Posts made in June, 2014

Shaking off the energy crisis: how far can kinetic deliver on its promises?

When the sun sets in Kenya, tens of millions of people set about the daily challenge of lighting their homes. Some 80% of the population lives off-grid, according to the World Bank, while 550m people across Africa lack access to electricity. Despite the rise of solar technology, burning kerosene oil is still commonplace for many Kenyans, a practice that weighs heavily on the household purse and exposes families to noxious fumes. Sudha Kheterpal, the former percussionist with the band Faithless, has developed a prototype percussion shaker to help children in rural Kenya gain access to a few...

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Bangladeshi garment factories profit by linking better pay for workers with productivity

Life as a garment factory worker in developing countries remains tough, with low wages, poor working conditions and a lack of job prospects still the norm for many. But improving their lot is not simply ‘the right thing to do’. Striking the right balance between employee satisfaction and productivity stands to deliver significant benefits to workers and manufacturers alike. Labour turnover can reach 12% in Bangladeshi export factories, according to ethical trade consultancy Impactt’s Nice Work report, creating a substantial knock-on effect on efficiency and quality. And although minimum...

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Arab-Israeli olive oil business promotes peace and cultural understanding

The concept of ‘business for peace’ is rapidly gaining traction, as companies seek to redefine their role in society, engage with communities and harness the power of commerce for social good. Sindyanna of Galilee, a female-led fair trade association, is working to encourage understanding between Arabs and Jews in Israel by selling local producers’ olive oil worldwide and investing 100% of the profits in educating women, healing cultural divides and promoting organic farming. With tensions running high in Israel, as the peace process falters, the shadow of terror remains and ‘price...

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