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Conceptually, it has been designed to be the most energy-efficient fusion reactor. Effectively, a clean, safe, dense and environmentally friendly power source to supply the world's energy needs, with no greenhouse gases, no neutron emission, no radioactive waste, no thermal waste, no large land areas, no environmental impact, no interruptions by the weather or time of day, no nuclear meltdowns and no proliferation. It is to be the ultimate energy source, an affordable answer to the world’s energy problems; the right path to a more sustainable, peaceful and prosperous future for our planet. Potentially, the CrossFire Fusion Reactor can produce directly and efficiently an enormous quantity of electricity with less cooling water than conventional thermal power stations, releasing only the non-radioactive, non-corrosive, inert, and safe helium-4 gas. *******www.crossfirefusion****/reactor
19 Feb 2013
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Barcelona, Spain, February 27, 2013 /3BL Media/ – Machine to machine (M2M) communication – whereby sensors and networks allow all the parts of a physical system to communicate directly with each other – will radically change the way we work, live and travel. M2M will allow us to do more with less, but only if the industry can overcome current market barriers, according to an AT&T-sponsored report published today by Carbon War Room. The potential for M2M technologies to drastically change the way we do business, streamline operations and curb our environmental impacts is evident, but there are significant market barriers that must be addressed to realize the full scalability of these technologies. “We’ve seen the great potential in this technology and made aggressive investments to capitalize on that potential,” said John Schulz, Director of Sustainability at AT&T. “We pursued this work with Carbon War Room to tap into their expertise to understand the relationship between this revenue opportunity and potential environmental benefits. This study looks into ways that we can scale that expected huge adoption curve to achieve the benefits faster.” In the report Carbon War Room proposes strategies for M2M technologies industry to transform key sectors and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 9 billion tons. It also identifies the challenges that threaten the industry from reaching its full potential, and offers solutions for overcoming them. “We aim to identify how major telecommunications companies and others within the ‘M2M Value Chain’ can work both independently and collaboratively to accelerate the deployment of M2M technologies,” said Hilary McMahon, Director of Research, Carbon War Room. “Our conclusion is that the industry itself can create the necessary conditions for realizing the great potential for growth and reductions in GHG emissions projected by industry analysts.” Carbon War Room will convene global experts to further explore ways to scale M2M at the Creating Climat e Wealth Workshop in Singapore, May 13-14 2013 with its working partner THNK. To attend the workshop, go to www.creatingclimatewealth****. Report Findings Value Chain Integration and Unified M2M Partnerships: Barrier: Fragmented Value Chain – Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) often rely on various other players to bring a complete solution to market. This prevents clients from buying a finished, turn-key product system and makes it difficult for end-retailers to offer one. Solution: Creative partnerships are required if the market is to be able to offer M2M solutions unilaterally. In the meantime, alternative business models and new marketing strategies can be used to accelerate growth and improve profit margins. Industry Cohesion on Standards: Barrier: Lack of Universal Standards – Although organizations are working on the creation of standards for M2M applications and hardware, the lack of standard parameters across or within industries makes it difficult to create a comprehensive offering. Solution: Standardization efforts need both leadership and consolidation. Measuring Data and Leveraging Its Value: Barrier: Lack of Performance Data – Potential clients need to understand M2M technologies’ value proposition as these technologies often require significant upfront investment. Although M2M successes are numerous, actual data and analytics for making projections and monitoring results have not been fully integrated into products or sales. Solutions: Companies must work to build data collection and analytics into their offerings. By creating and updating tools to provide robust metrics, companies can help make their value proposition more apparent to potential clients. Familiar Strategies for New Products: Barrier: Communication and Marketing Challenges – Companies offering M2M solutions need to be able to communicate the benefits of implementing an M2M system to multiple layers of a client company. Solution: Companies should make M2M an aspect of their core business, and integrate M2M business lines with existing marketing approaches. Innovative New Business Models and Sales Strategies: Barrier: Incompatible Sales Models and Long Sales Cycle – Clients report that M2M pricing is still too high and companies offering M2M services do not view M2M as a core service offering. As a result, not enough effort has been made to adapt internal sales and marketing models to M2M. Solution: Companies could incentivize sales by adjusting compensation models and developing inter-corporate campaigns crafted around major events. Also, creating industry cohesion on communication is critical. Telecom companies can lead in coordinating industry efforts to increase deployment of M2M technologies, improve the value proposition of M2M, and develop a common language to promote M2M benefits to customers.
