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Why catalogues are relevant again as a corporate marketing tool

It’s tempting to think that, in our highly digitalised age of marketing through websites, email and social media, distributing print catalogues would be a dead-and-buried promotional practice by now. However, certain recent developments in marketing tell a very different story.

More and more brands – even including some weaned online, like Amazon and Wayfair – have started dabbling in print catalogues. Furthermore, Harvard Business Review reports that, from 2004 to 2018, catalogue-spurred response rates soared by 170%.

Catalogues: a print novelty in a digital world

It would seem rational to assume that customers of relatively old generations are sparking the catalogue renaissance by falling back in love with the old way of doing things. However, studies from the Data & Marketing Association run counter to such a theory.

“Millennials stand out a bit higher than other generations in terms of engaging with mail,” Neil O’Keefe, the association’s senior vice president of marketing and content, told CNBC. “It’s unique to the generation that hasn’t experienced the amount of mail of past generations.”

He added: “Millennials are very engaged by imagery, and the catalogue really allows that to stand out.” He noted that catalogues attracted a “very different” response rate to display ads and emails, adding: “The response rate for a printed piece has been on the rise as of late.”

Catalogues deliver an experience, not merely advertising

“While we use online sites to search for products, the typical consumer won’t scroll past the first page of results,” Greg Portell, lead partner in the consumer and retail practice of Chicago-based management consulting firm Kearney, has pointed out.

“That creates an efficient shopping transaction but not necessarily a good experience. While not a perfect analogue, catalogues get closer to an experience.”

His observations are seemingly backed in findings of research conducted by Colorado State University’s marketing department. The study found that participating businesses combining email and catalogues in their marketing mix saw 15% better sales and 27% more inquiries compared to other businesses that resorted just to email marketing.

The same research revealed that, of the catalogue recipients who had also made product inquiries, over 90% had perused the catalogues and kept them for, on average, seven days.

Can catalogues work better for certain companies than others?

Various studies indicate that the power of a print catalogue lies in its tangibility. As it is a physical product, it is harder to ignore than an email – and, by flicking through it and seeing the products displayed within, customers can more easily visualise and imagine using them.

In essence, catalogues can help companies to portray their products more vividly. This vividness can particularly drive purchases of products intended primarily for enjoyment and pleasure rather than utilitarian purposes, but whether the latter can still benefit from the catalogue effect is debatable.

Luxury brands, therefore, could especially benefit from approaching a seller of printing technology, such as Duplo International, to source the equipment they would need to print the catalogues that could help these brands to significantly enhance their returns from marketing.

Matthew Stone, Renovare Fuels: The Global Transition to Sustainable Aviation

In terms of sustainability, the aviation industry courts considerable controversy for its high volumes of CO2 emissions. In 2019 alone, the global aviation industry produced an estimated 915 million tonnes of CO2 emissions, according to a report published by the Air Transport Action Group.

Though this represented just 2% of global CO2 emissions for the year, with an estimated 43 billion tonnes of CO2 released into the Earth’s atmosphere in 2019, 2% is still 2% too much. The UK Government recently prioritised the transition to greener technologies, earmarking £400 million in funding for green aviation.

Throughout 2020 air travel fell substantially due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, in preceding years, flight numbers increased consistently. In fact, a study conducted in 2019 by the International Council on Clean Transportation showed that between 2013 and 2018, air travel created 70% more emissions than experts had previously anticipated.

The UK Government recently announced that the national shift to green aviation is now a top political priority. Matthew Stone, Renovare Fuels’ Chairman, recently discussed the issue with AltEnergyMag, identifying how the answer could lie in specialist, carbon-neutral liquid fuels.

Although the aviation sector is currently engrossed in issues sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic, conservationists and industry experts alike warn that addressing sustainability issues is imperative to the air travel industry’s mid- to long-term viability. Even amidst the COVID-19 crisis, the necessity for long-term change and a shift towards sustainability remains an industrywide talking point.

The UK Department for Transport’s Net Zero Board recently announced that the UK Government would be addressing international aviation and shipping sustainability as part of its Net Zero Target in the coming years, driving a transition to greener aviation. To support industrywide evolution of aviation, the UK’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) invested £400 million in green aerospace research and technological development.

