Thousands of Canadians to tackle plastic pollution across the country

Governance, World

Around the world, people and companies throw away more than $100 billion worth of plastic packaging each year. Plastic waste and marine litter, including microplastics, pose a serious threat to the health of our ecosystems, wildlife and economies.

In fact, 8 million tonnes of plastic flow into our oceans every year—the equivalent of one garbage truck full of plastic being dumped into our oceans every minute. This reality is alarming.

Keeping all of our waters and shorelines clean of debris is important for a healthy environment for Canadians, today and tomorrow. This is why the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, travelled across Canada this summer to encourage Canadians to beat plastic pollution. Now she is launching the Community Cleanup, a call for Canadians to clean up plastics from their local shorelines, parks and neighbourhoods.

The Community Cleanup will start on September 8. Canadians are encouraged to connect with their local MPs to organize community plastic cleanups. Throughout the week, schools, businesses and citizens can organize their own cleanups. On September 15—International Coastal Cleanup Day and World Cleanup Day—there will be three major events, in VancouverToronto and Halifax, through the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, supported by the Government of Canada. People from around the world will come together to collect and document the trash on shorelines. You can join or lead a cleanup, on your own or through the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, anytime and anywhere in Canada. It is important to register with the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup to contribute to global and Canadian data by recording what you find.

Halifax will also be the location of this year’s G7 Environment, Energy and Oceans Ministers Meeting, on September 19 to 21. The Canada-led Ocean Plastics Charter was signed during the G7 leaders summit in Charlevoix, where international partners committed to removing debris from coasts and shorelines. Canada is determined to lead in this effort. And together, we can eliminate plastic waste and reduce marine litter in our own country and around the world.

“Our lakes, rivers, oceans and waterways are a big part of Canada’s natural legacy. And it’s important that we protect these spaces from the growing plastic-pollution problem. On September 8, I encourage Canadians across the country to do their part and take action in their communities,” says Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.


Quick facts

  • Throughout 2018, Canada has served as president of the G7, a group of the world’s largest advanced economies.
  • About half of all the plastics ever manufactured were made since 2000. The global production of plastics has been faster than most man-made materials.
  • As of 2015, about 6.3 billion tonnes of plastic waste have been generated globally, with about 79 per cent of that amount ending up in landfills or the environment.
  • Only about 11 per cent of plastics are recycled in Canada. In 2010, Canada released into the oceans from land 8000 tonnes of plastic—the weight of 75 blue whales.
  • Over 90 per cent of seabirds have plastic in their stomachs.

National Awards Program Seeking Hawaii’s Top Youth Volunteers Of 2019


The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards will grant two Hawaii honorees $1,000, a medallion and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.
Ewa Beach and Kailua students were Hawaii’s top youth volunteers of 2018


Today through November 6, 2018, The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards is looking for Hawaii’s top youth volunteers of the year.

Students in grades 5-12 are invited to apply for 2019 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards if they have made meaningful contributions to their communities through volunteer service within the past 12 months. The application is available at and

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), was created in 1995 to recognize the exemplary volunteer work of middle level and high school students. The awards have been granted annually for the past 23 years on the local, state and national level.

“After more than two decades of honoring young volunteers, we know that students are a powerful force for good,” said Prudential Chairman and CEO John Strangfeld. “We shine a spotlight on their service in hopes that others will be inspired to follow their example.”

Hawaii’s top youth volunteers of 2018 were Mahealani Sims-Tulba, 18, of Ewa Beach, who created a nonprofit foundation to communicate about the problem of bullying to students throughout Hawaii, and Grace Kennedy, 14, of Kailua, who has raised thousands of dollars to benefit sick and abused children as a board member of a Hawaii-based student philanthropic organization. Read more about Mahealani and Grace at

How to Apply

To apply for a 2019 Prudential Spirit of Community Award, students and certifiers must complete the following steps:

Students complete the online application by November 6, 2018.
Then, students submit the application for certification to their principal or head of a local participating organization.
Certifiers review all applications for their school or organization, then select a Local Honoree to nominate for state-level judging by November 16, 2018.
Applications can be certified by a middle or high school principal or head of a Girl Scout council, county 4-H organization, American Red Cross chapter, YMCA or an affiliate of Points of Light’s HandsOn Network. (Students can request a paper application by calling 855-670-4787.)

