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News Article | December 16, 2015
Site: www.theenergycollective.com

By Paula Kivimaa & Florian Kern, Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand, SPRU Given the urgency of climate change, it is unfortunate that the recent ‘reset’ of UK energy policy missed a big opportunity. That is to take a more strategic approach to developing public policies to drive the rapid, transformative change required to reduce energy use and decarbonise its supply in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Research has shown that public policies can be influential drivers of innovations in multiple sectors ranging from manufacturing to transport. However, transformations originating from technological innovation often take decades, time that we simply do not have. One reason for the slow progress is that some – or even many – of the institutions and policies in place delay change by favouring established unsustainable technologies and practices, for example the indirect and direct subsidies to fossil fuels and energy intensive practices. The kind of transformative change we need is going to be dependent on system innovation as indicated by the OECD in its recent report ‘Governance of Innovation Systems’. This has three features: 1) disrupting or complementary types of knowledge and technological capabilities, 2) fundamental changes in consumer practices and markets, and 3) novel types of infrastructures, institutional rules and skill sets. Schumpeter coined the term of ‘winds of creative destruction’ to describe a process which revolutionises the economic structure from within, making certain skills and capabilities redundant and creating new ones at the same time. He argued that the process of creative destruction is “the essential fact about capitalism”. In our recently published research, we show that this idea is still valid and can benefit thinking about transformative change towards low carbon energy systems. We propose that for the rapid uptake of innovations contributing to transformative change, policy portfolios need to include two types of measures. Firstly, innovation policies that support research and development, experimentation and market entry as well as guiding innovation towards societally important thematic areas (such as energy demand reduction). This includes the mobilisation of resources for these purposes. Secondly, broader, often sectoral, policy measures are needed that “destabilise” the non-sustainable institutional structures and practices. They reduce barriers for the wider diffusion of more sustainable technologies, services and practices. On the creative side, policy instruments include R&D funding, innovation platforms, educational policies, labelling, feed-in-tariffs, public procurement, deployment subsidies, advice for SMEs, venture capital funding and regulation. On the destructive side, possible policy measures include taxes and regulations setting limits on energy use or carbon dioxide emissions, reduction of subsidies for polluting technology and practices, structural reforms of legislation enabling system change, policy advisory councils with new actors involved, or even outright technology bans. Our research analysed all national-level policies potentially reducing energy demand in two European countries – the UK and Finland. We assessed to what extent the objectives of the policy measures can be expected to support innovation or contribute to the ‘creative destruction’ of high energy practices. We found that there are dozens of policies focused on creating low energy innovations (innovation which reduce energy demand or increase energy efficiency) but that there is much less attention on the destructive side of creative destruction. In the case of the UK low energy transition, the Climate Change Act started a destabilisation process. The Act introduced a longer term policy framework than is typical for election-cycle based policies, set up targets for binding carbon cuts, and created new organisations around it. Other disruptive policies we identified include the ban of incandescent light bulbs by the EU, new organisations changing established policy networks (such as the Committee on Climate Change) and policies changing crucial rules or significantly controlling the environmental impacts of activities (such as energy efficiency requirements of building codes or car fuel standards). The origin of many of these measures lie in the European Union. What matters is the interaction between the different policy measures and how they jointly support innovation and disrupt unsustainable systems in the long term. In light of the latest UK policy developments, for example, the success of such disruptive policies as the Climate Change Act and the Committee on Climate Change will be limited when many other potentially disruptive policies, including the zero carbon homes target, have been removed from the policy portfolio. Examples from elsewhere indicate that the recent changes in UK energy policy may reduce opportunities for transformative change towards low energy. For example, the German experience shows that a “well-orchestrated combination of policy measures” including technology push, demand pull and systemic policies is crucial for low energy transitions. The nuclear phase-out – a clearly disruptive policy measure – was found to be the most impactful by German companies in creating room for renewable energy options. The commitment of the UK government to phase out the use of coal over the next ten years will hopefully provide a similar stimulus to alternative options. Our work shows that for transforming the energy system, we need a policy portfolio that includes both innovation support and disruptions to the current high energy economy. This type of ‘creative destruction’ can bring many benefits beyond decarbonisation. It enables new innovation opportunities with export potential for frontrunners, reduced policy costs as a result of removing costly unsustainable or conflicting policy measures, and long term benefits through avoided environmental and health consequences associated with the existing high energy building stock. Just abandoning targets and instruments will not make the problems go away. Dr Paula Kivimaa is a Senior Research Fellow at SPRU and the Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand (CIED). She is also a Senior Researcher at the Finnish Environment Institute SYKE. Paula has worked 13 years in research in the area of evaluating environmental, climate and innovation policy and examining their effects on innovation in energy and transport. Her work on policy evaluation, eco-innovation and socio-technical low energy transitions has been published in academic journals, including Research Policy, Environmental Policy and Governance, Environmental Politics, Journal of Transport Geography and Journal of Cleaner Production. Paula leads several projects on topics such as low energy housing innovation and energy services for building energy efficiency. Dr Florian Kern is a Senior Lecturer at SPRU and Co-Director of the Sussex Energy Group (SEG). He has more than ten years of experience in research, consulting and teaching in the area of energy, climate and innovation policy and socio-technical transitions. Florian’s research focusses on policies and policy processes aimed at stimulating the transition to a low carbon economy. His work draws on innovation studies as well as policy analysis and political science. He has published in journals such as Research Policy, Technological Forecasting & Social Change, Energy Policy, Policy & Politics, Environment & Planning C, Policy Sciences and Environmental Politics. Florian is leading a cross-cutting project of the Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand on policy synergies and trade-offs.


