Stories About Technology

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Is Your Campaign Human-Proof? How Limiting Human Interference Can Be Key to Success
Is Your Campaign Human-Proof? How Limiting Human Interference Can Be Key to Success

MARKETING AND COMMS - Have you already failed your New Year’s resolution to live a healthier and happier life? We are own biggest enemy and the sooner we realize this, the sooner we can begin making real change. Everybody who’s been put in charge of creating change - whether it’s changing a country, business, organization, system, product, service or minds - knows that what most evidently stands in the way of change is not funds or ingenuity, it’s ourselves. We break New Year’s pledges almost as they’re outspoken, forget to switch off the lights, although risk-aware drive without a seatbelt, keep smoking although we know its deadly, repeat history’s atrocities again and again - raising the question if we at all are capable of taking care of ourselves?

Hitting the Bull’s-Eye With Your Product Sustainability Program
Hitting the Bull’s-Eye With Your Product Sustainability Program

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - It can be daunting to ramp up a sustainability program. This is especially the case when moving from an operations focus, where most programs start, to successfully leveraging the many opportunities associated with product materials and sourcing, design, and production. Yet companies that take aim at their products and measure, improve, and communicate the environmental and social attributes across the life cycle are able to achieve significant improvements that dwarf those they could realize otherwise.

Copenhagen ‘Big Data’ Marketplace Set to Spur Sustainability Innovation
Copenhagen ‘Big Data’ Marketplace Set to Spur Sustainability Innovation

CLEANTECH - Global IT firm Hitachi Consulting has been selected to construct a first-of-its-kind Big Data platform for Denmark’s capital Copenhagen to help achieve its sustainability goals.To develop the platform, the firm will work with the City of Copenhagen, Capital Region, the Danish cluster organization, CLEAN and a consortium of partners.The Copenhagen Big Data project will enable advanced analytics to support city functions such as green infrastructure planning, traffic management and energy usage. It will integrate data from multiple sources, including demographics, crime statistics, sensor-based sources — such as energy consumption meters, air quality sensors and traffic sensors, among others — and information submitted by citizens and businesses.

Here’s How Satellites Are Saving the World’s Forests
Here’s How Satellites Are Saving the World’s Forests

CLEANTECH - The world’s besieged forests have found friends in high places — in this case, very high. Remote-sensing satellites keep constant watch from hundreds of miles above the earth, collecting data that — when combined with information sharing and human networks around the world — can be used to preserve the world's forests, which are disappearing at an alarming net loss of 12.8 million acres each year (an area the size of Costa Rica).Although deforestation has slowed slightly since the 1990s thanks to conservation efforts, the situation remains dire.

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SAP: Increased Employee Engagement Helping Bottom Line
SAP: Increased Employee Engagement Helping Bottom Line

NEW METRICS - German software company SAP’s operating profit improves EUR35 million ($38 million) to EUR45 million ($49 million) when its employee engagement index rises one percentage point, according to the company’s 2014 integrated report.The financial impact of a higher employee engagement index results, among other things, from the fact that dedicated employees are more innovative and absent from work fewer days. Likewise, because they are more loyal to the company, there is less missed revenue and less recruiting and training costs traditionally associated with higher turnover rates.

An Unlikely Pair: Farmers and Big Data Team Up to Address Food Security
An Unlikely Pair: Farmers and Big Data Team Up to Address Food Security

CLEANTECH - The United States agriculture industry faces a changing climate, diminishing water supply, and a rapidly growing population. To address these issues, farmers are having to move into the 21st century, one tech advancement at a time."We live in a complicated world and there's been a lot of talks these days about getting to 2050 and feeding over 9 billion people," said A.G. Kawamura, the former California Secretary of Agriculture, co-chair of Solutions from the Land, and a third-generation farmer. "We have the capacity but we don't have the will to do it. Logistics haven't been put into place."

#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.

Hong Kong Cleantech Companies Showcase in San Francisco
Hong Kong Cleantech Companies Showcase in San Francisco

CLEANTECH - Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation ("HKSTP") is showcasing Hong Kong's sustainable innovations to the world by leading a delegation of cleantech companies at an event this week in San Francisco.The HKSTP delegation includes five cleantech companies that will showcase sustainable innovations ranging from a water filtration device to renewable energy technologies and energy management platforms.The participating companies in the HKSTP delegation are:

Starting Now: A Smarter Approach to Sustainability Management
Starting Now: A Smarter Approach to Sustainability Management

CLEANTECH - The importance of sustainability has surged over the last two decades, as has the amount of information available and the demands on companies and practitioners – from regulators, customers and investors. At the same time, the new opportunities that have emerged are enormous.