The 2019 Awards Program

On February 5, 2019, the top middle level and high school volunteer from each state and the District of Columbia will be named State Honorees. They will receive $1,000, engraved silver medallions and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., with a parent or guardian for four days of recognition events from May 4-7, 2019.

In Washington, a distinguished national selection committee will name 10 of the 102 State Honorees as America’s top youth volunteers of the year. These National Honorees will receive additional awards of $5,000, gold medallions, crystal trophies for their nominating schools or organizations, and $5,000 grants from The Prudential Foundation for nonprofit charitable organizations of their choice.

Several Distinguished Finalists in each state will receive bronze medallions, and runners-up will receive Certificates of Excellence. Local Honorees selected by schools and participating organizations for state-level judging will be presented with Certificates of Achievement; they will also receive President’s Volunteer Service Awards if they have served the minimum number of volunteer hours to qualify (26 hours for age 10 and younger, 50 hours for ages 11-15 and 100 hours for older students).

“It’s an honor to recognize middle level and high school students making a difference through volunteer service,” said JoAnn Bartoletti, executive director of NASSP. “We look forward to another year of celebrating the impact, initiative and compassion of young volunteers.”

Expedition finds evidence of first known whaling wreck in Canada’s High Arctic

Animals and Pets, Earth, World

Two Canadian researchers have found evidence of a Scottish whaling wreck in the High Arctic, thought to be the first discovery of its kind in the world. Michael Moloney and Mathew Ayre, post-doctoral fellows with the University of Calgary’s Arctic Institute of North America, made the find last week. The wreckage is from Nova Zembla, a whaling vessel that sank in a fjord near Baffin Bay in September 1902. The discovery is significant because the British fleet lost over 200 vessels and none have ever been found until now.

“Most Canadians are not aware of the important role that whaling played in opening up the Canadian Arctic,” says Ayre. “These sailors formed strong partnerships with the Inuit to learn how to navigate Arctic waters for close to 300 years.” The knowledge gained from each whaling trip became extremely helpful to subsequent voyages of Britain’s Royal Navy in their quest to explore the planet’s polar regions and discover the Northwest Passage.

“This is a previously unidentified archaeological site, and the first High Arctic whaling ship ever discovered,” says John Geiger, Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. “It is a remarkable story of historical sleuthing supported by fieldwork and adds considerably to the historical record by shedding new light on that treacherous, once great industry.”

The team that made the discovery relied on drone footage and sonar imaging. Working off One Ocean Expedition’s Akademik Sergey Vavilov ship, they deployed a remote-operated underwater vehicle in a targeted five-square-kilometre search area, which they had narrowed in on through months of research. The pair still needs to further study the sonar imagery to examine some promising shapes, including what appears to be one of the anchors of the ship — straight lines and right angles are indicative of man-made materials. Moloney and Ayer plan on resuming their research next year and will work with local Inuit communities to learn more about the history of Nova Zembla.

“Grassroots underwater archeology on a budget takes time,” says Moloney. “This will be a multi-year project that helps Canadians learn more about our maritime history.”

The Search for Nova Zembla expedition was supported by the Expeditions Program of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, One Ocean Expeditions, Mountain Equipment Co-op, University of Calgary’s Arctic Institute of North America, Deep Trekker: Underwater Remote Operated Vehicles & Drones, and Lens Lenders.

Vigo Video Launches #VigoLetsHelpKerala Campaign to Reinstate the Beauty of Gods Own Country


Vigo Video, the app that encourages all forms of creativity, fun and talent, has initiated an official movement #VigoLetsHelpKerala to lend support to Kerala. The initiative is an appeal to the whole Vigo community and society to pray for Kerala and act for the people.

