,2 milliond’ampoules lampes basse consommation. « On a gagné 10 mégawatts », comptabilise le gestionnaire.

Autres grands économiseurs d’électricité : les 81 000 chauffe-eau solaires (CES) installés sur les toits – 10 000 de plus chaque année – pour un parc de 230 000 logements. « On a ainsi évité la construction d’une centrale thermique de 40 mégawatts », argumente Sylvain Viellepeau, directeur de Giordano, l’entreprise qui alimente 40 % du marché réunionnais des CES.

Mais le fleuron, ce sont les 400 m2 de modules solaires thermiques à usage industriel installés sur les toits des abattoirs Sicabat, à Saint-Pierre, qui traitent 12 000 tonnes de porc par an. « La plus grande installation thermique d’Europe », selon Sylvain Viellepeau, permet de porter chaque jour 60 000 litres d’eau à 65 °C pour nettoyer les 13 000 m2 de l’usine. Cette dernière a ainsi pu renoncer à acheter une nouvelle chaudière au fioul et économise 144 tonnes de CO2 par an.

Convaincue par l’intérêt du solaire, l’entreprise a loué 6 000 m2 de toit pour installer une centrale photovoltaïque qui sera opérationnelle début 2009. « L’engouement pour le solaire a déclenché une spéculation sur les toits : les toits sont préemptés par des baux de location dans le but d’y installer à terme des panneaux solaires », reconnaît Bertrand Dellinger, directeur général de BP Solar à la Réunion, l’entreprise qui avait, de manière pionnière, participé à l’électrification solaire des habitations de la zone montagneuse enclavée du cirque de Mafate, non raccordée au réseau électrique.

Les lycées dans la course

La chasse aux toits a bel et bien démarré. Les 7 500 panneaux d’une puissance de 1,25 mégawatt crête (MWc) installés sur les 20 000 m2 de toiture d’une plate-forme logistique au Port fonctionneront le mois prochain. Sur la même commune du Port, qui s’est proclamée « ville solaire » lors d’une délibération du conseil municipal en décembre dernier, 10 000 panneaux solaires sont en cours d’installation sur les toits d’une centrale d’achats. Les 42 lycées de l’île sont dans la course : sept ont déjà leurs toits couverts, cinq sont en cours d’installation, les autres doivent suivre. Avec toujours en ligne de mire l’excellent gisement solaire de l’île, exploitable toute l’année, mais aussi la lourde contrainte du risque cyclonique qui impose d’arrimer les installations au toit ou au sol.

Le centre d’enfouissement technique de Sainte-Suzanne fait visiter son ancienne décharge. Les quatre hectares de terre ont été réhabilités en unité de production de biogaz (issu de la méthanisation des déchets) et en centrale solaire, une autre première mondiale à la Réunion. « Nous avons récupéré les anciens voussoirs d’un tunnelier (les morceaux de voûte de tunnel en béton) qui pèsent 1,2 tonne à l’unité pour lester nos modules solaires au sol afin qu’ils résistent à des rafales de vent de 250 km/h », explique Alain Orriols, directeur général de SCE, Société de conversion d’énergie.

C’est aussi à cause des cyclones que seules poussent sur l’île les éoliennes Vergnet, du nom de leur inventeur, Marc Vergnet (1). Ces éoliennes bipales à mât haubané et articulé à la base sont rabattables au sol en trois quarts d’heure et sont, de ce fait, les seules de la planète à résister aux cyclones. Elles brassent nonchalamment le vent sur les hauteurs de Sainte-Suzanne. « Nous sommes une commune moderne à la campagne », revendique Maurice Gironcel, maire de Sainte-Suzanne, avec à ses pieds la décharge devenue centrale électrique et au-dessus de sa tête le parc Aérowatt et ses éoliennes Vergnet qui projette de s’orienter vers un cocktail énergétique : des panneaux solaires au pied des éoliennes et du stockage d’électricité par pompage-turbinage (2).

“Comme si on écopait à la petite cuillère”

Avec ses réalisations, ses projets et ses premières mondiales, la Réunion avance-t-elle vraiment vers l’autonomie électrique ? « C’est comme si l’on écopait à la petite cuillère », confesse Jules Dieudonné, directeur du Prerure, le Programme régional d’exploration et d’exploitation des énergies renouvelables et de l’usage rationnel de l’énergie.

Il fait directement référence à ce que l’on appelle sur l’île « les ravages de la “défisc” », ces programmes immobiliers jouissant de la défiscalisation qui poussent sur l’île sans répondre à la moindre exigence de réglementation thermique.

Quarante mille climatiseurs et 20 000 chauffe-eau électriques sont ainsi importés chaque année… « La Réunion a été historiquement traumatisée par le cyclone dévastateur de 1948. Les toits des maisons ont été emportés, les habitations détruites. De ce jour, l’île a renoncé à l’habitat créole avec ses coursives, ses fenêtres à jalousie et sa ventilation naturelle pour s’orienter massivement vers la construction en béton, les toitures terrasses et les baies vitrées », explique Jean-Claude Futhazar, directeur de l’environnement au conseil régional.