News Article | April 15, 2016
Site: www.theenergycollective.com

Intermediary actors can be crucial for bringing about low energy transitions. This blog explores what they are and provides some key insights about intermediaries in low energy transitions. It has long been recognized that changing the way we produce and use energy is of crucial importance to tackle the challenges related to depleting fuel resources and their environmental impacts. For things to change, actors facilitating these processes and connecting people are important. The capital city of Helsinki, Finland, has set up an innovation unit, Forum Virium, which coordinates the construction of a smart city district within the city combining the use of several innovations, including solutions for energy storage and management, car-free blocks and services, including a smart application which allows residents to control appliances, lighting and heating remotely. In this development, according to ongoing work by Eva Heiskanen and Kaisa Matschoss, Forum Virium has acted as an intermediary identifying new innovations and organising networking events for information sharing, among other things. In the UK, an independent organisation, called Bioregional, has been a crucial intermediary in low- carbon building projects. In Brighton, Bioregional acted as a developer for One Brighton, a multi-residential energy-efficient, insulated and triple glazed building heated by woodfuel pellets with a community space and social housing developed to the principles of One Planet Living.  It builds on the experience of BedZED, a pioneering low energy housing development built in early 2000s in London. With Mari Martiskainen we have explored how Bioregional acted as an intermediary to One Brighton in several ways. It created a tangible vision for the building project by adapting previous learning from projects like BedZED, carried out project management activities and connected the local council, the builder and the local community together. These kinds of Innovation intermediaries are organisations – or sometimes individuals – which can act as go-betweens for people, funds, knowledge and ideas that in combination may result in innovation. Intermediaries may: Despite the important role that they can play, these intermediary actors in energy transitions are often invisible and their roles under-played. A workshop held on March 9-10 co-organised by the TRIPOD project and Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand (CIED), aimed to better understand the role that intermediary actors in energy transitions play. Three important insights were made: Innovation intermediaries can drive change (akin to innovation champions or institutional entrepreneurs) or mediate and connect individuals, groups, resources and knowledge across sectors (and so are sometimes called boundary spanners, knowledge brokers or hybrid actors). While many intermediaries act as distributed change agents across networks and systems, intermediaries can take on broader roles and operate on many levels. The kind of roles innovation intermediaries carry out depend on their focus, degree of financial or political independence and mandate, among other things. Examples from the processes of creating low-energy buildings, installing heat pumps and setting up community energy schemes presented at the workshop showed how intermediation has evolved from simple advice and information dissemination to the development of tools, business partnerships, professional services, and policy advocacy. For example, in the context of low energy building, intermediaries can: Perhaps a key question is what kind of intermediaries are most useful to advance sustainable energy transitions, and can such intermediaries be intentionally orchestrated? And should they? These are pertinent areas for further research. 2. What kind of intermediary activities will bring about more sustainable energy systems? The intermediary activities required are likely to differ depending on the phase of energy transition or the stage of innovation. This is also likely to define the extent to which intermediation between actors and processes is needed at all. Also, intermediary actors may experience favourable or hostile contexts, which require different strategies. We scholars continue to have different interpretations on the scale and definition of intermediation activity. In the workshop, there were differences in opinion regarding the degree of advocacy and of neutrality (intermediaries as benefactors or businesses) that the intermediary actors possess, or should possess. What we did agree on, however, was the need to make intermediation more visible. This is a fine balance however, as intermediaries should not take centre stage if they are to act as effective brokers between actors. Intermediation focuses on delivering a key object or a service. This can range from shared energy output (from a community energy scheme, for example) and technologies (such as heat pumps) to more broadly facilitating low-energy transitions or niche areas, like low-energy buildings. The focus partly determines if the intermediary is regarded as neutral (politically, financially or technologically) or if it seeks to advance particular interests. Both types are needed but, it was felt by workshop participants that the intermediaries’ stance should be made explicit to others. Why are our insights relevant? When making recommendations as to how we can achieve more sustainable energy systems, it is important to acknowledge the role of different intermediary actors and their associations. We also need to differentiate between those kinds of intermediary activities that are fundamental for low-energy transitions from those that are beneficial or even detrimental. In addition, we need to know if policies or community experiments are dependent on particular intermediaries to make them successful. Paula Kivimaa is Senior Research Fellow at SPRU working for the Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand (CIED). She is also Senior Researcher at the Finnish Environment Institute SYKE and Docent at Aalto University School of Business. Paula leads the CIED project on Low Energy Housing Innovations and the Role of Intermediaries. She is also member of the TRIPOD project consortium. Her current research interests include policy analysis from low-carbon innovation and transition perspectives, as well as policy complementing approaches to support low-carbon innovation, such as intermediation. Sussex Energy Group members Dr. Mari Martiskainen, Professor Adrian Smith and Dr. Jake Barnes also contributed to the workshop.