Vigo Video has officially announced a promised donation of INR 1 Million to the affected people through the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund and created a short video on the initiative asking audiences to act upon. The initiative is active from 19thAugust to 25th August 2018.

The initiative aims to mobilise the people of Vigo Video India, to take active part and contribute to the society, which has been severely affected due to unusually high rains and floods.

To call for every effort from the whole community and society, Vigo Video India, has taken up further cause to make a bigger difference like — for every share of the post created by Vigo Video under this movement, Vigo Video will donate extra Rs 1. For every post made on Vigo Video under the movement, Vigo Video will donate extra Rs 5adding on to the funds. Since August 19th, over 30K videos have been created under this campaign, and the number is still growing. This little contribution from us may help our country men in this difficult time.

Sharing about the initiative, Jasmine Guo, the Operation Manager of Vigo Video India shares, “A natural calamity can really ruin a lot and we feel deeply sad about the current state of Kerala. We want to help them in every way we can. We appeal to everyone, to join hands and help us in contributing the best we can, to bring back the beauty of the back-waters.”

Kerala is facing its worst flood in 100 years. 324 lives lost and 200,000 people are in relief camp. Kerala has to rebuild itself after this worst floods. So, do your bit and let’s help Kerala. Every person’s contribution is going to be valuable.

Chinese “son of the desert” dedicated to desert greening


Wang wenbiao, chairman of Chinese eco-company Elion resources group, was born and raised in China’s 7th biggest desert — Kubuqi, which is around 800km north of Beijing. He’s well-known in China as “the son of the desert”. The desert once made his life miserable, but now, it has made him and other locals rich.

Because of the constant expansion of the desert, people had to migrate as staying there only meant poverty and adversity. Wang wenbiao also wanted to leave the desert, however, for the past 30 years, not only did he stay in the desert, but also dedicated himself to the battle against desertification.

In 1988, Wang, then a government clerk, ventured into business and managed a near-bankrupt saltworks on the edge of the desert. Despite the high salt reserves in the lake beside the saltworks, Wang constantly worried about the company’s operations as the desert was swallowing the lake.

Wang set up a special fund, setting aside 5 yuan (0.75 U.S dollar) from each tonne of salt sold, for afforestation, and dispatched one-third of his staff to plant trees encircling the lake. His plan worked, output increased, and the saltworks managed to make a small profit with quick turnover.

As there was no road through the desert to the nearest train station, which was 67km away, all the salt had to be transported via a long route of 350km. High transport costs further squeezed the already thin profit margin. “The saltworks could not be sustained without a direct road out,” Wang said.

Thanks to the government’s efforts to tame the desert in 1999, a 115-km-long highway through the middle of the desert opened to traffic but was quickly swallowed by sand. Wang realized that to do any business in the desert, he first needed to deal with the sand.

He renamed his company to Elion, focused on curbing desertification, and developed a business model to generate both economic and ecological benefits in the Kubuqi desert.

The game changer of his business model was licorice farming as licorice grows well in deserts and is one of the most profitable medical herbs widely used in traditional Chinese medicines.

Moreover, the plant works well in curbing desertification. The nodule bacteria living around its roots has a nitrogen fixation effect, which increases soil fertility. One licorice plant can help reclaim 0.1 square meters of desert land. “We invented a planting method where one licorice plant is able to reclaim one square meters of desert, ten times more than before,” Wang said.

Elion encouraged local people to grow licorice, providing them with seedings, training and other support. When they harvested the roots, Wang’s company bought them at a fair price.

Through this business model he practiced in Kubuqi desert, the desert turned green, the local residents made money and Elion’s business empire now covers six sectors including healthcare, environmental protection, clean energy, farming and livestock, tourism, and feed processing.