7 Mar 2013
522
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1:04
*******gtawindows.on.ca/windows/greenhouse/ Vinyl windows maintain a natural environment thus acting energy efficient. They provides less heat in summers and also do not allow cold in winters.
16 Mar 2013
275
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Herbies Seeds present highlights from the Spannabis 2013 event in Barcelona Spain. Part one in the series from Spannabis 2013 with footage and interviews from the 3 days of this years Spannabis 2013 EXPO. Watch out for Barneys Farm Seeds, Big Buddha Seeds, Strain Hunters, Greenhouse Seeds, Serious Seeds PLUS MUCH MORE! Watch Herbies Full Coverage of this Years Spannabis Expo Event at the Fira de Cornellá, Barcelona, Spain February 15th, 16th, 17th 2013 - *******www.youtube****/watch?v=ZaJpmJHvj Featured In Part 1: youtu.be/7GQoPZPxFzs Big Buddha Seeds, CBD Seeds, Nirvana Seeds, Positronics Seeds, Delicious Seeds and Royal Queen Seeds. Featured In Part 2: youtu.be/6f5UBITKk0c Grassomatic Seeds, Dutch Passion Seeds, Roor Seeds, TH Seeds, Dinafem Seeds and Serious Seeds. Featured In Part 3: youtu.be/SbIVZD0sZK0 Barneys Farm Seeds, Greenhouse Seeds, Buddha Seeds, DNA Genetics Seeds, Sensi Seeds and Super Strains Seeds. © 2013 - Herbies Seeds All Rights Reserved.
18 Mar 2013
456
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Website: *******MrEnergyCzar**** This is Peak Oil News. I'm your host, MrEnergyCzar. We're covering Peak Oil, Renewable Energy, Electric Cars and everything in-between. Facebook: *******www.facebook****/MrEnergyCzar.PeakOil Twitter: ********Twitter****/MrEnergyCzar More details have emerged regarding BMW's I3 electric vehicle. The pre-production I3's have been built and are being test driven. BMW has received several hundred pre-orders even though you can't take delivery yet. The I3 will be on the market by the end of 2013. It will weight about 600 pounds less than a conventional electric car which will allow it to have a slightly smaller 22 KWH battery. It's electric range will be about 93 miles and you'll have the option to purchase a gas powered range extender. This will increase the total range to about 200 miles. The extender is a 2 cylinder motorcycle engine connected to a 2.3 gallon gas tank. As sales of electric bikes around the world rise more unique options are becoming available. The Enorm V3 Bullet E-bike is one of them. Looking more like a motorcycle than an e-bike, the V3 Bullet has a much greater electric range and speed than a typical e-bike. Enorm claims a 62 mile electric range and that's without pedaling. Until more electric motorcycles come to market, the V3 Bullet may be a good option for those wanting to ride oil free. Japan became the first country to extract natural gas from Methane hydrates below the seabed. This flammable ice is located in many parts of the world including under the arctic permafrost. Japan is energy starved and desperate because burning Methane is 20 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2 is. Burning Methane could speed-up the feedback climate change loop. Also, Tsunami's can originate from sub-sea landslides. Due to the location of the hydrates, Japan needs to be careful when mining them not to cause a man-made Tsunami. The world's first water canal solar installation was completed in India. By putting solar panels on top of water canals they're creating clean electricity while preventing the evaporation of their precious water resource. Using this approach saves the Indian government money because they don't have to buy new land. Also, the sides of the canal are being utilized as part of the solar infrastructure. India can apply this strategy to several thousand miles of canals. A Dutch airline, KLM, will be offering cooking oil fueled flights from the states. Airlines are desperate to adapt to the end of cheap easy oil and cheap jet fuel. They are searching for what is sure to be a more expensive jet fuel substitute such as biofuel. The planes run on a mix of 25% cooking oil derived jet fuel mixed in with 75% regular jet fuel. The