Many aviation companies and end users have adopted measures put forward as part of the United Nations Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation. Various strategies are available to airline companies seeking to offset emissions. Perhaps the most impactful is the incorporation of biofuels into their fuel stock.

Whereas natural gas, coal and petroleum are all finite fossil fuels, biofuels are usually derived from organic products. Instead of taking millions of years to form, biofuels can be developed from sustainable materials.

To be renewable, an energy source must be easily replenishable, without a finite limit. In other words, if it is possible to run out of an energy source, it is not renewable. Whereas fossil fuels like natural gas, coal and petroleum are all exhaustible, energy sources for biofuels can be replenished as readily as they are used, making them a sustainable, renewable energy source.

Biofuels produce less particulate when they are burned, i.e. soot and smoke, and emit less pollutants such as sulphur, the leading cause of acid rain. They also produce less ozone, a primary component of smog.

One of the biggest drawbacks of biofuels is that they can require significant amounts of water to produce; up to 84 times as much as fossil fuels. Subsequently, the production of some biofuels can threaten food supply, reducing the amount of water available to support crops. This is a particular issue for developing nations, since increased use of farmland for production of biofuel energy sources reduces the amount of land available for crop production, which in turn can drive up the price of food.

Led by a management team including renewables industry expert Duncan Clark, Renovare Fuels has circumnavigated many of the challenges of traditional biofuels, developing its products from biodegradable waste materials produced by other sectors such as agriculture. Since Renovare Fuels’ ground-breaking new biofuel is derived from waste materials, its production does not compete with food production or crops and does not require additional energy input.

In addition, by utilising waste from other sectors, this biofuel actually removes carbon from the environment throughout its production, creating a positive carbon footprint. For aviation companies, Renovare Fuels offers an objectively carbon neutral fuel source.

By partnering with Renovare Fuels, airlines can easily create sustainable supply chains which significantly offset emissions. Many believe that Renovare Fuels’ breakthrough in generating this new generation of biofuels could have a significant impact on the aviation industry, potentially marking the start of a new era of sustainable air travel.

What does the future hold for the world of packaging?

The production and manufacturing of product packaging has evolved immensely over recent years. Gone are the days where brands only had one goal in mind, which was to keep packaging costs low; as consumers in today’s world want eye-catching designs, affordable prices and the use of sustainable materials. With global brands now facing increasing pressure to focus on how their packaging is produced, it has made many experts look to the future and plan how they can adapt to consumer and industry needs.

To gain some insight into the matter, branding and creative design agency 1HQ, have launched their quarterly magazine which looks at the ‘Fourth Age of Packaging’. From sustainability to immersive interfaces, the magazine gives an in-depth look into what the future may hold for the world of packaging. To give you a better understanding of the subject, we have highlighted a number of points we find most interesting.

Adaptable attributes

Consumers will often buy a product based on the brand or the actual product itself, but could this change in the future thanks to flexible manufacturing? This process means that products can be created on the production line to suit consumer needs ahead of them reaching supermarket shelves. For example, brands could look at how their products can offer a more personal touch through the shape, size and colour of their packaging and products. Colour palettes could be selected to coordinate with home interiors and products could be specifically made to fit into difficult storage spaces within the home.

Immersive interfaces

Many brands like to include QR codes onto their packaging which has proved to be popular with consumers, but how can immersive interfaces be adapted in the future? Experts believe that through the use of immersive interfaces and smartphones, consumers will be able to access a whole new world, which will benefit both brand and consumer. This process will enable consumers to see detailed information about the product in front of them, the wider product offering from the specific brand and important details surrounding sustainability etc.

Purposeful deconstruction

In today’s world consumers want convenience, as well as using the least amount of packaging as possible. When it comes to convenience food, takeaways are often favoured; but this often brings a lot of packaging which often can’t be recycled. GreenBox wants to pave the way for change when it comes to this issue, by creating a new experience when it comes to ordering a pizza. You may find that struggle to eat the whole meal, so wrap it in tin foil or another material. Instead of this, GreenBox is creating pizza boxes which allow each leftover piece to be contained in its own recyclable cardboard box, made from the original delivery packaging.