With Wang’s input along with millions of individuals as well as enterprises, China’s fight against desertification has made significant process. As shown in the latest national survey in 2015, the areas of the country’s desertified lands shrank compared with a previous survey in 2010.

To curb desertification, an essential part of the country’s ongoing drive for environmentally-friendly development, the government banned grazing on degraded grasslands, increased financial input, and stepped up law enforcement in the sector.

“We could not have made it without the government’s supportive policies such as the grazing ban,” Wang said. “We have gained useful experiences in dealing with the sand, and we would like to share our experience with others,” he said. Elion now operates afforestation projects in arid areas such as Xinjiang, Gansu, and Tibet.

In December 2017, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) honored Wang and five other inspirational environmental leaders with the Champions of the Earth Award.

“The challenge lies in promoting technological innovation to reduce afforestation costs and boost efficiency,” Wang said.

Elion has developed technology to plant trees via drones, which takes less than a minute to deploy seeds with protective covers in a 666.7 square meter area. “We are now working with the UK-based BioCarbon Engineering to develop the third-generation of drones, which will improve the survival rate of seeds and performance of the drones,” he said.

“Not all deserts should be treated, and only desertification caused by human activities can be reversed. Greening the deserts is like a marathon, as long as there is a desert, my marathon will not come to an end,” he said.

Wang said his dream now is to lead Elion overseas, to countries along the Belt and Road in particular, where his Kubuqi business model will help those also in the fight against desertification.

South Africa: Restoring Confidence to Oil the Wheels for Growth

Governance, World

It’s been almost 25 years since the end of apartheid, the system of institutionalized racial segregation that left most South Africans with limited access to basic services. The post-apartheid years saw remarkable progress in terms of poverty reduction, access to education, and reducing unemployment. But some of those early achievements have unwound recently amid slow growth and political uncertainty.

The IMF’s latest assessment of South Africa’s economy projects real GDP growth will stay slightly below 2 percent in the medium term, not enough to increase living standards or make a dent in unemployment.

Ana Lucía Coronel, who heads the IMF team for South Africa, sat down with IMF Country Focus to talk about some of the issues the economy is facing.

The word “confidence” is found throughout this report. Why is there such a lack of confidence in so many sectors, and what has been the impact on the economy?

The word confidence is very important for economic analysis because it refers to the variety of beliefs that economic agents have about the environment that surrounds them. Consumer confidence refers to households’ expectations of how likely it is they’ll find a job and what their income might be. Investors’ confidence is related to their prospects of whether their profits are going to be higher or their assets are going to gain value. And building or not building confidence depends to a considerable extent on the policies the government conducts. That’s why confidence is important, and that’s why we focus on confidence in the report.

In the case of South Africa, confidence among stakeholders has been weak during the last several years, leading to low rates of economic growth. And that has been in part related to the fact that governance is not at its best. Corruption in South Africa has had an impact on the trust of the population in their leaders and their institutions. For confidence to improve permanently and contribute to higher investment and employment, economic agents need to see tangible progress in the economic environment.

Do you see signs now that there is the political will to address some of these underlying issues like corruption and transparency?

Yes, I think the new government is aware that corruption is a big obstacle to growth. Investors and consumers have delayed their decisions to invest and spend, and that has had an impact on job creation. We believe that the political change has marked an important turnaround. President Ramaphosa has publicly stated that he wants to combat corruption and increase transparency, and he has made this objective part of his economic strategy.

So, the political will is there. We have seen that some bold steps have already been taken. In particular, the boards and the management of some key state-owned enterprises have been changed with the objective of replacing questionable officials with credible officials. Also in the tax revenue service, there has been a major revamping that will allow collecting taxes that were in the past lost to corruption. And we understand that some public officials who have been involved in illegal practices are being prosecuted.

Given that South Africa has good laws and good institutions, the objective is just that transactions and contracts adhere to these good laws and institutions, So, combating the problem of weak governance in South Africa should not be as hard as in other places.

