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Aspiring entrepreneurs invited to be part of upcoming Red Deer College events

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Red Deer, December 4, 2018 – This winter, Red Deer College will be hosting two opportunities that will help to educate and encourage future small business owners. The Business Basics for the Aspiring Entrepreneur Seminar along with Breakthrough Your Business, a Dragon’s Den-style competition, will help people learn how to develop and then pitch their business ideas.

“Central Alberta is filled with people who have innovative ideas and entrepreneurial spirits,” says Darcy Mykytyshyn, Dean of RDC’s Donald School of Business. “The two events we’re offering provide unique opportunities to introduce people to foundational business knowledge and skills that will help them transform their ideas into actionable business plans.”

Business Basics for the Aspiring Entrepreneur is a one-day seminar that is open to anyone, including RDC alumni living in Alberta. The free event will provide information for people interested in starting and operating a small business. Topics will include legal structure and risk management, financing, accounting, sales and marketing, entrepreneurism, tips for success, key steps, and lessons learned.

For those looking to elevate their business ideas to the next level, the Breakthrough Your Business competition will provide an opportunity to create a proposal and business plan, which they will then present to a panel of judges. The first and second place winners will be awarded ,000 and ,000, respectively, to help them start their small businesses. Each winner will also receive a 0 tuition voucher for RDC’s School of Continuing Education.

Local philanthropists, Joan and Jack Donald, have sponsored this event since it was first created, dedicating their time through mentorship and donating a total of ,000 in prize money over the years. As business owners, they understand the challenges that can come from starting a new business. They believe the learning and opportunities from Breakthrough Your Business will help support local entrepreneurs to make timely, sound decisions as they pursue their business goals.

“There are many good opportunities lost and precious time wasted for lack of a timely decision,” says Jack Donald. “Both Joan and I have always followed this rule: marshal the facts, make a decision and move on. As long as you make more ‘good’ decisions than ‘poor’ ones you will prosper. This Breakthrough Your Business event is a great opportunity.”

To help this year’s participants prepare for the event, competitors will have the opportunity to partner with students to develop the business proposals.

“This is a great example of collaboration and learning, with students from the Donald School of Business working with local people to help them develop viable business plans,” says Mykytyshyn. “It’s a practical learning opportunity that has benefits for everyone involved.”

Anyone competing in Breakthrough Your Business must participate in the Business Basics Seminar, either this year or in the past years, as the learning from this seminar will help to position them for success in the competition and in their future businesses.

People interested in participating in Business Basics for the Aspiring Entrepreneur Seminar and Breakthrough Your Business are encouraged to be aware of the upcoming dates and deadlines for the events:

January 18, 2019 – January 26, 2019 – February 15, 2019 – February 22, 2019 – March 9, 2019

Expression of Interest registration deadline for Breakthrough Your Business Business Basics Seminar (required for Breakthrough Your Business) Submission deadline for Breakthrough Your Business

Final five contestants notified for Breakthrough Your Business Breakthrough Your Business

For further details, contact [email protected].

About RDC: For 55 years, RDC has been proudly serving its learners and communities. The College continues to grow programs, facilities and opportunities as it transitions to become a comprehensive regional teaching university during the next three to five years. This year, RDC will add seven new programs to more than 100 established programs (including full degrees, certificates, diplomas and skilled trades programs). RDC educates 7,500 full-and part-time credit students and more than 38,000 youth and adult learners in the School of Continuing Education each year. The College is expanding its teaching, learning, athletic and living spaces with the additions of the state-of-the-art Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre/Centre des Jeux du Canada Gary W. Harris, Alternative Energy Lab and construction of a new Residence which all enhance RDC’s Alternative Energy Initiative. Main campus is strategically situated on 290 acres of Alberta’s natural landscape along Queen Elizabeth II Highway. RDC is also proud to serve its Donald School of Business students housed at a downtown campus, located in the Millennium Centre, in addition to housing teaching and learning space at the Welikoklad Event Centre.

For more information on RDC, please visit: rdc.ab.ca| twitter | facebook | instagram

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Automotive

The EV battery ‘catch-22’

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From The Center Square

While setting aggressive goals for electric vehicle market share, the Biden administration also wants tariffs and or restrictions on the importation of vehicles and the minerals needed for their batteries – creating heightened concerns over supply chains in what can be described as a “Catch-22” situation.

Solutions to some of the problems include battery recycling and increased domestic mining, however, the U.S. is currently limited in its capacity for both. Federal funds are spurring new recycling plant projects, but questions remain on whether there will be enough used material to meet projected needs.

In his e-book, “The EV Transition Explained,” Robert Charette, longtime systems engineer, and contributing editor for IEEE Spectrum, says making the transition is harder than anyone thinks. He recently told The Center Square it is truer now than it ever was.

“None of this is simple,” he said.

His argument centers on the lack of planning and systems engineering on initiatives that are politically, not engineering, driven. While change is possible, he suggested it would require trillions more in government spending and enforcing those changes through law.

Charette identified many serious issues in setting up the EV battery infrastructure – and even if those challenges are met, he said, there may be tradeoffs between affordability, security and environmental concerns.

Profitability. Battery recycling is a still-developing process which is time consuming and expensive. The cost of purchasing recycled materials may be more costly than buying them new.

Manufacturing demand and potential backlog. The U.S. will require eight million batteries annually by 2030 to meet the government’s EV target, with increases each year after that.

Standardization. Batteries vary in configuration, size, and chemistry.

Domestic mining. While decreasing our dependency on outside sources, what are the environmental impacts? It can also take years to acquire permits and get a lithium mine up and running.

