The weekly half-hour classes, broadcast on YouTube, are set to cover everything from ‘International health in global governance after the First World War’ to ‘Biomedically-engineered bubbles.’ There have been similar online lecture events across the University. Oxford Sparks, a project aimed at showcasing the University’s scientific research and teaching, is hosting several live Q&As a week through its ‘Science at Home’ campaign. The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities, Torch, is organising ‘In Conversation’ events through the Humanities Cultural Programme in its ‘Big Tent – Live Events!’ series. ‘Oxford Answers’, run by the Saïd Business School, is aiming to “help leaders respond to an unprecedented period of turmoil” through their virtual events. On the Oxford at Home page on their website, they add: “We’re proud to be at the forefront of global efforts to understand COVID-19 pandemic and protect our communities. But our huge range of inspiring experts, world-class teaching staff and eager researchers still have a great deal to share. So take time out of your day to connect with #OxfordatHome and be inspired!” The Oxford University Twitter account announced the initiative on Thursday, describing the events as “*free* weekly talks about everything and anything we research.” The first Oxford at Home event, ‘Garden Safari – the five groups of insects that dominate your garden’ taught by Dr Lindsay Turnbull, broadcast last Friday and has been viewed by over 1,500 people so far. It encouraged interactive participation beyond the livestream with a downloadable worksheet and posts tagged with #backgardenbiology. Last Friday, the University of Oxford launched ‘Oxford at Home’, a series of online ‘tutorial’-style livestreams open to the public. Tutorials, the main teaching style Oxford uses for most subjects, are known for being discussion-based. The series introduces this interaction between the academic and the audience by allowing viewers of the livestream to ask questions through the youtube comment section or by using #oxfordathome. Image credit to Jorge Royan / Wikimedia Commons In addition to their main ‘Oxford at Home’ series on Fridays, similar discipline-based livestreams are taking place throughout the week, all available through the main ‘Oxford at Home’ page.
Budweiser parent InBev signs Europe’s largest corporate solar power purchase deal FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:InBev, the brewer of Budweiser and an array of other beers, has signed a 130-megawatt solar power purchase agreement, which it calls the largest “pan-European corporate solar” power-purchase agreement so far.The deal, with German renewables developer BayWa r.e., will supply enough electricity for 14 breweries in Western Europe. BayWa will finance and develop two new solar projects in Spain totaling 200 megawatts, with InBev’s virtual PPA acting as the linchpin.Completion of the projects — one of them to be called the Budweiser Solar Farm — is expected by March 2022. BayWa will additionally provide the company with 75 gigawatt-hours’ worth of guarantees of origin certificates from a Spanish wind farm.AB InBev has been ramping up its renewables procurements. At the end of 2018, AB InBev agreed a 15-year, 100-megawatt deal with Lightsource BP to supply its U.K. operations. It has a 152.5-megawatt agreement in place with Enel Green Power for its U.S. operations.Once 100 percent of its operations are powered by renewables, Budweiser intends to adorn each bottle sold in the U.K. and U.S. with a symbol declaring that fact.Europe has lagged the U.S. in corporate renewables PPAs. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, 86 percent of corporate PPAs signed at the halfway point in 2019 had been signed in the Americas.[John Parnell]More: Budweiser brewer signs Europe’s ‘largest corporate solar PPA’
The regulator said that the funds’ asset allocation had become more diversified compared with previous years.The country’s company and industry-wide pension schemes – known as fondi negoziali – made an average investment return of 2.6% for the 2017 calendar year, COVIP said.Open funds – offered by banks and insurance companies – returned 3.3% over the same period.This brought the average annualised return for the 10 years to end-2017 to 3.3% for pension funds and 3% for open funds.Meanwhile, the two main types of personal pension plans (PIPs) returned 1.9% (Class I plans) and 2.2% (Class III plans), bringing their average annualised return for the same 10 years to 2.8% and 2.2%, respectively.At end-2017, there were around 7.6m participants in supplementary pension schemes, up 6.1% on the previous year.COVIP estimated that the Italian supplementary pension sector boasted assets worth €162.3bn, an increase of 7.3% over 2016.According to Claudio Pinna, head of retirement in Italy for Aon Hewitt, the average returns of Italian pension funds were lower than those for other European countries.Pinna said: “One reason is that the asset allocation of defined contribution funds is strongly influenced by their participants, who can individually select between investment profiles with different risk levels. Generally, Italians decide to allocate their savings to low-risk investments, although they need to be aware that this will lead to low returns.“Furthermore, because of the European Central Bank’s policy of quantitative easing, there are no high returns from anywhere.”In contrast, Pinna said that defined benefit schemes – which have more control over their investment strategy – have diversified their portfolios to include new asset classes such as illiquid investments, alternatives and hedge funds.However, Pinna warned that exposure to this asset classes required “a sophisticated internal governance process, strictly implemented, so as to make sure they get the optimum results”. See IPE’s latest country report on Italy, published today. Italian pension funds reduced their aggregate exposure to government bonds last year as investors diversified their investment portfolios, according to the national pensions regulator COVIP.At end-2017, government securities made up an average 41.5% of portfolios, a five percentage point decrease from the previous year, the regulator reported.Other debt securities reached an average 16.6% of portfolios, with equities at 17.7%, and pooled funds at 14.4%.Meanwhile, real estate represented just 2.9% of assets, almost all of which was concentrated in Italy.