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Measurabl, Optoro Partner to Pilot Improved Sustainability Data Collection
Measurabl, Optoro Partner to Pilot Improved Sustainability Data Collection

CLEANTECH - This week, startup Measurabl, a provider of sustainability data management and analytics software, announced a partnership with Optoro, a technology company focused on supply chain sustainability for retailers. The “We Are Measurabl” pilot program allows Optoro and other companies to track and validate their corporate sustainability performance to their stakeholders.

Meet 'Denise,' a Triple Threat That Just May Help Rid the World of Produce Waste
Meet 'Denise,' a Triple Threat That Just May Help Rid the World of Produce Waste

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - As we discuss all too often here at SB, food waste around the world is one of our most pressing issues; nearly a third of all food produced — over 1.3 billion tons per year — is wasted, according to the FAO.

Crowdsourcing Sustainable Solutions: Unilever Launches Foundry IDEAS Platform
Crowdsourcing Sustainable Solutions: Unilever Launches Foundry IDEAS Platform

COLLABORATION - Unilever unveiled a new initiative at the Cannes Lions festival on Friday that aims to put fresh momentum behind its Sustainable Living Plan with public input. The Foundry IDEAS platform will act as a hub for consumers and entrepreneurs to work together to tackle sustainability challenges.

Wearables, Startups, 3D Printing Helping Ford Drive Progress in Autonomous Vehicles Technology
Wearables, Startups, 3D Printing Helping Ford Drive Progress in Autonomous Vehicles Technology

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Today, Ford announced progress on its commitment to developing autonomous vehicle technology, including innovations in wearable technology and collaborations with startups in Silicon Valley to make mobility solutions more accessible. The announcement, made at the Further with Ford trend conference, marks a transition from Ford’s investment in autonomous vehicle technology as a research effort to an advanced engineering program.

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How Digital Mapping Is Helping Detroit Fight Urban Blight
How Digital Mapping Is Helping Detroit Fight Urban Blight

CLEANTECH - As previously functioning urban areas fall into disrepair, urban blight increasingly is afflicting cities across the United States. Characterized by high local unemployment and crime, political disenfranchisement and depopulation, in some of these areas the endless blocks of abandoned buildings seems like scenes out of a post-apocalyptic movie.

Verb Secures $2.3M in Seed Funding to Help Social Entrepreneurs Solve 'Wicked' Problems
Verb Secures $2.3M in Seed Funding to Help Social Entrepreneurs Solve 'Wicked' Problems

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Social enterprise Verb has closed $2.3 million in series seed funding — one of the largest rounds ever for an Austin-based social enterprise, according to a recent announcement.The investment capital will be used to fund global expansion, platform development and strategic hires, the company says. Recent additions to the company include a chief operating officer and chief creative officer, and Verb says it expects to continue to grow the team throughout the year.

Thread Raises $3.5M to Scale Transformation of Trash Into Dignified Jobs, Useful Products
Thread Raises $3.5M to Scale Transformation of Trash Into Dignified Jobs, Useful Products

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Pittsburgh-based startup Thread announced today it has closed a Series A Round of $2.8M, led by Draper Triangle Ventures, to create upcycled fabric from plastic waste collected in developing countries. The financing, which completes a $3.5M funding cycle, will help expand production capabilities, while growing data and content collection throughout Thread’s unprecedentedly clean, transparent supply chain.

Interface Set to Scale 'Net-Works' Program That Turns Fishing Nets Into Carpet
Interface Set to Scale 'Net-Works' Program That Turns Fishing Nets Into Carpet

WASTE NOT - Net-Works, a social entrepreneurship initiative from carpet manufacturer Interface and conservation charity Zoological Society of London (ZSL), has since 2012 collected more than 66,860 kilos of nets from residents in 14 collection sites in Danajon Bank and the Bantayan Islands, according to a recent announcement.In addition, the program has yielded 508 memberships in community banks, with the opportunity to earn supplemental income through the sale of nets, as well as access to financial infrastructure via locally-established CoMSCAs (Community Managed Credit and Savings Associations) or local microfinance initiatives.

Track Your Personal Impacts, Benefit the Greater Good: The 2015 SBIO Semi-Finalists, Part 2
Track Your Personal Impacts, Benefit the Greater Good: The 2015 SBIO Semi-Finalists, Part 2

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - With the SB Innovation Open finals taking place this week at SB ’15 San Diego, we wanted to give you a glimpse of some of the amazing sustainable startups competing this year. From cricket-powered cookies to an app that helps you get the most from your purchases, this year’s crop of SBIO semi-finalists are set to revolutionize their respective industries (see part 1).

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Solar-Powered UK Microbrewery Launches Kickstarter Campaign
Solar-Powered UK Microbrewery Launches Kickstarter Campaign

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Sustainable-minded beer lovers rejoice because a new UK-based microbrewery called Bucks Star plans to use solar power to make its beer.The startup says the ingredients, the brewing process and the energy source to run its machinery are all focused on “freshness and sustainability.” All of its beers will be handmade to boot.To get its operation off the ground, the startup is crowdsourcing both funds and ideas for beer recipes. It has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise £2,800 ($4,350 USD).