The strong political commitment to deepen governance reforms will also allow the government to go ahead with other reforms that the country urgently needs, particularly those related to the products and labor markets, to fight unemployment and inequality.

Inequality in South Africa remains a huge problem despite its relatively good institutions and infrastructure. Why this increasing disparity between the rich and the poor, and where do they need to invest to change that trend?

Yes. In fact, South Africa is one of the most unequal societies in the world, and to some extent this reflects the legacies of apartheid which still weigh on the economy. Black South Africans are still by far poorer than white South Africans, and there are disparities within races as well. Also, there is a pay gap between women and men of about 30 percent, which is quite high, and where people live still determines how much access they might have to an education and to a job.

Inequality is a complex issue that is very related to the lack of jobs. So, there is a need for reforms in the economy to be able to create jobs. Reforms should focus on facilitating competition in the production of goods and services so that more industries come and invest in the country; having more flexible labor laws so that more people could be part of the labor force; and improving the business environment to attract investment.

But what is also happening in South Africa is that companies that generate jobs find it difficult to find workers that fit their high standards, and workers who don’t have jobs find it difficult to find a job that accepts their limited skills. And this is because of the skill mismatches that exist in the country. So, investing in improving the quality of education is a key element to fighting unemployment and inequality.

Also, while South Africa has well targeted programs to transfer resources to the most vulnerable segments of society, there is a need to improve the delivery system of these grants to ensure that more money goes to the poor.

The report does show that the government has increased its spending in programs like education over the years, but with little to show for it. It says the quality of services, especially in education, is one of the lowest in the region. Why has this increased spending not paid off?

Government spending did not pay off in some areas simply because the funds were not spent efficiently. So, in education, for example, there have been significant increases in teachers’ salaries and benefits, but the problem is that these increases often reflect negotiations with powerful trade unions and not necessarily teachers’ performance. A sizable portion of teachers are not well prepared to be teachers, and that is a problem in terms of the quality of education.

Another problem is that funds are distributed unevenly. Public schools in urban areas receive more funding per pupil than in rural areas. In low-income sectors of the country, even if students don’t pay tuition, they still must spend a lot in transportation, and that has led to more people dropping out of school.

So, despite the increase in spending, South Africa has ranked very poorly in international surveys evaluating educational attainment. That is very sad. The statistics show about half of South African students drop out of school before completing secondary education, and less than five percent of students who start primary school end up with a university diploma. In a country like South Africa that enjoys sophistication in many sectors, particularly in the financial sector, this must change.

The financial sector is interesting in South Africa in terms of technology. Technology is playing an increasingly important role in providing services to sectors of the population that have traditionally been left out. How is South Africa doing in terms of putting its services online, and how might that affect living standards and the economy in the coming years?

Yes, South Africa is at the forefront of the digital revolution in Africa. This is benefitting banks and allowing more access of the population to financing, thanks to technological advances like mobile banking. Also, the central bank has established a financial technology unit, which is now piloting interbank clearing and settlement of transactions using distributive ledger technology, and is a model on the continent.

Another interesting development with technology is the link between digitalization and governance. For instance, the government is now emphasizing electronic payments of taxes—tax avoidance having become a key issue in South Africa. Customs declarations are now also done electronically, and a new automated procurement system captures data on the beneficiaries of government contracts, which is very good in terms of improving governance in the country. This system has enhanced inclusivity as well, with a much larger number of smaller enterprises participating in the tender process and getting contracts.

Having said that, I think the use of technology still has a long way to advance in South Africa given the potential of the economy. For example, the cost of internet is high and the quality is low because there are very few competitors. The recommendation of IMF staff is to increase competition in all sectors so that more private companies, domestic and foreign, could invest and compete in the production of services—not only in telecommunications, but also in energy, transport, and other sectors.

New Poll Shows Overwhelming Support for GBPI’s People-First Plan

Society, World

An overwhelming majority of Georgians want the state to invest in people-first strategies including expanded access to education and mental health services, while raising new revenue to pay for them, according to a Mason-Dixon statewide poll conducted this month.