cooking oil comes from restaurants in Louisiana, is refined and then shipped to New York for use on the jets. Peak Oil News KLM V3 Bullet E-bike Methane Hydrates Japan biofuel Tsunami GM Koch Fukushima VW Volkswagen XL1 Solar Power Plant EV Spain Canned Air Breathing Bike Fiat 500e BMW I3 Biofuel Wind Power Natural Gas Fracking Cadilliac ELR Nissan Leaf Nuclear China Japan Beijing South China Sea Oil Solar Trash Can Tesla Model S Car of the Year General Electric Wind Turbine Arctic Oil Gas Plug-in "Electric Car" Extended Chevrolet Chevy Volt Range Electric Vehicle EV Clean 2013 Video Ampera Holden how to alternative global warming crisis explaining peakoil petroleum future Sources/Links: *******insideevs****/bmw-has-several-hundred-pre-orders-for-i3-first-pre-production-i3s-completed/ *******www.youtube****/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=PvUcxhRw1yQ#! *******gas2****/2013/03/20/video-the-enorm-v3-Bullet-ebike-looks-more-like-a-motorcycle/#gsc.tab=0 *******www.youtube****/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=qLvMIal5-nQ *******www.youtube****/watch?v=PTCiq2N-a9c *******www.youtube****/watch?v=UOOz2VUeegk *******www.thehindubusinessline****/industry-and-economy/government-and-policy/article3346191.ece *******www.youtube****/watch?v=DZvjOnNzFD0 *******gas2****/2013/03/19/klm-to-offer-weekly-cooking-oil-fueled-flights/#gsc.tab=0 *******www.youtube****/watch?v=0SOvRVGQZ-c&feature=endscreen&NR=1 *******www.youtube****/watch?v=J2hUwFo6Vpc *******www.youtube****/watch?v=H46eklYs1Hs Fair Use Disclaimer: This video may contain copyrighted material. This material is made available for educational, research, and news reporting purposes only. This constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law which allows citizens to reproduce, distribute or exhibit portions of copyright motion pictures, video tapes, or video disks under certain circumstances without authorization of the copyright holder. Produced by: Dustin Salmons *******www.CDSalmons****
3 Apr 2013
347
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*******www.sagafitness****/ Looking for a spa consultant or spa management? Saga Fitness Inc. / Saga Middle East LLC is a spa consulting, spa design, wellness consulting and spa management company, with more than 30 years of experience and expertise, specializing in planning and development of: destination spas worldwide day spas, health clubs and spas for resorts and hotels free standing spas- and wellness centers. A successful health spa operation will depend on having both expertise and experience available to the Owners / Developers / Planners from the concept development through all phases of planning to pre-opening and operations planning, staffing, training and on-going management support. Saga provides service excellence in the areas of: Concept Development Financial and Feasibility Planning Development of Concept Plans Architectural Plans, FF&E Plans and Budgets Marketing Concepts Pre-Opening /Operations Planning Operations Management /Consulting. Besides consulting on concept and design planning Saga, its president, Lisa Dobloug and her team can provide complete architectural and interior design plans through its partnership with Larry Stricker, internationally-recognized resort and deluxe hotel spa architect. Together they have created some of the best-known and most successful spas in the world, such as: Ihilani Resort and Spa, Hawaii Marriott Desert Springs Hotel and Spa, California Tomamu Waterpark, Hokkaido, Japan Al Manahil Center, Saudi Arabia Perle Resort and Thalasso Center, Greece. Our clients include hotels / resorts, day spas, health and fitness centers, and most importantly destination spas, a small, but exclusive group of spas worldwide that provide total programs for lifestyle changes, customized daily schedules including treatments, activities, nutritional counseling and spa cuisine for 3 meals per day. The latter include clients such as the Golden Door (CA), the Greenhouse (TX), Bonaventure Spa (FL), the Canyon Ranch (AZ), Chiva-Som (Thailand), Aluna (Colombia), and others.