« Dans les bureaux, avec les façades en plein soleil, il fait si chaud qu’on ferme les rideaux, branche la climatisation et allume les lumières puisqu’on est dans le noir en plein jour », s’insurge l’énergéticien Jocelyn Meschenmoser qui participa à la réalisation de « L’Îlette du centre », l’une des rares « opérations de défiscalisation citoyennes », selon l’expression de son architecte Michel Reynaud, soit 300 m2 de bureaux et 66 logements qui ont renoué avec la fraîcheur naturelle et le confort de l’architecture créole au cœur de Saint-Pierre.

Pour sortir de cette hérésie de la construction, la Réunion réclame ce que Paris lui a jusqu’ici toujours refusé, à savoir l’autorisation de faire sa propre révolution énergétique – les DOM n’ayant droit à aucune réglementation thermique –, et table sur les deux projets de loi outre-mer et Grenelle de l’environnement.

Marie VERDIER, à La Réunion

Working in the Future

Matt Schulyer of Capital One in an essay published in September discussed the future of work and its emerging trends in the west. Knowing the trends in the industrial and developed world, it would be interesting to anticipate what may be the impact on our little Mauritius.

The developed economy would be sourcing off shore some of the work, would we be positioned to capture some of the market? How are we Mauritians able to be faster, better and cheaper? How flexible and versatile may we be? Are we preparing now and positioning ourselves to face the future?

I have retained the following points from the trends:

Emerging trends are changing the nature of knowledge work, demanding new options. Business cycles create more intensity, complexity, and uncertainty—demanding high productivity. Also, the balance of power is shifting from individual contributors to cross-functional, networked teams; and technology is accelerating the pace and scope of change. Work is more complex, collaborative, distributed in time and place, less predictable, and more demanding. To remain viable, leaders need to respond to trends with flexibility, speed, and innovative, cost-effective solutions.

Workforce Trends

Retiring Baby Boomers could soon lead to a scarcity of knowledge workers. If these retiring workers can’t be replaced, more work may be off-shored, or companies may need to bring back retired workers on a part-time basis. Also, some companies are experiencing a breakdown in the employer-employee bond as pensions disappear, benefits become portable, job sites increase or become mobile, and employee churn rises.

The millennial generation, or Gen Y, is altering employee expectations. For example, most millennials would prefer to work for companies that give them opportunities to contribute their talents to nonprofits on company time. A company’s commitment to social responsibility can determine whether millennials will accept a job offer. And they are more likely to pick an area to live that suits their lifestyle.

Work models and patterns that enable people to work when it’s convenient to them and when they’re most productive are popular. Gen Y expects work to mirror the college experience with flexibility in work hours. Gen Xers also value flexible work hours and locations that enable them care for children or continue their education. Baby Boomers too are vocal about wanting more flexible work practices that allows for elder care, exercise, or personal growth.

Could be get the retirees to live in Mauritius in a more clement and comfortable environment and work from remote? How would we acquire more knowledge for our folks?

Technological Trends

The rate and reach of technological change also impact the workplace. The infrastructure is now widely available to give employees access to information anywhere and anytime. Soon, high-speed Internet and wireless access will grow more robust and ubiquitous and become an expected amenity, while mobile devices quickly converge into a single, fully-integrated tool. Traditional brick-and-mortar offices may no longer be the focus of work efforts as meetings are conducted in cyberspace.

Technological advances also introduce uncertainty and risk. Consumers expect faster transaction speeds and greater accuracy, while more marketing channels make reaching the consumer harder. Regulatory compliance, information security, and privacy issues will create added risk and uncertainty for both companies and consumers.

What have been set up in Mauritius to be abreast of the technological advancement at least in the sectors of interest to us?

Business Process Trends

Future enterprises will be more dispersed in terms of markets and suppliers, and expand their dependence on multiple extended partners. Businesses will focus on improving productivity with shorter product cycles. “Faster, better, cheaper” will remain the mantra. Uncertainty will drive structure churn, while environmental regulations will create economic uncertainty. Flexibility, adaptability and ideation will be success factors. Global risks will intensify due to the threat of terrorism, financial shocks, and natural disasters.

Are you ensuring that our country is safer in the future against the  increasing global risks?

Tomorrow’s Workplace

The workplace will need to be flexible. In some cases, companies will have to create new spaces to enhance concentration and focus, privacy and security, and yet allow for spontaneous interaction. Workspaces will become increasingly diverse, some co-located, some virtual, and some both. Web 2.0—the use of the Internet as a collaborative platform to maximize creativity and productivity—social networking and social computing will be the conference rooms and workspaces of the future. Employers need to increase the usable workspace in the office.