“We’re thrilled that the poll revealed widespread support for GBPI’s People-Powered Prosperity vision,” said Taifa Butler, Georgia Budget and Policy Institute’s executive director. “Georgians across the state endorse the pillars of our plan to build a stronger and more inclusive economy, focused on educated youth, skilled workers, thriving families and healthy communities.”

Georgians strongly support more affordable higher education options, including funding for the state’s new need-based financial aid program and tuition-free post-secondary technical training to develop skilled workers.

Nearly nine in 10 Georgians surveyed support additional state spending to better screen, diagnose and treat people who suffer from mental health or substance abuse problems.

The GBPI-commissioned poll of 625 Georgia voters found broad support for raising state revenue to pay for new investments in things like education and health services by raising tobacco taxes and enacting a minimum tax on Georgia corporations.

Nearly nine in 10 poll respondents want the state to scrutinize returns on investment Georgia gets from hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks that deplete the state treasury.

Nearly two in three poll respondents support leveraging federal dollars to put an insurance card in the pockets of hundreds of thousands of Georgians to expand affordable health care access. A proposed Georgia Work Credit drew similar support.

Other poll highlights include:

  • 72 percent of poll respondents said they support increased funding to meet the education needs of Georgia’s students if a study supports it.
  • 69 percent of poll respondents support a state school funding formula that sends more money to districts that serve many students from families in poverty.
  • 71 percent of Georgians favor increased state spending for the state’s subsidized child care program to serve more working families.

The telephone poll was conducted from July 9 through July 11, 2018 by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy, an independent research firm that conducts public policy and political polling research and has been polling Georgia voters for 20 yearsSee full poll results.

‘Stigma and discrimination still persists’ against people living with HIV – UN labour agency

Health, Society, World

Based on 13 country team surveys throughout the world, the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) HIV Stigma and Discrimination in the World of Work: Findings from the People Living with HIV Stigma Index, draws on interviews with more than 100,000 people living with the virus.

“It is sad to see that despite years of work, stigma and discrimination still persist,” said Shauna Olney, Chief of the ILO branch which deals with gender, equality, diversity and AIDS, speaking in Amsterdam at the launch.

“But treatment alone is not sufficient. We must work harder to reduce stigma and discrimination for people living with HIV at workplaces. They have a right to work and no one should deny them that,” she added.

Co-written with the Global Network of People Living with HIV, the report was introduced during the biennial International AIDS Conference “AIDS 2018”, which has been taking place this week; the largest conference on any global health or development issue in the world.

The data highlights a number of findings, such as that 10 out of 13 countries recorded a 30 per cent or higher unemployment rate for people living with HIV, with a greater rate among HIV-positive youth.

And women living with HIV are less likely to be employed then their male counterparts because of unpaid care responsibilities, and a lack of independent income.

Moreover, unemployment among HIV-positive transgender people in all countries remains high.

Hiding their HIV status

Another key finding reveals that their HIV status costs many people their jobs – often because of employer or co-worker discrimination.

“When information about my [HIV] status reached my manager, he called me to his office,” said an anonymous individual facing discrimination, in the report. “First he told me I was working badly – doing too little work. Then he asked me to submit my resignation, without any serious explanation – as if I were resigning voluntarily.”

As a result, many people are hesitant to disclose their HIV status. to employers or even co-workers. Testimony from Cameroon, in West Africa, shows the extent of the problem of accessing employment:

“I went to pick up my appointment letter only to be told that I had to undergo a medical examination. I already knew my sero-status, which I told the human resource officer about. She said I had to do the examination which confirmed my HIV-positive status. That marked the end of getting the job as they could not recruit me even though I had passed the interview,” said one anonymous interviewee.

Similarly, HIV-related discrimination remains a major cause for not receiving job promotions.