15 Apr 2013
1383
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WALLDORF, Germany, April 29, 2013 /3BL Media/ - The long, solo commutes endured by many employees are costing them and their organizations in lost productivity, wasted resources and additional expenses. SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) today introduced TwoGo by SAP®, which allows companies to effectively engage their employees in ride-sharing to work. This helps facilitate better networked and more productive employees. Similarly, companies can reduce costs for corporate fleets, parking infrastructure and travel expenses. Delivered over the cloud, TwoGo may be instantly rolled out across organizations, allowing employees an opportunity to be matched into carpools automatically and according to their individual preferences. Moreover, TwoGo features unique capabilities to help drive employee participation in a company’s ride-sharing program. “TwoGo by SAP is another great example of how our innovations help the world run better. We’ve combined our mobile and cloud technologies into a carpooling solution to help provide immediate economic, environmental and social benefits to companies and their employees,” said Peter Graf, chief sustainability officer, SAP AG. “As such, we expect TwoGo to not only help people and businesses save money and greenhouse gas emissions, but to also connect people more closely with each other and with the company they work for. It has been designed around employees with one single objective in mind: create the most effective, intuitive and beautiful experience possible.” Organizations committed to sustainable business practices are concerned with creating value while mitigating their environmental impact. TwoGo helps companies meet that goal simply and effectively. For example, the solution offers cost-efficiency opportunities to companies with corporate fleets, such as how to minimize maintenance costs and preserve vehicle resale value. It also supports companies looking for a way to make vanpooling more affordable and effective by seeking riders to find and regularly fill the van. Finally, TwoGo helps organizations demonstrate their commitment to sustainability by reducing carbon emissions and engaging employees in that mission. For individuals, there are also significant benefits. In very large U.S. urban areas, the average commuter spends US $16 and 52 minutes going 32 miles round trip to work each day. TwoGo can help people save money and time. By carpooling, employees may recoup some of this lost productivity by encouraging networking and brainstorming on the road. In addition, TwoGo may create a more networked culture, helping employees to feel better informed and involved with their peers. “At Thomas Cook, we see sustainability holistically, which means getting employees involved to help improve operational efficiency, save energy and cut waste,” said Dr. Julian Clemenz, head of sustainability management, Thomas Cook Central Europe. “TwoGo by SAP encourages employees to participate in reaching our goal to create a more sustainable future. As a member of the beta program and long-time SAP customer, we are happy to work with SAP to develop an application that helps us meet our sustainability targets, reduce costs for our company and employees and build a more social, connected company.” To encourage wide-spread employee adoption, TwoGo can be used on various mobile devices, the Web as well as calendar applications. Once a company licenses the solution, employees can sign up online and enter ride-sharing preferences such as proximity, timing to and from work and willingness to leave the highway to pick up passengers. With some solutions, would-be carpoolers must go through lists to find the right partner. But with TwoGo, after preferences are entered, rides are instantly matched and communication is handled automatically via email or SMS. Moreover, TwoGo employs sophisticated algorithms designed to ensure that employees do not get stranded at work. To help locate desirable matches in an easy and clear way, TwoGo is powered by HERE, Nokia’s location cloud, which delivers one of the leading map and location experiences across multiple screens and operating systems. “We are excited to partner with SAP on this new venture that we anticipate will bring accurate and comprehensive global maps, traffic information and routing capabilities to enterprise customers,” said Christof Hellmis, vice president of Map Platform, Nokia. “We believe that location will be the new frontier of technology across industries, and with HERE we aim to provide the best map functionalities for every use case and customer. TwoGo is a particularly interesting service as it combines location, mobility and sustainability in an innovative way. Powered by HERE, TwoGo can be accessible to commuters everywhere and at any time.” TwoGo is for companies of all sizes. To gain critical mass, organizations can decide to allow employees to carpool with people working at neighboring companies that use TwoGo. Unlike current solutions on the market, TwoGo works with any iCal-compatible corporate calendar application, such as Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Notes or Google. This enables users to create and change rides within the context of their daily work schedule. People can decide to use TwoGo on the Web in English, German, Spanish or French. It accommodates international time zones, maps and measurement units. The mobile app can also provide administrators with reports on employees’ commuting habits and usage trends. With an affordable annual subscription rate, it is easy and affordable for companies to deploy broadly.
