latest news... from decarbonize
We have found a financial assistant!
Sun, 08 Sep 2013
Decarbonize has been delighted to receive an outstanding response to our earlier advertisement for an experienced, part time, professional bookkeeper.
We want to thank everyone who took the time and interest to apply. We are pleased to announce that we have found the financial assistance needed for now. We have promised to keep the contact details for qualified applicants on file and will come back to you, should we need your services in future.
From palm oil to high value by-product?
Fri, 28 Jun 2013
When Decarbonize founder, Belinda Howell, started her first job after graduation as a Higher Scientific Officer for the Overseas Development and Natural Resources Institute, she never envisaged she would be re-visiting her research findings more than a decade later.
Then, Belinda's research showed that farmed tiger prawns, produced in the aquaculture ponds of Java, Indonesia - which had replaced their natural nurseries of the mango swamps - were suffering from "blue disease". Extraction and analysis of carotenoids from wild and farmed tiger prawns and their dietary sources demonstrated that the farmed variety were suffering from a deficiency of carotenoids. Carotenoids are a group of micro-nutrients (including ß-carotene, which are precursors of vitamin A) and pigments (which give the wild tiger prawns their vivid red & black colouring) and which have anti-oxidant properties beneficial to health.
Years later (a few too many to mention!) Decarbonize - and particularly Belinda - was delighted to be appointed to represent a group of international retailers working on sourcing sustainable palm oil. As part of the learning curve about palm oil, Belinda formed the "kernel" (excuse the pun, for those familiar with oil palm) of an idea ...
Palm oil is a vegetable oil with an uniquely high level of naturally occurring of carotenoids - which make the crude oil dark red in colour. During the refining of crude palm oil, it typically undergoes bleaching and/or deodorizing processes, which ultimately remove the carotenoids with bleaching earth (fine clay particles). This ends up being "down-cycled" in to the manufacture of bricks.
This set Belinda thinking: about the high added value of natural carotenoids - not only lost during the traditional crude palm oil refining process, but also replaced in products by lower value synthetically produced carotenoids; and about the importance of closed loop cycles, if we are ever to live within the limits of resources with which this planet is endowed (see the "circular economy" pages on this website).
Decarbonize took action and invested in employing a Biochemistry undergraduate intern over the summer vacation, to research and investigate the question:
"Can Carotenoids be extracted from crude palm oil and used to create a higher value by-product, rather than destined for a down-cycled secondary stream?"
Decarbonize to represent Retailers on Soy
Wed, 08 May 2013
The state opening of the UK parliament was not the only event of note in Westminster, London today, 8th May 2013. The Retailers’ Soy Group held its inaugural meeting. Retailers participating in the meeting included Ahold, Asda, Marks & Spencer, Migros, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, The Co-operative, Waitrose.
The Retailers’ Soy Group signals to the market retailers’ requirements to ensure that soy produced as feed for its meat, poultry and soy foodstuffs are produced responsibly. Retailers are taking this action to transform their supply chains towards sustainable production.
Decarbonize’s Belinda Howell has been appointed as the Retailers’ Soy Group representative on responsible soy.
Anti Bribery and Corruption Policy
Tue, 30 Apr 2013
Decarbonize values its reputation and is committed to maintaining the highest level of ethical standards in the conduct of its business affairs. The actions and conduct of the company’s staff - as well as others acting on the company’s behalf - is essential to maintaining these standards.
The company’s policy in relation to bribery and corruption is an important requirement of many of our leading corporate clients. The policy applies strictly to all employees, directors, agents, consultants, contractors and to any other people or bodies associated with the Decarbonize, within all regions, areas and functions. To view the policy, click the link below.
BSI rethinks standards
Fri, 12 Apr 2013
The British Standards Institute (BSI) has commissioned a study on the feasibility of using voluntary high level codes and guidance – in the form of an entirely new generation of standards – to stimulate business performance improvement.
Ernst & Young - who is conducting the study for BSI - has sought Decarbonize's advice to contribute to this study. Belinda Howell, Managing Director of Decarbonize, was invited by (BSI) to join an expert focus group, which met today, April 12, 2013.