“What this report shows is that we still have a long way to go in our efforts to combat workplace related stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV,” said Sasha Volgina, GNP+ Programme Manager. “Access to healthcare and access to employment are inextricably linked and as such a meaningful commitment towards stemming the epidemic and securing the wellbeing of all people living with HIV, cannot be met without prioritizing ending HIV stigma in the workplace.”

Honeywell Technology to Help Indian Oil Corporation Meet New Clean Fuels Specifications

Technology, World

Honeywell (NYSE: HON)announced today that the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL) has chosen Honeywell UOP’s Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) technology to supply high-quality hydrogen at five of its refineries. Hydrogen is essential to the refining process, where it is used to decontaminate oil and facilitate catalytic processes that produce clean-burning fuels, including those that meet the Indian government’s strict Bharat Stage VI (BS-VI) environmental standards.

Under the terms of the agreement, Honeywell UOP will provide new PSA units to IOCL refineries at Gujarat, Panipat, and Mathura, and will upgrade existing hydrogen plants with UOP’s Polybed™ PSA technology at refineries in Haldia, Guwahati and Gujarat. Together, the six projects will generate 166,000 tons per year of new hydrogen capacity, representing an almost 30 percent increase for IOCL.

“Honeywell UOP’s hydrogen technology is part of IOCL’s efforts to produce BS-VI fuels before the end of 2019,” said Mike Banach, regional general manager for Honeywell UOP India. “This is a project of national importance to help India reduce pollution and improve its quality of life.”

IOCL chose Honeywell UOP technology due to its performance, superior economics and ability to meet an aggressive delivery schedule driven by India’s BS-VI emissions standards. UOP PSA technology features new UOP adsorbents that recover high levels of hydrogen. The project includes a substantial amount of Indian-made components and domestic fabrication, in line with the government’s “Make in India” program.

When the project is completed, the additional hydrogen produced each year will have a value to IOCL of about US$400 million.

“Hydrogen is as essential to refining as oil, and it’s generated on-purpose and as a byproduct of refining processes,” Banach said. “The PSA technology recovers and purifies this hydrogen so it can be used elsewhere in the refinery to remove impurities and to perform catalytic processes that transform crude oil into clean fuels and other products.”

Indian Oil Corporation Ltd., together with its subsidiaries, has interests across the entire hydrocarbon value-chain, including refining, pipeline transportation, marketing of petroleum products, exploration and production of crude oil, natural gas, and petrochemicals. The company was founded in 1959 and is based in New Delhi, India.

Honeywell UOP ( is a leading international supplier and licensor of process technology, catalysts, adsorbents, equipment, and consulting services to the petroleum refining, petrochemical, and gas processing industries. Honeywell UOP is part of Honeywell’s Performance Materials and Technologies strategic business group, which also includes Honeywell Process Solutions (, a pioneer in automation control, instrumentation and services for the oil and gas, refining, petrochemical, chemical and other industries.

Honeywell ( is a Fortune 100 software-industrial company that delivers industry specific solutions that include aerospace and automotive products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes, and industry; and performance materials globally.  Our technologies help everything from aircraft, cars, homes and buildings, manufacturing plants, supply chains, and workers become more connected to make our world smarter, safer, and more sustainable.  For more news and information on Honeywell, please visit

Rising nationalism and poor implementation risk achievement of the global goals

  • Three years after adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by all UN member states, new and improved data provide insights into countries’ challenges and the steps they are taking to pursue the SDGs.
  • So far only few G20 countries have taken decisive action to meet the goals.
  • Many countries are making rapid progress, but overall the world risks falling short of achieving the goals by 2030.