9 May 2013
311
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MINNEAPOLIS, April 30, 2013 /3BL Media/ – Today, General Mills released its 2013 Global Responsibility Report, which outlines the company’s progress and commitments in the areas of health, environment, sourcing, workplace and community engagement. The full report can be accessed at www.GeneralMills****. “Through our products, we are continuously striving to make consumers’ lives healthier, easier and richer,” said Ken Powell, Chairman and CEO of General Mills. “Through our actions, we are simultaneously working to source responsibly, to conserve the natural resources on which our products depend, and to strengthen the communities producing them.” New this year, the report unveils the company’s sustainable sourcing commitment to improve the environmental, economic and social impacts of the materials it purchases. The commitment is a direct link to General Mills’ sustainability mission of conserving and protecting the natural resources on which the business depends. The report details progress against strategies on 10 priority agricultural raw materials, representing more than 50 percent of the company’s annual purchases. In fiscal year 2012, General Mills worked with data expert Trucost to study its environmental dependence on natural resources across the value chain from farm to fork – including agriculture, ingredient production, packaging supply chain, product production, distribution and consumer use. The assessment revealed nearly two-thirds of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and 99 percent of water use occurs upstream from General Mills’ operations, primarily in agriculture and in the preparation of the ingredients used to produce the company’s products. The findings reinforced the importance of the company’s sustainable sourcing commitment. The report outlines General Mills’ approach to the work and details progress of the strategies in place. For example, General Mills is at the forefront of sustainable sourcing efforts in wheat through its partnership with Field to Market, having recently completed a three-year pilot project to study the environmental impact of wheat production in the Snake River region of Idaho. Further, the company is now purchasing sizable quantities of certified sustainable palm oil, putting words into action and moving the company toward its 2015 goal to source 100 percent from responsible and sustainable sources. “Responsible companies must share a clear and common interest in advancing a more sustainable global supply chain,” said Jerry Lynch, Chief Sustainability Officer, General Mills. “We recognize that a significant portion of the environmental footprint of our products occurs upstream of our supply chain, primarily in agriculture. While we are working to conserve resources within our supply chain, we believe we can also impact those inputs by sourcing responsibly.”
9 May 2013
271
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Electric Fireplaces are an ideal suitable for modern residences. An Electric Fireplace is an environment-friendly choice for your house because it does not require wood or gas, doesn't burn and create greenhouse gases, and is a lot more energy-efficient compared to various other fireplaces. These transportable, Electric Fireplace offer plenty of additional heat and resemble a wood fire's ambiance.Visit our site *******electricfireplaceinsertxl****/ for more information on Electric Fireplace Heater
18 May 2013
579
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1:22
Electric Fireplaces are an ideal fit for contemporary houses. An Electric Fireplace is an eco-friendly alternative for your home because it does not call for timber or gas, doesn't burn and produce greenhouse gases, and is much more energy-efficient compared to others fireplaces. These portable, Electric Fireplace supply plenty of additional warmth and simulate a wood fire's ambiance.Visit our site *******electricfireplaceinsertxl****/ for more information on Electric Fireplace
18 May 2013
425
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2:15
Presented by The Kelly Group Keller Williams Portland Premiere 503-730-9999 www.thekellygroup**** Quail Valley Farm! 10 acres, beautiful Mt Hood and valley views. Kitchen w/tile, SubZero refrig, granite, island w/cooktop. Vaulted living rm w/gas fireplace. New 280 sq ft TimberTech deck, alarm system, 22 solar panels, surround sound. Master ste w/Jacuzzi tub, granite, double shower, tile, huge walk-in closet. 7x16 greenhouse, 18x26 detached garage/well house, tractor shed.