With brands now having to carefully consider how they manufacture their products and produce their packaging, it’s important to look ahead to the future and see how the industry could potentially look. From immersive interfaces to adaptable attributes, we could see a huge shift in how packaging helps market a range of well-known products.

From climbing walls to cabin bed for kids, 4 creative room ideas for little ones

There are endless possibilities that are fun, inspiring, educational and playful when it comes to creating a child’s bedroom. From stylish cabin beds for kids to interactive climbing walls for toddlers and whimsical enchanted forest themes to educational and fun chalkboard wall-paint walls, here are four creative kids bedroom ideas that will ensure your child can be expressive, energised and productive in their own little space.

1. Cabin beds

Sometimes known as captain beds or mid sleepers, cabin beds are a great way to maximise floor space whilst making a child’s bedroom truly unique. Mid sleeper cabin beds are the perfect height for younger children and offer lots of space beneath them for you to add your own storage ideas, reading nooks or contained play areas. Treehouse cabin beds make a beautiful addition for mini explorers, combining a cosy sleeping area with a Robinson Crusoe faraway feel. Mid sleepers with pull-out desks and additional storage cubs work really well for school-age children who love to stay organised whilst cabin beds with cosy inbuilt tents underneath are perfect for midnight feasts and sleepovers.

2. Chalkboard walls

Creating a room with a chalkboard wall is easy to do with either blackboard paint or vinyl stickers that adhere to the wall. Perfect for getting the creative juices flowing on rainy days that require indoor play, a chalkboard wall is great for practising art, playing games and laying ideas down. Whether children want to start writing out their alphabet, play noughts and crosses or share notes and stories with their friends, a chalkboard wall is easy to make, use and wipe clean. It adds a really expressive element to a children’s room, providing hours of fun even in a compact space.

3. Climbing walls

For toddlers that are always on the go and love exploring, a climbing wall is a fantastic interactive addition to the bedroom that will help expend lots of energy. Offer them the ultimate playroom by bringing outdoor adventure in with a dedicated activity zone that includes a climbing wall and rope swing. These can be either bought or made, following instructions closely and adhering to all safety advice. Keep the climbing wall the height of a bunk bed ladder and be sure to use lots of padding and cushions on the floor. Plastic climbing rocks are easy to attach to a bedroom wall and encourage children’s hand-eye coordination, strength and balance.

4. Enchanted forest

Create a magical theme inside a kid’s bedroom using all the elements of an enchanted forest for a soothing space that’s perfect for imaginative play and restful sleep. Use forest themed wallpaper, ambient fairy lights and mini tepees to bring that fairy-tale feel to life. This theme is great for treehouse cabin beds and can be decorated with toadstool shaped cushions and a fairy-tale castle dolls house or Peter Pan style cubby holes and pirate printed cushions. Enhance your little one’s love of daydreaming and imaginative play and fill the room with their favourite fairy-tale books and soft toys.

How to Resolve the Party Wall Disputes? Explained

Extensions and building works are common. Every homeowner needs to go through this kind of task for at least once in the entire lifespan. Generally, people do these tasks to add some ease and comfort to life. But sometimes it can call a lot of problems if the party wall has some disputes. Extensions as well as building works can leave some effect on the party wall and boundaries. If any kind of damage or wrong boundary placement takes place, you can get sure that you will have a bad time with your neighbor.

Party wall disputes are very common problems nowadays. Yet a lot of people end up visiting courts. They go through too many hassles. In order to smoothly handle such a situation and to maintain a good relationship between neighbors, the Party Wall Act was introduced back in 1996. This act sets your responsibilities as well as obligations for the extension or building work that may leave some effect on other’s property.

How this kind of problem arises?

It is a very common factor though that when you will continue any extension or building work, the party wall or boundary can be damaged. There is a risk always but it is not that even with protective measures you cannot skip the problems. The basic aim of the mentioned act is that before starting any extension work to the party wall or boundary, you should inform the adjoining neighbor.

You have to send a notice at least 60 days before your starting date. If they do not respond or provide any written consent within the next fourteen days, you will be in dispute.

It is not that a party wall disputes are always acrimonious. A dispute can take place even if the owner fails to respond within a particular time frame. The owner or the neighbor can legally dispute your notice to get assured that their interests are not going to adversely affect and gain the protection of an Award.

