Travelling in Basel: Sustainable hotel Gaia

 

 

Swiss boutique hotel Gaia was established in 1929 as a family-owned hotel in Basel. Nowadays the hotel is still private held and one of the focus areas is sustainability This 4-star-hotel  has a slogan, which means that people should come as a guest, but leave as  a friend.

I had the pleasure to discuss more about the hotel management and catering with one of the founders, with Mr  Luca  Trudu. According to him, the hotel in integrating the sustainability issues into the hotel management as soon as possible.

What does it make for a perfect meal?

One can of course start with the design, but if you think that you are in a restaurant the setting as a whole package, a picture is essential. The colors, structure and layout make the first impression. And after that the taste and ingredients matter.

When I entered the Gaia hotel with the popup  Restaurant in Basel, I first noticed the magnificent wood decorations on the wall. The old building could be telling its history.

The starter was fish. Must say that the packsge was very good with vegetables. Some new mexican  flavour was ln place and the taste was surprising but good.

The main course and the desert continued the same line.  The knowledge and knowhow were superb.The main course was hot chicken, naan-alike bread and rice and the desert was panacotta with chai tea flavor with fig purée and raspberry coulis.

– To make surprising food one need holistic approach with nature and environment. It is a question of different spices, regions and countries , says Jay Kumar  one of the master chefs in Basel.

He has been in the business over 30 years, for example in Hilton for years, and has  been trained by professionals. His specialty, is  progressive indian food  with European influences , he will be opening a new restaurant in New York, Brooklyn, this summer. It will focus on local, Indian inspired farm to table food.

Jay has been travelling all his life and this gives him also certainty to mix species and flavors. It is clear that his new restaurant will gather customers that enjoy with the same passion the mixed, local food.
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Lifestyle Travel

The car of the year: Jaguar i-pace

The car of the year, Jaquar i-pace, is an exciting new friendship. This electric SUV car is full of innovations and design. According to the company, it is the culmination of years of engineering and arts. And so it is.

My first testdrive ever with Jaguar was exciting. The batteries of the Jaguar i-pace are high energy density lithium-ion cells, which are located within the floor, between the axles. They offer low centre gravity which is a perfect touch for winter roads.

And yes, electric car is silent also inside the car. Jaguar will give you a comprehensive 8 year warranty or 160.000 kilometres for the batteries (90 kWh). In some cases, the warranties might be shorter ones, like 5 year or 100 000 kilometres, so this is a plus for Jaguar.

According to the company, the driving range for a single full charge, is about 480 km on the WLTP standards (worldwide light vehicle test procedure). This new process, which has been in force from 2017, measures closer the real-world driving behaviour. It is about more demanding test procedure than before. It is about emissions, range, fuel and energy consumption in passanger vehicles in Europe.

Jaguar sport electric car shows the very best craftmanship of the British car industry. This sporty, modern and stylish interior will balance the new and old, like the pre-cool or pre-heat functions in the cabin via the Jaguar application.

This all-wheel-drive, two electric motors SUV is good to steer and park. The dimensions inside the car are within reach and the design allows you to optimize the steering.jipaceva04profile120918-resize-1221x814-crop-1140x814

Jaguar is also committed to reduce the dependency of fossil fuels, using fewer natural resources and creating less waste as part of the company approach to responsible and sustainable business development.

 

Lifestyle Tech Travel

Polestar 2 – a new premium SUV

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The Polestar company has launched its premium SUV and electric car Polestar 2. According to company info, the car has two electric motors and a 78 kWh battery capacity that will enable a targeted range of 500 km.

– Polestar 2 will only be available for ordering online. The guide purchase price for the launch version of Polestar 2 is 39.900-59,900 euros with subscription pricing to follow at a later date. Pre-orders are open at polestar.com. Production of Polestar 2 begins in early 2020 in China for global markets in both left- and right-hand drive, the company says in the press release.

Polestar 2 has embed Anroid system which enable the use of Google Assistant, Google Maps and Google Play.  It also has natural voice control and a new 11-inch touch screen display.

The company, which is owned by Volvo Car Group and the Chinese Zheijang Geely Holding, says that Polestar 2 will also be available in a network of soon-to-be-opened Polestar Spaces, that is Polestar Brand Stores.

This SUV´s initial launch markets include China, the United States, Canada, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK. Other markets are under consideration for future expansion, Polestar says.

Lifestyle Tech

Sustainable growth in the aviation in 2019

The aviation industry is expected to explore a substantial growth in renewable energies during this year. The industry is committed to achieve a carbon-neutral growth by 2020 and one major strategy goal is to the use of renewables.

Aviation will be swifting to use more biofuels which are from organic sources (like waste, algae and oil) and thus use less of fossil-fuels. Airplanes will be using Renewable Jet Fuel (RJF) or Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). This change will also mean the overall efficiency in the operations, while the new fuels also perform well in the cold weather (up to -47 C).