7 Jun 2013
198
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hendren global group *******www.retail-week****/sectors/home-and-diy/analysis-the-diy-market-how-retailers-are-fighting-tough-conditions/5049655.article?blocktitle=In-Depth&contentID=5965 A depressed housing market, unseasonal weather and a shift in consumer spend mean the DIY market has shrunk. How can retailers fix the problems? The Brits have long been considered a nation of DIY-lovers. In the mid-1990s TV shows such as Changing Rooms had as many as 10 million viewers glued to the box each week to discover the latest trends in wall stencilling and mosaic mirrors. The obsession with beautifying homes lasted for years and led to the DIY market ballooning to £9.76bn by 2004, according to Verdict research. However, last year that figure had shrunk to £7.54bn and the sector’s woes were reflected in B&Q owner Kingfisher’s first-quarter update last week. Everything from the weather to the economy has been blamed, but is it really that consumers are falling out of love with DIY? And if so, what effect will this have on home improvement retailers? Conlumino managing director Neil Saunders believes the DIY sector faces a “structural” challenge because consumer interest in it is waning. He says: “Consumers look unfavourably on DIY, either because they lack the skills to undertake various tasks or they simply lack the inclination to get involved.” The ‘do-it-for-me’ (DFM) trend - where consumers hire tradesmen to carry out jobs for them - is gaining more traction. In a note last week Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Kate Calvert highlighted that this presents a challenge for market leader Kingfisher, which suffered a first-quarter group like-for-like decline of 4.2%. That followed its first profit fall in five years for the 12 months to January 31. Calvert says: “The structural issues that Kingfisher faces are real. In the UK, underlying DIY sales have been in decline over the last decade as there is a marked shift from DIY to DFM.” SCOPE FOR RECOVERY? However, Kingfisher group chief executive Ian Cheshire insists the DIY market does not face a structural challenge. He instead links the decline in DIY spending to the depressed housing market; fewer people are moving house so fewer people need to install new bathrooms, hang new doors or wallpaper their bedrooms. “I don’t think the data is there to make that [structural] claim,” Cheshire tells Retail Week. “DIY spend has been suppressed because first and second-time buyers haven’t got on the market.” Investors seem to back Cheshire. Despite Kingfisher’s disappointing figures, the DIY giant’s share price climbed on the day of the update. “The market has decided the recovery is coming and we’re going to be in good shape,” maintains Cheshire. Panmure Gordon analyst Philip Dorgan says: “Investors think that as the housing market recovers Kingfisher will be one of the beneficiaries. Large investors’ view is that DIY isn’t dead.” Dorgan says US investors in particular see scope for a Kingfisher recovery after the retailer’s larger American equivalent Home Depot bounced back from its own blip five years ago. Like the UK now, Dorgan points out, some US observers were beginning to write off DIY because of factors including the rise of online retailing. Sales at Home Depot dipped from $77.3bn (£50.5bn) in 2007 to $66.2bn (£43.3bn) in 2009 as the credit crunch hit. However, sales steadily recovered when housing transactions improved, and are now at $74.8bn (£48.9bn). Dorgan adds that “sales and profits will respond to a move in housing transactions” at Kingfisher too. HELP IN HOUSING An improvement in housing transactions may not be too far off, according to Cheshire. He expects the housing market to improve this year, partly as a result of Government initiatives such as the Help to Buy scheme. “The housing market is an important swing factor - if you get a feeling there are more skips in the street and more signs to sell and people get a little bit more confident about the value of their home then they are much more likely to say ‘OK, the pressure is off’,” says Cheshire. “It might be the swing factor this year.” But he cautioned that any uptick in the housing market would flow through to the DIY sector slowly. “It’s probably six months away,” he says. Topps Tiles also last week reported a decline in sales. Like-for-likes fell 2.6% in the eight weeks to May 25. Topps chief executive Matt Williams says a deterioration in consumer confidence means discretionary purchases such as tiles are under pressure. He agrees that any uplift in housing transactions would boost sales. “It shouldn’t be underestimated, the effect it has on consumer confidence seeing their house prices go up. That could give us a boost,” he says. RAIN STOPS PLAY There is a third reason why DIY sales have suffered, particularly in the last year. It is the thing that retailers love to hate, and none more so than those selling home and garden products - the unpredictable British weather. This year more than most retailers have had cause for complaint. The mean temperature in March was 2.2°C, and normally it’s closer to 