How to prevent Party Wall Disputes?

Thanks to laws and regulations that one can easily avoid all these hassles even before starting the work. You can take the help of a Party Wall Surveyor and follow the suggested ways not to have any problem when you will start your work. A Party Wall Surveyor will help you to properly communicate with your neighbor and outlining the works you are going to carry. If you have a good relationship and trust, you can communicate with your neighbor and make him/her understand all the works you wish to do.

Discuss your work plans with the adjoining owner- According to experts, it will be best if you directly communicate with the adjoining owner. In this friendly way, you can make him/her understand the entire work plan before you issue the written notice. Here you should be honest and respect the relationship you have with your adjoining owner.

Recognize the legal owner or owners of the property- you should start the process by identifying the legal owners or owners of the adjoining property. The occupier may be the owner. But if you check the entire thing from the very first move, it is going to save your time. And later, you will not also face owner related issues. There are a lot of websites where you will get the entire details of an owner just by entering the property location.

By following these ways, you can easily avoid any kind of disputes. But if any problem arises and you cannot continue the work, we will suggest you hire a Party Wall Surveyor and solve the issue. This is the easiest as well as an effective way to solve such a problem. Until the dispute is resolved you will not be able to continue the work and that’s why you should take the help of an expert professional and fast settle down the disputes.

You should always be honest about your work plans. If you try to do anything additional that is not mentioned in the notice or you did not mention verbally to the adjoining owner, it can bring a lot of legal troubles for you. So, try to be honest always in such cases. You can hire the best Party Wall Surveyor from the very first move and easily deal with the legal procedures. If you do not want to hire a surveyor, you can contact anyone who can police the situation. But that person should be a party.    

What are COVID marshall uniforms?

As the UK continues to see a potentially deadly rise in COVID-19 cases, new measures are being put into place to ensure the safety of the population and lower the number of people who are exposed to the virus. For example, in England, you cannot meet up in groups of 6 or more. One of these new measures also sees the introduction of COVID marshals to the streets. Though the complete nature of their role is still unclear, specific procedures will need to be put in place for them to identify themselves to the public and undertake their work – such as COVID marshal uniforms.

What is the role of a COVID marshal?

The duties of a COVID marshal are still being defined as the government has only recently announced its role. However, their position was designed in order to help enforce COVID-19 regulations in their local area by ensuring proper procedures are followed at all times. The idea behind this being that a marshal will act as a clear deterrent for those breaking the rules. They could also be used to help clarify what the rules are, should anybody be unsure. This could prove particularly beneficial as many have been claiming that the rules are confusing, especially when they are subject to change. As a result, a COVID-19 marshals role could include:

– Ensuring masks are worn at all times. Unless you’re medically exempt, you are required to wear a mask when you are indoors, in a shopping center or taking public transport. An officer can help enforce this.
– Ensuring people are socially distancing from each other.
– Ensuring people are not meeting up in groups larger than six or with multiple households.

However, despite the vital nature of their role, they are currently unable to enforce fines on those caught breaking the rules. In addition to street patrolling duties, they will also be expected to check in on pubs, bars, and restaurants to ensure that they, too, are following government guidelines.

The government has stated that marshal positions will be held by a mixture of current council workers and volunteers, though the situation is likely to develop as time moves forward.

What is covid marshal workwear?

Many current workplace uniforms are subject to change in light of COVID-19. Many of those who work in customer-facing roles are now being advised to wear PPE when possible in the workplace. This helps protect both customers and staff during this difficult time. Therefore, it is fair to assume that COVID secure marshal uniforms should include PPE when possible, due to the nature of their work and job title itself. This COVID marshal uniform could include:

– Fabric facemasks
– Disposable facemasks
– A snood/face scarf.
– Faceguard
– Gloves

If COVID marshals are also expected to enforce rules, their COVID marshal uniforms should clearly identify them to the public. This goal can be achieved by having them wear:

– COVID marshal jackets. A COVID marshal jacket should include some text stating their role – where the information is clearly visible. This is to ensure that the public is aware of the officer and their status.
– COVID marshal vests. A COVID marshal vest will function similarly to the jacket and should be used to help identify the marshal. Clear identification also means that marshals can be approached by members of the public who may have questions or concerns. For this reason, the jacket and vest should be made of hi-vis material.
– COVID marshal badges. COVID marshal badges are a useful addition to the uniform, especially if they are not wearing any other identifiers.