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Pee-Powered Toilet Could Help Light Refugee Camps
Pee-Powered Toilet Could Help Light Refugee Camps

CLEANTECH - Sometimes clean technology doesn't need to be sanitary.Students and staff at the University of the West of England in Bristol now have the opportunity to test out a prototype toilet that uses urine to generate electricity, The Guardian reports.Researchers at the university and the charity Oxfam developed the “pee power” toilet to prove that urine can generate electricity, and show its potential for helping to light cubicles in international refugee camps. The technology uses urine-fed microbial fuel cell (MFC) stacks to generate electricity that can power indoor lighting.

Smart Water Infrastructure is up to the Challenge
Smart Water Infrastructure is up to the Challenge

PRESS RELEASE - By: Susan Diegelman The First in a Series About Machine-to-Machine Technology and Water Management.

PE INTERNATIONAL Announces Rebranding as thinkstep and Introduces the thinkstep.one Technology Platform to Accelerate Sustainability for All Companies
PE INTERNATIONAL Announces Rebranding as thinkstep and Introduces the thinkstep.one Technology Platform to Accelerate Sustainability for All Companies

PRESS RELEASE - Stuttgart/Boston/London, March 11, 2015 – PE INTERNATIONAL, today at its annual customer and partner symposium, unveiled its new name, thinkstep, and introduced thinkstep.one, its next generation platform. thinkstep.one dramatically improves the efficiency and effectiveness of energy, environmental, compliance, and sustainability management. 

thinkstep (fka PE International) Launching Comprehensive Platform for Enabling Business Sustainability
thinkstep (fka PE International) Launching Comprehensive Platform for Enabling Business Sustainability

CLEANTECH - Sustainability software and consulting company PE International, creators of the industry-leading GaBi life cycle assessment software and providers of a vast array of tools for sustainability performance management, unveiled its new name – thinkstep - today at its annual customer and partner symposium. The company says the new name reflects its long history of connecting data and knowledge to make sustainability advances, or ‘thinksteps,’ for the world’s leading brands and organizations.

BASF’s Creator Space Hosting Symposium on Smart Energy for a Sustainable Future
BASF’s Creator Space Hosting Symposium on Smart Energy for a Sustainable Future

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - At the first of three science symposia hosted by BASF in honor of its 150th anniversary, to be held this week in Ludwigshafen, Germany, more than 600 top ranking scientists from academia and business will discuss “Smart Energy for a Sustainable Future.” Speakers will discuss the latest innovations in the storage and sustainable use of energy and explain approaches to energy-efficient chemical production. Other topics include viable future mobility, new materials for energy technologies and future energy supply. The symposium is part of BASF's worldwide Creator Space™ program.

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UK Researchers Make Cheap Solar Cells From Shrimp Shells
UK Researchers Make Cheap Solar Cells From Shrimp Shells

CLEANTECH - Researchers at Queen Mary University of London have for the first time successfully created electricity-generating solar cells with chemicals found in the shells of shrimps and other crustaceans.The materials chitin and chitosan found in the shells are abundant and significantly cheaper to produce than the metals currently used in making nanostructured solar-cells, the researchers say.The researchers used a process called hydrothermal carbonization to create the carbon quantum dots (CQDs) from the widely and cheaply available chemicals found in crustacean shells. They then coated standard zinc oxide nanorods with the CQDs to make the solar cells.

#ThrowBackThursday: Blue Box Re-Emerges with Zero-Waste Air Filtration Solution
#ThrowBackThursday: Blue Box Re-Emerges with Zero-Waste Air Filtration Solution

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 2013 finalist Blue Box.

Tesla Promises New Battery Can Power Your Home, Power the Grid
Tesla Promises New Battery Can Power Your Home, Power the Grid

CLEANTECH - Tesla founder Elon Musk has announced a new project that could get millions of people off the grid.Musk’s increased interest in the emerging energy storage market has led to plans for a giant lithium-ion battery factory. Home and businesses owners could buy these battery systems for backup power or for managing solar electricity generation and use.

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.

New Packaging Concepts Could Cut Food Waste
New Packaging Concepts Could Cut Food Waste

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - UK recycled packaging manufacturer Spectra unveiled a number of new concepts emphasizing closure technology this week at an industry event in Birmingham.One of the new closure concepts is a two-piece cap that features an inner screw mechanism, which allows customers to snap on five alternate outer shells for a mix-and-match outcome. Another idea is a new push button sliding cap that can be operated with one hand, available in twin color options.

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Smart Data at the Heart of Pro-Social Brands
Smart Data at the Heart of Pro-Social Brands

MARKETING AND COMMS - “Big Data” and “Social Good” may be the yin and yang of tomorrow’s most successful brands. Both are recognized as important components of contemporary marketing strategy, yet they are not typically thought of as bedmates. That is changing.The growing expectation that brands should make meaningful contributions to the world has put pressure on marketers to find profitable ways to do so. They must carefully select causes that align with the brand’s ethos and can be seamlessly woven into their business models. But how to find such rare pearls? The answer lies, in part, with data.

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