Tomorrow’s workplace needs to be vibrant and energizing, with a focus on natural daylight, sustainable healthy space, natural landscaping, open space to maximize views from windows, creative office construction, low panels between offices, open desking, and glazed walls to make activity apparent and expose inefficient use of space. Mobile technologies help eliminate the need for brick and mortar, or reduce costs for energy or real estate.

What are the plans to outbeat the  world energy crunch?

Three Phases of Change

The key to coping with change is actively managing the change process while enabling people to move through three phases of the change curve:

1. Awareness. In this phase, leaders build cognizance that change is coming. Common emotions include denial, anxiety, and shock. Productivity and morale may decline. Leaders should help people understand the new direction and what options are available to them. Employees may begin to feel fear, anger, frustration, and confusion.

2. Acceptance. During this phase, leaders and employers begin to make decisions regarding the new change. This is often a stressful period. People may engage in approach-avoidance behavior—they may recognize and even wish to embrace change, but fear the negative consequences of giving up their old way of working. Morale and productivity dip, but will soon rebound.

3. Adoption. In this phase, employee skepticism turns to hope, energy, and enthusiasm, and morale and productivity are restored. Leaders should help employees explore their new work behaviors, commit to a new way of working, and institutionalize the new ways by ensuring that the company’s mission, leadership alignment, and goals support the desired changes.

By focusing on trends in technology, the workplace and business processes, leaders can adapt to the new future of work and enjoy market success.

Do you we have an Energy price crisis?

We are living a period of oil crisis are we not? This past week the pressure seems to have subsided with a drop of the world market price to a lower level of 125 US dollars the barrel. Forecasters are still maintaining that very soon we shall strike the level of 200 dollars the barrel. Energy or Oil crisis we are all aroused to the issue, we are all concerned. Is it enough? More importantly what are we doing about the crisis? What action each one of us at micro level, macro level, and as a community is taking? Crying over spilled milk and talking about it over the media only raise our conscience to the issue. Does it move us to action?

A bunch of toads were thrown in a pot of warm water. A fire was lit under the pot to warm up slowly the temperature of the water. The toads developed high adaptability to adjusting to the change in temperature. At first, as the temperature rose, they enjoyed the nice and warm environment. The toads felt good, relaxed and even sleepy. Later the temperature became so warm that the toads though they realised the forth coming deadly temperature, they could no more jump away from the pot.

Are we not still in the crisis in spite of the recent adjustments? Do we have to experience another dramatic surge in the price of energy to spur us to action? Does the temporary lull in the rising curve of the price blind our long term visibility? Do we have the acumen to address the issue timely and move to action?

I found a recent article written by E. Ted Prince addressed to business leaders on the subject, from which we could learn. Here are some extracts:

Companies need to identify leaders such as these as a high priority in order to bring human capital solutions to the oil crisis. Ultimately any disruptive environment is a human capital crisis. The crisis will eventually be addressed and solved. The issue is who will address and solve it most rapidly and in the best manner. This will occur through having leaders who, among all the other qualities needed to lead successfully, must also possess high business acumen. This is the challenge for leaders and their HR and LD executives.

Explore three channels:

1. Ask HR and LD to develop an oil-focused human capital action plan based on implications of the oil crisis. In the plan, cover selection, recruitment, on boarding, development, and assessment. Contrast what is happening at present and the areas that need to be changed to meet the challenges.

2. Improve your people’s capability to respond to the oil crisis by developing and implementing a business acumen assessment and development program for managers and executives. The program should focus on assessment of business acumen and on its development to prepare managers and leaders for the new financial and value challenges posed by the oil crisis.

3. Develop new oil-focused succession plans and planning. Stress capabilities that will enhance your ability to address the crisis and choose those managers best suited to confront these issues. We also suggest:

  • Prepare an HR impact statement
  • Redesign recruitment criteria for new hires and promotions
  • Redesign on boarding programs
  • Run a simulation on one aspect of the oil crisis
  • Integrate acumen approaches with oil issues into LD programs
  • Organize an oil crisis workshop
  • Develop business acumen courses in corporate universities aimed at oil crisis and addressing it creatively
  • Organize an “oil literacy” seminar for high potentials and other leaders
  • Establish a human capital crisis team to address the oil crisis issue
  • Redesign structures to enhance capability to deal with the crisis
  • Prepare recommendations for changes to TM to address crisis
  • Hire people with an understanding of oil industry in certain key positions.

Template for Disruptive Change

This issue is not only about the oil crisis—we will soon face more crises whose nature will be unpredictable. All we can do is to prepare and anticipate that crises incorporate challenges that require leaders with exceptional business acumen, independent of their other leadership qualities. So leadership developers need to address the issue of how these challenges will also be addressed and faced.

Answer three questions: Does the leadership template cope with disruptive change? Can the template lead to higher shareholder value? Does it have formal ways to assess the financial and value creation impact of leaders in measuring response to disruptive change?