News Article | November 16, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Scientists have warned that high hopes for the success of the Paris Agreement could be dashed if lessons aren't learnt from the challenges and experiences of climate monitoring in Europe. The long term success of the Agreement depends on the availability of well-designed and functioning monitoring and review mechanisms, according to a study published today (16 November) in the journal Climate Policy. As the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) in Marrakech draws to a close, researchers from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia (UEA) and the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) stress that, without strong, credible monitoring and transparency procedures, national pledges to address climate change in the spirit of the 2015 Paris Agreement will not build sufficient global trust. The study looks closely at the EU's experience with monitoring national climate policies in order to understand what challenges may arise in ensuring transparency. The EU has one of the most advanced monitoring systems in the world - but it still encounters persistent challenges that, crucially, could jeopardize the implementation of the Paris Agreement. The international community should therefore draw on the EU's valuable experiences and also difficulties in monitoring climate policies in order to develop the practice further. The research identified that the EU's current approach to monitoring climate policies - largely borrowed from monitoring greenhouse gases, which is a vastly different task - has not supported in depth learning and debate on the performance of individual policies. Other important obstacles include political concerns over the costs of reporting, control, and the perceived usefulness of the information produced. Jonas Schoenefeld, the lead author, said: "An important part of the implementation of the Paris Agreement will hinge on whether political actors can muster the leadership in order to successfully navigate monitoring challenges at the international level. The EU's experience shows that incorporating policies into NDCs should be seen as one step in a long journey to better knowledge of climate policies." The 2015 Paris Agreement marked a shift towards countries making emission reduction pledges known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and a new Transparency Framework (Article 13) requiring regular progress reports on pledges to address climate change. While the quick ratification of the Paris Agreement is a sign that the international community is eager to make progress, setting up a strong and effective transparency framework requires hard work for years to come. Mr Schoenefeld stressed that the willingness of countries to remain engaged is vital: "A key strength of the Paris Agreement is that so many countries are part of it and are willing to engage. Disengagement or even withdrawal could therefore imperil the whole Agreement and have grave ramifications for the set-up of a strong monitoring system." Prof Mikael Hildén from the Finnish Environment Institute, who co-authored the study, said: "Monitoring is probably the most underestimated challenge in implementing the Paris Agreement. In the past, it has been seen as a technical, data gathering task. We show that it is anything but a mere reporting exercise." Prof Andrew Jordan from the Tyndall Centre, co-author, said: "Implementing more advanced monitoring at the international level will require substantial political efforts, resources, and leadership. In order to justify such investments to the public, care needs to be taken to ensure that monitoring information is used effectively to improve policy, rather than as a weapon to lay blame when things slip." 'The challenges of monitoring national climate policy: learning lessons from the EU' will be published in the journal Climate Policy, on 16 November 2017.