This Year's Inspired Leadership Award Highlighting the New 'Breed of Leadership Business Needs'
This Year's Inspired Leadership Award Highlighting the New 'Breed of Leadership Business Needs'

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Last week, seven young nominees were announced for the 2015 Inspired Leadership Award (ILA), an annual prize recognizing leaders with the potential to positively impact lives on a global scale for generations to come.

Wells Fargo Launches $10 Million Initiative to Support Cleantech Startups
Wells Fargo Launches $10 Million Initiative to Support Cleantech Startups

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Today, Wells Fargo announced its selection of four clean technology startups for the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2), a five-year, $10 million program to foster leading-edge environmental technologies. The program is funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and co-administered by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). This marks the first philanthropy program of its kind within the financial services industry.

Londoners Will Soon Have a Freshwater Swimming Pool Cleaned by Plants, Not Chemicals
Londoners Will Soon Have a Freshwater Swimming Pool Cleaned by Plants, Not Chemicals

CLEANTECH - Looking for a clean place to swim in London? City dwellers will have a freshwater, natural pool at their disposal in King’s Cross beginning in May. Designed by Rotterdam Studio, Ooze architects and artist Marietica Potrč, the chemical-free outdoor pool is the first of its kind in the UK. The King’s Cross Swimming Pool is a manmade, freshwater pond kept clean and filtered through natural processes. At forty meters long, the pool will accommodate up to 100 swimmers at a time within the new Lewis Cubitt Park.

Startup Hoping to Turn Computers Into Primary Source of Heat Generation
Startup Hoping to Turn Computers Into Primary Source of Heat Generation

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - New York City-based tech startup Project Exergy is one step closer to developing a technology capable of heating smart homes using computers, following a successful crowdfunding campaign.The concept involves transferring the computation done in data centers into millions of home and office computers and putting the normally wasted heat to use through a liquid cooling system that can efficiently extract and thermally store the high-temperature heat.

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#ThrowBackThursday: Akwamag Moves Beyond Softening to Become One-Stop Shop for Water Purification
#ThrowBackThursday: Akwamag Moves Beyond Softening to Become One-Stop Shop for Water Purification

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - In the lead-up to this year’s Sustainable Brands Innovation Open — our competition for startups poised to make scalable, sustainable impacts — we’re catching up with some of our favorite game-changing solutions from past years. This week, we have an update from SBIO 2014 finalist AkwaMag.

MIT Climate CoLab Announces 22 Contests to Counter Climate Change
MIT Climate CoLab Announces 22 Contests to Counter Climate Change

COLLABORATION - The Climate CoLab has announced twenty-two contests that seek high-impact ideas on how to tackle climate change.A project of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Center for Collective Intelligence, the Climate CoLab seeks to harness the knowledge and expertise of thousands of experts and non-experts across the world to help solve this massive, complex issue.The Climate CoLab has a rapidly growing community of over 30,000 members from across the world. Anyone is welcome to join the platform to submit their own ideas, or comment on and show support for other proposals on the site.

Waste2Watergy Helping Beverage Companies Brew Power from Wastewater
Waste2Watergy Helping Beverage Companies Brew Power from Wastewater

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Waste2Watergy, a Corvallis startup formed at Oregon State University, has secured a $225,000 federal grant to advance technology that cleans organics from brewery wastewater while producing electricity. The company says the technology could revolutionize wastewater treatment for the entire food and beverage industry.Developers have created a microbial fuel cell (MFC) system that generates energy from treating wastewater. Tiny microbes were designed to consume organic material; as an added bonus, the electrochemical energy created from microbial reactions in the fuel cell produce electricity.

Startup Develops World’s Thinnest Speaker
Startup Develops World’s Thinnest Speaker

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - A startup called Soundlazer claims to have developed the world’s thinnest speaker, made from a new class of plastic polymer. With the ability to reproduce a large range of audio frequencies, the company says it can be used to deliver audio in tight or unique spaces.

Strength in Numbers: Erb Institute Harnesses the Power of Consensus
Strength in Numbers: Erb Institute Harnesses the Power of Consensus

COLLABORATION - Tom Catania’s role at Whirlpool Corporation wasn’t specifically to shape the company’s sustainability efforts. But in more than 25 years with the appliance manufacturer, the last 14 as Vice President for Government Affairs, Catania’s job called on him to help identify public policy conflicts and bring together diverse interests to find consensus.His role at the University of Michigan’s Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise is much the same. “My focus had always been on trying to identify public policy issues and turning them into business opportunities, and I think we were pretty successful at doing that,” Catania said.

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Unilever, Cambridge Name Winner of Top Young Sustainability Entrepreneur Prize
Unilever, Cambridge Name Winner of Top Young Sustainability Entrepreneur Prize

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Daniel Yu, founder of Reliefwatch — which makes software to help medical clinics in the developing world to digitize and manage inventory records for better patient outcomes — has won the Prince of Wales Young Sustainability Entrepreneurs Prize.As part of the prize, Yu has been awarded €50,000 ($56,500) and will be supported with a tailored mentoring program delivered by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and Unilever experts over the course of 2015. The six runners up each will receive a cash prize of €10,000 ($11,300) in addition to mentoring and support.

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