5.5°C. The spring was the coldest for 50 years. There was even snow in Shropshire, Devon and Cornwall in May. No wonder sales of hanging baskets were down 23% and greenhouses declined 52% in B&Q’s first quarter. Kingfisher even attached a graph to last week’s statement showing the volatility of sales week to week because of the weather. Cheshire notes Kingfisher’s sales went from a “really good March last year to really bad this year”. He says: “It’s why we put the graphs in - to show that you don’t go from +15 to -15 without something happening.” However, Cheshire is confident that when the weather improves so too will the sales. “Do I read this as a pattern for the year? No. When the sun came out so did the numbers,” he says. Dorgan concedes the poor weather has been a big factor in Kingfisher’s recent sales decline. But he also says the retailer is “being questioned” by the City because 11 out of the last 13 of B&Q UK and Ireland’s quarters have been negative on a like-for-like basis. So what can DIY retailers do about abysmal weather, depressed consumer spend and a terrible housing market? There is not much they can change about the climate. What they can do, however, is restructure their businesses to better cope with volatility. Homebase has worked hard to try to shield itself from the changeable weather by switching adverts to suit conditions and using a predominantly UK supplier base, which makes it easier to delay stock. There are other approaches retailers can take to tackle the decline in the market. A greater focus on trade could help offset any weakness on the retail side, particularly if the DFM trend continues. Kingfisher’s multichannel trade business Screwfix is increasingly viewed as the jewel in the group’s crown, and more counters are being rolled out across the UK. B&Q also operates the Trade Point business within its stores and has relaunched the website. However, Cheshire says the trade side of the business has not seen a bounce in sales that would suggest a rise in the DFM trend just yet. “We’re not seeing trade take a big slice,” he says. WORKING WITH TRADE In a move that marries the trade and retail aspects, B&Q has launched the new Homefit service. B&Q puts customers in touch with vetted local tradesmen to undertake tasks such as floor installation, lock and alarm replacement and boiler installation. Cheshire says B&Q has offered similar services for a long time but that Homefit is a “really determined national attempt to break into it”. He adds: “We’ve always been a mixture of DIY and DFM. Not many of our kitchen customers fit their own kitchens.” B&Q UK & Ireland chief executive Martyn Phillips believes the answer to driving top-line growth lies in offering a mix of DIY, DFM and trade. “Nobody’s got all three covered,” he says. He argues that other retailers in the sector are “giving up” on DIY, which provides B&Q with an opportunity. “They’ve got caught up in ‘DIY is dead’ but there’s still a large market,” he insists. “We can be very strong in that, in a market people are moving away from.” Retailers are working hard to build the DIY market in the absence of any help from the economy. “We’re constantly looking at that question - how do you drive it?” says Cheshire. “We need to grow both our short-term sales and share, and grow the market.” Kingfisher aims to do that by putting a strong emphasis on product innovation and customer service initiatives such as DIY masterclasses. Topps Tiles and Homebase have also tried to stimulate the market, by tapping into consumers’ thirst for inspiration. Both have installed ‘inspiration stations’ in their stores. Topps Tiles has focused too on new product to woo this inspiration-hungry customer. “We don’t see it as a short-term trend,” says Williams. “We’re doing everything we can to capitalise on it. We’re driving the top-line with new product development. On average we’re bringing in a new range a week.” Most of the bigger retailers are also trying new store formats. Topps Tiles has opened a lab store in Milton Keynes, while B&Q is testing initiatives including kiosks at its own lab store in Poole. Homebase, which suffered a 52% slump in benchmark operating profit in the year to March 2, is rolling out the new format piloted at Aylesford, which features more furniture lines through its sister brand Habitat. It is also pushing online operations by introducing more lines and improving delivery options to include next and named-day delivery. DIY retailers are traditionally behind the curve when it comes to ecommerce. Online sales account for 5% of total sales at Homebase and represent an even smaller proportion of B&Q’s sales. Homebase managing director Paul Loft says: “We want to give the full customer experience. We’ll be experimental. Do people want it, how much will people pay for it?” Loft says Homebase will connect the web offer to stores by rolling out wi-fi across the estate. SPACE EXPLORATION DIY retailers, which traditionally operate giant 100,000 sq ft stores, are also downsizing their estates to better reflect the changing consumer environment. Both Wickes and B&Q have been seeking to sublet space to other retailers. B&Q has done