These new biofuels have significantly lower carbon emissions over their lifecycle and according to some studies, the fuels can be up to 80 % less carbon-intensive over their lifecycle. It is also notable that the fuels minimize their impact on biodiversity and have lower impact on food crops or drinking water. A sustainable biofuel releases only the carbon absorbed by the feedstock plants.

According to IATA (International Aviation organization) the industry has agreed on these steps to mitigate the Climate Change:

– An average improvement in fuel efficiency of 1.5% per year from 2009 to 2020
– A cap on net aviation CO2 emissions from 2020 (carbon-neutral growth)
– A reduction in net aviation CO2 emissions of 50% by 2050, relative to 2005 levels

Air transport accounts for 2% of global man-made CO2 emissions. In 2017, civil aviation, as a whole, emitted around 859 million tonnes of CO2 according to IATA.

Some of the renewables producers like Neste Group (Neste) is also expecting a major increase in the aviation, while the company has announced its plans to produce more renewable jet fuels this year. In fact, they have said  that they “plan to produce sustainable jet fuels more than all other providers combined”.

The growth is remarkable while Neste estimates the renewables jet fuels to exceed 400K in production in 2022. In 2017 the company produced renewables all together 2567K and has published its new investments in its Singapore site, which will focus on renewables.

The company is expected to publish the year 2018 figures on the 6th 2019 and will have a Capital Markets Day in London on the 27th February 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Business Finance

Davos: Companies should have Climate Change strategy

According to the Global Risk Report by the World Economic Forum, Climate Change, Natural Resources and Biodiversity are among the the top global risk areas for this year. 

– Rising geopolitical and geo-economic tensions are the most urgent risk areas in 2019, with 90% of experts saying they expect further economic confrontation between major powers in 2019, the World Economic Forum Report states.

– Environmental degradation is the long-term risk. Rapidly evolving cyber and technological threats are the most significant potential blind spots; we still do not fully appreciate the vulnerability of networked societies, the report says.

– 2018 was sadly a year of historic wildfires, continued heavy flooding and increasing greenhouse gas emissions. It is no surprise that in 2019, environmental risks once again dominate the list of major concerns. So, too, does the growing likelihood of environmental policy failure or a lack of timely policy implementation. To effectively respond to climate change requires a significant increase in infrastructure to adapt to this new environment and transition to a low-carbon economy. By 2040, the investment gap in global infrastructure is forecast to reach $18 trillion against a projected requirement of $97 trillion. Against this backdrop, we strongly recommend that businesses develop a climate resilience adaptation strategy and act on it now, says Alison Martin, Group Chief Risk Officer in the  Zurich Insurance Group.

The Wef Davos meeting will be held next week in Davos, in Switzerland. Around 3000 quests are expected to come to Davos, including Japan PM Shinzo Abe, German Angela Merkel and Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge.

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Business Lifestyle

Stocks gained after the UK confidence vote

Wall Steet ended up lifted by the better trade outlook and the UK confidence vote. UK Prime Minister Theresa May won the vote of the confidence of the Conservative Party in London on Wednesday.

According to PM May, the focus is now delivering the Brexit deal in order to build the better future for Britain and brining the country together. She mentioned also that she will have negotiations with the EU members on Thursday regarding the legal and political assuarances of the Brexit deal.

Dow Jones ended up 0,64 % to 24 527 points, S&P 500 -index  ended up 0,54 % to 2651 points and technology-index Nasdaq closed up 0,95 % to 7098 points. In Europe the FTSE 100 -index closed up 1,08 % to 6880 points and German DAX-index + 1,38 % to 10929 points and in France the CAC 40 -index closed up 2,15 % to 4909 points.

In Asia the stocks were also on the upward trend and in Hong Kong the Hang Seng -index closed up 1,61 % to 26 186 points and in Japan the Nikkei 225 -index ended up 2,15 % to 21 602 points.

The euro was trading at 1,137 dollars, up 0,04 % and UK sterling rose 0,06 % to 1,263 US-dollars.

The Brexit-process will continue as planned and after the EU-meetings on Thursday and Friday, it is expected that the UK Parliament would have the Brexit vote before the 21st January 2019. According to the timetable, the Brexit breakup will be on the 29th March 2019.

For the UK Conservative Party, it means that the Party will have to renew their position for the next elections, while it might be that the PM May is not the Party leader then.

Business Finance

Autodesk to buy PlanGrid for 875 million dollars

Autodesk (ADSK), a Californian software company in the construction industry, is buying PlanGrid -company for 875 million dollars. According to Autodesk this transaction enables the company to offer more comprehensive, cloud-based construction platform for its customers.

Autodesk is one of the softwares that can be used in the so called BIM-projects (Building Information Modeling), for example in the Green Buildings projects.

– This means that our customers can have real-time collaboration regarding project plans, punch lists, project tasks, progress photos and for example daily field reports, Autodesk says.

PlanGrid´s projects have included for example Hudson Yards in New York, Comcast Innovation Tower in Philadelphia and NVIDIA headquarters in California.

The transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019, ending January 31, 2019.

Business