Duncan Clark, NextGen Nano: Leading the Revolution in Solar Technology

In a recent article, NextGen Nano’s Chief Technology Officer Dr Franky So identified how photovoltaic (PV) solar panels could pave the way for significant advancements in the renewable energy industry. Dr So explored the pros and cons of PV solar cell technology, identifying its potential in the global transition to green energy.

What Is PV Technology?

The term ‘photovoltaics’ was coined in around 1890. It is derived from the Greek words phos, meaning light, and volt, which refers to electricity. The direct translation, ‘light-electricity’, essentially describes the way photovoltaic devices and materials work.

Photovoltaics convert light into electricity. Possibly the most widely used example of photovoltaics is the solar-powered calculator, which is powered by a small photovoltaic cell.

Solar PVs do not necessarily need direct sunlight to function, since a small amount of light is often enough for the system to work. Investing in photovoltaics provides electricity not just on long, sunny summer days, but also on cloudy days during the winter months.

Nevertheless, a PV panel’s efficiency is proportional to the amount of light it receives, so the stronger the sun, the better it performs.

Photovoltaic technology uses components with a photoelectric effect to generate electricity. These are called semiconductors. The most common type of semiconductor is silicon. Silicon PV semiconductors absorb photons from light, releasing electrons from the atoms, resulting in an electric current.

Approximately 90% of all PV panels are made from silicon. Material purity, which is dictated by how well the silicon molecules are aligned, determines how well the cell converts solar energy.

Monocrystalline silicon (mono-Si) solar cells contain cylindrical ingots of silicon. Made from the highest-grade silicon, with an efficiency rate of up to 20%, this form of solar cell has the highest efficiency rate. Nevertheless, silicon PV panels have their shortcomings. The circuit can be broken if the panel is partially covered by shade or dirt, and this form of solar panel is also the most expensive to produce.

Polysilicon (p-Si) has lower energy efficiency, at between 13% and 16%. However, they are significantly less expensive to produce than their mono-Si counterparts, and tolerant of lower temperatures.

Dr Franky So of NextGen Nano suggests that we may be on the brink of an evolution in PV technology that could sidestep the issues of economy and efficiency by effectively avoiding them completely. With an experienced management team including Chairman Matthew Stone, NextGen Nano is leading a revolution in solar cell technology. The company has developed a new type of solar cell that substitutes traditional silicon for lightweight organic polymers, resulting in cells that are not only more efficient, but much more flexible.

Called PolyPower, this new generation of solar cells combines PVs with organic semiconductors. The resulting solar cells can be used to make flexible, semi-transparent solar panels with a multitude of different potential uses.

Over the past few years, significant advancements have been achieved in nanotechnology, marrying new materials with new uses. In the case of photovoltaics, experts predict that nanotechnology will make solar cells more economical, drastically reducing the cost of manufacturing solar panels and related equipment, as well as increasing potential uses exponentially.

As Duncan Clark – NextGen Nano’s Director of Operations – will be well aware, the potential of PolyPower is vast. From powering electronic vehicles and wearables to electronics in military hardware, the experts at NextGen Nano predict that the new hardware could have many different applications, making PolyPower an attractive option to environmental experts and product design engineers.

NextGen Nano’s innovative PolyPower technology could prove to be a pivotal step in the global transition to green energies, making the world cleaner and less reliant on pollutants and finite materials.

The benefits of smart speakers

With time more and more smart devices will be present in our home. We have smartphones, smart TV’s, smartwatches, and who knows, even smart light bulbs or smart outlets. These smart things can be way more comfortable and safer than their non-intelligent versions. For example, if you have a smart thermostat, you can set the temperature even before you’re arriving home, or you can preset the temperature when you wake up, so the house can be warm and cosy when you’re sipping your coffee in the morning. Or perhaps with wirelessly connected cameras, you can see all the time who is in front of your home, even when you’re on vacation over the sea.