Mineral shortfalls. Secure and sustainable access to critical minerals like copper, lithium, cobalt, and nickel is essential for a smooth and affordable transition to clean energy. An analysis by the International Energy Agency indicates a “significant gap” between the world’s supply and demand for copper and lithium. Projected supplies will only meet 70% of the copper and 50% of the lithium needed to achieve 2035 climate targets.

The report said that “without the strong uptake of recycling and reuse, “mining capital requirements would need to be one-third higher. The agency also emphasizes China’s dominance in the refining and processing sector.

Transportation of discharged batteries classified as hazardous waste is one of the costliest steps of the recycling process. Experts suggest updates to federal EPA and DOT regulations for how battery-related waste is classified. In addition to health and safety, they say clearer definitions of what constitutes hazardous waste would help reduce transportation costs. Many recycling plants are being built in regions where production sites are located to address this.

Supply chain and skills gap shortages. The timetable set by the government is not aligned with the capabilities of the current supply chain. Software plays a key role in the management and operation of an EV battery, and automakers are competing for a limited supply of software and systems engineers.

Competing interests. The goal is to create a circular battery economy, reducing the need for raw materials. However, an EV battery that is no longer useful for propelling a car still has enough life left for other purposes such as residential energy storage. Experts propose a battery material hierarchy where repurposing and reusing retired EV batteries are more favorable to immediately recycling them, detouring them out of the cycle.

Charette says the biggest problem with recycling projections is that they are built on assumptions that have not been tested.

“We won’t know whether these assumptions hold until we reach a point where we are recycling millions of EV batteries,” he said.

Because most EV lithium-ion batteries produced through 2023 are still on the road, the International Council on Clean Transportation reports that the majority of materials being used as feedstock by recycling plants currently come from scrap materials created during battery production.

According to Charette, manufacturers also claim future generations of batteries will last 15 to 20 years, which he says would put a bigger kink in the used-battery supply chain.

Another issue contributing to consumers’ reluctance to buy an EV is the inability to determine the overall health of your battery. Current testing methods are inefficient and costly.

EV adoption has so far not met projections and with all the competing interests, Charette said the market will ultimately tell us what direction the situation is headed. He is also intrigued over the impact government pressure will have on the eventual outcome.

He said many individual components have yet to be worked out, adding that although there is a vision, “we’re a heck of a long way from that vision to getting where we need to go.”

In his opinion, battery recycling issues are even further behind than transitioning the electric grid to renewable energy sources.

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Business

Ottawa should end war on plastics for sake of the environment

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From the Fraser Institute

By Kenneth P. Green

Here’s the shocker: Meng shows that for 15 out of the 16 uses, plastic products incur fewer GHG emissions than their alternatives…

For example, when you swap plastic grocery bags for paper, you get 80 per cent higher GHG emissions. Substituting plastic furniture for wood—50 per cent higher GHG emissions. Substitute plastic-based carpeting with wool—80 per cent higher GHG emissions.

It’s been known for years that efforts to ban plastic products—and encourage people to use alternatives such as paper, metal or glass—can backfire. By banning plastic waste and plastic products, governments lead consumers to switch to substitutes, but those substitutes, mainly bulkier and heavier paper-based products, mean more waste to manage.

Now a new study by Fanran Meng of the University of Sheffield drives the point home—plastic substitutes are not inherently better for the environment. Meng uses comprehensive life-cycle analysis to understand how plastic substitutes increase or decrease greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by assessing the GHG emissions of 16 uses of plastics in five major plastic-using sectors: packaging, building and construction, automotive, textiles and consumer durables. These plastics, according to Meng, account for about 90 per cent of global plastic volume.

Here’s the shocker: Meng shows that for 15 out of the 16 uses, plastic products incur fewer GHG emissions than their alternatives. Read that again. When considering 90 per cent of global plastic use, alternatives to plastic lead to greater GHG emissions than the plastic products they displace. For example, when you swap plastic grocery bags for paper, you get 80 per cent higher GHG emissions. Substituting plastic furniture for wood—50 per cent higher GHG emissions. Substitute plastic-based carpeting with wool—80 per cent higher GHG emissions.

A few substitutions were GHG neutral, such as swapping plastic drinking cups and milk containers with paper alternatives. But overall, in the 13 uses where a plastic product has lower emissions than its non-plastic alternatives, the GHG emission impact is between 10 per cent and 90 per cent lower than the next-best alternatives.

Meng concludes that “Across most applications, simply switching from plastics to currently available non-plastic alternatives is not a viable solution for reducing GHG emissions. Therefore, care should be taken when formulating policies or interventions to reduce plastic demand that they result in the removal of the plastics from use rather than a switch to an alternative material” adding that “applying material substitution strategies to plastics never really makes sense.” Instead, Meng suggests that policies encouraging re-use of plastic products would more effectively reduce GHG emissions associated with plastics, which, globally, are responsible for 4.5 per cent of global emissions.

The Meng study should drive the last nail into the coffin of the war on plastics. This study shows that encouraging substitutes for plastic—a key element of the Trudeau government’s climate plan—will lead to higher GHG emissions than sticking with plastics, making it more difficult to achieve the government’s goal of making Canada a “net-zero” emitter of GHG by 2050.

Clearly, the Trudeau government should end its misguided campaign against plastic products, “single use” or otherwise. According to the evidence, plastic bans and substitution policies not only deprive Canadians of products they value (and in many cases, products that protect human health), they are bad for the environment and bad for the climate. The government should encourage Canadians to reuse their plastic products rather than replace them.

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