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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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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:
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.
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.
PRESS RELEASE - By: Susan Diegelman The First in a Series About Machine-to-Machine Technology and Water Management.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
COLLABORATION - This is the fifth of six questions from a roundtable discussion with the directors of sustainability research centers at six top business schools.So there are a couple different ways that we support the research process as an Initiative.One is that we bring in funding and then disperse it to faculty for research on sustainability. We’ve done that with some corporate funding, as well as philanthropic individual donors or foundations. We put out those calls for proposals, and it helps us to identify who among the faculty is doing research and sustainability.