So there is no doubt that smart things are useful things. Not just for comfort but to automatise our daily tasks, which makes our lives easier. But after you got all this equipment, you would need a “universal remote” to control all these devices from one point. And this is the point where smart speakers appear.

What are smart speakers?

You may have heard about these speakers like Amazon, Echo, Google Home, Apple home pad. As the name suggests, these are speakers so that they can play different sounds. But what makes them unique is their purpose. They not only can play sounds, music, etc. But they can also receive voice commands.

Just like your assistant in your phone like Siri or Google Assistant, they have an integrated AI which can interpret your commands and make adjustments through your smart devices.

How do they work?

First of all, if you want to set up a smart speaker, or any smart device, you need good and strong internet. A 2.4GHz bandwidth might be enough, but for the real deal, you can get even a dual bandwidth router. Now, all these wireless devices always upload and download information, and for that, they use your routers internet. So my advice is to get a device like Samsung SmartThings Hub, which connects to all of your wireless devices at once and makes you able to control them from one place. This hardware not only lets you easily control, monitor, and secure your home from anywhere in the world. But it also gives your internet more speed by controlling these devices and taking the “pressure” from your router.

And this is where smart speakers can glow. They can collect the signal from all the wirelessly connected devices and control them from one place. So basically it’s just like a universal controller that can adjust every compatible device in your home.

Why isn’t a phone enough?

You can control all these devices and stuff from your phone with apps like “Google Home”, which is available even from iOs devices. But to be honest, your phone is not available all the time. What I mean by that is that there are times where you do certain things that require both of your hands, or you just can’t find your phone. This is when smart speakers are the most useful. No wonder they are called virtual assistants, because they do everything that you ask them.

Also, there are certain times when you use your phone for a different purpose. Like to play a game, make a call, read the news. And maybe you can take a break from news reading to adjust some things. But when you’re in the middle of a game, or a call, you can’t change the apps. For example, if you’re in the middle of a blackjack game, and you’re just the about to find out your final card, you won’t leave the game just to adjust the temperature. The game can also close, and all your process will be forgotten.

This could be a very concrete example, but the point is that your phone won’t always be available. And it’s better to have another source to control your smart devices that can be accessed anytime. It’s also easier to say some words, rather than to unlock your phone and open the app, especially if you multitask.

Are they worth it?

In America, 1 out of 4 people owns a smart speaker, and they really enjoy it. Therefore there is something enjoyable about them. However, there are some cases in which they are not worth it. Like if you only have 2 or 3 smart things in your home. Just for the enjoyment of having a smart home assistant, it might not be a wise decision.

But if you have multiple devices, it will be a game-changer. You can create a lot of automated processes. Like to create a relaxing atmosphere where are the light will go as low as possible, your phone will go in airplane mode, and some calming music will play—all that with some single words.

However, there are more ways why they could be useful. Other than automatisation, and multitasking it can execute task what might be difficult for a human person. This voice-activated smart assistant could be the only way for people with physical problems. Or it could give more security for elderly people by automatically turning off the lights, or setting reminders for them.

5 Options for Getting into Property Investment

When it comes to investing in a property, there are different options to choose from. First, it’s important your investment strategy is right, especially if you have the funds but are inexperienced in the art and techniques of smart property investing.

Here a few strongly recommended investment choices when becoming a landlord.

Holiday letting

Thanks to websites like Booking.com and Airbnb, there is an increasing demand for holiday let-ins. In this property investment type, rents may be more intermittent, but they’re still higher than what you get for longer-term renting.

Letting your home as a holiday let is going to come with challenges of its own, and this may involve some extra cost. However, your return on investment will be worth the extra cost. Be sure to do your research as you may also need certain licenses or permits to be able to let your home for this purpose.

Commercial property investment

Investing in commercial property offers investment incentives and can be widely categorized into the following categories: shopping, hospitality, corporate, and industrial. Commercial property investment often begins much like investing in residential property, and over time develops into a much larger scale which can bring higher risk but more reward.

Once you get used to the process and its challenges, you will be able to begin identifying trends or areas where you can get the best return on your investment to get the most out of your money.

The traditional buy-to-let

Buy-to-let involves buying and upgrading a residential property so as to rent it out to tenants on an ongoing or short-term basis. Taking on the job of becoming a landlord and renting to tenants comes with many responsibilities and will likely be a fairly costly thing to set up in the beginning.