deals with 15 retailers, including Asda and Morrisons, and is now awaiting planning approval before going ahead. “If we get all these away we will be doing deals on 4% of our space so that’s a pretty decent start,” says Cheshire. “Then we’ll find the next 20 stores.” Cheshire has previously said that Kingfisher could make the same money with 20% less space, and aims to downsize further stores. Dorgan believes that, while DIY’s margins of about 5% can improve and that sales densities will get better as the market bounces back, the market will never be what it was. “We won’t get back to the peak times of Changing Rooms, that time is gone, along with the 10%-plus margins.” Home enhancement retailers might pray for settled weather, or even for Linda Barker and her crew to start filming a new home improvement series. Given there seems little prospect of either, self-help will remain the focus - and there are opportunities for retailers to take as much control as they can of their own destinies. hendren global group
17 Jun 2013
477
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Video Source: BNSF Railways (*******3blmedia****/Profiles/BNSF) 3BLMedia/ Coprorate Social Responsibility/ Green Technology - The Breathe LA video includes comments from California stakeholders, including Lt. Governor of California Gavin Newsom, on BNSF's leadership in hybrid energy options, research into liquefied natural gas, and implementation of wide-span electric cranes. Since 2000, BNSF has purchased 3,000 new locomotives and have remanufactured 2,400 existing locomotives. These investments, along with the installation of idle-control technology, have resulted in a significant decrease in emissions and better fuel efficiency. Later this year, BNSF will test liquefied natural gas as fuel in locomotives in a variety of weather and grade conditions. The use of natural gas as a transportation fuel results in the emission of fewer greenhouse gases and particulates than diesel fuel. Electric wide span cranes have been installed in three facilities across the country, with a fourth planned in the L.A. area for the Southern California International Gateway (SCIG) project. These cranes do not produce any local emissions and generate energy when the cranes are lowered. Find more great CSR videos by subcribing to the 3BLMedia Youtube channel: *******www.youtube****/3BLMedia
26 Jun 2013
229
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5:38
Crysis 3 review. *******www.ClassicGameRoom**** Shop CGR shirts & mugs! *******www.CGRstore**** Classic Game Room presents a CGR Undertow review of Crysis 3 for the PlayStation 3 developed by Crytek Studios and published by Electronic Arts. Crysis 3 is a stealth-based first-person shooter with an engaging cast of characters and a biomechanical suit made of synthetic muscle tissue. Sounds pretty good, right? Players take the role of Prophet, a super soldier who may or may not be human—it's hard to tell beneath the suit. Crysis 3 is essentially a great Predator game, because Prophet is like an alien hunter. He can turn invisible, he can jump as high as trees and in a wonderful use of technological contrast, he shoots a bow. Prophet is out to bring down the evil Cell Corporation and anyone who happens to get in his way. The game takes place inside the Nanodome, a massive glass bubble built over New York City that has the same effect as a greenhouse. The city is a sprawling urban jungle in a literal sense, and players control Prophet as he sneaks through the trees and kills enemies before they even hear a sound. Crysis 3 features single and multiplayer play. This video review features video gameplay footage of Crysis 3 for the PlayStation 3 and audio commentary from Classic Game Room's Derek.
20 Aug 2013
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0:15
SC Johnson released its 2013 annual public sustainability report today. The report shares the latest information on the company’s ongoing work to achieve its 2016 environmental goals by using more renewable energy, cutting greenhouse gas emissions, minimizing landfill waste and developing innovative products that use fewer resources and require less packaging. SC Johnson has reduced its global manufacturing waste by 62 percent and increased its use of renewable energy to 30 percent in pursuit of these goals*. To view Multimedia News Release, go to *******www.multivu****/mnr/63897-sc-johnson-2013-annual-public-sustainability-report-environmental-goals
24 Oct 2013
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2:45
A great deal of research has focused on the amount of global warming resulting from increased greenhouse gas concentrations. But there has been relatively little study of the pace of the change following these increases. A new study by Carnegie’s Ken Caldeira and Nathan Myhrvold of Intellectual Ventures concludes that about half of the warming occurs within the first 10 years after an instantaneous step increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration, but about one-quarter of the warming occurs more than a century after the step increase.
15 Nov 2013
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