Jonsson B.F.,Princeton University | Doos K.,University of Stockholm | Myrberg K.,SYKE | Lundberg P.A.,University of Stockholm
Continental Shelf Research | Year: 2011

When modelling is used for investigating estuarine systems, a choice generally has to be made between applying simple mass-balance considerations or using a process-resolving three-dimensional (3-D) numerical circulation model. In the present investigation of the Gulf of Finland, a gradually mixed estuary in the Baltic Sea, it is demonstrated how Lagrangian-trajectory analysis applied to the output from a 3-D model minimizes the disadvantages associated with both of the modelling techniques referred to above. This formalism made it possible to demonstrate that the main part of the Gulf is dominated by water originating from the Baltic proper, and that the most pronounced mixing with fresh water from the river Neva takes place over a limited zone in the inner part of the Gulf. Dynamical insights were furthermore obtained by using the Lagrangian formalism to construct overturning stream-functions for the two source waters. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Carmen E.,UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology | Nesshover C.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research | Saarikoski H.,SYKE | Vandewalle M.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research | And 3 more authors.
Environmental Science and Policy | Year: 2015

As biodiversity continues to decline despite our increased knowledge of the drivers and consequences of biodiversity loss, much of the current focus is on strengthening interfaces between biodiversity knowledge and policy-making. While many of the challenges associated with science-policy interfaces are well known, what is less well studied is the more specific issue of how to integrate the broad range of knowledge relating to complex issues such as biodiversity and ecosystem services, to inform decision-making at regional and global scales. Based on a formative evaluation of the development of a European Network of Knowledge on biodiversity and ecosystem services, we identify key themes to build a broad biodiversity science community capable of developing integrated knowledge to inform decision-making. Based on these findings we outline future steps for the successful integration of knowledge in decision-making at the European, and also the global scale, in particular the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). © 2015.


Policy and research issues in the framing and qualities of uncertainties in risks are analyzed, based on the assessments of dioxin-like compounds (DLCs) and other ingredients in Baltic Sea fish, a high-profile case of governance. Risks are framed broadly, to then focus on dioxins and beneficial fatty acids, fish consumption, human health, and science-management links. Hierarchies of uncertainty (data, model, decision rule, and epistemic) and ambiguity (of values) are used to identify issues of scientific and policy contestation and opportunities for resolving them. The associated complexity of risks is illustrated by riskbenefit analyses of fish consumption and by evaluations of guideline values, highlighting value contents and policy factors in presumably scientific decision criteria, and arguments used in multi-dimensional risk and benefit comparisons. These comparisons pose challenges to narrow assessments centered, for e.g., on toxicants or on food benefits, and to more many-sided and balanced risk communication and management. It is shown that structured and contextualized treatment of uncertainties and ambiguities in a reflexive approach can inform balances between wide and narrow focus, detail and generality, and evidence and precaution. © Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2011.


PubMed | SYKE, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and University of Oxford
Type: | Journal: The Science of the total environment | Year: 2016

Pathogens are an ongoing issue for catchment water management and quantifying their transport, loss and potential impacts at key locations, such as water abstractions for public supply and bathing sites, is an important aspect of catchment and coastal management. The Integrated Catchment Model (INCA) has been adapted to model the sources and sinks of pathogens and to capture the dominant dynamics and processes controlling pathogens in catchments. The model simulates the stores of pathogens in soils, sediments, rivers and groundwaters and can account for diffuse inputs of pathogens from agriculture, urban areas or atmospheric deposition. The model also allows for point source discharges from intensive livestock units or from sewage treatment works or any industrial input to river systems. Model equations are presented and the new pathogens model has been applied to the River Thames in order to assess total coliform (TC) responses under current and projected future land use. A Monte Carlo sensitivity analysis indicates that the input coliform estimates from agricultural sources and decay rates are the crucial parameters controlling pathogen behaviour. Whilst there are a number of uncertainties associated with the model that should be accounted for, INCA-Pathogens potentially provides a useful tool to inform policy decisions and manage pathogen loading in river systems.