Three years after the historic UN summit in New York, where all UN member states adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the 2018 SDG Index and Dashboards Report introduces the first ever assessment of government efforts to achieve the goals. The analysis shows that no country is on track to achieve all goals by 2030. Furthermore, the report sheds light on the implementation mechanisms undertaken by the G20 countries. BrazilMexico and Italy have taken the most significant steps among G20 countries to achieve the goals, illustrated for instance by the existence of SDG strategies or coordination units in governments. Yet, the implementation gaps in G20 countries remain large since only India and Germany have partially undertaken an assessment of investment needs. No G20 country has fully aligned its national budget with the SDGs. According to the data, the United States and the Russian Federation have taken the least action on implementing the goals.

The 2018 edition of the SDG Report “Global Responsibilities – Implementing the Goals” is the third edition of the annual stocktaking of SDG progress provided by the Bertelsmann Stiftung and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). The SDG Index – a composite measure of progress across all goals – is led by SwedenDenmark, and Finland. These countries are currently on the best way to achieve the goals, but still more efforts are needed to reach them by 2030. Germany and France are the only G7 countries among the top ten performers. The United States ranks 35th on the Index, while China and the Russian Federation rank 54th and 63rdrespectively. The Democratic Republic of CongoChad and the Central African Republic rank last. Due to the inclusion of new data in this year’s Index, countries’ performance cannot be compared to last year’s SDG Index scores.

The global goals in the US: Nationalism, poor implementation and spillovers threaten achievement

The relatively low score of the United States can be attributed largely to growing nationalistic sentiment reflected in current policies, which has led to poor performance on measures of inequality, environmental sustainability, and low contributions to the international partnership. The SDG Index report also shows that the United States generates some of the highest negative spillover effects on other countries. The United States alone is responsible for almost a quarter of all negative SDG spillover effects in absolute terms, and the country accounts for ten percent of the world’s achievement gap on sustainable consumption and production.. Together, ChinaIndia and the United States account for more than 40 percent of the world’s gap on achieving sustainable consumption and production.

G20 countries need to strengthen their efforts

For the first time, the report presents trend data on how fast countries are progressing towards the goals. The authors estimate whether based on historic rates of progress a country is likely to achieve a particular SDG. Overall, most countries are making progress towards the SDGs, though progress is slowest on some of the environmental goals. Whereas many high-income countries have almost completely eradicated extreme poverty or hunger they obtain their lowest scores on goals like “responsible consumption and production”, “climate action” or “life below water”. Low-income countries however have made significant progress towards ending extreme poverty or access to health and education services. Still, poorer countries tend to lack adequate infrastructure and mechanisms to manage key environmental issues. Therefore, their overall scores remain significantly lower than those of high-income countries.

The report includes detailed 2-pages country profiles on SDG progress for all 193 member states of the United Nations. The profiles show performance on every indicator considered for this report. For some countries, the profiles show large data gaps, which need to be closed through increased investments in SDG data.

Joint action is needed to achieve the global goals

“Once again, the Northern European countries come out on top of the SDG index, and the poorest countries come out at the bottom. The implications are clear: The social-market philosophy of a mixed economy that balances the market, social justice and green economy is the route to the SDGs. Countries trapped in extreme poverty need more help from the rest of the world,” says Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director of the SDSN.

“The report shows the crucial role of the G20 countries for fulfilling the global goals. Rich countries need to act as role models and must reduce their negative spillover effects while providing effective means to integrate the goals into national action plans,” says Aart De Geus, CEO and Chairman of the Bertelsmann Stiftung.

“Improvements made to the 2018 SDG Index, including the reporting of trend data and data for all 193 UN member countries, respond to requests and comments received from governments and stakeholders around the world. Seeing whether a country is on track to achieving the SDGs will help governments, business, and civil society identify the greatest priorities for action,” says Guido Schmidt-Traub, Scientific Co-Director of SDG Index (SDSN).

“Our comprehensive analysis shows that the historic SDGs have successfully made their way into the political process in many countries. But our calculations and projections also indicate that countries will miss many of the SDGs if they do not up their game. The particular challenges of rich and poor countries may differ but what they have in common is the need to change current policies,” says Christian Kroll, Scientific Co-Director of SDG Index (Bertelsmann Stiftung).