You must ensure you prepare the property and have the proper landlord insurance to that will keep the property protected, as well as the funds to maintain the property and carry out any repairs as is your duty as a landlord. However, the effort is worth it as you stand you make a very good profit in most cases.

Buying via the stock market

In 2007, real estate investment trusts (or REITs) were launched in the UK to give consumers an easy way to invest in properties – and many are listed on the stock exchange. At least 75% of the earnings of a REIT will come from rented properties (as opposed to building), and they are expected to pay 90%of their rental property revenue as dividends to creditors. So, REITs are an enticing venture.

Student property

Owing to strong demand in many towns and counties, one of the major asset groups in the UK right now is the student property sector that continues to expand. These modern spaces in purpose-built buildings, often affordable with units from as low as £40-50,000, can deliver fantastic rental returns.

Every investor should choose a method that meets their personal needs and interests. Those with a stronger risk appetite may select holiday letting, while those who want to play it safer may opt for a buy-to-let arrangement. Which one appeals to you best?

Duncan Clark, Renovare Fuels: The Transition to Greener Aviation

In recent years, the aviation industry has attracted scathing criticism for producing high volumes of carbon emissions. According to statistics published by the Air Transport Action Group, in 2019 alone, the global aviation industry produced somewhere in the region of 915 million tonnes of CO2.

As Duncan Clark – Renovare Fuels’ Business Development Director – will be well aware, the UK Government recently announced plans to make greener air travel a top priority, providing special funding in support of such efforts.

As a leading specialist in the field of carbon-neutral liquid fuels and with a management team including Chairman Matthew Stone, Renovare Fuels is at the forefront of an industry shift, leading the transition to greener aviation.

Total global CO2 emissions for 2019 amounted to 43 billion tonnes, with the aviation industry accounting for just 2% of that figure. On the face of it, this seems like a drop in the ocean. Nevertheless, taking into consideration the ever-increasing impact of emissions as a driver for climate change, governments and organisations all over the world are rapidly arriving at the conclusion that 2% is still 2% too much.

Over the past few years, the aviation industry has seen consistent growth. According to a study undertaken by the International Council on Clean Transportation, between 2013 and 2018 aviation carbon emissions grew at a rate 70% faster than predicted.

The global response to the Covid-19 pandemic has undeniably curtailed air travel, curbing CO2 emissions for 2020. The industry currently faces substantial challenges in the fight against Covid-19, not to mention significant economic pressures that are diverting attention away from sustainability issues. However, improved sustainability is still important, and remains a crucial mid- to long-term goal.

Even in the current environment, the need for long-term change within the aviation industry is an important talking point. Following the inaugural meeting of the UK Department for Transport’s Net Zero Board, it was announced that international shipping and aviation would form part of the UK Government’s Net Zero Target in coming years, placing even greater impetus on greener aviation. The UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) also recently announced plans to invest £400 million in green aerospace technology and research.

It is not just down to aerospace design engineers to make aviation greener. Everyone has their own part to play, including the end user. A few years ago, many airlines and their customers embraced the UN Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation. There are many ways aviation companies can offset emissions, but possibly the most impactful is by incorporating biofuels in their fuel stock.

Derived from waste, biofuels offer significant value to airlines. Since biofuel is developed using waste materials produced by other industrial sectors such as agriculture, transitioning to biofuels not only reduces CO2 emissions, but it does not require additional energy output or compete with existing crops.

Renovare Fuels is currently developing second generation biofuels for aviation, providing objectively carbon-neutral fuel sources for end users. Perhaps the biggest advantage of adopting these fuels is that simply by partnering with a biofuel producer, airlines create sustainable fuel supply chains that have a significant impact in terms of offsetting emissions. Although this is just one option for making aviation more sustainable, it certainly shows a great deal of promise. Industry experts point out that while the BEIS is right to address the need for supplemental research into technologies which support better fuel economies, it is unquestionably beneficial for end users to adopt biofuels in terms of offsetting CO2 emissions. For green aviation to really get off the ground, experts say it is vital for end users to take meaningful steps now, embracing carbon-neutral fuel sources to curb overall emission levels.

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