HSE & adidas: Helping Clean the Planet of Plastic
On June 3, a meeting with Chris Thaller, Head of Creative Projects at Runtastic by adidas and founder of the Parley Foundation, who is involved in a project to gather and recycle oceanic plastic, will take place at HSE University.
This story began in June 2017 when the first global charity race, Run for the Oceans, was held. The race was organized by the Parley Foundation, which aims to clear plastic from the world’s oceans. The idea of the run belongs to the foundation founder Chris Thaller, who came up with it in Sydney during a kayaking tour.
Since then, the run has been held each year and is open to anyone who is interested. Each kilometre run by participants is converted to $1. The raised money is invested by adidas in the Parely programme, which helps recycle plastic waste from the ocean into high-tech materials for sports equipment. For example, last year, the event, which brought together nearly a million runners from around the globe, helped raise a million dollars. This money was spent helping people who live in regions damaged by plastic pollution.
‘There is a lot of plastic around. Every minute 1 million plastic bottles are purchased around the world. If you add up all the plastic packaging and plastic bags that are thrown away each day, you can imagine how much waste we produce in just a single day,’ Chris Thaller wrote on his blog.
The scary thing is that plastic doesn't go away. It simply breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces. Plastic even gets into our bodies
Sooner or later those small pieces — microplastics — get into our groundwater or into our oceans, where fish start eating it. ‘We eat the fish, so the plastic we once bought goes straight into our bodies. Unfortunately, a lot of people are still not really aware of the scope of the problem,’ Thaller emphasized.
As a responsible company, adidas has made a promise to its customers that it will use only recycled plastic for its products by 2024. At his talk, Chris Thaller will tell the audience how realistic it is that the they’ll be able to achieve this goal, what else is being done to clean the world’s oceans, and about the Runtastic app.
Global warming has caused the total area of more than 600 Greater Caucasus glaciers to drop by approximately 16%, according to an international research team that includes Stanislav Kutuzov, geographer from HSE University. Glaciers without rock debris coverage have decreased more than those with debris coverage.
Having studied the impact of warming on countries in Central and Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia, Georgy Safonov, Director of the HSE Centre for Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, warns that responding to climate change does not seem to be a top priority for the region's governments, while potential threats are assessed only in economic terms and almost never as a social challenge.
Students of the HSE Bachelor's programme in Business Informatics have developed an eye-catching, user-friendly website for the ‘Soulful Bazar’ project, a large-scale charity fair traditionally held in Moscow on the eve of the New Year. This year, the “Charity Tree” New Year celebration will be held on December 22 at the Expocentre off the Krasnopresnenskaya embankment.
In honour of International Volunteer Day, which was celebrated on December 6, HSE News Service spoke with HSE student organization leaders about their volunteer work. It turns out that HSE students are very active members of their communities: from painting with children in local orphanages to helping out at animal shelters, students participate in a wide range of volunteer efforts—and have fun while doing it.
A New Year's fair, information about non-commercial organisations, masterclasses, lectures and an obstacle demonstration with a guide dog: just some of the events that occurred as part of HSE’s contribution to the International Day of Charity, which took place at HSE Central atrium on 11 Pokrovsky Boulevard.
More than 40% of Russian citizens consider changing their place of residence due to environmental problems. This was a statistic cited by Lyaila Sinyatullina, Head of the Department of Advanced Studies at HSE University’s Institute for Public Administration and Governance, at a roundtable dedicated to an environmental information bill that will be reviewed by the Russian State Duma.
It is believed that carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere are mainly regulated by ‘direct’ economic instruments - the carbon tax and the Emissions Trading System (ETS). However, a comparative analysis has shown that ‘indirect’ instruments, such as excise taxes on motor fuel and other energy taxes, did not yield any lesser impact than their ‘direct’ counterparts, and, over time, were even more effective.
It is believed that carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere are mainly regulated by ‘direct’ economic instruments - the carbon tax and the Emissions Trading System (ETS). However, a comparative analysis has shown that ‘indirect’ instruments, such as excise taxes on motor fuel and other energy taxes, did not yield any lesser impact than their ‘direct’ counterparts, and, over time, were even more effective. This is the conclusion drawn by HSE researcher Ilya Stepanov in his article, ‘Taxes in the Energy Sector and Their Role in Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions’.
HSE University recently held the ‘Magic World’ inclusive charity festival at Bauman Garden in Moscow. The guests included children from four orphanages sponsored by HSE, as well as anyone else who was interested. The HSE News Service provides a summary of the festival’s activities below.
The new institute will be engaged in research and educational activities and will provide expert and analytical support for state projects in the field of environmental safety, as well as for projects outlined by Russia's federal policy in the Arctic.