TAMPA, FL--(Marketwired - November 09, 2016) - Sykes Enterprises, Incorporated ( : SYKE) ("SYKES" or the "Company"), a global business process outsourcing (BPO) leader in providing comprehensive inbound customer engagement services to Global 2000 companies, will attend SunTrust Robinson Humphrey's 2016 Financial Technology, Business and Government Services Conference in New York City, New York, on November 10, 2016. Management will be participating in investor meetings, which is the principal format of the Conference. SYKES is a global business process outsourcing (BPO) leader in providing comprehensive inbound customer engagement services to Global 2000 companies, primarily in the communications, financial services, healthcare, technology, transportation and retail industries. SYKES' differentiated end-to-end service platform effectively engages consumers at every touch point in their customer lifecycle, starting from digital marketing and acquisition to customer support, technical support, up-sell/cross-sell and retention. Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, with customer contact engagement centers throughout the world, SYKES provides its services through multiple communication channels encompassing phone, e-mail, web, chat, social media and digital self-service. Utilizing its integrated onshore/offshore and virtual at-home agent delivery models, SYKES serves its clients through two geographic operating segments: the Americas (United States, Canada, Latin America, India and the Asia Pacific region) and EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa). SYKES also provides various enterprise support services in the Americas and fulfillment services in EMEA, which include order processing, inventory control, product delivery and product returns handling. For additional information please visit www.sykes.com.


Third quarter 2016 financial results press release now posted to SYKES' website TAMPA, FL--(Marketwired - October 31, 2016) - Sykes Enterprises, Incorporated ("SYKES" or the "Company") ( : SYKE), a global business process outsourcing (BPO) leader in providing comprehensive inbound customer engagement services to Global 2000 companies, has released its financial results for the third-quarter ended September 30, 2016. The third quarter 2016 financial results can be viewed at either www.sykes.com, under the "Investor News" section, or using the following link: http://investor.sykes.com/company/investors/investor-news/2016/default.aspx. SYKES is a global business process outsourcing (BPO) leader in providing comprehensive inbound customer engagement services to Global 2000 companies, primarily in the communications, financial services, healthcare, technology, transportation and retail industries. SYKES' differentiated end-to-end service platform effectively engages consumers at every touch point in their customer lifecycle, starting from digital marketing and acquisition to customer support, technical support, up-sell/cross-sell and retention. Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, with customer contact engagement centers throughout the world, SYKES provides its services through multiple communication channels encompassing phone, e-mail, web, chat, social media and digital self-service. Utilizing its integrated onshore/offshore and virtual at-home agent delivery models, SYKES serves its clients through two geographic operating segments: the Americas (United States, Canada, Latin America, India and the Asia Pacific region) and EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa). SYKES also provides various enterprise support services in the Americas and fulfillment services in EMEA, which include order processing, inventory control, product delivery and product returns handling. For additional information please visit www.sykes.com.


TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 27, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sykes Enterprises, Incorporated ("SYKES" or the “Company”) (NASDAQ:SYKE), a global business process outsourcing (BPO) leader in providing comprehensive inbound customer engagement services to Global 2000 companies, has released its financial results for the fourth-quarter and full-year ended December 31, 2016. The fourth-quarter and full-year 2016 financial results can be viewed at either www.sykes.com, under the “Investor News” section, or using the following link: http://investor.sykes.com/company/investors/investor-news/2017/default.aspx. About Sykes Enterprises, Incorporated SYKES is a global business process outsourcing (BPO) leader in providing comprehensive inbound customer engagement services to Global 2000 companies, primarily in the communications, financial services, healthcare, technology, transportation and retail industries. SYKES’ differentiated end-to-end service platform effectively engages consumers at every touch point in their customer lifecycle, starting from digital marketing and acquisition to customer support, technical support, up-sell/cross-sell and retention. Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, with customer contact engagement centers throughout the world, SYKES provides its services through multiple communication channels encompassing phone, e-mail, web, chat, social media and digital self-service. Utilizing its integrated onshore/offshore and virtual at-home agent delivery models, SYKES serves its clients through two geographic operating segments: the Americas (United States, Canada, Latin America, India and the Asia Pacific region) and EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa).  SYKES also provides various enterprise support services in the Americas and fulfillment services in EMEA, which include order processing, inventory control, product delivery and product returns handling. For additional information please visit www.sykes.com.

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